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104 Boko Haram men in Lagos prisons NEWS Page 4

•Minister holds talks with suspects in Kirikiri

Cash row grounds Eagles in S/Africa NEWS

•Team misses flight to Brazil Page 24 www.thenationonlineng.net

VOL. 8, NO. 2516 FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

N150.00

Disused plane sparks crash hoax in Lagos

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AGOSIANS were rattled yesterday by the rumour of a likely plane crash. Crowds of people rushed to Igando on the outskirts of the city to find a Dornier plane parked at a filling station. There were no signs of a crash. It all turned out to be a rumour. The aircraft, which belongs to Lagos preacher Gabrial Odunyemi of Bethel Church, had been abandoned for long. It was being moved to a training facility in Badagry, the authorities said. •SEE ALSO PAGE 57

•Disused plane that was parked at Depsey Oil Filling Stattion, Olowola, Igando on the outskirts of Lagos...yesterday

PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH

Governor gives Jonathan peace term: Tukur must go Wamakko attacks Clark, Asari-Dokubo Tukur to Wamakko: you can leave

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ESPITE peace moves, the storm in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems to be getting stronger. But suspended Governor Aliyu Wamakko has an answer to the problem: President Goodluck Jonathan should direct the removal of National Chairman Bamanga Tukur for alleged incom-

We don’t have confidence in him anymore. A chairman cannot be running the party as his private entity without due consideration for the party’s status. —Wamakko From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

petence. Besides, he should sack Presidential Political Adviser

Ahmed Gulak for “arrogance” and clear incompetence”. Wamakko did not spare Ijaw leader Edwin Clark who he described as “a liability”. Ex-

He (Wamakko) should not stay in the party and be encouraging insubordination and indiscipline. The leadership...has regards for party discipline. —Tukur militant leader Mujadeen Asari Dokubo, he said, should be arrested. The governor said he and like-minded governors as well

as other democrats are not fighting the party but the recurring injustice. “Our pride should be to defend the course of justice and

fair play for the desired unity, strength and progress,” he said Wednesday night in Sokoto. This is the first time the governor has spoken about his suspension last week by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC). He said their collective belief was to ensure the rule of Continued on page 4

UNIUYO protest: Six students die •Police arrest 45 From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia , Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi, Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo, and Wale Ajetunmobi

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IX students died yesterday over the violent protest at the University of Uyo (UNIUYO). Among the dead is Kingsley, a 200-level geology student and Donald Onukaogu, the Senate President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS). There is controversy over how Kinsley died, but the NANS senate president and four others died in a road crash in Abia State. They were on their way to Uyo to mediate in the crisis. UNIUYO students accused security operatives of killing Kingsley, popularly known as ‘KC’, during the protest over the alleged exploitative tendencies of Vice Chancellor Prof.

Comfort Ekpo.

Continued on page 4

•From left: Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Capital, Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe, Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mr Bisi Onasanya, Executive Director, Business Development, Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri and Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc, Mallam Bello Maccido, during the ringing of the closing bell at the presentation of the ‘Facts behind the figures’ at the Nigeria Stock Exchange, Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

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The last days of What were the last days of the Won kere si number wa crooner like? His wives, children and promoter recreated the days to OVWE MEDEME and DUPE AYINLAOLASUNKANMI. •Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (middle); Commissioner for the Environment Mr Tunji Bello (left), Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment Dr. Taofeek Folami and school children cutting the anniversary cake at the 5th anniversary of Climate Change Club for Schools in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

•Head of Litigation, Bi-Courtney Limited Mr. Tola Oshobi (second right) addressing reporters at a news conference on the destruction of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) billboards by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) at the Conference Room of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), Lagos...yesterday. With him are the Chief Financial Officer Mr. Olusola Olayinka (left); Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Christophe Penninck (second left) and the Group Head, Audit, Mrs. Yosola Popoola.

•From left: Research Director, Raw Material Research and Development Council Dr. Ado Abdullahi; Assistant Director Mrs Maria Obi and DirectorGeneral Prof. Peter Onwualu, at a workshop on the socio-economic benefits of Tiger Nut and Walnut in Abuja...yesterday.

•From left: Segment Manager, Small Medium Enterprises (SME), Diamond Bank Mr Cheta Agbo; Senior Consultant, Markgeorge Consultants Mr John Eklpikhe and Team Leader, Entrepreneurs Resources and Advisory Centre Mr Solomon Chikan, at the 32nd Diamond Bank Seminar on Business-xpress Enterprise Series in Jos ...yesterday.

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E was on a stage when death began to knock at the door. It was in far away United States where he was scheduled for 10 shows. But, by the time he was on the third show, the body of the late Fatai Olayiwola Olagunju, better known as Rolling Dollar, could not take it any more. He collapsed. The promoter of the tour identified simply as Samson, said Rolling Dollar complained of pains in his chest. He was taken to the hospital, where a doctor reportedly diagnosed that he had cancer. He was stabilised and thereafter flown to Nigeria. Recounting the events that led to his death on Wednesday, Sherifat, the younger of his wives, said she got a call from the promoter that the singer was in critical condition. Another wife, Zainab, better known as Iya Jamiu, said Rolling Dollar came back from the U.S. looking pale and unhealthy, so much that he could not walk on his own. He was taken to the Amadiyya Hospital on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway. When it was obvious that he was not getting better, she said, he was taken to the Marritol Hospital, Surulere, Lagos mainland. Mr. Femi Esho, who worked closely with the late artiste, said he played till the last days. According to him, the late Rolling Dollar lived a wonderful life full of ups and downs. Describing him as a great man, Esho said: “He was Ebenezer Obey’s boss when Ebenezer Obey was his second-incommand. Things went bad for him and he became a night watchman at the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Ebute-Meta. With the assistance of God, Benson Idonijie and I were able to put him at O’jez Restaurant where he played and some organisations discovered him and he started to shine again. He was a very strong man and a wonderful guitarist. He was very humble, very friendly and easy going. He played until his last moment.” The late Rolling Dollar’s eldest daughter, Mrs. Adejumoke Badmus, said she spoke with him three days before his death. She said: “He kept saying it was time for him to go but he wouldn’t say where he was going to. I told him to stop it as we still needed him around. I am shocked that he had to die.” His manager, Jide Morounfolu, said the late music maestro was prepared for death. He knew he would die anytime, said Morounfolu. He said Rolling Dollar was not broke in his last days. Music promoter and writer Benson Idonijie said bringing Rolling Dollar back after years in the doldrums was a long process. “In the late 90s, I was on a highlife revival initiative and I had to rely on him to provide the basics. That was how I went for him. We had always been in touch. We had been together

•The guitar of the late Rolling Dollar and his life size picture placed by a condolence register at his Agege home...on Wednesday.

since the 50s and I knew how good he was; so, I got him involved in the initiative. I was lucky to have a club I was managing; that was O’jez. I got him to perform every month and that was how I started promoting him,” Idonijie said. On the circumstances that led to his leaving the industry, Idonijie said: “In the 60s, with the arrival of Ebenezer Obey, Sunny Ade, Dele Abiodun and all that, after the exit of highlife, juju music took over and the type of juju music that came was that of the urbane social music type. It was not the traditional type that Fatai Rolling Dollar and the others were used to. He refused to identify with the new wave.” Tributes have not stopped pouring in since Rolling Dollar’s death. The Chairman of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Mr. Tony Okoroji, said he learnt of the deceased illness from a mutual friend. He said: “Just before leaving the


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

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of Rolling Dollar, by family, promoter

•Representative of Governor Babatunde Fashola and Lagos State Commissioner for Information Lateef Ibirogba (second left), former Secretary, Agege Local Council Temidayo Adeyemi, wife of the late Rolling Dollar Mrs. Seinab Olagunju and her son Jamiu at the funeral of the musician in Ikorodu...yesterday. PHOTO: RAHMAN SANUSI

‘Asiwaju Tinubu changed the end of my life for better’ Highlife music star Fatai Olagunju 80, popularly known as Rolling Dollar, in 2002 released his hit song Won kere si number, which put him back in the spotlight after years in limbo. Later, another miracle happened when the then Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, came to his rescue as he faced eviction from his rented residence. Tinubu gave him a flat at Oko-Oba, Lagos, a surprise present that was the icing on the cake for Olagunju. His story:

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Y musical career started in 1946. I loved the way the army used to parade then. When I was small, l always watched them parade from Iddo to Obalende in Lagos. Whenever l saw them, l followed them. I had music in my blood. From there, l joined Ishola Payne and Jubril Issa, a military man. l also played with J. O. Araba in 1960. In those days, singing was not lucrative; even if you could sing like a Nightingale, you would be paid only 10 pounds. Music used to be recorded by the white people; they scrutinise your song before producing. Apart from this, you were only allowed to release two albums per year. All the benefits enjoyed now were not there then. Unfortunately for me, along the line l had a stopover. Unknown soldiers burnt my instruments and car, they destroyed everything l had. It got to a stage l had to take up a security job at Teslim Balogun Stadium. I did this for five years, and then l started singing for a church where l spent over 4 years, then left after a false accusation. When l left the church, a friend gave me money to begin playing music again. It was in this period l started traveling, I toured European countries. On arrival from my tour, l met my manager, Yomi Opakunle, we launched Eko FM Radio website. Asiwaju saw me and gave me the house. I am very grateful, he made me proud of my profession, he showed me sympathy, he changed the end country, I had been given a hint by a mutual friend, Mr. Niyi Ojemakinde, the radio personality, that Pa Fatai Rolling Dollar was in hospital. I had so badly wanted to go and see him but there was just no time. He was a legend, a fantastic person with a very positive attitude to life. He 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 us all. He was committed to the unity of the Nigerian music industry and never missed any meeting of COSON. He will be missed by a lot of people whom he inspired.” The former Director of Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture and the Fadesewa of Simawa, Ogun State, Oba Gbenga Sonuga, described the late Rolling Dollar as a great musician and an inspiration to the younger generation. “He was a man I admired. Well, like most good people, they have to

of my life for better. Since l came here, things have become easy. Before l came here, l was living in one room. Now, l feel I am living in a palace in a totally different environment. I have been living here for over one year. I was living on Agege Motor Road, Mushin; the house has been bought by Intercontinental Bank. I lost my wife during this period. Before Asiwaju gave me this palace, I had a problem with the landlord of the house l was living for five years. He asked us to quit the house; l took him to court. The landlord eventually gave us some money but Asiwaju surprised him by giving me this two-bedroom flat. I stayed there because there was no money to rent a better place. The money I got then, l was using it to build my studio and it was a big project that required a lot of funds. I appreciate Asiwaju for this and l see him and his colleagues as reasonable people. They enjoyed my music when they were young and felt they should contribute something to my life. They also considered the fact that l am the oldest musician in Nigeria, still singing at 80, l was still strong but suffering. Another thing about Asiwaju is his respect for me; anywhere he sees me, he gives me great respect. •Culled from Many Little Miracles, a book by the Chairman, Editorial Board of The Nation Mr Sam Omatseye

Octogenarian highlife star body buried in Ikorodu

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HE body of legendary highlife artiste, Fatai Rolling Dollar, was buried in Ikorodu, a Lagos suburb, yesterday. The funeral was held at his uncompleted house on Number 4, Unity Street, Maya Village, Ikorodu. Rolling Dollar died of cancer at a Surulere, Lagos hospital on Wednesday. The funeral was witnessed by his family, colleagues and several dignitaries, such as the Chairman, Ifako Ijaiye Local Government, Oloruntoba Oke, former

go sooner or later, but we thank God for him,” Sonuga said. The Director-General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation, Prof. Tunde Babawale, said the late Rolling Dollar was a major source of inspiration to younger musicians. “Although Baba died at a ripe age, the Nigerian culture community will miss him greatly, because of his con-

By Ovwe Medeme

President, Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Admiral Dele Abiodun, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey and Stella Monye. His eldest daughter, Mrs. Jumoke Badmus, said her father urged his family not to cry shortly before his death. He is survived by 16 children and three wives. Some of the children are Jamiu, Funmi, Mojeed Nimota and Adewumi.

tribution to the growth and development of the music industry and the art in general. “When people thought he was at the end of his career he rose up like a phoenix and seized the moment and even acquired greater fame than he ever did as a young man. “He competed favourably with those who were just about the age mate of his own children and gave

them a run for their money.” Babawale noted that Rolling Dollar became an icon in the Nigerian music industry and demonstrated that commitment, dedication, professionalism, can do to turn around any sector in the country. “We will dearly miss him, the music industry will miss him, the Nigerian art and culture sector will miss him greatly.

“His presence at any gathering of artists and culture was always electrifying,” he added. A former Performing Musicians Association Nigeria (PMAN) President, Bolaji Rosiji, described Rolling Dollar as someone that “we have been celebrating ever since he made a unique comeback. “I cannot thank him enough for his contributions to the music industry and PMAN. We were very close. His death to me was like the death of a father,” he said. Reggae exponent Oritz Wiliki said Rolling Dollar was dear to his heart. The President, Association of Movie Producers of Nigeria (AMP), Zik Okafor, described Rolling Dollar's death as shocking. "He was a great musician; a shinning symbol of African music. May God Almighty accept his soul,'' Okafor said. Ego Ogbaro, a musician, described him as a legend, who lived his life to the fullest.


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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

NEWS States walk out of FAAC meeting

S •Lebanese suspects during their arraignment for terrorism at Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ...yesterday PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE

UNIUYO protest: Six students die Continued from page 1

A member of the Students’ Union Government, who pleaded not to be named said a security agent shot Kingsley dead. He said Kingsley’s killing angered the rest of the students who set ablaze the Vice Chancellor’s Office, Deputy Vice Chancellor’s Office (Academic) and Records Office. A visit to the city campus of the university showed that 12 vehicles, some of them owned by the university, were destroyed during the protest. The students also destroyed equipment in the Exams and Records Unit, Finance and Accounts, Internal Audit and Cash Office. The Computer Maintenance Department was also not spared, as hard discs and other facilities were removed by the students. The peaceful protest over hike in transport fares, which started early on Wednesday, degenerated, resulting in the destruction of property. Speaking to NAN, the Chairman of the UNIUYO branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Mr

Anyim Nwachukwu, said that he was not aware of what exactly led to the protest. Nwachukwu said that when the crisis started, he and some lecturers “managed to escape from campus”. “We were only throwing pebbles, water in sachets and bottles after it because obvious that the police only arrived at the scene to kill us. They (the police) were shooting sporadically and firing tear-gas canisters at us. “They (the police) fired teargas canisters into the female hostels. Many of our female students got injured. Their bullet killed Kingsley”, the SUG official said. But the police said they could not explain what killed Kingsley because his body was brought from inside the campus to the road where the police stood by the students during the protest. Police spokesman Etim Dickson said only one person died during the protest. Dickson said 45 rioters comprising of UNIUYO students and others from Bida Polytechnic and Madonna university were arrested during the protest. “It is has been established that

one student died during yesterday’s protest by University of Uyo students. A 200 level Geology student died. We were able to get this from the students who brought the body from inside the campus to the road. “You know we cannot enter the campus, we have to be outside. It was the protesting students who brought the body to us on the road and it was collected from them. “The mother of the deceased has come to us. She made a statement. I want to say one 200 level student died. The cause of the death we don’t know yet. “Also, about 45 other students coming from different universities were arrested. Some of the students arrested during the protest came from Bida Polytechnic and we also have some from Madonna University. “What killed the boy from inside the school we don’t know? They only dropped the body on the road because they said they wanted to carry the body to government house and we told them no, it is not their duty and we collected the body from them. On the students’ claim that a

trigger-happy policeman shot their colleague, Etim said: “Let the students find out who shot the boy and at what point? They will claim but investigation will prove. Even there is a big charm tied to the left wrist of the body. I don’t know whether it is a modern wristwatch.” UNIUYO students staged a peaceful protest on Wednesday following the introduction of N2,000 GST fee and N200 transport fee for science students from their campus on Ikpa Road to the permanent site in Nsukara Offot by the university management. The students accused the vice-chancellor of incompetence in managing the affairs of the institution. They demanded her sack. The accident, which led to the death of the NANS senate president and four others, occurred at Ariam in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State. It was along the Umuahia -Ikot Ekpene federal highway. Seven other students sustained injuries. The accident involved a Hiace bus in which the students were travelling and an articulated vehicle (trailer) that was coming Continued on page 5

TATES and local governments yesterday aborted the May 2013 Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting. They walked out on Minister of State for Finance Dr Yerima Lawal Ngama and left Abuja without any cash. The meeting is the forum where monthly allocation to the tiers of government is shared. Commissioners of Finance Forum Chair Timothy Odaah (Ebonyi State) said there would no longer be FAAC meetings “until all the conditions are met by the Federal Government”. He said commissioners were going back empty handed. By implication, states that depend entirely on the monthly allocation from the FAAC meeting may not be able to meet basic obligations, like paying workers’ salaries and contractors. Odaah gave the reasons for quitting the meeting to include: “The non-implementation of the decisions and resolutions taken in most FAAC meeting plenary sessions, especially the May 2013 resolutions which still remains inconclusive based on the fact that the arrears of February have not been paid.”

From Nduka Chiejina, Abuja

He also complained about the failure of the committee to pay “augmentation of last month (April Allocation) passed with a resolution.” He said this augmentation has not been paid “and there is no clue as to why”. Odaah lamented that “every month, returns from the states accountant generals appear to be shabbier than the previous one”. He said states “have taken a lot of disappointment from the administration of FAAC which by intents and purposes has become templates of ineptitude”. The states and local governments, he added, “have been bearing with the situation”. “Workers and contractors have to be paid, the various programmes of the state governments and local governments that are embodied in their various manifestos to carry the federation of Nigeria along with other obligations have to be met”. The commissioners of Finance said they had decided to take the matter up with the President “ so that he and the state governments have to meet on these decisions that we have been hiding for them Continued on page 5

104 Boko Haram suspects in Lagos prisons, says Minister

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HE Federal Government yesterday began dialogue with the 104 Boko Haram suspects being detained in Lagos prisons. The Minister of Special Duties, Kabiru Tanimu, and Chairman, Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, led the committee members to the meeting. Tanimu told reporters after the meeting that the visit was aimed at interacting with the suspects and chart a way forward. The minister led 18 members of the committee on the visit. After a one-on-one session with the 34 suspects at the me-

By Jude Isiguzo, Crime Reporters

dium prison, the committee moved to the Maximum Security Prison, under the command of DCP Olumide Tinuoye, to confer with 70 members of the group being detained in the facility. “We came here basically to have interaction with people detained in connection with acts relating to terrorism. “We have interacted and spoken to them and they responded very sincerely and frankly, and I think I can say that we were well informed about most of the things they were interContinued on page 5

Governor gives Jonathan peace term: Tukur must go Continued from page 1

law and unity of Nigeria. “We are law abiding democrats who respect the rule of law and rights of others in the course of ensuring the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians are met,” he said. Wamakko was addressing his supporters shortly on arrival from a two-week trip to the Netherlands where he attended an economic summit with some of his counterparts. He said that ‘’ as leaders, there is no retreat, no surrender on our pursuit towards stabilising the confidence of the citizenry for a prosperous nation.” The governor is alleged to be among the eight “rebellious” party members, who are believed to be against the President’s ambition. Wamakko reeled out his sacrifices for the party’s victory in various political circumstances, noting that between 2007 and now he had lifted the party to great level. “I returned the caliphate into mainstream politics, brokered peace between former Governor Bukola Saraki and his late father, gave the party all elective seats at the 2011 general

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Tukur to Wamakko: you are free to leave PDP

DP National Chairman Bamanga Tukur yesterday told Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko that he is free to leave the party if he so desires. Reacting to Wamakko’s call for his removal, Tukur, through a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Prince Oliver Okpala, said it is the governor’s constitutional right to leave the party, adding that as long as he (Tukur) remained the chairman, Wamakko and others with similar inclination must align themselves with party discipline. The statement said: “He (Wamakko) should not stay in the party and be encouraging insubordination and indiscipline. “The leadership of the party under Tukur has regards for party discipline and will never waver.” “Therefore, for him to say Tukur is a political prostitute; does that portray him as a true son? He should express a true sense of respect and discipline because of his position as a governor. “When he insults an elderly man like elections without conceding to the CPC tsunami,” the governor said. Wamakko challenged those he described as political sycophants who sit back in Abuja to determine what happens in

From Yusuf Alli and Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

Tukur because he is a governor, then we don’t think he has the moral fibre to remain in office because as a governor he should live by example. “The example, he is showing now does not portray him as someone who has respect for seniority and properly constituted authority like the position of chairman of PDP and the NWC.” The party chairman said on Tambuwal: “He has the right to support his governor, but as a party man, he should toe the line of political discipline and comportment. “Tukur, as a father, will always look after his children who are party members and be able to caution them and bring them to order whenever they engage in acts that are subversive to the corporate existence and image of the PDP as a political entity and the largest political movement in Africa”. The PDP also asked Wamakko not to take his suspension “personal”. It rated Tambuwal’s presence at a recep-

Sokoto, urging the President as party leader to detest their antics in the interest of progress. “None of them has been able to return a single seat to the party since I joined PDP in

tion for Wamakko in Sokoto on Wednesday as a “social gathering”. PDP National Publicity secretary Olisa Metuh made the party’s position known in an exclusive chat with our correspondent in Abuja. Metuh said: “I am not aware Wamakko said that the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, is incompetent. We will be shocked if he went personal. “His suspension is about party discipline and loyalty; he should not take it personal. The issue on the table is not about whether Wamakko has done well in office or has the support of his people; it is about party discipline and obedience to the PDP Constitution. “We noted the fact that he has performed, we are also aware that his people are happy with him but he was elected on the platform of PDP and he has to respect the party and be obedient to its constitution. He needs to appreciate that the issue at stake is not personal. “As a governor, Wamakko, like all oth-

2007. Some of them were Ministers and ambassadors yet did not reciprocate their worth for the party up to date,” he said. He said leaders and Nigerians must come together to save the nation’s nascent democra-

Continued on page 5

cy. Wamakko said: “I was unhappy with a development where Gowon and former President Shagari were given lesser prominence than Clark”. This, he cautioned, should not

•Wamakko

be allowed to happen again because “it is wrong and painful”. “Asari-Dokubo should be arrested and prosecuted,’’ the Continued on page 5

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


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NEWS ‘You are free to leave PDP’ •Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (right) chatting with Hon. Sikiru Alli (second right), Hon. Tajudeen Salawudeen (centre), Hon Waliu Ganiyu (second left) and Hon. Bimbo Olagunju (left) shortly after delivering the state of the state address to the House of Assembly as part of the activities marking the second anniversary of his administration …yesterday

Amaechi to Nigerians: demand transparent elections in 2015

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IGERIANS got a wake-up call yesterday from Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi. The governor urged them to insist on good governance and the conduct of transparent elections. Amaechi, who made the call at a conference of the state council on information in Port Harcourt, the state capital, blamed weak governance on laxity among the electorate. He said the greater percentage of blame for bad leadership goes to the voting public rather than leaders. Amaechi said: “`The people should demand for transparent election and good governance and where they do not, they are 80 per cent of the problem.” The governor said the citizens must avoid keeping quiet when things went wrong in leadership on the assump-

tion that nemesis would catch up with bad leaders. He said that such belief had impoverished the nation, while the leaders continued to squander national resources. “Insist that election must be transparent; nobody will give you your right, demand for it and claim it,” the governor counselled. On the feats achieved by his six-year administration, Amaechi said the administration completed 250 modern primary schools, which would be delivered to the host communities in September. Besides, he said his administration tackled the problem of a large number of pupils in classrooms to ensure proper learning for the children. He also said the administration would deliver six new model secondary schools to communities in September.

Amaechi spoke of plans to kit pupils in public schools with laptops, tablets, beds and provide free feeding for nine months after which the parents would take over responsibility of their training. He also said his administration would inaugurate the “Unity bridge“ linking two coastal communities, Opobo and Ikuru, to land transportation, in January. The governor said his administration had also built a new school of nursing and that students would move into the facility in December. He said that the cultural centre and many other projects were nearing completion, adding that his administration released money for the building of a new Rivers FM station. Amaechi said that the government also approved money for building a new printing press for the state-owned

newspaper - Nigerian Tide and the building of a new digitalised Rivers State Television. According to him, the project would take off as soon as release of the funds goes through the Public Procurement process. Explaining why the state power project has not been able to ensure 24-hour electricity supply, the governor said the power being generated and fed into the national grid, could not be dedicated solely for the state use. Commissioner for Information Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, said the theme of the conference was “Public Information Management as a tool for Good Governance.“ Mrs. Semenitari explained that the theme was chosen because the state planned to develop an information policy that de-emphasised praise-singing and sycophancy in governance.

missioners, while waiting for the arrival of the minister of state for Finance, told Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) Jonah Otunla, that they would not accept any delay of the plenary session, the meeting that endorses the decisions of the state Accountants-General at the technical session which also ratifies the amount to be shared for the month. Shortly thereafter, Ngama came in for the plenary and about 50 minutes later, the commissioners of finance

started trooping out of the auditorium of the Ministry of Finance venue of the planned FAAC meeting and headed for Sheraton Hotel to address the media. The Nation reported on Wednesday that the Federal Government was constrained to pay the arrears because it had initially released $1 billion to the states on request. The Federal Government argued that since the $1 billion was drawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) and financing the February

arrears will also be drawn from the same ECA, paying the February arrears would drastically dwindle the reserves in the ECA. However, the Federal Government has agreed to offset the February arrears in installments through augmentation to allow the ECA recover from the $1 billion withdrawn from the account. The February arrears is almost $1 billion, the amount advanced to the states from the ECA as a privilege extended to the states.

