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VOL. 8, NO. 2515 THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
Southwest relives June 12 It’s a unique day, says Jonathan Fashola, Tinubu seek end of impunity
OUTHWEST states were throbbing with huge parties yesterday as residents remembered the June 12, 1993 election — Nigeria’s fairest and freest ever. There were various activities to celebrate the election, which was won by frontline businessman Chief Moshood Abiola. He died in a titanic struggle to revalidate the election, which was annulled by the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida regime. But it was also a day for the truth. Impunity in politics, corruption in the polity and election fraud must stop, some prominent politicians said. It was the 20th anniversary of the presidential election. Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti declared yesterday as public holiday to mark Democracy Day, which, in their view, the day represents. All the states are controlled by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
Anxiety in PDP as Tambuwal backs Wamakko
We are living witnesses to a bizarre arithmetic in a contest of numbers where 16 votes have become superior to 19 votes in a perplexing logic. If this is not an example of impunity, I do not know what it is
By Miriam Ekene-Okoro, and Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
In Ondo State, which did not declare a public holiday, a lecture was held. There were at least five activities at various venues across the Lagos metropolis. They attracted people from all walks of life. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and ACN National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu called for an end to impunity in the polity.
At Abiola’s Ikeja, Lagos home, a wreath was laid on his grave. There was a march by top government officials in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital – the late Abiola’s home state – led by Governor Ibikunle Amosun. The march terminated at Abiola’s house in the ancient city. Other events in Lagos were held at Airport Hotel, Excellence Hotel and Sheraton Hotel. The Lagos State House of Assembly held a special session. In Abuja, President Goodluck Jonathan described June 12 as “a unique day that has changed the political history’’ of the country. “Today is also a unique day, June 12, a date that has changed the political history of this country in one way or the other. “In some parts of the country, some state governments have declared public holiday to mark today (yesterday), but at the centre, it has not been forContinued on page 2
Fatai Rolling Dollar dies at 85
CHAPTER closed in the music industry yesterday, with the death of highlife icon Fatai Rolling Dollar. He was 85. Born Fatai Olayiwola Olagunju, the late musician, who mentored greats like King Sunny Ade and Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey, reportedly died of cancer. He took ill in the United States last month dur-
•The late Rolling Dollar
ing a musical tour. Tour promoter Samson Raji said the late Olagunju complained of chest
By Our Reporters
pain after one of his three performances and was subsequently diagnosed of cancer at the hospital. He died at a Surulere, Lagos Mainland hospital. His remains were transferred to his Agege home, near the abattoir. He will be buried today. A crowd of musicians and admirers of the highlife maestro trooped to his residence. Among the early callers were music star Sunny Ade and another music giant Ebenezer Obey. President Goodluck Jonathan led the tributes. Governors Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Rauf Aregnesola (Osun), National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria Continued on page 2
•Crowd stops plane from landing From Yusuf Alli, Abuja and Adamu Sulaiman, Sokoto
HERE was disquiet at the National Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday following House of Representatives Speaker Mallam Aminu Tambuwal’s presence at a rally for suspended Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko. In spite of pressure, Tambuwal said he could not abandon the wish of his constituents to back Wamakko for the caprices of the PDP National Secretariat. The rally, organised by Sokoto PDP, was designed to show the party that Wamakko’s suspension was unpopular and unacceptable. Wamakko was suspended last week by PDP for alContinued on page 2
•THE JUNE 12 SPIRIT SPIRIT:: Participants led by Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun during the 2013 Democracy Walk to commemorate the June 12, 1993 presidential SEE ALSO PAGES 4,5,6,7&8 election in Abeokuta...yesterday
•NATIONAL ANTHEM COMPOSER DIES P58 •SEPT. 30 FOR OLD NUMBER PLATES P10
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
NEWS Exciting June 12 parties in Southwest states Continued from page 1
•The crowd at the Sokoto Airport...yesterday
Anxiety in PDP as Tambuwal backs Wamakko Continued from page 1
legedly not picking National Chairman Bamanga Tukur’s phone calls and for not recognising the PDP Governors Forum, which is headed by Governor Godswill Akpabio. The forum was created when it became clear that Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi would run for chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) – an election, which he won, but over which governors are divided. Tambuwal left Abuja yesterday in the afternoon for Sokoto defying security reports and threats from some PDP stalwarts not to attend the rally. It was gathered that Tambuwal took the decision to stand by Wamakko because of “available reports” indicating that the governor was suspended also because of him. According to sources, some PDP stalwarts and forces in the Presidency got wind of Wamakko’s plan to make Tambuwal his successor in 2015. It was gathered that the Presidency prefers one of the strategists of President Goodluck Jonathan, Senator Abubakar Umar Gada, to succeed Wamakko. The forces in the Presidency have been uncomfortable with alleged hostility of the House of Representatives to government policies, especially budgeting in the last two years. Tambuwal’s closeness to opposition lawmakers also al-
Crowd stops plane from landing
ARELY a week after his suspension by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko returned yesterday from an overseas trip, but his plane could not land at the Sokoto International Airport. There was no technical problem, but a huge crowd of excited supporters stormed the tarmac. The governor, who was supposed to land at 4.17pm, could not do so until about 6pm. The governor was held in the air for about 20 minutes before Aviation authorities diverted the plane to Kaduna – to avoid stampede. But the aircraft, which brought federal lawmakers from the state, who accompanied the governor to Sokoto,succeeded in landing at 4.15pm. Although Wamakko was expected to land two minutes later, the tarmac was declared unsafe by aviation management. The diversion of the governor’s flight created tension among his supporters and to avoid a breakdown of law and order, the airport management opted to clear the tarmac. After clearance, the governor’s plane eventually landed at about 6pm. As at 8.30pm, the governor was still battling to wade through the huge crowd lining the routes from the airport to the Government House. A PDP source in the state said: “The crowd comprised mostly PDP supporters, who are angry over the suspension of the governor. Initially, there was tension because the anxious supporters thought that the Federal Ministry of Aviation was up to a game like it did to Amaechi and Oshiomhole. “But tempers subsided when the governor eventually landed . The crowd was huge. “This is a sign that if the PDP National Secretariat messes up, the party may lose the state.
legedly drew the ire of the forces in the Presidency . It was learnt that the plot against Tambuwal reached its climax following intelligence reports that the Speaker
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja and Kelvin Osa Okunbor
How can they suspend a governor for not picking the calls of the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur?” The Ministry of Aviation cited a near breakdown of law and order at the Sokoto Airport as the reason why the Donnier 328 aircraft flying the governor from Abuja was diverted to Kaduna. In a statement, the Media Assistant to the Minister of Aviation, Mr Joe Obi, explained that the governor’s supporters broke the fence of the airport and were on their way to the tarmac to welcome the governor. The statement reads : “ The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), a few hours ago diverted the plane, a Donnier 328 aircraft carrying the Governor of Sokoto State, Alh. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamako to Kaduna airport as a safety and security precautionary measure. The governor was in an Abuja in-bound flight to Sokoto. “The safety/security precautionary measure followed the near-breakdown of law and order at the Sokoto airport by an unruly crowd of Wamako supporters who broke the fence and was on its way to the tarmac, apparently to welcome the governor. “Effort by security personnel to prevent a breach of the security and movement into the prohibited and restricted areas of the airport was met with stiff resistance from the crowd. “Sensing that the security and safety of the governor and other passengers was in real danger, NAMA decided to divert the aircraft to Kaduna airport to restore normalcy at the airport. “The governor and other passengers on board have since returned and landed safely at the airport, after the unruly crowd had been successfully restrained from entering the restricted zone.”
played a key role in convincing some governors from the Northwest to re-elect Amaechi. A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The Speak-
er made up his mind to stand by Wamakko in his hour of need because the persecution of the governor by PDP was aimed at him. The forces in the Continued on page 9
Aregbesola, others call for restructuring of political system
ORMER United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Walter Carrington, and many eminent human rights activists yesterday participated in the 20th anniversary of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election. The election was believed to have been won by Chief Moshood Abiola. Many of the activists include Shehu Sani, Prof. Ropo Sekoni, Rotimi Obadofin, Amitolu Shittu, Waheed Lawal, Rahman Shenge. The Democracy Day rally and lectures were organised by the Osun State government. The Freedom Square, Old Garage, Osogbo, Osun State capital, venue of the event, was filed
mally recognised as a public holiday. “We appreciate what happened on this day that you are being inaugurated. I think it is a unique date,’’ he said. The President spoke at the inauguration of the Board of the Police Service Commission held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Former Inspector General of Police Mike Okiro is the commission’s chairman. Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola urged the Federal Government to identify Abiola’s killers. He urged the President to announce the result of the presidential election which is adjudged to be Nigeria’s freest ever and declare Abiola the true winner and thereafter accord the late businessman a posthumous honour. He saluted the Abiola family members and condoled with them over the sacrifice paid by their bread winner for the en-
From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
to capacity by students, market women and human rights activists.. Representing the Abiola family was the son Abdulmumini. Carrington said Nigeria had the credentials and potentials to be a big player in the world political space but wished away the opportunity with the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election. Governor Rauf Aregbesola, led his executive council team to the anniversary event titled “June 12 and The National Question.” Aregbesola pointed out that the annulment revealed in a most brazen manner the prob-
lem of unjust political domination and the need, to restructure our political system and redefine the basis of our national existence. According to him, “This is a central concern of what is generally described as the national question. It is also the basis of the widespread call for convening a sovereign national conference to renegotiate the basis of our nationhood. “The national question remains unaddressed and we are still grappling with the drawbacks. Yet the national ruling power establishment continues to live in denial of this reality, and pretending as though the problems are not there, or nursing the futile hope that the
problems will simply disappear, of their accord.” Aregbesola added that the problems are not meant to disappear; they are meant to be addressed, noting that for as long as the country refuses to summon the courage to face the problems; Nigeria will continue to struggle with the consequences. The governor held that June 12 anniversary is not about Chief Abiola as a person or as a Yoruba man, but about a true Nigerian who loved Nigerians without qualification or discrimination. He noted that on June 12, Chief Abiola achieved what no other politician had ever achieved in the country, which is the unity of Nigerians.
thronement of democracy. Fashola and Tinubu criticised the culture of impunity that is threatening the survival of democracy. The duo spoke at an event organised by the Lagos State Government in collaboration with the June 12 Coalition of Democratic Formations (J12CODEF). They insisted on electoral system that would guarantee a smooth transition in a democratic government. Fashola, in his keynote address said democracy is beset with challenges both manmade and institutional, which he said the nation must fight to regain its place in the comity of nations. According to him, the tenets of law and order must be entrenched if democracy must thrive. The absence of these key components pose a major threat for its survival, the governor said. He said the lessons learnt from the June 12, 1993 election Continued on page 9
Wamakko: Northwest PDP leaders push for lifting of suspension By Emmanuel Oladesu Group Political Editor
ROMINENT Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders from the Northwest geo-political zone are lobbying for the recall of suspended Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko’s, it was learnt yesterday. The pressure on the PDP Central Working Committee (CWC) zonal leader, Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure, who complained that the decision to suspend the governor was taken without consultation with the zonal leadership, a
source said. According to the source, prominent PDP leaders from the zone have protested the suspension to the party’s national leader, President Goodluck Jonathan, Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman Chief Tony Anenih and other party elders across the six zones. The source, who is a party chieftain from Sokoto State, said: “Many party members were greatly troubled that the governor was suspended. They do not know why Governor Wamakko should be punished like that because they were not aware of any anti-party activity committed by him. The governor has been facing the arduous task of governing the state since he was elected. Since he crossed from the ANPP to the PDP, we have Continued on page 9
Fatai Rolling Dollar dies at 85 Continued from page 1
(ACN) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Minister of Culture Edem Duke and Chair of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) Tony Okoroji also paid tributes In a statement, Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati, said the President “joins other Nigerians and music lovers in all parts of the world in mourning the accomplished and multi-talented musician, Pa Fatai Olayiwola Olagunju, popularly known as Fatai Rolling Dollar, who passed away earlier today. “President Jonathan shares the grief of all lovers of music over the death of the illustrious entertainer, master singer, guitarist and exponent of the native thumb piano who continued to perform and exhibit his unqualified love for the music profession at an age when most of his contemporaries had long retired. “The President believes that the late Fatai Rolling Dollar, who enthralled his teeming followers throughout his career of over 64 years will, even in death, remain an
enduring influence on African music and that the vacuum his death has created in the Nigerian entertainment industry will be hard to fill. “He extends heartfelt condolences to the late musician’s family and prays that God Almighty grant his soul eternal rest.” National leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, described the death of the music star as a colossal loss. “He was in a class of his own. An exceptionally- talented musician, Fatai Rolling Dollar, was way ahead of his peers. He was a great musical talent, who churned out great music. The originality of his lyrics was such that they were never easily fogotten even as Continued on page 9
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THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
NEWS 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF JUNE 12
•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (middle), guest lecturer Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun (left), Chief Ayo Opadokun (third left), former military Governor of Lagos State Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (fourth left), Secretary to the State Government Dr. Oluranti Adebule (third right), ACN chieftain Alhaji Safiriyu Sunmola (second right) and Senator Oluremi Tinubu, at a lecture organised by the State Political and Legislative Power Bureau to mark the June 12 anniversary at the LTV 8 Blue Roof, Agidingbi-Ikeja, Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: MOSES OMOSEHIN
Inscribe names of Walter Carrington served as the American Ambassador to Nigeria between 1993 and 1997 and played active role in the struggle to revalidate the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola. He delivered this lecture at an event organised by the Osun Sate government yesterday to mark the 20th anniversary of June 12.
• Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (second left), his wife Bisi( right) and Deputy Governor Prof. Modupe Adelabu at the celebration Ado-Ekiti... yesterday.
•Front row from left: Afenifere chieftain Chief Ayo Adebanjo; representative of Akwa Ibom State Governor Mr Umanah Anieka; Lagos House of Assembly Speaker Mr Adeyemi Ikuforiji; Olalekan, the eldest son of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola; human rights activist Olawale Okunniyi; president, mko abiola Youth and Women Forum Alhaja Aminat Irawo and other dignitaries laying wreath at the grave side of the late Chief mko abiola in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
WOULD like to thank Governor Aregbesola for his kind invitation to participate in this commemoration of one of the seminal dates in Nigeria’s history. Although we cannot be with you in person, my wife Arese and I are very much with you in spirit. How honored I would be to be in the presence of Balarabe Musa one of the great men of the democracy movement, whose honesty, courage and unwavering sense of dedication are an inspiration to us all. I would also like to thank Ogbeni for remembering what too many States seem too willing to forget. It seems that only four others stand with Osun today in declaring this Twentieth Anniversary of June 12th a public holiday. Once again Governor you have placed Osun in the vanguard of Nigeria’s most progressive states. Just recently you showed the country, in a most innovative way, how the dividends of democracy can benefit a new generation through the launching of the Opon-Imo program which will put your students in the forefront of the digital age. June 12th should be a day of special remembrance for all who love democracy and Nigeria. In any other country which had undertaken the struggle against military rule that Nigerians mounted between 1993 and 1998, this would be a national holiday. The schools, banks, and government offices would be closed throughout the land so that the nation may commemorate those whose sacrifices made possible the freedoms they today enjoy. In an age which heralds the Arab Spring and other movements to reclaim democracy from the hands of tyrants, why does Nigeria not proudly remind the world and itself of its own noble resistance to military despotism? Nigeria’s return to civilian rule was
the most consequential event on the African Continent since the overthrow of apartheid in South Africa. It led to the African Union, for the first time, adopting a rule refusing to admit to membership any government which came to power through a military coup. Nigeria became an encouragement for others who wished to return their governments to the control of their people. Let every school child be taught and every parent remember the significance of this day which you have gathered together to remember. June 12th 1993 was a day when Nigeria was more united ethnically, religiously and regionally than it had ever been before or has been since. Moshood Abiola, a southern Muslim, scored so convincing a victory in the Presidential election that he swept even the home ward of his Northern opponent. It was declared by foreign and Nigerian observers to have been the freest and fairest election in the country’s history. But then before the results were officially announced the election was annulled. The mandate the whole country, North and South, had bestowed upon the President-elect was suddenly stolen from him at the behest of military politicians who feared that he would return them to the barracks where they belonged. It is important to remember the world in which June 12th occurred. Twenty years ago democracy appeared everywhere to be irreversibly on the march. Africa seemed about to join Latin America in becoming a no go area for military governments. More multi-party elections had taken place during the preceding three years than in any comparable period in the continent’s history. These elections were the culmination of a demand for change from Africans des-
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
NEWS 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF JUNE 12
•Minister of Information Libaran Maku (second right) hugging the convener of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), Pastor Tunde Bakare at a lecture to mark the 20th anniversary ...yesterday. With them is former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu.
•Former Ogun State Governor Aremo Olusegun Osoba (second left), former Secretary-General of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Chief Frank Kokori (left), Lagos lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) (right) andChairman, Lagos, council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists( NUJ)at a lecture organised by the NUJ at the Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos...yesterday.
June 12 martyrs in history books, says Carrington Akeredolu: Abiola a dogged fighter for justice Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Oluwarotimi Akeredolu pays tribute to the late M.K.O. Abiola, who was the symbol of the June 12, 1993 presidential election annulled by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida
T was yet another point in our political itinerary when all democrats paused to salute the courage of Nigerians, especially the winner of the Presidential election conducted on that historic date, June 12, 1993, Bashorun M.K.O Abiola, and other dogged fighters for justice. It was a time for realistic and dispassionate assessment of what is currently obtainable, put in contradistinction with the lofty expectations of a people long deprived and continually pummelled. I join all other well-meaning Nigerians and lovers of truth to celebrate this milestone in the annals of our socio-political meandering. I am also quick to remind our country men and women that this is a period which calls for serious introspection on the part of all and sundry, particularly active players in the socio-political affairs of the country. We must never forget the lessons of this watershed. We must always remind ourselves, constantly, of this great occasion when Nigerians shattered the divisive myths of ethnicity and religion to give a pan-Nigerian mandate to Chief Moshood Abiola. Ondo State remains the only state in the Southwest which refused to observe the day as sacrosanct. The current occupier of the seat of executive power pretends that the day means nothing just as his paymasters in Abuja. The successive governments of the ruling party in the country, PDP, have also denied, consistently, that the date is significant. While all other states in the region observed the day to celebrate courage and sacrifice, Ondo State, which used to be in the vanguard for social justice, was portrayed as the new haven for traitors and perpetrators of iniquitous deeds against the region. Our people hardly forget such acts. A government which claims victory at the last election has been busy witch-hunting perceived opponents. Civil servants, university lecturers and
other categories of staff are being sacked. Workers are owed salaries running into several months by a regime which flaunts a dubious labour credentials. Peasants and farmers in some areas of the state have sorry tales to tell. A government that has refused to create employment has been destroying their farmlands in ostensible retaliation for the rejection of deceit as the directive principle of state policy. “Non-indigenes” of the state on our borders with Oyo, Osun and Ogun states have been turned to refugees in their own country. It is against this backdrop that the serial acts of betrayal perpetrated by the governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, must be condemned in the strongest terms possible. This individual continues to prove himself unworthy of being associated with any action which proclaims affinity with dignity and nobility, virtues for which the Yoruba race is reputed. He has consciously acted, almost always, in ways which stand at variance with the principled position of our people. He plays the role of a quisling constantly. These questions must be asked. What does Dr Mimiko think of the future whenever he takes steps to subjugate all other considerations to his parochial scheming? Why must he be the one who is ever ready to act the role of a traitor against his own people? Whose interest is Dr Mimiko serving for standing against the South West? We can only advise him and his fellow travellers that the momentary gains accruable from treacherous acts are not abiding. Once again, I join other progressive Nigerians to celebrate courage, doggedness and the ultimate triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, deep-reasoning over expediency and faith over despondency. The sun will rise again in Ondo State. June 12 will be celebrated by the people of our state in due course.
perate to free themselves from the morass into which autocratic governments, mismanagement, corruption and civil strife had led them. Three long time leaders had been swept from power. You can imagine, therefore, the excitement with which I received the call from the White House that President Clinton intended to nominate me as the United States Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. After decades of military rule Nigeria was about to join many of its smaller neighbors on the path to democracy. I, unlike most of my predecessors, would be presenting my credentials to a civilian head of state. I would be uniquely placed to help put Nigeria not only at the center of America’s African policy but also to make it one of America’s most important bilateral relations with the developing world. A continent long ignored in our geo-political consid-
apart. Nigeria the nation of such great promise became a pariah. The annulment of the election, which Abiola had clearly won would lead to the U.S. Government imposing a series of sanctions against the regime of General Sani Abacha which seized power two weeks after I arrived. Sani Abacha’s military coup and his five years of unparalleled oppression fractured the country in ways that still persist. The divisions which Abiola’s election narrowed widened dangerously under the General. Nigeria’s reputation fell to an all time low as more countries applied sanctions. Following the sham trial which ended in the execution of Ken SaroWiwa and his fellow Ogonis, Nigeria was suspended from membership in the Commonwealth. United under a National Democratic Coalition, NADECO, the opponents of the Abacha dictatorship
erations could be ignored no longer if it was led by a dynamic, democratic Nigeria. And, after all, Nigeria had the credentials to assert itself as a major player in world affairs. As an international peace keeper its record was second to none. Wherever its troops served with the United Nations from the Congo in the Nineteen Sixties to Somalia and Bosnia in the nineteen nineties its units were highly praised. Nigeria seemed a safe bet to get one of the permanent seats on what was soon expected to be a newly reconstituted United Nations Security Council. I looked forward to energetically promoting her cause. She was an important trading partner, the source of one-fifth of the United States oil imports. During the OPEC crisis of the Seventies, Nigeria became, for a while, America’s number one source of imported oil. And then things, suddenly, fell
organised at home and abroad. Early on, the labor unions mounted a strike such as the world had not seen since the days of Solidarity in Poland. Had it occurred during the age of social media it might well have succeeded in bringing the Abacha regime down. It also would have inspired support from around the world. Nigeria’s brave journalists risked death and imprisonment by reporting on the brave resistance carried on both here and abroad. Kudirat Abiola fearlessly led the fight to free her husband from prison and to restore his mandate until she was cruelly assassinated on the streets of Lagos. Her work was carried on abroad through Radio Kudirat which broadcast to the world the injustices of the Abacha dictatorship. At least twenty five percent of Nigeria’s present population was not yet born on June 12th. They have no
memory of the sacrifices that were made to assure that neither they nor their children will ever have to experience military rule again. I am happy that Osun State is in the lead in educating its citizens about the movement to enshrine democracy and human rights. But I am saddened that the nation as a whole, in contravention to the most stirring words of its national anthem seems anxious, a mere two decades later, to act as if so many of the “labors of (its) heroes past” had, by being forgotten, been in vain. Let us venerate the martyrs of June 12th and be sure their names are forever inscribed in the nation’s history books. A century ago the philosopher, George Santayana, admonished us that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Years later at Barack Obama’s first inauguration, the poet, Maya Angelou, reminded us History, despite its wrenching pain, Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage, need not be lived again. Let us then resolve that the generations which will benefit from the Opon-Imo tablet of knowledge will not have to relive the history of that stormy past. Ogbeni may you continue to serve your citizens with good governance by delivering the dividends of democracy which they so gallantly fought for during the June 12th movement.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
NEWS 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF JUNE 12
Senator Tinubu to honour Abiola, others at meeting
Akpabio: Abiola watered seeds of democracy •Restates commitment to free, fair election
•To launch empowerment programme for youths, the unemployed
OVERNOR Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State yesterday paid tribute to the late politician and business mogul, Chief MKO Abiola, saying “he watered the seeds of democracy we are enjoying today”. The governor debunked, for the umpteenth time, that he rigged election in favour of a member of the National Assembly. He noted that what was often referred to as rigging was a pre-primaries consultation and preparation of a suitable aspirant, which was done to protect the interest of the people of Ini and Ikono local governments of the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, who are in the minority with only two councils. Akpabio spoke at the 20th anniversary of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election organised by the June 12 Movement at the Ikeja home of the Abiolas. It was chaired by an Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo. Represented by his Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, the governor said he needed to clear the wrong impression “because of the campaign of calumny against me and to put the record straight on what happened before the senatorial election in my state. I did not rig any election. In fact, I have never and will never rig any election because I am a product of free and fair elections, which Chief Abiola stood, fought and died for.” Akpabio said: “Abiola paid the supreme price. He died so that we may live and savour the joy of a free people. Freedom, which is concomitant with democracy, is not negotiable. It is an inalienable right of every human being. That was what Abiola fought and died for and we must not allow that death to be in vain. We must continue to engage our leaders until our collective dignity as a people is fully realised and restored.” He went on: “Because democracy cannot be said to have thrived without its fruits, which are democracy dividends, my administration in the last six years did its best to live MKO Abiola’s dream of a better society for Nigerians by turning around the living conditions of my people for good”.
Group assists traders, artisans in memory of June 12
By Nneka Nwaneri
HE Crusader Movement Group of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has financially assisted traders and artisans in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State, to mark the June 12, 1993 presidential election. The Chairman of the group, Prince Adebayo Onakoya, broke the news yesterday during a mass assistance programme held in commemoration of the election. He said they termed the day the ‘True Democracy Day’, adding that the group marked the day by financially assisting indigenes of the council. Prince Onakoya said one hundred men and women were financially assisted to boost their trade. Beneficiaries were drawn from the six wards of the LCDA. He said the group, which was formed less than a year ago, would promote the interest of the residents. The Secretary-General of the group, Dr. Olusunmade Olatude, said their aim is to bring the party closer to the grassroots by serving them economically and socially, thereby improving their standard of living.
S part of efforts to promote the significance of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and constituents of Lagos Central are to hold a town hall meeting tomorrow. The senatorial district’s seventh town hall meeting is focussed on the exemplary legacy of the winner of the election, the late Bashorun MKO Abiola and others, who struggled to realise genuine transformation. With the theme: ‘Making the Sacrifice for Development’, the event is scheduled for the Lagos City Hall, CMS, Lagos Island. A statement by Senator Tinubu’s Constituency Office in Lagos indi-
cates that top politicians, youths and a cross-section of the society have indicated interest in participating in the meeting. Like other past town hall meetings, tomorrow’s event will also include the launch of a Youth Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Scheme (YESAS), a new economic empowerment scheme to further improve the socio-economic circumstances of more constituents. Also, Senator Tinubu will brief her constituents and receive feedback from them on her duties, constituency projects and how the citizens can work together to achieve effective and lasting change in the society. She will also give an update on the N222.3 Drug Rehabilitation and Counselling Centre, which she facilitated for Lagos Central under the 2012 budget and the N223 million ultra-modern market that is about to be built in the district under the
2013 national budget. While her recent efforts in the Senate include the sponsorship of bills to provide social security for the elderly and amend sections of the Labour Act, which restrict employment opportunities for women, she is working with other senators on a bill aimed at conferring a special status on Lagos State. Outside the Senate, her social welfare/developmental initiatives include launching of the Post-Secondary School Scholarship Scheme (PSSS) for hundreds of indigent students, the Petty Traders Empowerment Capital Scheme (PETECS) to help beneficiaries re-capitalise an existing petty trade as well as the Elderly Citizens’ Assistance Scheme (ECAS), which provides funds to alleviate the plight of the elderly. Senator Tinubu’s commitment to education has brought benefits to institutions of higher learning. She helped secure funding from
TETFUND to enable the Sir Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPE) construct its School of Primary and Early Child Care Education and the Lagos State University (LASU) to expend further resources on important matters of academic relevance. The release of N109million to MOCPE and another N108million to LASU is aimed towards addressing some of the deficiencies in core areas of teaching and learning facilities and resources. Through the Senate Committee on Education, she secured additional federal resources to rehabilitate schools in her district, including the Jibowu Junior High School, Yaba (N21 million); Banjo Primary School, Otumara-Ilogbo in Ebute Metta, Lagos Mainland (N20 million). Three primary schools are to benefit from N15 million rehabilitation funds each, under the initiative.
•Lagos State Commissioner for Special Duty, Dr. Wale Hamed (left) and his Environment counterpart, Mr Tunji Bello, at a lecture at LTV 8 Blue Roof, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos...yesterday PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES
Amosun, Abiola’s children walk for June 12
VER 5,000 people, including Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun and the late MKO Abiola’s children, yesterday walked major streets and roads in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. The event was to remember the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late business mogul and politician, Chief Moshood Abiola. The Democracy Walk, which began at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto at 7:30am, coursed through the Abiola Way, Sapon, Itoku, and Lafenwa, ending hours later at Abiola’s family house in Sabo where the crowd was received by the deceased’s younger brother, Alhaji Mubashiru Abiola and Rahmon Abiola, an engineer. The walk train was led by Governor Amosun, his deputy, Prince Segun Adesegun, Ogun Assembly Speaker, Prince Suraj Adekumbi, two of Abiola’s daughters, Tundun and Hafsat, the first daughter of the slain Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, First Lady Olufunso Amosun, pro-democracy groups and trade unions. Amosun, who addressed the gathering at MKO Abiola’s family house and later at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Kuto, described June 12 as a watershed in the annals of Nigeria’s
Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
elections, which transcended Abiola and his family. The governor noted that the late politician paid the supreme price to pave the way for Nigerians to enjoy the democracy being operated today. He urged President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to accord Abiola a befitting national honour and declare June 12 a national day in his memory. Amosun said: “For the umpteenth time, I want to reiterate our call on the President Jonathan- led Federal Government to make this day, June 12, a national day and declare a public holiday to commemorate the day. We believe such a gesture will further give good expression to the wordings of our National Anthem that the labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain. “The University of Lagos that was renamed Moshood Abiola University is still a subject of controversy in the court of public opinion and the law court. The Federal Government in collaboration with the distinguished members of the National Assembly should, therefore, come together and honour MKO nationally.” According to Amosun, Abiola was never a sectional leader. He said on
‘For the umpteenth time, I want to reiterate our call on the President Jonathanled Federal Government to make this day, June 12, a national day and declare a public holiday to commemorate the day’ the contrary, he was a visionary and national leader, whose contributions to national development cut across ethnic groups and cities, towns and villages in Nigeria. The governor said the legacies of the late politician would be sustained in the state, as encapsulated in ‘Hope 93’ manifesto, which bears semblance with his administration’s Five Cardinal programmes aimed at rebuilding Ogun State. Amosun said. “On our part here in Ogun State, we are working round the clock to sustain the legacy of Chief MKO Abiola as entrenched in
the ‘Hope 93’ manifesto. We have beaten all imagination by coming up with a realistic and workable Five Cardinal Programmes as encapsulated in our ‘Mission to Rebuild’ Ogun State. “At the last count, we have touched almost all strata of our people’s lives, by sincerely giving them the dividends of democracy. Yet, we are not relenting in our determination to further better the lot of our people. It is creating an equitable society and enlarging opportunities for individual and societal development that Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola stood and died for. “As we reflect on the unquantifiable, selfless sacrifice and contributions of Chief Abiola to the development of our fatherland, I enjoin us all to rededicate ourselves to the service of the nation and continue to remain united and patriotic. “No greater honour can be bestowed on the late Chief Abiola than this. This is when the labour of the revered politician, businessman and philanthropist as well as other heroes shall not be in vain. “Beyond this celebration, therefore, I enjoin you to shun acts that negate the success made in our great state in the last 24 months. This is the only way we can make progress and achieve the state of our dream.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
20TH ANNIVERSARY OF JUNE 12 Settle debt owed Abiola, says family
HE brother of the late Chief MKO Abiola, Alhaji Mubashiru Abiola, yesterday appealed to the Federal Government to settle the debt owed the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election. He spoke at Ojagbo, Ogun State, the country home of the late MKO Abiola, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the poll. Said he: “I thank President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for what the Federal Government has done for the family. “I take advantage of today’s 20th anniversary of the June 12, 1993 election to urge President Jonathan to invite the MKO Abiola family to a meeting. “This is to deliberate on how the Federal Government intends to settle the debts owed the political icon, business mogul and symbol of our modern day democracy.” Mubashiru, who is the head of the Abiola family, thanked Nigerians for their support to the family and for standing by the ideals of the election. “I hail the support of former President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida to the Abiola family over the years. “I pray that the Almighty God will continue to guard and guide him. “Gen. Babangida’s administration remains the best in the nation’s history. “I implore our leaders to embrace the vision of June 12 by ensuring that Nigerians get foods on their tables and shelter on their heads. “All employable youths should be given jobs, while everybody should enjoy basic amenities. “Once again, I thank all patriotic Nigerians for upholding the spirit of June 12.”
Fayemi: June 12 is Democracy Day
KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday slammed opposition politicians for attempting to distort Nigeria’s democracy history. He noted that “June 12 is the Democracy Day.” Fayemi spoke at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital, at a well-attended 20th anniversary of the June 12, 1993 election believed to have been won by the late Chief MKO Abiola of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), which was annulled by General Ibrahim Babangida. The governor said the event was organised to remember June 12 and accord the martyrs their deserved respect. Said he: “I thank you all for not forgetting June 12. What we are doing here should be known to all. We should not forget where we are coming
•Governor seeks second term From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
from and where we are. Abiola remains the symbol of the struggle for the emancipation of Nigeria. Most of our children today don’t know about June 12. But those who know and accept the truth know that if there is no June 12, there won’t be any May 29.” Governor Fayemi spoke of his intention to contest the 2014 governorship election. This followed months of what was termed ‘Fayemi Endorsement Rallies’ across the 16 local governments. He said it was proper to give a precise answer to the months of requests by people from the nooks and crannies in the state. His words: “I offer to serve the state for another term of
four years after concluding the current term. “Let me say without sounding immodest that I want the good work to continue. I want to say that I share in the dream that the root of democracy must be consolidated in Ekiti. I have listened to the demands of my people from the 16 local government areas that I have to contest election next year. I am ready to offer myself as a vessel for the consolidation of democratic gains in Ekiti. “Before the Supreme Court verdict, there was no rumour they did not spread. They said they have godfathers in Abuja. They thought they could ambush justice, but we have surpassed whatever games they could play.” The former People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Vice-Chair-
man in Ekiti South Senatorial District, Chief Ayo Peters from Emure Ekiti and Mrs. Bose Balogun from Iyin Ekiti, who were accepted with scores of PDP members into the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the event, said: “The achievements of Governor Fayemi are too attractive to be resisted.” Former governor of the state, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, yesterday in a statement urged Nigerians to remain committed to sustaining democracy. He said democracy remains the globally-accepted means of aiding development and social justice across nations, adding that “no country develops except through genuine democracy.” Otunba Adebayo said the All Progressives Congress (APC) would provide the desired leadership in the next political dispensation.
Kalu advocates one-day elections
ORMER Abia Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, yesterday urged the National Assembly to amend the constitution and allow general elections to be held one day. He spoke at the 20th anniversary of the annulment of June 12, 1993 election, organised by the Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC), in Lagos. Delivering a lecture on ‘20 years after June 12: options for survival’, Kalu said for Nigeria to move forward, there must be social justice, free and fair elections as well as nurturing of democracy. At the event were former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Dame Priscilia Kuye; House of Representatives member, Dino Maleye; President, Campaign for Democracy
•From left: Member, House of Representatives, Yakubu Balogun (Lagos Island), Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Adesegun Ogunlewe and National Publicity Secretary, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a lecture in Lagos ...yesterday. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES
By Precious Igbonwelundu
(CD), Dr. Joe Odumakin; National Coordinator, OPC, Dr. Gani Adams; President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Shettima Yerima; activists, Dipo Adeniran and Ayodele Akele; former governorship aspirant in Ekiti, Dr. Dare Babarinsa; Senator Anthony Adefuye, among others. Kalu said like the OPC, Nigerians must take a stand against injustice, oppression and all forms of hegemonic tendencies. Kalu said: “Nigerians must take a stand. The vigilance that is an absolute necessity in pushing back against tyranny and autocracy in all societies is nurtured by the relentless dedication of groups like the OPC.
“Nigeria is not a nation yet. Collection of ethnic nationalities, yes, but not a nation. Even if nations fail, as it happened in the Soviet Union..., then a contraption that has been forcefully cobbled together like Nigeria, which has not metamorphosed into a nation 100 years after, can fail very easily. The way we live as a country makes it quite possible that Nigeria may fail. “There is injustice, corruption, inequality in the land; unemployment is a time bomb. There is impunity, ethnic cleavages are stronger now than at any time in the history of the country. In fact, there is a lot of dissatisfaction in the polity. If we are not careful, Nigeria may fail in a matter of months, not years, and thus fulfil doomsday prophecies, which had put that
eventuality at 2015. “There are many options available to Nigeria if we are to become a true nation, such as social justice, fashioning a workable electoral process and nurturing our democracy.” On social justice, the former governor said the country was built on injustice and inequity and no attempt had been made to rebuild the faulty foundation. He decried the marginalisation of the Southeast in occupying the seat of the President, just as he noted that the geopolitical zone has held power for only six months and 13 days since independence, unlike others. “Social injustice pervades every part of the country, creating a large army of dissatisfied and disgruntled people. In fact,
this large army can become the army of Armageddon, which may one day precipitate the end of Nigeria, if we are not careful,” he said. On a workable electoral process, Kalu said a free and fair election remains an irreducible minimum for the progress and development of the country.
Knocks for democracy, leadership at special session
T was knocks all the way yesterday for the nation’s democracy and its leadership. Two prominent guest lecturers and scholars, former presidential candidate of the Africa Democratic Congress (ADC) and Political Economist, Prof. Pat Utomi and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Lagos State University, Prof. Abubakar Momoh, berated Nigerian leaders at the special parliamentary session in commemoration of the second anniversary of the Seventh Assembly and 20 years anniversary of the June 12, 1993 election. They came down hard on the government and leadership at all levels. The theme of the anniversary was: ‘June 12 and the entrenchment of democracy in Nigeria’. Utomi said there is a deep erosion of the legitimacy of the nation’s democratic process and since no gov-
By Oziegbe Okoeki
ernment can function without legitimacy, there is need to recover the legitimacy if governance must live up to its responsibility of catering for the welfare of the people and ensuring economic development. In his lecture, entitled: ‘Democracy, the rule of law and role of the legislature’, he said: “Our democracy has lost its legitimacy over the years. Unless we have a clear democracy where people speak through the ballot box, we cannot have the kind of legitimacy we need. We are determined as a people; we can prevent abusers from leading us to where we are today.” While decrying the regime of impunity, especially among the leadership and their cronies, Utomi urged the legislature to rise up to the occasion because it is better placed as the representative of the people.
He said it should ensure it churns out laws to check the tendency and ensure the law is applied. Maintaining that enough has not been done to recognise the importance of June 12 for the nation’s history, Utomi said: “Today is a day to celebrate passion, commitment and courage of a man and other actors that made June 12 historical. “Prof. Humphrey Nwosu was a man that changed the course of history forever in this country. He managed to give Nigeria a credible election no one could dispute.” Momoh, who spoke on the topic, ‘20 years after June 12, which way Nigeria’, said the poll has certain meanings and symbolism that should not be lost, adding that June 12 is an idea and not about MKO Abiola. “It is beyond MKO Abiola.”
June 12 remains watershed, says Ojudu From Damisi Ojo, Akure
SENATOR representing Ekiti Central, Babafemi Ojudu, yesterday reflected on the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, describing it as the day Nigeria was almost “born but turned out to be a still-birth.” He described it as the day in the calendar of an agglomeration of disparate and mutually antagonistic nations and groups, when a truly united nation was to be validated. The lawmaker spoke at a lecture, entitled: ‘The sanctity of Electoral Mandate: June 12, its aftermath and what the last 20 years should teach us’, organised by the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), Ondo State chapter, in Akure. Ojudu, who joined other democrats to fight against the annulment by the military junta, said the event that occurred on June 12 1993 was a watershed for true democracy. He said besides that the election was nullified, it was a period Nigerians voted massively for a man irrespective of political and religious dichotomy. The senator said the people voted for the late Chief MKO Abiola without thinking of where he hailed from. Ojudu said if the military had allowed the election to stay, Nigeria might not have been experiencing the ethnicity difference “we are experiencing today.” His words: “Beyond the colonial accident of 1914, beyond the marriage of connivance sustained by the proceeds from the oil in the Niger Delta, beyond a violent and violated ‘unity’ maintained by the force of arms, June 12, 1993 was memorable. “It was the first day in the calendar of our country when Nigerians of different faiths and tongues united in their expression of a belief in the possibility of a truly united, prosperous, egalitarian and development- oriented Federal Republic. “Abiola’s resounding victory was confirmed East and West, North and South. He even defeated his opponent in his home state, Kano. It was the first time in Nigerian history that one claim in our national anthem was affirmed: ‘Though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand’.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
NEWS Proprietor held for ‘raping’ pupil
20TH ANNIVERSARY OF JUNE 12
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
HE proprietor of God is Great Nursery/Primary School in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, Mr. Tunde Ibitoye, is being detained at the Police Command Headquartres for allegedly defiling an 11-year-old pupil of his school. Ibitoye (40) was allegedly caught in the act by a mechanic, Mr. Kayode Ayeni, around the new market at Agric Olope in Ajilosun. Ayeni said the suspect was a familiar face around the market. Police spokesman Victor Olu-Babayemi said the victim said the suspect had raped her four times. Babayemi said the suspect was conveying the victim and another pupil to their homes on Monday after school in his car, when he stopped at the market and said he wanted to urinate. He said: “Five to 10 minutes after he entered into the bush, the proprietor called the pupil to bring toilet roll for him. But fortunately, a man who had been watching went there and met them naked. He raised the alarm and attracted people to the spot. “The victim’s father told to us she came home several times with bloodstains, which he mistook for stains from her menstrual flow. The police will question other female pupils in the school on their relationship with the suspect.” Olu-Babayemi said the victim is being treated at the State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH). He said the police are awaiting her medical report. The police spokesman said the suspect denied the allegation. He decried “the sudden upsurge of rape cases ” and urged parents to monitor their female children closely.
•From left: Prof. Olatunji Dare of The Nation; Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Rural Development Babatunde Hunpe and Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) at the 20th anniversary celebration of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election held at LTV 8 in Ikeja, Lagos...yesterday.
Oyo NUJ inaugurates Press Club • The Nation, Punch reporters honoured
From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
HE Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State chapter, yesterday inaugurated a Press Club in the Pen School owned by the union. The co-educational private institution was established on September 25, 2004. The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Taiwo Otegbeye, said the club would breed future leaders that will uphold the journalism profession. The union’s Chairman, Mr. Gbenga Opadotun, said the press club is meant to integrate children into the media. Opadotun said: “The club, among other things, will help pupils sharpen their communication skills.” In a lecture titled: “The impact of the press on democracy”, Mr. Akin Aboluwade, a journalist, urged the media to be disciplined. He said the media played a vital role in restoring democracy in the country. Aboluwade said the greatest strength of the media was its ability to effect changes, both at the social and governmental levels. Mr. Bisi Oladele of The Nation was awarded the “Reporter of Reporters”. Aboluwade of the Punch and a veteran journalist, Mr. Tunde Akingbade, among others, were also honoured.
•From left: Sarkin Hausawa of Ikeja Alhaji Musa Ringim; Hardon Fulani of Ojo Alhaji Mohammed Gagare and Alkalin Alkalai Mai Kanuribe of Lagos Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim.
Oyo Assembly passes 35 bills
From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
HE Seventh Oyo State House of Assembly has passed 35 bills since it was inaugurated two years ago. The Speaker, Mrs. Monsurat Sunmonu, spoke with reporters yesterday at the State Secretariat in Ibadan, the state capital, on the Assembly’s second anniversary. She said the House considered 56 bills and 327 resolutions. Mrs. Sunmonu said the House passed 35 bills and the remaining 21 are being processed. She said the cordial relationship among lawmakers has contributed immensely to the state’s growth. The bills passed include the State Security Trust Fund Bill, 2011; the bill establishing the State Technical University; Land Use Charge Bill; Signage and Advertisement Bill; Oyo State Environmental Protection Agency Bill and Oyo State Tenancy Bill.
Arts & Culture workers protest relocation
By Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor (Arts)
•Senior Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Christian Religion Rev. Dr. Funmi Akitoye-Braimoh; Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Religion Rev. Dr. Samuel Ogedengbe and General Apostle Gabriel Fakeye of the C&S Movement.
HE Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers' Union (RATTAWU), Lagos Council, yesterday protested the "hasty relocation" of its members from the premises of the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, recently ordered agencies on the premises of the National Theatre to relocate to allow the concessioning of the premises to private developers. Among parastatals affected are the National Gallery of Arts, National Council for Arts and Culture, National Institute for Cultural Orientation and National Troupe of Nigeria. RATTAWU said its members were relocated to a dilapidated building with a "rusty and unserviceable elevator". It said the act negates Decree 47 of 1991, which states that the National Theatre "should protect and promote our cultural heritage". In a statement by its Chairman, Comrade Godwin Itotowa, RATTAWU said: "The National Troupe cannot be productive where it was relocated to because there are no theatres and other enabling facilities. "The art works of the National Gallery of Arts are in a store under the custody of the National Theatre. The implication is that these art works will rot away. They are meant to be displayed and properly kept, not to be stored. The gallery workers are without their work materials and a gallery." Urging Nigerians to prevent the "killing" of arts and culture, it said: "There are no galleries, libraries, theatres, craft shops and work shops at the new locations.”
•Amuwo Odofin Local Government Chairman Ayodele Adewale (left); Political Secretary of the June 12 Coalition Funso Mojuba and the former Secretary of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions’ Employees (NUBIFIE), Lagos chapter, Prince Tunji Adams (right). PHOTOS: OMOSEHIN MOSES
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
NEWS Anxiety in PDP Continued from page 2
•Chief Luke Abbas, President Igbo Community Union, Edo State (middle) and Mr Iwualah Kingsley, Secretary, present souvenirs to Governor Adams Oshiomhole during a visit of the Igbo Community Union to the Governor ... yesterday.
Wamakko: Northwest PDP leaders push for lifting of suspension Continued from page 2
had no cause to doubt his loyalty to the PDP. The party members are saying there is no evidence of disloyalty against Wamakko. “The governor was also personally sad because, since he defected to the party from the ANPP, he had no major crisis, except the offensive from the opposition. He has also avoided controversy. May be, if it had happened to vocal governors making inflammatory statements, the people would have understood. The gover-
nor, I think, has also lodged a personal complaint with the national leadership.” It was also gathered that the suspension has further divided the Northern Governors’ Forum, led by Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu. A section of the forum has taken an exception to the disciplinary measure, which it described as part of tactics to cow party chieftains to submission. “The other four Northwest PDP governors are solidly behind Wamakko and see his present predicament as uncalled for.