States walk out of FAAC meeting Continued from page 4

to put heads together with every other well meaning persons in the federation so that this problem will be resolved once and for all”. Odaah noted that no member of the forum was absent from the media briefing, an indication that “this is a unanimous decision and resolution by all of the commissioners of finance”. There were indications that trouble was brewing after the technical session when com-

Continued from page 4

er elected leaders of PDP, is a product of the party. He owes the party an obligation to be loyal and respect its rules and regulations. Asked of the position of the party on Tambuwal’s presence in Sokoto, Metuh said: “The reception was not a party meeting; the Speaker only attended a social gathering organised for the governor. “What the governor did was to address a mammoth crowd; there was nothing wrong with the Speaker being there. “There is no Article in the PDP Constitution stopping members from attending so-

Governor attacks Tukur Continued from page 4

governor said. He described Tukur as “a political boot licker” who cannot bring fame to the party, stressing: “We don’t have confidence in him anymore. A chairman cannot be running the party as his private entity without due consideration for the party’s status.” Reaffirming that he remains in the PDP, Wamakko maintained that Tukur, who, he said have lost the confidence of his people in Adamawa, should not be allowed to stagnate the party. He faulted “attempts” to ease Speaker Aminu Tambuwal out of his seat, questioning why he should be tagged a political enemy. The governor said: “Speaker Tambuwal has been used severally to achieve and sustain many positive steps for the party through vibrant means. “Goodluck , Bankole and many others were beneficiaries of Tambawal’s efforts. Tambuwal, who spoke of his resilience in the defence of Nigeria’s unity and for the good of democracy, said “purposeful political fraternity is key to peaceful and sustainable democracy.” The Speaker, who described Wamakko’s suspension as “purported”, pointed out that

from Akwa Ibom, which lost control before ramming into the students’ bus. The NANS president was a Master’s student of Computer Science/ ICT at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Imo State. The other students who died in the crash are: Abdulazeez Kabir Oladimeji (University of Ibadan), Jerry Sorkaa (Benue State University), Japhet Duru (Federal Polytechnic, Nekede) and Asa Ejiate (Delta State University). The deceased were travelling to Uyo for mediate in the UNIUYO riot, which claimed life of a student on Wednesday. The bodies were deposited at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia mortuary. The in-

jured are receiving treatment at the hospital. One of the students was treated and discharged. He left for Owerri. There was tension within the medical centre as students of tertiary institutions within Umuahia and its environs stormed the place. Abia State Governor Theodore Orji visited the hospital immediately he learnt about the incident, which described as a calamity. He said it was disheartening for future leaders to die through accident. The coordinator, Zone B of NANS, Chinonso Obasi thanked the governor for sympathising with them. National Association of Nigerian Students, Joint Campuses Committee (NANS JCC) Chairman, Comrade Fortune Ifeka expressed shock over the

death of Onukaogu. In a statement in Nnewi on behalf of the students of Anambra State, Ifeka said if their deaths were caused by the police as alleged, the policemen should be fished out and made to bear the consequences of their action. He added that it is regrettable that over 15 students had been killed in the last two months in manners that could have been avoided if the strikes and closure of schools were not on. A few hours after the death of the Senate President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Donald Onukaogu, and four other students, who were travelling to Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital to mediate in the riot that engulf the University of Uyo

(UNIUYO) on Wednesday, the NANS president, Comrade Yinka Gbadebo, and some officials of the students’ body were attacked yesterday in Ibadan by Operation Burst task force. Operation Burst is the Oyo State joint security outfit. Gbadebo was said to be leading a pack of protesters, mainly students of higher institutions in Oyo State. The protesters barricaded the road leading the University College Hospital (UCH), demanding that all campuses be shut down to mourn the death of the NANS officials, who died in an accident yesterday along Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene highway. The Nation learnt that operatives of the task force visited the scene to disperse the protesters, who prevented the

it was an unconstitutional and self-serving decision taken through “undemocratic means”. Those who said you have been suspended are saying their minds but you remain our leader with determination. “You have our total support and be on course for what is right and good,” he told Wamakko. Tambuwal said: “We should be seen to imbibe and respect the rights and freedom to exercise our liberty of choice. ‘’ We have to uphold the political and democratic legacies of our forefathers in the Caliphate who displayed their God-given wisdom for an established system even before the coming of the colonialists. ‘’Sokoto has produced democrats of repute, respecters of the rule of law, detribalised leaders in the late Sir Ahmadu Bello and former President Shagari who have managed Nigeria transparently, with absolute fairness in the spirit and principles of rule of law; which guarantees freedom and liberty of choice.” Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi is currently on suspension and some members of the National Working Committee (NWC), including National Secretary Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

104 Boko Haram suspects in Lagos prisons, says Minister Continued from page 4 that, I am sure the committee will

ested in. “For now, we are more concerned with the release of vulnerable people and those not pinned down by the security agencies. “We have seen those the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPR) advised for release. “We have not seen any woman or child here, but even at

UNIUYO protest: Six students die in road crash Continued from page 4

cial gathering.” On the setting up of a nineman committee to resolve the crisis between the party leadership and some stalwarts like suspended governors, Metuh said: “Officially, we have not been notified.” On when the ongoing disciplinary action against Governor Rotimi Amaechi will be concluded, Metuh said: “I understand the matter is subjudice. I will not want to talk on subjudicial issue. “I came back to the country this morning; I will not talk on the matter until I have been briefed by the National Legal Adviser of the party.”

motorists from having easy movement along the road. Gbadebo was said to have directed the students not to leave the road, urging them to stay back. This led to his arrest by the task force men. The task force later released Gbadebo on the spot and he was taken to a hospital in Ibadan, for treatment. Gbadebo, who was responding to treatment declined to comment on his whereabouts. Wolimoh said: “We were holding a protest in Ibadan when Operation Burst came to attack us. The NANS president was manhandled by the policemen, who injured him on the head and right eye. Five other students were also injured but I will not tell you the hospital where they are receiving treatment.”

make appropriate recommendations as far as the issue of their release is concerned. “We have interacted with stakeholders. We have been informed and we have been given advices that will help in making our recommendation to government. “I can assure you that the committee is on top of the situation as far as dialogue is concerned. We have no serious challenges at the moment.” The minister added: “I cannot say that we are going to release them. But since we have had interactions with the inmates, the committee will sit down and discuss before suggestions about release are made to the appropriate quarters. “After our recommendations, there are plans for a concrete impact assessment program because at the end of the day we have been asked to study the situation critically and carefully and make recommendations for victims support. I assure you that Nigerians will be very proud of this committee.” Also on the entourage were the Controller of Prisons, Lagos State Command; Katherine Nkolika Onoye, the Assistant Controller General of Prisons, in charge of Operations, Mr. Nuhu Zuru and the state Public Relations Officer, Bisi Jeje.


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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

NEWS

Mark mourns Odiase, Rolling Dollar From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

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ENATE President David Mark yesterday condoled with the families of the composer of the Nigerian national anthem, Pa Benedict Odiase, and highlife music legend, Pa Fatai Olayiwola Olagunju, aka Fatai Rolling Dollar, on the death of the two elder statesmen. Pa Odiase died at 79 while Rolling Dollar departed at 85. In separate messages to the Government and people of Edo, Lagos and Osun states, Mark described the duo as “patriots and committed nationalists” who left their positive footprints on the sand of time. The Senate President, in a statement in Abuja by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, noted that Pa Odiase was a genius who deployed his talent freely for the advancement of the Nigerian people. Mark said: “Odiase was not just a distinguished police officer, he was also a philosopher and a proud son of Nigeria.a “All Nigerians owe him a great deal of gratitude. We shall always remember him for good. He was our hero and his labour will never be in vain.” On Rolling Dollar, the Senate President noted that the deceased was a jolly good fellow who did not only entertain but also brought joy to Nigerians’ homes and families. He paid glowing tributes to the musician for his mastery, dexterity and sense of humour while plying his trade. Mark said even in his last days “Fatai never relented in his passion for music. He lived a fulfilled and accomplished life.”

Sambo’s media aide loses wife

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AJIYA Sahura Umar Sani, the wife of Umar Sani, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, is dead. Hajia Sani reportedly died on June 12, at 1pm (Nigerian time) at an Egyptian hospital after a protracted illness. In a statement yesterday in Kaduna, a member of the deceased’s family, Mustapha Zukogi, said the body of late Hajia Sani will be flown to Nigeria today. The statement also said the deceased will be buried by 5pm in Kaduna according to Islamic rites. She is survived by four children, her parents and her husband.

Fed Govt to close revenue agencies’ bank accounts

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EGINNING from next Monday, the Office of the AccountantGeneral of the Federation will close the accounts of agencies, which have withheld the revenue that should have accrued to the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, stated this yesterday in a statement circulated to media houses. She said: “Starting Monday, June 17, 2013, the Office of the AccountantGeneral of the Federation, in exercise of its powers under the extant laws

From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor)

and rules, will close the accounts of agencies involved in this practice in all banks.” The minister explained that “this process of systematic closure will continue until all monies that should be in the Consolidated Revenue Fund are retrieved”. She said it has come to the attention of her ministry “that some Federal Government agencies that generate independent revenue, in collusion with some banks, have refused to remit

monies to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federal Government which they are obliged t do by law”. The Ministry of Finance, she said, has identified about N58 billion of such monies, which rightfully belongs in the CFR. Dr Okonjo-Iweala added that “the objective of this conspiracy against the national interest is clear: to keep government monies indefinitely in accounts earning interest for individuals at the expense of the Federal Government and the Nigerian people”. This practice, the minister stressed,

Minister: state of emergency rule best for Nigeria

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HE Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd), yesterday said the state of emergency imposed on Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states at the peak of the Boko Haram intransigency was “in Nigeria’s best corporate interest”. Olubolade spoke yesterday in his country home in Ipoti-Ekiti, Ekiti State, when he presented a Toyota Sienna (Space Wagon) to the state’s arm of newspaper correspondents. According to him, the emergency rule, ordered by President Goodluck Jonathan, was a last resort for sustaining Nigeria’s unity. The minister explained that the major purpose of governments was to secure citizens’ lives, adding that “this must be ensured at whatever cost”. Olubolade cautioned against moves and statements which might seem to politicise the declaration of the state of emergency in the three states. He said: “We can politicise development but certainly not security.” On whether or not the state of emergency has achieved the intended purpose, the minister asserted that it has produced useful gains. Olubolade said: “Security is what

Air chief advises officers on rules of engagement

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HE Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, has urged the field commanders and personnel of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) involved in the ongoing counter-insurgency campaign, to comply with the rules of engagement. Badeh advised them to maintain discipline during operations, especially in the enforcement of the emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states. The Air Chief spoke yesterday in Abuja during an interactive session with Air Officers Commanding (AOCs) and Field Commanders of NAF. Badeh warned that commanding officers would be held accountable for wrongdoings by officers and men under them. He said: “We are having this meeting to put the managers of NAF on the same page because a lot has been happening, especially the security issues. From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

keeps Nigeria together up to this date. So, it should not be politicised. The issue of security is paramount to President Jonathan, and this prompted him to declare emergency in the three states. “You can even see he did not rush into declaring emergency because he

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

“This is, therefore, organised to make the field commanders conversant with the latest developments in NAF and bring greater synergy within the management and command structures. “They are constantly reminded on the need for maintenance of discipline, particularly in the area of security. As you are aware, NAF is involved and currently participating in the ongoing efforts at restoring normalcy in the Northeast.” The Air Chief said another area of deliberation on the NAF’s current drive for self-sustainence is research and development. He added that the service had recorded appreciable achievements in research and development, adding that the outcome of most of the researches were still classified.

thought this sect could have a change of heart. “The President inherited a united Nigeria from his predecessors and nothing will be spared by the administration to ensure that Nigeria remains united. “It is the responsibility of the government to ensure unity and security of lives. That is what Mr President intended to achieve by the state of emer-

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gency.” The minister urged the media to be fair and accurate in their primary duty of information dissemination, especially on issues which have to do with national security. He urged the critics of the Jonathan administration to be fair in their attacks, adding: “Building a Nigeria that will be a pride of all remains the responsibility of every citizen.”

Firm sues bank for N5.5b damages By Precious Igbonwelundu

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Nigerian-UK based group backs Jonathan’s fight against terrorism

NIGERIAN group in the United Kingdom (UK), VISTA International, yesterday in London called for global support for President Goodluck Jonathan’s fight against terrorism. The group stated its position during a protest at No. 10 Downing Street, office of the British Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron, and the Nigerian High Commission in London. Members of the group who braved the windy spring weather carried placards some of which read Support Goodluck Jonathan’s effort to rid Nigeria of terrorism; We say no to terrorism and Stop conspiracy to destabilise Nigeria. Mr Yunana Shibkau, the group’s Publicity Secaretary, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that a letter calling for UK’s support had been sent to Cameron’s office. He stressed the need for both nations to be strategic partners in the fight against terror. Shibkau noted sponsorship role played by forces behind the scenes, adding that some powerful Nigerians were funding groups like Boko Haram, and called on the youths to shone terrorism.

“is totally unacceptable and the Federal Ministry of Finance is determined that this practice must end forthwith”. According to her, this unwholesome practice “has persisted, despite the efforts of the Office of the AccountantGeneral of the Federation (OAGF) to encourage the agencies and the affected banks to do the right thing”. “Rather than comply, the agencies and banks, through their lawyers, have engaged in all manner of legal subterfuges to ensure that monies which are due to the Federal Government are not remitted,” she added.

•From left: Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George, Chairman, Panel on Implementation of Justice Reform; Justice Ishaq Bello and Director, Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Mr Simon Chuzi Egede, at the national stakeholders’ seminar on the Implementation of Justice Reform at Rockview Hotel, Abuja...yesterday. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

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Why NAFDAC has secured only nine convictions in four years, by DG

UDICIAL bottlenecks, absence of control over police officers attached to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), among others, are among the reasons behind the limited number of convictions the agency has secured in the past four years. NAFDAC’s Director-General, Dr. Paul Orhii, spoke on the agency’s challenges at the annual National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC) workshop in Lagos. He said the agency secured nine convictions from 2009 till date. The workshop, which was chaired by Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN), had the theme: Government Agencies and Enabling Laws: Review and Overview. Also at the event were Director of Legal Services, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Femi Oloruntoba. Participants at the workshop, who

By Precious Igbonwelundu

felt dissatisfied by the statistics, noted that the number of convictions was a far cry from the arrests the agency made within the period. But Orhii, who was represented by the agency’s Director of Legal Services, Kingsley Ejiofor, noted that NAFDAC was constrained by judicial and prosecutorial bottlenecks. He said cases take six to seven years before they are concluded. Orhii said: “Also, NAFDAC does not have control over the police officers (investigators) assigned to it. They can been transferred or withdrawn at anytime and that also cause a problem for us because calling them back from their new duty posts to come and continue their cases is always a problem. “Another problem we have is the cost

of investigation. Some cases require our staff to travel abroad for a period of time, which we may not be able to fund. “So, those are some of the reasons why we have not secured as much convictions. If we have police officers permanently deployed to us, we will have control over them.” To Fagbohungbe, most government agency laws are outdated, just as he called on the various ministries of justice to come up with laws that meet current challenges. He said: “Government agency laws can no longer meet present day challenges. Most agencies are unable to effectively discharge their duties as a result of the backwardness of the laws. Some of these agencies still prosecute cases with lawsof the 1960s, which do not conform with present day realities.”

FIRM, Treasure Capital and Trusts Limited, has sued a commercial bank at a Lagos High Court, Igbosere, demanding N5.45 billion in damages. The plaintiff asked the court to award in its favour N5.45 billion for the loss of income it suffered following the mareva injunction wrongfully procured and executed against it by the bank. It averred that the new generation bank, in 2011, instituted a suit against Mobil Workers (Eket) MultiPurpose Cooperative Society Limited, for the enforcement of outstanding indebtedness of the corporative society. The company said it was joined as co-defendant which, it added, was in disregard of privity contract. The plaintiff alleged that the bank applied for interim and interlocutory mareva injunctions against the defendants, which was to freeze the assets of Treasure Capital and Trusts Limited, including such funds standing to its credit with nine other banks. It said the bank gave undertakings to indemnify the respondents in the applications in damages, if it turned out that the applications for mareva injunctions ought not to have been made in the first place. Consistent with the reliefs sought in the applications and further emboldened by the undertakings on damages, the Federal High Court, Lagos, granted the orders of interim and interlocutory mareva injunctions against the plaintiff. Its business was consequently grounded for two years, following the firm’s inability to carry out financial transactions. The company averred that it was exposed to huge financial loss of about N5.45 billion following the mareva injunctions granted against it.


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

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NEWS Court orders registrar, firm’s boss to return N460m

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HE Court of Appeal in Abuja has ordered the Chief Registrar of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Musa Yahaya and one other to pay into an interest yielding account, N460million disputed judgment sum. Also affected by the order is the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of BPS Engineering and Construction Company Ltd, Prince Chudi Charles Chukwuani. The order was contained in a ruling delivered on June 4 by Justice Abubakar Datti Yahaya in Appeal No.CA/A/ 225/2012 filed by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA). The judge ordered that the money should be paid within 30 days into an account under the direct control of the appellate court’s Chief Registrar pending the determination of the substantive appeal by FERMA. BPS had sued FERMA before the FCT High Court over a dispute that arose over payment in respect of a contract it executed. The court in its judgment given in 2011 in the suit number FCT/HC/CV/ 312/07 held in favour of the plaintiff. In the judgment, the court awarded BPS N27, 165, 100. 00 with 25 per cent interest on the sum claimed from 2006 until finally liquidated; N50million in general damages as well as N100, 000 cost of litigation. Dissatisfied, FERMA appealed against the judgment delivered on December 20, 2011. The trial court ordered that the judgment sum be paid into an account controlled by Mrs. Yahaya pending the determination of the appeal. FERMA said despite the order, Mrs. Yahaya released the judgment sum to Chukwuani, an action the Court of Appeal condemned. Justice Yahaya described the action of the FCT High Court’s Chief Registrar as an affront on the judicial system and the rule of law. Justice Yahaya relied on the Supreme Court decision in the case of Governor of Lagos Vs. Ojukwu (1986) 1 NWLR at 641. He quoted Justice Oputa (rtd) as saying that “the court system cannot be maintained without the willingness of the parties to abide by the findings and orders of a competent court until reversed on appeal. This presupposes that no party and no court of subordinate or even co-ordinate jurisdiction can say ‘I do not have the order made and I cannot obey it’…and that posture has to be condemned in the strongest of terms if we are not to say good bye to the rule of law.” FERMA’s Head, Communications and Public Relations, Mrs. Maryam Sanusi, said the Central Bank of Nigeria, a party in the appeal, expressed its satisfaction with the ruling of the court. She said her agency had opposed the claims of BPS, as framed in its case before the FCT High Court “on the grounds that the payment claimed by BPS then was based on interim statement and not engineer’s certificate, which carries the actual amount payable on contracts as is the acceptable practice in the road construction industry.

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ACN to Abati: mind your language

HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has decried the growing propensity of presidential spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati to resort to the use foul languages against critics of the Jonathan administration. It said such crude verbal attacks may boomerang on the presidency if left unchecked. In a statement in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said there is a difference between a vicious verbal attack, which Dr. Abati now engages in with relish and a robust response to critics of the administration, which is what is expected of him. "Contrary to what Dr. Abati may think, 'attack' and 'criticism' are not synonymous. An

effective presidential spokesman is not the one who employs gutter language to respond to critics of his principal, or one who makes more enemies than friends for his boss, but one who is able to convey the activities and achievements of the President to the citizenry with dignified language. "By virtue of what is believed to be his sound education, professional training and exposure, Dr. Abati should be well-placed to know how to tell a man to go to hell and the man will still be smiling. "To be sure, the use of dignified language by a presidential spokesman is important because whatever he says is believed to have emanated from his principal. It is, there-

fore, unimaginable that President Goodluck Jonathan will resort to the use of the kind of language that has been spewing out of the mouth of his spokesman in recent times. To the best of our knowledge, no presidential spokesman in Nigeria's history has employed such base language in defence of his principal," it said. ACN said using such words as 'ethically-challenged', 'hypocrite', 'medieval-era ignoramus', 'habitual indolence and brainlessness', 'descent into moral abyss', 'mental indolence', 'bootlicking', 'hideous and second-rate characters', and 'foolish' to describe the critics of the President is rude, crude, uncouth, unconscionable and uncalled for, and that those who live in glass hous-

es shouldn't throw stones. "Dr. Abati, while you are free to exhibit your bombastic prowess, the rarefied realm of the presidency is not the ideal place for that, because when those who are being assaulted with such words respond in kind, it debases the presidency and ultimately hurts the occupier of the office. In a truly global world, such unrestrained response to critics of the presidency also hurts not just the President but the image of the country. "Even if some critics use words that Dr. Abati finds annoying and insulting or engage in criticism that he deems unfair, it is still incumbent on him to avoid responding in kind, simply because he is not speaking for himself

but for an institution. It is, therefore, not enough defence for him to say he is responding in kind to critics of his boss. "May we also remind the presidential spokesman that there will be life after that office, and that he should remember that in an era where the power of the written word has assumed more potency for various reasons, it is important to be more circumspect in tongue-lashing critics of the President. "We will like to advise and encourage the presidential spokesman to learn to use facts and figures to counter whatever he considers an unfavourable criticism of his principal, instead of subsuming such under verbal pugilistic," ACN said.

JAMB committed to ICT, says Registrar From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

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•Minister of State Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Jumoke Akinjide(right); Chairman, Kuje Area Council, Shaban Tete; Chairman, Gwagwalada Area Council, Abubakar Giri; and Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Ovaldi Madayi, during the minister’s visit to FCT FADAMA Coordinating Office and Fields in Abuja... yesterday. PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE

PDP lacks moral right to attack Tinubu, says Shehu Sani A FOREMOST human rights activist and President, Civil Rights Congress, Comrade Shehu Sani, yesterday said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has no moral right to attack the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Sani, who bared his mind in an interview with our correspondent, said PDP is only envious of Tinubu’s achievements. He said: “PDP has no moral right or authority to attack or criticise Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. They are simply envious of his achievements and recognition by the interna-

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

tional community. “Tinubu is the waterloo of the Napoleonic train of PDP. He has been able to recover the parts of Nigeria that were earlier infested by the PDP virus. The PDP is simply envious that Asiwaju Tinubu has been invited and recognised by the UK government to address them on issues that border on the agenda and policy of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“PDP’s 14 years in power have been nothing but unmitigated graft and corruption.” Sani said Nigerians have seen APC as alternative to PDP in 2015 and no intimidation could change the perception. He added: “The APC, which Asiwaju is leading, is seen as a serious threat to PDP. As far as Nigerians are concerned, no amount of blackmail, intimidation and deception by the PDP will keep them in power in 2015. “Asiwaju Tinubu has proved his credibility, integ-

rity and performance in office by the kind of leadership he displayed in the state he led. In other parts of Nigeria, he has inspired change and motivated change in most parts of the country and this cannot be compared with the mismanagement and corruption we have seen under the PDP administration. “What is really clear is that the PDP has seen Asiwaju as a stumbling block in their agenda of prolonged tyranny, which they tend to do in 2015. But Nigerians are solidly behind Tinubu and we are of the strong belief that the new party will take our country to the promised land.”

HE Registrar/Chief Executive of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof ‘Dibu Ojerinde, yesterday said it is committed to the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in its examinations. He said this in a paper he presented at the first public lecture for the 2012/2013 academic session of the Tansian University, Oba Anambra State, entitled: ‘The use of ICT in Educational Assessment: Challenges and Prospects’. Prof. Ojerinde said the advantages of ICT in assessment are enormous and will transform the nation’s education sector and the economy. “Computer-based learning is clearly set to play an increasingly important role in education. The roles of computer-based assessment are closely linked and progress in one depends on progress in the other. Support is also needed for teachers and lecturers as they learn how to take advantage of both roles,” he added. According to him, the involvement of the organised private sector and the public would help ensure the diversity of opportunities, healthy competition as well as provide and strengthen infrastructures. Ojerinde said the private sector could build test centres and donate computers /audio visual gadgets for teaching and learning.

Mark: same-sex marriage ban ‘ll not infringe on human rights

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ENATE President David Mark yesterday said the ban on same-sex marriage by the National Assembly would not infringe on the human rights of Nigerians. He spoke at a dinner hosted in his honour by the Nigerian Community in Prague, Czech Republic. Mark said the decision of the legislature to ban same-sex marriage in the country is irreversible. He said the bill, which has been approved by both chambers of the National Assembly, represents the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians. Senator Mark said: “The law

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

against same-sex marriage is an approval of the wishes of the generality of Nigerians, who are desirous of living within our cultural bounds. “The law is not designed to infringe on the human rights of the citizens in any way. “Wherever you go in our country today, our people are in support of the National Assembly because the practice of same-sex, as you all know, is alien to us.”

He urged Nigerians in the diaspora, who are passionate about returning home to contribute their quota in the development of their fatherland, to use the opportunities contained in the transformation agenda of the Federal Government by joining the struggle to make the country great. The Senate President added: “You don’t need to wait till ‘the date Nigeria will be better’ before returning home to contribute your quota. “Nigerians are hardwork-

ing people and you contribute in no small measure to the economies of your countries of residence. “For those, who desire to join us at home to improve the state of our economy and infrastructural development, you are welcome.” He said his mission in Prague was to foster a relationship between the National Assembly and the Parliament of Czech Republic through cooperation in the areas of education, culture, trade and medicine. His words: “We want the Czech Republic and its people to buy fully into our econ-

•Senator Mark

omy by setting up factories, institutions and providing scholarship for training. “We are also aware of their best practices in medicine and we are interested in that too.”


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

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NEWS Falana urges equal right to education

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ACTIVIST-LAWYER, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has urged the Federal Government to ensure that children are given equal right to education. He described as worrisome, a data released by the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF), which said over 45 million Nigerian children have no access to formal education. Falana spoke in Ikeja, Lagos at an event organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the June 12 election. He said it was unacceptable and criminal that the government would shut the doors of formal education against such a huge population of children, when there was enough to ensure that things were done otherwise. Falana said: “Let them (Federal Government) not tell us the problem is money because we know the money is there. There is a law that has made education compulsory, at least for the first nine years. One per cent of our consolidated revenue goes to the Education Trust Fund (ETF). “Besides this law, we also secured a subsisting judgment at the ECOWAS Court compelling the government to make education free and compulsory for

By Yinka Aderibigbe

children up to nine years.” He wondered why the present administration could be pursuing the policy of making illiteracy an option. “They must tell us what they are doing with the 52 per cent taken off the federation account. We must force the Federal Government to put every child in school. This is the basic minimum needed to secure a better future for our children,” the Lagos lawyer said. Falana said he was surprised that the government would avoid giving the citizens education, contrary to the existing laws mandating it to make it free to enable the poor have access to it. He said: “It is sad that a man who regaled us with tales of how he grew up without a pair shoes is determined to remove shoes from the feet of millions of Nigerian children. “Most of the children of my generation, to which President Goodluck Jonathan belongs, grew up speaking the language of poverty. Some of us never had more than one pair of shoes, which we wore occasionally. So, we knew about that. We would never be deceived by such tales.”

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SNG seeks honour for June 12 heroes

HE Save Nigeria Group (SNG) has urged the Federal Government to immortalise the late Chief MKO Abiola, winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election and other June 12 heroes. It spoke during the 20th anniversary of the annulment of the election. The group said the event was held to assess democratic practices. The programme, which took place in Lagos, was tagged: ‘Democracy Audit 2013’. It had in attendance former Abia State governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, former member, House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, Abiola’s eldest son, Kola, Mr. Jimmy Agbaje, among others. The Federal Government was represented by the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku. SNG’s spokesman, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said the democratic audit became necessary “to access our democracy 20 years after MKO Abiola was denied his mandate.” He said the uninterrupted

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By Uyoatta Eshiet

14 years of democracy “has not moved us far because the operators have not bought into the dreams the late Abiola had for the country.” The convener of the group, Pastor Tunde Bakare, said from the available record, the present day Nigeria is far from the Nigeria Abiola died for. Said he: “We are yet to enjoy uninterrupted electricity supply after $16 billion was wasted by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. More money is still being spent on power. The road network is in a bad state. Nigerians are going to bed hungry.” Odumakin said for the majority, there is no hope, adding that the hospitals are not equipped and politicians, who are the beneficiaries of June 12, travel abroad for medical treatment. Bakare said corruption has

become endemic and the government seems overwhelmed or does not have the will power to challenge it. According to him, unemployment, insecurity and failed or non-existent infrastructures are threatening the existence of the nation. He said the democratic audit became necessary “to examine where we are, compared to where we were 20 years ago when Abiola was denied his mandate. Maku said Abiola’s death was everybody’s problem, as it affected all Nigerians. He said Nigeria’s case was complicated and pleaded for understanding as the President Goodluck Jonathan administration was doing everything to transform the country. The Information Minister said government is taking steps to rid the country of corruption. Kola Abiola enjoined the citizens to believe in one Nigeria as they did during his

•The late Abiola

father’s time and work towards achieving it. He urged the leaders to show leadership qualities in all aspects of national life. Melaye said corruption is worse than Boko Haram insurgency. He asked why the Petroleum Minister should remain in office after she had been indicted six times by six bodies. Agbaje urged civil society groups to rise up and engage the government more positively. “The people need to do more, it is wrong for us to always accuse,” he added.

Ex-Afribank chief denies financial deal

FORMER Managing Director of Afribank Plc (now Mainstreet Bank), Mr. Sebastine Adigwe, yesterday told a Lagos High Court, Ikeja that he did not engage in any irregular banking transaction. He told the court presided over by Justice Olabisi Akinlade that no money was transferred to his personal account, contrary to the charges preferred against him by

By Adebisi Onanuga

the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Adigwe made the submission through his counsel, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), at the resumed trial. The EFCC had charged Adigwe before the court for allegedly stealing N87.5 billion belonging to the bank. He is standing trial with five other former directors of the bank — Osa Osunde, Isa Zailani, Chinedu Onyia, Henry Arogunde and Peter Ololo. A former Head of Special Project of Afribank, Mr. Ndubuisi Osakwe, who is the first prosecution witness, had earlier told the court that loans were granted to some companies in September 2008 by

the bank. According to Osakwe, who was under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Idigbe, a credit facility of between N15 billion and N13 billion was granted the companies for the purchase of Afribank shares from the capital market. He listed the beneficiaries to include: Rehoboth Assets Management Ltd, Falcon Securities Ltd, Resolution Trust Investment Ltd and Petosan Oil and Gas Ltd. Osakwe said the companies later issued cheques in various sums in favour of one of the bank’s subsidiaries, Afribank Securities Ltd. He said the money paid into Afribank Securities Ltd account was later transferred

into the account of Assets Management Nominees (ASEMAN) Ltd, another company owned by the bank. However, Idigbe said the transactions followed normal banking procedures. He said the transactions were initiated to forestall a hostile takeover of Afribank by Bank PHB and Access Bank, who were buying large quantities of the bank’s shares. Idigbe said: “The funds were placed in ASEMAN’s account, which is controlled by the bank, as a form of security to have control over the shares. “The bank gave out its money to these companies. There was no movement of the funds to the personal account of the first defendant, Mr. Adigwe.”

Progressives in UK postpones conference

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HE progressives rescue mission, scheduled to hold on June 20 at the Hilton London Dockland, has been postponed. Organisers of the conference, the All Nigeria Progressives Merger Group United Kingdom (ANPMGUK), said it would now hold on August 18 at the Hilton London Dockland, UK. In a statement by the Head of the Communication Unit, Dr. Ibrahim Emokpaire, the group said the programme was postponed because of “certain events critical to the success or otherwise of the conference that surfaced after we had made our conference date public and the subsequent advice from the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership in Nigeria, supporting the need to move the conference to August.” It said the decision to change the conference date would not affect the group’s determination to remind the international community of its social obligation to Nigeria as an emerging

By Gbenga Aderanti

and struggling democracy. The group added: “It will not affect our resolve to showcase on the international stage, the efforts of the opposition in Nigeria to change the way the country is governed. It does not shake our faith in the contemporary relevance of the progressive principles in government and what Nigeria and the international community stand to benefit if the political direction of the nation changes in favour of the APC in 2015.” While apologising to the invited guests over the postponement, it said: “We remain steadfast in our determination to coalesce and synergise with the progressives in Nigeria to rescue the country from the brink emanating from poor governance, inept political leadership and the absence of a strategic direction or credible roadmap to get it out of the present quagmire.”

Absence of EFCC witnesses stalls trial

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HE inability of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to produce other witnesses in a N53.6 million suit instituted against five suspected fraudsters before a Lagos High Court, Igbosere, yesterday stalled the continuation of trial. Justice Christopher Balogun adjourned the case till July 2, after the cross-examination of prosecution witness one, Kabir Sani and EFCC could not produce the other witnesses. The anti-graft agency on October 31 last year, arraigned Chris Nwaigwe, 34; Farouk Balogun, 28; Fawas Animashaun, 29; Damilola Ali, 28; and Olasunkanmi Banire, 27, on a 26-count charge of conspiracy, forgery and Internet fraud. They were alleged to have committed the offence on April 27 last year by defrauding Sani of $210,000, equivalent of N53,577.597.00 million.

By Precious Igbonwelundu

During cross-examination by counsel to the fifth defendant, Kolade Ala, Sani, a bureau de change operator, told the court that the defendants told him they would use the money to buy land at Lekki/Ajah, Lagos, which his partner, Mr. Virgo, paid into his account. Sani said his partner reported him to the EFCC after he had made payments and collected exchange commission of N9 million. Said he: “I’m a licensed bureau de change operator and the N9 million was a commission paid to me, which I refunded to the owner when I was alerted that the money was fraudulently obtained. “I also wrote a petition to the EFCC to report the defendants, after which I was invited to their office to make a statement and I did.”


THE NATION FRIDAY JUNE 14, 2013

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NEWS

Ogun warns school proprietors against sabotage

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HE Ogun State Government has warned proprietors of schools against sabotaging efforts to rid the state of illegal and sub-standard schools. In a statement yesterday, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Segun Odubela, said some school proprietors were obstructing the operations of the team set up by the government to clamp down on illegal schools. The commissioner debunked rumours that the •Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (third right) with members of the Governing Council of the Federal College of Education, Abeokuta - the Chairman, Senator Emma Anosike (third left); the Provost, Dr. Ayodele Ajayi (second right); the Registrar, Mr. Rafiu Akinola (right); Mr. John Beinmo (left) and Alhaji Abubakar Bawaro during the council’s visit to the governor in Abeokuta...yesterday.

ACN deplores Ladoja’s presence at Adedibu’s memorial

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HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State has said former Governor Rashidi Ladoja’s presence at the fifth remembrance of the late strongman of Ibadan politics, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, was to mock the deceased . In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Dauda Kolawole, ACN said: “We cannot understand why Ladoja would choose to mock the memory of the late Adedibu by attending the event. Wherever Baba Adedibu was when Ladoja visited his Molete empire, he must have been seething with anger. This is the same

man, who made life very uncomfortable for him when he was alive.” ACN said the drama that took place at the venue of the remembrance was a confirmation of Ladoja’s disrespect for the late Adedibu. It said: “This disposition is un-African, as Africans respect the dead. Whatever wrong the late Adedibu did against Ladoja, the former governor ought to have forgiven him. “We understand how, as governor, Ladoja made life unbearable for the deceased. But Adedibu is dead now and that should be in the past. That mockery of

an appearance he made at Molete on Wednesday is condemnable. It is bad to nurse a grouse against a dead man.” The party wondered why Ladoja, who did not visit the family of the late Adedibu when he died five years ago, chose to attend the remembrance ceremony. It said: “All these underscore the personality of Ladoja. That he chose not to greet former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala’s deputy, Mr. Hazeem Gbolarumi, at the ceremony shows the politics of acrimony and unforgiveness that Ladoja plays. “If he truly loves Adedibu

as he tried to show by his presence at the ceremony, why did he snub Baba’s lieutenants? This is paradoxical because those lieutenants prosecuted whatever action Adedibu took while he was alive.” ACN said it found the report that the former governor chose not to sit on the chair provided for him to be in bad taste. It said: “Ladoja trusts no one, believes no one, except himself and his immediate family. He apparently believed that the chair was laced with charms. This is not coincidental. It is a mirror of the life of a man, who once governed us.”

Fashola: we’ll keep Lagos roads motorable

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AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has promised to make roads motorable in the metropolis. He spoke yesterday while inaugurating the Paving Stone Production Line of the State Public Works Corporation at Ojodu. Fashola said the interlocking stones would be useful in water logged areas. He said: “Having bought this machine, the next step is how we are going to make this machine. I have challenged the engineers that the next set of these machines must be made in Lagos. They have the research funds and the materials. We are not just going to be consuming. For

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•Governor seeks support to combat climate change By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

everything we buy now, we must know what works inside it and how it works.” The governor praised the management of the corporation for being innovative. He said: “There is no other city that has and subjects its roads to the kind of tonnage that Lagos experiences without rail for evacuating goods from the port and still keeps traffic moving like this. “Keeping Lagos traffic moving with the cargo that comes through our ports everyday is perhaps the eighth miracle of the world.

The Public Works Corporation is our parastatal for road maintenance while the ministry uses contractors to build new roads.” Also yesterday, the governor urged residents to support policies and programmes aimed at combating climate change. He addressed members of the Climate Change Club in primary and secondary schools at the Police College, Ikeja, in commemoration of the club’s fifth anniversary. The theme of the event was: “Eat, Think and Conserve for the Future”. Fashola said the responsi-

bility of saving the earth rests on everyone, irrespective of whether they are black or white. “The war against Climate Change is a cause to which every member of the society must be committed because we are all involved. We must all support government initiatives aimed at curbing it because in truth and in fact, we will be assisting ourselves. “We must all be responsible and responsive to the call to save the earth. It is a challenge that transcends boundaries and affects every sector of our lives.”

Obadare for burial August 17

HE remains of the late President of the World Soul Winning Evangelical Mission (WOSEM), Prophet Timothy Obadare, will be interred on August 17, his first son, Dr. Paul Obadare, said yesterday. Obadare died on March 21 at 83. His funeral will hold at the WOSEM Conference Centre on the Ilesha-Ife Expressway. Dr. Obadare, who spoke with reporters at a news conference organised by the Burial Committee in Lagos, said the funeral would start on August 15, with a service of songs simultaneously held in Ilesha, Akure, Ibadan

By Adegunle Olugbamila

and Lagos. A lying-in-state will hold in Ilesha on August 16. An interdenominational service and interment at a mausoleum inside WOSEM Conference Centre will hold on August 17. Dr. Obadare said his father’s death was preceded by signs. He said: “There is no how a great man of God like my father will die without signs, especially spiritual signs foretelling his death. I remember that shortly before his death, one man of God called me on phone and said he got divine inspiration

from God that Baba (Obadare) should not be buried elsewhere but at the WOSEM Ground. “The second one is that members of WOSEM come here (Wosem Conference Centre) from time to time to pray and there were great revelations in the course of their prayers on my father’s imminent departure. “Thirdly, three days before my father’s death, my mother saw signs of an invisible being following her all about. It was after my father’s departure that my mother realised it was his spirit that was following her about, giving her final guidance before final departure.”

National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Ogun State chapter, was meeting with officials of the ministry on the issue. He said: “Officials of the ministry never met with NAPPS on the non-payment of renewal fees to the government.” Over 160 illegal private schools have been shut. Odubela said some teachers in the affected schools had only primary school leaving certificates.

Activist wants Ibadan bridge named after June 12

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RIGHTS activist, Comrade Mashood Erubami, yesterday urged the Oyo State Government to change the name of the Mokola Bridge, which is the longest in Ibadan, to June 12 Bridge. The convener of Nigeria Voters’ Assembly (VOTAS) suggested that the bridge be christened after the June 12, 1993 presidential election, which is recognised by progressives as Democracy Day. In a statement yesterday, Erubami said: “The mere fact that the Mokola Flyover is the first to be built by a civilian administration in Oyo State is a landmark achievement. The renaming of the Mokola Bridge will be

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

in remembrance of Nigeria’s freest and fairest election. “The fact that public structures are named after heroes connotes that the Mokola Bridge can be renamed. We have Carter Bridge in Lagos State, so there is no reason we cannot have June 12 Bridge in Ibadan. “The Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration should be praised for transforming the state within two years in office. The government should fast track the construction of neighborhood markets to accommodate road side traders, who are fond of displaying their goods on the road in the evening.”

Institute hails Aregbesola’s agricultural initiatives From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

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HE Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPMN), Osun State chapter, has hailed Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola on his “green revolution” agenda. CIPMN Chairman Mr. Fatai Adelu spoke yesterday at the institute’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Investiture in Osogbo, the state capital. Adelu described Aregbesola’s support for farmers as unrivalled, saying agricultural programmes, such as O’Beef, O’Hub, O’Cattle, O’Fish and others were central to the administration’s Six-Point Integral Action Plan. He said: “We solicit sponsorship for the Osun State government and other stakeholders at home and abroad to address the challenges of human resource management in the agriculture sector to maximise harvest and profit and consequently achieve stupendous increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our economy.”

‘Ogun projects’ll be ready by 2015’

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LL projects in Ogun State will be ready by May 29, 2015, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said yesterday.

Speaking with reporters in Abeokuta, the state capital, Olaniyonu said the governor’s ‘Work in Progress Tour’ was to know the people’s perception about his administration’s performance. He said the warm reception the governor got during the tour confirmed that residents appreciate the administration. The commissioner said years of neglect had left infrastructure in a near comatose situation. He said: “The present administration believes there is no reason everything we see in developed countries cannot be in Ogun State and that has been the motivating factor for it to bring world-class development to the door steps of our people. It is all about unique thinking and doing things differently.”

238 traffic offenders held in Ondo

T •The late Obadare

When asked whether his father named a successor before his departure Dr. Obadare, who is the President of WOSEM, USA, said: “I cannot answer that question until my father’s burial is concluded.”

HE Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ondo State has arrested 238 traffic offenders since it started the ongoing Operation Rainstorm last Sunday. The command has also impounded 93 vehicles. The Head of Operations, Sunday Ajayi, said Operation Rainstorm, which is ongoing nationwide, is to raise the level of compliance to traffic rules. Ajayi said: “The exercise is part of efforts to raise the level of compliance and create a

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

good culture for driving on our high ways. The national headquarters thought it wise that a special patrol, tagged Operation Rainstorm, should take place. “As the name implies, there is need for people to adjust to the weather and period. We are equally talking about other road distractions, such as non-use of seatbelts, phoning while driving, overloading and others. All these have to stop.”


THE NATION FRIDAY JUNE 14, 2013

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NEWS

Ajimobi gives account of his stewardship

Ex-commissioner advises Mimiko

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From Damisi Ojio, Akure

CHIEFTAIN of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State, Prince Olu Adegboro, yesterday urged Governor Olusegun Mimiko to stop “isolating himself from the progressives”. He said the governor’s actions were retarding the state’s progress. Adegboro asked whose interest Mimiko was serving by “standing against the interest of the Yoruba”. The ACN chieftain, who was a commissioner for information during the administration of the late Chief Adebayo Adefarati, said Ondo State played a key role in sustaining democracy. He said: “During the late Adefarati’s administration, it was a must to celebrate the anniversary of the aborted June 12, 1993 presidential election by declaring a public holiday and holding a rally. “It is very sad that Ondo State, which used to be at the fore front of progressive politics, is now in the background. It is lamentable that Mimiko has refused to associate with any of the virtues for which the Yoruba race is reputed. “We remember the good old days of the late Adekunle Ajasin, Adefarati and many others, who lifted Ondo State in the scheme of progressive politics and democracy advocacy.” Adegboro said the late MKO Abiola, who is being celebrated annually for his political dogmatism, started as a reactionary politician in the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). He said the late Abiola embraced progressive politics after he visited the Owo home of the late Ajasin and later got the presidential ticket of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the June 12, 1993 election, in which he was acclaimed winner. Urging Mimiko to stop “misrepresenting” Ondo people in the Southwest and the country, he assured residents that “the sun will shine again in Ondo State”.

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•Assembly passes vote of confidence in governor From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

•Ajimobi

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YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday rendered account of his stewardship on the floor of the House of Assembly in Ibadan, the state capital. He said his administration is mindful of the state of infrastructure, which is a key index in measuring a state’s development in the modern world. Ajimobi said: “We have rehabilitated over 250 roads across the state. Seven bridges have also been rehabilitated

to ensure free flow of traffic. The 110-kilometre Ibadan Circular Road is nearing completion. The flyover at Mokola Roundabout has been completed. “Ibadan is wearing a new look and mountains of rubbish no longer litter major roads. Two things are obvious in this administration – a cleaner environment and the security of life and property. “Go to Awolowo Junction; before now, any time there was a heavy downpour, flood used to sweep people away. So many lives were lost to flood in the area. That has become history with the construction of a restoration bridge there. We have also

bought 36 tractors to aid farming and employed over 20,000 youths under the Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES-O). Ajimobi thanked the lawmakers and the people for their support and pledged to continue to improve the welfare of residents. The House passed a vote of confidence in the governor. Mr. Kehinde Subair (Ibadan Southwest) moved the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Adigun Hammed (Akinyele II). The motion was adopted by the whole House. The Speaker, Mrs. Monsurat Sunmonu, described the governor as a man of integrity, who has a passion for the welfare of the

masses. She said the House will continue to provide legal framework for progressive policies and programmes. The lawmakers hailed the government for restoring Oyo’s pace-setter status. Mr. Fatai Salam scored the administration high in security, infrastructural development and the provision of social amenities. The Deputy Speaker, David Olaniyan, said the administration’s “integrity, sincerity and accountability” have fast tracked development in the last two years. The Minority Leader, Rafiu Adekunle and Mr. Ibrahim Bolomope urged the governor to continue to pay salary promptly.

Southwest PDP report ready

HE panel set up by the Chief Ishola Filaniled Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southwest to review the reports of the reconciliation committees in the six states in the zone is set to submit its report. A source close to the Prof. Femi Otubanjo-led seven man panel said it will soon submit the report to the

Zonal Working Committee (ZWC). Members of the committee are Mr. Qudus Folami, Mrs. Kemi Jaiyeoba, Mr. Yinka Adigun, Mr. Sola Oludipe, Mr. Tope Ademiluyi and Mr. Semiu Babatunde. To reconciliation committees in the states submitted their reports on May 23, after which the Prof. Otubanjo-led review panel was constituted.

‘Dissolve Ondo NURTW exco now’

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From Damisi Ojo, Akure

GROUP in the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Ondo State chapter, the Peace Movement (PM), yesterday urged the state government to order fresh election in the union. It said the tenure of the Chief Obayoriade Oladutele-led executive committee expired in April. In a petition to Governor Olusegun Mimiko, signed by its Secretary, Mr. Mayowa Olofiniyi, PM said Section 17 of the NURTW Constitution allows the setting up of a caretaker committee to oversee the union’s affairs, pending the conduct of an election. It said: “The executive committee had a four-year tenure, which expired in April. Section 17 of the NURTW Constitution empowers you to dissolve the state exco and appoint a caretaker committee to run the union’s affairs until fresh election is conducted. “We urge you to comply with it to prevent the violence that usually characterise a change of leadership in the union.”

Why new wards, by LASIEC boss

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HE Chairman of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), Justice AbdulFatai Adeyinka, has said the ongoing delineation of wards and creation of more polling units by the commission is to ensure greater participation in governance at the grassroots. Justice Adeyinka spoke during an interactive forum with stakeholders at IbejuLekki Local Government Area. When completed, he said the exercise would address the “under-representation” of Lagosians in government as well as the low turnout of eligible voters during council polls. Justice Adeyinka said the delineation, which began in June, 2010, would soon be completed. The criteria for the exercise include population density, cultural affinity, historical factors, landmass and contiguity.

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

The LASIEC chairman said it was the duty of citizens to participate in the electoral process in a democracy either by voting or by seeking election into political offices. He said the commission was determined to reverse the apathy shown towards elections. Justice Adeyinka urged stakeholders to study the proposal and recommendations of the commission before making its decision. He said they would be forwarded to the House of Assembly for legislation and later sent to the governor for endorsement. Speaking at the forum, a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. AbdulKabir Aiyeola, hailed LASIEC for successfully conducting three council elections and assured the commission of the council’s support in the delineation.

•From left: Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi; Minister for Police Affairs Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd.); former Secretary to the Oyo State Government Chief Layiwola Olakojo and Aare Musulumi of Yoruba Land Alhaji Arisekola Alao at the funeral service for the former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Pa Samuel Akande, at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Ipoti-Ekiti...yesterday.

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Ondo compensates dead soldier’s family with N1m

HE Ondo State Government yesterday compensated the family of a deceased soldier, Lance Corporal Nasiru Aminu, with N1 million. The deceased was a member of the security outfit in charge of Ondo Northern Senatorial District, Operation Fast Track. He was hit by a driver on duty. Aminu died at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH) in Ile-Ife, Osun State, after spending six months there. The Commandant in charge of the 32 Artillery Brigade and Garrison, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan Ali presented the money to the late soldier’s next of kin. He thanked the government for the gift and for paying the deceased’s hospital bill. The late Aminu is survived by a wife and three children. His first child, Abdullawal Sadiq, is 11 years. Also yesterday, the brigade, which is in charge of Ondo and Ekiti states, paraded seven suspected truck snatchers at the Military Bar-

•Army nabs seven ‘truck snatchers’ From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

racks in Akure, the state capital. Abdulfatai Olawale, Gbenga Jacobs, Michael James, Sesan Olarewaju, Godwin Attah, Abdul Issa and Okwudili Uwa were arrested by men of the brigade on Monday at a military check point in Omuo-Ekiti, Ekiti State. The suspects, said to specialise in snatching trucks loaded with goods and killing the drivers, are between 20 and 25 years. They were arrested in a Toyota car marked BS 985 AJL on their way to Kogi State. The were allegedly in possession of one locally made revolver loaded with three rounds of 7.6 mm, two locally made pistols, one locally made single barrel, 16 rounds of ammunition, seven mobile phones, three driver’s licenses, one torchlight, three ATM cards, a bag full of Indian hemp and N2,310.

“The suspects were coming from Abuja and going to Kogi State. They had a link man, Olarewaju, who is a trailer driver based at Obajana. Their mission was to snatch a truck and take it to their boss in Sokoto. The Operational Commander, Col. Mohammed Zuberu, said the suspects confessed that they were coming from Abuja and heading to Kogi State to snatch some trucks. He said they also confessed that the snatched vehicles were taken to their leader, simply identified as Alhaji Bello, in Sokoto State, who takes them to Niger Republic where they are sold. Col. Zuberu said: “As you

all know, we are in charge of Ekiti and Ondo states. To ensure security, we have a check point in Omuo-Ekiti, where Ekiti State shares a boundary with Kogi, Kwara and Ondo states. “The suspects were coming from Abuja and going to Kogi State. They had a link man, Olarewaju, who is a trailer driver based at Obajana. Their mission was to snatch a truck and take it to their boss in Sokoto. “Their aim was to enter Kogi State through OmuoEkiti, but they were apprehended by our men at the check point. Our men noticed that their driving was suspicious. They stopped them for a search and discovered the weapons and ammunition. The suspects will be handed over to the police in Ekiti State for prosecution because they were arrested in that jurisdiction.” One of the suspects, Attah, claimed to be a taxi driver. He said the other suspects chartered his vehicle from Abuja and promised to pay him when they get to Kogi State. Attah said he did not know they were armed.