They are of the opinion that the same fate may befall them as the crises in the party escalate,” added the party chieftain. A former member of the Sokoto State PDP executive committee, who is now a functionary of the Wamakko administration said: “Our leaders at the zonal level are still objecting to the suspension of our governor from the party. I can tell you that they are taking the matter up with the national leadership. Our zonal leader is part of the national leadership and he has frowned
at the suspension because there was no consultation, meaning that he was not aware or carried along. This is a dangerous trend. The party in this state (Sokoto) has been embarrassed by the decision to suspend its leader, the governor”. A close aide of Ambassador Kazaure, who said the zonal leaders were actually pushing for the lifting of the suspension, said the move would douse tension in the zone and rekindle the members’ confidence in the party leadership.
By Innocent Amomoh
at home to Kenya in the other Group F encounter and now sit second in the group with seven points after their 2-2 draw two points behind Nigeria. With this development, the Eagles remain on top of the group with nine points, Namibia have five points, while Kenya are at the bottom of the table with just three points. Nigeria will now seek to win their last group match against Malawi in Calabar to guaran-
tee the sole ticket from the group, while Kenya will host Namibia. A win for the Eagles at home against the Flames will result in 11 points for the African Champions. However, a loss for the Eagles and a victory for the Flames in the corresponding fixture will see the Malawians going through on ten points as against Nigeria’s 9. A draw will see Nigeria clinch the coveted ticket.
Eagles draw in Namibia to top F
HE Super Eagles of Nigeria yesterday maintained their leadership of group F of the World Cup qualifiers after pulling a 1-1 draw against the Brave Warriors of Namibia in Windhoek. The Southern Africans gave the Eagles a stern test with the coach Ricardo Mannetti-tutored side making several dangerous incursions into the vital area of the African Champions, before opening scores through an effort from Tange-
ni Shipahu down the middle in the second half. Confident of an upset, the Warriors continued their onslaught, but Nigeria soon responded through Godfrey Oboabona, who took a thunderous free-kick that beat the Namibian goalkeeper a few minutes later. The match ended one goal apiece. Earlier, the Flames of Malawi had conceded a late equaliser
Presidency and PDP are being calculative in moving against Tambuwal; they believe they should start from his home base. “Several times, some party stalwarts accused Wamakko of backing Tambuwal but the governor refused to withdraw support for the Speaker. “Now that it is becoming obvious that Wamakko has plans to handover to Tambuwal in 2015, the party has decided to suspend the governor.” To the source, who pleaded not to be named, alleged antiparty activities, including nonpicking of Tukur calls and disdain for PDP Governors Forum, are mere smokescreen for the real issue - 2015 politics. The Presidency favours one of Jonathan’s strategists, Senator Abubakar Umar Gada, as successor to Wamakko. “The bigger picture behind the suspension of Wamakko is to hijack the party structure from the governor ahead of 2015 to pave the way for the emergence of Gada. Initially, the President had opted for Senator Gada as the Minister of FCT before some members of the Northern Senators Forum recommended the present Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed,” said the source. The plan, it is said, is to compensate Gada with a governorship slot. “Yet, being a grassroots man, the forces in the presidency and PDP believe that Wamakko can fix governorship slot for Tambuwal,” the source said. The Speaker is branded an ally of the opposition. There is a plot to stop Tambuwal from contesting for any office on the
Fatai Rolling Dollar dies at 85 Continued from page 2
they resonated across different ages and societal strata. Tinubu said Fatai Rolling Dollars’ music was always a delight to listen to. “Like millions of followers, I mourn his passing away, but I celebrate a life of excellence and a brilliant musical career”.
Exciting June 12 parties in Southwest states
Continued from page 2
is enough to show the way for the nation to avoid threading the path that plunged it into its present situation. He recalled that the process leading to the annulment of the elections as well as the inability of MKO Abiola to regain his freedom were key pointers to the consequences of flagrant abuse of law and order. Fashola faulted the move by President Jonathan to rename the University of Lagos (UNILAG) after the late Abiola, saying the process was a sham and a disrespect for law and order. He said: “Lately, an institution of higher learning, created by an act of parliament, which gave the institution its name, was visited with an action that in my view was done to mock the memories of Chief Abiola. “The name of the institution was changed to MKO’s name without changing the law. I venture to argue that MKO would have distanced himself from such action if he were alive. “If you are looking for proof, you will see it in the number of court cases he instituted
whenever a threat was made on his life and those that he defended, as his proof for law and order.” . Linking the impunity in leadership to the ongoing controversy surrounding the election of a Chairman for the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF), he said: “We are living witnesses to a bizarre arithmetic in a contest of numbers where 16 votes have become superior to 19 votes in a perplexing logic. If this is not an example of impunity, I do not know what it is.” Fashola was referring to the 19 votes scored by Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi against Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang in the NGF poll and the Presidency’s recognition of Jang as NGF chair. “The message we have heard is this, it must either be our way or the high way. We don’t give a damn; whatever will be, will be. For everybody’s sake, these messages do us no good. The perception of them creates bigger challenges for our democracy. We must stand up as a people, shun ethnic colouration, political affiliation and religious faith to banish this kind of messages from our national consciousness,
whether they are real or imagined”. Tinubu said the hope of Nigerians to get its electoral process right was thwarted 20 years ago when the June 12 election was annulled. He lamented that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had not witnessed much transformation since the 1993 elections, whereas countries like Kenya and Sierra Leone have made huge progress in entrenching sustainable and credible electoral process. Recalling the 1993 election, Tinubu said: “20 years ago today, millions of citizens went to the polls to vote. In some places, it rained; in others, it was warm and a happy sunshine. In a few other places, the sun was merciless. The statement that made people stay in long queues was more important than the harshness of the weather. “They wanted to say ‘no’ to military dictatorship and affirm the virtue of a system of popular sovereignty. They wanted to say ‘yes’ to democracy, they were not only saying ‘yes’ to democracy, they were saying ‘yes’ to multi-ethnic democracy. They wanted
to pull tribal jingoism or religious bigotry, they voted against violence and mediocrity, what was important for them was not the ethnic accent or the geographic office of the person who won. “Yet we know what happened. We were all dazed when we were told by soldiers that our votes were not to be accepted. It generated crisis and paralysed our major cities. Politics became a promise for revenge especially to the people who did not yield to the demand of the military.” Tinubu, represented by NADECO Secretary Ayo Opadokun, added: “Some suffered at that time and had to die years later. Prominent among them was Beko Ransome Kuti and others in the process. In cold blooded situation, journalists like Bagauda Kalto, his family was not allowed the dignity of giving him a good burial. Many were wounded. The biggest of them was Abiola himself, who became a martyr.” He said Abiola’s struggle left a mark on the progressives to ensure the era of June 12 never repeats itself. “It is a protest that gave birth to democracy and it is the pro-
ticket of PDP in 2015.” Asked to comment on the Speaker’s presence at the rally, Tambuwal’s Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mallam Imam Imam, said his boss attended the Sokoto rally because “he is a grassroots politician who panders to the wish of his constituents”. Quoting former US Congress Speaker, Tip O’Neil, who said “all politics is local”, Imam said: “Tambuwal is first and foremost a representative of the people of Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency of Sokoto State before being the Speaker of the House of Representatives. “Speaker Tambuwal was in Sokoto (for the rally) because he believes in the saying that all politics is local. “Any politician worth his onion must understand and influence the issues of his constituents. “The people of Sokoto came out in large numbers to welcome their Governor; why shouldn’t the Speaker be there? He is in Sokoto because that is what the people of Sokoto want and he is happy to be part of the gathering.” A PDP source said: “This party does not expect Tambuwal to be at a rally or welcome reception for a suspended governor. This will amount to condoning indiscipline when Wamakko is undergoing disciplinary procedures. “We will wait for the outcome of the rally or why the Speaker was in Sokoto before we can take a position. Whatever enquiry you are raising now is based on hearsay. “All I can tell you is that we are monitoring development in Sokoto with keen interest.”
test that will keep it on its toes. When Abiola fought for the recognition of his mandate, he did it in the spirit of protest, many people went to the streets to protest, Abiola and Rewane died in the spirit of protest. Those who stand against protest do so in the spirit of tyranny, that the military prides itself in. I dare say that we stand to ensure that never again will a mufti crowd of people deny us of our fundamental rights.” In his lecture titled “Nigeria’s Democracy and the crisis of political instability: An audit of Electoral system”, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, said the story of Nigeria is a metaphor of a recalcitrant child destined to be cramped and diminished. The varsity don said the prevailing culture of impunity in the country has made the nation’s elections conflict-ridden, adding that the campaign preceding elections are marked by “pettiness, intolerance and violence”. The event was attended by dignitaries, including Senator Oluremi Tinubu, NADECO chair Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Comrade Baba Omojola, members of the State Executive Council, civil society and youth groups, among others.
Fatai must be remembered as one of Nigeria’s musical icon, a musical historian of note and a master of his art whose music delighted millions for decades. Tinubu prayed for the wife and children to have the fortitude to bear their loss and God’s protection. SEE ALSO PAGE 56. •
Homosexuals protest in Anambra From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi
OME men suspected to be homosexuals yesterday created a scene at the Atani Chief Magistrate Court, in Ogbaru Local Government Area, Anambra State. The men, numbering about 50, disrupted the proceedings of the court, where two of their members have been docked for alleged same-sex offence. They stormed the court premises as early as 9am in solidarity with the same-sex couple, who were arrested The protesters demanded that the couple, charged with two-count charge relating to same sex, be released unconditionally. The suspected homosexuals vowed to continue to fight for their rights despite the challenges they face in the National Assembly. They chanted anti-police and anti-court songs as a way of expressing their disenchantment over inability of their members to express their fundamental human rights as well as to show solidarity with their members who were standing trails on some count charge relating to same sex.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
Jonathan urges police commission to sack P bad officers RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday urged the Police Service Commission (PSC) to flush out those he called bad eggs from the police. The President expressed worry over the widespread indiscipline in the force. Jonathan spoke at the Presidential Villa after swearingin the new PSC Chairman and retired Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Chief Mike Okiro, and five members. Other members of the PSC are: Yakubu Mohammed, Justice Olufunmilola Adekeye, Aisha Tukur, Comfort Obi and Tonye Anyim. The President urged the PSC to instil discipline in members of the force and ensure that promotions are done
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
supposed to be dismissed from the records. “I believe that the story of Immigration is the same with most of our services. I believe also that is why the performance of some of our military and para-military officers is abysmal, because the yardstick being used for promotion is not based on competence, merit and performance. “That is one area I believe you will look into. People who are promoted to assistant police commissioners and above must merit the ranks. If you don’t merit the rank, you should be retired from the service, because it’s better for you not have enough manpower than for you to have viruses and all kinds of characters in the police force.”
on merit. He said he was under pressure to sack police officers from the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ASP) to the top following the bombing of the Force Headquarters in 2011 by the Boko Haram sect. According to him, indiscipline and irregularities in staff promotions are also rampant in other military and paramilitary services, which have been adversely affecting their performance. Recalling the recent screening of six candidates for the post of the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigra-
tion Service (NIS), the President stressed that most of them did not merit the position but deserved to be sacked from the service. He said: “But I believe there are two things: one is the issue of discipline. So, one of the responsibilities of the PSC is to instil discipline. Another thing, I believe, is that people who have no merit for certain ranks are being promoted to those ranks. One of your responsibilities is to handle promotions. I believe only those who merit or deserve promotion should be promoted. “Those who deserve to be disciplined or even dismissed
•Okiro taking the oath... yeserday
•Other members of Police Service Commission taking their oaths... yesterday.
must be disciplined. Few days back, I did approve the new Comptroller-General of Immigration, who brought the list of about six that were to be reviewed. Some were sent from the ministry, some were picked from amongst the most senior. “When we reviewed the six, from my intelligent investigation, most of them were supposed to have been dismissed. But those were the people that were being forwarded for appointment as Comptroller-General of Immigration. Only one of them is qualified to even stay and serve; others, ordinarily, are
‘Old number plates, driver’s licence expire Sept. 30’
HE Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) said yesterday the old number plates and the old driver’s licence would expire by September 30. The Sector Commander of the commission in Plateau State, Mr Sunday Maku, broke the news in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos, the state capital. Maku said officers and men of the commission would begin the enforcement by October 1. He urged motorists without driver’s licence to obtain one so as to stream into the changes taking place in the society. He said that the new number plate would reduce criminal activities nationwide, adding that the new system had “a tremendous advantage over the old ones”. “Before, it was possible for you to sell your car with your number plate; but nowadays, number plates are registered in the name of the owner. “If you want to sell the car, you cannot sell the car with number plate, you have to remove the number plate, the new buyer will have to get his own number in his own name. “So, with this system, it becomes very easy to trace criminals that are using number plates for criminal activities.” He allayed the fears that the process of obtaining the new number plate was cumbersome, and urged those with old ones to come for revalidation.
Terrorism: US paid N19.7b reward to 80 informants in 29 years
OPE appears to have risen for those who can locate Boko Haram leaders as the United States (US) confirmed the payment of N19.7billion ($125million) reward to 80 informants in 29 years. The payment was made through The Rewards for Justice programme, which is being managed by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Some of the beneficiary informants included those who provided clues for the arrest of Uday Hussein, the eldest son of the former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. Besides the payment, some of the informants were also relocated to undisclosed safe haven to prevent being hurt by terrorist groups. The US statement followed recent $25 million bounty placed on key leaders of three terrorist organisations in West Africa. They are: al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA) and the Signed-in-Blood Battalion and Boko Haram. The US Secretary of State John Kerry had authorised rewards of up to $7 million for information that can lead to the location of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau; $5 million for AQIM leader Yahya Abu el Hammam and Signed-in-Blood Battalion leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar; $3 million each for another AQIM leader Malik Abou Abdelka-
From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
rim and MUJWA spokesperson Oumar Ould Hamaha. A document by the US Government said: “The Rewards for Justice Programme is administered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. “Since its inception in 1984, the program has paid more than $125 million to more than 80 people who provided actionable information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide. “As a result of this information, the following individuals, among many others, have been brought to justice: Uday Hussein; Qusay Hussein; Ramzi Ahmed Yousef; Mir Aimal Kansi; Hamsiraji Marusi Sali; Toting Craft Hanno; Muhsin Khadr al-Khafaji; Khamis Sirhan al-Muhammad; Muhammad Zimam Abd al-Razzaq al-Sadun; Khadaffy Janjalani; Abu Solaiman and Edgar Navarro.” The document gave details on how the informants had operated and the protection given to them by the United States. It added: “During the Persian Gulf War, a brave informant in an East Asian country came forward with alarming information about a series of planned terrorist attacks. The terrorists had already surveyed their intended targets and had assembled automatic weapons, grenades, and explosives.”
Senate summons FCC chief for screening
HE Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs has summoned the Chairman of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Prof Shuaibu Abdulrahman Oba, for fresh screening, it was learnt yesterday. Although Oba was the chairman of the commission, he resigned to contest the 2011 governorship election in Kwara State, but failed. His return to the office generated a lot of controversy as the then Acting Chairman of the FCC, Alhaji Mohammadu Ari Gwaska, accused him of breaching civil service rules which prohibit an officer who resigned to contest an election from returning to the seat he willingly vacated to go into
From Sanni Onogu, Abuja
politics. However, Oba had his way, while the Senate charged Gwaska with insubordination and was shown the way out of the commission. Gwaska was then the National Commissioner representing Nasarawa State. Part C of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) states that the Chairman and members of the FCC shall be appointed by the President, subject to the confirmation of the Senate. But there are fears that Oba may not have a smooth sail this time round becuase two senators from Kwara State are said to have opposed his reappointment.
A source close to the Senator Dahiru Kuta-led Committee on Federal Character said there were petitions before the committee against the former University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) Vice-Chancellor. Another source close to the FCC chief said he may have “bitten the fingers that fed him”, prompting the stiff opposition to his clearance by the Senate. The summons by the committee was said to have caught the FCC chief by surprise. The source said Oba is presently doing all he can to appease the leadership of the Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to retain his job. The source added: “After he served out his term as the chair-
man of FCC, which he got through the political leader of Kwara State, Senator Bukola Saraki, he went lobbying the Presidency to serve a second term that he knew he might not get from the state due to zoning arrangement of political offices in the state, which did not favour him. “He started a cold war with Senator Saraki and he was able to get a second term from the Presidency through a letter from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). “He organised a prayer session at the Emir’s palace in Ilorin, which was not attended by the party leadership. He also commissioned news stories and opinion articles in many online portals, saying the
party leadership in the state did not have input in how he got his second term appointment, having it in mind that he needed not to be confirmed by the Senate. “But his joy was short-lived two weeks ago when he was informed by the SGF that he would need to go back to the Senate for confirmation. “This shocked him and his supporters, who had believed that he didn’t need the twothirds of the state or at least the support of two senators from the state to get Senate’s confirmation. “With this new development and having known that he altered the state political zoning formula, he reached out to a party leader in the state to help him beg Senator Saraki.”
IGP meets police chiefs over security, others From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja
NSPECTOR-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar yesterday met with zonal and command heads of police formations nationwide to review the spate of insecurity in the land. The meeting was called to deliberate and review strategies on terrorism, armed robbery, kidnapping, communal clashes and the situation in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, where state of emergency has been in place since May 13. Abubakar told the police chiefs that they were summoned to Abuja so that the Force could assess emerging trends in security challenges and adopt appropriate strategies to handle them effectively. The IGP hailed officers, saying they have been trying their best. But he would not answer anxious reporters’ questions on how far the police had gone with investigation on the killing of 49 policemen by the Ombatse cult group in Nasarawa State in May. The State Security Service (SSS) also lost 10 men to the cult ambush. On why the police have not arrested Baba Lakyo, the suspected leader of the cult group, the IGP said the police were following due process and would not discuss the progress of their investigation on the pages on newspapers. He said: “It would have been a different picture if the police had swooped in on the man and arrested him. We are doing everything possible to follow due process. “We are working hard on the investigation. Facts are being dug up and we are getting results. The long arm of the law will surely catch up with the perpetrators of the dastardly act.” On kidnapping and payment of ransom to abductors, the IGP said the police had never encouraged such payment to kidnappers.
‘Plot 1201 in Asokoro was allocated to PHCN’
R Joseph Makoju, a witness in the trial of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nasir El-Rufai, yesterday told an Abuja High Court that Plot 1201, Asokoro District, belonged to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). Makoju, being led in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) counsel, Mr Adebayo Adelodun (SAN), told the court that the land was allocated to the company for a specific purpose in Abuja Master plan. El-Rufai as well as Altine Jibrin, a former Director-General of the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) and its former General Manager, Ismail Iro, are standing trial for abuse of office. The EFCC is charging the trio with illegal conversion of Plot 1201, a land meant for the construction of a transmitting/ injection sub-station for the PHCN in Asokoro. They were also alleged to have conspired and converted Plot 3352 in Maitama, allocated to NIPOST, for the construction of a district post office. Umar adjourned the matter till July 4 for hearing.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
BUSINESS THE NATION
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013 At the moment, there is an average of about 18 hours per day of constant power supply to different parts of the country. This feat was brought about by the implementation of the integrated power sector reform programme anchored on the power roadmap. - Minister of Information, Labaran Maku
South African Fund sees more Dangote deals with $7b
HE Public Investment Corp., Africa’s largest asset manager, will consider investing in more companies linked to Aliko Dangote, the continent’s richest man, as it seeks to tap industries benefiting from economic growth. The pension fund this week invested $289.3 million (N46billion) in Dangote Cement Plc to take a 1.5 per cent stake and said the deal will also offer opportunities in Dangote’s sugar, flour, oil refinery and port operations, Fidelis Madavo, head of
resources at Pretoria-based PIC, wrote by e-mail Tuesday. Aliko Dangote has an estimated wealth of $23.1 billion and is the world’s 25th richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires’ Index. The fund according to Bloomberg, has as much as $7 billion to invest in Africa and is targeting as many as 20 listed stocks across industries such as consumer, i n f r a s t r u c t u r e , telecommunications and agribusiness as growth rates accelerate, he said. Shares of
•Targets 20 listed stocks
the group’s sugar and salt businesses rose as much 10 perc ent after the comments. “This rally might be sustained for the next couple of days,” Lanre Buluro, head of research at Primera Africa Securities Ltd., said by telephone from Lagos. “I’d like to see if the PIC will look into other blue chip companies outside of Dangote in our economy. That would be positive for our market.”
Nigeria’s $269 billion economy, Africa’s largest outside South Africa, will grow 7.2 per cent this year, International Monetary Fund (IMF) projections show. That compares with an estimated 5.6 per cent growth rate for sub-Saharan Africa. Dangote Cement, Africa’s biggest producer of the building material, plans to expand significantly throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Madavo said. Dangote
Sugar Refinery Plc rose 10 per cent, before closing 0.7 per cent higher at N12.85 at the 2:30 p.m. close in Lagos, while Dangote-owned National Salt
Company Nigeria Plc (NASCON) also added 10 per cent, before closing 4.8 per cent higher to a five-year high at N14.
Swift Networks acquires DoPC
WIFT Networks, yester day said it had acquired the long term evolution (LTE) or 4G business of Direct on PC (DoPC). With this transaction, Swift - the provider of wireless fibre services to private and corporate user,will acquire the wireless infrastructure and customers of the firm in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt where it operates. Speaking in Lagos, Managing Director of Swift Networks, Charles Anudu, said the acquisition marks a significant milestone in the quest of the firm to offer quality services to its customers. “This acquisition is a significant milestone in our journey to advance our competitive position in the high broadband segment and footprint in the Nigerian market”, he said. “It will improve our customers’ broadband experience and overall operating results as the cost efficiencies arising from the economies of scale of the streamlined operation will accrue to our various stakeholder. The ul-
By Lucas Ajanaku
timate beneficiaries will be our current, future and DoPC’s erstwhile customers Vice President of Bhojraj Chanrai Group and owner of DoPC, Mahesh Sadhuwani, expressed delight that the two firms have finally come together because they share common ideology about innovation and customer service. “Swift and DoPC are a perfect fit as we share a common passion for innovation and customer satisfaction. I am happy that we found the Swift home for our 4G WiMAX customers as they will join an operator that has become the undisputed leader in both network quality and customer service in its category,” he said. While financing for the transaction was provided by Union Bank and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) on terms not disclosed to the media,it has received the approval of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Taleveras, Lukoil sign pacts for oil acreage
FRICAN Independent oil and gas company Taleveras has signed a Farm-Out Agreement with a subsidiary of LUKOIL, Russia’s largest private oil company, for Block CI-504 in Ivory Coast. PETROCI, the national oil company of Ivory Coast, according to a statement, also holds interest in the Block. Block CI-504 is located in close proximity to the producing Baobab field. The area of the block is 399 square kilometers, water depth ranges from 800 to 2100 meters. In the south CI-504 borders on block CI-205, which is already operated by LUKOIL. The committed work programme includes three periods, the first exploration period calls for the interpretation of historical 2D and 3D seismic data as well as additional 3D seismic acquisition by January 2014. Two other periods covering five years in total provide for the
drilling of two exploration wells. Taleveras according to the statement, signed an MoU with PETROCI for collaboration in upstream activities in Ivory Coast in July 2011. Since then Taleveras has signed Production Sharing Contracts with PETROCI for three exploration blocks offshore Ivory Coast. Taleveras is a diversified energy and infrastructure conglomerate concentrating on oil & gas exploration, production, trading and supply, with further activities in power and construction. Active across the globe, Taleveras’ offices are located in London, Geneva, Abuja, Lagos, Abidjan, Cape Town and Dubai. The company is privately owned. LUKOIL is Russian major international vertically-integrated oil & Gas Company. PETROCI has been the national oil company of Ivory Coast since 1975.
Arik Air rolls out online check-in
RIK Air has introduced a new online check-in service to further boost its passenger experience. The service is aimed at customers who want a streamlined travel experience by reducing queuing times at the airport, especially for those travelling without check-in baggage. The new service, according to managing director of Arik Air, Mr Chris Ndulue is designed to provide customers with the ability to check-in from 24 hours to three hours before their flights, select their seats and print a
boarding pass. Ndulue in a statement, said passengers with baggage to check-in can still check-in online and proceed to the check-in counters at the airport for baggage drop and standard security checks. The service has been introduced in Arik Air’s international locations- Johannesburg, London and New York- as well as the key domestic locations of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, with full network coverage of domestic and regional locations to be progressively rolled out in the coming months.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
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COMMENTARY FROM OTHER LANDS
Avoidable accident •The June 6 Lagos auto crash, which claimed at least one life and paralysed traffic for most of that day, was absolutely avoidable
T was distinctly Nigerian: so avoidable, yet so tragic! On June 6, in Ikeja, Lagos, a container-bearing articulated trailer crushed a meat van, and one Samuel Ogunnaike, a work-bound innocent citizen. Unconfirmed reports claim the driver of the crushed meat van died later at the hospital. May God receive the souls of the dead; and comfort the distraught they left behind. This tragedy was needless, from the accounts of eye witnesses. It all reportedly started with the police in hot chase of a recalcitrant Okada (commercial bike) rider, in brazen violation of the Lagos State Road Traffic Law of 2012, which restricts Okada from plying that category of roads, the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, near the Ile Zik Bus Stop, at Ikeja.
‘Though the police had, as always, denied being party to the disaster, it is open secret that the eye witnesses’ testimonies are credible, as they ring true of the police normal operational behaviour. The police should reform their ways, instead of lapsing into comical denials anytime they create untold havoc, in a bid to enforce the law. The police in hot chase of Okada, against the traffic on an expressway, should never be an option’
The meat van reportedly slowed down to avoid running over the fleeing Okada rider, who clearly was driving against the traffic. The trailer, in high speed, and hooting in panic, swerved so as not to hit the meat van, only to disgorge its container, thus flattering the van. But for the fact that Kayode Opeifa, Lagos State Cmmissioner for Transport confirmed that the container was strapped to the truck’s flat bed, perhaps the accident could have claimed more lives. Why an Okada man would flout the law can only be explained by the mass culture of impunity that has seized the land. Even with that, how the police proceed to curb this impunity, with more emotive brainlessness, beggars belief. If the police had been more scientific and less emotional, the accident, and the resulting traffic gridlock, could have been averted. Though the police had, as always, denied being party to the disaster, it is open secret that the eye witnesses’ testimonies are credible, as they ring true of the police normal operational behaviour. The police should reform their ways, instead of lapsing into comical denials anytime they create untold havoc, in a bid to enforce the law. The police in hot chase of Okada, against the traffic on an expressway, should never be an option. That said, the government should support the police with adequate infrastructure. A case has been made for mounted cameras to record traffic infractions. But such a system needs biometric information of road users, such that whoever broke traffic laws, whether or not the po-
lice were there, paid the price. The government should work towards such scientific ways of curbing traffic offences. Such a system could be futuristic, yes. But not so the rigorous enforcement of regulations. The truck involved in this accident had its container strapped. That cannot be said for most of the trailers plying our roads. The general attitude is that strapping is optional, because it attracts more costs. That should not be an option. Authorities must ensure every container-bearing truck on our roads has its cargo strapped. That would reduce, if not completely eliminate, containers falling off, and sending hapless citizens to early graves. Besides, it is a big scandal that far too many container-bearing trailers, and even auto-petrol tankers, ply our roads. That is a direct result of the failure of the rail system. The government should therefore more vigorously address building a modern rail system. Back to enforcing laws. By the Lagos Traffic Law of 2012, the trailer involved in the accident was not supposed to be on the road at daytime. Is the government not enforcing this part of the law? But beyond laws and enforcement, there is urgent need for mass enlightenment of truck drivers and allied personnel. As a group, they appear to be a disgruntled lot who don’t seem to care about their lives; and even care less about the lives of other road users. A deliberate and systematic enlightenment campaign should be put in place to better train them and curb their suicidal tendencies.
Breaking Boko Haram
•New efforts to deal with the Islamist insurgency are in order
FTER years of dithering and double-speak, the Nigerian and American governments have finally decided to move decisively against the problem of Islamic extremism in the country. While the Federal Government has banned Jamaatu Ahlis-Sunna Liddaawati Wal Jihad, better known as Boko Haram, and Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan, more commonly known as Ansar, the U.S. Government has placed a reward of U.S. $7 million on the head of Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Boko Haram sect. Taken together, the proscription and the reward both demonstrate an understanding that the lack of clarity which was a major feature of previous anti-terrorism policy had hindered effective attempts to combat it. The Jonathan administration kept on vacillating between talking to Boko Haram and launching a full-scale onslaught against it. For its part, the U.S. administration persisted in sending mixed signals about the reasons behind the insurgency, especially when it claimed that social inequality and exclusion had triggered the rise in terrorism in northern Nigeria. Boko Haram has waged a murderous campaign against institutions and individuals that have resulted in the loss of thousands of lives. Its bombing of churches and assassination of prominent Nigerians and ordinary folks is particularly reprehensible. It has steadfastly resisted all attempts to make its grievances known through more legitimate means, and has responded arrogantly to recent offers of amnesty. The economic life of
some parts of the north has ground to a halt in the wake of the Islamic insurgency and the resulting crackdown by the Joint Task Force (JTF). It is vital that the banning of the two extremist organisations is not done in isolation of other anti-terrorism measures. Their proscription must be accompanied by an overhaul of the government’s entire strategy, from the trial of apprehended suspects to the JTF’s field operations. Too many of the trials of terrorism suspects are bogged down in procedural issues. The high-handedness of the JTF could alienate the host population whose cooperation and assistance are vital to its success, and also drive people into the arms of the terrorist groups. Even as it seeks to ramp up its actions against these insurgent groups, the Federal Government would do well to heed warnings about the constitutionality of its proscription order. Section 5(1) of the Order prescribes a minimum of 20 years imprisonment for “any person who knowingly, in any manner, directly or indirectly, solicits or renders support for the commission of an act of terrorism or to a terrorist group.” It is felt that the definition of “support” is so looselyworded that it breaches constitutional provisions on freedom of speech and the protection of civil liberties. Given the recent harassment of media organisations in the name of security breaches, and the high-handed treatment of perceived opponents of President Goodluck Jonathan, such fears are wellfounded. The temptation to use expanded authority and increased powers
to hound those who do not see eye-toeye with the Federal Government may prove to be too much for some overzealous government officials. The inflammatory statements made by several individuals in the run-up to the 2015 general elections simply enhance these misgivings. America’s $7 million reward for information leading to the capture of Shekau signals a new preparedness by the U.S. to confront Islamic extremism in Nigeria more directly. It should be accompanied by increased assistance in the form of intelligence, logistics and training, as well as robust diplomatic backing. The comprehensive defeat of the terrorist scourge in Nigeria is as much a desirable outcome for the international community as it is for the country itself.
‘America’s $7 million reward for information leading to the capture of Shekau signals a new preparedness by the U.S. to confront Islamic extremism in Nigeria more directly. It should be accompanied by increased assistance in the form of intelligence, logistics and training, as well as robust diplomatic backing. The comprehensive defeat of the terrorist scourge in Nigeria is as much a desirable outcome for the international community as it is for the country itself’
Surveillance: A threat to democracy
EW Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll found that a majority of Americans are untroubled by revelations about the National Security Agency’s dragnet collection of the phone records of millions of citizens, without any individual suspicion and regardless of any connection to a counterterrorism investigation. Perhaps the lack of a broader sense of alarm is not all that surprising when President Obama, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, and intelligence officials insist that such surveillance is crucial to the nation’s antiterrorism efforts. But Americans should not be fooled by political leaders putting forward a false choice. The issue is not whether the government should vigorously pursue terrorists. The question is whether the security goals can be achieved by less-intrusive or sweeping means, without trampling on democratic freedoms and basic rights. Far too little has been said on this question by the White House or Congress in their defense of the N.S.A.’s dragnet. The surreptitious collection of “metadata” — every bit of information about every phone call except the word-by-word content of conversations — fundamentally alters the relationship between individuals and their government. Tracking whom Americans are calling, for how long they speak, and from where, can reveal deeply personal information about an individual. Using such data, the government can discover intimate details about a person’s lifestyle and beliefs — political leanings and associations, medical issues, sexual orientation, habits of religious worship, and even marital infidelities. Daniel Solove, a professor at George Washington University Law School and a privacy expert, likens this program to a Seurat painting. A single dot may seem like no big deal, but many together create a nuanced portrait. The effect is to undermine constitutional principles of personal privacy and freedom from constant government monitoring. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, challenging the program’s constitutionality, and it was right to do so. The government’s capacity to build extensive, secret digital dossiers on such a mass scale is totally at odds with the vision and intention of the nation’s framers who crafted the Fourth Amendment precisely to outlaw indiscriminate searches that cast a wide net to see what can be caught. It also attacks First Amendment values of free speech and association. In a democracy, people are entitled to know what techniques are being used by the government to spy on them, how the records are being held and for how long, who will have access to them, and the safeguards in place to prevent abuse. Only then can they evaluate official claims that the correct balance between fighting terrorism and preserving individual liberty has been struck, and decide if they are willing to accept diminished privacy and liberty. If Americans have been slow to recognize the dangerous overreach of the N.S.A.’s phone surveillance, it is largely because they have scant information to judge the government’s conduct. Even if most Americans trust President Obama not to abuse their personal data, no one knows who will occupy the White House or lead intelligence operations in the future. The government’s capacity to assemble, keep and share information on its citizens has grown exponentially since the days when J. Edgar Hoover, as director of the F.B.I., collected files on political leaders and activists to enhance his own power and chill dissent. Protections against different abuses in this digital age of genuine terrorist threats need to catch up. – New York Times
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THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
CARTOON & LETTERS
IR: Nigeria has not been the same since Dr. Goodluck Jonathan (who was Vice President to President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua) took advantage of the death of Yar’Adua to truncate rotational presidency. Towards gaining sympathy for his presidential ambition in 2011, Jonathan promised to spend a single term of four years, and he said it repeatedly wherever he went within and outside Nigeria. Less than two months after his election, he started hammering on seven years single term, but some voices cried foul. Yet, Jonathan used his presidential clout to control the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), through which a referendum was stage-managed to rubber-stamp six years single term, and rejection of rotational presidency among the six geopolitical zones. Rotational presidency among the six geopolitical zones is in tandem with Nigeria’s federal character policy, while its rejection promotes
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On the so-called six years, single-term presidency political disorder as a corollary. Indubitably, Nigeria is fertile to terrorism without political order that can guarantee equity, justice, peace and stability. Secondly, Nigeria gave-up the British parliamentary system and adopted the American presidential system of a singly renewable four year term in office for President, Governors, and other political elective positions. With a single term of six years, Nigeria goes the way of neither Britain nor America. Note that the two older democratic countries have been on their political systems for ages and they
are not contemplating change, rather finding better ways of doing what they have been doing. Professor Maurice Iwu spent many billions of naira to produce voters’ cards and registers. When Professor Attahiru Jega took-over, he described Iwu as one of the best accountable persons he ever met. But he jettisoned Iwu’s voters’ registers and cards, only to get billions of naira to issue new ones. Don’t ask me what has become of those materials and how many billions Jega is budgeting to demand for the 2015 general elections. Meanwhile, the only solution that
Jonathan and the PDP-controlled legislature found to lack of fiscal discipline and unstable voters’ registers and cards is six years single term for President et al. Six straight years will quicken the pace for power mongers, so that they can all become President before Christ returns. When a heartless, clever totalitarian dictator rules Nigeria for six straight years, if the country does not go into oblivion, “everybody” will emaciate. Thinking about second term promotes sensitivity. • Pius Oyeniran Abioje, Ph. D, University of Ilorin.
in a vantage position to render selfless service, thus, validating Paul Harris’ postulation that “a true spirit of service is capable of working world’s redemption”. As a way of working for the redemption of his people, Bayero had served (before becoming Emir) as the Chief of the Kano Police – a position equivalent to a Commissioner of Police today. At the national level, the emir has served in various capacities. He was first chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) in 1966, and currently serving as twotime chancellor of Nigeria’s premier university – University of Ibadan (UI). He was first inducted on April 24, 1976 and served till 1984. He was again re-appointed in 2001. Cumulatively, Bayero has served the university for close to
28 years, thus, contributing in no small way to the stability, progress and development of the university. It is against his background that UI has decided to honour its one of the longest serving chancellors with a day of royal tributes and N12billion fundraising for the Ado Bayero Complex of the University of Ibadan School of Business” on June 20. Bayero’s long time friendship with the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade is an indication that the emir is a bridge-builder across the length and breadth of the countrya kind of attribute that the nation earnestly desires. Born 25 July, 1930, Bayero ascended the throne in October 22, 1963 becoming the 13th Fulani Emir of Kano and the 56th ruler of the ancient kingdom. A man of his
words, his consistency in ruling by the tenets of his promise makes him a true royal father to look up to by both the young and old. Again, his commitment to the unity in the country and his advocacy for the education of both males and females earn him enormous respect as he is seen as a clairvoyant leader. He is not known for radicalism neither is he noted for religious dogmatism. His mien is as peaceful as his personality, cultivating the friendship of others without treachery. As he marks his 50th coronation anniversary, one can only wish him more peaceful reign and more years of service to humanity.
Celebrating Bayero’s 50th coronation anniversary
IR: When he was being installed 50 years ago as the Emir of Kano, Alhaji (Dr.) Ado Abdullahi Bayero promised to dedicate himself to the service of his people, the emirate, the state and the country in general. In retrospect, there is no doubting the fact that the 1963 pledge of the former Nigerian Ambassador to Senegal has not only been redeemed, but fulfilled with a stoical forbearance. Bayero, one of the longest serving emirs in the emirate’s history today stands out distinguishably among his peers as a patron of Islamic Scholarship who as well, embraces western education as a means to succeed in a modern Nigeria. His broadmindedness as well as his passion for the betterment of humanity has placed him
• Sunday Saanu University of Ibadan
The gale of same-sex union
IR: The spate of same-sex marriage is winning over opposite sex marriage as many countries of the world continue to sign on gay marriages, making the same-sex marriage legal. Other countries still dragging their feet are under great pressure to do same. As Nigeria government has been recently rebuked for her anti-gay policy. Some renowned personality in the entertainment industry are living as gay couples, combined with the explosion of gay sex videos and pictures on the internet are fast turning a large number of innocent people into the fold. A same-sex marriage was held in France the day the gay bill was passed into law, while gays continued to storm every street corner in the world for recognition by law and demand to live the life style of their taste. The danger signal here is that those with same sex persuasion are more aggressive than those with opposite sex inclination. Following the violent history of those with the habit, and some protest slang that threatened ‘we will sodomised your children’, coupled with the description in one of the historical book of the world, the Holy Bible, where it was associated with rape and humiliation of those that have different sexual inclinations. How long then can those countries and states that are against gay marriage maintain this stand and what happens if gay marriage is finally accepted in every country? It will surely be a licence to wipe out opposite sex union, and the foreseeable time limit for this is 2030, that is if it did not happen before then. • Ojay Kaikai Akure, Ondo State
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
Fire on, Fayemi
HE Supreme Court’s decision over the gubernatorial conundrum in Ekiti State has finally rested the issue of the gubernatorial election in Ekiti. Even to a non-legal person like myself, it was clear to me that the decision of Segun Oni to challenge the judgement of the Appeal Court on the electoral malfeasance which culminated in his being illegally declared as governor was unchallengeable constitutionally. This is because all electoral disputes terminate at the Appeal Court. Appealing to the Supreme Court on the grounds of violation of fundamental Human Rights should have been known to be legally dicey. Lawyers have to eat and no lawyer would tell his client that his case is unwinnable. Of course, in the corrupt environment of Nigeria, some people would have goaded Oni in taking the case to the Supreme Court with the assurance that the judgement can be politically influenced. This wild expectation was of course conceivable in the Nigerian environment where anything goes. Mercifully, justice prevailed and the status quo ante remains in Ekiti. The incumbent governor is governor in fact and indeed as well as in law. He is not only in government, he is also in power. I have said this before about Segun Oni that he appears to me as a gentleman and when he was governor of Ekiti State, a highly respected friend of mine, an academic colleague and a former boss asked me to support Oni and wondered what I had against him? My answer then was and is that I had nothing against him, but that he was in the wrong party. Of course I do not have more than one vote and I do not want to be arrogant that my opinion counts seriously, politically, what I can say with all modesty is that I have played some part in the educational and diplomatic development of Nigeria. I also played some part in the struggle against Abacha which earned me six months detention and which led to the late Chief J.A.O Odebiyi and Baba Archdeacon Alayande wondering why I did not offer myself for position of Senator in 1999 on the grounds that service deserves its reward. My nephew Akin is a politician and I was not going to have a situation where two politicians are fighting in the same mother’s womb. Thirdly, the Osuntokun brand in Nigerian politics is not inconsequential and I can say without any fear of contradiction that the role of my family in the political evolution of this country would remain imperishable. These, I believe are my credentials that made it necessary for my support to be sought. Now that the battle for the governor’s position has been fought and won, I advise Oni to move on and to support the incumbent Governor Fayemi for the benefit of Ekiti State if he really loves the state and I have no doubt that he loves the state. In any case, there are so many ways of serving the state than being governor. If he offers to serve and genuinely
Y the time Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, he had become a legend, a status he attained by his dogged fight against apartheid. To become a legend while alive is no mean feat. Only a few people are so labelled in their lifetime and it derives from their exploits, crusades or struggles. These exploits are not for their own personal gain but for the collective good of the people. Many of us are familiar with the story of South Africa, a richly endowed country where the Whites settled and never wanted to leave. The minority White in South Africa turned themselves to tin gods and resorted to suppressing the Blacks, the owners of the land. For years, the Blacks were made slaves in their own land. They lived in slums, while the Whites stayed in posh houses. Everything about life and living were skewed against the Blacks. It was just a matter of time before something gave in such a society where people were born into struggle. From the cradle, a black South African child had to fight for his rights and other basic necessities of life which his counterparts in other parts of the world took for granted. Blacks fought for their right to life; right of association; right to education; right of worship, you name it. They could not enter certain places because they were designated for Whites only. Some bars, schools and residential areas were closed to them. It was so bad. One had to be a Tom Quisling to access such places. It was hell on earth being a black South African because they were treated as sub-human. In no time, the people learnt to fight and fend for themselves in defiance of their tormentors. The Whites made the
means it, Fayemi would accept the offer. This was clearly stated in the governor’s broadcast to the state after his victory. The governor said he was prepared to forget all the shenanigans that took place when Oni was governor and wipe the slate clean. This should be regarded as the highest form of magnanimity in victory. Since coming into the saddle in the rulership of Ekiti almost three years ago, Fayemi has demonstrated how prepared he is for the job. Unlike political leaders in other parts of the country, he had a well planned agenda of development which he has scrupulously followed up till date. He did not wait until he was in government before developing his programme. This is why he was able to hit the ground running with his vision and mission. His emphasis on infrastructural development is based on the well thought out belief that any state or country that is not in constant motion is dead. This is why he has crisscrossed the state with excellent roads. His greatest impact in this regard is at the capital city itself. I spent nine of my formative years in Ado-Ekiti and it is now impossible for me to recognise anywhere because of Fayemi’s magic touch. He is not restricting the transportation revolution to Ado-Ekiti alone, he is even building a virgin road to connect my town of Okemessi with Ido-Ile, where there was no road before. I cite this example as a demonstration of how comprehensive his development agenda is. I have been in education, apart from forays into diplomacy, all my life. I was a director of the National Universities Commission (NUC) and I know a bit about higher education and education generally. This is an area in which Fayemi has excelled and would still excel. His consolidation of the three universities in Ekiti into one is a masterstroke. This is because the state is not in any position to fund one university adequately, not to talk of three. We were deceiving and fooling ourselves under Oni by having two specialized universities, one on Education and the other on Science and Technology. With our gross revenue of less than four billion naira a month, how three universities could have being inflicted on us beats me. Fayemi saved us the embarrassment of this delusional ambition. I must say here that since the history of higher education in Ekiti, it is the Fayemi administration that has ever released substantial amount of capital vote for physical development. His funding of education is not limited to Ekiti State University; the college of Education in Ikerre-Ekiti has also undergone phenomenal development and transformation. In a discussion with the governor when I was bemoaning the fact that Ekiti State is not rich because we don’t have oil, the governor was clear in his mind that the intellectual solidity of
our people is more than millions of barrels of oil. As if I did not know this, officials of DFID, in a private conversation with me said the same thing that in terms of people, Ekiti is the richest state in Nigeria and it is my belief that when Fayemi has finished with us in Jide Ekiti, we would doOsuntokun nate him to the centre, so that other Nigerians can be beneficiaries of the programmes of this intelligent young man. It is the quality of one’s mind, rather than the amount of natural resources one commands that matters. The highly developed economies of Germany and Japan with their little or no natural resources with stupendous intellectual prowess and brain power prove this. This is incontrovertible because I bear testimony to it. He has recognised the nexus between primary, secondary and tertiary education and this is why he has expended a lot of money on computer literacy at the lower level of the educational ladder. I remember my nephew bringing his young Anglo-Nigerian children on holidays to Ekiti and staying in Ikogosi, Hot Spring Resort. I was pleasantly amazed and pleased by the comments of these young people about the environmental beauty of Ekiti and how they would continue to come to Nigeria on holidays to enjoy the goodness of the Ekiti natural environment. I hope and pray that the tourist attraction of Ekitiland would be properly harnessed beyond Ikogosi. All these would require funding and I know our cerebral governor must be addressing himself to this.
‘His funding of education is not limited to Ekiti State University; the college of Education in Ikerre-Ekiti has also undergone phenomenal development and transformation’
A lion in winter Blacks to become freedom fighters, a trait which is being passed to the younger generation today. The Mandela generation did the spade work for their offspring, who today are also no pushovers when it comes to standing up for their rights. The struggle, it seems, is in their genes. ‘’The struggle’’, Mandela says, ‘’is my life’’. Indeed, for the nonagenarian, it has been a lifelong struggle. Even at the ripe old age of 94, Madiba is still struggling, but mercifully not of the hue of the apartheid era. The lion is today struggling for life. If Mandela goes today,something which many of us do not pray for, he would not have died in vain. The outpouring of emotions since he was hospitalised on Saturday shows that he is a man well loved. How many of our leaders today will enjoy this kind of sentiment if they were in Mandela’s shoes? I cannot really point at any. Instead of a show of love and concern, the people will be cursing and wishing them dead by now. Isn’t there a lesson in this for them? There is, but will they ever learn? It troubles the hearts of many to see Mandela weighed down by a persisting lung infection. A man, who in his heyday was a Trojan, who looked even the most fearsome of men in the face, lays bedridden in hospital, battling for life. Mandela is a fighter; his fighting spirit saw him through his 27 years in prison under harsh conditions from which he probably might have contracted this lung problem. This is not an obituary on Madiba but an ode to a man among men; a man of character and principle, who has
‘Mandela may be down today as a result of age, but his lights are not yet out and we pray that they will not go out soon’
shown the world that it is better to wage peace than war. Mandela may be fighting for his life today, but we will forever remember his struggles against injustice not only in his home country but also in other parts of the world. The African National Congress (ANC) on which platform he was elected South Africa’s president in 1994 was founded in 1912, six years after his birth in 1918. Mandela was not among the founding fathers of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC), which transformed into ANC in 1923. He and people of like minds like the late Walter Sisulu and the late Oliver Thambo joined the ANC in 1944. Mandela, a lawyer, was destined to become not only ANC but South Africa’s leader. His imprisonment for life for treason on June 12 (that date again!) 1964, was to prepare him for the task ahead. When he became president four years after his release from jail, he showed that he had learnt a lot about life. If Mandela went to prison a bitter man, he came out as an apostle of peace. There was no bitterness over his persecution for all those years. The fighter had transformed in prison, though the fire still burned in him; the fire to make every South African feel at home in his country, no matter his colour or creed. This has been Mandela’s mission since he left prison 23 years ago at 71. O wonder this man of peace jointly won the Nobel Peace prize with F.W de Klerk in 1993, three years after he regained his freedom from prison. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela may be down today as a result of age, but his lights are not yet out and we pray that they will not go out soon. But if they do, the world will remember him for good because he taught us how to forgive even though we may not forget. Contrary to what many thought of
him in the days of the struggle that he loves ‘trouble’ because his middle name, Rolihlahla means “trouble maker”, the circumstances of the time shaped the man. How many in his shoes would have stood by and watch their people being oppressed by a minority group all because it has the means to do so. Thank God, the man has put that behind him. As he struggles on his hospital bed for life, we pray that he pulls through because we still need him around as a father figure. ‘’I can rest only for a moment for with freedom comes responsibilities and I dare not linger for my walk is not yet ended’’, Madiba said in his classic book: Long Walk to Freedom. Madiba, your walk has not yet ended because we don’t want you to go now. It is not time to say goodnight. But if the Lord says otherwise, who are we to question Him. If that happens, we all know that ‘’you have fought a good fight; you have finished the course and you have kept the faith” and the good Lord shall reward you accordingly for showing the light for the world to follow. Get well soon, Madiba.
June 12, 20 years on
Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late Bashorun M.K.O Abiola. It is certain that as long as Nigeria remains in existence, the June 12 saga will never be forgotten until we do what is necessary in memory of this democratic icon. The democracy we enjoy today was brought about by Abiola’s sacrifice. If Abiola had not laid down his life in the struggle to actualise his mandate, chances are that we will still be under military rule. Abiola died so that democracy will thrive. Even though, former President Olusegun Obasanjo refused to recognise his late kinsman for his democratic
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efforts, it is not too late for the government of the day to give honour to whom honour is due. Let us put behind us last year’s fiasco in naming the University of Lagos after him and look for a more enduring way to honour him. By so doing, we will be sending a message across to our compatriots to always stand up and fight for their rights no matter what they go through. If we don’t honour Abiola now, it will look like he died in vain. No, this should not be the lot of a man, who left his large family and chains of businesses to seek an improvement in the welfare of the masses. His campaign slogan was ‘’farewell to poverty’’, I am sure that if his election had not been annulled, we would have sung the nunc dimitis of lack and want by now. Is it not an irony that the businesses and the home that this man, who wanted the best for the poor of his country, left behind are being made to suffer today? Most of the businesses have even collapsed all because he is no longer around. And the battalions who depended on him have been abandoned. Abiola may be dead, but his legacies will endure because he was a man with a large heart. He touched lives. This is why in death, he has become larger than life. Nigeria is the worst for his death
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
OME of our highly esteemed readers have raised issues about what they term ‘fixation of this column with PDP’; incessant criticism of President Jonathan administration in spite of his acclaimed achievements and ‘arrogance and disdain of the Yoruba political elite for political parties and political leaders’ that did not take root from the South-west. Let me first remind our readers who are eminently entitled to their views that a newspaper is a market place of ideas and are therefore free to send in their rejoinders instead of name-calling. But let us start first from the last. Our experience since 1999 does not support such a thesis. Political tendencies in the Yoruba nation stress from extreme left to the extreme right. Yoruba can therefore lay claim to joint ownership of PDP. Indeed ex- President Obasanjo defined whatever the coloration of PDP is today. He is the very personification of the party’s anti-democratic tendencies, its lack of internal democracy, ‘do or die election’, rule of gangs, and disdain for the judiciary and the legislature. Among the PDP leaders, Ahmadu Alli and Bamanga Tukur, the past and the current chairman of PDP have their parallel in the Southwest. If Ahmadu Alli once nominated his son and wife for board positions, Obasanjo and his buddy, the late Lamidi Adedibu ensured their children became senators. If Tukur’s son was fingered for alleged involvement on the fuel subsidy scam, so was Arisekola’s son. Akala, Oyinlola, Daniel, former speaker Dimeji Bankole Fayose are as vicious as their other PDP young Turks from the north or elsewhere in the country. The point is that PDP is PDP, whether from the north, east or west. They all suffer from a common afflictiongreed. If PDP has become a national malaise, its criticism where ever it is coming from will appear to me a patriotic act. And as for the president’s outstanding performance, I think it is not the duty of the press to give awards to institutions it is expected to keep on their toes as it has done with disastrous consequences in recent years. If the president has wares to sell, he has many paid through the public purse already doing that. They had an outstanding outing on May 29 when every minister that spoke praised the president for his outstanding performance. We saw then during the PDP family carnival that followed when professional praise-singers earnestly pleaded with the president not to abandon grateful Nigerians in 2015. Their outpour of emotion was only comparable to that of North Korean Generals who often weep publicly in show of support and love
PDP’s intolerance of criticism for their leader. Besides there is the president’s minister for information and the duo of highly competent and gifted, Abati, the author of ‘The president they don’t know’ and Okupe, who expressed preference for the nomenclature ‘attack lion’ as against ‘attack dog’ which his critics said he was during Obasanjo’s presidency. But perhaps what those who are complaining about fixation with PDP have failed to realise is that PDP apart from the military has been the most important institution in our society since independence. It has since 1999 defined our present and future. It has ruled for 14 years and has sworn to rule for the next 60 years. Only last week, the Political Adviser to the President, Ahmed Gulak demonstrated PDP’s desperation when he said “As long as the people who are gathered at the banquet hall of the presidential Villa are alive, we will not let governance slip out of our hand in our life time”. In pursuit of this dream, this is a party ready to exploit all the divisive issues in our polity, from ethnic differences, opposition political parties and even religion. Governor’s forum is polarized with government supporting losers of an election. A faction of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is today seen as a spiritual arm of PDP. PDP has also been alleged to be sponsors of both the Niger Delta militants and North East Boko Haram insurgents. Government has integrated the leadership of the former with mouth-watering contracts while government is on the verge of granting amnesty to the later. Besides political intrigue, there are other reasons why closer attention must be paid to PDP. In the last 14 years, most of the items under the exclusive list have been abused. The federal government controls education, yet unlike the political parties of the first repub-
HAT is truly lacking in many parts of the country today which has continued to inhibit development and opening up of the hinterlands is lack of access roads and adequate transportation system. Successive governments at all levels especially during the long years of military regime did not help matters at all. Several efforts and inputs by private individuals and organizations in the transportation sector has not been enough because majority of Nigerians rely on land transportation system to move around. Besides, the cost of such transport scheme is always unaffordable for some Nigerians especially in the rural areas. But in Abia State today unlike in the past, the situation has changed and is still changing for good with the present administration’s policy on massive road construction and rehabilitation across the senatorial zones in the state. The policy has brought about the opening up of access roads several parts of the state, especially in the agrarian communities in the hinterlands where farmers reside. Before now, some of the people in the rural communities in the state have not seen caterpillars talk much of using tarred roads. The state government under leadership of Governor Theodore Orji has remained consistent in pursuing the policy which is one of the cardinal programmes of his government. Apart from the ongoing construction and rehabilitation of roads across the state, the government has completed the following roads since the assumption of office. They include Abia Tower (Ossah) dualised road, Okpara Square dualised road; the Uwalaka Ahia-Orie Ugba road; Ibeku Road extension, Ozuitem Street, Abam-Orie Ugba Street, Umuovom Nkatta Road (Ochendo Bye-Pass), Ahieke-
‘More than 1000 vehicles have been given out by the state government under the Transport Loan Scheme and the beneficiaries of the scheme are giving testimony today. That is why it has been possible for the state government to able to provide free transportation for indigenes of the state living in different parts of the country during yuletide’
lic that built public schools, PDP government is under-funding public schools while its leading members are busy building private schools charging outrageous fees that drive our children to move in droves to neighbouring countries in search of university education. Insurance is on the exclusive list, the party sold NICON, a national asset to their member. Airline is on the list, leading members of the party became airline operators. Construction, alteration, and maintenance of federal roads, are on the exclusive list, budgets on roads were allegedly diverted to fighting elections, while the nation’s network of federal roads have collapsed. Railways is on the list, yet after Babangida’s fraudulent railway revolution, promoted more on the pages of newspapers, successive PDP administrations have been awarding contracts after contracts that are often derailed by members of the party because of greed. Monitoring of quality of local produce and imported goods are the responsibilities of the federal government, yet, substandard goods and fake drugs flood our markets. The federal government controls the police, the police not only remain poorly paid, ill-equipped and ill-motivated, their pensions funds were stolen by civil servants right inside the of the Head of Service in Abuja. Prison is on the exclusive list. That perhaps explains why it is relatively easy for Boko Haram insurgents to move around unchallenged, liberating prisoners in the Northeast of the country. Annulment and dissolution of all marriages are the exclusive preserve of the federal government. Even if the president and his PDP escape the charges of being responsible for increase in the rate at which old marriages are collapsing, they cannot escape responsibility for the failure of our youths to get married. Marriage is perhaps
Tackling transportation problem in Abia By Romanus Uwa Okwuta-Isieke Road with spur to the Cenotaph, Uyo Street, Okwulaga-Afaraukwu Road, Umuafai-Lodu-Ahieke Road, Link Road between Aba Road and Timber Market, Nkata Ameke Road, Nkata-Alike Ring Road, New Secretariat Bypass, Ubakala-Old Umuahia dualised Highway, internal Roads in Abia State House of Assembly, Abia Transport Road, Enyiukwu Road, Okigwe Park Bye-pass and the asphalt overlay of over 25 streets within Umuahia the state capital and these roads were also beautified with streetlights and pedestrian walkways on the both sides. The development has restored nightlife in the state capital amidst secured atmosphere devoid of crime of any sort. In the commercial city of Aba alone, the state government has completed the Okwu Street, Ezeogo Road (Opposite Ngwa High School), Nwala Street, Mount Zion Street, Ikonne Street, A-line and F-line, Ariaria Market. Other roads include Umule Road, Umuocham Azikiwe, Okigwe, Faulks Road, Orieohazu street, Unity Garden/Osisioma Ring Road, Timber and Allied Products Market internal Roads, Uratta Road, Dualization of Aba-Owerri Road with the spur at the Osisioma Ngwa end of the Enugu-Port-Harcourt expressway completed, dualization of Aba-Port Harcourt Road, Udu Street, Umugo-Ugwunagbo Road, Uratta, Ngozi Avenue, Omenazu, Okigwe Road, East Street and the recently commissioned Brass street, Milverton Avenue, Azikiwe Road, George Street and Constitution Crescent. Knowing that lack of adequate drainage channels have always been the bane of road durability in Aba, the present government demolished all illegal structures in the city which made it possible for the construction of giant drainage channels at Ama-Ogbonna and Ngwa Road by East to control flooding in the city. Apart from the completed roads in the city, the perennial flooding at Binez junction of Aba-Owerri road where motorists spend hours before crossing over has been tackled. Beside, work is ongoing in other roads in the city and will soon be completed before the rainy season sets in proper. Also not left out in the roads revolution by the state government is the rural communities where majority of the
the last thing in the mind of a jobless youth. These are serious issues to be addressed by President Jonathan who is instead seeking protection from his Ijaw ethnic nationality. But the president must know he is as much a captive of the Yoruba. Obasanjo imposed him. The Ijaws were nowhere to be found during the constitutional battle over the rights of Jonathan who himself went into hiding while the Yoruba fought to secure for him the position of Acting president. Besides, the Yoruba, except Ogbeni Aregbesola and his Osun people who probably consulted Ifa divination before the 2011 election massively voted for Jonathan. If no one else, the Yoruba owe the nation a duty of preventing the president from escaping with false claim of being the most criticized president in the world over socio-political and economic problems that predate his ascendancy. He must be reminded that in similar circumstances, Barack Obama, his counterpart in America who inherited a suffocating $16 trillion dollar external debt piled up on two senseless wars by his Republican predecessor, unprecedented level of unemployment, accepted criticism with philosophical calmness claiming he understood the frustration and anguish of the unemployed. He was humble enough to admit it was in fact because of those problems he was elected by American people. President Jonathan already has too many professional praise-singers massaging his ego. While they continue with their highly rewarding enterprise, critics of government must not be discouraged by name-calling. The press has contributed more to our national development and stability of our nation than any other institution. It survived the colonial masters and their draconian laws, as it did the military with its obnoxious laws and will survive PDP current attempt to exploit divisive issues of religion and ethnicity to undermine the integrity of its critics.
‘President Jonathan already has too many professional praise-singers massaging his ego. While they continue with their highly rewarding enterprise, critics of government must not be discouraged by namecalling’
people of the state are residing. Some of the rural roads that have been constructed include Ozu-Abam Ndi-Okereke Road, Amaekpu-Okagwe-Ohafia Road, Amankalu-AlayiAkoli-Imenyi Road, Ariam- Usaka-Ikwuano Road, NunyaEluama-Isuikwuato Road, Ovim-Isuikwuato Road, AbaObikabia Road, Umugo-Alaoji-Umunka-UmuodoUgwunagbo Road, the Ntigha-Mbawsi Road, Iyienyi-OkwoiOzuitem Road, Umueze-Agbo-Ubani Ibeku Road, Nkata Mbom Road, some internal roads in Ossah, and the AcharaIhechiowa Road. Being mindful of the popular saying that vehicles have become an article of dress without which we feel uncertain, unclad, and incomplete, Governor Orji had in 2009 rolled out the Abia City Transport Scheme which aside creating employment for the people, had equally resolved the perennial problem of lack of adequate and befitting intracity transportation in the state. Since then till today, more than 1000 vehicles have been given out by the state government under the Transport Loan Scheme and the beneficiaries of the scheme are giving testimony today. That is why it has been possible for the state government to able to provide free transportation for indigenes of the state living in different parts of the country during yuletide celebration. With the ongoing revolution in the roads construction and transportation system by the present administration in the state, which are two key factors in industrial growth, the state is now on the verge of reclaiming its past glory as the industrialized giant of the country. Especially at this point that the commercial city of Aba is getting adequate attention from the state government in the area of massive infrastructure development. • Dr. Uwa, a medical practitioner wrote from Aba, Abia State
‘Knowing that lack of adequate drainage channels have always been the bane of road durability in Aba, the present government demolished all illegal structures in the city which made it possible for the construction of giant drainage channels at AmaOgbonna and Ngwa Road by East to control flooding in the city’
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
How can the problem of carrying capacity be addressed in universities? Is it by establishing more universities? Yes, say some teachers; no, say others, reports KOFOWOROLA BELO-OSAGIE.
HE number of those seeking admission into universities yearly is staggering. No fewer than 1,735,720 candidates are seeking admission this year. But not up to half of them can be admitted. Why? Capacity problem. The universities have fewer spaces and so cannot take them all. The problem of carrying capacity has given rise to the clamour for more universities. But not all adacemic agree that the problem can be solved by establishing more universities. Even though the Federal Government established nine universities between 2011 and 2013 (three of which would start next year), and has announced plans to establish more mega universities, some academics and administrators are concerned that the coming of too many new universities would negatively affect existing ones; impinge on quality, and not actually help to solve the access problem. In interviews with The Nation, they identified problems that could arise from establishing more universities, including reducing the number of academics who are already being recycled by the existing universities; encouraging inbreeding, which would affect the quality of teaching and research; and using huge financial resources on starting the new universities without necessarily getting the desired results.
Universities for the sake of it? As serious as the access problem seems to be, some academic argue that it is not enough reason for establishing a university. They say universities establishment should be in line with strategic plans aimed at meeting the country’s development needs and not politics. Renowned researcher, Prof Pai Obanya faults the government in this regard. He said in an interview that the government has to be scientific in the way that it establishes universities. "African governments are playing very dangerous politics with higher education by simply siting institutions instead of establishing them. For geographical, for political reasons, you just say you are starting a university. Starting a university and creating a university are not the same thing. Because if you are to create and establish universities, the calibre, the quality, the orientation of those who will run that university and those who will teach in that university, would determine what then happens. So, first solution is to be more scientific in the way we decide whether we are going to have universities or not; and ensure that what we have are really universities, not just in name but in reality," he said. Former Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Prof Olugbemiro Jegede, who is now the Secretary to the Kogi State Government, said despite Nigeria needing up to 250 universities to cater for its huge population of youths, the process must be based on deliberate policies to meet certain needs. He said: "It is true that we need more universities. Nigeria with 170 million people has very few universities - even at 129. By our calculation with that population, Nigeria should have nothing less than 250 universities. But it has to be planned; it is not overnight. You have to ask yourselves where you are going to get the money to start the infra-
•Candidates waiting to write UTME at the University of Calabar.
Teachers on more varsities: yes; no structure. Where are you going to get the people? How will you train these people? How about paying them? How about structuring the courses? What are our priorities? At the moment, Nigeria does not have, as far as I know, a prioritised list of the area that we need to help us develop to 'x' years." With the aid of planning, Jegede said Nigeria can choose the kind of universities to establish such that they are able to help groom the right crop of professionals needed to grow various aspects of the economy.
More universities, fewer lecturers Many academics are worried that the establishment of more universities would create
‘I feel that what we have right now, if we properly manage, is adequate; because, unfortunately, we have a lot of mushroom universities, both private and public. We don't have the capacity for university teachers. So it is the same teachers we are circulating and that will bring down quality’
another crisis in terms of teacher supply. According to the report of the Committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Public Universities presented by the Education Minister, Prof Ruqayyat Ahmed Rufa'i, to the National Economic Council (NEC) in November, last year, there are 37,504 teachers in public universities. Only 43 per cent of these teachers have Ph.Ds, the minimum qualification accepted by the National Universities Commission (NUC) for lecturers. Twentyfive per cent of them are part-time lecturers, working in more than two institutions. The report described the situation as a crisis of manpower in the University System. University administrators, who feel this crisis more know what it means to deal with not having enough teachers. Prof Arinola Sanya, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) of the University of Ibadan (UI), said many universities are using the same lecturers, which would further reduce when new ones are established. "I feel that what we have right now, if we properly manage, is adequate; because, un•Continued on page 26
AAU lecturers, victims of kidnappers
"Then you begin to think what other universities, what kind of universities what specialty universities do we need for the different areas. I do not have any problem if we say I am establishing university of rice and cassava. All they do is to research on cassava and rice because Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world. Nigeria consumes the largest amount of rice," he said.
‘Varsities’ programmes are archaic’ -Page 38
•An eight-page section on campus news, people etc
Niger Delta students picket Orubebe’s office -Page 29
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
HE strike embarked upon by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in 18 states to press home their demand for the payment of the 27.5 per cent Teachers Salary Structure (TSS) and the new minimum wage did not affect Abia State. When The Nation went round Umuahia, the state capital, on Tuesday, pupils and their teachers were seen engaged in aca-
Abia NUT not for TSS strike From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia
demic activities. One teacher, Paul Kalu, told our reporter that they have been paid the new Teachers Salary Structure (TSS) and the new
minimum wage by the state government since the beginning of the year. Kalu added that teachers in the state are being paid their monthly due and on time too. One of the pupils who spoke with our reporter on the condition of
anonymity said that he has been attending school since beginning of the term. He added that the teachers have been regular in class. Speaking through a telephone interview, the Chairman of the Abia State wing of the NUT, Enoch Omeoga said teachers are not on
strike as directed by the national leadership of the union because the state government has complied with the payment of both the TSS and the new minimum wage since two months ago. Omeoga said the national NUT’s directive was meant for the states that have not started implementing the TSS and the new minimum wage which the Federal Government approved some years ago.
FGGC Ipetumodu PTA praises principal
•Pupils of Elias Secondary School, Oke-Odo, Lagos with professionals after a career counselling session at the school.
HE Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), Federal Government Girls’ College (FGGC), Ipetumodu in Osun State has lauded the good development going on in the school. In a statement signed by its chairman, Mr B. O Akande, the PTA attributed the school’s progress to the investment of the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja; the administrative expertise of the principal, Mrs O. S. Sallam, and the supportive role played by the parents through the association. The association accused an unnamed group of fomenting trouble for the school, disregarding efforts of all stakeholders to provide quality education for the girls. He said the PTA appreciates the FME for providing qualitative education in federal unity college despite the little fees charged the pupils. “The PTA equally appreciates the role of the Federal Ministry of Education in providing qualitative education to students in Federal Unity Colleges nationwide and
FGGC Ipetumodu in particular, through promotion of staff, regular payment of salaries, and provision of facilities, which have provided a conducive environment for teaching and learning,” he said. He praised Mrs Sallam for being an astute manager, describing her as “a mother and embodiment of hard work.” “It is pertinent to note that the PTA has being receiving steady support from the principal and her team. This cordial working relationship has made the association contribute positively towards the progress of the college. She has given our association the full cooperation and support needed to move the association forward,” she said. Mr Akande, who was reacting to complaints by some people about infrastructural development in the school, need for teachers, poor feeding, among others in the media, said the story “was orchestrated by a very few disgruntled elements who want to retard the progress of the college.”
• Prof Obanya
suggestion, saying it is not the solution to the problem. Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture in Umudike, Abia State, Prof Hilary Udeoga said capacity building of lecturers should go along with the establishment of new varsities. "I am perfectly in agreement with the need to establish more universities. While we are thinking of establishing more universities, we should also think of capacity building in different areas of knowledge. For instance, what the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) is doing in Nigeria is quite commendable. They provide the funds for sending our graduates abroad and even locally; spon-
soring the postgraduate programme. Other agencies should emulate TETFUND and that will go a long way to enable us address the lack of enough human resources to cater for the new universities that are being established," he said. Prof Suleiman Kuranga, Director Academic Planning, University of Ilorin, says with proper monitoring, quality would not drop when new universities are established. "There should be no worry about it provided that our regulatory bodies are up to it. They set up a strict monitoring and evaluation because the population is increasing. The only thing is that we should have a basic minimum standard which must be strictly adhered to," he said. Vice-Chancellor, Crawford University in Igbesa, Ogun State, Prof Samson Ayanlaja, advocates expansion of access through vocational training. "It may not be more universities, but more technical-oriented training centres. What happens to the 1.2 million candidates not admitted yearly? They have to be engaged in some type of vocational training that will give them skill so that they can get good jobs," he said.
Teachers differ over more varsities •Continued from page 25
fortunately, we have a lot of mushroom universities, both private and public. We don't have the capacity for university teachers. So it is the same teachers we are circulating and that will bring down quality," she said. Describing the problem graphically, Jegede said if universities continue to recycle lecturers without paying attention to producing more, the quality of research output would greatly reduce. He said: "The human resources we have in Africa are either being depleted or being recycled. When you start recycling, you are doing inbreeding. And when you start embarking on inbreeding, you can never talk about research; you can never talk about excellence. Now let me give an example. Nigeria has probably a pool of about 300,000 university lecturers. As at three months ago, we had 126 universities. Now, we have 129 something universities. The same 300,000 lecturers are revolving round these universities. Nobody is talking about long-term planning; let us see how can we plan and get this (number) of university lecturers in five years time then we can establish more universities or make sure they are there. "So what we are doing now is that it is possible, literarily in Nigeria now, for somebody who graduated who probably is an Assistant lecturer with a Masters degree, to become a professor in five, six years. It is becoming possible because of unbridled, unplanned proliferation of universities for reasons other than academics; for reasons other than serious thinking." Private or public, the problem of insufficient lecturers is the same, says Prof Timothy Jaiyeoba, ViceChancellor of Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, which is owned by the Anglican Communion. Of about 200 teachers in his university, he said about 120 are full-time workers. He said the establishment of new universities, has a negative effect on existing ones. "Both public and private proprietors should stop for now. The Fed-
eral Government needs to rest from creating universities.Because each time you create a university it has effect on existing universities since the staffing will be taken from the existing pool. So, each time they create, it will also be that they are destabilising the universities. That is why there is need for adequate planning. They should base it on market studies that more universities are required rather than for political reasons alone," he said. If new universities should not be established, what will be the fate of the teeming number of admission seekers leaving secondary schools yearly? Some academics suggest that the way out is the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode of education where students can enrol in universities and learn online rather than face-to-face. If more universities adopt ODL, Prof Olufemi Bamiro, the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan said the problem of access would become artificial. Through ODL, Bamiro said universities can admit much more than through the faceto-face mode. "We cannot solve the problem by brick and mortar, that is, creating more universities. Because first of all, the unit cost of all these new universities is so high. Why don't we leverage on technology? Go into ODL. That was what I did in U.I. We realised that how do we help the country to solve the access problem? As at that time, UI had only 12,000 students. But when you look at the assets we used just for them, if you calculate it, you will be talking of almost millions to support one student. Fortunately for me, I had one
Prof Francis Egbokhare, excellent guy. He was made the Director, Distance Learning. And he started. From 1,000 students that they had initially, they moved. And through the support of Mac Arthur Foundation, they grew it to 15,000. "You now look at it, face-to-face, we had only 12,000 students registered. In ODL, we had 16,000, which means in growing the ODL, the number of students involved in ODL are now more than face-to-face. But when you look at the cost, it is far less. Tell me how many universities we would have built if we were talking about brick and mortar that would take 16,000? The message is government should encourage existing universities to develop the two modes of delivery. As you are having your face-to-face, also be encouraging them to develop ODL." Jegede agrees that ODL is the way out of the access problem, urging the Federal Government to fund NOUN and others to fully develop the ODL mode, and improve the communications infrastructure so people can learn wherever they are. "One other area people have not talked about is ODL. People can now sit in their homes and learn, and take their degrees. That way, you spend less on infrastructure. You even spend less on teaching but you spend a lot of money in making sure that the communications industry is so well laid that everybody can communicate; every body can learn - just like Singapore did. Singapore made sure that they piped fibre optics into every house. Give Open University N10 billion alone and it will take one million people," he said. Some teachers kicked against the
‘You now look at it, face-to-face, we had only 12,000 students registered. In ODL, we had 16,000, which means in growing the ODL, the number of students involved in ODL are more than face-to-face. But when you look at the cost, it is far less. Tell me how many universities we would have built if we were talking about brick and mortar that would take 16,000?’
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
AAU lecturers at the mercy of kidnappers Lecturers can no longer work in peace at the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State because of incessant kidnap cases. However, they have resolved not to accept the situation any longer, reports OSAGIE OTABOR.
ORKERS of the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma in Edo State are working and living in fear of kidnappers. They go to work looking behind their backs not knowing whether kidnappers are lurking around. With hardly a month passing without a lecturer being kidnapped, one lecturer said they are now “ATM cards” for kidnappers. Their spouses are also easy target for kidnappers. The victims are usually snatched while returning from work or church between the hours of 6 and 7pm. Victims of kidnapping within the university community are increasing by the day. They include Prof. O.P.G. Nmorsi of the Department of Zoology, Prof C.O. Isiramen of the Department of Religious and Cultural Management, Esohe Enoma. Those whose wives have been kidnapped include a former vice chancellor of the institution, Prof. J. E. A. Osemekhian, Dr Ken Imarenezor of the Department of Physics and Microbiology and Prof. Raymond Aluede, Dean of Faculty of Education. The victims, it was gathered, are kept in an open forest until ransoms are paid and the perpetrators are yet to be arrested. Several unions within the university are spoiling for a showdown if nothing is done to protect them their spouses. Apparently tired of being at the mercy of kidnappers, the Academic Staff of Union of Universities (ASUU), AAU-Ekpoma chapter has raised an alarm over the incessant kidnapping of its members. In a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Prof. F. I. Esumeh and secretary, Dr. S. O. Omoikhoje, AAUASUU said they are living in perpetual fear as the situation is already affecting academic activities in the institution. “Academic work cannot effectively take place in an environment
where fear reigns supreme. The nefarious activities have assumed alarming proportion, since little or nothing has been done to apprehend the hoodlums. “We believe that the ugly trend has become a pattern and pervasive because little or nothing has been done to apprehend the hoodlums as they seem to be having a free day in their nefarious business,” they said. Chairman of Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), Comrade Dako Etafia, said they have resolved to stage a continuous peaceful protest but that they are careful that hoodlums do not to hijack the protest. He said: “It is a worrisome trend which all concerned members of the university community should think of how to get out of. The kidnapping is targeted at staff of the university. Nigerians should join us to think of a way out. Those involved are not unemployed youths. We don’t know who they are but they are in this community. The list of victims is long. Security should not be finding solutions to an incident that has already occurred. The security agents are not proactive enough. I see the management handicapped in curbing the menace. A married woman is tied in the open air in the forest. Their husbands would become emotionally unstable.” Chairman of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), Comrade Isirame Macauley, condemned the kidnapping, saying they have concluded plans to protest and go on rampage over the state of insecurity in the institution.
“The way the hoodlums are attacking and kidnapping our staff and their wives is not good. Security and awareness should be beefed up,” he said. Esumeh attributed the kidnappings to an operation of a cartel because of the pattern and timing of kidnappers. “If something is happening on a monthly basis, it is something we have to take seriously. We are not safe. I don’t see the kind of money we earn at the university that warrant the kidnapping of our members and their wives. “The sad thing is that you have to part with something before they are released. Our worry is that if this thing is occurring on a monthly basis, there must be some kind of cell or informant operating within Ekpoma and the security agencies have not been able to curtail or arrest anyone. We need more from the security agencies.” The ASUU chairman said they would be forced to stop working if the insecurity continues. “We are hoping the trend does not continue. We could discuss this thing at the national level and if our members are not safe, they shouldn’t be working. The NBA boycotted the court. I don’t know why lecturers are now targeted. Most of them have said they were kept in the bush. You can imagine somebody kept in the forest.” The Public Relations Officer of the institution, Chris Adamaigbo, said the management could only guaranteed maximum security within the campus and not outside.
‘It is a worrisome trend which concerned members of the university community should think of how to get out of. The kidnapping is targeted at staff of the university. Nigerians should join us to think of a way out. Those involved are not unemployed youths’
NYSC recognises 47 corps members
All courses accredited EKITI State University (EKSU), AdoEkiti is reveling in its status as one of the few universities with all its programmes accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC) The result of a visit by the NUC accreditation team to some matured programmes in November 2012 revealed that all the 45 programmes visited were accredited – 34 got full accreditation while 11 have interim accreditation. Programmes visited last year are in the Management Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Arts, Education, Engineering Science and Social Sciences. With this, the more than 70 programmes run by the University are accredited. The Vice-chancellor, Prof Patrick Oladipo Aina, attributed the feat to God’s grace, hard work of workers and students and the support of the state government. He urged all members of staff to continue to work hard to attain greater heights.
VC praises corps members
“We are praying that God intervene. We are working with security agencies to nipitinthebud.Wearepraying that God intervenes. By the time something is becoming incessant, we pray that it did not get to the level of lecturers fearing to come to classes. We are not aware if ransom is being paid. I am not aware of any arrest made so far,” he said.
OUTGOING corps members, who served at EKSU, have been admonished to imbibe the ethic of humility in their future endeavors. Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Patrick Aina gave, the charge during a send off organised by the university for the 2012/2013 “Batch B” corps members which took place at the O’dua Hall of the university. Represented by the Deputy Registrar in the Vice –Chancellor Office, Mrs Caroline Ogunsakin, the Vice-Chancellor reminded the excorps members of the challenge in the society and urged them to be focused. In his address, the Deputy Registrar, Information, Ajibade Olubunmi told the out going corps members to make sure that they engage themselves in positive endeavours pending when they would get better employment. Eighty-three corps members were given various gifts at the occasion.
OR constructing toilets, treating children with diarrhea and counselling pregnant woman, Dr Alamina Tamunobelema earned herself the Lagos State honours award at the passing out Parade of the Batch B 2012/2013 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme last Thursday. Dr Tamunobelema was one of the 47 honoured during the passing out of 4,010 corps members posted to Lagos for the Batch B service year. The 25-year-old, who said she spent close to N350,000 of her savings for the projects, also said she had always wanted to affect people’s life positively. She said: “I have said that irrespective of where I am posted, the tribe, religion or sex of people I meet, I would do something to be remembered for. When I got to Ibeju Lekki, I discovered that there was difficulty accessing toilets so I decided to build a public toilet for the people. I also treated children with diarrhoea and talked to pregnant women on what to and what not to do.” Dr Tamunobelema received the state honours’ award with six others. They are Eweru Egadebawen David, LA/ 12B/1558; Orok Etim, LA/12B/1499;
•Mr Ahmed (middle) and Mrs Adeyemi (4th right) and Dr Tamunobelema (4th left) at the event. By Medinat Kanabe
Lewis Sira, LA/12B/0556; Ihekire Chika, LA/12B/2382, Onugwu Julius, and Oholi Okechukwu. Fifteen others received letters of commendation while 25 received attestations for varying degrees of commitment and excellent performance. However, while some were commended, others had to be punished. The Lagos State NYSC Coordinator, Mrs AdenikeAdeyemi, said 19 corps members were disciplined, 11 absconded from service and would repeat the year
while eight are to have their service year extended from two to four months in line with the NYSC Bye-laws. She advised the corps members to display what the NYSC taught them, especially disciplined lifestyles and exhibit great qualities such as commitment to duty, dedication, selflessness, tolerance, and unwavering loyalty to our country. “It is said that leaders are not born, they are made and they are made just like anything else through hard work. You, therefore, owe this nation a duty to work hard where you go having
been exposed to hard work, hard training and self-disciplined in the past 12 months,” she added. Addressing the corps members, Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, represented by Dr Wale Ahmed, Commissioner for Special Duties and Chairman, Lagos State NYSC Governing Board, told the corps members to distinguish themselves by contributing to the socio-economic development of the state. “Your stay in Lagos State would have exposed you to the best ex-
ample of ethical tolerance that exists in this country. In Lagos you would have found persons of all tribes and creeds across Nigeria living peacefully amongst one another. You must, however, work hard to transform this nation by imbibing the attributes of tolerance that you have observed and enjoyed during your time here,” he said. He advised them to shun all acts of violence, corruption, nepotism, sharp practices and other vices that bedevil our beloved nation and help to inject greater elements of discipline and service into our national life.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
EDUCATION Council chair seeks exchange programme
HE Chairman, Governing Council, Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo, Ambassador John Musa, said he would seek the possibility of an exchange programme for the teaching of Nigerian languages in the Caribbean. Musa, who is also the Nigerian Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, spoke during his inaugural meeting with the College Community. He said Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago have a lot in common in terms of culture and it would be desirable to have lecturers from the School of Languages of the College teach Yoruba and Igbo in the country. He said the experience would broaden the
horizon of the lecturers. He added that yearly, the people of Trinidad and Tobago celebrate the emancipation of the country with lots of cultural activities similar to what obtains in Nigeria. During his visit to the palace of the Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo, the Ambassador appreciated the rich culture of Ondo Kingdom and invited the monarch to participate in this year’s edition of the emancipation festival in Trinidad and Tobago that will hold in August. Addressing the workers, Musa encouraged them to make use of any opportunity to improve themselves in order to enhance their productivity.
Rivers plans special school
HE Rivers State government has earmarked land for the construction of a school for special needs learners. The Commissioner for Education, Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi, who received some plots of land from Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority for the purpose at Mbodo-Elikpokwuodu, Aluu, said the state is concerned about empowering its youth through provision of qualitative education to all classes. She said the allocation of land for the school shows that education is a right for every child in Rivers State. “The allocation of land by the Greater Port Harcourt city Development Authority for the purpose of establishing a school for the physically challenged is an indication that education is a right for every child in Rivers State. “As a responsible government, we will continue to improve the
human capacity development of our youth through education. We promise to continue to work towards eliminating illiteracy from the state. “The Ministry of Education in conjunction with Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation will ensure the completion of this special school in no time. “Specially trained teachers and administrators will be assigned to take charge of the school for effective management of the students and facilities in the school,” she said. Lawrence-Nemi also thanked the Governor of the state Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for transforming the education sector in Rivers State. Also speaking, the Commissioner for Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Joe Poroma said the the land will enable the government to build a modern institution for the challenged in the state.
MTN donates digital libraries
HIS year’s edition of the 21 days of Y’ello Care, an initiative of MTN Nigeria through which its workers contribute to a noble course is putting more books and ICT knowledge at the disposal of school pupils. The volunteerism initiative, which will last between June 3 and 24, has as theme: Investing in education for all. Speaking at the opening last Monday, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Executive officer, Mr Brett Goschen, said workers of the telecoms giant will spend the next 21 days contributing to an enabling environment for learning as well as promoting digital learning in schools. He said: “Indeed, promoting digital learning makes up the core of this year’s Y’ello Care campaign, in keeping with our corporate vision to lead the delivery of a bold new
By Medinat Kanabe
digital world, we intend to take this to classrooms too.” Goschen, who spoke through the company’s Human Resource Executive, Mrs Aminat Oyagbola, added that the initiative includes, deploying nine e-libraries in schools across the country to encourage healthy study habits, promote a reading culture and increase access to digital technology among Nigeria students. He added that other projects includes the Y’ello book fair, which is aimed at encouraging workers to buy one book for at least one child to improve learning ability; TeachMeReachMe which entails actual classroom teaching and ICT awareness workshops as well as motivational talks; teach the teacher and who wants to be an Einstein.
•From left: Ifeoluwa, Temitope, Oluwafemi Oke and Raheem Ahmed, displaying their tablets.
‘I treasure the Opon Imo like my phone’
FEOLUWA Odetayo now has something he treasures as much as his cell phone. It is the Opon Imo (Tablet of Knowledge), a hand-held computer tablet preloaded with educational resources necessary for him to succeed in his secondary education. Though the Opon Imo was only launched by the Osun State government at a colourful ceremony in Ilesa, Osun State, Monday last week, Ifeoluwa has had it for more than two months now, during which time he has come to value it more than his physical textbooks. “I treat it the way I treat my own phone. I treat it with a lot of respect,” said the SS2 pupil of Ilesa Grammar School, in an interview with The Nation at the event. Ifeoluwa is one of the 150,000 SS1 and SS2 pupils that the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration is providing with the tablet in its bid to digitalise education as well as provide public school pupils with all the relevant textbooks and other materials to enhance performance in school and national examinations. Aregbesola said the tablet features an e-library containing 63 ebooks – 57 covering the 17 subjects examined by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) – and six others including a bible, dictionary, history of the Yorubas, Opon Ifa, and a book on enterprise education. The Opon Imo also features a virtual classroom where the pupils can take tutorials; an integrated test
•From Left: Company Secretary, MTN Nigeria, Mrs. Ukpanah Utoh ; Principal of Lanre Awolokun Senior High School, Gbagada, Mrs. Adams Ibironke Abiodun; Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation and Ms. Nonny Ugboma during the donation of digital library to the school
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
zone, where they can access more than 40,000 past questions for the SSCE and Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations; and educational games like chess, scrabble and others that can develop their intellect and critical thinking skills. With all these content packaged into a device that weighs just 1.1kg, 10 times less than his secondary school Physics textbooks, Aregbesola said the state is relieving the pupils of backache from carrying so many textbooks; the parents of the financial burden of buying textbooks for their wards, and saving the government at least N50 billion it would have needed to provide such rich content in hard copies. It is no wonder Ifeoluwa handles the device like a treasured possession so nothing happens to it. “I charge it all the time. When I am not at home, I keep it in its box,” he added. Ifeoluwa said he finds using the tablet to study more interesting than his hard copy textbooks. “I find it very useful – more than my textbooks. To be sincere, when one is reading textbooks one will get bored. This is more interesting. It is more equipped than our textbooks,” he said. Ifeoluwa’s classmate, Temitope Alake, is already implementing a personal timetable using his tablet. He said he gets more knowledge from the device. “I read from 5am to 6.30am in the mornings, and then I also read in the afternoons. For today, I have English and Biology on my timetable. I read English in the morning; in the afternoon, I will read Biology. The tablet gives me more knowledge,” he said. The tablet has replaced hard copy textbooks at Ilesa Grammar School. Ifeoluwa and Temitope said teachers come to the classroom with their own and just instruct the pupils to open to specific areas. “We use it in the classroom. I think all the teachers have it, so they use it to teach us. Every student just clicks on the page the teacher calls and read,” Ifeoluwa said.
With the use of the tablets in schools, the Osun State Deputy Governor and Commissioner for Education, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori, expects a reversal in the abysmally poor performance in the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations from next year. Mrs Yomi Mohammed, Head of Science Department at Ilesa Grammar School, shares her hopes. Already, she has noticed her pupils are more attentive. She added that the tablet has equipped them with the relevant textbooks they needed, unlike before when not all of them had textbooks. “They have been using it very well. It enables them to improve in their education because they have the different textbooks they need for the sciences. And after each topic, they have questions they can answer on their own,” she said. However, the pupils are urging the government to decode some of the tablets as it is denying them of enjoying all its features. For instance, Ifeoluwa said because his tablet has been fully decoded, he can have access to the virtual classroom, view diagrams on his textbooks and take mock examinations in the integrated test zone. Not so for Temitope. He said he does not enjoy all the features because when he gets to certain environments, the device asks for a code he does not have. “Some of us have this problem. The government should decode all the tablets so we can enjoy everything available,” he said. They also urged the government to distribute to all the pupils in the SS1 and SS2 classes as promised. “Some students, like the Head Boy of our school, have not yet got their own,” he said. The government has assured it has taken care of durability and power issues. Aregbesola said the tablet battery can last up to eight hours between recharges, while the device has been reinforced to survive rough handling by the young ones. The Nation observed that a few of the pupils had cracked the screen of their tablets, yet, they still worked.
‘I find it very useful – more than my textbooks. To be sincere, when one is reading textbooks, one will get bored. This is more interesting. It is more equipped than our textbooks’
How to build a Christian home
A grateful alumnus Page 31
*CAMPUSES *NEWS *PEOPLE *KUDOS& KNOCKS *GRANTS
CAMPUS LIFE 0805-450-3104 email: firstname.lastname@example.org THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
On May 29, some students from the Niger Delta held a rally in Abuja to mark President Goodluck Jonathan’s two years in office. The rally ended up in the picketing of Niger Delta Minister Elder Godsday Orubebe’s office because of his alleged refusal to see them. EMMANUEL AHANONU reports.
•The protesters chanting anti-Orubebe songs at the enterance of the ministry
PHOTO: EMMANUEL AHANONU
Niger Delta students picket Orubebe’s office I
T was May 29, a day observed by the Federal Government as Democracy Day. Some students from the Niger Delta gathered in Abuja for a “1000-man March” to mark President Goodluck Jonathan’s two years in office. They were led by the National President of the Niger Delta Students Union Government (NIDSUG), Tonbara Yalah. The peaceful rally degenerated to a protest against Minister of Niger Delta Elder Godsday Orubebe over his alleged refusal to see the students. The students arrived in Abuja in batches on May 28. Some were lodged at Niger Delta Hotels, Nyanya, Abuja. In their hundreds, they swarmed major roads and offices in Abuja on May 29, dressed in Tshirts,with inscriptions, such as: “May 29, our democracy is 14 years”, “Jonathan is 2
•Minister: you’re not organised years” and “Goodluck Nigeria”. The rally started at the Bayelsa State Government Lodge and Liaison Office on Plot 1038, Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama District. Tonbara, who described President Jonathan as “father of the nation”, said the union deemed it necessary to celebrate the country’s unity and existence after 14 years of democracy. He urged the students to conduct themselves as the procession moved from one place to the other, adding that they should peacefully express their educational challenges to the authorities without being violent. Tonbara had barely finished his address when a student of the University of Abuja
(UNIABUJA), Friday Anayi, burst out in anger, shouting that his institution had been abandoned by the Federal Government. This resulted into an argument among the students. For several minutes, the crowd was uncontrollable until it was discovered that the complainant was drunk. From Bayelsa State Lodge, the students went to the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) to make their position known on democracy. Initially, they stopped at the International Conference Centre (ICC) where the day was being formally marked. To prevent the rally from being hijacked by hoodlums, operatives from the State Security Service (SSS) and the police guided the procession.
At the NTA, the students were received by Mr Walid Odiola, a journalist. Tonbara said: “Education is one of the priorities if the Jonathan administration. Considering that the president is an academic himself, he has established more federal universities, increased the funding of the existing ones which has put a stop to industrial actions in our higher institutions. He has established schools for Almajiris in the North. Though we believe there are still more to be done by the president but he has shown that he is ready to effect the changes we desire in the education sector.” Other students’ leaders who spoke with the NTA reporter were the Speaker of the legislative arm of NIDSUG, Obada Akpomiemie, and Students’ Union Government (SUG) President of the University of •Continued on page 30
•Student dies in road crash-P32 •Students honour The Nation -P33
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
Pushing The supermarket Out
HILE on the queue at a supermarket trying to pay for purchases I made, I overheard two gentlemen discussing about higher education in Nigeria. From their discussion I was able to gather that they have children studying in universities abroad. A third shopper jumped into the discussion and challenged them for not being “patriotic”, and that it’s people like them that are “spoiling Nigeria.” The gentlemen, and those of us on the queue, were taken aback by his rather unflattering remark. Wanting further clarification to his remarks, they gently pulled him out of the queue to have a tête-à-tête. Not wanting to miss the opportunity, I pushed my shopping trolley aside and joined them as an interested observer, and what a discussion we had standing in a supermarket! The two gentlemen - graduates of the University of Ibadan (UI) and Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ife - wanted to know why he made the remark. He apologised for making such a sweeping statement given the fact that he had never met them before now, but he feelt strongly that we are not doing ourselves any good if we adopt an “escapist mentality” whenever we are confronted by critical issues. The gentleman that attended OAU calmly told him the reason he sent his three children abroad. According to him, his first daughter graduated from the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka with a second class upper degree. After the completion of her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), she applied to some banks for employment, three banks invited her for an aptitude test, which she passed with “flying colours”. The real test actually came when it was time for certificate presentation.