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

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BUSINESS

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THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

MTN stops proxy SIM swap By Lucas Ajanaku

MTN said it will no longer allow swapping of subscriber identification module (SIM) by proxy. It said customers who wish to ‘swap’ or replace their SIM cards as a result of their phones being stolen, destroyed or mislaid must do so in person. The decision was taken in order to protect customers’ data and preserve the overall integrity of the SIM swap process, the telco explained. MTN Corporate Services Executive, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck, who disclosed this at a press conference in Lagos, explained that in recent months, unscrupulous elements have started to exploit the proxy SIM swap process and that there have been incidents of unauthorised people fraudulently obtaining SIM cards belonging to others. “The implication of this decision is that customers will now have to appear in person at the service outlets nearest to them to request and obtain new SIM cards. Such requests will be treated promptly after proper ID validation from the SIM registration database, and upon presentation of valid identification such as ID card, international passport or driver’s licence,” said Goodluck. He added that the customer would also be required to answer security questions before a new SIM card is issued. Shedding more light on the new development, MTN Customer Relations Executive, Mr Akin Braithwaite said that the organisation takes the issue of customer and data security very seriously. He said that a significant number of SIM swap-related fraud was committed by people who are very close to the victims and have access to their personal data. He added that the new requirement that customers effect SIM swaps in person would check the activities of fraudsters in this regard.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation -11.7% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $43.5b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013 Risk management could entail avoiding the risk completely, reducing the negative impact of the risk through risk mitigation actions, transfering or sharing the risks with other parties and retaining the risk; ie, accepting some or all the consequences of the risk and budgeting for it. - Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, CBN Governor

Big row over poor telecoms service

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HE National Environ mental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and National Association of Telecom Subscribers (NATCOMS) are in fresh row over issues bordering on poor telecoms services in the country. NATCOMS accused NESREA of indiscriminate shutdown of base transmission stations (BTS) which the association blamed for recent drop in service quality. But NESREA debunked the allegation, arguing that

From: Olugbenga Adanikin and Jane Maha, Abuja

mobile services providers’ contractors shun the agency’s environmental regulations among other factors. The Director-General of NESRA, Mrs. Ngeri Benebo, yesterday reacted to the allegations made by NATCOMS President, Deolu Ogunbanjo on regular closure of base stations. Benebo stated that her agency cannot be blamed for the poor services, stress-

ing that vandalisation of telecommunication infrastructure, incessant power outage among others, are liable. In a statement issued in Abuja, the Chief Press Secretary, Sule Oyofo, said it was imperative for telecommunication operators to adhere to environmental regulations for safety of the people. She stated that the nation was termed as a place where anything goes, and multinationals come in, set up their industrial concern;

make profit without caring about the environment. “NESREA has nothing to do with poor services. Epileptic power supply, vandalisation or use of obsolete equipment are believed to be responsible for this. “Now, this can no longer be. Someone must be held responsible. We can no longer allow things to be done with impunity. There is a Transformation Agenda in place,” she affirmed. NATCOMS in a statement had stated, “It is rather unfortunate that NESREA un-

der the leadership of Dr. Ngeri Benebo is overstepping its bounds once again, disturbing the telecoms industry by sealing base stations. “The Nigerian telecoms industry is currently suffering from very poor quality services with insurgents destroying masts and base stations; flood and natural disasters affecting some; state of emergency in some states affecting many and should not therefore be overburdened by the actions of NESREA,”

•Enterprise bank Execuive Directors, Mr. Audu Kazir (right) and Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe (2nd from left), welcoming back to Nigeria Mr. Chijoke Amamchukwu (2nd right) and Mr. Chinonso Agbasiere (left), the two loyal customers of the bank that were rewarded with an all expense paid return trip to Dubai. The customers were at the head office of the bank in Lagos on a ‘thank you’ visit.

NB expands Aba Brewery with N17b T

HE Nigerian Brewer ies Plc has earmaked N17billion for the expansion and modernisation of Aba Brewing plant. The project, which started about six months ago, would be completed in the first quarter of next year. Aba Brewery Manager, Mr. Ukeje Udah, disclosed these wh en G o v e r n o r Theodore Orji of Abia State visited the company. He said it was the first major expansion work to be done in the factory since its establishment in 1955 and the second to be built by NB Plc in the country. “This factory has made great progress. It started with 500,000 HL and today

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orte Oil Plc has set a tar get of N3 billion profit after tax (PAT) at the end of this year’s business activities. The Group Chief Executive Officer of the company, Akin Akinfemiwa, said when the new management came on board in January 2012, it decided to be number one energy solutions. To achieve this, Akinfemiwa said the man-

From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

it is producing 1.2 million HL and it is estimated that by the time the present expansion is completed in the first quarter of next year, the production capacity would more than double.” Ukeje also said that with the completion of the project, which involved among others, the building of a new brew hall that would be installed with state of the art machines and fitted with modern facilities, the economic benefit to all stakeholders including the Abia State government would be un-

precedented. He promised to employ more Abia youths when the project is completed. According to him, it is not only expatriates that would work in the factory. “There is progress and by the time this factory is completed, it would generate more employment opportunities for our people. Remember that it is not only foreigners that would be employed, many of Abia youths would be employed here,” he added. On completion of the expansion project Ukeje stated, Heineken and other canned brands would be produced in the Aba Brew-

ery, stressing that by then, the stress encountered in bringing the brands from other locations to the commercial city would be eliminated. Governor Orji commended the company for performing its social responsibility, stating that it was that reason that the people of the state, in appreciation, have factored themselves into the firm’s culture to the point that most communities now specifically demand for NB Plc products during marriage and other ceremonies. He promised that his

Forte Oil eyes N3b profit By Emeka Ugwuanyi

agement drew a framework, which is hinged on the foundation of strong business image and good corporate governance. This principle, he noted, comes first in everything the company does, stressing that it is also critical even for the

people that work for the company. “Unlike the former brand inherited from the series of privatisations, which had large employee base with many of them not contributing value to the corporate entity, which was also enmeshed in undue bureaucratic processes that led to wastages in terms of man-

hour losses and revenues, the current management settled for fewer but highly skilled employees that are committed to ideals of the company, he said. He said that the management met the company in a negative liquidity position recording a loss of N20 billion in 2011 financial year

government would tackle kidnapping in the state so as to bolster economic activities in the area. “We were confronted with insecurity in this area some time ago. Kidnapping was the order of the day, a development that was alien to us. We only know about armed robbery, touting and pilfering in Aba, but not kidnapping. “But kidnapping just came suddenly and took us by surprise,” he said, adding that the government would do more to ensure the security of lives and properties in the state. but by the end of 2012 financial year, the company recorded N1 billion profit and has set a target of N3 billion profit after tax at the end of the current financial year. He also said that the new management has been able to move the company from number six to number three in its sector as well as increased the company’s market share.


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013


PROJECT

Wamakko revives water schemes Sokoto

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JOBS

ADMONITION

Shettimah trains 37,000 youths

Reduce cost of governance, leaders urged

Borno

FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

Delta

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Email: news_extra@yahoo.com

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•Senator Amosun

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‘Oba’s attackers won’t go scot-free’

HERE is an indication that the people who attacked a community in Ogun State, Ado-Odo, and roughened up its monarch, Oba Abdul-Lateef Adeniran Akanni, will be apprehended and punished. On April 14 and 15, the community was attacked, Oba Akanni beaten up and his palace set ablaze. Chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the crisis, Hon Justice Oluwatosin Elizabeth Osinuga, said the

commission will recommend appropriate punishment for the assailants as well as their sponsors. Justice Osinuga and the fivemember commission visited the community to assess the extent of destruction, according to a statement by the Media Officer of the Commission, Mr. Ayokunle Ewuoso. The commission’s chairman expressed her shock at what she saw on the assessment tour. She

was even more astonished at the damage at the monarch’s palace. She said: “I am short of words to describe what was done in this place, for the institution of an Oba to be treated this way. “I cannot find words to describe this action; you would notice that it appears that they even defecated in the palace, so I don’t know how to describe it. It’s too much. The damage, the carnage, is too much,” she stated. While assuring that those in-

volved in the attack would be brought to book, Justice Osinuga said the commission will recommend appropriate punishment for offenders, noting that nobody is above the law. During the tour, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Ado-Odo Police Station, Mr. Olukayode Ayilara, said it took the intervention of the police to rescue the Oba from the hood•Continued on Page 45

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N tour of Yobe State health facilities, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam overcame his shock and disappointment at their dilapidation and immediately started remedial measures. At one hospital, he ordered a power generator to be provided and installed. He also directed that a borehole be sunk there. Gaidam equally announced that one hospital will be upgraded to a tertiary institution. The governor’s inspection tour exposed the challenges in the state’s health sector, a development which he blamed on the lukewarm attitude of his commissioners and advisers. He warned members of his cabinet to be committed to the service of the people, saying that those who will not work should resign honourably or be shown the way out. The warning came when he visited the Ministries of Health and Education, two key ministries in the state, as part of activities marking the 2013 Democracy Day activities. He said: “I have the whole state to take care of. I cannot come to the ministries to find out your problems and give you the solutions to the problems. It is unfortunate that everywhere I go, my so-called ambassadors keep telling me that they are sending in their submissions tomorrow. Clearly, if I don’t come, nothing will happen. I think we have to change our way of doing things. Every commissioner must be on his toes. I cannot work with lazy commissioners. Anybody who is not ready to work should honourably leave or be shown the way out of my cabinet.” After his re-election in 2011, Gaidam at the swearing-in ceremony of the 21 commissioners and Special Advisers, urged them not to sit back in their offices but rather visit their ministries to find out the problems affecting them and submit to him for prompt action. Apparently, the governor’s directives seemed to have been ignored immediately after the swearing-in at the August 27 Stadium, venue of the event.

•Governor Gaidam (right) with a patient at the male Surgical Ward of the Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital. With him are the health ministry staff and officials of the hospital

Gaidam tackles Yobe health issues Governor urges commissioners to sit up From Joel Duku, Damaturu

Irked by the deplorable state of health in the state despite his administration’s commitment to it, he

slammed a state of emergency on the sector. He said: “As a governor, I cannot come to the ministry to do your job for you. I have many state issues to

attend to and the ministry of health is just one of them. Everybody must do the job he is paid for. From what I have seen on ground, I am highly disappointed and embarrassed. I

think this hospital needs total renovation, including the management. I therefore declare a state of emergency on this hospital and the entire health sector in the state.” In furtherance of his commitment to improved healthcare serv•Continued on Page 45


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

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Sokoto spends N801m on boreholes S

OKOTO State government is spending N801 million on the drilling of 89 bore holes in the state, the Commissioner for Rural Development, Alhaji Abdullahi Maigwandu, has said. Maigwandu told newsmen in Sokoto that contracts for the execution of the projects had since been awarded . According to him, the target was to sustain the feat already achieved by the state government in the areas of rural and urban water supplies since 2007. “Several other water projects had since been

•Chairman, Agege Local Government, Alhaji Jubreel AbdulKareem cutting a tape to open new Area Office at Iloro. With him are (from left) Special Adviser on Motor Parks, Hon Tunde Alao; Council Manager, Mrs Adeola Sanya; Vice-Chairman, Hon Olanrewaju Odueso and NULGE Chairman Taofik Akoja.

Commissioner praises institute

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COMMISSIONER in Delta State Oil Producing Area’s Development Commission, Rev Chukwudi O. Eke,has spoken on the benefits of his three-day workshop organised by the Chartered Institute of Administration (CIA). During the three-day programme which was held at the Centre for Management Development, Shangisha Ketu, Lagos, he said that he gained practical knowledge that would enhance his deliverance of good governance in his state. He praised his governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, for his commitment to give Deltans in the Diaspora the opportunity to serve their fatherland and bring to bear their experiences and expertise they have acquired aboard. Eke applauded the governor in the provision of good school structures, roads, airport and other social amenities and facilities to boost the economy of the state.

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Delta

According to the commissioner,Uduaghan was able to achieve all these because of his administrative qualities which the institute is urging its members to imbibe and also in line with Mr. President’s agenda for quality and exemplary leadership in order to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The institute which has over 10,000 professional members nationwide and chartered by Act 103 of 1992 with responsibility of regulating the standard and practice of administration in Nigeria, enlightened members on contemporary administrative challenges and how to overcome them. The programme also featured interactive session where members asked pertinent questions from resource persons on how to be successful in their profession.

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OME Saturday, June 15, a rally to create more awareness for Nigerians about the state of insecurity will hold at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos. The effort which is an initiative of Foundation for World Peace, a non–governmental organisation (NGO), would be a platform for speakers and nationalities to lend their voices on how the nation can be further battle insecurity. The FWP had begun a massive enlightenment campaign highlighting the evil of terrorism. The NGO’s gesture is coming on the heels of the state of insecurity in the country. The road show began from Maza, through Lagos-Badagry Express to other parts of the metropolis. The rally is tagged: ‘War Against Global

By Adegunle Olugbamila

Terrorism.’ “The rally is to show that we are peace-loving people; that all we need in Nigeria now is peace, peace, and peace. It is also to create awareness about a major rally coming up on June 15 at Tafawa Balewa Square”, said FWP Coordinator, Archbishop Samson M. Benjamin. He said after the June 15 rally, there would also be series of rallies in Middle East, Europe, America and other parts of the world that would involve Nigerians in the Diaspora to tell the world that Nigerians are peace-loving people.

Aspirant sues for peace

RINCE Olusegun Aderemi, a contestant to the throne of Alara of Aramoko community, headquarters of Ekiti West Local Government Area of Ekiti State, has filed an appeal against the ruling of an Ado Ekiti High Court in the suit he filed against the installation of another person as the monarch just as he charged the people “to remain prayerful and calm.” Aderemi, in an interview with journalists at the weekend explained that “it has become imperative for me to clear the air on the misinformation emanating from the ruling of the court on April 16 on the matter of locus and mandatory deposit of a certain amount of money for chieftaincy cases that was decided.” According to him, the substantive suit had not even been touched, saying “the ruling is just on a preliminary issue in the matter and does not in any way affect the main issue of who qualifies to be on the throne,” He said further: “It is wrong and mischievous for some people to misinform the Aramoko citi-

Ekiti zenry on the preliminary ruling.” He said that he had already filed an appeal on the ruling, saying “this means that our people should remain calm, prayerful and hopeful for the best as we remain steadfast in our belief that justice would be done soon.” Prince Aderemi said: “They should just keep calm and keep praying. Whatever that is not ethical can never be sustainable. The issue of chieftaincy, especially the one of Alara of Aramoko, can never be taken lightly. It cannot be done unethically because we are talking about a kingdom that has its place in Yoruba folklore, a descendant of Oduduwa. So, we have to be very careful because it is not an issue that one can just politicise.” Aderemi is challenging the installation of Oba Olu Adeyemi as the Alara of Aramoko at an Ado Ekiti High Court.

•From left: Managing Director, Conceptual Networking Limited, Mr. Nurudeen Aderinto; Pakistan High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gen. Muhammed Ashraf (rtd); Leader of delegation, National School of Public Policy, Pakistan, Mrs Seemi Waheed and the company's chairman, Alhaji Kunmi Olayiwola at a dinner in Abuja for the visitors.

• From left: : Head, Horticultural Research, Lagos Parks and Garden Agency, Mrs Bashorun Ganiyat,; Associate Director, Client and Industries, Akintola Williams Deloitte, Mrs Eme Agha and Head, Tree Planting Department, Lagos Parks and Garden Agency, Toyin Utomakili, during the 2013 Deloitte Impact Day celebration in partnership with Lagos Parks and Garden Agency (LASPARK), in Lagos.

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Lawmaker donates laptops

MEMBER of the House of Representatives representing Ibadan North, Hon. Abiodun Dada Awoleye has urged youths to embrace Information Communication Technology (ICT) in their day-to-day activities. He also promised to embark on more empowerment programmes for residents of his constituency and Ibadanland in general especially youths. He said it is the only way to alleviate poverty and create job opportunities for the youth. The lawmaker said all arrangement has been put in place to embark on more people-oriented projects. Awoleye, who facilitated the donation of 110 laptop computers to the students of The Polytechnic, Ibadan by Nigerian Communication Commission, said he nominated the polytechnic for Advanced Digital Access Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI) because of its contributions to the national development. The lawmaker spoke while presenting the laptops to the Acting Rector of the institution, Mr. Adebisi Adeniran, at its North Campus. He said the objective of the laptop donation is to provide tools that support flexibility and mobility in the use and application of information and communication technology (ICT) in teaching,learning and research. According to him, “ I saw the need for the improvement in the area of information technology and the contributions of The Polytechnic Ibadan in the past in the area of human development and that is why I made it a duty to facilitate the donation of the laptops.

Borno trains 37,000 youths

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completed across the state, while many others are at various stages of completion in the 244 electoral wards of the state,” he said. Maigwandu also said that the state government had since completed several other rural and semi urban roads across the state . “Similarly, such rural and semi urban road projects are going on and are at various stages of completion, all in the effort to further improve the living standard of the people,” the commissioner added.

Foundation begins campaign against terrorism Niger

By Jeremiah Oke

“Our youths need to compete with their counterparts in other parts of the world. They need to be motivated by this kind of sophisticated gadget”. .Hon. Awoleye while speaking on the number of projects he has embarked on in the last two years, said the motion he moved on the floor of the green chamber in 2012 for the rehabilitation and upgrading of Ibadan airport to an international one has been yielding fruitful results. He expressed optimism that the work on the upgrading and rehabilitation of the airport will soon be completed. The same goes for the one in April to compensate victims of the fire incident at Omitowoju area of Ibadan metropolis which has prompted the National Emergency Management Authority to visit the affected area and compensate the victims accordingly. Awoleye said all hands are on desk to commission similar computer project he facilitated in Oba Akinyele Memorial High S c h o o l Bashorun, Ibadan. •Hon. Awoleye

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•Governor Wamakko

Briefly

New group launched A GROUP, New Generation Forum has been launched in Lagos.It is also known as Itesiwaju Ilu Eko. It is aimed at creating awareness for the activities of the state government and the Action Congress of Nigeria ( ACN). Chairman of the occasion, Afis Kasunmu urged Lagosians to unite for the progress of the state. He said: Those who work, sleep and wake up in Lagos whether indigenes or non-indigenes should decide their fate. He decried the underground campaigns for the presidency, saying it was too early to do so, especially as the incumbent had just done two years out of the four-year term. He warned those doing so to stop so that they would gain an edge over the opposition. Of the group’s objective, he said: “It is to bring everyone together to respond to governance issues, to mobilise, to bring development down to the real people at the grassroots.” The convener of the meeting , Chief Azeez Oweh said: “The focus of the forum is total grassroots mobilisation for everyone to have input in the government.We want credible people to be elected at elections”

Lawmaker sinks 82 boreholes Niger

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ENATOR Ibrahim Musa (CPC-Niger) said he had sunk 82 boreholes, including two motorised ones, to improve water supply in his constituency. Musa told journalists that he decided to intervene to end the suffering of the communities by executing the project to complement the efforts of the government. “The CPC as a party had mandated us to fulfil all our campaign promises to the electorate to show the difference between us and other political parties that usually abandoned the people after being elected. “The projects being undertaken include the reconstruction of Kontagora-Rijau highway expected to cost billions of naira.” He said the projects were undertaken with the assistance of Senator Mohammed Maigoro (PDP) and some members of the House of Representatives. “The road is expected to be completed within three years, which include the expansion of the bridges. “This would end the suffering of commuters and open up the area for economic activities, `” he said. He said he had undertaken the installation of solar energy street lights in seven communities and two areas in Kontagora under the MDGs Quick Win projects. Musa said he had also distributed 1,000 NECO/SSC exam forms to deserving students wishing to make up for the deficiencies in their past examinations. This will enable them gain admission to tertiary institutions of their choice. He said he had also distributed cars, sewing machines and generators to different trade groups to improve on their trades.

HE Borno State government said it trained 37,000 youths in various trades to fight the current security challenges facing the state. The state Commissioner for Poverty Alleviation and Youth Empowerment,Hajiya Zainab Gimba, announced this to newsmen in Maiduguri. Gimba explained that the training was carried out under the skill acquisition programme of the ministry. “Some of the beneficiaries were trained in the state while others were sent to other states or even abroad for the training,” she said. Gimba said the objective was to engage the youth in meaningful ventures and prevent them from joining bad groups. “We sent 50 youths on training in Thailand on integrated farming. “We also trained 100 youths at the Sabore Farm, Yola, in agriculture; we sent 80 for training at the Katsina Craft Village in Katsina,” she said. Gimba said that 500 youths were also trained at the Songhai Farms in Benin Republic on

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T was a joyful moment for pupils of Olomu Secondary School, Ajah when the Rotary Club of Victoria Garden City presented each pupil with a dictionary to enable them master the use of English Language. President of the club and the former Governor Central Bank Nigeria (CBN), Chief Joseph Sanusi, said the dictionary would help develop their intellect. He urged them not to dump the dictionaries in their boxes or book shelves but to use them as their companion by building word bank because in the current circumstance, only better equipped pupils would make progress in the competitive market. Sanusi said: “You must know what you are reading for and see how it affects the society. By giving you this dictionary, we are giving you a key to language and you should utilise it properly.” He told the cheering pupils that he was once a teacher and by accident he became an accountant. He advised them to always work hard in whatever they do because that was the only way they could become who they wanted to be. The former CBN governor praised the principals and management of the schools for their mission statement because without a clear focus of what the schools wanted they would move in rudderless direction. He said: “You are a great principal, the mission of this school is to train great leaders and as a former CBN governor I want you to be inspired by those of us you see today and your principal whose performance cannot be relegated.” Speaking also, the Principal of the school, Mrs Aprezi Pauline, thanked the club for all the effort to advance the cause of the school. She noted that through the Rotary Club of VGC, lots of good things had accrued to the school in the past.

agriculture. She said several others were trained in poultry and fishery businesses within the state. Gimba, however, said that a large chunk of the beneficiaries were trained in inter-lock blocks making being used to beautify the state capital and construction of roads. She said that the state government was also collaborating with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) office to implement a conditional cash transfer to 2,337 poor households in the state. “We are collaborating with the MDG to begin immediate cash transfer to 2,337 poor households in five local government areas of the state. “The households are located in Kaga, Nganzai, Gubio, Guzamala and Magumeri,” Gimba said. She said that each of the beneficiaries would receive N5,000 cash under the scheme. “The programme is aimed at fast tracking development in health and education sectors.

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“This is because the benefiting households will be encouraged to enrol their children in school as well as access health care facilities,”she said.

Rotary donates books to pupils By Musa Odoshimokhe

“Today is a special day for the teachers, parents and pupils because the dictionary which you give to each pupil of this pupil will go a long way to shape their future. They will not

only be good ambassador of the school but will make their parents proud.” “We are inspired by the presence of the former CBN governor because these pupils will work harder to attain greater heights tomorrow and we urge you to give us your blessings,” she said.

•Members of the club with pupils displaying books donated

FRSC inaugurates safety club

HE Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Special Marshal, Ishaka/Igbala Unit, Ogun State,has held an induction course for pupils of Oasis Montessori School Adalemo Sango,who are new members of

•Governor Shettima

the Federal Road Safety Club. The programme featured songs and drama, gains of Federal Road Safety Commission Special Marshal to the community; advantages derived from obeying traffic rules and

•Administrative Head, Ota Unit Command of FRSC, Mr Otubu (third right standing) with other FRSC officials and pupils at the event

regulations and importance of acting a good samaritan in accident scenes. Pupils from Jacobs High School, Ifo, Ogun State formed the demonstration group. Speaking at the event, the Administrative Head, Ota Unit Command, Mr Otubu who represented the Unit Commander, thanked the parents for allowing their children to be part of the programme.He also thanked the Mashals for the efforts being made to establish the club in secondary schools and creating safety awareness on the roads. Otubu said: “It is a pleasure to see children in the FRSC Club, they are the most victims of the majority of accidents on our roads”. Otubu said FRSC Club is a voluntary group and has been a party to the progress of the commission to tackle lawlessness on our roads.It was established in 1988 and has since been contributing meaningfully to the progress recorded by FRSC, making its mark at the community level. The FRSC Special Marshal Coordinator, Chief Samuel Ajayi, urged the children to utilise the knowledge being gathered. Ajayi said the constitutional mandate of the FRSC was to save lives. “That is the purpose of introducing this club to secondary schools. They are young and leaders of tomorrow. They have fresh memory of correcting whoever is trying to flout traffic rules and regulations,”he said. He, therefore, appealed to parents to support the marshals by allowing their wards to join the club.


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

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COMMENTARY FROM OTHER LANDS

EDITORIALS

Extra-judicial justice?