Agbo Agbo 08116759750 (SMS only)
•email@example.com They told her that they were only interested in candidates with foreign degrees. He claimed he did everything in his power, including seeking legal redress but it all fell on deaf ears. His daughter finally got employment with a non-governmental organisation. It was then he vowed that his three other children would not attend a Nigerian university. Since they are close friends, the other gentleman from Ibadan said he borrowed a leaf from his friend. proceed to the United Kingdom (UK) for his studies after his secondary education in Nigeria. After these explanations, we shifted our focus to proffering solutions out of the problem. We asked following questions: What about parents who would not have the resources to send their wards abroad? And how do we reposition our varsities to meet the challenges of the 21st century? So, how did we get here? I took my fellow discussants to what caused the outburst in the first place, and they were surprised at the whopping amount spent on educational tourism. Recall that the Chairman of the Committee of Pro-Chancellors in Nigeria, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN), stated a few months ago that Nigerians spend about N160 billion yearly on education in Ghanaian universities. He added that this amount is expended yearly on over about 75, 000 Nigerian students, a number which is only the size of about three big Nigerian public universities. Worse still, he said Nigeria’s budget for education in 2011 was not up to the N160 billion. What he obviously had in mind was the amount of money that the Federal Min-
istry of Education spent last year on Federal universities. Yet, that is not correct. Nigeria spent a little more than that on all the 24 federal universities and the nine newlycreated federal universities. Last year, Nigeria spent almost N200 billion on all the 33 old and new federal universities, not counting the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). This is N40 billion more than what the 75, 000 Nigerian students will spend this year on getting university education in Ghana. In the 2012 budget, the Federal Government allocated N400.15 billion to education. The implication is that 75, 000 Nigerian students in Ghana will spend almost half of this amount that the Federal Government will spend on education this year. Unfortunately, the reality might even be worse than this. A special report by the Daily Trust indicated that the total remittances by Nigerians to our students in Ghana, including school fees and living expenses, may be up to $2 billion (N320 billion) that is, twice the amount mentioned by Babalakin. These figures may or may not be correct, but it is instructive to note that Nigerian parents spend huge amount of money to sponsor their ward in Ghana. I pointed out that Nigeria and Ghana both started their first universities in 1948. Interestingly, the University College, Ibadan would have been the only university to be established in British West Africa in 1948, but for the protest by the people of the former Gold Coast colony. Both Ibadan and the University College of the Gold Coast were established on the recommendations of the Asquith Commission on Higher Education in the then British colonies. The Commission was set up in 1943 to make recommendations on the setting up of University Colleges in the British colonies in association with the University of London. Prior to the early 1980s, Ibadan led the league of Africa’s most prestigious universities, including the University of Ghana, and Makarere University, Uganda, University of Nairobi, Kenya, and University of Dar-esSalam, Tanzania – the last three were all established in 1961 and became part of Uni-
versity of East Africa in 1963. If UI was the leading light of the most prestigious universities in modern Africa from the late 1940s, what happened to Ibadan, in particular, and higher education in Nigeria, in general, forcing Nigerian students to go to universities in Ghana? The man, who kicked off the discussion said I should not compare Nigeria with Ghana because “we are better than them”. I refused, saying Ghana is close to home and that we share lots of things in common. Only two decades ago, we expelled them as illegal aliens in the “Ghana must go” episode. After Ghana, I also took time to try to explain what I know about Europe. The capital flight - without comparable to human knowledge transfer to Nigeria - is even worse when we look at the statistics on Nigerian students in schools in Europe and the United States. In the United Kingdom alone, Vanguard reported that in 2010, Nigerians boosted the UK education sector with N246 billion; this is over 60 per cent of the amount budgeted for education in last year by the Federal Government. True, we all know that a large percentage of Nigerian students attending universities in Europe and America are children of the elite who are supposed to make and implement educational policies higher education in Nigeria; or, in fact, the political leaders who are responsible to making crucial political decisions that can rescue higher education in Nigeria. If this is so, I would like to ask a fundamental question: why are our leaders standing by as standard in our tertiary institutions continues to fall? Without saying a word after my submission, I allowed them to have their say or probably educate me if what I’d said made no sense. There was a pin drop if not for the movement of shoppers around us. They looked at each other and the gentleman from OAU said: “It all boils down to the critical challenge of failed leadership in the country”. So, from comments about sending children abroad to school, we had to come back to why we have to send our children abroad. There are things that make no sense elsewhere, but are big issues here. Why would employers reject a candidate because he does not have a foreign certificate, though he is qualified? Does this make sense in any sane society?
Students picket Orubebe’s office •Continued from page 29
Calabar (UNICAL) Bassey Eka. From the NTA, the students moved to the Africa Independent Television (AIT) office, where they were welcomed by the Chairmans of DAAR Communications Limited, Chief Raymond Dokpesi. At AIT, students decried the country’s inability to meet the standard of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for education funding. The students returned to the Bayelsa State Government Lodge, where Tonbara praised his colleagues for the peaceful outing. He then led the students to the residence of Orubebe who could not attend to them despite a twohour wait. The students resolved to continue the rally the next day at the offices of Orubebe and other public officers from the Niger Delta region to “pay homage”. By 10am on May 30, over 100 students had converged on the 11th floor of the building of the Ministry of Niger Delta. After security clearance, Tombara and four other students’ leaders were allowed to see Orubebe to explain why they were visiting him. CAMPUSLIFE gathered that Tonbara pleaded with the Minis-
•The students preventing vehicles from entering the Ministry
‘The main problem we have in Nigeria is our inability to talk to our leaders. The essence of creating the Niger Delta Ministry is being defeated with the behaviour of people like Orubebe, who ordered us out like a common dog. This shows his incompetency. Let him resign or we will ground activities in the Ministry’ ter to address the students, who were waiting outside. Our correspondent learnt that the Minister was not convinced by the the students’-leaders explanation. Orubebe was said to have questioned why the students made such a move in the first place. One of those that met with the Minister told CAMPUSLIFE:
“Orubebe ordered us out of his office in anger and told us that we did not conduct ourselves. He even said that he did not have money to give and that even if he had money to give to us, he would not be happy to do so because we did not officially inform him of our visit. At that point, he ordered us out of his office. Imagine that
from a Minister from our region?” The students waited for another three hours in Orubebe’s office, threatening that they would not leave except Orubebe came to address them. On leaving the Minister’s office, Tonbara told his colleagues: “We had a very brief session with the Minister but the bottom line is that he told us he was displeased by the fact that we did not organise ourselves properly before coming to do the rally in Abuja. He said that he would not attend to us. “Even though I have all the resources to do the rally alone, is it out of place for us to come and see our Minister? Have you benefited anything since this ministry was created? Has the ministry impacted on you? Has there been any essence of the ministry? In unison, the students responded:
“No”. In a twinkling of an eye, the ministry’s activities were disrupted. Students blocked the entrance gate, preventing vehicles from coming in and going of the premises. From nowhere, several placards appeared, with inscriptions such as “Orubebe must go!”, “Orubebe is not competent”, “Orubebe, why are you denying Niger Delta students their right?”, “Orubebe, who made you a Minister?”, “Orubebe, you are selfish and incompetent” among others. For several minutes, the protesters chanted anti-Orubebe songs at the front of the Ministry’s gate. Movement was restricted as the students locked the civil servants in the office. Udofia Amanam, one of the students from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State, said: “The main problem we have in Nigeria is our inability to talk to our leaders. The essence of creating the Niger Delta Ministry is being defeated with the behaviour of people like Orubebe, who ordered us out like a common dog. This shows his incompetence. Let him resign or we will ground activities in the Ministry.” At 3:41pm, when the civil servants were preparing to close, Tonbara prevailed on the students re-open the gate. He told the students: “Orubebe will never come down because it may be a great shame to him. Let us end the demonstration.” In an interview with CAMPUSLIFE, Tonbara said: “Orubebe has not been living up to expectation; we came here because of his lacklustre performance as a Minister representing Niger Delta. This is why we came here to register our displeasure.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
A grateful alumnus Chairman, Global Fleet Group Jimoh Ibrahim has donated a building to his alma mater, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State. The building was opened last week, report OLUWAFEMI OGUNJOBI (400LLanguage Arts) and KEMI BUSARI (400Level Political Science).
HE challenge to build a world-class university has been embedded in the university system from the very start; the onus hereby rests on the Federal Government to rise to her responsibilities to awaken the dying education system in the country.” These were the words of Dr Jimoh Ibrahim, a businessman, at the inauguration and handing over of the Postgraduate College Building Complex at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State. Ibrahim, an alumnus of OAU, funded the project to assist in making the university comparable with world-class institutions, such as, Harvard and Oxford Universities, among others. Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Bamitale Omole, said the tempo of development in OAU could be
•Ibrahim (in fez cap) with Prof Omole (fifth right) and Prof Ndoma-Egba (fifth left) and other members of the management after the building was opened.
traced to the early commencement of postgraduate studies and research, which he said started two years after the establishment of the university in 1962. The VC said OAU was poised to pursue a virile postgraduate training at all levels and to effectively sway its admission policy in favour of postgraduate enrolment. Prof Omole blamed the inability of the university management to provide adequate academic facilities on underfunding, saying OAU spends N30 million monthly on power generation whereas the government only provides N3 million. The university sources for the remaining N27billion. He called on other alumni to emulate Ibrahim in order to help the institution attain its goal. “I just need two or three more
Jimoh Ibrahims for the remaining three years of my administration, then I can walk every morning with my shoulders high and with coffee in my hands,” Omole said, praying for the donor, whom he described as a “true son of the university”. He said the edifice would continue to produce skilled manpower for the various sectors of the economy. The Provost, Postgraduate College, Prof S.I. Oladeji, praised the philanthropic gesture of the donor, describing the inauguration of the building as a milestone in the annals of the university. He said the need for the building arise because of constraints faced by the college in the last one decade. Oladeji stressed that the postgraduate school, since 1981, had been stationed at the top floor of Block II in the Biological Sciences building,
adding that the new complex was an additional infrastructure that would help the institution actualise its vision in postgraduate studies. In recognition of his contribution to the development of OAU, Ibrahim was presented with a Distinguished Service award by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of OAU Governing Council, Prof Rowland NdomaEgba, on behalf of the management. Ibrahim described the Prof Omole-led administration as one of the most rewarding administrations in the university. He said the donation was nothing special, but his own contribution to the development of his alma mater. The business mogul bemoaned the rot in the education system, charging the Federal Government to make funds available to tackle the problem. “If it will take the
Federal Government to drain the nation’s reserve to fund the education sector, it should not hestitate to do so,” he said. Students trooped out to witness the event. Representatives of students’ associations praised the industrialist for bringing glory to the institution, urging other alumni to emulate him. President, Association of Campus Journalists, OAU chapter Aderemi Ojekunle, described the project as laudable, saying it would provide a serene learning environment for postrgraduate students. The inauguration was witnessed by members of the Governing Council, principal officers, royal fathers, Provosts of colleges, deans of faculties, staff and students.
Staff and students of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) in Awka, the Anambra State capital, have celebrated the fourth anniversary of the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Boniface Egboka. FRANKLIN ONWUBIKO (200Level Mass Communication) and OBY OKEKE (300-Level Mass Communication) report.
Four years of action I
T was a moment of joy for the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), the Anambra State capital, Prof Boniface Egboka. He was joined by family members and well-wishers at a thanksgiving to mark his fourth year in office as the fourth substantive VC since the university’s inception. Before he was confirmed, Prof Egboka acted as VC for a year. He has spent three years of his fiveyear tenure. Activities marking the celebration started with a consecrated mass at St. Joseph The Worker Catholic Chaplaincy, UNIZIK, Awka. Staff, friends and students attended the ceremony that was presided over by the Bishop of Ahiara Diocese, Most Revd Peter Okpalaeke. In his homily, Reverend Father Wencellus Ofojebe enjoined Christians to trust, believe and seek Christ at all times, thanking God for the grace given to Prof Egboka to do his job. He called on members of the university community to avoid conflicts. He said: “Come to the throne of the maker, love one another to build unity for the progress of the university.” Advising troublemakers not to
foment chaos, the Reverend Father said: “Troublemakers, let us come back and take the path of dialogue, path of love and of reconciliation. As we move to the last level, there is need for self-examination. For those of us who are immediate colleagues of the chief executive, we have a responsibility. Do not ever indulge in making the ViceChancellor a bad leader. If you are a member of management, you must show good behaviour. To the chief executive, do not be deterred in your good endeavour.” After the thanksgiving service, a reception was held at the VC’s residence, where the anniversary cake was cut by the VC, his wife, Ifeoma, and the principal officers. Prof Egboka described the celebration as an opportunity to review events and see how to improve on what has been achieved by his administration. He said by the end of his five-year tenure, he would have left legacies that would justify his administration’s stint in the institution. On Monday, the event continued with the inauguration of the institution’s Business School. Prof Egboka described the facility as paramount, saying people in the Southeast were predominantly business men and women, who he
•Prof Egboka being congratulated by members of staff after he inaugurated the School of Business
said would gain from the business school. He said the business school would resuscitate and breathe life into businesses in the country. The Director of the school, Associate Prof Patrick Akpani, described the commissioning as the dawn of a new era, noting that it would offer opportunity for potential business executives, managing directors and members of the private sector to acquire managerial, professional and academical skills needed to prosper in business. The VC and his entourage proceeded to the UNIZIK 94.1 FM for
a phone-in interactive session with members of the university community. On the same day, the university auditorium was filled to the brim for an inter-denominational service; a book launch and presentations in honour of the VC. The inter-denominational service, with the theme: “Such things will not be mentioned among you (1 Cor: 1, 10 -13)” was presided over by Revd Father Anthony Chiegboka. In his sermon, Rev Chiegboka urged the VC to remain committed and focused to the ideals of his
agenda to develop the university. He advised Prof Egboka not to discard constructive criticisms but to integrate them in his daily meditation. After the service, a book titled: UNIZIK Administrative cum Academic Growth and Advancement: A progress report for the Year 2012 written and edited by the VC was presented. The occasion was chaired by Chief Obi Onyali (SAN).
•Continued on page 36
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
Student dies in road crash •Two injured
WO days to the take off of first semester examination at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, the campus was hit by a tragedy. A 200-Level student of Public Administration, Semilore Amoo, died in an auto crash. Our correspondents gathered that the deceased was driving in company of his classmates - Sunday Eyitayo and Afeez Ganiyu when the incident happened. The vehicle, Toyota Corolla saloon car with registration number GNN 143 AA, somersaulted several times, leaving Semilore dead and the other two passengers injured. CAMPUSLIFE learnt Afeez took his father’s car in company of Sunday to check the deceased in his parents’ house located in Mayfair axis of Ile-Ife. The trio then left for campus to make photocopy of some materials to be read for a special elective paper, SED001, Semilore was supposed to take last Monday. As they were leaving the campus, the late Semilore was said to have volunteered to drive the car out of the campus. The deceased was said to have lost control of the vehicle on the Oba Adesoji Aderemi road, known as Road 1 on the campus. A student, who witnessed the incident, said: “The
•The late Semilore From Sikiru Akinola and Oluwafemi Ogunjobi OAU
driver tried his best to regain control of the vehicle but the car veered to the other part of the road and crashed. Like a scene from a Hollywood movie, I watched the car somersaulting several times.” Another eyewitness said the accident may have been caused by over-speeding. Semilore was said to have died instantly, while the other victims who sustained injuries were taken to the OAU Teaching Hospital for treatment.
•Wreckage of the car
The body was taken to the hospital’s morgue. Reliving the experience, Afeez told CAMPUSLIFE: “My father sent me on an errand with the car within Osogbo and I decided to quickly go to Ife to see my friends. I went to pick Eyitayo and both of us went to Semilore’s house to see him. We all went to eat together at a restaurant in Mayfair area of Ife. Semilore was not supposed to follow us back to Osogbo because we had already contacted some students who were travelling to Osogbo as well. “He told us that he wanted to
get a textbook for SED 001 exam. He was to take this morning (Monday) and we had to turn back to the campus. As we were leaving the campus, Semilore asked for the key to drive the car. That was all I remember.” Eyitayo said he sat beside the deceased in the car, but he could not tell what led to the accident. Some students claimed the victims were drunk when they were driving the car. A statement from the OAU Security Unit stated that the deceased drove the car beyond the 50-kilometre per hour speed limit indicated on the campus.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Bamitale Omole, Dean of Students’ Affairs, Dr Lateefat Durosinmi, Dean of Faculty of Administration, Prof Awotokun and Head of Public Administration department were among the people that received the remains of the late students from the mortuary for burial. The remains of the deceased have since been buried at his church cemetery in Osogbo on Sunday. Semilore, 24, hailed from Ilesha, Osun State. The deceased secondary school mate, Francis Obi, who is in 400Level Political Science, described the deceased as “a very jovial person”.
Students present poetry book
•Winners displaying their prizes
T was a period of excitement at the University of Calabar (UNICAL). The Nestle Nigeria Plc took its brand, NESCAFE, to the campus for a talent hunt show. The three-day event witnessed a large turnout of students at the Abram Odiah Stadium, the venue of the event. Bolaji Sax entertained the audience during the opening ceremony. Afterwards, the talent hunts contest started for music category. The first contestant, Timothy Abel, took the stage with performance of song by Adele titled: Someone like you. He thrilled the audience with his sonorous voice. Other contestants in the category stepped out to perform. Some were cheered, while others were booed by students, who were taken as panel of judges at the show. The audience decided the contestants that qualified for the grand finale.
NESCAFÉ thrills students From Sam Ibok UNICAL
The grand finale featured four categories including singing, dancing, comedy and disc jockeying. The venue was filled to the brim. The show started on a comical note as MC Lastborn, who anchored the event, entertained the audience with jokes. Dizzy, a budding rapper, also performed. The 15 contestants, who qualified for the final stage of the singing category, were introduced and ushered to the stage, after which they were given two minutes each to perform. At the end of the session, three contestants emerged winners. Votes by the audience were used to select winners for dancing, disc jockeying and comedy contests. Winners went home with items
such as flat-screen television, home theatre, and Samsung pocket galaxy phone. The first price winner in the comedy category, Joseph Isaac, 400Level Botany, whole smiled home with a 32-inch LCD television, told CAMPUSLIFE that he was elated to be among the winner. “I thank my follow students because they were the audience that served as the judges that supported me to be among the winner,” he said. Mr Paul George, Operation Manager of Oracle Experience Ltd, the manager of the NESCAFÉ campus tour, commended the large turnout despite the examination pressure. He thanked the Vice-Chancellor, Prof James Epoke, the Dean of Students’ Affairs, Prof Eyong Eyong, and the Students’ Union Government (SUG) for their cooperation.
HE event was meant to be the launching of a collection of poems titled:Our Legacy of Madness by the Weaver Club, University of Lagos (UNILAG), but it proved to be more than that as students took the opportunity to react to what could best be termed the conceit of the older generation. The title of the discussion Our legacy: What we got, what we have, what we shall give proved to be apt as it opened arguments on the perceived indolence of the younger generation. Mr Femi Macaulay, a member of The Nation’s Editorial Board, who represented the board chairman, Mr Sam Omatseye, described the conflict between the two generations as a flux. “It is a conflict of perpetual motion, you cannot stop the flow. The external varieties cannot be escaped. The moral conflict would remain the same. The change may not be natural but it is necessary,” he said. Prof Akachi Ezeigbo, a lecturer in the university, said different periods had different realities. According to her, there were instances in which the political class had failed the nation, especially in leadership. Although she observed that many young people were lazy nowadays but added: “There are some certain
From Hannah Ojo UNILAG
virtues which should be constant whether with the older generation or the youth.” Mr Joe Agbro of The Nation, who reviewed of the poem, noted that poetry had become an entry point for budding literary enthusiasts. “With an orange-hued cover showing a lady dancing effusively, in smiles, radiating joy, and expressive of realities, dreams, and desires, the 104 poems in Our Legacy of Madness range from cherry dispositions to the melancholy, from the playful to the serious, and from the mundane to the exotic,” he said. The President of the Weavers Club, Kayode Odumboni, a 300Level English, said the launch of the poem was a dream long delayed. “We had a story we wanted to share with the world; it was the story of the tragic situation of the present generation lost in between a hazy past and an uncertain future,” he said. Other dignitaries, who graced the event, included Prof Segun Awonusi, who represented the Deputy Vice Chacellor (Management Services), Dean of Students’ Affairs, Prof Olukayode Amund, and Prof Adebayo Lawal.
DELSU gets academic calendar
HE Delta State University (DELSU) has resumed for the second semester to complete the 2012/2013 academic session. In a special edition of the school’s bullet made available to CAMPUSLIFE last Monday, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Eric Arubayi, on behalf of the Senate of the university approved Sunday, June 2, 2013 as the resumption date, adding that lectures would start the
From Philip Okorodudu DELSU
following day. According to it, the second semester lectures is expected to end on Friday, August 30, 2013, while revision is expected to take place from September 2 to September 6. The semester examination will then begin from September 9 to September 27.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
Dept honours scholars
•Ikuforiji (middle, front row) and other lawmakers with the students at the Assembly complex.
HREE lecturers have been honoured with an Award of Excellence for their contributions to Statistics education in Nigeria. The Department of Statistics, University of Ibadan (UI) recognised the efforts of Prof Biyi Afonja, Prof Samuel Adamu and Dr Tinuke Johnson for deepening the knowledge of Statistics in higher institution. The dons were awarded during the 40th anniversary lecture of the department last week. Delivering a lecture titled: Statistics: Security, poverty and national development, Prof Olawoye Adegboye, a lecturer in department of Statistics, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), said it was poverty that tempted many people to engage in criminal activities, adding that security of lives and property should remain the primary aim of any responsible government. Prof Adegboye stressed the need for qualified statisticians, who should be able to keep adequate records that would project fortunes into the future of the nation.
From Nurudeen Yusuf LASU
recognise the students. After leaving the chamber, the students paid courtesy visit to an alumni of the institution including Hon. Sanai Ogunbiade, who is a former SUG president, representing Ikorodu 1 Constituency. Others visited by the students were Hon. Olusegun Olulade, representing Epe II Constituency, Hon Wahab Alawiye-King, representing Lagos Island II Constituency, who doubles as the Chairman, House Committee on Education, Hon. Olanrewaju
Layode, representing Badagry I Constituency and Hon Suru Avoseh, representing Badagry II Constituency. The lawmakers advised the students to be determined, hardworking and offer selfless service to the benefit of their colleagues. Speaking to CAMPUSLIFE, Speaker of the union parliamentary, Sadiq Sanni, 400-Level Computer Science Education, said: “The visit was informed by the need to acquire more knowledge of parliamentary processes, which will open members’ eyes to the challenges and gains of lawmaking.”
Prof Adamu, who was described as the father of Statistics in Nigeria, was said to have championed the establishment of Statistics as an independent department in UI in 1973. He specialised in Sampling Theory and Official Statistics and supervised many Master’s dissertations and PhD theses. Prof Afonja, was the first professor of Statistics in the UI and first Nigerian professor to successfully supervise a PhD candidate. He served as the Commissioner in the Ministry of Education of the old Western region. The honoree thanked the department for recognising his effort with award. Dr Johnson, who is fondly called Mama Johnson, was honoured for being the first professionally qualified female Statistician in Nigeria. She told CAMPUSLIFE that she was happy to receive the award on a day, which coincided with her birthday.
VC advises students on entrepreneurship
Union leaders visit Lagos Assembly EMBERS of the legislative arm of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) of the Lagos State University (LASU) have visited the Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA) to learn the business of lawmaking. Forty-four students drawn from the 10 faculties of the institution were received by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji. As the students moved into the chamber, the Lagos lawmakers were deliberating on a bill on Ikoyi Toll Gate. Ikuforiji stopped the discussion momentarily to
From Hammed Hamzat UI
EMBERS of the Nigeria Economics Students Association (NESA), Crescent University (CRESCENT), Abeokuta chapter, have been advised to take develop entrepreneurial skills. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kehinde Okeleye, gave the advice during a courtesy visit by members of the association to the office of the VC to kick off NESA Week. The VC said: “If you are an Economist and you have other skills, you are in business. It is you who will sell yourselves and your university as you are enhancing yourselves in the job market.” Also, at a lecture organised to mark
From Azeez Adagun CRESCENT
Plant Physiology and Crop Production Students’ Week, Prof Okeleye, in his lecture entitled Agriculture and sustainable development: Aspirations and the roles of stakeholders, described sustainable agriculture systems as those that were economically viable and meet society’s need for safe and nutritious food, while maintaining or enhancing natural resources and quality of the environment for the future generations. The VC encouraged graduates to start small scale enterprises to be able to sustain their progress.
Students expelled for exam misconduct
•Guest speakers and officials of the fellowship cutting the anniversary cake.
PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA
HE departments of Public Administration and Policy and Administrative Studies (PAS), University of Calabar (UNICAL) have expelled over 10 students, who were punished for examination malpractice during the last semester examination in the school. The expulsion was announced after members of the Senate Examination Malpractices Committee (SEMC) had interrogated and tried the affected students. Out of the 20 students, who appeared before the committee, five were exonerated but the rest were
By Uyoatta Eshiet
ment sent out their students for practical experience. Also honoured by the students was Mr Lekan Otufodunrin, the Online Editor of the newspaper. The students said Otufodunrin was honoured because of his contributions and support for students of the university on internship and training. They said it was a way of expressing their gratitude for selfless support and kindness shown towards members of the fellowship since inception. They described Otufodunrin as “our father” and “great source of support” to the group. Members of the fellowship prayed that God take The Nation to greater heights in the comity
of media houses. This year’s summit was held with the theme: Harnessing the developmental potentials of the media towards national building, and was attendended by the President of Nigeria Guild of Editors, Mr Femi Adeshina. Adeshina spoke on Emergence of new breed journalists: A sine qua non for nation building. Other speakers at the summit were Mrs Modupe Ogun of Channels Television and Mr Segun Adeoye of Tell Magazine. Others were Prof Ralph Akinfeleye, Chairman of UNILAG Radio, Prof Olukayode Amund, Dean, Students’ Affairs and Dr Abayomi Daramola, Head, Mass Communication Department, who was the chief host.
either suspended for one or two academic sessions or given outright expulsion. Reacting, one of the exonerated students, who did not mentioned his name, thanked God for “vindicating” him. A 200-Level student, who identified himself as Kingsley, charged students to always read for exams rather than engaging in cheating. Efforts made to reach the Heads of the departments proved abortive.
21 Corps members bag state awards
Students honour The Nation HE Communicators for Christ Fellowship (CFC) of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos (UNILAG), has held the fourth edition of its yearly Academic Summit where The Nation Newspaper was honoured for its support for students’ cause. The students, while presenting the award to the newspaper, noted that the media house was honoured in recognition and appreciation of its support and benevolence toward the group since the inception of the Students’ Holiday Internship Programme (SHIP) initiative four years ago. The President of the group, Abosede Omoruyi, said the SHIP initiative was a platform where Mass Communication Depart-
From Emmanuel Ahanonu and Ogar Monday UNICAL
HE Commissioner for Youths and Chairman, Governing Council of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Enugu State, Chijioke Agu, has commended the outgoing Corps members of the 2012/2013 Batch ‘B’ for rendering selfless services in the development of the state and the nation at their various places of primary assignment. He spoke at the passing-out ceremony for the Batch B at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu. While charging the youths to prepare for the future, Agu said: “Don’t see the end of the NYSC programme as the end of your service to the country; it is the beginning. Be prepared at any time to serve your country whenever you are called upon.” The ceremony was attended by the
From Tosin Adesile NYSC ENUGU
State Governor Sullivan Chime, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi; Enugu State Coordinator of the NYSC, Mr Hilary Nasamu, and Special Assistant to the Governor on Youths and Mobilisation, Dr. Barthlomew Ezeugo among others. Governor Chime appreciated the Corps members for their stay in Enugu and advised those who wished to contribute to the development of the state to stay back. Nasamu praised the youths for the service rendered. He said out of 3,096 Corps members who passed out, 21 bagged state honours, governor’s award while 11 got the state Governing Board’s Chairman’s award.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
CAMPUS LIFE Graduating students of the Department of Physics in the School of Electronic and Computer Technology, University of Calabar (UNICAL), have held a seminar on erratic power supply. STANLEY UCHEGBU (500-Level Accounting) reports that the students suggested how the country can tackle its power challenges.
HE course, ECT 5591, is part of the requirements for them to be graded and awarded Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree. The seminar topic dissected their power problem facing the country and how to end the challenge. The discussants were final year students of Physics Department, in the school of Electronic and Computer Technology, University of Calabar (UNICAL). The topic for the three-day seminar was: Erratic power supply in Nigeria. According to the course lecturer, Eyo Ukem, an engineer, the rationale behind the seminar was to identify causes of epileptic power supply and proffer solution through research. The first presenter, Emmanuel Ogar, in his argument, quoted the Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, who recently spoke about the worsening power supply in the country. He argued that Nigeria recorded 1,112 megawatts (MW) drop in electricity within two days because of the disruption of a gas pipe. He said 10 per cent of rural dwellers and about 40 per cent of the country’s total population have access to electricity. “More shamefully is the fact that Nigeria cannot generate 4,000MW, while South Africa whose population is a frac-
•The students with Ukem after the presentation.
Solving the power problem tion of Nigeria is currently enjoying 44,000 megawatts with plans of improving on it,” Emmanuel said. Highlighting the implication of the power challenge, Emmanuel said there was no manufacturing
industry and institution not affected by the irregular power supply. “In the education sector, erratic power supply has impeded smooth teaching and learning process; this has affected our standard of education. Several students’ practical
classes and seminars have been postponed and sometimes cancelled due to power interruption,” he said. He said the fortunes of the manufacturing sector were dwindling, noting that companies, such as Mitchelin, Dunlop and Ovations
Magazine had relocated to Ghana because of the poor state of Nigeria’s electricity supply. He argued that cost of production and delivery of goods and services had increased because of the erratic power supply. Proffering solution, Emmanuel said the country must look into renewable sources of energy by exploring potentials in resources such as water, wind and solar energy, bio-fuel, biomass and biogas. He said the country could adequately generate power from renewable energy. Victoria Odey, a another student, said for Nigeria to make progress in generation of electricity, “government must tackle corruption and other human problems facing the country.” Speaking with CAMPUSLIFE after the seminar, Nnamdi Ezenwodi, a student, said embargo should be placed on the importation of generators, stressing that nobody should be allowed to generate power privately. “By this option, the problem will not be individual’s challenge but everybody’s problems. Therefore, drastic measures would be taken and implemented in solving the problems of power failure,” he said. Other students, who spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, hailed the Head of Department, Dr Victor Obianwu, for ensuring that the seminar was a success.
Hundreds of Christian youths from some higher institutions gathered last weekend at the Nigerian Christian Institute (NCI), Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, for their annual retreat, with the theme: The Christian home. EKENE AHANEKU (200-Level Optometry, Imo State University) and IFEANYI EWUZIE (100-Level Accountancy, National Open University of Nigeria) report.
How to build a Christian home
OR three days, Christian youths from some higher institutions gathered at the Nigerian Christian Institute (NCI), Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, for their annual retreat, with the theme: The Christian home. The event started with registration of participants, who came from all parts of the country. After a few hours of interaction, one of the organisers, Mr O.E Mkpong, addressed them to conduct thematic analysis. Afterwards, there was a joint devotion of praises and prayers. The following day, activities started with the youths engaging in sports. For the football matches, the youths were divided into four groups - Bethany, Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Galilee – which had both male and female teams. The Bethany team won the trophy in the male category; Bethlehem won the female contest. The games, which the organisers said were to bring the youths together, were fun-filled. The sport was followed by a series of seminars and counselling to increase the knowledge of the participants about Christianity. The lectures featured four keynote speakers. Pastor Emmanuel Inyang started the seminar, with the subtheme: Blueprint for the Christian
home. Also, Pastor Moses Obakemi took the youth on The roles and responsibilities of the Christian home. The participants enjoyed the counselling session, which was presided over by Dr Fidelis Udofia and Pastor Usen Ekpo. Sister Atim Ekpa and Sister Imaobong Essien spoke to the female participants on issues affecting them. On the third day, the youths were taken on ministration session, with the topics: Youth-parent relationship and When we are in crisis by Pastor Chris Nwanguma. The session tackled challenges facing many Christian homes, which have led to a break down of Christian values. After the lectures, there was a session where female participants were taken on marriage issues. Modecai Chizua, a student of Accountancy at Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana, Ebonyi State, said: “The marriage session was very educative. I will take the message back to my campus and advise my fellow students to remain with the Lord because we can only look up to God for solution to our challenges.” Nsikak Isong, a student of Religion in NCI, said: “The retreat has come at the right time given the manner with which many youths
•Some of the participants from the Southeast.
•Cross section of participants at the retreat.
abandon the path of God to engage in satanic activities. After series of ministrations, I was reassured that God remains the answer to any tribulation any human can be facing. I commend organisers for the programme.” Jane Udeme, a student of Efficient Computer Training Institute, Calabar, said: “I really enjoyed the programme, but there was no
measure put in place to ensure that all the participants were fed. I want the organisers to make provision for foods when the programme comes up next year.” Speaking with CAMPUSLIFE, Secretary-General of the Central Planning Committee Mr Frank Francis said: “This event started 16 years ago as a forum of Christian students. Over the years, we
have tried tirelessly to bring in innovation and improve on it. Some people have complained about the age limit for participation, which is pegged at 20 years. I must say that age is a thing of the mind but in this part of the world due to the behaviour of some youths, we decided to fix an age limit for the programme. We believe with this, we can serve the youths better and also have control over them.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
FTER years of research and hard work, scientists came up with chemical substances that affect the functioning of living organisms. The manufactured substances are called drugs. But like every other human invention, abuse of the invention followed. Drug abuse is associated with the excessive use of drugs, which makes the user dependent on the substance. However, according to Encarta dictionaries, drug abuse is the deliberate use of illegal drugs or too much use of a prescribed drug. In other words, it would not be entirely wrong to say an average Nigerian abuses drugs, since self-medication and over-dosage remained common practices among young and old Africans. However, this article focuses mostly on drug abuse as the deliberate use of illegal drugs. Substance abuse on the other hand, refers to the excessive consumption or misuse of a substance for the sake of its non-therapeutic effects on the mind or body, especially drugs or alcohol. Abused drugs and substances include anabolic steroid, which is used to enhance muscular developments, and psychotropic agents, taken mainly to affect the user’s mental state and to produce changes in feeling, moods and perception. The latter includes heroin, hallucinogens, barbiturates, several forms of cannabis, cocaine, alcohol and so on.
Drug abuse and students Drug abuse among young people is a problem countries of the world are facing. This phenomenon which was once unheard of in Nigeria has become a source of concern since cocaine, marijuana (Igbo in local parlance), now SK or skunk, have become first-choice drugs among many students of Nigerian higher institutions. Many reasons have been advanced for the use and abuse of the substances. One of such is individual’s social environment. It is believed that one’s behaviour in adulthood is a reflection of the input of one’s social environment as a child and teenager. As such, if a young child is born into and develops in an environment where drug and substance abuse remained prevalent, there is possibility that the child would end up a potential drug abuser. Another reason can be adduce to personality disorder and the socioeconomic challenges. In our society, there are individuals with psychiatric disorder, which is known as personality disorder, which makes it difficult for them to get along with other people or succeed at work. Thus, the sufferers turn to such drugs and substances like alcohol for succor. According to a study, other rea-
sons that can be associated with drug abuse include stress, drug availability, peer pressure and the desire to be sociable. The last two top reasons why students in higher institutions engage in drug abuse. Students and youths in general, who take and abuse these substances take them on the grounds that it increases one’s social status and make them into “big boys” or “big girls” and gives them “swag”. To many young Nigerians, this is seemingly true. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. The consumption of such substances only causes problems the consumer did not have before dabbling into the use and abuse of those drugs. One major problem that arises from consumption of these substances is dependence. That is, the compulsion to take the substances despite decline in physical, social or mental activities. More so, the abused drugs are not sold at cheap price. Thus, those that are not economically buoyant and who are drug abusers have to work hard or do everything possible to make money to use in buying of such illegal drugs and substances. Physical dependence becomes visible when the withdrawal syndrome occurs. This is an involuntary
illness that occurs when drug intake is reduced or stopped. The psychological dependence is indicated when the user relies on such substance or drugs for a feeling of wellbeing and the user becomes obsessed and is capable of doing anything to obtain and use the drug. Other problems that arise from drug and substance abuse are dangers of infection with venereal diseases including HIV/AIDS, lung cancer and coronary heart diseases. Furthermore, excess use of alcohol has been proven to be a major cause of road accidents, violent crimes, low academic performance and even family instability. The government has initiated various measures to contain the menace of drug abuse with the establishment of institutions such as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). However, more work still needs to be done. Even though we acknowledge the efforts of the government in fighting the menace that is destroying the lives and further of the youths, there should not be slowdown in the efforts to combat the nuisance. This should not be viewed as a
By Emeka Attah
When I spoke with her after my baby’s delivery, she sounded so down but not without thanking God for me. I also prayed for her safe delivery. But, little did I know that it was the last time I would ever hear her voice. Ngozi used to call me “the big man”. The legendary Lucky Dube sang in the Trinity album that “Big boys don’t cry” but I wept like a baby at the cemetery in Yaba, Lagos the day Aunty Ngozi’s body was buried. I have stopped weeping but the sorrow Aunty Ngozi’s death left in my heart is yet to disappear. Today, my baby, Victor Chisom, is taking measured steps as he just started walking. I also remember the late Aunty Ngozi’s son, Chima. I imagine how it would have been if Aunty Ngozi were to be alive. I remembered her aged mother how she cried her heart out on the burial day, beseeching the Blessed Virgin Mary to guide the return of her departed daughter. I also imagined all the dreams she had for CAMPUS LIFE writers and the bond and affection among us. I write not to mourn Aunty Ngozi but to celebrate her eventful life. I have written several ground-breaking stories that made great impacts on the society but, in all, I celebrate the woman that first told me that I write well. I celebrate the woman who revolutionised campus journalism in Nigeria. The one who blazed the trail and came out with the original, which others are copying today. The late Aunty Ngozi’s life has continued to justify the saying of the late Pini Jason, who said life is no more measured on the number of years spent on earth but more on the legacies left. Some people are dead but they are more alive than most of the living, who are disturbing the peace of the world today. Those of us, who passed through Aunty Ngozi’s mentorship, must carry her torch of excellence everywhere we go. We are proud and we thank God for meeting her. There are lots of memories of what I shared with Aunty Ngozi and how she shaped my views about life. Presently, things are looking up but I think with the passage of time, when I will release my life memoirs, her role will be prominently mentioned. To live in the hearts of those who loved you is not to die. Aunty Ngozi didn’t die. I feel her, I imagine her and her shadow still looms large behind us even one year after. Not even the passage of years can erase her activities on earth. Aunty Ngozi, may your light continue to shine in the world forever. Amen. •Emeka, ex-CAMPUSLIFE writer, is Chairman, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Anambra State Branch.
mere newspaper article but an outcry to every student in higher institution to act as not just an agent of change but also as moral voice of our society. Each and every one of us should help sensitise and sanitise our institutions. Spread the word about the dangers of drug and substance abuse through public lectures and in collaboration with relevant agencies to reduce drug abuse and dependence. The youths must remember that we are the leaders of tomorrow and no great nation wants to be ruled by a drug addict. •Peace, 200-Level Law, UNILORIN
The right music for youths
Ngozi: Ode to campus journalism doyen OW time flies! It was just like yesterday but 12 months have passed since the demise of the Amazon, a woman with giant strides, who combined beauty with brains, Mrs. Ngozi Agbo (nee Nwozor). I remember the phone call. It was on May 29, last year, while coming back from the Democracy Day rally at Emmaus House in Awka the Anambra State capital. My phone rang and I checked the caller’s identity. It was Gilbert Alasa, a member of CAMPUS LIFE family in the University of Benin (UNIBEN). I did not tarry to pick the call, despite that I was driving. Gilbert said: “Have you heard?” Before I could respond, he dropped the bombshell: “Aunty Ngozi is dead”. I shouted and nearly lost control of the steering before parking the car by the road side. The first 15 minutes were moments of grief. “It can never be true,” I told myself but when I put a call to Aunty Ngozi’s assistant, Wale Ajetunmobi, he confirmed my worst fears. I spoke with Aunty Ngozi six days before her death. My wife was delivered of a baby boy through caesarian section in an Onitsha hospital. My wife was still in a deep anaesthesia-induced sleep when I called Aunty Ngozi to break the news. My calling her immediately after the delivery was deliberate. Then, she was heavy with her own baby and both of us used to crack jokes on how nice it would be when I become a father. She would tell me that I would be the first among the CAMPUS LIFE writers to do that. Also, the fact that she would also become a mother at the time was something we eagerly awaited.
By Peace Adeoye
By Adebisi Adeniji
S a child growing up, I was told by my music instructor that music is any sound that is pleasing to the ears; brings joy to the mind and gladdens the heart. Music is largely believed to be the food of the soul in the same way meat is of great importance in the nourishment of the body. Music is the nourishment of the soul. The power of music is felt in every sphere of life. Music is a spirit on its own, which intoxicates. With the right music, the right mood can be set. In the words of the great thinker, Plato “music is a moral law; it gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything; it is the essence of order and lends to all that is good, just, and beautiful”. Music is believed to have therapeutic properties, which calm the mind and restores peace to an otherwise disturbed soul. Till today, the efficacy of music is infinite. Some students cannot assimilate what they are reading if they do not listen to music while reading. In some hospital, surgical procedures are carried out with cool music being played at the background. Some sculptors also derive inspiration from listening to good music. Patients with specific mental conditions are made to undergo musical therapies as it is believed to aid the healing process. Music relaxes the body and the whole being. In the words of a fourteen year-old, “when my earphones are plugged in, the world is shut out.” Has anyone ever wondered the magic behind lullaby that drives a toddler into sleep? Such is the power of music. Noise on the other hand is sound that is unpleasant to the ears, irritate and annoy them. It is therefore saddening that the Nigerian music industry today reel out noise under the guise of making music. One does not understand why there is such a decline in the quality of music being doled but the fad now is that musicians now disturb our ears with dirty songs with no clear messages. Such songs hide behind the façade of good beats to corrupt the soul and the mind. Music is supposed to be the food of the soul but what happens when the soul is fed with the wrong type of music? It becomes malnourished and diseased. We all wonder the reason moral values among youths continue to decline. This is not unconnected with the type of the music favoured
by this component of the larger society. The songs are like radioactive wastes, seemingly harmless but in reality, it poisons the soul of whoever listens to it and deprives it of moral and psychological values. Songs with little or no moral message are favored by today’s youths, the kind of music the elders cannot listen to without flinching. The messages being passed across by these songs are one that espouse misdemeanour and glorify all manners of vices leaving one to wonder if these songs were subjected to the Censor Board vetting. Musicians compose and make music people want to hear, thereby throwing their talents away in the process. Good music sang by maestros such as Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey are not appreciated by the youths. These are the musicians who passed the right messages with their songs, but their songs are written off by youths as old-fashioned. The growing number of delinquent crime being experience in the society may not be unconnected with the examples being laid down by the so-called artistes, whom youths are emulating as their role models by copying their ways of life. For instance, the act of sagging is made popular by hip-hop artistes. Today’s musicians live detestable lives, drink excessively and engage in drug abuse. There are musicians who have changed the world with their music and impacted us positively. The likes of Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Onyeka Onwenu, Victor Olaiya and even in recent times, artistes such as 2face, 9ice, Dare Art-Alade, Sound Sultan and Faze have continued to wow the audience with moral and good music. However, these individuals are few when compared to the keep-on-rocking type. What then can be done to reverse the situation? The National Censor Board should do a painstaking job in determining what songs and videos should be released for public consumption. Bad songs and music video enjoy massive airplay in various media stations. Songs that do not have positive messages should be banned and people that release such songs illegally (that is, without the knowledge of the board) should be sanctioned. In addition, awards should only be given to deserving musicians and the songs being recognised should meet the criteria of good beats, right content and right messages. Furthermore, there is a need for value reorientation among the youths. The kind of music a young man listens to is influenced on him by peers. Socrates said: “Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful.”Morally, youths should learn to differentiate between right and wrong. They should be made to have access to the right music, which carries the right message. •Adebisi, 300-Level Communication and Language Arts, UI
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
Students tasked on cleanliness
TUDENTS of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) have been advised to be sensitive on issues relating to personal hygiene. The admonition was made by the Director of Health, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Mrs Clara Ogbeide, during a health seminar organised by a nongovernmental Organisation being co-ordinated by Miss UNIBEN, Faith Ogbe. The seminar, titled: Implication of an unhealthy environment to female personal hygiene, which was to educate female students on how to take care of themselves and how to keep a clean and healthy environment, took place at the university’s Theatre Hall, Ekenwan campus, Benin City. “My focus is to achieve a hygienic culture by assisting relevant institutions and organisations to maintain high level of environmental hygiene and to assist relevant health institutions in the fight against all kinds of diseases that can deprive the girl-child of
From Esther Mohammed UNIBEN
her joy,” Faith said. Ogebiede urged the students to always consult health expert whenever they noticed changes in their body. This, she said in reference to the fact that most female student do not open up whenever they experience changes in their body. “When you notice any abnormal change on your body as a lady, you are supposed to report these issues to health practitioners so they can know what the problem is, but when you decided to keep these problems to yourself, the end result is not always good, as it has lead a lot of women to become barren,” she stated. Also speaking, Mrs Sandra Omoridion, a Public Health nurse, emphasised the need for young women to be proactive on health issues. Some of the participants at the seminar commended the initiative at the end of the seminar. •Faith (middle) with some of the participants after the seminar.
On and Off Campus By Solomon Izekor 08061522600
Four years of action •Continued from page 31
Reviewing the book, Provost, Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Prof Josephat Ogbuagu, represented by Dr Samuel Eyibe, a lecturer in the department of Curriculum Studies, described the VC as an intellectual and administrative titan. The book, he said, chronicles the achievements and growth of the university.
Prof Egboka said he was grateful to God for having led him and his administration to record success in a short period. Governor Peter Obi, represented by the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Prof Stella Okunna, advised the VC to leave the institution better than he met it. Highlights of the events included musical performances by students of Music department; drama and masquerade appearances by Theatre Arts department troupe.
Faculty holds public lecture
HE Twin Theatre of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, was filled to the brim as students of the faculty thronged the theatre to witness the launching of the faculty’s almanac and public lecture titled: The pharmacy profession: Leadership prospect and approach for young pharmacists. It was organised by the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students (PANS), ABU chapter. The keynote speaker, Dr Ayuba Tanko Ibrahim, charged students to participate in politics in order to have good leaders. He said: “A leader is someone who inspires with the power and capacity to influence peoples’ behavior and achieve good goals. For anyone to be a good leader, he must have mission, vision, integrity, intelligent and endurance.” The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Abdullahi Mustapha, who was
From Awwal Mijinyawa and Hauwa Muhammed ABU
represented by Prof Adamu Kasimu of the Sciences Faculty, described pharmacy as a noble profession that is respected. He said no society could survive without pharmacists. The Mother of the Day, Dr Hadiza Nuhu, urged the students to work hard to make Nigerian a better country. The President of PANS, Ibrahim Hamidu, said: “This event is a grand success. Being the PANS president is not an easy task, but I am very glad to be part of this faculty. I use this opportunity to thank all the invited guests and my fellow students for making the occasion successful.” Some students at the event praised the organisers for the programme. Hussaina Muhammad Kolo, 500Level student, said: “Today is a remarkable day and this event will not be forgotten in the history of PANS.”