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•Thorough investigation needed to unravel how UNIBEN student was killed

UCH is the promotional catchphrase that says “ Police is your friend”, which sounds like a bad joke in the light of developments in the controversy surrounding the death of Ibrahim Momodu, a final-year student of Science Laboratory Technology at University of Benin (UNIBEN). Following the exhumation of his corpse, which was allegedly hurriedly buried by policemen in a cover-up, there are indications that he was killed extra-judicially, contrary to the police account that he died from gunshot wounds inflicted on him to ease his arrest. Examination of Momodu’s body reportedly revealed that he was shot thrice on his back, exposing the falsehood publicised by the police that he was shot in the legs. This chilling discovery, suggesting that the deceased was shot from behind, suddenly and unexpectedly, stamped a huge question mark on the modus operandi of the police. In the circumstances, it seemed a function of conscience, even if repressed, that the police statement presented a distorted version of events that left its operatives blameless. It was a predictable projection of innocence, but the evidence points towards the opposite. If there was nothing to hide, why did the police hastily bury Momodu , rather than rationally exploiting the evidence of his body to prove the allegation that he was a dangerous robber? Where was conscience when Momodu was shot? According to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Moses Eguavoen, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), “On May 27, 2013 about 8.20pm, operatives at Ogida Division led by the DPO, while on routine patrol

within the area intercepted a cyclist and another with an unregistered motorcycle at Obayuwana Junction on Siluko Road, Benin City.” He said further in a statement, “The suspect immediately brought out a Russian made cut-to-size double barrel gun, but the policemen, noticing his action, responded swiftly and shot the suspect later known as Ibrahim Momodu who died on his way to the hospital.” At the centre of the shooting was Mrs Carol Afegbua, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) and the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ogida Police Station, Benin, who allegedly shot Momodu. It is worth noting that she apparently defended her action and continued the calumniation of the dead on her Facebook page, saying, “ Does this portray the image of a student…guns and riding of an unregistered motorcycle at 22:30hrs, attempting to shoot a policeman, a new syllabus for university students?” It is fascinating to observe that Afegbua’s femininity failed to mediate throughout the encounter with Momodu. It is curious that there is a marked temporal inconsistency in these police angles; the times of occurrence given by Eguavoen and Afegbua do not agree. Also, these accounts imply that what happened was an on-the-spot prosecution and summary judgment against Momodu, well beyond the framework of the law. Whatever happened to the principle of fairness, by which a suspect is regarded as innocent until found guilty within a legal context? On the part of the police, contempt for the rule of law, which defines separate roles for the organs of government, is an inescapable charge in this incident. There are other deeply disturbing di-

mensions to this matter, considering the unmistakable brutality and arbitrariness on the part of the police. When the force, which is expected to uphold the law, becomes symbolic of lawlessness, such ironic criminality can do society no good; in addition, it compounds the negative image of the force and spoils its case that institutional redemption is possible. As things stand now, with protests over Momodu’s death conflicting with the justificatory police position, there is a clear and urgent need for an independent and thorough probe into the dark incident. What happened that night? Did the police act properly and fairly? Was the cause of justice pursued within the ambit of the law? These questions are begging for answers.

‘Examination of Momodu’s body reportedly revealed that he was shot thrice on his back, exposing the falsehood publicised by the police that he was shot in the legs. This chilling discovery, suggesting that the deceased was shot from behind, suddenly and unexpectedly, stamped a huge question mark on the modus operandi of the police. In the circumstances, it seemed a function of conscience, even if repressed, that the police statement presented a distorted version of events that left its operatives blameless’.

Commendable act

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•WAEC has set a standard in staff welfare

HE decision of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) not only to promptly pay the benefits of its staff caught in the Borno mayhem, but offer automatic employment to their widows deserves commendation. In a country where employers find it difficult to settle the emoluments of serving staff, governments wait for employees to go on strike before they implement signed agreements, and pensioners are subjected to unimaginable punishments before receiving their dues, it is a refreshingly welcome development that WAEC decided to go beyond the welfare code in offering succour to the widows. The two staff, Peter Gwalasha (47) and Boniface Emmanuel (47), accompanied by Daniel Alexander (43) a police corporal), were on their way from the Yola

‘The decision of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) not only to promptly pay the benefits of its staff caught in the Borno mayhem, but offer automatic employment to their widows deserves commendation ... The promptness of WAEC’s action is deserving of emulation by other bodies, private employers and governments’

branch office of the examination body to the Maiduguri zonal office when they were waylaid and killed by terrorists at Damboa in Borno State. They were conveying scripts of candidates from Taraba and Adamawa states for processing in the Borno State capital when the incident took place. The promptness of WAEC’s action is deserving of emulation by other bodies, private employers and governments. At a commendation service held in Lagos, the Head of the Nigerian National Office of WAEC, Dr. Charles Eguridu, made the offer as a contribution to wiping the tears of the dependants. It also serves the purpose of assuring other staff that, were they to meet with the unexpected in the course of their official duties, their next-of-kin would not be made to suffer unduly. It is also soothing to staff who are not faced with such calamity that the organisation would be willing at all times to cater for their interests and live up to expectations and best international standards. The fear being raised by some that the widows might not be suitable for the positions of their husbands does not arise as the organisation did not promise to engage them in the same positions occupied by their late husbands. This would have been difficult to sustain since all employments are done in accordance with educational qualifications and cognate experience. What cannot be denied is that a body as large and solid as WAEC would have positions at the top, middle

and junior cadres to offer in this circumstance. It is traditional and conventional in Africa for the most vulnerable to receive attention from the well heeled. The religions also teach that the downtrodden and depressed be raised by those who have received grace from the Almighty. WAEC’s attitude is a call for return to these values. The Federal Government should, as a first step, take a cue from this action of WAEC by offering employment to the widows of the Boko Haram insurrection as succour from the permanent damage done to the families. It is equally desirable that the children who lost their fathers are granted scholarships in a bid to make them useful citizens. To build a just social order and raise the moral foundation of a society, victims of a pernicious system deserve full support. In the battle to save Nigeria from the ravages of sectarian strife in different parts of the country and strikes by fundamentalists, victims should be assured that the society is ever willing to protect the weak. It is not enough to promise amnesty or set up a committee to negotiate with insurrectionists and terrorists; orphans, widows and the displaced deserve structured help. WAEC has blazed a trail. It has reminded us of our common humanity and the need to wipe tears from others. We call on Nigerians, bodies and institutions to follow this lead.

The government should loosen Google’s gag

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VER SINCE Edward Snowden leaked a couple of top-secret documents about government phone and Internet data-gathering, Google has pushed back. It is not a participant, willing or no, in a broad data dragnet, the company insisted. No one at the National Security Agency (NSA) has any kind of direct or openended access to its servers. It was “very surprised,” in fact, to learn that the NSA is apparently collecting the “metadata” of every phone call placed within, to or from the United States. On Tuesday the tech firm asked the Justice Department that it be allowed to prove its claims. At question are orders issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court meets in secret to vet government data demands, and the instruments issued under its supervision come with a gag order attached, forbidding recipient companies such as Google from revealing anything to the public. But Google wants permission to say more about them — without revealing their contents: How many FISA orders does it get in a year? How many Google users are implicated in those orders? Google recently got the government’s okay to release that sort of information about so-called national security letters (NSLs), another kind of secret information request. The company’s latest transparency report noted that the government sent it fewer than 1,000 NSLs last year, and that those data demands related to between 1,000 and 1,999 accounts. To anyone concerned about the government’s reach, and particularly the use of warrantless information requests, this material is pretty useful — not only giving a small glimpse into how much the government is exercising one of its authorities to combat terrorism but also allowing the public to track the government’s use of that authority over time. The Obama administration should allow Google and other tech firms to say a little more about their relationship with the government. But the transparency should not stop there. The revelation that so surprised Google — that the NSA is collecting all that phone metadata — apparently relies on a novel interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, a provision that allows the government to obtain business records relevant to national security investigations. We don’t see why the program itself had to be a secret, and we don’t see why the legal rationale for it shouldn’t be released, as well. Since Mr. Snowden’s leaks, government officials — including President Obama — have warned that revealing too much information about the government’s intelligence-gathering could hamper the collection of critically important information. We won’t argue with that. But if the government is to live up to its responsibilities to the public — and if it is to maintain support for its intelligence-gathering techniques — the public must know as much as possible about how it is interpreting and applying the law. – Washington Post

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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

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CARTOON & LETTERS

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IR: Recently, I received a report from Legal Defence and Assistance Project, LEDAP, an organisation committed to monitoring and documenting unlawful killings in Nigeria. The report says that between 2010 and 2011, six people were unlawfully killed every day and most of them were under 35 years of age. This is horrifying! In 2010 alone, a total of 371 incidents resulting in 1,536 deaths were recorded with a breakdown of 379 extra-judicial executions and 1,157 summary killings. The report says that 106 cases were investigated and that only four prosecuted to conclusion, a situation that shows an impunity level of 96 per cent. 2011 is even worse but let us leave it for another day. As a people, I think we should be seriously worried about this damning verdict from LEDAP’s investi-

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EDITOR’S MAIL BAG

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Nigeria and the rise of impunity gation. Extra-judicial executions and summary killings of this scale should trouble us because it says a lot about us and the value we place on life. The truth is that Impunity in Nigeria 2010 and 2011 is a depressing chapter in the life of our nation. Last year, four undergraduate students of University of Port Harcourt were murdered under circumstances that smacks of first grade impunity. What is happening today with hu-

man rights issues in Nigeria is therefore terrifying and condemnable. No nation can afford to watch while her people are decimated in such a large number and I think there is need for a collective action. Regrettably, these extra-judicial executions and summary killings are resonating outside our shores and the signs are disturbing. This is what 2012 Annual State of the World Human Rights Report of Amnesty International says about Nigeria: “Po-

lice operations (in Nigeria) remained characterised by human rights violations. Hundreds of people were unlawfully killed, often before or during arrests on the street. Others were tortured to death in police detention......Many people disappeared from police custody. Few police officers were held accountable, leaving relatives of those killed or disappeared without justice. Police increasingly wore plain clothes or uniforms without identi-

Toast to Prophet T.B. Joshua at 50

IR: If there is one man whose life and ministry has impacted spiritually, morally, materially on the lives of millions of people around the world, it is the founder and leader of the Synagogue Church of all Nations, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua popularly called Prophet T.B. Joshua. From a very humble beginning in the late 1990s, Prophet T.B. Joshua against all odd have continue to soar in his mission of changing lives, changing nations and changing the world. One astonishing feature that distinguishes Prophet T.B. Joshua from other men of God is his maturity in preaching and teaching the Word of God with power and the practical demonstration of God’s love for mankind through provision of assistance and succor to millions of people irrespective of nationality, tribe, religion or denomination. Prophet T.B. Joshua and the Emmanuel TV partners’ scholarship scheme stand out today as one of its kind in Nigeria. What marvels is the kind heart with which these assistance are given devoid of the usual showmanship and grandstanding exhibited by most people when they give to the needy. Recently, the prophet paid

about N26 million to enable one Ms. Yinka Oduwale undertake a PhD study at the prestigious Oxford University in England. The gesture particularly challenged me. Thousands of families today are being restored through Prophet T.B. Joshua ministry. On more than one occasion, I have watched him donate millions of dollars in aids to people affected by natural disaster elsewhere in the world and at same extending similar gesture to charities organization and rehabilitation homes in Europe and America. Hence, Aljazeera once reported this unusual gesture as the

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flow of aids form Africa to America. Apart from students, athletes and people with disabilities are very dear to the heart of the Prophet. Every year, he and Emmanuel TV partners spend millions of dollars to train and develop talented athletes especially those living with disabilities. The life of Prophet T.B. Joshua has something to teach all of us, his very humble beginning is a testament to the fact that anybody can be chosen by God irrespective of his/her background. Prophet T.B. Joshua has taught the rich not to glory in their riches; that we must

jettison the thoughts self alone. The simplicity and humility of Prophet T.B. Joshua is particularly a challenge to our billionaire flamboyant bishops and pastors whose ministries of prosperity, riches, gold, diamond and private jets have turned Christianity upside down in Nigeria and the world over. As this humble God’s servant mark the age of 50, I join millions of people across the world to appreciate God for the gift of a prophet for my generation. • Ijie Ben Asuelimen, Benin City, Edo State

fication, making it much harder for people to complain about individual officers”. For too long, the debate on the value of the life of an average Nigerian has raged without any definitive verdict. Often, we return to this long issue anytime there is a global event that draws our attention to how citizens of other countries are treated by their law enforcement agencies. It is appalling at this age and time that our nation still records avoidable and needless deaths. But the truth is that many of our country men and women are unaware of this monumental impunity which is an ill-wind. On May 16, the federal government flagged off “Stop Impunity Nigeria Campaign”, but many people are of the opinion that government is the biggest threat to the war against impunity. For instance, there are all kinds of abuses evident around government circles and its agencies, the most recent being the abuse of constitutional role by the police as exemplified by developments in Rivers State. As a people, we can save our country from this drift and reverse this ugly trend. LEDAP’s report has already set the agenda. And it has also tasked the federal government, police authorities, the National Assembly, state governments, the National Human Rights Commission, the National Committee Against Torture, civil society organisations and the international community on what needs to be done. This is our chance and I think it is proper to take it. • Dakuku Peterside Member, House of Representatives National Assembly, Abuja

Re: Tofa and the ghost of June 12

IR: I refer to The Nation’s Hardball of Wednesday June 12 where-in, Bashir Usman Tofa, the failed presidential candidate of N.R.C. was reported to have described June 12 as fiction and dismissed those still celebrating the dead issue as ‘idle’. Certainly, only men with dead conscience and expired mental engine can make such reckless remark. The man who lost in his own state in an election adjudged to be the only free, fair and credible election in Nigeria is yet to accept defeat 20 years later. Oh what

a pity! It is not my intent to join issue with Tofa, but I want to place on indelible record that he is just too little to be-little the ideas and symbol of June 12. Tofa by his comment epitomize the real challenge of our electoral democracy. His type only believes that elections are fair and free only when they win. I think loser’s like Tofa who lacks the intellectual capacity to understand what June 12 represents need to go back to school to strengthen their weak academic medulla oblongata with democratic

studies. While the rest of us who know what June 12 stood for, should continue to spread the gospel of free, fair and credible election in Nigeria. We must not forget to tell Tofa that June 12 reminds us of how Nigerians, for the first and only time, refused to be influenced by ethnicity, culture, religion, north and south dichotomy and other social divides to cast their votes for their preferred candidate. The day also accentuates the unity and oneness of Nigerians in our history. Tofa can’t understand and he will never understand just

because he was the loser. I wish to join the army of responsible Nigerians to call for the recognition of June 12. As I urge the National Assembly and Presidency to act accordingly, least the likes of Tofa stop at nothing to desecrate the day which reminds us of the fact that the things that binds us together is much greater than what can drive us apart. May the ghost of June 12 haunt the likes of Tofa and killers of June 12 till death. • Godfrey Ehi .O., Benin City, Edo State.


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013 16

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COMMENTS

Niggers with attitude (1)

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ODAY, we struggle to turn white or some blurred pallid shade of the British or American. Some desperately seek to turn French, German, Ghanaian or South African even as you read. Nobody wishes to be Nigerian. Nobody seeks to be a Nigerian; and the few instances that we think we do are irredeemably marred by our conscious and desperate bids to perpetuate base sentimentality and cosmetic norms as the essence of the Nigerian spirit. What is the Nigerian spirit? What culture of humanity best codifies the core and immutable individuality of the true Nigerian? Who is a Nigerian? Today, we live in the world of the Nigerian nigger. Niggers occupy our public offices and worship houses. Niggers parade our corridors of power and lord it over us with condescension and élan reminiscent of ‘slavemaking ants’ on 17th century western cotton fields and sugarcane plantations. Niggers constitute our ruling class and with unabashed silliness and arrogance, they treat us like lesser niggers on a slave plantation. And don’t we just love to be less than? Even when oppressed and

irresponsibly shortchanged, we choose to be docile, bending over unquestioningly before the brute force of fellow niggers treating us with disdain. I am not a nigger. I do not know about you but being a Nigerian nigger has made it possible for most of us to get insulted in places where the average American “Negro,” or to be politically correct, “African-American” could never be insulted. Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mali, USA, United Kingdom, Brazil Greece, Ghana, South Africa, Algeria, Mauritania,, Kenya, Cameroun, Botswana and Ivory Coast to mention a few have learnt to mock and scoff at the Nigerian nigger. Being a Nigerian nigger is more humiliating than it seems, but we who are the objects of ridicule have grown to cuddle disdain like a day old babe. We have learnt to love it. Being a Nigerian nigger means trying to smile when you want to cry. It means clinging with relish to life amid psychological death. It means watching your children grow up with palls of inferiority in their mental skies. It means committing cultural and mental harakiri and then wandering about dissatisfied as a tormented ghost.

‘Being a Nigerian nigger means trying to smile when you want to cry. It means clinging with relish to life amid psychological death. It means watching your children grow up with palls of inferiority in their mental skies. It means committing cultural and mental hara-kiri and then wandering about dissatisfied as a tormented ghost’

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OUNTERFEITING and faking of drugs and food substances have become a global industry, so also are the worries and concerns over the development. Particularly for Nigeria, the challenge has been the impetus needed to frontally and aggressively confront the menace. To the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigeria’s health boosting agency, falls that responsibility. The efforts of the Dr. Paul B. Orhii-led agency, especially its deployment of cutting edge technologies to fight and win the anti-counterfeit drugs war has gained global recognition. Take Truscan. NAFDAC’s successful deployment of this technology brought it global consciousness. There are also Black Eye and Radio Frequency Identification system (RFID). I hasten to add the Mobile Authentication Service (MAS), the world’s first anti-counterfeiting contraption which uses the SMS platform. Dr. Orhii is enthralled by MAS, especially for its cost effectiveness and immediacy of result. The simplicity of MAS is awesome. The programme involves the packaging of drugs with a scratch card placed on drug packs from the point of manufacture. When scratched, the hidden codes revealed on the packs could be sent free of charge via SMS to 38353 on the MTN, Zain and Globacom networks. Shortly afterwards, the sender will receive a reply confirming whether the product is genuine or not. Fantastic you will say! What it means is that NAFDAC may finally have succeeded in placing the responsibility of detecting counterfeit drugs in the hands of Nigeria’s over 114 million mobile phone subscribers. It will thrill you to no end to know that the agency is applauded globally as the world’s first drug regulatory authority to deploy and use hand-held devices at borders for on-thespot detection of counterfeit medicines with resounding

‘So much is the public confidence in the technology-driven war against counterfeit and fake drugs and food items in Nigeria by NAFDAC that critical stakeholders in the sector are ready to throw in everything and synergise with the agency to win the war’

Being a Nigerian nigger also implies being the one that inflicts such hurt and untold hardship on fellow nationals. It means spewing webs of brilliant and not-too brilliant arguments, materialism and ethno-religious mayhem “in the interest of our nation,” according to the intent and designs of our “concerned,” and covetous neighbours. Being a Nigerian nigger means fretting over such inconsequential things like an American President’s refusal to visit Nigeria. There is no sense in fretting over President Barack Obama of USA’s deliberate snub of Nigeria on his recent visits to Africa. But we choose to fret over it anyway. Many a columnist and soapbox critic have blown it out of proportion and still labour desperately to incite apprehension and outrage over the decision of the American President to ignore Nigeria. President Obama has every right to snub Nigeria. In fact, I hope Nigeria suffers many more occurrences of such perceived disregard by many more powerful leaders of the world. Perhaps it will inspire us all to get our acts right and conduct our affairs in manners that would make us deserving of patronage and recognition rather than the pathetic wimps we have become, craving and demanding for unearned greatness and attention. Beneath our terror over President Obama’s snubbing of Nigeria subsists a shameful reality; the desperation for unearned acclaim and approval of Western superpowers. This smacks of prevalent inferiority complex and insignificance of the contemporary Nigerian. Why would any columnist or soapbox critic belabor the American President’s snobbery of Nigeria? That many of us proficiently personify the hopelessness and dire inconsequentiality of cowed American niggers indeed excites

some ponderous metaphor; yet any conscious attempt to stimulate our wildly weak and untamed minds is tantamount to igniting a ravenous and uncontrollable fire. Need it be emphasized that any progressive effort at impeding our rudderless enterprises is to incite our volatile minds to a harvest of violence and bloodletting in defense of the status quo. What can I say? We are simply wired to self-destruct. Like Akin Akindele rightly observed in his ponderous literature, “The Military Franchise,” “the west has succeeded in conscripting most of the world to revolve around it” and we Africans, Nigerians particularly, have sadly settled to play “third” fiddle, in shameless actualization of our label as a “third world nation.” This shamefulness continually manifests in daily, in our approach to governance and determination of national affairs: Nigeria has become so politically and socio-economically inept that we have made the nation a dumping ground for all manners of perverseness, substandard products and corruption. From the touted legitimization of homosexuality to substandard goods and food items, Nigeria has evolved into a latrine for the worst of western-european rot and perversion I am not saying that there is nothing to learn from our western neighbours but we are equally in position and even stand at better advantage to teach them so much. It’s the way the universe is ordered; every race has its role and significance to world civilization. But despite the fact that the Egyptians – though Egypt has been reduced to a puppet state – succeeded in putting Africa on the world map, no other African nation, not even Nigeria, the delusive “Giant of Africa” has succeeded in distinguishing itself as a worthy propagator of a particular civilization. By resigning to our current role as a global pawn and toilet paper,

we have inadvertently shunted our race into playing “third” and disposable fiddle, like glorified eejits eternally strung to minister on to the desperately justified ego of the western-european. Even more appalling is our moral claim to western civilization. Many amongst us, the so-called intellectuals particularly, continually argue that we have as much stake in the westerneuropean wealth and civilization. And to drive home this fact, they attend the best of westerneuropean schools in pursuit of over-hyped Ivy League education that has so far enabled and empowered a “globally distinguished rare breed” of scholars, administrators and economists to administer the most savage policies on to our defiled and battered nations of the “third world.” Being chic and modern means being unashamedly western or european. That is why our three arms of government persistently embark on wasteful and disgraceful trips abroad to learn westerneuropean techniques of governance – I do not know the purpose of these idiotic ventures as they usually come back backward and even more inured in their brand of ‘sophisticated ignorance;’ apology to the presidential nigger who popularized the term ‘sophisticated ignorance.’ Worrisome as it is that we naively project cosmetic norms and culture as the core of the Nigerian civilization, it’s more amusing to see our women burn their souls and burn their hair as they hide both under scalding strands of westerneuropean feminism, ‘Brazilian hair’ and animal hair in their desperate bid to look caucasian. Even we men are still overwhelmed and haunted by the inferiority complex that plagued our forbears that we still pass it on from one generation to the other. We are hostages to cultural debriefing by alien civilizations.

NAFDAC: Using hi-tech to fight fake drugs By Martins F.O. Ikhilae successes! While MAS may be a first choice because of its mass involvement appeal, Black Eye, Radio Frequency Identification system and Truscan equally have their own attractions. Black Eye has the capacity to screen multiple drug samples at the same time. This is how it goes: It compares a tablet that you are trying to check and tell you whether it is genuine or fake; and if you ask from the machine, it will break the product down into its active pharmaceutical ingredients; if counterfeited, it could reveal the inactive pharmaceutical ingredients. It is a ready tool in the hands of NAFDAC’s operatives because it can take up to 1000 different tablets at the same time and break them down and tell you which one is good or bad. The Radio Frequency Identification system has the ability to track and trace regulated foods and medicines and also prevent the forgery of sensitive documents. As hinted above, Truscan is a hand-held device using Roman Spectroscopy to detect counterfeit products. With this technology, NAFDAC officials can quickly scan imported products at the ports and release them on time without compromising their quality. Nigeria is now the first country in the world to use it to detect quality of medicines. Truscan’s efficacy is underlined by the glowing tribute from Roxy Nader of the London-based independent information provider on country risk and industry research, Business Monitor International. Nader, an authority on Nigerian pharmaceutical market has this to say on the agency’s deployment of Truscan: “NAFDAC has recorded a major food and drug regulatory milestone with the acquisition of the Truscan device”. It is instructive to know that following its success in Nigeria, the Food and Drug Administration agencies in the United States, Germany, Sweden, Canada etc, have also started using it. So much is the public confidence in the technologydriven war against counterfeit and fake drugs and food

items in Nigeria by NAFDAC that critical stakeholders in the sector are ready to throw in everything and synergise with the agency to win the war. Removing the burden of tariff payment from consumers of the drug is a veritable incentive for its use. And so, key stakeholders in the sector (drug manufacturers) have come to the aid of consumers by accepting to fund it, although it is currently applicable to malaria drugs and antibiotics, being products most cloned and adulterated by the murderous counterfeiters. The NAFDAC has assured that efforts are also on to extend the service to other general purpose drugs. The Mobile Authentication Service guarantees befitting and enduring positive corporate image for pharmaceutical companies and their products, thus ensuring high level product patronage with the attendant high revenue yield for such firms. For pharmaceutical companies that are reluctant to key into the strategy because of its perceived cost implications, they might have placed higher premiums on profitability than the lives of their customers. From the larger interest of the society, this attitude is unpatriotic. Let me say unequivocally that Dr Orhii’s ongoing revolution in NAFDAC has succeeded in placing Nigeria in the league of serious countries of the world ready to do anything to protect their people from the merchants of death that drug counterfeiters have become. • Ikhilae, is a Lagos-based public affairs analyst

‘The efforts of the Orhii-led agency, especially its deployment of cutting edge technologies to fight and win the anti-counterfeit drugs war has gained global recognition’


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

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COMMENTS ‘To die completely is to be forgotten; he who dies and is not forgotten lives forever.’——Samuel Butler

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IN over 52 years of Nigeria’s sovereign existence, the only time the nation could boost of free and fair election was on June 12, 1993 when Nigerians came out to vote for Aare MKO Abiola as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And what was the outcome of that election? The then military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, a despotic retired military general, with no conscience and for no rational reason annulled that election before he was later forced to step aside as from the high pedestal of a self styled military president on August 27, 1993. When the next military regime headed by the autocratic late Sani Abacha pushed aside the Interim National Government head, Ernest Sonekan, he tried to compellingly transmute into a democratic government until death knocked him off power. It was during the tenure of Abdul salami Abubakar that an international conspiracy orchestrated by the United States through the United Nations during a visit of its secretary-general wiped out Abiola from the surface of the earth. To those that murdered Abiola, that incident marked the end of the political logjam that rocked the country then. But they got it wrong for it marked the beginning of a festering sore that will continue to haunt, hound and cause insomnia to those that benefited from the selfless sacrifice of the symbol of that June 12 democratic struggle. Between 1999 and 2011 when the supposedly new dawn beckoned, the nation has had four democratic transitions spanning a period of over fourteen years. However, in over fourteen years of democracy and 20 years after the annulment of the June 12 presidential election, no president has ever deemed it fit to honour the immortal symbol of that struggle. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a kinsman of Abiola from Abeokuta spent eight years in power without ever deeming it fit to honour the man that sacrificed his life so that someone like Obasanjo can get to power. Even when the then national assembly raised a motion to name the Abuja stadium after MKO Abiola, the Balogun Owu led administration circumvented the move. Obasanjo behaved as if Abiola never existed even though he was the pioneer beneficiary of the toil of that symbol of democratic rule in the country. Late President Umaru

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OFA’S FICTIONAL JUNE 12: I was in a quandary as to how to open and manage the long, sad story of Biafra and June 12, 1993 in just about 1000 words until I read Alhaji Bashir Tofa’s comment on the issue. Recall that June 12 represents the day Nigerians voted for a certain MKO Abiola; the day they bonded and chose Nigeria for the first time in her life and for her sake. Remember June 12, the E-day that took the baton from the Biafra war on our relay race of infamy. And remember Tofa, the neophyte who was drafted to run against MKO on that day of history, a man whom the gods ensconced on the laps of history but who can’t figure out that phenomenon even 20 years after. What did Tofa say? He said that the June 12, 1993 election is fiction, a dead issue. If you thought he made a mistake, he didn’t, he repeated it a few days later in Daily Sun interview (Wednesday June 12, 2013, page37) thus: “I sincerely believe that it is an episode that we need to get over with and look forward to a better electoral process and, therefore, a better democracy.” Gee! This really is the real problem with Nigeria; we are so blessed with non-leader leaders. How could a former presidential candidate, a leader in every respect describe his country’s history as fiction and ask that it be forgotten? How can you manage today and shape tomorrow if you discard yesterday? Is it possible that Tofa cannot see the connection between yesterday and today or, is he simply shuffling the cards of perfidy that has been perfected by the average Nigeria elite? Can’t he see that for 20 years June 12 has not gone away and like an aggrieved ghost, it will not? It has to be atoned. JUNE 12 AS A SHORT CHAPTER IN THE BIAFRA BOOK: If Tofa cannot fathom a history in which he was an actor-observer, how can he decipher the mysteries and metaphysics of the Biafra war of 46 years ago? Of course he suffers a blurred vision (or no vision at all) like most Nigerians, and surely cannot see that June 12 is but a short, sad chapter in the Biafra-Nigeria story. Whereas June 12 is an injustice to MKO Abiola and Nigerians of goodwill, Biafra was injustice to the Igbo race and humanity. Whereas Abiola lost his man-

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Is Nigeria fair to MKO Abiola?