•From left: Prof Olukayode Amund, Prof Akachi Ezeigbo, Prof Adebayo Lawal and Mr Femi Macaulay, a member of The Nation’s Editorial Board, who represented Board’s Chairman, Mr Sam Omatseye, displaying copies Our Legacy of Madness, after it was launched at the Arts Lecture Theatre, University of Lagos…last week. PHOTO: HANNAH OJO
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
EDUCATION IG offers student scholarship •New VC for Tansian varsity From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi
NSPECTOR-GENERAL of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar has granted scholarship to Cynthia Ovia, a graduate of International Relations/Political Science from Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra, to study Psychology/Criminal Law in Britain. Chancellor of the university, Prof John Bosco Akam, who revealed this while presenting the new Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof Edward Orji, to the university community announced that the gesture was because Cynthia won a state award during her youth service in Anambra State. He informed that aside Cynthia, who is a Deputy Superintendent of Police, three other graduates of the school who won state awards during the NYSC, were Daniel Amadife (International Relations), Joseph Markus Adam (Political Science) and Umenwanne Patricia Chinwendu (Microbiology). Presenting the new Vice-Chancellor, Akam said that Orji, a professor of Environmental Biology, Biotechnology and Agro forestry since 2004 takes over from Prof Nduka Uriah whose five-year tenure has ended. On his part, Orji thanked God that he emerged after a competitive interview session with 10 other outstanding professors. He said during his tenure, skill acquisition and academics would go hand-in-hand for graduates to be entrepreneurs and learn kills and be job creators and not job seekers. He added that his administration plans to start a postgraduate school as well as establish more schools, dealing with natural sciences, environmental sciences. He promised to hire more qualified professors and lecturers both on part-wtime and adjunctant. Prof Orji warned against factionalisation among and students.
Rector urges students to shun cultism
ONE of the 4,800 new students of the Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin-Ladi, will join a cult group unless he or she wants to leave the institution. The Rector, Mr Dauda Gyemang, has listed cultism among the nogo areas for the students. He has also named groups or associations they should not join. Speaking at the matriculation of the students, Gyemang said they should be wary of associations with seemingly harmless names as they could be dangerous. “Be wary of students’ association like the Amazons, Temple of Eden, Gentlemen’s Club, Sea Dogs, The Jurist, National Association of Air Loads, Daughters of Jezebel and the Black braziers, among others. These names may sound funny and harmless, but they are very dangerous and deadly,`` he said. He urged them to be serious with their studies given that only 40 per cent of the 12,000 candidates who applied were admitted to study
From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos
Arts, Social Science and Pure Sciences courses, only 4,510 were admitted. “It may interest you to note that the institution received a total of 12,000 applications for the 2012/ 2013 academic session. However, only 4, 800 students were offered admission based on the school’s carrying capacity. “You should, therefore,count yourselves lucky to have scaled through the rigorous process of our admission exercise. You were able to make it because you are the most qualified,” he said. Gyemang assured the students that the institution would groom the students academically and mould their character to excel in various endeavours. To this end, he said that the institution is committed to providing the necessary infrastructure, and has entered into partnership with the Waterfall Institution of Tech-
nology, Ireland and ICT University Louisiana, United States, for transfer and exchange programmes. “Such partnership would in no distant time transform this 35-year old Polytechnic into a centre of excellence and would also enable us meet up with the global challenge in the 21st century,” he said. Gyemang urged the students to be focused on their academics, shun cultism, examination malpractice and other forms of lawlessness. The Plateau State Commissioner for Education, Mr Nanle Dashen, who was represented by the Director for Higher Education in the ministry, Mrs Sarah Ramadan, urged the students to work hard. He restated the state government’s commitment to transform the education sector. The commissioner said the government is making efforts to provide more funds for the construction of additional hostels, laboratories and recruitment of workers.
•From left: Aliyu Mafindi, Bursar, Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria; Mr David Palfreyman, Bursar, Oxford University, United Kingdom; Mr Sijuwola Ayodele, Bursar, University of Ilorin and Dr Ayo Ogunsan, Chairman, Executive Trainers Ltd, during an International Bursars’ Conference in Dubai.
•’Research environment is harsh’
LECTURER at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Dr Soji Oni and winner of the best education research award in Africa, has identified what he calls the “harsh research environment” as the bane of education. The award was conferred on him by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) in Paris, France. He emerged winner out of the 150
Olubadan praises Pro-Chancellor THE Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I, has passed a vote of confidence on the new Pro-chancellor and Governing Council Chairman of the University of Ibadan (UI), General Adeyinnka Adebayo (rtd), saying that he would succeed. Oba Odulana spoke when Adebayo led other members of Council on a visit to his Monatan palace last Thursday. The monarch, who spoke through High Chief Omowale Kuye, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, said, “I am proud of your achievements as the Military Governor of the Western Region. With the support of members of your Council, Ibadan should be the supplier of lecturers to other universities. I thank God for bringing you, Adebayo to Ibadan to make history. I wish you tremendous success as I know that you will succeed.” Earlier, the new Chairman told the monarch of his tremendous respect for the traditional institution, stressing that he restored the dignity of the royal institution when he was the Military Governor of the Western Region/State. “I told my colleagues in Council that I cannot do anything without seeing you for your prayers. Kabiyesi, despite your age, you are still strong and think very well. I am trying to be like you. I thank God for your life. Ibadan is improving every day,” he said.
Balogun donates hospital
UNILAG don bags best researcher award
African researchers that entered for the award. Oni and another Nigerian, Prof Pius Obanya, won two of the three categories of the awards. Oni won the Best Accomplished Education Research in Africa award for young academics who have carried out outstanding research in education in Africa; while Prof Obanya won the Outstanding Educational Mentor in Africa award for his legendary research works and those he has mentored. While Oni is happy about his achievements, in an interview with The Nation, he lamented the harsh research environment academics have to endure in Nigeria. He said: “In this part of Africa, Nigeria in particular, we are still struggling against harsh intellectual environment. What I mean by harsh intellectual environment is not just about salary alone. “We face power outage, poor internet and communication facilities. We face inefficient library system. The lack of reputable publication outlet and lack of incentives for academic perfor-
By Musa Odoshimokhe
mance is another major hindrance.” He called on the Federal Government to support research works by making the necessary grants available. “The University of Lagos is doing some outstanding work by ensuring academics are provided the enabling environment to do their research. I want to urge the government to support the efforts because UNILAG alone cannot do it,” he said. On the significance of the award to him, he said it would boost his appetite for research than before now, knowing that someday his efforts would be rewarded. He added that it was an honour for him to be recognised with his mentor, Prof Obanya. He said: “It is like I won one award in the three categories. One of the organisers, the Education Research Network for West and Central Africa which I am a member of the Nigerian chapter, honoured Prof Pius Obanya, who won the outstanding mentor. He is my great grand
father in the academia. “Why I said so is that he taught the teachers who taught my teachers. I have also been very close to him. Apart from that, this award is also a tonic to do more work. That whatever you are doing, some people will recognise your work will be rewarded.” Oni recalled that he started his journey to the various researchworks right from his days as postgraduate student. “In fact, my first publication was in an international journal when I was a postgraduate student at the University of Ibadan. I have worked in the areas of deviant behaviour with particular reference to students’ secret cult in Nigerian higher institution. I have also worked on social problems in our society like HIV/AIDS, Globalisation, as well as democracy in education,” he said. ADEA is a forum for education policy and dialogue made up of the 54 Ministers of Education in Africa. It has about 16 development partners like the African Development Bank, UNESCO, Korea/Africa Economic Cooperation etc. The group instituted the awards to identify and recognise the role of education for economic development in Africa.
THE University of Ibadan is the proud owner of a gigantic paediatric hospital thanks to Otunba Olasubomi Michael Balogun, who donated the institution last Friday. Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre is a tertiary referral centre for teaching, research and health care delivery for infant and children built by Balogun, who is a recipient of the university’s LL.D (honour causa). Speaking at the signing ceremony of the deed of total gift of the hospital, Balogun said he made the donation because of his determination to improve the quality of life of children. He expressed confidence that UI would help fulfil that vision. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Isaac Adewole who led other principal officers to the ceremony thanked the donor for the gift and assured him that the uUniversity would bring on board high net worth medical professionals who would deliver top rate services in the hospital.
Lagos to pay N63m bursary THE Lagos State Government has released N63, 463,718.12 for payment of bursary to Lagos State indigenes admitted into the Lagos State University (LASU) in 2011/ 2012 academic session to cushion the effect of the increase in the tuition fee of the institution. In a statement Signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State scholarship Board, Mr Awobadejo Adesesan Olusegun, the Director/Secretary of the Board, Mrs. Yetunde Jegede, said 1, 085 students would benefit from the amount. She, however, enjoined all concerned students from LASU to visit the Board’s website for further information and required documents before payment can be effected. In another development, the Lagos State Scholarship Board is to start documentation exercise in readiness for 2013 subsequent payments for all beneficiaries of Local Scholarship award.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
EDUCATION Society for the blind seeks support on scheme
Varsity gets Statistics dept THE Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), has begun moves to establish a Department of Statistics in the School of Sciences. The Vice-Chancellor Prof Adebiyi Daramola, who addressed a team from the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja, which conducted a verification on the splitting of Department of Mathematical Sciences into the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics, described the FUTA’s departments as matured in terms of manpower and infrastructure. Daramola, who spoke through his Deputy (Academics), Prof Adedayo Fasakin, explained that the Department of Mathematical Sciences, had earlier given birth to the Department of Computer Sciences, which has in turn produced successful graduates. A professor of Mathematics from the University of Benin S. C. Omosigho, and a member of the two-man team, explained that the team was to verify facilities in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the preparedness of FUTA to establish the new department.
Knowledge-sharing today TODAY at 9pm, FUTA will host a Technology Knowledge Sharing Programme (TKSP). The event tagged: “Geology and mineral deposits in the Nigerian flank of the Chad Basin: Implication for hydrocarbon potential for sustainable development”, is an initiative of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), the event will feature experts delivering papers on related key issues.
Counsellor admonishes female students A CALL has been made to women to reposition themselves for the challenges in the society, as home makers and builders. This call was made by Dr Ogunsuyi, Mrs Olusanya and Mrs Owele, during an interactive session by the Guidance and Counselling Unit of FUTA for all female students. The resource persons said because of the enormous domestic responsibilities of women in the home, there is the need to enlighten female students on how to combine and manage such responsibilities with their career so that they can become worthy leaders, astute business and career women. Taking them through the rudiments of leadership, Dr Ogunsuyi said they must possess qualities like punctuality, truthfulness, courtesy and modesty among others. She also enjoined them to shun immodest dressing and uncontrolled emotions. Mrs Olusanya warned the ladies against involvement in illicit sexual relationships which can jeopardise their future dream. Mrs Owele encouraged them to work hard so as to complement their future husband’s efforts. She said: “A woman should not become liability to her husband. You must be skilful and keep yourselves abreast of global trends so as to break even,”she said.
By Funke Ayoola
•From left: OAU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Bamitale Omole; Pro-Chancellor Prof Roland Ndoma-Egba presenting the university’s 50th anniversary souvenir to Dr Ibrahim. Inset: The new complex. PHOTO: ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA
A business mogul, Dr Jimoh Ibrahim, last Thursday donated a new Post-Graduate Complex to his alma mater Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU) Ile Ife. In this interview with ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA, Dr Ibrahim, who studied Law and graduated in 1990 frowns at some programmes run by universities which he described as ‘antique,’ adding that it’s about time our universities conferred graduates with two degrees on graduation.
Varsities’ programmes are archaic, says Ibrahim
OU have just donated a new Post -Graduate complex to your almamater. What are your expectations from this new structure? I expect the university to produce credible certificates. What we have now is that the certificate carried by graduates cannot solve their problem. Nobody is running a four-year programme for one degree today. It is now antique. What they are doing in Oxford, Yale and other universities is that, for instance, if you are doing a degree in Mass Communication, you do with LLB Law. In Yale and in Harvard (universities) for instance, you bag let’s say a BS.C in Mass Communication and LLB Law. If you chose to practise journalism, the law you also studied alongside it will give you ideas about what libel is all about , so you can avoid it in the course of your journalism practice. And if you again decide to dump journalism, you can go back to Law practice. If you take compulsory courses in Mass Communication as optional for law, you have satisfied the examiner in Mass Communication; and if you again take compulsory courses in Law as optional for Mass Communication, you have satisfied your examiner in Law. So, you are qualified for the two degrees. This means the day you are graduating the vice-chancellor gives you two certificates. University of Yale, for instance, has gone a step further. What it does is that when you are doing LLB in Law, you will be doing your PhD simultaneously in Philosophy within four years. So, the day you are graduating, you get your LLB Law and PhD in Philosophy. So, from the second day you can become a lecturer. In Harvard (University) the day you get your PhD, you become associate professor the next day and two years after, you are a full-fledged professor. Do you think this is possible in Nigeria with our myriad of academic challenges? Yes!”Why can’t we do same thing in Nigeria? Why should we wait until four years doing GNS 201; or GNS 304? (general laughter). If we are not
careful, the universities can also be a problem rather than the solution. Today, people are bringing out certificates (from universities) that cannot solve any problem. People only believe Law, Medicine and Accounting are courses where you can make money. But I didn’t study petroleum or media yet I have interest in those enterprises today. Whatever you study is to give you the education for leadership in future. So, what I expect is that the students produced from this college should be able to use the certificates to solve human problems. There is a leap in the number of universities in Nigeria today, especially private universities, many of which are faith-based. Ironically we still have leadership problems, how can our universities begin to address this? Many of the courses universities are running today are not relevant to the needs of the society. What we have today are leadership and economic challenges. They (universities) don’t run courses on leadership, so how do you solve leadership problem. Unfortunately, there are no universities that run leadership programmes. This is a challenge for the NUC (National Universities Commission) in terms of restructuring the courses to meet the challenges of today. Some of us were here many years go, but nobody ever told us anything about leadership until we finished our programmes. The only time we heard of leadership is when the vice chancellor is delivering his convocation address and says: ‘be good ambassadors’ but by what means? In the home the mother and father are training their children but where did they get the training from? We have AIDS virus in leadership. It is observed that some of the firstgeneration universities are placing emphasis on post-graduate programmes. What do you think is responsible for this? We need the first generation universities to place emphasis on postgraduate studies because of manpower. What they are doing are a short term strategy to build man-
power at the post graduate level and retain them to teach undergraduate students. If you look at private universities some of them graduate students at the age of 18, and they are not mature enough. There is academic qualification in respect of intellectual capacity of the brain. There is also the moral and cultural concern, and you can’t just send a 17-year old boy with a BS.C on the street looking for job. What can he do? If you insist then that there is no personnel in the universities, why do people like you with intellectual capacity not stay back, but ventured into entrepreneurship? The reason is: we don’t have enough entrepreneurs! the government wants people to build businesses so they can employ graduates but the reality today is that how many employers of labour do we have in Nigeria to employ 116 million people? So, more people should be encouraged to go into entrepreneurship. In entrepreneurship, there is no democracy. You don’t need election or primaries; you can make yourself the MD of your company the very day you start. But the point is that we need academic knowledge base to work within the framework of our situation in order to succeed. You also canvassed increased funding with physical infrastructure for our universities If you don’t have physical infrastructure, how do you lecture? Now, you have to bring the students into the post-graduate college to do masters and PhD. Three years for PhD minimum, and one year for masters. For instance in OAU here, there is no post-graduate college. This is the first time we are trying to put one in place after 50 years. What about other universities especially the individual-owned who wants to look at profit, building structures and all that?. So I believe let us put in the physical infrastructure first, then we can now begin to lay the foundation; like equipping the infrastructure with e-library, physical books, giving scholarships to PhD students, providing chairs and tables and all that.
HE Chairman, Nigeria’s Society for the Blind, Oshodi, Lagos Mrs Biola Agbaje has appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to partner with the society’s new micro-credit scheme. The newly proposed scheme, according to Agbaje, is geared towards making their students selfreliant upon graduation. At a briefing at the school’s vocational training centre, Mrs Agbaje said the scheme had realised N1 million courtesy of kind-hearted Nigerians. She added that plans had reached an advanced stage for the society to partner with a micro-finance bank on the scheme which she said would take off soon. She said: “We now have an active after-graduation programme for these students and we have an officer who monitors their progress. We are in the process of starting a micro-credit scheme for graduates who wish to be self-employed. I am to inform you that with the support of public-spirited individuals and groups the fund has reached N1 million mark, and we are still appealing for more donors to support the scheme. It will take off as soon as we finalise arrangements with the micro finance organisation which will operate the scheme for us.” The briefing, she stressed, is held yearly whereby the 57-year-old society advertises its various programmes of training and rehabilitating the visually-impaired. The centre runs a two-year course for visually impaired adults and adolescents in braille reading and writing, telephone operation, typewriting, mobility, handicrafts, soap making, home economics, tieand dye, among others. The society also runs a one year course for professionals and special persons who just need to adjust to their new predicaments so as to adjust to normal life. Mrs Agbaje’s deputy, Mr Asiwaju Fola, said the society depends on fund raising, and donations coming from public-spirited individuals, companies and organisations. She said the society organises May Ball yearly, a platform under which it raises money to run its affairs. “We are supposed to receive subventions from the Federal Government and Lagos State government annually. But these have not been given to us for some year except recently when the state governor visited us. When the society’s income is viewed against the background of the ever-rising cost of running our programmes, which stands at about N4 million per month, then it becomes imperative to ask for more public support,” Fola added.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
EDUCATION ‘Piracy inflates cost of books’
•Front row: Pronouncers Mr Chris Nkwocha and Mrs Beatrice Nwali, Mrs Eyewuoma, Master Oladipupo, Miss Ojochenemi, Master Isaac, Drs Ntekim-rex, and Azumurana. Back row: Mr Umogu; NASCON Head (Academic Affairs), Michael Imong, and Chief Adewara (chief judges) at the event.
Spelling Bee challenges pupils to read
OUNDER of the National Spelling Bee Competition Mr Samson Umogu has urged youths to develop themselves and stop thinking of cutting corners. Mr Umogu, who spoke to secondary school pupils during the National Spelling Bee Competition (NASCON) at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), said poor performance in English language is a consequence of pupils’failure to develop themselves. Umogu lamented the poor reading culture among youths, which results in failure in public exams on English Language. He said:”We realise that many Nigerian students don’t do well in English language. Look at the JAMB and WAEC results for example, close to about 80 per cent of students that wrote the examinations failed.” However, with NASCON he said pupils would be challenged to prepare themselves. He added that the competition aims to promote English language
By Sampson Unamka
proficiency among secondary school pupils. “You realise that whether you like it or not, all subjects are taught in English. Even you find Yoruba teachers talking in English sometimes. So, we felt that by the time they know that there’s a competition that needs them to get prepared they won’t be looking for ways to cheat,” he said. Umogu, who said the contest is the first of its kind at the national level, added that NASCON intends to sustain it yearly. “The reason we are doing this is because we want the students to know that someone notices them when they excel. One of those possibilities is to take them round Nigeria for the competition,” he stressed. He lamented that response from ministry of education was low and not so encouraging, despite the fact that states spend money for their pupils.
NASCON Executive Director, Mrs Caroline Eyewuoma said the organisation is trying to improve the standard of education. “We are trying to improve English standard, especially in pronunciation,” she added The competition, which is the second edition, featured secondary school participants from Delta, Bayelsa, Cross River, Kwara and Lagos. Finalists were pruned to 40 for the grand finale at UNILAG. Winners at the regional level were given dictionaries, exercise books, and pens. Miss Zekere Ojochenemi, of Baptist Model High School emerged overall winner in the competition of while Master Obileye A. Oladipupo of ISL Akoka, and Master Mathias Isaac of Ajayi Crowther Memorial College, Bariga, emerged first and second runners up respectively. Ojochenemi won the star prize of N250,000, while masters Oladipupo and Ajayi got N150,000 and N100,000 cash prizes.
Bells inaugurates 500-seater lecture theatre
500-SEATER lecture theatre has been donated to the Bells University of Technology, Ota by a friend of the institution. The theatre, donated by the ProChancellor and Chairman of Council, Prof Emmanuel Edozien, was inaugurated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the university’s founder. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Isaac Adebayo Adeyemi, in his wel-
come address, thanked the donor, for his repeated acts of philanthropy and for being instrumental for other donations including an ambulance, air-conditioners for the Multi-Purpose Hall, and health centre structures and provision of air-conditioners for the Centre. The President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT), Professor EmeritusOladipo Akinkugbe and the Chancellor,
Prof Akin Mabogunje praised the donor. In his address, Chief Obasanjo said Edozien has done nobler than most noble men. He also said that he, the donor, possesses such humanitarian character that is rarely found among Nigerians. He further stated that this act of giving has challenged all, including himself, to look into areas of need in the university and continue to endow more infrastructures.
HE Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Learn Africa Plc, Mr Olusegun Oladipo, has blamed the hike in the prices of books on piracy and other factors. He listed the cost of production, which includes high cost of paper and other printing or publishing materials, payment of royalties, taxes, dividends to shareholders and overhead cost as some of the challenges confronting book industry in the country. Speaking at the 40th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the shareholders of the company at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, Oladipo said the company hardly records 10 per cent profit. “A lot goes into book production such as cost of paper, payment of royalties, dividends and taxes, as well as overhead. Hardly do we make about 10 per cent profit,” he said. He added that the company is forced to prints its books abroad because of problems of power and other factors that make the cost of publishing higher in the country. Oladipo blamed the problem of piracy and its effects on the book industry on the government’s failure to put in place a proper
legal framework to curtail the menace. He lamented that the government has refused to fund the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) like other agencies such as the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). He said: “The government is not doing enough to fight piracy. There is need for legal backing to curtail activities of piracy. The publishing board has met the government and made representations to the National Assembly, but we have not received any positive response till now.” On his part, the Chairman of the company, Mr Emeka Iwerebon, said the security challenges in the Northern where activities of the Boko Haram sect are rife, have negatively affected the firm’s business. “The insurgency in the North, where the region represents about 60 per cent of our business, has been a serious challenge to our business in the last few years. We are calling on the government and other concerned authorities to put in place measures to ensure that the insurgencies were brought under control in the region, so that the business could perform better in the current financial year,” he said.
Pupils get tips on career
UPILS of Elias Secondary School, Oke-Odo, a Lagos suburb have received guidance in some professions. They include law, teaching, journalism, medicine, piloting and nursing. The event, which held on the school’s premises, saw the pupils decked in dresses depicting their future professions. For example, while ‘future doctors’ donned the characteristic white overall complemented with a stethoscope slung over their neck, their counterparts ‘lawyers’ were resplendent in their wigs and gowns. The school’s Principal, Rev. Joshua Adewale Afolabi, said the school decided to hold the one-day event for four reasons: to make the pupils more focused in their studies, inspire them in their choice of career, know their station in life as well as gains and prospects of their chosen career. “This was why we brought the professionals in their attires, so that the pupils can see them. That is, to enhance and broaden their horizon for the future,” he said. One of the chief speakers, Godwin Nsoanga, a medical doctor, gave tips on what it takes to be in his shoes. “You need more concentration. You must be determined to succeed through hard work and prayer. You must be closer to God. I used to pray before I entered the exam hall. Even after graduation, you need to be closer to God. People will want to bribe you to kill a patient.” He added: “Today, some students are not ready to read. That is why they spend a lot of time looking for ‘special centres’ to register, where they can cheat to pass.” Also a lawyer, Mr Samuel Afilaka, advised parents not to force their wards into any career. “In any profession, you must have passion and interest, he said, adding: “You must have basic knowledge of the English Language,have credit passes in five subjects and attend a university to study law. “Can a Christian defend criminals?” some of the curious pupils had enquired. “Yes,” Afilaka responede, “the law presumes every one innocent until found guilty.” A matron with the Gbagada General Hospital, Lagos, Gloria Olatunji, spoke on nursing. She said: “In nursing we care and serve people. In the hospital, nurses take care of pa-
By Joseph Eshanokpe
tients. They are always neat and ready to receive people into the hospital. You are expected to put in extra hours of work. “ To study the five-year course, one needs Physics, Biology and Chemistry. After graduation, you register with the appropriate professional organisation, she said. Gbenga Olusemo, a Firstbank employee, said to be a successful banker, one needs to be trustworthy, dependable and reliable. “It is a service industry. You must be a good listener and be ready to serve people. The industry is full of risks. A little carelessness can mar one’s career or even send one to jail. Take your studies serious if you want to go into the profession,” he admonished. Captain Tega Jason Gbidi, a pilot is of Arik Airline. He told the excited children that fascination about flying drove him into the profession. “If you have passion, you will get to where you want to be.” The school’s Administrator Mrs Oluwakemi Oluwagunna, described teaching as a noble profession. She emphasised passion as an attribute expected of a good teacher. “All you need to be a good teacher is the passion to teach. Beside, you must be a good listener, leader and reader.”Teachers impart knowledge.” At the event, a book titled: Hope of a child, written by Miss Onipede Tolu, which was launched on May 1, was read to the pupils’ delight.
‘In any profession, you must have passion and interest, he said, adding: “You must have basic knowledge of the English Language, have credit passes in five subjects and attend a university to study law’
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
‘Education should be free for special learners’
DUCATION should be free for people with special needs at all levels, Acting Head of Department Special Education, University of Ibadan, Dr John Olusegun-Oyundoyin, has said. Delivering the 13th in the series of Faculty of Education lectures titled: Excluding the excluded: The ordeal of persons with special needs, Olusegun-Oyundoyin said despite the provision for free education at all levels for special needs learners in the revised version of the National Policy on Education (2009), nothing has been done to back up the policy. Blaming the government for not implementing the policy, he said: “The National Policy on Education – Revised (2009) states that education shall be free at all levels for
FromTayo Johnson, Ibadan
persons with special needs, also, that there shall be infrastructural facilities and adequate support systems for persons with special needs in the various levels of education. I am yet to see such.” Noting that persons with special needs are excluded members of the society, he described how school infrastructure and even academic programmes do not consider the unique needs of special needs students, forcing them to struggle to adjust to the environment rather than the environment adjusting to suit their needs. For this category of learners to be included, Olusegun-Oyundoyin said there should be a means of
identifying students with learning disabilities among the general student population so they can be granted fair extensions in their university education and assessed through special measures. He added that there should be standard accommodation support system for persons with special needs in all disciplines and not only in the Department of Special Education, while existing infrastructural facilities in the university could be adjusted to their needs and not vice versa. To ensure they are well-taught and catered for, OlusegunOyundoyin recommended short courses/training for all lecturers on techniques of teaching a class that has special needs students learning with others.
•Majiyagbe (with the microphone) calling out the schools while Mr Ahmed and Hon Ogundimu present writing materials to the pupils.
Rain of blessings on education authority
HE 50th birthday celebration of Education Secretary, Hon Lekan Majiyagbe has brought good tidings to the Agege Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) in Lagos. During the ceeremony, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Oluyinka Ogundimu, distributed writing materials to needy public primary schools pupils in Agege and rewarded some teachers. The celebrator was also honoured for his achievements in the LGEA. Commissioner for Transport, Mr Kayode Opeifa, and his Special Duties counterpart, Mr Adewale Ahmed, also promised to start a programme to cater for the health needs of the pupils. Chairman of the Orile Agege Local Council Development Association, Mr Taofeek Abiodun Adaranijor promised to revamp the school clinics. Ogundimu said the gesture was to fulfil his campaign promise to prioritise education when elected, and honour Majiyagbe for his contributions. “Education is one area I prom-
By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
ised to prioritise in my manifesto. The state government cannot do it alone. We have provided wheel chairs and crutches for physicallychallenged pupils in Agege. We will look for other areas to intervene as well. We will print more exercise books for school children. This will reduce the burden on their parents. “The Education Secretary (ES) has been very hard working. He has done so much to improve schools and ensure compliance to rules and regulations by workers,” he said. The Best Teacher award went to Mr David Owolabi, who teaches at Oko-Oba Primary School, Agege. Majiyagbe said he was found deserving because he is always punctual and never found on the wrong side of the law. Mrs Titilola Odedeyi was awarded the second best prize for her resourcefulness in going beyond her teacher training to gain expertise in counseling and computer studies and bring laurels to the LGEA; while Mrs Oluyemisi Salami came
third for providing quality grooming to the school cultural troupe of the LGEA and gaining state-wide recognition for it. Majiyagbe also shared his day with challenged pupils from the Amosun Primary School Inclusive Unit, Agege, who wined and dined with him and joined in cutting his cake. Speaking on the essence of celebrations, Majiyagbe said he was thanking the Almighty for sparing his life to date and helping him to achieve all he has achieved as Education Secretary. “I did not know I would be alive to celebrate 50. That is why I have to thank He that spared my life. I decided to celebrate with challenged children because I want to identify with them and give them a sense of belonging,” he said. In the 2011/2012 academic session, the Agege LGEA won several awards including best LGEA in Lagos State. It produced the overall best teacher, best pupil, computer centre, second best nonteaching staff and the second best School Based Management Committee.
214 Ilorin students get bursary
O fewer than 214 undergraduates of Ilorin extraction have benefitted from this year Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU) bursary award. 356 students in polytechnics, colleges of education,
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
universities, secondary schools and others across the country applied for the N2 million bursary award this year, the Chairman, Education Committee of the union, Prof Shehu Jimoh told The Nation.
The professor of education psychology said during the symbolic presentation of the award to the beneficiaries that the group is committed to uplifting communities in the emirate through support to indigent students.
An exam to despise
ONDUCTING an entrance examination should not be too difficult for a school that is over 50-years old. But it proved too much for the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) School of Nursing last Saturday. The 1,708 candidates fighting for only 50 admission slots were sent text messages instructing them to report at 7am for the exam, check for their numbers and exam venue on the notice board before proceed-
Belo-Osagie Kofosagie@yahoo.com 08054503077 (SMS only)
ing to the hall. The scramble that ensued resulted in the lists being torn. Some of the candidates who came later did not find any list to check their names. It was only when the candidates got to the venue that they discovered that those in the first batch were to start 9am and finish 11.30am, while the second batch were scheduled for 11.30am to 1pm. If the organisers could send text messages, then they could have as well sent details of the candidates' numbers, venue, batch and time, so they would only have to look for their examination halls and settle down on time. However, with all the confusion, and the lack of organisation on the part of the coordinators, the examination was delayed. The first batch finally entered the halls around 11am and finished by 3pm. They spent the first one hour doing nothing; waiting to be told to start. However, the second batch entered around 4pm, started about an hour later and was stopped in less than an hour. Though the questions were said to be simple, many candidates in the second batch were unable to finish the examination. What happened to equity? With only 50 slots, it simply means the chances of those who wrote in the second batch has been greatly reduced. How does the school explain this? Or does the authorities think it does not owe the candidates explanations, apologies, refund or compensation for treating them shabbily after collecting N6,000 as examination fees? Quality service delivery is meant to be part of the whole process. The institution is aware it can only accommodate such a small number of trainee nurses; yet it allowed nearly 2,000 candidates to register for the examination at such an exorbitant price. At N6,000, the examination is N1,000 more expensive than the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) which provides candidates with writing materials. Candidates said the questions they answered were contained in booklets so old they wondered whether it was not prepared in the 70s. One candidate told me that the booklet she was given was smeared with cooking oil (perhaps from the food an examiner was eating while marking question papers) and had rough calculations worked in them by a previous user. "I also solved my own answers in the booklet," she said and returned it to them. That many youths in our country are desperate for tertiary education is no reason to put them through a lot of hassles to take examinations. We owe them the duty to provide opportunities for their empowerment because the day will come that we must hand over and let them continue. We cannot be in the saddle of leadership forever. Even if we want to, age will not allow us. Tomorrow, the youths of today must man our hospitals, tar our roads, and run our government. How well we prepare them for these important tasks will determine how well we will enjoy our own retirement.
‘That many youths in our country are desperate for tertiary education is no reason to put them through a lot of hassles to take examinations. We owe them the duty to provide opportunities for their empowerment because the day will come that we must hand over and let them continue. We cannot be in the saddle of leadership forever. Even if we want to, age will not allow us’
From my Inbox Re: SSCE failure: Who is to blame really? The problem is that we are in a country which believes so much in certificates rather than mental ability. Consequently, anybody can do anything to obtain results he or she may not be able to defend. Thank (God) for post UTME. Albert Simeon, Seme Border, Badagry. The story is really saddening but you put it exactly as it is. I am a senior secondary school principal and I am aware that Lagos State government is doing so much in areas of provision of amenities and human capital development in schools. But a situation where you cajole, beg students to come to school, read, imbibe good values etc and parents to be there for their children, attend PTA meetings, eschew good values, to no avail, things cannot but be this way. God help us. From 0803326----
THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
2OTH ANNIVERSARY OF JUNE 12 The June 12, 1993 presidential election was free and fair. But it was annulled by the former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd). Group Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU revisits the dark moment in national history and the adversarial roles of the key players who aborted the envisaged journey to the new order.
June 12 and illusion of hope T
terse statement putting the announcement on hold was released by the Presidency.
Game of deception
WENTY years after, the pains linger. The memory of horror has not fizzled out. The wasted hope, the betrayal by the backsliding actors, the use of brute force by the soldiers of fortune, the restoration of partial civil rule and the breach of popular rule by the military apologetics in power have prolonged the political bereavement. The symbol of June 12 had come with a message of hope. He promised to abolise poverty. There were high expectations about a new civilian government. The hopes were clashed. On June 23, 1993, when the historic presidential election won by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Chief Moshood Abiola, was annulled by the military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, the country was enveloped in gloom and anxiety. Instantly, the journey to democracy was crippled. The voters were enraged. A cloud of uncertainty hanged over the polity. Although the electorate issued a red card to the military, it was defiled by soldiers who resisted changed and subdued them with guns. The symbol of the struggle was caged as the victor became the villain. He never returned alive. The rest is history.
The great betrayal Historians agree that the acts of treachery will be narrated from generation to generation. The criminal annulment jolted the people out of their delusion that its covetous and over-politicised military could voluntarily return power to legitimate authorities without a popular uprising. When Babangida shoved aside his predecessor, Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) in August 1985, Nigerians hailed the architect of the palace coup. He warmed himself to Nigerians by unfolding a transition agenda, which, as subsequent events showed, was programmed to fail, in spite of the heavy electoral expenditure and repeated assurance that the military was prepared to transfer power. To that extent, the General stood against national progress by elevating personal survival over and above the national interest. In justifying the annulment, which aborted the dream of his friend, Abiola, to succeed him, Babangida alluded to the conflict between loyalty to friendship and ‘love’ for the nation. “My commitment to the cherished values of friendship has been confronted with the demands of statecraft”, said the military leader, who explained that, when that confrontation emerged, he decided to abandon friendship for the need to for national service. “I love my friends, but I also love my country. It is the height of patriotism that whenever the love for one’s country is in conflict with any other love, the love for one’s country takes precedence”, he added.” Pro-democracy activist Comrade Joe Igbokwe, who has been consistent in opposing IBB’s presidential ambition in the post-June 12 period, declared that the retired General took the confused nation for a ride. “As we mark the June 12 anniversary, we cannot but remember the role of the enemies of democracy, whose activities also laid the foundation for this current dispensation, particularly at the centre. We regret that, 20 years after, we have not witnessed another free, fair, democratic and credible election like June 12. Babangida annulled the election and sadly, there is no way for him to rectify his mistake. History’s judgment will always be harsh on him”, he said.
Dashed hope The late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who had peeped into the future, cautioned against the illusion of hope, when IBB announced his transition to
• The late Abiola
civil rule programme. He was weary of the prevailing political situation. The sage had been invited to participate in the debate organised by the Political Bureau chaired by Dr. Cookey. The old doubted the sincerity of the transition drivers. Awo predicted that the country was embarking on a fruitless search, warning that when Nigerians imagine that the new order has arrived, they would be terribly disappointed. When he returned to Ikenne from Lagos, following his visit to Doddan Barracks, he urged his followers to learn to eat and win e with the devil with a long spoon. To observers, the military was not ready to abdicate power. The military President’s game of gambling was confounding, but it was initially ignored by the vocal activists and other stakeholders. The evidence was that the critical poll was shifted on two occasions when the transition timetable was reviewed. When the military government knew that it was impossible to shift it for the third time, it rescheduled the poll for June, the raining session. But nature was kind to the determined voters on long queues across the country. The weather was benevolent. The minor hitches associated with the electoral commission’s operations, including the late arrival of polling
materials and electoral officers in isolated places, were endured by the excited voters. There was no anxiety. People embraced the historic festival of change and choice without any fear of intimidation and molestation. The mood in the army and police barracks was not different. Soldiers, their wives and children, displayed enthusiasm as they chose between SDP’s Abiola and his rival, Othman Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC). According to the National Electoral Commission (NECO) chaired by Prof. Humphrey Nwosu. 14 million participated in the voting. Thuggery, violence and other electoral malpractices were absent. It was a miracle. The contest showcased the potency of the Option A4, open ballot system and two party democracy. According to the poll results, Abiola scored 8,341, 309 votes, representing 58.36 percent of the total votes cast. Tofa, it was said, was ready to concede victory. In fact, the NRC National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Doyin Okupe, declared that the poll was devoid of rigging, affirming that Abiola won a popular mandate. But the military thought otherwise. The announcement of the result was stopped abruptly, based on the order from above. The NEC Director of Publicity, Dr. Tony Iredia, who was displaying the results as they trickled in, was asked to remove them from the notice board. Later, a
‘To observers, the military was not ready to abdicate power. The military President’s game of gambling was confounding, but it was initially ignored by the vocal activists and other stakeholders. The evidence was that the critical poll was shifted on two occasions when the transition timetable was reviewed. When the military government knew that it was impossible to shift it for the third time, it rescheduled the poll for June, the raining session’
T that point in time, the presidential spokes man, Duro Onabule, was about taking the back seat. The Chief Press Secretary to the military Vice President, Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, Mr. Nduka Iraboh, released government’s directive to the anxious reporters in Abuja, the seat of power. The statement reads: ‘In view of the litigation pending in the various courts, the Federal Government is compelled to take appropriate steps to rescue the judiciary. These steps are taken to protect our legal system and the judiciary from being ridiculed and politicised, both nationally and internationally. “In an attempt to end this ridiculous charade, which may culminate in judicial anarchy, the Federal Military Government has decided to: stop forthwith all court proceedings pending or to be instituted and appeals thereon in respect of any matter touching, relating or concerning the presidential election held on June 12, 1993, the Transition to Civil Rule Political Programme (Amendment No 3, Decree No 52 of 1992 and the presidential election. “Basic Constitutional and Transitional Provision Decree No 13 of 1993 is hereby repealed. all acts or omissions done or purportedly to have been done, or to be done by any person, authority etc, under the above named decrees are hereby declared invalid. The National Electoral Commission is hereby suspended. All acts or omission done or purported to have been done by itself, its officers or agents under the repealed Decree No 13, 1993, are hereby nullified”. The embattled military leader also justified the cancellation in a nation-wide broadcast on June 26, 1993. It was clearly an after-thought. Babangida rationalised that the electoral commission did not carry all the voters along, following the court ruling of June 10, which had cancelled the poll. He imagined a hollow in the process of authentication and clearance of the presidential candidates, although the candidates passed through the rigorous nomination processes at the ward, local government, state and national levels. Nigerians wondered why the Federal Government did not point out this before the poll. The allegation that bribes were offered and accepted by the INEC officials was also disputed. Babangida could not substantiate it. Neither could be convince Nigerians that a conflict of interest existed between the government and the presidential candidates. Indeed, the nature of the conflict was kept to his chest. Babangida had indicated his preferred destination when he submitted that he knew those who would not succeed him and that he did not know those who would succeed him. When he finally boxed himself into a cul de sac, viewers saw a staggering military President boasting that the military knew who its successors are chosen and that ‘we are not only in government, we are in power.”
Morbid hate for MKO The SDP candidate was very passionate about the masses. He believed that power could be used to to transform the society. He had fought many personal battles, but ‘june 12’ was the fiercest battle of his life. When IBB annuled his victory, he became a political warrior with a a battalion. Rejecting the annulment, he declared himself as the custodian of a sacred mandate. He said, having voted for him, the people of Nigerian expected him to assume the reins on August 27, 1993. “ I intend to keep that date with history”, Abiola said. IBB could not make the mistake of underrating the billionaire businessman-turned politician, who had become the champion of the masses. He knew the strength and weakness of his bosom friend. In a birthday message to him in 1992, Babangida described MKO as a man of courage, stressing that “ a major feature of your life, so far, is the diggedness and determination with which •Continued on page 44
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
POLITICS 2OTH ANNIVERSARY OF JUNE 12
• Babangida •Continued from page 43
you pursue any venture embarked upon”. Abiola had divided the military. Majority insisted that, since he won the poll, he should not be robbed. But the minority appeared more powerful. When the heat was much, he had jetted out to seek international support. By the time he returned home, his party had split. He met a divided and rancorous party whose leaders started speaking from the two sides of the mouth. Also, the military decided to subject his business to torture. His business investment was ebbing away. The military dictator clamped down on his newspapers, Concord, and other media organisations sympathetic to the cause of popular rule. They also effectively deployed the government media, which became more hostile to him and his supporters. Former Information Minister Comrade Uche Chukwumerije, now a minister, mounted the hottest propaganda against the just cause. He said, by travelling abroad, MKO had gone down in history as the first Aare Ona Kankanfo of Yoruba to have deserted the battle field. As June 12 divided the polity, associates were changing allegiance. The Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) led by Senator Arthur Nzeribe, engaged in infamous deformation of the struggle, collating imaginary signatures of people against the election. Vice President Aikhomu doubted the fitness of Abiola for the Presidency, describing the President-elect as one of the rich persons who are not necessarily philosophical kings. The military accused him of leaving the country illegally to mount an illegal campaign abroad against his fatherland. Gradually, MKO was losing grip of the situation. There were conflicts of advice and suggestions by eminent Nigerians. None could influence the military rulers to retrace their steps. To the observers, history was merely repeating itself. A decade earlier, Abiola had sought to rule the country. He was edged out of the race in the ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in 1982. He apparently failed to see the handwriting on the wall. initially, he had made a bold attempt to contest with the more politically experienced Chief Adisa Akinloye for the party’s national chairmanship. The old political warhorse defeated him at the 1980 national convention. Indeed, on June 12, 1982, he struggled for the presidential ticket with President Shehu Shagari. He could not even obtain the nomination form as the gate of the party secretariat was shot against him. The former Transport Minister, Dr. Umaru Dikko, told Abiola that “the Presidency is not for the highest bidder”. It was said that, on the advice of his late wife, Simbiat, who had also lost a senatorial contest in Ogun State, MKO started losing interest in politics. What brought him back was the politics of ban imposed the cult of presidential aspirants in the two parties.
• The Late Kudirat Abiola
June 12 and illusion of hope The messiah as problem
HE main issue and obstacle to successful transition was the military President, who prided himself as the Maradona and Evil Genius. IBB had intended to be the greatest ruler Nigeria ever had. He had come with a disarming smile, courting the critical stakeholders, setting up a cabinet of talents, inviting the egg heads into his administration and venturing into socio-economic and political experimentation, which kept the polity busy. When coup plotters rose against him, he won sympathy because of the innovative social engineering. But to the surprise of experts, the economy continued to show signs of strains. As the military President, he assumed full executive powers, without the accompanying checks and balances. Deploying these sweeping powers, his administration started courting the Organisation of Islamic Unity (OIC). As the economy nosedived, his Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) became a failure. Hundreds of people died and sustained wounds in the massive antiSAP riots across the country. To sustain the regime, the culture of settlement became a feature of national life. From the onset, the transition programme suffered reverses. When the critical groups, including the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) raised eyebrow, the government came up with repressive tactics. Many politicians of note were banned and unbanned. IBB foisted two parties on the country, shifted the hand-over dates at will, changed the rules guiding the transition programme and instigated chorus singers to demand for the elongation of his military Presidency. He may not have corrected read the mood of the people, who actively enlisted on the side of democracy. he last straw that broke the carmel’s back was the cancellation of the credible June 12 poll.
Failed resistance On June 23, when the election was cancelled, the face-off kicked off. On the battle front were Abiola, his wife, Kudirat, the SDP leaders who were loyal to him, human rights groups,
labour, students, and the members of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). Abiola was ready to lay down his life, which he ultimately did. He decried the insult heaped on the voters by IBB, despite their cooperation with the military on the transition programme. In his famous Epe Declaration, the President-elect insisted on his mandate. “never before has there been such a cynical and contemptuous abrogation of solemn commitment and fixed programme”, he also said in response to the unsigned statement announcing the annulment. In Abiola’s view, not only did the voters shunned violence, rigging and other forms of malpractices, the domestic and foreign observers testified that the election was largely free and fair. The President explained that he, his rival, Tofa, and the two political parties never went to court to complain about the poll. He wondered why the Abuja High Court granted the unprecedented and curious injunction to the ABN leader, Nzeribe, who was not a candidate and who never voted during the election. He observed that these diabolical events were planned ahead to create confusion and discredit the successful poll. “from now on, the struggle in Nigeria is between the people and a small clique in the military determined to cling to power at all costs”, he stressed. When Abiola later declared himself President, IBB yelled like a powerdrunk ruler. But the seat became hotter for him henceforth. There were sporadic protests in major cities. They insisted on his exit on August 27, 1993. He handed over to an unelected government.
Interim contraption Three major forces were struggling for the soul of the country-the June 12 fighters, supporters of military tenure elongation and proponents of interim government. The motivation for tenure elongation was to save Babangida from shame or self-destruction. But rationalising the interim option, former military Head of State Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo said, although it was regrettable, it was understandable. Sources said that four six names were being considered for the ING chairman-Obasanjo, the late Dr. Pius Okigbo, the late Chief Anthony Enahoro, the late Dr. Mathew Mbu,
Abiola himself and Chief Ernest Sonekan, the Chairman of the Transitional Council. Okigbo, sources said, declined, following the advice of the Igbo leaders. They felt that it would the Igbo of the Presidency in the future. Enahoro’s loyalty was doubted, since he participated in the anti-military protest. Sources also said that the mood did not support the emergence of any soldier as the head of the ING. When Babangida finally embraced his option, which offered him an escape route, he headed for the National Assembly headed by Senate president Iyorcha Ayu. There, he offered to step aside. “Following lengthy deliberations with my service chiefs, I offered as my own personal sacrifice to voluntarily step aside as the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, he told the parliamentarians. But he also added: “I shall be ready, at the end of the interim government to pass on my experience in defense and security matters and any information relevant to the state to the elected President. During the period of interim administration, I will place before Nigerias full account of our stewardship. His speech threw legislators into confusion. Some felt that he had bowed out. Others said that he intended to bounce back. Many requested to know the meaning of ‘step aside’ from the dictionary. Ayu said his interpretation of the speech was that IBB has decided to quit. His deputy, Senator Albert Legogie, concurred , saying that Babangida should be left to take a rest. Enumerating the elements of the Interim National Government headed by Sonekan, Babangida said it would only affect the structure of the Military Government at the federal level. The unelected government will work with elected parliament at the federal and state levels and with the elected governors. But the Minister of Defense, the late Gen. Sani abacha was left behind. Babangida was silent on the tenure of the ING. He only alluded to a “reasonable period”. The Chairman, Sonekan, had no deputy. Therefore, Abacha, the most senior military officer and minister, became his automatic deputy. Sonekan was not even immediately acknowledged as the Commander-In-Chief. he was merely referred to as the Head of Interim Government. The great boardroom politician,
‘The credible progressive leaders were trapped in the administration. When the battle for the restoration of the mandate intensified, they could not resign from the federal cabinet. However, after stabilising he government for a while, they were sent packing by Abacha. It was another dark period. The national lean years were extended’
Sonekan, could not reenact the success that attended his career in business on the slippery political field. The senior military officers left behind by IBB, especially Abacha and gen. Joshua Dongoyaro, were locked in feud. The country was in deep pain. Protesters doubled their efforts on the streets. The crisis overwhelmed his the illegitimate government. The politically naive interloper was learning a bitter lesson of his short political life. On November 10, 1993, Justice Dolapo Akinsanya of the Lagos High Court dismantled the interim apparatus, saying that it was illegal, unconstitutional, null and void. She said that, by virtue of Section 1 of decree 58 of 1993, IBB was not competent to promulgate Decree 61 of 1993, which set up the ING. But the June 12 fighters did not seize that moment. Many felt that, at that stage, Abiola should have declared himself President as the custodian of a popular mandate. On November 18, 1993, Abacha sacked Sonekan and stepped in as the military head of State.
HE pro-democracy crusaders were back to square one. Abacha abolished all democratic structures at the state and federal levels, disbanded the National Electoral Commission (NEC), banned the two political parties and set up the Provisional Ruling Council (PRC). Then, he dispatched his deputy, the Chief of General Staff, gen. Oladipo Diya, to cajole and persuade credible progressives leaders across the six geo-political zones to join his administration as ministers. In their naivety, Abiola and his associates agreed that Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Mrs. Mobolaji Osomo, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe, Chief Solomon Lar and Dr. Ayu to become members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC). Abacha promised to hand over to Abiola, but he failed to keep the promise. The credible progressive leaders were trapped in the administration. When the battle for the restoration of the mandate intensified, they could not resign from the federal cabinet. However, after stabilising he government for a while, they were sent packing by Abacha. It was another dark period. The national lean years were extended. The military Head of State later initiated a self-succession plan, which collapsed when he mysteriously passed on.
Death of symbol Abiola had been detained, following his arrest after he declared himself President. He was held incommunicado. The late Chief Lamidi Adedibu had claimed that a bail was arranged for him, but Abiola’s personal physician, Dr. Ore Falomo, recalled that the President-elect was not aware of the conditions. Few days after Abacha died, Abiola also died in detention in controversial circumstance.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
NATURAL HEALTH THE NATION
How to treat structural cases
ANY Nigerians are suffering from structural problems but do not know, according to Prof Magnus Atilade, a chiropractor. He urged them to seek complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for their healing. According to Atilade, many people can prevent most communicable and non-communicable diseases, "like malaria, HIV, TB, cancer, kidney failure, tooth decay, cold, cough, head ache, obesity, diabetes, cataract or even glaucoma. But due to ignorance they develop and live with gout, arthritis, musculoskeletal pains, low back pain, slip disc or even misalignment in their spinal column with the attendant pains. "A chiropractic adjustment is a specific force at a specific place that improves the motion in the spine. An adjustment is only done on a joint that isn't functioning well. The joints that are working properly are left alone. When performed by a chiropractor, an adjustment can increase the range of motion in your spine and can relieve pain and stiffness. Some people choose to see their chiropractor on a regular basis. These are typically people who like to be proactive about their health instead of waiting for a crisis to happen. Proactive wellness can include things like going to the dentist, watching what you eat, regular exercise, and seeing a chiropractor to maintain a healthy spine. People under regular chiropractic care report that it makes them feel better," he said.
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Stories by Oyeyemi GbengaMustapha
Atilade, Managing Director (MD), St Luke Chiropractic Clinic, said people can tap into CAM, such as Chiropractic, which is based on the scientific fact that your body is a selfregulating, self-healing organism. Chiropractic is the science of locating offending spinal structures, the art of reducing their impact to the nervous system, and the philosophy of all things natural. The brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves of the body control these important functions. Chiropractic techniques were
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proper control of your nervous system, all the cells, tissues, and organs of your body are designed to resist disease and ill health. The chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and help remove interferences to your natural state of being healthy. "A common interference to the nervous system is dysfunction of the 24 moving bones of the spinal column. A loss of normal motion or position of these bones can irritate or impair the function of the nervous system. This can disrupt the transmission of controlling nerve impulses. With improved spinal function there is often improved nervous system function. Your chi-
The milk your body needs, by nutritionist
ILK lovers have been advised on the type of milk that they should take to derive the best nutrients. According to the President, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Prof Ngozi Nnam, milk is so important in a diet because it is a complete liquid food with rich nutrient composition. “Milk promotes growth because it is an exceptional good source of protein that is readily digestible and biologically available, supports bone growth and development because it is a very good source of calcium in the diet, vitamin D, phosphorus and magnesium. “It also promotes cardiovascular health because of its potassium, calcium and riboflavin. Calcium could help decrease bad cholesterol in the load o reduce hear problems and helps to build immunity because of its rich vitamin A content. Milk has a protective effect on risk of colorectal and breast cancer probably because of its calcium and naturally occurring fat-conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).It is an excellent fluid to re-hydrate the body and provide a host of beneficial nutrients for growth and proper development of the body. And reduces blood pressure due to the effects of protein, calcium, potassium and magnesium in milk.” The Professor of Public Health
Nutrition said understanding varieties of milk would help in maximizsing the basic different benefits inherent in them. “There is pasteurised milk, whereby after raw milk is taken from the animal, it is Pasteurisedheated, then quickly cooled, to kill the bacteria as E. Coli, Salmonella and listeria. Pasteurisation ensures safety of milk. Homogenised milk is a smoother, more uniform texture. Homogenisation reduces the diameter of milk fat to achieve a more permanent and consistent suspension of milk. Fortified milk has addition of one or more nutrients to improve the nutrient content. “Whole milk contains not less than 3.25 per cent milk fat and 8.25 per cent milk solids not fat (protein, CHO, water-soluble vitamins and minerals) with an estimate of 87 per cent water. It is good for children and anyone else for whom fat intake is not a consideration. Reduced fat milk is good for those seeking moderate restriction of their fat intake. It is a form of whole milk in which the milk fat has been reduced from 3.25 per cent to two per cent. Vitamin A and D are removed with milk fat but could be added back through fortification.” “While low fat milk in which the milk fat has been reduced from 3.25 per cent to one per cent is good
for those seeking somewhat greater restriction of their fat intake. Fat soluble vitamins A and D are removed with milk fat and could be added back through fortification. Reduced fat milk is good for those seeking moderate restriction of their fat intake as Reduced fat milk is a Whole milk in which fat has been reduced from 3.25 per cent to two per cent. Vitamin A and D are removed with milk fat but could be added through fortification,” she stated. She said for those seeking to restrict their fat intake considerably Fat-free milk is the best. It is whole milk in which the milk fat has been reduced from 3.5 per cent to essentially none.Often referred to as Skim milk(0g fat). fat soluble vitamins A and D are removed with milk fat and can be added back through milk fortification. “Filled milk has had its natural fat removed and replaced with fat from anger source. May be because if economic reason or to replace saturated fatty acid with a vegetable oil with lower content of saturates. Sweetened condensed is a good recipe ingredient. It is a whole or fat free milk with about 60 per cent of its water removed and to which a nutritive sweetener (sucrose) is added. Used in candy and desert recipes. Flavored milk is milk to which a flavoring such as cocoa or cocoa powder, straw
ropractic doctor can help remove interferences that may be impairing normal health. Since the primary focus of your care is improved nervous system function." He said Chiropractic is different from massage as it deals with the spinal column, nervous system, meninges and body structure while Massage therapists deal with muscle tension, circulation and body fluid drainage. "It is of concern that these days people complain of 'tiredness', fatigue, stress, body pains, yet when treated at conventional hospitals they do not improve significantly. It is time to look at the benefits Chiropractic can offer," he added.
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berry or vanilla extracts and a sweetener have been added. Stabilisers and thickening agents could be added to improve taste and texture. It helps to increase acceptance and consumption of milk, particularly for children because of added flavoring or sweetener. “Evaporated milk on the other hand is a whole homogenised milk heated under vacuum to remove about 60 per cent water, fortified and canned. Required •Prof Nnam no refrigeration unil the can is opened. It contains not less per cent milk fat and greater than 7.5 per cent milk fat and 25 per cent five per cent moisture on a milk milk solids not fat. Will stay fresh solid not fat basis. Cold be fortifor extended periods. The low sofied with vitamins and minerals. dium milk has 95 per cent or more Slight loss of vitamin C and B-comof the sodium that occours natuplex vitamins during drying. Alrally in milk removed. It allows lows milk to be enjoyed when repeople on salt restricted diets to infrigeration is not available,” she clude milk, which is a protein rich stated. food in their diet. Low fat dry milk In the same vein, she said: “Fat is similar to whole dry milk exfree dry milk, also called non-fat cept that it contains between five dry milk is good for individuals per cent and 20 per cent milk fat on on restricted fat diet where rea dry weight basis. It is recomfrigeration is not available. It mended for individuals on low fat contains 1.5 per cent milk fat and fat diet and where refrigeration fanot more than five percent moiscilities are limited. ture. Butter milk is freshly “Whole dry milk is pasteurised Pasteurised or low-fat milk with whole fluid milk from which the added fat free-free dry milk solwater has been removed. It conids. And is a value recipe ingreditains between 26 per cent and 40 ent.”
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
Cell salt for rainy season ailments
HE rains are in full bloom, wetting the fields and forests, cooling the air and returning to the rivers and Oceans from where the sun had pulled water up as water vapour. When I think of this event, I see behind it the great hand of Mother Nature’s Law of Giving and Taking. The earth gives, the earth receives. And this gives us the residents of this planet the blessings of more food, as the crops sprout in the fields and fish mushroom in the rivers and seas, and a cooler weather which compensates for the heat of the past few months which was, in fact, respite from the pounding of the bygone rainy months. I sometimes wonder how beautiful Nigeria our great country may have become if, as children, today’s adults had been taught always not to TAKE without GIVING! I wonder, also, about what Nigeria may have been like if, like the common folk, politicians did not have to empty the public treasure into the pockets of their clothes and give nothing in return to their looted country. But can you blame them? Aren’t they merely leaders of their people? And aren’t leaders merely people who, among a people, carry deep within them the strongest of the abilities for goodness or evil prevalent among a people? Aren’t shop girls and boys, like corporate chief executives, emptying the till as well? Someday, perhaps when the “beautiful ones” are “born”, this Law of Nature which the rainy season teaches us, would be given more respect in our lives, and our country would glow in beauty. Meanwhile, as students of Nature follow the seasons to learn what deep lessons of life each season’s wishes to teach, and falling in tune with the great Universe, there are many people who always appear left behind. These are the people whose health deteriorates in one season, picks up in another only to dip in yet another season. This has led doctors to classify a family of seasonal health problems as SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISEASE or SAD. The rainy season can, indeed be a sad seasons for many people, such as asthmatics, arthritics, or sufferers from intestinal troubles. Largely, the troubles come from the cold or damp environment and the wind which, in many cases, announce the coming of rainfall. The wind blows dust everywhere and, with the dust germs which cause air borne diseases. Rain water may also bring water borne diseases and the floods all sorts of germs. Many people are not lucky enough to live in upland parts of town. So, their homes and neighbourhoods are always flooded or damp. Dirty habits of the city dweller do not help matters either in upland area. Government failure to provide safe, drinking piped water for everyone has led to the growth of a gigantic private sector drinking water industry which sells its products in plastic bottles and cellophane sachets. These packages are dumped anywhere once their contents are consumed, and find their ways into drains. Rainfall time is an opportunity for many people to empty their waste at home in the gutters for the rain water in the open drains to carry them wherever in this case, means downstream, and flooding of downstream neighbourhoods. I felt bad one day two years ago wading through the floods at Ikeja Under bridge in Lagos. When I arrived home, I emptied a large quantity of table salt into the bath tub to give my toes, feet and other exposed parts of the body a salt scrub. After that I took herbal antibiotic teas. I do not know if many people take this kind of trouble to protect themselves after an exposure, such as this, to the water–borne germs. I will mention a few of the common rainy season problems which require protection against this rainy season to avoid a SAD, before I come to cell or tissue salts and some of the health troubles they have been known to help prevent or revent.
Malaria Pools of water are collecting almost everywhere. Mosquitoes will breed, in them, bite their victims and, most probably, give them Malaria fever. It is rare to find a person who drinks lemongrass tea every day and comes down with malaria. The chemicals in this plant kill the plasmodium (malaria causing parasite) in the bloodstream. Chanka piedra (Phyllanthus) does it, too I guess a proprietary product named PARACLEANSE will act likewise. It is a combination of many herbs, including wormwood, which is an anti– malaria. The proprietary blend SPECTRAGREEN, blend of over 40 green since these two plants are used to treat malaria fever; plants including pawpaw (Papaya) leaves and lemon grass leaves may have an anti – malaria action. As Plasmodium damages red blood cells, creating Oxygen shortage, which causes pains all over the body, blood building herbs such as Nettle, Yarrow and Chlorella may help. So should Oxygen tablets which not only supply Oxygen indirectly but also burn to death diseases causing parasites. So does JOBELYN a Nigeria antioxidant herbal blood formula. in the cell salt family, Ferrum phosphate (Ferrum Phos.) and Potassium Sulphate (Kali Sulph) do this beautifully.
Gastroenteritis This is trouble in the intestinal tract. Add to it diahrrhoea and Colitis, which is inflammation of the colon. The trouble comes from bacteria in dusty air and in water, and may be water or food borne. Think of the many food canteens which keep plates and cutlery in open baskets outdoor, and of those service girls who do not rinse the plates (at best, they merely wipe them with dirty napkins) before they serve your meal in them! In gastroenteritis, one is unable to eat or drink. An intense burning sensation develops after meals, and there may be blood (dark or fresh) in the stool. Blood indicates ulceration or laceration of the intestine, which may provide a habitat to germs and, if care is not taken, damaged further to a point at which the cells may become cancerous. The intestine may also suffer from diverticulosis or polyps and other diseases. The amino acid L, - Glutamine, Zinc, Vitamin S, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Selenium and Bioflavonoids may help to heal intestinal tract injuries. Cell salts also have a major role to play.
Asthma Like Bronchitis, Asthmas is a respiratory system disease. Many suggestions have been given for its cause. They range from allegens to Magnesium deficiency. Allegens include Cocknacles, furry animals such as cats, dust mite, smoke e.t.c. Some researchers have linked
the condition to infestation of Candida and mould, deficiency of essential fatty acids, Magnesium and Vitamin A, and dehydration. For me, if two people are exposed to the same allegens and one goes down but the other does not, there must be something other than more allegens in the equation. Is this a constitutional weakness of the lungs, in which case, nutritional deficiencies as listed above and cell salt deficiencies may be underlining causes? In bronchitis and asthma, cell salt practitioners watch out for the colour of phlegm or mucus, and the colour of the tongue… pinkish red, which is normal, or grayish and patched which is not the colour tells them which cell salt is missing or not enough in the system. When they supply it, the ailment goes!
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Unlike osteoarthritis, which is degeneration of bone cartilage, growth of bone spurs, rubbing bones, inflammation, pain and stiffness, rheumatoid arthritis is an immune disorder in which the body is attacking its own joints. Both conditions hate damp and cold weather and worsen in such conditions. The good old hot water bottle helps but there are not many good ones in town in these days in ChinaMade products. I often order direct from England when I have need for it. Those ones come with factory made jackets for women who are treating Uterine fibroids and need heat in that region, under camphorated castor therapy or not, find it useful to improve blood circulation in that region. It helps RA people, too, as it does people with arthritic fingers or atrophic fingers.
Pneumonitis This is inflammation of the lungs triggered sometimes by the invasion of fungi, including, Candida, mould or, simply, inhalation of dust. If the cause, is fungus or mould, the organisms produce antigens against which the body produces antibodies. Caught in the crossfire, lung tissue inflames. Cell salt practitioners prescribe remedies for it.
Fibromyalgia This is a condition of inflammation and pain in fibrous tissue in muscle, tendons, other connective tissue principally in the neck, shoulders, upper chest, rib cage, lower back, the arms and elbows.
The 12 Cell or Tissue Salts Dr Wilhelm Heinrich Schuessler (1821 – 1898) developed these 12 salts while condensing or simplifying Dr, Hahnemann’s over 200 Homeopathic remedies. He came to some conclusions, including that • If the human body was burnt to ash and the ash was analysed, it would yield 12 different biochemic salts which constitute all tissues in varying proportions peculiar to particular tissues. • Disease does not occur in a cell in which metabolism is in order. • Metabolism is normal if the cell has enough adequate mineral tissue or cell salts. • The cell’s ability to absorb nutrients and excrete wastes is disturbed by a deficiency of tissue salts. • Supply of specific tissue salts to the cell may restore normal metabolism. The 12 cell salts are numbered 1 – 12 in the following order: •Calcium Flouride This biochemic salt ensures suppleness throught the body. A deficiency causes slackness which may result in swellings and hardening such as is evident in swollen gums and loose teeth, piles, enlarged heart, enlarged blood vessels (Varicose Veins), wearing of enamel of the teeth. Its value in supporting elasticity of tissue recommends it for such other conditions as muscle weakness and weakness of tendons, ligaments and fibrous tissue, and rigid joints (gout or arthritis). •Calcium Phosphate This is the regulator of healthy cellular activity. In its presence, other cell salts intensity their action. It is a great restorative in run - downs conditions. It is a major constituent of all cells and fluids. Cyril Scot names its shortage in the eye as a cause of eye troubles. Also known as the Phosphate of Lime, good gardeners are said to know Calcium Phosphate is a major constituent of most productive soils, and, so, enrich the soil
with it. It is probably for this reason that it features in the remedies of Children who are not growing properly, and in cases of infertility. It cannot be ignored in the building of healthy bones and bone joints. When it comes to cramps, Calcium Phosphate, with Magnesium Phosphate, calm the muscle. • Calcium Sulphate A great blood purifier, it is a cousin of Silica (No12) in cleansing the blood of toxins, helping with liver detoxification and the healing of some skin ailments, including an acne and pimples and supports the formation of new skin cells. • Ferrum Phosphate The body requires Oxygen to burn diseases, and here comes an Oxygen carrier. It oxygenates the outside of cells while Potassium Sulphate, another cell salt, oxygenates the inside. It fights congestions and inflammation. Of value in anaemia, Ferrum Phosphate delivers iron to the cells in small, homeopathic but effective doses, which does not cause iron build–up in the system or cause constipation as many Pharmaceutical iron pills do. This cell salt strengthens the walls of blood vessels, may stop abdominal bleeding and, when in short supply, has been identified as cause of fever and inflammation. • Potassium Chloride Here comes the famous Kali Mur, an important constituent of muscles, nerve and brain cells without which the brain is said to be unable to form, a great destroyer of poisonous wastes, especially when the body is fighting off a fever or other infections, a blood thinner and, like ferrum phosphate,, a remedy for cold. • Potassium Phosphate Kali phos is the most important of the three phosphate salts and is said to be the soother of jangled cells. It is plentiful in the gray matter of nerve cells, and complements magnesium phosphate which is active in the white matter of these cells. A shortage of one affects the functions of the other. Potassium phosphate is used worldwide as a natural tranquiliser and is reputable in the treatment of psychological problems, irritability, memory loss, dementia, sudden brain fog and rapid decomposition of the blood. • Potossum Sulphate Like ferrum phosphate, here’s another oxygenator of the blood and cells. It promotes the health of the lungs, is useful in asthma and bronchitis and skin health. Nicknamed the “Antifriction” and the “Cellular Building Block,” kali sulph acts like a lubricant and helps to create new cells to replace those damaged or killed by disease. Its deficiency causes oil in the body to thicken and clog the pores of the skin. Such oil is often expelled, also, as a yellowish sticky discharge from any office of the body (the nose, vagina etc) or from a cancer, swollen gland or abscess, including boils. • Magnesium Phosphates An antispasmodic, mag phos is good news for people who suffer from cramps, including foot and menstrual cramps, and palpitations of the heart. Nerve and muscle spasms of asthma, like these which cause premature ejaculation, also benefit from it. The same goes for twitches of eyelids. Magnesium Phosphate works even more powerfully when combined with the other two phosphate salts, Calcium Phosphate and Potassium Phosphate. Together they build nerve tone. Magnesium helps to stop nerve pain, such as is experienced in neuralgia or sciatic nerve problems. A deficiency may cause nervous, convulsions, epilepsy, flatulence from, indigestion, and other nervousness, system disturbances. • Sodium Chloride This is by no means your table salt. It is Natrium Muri it is the “pre–eminent headache remedy”. Its main job is to set up and maintain osmotic pressure through which fluid enters the cell with nutrients and leaves with wastes. Another of its functions is to regulate fluid balance throughout the body, preventing dryness or water – logging. • Sodium Phosphate This is the body’s biochemic antacid. It is fund everywhere in the body… blood, nerves, eyes, muscles, blood, brain, lungs and lympth… everywhere, to decompose acids and to balance body pH. People who suffer from ulcer, heartburn, heat in any part of the body benefit from sodium Phosphate (Natrium Phos) therapy. So do people who suffer from other problems caused by excess acids such as back pain, arthritis. • Sodium Sulphate This is the cell salt for asthma. While Sodium Chloride attracts water to the body, Sodium Sulphate takes away excess water. It is especially friendly to the mucus membranes, which makes it good for asthma, sinus discharges, influenza, cold, and the bowels. It helps liver cleansing, and supports blood sugar metabolism and, by extensions diabetes therapy. • Silica Known as “the remarkable cellular cleanser” and “homeopathic surgeons, Silica dissolves boils and abscesses supports hair, skin and nail health, makes calcium deposit appropriately in bone, hardens bones, connective tissue, eliminates toxins and dissolves congestions and swellings. In the days before antibiotics were discovered and surgery was not rampant, Silica was named the homeopathic surgeon because it helped to solve most of the problems for which surgeon’s advice surgery today. In cases of hernia, for example, silica may so strengthen tissue fabric connective that makes a prolapse impossible. Beyond these and more, it is good for digestion and cleansing of the blood. Cell salt therapy is often described as “well kept” secret of Alternative Medicine this column will continue to discuss it, even outside the rainy season.
•This page is being rerun due to readers’ popular demand
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THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
e-Business The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has fixed June 30 as the deadline for the conclusion of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card registration. But the service providers are asking for more time to do a thorough job of the exercise which began in 2011. How long does it take to register a SIM card? LUICAS AJANAKU reports.
NCC, telcos tangle over SIM registration
HOUGH Vivian Ekeada, a secondary school teacher, lives and works in Lagos, she got her Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) registered in Nekede, Imo State. According to her, she was on vacation and one of her hosts told her there was a registration centre nearby. She took advantage of that to register her SIM card. While in Lagos, Vivian had seen agents lined up in Oshodi, Ikeja and other parts of the metropolis, extorting N50 from subscribers for each SIM card registered. Because she had read in the papers that the exercise is free, she refused to do the registration until the opportunity of her vacation came. Kunle Lanrewaju, a civil servant, got his SIM registered in his office. He also took advantage of a mobile SIM registration agent to do it a long time ago. He was shocked when he received a message from his service provider informing him that his SIM registration failed. He promptly walked into one of the customer care centres of his operator and got the SIM registered again. These are a few of the challenges that subscribers have to cope with during the nationwide SIM card registration exercise which was launched in March 2011 by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). When the telecoms sector was liberalised more than a decade ago, Nigerians long traumatised by the inefficiency that characterised the services of former state-run telco, NITEL, rushed to get a mobile telephone number. It opened a new window of opportunity to Nigerians in all facets of life. Amidst the euphoria that greeted this revolution, the wisdom in getting subscribers to register their lines before use was lost. That wisdom came back when the mobile phone now transformed from merely being an instrument of communication but to a sophisticate weapon in the armoury of criminal elements who buy the SIM, use it for one criminal activity or the other and dump. When kidnap-for-ransom became a time-honoured predilection in some parts of the country, mobile phones became the ready instrument to negotiate the ransom to be paid to the kidnappers. Armed robbers linked one another from one state to the other, planned their operations and unleashed pains and anguish on innocent citizens with mobile phones. It is against this backdrop that the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and other
security agencies closed ranks and agreed that there was, indeed, the need to register SIM cards in the country. Thus, it was not strange then that the NCC got a budgetary allocation of N6.1 billion for the exercise. Preparation for the exercise got underway under Mr. Ernest Ndukwe, former executive vice chairman of the NCC. The first salvo was fired with a statement from the NCC which read: “The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in exercise of its regulatory functions as provided for by the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, wishes to inform the general public and all the relevant stakeholders that arrangements have been concluded for the commencement of registration of all SIM card holders in Nigeria,” adding that with effect from March 1, 2010, all new SIM cards in Nigeria must be registered before activation. The commission set the provision of epassports, corporate/company or work place identity cards that has pension identification /tax numbers, student ID cards from recognised institutions, drivers’ licence issued by the Federal Road Safety Commission ( FRSC) and e-tax cards as prerequisites for registration. It said further that the process will include the capture of the photograph and biometrics of the subscriber, adding that “proxy registration shall be restricted to the direct families of persons seeking registration.” Ndukwe said registering SIM cards was necessary to prevent the harassment many Nigerians have undergone in recent years, due to individuals who use mobile phones to perpetrate crimes. He stressed the need for public awareness. “NCC should also work hand in hand with the National Identity Card Management Commission (NIMC) in order to ensure the success of this programme since it is widely known that there is absence of an authentic identity data in Nigeria. The success of the SIM registration process will one
Operator Airtel MTN Etisalat Globacom
Trouble shooting code *746# REG to 746 Not available Not available
•SIMs used in modems for browsing must also be registered.
way or the other assist in the proposed implementation of Mobile Number Portability which is under way,” he added. In line with the suggestion of the Ndukwe, sources close to NIMC said officials of the NCC consulted it widely and a number of recommendations were made which were later jettisoned. One of such recommendations was the capture of all the finger prints of the SIM card holder. NCC settled for three while the recommendations on photo capture were also largely ignored as any object now serves as background if the picture was ever captured. But, in spite of the imperfection, the exercise continued until the NCC placed June 30 as the timeline to end it. All old SIMs not registered would be disconnected from the network. Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) chairman Gbenga Adebayo disagrees with the NCC. According to him, there has been a significant disruption to the lives of people in certain parts of the country. Some of the affected persons are subscribers who may have been displaced as a result of the problems. To this end, he is not comfortable with the timeline. “Given the reality of what we face, you know we have had significant disruption in the activities in some parts of the country and which has also affected the movement of persons and businesses. So, certain circumstances the last three or four months haven’t helped the situation as it were. Therefore, as at today, we are not 100 per cent ready for the exercise to end. What the
‘So, for me, before we say unregistered subscribers should be disconnected, we should embark on data clean up where there will be integration of data registered by the operators and those registered by the regulator. After the outcome of that, we can take a decision either to disconnect or not’
NCC should do is to provide a direction of the data base it has registered. Recall that we did some parts and NCC also did some parts, so if NCC is putting the deadline of June 30, it should give a declaration of the readiness or integrity of the data it has recorded over the period before putting a blanket disconnection order on service providers. “So, for me, before we say unregistered subscribers should be disconnected, we should embark on data clean up where there will be integration of data registered by the operators and those registered by the regulator. After the outcome of that, we can take a decision either to disconnect or not. But, as it is today, it will appear that the NCC is sitting on its own data; no one knows the integrity of the data it has collated. We haven’t harmonised the data collated so far. I think there is need to revisit the June 30 deadline again,” Adebayo said. But the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS) differs. It argues that the NCC has given more than enough time for the exercise. Deolu Ogunbanjo, its president, said the regulator has given a total of 21 months for the exercise. According to him, when the NCC said the exercise will run for six months, ALTON requested for nine months while NATCOMS asked for 12 months. While the former’s request lapsed last year September, the latter’s expired May. “So, after all these, we have got more than we asked for. So, the June 30 deadline is in order. Let the regulator disconnect any line not registered after the timeline,” he said. Corporate Services Executive, MTN, Akinwale Goodluck, said the telco was working towards meeting the deadline. He said the telco had invested massively on personnel and tools to ensure a hitch-free exercise. He added that leveraging on MTN’s experience in other countries where it operates, it has ensured the success of the exercise in the country by investing in tools. On the integrity of the data gathered, he said it may not be 100 per cent foolproof but, for the first time, the country was getting data that could aid security and national planning. Aside the agents that cut corners during the exercise, the operators who did were fined N53.8 million. All the four mobile telecommunication operators contravened the rules on registration of SIM. They were accused of pre-registering SIMs for sale contrary to the rules set by the regulator.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
Why low service quality persists, by MTN T ELECOM giant MTN has explained why the quality of service (Qos) is still low. It blamed the problem on the bureaucracy surrounding the rolling out of new base transmission station (BTS) and vandalism of optic fibre cables. MTN Corporate Services Executive Akinwale Goodluck said in Lagos that the issue of service quality is essentially that of “capacity problem” occasioned by the dearth of infrastructure. He said even when the operators were willing to roll out, there was always the frustration of getting the necessary approvals from various government agencies and communities who demand money from opera-
Stories by Lucas Ajanaku
tors. Added to this is the constant vandalisation of optic fibre cables for commercial reasons. The cables, he said, are also damaged by construction workers. Goodluck noted that there is massive road construction works going across the country leading to inadvertent damage to the cables. He said: “People vandalise the cables in the night, sometimes, as early as 2 am. The fibre is not much of use because it is not copper and this is the worry for us. People actually set out to damage the net-
work so that during repairs, the vandals make all sorts of spurious demands.” He disclosed that, in May, the telco integrated 250 2G BTS to the network to improve customers’ experience, adding that persistent fibre cuts rendered capacities meaningless. “We are working with the government, security agencies to guarantee this vulnerable infrastructure. Members of the public must also regard telecommunications infrastructure as theirs and not that of MTN because it allows them to communicate with their loved ones easily,” he said. He urged the public to be vigilant.
Airtel urges customers to register SIMs
IRTEL Nigeria has urged its customers to register their Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) ahead the regulator’s June 30 deadline. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had given operators till June 30, to complete the SIM card registration. Its Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director, Deepak Srivastava, made the charge at a consumers forum in Port Harcourt. He said the telco would continue to offer high quality services to the subscribers and assured consumers of a better service and network experience. He also said Airtel had plans to beef up its infrastructure and strengthen its network capacity, as it expands deeper into far-flung areas, especially the rural areas. Srivastava said since Airtel entered the market, it has pioneered
many changes and offered innovative products that altered the way the telecoms business is done in Nigeria. According to him, Airtel is committed to evolving new product ideas that would enhance the service experience on its network and position the company, as the preferred network for Nigerians seeking to join the “network that works”. He noted that the company’s rich portfolio of products and services has its roots in the tradition of the parent company, Bharti Airtel, which always strives to establish its rich culture of service in diverse markets wherever it operates.” The Nigerian telecoms landscape is wearing a new look today because of the innovative and transformational product and service initiatives we introduced into the market.
Main One to raise investments on infrastructure
•From right: President, Nigerian Computer Society (NCS), Sir Demola Aladekomo; Chairman, Visafone Communications Limited, Jim Ovia; and Provost, College of Fellows, NCS, Alhaji Oladimeji Ogunewe, during the conferment of honorary Fellowship Award on Ovia
NCC, Phase 3 partner over underserved areas
HE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has struck a partnership deal with Phase3 Telecom under the Universal Service Provisioning Fund (USPF) B-Train project to extend fibre infrastructure to unserved and underserved areas of the country. Business Solution Manager of the firm, Mr.Otuya Okecha, dis-
closed this to The Nation in Lagos, adding that the project will bring telecoms services to the rural areas of the country. According to him, this will help speed up the realisation of Federal Government’s initiatives targeted at addressing the sleuth of OTC infrastructure to the rural areas.Otuya further said that this
will make an impact in the country’s broadband development from the point of infrastructure setting the platform for broadband penetration and coverage in especially the underserved areas. He also said that the government should make the sector attractive by giving enough funding and grant for broadband investor to get to the underserved areas.
get off the ground, we started looking for a new place. So, that was why there was delay. At the time we got it, we agreed with the manager of the e-Learning Centre that we will need the place. We have got everything on ground to take off. But, unfortunately, that did not work out. We started running around for another space in Lagos,” she explained, adding that the new search led to where the centre is currently located in Yaba. According to her, the location is apt for the project as it is at the centre of tertiary institutions and it is popularly called Silicon Lagoon. “In a way, we were fortunate we got the centre (where it is presently), that is why I say delay is not denial. So, we are tapping into a very rich area for the success of the software ecosystem. There are many tertiary institutions there,” she said. The centre was established to stimulate local industry growth and employment by accelerating the success of technology entrepre-
neurs and early stage start-ups, Vice Chairman, iDEA Governing Board, Mr Pius Okigbo Jnr, said.According to him, the centres will help address the typical barriers to success – the lack of access to funding; the costs associated with acquiring technology, knowledge and expertise; and the limited ability to obtain broad exposure for creations and innovations. “iDEA is partnering with technology companies to offer training and access to software development tools across a number of platforms. “Entrepreneurs will also have access to guidance from our network of mentors. iDEA will engage the student community by getting them involved in many activities organised by the centres. “They will also attend low or nocost technical training at the centres. iDEA will engage established local software development companies to build new innovations or assist in bridging the gaps preventing the companies from fully exploiting and commercialising existing innovations,” he said.
By Deji Fakorede
‘Bureaucracy delayed software incubation centre’
UREAUCRACY stalled the citing of the Lagos software incubation centre at the eLearning Centre, Marina, it has been learnt. Project Manager, Information Technology Developers Entrepreneurship Accelerator (iDEA), Helen Anatogu, said the green light to use the Marina facility did not come on time, necessitating the search for a new venue. iDEA is a not-for-profit organisation set as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to drive the success of the incubation centres nationwide. “When we started this journey, the initial proposition was to have the Lagos centre on Marina at the eLearning Centre. However, what happened was that we found that there were some delays from the Lagos State government to actually make the decision to concession that e-Learning Centre to the manager. I don’t think that has been solved yet. “That venue was our first choice but when we saw that the venue was going to take even longer time to
AIN ONE, West Africa’s leading wholesale com munications services company, has assured its stakeholders that it will continue to make strategic investments to enhance its network infrastructure and extend its capabilities and reach across West Africa. According to a statement, the firm made this commitment on the sideline after emerging Telecom Wholesale Provider of the Year at the 2013 Ghana Telecom Awards for the second consecutive year. Main One beat Vodafone Wholesale and Glo 1 to emerge Wholesale Carrier at the third Ghana Telecoms Awards 2013 organised by Mobile World magazine, which held at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra. At the Awards, Ghana Country Manager Joseph Odoi said: “Receiving the Telecom Wholesale Carrier of the Year award is truly an honour. “It means a great deal to us that
Main One continues to be recognised for our innovation and leadership in the telecommunications industry, as we make strategic investments to enhance our network infrastructure and extend our capabilities and reach across West Africa.” The Chief Executive Officer of Main One, Funke Opeke, was also awarded “African Telecom Personality of the Year” in recognition of her vision to improve telecoms infrastructure on the continent and Main One’s consistent effort in extending broadband connectivity across West Africa. The Awards, which began in 2011, celebrates and recognises the enormous contributions and achievements made by service providers and individuals in the Ghanaian telecom sector. The awards which had 22 categories, is organised annually by Mobile World, a magazine with special focus on telecommunications, and seeks to reward excellence in the industry.
Glo offers newspaper via SMS
N order to keep in touch with the fast the changing world, Globacom has launched a mobile newspaper service tagged Glo-Mpaper. The telecoms company said the new service would offer top Nigerian and international news on mobile to all categories of its subscribers. In a statement signed by the company’s Coordinator, Marketing, Mr Adeniyi Olukoya, Globacom said that subscribers on the network could access news on the mobile portal by subscribing to news alert via Short Messaging System (SMS). ”We are glad to announce to our
esteemed subscribers the birth ofGlo-Mpaper, a service that supplies news from local and international newspapers to subscribers over SMS and WAP (Wireless Application Protocol). The beauty of this service from our stable is that beyond the immediacy of delivering the news items as they break, users can subscribe to at least three different newspapers,” the statement added.According to Globacom, accessing the service is easy and users could change their newspaper category as many times as they wish free-of-charge, just as the service would be opened to any brand or model of handset.
‘ICT vital for responsive governance’ The chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Gilbert Nnaji, has described information and communications technology (ICT) as an indispensable tool for a sustainable responsive parliament for national development. Legislative Assistant, Public Relations, Egbo Mon-Charles, explained in a press statement that the Senate Committee chairman made this remark at a one-day training workshop on ICT and e-parliament organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in conjunction with the Senate Committee on Communications for the whole senators at the National Assembly. Nnaji, who represents Enugu-East District in the Upper Legislative chamber added that in order to carry out the functions of legislation, representation and inspection more effectively and enhance par-
ticipatory democracy, parliaments world over must seek to fully exploit the inherent advantages in ICT. Earlier in his opening remarks, the Director-General of NITDA, Prof. Cleopas Angaye, stated that the agency was established to enable Nigeria become an active player in the era of globalisation through seeking to transform Nigerian economy from resource-based economy to a knowledge-based. He added that the training was in furtherance of NITDA’s overall efforts in realising its set goals.Also, the Honourable Minister for Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, specially commended the legislators for subjecting themselves to such capacityenhancing workshop, noting that the bane of technological advancement in the country was absence of local content.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
‘Leadership, national development and people’
Text of the speech delivered by the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu at the Grand Ballroom, Westminster Hall, House of Parliament, London, as part of a conference convened by the British African Diaspora Conference on Monday
AM honoured to be with you in the House of Commons for this is a house of democracy. It can be said that modern representative democracy was born inside these walls. Three and one-quarter centuries ago, England underwent the Glorious Revolution. The Glorious Revolution was a complex happening, with religious considerations playing as large a role as political factors. The Glorious Revolution permanently shifted the balance of power from the monarch to the elected representatives of the people. In this land, the primacy of the monarchy was altered. Over the years, the power of parliament would progressively grow while that of the monarchy would recede. As long as the breath of freedom does not expire from this earth, this house shall be revered as a symbol of progress and of the battle of the rule of law and individual liberty against the menace of unchecked and arbitrary power. Today, democracy is the standard. Democracy is the best form of governance because it counters that most dangerous human frailty: the temptation of leaders to accumulate power for the sake of accumulating more power. However, everyone claims to be democratic but not everyone is faithful to his or her word. Herein lies the rub. Illiberal governments have become adept in exploiting the visible procedural and institutional trappings of democracy without adopting the democratic spirit that gives these procedures and institutions their noble meaning. We have governments that are democracies on paper but not in function. They are democracies in form but not in substance. We have governments that only know democracy primarily through breaching it. In short, many nations suffer authoritarian governments in democratic clothing. Nigeria is a dysfunctional democracy. Our system stands in a dark, uncertain corridor, idling halfway between democracy and its opposite. The way things are going many people believe our best chance for genuine democracy has already escaped from us like dust blown from the hollow of our hand. I believe democracy shall prevail in Nigeria in the long run. This belief is not derived from the present facts on the ground. If I limit myself to facts alone, my address to you would be a gloomy one. However, I believe democracy shall win because I hold an undying faith in both justice and the collective wisdom of the people. Today, I will examine our topic, Leadership, National Development and the People through the prism of democratic culture and the rights of citizens to elect and vote out leaders at periodic intervals. What kind of legitimacy do the leaders command? What changes are required to bring about free and fair elections and the rule of law? What is the quality of the leadership now in power? What developmental philosophy is best suited to spur national development? Under democracy, the concern about the quality of leadership takes on an added dimension. Democracy can only be sustained and improved when the electoral process is such that the people are able to choose leaders who will further nurture the democratic system. In the absence of this reinforcing positive dynamics, democracy will weaken and sooner or later implode, if left too long unattended. If democ-
racy is to be sustained it must also elevate the performance level of government and the corresponding rights and privileges enjoyed by the citizens. The success or performance of any leadership is often measured by the extent of national cohesion achieved and the level of national development experienced. In the case of Nigeria, the fundamental question to ask as one of our most prominent journalists said in a recent piece is: To what extent has public policy improved the human condition? Indeed, according to the late British economist Dudley Seers, the questions to be asked about a country’s development are the following: What has become of poverty? What has happened to unemployment? What is the state of socio-economic inequality? “If all three have declined from high levels, then development has occurred. But if one or two of these central problems have grown worse, especially if all three have, it would be wrong to call the result “development” even if GDP has improved. Sadly, these problems have grown worse in our land. The concept of national development has been perverted. In Nigeria and most parts of Africa, the three key drivers of development are retrogressing because of the missing link- visionary, disciplined and courageous leadership. The gap between poor and rich widens. There is grinding poverty and people have to work twice as hard each day to make ends meet. There is massive unemployment. Of what use is any leadership that does little to solve these problems? Leadership and National development are twin engines. You need good leadership to conceive dynamic policies that will drive development at all levels. It is not rocket science, yet we pretend that our path to national development will be different from that of other countries who paid the price for good leadership, dynamic and result-oriented policies. Here I advocate a new thinking and a new direction. Nigeria needs its equivalent of the Glorious Revolution. I use this term knowing critics will complain I advocate overthrow. I do no such thing. I do not support the Jonathan government but I oppose anyone seeking its premature, illegal end. Let this government end at the appointed time. But let it end through the ballot box. Then I shall say good riddance. The Glorious Nigerian Revolution of which I speak has nothing to do with force of arms. The Revolution of which I speak has two major parts. First, is the peaceful conversion of our quasi-democracy into a fullfledged one. Second, is the implementation of policies turning the political economy away from its retrogressive, elitist bearings. We seek policies pointing in a progressive direction affording the average person a chance at a dignified life. This will be through the provision of gainful employment, quality education and essential social services for those who need the helping hand of government to survive. I see no shame in believing progressive government can improve the political economy and the lives of the people. It is quite apparent to me that political leadership serves no useful function if it is unable to address the vital needs of the people. There is no question that the current Federal government has thoroughly failed in that enterprise and this explains the focus of the new opposi-
‘Leadership and National development are twin engines. You need good leadership to conceive dynamic policies that will drive development at all levels. It is not rocket science, yet we pretend that our path to national development will be different from that of other countries who paid the price for good leadership, dynamic and resultoriented policies’ tion the APC. As our new coalition, ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS, APC, takes form, we are convinced and determined about the direction we want to take our nation and our people. As leaders of the new party and government in waiting, we intend to pursue dynamic, time-tested and bold policies that will liberate our people by making sure our wealth works for us. Let me put forth a few. The Central focus of our efforts in the coming years must be the implementation of the most extensive and aggressive plan to lift as many Nigerians out of poverty as possible. Our desire is to be able to move at least 20% of our people out of poverty (defined as earning less than a dollar a day) in the first 4 years of our administration. To do so we begin from the premise that the Washington Consensus and the IMF/Post-Bretton Woods prescriptions for development have served their time and to a large extent have not delivered on their promises. There is a need for what has been described as a THIRD PATH. A Pathway between the pure market-driven, neo-liberal socio-economic policies and the various variants of the command economic models. That Third Path is particularly important for countries such as ours with an incredibly large and growing poor, poor infrastructure and weak financial and social institutions. The results of which are the frightening social tensions, terrorist violence and kidnappings. For us that pathway is clear . It means developing our own Marshall Plan resulting in direct intervention of the State, thereby halting the pauperization of our people but simultaneously ensuring that intervention itself spins off jobs and growth. It also means working aggressively to improve infrastructure. The immediate priorities will be sorting out the power requirements for all. One of the most important discoveries of humanity today is electricity. Unfortunately, Nigeria’s efforts to provide adequate energy have been an abysmal failure. Yet no nation can develop economically and meet the needs of its people without uninterrupted energy supply. How can any nation think of setting up refineries without constant power supply. Taking crude oil and exporting same can-
•Asiwaju Tinubu...on Monday
not result in exponential growth for any country. To improve energy supply, we would encourage Independent Power Plants, IPP, in designated industrial zones to reduce the horrendous power component of the cost of local manufacturing. Secondly, the construction of Trans- State highways, such as the speed train that will connect the North, South, East and West and move people, fuel, farm produce and goods, cost-efficiently across the country. We will emphasize and promote the growth in all sectors in the first 4 years by making small business the engine of growth. Foreign investments will ride on the back of thriving local investments, initiatives and a stable polity. Investment in agriculture and agro-allied industry is a must for us. We firmly believe that Agriculture will provide food for subsistence and export. Most importantly, it has the potential to create millions of jobs for both the illiterate and literate population. It is from agriculture that we can fight hunger and process raw materials for the industrial sector. It appears that every government in Nigeria has realized the centrality of agriculture, the problem has always been the absence of a forthright and creative plan, focus and commitment to implementation. Again State intervention is the key. When domestic and foreign demand is stimulated, farmers must be assured of minimum prices for their produce. A variant of the commodity boards is the model we are currently working on. The agency will be required to prioritize cash and food crops for which government will guarantee a minimum price. This way the farmer is confident that his investment is protected. But it is perhaps the various dimensions of our National Social Security Programme that has occupied the thoughts of our economic team most forcefully. Just to outline the broad themes of the policy : First, we intend to establish a partly contributory National Social Security Scheme. Some categories of the poor and vulnerable will benefit with or without contribution. We believe that every Nigerian over the age of 60 who is not under a pension scheme and also qualifies as poor by a “Means Test” must
be given a monthly stipend. Widows and the disabled proved by a “Means Test” to be poor must also be provided a monthly stipend whenever they are unemployed. They become disentitled when they are employed. To capture unemployed graduates the Youth Corp scheme will be reviewed for pragmatic implementation for skills development and social services. The scheme may be extended for an optional 18 months within which Youth Corp member is paid and trained. One year of Youth service and six months of training in Entrepreneurial or other useful skills while looking for a job or starting a business. For instance, the CO-CREATION technology and Innovation Centre in Lagos where technology savvy young people are given the space and facilities to develop software and applications of different kinds is an indication of how in a few years with adequate government support we could create thousands of IT related jobs and opportunities throughout the country. There must be matching funds between the State and Federal government towards creating business incubators for skilled graduates. 12. An important component of state intervention to redress poverty is the one meal a day programme for primary and secondary school pupils. The Federal government through supplemental funding will support States in providing Primary and Secondary school pupils with at least one meal a day. The immediate twin derivatives of this programme is the design to confront the extremely high incidence of malnutrition and other hunger -induced medical conditions amongst poor children as well as eliminating the recruiting grounds for illegal activities. Also, the program will stimulate demand thereby boosting local businesses in poultry, bakery and juice and packing industries. This will employ millions of graduates and no-graduates. Then, we can start to talk truly about the dividends of not just democracy but of impactful leadership.