• M.K.O. Abiola YarÁdua also ignored the importance and significance of Abiola and the symbolism of June 12, 1993 election as watershed of democratic struggles in the nation. So far, President Goodluck Jonathan has not shown any keen interest or deep understanding of the significance of that annulled election date. This is further aggravated by his timidly unsuccessful naming of University of Lagos after Abiola. Any reasonable and studious student of history will recollect that Abiola’s election was not a regional or sectional thing. He won not only in Yoruba land where he hails from but also in the eastern, northern and other parts of the country. Abiola won in Kano, Imo and Oyo states among others; he also won in the military barracks, the primary constituency of

the man that annulled the best and freest elections ever in the annals of this country just because the electorate saw him as a pan African man that genuinely had the interest of the common man at heart. Abiola used his wealth to cater for the common man and actually died in the battle to broaden the horizon of improving living conditions of the hoi polloi. During that election, religious, ethnic and tribal sentiments were jettisoned which was quite unheard of in the history of the land. Nigerians for once came together in unison to elect one good man, Bashorun MKO Abiola, as president of the federation. He was never sworn-in while agents of retrogression then and even successive administrations have carried on as if that important June 12 chapter never existed in the political history of our great country. What has MKO done to those holding the levers of power at the centre that they all in succession continue to behave as if that fine man never existed? Are previous and present occupants of the seat of power in Aso-Rock not aware that without the political selflessness of Abiola, there probably would not be today for them to enjoy? Why are the powerful men in Nigeria not hearkening to the popular voice of reason and wisdom demanding that Abiola should be post humously declared president of this country? What stops them from naming inauguration day across the federation as MKO Abiola Day? What is bad if they name the national assembly complex or even Aso-Rock as Abiola House? The truth of the matter is that nobody can obliterate the name of this great Nigerian

EXPRESSO STEVE OSUJI

SMS O8181624757, email:steve.osuji@yahoo.com

Like June 12, like Biafra date, his wife, his businesses; a few Nigerians died and we lost our resolve to reconstruct our mother land anew, Igbo race suffered genocide. Untrammeled genocide executed with licentious impunity. It was about the extinguishing of the lives of about one million people, yes 1000,000 people. It was the infamy of a brother gleefully slaughtering his brother man, woman and children by sword, by axe, by machete, mortars and by starvation. It was a cold calculation to exterminate. The Biafran injustice unlike June 12 is the story of vengeful hatred, of mass killing of a people on the streets of Nigeria, of beheading people and loading their torsos on Eastern region bound trains, of cutting open pregnant women and harvesting their fetuses, of forced digging of own graves and burying alive, of mass execution, and mass burials on shallow graves…of unspeakable blood-cuddling bestiality not known in modern history. To begin to talk of material losses of Ndigbo in that blight is to chase a rat when one’s house is blazing. Is it the malicious shrinking of Igboland into a potato-sized, landlocked area it currently occupies, the excising of the mineral rich areas, the seaports and worse, seizure of entire towns and cities built up by the Igbo. For instance, the entire Port Harcourt which built by Igbo was hijacked and to hide the infamy, a funny redesignation of the streets and neighbourhoods with quasi-Igbo names was enacted. Thus after the war, Umokoro (the children of Okoro) suddenly becomes Rumuokoro, a bla-

tant rumour and national thievery that has remained unchallenged till today. Oh, what woeful national chicanery turned to state policy! And we have lived this lie for 46 years. The Biafran injustice, unlike June 12, is the orchestrated brigandage of seizing Igbo houses and estates across the country in the guise of abandoned property. If it is not coordinated stealing on a national scale, how could a man abandon his property in his country? And many are still keeping those stolen properties till today, suffering no pang of conscience, passing to their generations, accursed, bloody heritage. What about the stolen shares, voided insurance policies, lost cash balances in the banks, lost businesses and business debts? It was a holocaust by another means but unlike Hiroshima which has continued to enjoy physical, emotional and spiritual restitution, Biafra gets only snide remarks and Igbo have received no concessions, no reconstruction, no reconciliation and no sign of remorse from their traducers. THRIVING CULT OF VILLAINS: Tofa calls June 12 fiction because Nigeria too is fictional. He wants us to forget it because we are a people living in denial. All this means nothing to him because he is a part of the growing cult of villains leading us as we shamble through this journey to nowhere. They do as they like, they say what they would, they live in a heady, heedless world of their own. They invoked Biafra upon us, reaped the bounties and left us to nurse the wound and live the trauma. For them Biafra

from the political history book of the nation. Afterall, governments in the south west states at a time under the reactionary People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gave pretentious acknowledgement to the importance of Abiola. In his home state of Ogun, he had a polytechnic and a stadium named after him. In Lagos and perhaps other south west states, monuments have been named after him. But, the significance of Abiola as it relates to democratic struggle in the land should not under any circumstances be regionalised. Abiola fought for the liberation of all Nigerians from military yoke and oppression irrespective of tribal or ethnic affiliations. The people stood by him but his elite friends not only diminished but denied him the mandate freely given to him by 14 million Nigerians on June 12, 1993. Even among the progressive Nigerian elites, whether from the south west or the north, the question must be asked; how many still relate with the legacy left behind by the late democratic icon? It is sad that Nigerians and Nigeria are fast losing their sense of history. Twenty years after that inhuman annulment by Babangida, it is unfortunate that not only are most of the elites in power pretending as if nothing happened; even students in higher institutions today lack better grasp of what actually transpired at that period. It is too bad to contemplate that such is happening within two decades of such monumental occurrence. On the Abiola issue, it is so far officially bad as no semblance of acknowledgement and appreciation have been shown by those enjoying the fruits of his toil today. It is not late in the day an issue for President Jonathan to address for it is better late than never. Nigeria indeed has not been fair to Bashorun MKO Abiola and history will not forgive those that are behind this historical aberration. Let those people in the leadership of the national assembly, the executive arms and the judiciary know, according to Thomson James, that ingratitude is treason against humanity. That is the truth. NB: This piece was first published in the Nation newspaper, precisely this space, on June 6, 2011, some few days to the eighteenth anniversary of June 12, 1993 Presidential election. . Due to its topicality, I am with very slight modifications, re-publishing it today, to mark the 20th anniversary of that epochal election. was fiction better forgotten and un-interrogated; same June 12 – fictional Nigerian history. But what might be the mindset of a man who participated in the history of a people and does not recognize it. Tofa did not see his duty as a leader in Nigeria in June 1993 to reenact a robust democracy in Nigeria. The same way General Ibrahim Babangida could not see that history was handing him a gift as the maker of modern Nigeria. He was so enamoured by the immediate fropperies of power he couldn’t see it. Sadly, he still has not seen it as he still not reconciled to it. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is MKO Abiola’s kinsman who suffered from acute case of sibling envy. He bad-mouthed Abiola even in his travails and in death, he would not acknowledge or recognize him notwithstanding that he was the chief beneficiary of June 12. His tragedy today however, is that even after enjoying the largesse of June 12 as a two-term president of Nigeria he remains a wee little personality under Abiola’s shadow. General Sani Abacha is gone, so ingloriously gone that he is better left well alone. Chief Ernest Shonekan who was a subterfuge president for a few unremarkable days is still around or is he? Same for Senator Arthur Nzeribe the master of no scruples, the old man who would leak the soup plate with his tongue as Igbo would throw their jibe. He who was in the vanguard of that mindless scheme called ABN; the very instrument for scuttling June12. Where on earth is he now? Name them: Chief Tony Anenih is still up and about, roaming the world seeking to fix things that are not broken. Anenih was the erstwhile chairman of Abiola’s party that won an historic election. We must not forget General David mark, reigning senate president. He was among the young Turks, the giddy ‘Babangida Boys’ in the Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC) whom Babangida said, said Abiola must not be president. Mark still has not said anything to Nigeria on June 12. Enough said. But a man who does not know where the rain started to beat him, will never know where it stopped beating him, that is vintage Chinua Achebe. If we do not know that our troubles started with Biafra and the Igbo question we will be long in the cold.


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

PEOPLE

25

THE NATION

AN EIGHT-PAGE SECTION ON SOCIETY

Tearful farewell for slain politician

The remains of the slain former Anambra State Deputy Governor and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) stalwart, Dr. Chudi Nwike, have been interred in Amawa Village, Ogbunike in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State. ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU reports.

•From left: Uwike’s widow Jane with children and family members

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CTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) flags were flying in the rustic community of Ogbunike in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State last Friday. The flags were hoisted as a mark of honour for the slain ACN chieftain, Dr Chudi Nwike, courtesy of Mr Godwin Ezeemo, the party’s governorship aspirant. The world, it seemed, turned up for Nwike’s funeral. Nwike was killed by his kidnappers who collected a N5 million ransom, which they claimed was meagre. People came from far and near but mostly the South-eastern part of the country. The late Nwike was the ACN Deputy Chairman, Southeast. His remains were interred in his compound last Saturday. Governor Peter Obi, who had a mourning stand for Nwike, used his office to ensure Nwike got a befitting funeral. Obi was with Nwike’s family to receive dignitaries who attended the funeral. Prominent personalities who witnessed the interment could not speak to reporters. They were all emotional. Those who did, did so on the field. The funeral mass was held at St. Vincent Catholic Church. In his sermon, Revd. Fr. Vincent Ejembi from Pilgrimage Centre in Aokpe, Benue State, urged the family to take solace in God, especially when their spouse is killed while struggling to improve the lot of people. The cleric noted that the calibre of people showed that Nwike was well loved. Fr. Ejembi urged the killers of Nwike to confess their sins so that God would forgive

them. He said without confession, there would be no atonement of their sins. He waxed philosophical and spiritual, saying: “The kidnappers are four in number and are right here in this church. Though a lot of people have gathered to celebrate Nwike but, for the kidnappers it is not so. The sooner they confess their sins the better for them. The living must remember that one day they must go and meet the Creator and so should amend their ways.” Senator Chris Ngige blamed Nwike’s death on what he called porous security and appealed to the government to step up security. He added that ACN Vice-Chairman, South-east, and the All Progressive Congress (APC), have lost a dedicated party man. Ezeemo enjoined the family to take solace in God as death is inevitable. He prayed God to give them the fortitude to bear the loss. He stressed the need for the government to tackle security challenges by providing jobs for unemployed. He described the late Nwike as a good man who contributed his all to the development of his party and his state. Former Anambra State Governor Chukwuemeka Ezeife, who Nwike served as deputy and former Imo State Governor Achike Udenwa, lamente d t h e m o r a s s “into” which Nigeria has sunk; they said people no longer have value for life because of the quest for illicit wealth. Ezeife, described the late Nwike as a humble and dedicated brother, who worked dutifully with him as a deputy.

•The late Dr Nwike

He condemned the killing of Nwike, saying it showed that people no longer have conscience. He said Nwike was not killed for political reason, family feud but purely for money. Anambra State Deputy Governor, Emeka Sibeudu, noted that the circumstances of Nwike’s death were not normal, but urged the family to take heart. A member of the House of Representa-

tives, Chief Ben Nwankwo, described the late Nwike as a victim of a society unmindful of the effect of poverty and the failure of security. Nwankwo said Nwike’s death was a paradox of a country so big but unprotected, so rich yet so poor. National Association of Nigerian Students Joint Campuses Committee (NANS JCC) Chairman Comrade Fortune Ifeka urged government to unravel the mystery surrounding Nwike’s death. The late Nwike was kidnapped by yetto-be identified gunmen in his home on March 19, and was killed on April 8, in Delta State with his driver and the person who brought the N5 million. Nwike known as Ibollo Ogbunike is survived by a widow, Jane Chinyelu and three children, Chudi Jnr; Chito and Ifeatu. His brother, Dr Bufo Nwike, thanked the guests for identifying with the family and singled out Ezeemo for his rare gesture before and during the burial. He also thanked Governor Obi, Senator Ngige and others for supporting the family. Other dignitaries included Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha; former Deputy Governor, Anambra State, Prince Chinedu Emeka; former Inspector-General of Police Chief Ogbonnaya Okechukwu Onovo; Hon Charles Odedo; and Chief Okey Ezea, a chieftain of the APC in Enugu State. •More pictures on page 26


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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

SOCIETY TEARFUL FAREWELL FOR SLAIN POLITICIAN

•Gov Obi flanked by Arc Calistus Iozumba (left) and Mr Ben Obi

•Chief Udenwa (right) and a guest

•Senator Ngige (left) and Sibeudu

•Dr Ezeife flanked by deceased’s family members

Their happy day A former National Life journalist, Rev Timothy Oyeola, has given out his daughter in holy matrimony to Samuel Fele, an engineer, at the Fear of God Gospel Ministry (FGGM), Akute, Lagos. OLATUNDE ODEBIYI reports

•Groom parents: Mr Femi Fele and wife Felicia

•Bride’s parents: Pastor and Mrs Oyeola

•The couple, Victoria and Samuel

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UNE 8 would linger in the memory of Rev Timothy Oyeola, the President of Fear of God Gospel Ministry (FGGM) and the Feles. Their children Victoria and Samuel got married that day. The couple is from Ekiti State. Samuel is a graduate of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH); his love, Victoria, is a graduate of Political Science from the University of Ibadan. The ceremony started with the engagement at the FGGM in Akute, Ogun State. It was followed by the wedding in the same venue. The church choir opened the floor with praise songs and stylish dance steps. The groom was the first to enter the church accompanied by his best man. The bride followed.

Pastor Joseph Atunase took the Bible reading from Philippians 2:1. Pastor Moses Oyeola, in his exhortation, noted that marriage is an honourable estate instituted by God and it signifies the union between Christ and the Church. He said: “Marriage is not a thing to be rushed into. It should not be undertaken to satisfy our carnal lust and appetites, but it should be done in the fear of God.” Pastor Samuel Oduntan joined the couple in holy matrimony. After they took their vows, the Pastor joined them. Exchange of rings followed. In his sermon, Pastor Oluwole Oluwatemi told the couple to ensure the spirit of God dwells in their home, adding that, this is the only way they can live in peace and harmony. He urged

them to build their marriage on unconditional love and a forgiving spirit. The couple with their parents and some pastors went for the signing of the marriage register, after which Pastor Moses presented the marriage certificate to the couple. The reception followed at Martins Memorial Methodist Church, Akute. Seyi Best and his Life Band entertained guests. The couple cut their four-step cake designed by gifted hands and minds. The couple took to the floor to dance to their hearts content. Guests joined them on the dance floor. Samuel decked in black suit and a lemon shirt thanked God for making the day a reality. “Our marriage today is God’s arrangement because when I met her about seven years ago, we were just friends but, today, the story has changed. Everything about her attracted her to me and she carries all the qualities that I ever

PHOTOS: NIYI ADENIRAN

wanted in my woman; she is beautiful, focused and supportive,” he said. Victoria, in her white flowing gown, described her husband as the most handsome man in the world. “For me, everything about him is attractive; he has all the qualities I want in my man,” she added. The couple’s parents wore green lace. The groom’s mother, Mrs Felica Fele, urged the couple to stay close to God in their endeavours. The groom’s father is late and was represented by one of the groom’s elder brother’s, Mr Femi Fele. The bride’s father, Rev Oyeola said: “I am happy about the celebration of the day. It is a great joy seeing Victoria, our last born and the only female child, getting married.” He urged the couple to serve God with all their hearts.


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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

S OCEITY Seasoned industrialist Chief Bode Akindele turned 80 penultimate Sunday. His friends and associates gathered in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to share in the joy of the day with him. BISI OLADELE and TAYO JOHNSON report

An industrialist turns 80

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RENOWNED industrialist, and the Parakoyi of Ibadan land, Chief Bode Akindele, was the cynosure of all eyes at a well-attended thanksgiving service at the Methodist Church Cathedral, Agbeni, Ibadan and a lavish reception to mark his 80th birthday. Both events were attended by ‘A’ list guests. The celebrator was given a rousing reception by church members, well-wishers and other guests when the service began at 11:30am. The church was decorated with cream and gold ribbons, even as family, friends, business associates thronged the ancient cathedral in the densely populated Agbeni. Decked in a white and wine Aso Oke, the birthday ‘boy’ was accompanied by his two wives, Atema and Olabisi, as he stepped into the church hall in style. The opening of the service was as memorable as any other aspect of the event. As the processional hymns were being rendered, the bishops marched in one after the other. The presbyter, Rev. Opeyemi Awe, announced the purpose of the gathering with glee. He congratulated Chief Akindele. Delivering a sermon entitled: The strength of those that put their trust in You, the Archbishop of Ibadan, Methodist Church, Nigeria, Bishop Kehinde Stephen, urged leaders and citizens be focused, disciplined and God-fearing. He lamented the high rate of corruption in the country, saying: “We have to come to terms with God. Let us focus on all that is true.” The cleric urged Nigerians to pursue all that is true, just as Saint Paul charged the people in the Bible. He said the celebrator was renowned in many ways. “He has touched many lives. We should emulate his lifestyle. Among others, Methodist Church, Nigeria is appreciative of your contributions towards the establishment of the Wesley University in Ondo,” the cleric said. The celebrator donated some air conditioners, padding for the pews and an organ to the church to mark his birthday. The church service was followed by a reception at the Banquet Hall of the celebrator’s home in Alomaja Village, Ibadan. Bolaji Akindele, son of the celebrator, described his father as the best every child could wish for. He said he is very kind, courageous and worthy of emulation. The celebrator thanked his family and guests for their love over the years. The octogenarian said he was not aware of the party put together by his wives until four weeks ago, but thanked God that it was a success. Dignitaries included Chairman, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Senator Gbenga Ashafa; Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo; Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka; former Prelate of the Methodist Church, Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Mbang; former Archbishop of Ilesa Methodist Church, Ayo Ladigbolu (rtd); wife of the Prelate, Methodist Church, Mrs. Eliza-

•The celebrator Chief Akindele and wife Olabisi

•Prof Soyinka

•Former Oyo State Head of Service, Dr Ebenezer Okebukola

•Former Military Governor of Old Western State, Gen Oluwole Rotimi and wife •Chief Oyekunle Duduyemi (left) and Chief Olu Falomo

•Justice Adekola and his wife

•From left: Mr John Hall; Ratwa Kanagaratnam and Tahir Mahmood

•Ibadan High Chiefs (From left) Chief Omowale Kuye and his wife Priscillia and Iyalode of Ibadanland, Alhaja Aminat Abiodun

beth Makinde; Very Rev. Bayo Akinlawon; Sir Bola Ogunsanwo; Chief Adebayo Akande; Chief Olu Falomo; Chief Olabisi Akindele; Bamidele Oladeji; Chief Olawale Kuye, Chief Aminat Abiodun; ViceChancellor (VC), Federal University of Technology, Prof. Biyi Daramola, represented by his Deputy VC (Academics), Prof. Adedayo Fashakin; Registrar, Dr. Modupe Ajayi, and the Dean, School of Management Technology, Prof. Zacheous Opafunsho, among others.

•Chairman, Splash FM Chief Adebayo Akande

• From left: Otunba Adebayo; Senator Ashafa and Alhaji Dangote

•Chief Simeon Oguntimehin and wife Victoria

PHOTOS: FEMI ILESANMI


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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

SOCIETY

•Sheikh Akinbode (left) and Sheikh Zuglool

•Alhaja Modupeola Bello (left) and Alhaja Muse

•Alhaji Akeem Kidhir (left) and Alhaji Tajudeen Busari

•Alhaji Imran (left) and Alhaji Rafiu Adisa

PHOTOS: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

The Nasrul-lahi-L-Fatih Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) is 10. It held a fundraiser for the building of a mosque and awards presentation to mark the anniversary. BUKUNMI OGUNDARE reports.

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HEY were small in number when they started 10 years ago. As years passed, they have grown beyond their expectation. Ten years after, they have not only secured a permanent place of worship, their number has increased tremendously. Members of the Nasrul-lahi-L-Fatih Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) Isolo Branch converged on the Isolo praying ground penultimate Sunday to celebrate their 10th year anniversary. The event featured a N100 million fundraising for the building of a mosque and presentation of awards to some personalities. The event was anchored by Alhaji Ojulari

A decade in Allah’s vineyard Surajudeen. The society’s colour of blue and white dominated the venue. Most members were in the colour and the hall was also adorned in the same colour. The ceremony began with prayer before the principal guests took their seats. The occasion was chaired by Alhaji Rafiu Adisa Ebiti and Alhaja Modupeola Bello. Mudiru, Daru Dawah Walirshad, Isolo Sheikh

Mustapha Zuglool Sanusi, who delivered a lecture, praised the society for liberating lives and guiding them to the pristine practice of the Islam. Sheikh Sanusi, a renowned scholar, urged members to stand firm against all odds, saying their tribulations and trials would be over in due course. He urged parents to bring up their children in the Islamic way.

NASFAT World wide Chief Missioner Sheikh Abdullahi Akinbode described the branch as the gateway to Lagos. He urged the members not to relent in their efforts at uplifting the society. Ebiti urged members to donate generously towards the project, saying that Allah would reward them bountifully. Chairman of the branch Alhaji Tajudeen Imran thanked all members for their commitment.

THE NAMING OF A LAGOS BUSINESSMAN CHIEF BABS ALASA’S BABY BLESSING AT SATELLITE TOWN, LAGOS

•Rev Henry Nwabueze Uwoloh (left) and Mr Peter Obiebi

Chief Babs Alasa and wife Mercy with their new baby Blessing

•Akoboji of Lagos Chief Akpa (left) and Chief Sam Aju

PHOTOS: ABIODUN WILLIAMS


29 FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

Vol 4. No. 1800

For many years, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, stood out. The ancient city had many firsts. The first television station in Africa, WNTV; and the first tallest building, Cocoa House, and university in Nigeria. Then the city lost its shine, but things are looking up again, courtesy of Governor Abiola Ajimobi. WALE ALABI reports.