Becoming a full democracy
Now, we know that by themselves, elections do not constitute democracy. Yet, a nation cannot be a democracy without genuine elections. If Nigeria is to mature as a democracy, we must improve our electoral system. Today, those who control the system manipulate elections with such impunity that they now see misconduct without sanction as a normal way of life. Look at the recent controversy surrounding election of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) chairman. Thirty-five state governors assembled to vote for the chairmanship. They did this among themselves by secret ballot. One contestant earned 19 votes. The other attracted 16. In a place where honesty matters, the result would be clear and undisputed. But not in today’s Nigeria under the current leadership. The chap who earned fewer votes was declared the winner by those who backed him. In Nigeria, the tenets of basic arithmetic have little application concerning elections. Votes do not count, they are concocted. Elections are not necessarily •Continued on page 51
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
‘Leadership, national development and people’ •Continued from page 50 won by the candidate with the highest votes. Elections are won by the candidate of the powerful and mighty. Consequently, a group comprising all the nations’ governors could not even conduct a simple 35-person election without a disputed outcome. This little episode would be laughable if it were an isolated incident. However, it is emblematic of a larger, more troubling pattern that portends calamity if not arrested. With this recent experience, I fear the length those in power would go and the means they would employ to manipulate results when the battleground is the entire nation and the stakes are the general elections in 2015.The NGF debacle symbolizes a disdain for democracy and the popular will. If we are to save Nigeria, we must rescue the electoral process from its abusers. In the main, elections during the current Fourth Republic have been substandard. They remind us that though democratic governance is inherently civilian, civilian government is not necessarily democratic. Our system is constructed to preserve the unjust gains of electoral misconduct and presents steep evidentiary and other legal challenges to those whose mandates have been pilfered by rigging and the strange arithmetic of vote counting in Nigeria. We have had too many false winners who were true losers. Another very grievous example of this perversion is the 180-day limit in judicial intervention in disputed election outcome. This fails to meet the grund norms of the rule of law. In this case, the right of the citizen is abridged through the backdoor. I Insist, this is an unconstitutional amendment. It is illegal for only 2/ 3rd of the National Parliament to pass such an amendment, affecting the rigths of an individual. The constitution to which we subscribe and equally that of developed democracies we emulate requires four-fifth of the Nation’s Parliament to pass such amendment. What we have should be thrown out or challenged in court. The Electoral Reform Committee chaired by former Chief Justice Uwais was established to end our unique electoral anomaly. The panel recommended a blue print for sanitising our electoral system. Some of the key points include the need for INEC budgetary and administrative independence. INEC must emerge from under the clutch of the presidency. Under the current situation, the President can intimidate and steamroll INEC. Again, one of the most important recommendations of the Uwais Committee was that of employing modern technology for registration and voting. This is to improve the integrity of our elections. We must embrace that technology now. We need a fully bio-metric voter registration and balloting system. Let me repeat – we need a fully biometric voter registration and balloting system. The lack of a functional Biometric Voters Registration (BVR) System accounts for much of the abuse of the current process. The debate over BVR goes to the fundamental quality of our elections. With BVR we have a chance at honest elections. Without it, we are doomed to repeat past failures. This system was applied in Ghana. It worked. Other African countries – Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Kenya and Tanzania – used biometric registers and validation system for their general elections. It worked. If Nigeria truly is the leader and giant of Africa, let us act like it. If smaller nations can take this step to assume the continental lead in the
‘The Jonathan government set up a special Committee on Boko Haram and Security matters but sadly before they could perform, he declared State of Emergency in three Northern states: Yobe, Borno and Adamawa. This is symptomatic of a confused leadership. If there is security in this jumbled policy, neither I nor the majority of Nigerians can find it!’ quality and integrity of their electoral processes, let us regain the leadership role by taking the necessary step to embrace this system as well. The objective of the data capture and finger printing is to eliminate multiple voting. However, INEC’s present system negates this. Why take fingerprints, capture biometric data and then discard the information on the all-important voting day by resorting to manual accreditation? Unless INEC embraces biometric verification and revalidation during the exercise, our elections will remain more an exercise in deception and subterfuge than in democracy and probity.
Why the struggle?
I am a Nigerian patriot and a Nigerian progressive. These are not facile labels to be easily used and discarded. I consider both as badges of honor. Proudly, I wear each of them. As progressives, we fight for free and fair elections to accomplish a purpose much loftier than the elections themselves. We do not seek fair elections so that our members may enter office and behave the same way as the ruling party. We seek not to remove the ruling party from power so that we might imitate them. We seek their removal because we intend to provide a strongly more progressive, forward looking, visionary leadership. They are the prison guards of an unjust status quo holding the people captive. We have nothing less in mind than to change the face of our political economy for the benefit of our people and our country, Nigeria. It had been said that Nigerian politicians all believe in the same thing: themselves. This has never been true. Today its falsity is even more glaring. When the current administration sought to abolish the fuel subsidy under cover of darkness last year, we opposed it by offering an approach that would increase government spending in favour of the people. We insisted that if it must be done, such funds must be dedicated to programmes of vital so-
cial services in proportion to the amount of the subsidy removed. We seek fiscal federalism where state and local governments are more empowered to spur development at the grassroots level. Those in power use unconstitutional means, such as the illegal Excess Crude Account and the Sovereign Wealth Fund, to retain central government control over funds belonging to the States. They also weaken the states by imposing a variety of unfunded federal mandates that stress and strain already tight state budgets. By these measures, they make States more subservient to central government. Also, the people are punished through the denial of needed resources to improve the quality of life. The official youth unemployment rate approaches a frightening 60 percent, while the rate of graduate unemployment hovers around 30 and 35 per cent. No scenario can be more frightening. However, the present government is promoting statistical growth without evidence of its corresponding impact on the people. If this is growth, we want no part of it. 20.On provision of energy, billions have been spent on power, but the Power Holding Company of Nigeria remains powerless. Meanwhile, the people grope in darkness. Industries are collapsing and manufacturing base goes into extinction. Again, this government praises its artificial solutions to real actual problems. For them, this is enough. For the people, it is a bleak house. My Goodness, if this is growth, we want no part of it!
This government promised peace and security but under its unwatchful eye, insecurity has grown. Boko Haram has turned large tracts of northern Nigeria into no man’s land with live and property under severe threat and economic activities have come to a standstill. Yet, this government has not seen the correlation between poverty, injustice and the rule of law. Nigerians have be-
come increasingly divided as a people because government continues to take faulty steps. They have ignored the cause and gone after the symptoms. Yet, the government has the responsibility to end foreign or homegrown terrorism. On this, we are ready to partner with government to end this scourge. The current administration should apply a consistent policy of targeted law enforcement operations in conjunction with an active program of economic development, negotiations and potential amnesty for penitent Boko Haram members. Instead, the nation has been treated to series of government inaction, indiscriminate use of force, and now a state of emergency. The Jonathan government set up a special Committee on Boko Haram and Security matters but sadly before they could perform, he declared State of Emergency in three Northern states: Yobe, Borno and Adamawa. This is symptomatic of a confused leadership. If there is security in this jumbled policy, neither I nor the majority of Nigerians can find it! On the State emergency declared, we told our National Assembly members to support it so long as it operates without affecting the democratic structure and without the federal government dipping its hands into the treasury of the States concerned. Before the end of the State of Emergency, we hope government will enumerate the number of victims including orphans, and the number of churches, mosques and properties of economic value destroyed. Government must them move to compensate the victims. There is a great philosophical gulf separating the current government from us progressives. This current Nigerian government is a retrogressive one. Much of what they claim as growth is but the harsh redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top. The bottom gets squeezed while the top expands. They are serving us the salad of corruption. They consume our today and squander the nation’s tomorrow. For 14 years, the PDP led government cannot turn anything around. A new leadership
•Tinubu with his host, David Lammy after presenting him his (Tinubu’s) books...on Monday
is required to put a stop to this. In more visual terms, the economy is being reconstructed as an oasis for a small few and a stark desert for the many. This government pretends to endorse the same budgetcutting austerity policies that now rend much of Europe. We are not Europe, we are a 3rd World economy. That these policies have failed in European nations with higher standards of living than Nigeria gives our leaders no concern. They rather follow the herd over the cliff than save the nation by standing alone and exercising independent thinking and charting a new economic path. It seems our leaders have an abiding faith in the capacity of our people to endure every form of indignity and poverty. They assume that Nigerians are sadistic and enjoy being punished. This is not true. The leaders purport to be democratic but they operate as if in a discriminatory system where there are few escape valves. Our people live in dire straits. But this government would rather waste the money than spend it on the public benefit. They do not believe the people are worth it. The money is more important. They claim to be hoarding it for that mythical rainy day, when most Nigerians are drowning in poverty. If that is not troubled waters, I don’t know what new calamity will make this government ever recognize the need to build the new bridges needed for the people to cross over into prosperity. I have said this before and I shall say it again. These leaders would rather save the money and spend the people. We progressives would rather spend the money to save the people. In essence, that is what this political struggle is about. Do the people want a government that values its accounting ledgers more than the people’s welfare or a government that prudently uses its resources to stimulate economic growth, that will touch every life in every village, city and hamlet of our nation? In our approach to the political economy, we do not rely on textbook answers because we do not live in textbooks. We live in the real world and thus seek answers from real world experiences. Here is a real world fact: No large nation has ever attained sustained growth without government running budget deficits to build the required infrastructure and without other government policies promoting development of the key industries that would become the spine of national development. Here is another such fact: No populous nation ever attains prosperity solely by extracting its raw material to exchange them for the finished goods of other large nations. We must industrialize and diversify our economy so that it provides more employment and that employment creates a virtuous cycle by spurring greater demand that spurs even greater production and employment. This is not theory. It is the pragmatic way to recover from the present depression. Unless we do this, the retrogressive elite will continue to sing about how well Nigeria is doing while the rest of the nation becomes engulfed in the tidewaters of consuming poverty. It is for this reason — to save the nation from the stranglehold of permanent poverty and poor governance — that the members of the progressive opposition political parties have decided to put aside personal ambition (including my own ambition) to form a new party, the All Progressives Congress, APC. We do this because Nigeria has entered a critical state of economic depression. •Continued on page 61
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
POLITICS JUNE 12 ANNIVERSARY Former Aviation Minister Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode writes on the controversy surrounding the death of the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola, shortly after an American delegation met with him in detention.
• The late Abiola with a cup of tea
MBASSADOR Susan Rice was, until recently, the American Ambassador to the United Nations. Her long-standing aspiration of becoming the Secretary of State for her country was dashed when the Republicans in the Senate started sharpening their knives in anticipation of her formal nomination for that position by President Barack Obama. Sensing that her nomination would not scale through the Senate and that she would not be confirmed as the Secretary of State, due to the role she played in the alleged cover up of the Benghazi affair in which the American Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other American citizens were murdered by a group of Islamist terrorists, her nomination was withdrawn. Instead of Secretary of State, President Obama has now nominated her for the position of National Security Advisor, which is a job that does not require Senate approval or confirmation. I wish Susan Rice well in her new assignment. But I am constrained to ask the following questions. What did she put in the tea that she served to Chief MKO Abiola on July 8, 1998 just before he died? She was one of the last people that saw him alive, she served him some tea, he coughed violently and one hour later, he dropped dead. What was in the tea? Was it Abuja ‘’green tea’’, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Liptons or some other more exotic brand? Can someone please ask Susan Rice what her role was in the death of MKO Abiola? Who sent her to do the job and who was she working for? At that time, she was Assistant Secretary of State for America in President Bill Clinton’s government. Was she acting on his direct instructions or simply on the instructions of her boss and controller in Langley? Chief MKO Abiola was the winner of Nigeria’s freest and fairest elections. That election took place on June 12, 1993. The following day, it was annuled by General Ibrahim Babangida. Shortly after that, as a consequence of the sheer outrage that was generated by the annulement, Babangida was compelled to ‘’step aside’’ and hand over power to Chief Ernest Shonekan. In what was clearly a strategic manouver, he left General Sani Abacha (his own Chief of Army Staff) behind to be the Minister of Defence for the incoming administration. A few months later, Abacha toppled the Interim National Government of Chief Ernest Shonekan, which he had served and seized power for himself. Abiola was arrested and detained. He was never granted his freedom again. Four years later, Abacha himself was murdered by forces that are yet to be identified and General Abdulsalami Abubakar took power. Exactly 30 days after Abacha was killed, those same forces that killed him murdered Abiola as well in an attempt to ‘’balance the equation’’. These are the facts and sequence of events. One thing is self-evident and cannot be denied, no matter which side of
• The late General Abacha (left) and the late Abiola after a meeting.
‘How did Abiola die?’
the divide one may have been on in the June 12 saga- certain questions must be answered. And some of those questions are as follows. Who killed MKO Abiola? Who killed Sani Abacha? What role, if any, did officials of the Abubakar administration play in the murder of both Abacha and Abiola? What role did the CIA play and exactly what transpired in the room when Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice (as she then was), Ambassador Thomas Pickering and two other faceless and nameless officials from the American Embassy met with Abiola on the very day that he was meant to have been released. Sadly, instead of being released on that day, he dropped dead in what can only be described as mysterious and questionable circumstances. This is all the more so because Abiola’s security officer and the man that was charged with looking after him and protecting him throughout the time that he was incarcerated (an honest, upstanding and courageous police officer by the name of ASP Zadok) told the Oputa panel in 2002 that Abiola was ‘’hale and hearty’’ and in ‘’very high spirits,’’ just before going into the meeting with the Americans. He went further by telling the panel that as he was about to enter Aguda House (the premises where the meeting was scheduled to be held) with Abiola when he was asked to leave his principal, to step out of the premises and to go and pick up another car from somewhere else by one of General Abdul-salami’s security officers. He promptly obeyed the order, but half an hour later when he came back he found Abiola in a terrible condition, coughing violently, writhing all over the floor in pain and breathing his last breath. Thirty minutes later he gave up the ghost. Another question that needs to be answered is the one that the veteran journalist and respected columnist Mr. Gbolabo Ogunsanwo has dubbed as ‘’the question of the missing one hour’’. Permit me to explain. According to the testimony that was given to the Oputa Panel by Major Hamza Al- Mustapha, who was General Abacha’s Chief Security Officer, from the first day that Abiola was arrested right up until the day that he was murdered he (Al-Mustapha) was in charge of his (Abiola’s) security. Each time Abiola was moved from one safe house to another he had to sign for it. Each time Abiola ate his food or drank anything, his men tasted and drank it before-hand. He went as far as to say that each time Abiola went to the toilet he was made aware of it and that nothing happened around Abiola or to him without his di-
rect permission and the involvement of his most loyal men. After Abacha was murdered and Abdulsalami Abubakar became Head of State, Al Mustapha was still in charge of Abiola’s security and he still maintained direct responsibility for his life, his well-being and his welfare right up until the minute that he was murdered. When Al-Mustapha appeared before the Oputa Panel, he exposed the fact, that in the entire period of four years that he and his team watched over Abiola, it was only in the one hour that he was killed that they had no knowledge or control of what was happening to or around him. According to him, Abiola was removed from the guest house that he had been staying without his (Al Mustapha’s) signature or knowledge and without anyone seeking his permission. Simply, put, he was kept in the dark about the whole thing. Secret orders were given to keep him out of the loop, to take Abiola to a destination, which he knew nothing about and to ensure that none of the usual trusted food tasters and minders were with him. The only person that accompanied Abiola from the old guard of those that had watched over him for the previous four years was ASP Zadok and when they arrived at Aguda House (the venue of the meeting), he was conveniently sent on a meaningless errand by General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s Chief Security Officer and told to leave. Hence, for the first time in four years, Abiola was left completely on his own and he was surrounded by a coterie of strange faces who had no genuine affection or
empathy for him. He was with them for one hour and during that hour, not one of those that had watched over him, that had secured his safety and that he had grown familiar with him over the entire four year period of his incarceration was with him. It was during that ‘’missing hour’’, when he was all alone and very vulnerable, that he was poisoned. Sadly, by the time Zadok, who was undoubtedly loyal to him, returned to the scene, Abiola was already dying. The question. Is who gave the order for Abiola to be brought to that meeting? Why did they keep Al Mustapha in the dark about it? Why was Zadok sent to bring another vehicle that was obviously not needed? That one hour, and what transpired during it’s course, holds the key to everything. It appears that Abiola was lured into a trap by a group of smiling strangers who did not wish him well and who had sinister plans for him. It was like leading a lamb to the slaughter. Given these circumstances I have no doubt that this was a case of premeditated murder but the question is whose call was it and why did it have to happen? What was the motive? Was it done just to ‘’balance the equation’’ as some said at the time or was it done in an attempt to pave the way for an Obasanjo Presidency one year later? Could General Olusegun Obasanjo have been released from jail and elected President, if Abiola had lived and if he had insisted on claiming his mandate? The Nigerian people have a right to know the truth and it is about time that those that have wielded power in this country for the last few decades told them. The powers that be must appreciate the fact that they cannot sweep things under the carpet forever and that one day, no matter how long it takes, they will be held accountable by God and the Nigerian people for the morbid, secret and oftentimes homicidal choices and decisions that they made. Yet, the truth is that the military operates like a cult and we may never get an honest answer from any of them about what really happened. This is because there are very few Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar’s in the Nigerian military. Very few of them are prepared to break ranks with the leadership and break the ‘’omerta’’ code of silence like Abubakar Umar did over the June 12 election. Very few of them are prepared to call a spade a spade, speak the truth, expose the lie and damn the consequences. Most of them continue to spin
‘That one hour, and what transpired during it’s course, holds the key to
everything. It appears that Abiola was lured into a trap by a group of smiling strangers who did not wish him well and who had sinister plans for him. It was like leading a lamb to the slaughter’
the yarn and tell the dirty lie that Abacha and Abiola’s deaths were both from natural causes and that it was just a coincidence that one dropped dead on July 8 1998, just four days before the fifth anniversary of June 12, and the other droped dead exactly one month later on July 8 1998. As they say, ‘’the secrets are embedded in the sequence of events and the dates’’ and, in this case, the sequence of events and the dates really do tell an interesting and revealing story. Yet, no matter how hard they try to cover her up and silence her, truth is stubborn and she cannot be drowned. She is like a pack of straws that are held together and pinned down by an all-powerful hand at the bottom of a river. As long as she is held at the bottom of that river, she cannot be seen or heard. Yet one day, in the fullness of time, that allpowerful hand that seeks to supress her forever will get tired and let go and at that point Lady Truth will happily float to the top of the water where she will be seen and heard by all. It is in the same way that one day, in the fullness of time, the pernicious and perfidious verdict of “death by natural causes” or “act of God” that the powers that be have claimed are the causes of Abiola and Abacha’s deaths respectively will be exposed for what they are. Those that continue to spin that lie and continue to conspire to hide the truth will pay a heavy price for their murderous deceit either in this world or in the next. The most filthy and despicable creature under God’s sun is the unrepentant and compulsive liar and he or she that bears false witness, that sheds innocent blood and that seeks to kill, jail, maim, defame and destroy the innocent in the name of the state. Their evil knows no bounds and they will surely burn in hell. Those that continue to perpetuate the lie, to hide the truth and to spin the tale that there was nothing untoward or mischevous about the death of Chief MKO Abiola, whose only crime was to win a free and fair election and refuse to renounce it, shall fare no better. The fact of the matter is that, until these questions are answered and justice is done, Nigeria will not know lasting peace and cannot possibly achieve her fulll potentials. It is a spiritual thing. Abiola gave his life that we may have a better tomorrow, yet we refuse to acknowledge it or to bring his killers to justice. We are repaying his good with evil and the consequences of that are set out in the Word of God. Whatever anyone may have thought of him as a person, the fact remains that, had it not been for Abiola’s sheer resilience, courage, steadfastness, sacrifice and gallant refusal to bow before the Nigerian military and give up his 1993 presidential mandate, we would not have democracy in Nigeria today. He was faithful to his cause to the very last. In return for that the least we could do is to ask the relevant questions, demand the appropiate answers and expose the bitter truth. We owe MKO Abiola, his wife Kudirat (who was also murdered), and all the other June 12 and NADECO footsoldiers and martyrs that much.
THE NATION THURSDAY JUNE 13, 2013
N40b contract: Stakeholders threaten to sue Okonjo-Iweala over extension of four firms’ contract
HE Coalition of Civil Society Group for Transparency & Good Governance yesterday gave the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala a 15-day ultimatum to reverse the six-month extension granted four firms involved in Destination Inspection. The group also threatened to go to court and take the Federal Government to Transparency International if the Minister refuses to reverse the extension It claimed that the payment of alleged N40billion annually to the four firms is unnecessary when officers and men of the Nigerian Customs Service had been trained to conduct the same inspection. The companies are Cotecna Destination Inspection Nigeria Limited, SGS, Global Scan, and Webb Fontaine The coalition of stakeholders made its position known in a statement last night through its Secretary-General, Muhammad Nourayn Bn – Ahmad, an engineer. The statement said: “As a major stakeholder, we unequivocally use this medium to align with the position of the National Assembly, the World Bank and National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) represented by Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, to renew our call for the reversal of the decision that extended the contract of the destination inspection, given the fact NCS has been certified to be well equipped and fully prepared to carry out her mandate of Destination Inspection even as at now. “In accordance with the core values of our coalition on transparency and good governance, it is imperative to end this culture of endless impunity with regards to frequent changes in terminal dates of outsourcing of this customs duty in Nigeria. “We therefore step up from our earlier condemnation to a warning that if the current decision is not reversed by the Federal Ministry of Finance within 15 days from this publication, we will be compelled to draw the attention of the Transparency International and as well take a court action to press forward our demand. “We are stunned that rather than taken appropriate steps to revert this ugly loss of colossal revenue accruable to Nigeria, we read with dismay comment by the Honour-
From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja
able Minister of Finance and the coordinating Minister of Economy Dr. Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in some of the national dailies wherein she claimed as false alleged attempt by the Ministry to disallow the Nigerian Customs Service to perform its statutory mandate. “We consider it inappropriate for the Minister to have relied on the advice of an independent review committee to extend contract of the Destination Inspection when of course they have failed to deliver to terms of earlier agreement. “At this juncture, we like to ask the Honourable Minister the following critical questions: What magic will the renewed six months achieve to redress the seven years failure by the service providers? Whose interest is the six-month extension out to protect? Can the Honourable Minister exonerate herself from vested or special interest and share from the over N40b tax payers’ money paid annually to these non-performing contractors whom she single handedly engaged and continue to use her position to shield? The Federal Government had in January 2006 engaged the four firms in a seven-year year Build, Own, Operate and Transfer DI deal. The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) was expected to be in charge of Destination Inspection (DI) from January this year. At the end of the contract however, the Ministry of Finance, in a letter through its Permanent Secretary, Mr. Danladi Kifasi, claimed that President Goodluck Jonathan had extended the tenor of the deal by six months. The letter, with reference number F10361/ S.56/ VA/491 and addressed to the service providers, reads in parts: “I wish to inform you that the President has approved the extension of the agreement dated 1st January, 2006, between your company and the Federal Government of Nigeria for the provision, installation, operation and management of Xray scanning equipment and software for inspection of goods. “The agreement which is to expire on 31st December, 2012, has been extended for a period of six (6) months with effect from 1st January, 2013.” But less than a month to the six-month extension, there is a fresh plan to renew the contract of the four firms by another six years.
Your Sexual Health & You: Novelty Tips, Questions & Answers
have been married to my wife for close to ten years now. But my problem is that our sex life has been very very frustrating. Before we got married we can have sex three to four times without complaints. But things changed immediately we got married as she now sees sex as something that must be endured rather than enjoyed. She hardly allows me sex until I pick up a quarrel with her. On the occasions that she decides to have sex with me (which must be on bed) she will turn her back and ask me to enter through the back. Even when we do it like this, she makes sure to hide all her sensitive parts like breast with her hand so that I won’t touch them. The most annoying thing is that on many occasions she would have slept off while am still on it. I have tried my best to make her happy by being a responsible husband to her and my children. I have called her on many occasions for us to have the matter discussed but if I talk for the whole day she will not have anything to say other than promising that she will change which she never does. This has made me to cheat on her on one or two occasions. But I am not always happy any time I do this because I love her - Seyi Hello Seyi. A lot of women and men have very shocking agendas when it comes to marriage. There are people who trick others into marrying them for a variety of reasons such as financial security, to have children or to hide the fact that they are gay or lesbian. It happens all the time. As soon as the marriage takes place, their behaviour changes and the reluctance to be intimate is one of the signs that there is a major problem. I suggest going for marriage counselling with your wife because she needs to explain herself too. If that doesn’t work, then I don’t see a happy feature for both of you. You are already cheating on her which is a clear indication that your marriage is tumbling
over a cliff – Uche I am not sexually satisfied so I use prostitutes sometimes. I am not happy about it. Once I contacted a sexually transmitted disease. What can I do to stop this? Williams Hello William. First of all, always use a condom in any sexual situation. Secondly, have you received treatment for your STD? If not, go to the hospital and get treatment. And lastly, very few people in this world are sexually satisfied. That is why adult men and women masturbate. Sex toys such as Foxy’s Platinum Masturbator can help give you relief without the infidelity and risk of contracting a disease – Uche I like your penis sleeves. I am using Stud Extender now and it really does make me look bigger and my woman likes it. But it is covered at the mouth. We are trying to have a baby. Do you have any other good sleeve that is open ended? Thanks – Bello Hello Bello. You can use the Bigger and Better Sleeve or the Invisi Rider Sleeve. They are both open ended – Uche Do you still have Shane Diesel Prolong cream for preventing premature ejaculation? The one I bought is finished – Dike Yes we do. Call the numbers here to get it – Uche I travel a lot so I need a vibrator that can give my wife quality pleasure in my absence. I also want your best penis enlargement pump. Thanks – Andy Hello Andy. Get her the Dual Rotation Rabbit Vibrator and for you, I recommend the Automatic Precision Penis Pump – Uche Adults in need of these treatments/novelties can call 08027901621 or 08051924159 or any other number here to order or they can order online at www.zeevirtualmedia.com. Zee Virtual Media delivers to you wherever you are in Nigeria. For enquiries send your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 12-06-13
SEC suspends Falcon Securities, Wizetrade over fraud
HE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday, suspended Falcon Securities Limited, Wizetrade Capital and Asset Management Limited and all registered capital market operators under the two firms over alleged fraud. In two circulars obtained by The Nation, the apex capital market regulator stated that the two firms and their operators were suspended from all capital market activities over unethical practices bordering on fraud, false disclosure and deficient capital. SEC indicated that Wizetrade Capital and Asset Management and its sponsored individuals were suspended due to “unauthorised sale of 64,960 units of Nigeria Breweries Plc shares belonging to an investor.” The Commission stated that Wizetrade had failed to buy back the shares. The shares were valued at N11.04 million yesterday. At the last count, there were two sponsored individuals under Wizetrade, a broker-dealer firm. Falcon Securities Limited and its sponsored individuals were suspended due to the failure of the company to respond to several alleged irregularities in its quarterly reports to the Commission. SEC highlighted that Falcon
•Equities lose N353b By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire
Securities allegedly engaged in false and misleading financial reporting in its 2012 annual report. According to the Commission, Falcon Securities’ shareholders’ funds had been completely eroded as shown by the latest annual report of the firm dated December 31, 2012. SEC also castigated Falcon Securities over failure to attach the company’s schedule of investments marked to market and failure to report its investments in quoted securities at market value. Meanwhile, the Nigerian stock market witnessed a major decline yesterday as profit-taking transactions offset the bullish rally and shaved off about N353 billion in market values. Losses by four highly capitalised stocks-Nestle Nigeria, Guinness Nigeria, Dangote Cement and Nigerian Breweries, orchestrated the bearish trend that saw 36 stocks dropping to lower values. Aggregate market value of all equities dropped from N12.855 trillion to N12.502 trillion, representing a loss of N353 billion. The All Share
Index (ASI), the main index that tracks prices of all equities quoted on the NSE, dwindled from 40,012.66 points to 38,915.54 points. Nestle Nigeria led the decliners with a loss of N70 to close at N1,000. Guinness Nigeria followed with a loss of N13 to close at N280. Dangote Cement lost N11.01 to close at N199. Nigerian Breweries dropped by N4 to close at N170 while Presco lost N3.40 to close at N34. On the upside, Flour Mills of Nigeria led 31 other stocks on the gainers’ list as the flourmilling company rallied N4.57 to cross the three-digit mark to N109.24 per share. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN) rose by N1.14 to close at N12.80. International Breweries added N1.09 to close at N26.99. Berger Paints gained N1.03 to close at N11.38 while Dangote Flour Mills garnered 96 kobo to close at N10.68 per share. Turnover remained above average as investors continued to show keen interest in lowpriced stocks. Total turnover stood at 803.59 million shares valued at N8.53 billion in 9,216 deals. IHS was the most active stock with a turnover of 77.1 million shares valued at N154.18 million in five deals. FBN Holdings followed on the activity chart with a turnover of 59.38 million shares worth N1.08 billion in 721 deals. United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc recorded a turnover of 58.29 million shares worth N590.43 million in 642 deals.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 12- 06-13
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
CBN to banks: stop Boko Haram
N a bid to block financial aid to the recently proscribed Boko Haram and Ansaru, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks to check the activities of the terrorist groups. A letter from the banking watchdog addressed to all banks, obtained by The Nation, directed all lenders in the country to check their database and report activities of the two sects to the regulator. “The Federal Government of Nigeria in its effort to stem terrorism in the country has proscribed the activities of ‘Jamaatu Ahlis-Sunna Liddaawati Wal Jihad’ otherwise known as ‘Boko Haram’ and ‘Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan’ in any part of the
By AYODELE AMINU, Group Business Editor
country. Their activities are consequently declared as terrorist and illegal. “All banks and other financial institutions are, by this letter, required to check their database for the names ‘Jamaatu Ahlis-Sunna Liddaawati Wal Jihad’ otherwise known as ‘Boko Haram’ and ‘Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan’ as well as their associates and to report same to the CBN.” Just last week, President Goodluck Jonathan accepted the proscription of the Islamic terrorist groups and endorsed the
gazeting of an order declaring the groups’ activities illegal and acts of terrorism. This coincided with a statement by the United States government that Boko Haram’s leader, Shekau, could be tried in the US, when arrested. Gazetted as the Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice 2013, the order, which has affects both Boko Haram and Ansaru, was approved by Jonathan pursuant to Section 2 of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 (as amended). Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, in statement, explained that the Act “officially brings the activities of both groups within the pur-
view of the Terrorism Prevention Act and any persons associated with the two groups can now be legally prosecuted and sentenced to penalties specified in the Act.” The proscription order, Abati stressed, warned the general public that any person “participating in any form of activities involving or concerning the collective intentions of the said groups will be violating the provisions of the Terrorism Prevention Act.” Consequently Section 5 (1) of the Act prescribes a term of imprisonment of not less than 20 years for any person who knowingly or indirectly solicits or renders support for the commission of an act of terrorism or to a terrorist group.
$12b portfolio inflow forms 25% of reserves —FBN Capital
HE foreign exchange reserves, which currently stands at $48.4 billion constitutes $12 billion portfolio flows, about a quarter of the reserves, FBN Capital has said. In an emailed report, the investment and research firm said the tapering off of quantitative easing in the United States and other advanced economies could result in the exit of offshore funds as other emerging markets have experienced recently, and further pressure on the naira. Nigeria’s reserves have remained at about $48 billion since March 2013 following slower accretion to the reserves on the back of declining crude oil exports and reduced portfolio flows by offshore investors. A reduction in demand for Nigerian crude by the United States following its increased production of shale oil has resulted in a minus
frontier markets such as Nigeria, stressing that a tracker funds in the JP Morgan “family” have a longer term investor horizon, and investors generally (domestic and foreign) will increasingly buy into the attractive inflation story. “We still feel that Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) bond yields will ease to the 10 per cent to 10.5 per cent range by end of 2013,” it said. Also, FBN Capital noted that FGN bond yields widened by up to 150 basis points last week and that pressure on the naira exchange rate developed, leading to direct CBN intervention, amid unreliable evidence of an exit by some offshore investors. It said the background remains fear that the latest era of cheap money is close to its end with the reversal of the quantitative easing (QE) in developed economies, led by the United States of America.
• Says portfolio investors may exit Stories by Collins Nweze
seven per cent year to date softening in the price of the Bonny Light, Nigeria’s benchmark crude. Consequently, the firm hinted that easing of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) tight monetary stance is likely to be pushed out that bit further given conditions in the external environment and the apex bank’s determination to hold the line on the exchange rate. “We see an exchange rate of N159 to a dollar by year end 2013,” it said. Data from the CBN shows that forex sales at the Bank’s bi-weekly foreign exchange auction increased from an average of $162 million per session in the first quarter to $285 million from April to date. However, the slight weakening
of the naira in recent weeks according to the firm, suggest that forex demand has increased, and a reduction in dollar sales by the multinational oil companies. Although increased dollar sales by the CBN have kept the naira trading within the plus or minus three per cent of N155 band, external sector developments are testing the limit of that band. In a related report, it also noted that here is a high possibility for Nigeria to achieve a single-digit inflation rate throughout the year. The investment and finance firm explained that Nigeria has enjoyed single-digit headline inflation for four successive months and should do so for the rest of this year. It said that some of the more active portfolio investors may exit
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
OBB Rate Call Rate
Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012
GAINERS AS AT 12-06-13
SYMBOL NEIMETH ACADEMY BERGER VITAFOAM DANGFLOUR CCNN MAYBAKER PAINTCOM AIRSERVICE AGLEVENT
O/PRICE 1.50 2.11 10.35 4.12 9.72 11.66 3.08 1.54 4.51 1.60
C/PRICE 1.65 2.32 11.38 4.53 10.68 12.80 3.38 1.69 4.90 1.72
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency
INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%
CHANGE 0.15 0.21 1.08 0.41 0.96 1.14 0.30 0.15 0.39 0.12
NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market
Year Start Offer
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
147.6000 239.4810 212.4997
149.7100 244.0123 207.9023
150.7100 245.6422 209.2910
-2.11 -2.57 -1.51
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%
TRANSCORP PORTPAINT LIVESTOCK IKEJAHOTEL FIDSON PRESTIGE PRESCO RTBRISCOE NESTLE UBN
1.30 4.31 7.18 0.92 2.50 0.65 37.40 1.94 1070.00 15.30
1.17 3.88 6.47 0.83 2.26 0.59 34.00 1.80 1000.00 14.36
CHANGE 0.13 0.43 0.71 0.09 0.24 0.06 3.40 0.14 70.00 0.94
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m
Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7
Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX
NSE CAP Index
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
LOSERS AS AT 12-06-13
IDELITY Bank Plc’s efforts to grow wealth and raise a new generation of entrepreneurs in the country paid off last weekend as it won an award for the Best Bank in Support of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). The organisers of the Businessday Banking Conference Awards said Fidelity came top among three other nominated lenders after a critical assessment of their loan portfolios and overall contribution to the SME sector. In a statement, Fidelity said the award was instituted as a credible way of rewarding banks that are supporting economic growth in the country without putting the financial sector at risk. It, therefore serves as a positive incentive for banks to support the economy in a credible way while recognising and rewarding banks that have adopted best practice in delivering services to the Nigerian people, the organisers said. Receiving the award, Head, External Communications, Fidelity Bank Plc, Ejike Ndiulo, who represented the Group Head, Marketing Communications, Emma Esinnah, thanked the organisers for believing in the Bank.
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM
MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
Fidelity Bank recognised for SMEs’ financing
FGN BONDS Tenor
•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH 9.17 9.08 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE INVE 141.44 140.94 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 165.11 163.93 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL INVES 0.80 0.78 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.16 1.16 BGL NUBIAN FUND 1.16 1.15 FBN MONEY MARKET FUND 100.00 100.00 FBN FIXED INCOME FUND 1,000.00 1,000.00 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,817.23 1,808.06 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 14.39 13.69 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 1.33 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 1.80 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 12,263.63 11,904.80 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUNDARM AGGRESSIVE • OPEN BUY BACK
Previous 04 July, 2012
Current 07, Aug, 2012
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
EGENDARY highlife musician, Fatai Olayiwola Olagunju, aka Fatai Rolling Dollar, bade a final bye to the world early yesterday. He was floored after a grim battle with cancer at a Lagos hospital. He was 85. Before his demise, the octogenarian was hospitalised following what was initially described as "a strange illness," which hit him when he went to perform at a couple of shows in the United States. Confirming his death, the music maestro's first wife, Zainab, who had been with him while the health challenge lasted, said Rolling Dollar was moved from Ahmadiyya Hospital, Lagos, where he had been receiving treatment, to Marritol Hospital, Surulere where he gave up the ghost. Recounting the events that led to his demise, Sherifat, his younger wife, said she got a call from the US by one Samson, the promoter of the show which took him to the US, saying that he was in critical condition after his performance. Samson confirmed the report, stating that after one of his three performances, Fatai, who complained of chest pains, was diagnosed of cancer by a medical doctor in the US before he was flown to Nigeria. Samson debunked the rumour that made the rounds that the musician was broke and couldn't afford his hospital bill, saying: "He paid his bills in the US and gave me some money later in Nigeria." Shocked at the news of Fatai's death, Chairman of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji said that the body would immortalise him. "He was a legend, a fantastic person with a very positive attitude to life who treated everyone with courtesy. I believe that his attitude to life was responsible for the long life he lived and that should be a lesson for all us. He was committed to unity in the Nigerian music industry and never missed any COSON's meeting. He will be missed by a lot of people whom he inspired," Okoroji said. The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, said his death had severed an important link between the old and new generations of musicians in Nigeria. According to him, "Pa Fatai Rolling Dollar was a copious symbol of authentic creative talent. His exploits as a musician before and after Nigeria's independence constitute a great legacy and a reference point for musicians, performers, policy-makers and researchers. His resurgence on the nation's music scene with several hits and memorable numbers is a demonstration of the vitality, resilience and authenticity of the Nigerian's creative energy". The minister urged the younger generation of musicians and performers to emulate his spirit of excellence, commitment and perseverance. Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola described the musician's death as a huge loss to the nation's entertainment sector. In a statement by the state Director of Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, the governor said the octogenarian high-life maestro was a testimony in perseverance and hope, adding that his life sojourn demonstrated that no time is too late for man to have a breakthrough in life. He said that Rolling Dollar, who trained Ebenezer Obey in his heydays, showed that at an old age, it was possible to achieve a musical success, adding: "The ace musician's ultimate comeback is a testimony that no time is late in the life of human being. Pa Fatai Rolling Dollar's story of a meteoric rise to fame is a confirmation that success can come at any time in a man's life. "Rolling Dollar was a force to
CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999
•The late Rolling Dollar
• Some sympathisers at his Agege, Lagos home ... yesterday
•Rolling Dollar's last wife, Sherifat and her children, Faridat and Moshood
PHOTOS: BOLA OMILABU
• Another widow, Zainab and her children, Jamiu (right) and Mojeed
Beat stops for Fatai Rolling Dollar at 85 By Ozolua Uhakheme, Ovwe Medeme, Dupe Ayinla-Olasunkanmi and Adesoji Adeniyi (Osogbo)
reckon with in high-life music and he would stand tall in the nation's music hall of fame and counted among musical genii like Cardinal Rex Lawson, Bobby Benson and Adeolu Akinsanya, among others. The nation's music and entertainment industry as well as his fans and Nigerians generally will miss the great musician and his exit will create a big vacuum in high-life music." "The government and people of the State of Osun, where the music legend hailed from, send our heartfelt condolences to the immediate and extended families of late musician, his band members, fans and the government of Lagos State," the
AGOS State Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, has called on the Commissioner of Police, Mr Umar Manko, to help enforce the ban on unmarked commercial buses and cars on all the roads in the state. Opeifa, who spoke with The Nation, said the move was part of efforts by the state government to ensure the safety of lives of residents, especially commuters. He said while government welcomes private participation in the transportation sector, it must be done in line with laid-down regulations by the government. He said: "We have observed that all manners of groups or associations, nowadays, put all manners of vehicles on the road in the name of running transportation business. What the
•Duke, Aregbesola, Fashola, Okoroji mourn as songster dies of cancer
‘The ace musician's ultimate comeback is a testimony that no time is late in the life of human being ... a confirmation that success can come at any time in a man's life’ statement added. Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) expressed sadness over his death, saying that the loss of the “musical innovator” would reverberate around the musical world and beyond. In a condolence letter to Mrs Funmilayo Olagunju, a widow of the late musician, Fashola said he was a first-rate guitarist under
whose tutelage several other musical legends learned to play the instrument. ''Your husband was a musical innovator who made a great contribution to the profile of Nigerian Highlife music on the global stage,'' the governor said. According to him, Rolling Dollar is assured of his place among the pantheon of Nigerian musical greats
with hits like 'Won Kere si Number Wa' and 'Saworo' enduring in the memory of generations to come. ''Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, it was impossible to escape the presence of this iconic genius across Lagos. I am pleased and gratified that in the latter part of his life, Lagos State was able to re-acquaint itself with his singular talents,'' he said. While praying for the peaceful repose of the soul of the departed musician, Fashola urged the family to find succour and comfort in the love of the legion of fans that admired his work. Family sources confirmed to The Nation last night that his remains would be buried in Ikorodu, a Lagos suburb, early today.
Clamp-down on unpainted commercial vehicles By Yinka Aderibigbe
government approved is that all commercial vehicles operating in the state must be painted yellow. If you can't abide by that or find painting your vehicles too demeaning, you can go into another business." He listed organisations such as the army formations, the students' union governments (SUG) of tertiary institutions, the Association of Disabled Nigerians, as among groups guilty of the unwholesome practice. Also culpable are private individuals who often use their vehicles for shuttle services at evenings. He urged the state's police command to go on the offensive and arrest anyone flout-
ing the regulation. "We want to enforce the law; let the police assist us. They should henceforth arrest anyone found operating transportation services with unpainted vehicles. What we permitted as a government are the yellow buses or taxis, except those operating with franchised vehicles or other designated colours." Opeifa who observed that robberies and other criminal activities were often perpetrated with unpainted vehicles said no effort would be spared in ensuring the safety of lives of all residents. He also urged commuters to refrain from patronising any vehicle not painted in the colours approved by the state, saying all should support
efforts aimed at sanitising the transportation sector. Opeifa disclosed that government was working with the leaders of the transport unions with the aim of coming up with a comprehensive data on all professionals operating as commercial drivers as well as their bus mates - bus conductors. "When this document is finally compiled, it would further reduce incidences where anyone could use any commercial vehicle to commit crimes, as the driver's names would be tagged along with the vehicles they are currently using, adding that the database would regularly be updated to accommodate changes when necessary," Opeifa added
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999
Anxiety as food vendor 'runs mad'
… three months to her wedding
S it that Happiness Etuk, a popular food vendor at Okerewa in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State has gone mad? Is the rumour that she is paying for her evil deed true? Why would a lady go mad three months to her wedding? This is the puzzle that residents of the community have been trying to solve. Happiness, a native of Akwa-Ibom, had been doing business in Okerewa for over three years before Monday, when she went berserk and started speaking strangely. Some of her customers said she confessed to them that she used to spice her food with water from mortuaries and her private part. One of them, Mr. Akure Njo, said: "I enjoy her food; she cooks delicious meals and she has done this business for more than three years. This particular day, she just came back from the market where she had gone to buy food items as usual only for us to discover that she was behaving abnormally. "She revealed to us that she used water from mortuary and her private part to spice her food to attract more customers. She said she was in the habit with five other women. While we were pondering on the whole situation in total surprise, she stripped herself naked and ran to the market square." Another customer, who saved her from being beaten by angry residents,
Why I eat human flesh, by suspect
‘She needs our help now to assist her become normal again rather than rubbish her. I heard that her wedding is just few months away’
• Her shop
From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt
Ngokany Onwijima, said: "Her revelation on how she prepared her food did not go down well with her customers and other members of the community who wanted to beat her. But we quickly called the police who rushed to the scene and took her to Eleme Police Station for more investigation on the matter." A traditional chief in the area, Osilachu Ngbingbii, said he had been
•Happiness ... on Monday
eating Happiness' food, adding that the rumour was a mere fabrication to tarnish her image because she went mad. "It is just a mere fabrication being spread by some of her customers that she uses water from mortuary to cook. Yes, I do go there as one of her customers, I know it is the commercial bike riders that are spreading this rumour. I want the government to
assist her to be admitted into a psychiatric hospital. She needs our help now to assist her become normal again rather than rubbish her. I heard that her wedding is just few months away; it is sad." A lady, who simply gave her name as Glory, confirmed that Happiness' wedding "is just three months away," adding: "She may say those things because she is mad. She is a nice lady, God will not forgive whoever did this to her." The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Eleme Police Station was not on seat when The Nation called, but a source from there, who pleaded anonymity, said Happiness had been released to her family, adding that stress might have caused her abnormal behaviour.
By Jude Isiguzo and Ebele Boniface
HENEVER Gazali Akewadola, 60, opens his mouth to speak about his trade, he makes one's heart to quake. The gangly elderly man could be mistaken for a God-fearing grandfather. But his true colour came to the fore last week, when he was arrested by the men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Lagos State Police Command. He gave a bone-chilling confession of his involvement in human sacrifice, cannibalism and murder. Akewadola and two of his accomplices, Kazeem Sanni (25) and Alfa Taofeek (35) are among members of a dreaded eight-man gang of ritual murderers and human part sellers who nea\rly walked into police net May. Akewadola, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the evil trade and two others, escaped arrest until last week. "Most of the human parts I bought were sold to me by this boy," Akewadola said pointing fingers at Sanni. He continued: "He used to sell one head for N3, 000, depending on the market price because at times, he used to sell for N8, 000 per head. The soft bones that can easily be ground into powder are very cheap and I pay as little as N1, 000 for them." Akewadola, a well-respected Islamic scholar in Folahan Village, Owode Yewa, Ogun State, also practised as a native doctor with specialisation in using human parts to prepare 'get rich quick' medicines. Recently, he upgraded his trade from buying human parts to kidnapping humans, slaughtering them and using parts of their bod-
However, the state Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), Mrs. Angela Agabe, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), said she had contacted the DPO who confirmed that the lady looked like a mad woman when she was brought to the station, adding that she had been released to her family who took her to a Catholic healing home for spiritual attention. Now, her shop is under lock, while none of her relations was around to talk about the incident.
College plays novelty match AS part of activities marking its 65th anniversary, former footballers of Anwal-Ul-Islam College (formerly Ahmadiyya College) in Agege, a Lagos suburb, will today play a novelty match against other old students of various sets. The match comes up at Campos Mini-Stadium on Lagos Island. A statement by the organisers of the event said the former footballers would be led by one-time international player and Flying Eagles Coach, Tunde Disu. Other members of the team are: Muyiwa Oshode, Omoba Murphy Adetoro, Waidi Akanni, Akintunde Ojo, Abiodun Alawiye, Segun Ajayi, Oluwole Bello, Lucky Okeigbe, Jide Oloyede, Sikiru Oloyede, Fatayi Azeez, Rahman Alarape and Lawal Pedro (SAN).