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HE years of locust in Nigeria also took their toll, on Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, but a recent visit to the ancent city shows that the Ajimobi administration is determined to restore its glory. The Yoruba adage says ‘morning shows the day’, and this is beginning to manifest in the little that the government has been able to achieve in the past two years. On transportation, more than 100 buses have been acquired to replace the old rickety intra- and inter-city buses. There are free buses for workers in the civil service and recently, the state began its own version of the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The government has also given tricycles, popularly known as ‘Keke Ajumose’ to thousands of people in the state. Moroof Adegbile, a resident of Ibadan, in assessing the government performance in public transportation, said, he had seen some buses and tricycles popularly called “Keke Ajumose” to replace the rickety buses and taxis plying the metropolis.But he feels the government still has to do more, so that the impact will be felt in the state. “I think the government is kicking off on a good note in the providing befitting means of transportation for the populace, but more needs to be done so that this can reach the nook and cranny of the state. Don’t forget that this is a very big state with huge population in the hinterlands who needs to also feel the impact of this government in the area of public transportation.” On infrastructure and urban renewal, the Ajimobi administration has rehabilitated over199 roads and bridges across the state and also constructed the new N2.1 billion flyover at Mokola. This is no mean feat as previous governments never saw the need to do this. Other steps taken to clear the environment of the old status include: clearing of over 120 blocked drains in Ibadan metropolis, dredging of 43 rivers and streams across the state, on-going beautification of Trunk A roads in Ibadan and Local Government headquarters and the institutionalisation of weekly environmental sanitation. The Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi attested to this at a public forum recently when he said: “In the last two years, we have provided infrastructural facilities that are unprecedented in the history of our state. We have constructed/rehabilitated over 260 roads and several bridges across the state. Right now, we are dualising major roads in the capital city of Ibadan, Ogbomoso, Iseyin and Oyo. Chief Victor Omololu Olunloyo, the former governor of the state, in commending the massive construction going on across the state said: “Rebuilding or even mere renovation often involves demolition of existing structures, be they standard buildings, shanties or slums; once they stand in the way of a new vision of what the place

Reinventing Oyo

• The free buses for workers

• Mokola Bridge, Ibadan

should look like. The work of the governor is, therefore, necessary, valuable, and commendable repair of the facade of Ibadan.” Also a leader of opposition party, CPC, Senator Solomon Ewuga, on visit to Oyo, said: “I want to use this opportunity to commend you on the work you are doing on infrastructure. We have gone round and we have seen the work you are doing; you need to be commended and please, don’t give up, that is the spirit of change that the new party is going to bring to Nigeria.” The Oyo State government is also focusing on tomorrow. And no stone is being left unturned to guarantee the future of tomorrow’s leaders. Oyo children are assured of quality education, courtesy of the state government.The govern-

ment’s efforts on improving the standards of education are already being felt.Besides erecting new classroom blocks and prompt payment of teachers’ salaries, the overall results of Oyo State schools have improved drastically. The new Technical University project that has been embarked on in Oyo State will, upon completion, be one of the best universities in the world.Other feats in the area of education are: constant training of teachers, re-introduction of supply science and Home Economics in secondary schools and successful accreditation of courses at the Polytechnic and College of Agriculture, Igboora. But for the critics of the Ajimobi government, the government is yet to do enough, though it is ac-

knowledged that the achievements so far in the last two years are a sure way of directing the footsteps of a purposeful government. According to Kole Ajidahun, “The government has been able to touch the lives of Oyo State’s citizens in the last two years to meet the aspirations of the people. The government will need to do more, if it is serious in bringing back the good, old days of the Action Group government in the west.” Also, a public affairs analyst, Abel Makinde, while acknowledging the achievements of the Ajimobi government in the past two years challenged the government, stating that the task of rebuilding of Oyo State must go beyond rhetoric. The government, he said, must

be seen to be meeting the yearning and aspiration of the people with reasonable cost. In his words: “One can see the Ajimobi government pitching itself against the golden era of the Western Region. It is a bold step, but beyond words, he will need to confront the problems and challenges head on, in order to be seen that he is ready to take the bulls by the horn, in meeting the yearnings and aspiration of the people.” If the pace with which the Ajimobi-led government is maintained, then it can be said that Oyo State is set to reclaim its old glory and the citizens can once again beat their chest to say Oyo State is truly a pacesetter state and Senator Abiola Ajimobi is providing leadership that is driving this.


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

30

INTERVIEW

‘I thought it was a ruse’ Tom Madaki was barely 18 when he was drafted to fight in the Nigerian Civil War. After the war, he applied for voluntary discharge. The ex–soldier went to Kaduna State Polytechnic for his National Diploma in Accounting and Sokoto State Polytechnic, where he bagged Higher National Diploma. He worked at the Ministry of Finance, Kaduna State for 10 years before he retired. Decades after, Mr Madaki, 54, lives on his pension. Fortunes smiled on him when he won a trip to Dubai, courtesy of the Legend Real Deal National Consumer Promo. He shares his experience with WALE ALABI. Excerpts:

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AN you tell us a little more about yourself? I am Tom Madaki, a native of Jaba, Sabo Nsariki, from Kaduna State. I’m an ex-soldier, and I joined the Nigerian Army on August 17, 1967. I served in Enugu and in the Infantry Division Signal Wing in Kaduna between 1967 and 1972. In 1976, the Command and Staff College in Jaji was established and I was one of the few brilliant senior officers that was posted to the college. Through the sponsorship of the Nigerian Army, I was able to further my education. I obtained Higher National Diploma (HND) from Sokoto State Polytechnic. On graduation in 1985, I left the army. Why did you resign? Well, there was an issue that led me to go for voluntary discharge. Three of us were to go for a commission, and we did an examination, in which I came first. But some how, the process was hijacked and I was schemed out. I was annoyed and I requested for voluntary discharge in 1986. What have you been doing since then? After I left the Army, I got another job with the Ministry of Finance in Kaduna State, where I worked for 10 years. I later quit the job because we embarked on a strike to fight a just cause, but the then military administrator fired about 4,000 of us. Some of us went back, but I refused to compromise. I later resigned. Because I had pension with the Federal Government, we were then paid off by the state government. Since then, I have been feeding from my pensions. Can you tell us more about your educational background? Originally, I began my primary school at St. Michael, Kaduna before I went to my village to continue my education. It was there that I bagged my first school leaving certificate in 1967. Thereafter, I joined the Nigerian Army, where I completed my education. I thank the government, mostly the Nigerian Army because I attended higher institution on their sponsorship. You said you fought during the Nigerian Civil War. Can you tell us about your experiences in the jungle? Honestly, it was not an easy task. This is because I was very young then. I think I was about 18 years.There is a proverb in the military that says,‘Anyone who dies in the war is a bad soldier, and anyone who fights and come back successfully is a good soldier’. God was so kind, I came back alive. When we finished in our depot in August 1967, we were taken to Makurdi, where we spent a week before our riffles were

• Madaki

taken from us. From there, we stormed the jungle. We first moved to Hiamufu, and Nkalabo. Later, we came back to ObuduIkom. All these movements were characterised by serious gun shots and bomb blast and all of that. Again, we returned toNkalabo Cement Factory, where we captured Abakaliki. From August 1967, we fought all through in the jungle till January 12, 1970, when Effiong eventually surrendered to General Olusegun Obasanjo. After the war, I was posted to Enugu and from there back to Kaduna, and finally moved to Command and Staff College, which happened to be my last point of call before I opted for voluntary discharge in 1985. During your days in the Nigeria Army, did you travel abroad? No. I have never travelled out of the country before, except through this which Legend Extra Stout sponsored us to Dubai as part of their reward programme. One of the reasons I am happy with this company is because they gave me some money to get my passport, because I didn’t have one. They also paid for my return ticket from Kaduna to Lagos, and, ultimately, from Lagos to Dubai on Emirates

Airline. How did you win in the promo? Sometimes I like to enjoy myself by taking a few bottles of beer. So, in the course of doing this, I heard about the Legend Real Deal Promo, and I started drinking Legend every night. Each time I drink, I will text the code to the alpha – numeric code written on the label of the bottle. All of a sudden, I felt the thing was just a mess, and I forgot about it. Then one Saturday, I received a phone from one Mr Funso, who said he would like to talk to Mr Adaki that I had won a trip to Dubai in their promo. I told him immediately I am not Adaki, and, in fact, I didn’t have his time because I thought he was a 419. I just switched off my phone. Later in the day, another lady called and said congratulations, that I have won a trip to Dubai. I said I have been told, but I don’t believe it. She insisted, and I said thank you very much. I still did not take them serious until the third person called. It was then I began to see that the whole thing has a semblance of truth. What did you do in Dubai ? Well, I was in Dubai to shop for free courtesy of Legend Extra Stout. Not only that, we toured the entire city visiting some of its exciting tourist destinations such as the National Museum, the tallest building in the world, Dubai’s Central Mosque. It was fun–filled experience. I was able to pick a couple of expensive items, such as 39’LG LED TV, Samsung Home Theatre Set, and many other home appliances that will be useful for the family. What are your last words for consumers who still hold the view that promos are not real? Oh, honestly speaking, I bought 13 pairs of shoes for some lucky consumers that I see drinking Legend once I got to Kaduna. I want to do my own promo for them. If I see you drinking Legend, I will just throw you one at you, courtesy Legend.This is also my own small way of supporting the brand.

‘Sometimes I like to enjoy myself by taking a few bottles of beer. So, in the course of doing this, I heard about the Legend Real Deal Promo, and I started drinking Legend every night. Each time I drink, I will text the code to the alpha – numeric code written on the label of the bottle... I forgot about it. Then one Saturday, I received a phone from one Mr Funso, who said I had won a trip to Dubai in their promo. I thought he was a 419. I switched off my phone... another lady called and said congratulations. I don’t believe it. She insisted. I still did not take them serious until the third person called. It was then I began to see that the whole thing has a semblance of truth’

T

Public servants@yahoo.com

HE headline is a model. It is not an email address; so, please, do not send an email to this address, as it does not exist. It just summarises a tradition that has gone on for years unabated, and it is unlikely to stop soon. Some of the civil servants that could change the system are themselves part of the system. They are not concerned about paying for email addresses or what it connotes to have a local domain. Rather they have a foreign email addresses. What engages their minds is how to own private jets [some governors already have private jets]. That is the in-thing now. However, none of the public/civil servants owns Gulf Stream. They do not have yacht. That is because a yacht is the most expensive automobile in the world. A yacht takes a long time to build and cost $1 million or more. It depends. It depends on the size. It depends on who is paying. It depends on the intent and purpose of owning a yacht. Ordinarily, a yacht measures 80 feet. Nevertheless, a mega yacht can measure up to 500 feet and cost $100 million and takes three years to build. Such a yacht is exclusive. So, who among the rich in Nigeria owns one? None. Meanwhile some public/civil servants have so much money with unrestricted access to the mighty and wealthy. They are power brokers. They are governors. They are senators. They are commissioners. They are permanent secretaries. They are senior personal advisers. They are warts and all. However, there is something missing in their lifestyles. They have money quite right. They may have seen the world. Yet, they lack one thing: they do not have class. No, not as you think. In this age, where technological advancement separates nations and boundary is measured in bandwidth and not landmass, it is corrupting not to have personalised email address. Look at it from this perspective. A serving minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria handed over his complimentary card to a friend at an ‘owambe’ party. The card is coldlaminated and it weighs 5k. The minister wrote his customized mobile phone number in long hand at the back of the card. Nevertheless, his email address, printed in black ink, read minister@yahoo.com. If you are unaware, you are pardon for sitting in your exalted position and condemning criminal-minded Nigerians who perpetrated 419 crimes. It is the public servants like ministers, commissioners and senators with Yahoo! email address fueled such crimes. A digression would suffice here. The other day, Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson, openly said that her ministry had created 54,000 email addresses for public officers in federal government establishments and MDAs in order to encourage them to use dot NG domain for their official engagements. According to her, of this number, only 2,160 (about four per cent) of the officers used the email address. Others preferred dot com domain such as Gmail, Yahoo!, dot org, dot co, dot UK to the detriment of dot NG domain. The public servants do not know the negative impact of this practice neither does our ‘owambe’ minister understand what he is doing. He may be a professor he is an illiterate. He may have travelled the world, he is

not aware of global trends. He may wear expensive wristwatch and drink choice wine, he needs education in espionage and counter-espionage. He may hold exalted position and commands retinue of lackey he is a dwarf. He does not know anything about security of confidential mails, especially by government, businesses and individuals. He thinks it is hip to have yahoo email address because his lackey said so! He does not know and his attendants do not know better. If they do, they would not act that way. However, the minister’s card got into the wrong hands, and he was doomed. He soon began to get unsolicited emails, as the criminals baited him, phishing him until he was caught like a fish in a hook. Do you still blame the criminals who sent email to European moneybags and posed as Minister of Finance through yahoo email address? What is the implication? Come. According to research, in the last five years, Nigeria has lost about N3 billion to the continuous patronage of foreign domain names by Nigerians. This figure will double in five years if the trend continues. However, over N752.66 million is spent to service over 600,000 foreign domain names registered by Nigerians at a cost of $7.99 to renew the domain names annually. Some of the foreign domain names registered are dot com, dot org, dot net, and dot co dot UK. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s own unique identifier on the Internet is dot NG. Recently, Chief Operating Officer of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Ope Odunsa, lamented the capital flight occasioned by the use of such foreign domain names for websites operated from Nigeria. He said the preference for foreign domain names by corporate bodies and individual Internet users is worrisome, implying that Nigerians had continued to sign up to foreign domain names instead of “our own domain name, which we should be proud of.” Odunsa told stakeholders that Nigerian companies, institutions and individuals should leverage on the dot NG domain identity, as it is the country’s unique identifier on the Internet. The dot NG platform, he noted, enabled the citizens to create websites for the promotion of Nigerian content. In 2012, only 26,000 registered domain names were with NiRA. Thus, NiRA believes that with more Nigerian domain names, money sent abroad for domain name registration would be deployed in other areas of the business. It is not surprising that so many government officials prefer the use of foreign domain names like Google, Yahoo, and Hotmail to host their electronic mail. They do not know the negative effect of their actions. If they do, they would have assisted NiRA in its campaign to upgrade its equipment and register over 250,000 domain names in the dot NG registry as government MDAs, businesses, educational institutions and individuals. This is the way to go. That is the only way to create local contents upload. It is the only way. American Secretary of State will never register a foreign domain name. Chinese ambassador will never use a foreign domain name. So, what is behind public servants’ penchant for public servants@yahoo.com?

*Editor - Wale Alabi *Consulting Editors - Rarzack Olaegbe, Sola Fanawopo * Correspondent-Jimi David * Business Development - Kenny Hussain * Legal Adviser - Olasupo Osewa & Co Brandweek is powered by Brandz Republic Consulting and published every Friday in THE NATION newspaper. All correspondence to the editor - 0808.247.7806, 0805.618.0040, e-mail: korede2000@gmail.com © All rights reserved.


SHOPPING THE NATION

Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.net

FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

31

e-mail: shoppingthenation@hotmail.com

Shopping@thenationonlineng.net

‘Consumers should seek redress for wrongs’ The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) is to join forces with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in the fight against importation of substandard goods. ADEBISI ONANUGA and TONIA ‘DIYAN report

• Substandard products

•STORY ON PAGE 32

TLC berths at Mega Plaza

Page 33

Shoppers lament Shoprite’s two-day closure

Page 33

Roadside trading all the way

Page 34


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

32

SHOPPING

W

‘Consumers should seek redress for wrongs’

ITH the planned partnership between the Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), importers of substandard goods are in for hard times. The influx of fake and substandard goods has been a major headache to the government and indigenous manufacturers. The goods are usually very cheap and low in quality that local producers cannot compete favourably. The planned joint effort to fight substandard goods will favour consumers more as they are the end users of such products which, at times, cause bodily harm. They have always been at the mercy of retailers and wholesalers of such goods. At a briefing in its office at Ilupeju, the CPC Director- General, Mrs. Dupe Atoki, said the collaboration, aimed at protecting consumers and ridding the country of fake and substandard goods, could not have come at a better time. She spoke of the activities of the agency and the need to create more awareness among consumers on their rights. Mrs. Atoki said the planned joint effort of the four agencies would pave the way for indigenous companies to thrive once again. “We must understand the various agencies that have the mandate to tackle counterfeit products, notwithstanding that the mandate of the council is to receive complaints. But in the course of the mandate, we are also expected to weed out counterfeit goods and ensure that substandard or hazardous goods are taken off the shelves where necessary,’’ she said. “It does not stop there,’’ she further said. ‘’There are organs and agencies that are designated to ensure that standards

• Fake products

‘Right now, indigenous companies are stifled. They are in great competition with substandard goods that are cheap and easily available; therefore, there is the need for a competitive terated products is a rapidly growing menace in the country. The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has blamed the collapse of the textile industry on the sudden large amount of sub-standard fabrics that flood the domestic market and which are sold very cheap. The report warned that if the country

• Impounded goods.

are met and also to enforce those standards. We have to work in collaboration with all these organs, including the Nigerian Customs, the SON, NAFDAC and all other regulatory bodies. We can see the possibilities of reducing the influx of substandard and inferior goods to a level in which the indigenous manufacturing companies will begin to thrive. “Right now, indigenous companies are stifled. They are in great competition with substandard goods that are cheap

and easily available; therefore, there is the need for a competitive and level playing ground for investments. We would have to deal with the near-collapse of indigenous manufacturing companies in such a manner that would help them survive and remain in operation,” she said. Mrs. Dupe Atoki, a former chairperson of the African Commission of Human and People’s Rights, an organ of the African Union (AU), plans to take consumer rights’ protection advocacy to the grassroots, to make

everybody aware of their rights as consumers. She charged the zonal offices of the council to rise up to the task. She decried the dearth of consumer awareness at the grassroots, adding that unless the trend was reversed, consumers at that level would not have their rights protected; that is, they would not know where to lay complaints and seek redress. To achieve this, she said there was a need for the council to align with other agencies to determine what consumers should look for in any particular good so that they do not buy substandard goods. The CPC chief emphasised that the council would carry out consumer education programmes to create awareness on its activities so that anyone who buy goods that do not give them value for money would know where to lay complaints and seek redress. To Mrs. Atoki, if the influx of substandard goods remain unchecked, it will continue to militate against the aspirations of government to promote Nigeria into the league of industrialised nations by 2020. “Counterfeit destroys creativity, acts as a pest to the efforts of genuine manufacturers, discourages investments and entrepreneurship as it renders their goods non-competitive. But more worrisome is that substandard goods are detrimental to the health of citizens. Hundreds of Nigerians have been reported to have died after consuming sub-standard drugs.The establishment of NAFDAC was, in fact, the government’s direct response to the high casualty figure recorded from the use of fake drugs. The (SON), the body, regulating products standard in the country, revealed in one of its reports ‘that production of adul-

does not stop influx of counterfeits products, the trend would stunt the economy. It is observed that the economy is being disturbed, derailed, battered and messed up by heavy importation and smuggling of products from eastern countries, particularly China. Some fake products from China include cables, hurricane lanterns, cigarettes, tyres, toothpastes, computer monitors and television sets. Nigeria is China’s second largest trading partner in Africa after South Africa, but analysts say China benefits more from its partnership with Nigeria which reached about $6.5 billion in 2009, according to economic reports. Nigeria exports raw materials to China and China supplies Nigeria with all kinds of products including motorcycles, equipment, auto parts, tyres, chemicals, textiles, garments, footwears and children items. Today, one of the biggest challenges of buying beauty products is getting good quality as the markwt is filled with substandard products. Many substandard products look like the original that it is almost impossible to differentiate between both. If we are able to sensitise Nigerians to imbibe a standards culture in terms of services and products then the average consumer would reject the wrong product and demand for better services, said Mrs Atoki. It is important that orientation on standardisation of goods should be given in schools from the primary school level, quizzes and debates should be organised among them. It is shocking that secondary schools know what substandard products are and most of them argue that they don’t have enough money to buy the real ones, unknown to them that it actually cost more to buy a substandard product, she added.


33

THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

SHOPPING

TLC berths at Mega Plaza

T

RAVEL & Logisitics Centre (TLC) has opened a service centre at Century 21 Shopping Mall, Mega Plaza, Victoria Island Lagos. Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, Mr Yinka Folami, Chief Executive Officer, TLC, said the extension of another branch of the business was necessary to cater to the travel and service needs of Lagosians and by extension, Nigerians whose daily transactions revolve around the Island. “As a customer-focused service agency, we understand that most of our potential customers spend their active man hours on the island; therefore, the need to open another branch at Mega Plaza came up. We are strategically positioned to support our Lagos Island clients beyond traditional ticketing,” he said. The General Manager of Mega Plaza, Mr Uri Sadan, said Mega Plaza has been repositioned to give customers the ultimate satisfaction they could get and a world-class mall experience. “Mega Plaza has come back even bigger and better with the opening of super mega supermarket, more space, more shops, an ultra modern, multi-storey car park and even wider selection of exotic good with unbeatable price discounts to be found nowhere else.” Highlighting the need to patronise TLC, Mr Folami said: “Imagine you took the first flight out of Lagos to Abuja, and you had scheduled your return for 2:30pm. Your meeting is running late and you are not likely to be through by 2:30pm, let alone get to the Abuja airport. There are three things you could do; send someone quickly with change fee to the airline desk at Transcorp or wherever it is, or send someone to the airport, or call us and the change is done! If you are our client, you can

• Left: Sadan; Marketing Manager Travel & Logistics Centre (TLC), Juliet Obi; Estate Manager Mega Plaza Nosa Osarumwense and Folami at the event. By Mercy Michael

pay us on your return,” he said. ‘’So, we say to frequent flying individuals and corporate ‘let’s take the domestic ticketing stress of you’.” It is the duty of the service provider to be as simple and as clear as possible on the value of service to clients ... most travellers go through needless complexities and pressure. For example, when we got to Mega Plaza, we found out that many travellers still send their drivers to the airport to buy domestic tickets, a task that can be resolved with as simple an action as an SMS, a phone call or a mail, he added. On the threat to traditional ticketing, Mr.

Folami said a service provider must ‘change or die’. In the face of the online ticketing challenge (though most times, unreliable and burdened with the weakness of being impersonal), my team and I are convinced that what we sell is service, ticketing is a byproduct and a consequence of what we sell. “Our clients will also recall that we were the first agency to serve the work-life-balance needs of the professional. We pioneered the install-mental payment scheme for travel tickets of the Nigerian professionals and you do not have to know the CEO to avail this product. ‘’Today, TLC has a pool of very successful professional clientele that respond to commit-

ments and to whom they are most grateful. We say to the professional that his holiday is as important as his job; employee holiday is also important to the corporate employer because holidays help mental and physical renewal of staff and therefore effectiveness at work. ‘’As a result and by consequence, they are in a partnership with professional employees and corporate employers and need no corporate guarantees from employers. The guarantees needed are in their understanding that the professional will respond to commitments. We all owe the responsibility to drive positive change and belief in our small ways...it is possible in Nigeria, he added.

Why fairly used electronics are hot Shoppers have stories to tell about fairly used electronics. TAIBAT IDOWU writes.

F

AIRLY used items are said to be less expensive and more patronised. Some people prefer to buy or sell them because they save more money and have a long life span. They come in different prices, depending on their neatness, their durability can also be determined by how affordable they are, it is a common believe that the more expensive, the durable the item is and vice versa. Mr Peter told The Nation Shopping that he could not buy some particular electronics as fairly used. “I cannot buy a television set and a fan. They don’t have guaranty. They can get damaged almost immediately.” ‘’It is important to do a good research when planning to buy second hand electronics. “Fairly used items are better than some

• Fairly used electronics

Shoppers lament Shoprite’s two-day closure

S

HOPPERS, who were at the Ikeja City Mall, Lagos to buy goods from Shoprite on Sunday, and Monday morning were disappointed as its doors were shut to visitors, with an apology notice which reads, “ due to our financial stock count, the store will open for trading on Monday at 2pm. Sorry for the inconveniences, Thanks management.” The scenario was such that got shoppers curious and angry. They wanted to know why a store like Shoprite should restock for two days, and on a working day as Monday. Some people who were not at the shop the previous day asked security personnel how long the store shut its doors, as there was no means of seeing or talking with the staff of the store who were all locked up inside. Others got confused while trying to find similar items from other shops. Some walked away after reading the apology on the entrance. Others who have paid to park their cars with the hope to do their shopping as usual lamented the car park charge which off course, is not refundable. “Is my money going to be refunded now that I cannot accomplish my aim of coming here? The only shop that brings me here is Shoprite. That is because I love their bread, ordinarily I wouldn’t come here especially on a Monday morning when I should be busy at the office,” Mr Karim Onabanjo

By Tonia ‘Diyan

fumed. For Mrs Nene Azuka, it was a painful and discouraging experience. “Only God knows how often they do this here. This is rubbish, uncivilised and unorganised. This cannot happen in South Africa where they came from,” she lamented. “We all know that Shoprite restock while shoppers are doing their thing. Why this uncultured arrangement? It is only in Nigeria that you find all sorts of nonsense. I have been here shopping and the staff were restocking roll by roll. We didn’t disturb ourselves. I actually enjoyed it because I had the opportunity to see some items I didn’t plan to buy, but thought they are useful and then bought them,” said Ms Ngozi Chiejine. “For Christ sake! How can a store like Shoprite shut its doors to customers for two days because they want to restock? Are you sure they are actually restocking or they have some financial constraints? Nobody is talking to us. They feel the notice should explain to us, it is not fair,” she added. Some shoppers thought the notice should have been placed outside the mall to alert car users not to park and pay. They said it was a deliberate act to exploit people, adding that taht was why they opposed payment for packing at the beginning.

• Shoprite, Ikeja City Mall.

of the new ones we have here. Sometimes, they are of low standard and get damage almost immediately. An electronic seller, Mr Nedu Ihinacho, who sells fairly used electronics at Lawanson, Lagos said prices of fairly used electronics, are determined by how good looking an item is. According to him, a small fairly used television set costs N5,000, and N10,000 for the big size while a radio set is sold for N1, 200, N3000, N4,000 depending on its size. Some people cannot make up their mind on what they want. They, therefore, believe traders know the best. Thus they end up buying an electronic gadget that is not durable. For Mr Seyi Arogundade, “I am lucky with fairly used electronics. They get damaged immediately. I rather buy a new one.’’


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

34

SHOPPING

‘Our interior designers are creative’

H

OW affordable are your interiors?

• Ms Osaru Alile, committee member, IDAN

Ordinarily, one would think they would be expensive because of how beautiful and attractive they appear. But these interiors are not as expensive as they seem to people. People have eyes for designs and these are designs that look heavier than their amount. Therefore, what is affordable to me might not be affordable to another person. People’s choices vary, some people might spend lot of money buying interiors; there are also people who would put their money elsewhere.

enous designs? Nigeria designers are creative, sharp, strong and fast to learn. They can adapt to what other designers are doing in no time. We have encouraged quite a number of Nigerian interior designers through regular trainings, seminars and workshops. We had more of them at our just concluded exhibition and people could not believe they were made in Nigeria interiors.

Are you looking at specific areas for exhibitions?

How do you intend getting your products to people?

Not really, what we are particular about is a space big enough to accommodate vendors each time we choose to organise an exhibition. For instance, If we have a venue in a place like Iyana Ipaja, why not! It will only take our interiors close to people at the grass root. We choose Victoria Island because it is our first edition and we wanted to reach out to those living on the island before moving to the mainland and other parts.