'We didn't shun border scanner' By Joseph Jibueze
• The suspects ... on Monday
ies for rituals. "It is cheaper to buy a living human being. You get a lot of costly parts from it and it is more powerful because the efficacy of the charm or concoction you prepare with life parts cannot be compared with the ones you prepare with dead ones," the scholar said remorselessly. He further confessed: "For instance, the full human being will give you blood when you kill him; the same body will give you hairs from private parts, head and some beards or mustache. You can also cut out private parts. Each part of human being is useful. Even the meat, intestines, liver, heart, eyes, lips and tongues can be used for pepper soup. If you buy a full human being for N30, 000 or N40, 000 and cut it, you can end up getting N100, 000 or more because you get more than ten parts that can yield
PHOTO: EBELE BONIFACE
good money." Akewadola added that any human part, when eaten with wine or beer, is sweet and has healing powers. It can also make one get rich quick. But despite the devilish gusto with which he recounted his crimes, Akewadola would not touch any of his "eight lovely children" or relatives. "I don't like to use my children because they are the ones to benefit from the wealth I am making. I have value for their lives more than strangers. I prefer strangers that are from far away," he confessed. His ignoble rule came to an end when Sanni, acting as guard to a crack team of SARS officers, invaded his hide-out in Owode and dragged him into the waiting hands of the law. His regret: "My regret is that I did not become rich after all; I even found it difficult to feed." Sanni, who hails from Oke-Odo,
Yewa, was a rice smuggler who slipped into hard times. "My business was not moving well. At times, Customs personnel at the border would seize all my smuggled goods and impoverish me the more," he said. He thereafter became a human head hunter, digging graves and stealing corpses to sell to his many patrons. Taofeek said: "I am an Islamic clergy; I bought human heads which I grind and mix with hot drink to enable me become rich. I have been making people rich and at a point, I became jealous and decided to make myself rich since I did not get something reasonable from those I made rich." He said he had used proceeds from his rituals to send young Muslims to Quranic schools. Police sources confirmed that investigations were ongoing, after which they would face the law.
THE Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN), has denied a report that importers and clearing agents are shunning the scanner at the Seme Border, describing it as baseless. In a statement, its Vice-President, Mr Innocent Elum, said no truck leaves Seme without going through the scanner. "The report is certainly a recondite extension of Global Scan's attrition war against the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and its management in the former's bid to continue to collect its annual one per cent Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) which translates into several billions of naira, for doing nothing, or for impeding trade. "Global Scan should stop putting spanner in the good works of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Alhaji Abdullahi Inde Dikko, to make NCS a reference point of excellence in the ports and land borders," the group said. On how the scanner allegedly impedes trade, the group said the machine hardly scans five trucks at a time without breaking down and that when it does, Customs closes shop, with the consequence that importers and their agents pay avoidable demurrage and other incidental costs arising from the delay caused by the malfunctioning scanner." It added: "The scanner in question is an unserviceable antiquity. The replacement is still under installation. So, which one, according to them, has the capacity to 'scan more than 160 vehicles in eight hours and 480 in 24 hours of three shifts daily?'
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
Fire razes Edo Education Ministry
‘No zoning in Akwa Ibom’ From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
•Govt to set up panel
MYSTERIOUS fire yesterday gutted a building at the Edo State Ministry of Education, Iyaro in Benin City. The fire was said to have started at about 6am from a section of the building adjacent to the Office of the Commissioner for Higher Education, Washington Osifo. More than 10 offices at the upper floor of the building were razed. The affected building was said to be housing vital documents, including certificates dating back to the Mid-West Region. Scripts of the recently conducted primary school leaving certificate examination were said to have been consumed. Eyewitnesses said men of the State Fire Service could not put out the fire because of inadequate water. The witnesses said before the firemen returned, the fire had spread to other offices. When The Nation visited the scene, workers were seen running around with buckets of water; some were discussing; others were wailing.
National Anthem composer dies THE composer of the National Anthem is dead. Pa Benedict Elide Odiase, a Director of Music and Deputy Commissioner of Police, died on Tuesday at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba. He was 79. A condolence register has been opened at his Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun, Lagos, home. Funeral arrangements will be announced later.
Deputy speaker counsels students From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly Leyii Kwaneehas said elections and democracy are not subject to manipulation, especially with the disputed election of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF). He admonished Niger Delta students not to misconstrue democracy by considering the outcome of the NGF election. Kwanee spoke in Port Harcourt when a delegation of Niger Delta Students Union Government, led by its National President, Obada Akpomiemie visited him. The deputy speaker said he was disturbed about how youths would perceive democracy, judging from the outcome of the NGF election. He pleaded with the youths to continue to believe in democracy as the best system and shun any act capable of derailing free and fair elections.
•Firemen at the scene...yesterday. From Osagie Otabor and Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
Osifo said sensitive documents that dated back to the 1960s were destroyed. He said: “I was called early yesterday morning that there was a fire here. “I contacted the Fire Service and we tried to battle the fire. The offices that accommodated sensitive materials that dated back to the Mid-
PHOTO: OSAGIE OTABOR
West Region are gone. There is no trace of such documents. That is a disaster. “We will not want to make any sweeping statement. The panel of inquiry to be set-up will reveal what happened. We succeeded in stopping the fire from spreading to other places.” Governor Adams Oshiomhole said the government will set up a commission of enquiry on the fire.
He spoke when he visited the ministry yesterday. "It seems to me that there might be a case of arson. Somebody must have chosen to destroy some documents for whatever purpose for which we don't know. “If there was no light at the time, then the question of possible electrical fault does not arise and it is possible that somebody had planted something, maybe to
burn the place, to destroy some evidence or something. “I think the thing to do is to set up a panel to establish what went wrong, at least to prevent a recurrence and to find out those who might be responsible. It is very unfortunate. “One lesson we should learn from this is that we should not keep important documents on the last floor of a storey building.”
Grounding of Oshiomhole’s chopper barbaric, says NLC T
HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday condemned aviation authorities in Benin City for grounding the helicopter conveying Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole to Awka, Anambra State. NLC President Abdulwaheed Omar, in a statement, “No to Herd Culture”, urged all stakeholders to be cautious in order to avoid barbaric practices in the 21st century. He said federal institutions had become willing tools in the hands of politicians. “We would want to call for caution on the part of all stakeholders. Democracy without alternative views is not democracy. “The earlier we accept and live with this, the better for all of us. We ought to be sufficiently matured enough not to practise herd culture in the 21st century. “All too often in recent times, federal institutions have been willing tools in the hands of vindictive politicians or appointees out to settle scores.” He, however, insisted that strong institutions are key to deepening democracy. Omar recalled that the first victim was Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, whose plane still remains grounded. He said: “Congress is dismayed by these familiar but reprehensible styles of deal-
•Urges Presidency to allow freedom of speech From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
ing with governors with dissenting views. “We find these tactics crude, cheap and barbaric, and a throw-back to the days of military dictatorship, which we are better off without. “We find it amazing that experienced pilots with hun-
Okada riders protest in Edo
PERATORS of commercial motorcycles, known as Okada, yesterday took to the streets of Benin City, the Edo State capital, to protest the ban on the use of Okada in three local government areas. The affected local governments are: Ikpoba-Okha, Egor and Oredo. Governor Adams Oshiomhole announced the ban after a security meeting on Tuesday. A source at the meeting said it took hours to convince the governor on the need for the ban. “The governor was the only one opposed to the ban; all the others supported it,” the source said. The protesters, who came out in large numbers, barri-
Cross River pays N89m compensation
HE Cross River State Government yesterday handed over cheques worth N89 million to people whose property were affected due to the construction of the Margaret Ekpo International Airport Bypass in Calabar. Commissioner for Works Legor Idagbo said the con-
dreds of flying hours will suddenly be bereft of elementary rules governing flight operations. “And supposing they had been operating in ignorance or in breach of extant regulations, we are yet to see the sanctions meted out to those institutions or individuals that aided their conduct.
“We have noticed with concern the growing sensitivity of the Presidency to criticism and the penchant to treat every thought, opinion or action that does not conform as a treasonable offence. “May we remind the Presidency and its army of aides, sidekicks and others in the service, that democracy thrives on time-honoured principles of freedom of speech and association and accountability; and not on impunity or brutality.”
From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar
struction of the bypass will not only reduce the volume of traffic but will divert all heavy duty trucks from the city. He said this would enhance the efficiency of other socio-economic activities in the state.
•Appeal for extended deadline From Osagie Otabor, Benin
caded some major streets. Security was, however, strengthened at several locations across the state. It took the combined efforts of security agencies to clear the road for motorists. Some of the protesters said the one-week deadline was not enough for them to get alternative means of livelihood. “He should give us two months. There are no jobs now or nothing provided. Motorcycle is not used for kidnapping.” President of the State Okada Riders Union Peter Adoroh described the governor’s action as “too drastic”.
Adoroh said they would meet with the governor to plead for an extension of the ban to December for a gradual and systematic projection towards phasing out okada from the city centre to the interior. “Vehicles do not reach the interior. If these are not put in place, where will the breadwinners go to. It will tell on the society. “We intend to respect the governor’s opinion. I encourage genuine riders not to join others to foment trouble but to wait until we meet with the governor and let us see how the government can cushion the effect of the ban. Palliative should be provided.”
SENATOR representing Akwa Ibom North east (Uyo) Senatorial District, Ita Enang, yesterday urged Akwa Ibom indigenes to jettison the call for zoning of the governorship seat in 2015. Enang said rather than relying on zoning, the people should look for somebody, who is competent to succeed Governor Godswill Akpabio. The lawmaker said Akwa Ibom people are more interested in who takes over the mantle of leadership after the expiration of the Akpabio administration. “The worry is how will and who will sustain the level and pace of development that has been witnessed in Akwa Ibom under the leadership of Governor Godswill Akpabio,” Enang said. He urged the people to play the game according to the rule, adding that in the constitution; you cannot discriminate against anybody on the basis of where he comes from.
Delta gets peace committee
HE Delta State Government yesterday inaugurated a 12-man committee to help restore peace between Emu-Ebendo and Obodougwa-Ogume communities in Ndokwa West Local Government Area. The committee is chaired by Vincent Omorie, Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Matters. Omamuzo Erebe of the Department of People’s Rights in the Ministry of Justice is to serve as secretary. Other members of the committee comprise community representatives and representatives of security agencies. Deputy Governor Prof Amos Utuama listed the terms of reference of the committee as: to resolve any existing dispute between the communities in order to prevent re-occurrence of violence in those communities and to make appropriate recommendations to the government.
UNICAL employs best student From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar
HE best graduating student in the Department of Medical Laboratory Science of the University of Calabar for the 2011/ 2012 session, Kareem Jubril, has been offered automatic employment as a Graduate Assistant in the institution as soon as he completes his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. James Epoke, made the offer at the 10th Induction/Oathtaking Ceremony, which was held at the institution’s International Conference Centre.
Slain UNIBEN student: Groups insist on panel
IVIL Society Groups and the National Human Rights Commission have called on Governor Adams
Oshiomhole to set up a judicial panel of enquiry to investigate the killing of Ibrahim Momodu by policemen. Momodu was a final year student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) before he was killed on May 27 by the former Divisional Police Officer of Ogida Police Sta-
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
tion, Mrs. Carol Afegbai. Governor Adams Oshiomhole halted the setting up of a panel because the police said it had sent the case file to the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice. The groups urged the government not to rescind on its decision to set-up a panel to investigate the killing.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
NEWS ‘We’ll vote House autonomy’
From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia
BIA State House of Assembly Speaker Ude OkoChukwu has assured that the House would vote in favour of financial and political autonomy of State Assemblies as proposed by the National Assembly in the on-going Constitution Amendment. O k o - C h u k w u s a i d the AbiaAssembly is also favourably disposed to other areas of amendment, such as granting first line charges to state electoral commissions, auditor-general of the state and attorney-general of the state, which are some of the areas the on-going Constitution Review is looking at. He said these areas are vital to the development and growth of democracy as they would strengthen democratic institutions, pointing out that separation of power must be implemented as enshrined in the constitution. The speaker said the first attempt to grant financial autonomy to state assemblies in the last constitution amendment failed because the State Assemblies were not properly carried along by the National Assembly. Oko-Chukwu said the House voted for financial autonomy of the state assemblies in the first exercise because they realised its importance and assured that they would vote for it again.
Man docked for ‘kidnapping’
From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi
N Nteje Chief Magistrate ‘s Court, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State, presided over by Mrs. N. Emejulu, has remanded in prison custody Okwudili Udechukwu for alleged kidnapping . Udechukwu, who was arrested by the State Anti-robbery Squad (SARS), said he was innocent. The suspect was charged with kidnapping and demanding N30 million from the relatives of his victim.
Church ‘arrests two for stealing amplifier’
EMBERS of the Christ Embassy Church, Amagu Ishiagu in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have apprehended two youths for allegedly stealing an amplifier belonging to the church. Pastor Kannon Uwenobong told reporters that the suspects broke into his church about two weeks ago and stole the church’s amplifier. He said: “During a prayer session, I gave the suspects two weeks to return the amplifier. “I then sent out members to go in search of the amplifier and they found it in the possession of one ThankGod, who claimed to have bought it from the suspects. He (ThankGod) promised to bring those who sold the amplifier to him and he brought these two boys. “I have decided to hand them over to the police because since I came to this church
SSS arrests two in Anambra From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
THE State Security Service (SSS) in Anambra State has arrested two men, who allegedly specialise in opening cars with master keys and robbery. Daniel Nwosu, 24, from Isulo in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State and Nnamdi Uzor, 22, from Enugu State have been handed over to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID). SSS Director Alex Okeiyi said Nwosu was arrested with the help of vigilance group members, after he attempted to steal a stereo in a Toyota Sienna belonging to Ignatius Emeka Okafor. Nwosu said he was once an inmate of a reformatory school in Kaduna, Kaduna State. He confessed to have stolen car stereos and other accessories from victims’ cars with a master key. Uzor said he has been buying stolen stereo sets from Nwosu for between N2,500 and N4,000. He said he sold to his customers, especially tricycle operators, for N6,000. boys and their gang are the From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki ones responsible for those missing items. They claimed a lot of things have been stolen that they were three and that such as our guitar and so many one of them is at large.” other things. ThankGod said: “Last “I want to believe that these Sunday, I was in my church
and our amplifier got spoilt; so I bought another one from these two boys. “As we were using it in church, members of Christ Embassy Church came in disguise that they wanted to hire it. “So, I later hired it to them at the cost of N200 but when they got to their church, they called me and said that the amplifier belonged to them and that I stole it from their church. “To exonerate myself, I told them that I will bring the persons who sold it to me; so that was how these two boys were arrested and brought to the church today.” The suspects, Dennis and Ndubuisi Onyekwere, who claimed to be a bamboo seller and a bus conductor confessed to the crime. Police spokesman Sylvester Igbo said the suspects have been handed over to the police.
Estate surveyors move against quacks
By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie
OW can quacks be stopped from the surveying profession? It is by registering more qualified surveyors and valuers, Chairman, Estate Surveyor and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) AyodeleSangosanya has said. He spoke at the 32nd induction for new estate surveyors in Lagos. Sangosanya said the institute was collaborating with some law enforcement agencies to check pseudo-practice, adding that the board had taken to court some quacks who did not heed its warning. The board, he said, had approved the use of pseudonym for persons who wish to practise estate surveying and valuation without their families names. The board has sent guidelines for the formation of mega-firms with pseudonyms to the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development for gazetting. On the change, he explained that it was to encourage mega practice in line with international best practices. Sangosanya advised estate surveyors &valuers to maintain integrity and discipline in the discharge of their duties.
Delta shuts 36 private clinics
From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba
HE Delta State Government has sealed off 10 private clinics in Warri in a bid to check quackery. It directed private hospital to submit comprehensive data of all categories of patients treated in their hospitals on or before December 3. A similar raid carried out by the government in Asaba, the state capital, led to the closure of 14 clinics. In Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area, 10 clinics were shut and two in Ibusa, Oshimili North Local Government. Head of the State Joint Task Force Team, Ministry of Health, Alfred Ebiakofa, said the raid in Warri was a continuation of the enforcement of the closure of illegal hospitals in the state. He disclosed that the data to be compiled should include all categories of patients, their ailment, types of treatments administered, and status of the patients, adding that the record will enable the government determine, if the right treatments are given to patients.
APGA committee visits Obi
From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
HE reconciliation committee set up by the factional Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Maxi Okwu, has met with Anambra State Governor Peter Obi. The 14-man committee, headed by former governorship candidate of the party in Abia State, Ochiagha Reagan Ufomba, also met with the National Chairman, Victor Umeh and Sylvester Nwobu Alor. Obi and Umeh met with the committee on Tuesday, while the committee was in Alor’s office in Awka yesterday. The leader of the committee, Ochiagha Reagan Ufomba, said based on discussions they had with some of the stakeholders of the party so far, that the end to APGA crisis is near. He said communal interest should take precedence in the party rather than personal interest, adding that what everybody in the party wants is a united family.
•Dr Ping (left), Chairman Maj-Gen Ike Nwachukwu and Okali...yesterday
PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN
‘How to make Africa’s intellectualism count’
FRICA has remained under-developed because of lack of belief in the ideas of its people, speakers at a book presentation and foundation inauguration said yesterday in Lagos. This lack of belief, they said, is born out of poverty and unwillingness to discard an inferior mentality. To reverse this trend, there is the need to accord greater value to African indigenous system and depend less on Western ideas in solving the continent’s development problems. In a bid to promote Africa’s effective participation in the world of ideas and ensure that its development is spearheaded and sustained by the ideas of its people, the Okali Seminal Ideas Foundation for Africa (OSIFA), was inaugurated. T h e F o u n d e r / C h a irman of the foundation, Dr Agwu Ukiwe Okali, regretted that Africans do not receive corresponding respect for their intellectual competence and abilities, despite the fact that they can hold their own in any task anywhere. The consequence, he said, is that the developed world does not consider Africa as a good ideas source. Also launched at the event was a book by Okali, entitled: Of Black Servitude without Slavery: the Unspo-
•Book decries racism in English language By Joseph Jibueze
ken Politics of Language. It is the first volume of OSIFA’s Africa Seminal Ideas Series. The author holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, as well as a Master of Laws and Doctor of Juridical Science degrees from Harvard Law School. Okali had a distinguished career at the United Nations (UN), last serving as Registrar of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, with the rank of United Nations Assistant Secretary General. He said: “We (Africans) are not providing intellectual input to thing. We don’t see African input. Every society has its ideas by which it resolves its survival issues. The only difference is articulation. “We need to have a system for collecting and articulating the various ideas concerning everything. This is one of the things we want OSIFA to do,” he said. Immediate past Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr jean Ping, who was the keynote speaker, said “the outside world” has foisted on Africa a persistently negative assessment of its intellectualism. This, he said, has led to a loss of self-confidence by Af-
ricans and an apparent inability to break out of a state of “ideas-dependency”; worsened by the myth that “no good thing has, or can, come from Africa.” Ping said despite effort by many scholars to re-evaluate and re-direct attention to African cultures, African intellectualism continues to find itself “acquiescing in, and often, indeed accepting, and living this dangerous myth about the continent.” The consequence, according to him, is that approaches that evolved from African environments and cultures are hardly put into consideration when addressing developmental problems. “Instead, the instinct is automatically to reach for the foreign-scripted manual or blueprint for solution,” he said. Further compounding the problem, Ping said, are poverty and “the pressures of the stomach.” He said due to poverty and their generally-deprives circumstances, the primary pre-occupation of majority of Africans is with meeting daily survival needs. “The work of re-focusing African minds to accord greater value to African indigenous systems, will, therefore, be greatly lightened by visible improve-
ment in the way African states manage their affairs... “A political dispensation that sets a high store on the value of good leadership is, therefore, needed to elevate the image of Africa and bolster the effort of re-launching African intellectualism into the world of ideas, and re-directing it towards fostering African development.” Reviewing the publication, writer/critic Prof Kole Omotoso called it “a book to crow about.” He said European languages as well as a few other non-European ones harbour in their systems, blatant concepts, ideas, expressions and words which are anti-black and so racist against Africans and people of African descent. The book, he said, deals specifically with English, highlighting the fact that it is simply unacceptable that such a world-wide means of communication should be the carrier of racist sentiments, consciously and unconsciously, on a daily basis, around the globe. “That an African should take on the crusade of ridding the English language, as well as the other European and non-European languages, of this blemish is something to crow about,” Omotoso said.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
North’s governors hail Abdulsalami at 71
Glo goes musical with SMS
LO Mobile subscribers can now say what they wish to say and choose when they wish to say it by using musical accompaniment, courtesy of a new value added service called Muzik Greeting. With the service, subscribers can compose, customise and send musical dedications or greetings for different occasions to their loved ones. Globacom’s Marketing Coordinator, Mr. Adeniyi Olukoya, said the customer can say ‘Congratulations’; ‘I Love you’; ‘Happy Birthday’; ‘Happy Anniversary’; not with words but with a song, using any background music of his choice. He can also programme the message to be delivered on the subscriber’s date of choice.”
From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
HE Northern States’ Governors’ Forum (NSGF) yesterday said former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, who turns 71 today, is the father of the nation’s democracy. Its Chairman and Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu expressed the forum’s birthday wishes in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo. The statement reads: “At 71, General Abdulsalami has remained the reference point on good governance, diplomacy and conflict resolution, not only in Nigeria but also the world over. “The forum is proud of General Abdulsalami’s landmark achievements and remarkable leadership qualities, which he has wonderfully exhibited in accelerating the growth and development of Nigeria and the African continent as a whole.”
•From left: Wakilin Zazzau, Alhaji Umaru Mijinyawa; Kaduna State Governor Mukhtar Yero and Chairman, Igabi Local Government Area, Alhaji Abdullahi Kwarau, at the launching and distribution of the local government’s Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) materials to beneficiaries in Kaduna... yesterday.
‘Civilian JTF’ hunts Boko Haram members in Borno
GROUP of youths in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, has taken arms against suspected Boko Haram members in the state. The group, which the residents call ‘Civilian JTF’, have members whose ages range between 17 and 25 years. They go from street to street, house to house, arresting and handing over identified Boko Haram members to operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF). The “Civilian JTF” mem-
From Duku Joel, Maiduguri
bers operate freely on the streets of Maiduguri, brandishing cutlasses, iron bars and wooden batons for their operations. Some members of the group told reporters that they were hunting for Boko Haram members because of the hardship the crisis that arose from the sect’s activities has brought on the residents of Maiduguri and other parts of the state.
“We are tired of this and we want to put an end to it. Since the soldiers don’t really know who the Boko Haram members are, then we who live with them and know them have no option but to help fish them out,” said a leader of the group, who simply identified himself as MK. He explained that the revolution began among the youths of Hausari Ward, one of the strongholds of the insur-
gents in the metropolis, and spread to Gwange Ward and Bolori, where the youths joined in the hunt. Another member of the group, who identified himself as Isa Musa, also adressed reporters on the their activities. He said: “We are into this to salvage our people from Boko Haram members who have killed our people, security operatives and destroyed our economy. We are not afraid of them, because we are
From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
velopment that can stifle internal democracy. The communiqué, by ACF’s National Publicity Secretary Anthony Sani, advised the governors and leaders of the party to ensure that the nation’s democracy is premised on liberty, justice, decency and sanctity of votes cast. The ACF called for moves to harmonise its activities with those of the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) to ensure that the North pursues common vision, objectives, and strategy for unity and peaceful coexistence. It noted that these are needed for the socio-economic and political development of the
region as well as other parts of the country. The communiqué reads: “The NWC was called to specifically asses the preparations for the annual general meeting (AGM) of the ACF scheduled to hold on June 20 in Kaduna, as well as to review the unfolding events in the polity and development in the efforts to tame the proliferation of fora and groups, which profess to speak for the same North. “The meeting deliberated and resolved that the following statement be issued. The meeting welcomed the progress made by the joint meetings between the ACF and the NEF for the express purpose of fashioning how best
the North can pursue common vision, common objectives, and common strategy, for achieving northern unity and peaceful coexistence needed for meaningful socio-economic and political development, not only of northern region but across the country.
Court strikes suit seeking to bar Jonathan from JUSTICE Armed Ramat substantive claims against the Mohammed yesterday reappointing ex-UBEC chief renewal of a public appoint-
struck out a suit seeking to restrain President Goodluck Jonathan from renewing the appointment of Dr. Ahmed Modibbo Mohammed as the Executive Secretary, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). Justice Mohammed struck out the suit for “lacking in merit”. Suspended UBEC’s Deputy Director, Physical Planning, Molkat Mutfwang, had sued the President and five others, praying the court to, among others, restrain the President from either re-appointing or renewing Mohammed’s tenure. Mutfwang has been on
From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
indefinite suspension since 2009 for alleged unethical conduct. But Mohammed, whose tenure ended on September 3, last year, has handed over to the Deputy Executive Secretary, Technical, Prof. Charles Onocha. Sued with the President in the suit filed on September 14, last year, are: Mohammed, the Secretary to the Federal Government (SFG), the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation (AGF), the Minister of Education and UBEC. Justice Mohammed yesterday upheld the argument by Ben Anachebe (SAN), the counsel to the former UBEC
chief, that the plaintiff (Mutfwang) has no locus standi (not legally qualified) to institute the suit. The judge held that Mutfwang failed to show the court how Mohammed’s reappointment as the Executive Secretary of the UBEC would affect him or violate his civil rights. Justice Mohammed held that the plaintiff was not qualified to file the suit because he has no personal interest in, or qualified for the office for which Mohammed is to be reappointed. The judge further held that the plaintiff “has not disclosed any special interest or cognisable legal/justiceable right or injury to warrant his
HE men of First Baptist Church, 12, Oremerin Street, Itire, Lagos under the aegis of the Men Missionary Union (MMU) will on June 16 celebrate the Fathers’ Day. MMU spokespersons, Messrs Biodun Popoola and Michael Okerinde said members who have excelled as responsible fathers and loving husbands would be honoured at the event. The Minister-in-charge of the church, Pastor A.P. Oyeyemi, said members are expected to participate in the programme.
Wife of Kano official strangled
ACF berates PDP governors, Anenih, over democratic violations
HE pan-northern sociopolitical organsation, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), said yesterday the call by Chief Tony Anenih, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for the exclusion of the President and serving governors from the party’s primaries, is anti-democratic and against the tenet of the Electoral Act. In a communiqué at the end of its National Working Committee (NWC) meeting in Kaduna, the forum also frowned at the controversy surrounding the recent Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) election. It described the controversy as undemocratic and a de-
doing a just cause and God is by our side.” Abubakar Malum, another leader of the group, said they did not need guns or sophisticated rifles to catch the deadly Boko Haram insurgents. He said: “All we want are prayers from the people and their cooperation. We are working together with the JTF soldiers. We want the government to assist us with more weapons, such as cutlasses, iron batons and axes.”
Baptist men celebrate Fathers’ Day
ment”. He added: “The plaintiff has no locus standi to institute the action, and where a plaintiff has no locus standi to institute an action, the court lacks the jurisdiction to handle the matter. This suit is accordingly struck out.” The ex-UBEC chief had argued in his preliminary objection that Mutfwang’s suit was a gross abuse of court process and that the plaintiff, a suspended UBEC worker, is being tried at a Federal High Court by the Economic and financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on criminal charges, including fraud, conspiracy, forgery, with other disengaged workers.
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
HE wife of the Director of Information in the Kano State Ministry of Information and Sports, Hajiya Hadiza Usman, was yesterday strangled to death by unknown assailants. The incident happened at her home in Sabon Gandu Quarters at 11am when the assailants reportedly burgled her apartment. Hadiza, 21, married the Director of Information, Alhaji Usman Yakasai, 10 days ago. Yakasai told The Nation that between 10am and 11am yesterday, some unknown assailants burgled their way into the apartment of his wife and strangled her to death. According to him, Hadiza was alone in the house when the incident occurred. Police spokesman, Magaji Musa Majiya, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), confirmed the incident. He said some suspects have been arrested while investigation on the matter is in progress.
IGP, others to pay N1m damages
From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
FEDERAL High Court, Makurdi, presided over by Justice Binta Nyako, has ordered the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), the Commissioner of Police, the Special Armed Robbery Squad, Lagos State and five others, to pay N1 million each as exemplary damages to an applicant, Tereshima Ikem, and another person, for the violation of their fundamental rights. Justice Nyako was ruling yesterday in a suit filed by the counsel to the applicant, Mr Kwaghga Sedondo Kwaghga, challenging the arrest and detention of the two applicants by the police. The judge warned the police not to use their constitutional power of arrest to cause injustice to the common man.
220 federal agencies, others to go
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
HERE were indications yesterday that 220 Federal Government’s parastatals, agencies and commissions may be scrapped in the ongoing restructuring and rationalisation of the Goodluck Jonathan administration. Addressing State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati said the White Paper Drafting Committee accepted 321 of the 541 federal parastatals, commissions and agencies recommended by the Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions. The commission was headed by a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Steven Oronsaye.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
NEWS ‘Leadership, national development and people’ •Continued from page 51
CONCLUSION Because of the unfair nature of our electoral processes and of the gross imbalance of our political economy, the people have been props in a drama for which they should have been the main characters. We must change this. We must move Nigeria from the place where the whims and narrow wishes of a self-centered reactionary elite dictate the fate of over 150 million people. Let Nigeria enter the place where the people take center stage and their elected leaders cease misbehaving like a modern-day aristocracy and get on with the task of national development in earnest. First, we need to sanitize the electoral system. Material reform is needed. Unless reform comes, the next election will be abysmal and the people’s will shall not prevail. And that would be dangerous. Let the next election be a fair and open contest between the PDP power and our progressive vision for change. On our side, we will take our chances with a free and fair election. For we shall offer the people an innovative program consisting of a national industrial policy that includes radical infrastructural development and employment targets. It includes revival of agriculture through commodity exchange boards, education reform and of the modernization of essential social services including primary health care, especially for women and children to reduce maternal and infant mortality. These and other peopleoriented measures we pledge. We look forward to a public comparison of our plans to those of the past 14 years under the current government. This is what democracy is about. Let the people inspect each party’s wares then vote for the package that suits them. In an honest and transparent manner. A truly free and fair election is what the Progressives ask for. One man. One vote. If we get this, we shall win because we seek to provide a new leadership that will lead Nigeria to a better place and future. A country where no responsible mother is forced to send her children to bed without food, where no son watches his mother pass away because he can’t afford basic medical care and where every child can taste of a quality education that allows them to dream of being doctors, scientists, farmers, business people, nation builders, and even dream of being the president of our land. A Nigeria where everyday brain drain is converted to brain gain. This is the Nigeria we seek. This is the Nigeria that shall come to pass.
Turkish president calls for dialogue
URKEY’s president yesterday called for dialogue with legitimate demonstrators after riot police cleared the Istanbul square at the center of almost two weeks of protest against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. Abdullah Gul, who has taken a more conciliatory tone than Erdogan during the unrest, said it was the duty of government to engage with its critics but appeared to close ranks with the prime minister, saying violent protests were a different matter. Erdogan, who has dismissed the demonstrators as “riff-raff”, was due to meet a group of public figures to discuss the unrest, which began as a peaceful campaign against plans to build on Gezi Park abutting Istanbul’s Taksim Square. “If people have objections ... then to engage in a dialogue with these people, to hear out what they say is no doubt our duty,” Gul told reporters. “Those who employ violence are something different and we have to distinguish them ... We must not give violence a chance ... This would not be allowed in New York, this would not be allowed in Berlin,” Gul said during a visit to the Black Sea
•After police clears park coast. Riot police fought running battles with pockets of protesters overnight, clearing Taksim. By dawn, the square was strewn with wreckage from bulldozed barricades but taxis crossed it for the first time since the troubles started. Several hundred remained in an encampment of tents in Gezi Park. Taksim Solidarity, an umbrella group for the demonstrators, said the delegation due to meet Erdogan was not representative and the meeting little more than symbolic. “Had Solidarity spoken with anyone in this group to share information, the meeting with the prime minister would have meaning. Now it doesn’t,” said Bulent Muftuoglu, a leading figure in Solidarity and an official of Turkey’s Greens Party. Hundreds of lawyers packed the entrance hall of Istanbul’s main Palace of Justice, chanting slogans to protest at the detention of their colleagues a day earlier in a demonstration supporting the Gezi Park protests. “Prosecutor resign”, “Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance,” “shoulder-to-shoulder against fas-
cists”, the lawyers shouted, dressed in their court gowns, some shaking their fists, others clapping. “The police are intervening in an illegal way against citizens exercising their constitutional and democratic rights to protest,” Istanbul Bar Association Chairman Umit Kocasakal said in a statement to the crowd. The night had brought some of the worst clashes since the troubles began. Police fired tear gas into thousands of people gathered on Taksim, including people in office clothes who had gathered after work, some with families with children. The crowd scattered into narrow streets around, leaving a hard core of protesters to return, lighting bonfires and stoning water cannon. Police then launched tear gas attacks again, the cycle repeating itself until numbers dwindled. A group of 500 lawyers held a protest march in Ankara and there were smaller protests by lawyers in other cities. “We expect Prime Minister Erdogan to de-escalate the situation, in the spirit of European values, and to seek a
•Tsvangirai (left) at a conference ... yesterday
Zimbabwe: Mugabe, PM disagree on election time table
IMBABWE’s prime minister said yesterday that he won’t agree to hold elections in July after President Robert Mugabe said he would go ahead with the long-awaited polls. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said that Mugabe cannot decide on an election date without consent from other leaders in the powersharing government. Tsvangirai said any elections held at Mugabe’s behest will not be deemed “legitimate.” “It seems they are determined to commit suicide, it is what they want,” he said at a press briefing of civic leaders. Mugabe was forced by regional leaders to form a coalition government with former opposition leader Tsvangirai after violent and disputed elections in 2008. The nation’s highest court in May ordered Mugabe to hold polls by the end of July, arguing that the elections should be
linked to the dissolution of the parliament at the end of its current five-year term on June 29. Mugabe has said he will abide by the ruling and hold the vote July 31 despite objections from his partners in the coalition. Tsvangirai has said he wants polls to end the embittered four-year-old coalition in September at the earliest. A lawsuit was brought to the court on May 24 to force Mugabe to call early polls. The private court application claimed the country could not be run without the existence of the parliament, rendering the government illegal. A new constitution overwhelmingly accepted in a March 16 referendum requires amendments to voters’ lists as well as a 30-day registration of new voters that will end on July 9. Tsvangirai claimed the lawsuit was instigated by Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party loyalists eager for early polls so
that they can take advantage of loopholes in the electoral laws to rig the vote. “That ruling is a political directive which has been given a legal effect, it doesn’t create an environment for a legitimate election” Tsvangirai said. Mugabe, 89, who has ruled the country since independence from colonial rule in 1980, has been accused of appointing sympathetic judges from the justice ministry and the legal profession. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change party is also demanding media reforms to end bias by the nation’s dominant state media controlled by Mugabe loyalists and an end to political intimidation by the partisan police and military. “We want to remove all obstacles to a free and fair election. If ZANU-PF wants to roughshod us, I will just stand up and say I will not agree with you,” Tsvangirai said.
constructive exchange and peaceful dialogue,” Westerwelle said. Erdogan has accused foreign forces, international media and market speculators of stoking conflict and trying to undermine the economy of the only largely Muslim NATO state. Turkish markets stabilized slightly on Wednesday, with the stock market gaining 1.8 percent, having been hit by a sharp sell-off sparked partly by the protests. Stocks had fallen by more than 20 percent since 31 May. Turkey’s broadcasting authority announced it was fining four television channels over their coverage of the protests on the grounds of
American whistle blower gets HK temporary reprieve
inciting violence, media reports said. A fierce crackdown on the initial Gezi Park protest triggered the wider Erdogan argues that the broader mass of people are at best the unwitting tools of political extremists and terrorists and points to his 50 percent vote in the last of three successive electoral victories for his political authority. What is notably absent during this crisis is the speculation of a military coup that has in the past accompanied social unrest, some tribute to Erdogan’s reforms. Nor though does there seem to be any political alternative to a man who faces a weak opposition in parliament and fragmented groups on the streets.
DWARD Snowden, an American who has leaked details of top-secret U.S. surveillance programs, is technically free to leave the China-ruled city at any time, local lawyers said on Wednesday, but the ex-CIA employee said he would stay. Snowden has not been charged by the U.S. government nor is he the subject of an extradition request. If Washington asks for his extradition, it will be decided in court. “My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate,” Snowden said in an interview to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s main English-language newspaper. “I have been given no reason to doubt your system. “I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality.”
•Snowden The newspaper said he was in Hong Kong but at a secret location. It was the first time Snowden had emerged from hiding since his explosive revelations last week about the U.S. National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programs. Lawyer Kevin Egan, who has previously dealt with extradition cases in the city, however said Snowden’s best option may be to get out quickly. “If I was him, I’d be getting out of here and heading to a sympathetic jurisdiction as fast as possible and certainly before the United States issues a request for his extradition,” Egan told Reuters.
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
THE NATION THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
TODAY IN THE NATION
‘Mandela may be down today as a result of age, but his lights are not yet out and we pray that they will not go out soon’ THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
HE President’s job is no easy task. There must be times Dr Goodluck Jonathan will wake up in the morning, frown his boyish face, scratch his greying head of hair and murmur: “Isn’t there an easier way of earning a living?” He came into the office with tremendous goodwill. When the late President Umar Yar’Adua was gravely ill, Jonathan would just have stepped into the office of president, but a conclave of power mongers ensured that he had a tough time. They smuggled in the ailing president in the dead of the night and began to issue strange bulletins on his health. A massive protest to ensure that the right thing was done was launched. Jonathan became acting president. When Yar’Adua passed on, Jonathan mounted the saddle. In no time, the reality of the situation was laid bare. First, Niger Delta militants expanded their field of operation to Abuja, disrupting the Independence anniversary celebration with bombings in the heart of the city. Jonathan was damn too sure the militants were not responsible for the morbid job and he so announced. No investigations; no consultations. Enter Boko Haram. The ghoulish activities of this fundamentalist sect is well painted on the wide canvass of blood that is spread across the Northeast, with some strokes in Abuja, Kano, Kaduna and some other parts of the North. Boko Haram, which means western education is a sin, has ensured that schools and churches remain closed in many areas as it pursues its wild dream of Islamising Nigeria. Many homes have been destroyed. Businesses have been shattered and life has become a game of chance. To Boko, add the other harams, such as armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom, primitive ritual killings for money, cultism and political assassinations. Spice them up with the massive pension fund scam, the collapse of infrastructure and the inability to draw a line between politics and governance, which continues to raise tension, overheating the polity. What do you have? A mess. A cocktail of problems. There seems to be a feeling of despondency in the land. The Jonathan presidency is buffeted by bitter criticisms of its activities as it continues to fumble and wobble, smoking and clanking like an old locomotive. Now, some of the critics, who insist that this administration has no clue to any of our numerous ailments, are saying that we never really knew Jonathan, the former teacher who became a deputy governor, governor and president – all by default. Legendary luck, some say. He himself told of his early days in the creeks of Otuoke, the hitherto unknown town that has suddenly found itself propelled high into the sky, most likely beyond the dream of its pro-
RIPPLES FASHOLA NOT DOING ANYTHING IN LAGOS -Fed Govt
then you need a PAIR OF GLASSES
VOL. 8, NO. 2,515
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
•Winner, DAME Award for Informed Commentary
Five jobs I won’t take
• Dr. Jonathan genitors, how he had to struggle through it all, walking barefoot to school. The slogan now is: Never trust with power a man who wore no shoes to school. On May 7 in Nasarawa, a team of security agents, including 46 policemen and 10 Department of State Security (DSS) men, were killed in an ambush. They were said to have been on their way to arrest the spiritual head of a group, Ombatse, Baba Lakyo, who looks like any other old man having a nice time in a quiet village. Baba Lakyo said he was told that Governor Tanko Al-Makura ordered the security agents to bring his head. He was, according to him, away in a nearby village when he heard that Lakyo had been invaded, adding that his god killed the invaders who he claimed were drunk. How will Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar resolve the mystery of losing so many men in one operation? How many did the other side lose – assuming that the unlucky security agents fought against human beings and not Baba Lakyo’s god, as he claimed – in the battle? Was there no exchange of fire? When will Nigerians know what actually went wrong with that doomed mission? Abubakar has been railing that the killers of his men would face justice. When? How? Have they
been found? Before the Nasarawa incident, 12 policemen had been killed in Bayelsa State. Boko Haram makes the task of seizing police stations and setting them on fire such an easy venture, like kids playing in the rain. It smashes prisons at will, setting inmates free to join its army. With all this, who would like to be an IG? These days, governors are the subject of all manner of jokes after the election of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), which has raised fears about the feasibility of a free and fair election in 2015. There is this newspaper cartoon in which a dad asks his little boy: “Son, which is greater, 16 or 19?” The son replies: “Dad, I’m not sure.” “Why?” “I saw our governor on television, shouting that 16 is higher than 19.” The dad says: “Don’t mind him. Follow your teacher, 19 is greater than 16. You know the governor is a politician.” In the embarrassing election, of the 35 governors who voted, 19 were for the incumbent chairman, Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi and 16 for Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang. But, instead of conceding defeat and embracing Amaechi in the true spirit of sportsmanship, the Jang faction, apparently emboldened by the Villa, rejected the result and declared its candidate winner. It carried on with the joke as if it had won an Olympic gold medal, showing off its dubious prize at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat and the Villa. It then went on to open a secretariat. Amazing. Amusing. Then the video of the election hit the internet. One local television station also beamed it. How does it feel to be a governor on the other side that is widely seen to be a bad loser? For a governor, it is not enough to perform well on the job and be hailed by the people. If you stand on principle and justice, the Villa may come after you, turn your friends against you and seek to embarrass you in whichever way it deems fit, no matter how contempt-
HE ghost is still abroad. Now 20 year old, it has been with us these years traipsing about town taking prisoners, causing commotion and even handing favours to some. Remember Saturday, June 12, 1993? In fact let’s do a bit of ‘where were you’. Where were you that bright, rain-defying Saturday when Nigerians trooped out to vote? ( if you are 20 years or below, you were probably in your mother’s tummy whereupon you were most likely on that long queue by proxy as mummy waited to vote). Where were you that day Nigerians tried out that anachronistic voting system called option A4; a method in which we had to queue behind the candidate, rain or shine, and we had a physical head count as was done in the days of King Herod? Where were you when Nigerians unanimously queued behind a certain MKO Abiola in an option that left his opponent no option than to accept electoral defeat before the votes were counted? Where were you that day Nigerians voted against religion, against tribe and against the soldiers? Where were you 20 years ago when Nigerians in their majority refused to let go of their mandate which they freely gave to MKO? Where were you all through the silly machinations of the gap-toothed general who actually did not
June 12 @ 20: To kill a ghost want to leave power but who had to run when come came to become and the ghost of June 12 refused to be exorcised? Where were you when the joker in Aso Rock was installed and the goggled general swiftly nudged him to a crashing fall like humpty-dumpty? Where were you that morning when Alhaja Kudi Abiola was gunned down along the expressway by Oregun? Where were you the day the ‘small’ general finally kicked the bucket on a most unremarkable date that even Hardball cannot readily remember now (but how can we forget that he packed up relishing delicious Indian apple flown in directly from that oriental land of the great Taj Mahal)? And where were you on that historic day of July 10, 1998 when news filtered out most eerily that MKO Abiola had died in detention or if you like, on that day MKO was believed to have been extirpated? June 12, 1993, well, for those who were not born, was the day a certain hardy businessman-turned politician stood election to become the president of Nigeria. The
ible. A plane that has flown you for long may just be discovered to have no valid documents or the pilot has not filed a manifest and, suddenly, you are grounded. Or you may just wake up to find that some oil wells –if yours is an oil producing state – belonging to your state have been ceded to another. Or you may just find that the party structure has, with little legal gymnastics, been snatched off your hands and you have all manner of allegations hurled at you. Among such allegations are those that are so nauseating, such as being disrespectful to the president, and nebulous as well as ridiculous, such as insubordination. Then, you get suspended from your party. I admire the eloquence of Minister of Special Duties Kabiru Taminu Turaki, chairman of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North. He and other members of the committee have been going about the assignment with great enthusiasm, believing that when the guns stop to boom, the gladiators will surely come to the table for talks. In him you see a rare passion for a mission. But imagine the minister and our own Prof Bolaji Akinyemi, red bow tie and all, sitting across the table with Abubakar Shekau - massive, black beard and dashing eyes – an AK- 47 rifle slung on his shoulder. What language will they speak? Arabic? Hausa? English? A few days after the committee hit the road, the government unleashed a state of emergency on three states – Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. The full might of the military has been brought on the insurgents. Is this to soften up Boko Haram before the eventual dialogue? Where will the Turaki Committee find Shekau – he has a $7m bounty on his head - to talk to? When the government talks about cracking the power problem nowadays, Nigerians laugh. Today, there is a plan to hit 10,000 MW by December; tomorrow, the 3,000 or so MW we are sharing crashes and there is outage. Many thought with Barth Nnaji, the professor of Computer Integrated Manufacturing and Robotics at the helm, we were going to get it right. Then he was forced to quit a job he did with so much zest. Now, many are asking: Who is the Minister of Power? It’s too late for me to be a policeman; I’m above the age qualification for the Police College. I can’t be Power minister; it is not in my line of trade or my training. I don’t want to be a governor – the intrigues, sycophancy, cowardice and lies. Do I want to be president? No. I don’t want to be told that because I had no shoes in school I have developed a great passion for shoes, not just to beautify my feet but to kick my critics in the groin. No. •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above stuttering Egba man, from Ogun State in Nigeria literally took Nigeria by storm and had them cast off their religious and tribal incubus to vote as one and perhaps for one Nigeria for a change. It was the day MKO, the one who spoke in parables and riddles; the moneyman who loathed to see a man cry and who spent money as if he owned a plantation of money trees, won the freest and fairest election this land has ever seen. It was the day the boisterous and chivalrous hurricane of a man cast a spell on Nigeria and had her on a train to fairyland but was stopped short in its track and Nigeria was disembarked and left to wander about, now a ghost, now a loony and now a tramp, 20 years on. The ghost of June 12, or shall we say the ghost of Abiola still walks our landscape and cries us awake every night. It refuses to be rested because many of those who betrayed him are still around reaping from their evil enterprise. Not a few were his friends, many climbed to prominence through his magnanimity. But they still strut the land and worst of all they deny that he won that historic election even 20 years on. But the more they deny and equivocate and dance refusing to make atonement the more we are all sorry. And the ghost stalks still.
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