We, at the Interior Designers Association of Nigeria, are creating massive awareness to let people know that interior design is not a hubby but a profession that needs to be taken seriously. That is why we make our exhibitions central enough for vendors, suppliers and shoppers to be comfortable with.

How are you encouraging our own indig-

By Tonia ‘Diyan

How do you intend to get students to study interior design? We have Interior Design training pro-

grammes we are working on, and we believe it will fill the gap that the education system is gasping for. We are also doing our best to have Interior Design syllabuses injected into the school system. Our goal is to create interior Design in different areas of specialisation that can stand alongside designers from other nation and equally compete. We have selected a few young talents who have convinced us that they have what it takes to be the red carpet designers of tomorrow. We give them the opportunity to exhibit their work in the Interior Design field creating potential opportunities for them . We have had the opportuning of meeting young people who are interested in interior designing, but haven’t got the motivation and orientation they need. We meet a number of them on the internet on a daily basis. We have also trained some of them to understand what interior designing is and its importance. Regularly, we send fliers to secondary schools, universities and polytechnics and so far, we have been getting feedbacks. We have also spoken with the University of Lagos authorities. We want to give students the opportunity of studying interior designing

• Ms Osaru as a course. What are your aspirations? We want more interior designers to be part of what we are doing. We encourage them to join the association and see interior designing beyond what it is. We have started planning for 2014 and we will continue in our effort to standardise the knowledge of interior designing in all schools.

At Kara market on the Oshodi/Apapa Expressway in Lagos, roadside trading is the order of the day. Traders blame the development on government. TAIBAT IDOWU reports.

Roadside trading all the way

I

F you are conversant with Ballet bus/ stop on the Oshodi Apapa, Expressway, Lagos, office and home furniture are displayed from the beginning of the bus stop to the next one. This is attributed to the high cost of shop rent in Lagos markets. Traders at the market are victims of Tejuosho-Yaba market and Iso Pako market in Itire, which got burnt some years ago. One of the road side traders, Mr Ismaila Emilagba, said: “I don’t wish to sell by the roadside. I am only frustrated and need to make ends meet.” Another trader Mr Muhhamed Kazeem Aileru, said: “Traders are not comfortable selling on the roadside because of the risk attached. We are facing so many challenges here, such as the sun rays, rain and the fear that government officials might come at any time to send us packing. If they do that, they would only be contributing to an already bad frustrating situation. They should rather create a place like the trade fair complex for us. I mean a place that we can all afford.“ At Kara market, one is sure to find all kinds of office equipment. A table of 3ft costs N7,000; a 4ft table is sold at N10, 000; and the 5ft that have two drawers costs N18, 000. But the one with a single drawer, costs N15, 000. These prices are

• The busy Kara Market.

• Kara roadside Market.

determined by the materials these furniture are made with, as well as their designs. Chair prices vary from N4000 to N4,500.

For a two seater, N10,000 can afford one. A glass dining set is sold for N40, 000. Traders at the market said the indigenous office equipment are more

• Traders with their wares.

patronised than the imported ones. The traders appealed to the government to leave them where they are so that they can have some money to feed their family.


35

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

DISCOURSE

Nigeria’s challenges: Genesis and possible redemption Conclusion of text of the lecture delivered by Dr. Jhalil Balewa, a US-based medical doctor, at the third Afe Babalola Law Lecture held at the Aafe Babalola Multipurpose Auditorium, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti on May 3.

I

N November 1993, General Sani Abacha seized control from the caretaker gov ernment and served as military dictator until his death in 1998. During his rule, Abacha suppressed dissent and failed to follow through with a promised transition to civilian government. In 1995, as a result of various human rights violations, the European Union, which already had imposed sanctions in 1993, suspended development aid, and Nigeria was temporarily expelled from the Commonwealth. Corruption also flourished, and Abacha was later found to have siphoned off oil revenues into personal bank accounts in Switzerland. In 2005 Nigeria began to recover I US $458 million of illicit funds deposited in Swiss banks during the Abacha regime. Transition to Civilian Government: Upon Abacha’s death in June 1998, his Chief-ofDefence staff Major General Abdulsalami Abubakar, assumed control and began to release political prisoners, including the former leader Obasanjo. Local government elections held in December 1998, state legislative elections in January 1999, and Fèderal legislative and presidential elections completed the transition to civilian government in February 1999. Obasanjo was elected president, and his party, the People’s Democratic Party, won a majority of the seats in both the Senate and House of Representatives, amidst ever-present allegations of election irregularities. Fifteen years of military rule had come to an end, and Nigeria entered the longest period of civilian rule since independence. In 2003 Obasanjo and his party won re-election, and speculation mounted that the Nigerian leader might seek a constitutional change that would permit him to run for a third term in 2007. (In May 2006, the Nigerian Senate rejected a constitutional amendment that would have permitted a third term. Obasanjo succeeded in establishing civilian rule based on a multiparty democracy and launched a campaign against corruption, but despite a surge in oil revenues that buoyed the federal coffers, his administration faced a number of serious challenges. In 2000 religious tensions spiked following the imposition of Sharia, or Islamic law, in 12 northern, predominantly Muslim states. These tensions hindered cooperation between the President and the National Assembly, among the states, and between the states and the Federal Government. In 2004 religious strife forced the government to declare a state of emergency in centrally located Plateau State. Ethnic strife further complicated matters, notably in the state of Benue, where tribal warfare broke out in 2001, and n the oil— rich Niger-Delta, where the Ijaw tribe continues to conduct an insurgency against international energy facilities and workers. Nigeria’s image of playing a constructive role in regional stability was tarnished in 2002 when the International Criminal Court granted Cameroon control over the disputed Bakassi Peninsula, but Nigeria refused to comply with the ruling. In November 1999, the introduction of Shari’a Law (Islamic civil and criminal code) met aggressive resistance that caused the religious crisis of February 2000. Two years later in November 2002, Nigeria witnessed another religious crisis motivated by the Miss World Pageant, which was incited by an article in a local Newspaper-Thisday. Because Nigeria won the 2001 edition by Agbani Darego, it was a leverage to host the 2002 Miss World in Nigeria, but the timing coincided with the Muslim Ramadan festival and it met stiff opposition from the Islamic clerics. The massive public protest and riots that followed these two events caused loss of lives, many injuries and damaged properties worth millions in local currency. As if it was not enough, the Kurt Westergaard “Danish cartoon” (BBC News 2006) protest of February 2006 will not be forgotten, 16 deaths

left Nigeria as the highest casualty all over the world. Nigeria is a secular state with a democratic constitution, 12 of the Nigerian 36 states in northern Nigeria namely; Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara applied the Shari’a Law into their criminal legislation. By statistics, Nigeria is quoted to be “Muslim 50 per cent, Christian 40 per cent, (and) indigenous beliefs 10 per cent.” (Central Intelligence Agency, 2007) Shari’a specifies amputations of limbs and stoning to death as part of its punishment. Sani Yakubu Rodi was the first and to date, the only known person to be executed by hanging on January 3, 2002 after a Shari’a verdict, he did not appeal because the death sentence according to his Family was God’s ruling and to appeal would mean defying God’s wishes (Human Rights Watch, 2004). In March 22 2002, a Shari’a Court sentenced Amina Lawal to death by stoning for committing adultery, the death sentence was upheld by the Upper Shari’a Court, but for the international intervention and pressure from human rights groups, further appeal saw the sentence overruled by the State Shari’a Court of Appeal due to insufficient evidence. But the likes of Buba Bello were unlucky, he got his right hand amputated for stealing a cow, and Lawali Inchi Tara suffered same amputation after he was found guilty of stealing bicycles (Human Rights Watch, 2004). This legal code has been in the Nigerian constitution since 1979; it was included in the 1999 Constitution, but it became political when the Governor of Zamfara State Ahmed Sani Yerima became the first to adopt the Shari’a legislation in October 27, 1999, and it came into force on January 27, 2000. Chapter VII of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution recognises and empowered Shari’a courts to handle proceedings involving questions of Islamic Personal Law, which the court is competent to decide (Constitution, 1999). It was limited in jurisdiction to oversee personal status law such as divorce, inheritance, and domestic disputes. However, the extension to criminal law has wide ranging consequences, which has opened up complex political and religious debates (Human Rights Watch, 2004). Many believed that the introduction of Shari’a is a re—affirmation of religious identity, but this is also a constitutional issue; the possibility of challenging Shari’a means that the same constitution that upholds it is flawed. In fact, Esimai (2006) argued that the 1999 Nigerian constitution has supremacy over other laws, quoting from the constitution, “if any other law is inconsistent with the provision of this constitution. This Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void” (p. 235). In line of this argument, the constitution is very clear on matters of religion; it states, “The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as a State Religion” (p. 235). The fact that it was difficult for the Federal Government to make pronouncement against it, made the people in the states where it is practised unequal before the law, which many argued to be threat to peace and signifies that more conflicts will take place in the future, not minding that individual security

• Dr Balewa

starts from the rule of law and the ability of the state to protect her citizens. It is my humble opinion, that the Nigerian government should not sit on the fence, but make her position known on Shari’a Law in the constitution and answer the question ‘is it to be or not to be?’ should Nigeria run parallel legal systems in different states in one country? One based on the slate justice system while the other derives its power on faith or are there possibilities to “harmonise” or run both “side by side,” are constitutional questions that call for answer. The strength of Nigeria lies in her rich multicultural diversity of about 250 ethnic nationalities, even so, many ethnic minorities are crying of economic and political marginalisation and social inequalities. Aside from the three major ethnic nationalities namely the Hausa—Fulani, the Igbo’s, and the Yoruba’s, no other minority groups have attained the position of Head of States or President in Nigeria, which seems to be the exclusive rights of the former. Not until May, 2010 when a minority from the ljaw extraction of the Niger-Delta in person of Goodluck Jonathan became the President of Nigeria after the death of President Shehu Musa YarAdua. However, Gesive Angaye argued that the “accusations and allegations of neglect, oppression, domination, exploitation, victimisation, discrimination, marginalisation, nepotism and bigotry are common. It is difficult to know who is marginalising who in Nigeria because all ethnic groups, from the big Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo to the small Ogonis, lkwerres, Igalas, etc, are complaining of marginalisation” (Angaye, 2002).” But the fact that many communal conflicts in the minority areas are caused partly by land, boundary, and chieftaincy disputes mainly by domination and oppression, frustrationaggression-displacement, divide and rule tactics, inequalities in the distribution of power, wealth and status, and the domination by bigger groups and their collaborators within the smaller groups, have frustrated the minorities who seem to reduce their built—up tensions by fighting among themselves rather than unite and face the real oppressors. Poverty is violence and structural violence kills faster than bullets, it is not the objective of this paper to recommend sharing formula for oil derivation, but it is pertinent to note that the people of Nigeria deserve access to justice and equitable distribution of resources beneath their own feet - as the goose that lays the golden eggs. In the face of the international community, the region has suffered longstanding exclusion from the mainstream of Nigeria’s socio-economic and political activities. The majority of the people in Nigeria live on the margins. Policy for governance

Poverty is violence and structural violence kills faster than bullets, it is not the objective of this paper to recommend sharing formula for oil derivation, but it is pertinent to note that the people of Nigeria deserve access to justice and equitable distribution of resources beneath their own feet - as the goose that lays the golden eggs. In the face of the international community, the region has suffered longstanding exclusion from the mainstream of Nigeria’s socio-economic and political activities.

should include vocational skills, education, industrialisation, improved agriculture, health and public utilIties. Solving environmental problems is essential, at the same time, the Federal Government should strengthen anti-corruption laws and keep an eye on the leadership, (the state governors and the local government chairmen). Conflict is not totally evil when it is functional, that is when it reflects the differences in various human opinions and activities that exist in any free society. Conflict is inevitable for human interaction and could lead to constructive development, but conflict does not necessary need to be violent. In the Nigeria situation, all forms of conflict-political, religious, resources, ethnic and communal are becoming increasingly violent. What are the Nigerian systems of conflict regulations and handling styles? Osaghae (2002) attributed escalation of violent conflict to many factors which are not limited to violent strategies of conflict regulation, especially the use of military by the state to quell conflict which is regarded as the by-products of the prolonged military rule in Nigeria, of the subsequent weakening or collapse of legal-constitutional means of conflict regulation. Things have to change in my humble opinion, I strongly discourage the usual government “fire brigade” approach as conflict handling style by quickly packaging a machinery to quench existing conflict. Good leadership and governance characterised by honesty, trust, transparency, and confidence building are basic necessities and fundamentals to handle conflict resolution in Nigeria. Adopting tested, conflict resolution methods will show a great sense of care, concern and higher responsibility on the part of the Nigerian government, in the sense that it is a social detection and early intervention in crisis management, this is because it focuses on the root causes of conflict and promote early involvement which can de-escalate conflict and hasten the restoration of peace. No wonder, Boutros-Ghali (2000) analysed that concerning “peace and security, as in medicine, prevention is self-evidently better than cure,” he emphasised that it saves lives and money, untold hardship and human suffering. Conclusion Having said all this, it primarily lies within the purview of the Nigerian state, to create systematic and institutionalised methods that will detect early warning signs for preemptive actions and design effective conflict prevention and peace building strategies through operational structures and personnel for monitoring conflicts and transform the existing conflict(s). It is my opinion that in the search for lasting peace in Nigeria; academics, religious leaders, traditional rulers, women groups, local and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), social critics and activists, trade associations, civil societies, various youth leaders, students bodies, and multinationals companies of particular interests in corporate social responsibility, etc should be involved in conflict prevention and peace building, this will ensure enduring and sustainable peace. Two points are vital here; the first is making peace with Boko Haram and secondly strengthening the peace in the Niger-Delta. For President Goodluck Jonathah’s administration to promote peace, stability and national integration: national interest should over-ride personal or group interests, larger efforts should be put in place to strengthen vehicles of social control and social institutions namely; family, law, religion and the political system. Nigerian leaders should promote economic progress that eradicates the crippling mass poverty and unemployment, provide security for lives and properties, and guarantee food security. Singapore got its independence in 1965, it has since moved from a Third World country to a first world. Today, Malaysia is taking a giant leap from what is known as Third World economy into advanced economy. Do we need new laws? This legal landlubber does not think so. We need proper balanced enforcement of those in our books, we need civic education, this is where the Nigerian Bar Association should play a major role in disseminating and explaining to the citizenry their rights to the society, and what they could reasonably expect from those governing them. This will raise the bar of thought, which actually makes quality of life better and advance the practice of law, afterall an educated consumer is always a better customer. I thank you for listening.


36

COMMENTARY

“I

F we work marble it will perish; if we work upon brass time will efface it; if we rear temples they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds and instil in them just principles; we are then engraving that upon ‘TABLETS’ which no time can efface but will brighten to all eternity”. Daniel Webster (1782-1852) Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, the Governor of the State of Osun, being a black man from Africa, may not have many things in common with Daniel Webster, the white American author of the above quotation. But venturing into the inner rooms of both men’s minds individually, one is likely to discover a common signpost upon which a common indelible identity is inscribed. That identity is FORESIGHT which is the hallmark of statesmanship. Incidentally, both Webster and Aregbesola are statesmen in different lands and at different times but with similar goal. And, in their unified identity, both of these extraordinarily oratorical men will go down in history as statesmen with footprints on the sands of time. Daniel Webster is, today, globally remembered for his forthrightness and vocal championship of justice both of which have put his name in the history’s hall of fame. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s uniqueness in setting pace for African leaders in the realm of governance has conspicuously marked him out as a vertical political leader in the midst of horizontal others. If the phrase ‘Giant Stride’ bears the insignia of achievement, it must be synonymous to Rauf Aregbesola in connotation. Of all the elements of legacy that can be bequeathed to any human being, none is comparable to knowledge. It is only with knowledge that the continuity of human civilisation can be guaranteed across generations and times. This is an axiom upon which Ogbeni Aregbesola placed a premium for the certainty of today and the assurance of tomorrow. Going by the quoted poem above, any sensible person will confirm that in contemporary Nigerian system of governance only the ingenuous ‘Tablet of knowledge’ (Opon Imo) is qualified to be the mother of all legacies. The thought of it was right. Its design was right. Its environment is right. Its time is right. And since all it takes to be right in governance is to get things right no pleasant success of today can turn into a bitter failure tomorrow except by accident of negligence. With the ‘Tablet of Knowledge’ at hand for secondary school pupils in Osun State who says the time for renaissance is not here? While presenting the wonder ‘Tablet of Knowledge’ publicly penultimate Saturday, Ogbeni Aregbesola stated thus inter alia: “The idea of an electronic tablet is not our invention, and we make no such claim, for it would be patently false. But we have made something completely unique out of the existing idea. Hence, we make bold to say that Opon Imo is a tablet like no other on the face of the earth. As we speak, learning devices are usually e-readers that require internet connectivity to access their library resources. But Opon Imo stands alone. It is a complete library in a single computer tablet. It’s a complete and closed system that cannot interface or interconnect with any other system, because it does not need them to function. It was commended at Harvard University and by the Mayor of Pittsburgh who made no disguise of his admiration for the device. It is a first-of-its-kind standalone learning tablet in the world for self-paced study. It provides three major content categories vis-à-vis, e-library, virtual classroom, and an integrated test zone. The virtual classroom category contains 63 e-books covering 17 academic subjects for examinations conducted by WAEC, NECO and JAMB as well as non-academic life-enriching subjects such as History of The Yoruba, Sexuality Education, Civic Education, Ifa on ethics and morals, enterprise education, hints and tips on passing SSCE and ‘How to live a Healthy and Happy life’. This section also contains an average of 16 chapters per subject and 823 chapters in all, with about 900 minutes or 15 hours of audio voiceovers. In the integrated test zone of the device, there are more than 40,000 JAMB and WAEC practice questions and answers dating back to about 20 years. It also contains mock tests in more than 51 subject areas, which approximates to 1,220 chapters, with roughly 29,000 questions referencing about 825 images.

THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

FEMI ABBAS ON Femabbas@yahoo.com 08122697498

Tablet of knowledge

•Aregbesola

From the foregoing, there can be little argument that Opon Imo is a veritable tablet of knowledge that levels the learning playing field for all students from different social backgrounds. It allows students to learn at their own pace, wherever and whenever they choose. It provides robust and uniform learning content for all students, and offers a feedback mechanism for monitoring their performance.

Opon Imo also has the advantage of offering a highly interactive computer-based learning and testing environment. Opon Imo weighs 1.1kg. Its small size and light weight allows for flexibility in its use, which means a student armed with Opon Imo can learn walking, sitting or even lying down. With Opon Imo, learning becomes fun, easy and interesting. Because this tablet of knowledge is going to be distributed free to our students, it not only relieves their parents of the financial burden expended on learning materials, it likewise relieves the students of the burden of their book-laden backpacks. As the Mayor of Pittsburgh enthused, it also relieves students of ‘bad back’. His argument is that carrying a heavy backpack is bad for the back, therefore doing away with backpack is good for the back. Opon Imo has numerous other advantages. It can be solar-powered; it can record audio lessons; saves students the stress of copying notes and spares them more time to learn; facilitates early exposure of students to ICT; it has up to six hours of battery life; and its touch screen makes for easy use. To crown it all, this little device will greatly facilitate our free education policy by saving the state a lot of money that would have

had to go into procuring text books on an annual basis. Indeed, the saving is humongous. Were the state to engage in the physical purchase of hard-copies of textbooks for the 17 subjects taught in our public schools, hard-copies of 51 audio tutorials, hard-copies of JAMB and WAEC past questions and answers for all subjects for a period of 10 years, it would (conservatively speaking) cost a whopping sum of N50.25billion. In addition, we do not have to buy books as long as the tablets are in use. We also cannot quantify the cost of the virtual classroom which does not even exist anywhere, except in Opon Imo. The introduction of Opon Imo is a precious high point in our comprehensive plan to totally remake the public school system in Osun. Our first concern after our inauguration was education. We discovered then, to our chagrin, that only three per cent of secondary school leavers in the state had the requisite pass for admission into tertiary institutions. We quickly held a summit of education stakeholders which looked into the state of education in the state and made far-reaching recommendations. In a world tilting inexorably towards ICT, Opon Imo is a bold statement of our determination to qualitatively redefine public education. With Opon Imo, we are certain to open the doors of good education to more of our students who would otherwise have been denied that priceless opportunity. Through education we are rescuing our children from possible misery. As Victor Hugo famously put it, “He who opens a school door, closes a prison’. Through Opon Imo we are opening more doors to more students to learn. By educating our youths we are also doing our society a world of good for an educated society will most likely be a better society. This is duly affirmed by Maya Angelou who pointed out that, ‘When you know better you do better”. With this milestone and those words of wisdom can anything else be called ‘FORESIGHT’? In a nutshell, the ‘SOURCE’ remains the ‘SOURCE’.

City key for ‘nomadic’ scholar

O

NE good turn, according to an adage, deserves another. Perhaps nothing encourages good deed as much as appreciation. To show appreciation for good deed is to ask for more. This is what Ilorin indigenes did to the delight of all wellmeaning people penultimate Sunday when they came together from all walks of life to treat an intellectual ‘settler’ to an appreciative reception. The occasion was a sort of gala night in royal regalia. It was a rare gathering of the crème de la crème of Ilorin indigenes who uniquely clustered the Kwara State Banquet Hall to clad one towering non-indigenous scholar in a historic wreath of honour. The cynosure of the august gathering was an international household personality whose contribution to the development of the city in the past two decades has remained non-such. Whether in Africa or even in the world academic circle, Professor Ishaq Olanrewaju Oloyede the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin is like a golden fish which has no hiding place. But it takes only men of worth to recognise a vertical man of worth with special reverence. The relevant question here is not who and who attended the occasion but who and who were not there? Where you have colossal names like those of Governor Abdul Fattah Ahmed; former Governor Bukola Saraki; the Emir of Ilorin, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Sulu Gambari; the former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Alfa Belgore; the former President of the Federal Court of Appeal, Justice Mustapha Akanbi who chaired the occasion; the former Special Adviser to the President on security matters, Major-General Muhammed Abdullah Adangba; an erstwhile Grand Khadi of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdul Kadiri Orire; the Immediate past Grand Khadi of the State, Justice Mutallib Ambali; the current Grand Khadi, Alhaji Harun Idris who was eminently represented by Justice S.O. Muhammad; the Kwara State’s Doyen of the Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), Alhaji Salman Alarape; the 2011 Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Alhaji Dele Belgore (SAN); the current ViceChancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Abdul Ganiy Ambali; the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Shuaib Oba Abdul Raheem; the

Vice-Chancellor of the Kwara State University, Professor Abdur-Rasheed Naala; the Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Saka Onimago who stood in for the Governor; Alhaji Saka Sa‘d a former Chairman of the University of Ilorin Council and coordinator of the reception; Prominent city indigenes like Alhaji Sa‘d Belgore; Justice (Mrs.) Raliatu Elelu-Habeeb; Alhaji Usman Ajidagba; Arch. Faworaja and Professors Kuranga. Of course, there several personal friends and associates of Professor Ishaq Oloyede such as Mallam Yusuf Olaolu Ali, Professor Yusuf Lanre Badmus, Professor Wahab Egbewole, Dr. Aliu Badmus, Alhaji Jamiu Ekungba and Alhaji Jamiu Afolayan were all there to grace the historic occasion. Besides, the rank and file of Ilorin Muslim Clergy including the Chief Imam of Ilorin, Alhaji Muhammad Bashir Al-Fulani, the Imam Gambari Alhaji Said Al-Gambari and Imam Imale, Alhaji Abdullah Abdul Hamid, as well as a retinue of other important personalities too many to mention here. Though, admission into the Banquet Hall was strictly by invitation, virtually all sectors of Ilorin society including the professional, the economic and political groups, the social and traditional communities, as well as the academic and religious bodies were proudly represented. In the citation of the honouree eloquently read by Professor Yusuf Lanre Badmus, Professor Oloyede was virtually described as a signpost of guidance beaming light to all directions of the environment to the benefit of all and sundry. The hallmark of his achievement is in the education sector where as a former Vice-Chancellor, he was generally acknowledged as an exemplar. Professor Oloyede is not the only nonindigenous scholar of international repute resident in Ilorin. But his selfless service to humanity in that city without thinking of the factor of indigene-ship stands him out of the crowded pack. In recognition of his unique service and in acknowledgement of his indelible legacy therefore, this Professor of Islamic Studies whose ambition of becoming a fellow of African Academy of Science was recently fulfilled has added a further step to his footprint. Socially, Ilorin is a highly civilised city with a fertile soil of profound knowledge on which towering intellectuals in various

•Oloyede

fields of leaning grow uninhibitedly. A realm of oriental and occidental diffusion though, Ilorin still maintains her cultural and traditional trait. These are manifest in the people’s marital life style, extended family affairs, economic and moral conduct, maintenance of cultural chastity and veneration for the Emir, the Galadimas and other elders. Intermarriage and tribal interaction through urbanisation has shown the old city as a typical example of an isogloss. And today, it may be very difficult to know by conduct or by appearance who is not a true son of the soil. All the people irrespective of their tribes, tongues and creed automatically acclimatize and acculturate in the perennially peaceful environment created by the ancestors of the city. Hospitality, chauvinism and radiation of ecstasy, are entrenched in the culture of Ilorin inhabitants. However, an average Ilorin son is allegedly trained to be crafty and this earns the inhabitants the appellation ‘’Ilorin mesu jamba’’ meaning Ilorin the custodian of craftiness. Religiously, people see Ilorin through the spectacle of Islam. This is hardly disputable since more than 80 per cent of the in habitants are Muslims. One can attribute the overwhelming beam of Islam on the city to the early romance by courtesy between Alimi and Afonja in which the earlier converted the latter to a Muslim. More may be said about Ilorin in this column in future. By virtue of the key to the city offered him by the assembly of indigenes, Professor Oloyede can genuinely claim to be an indigene of Ilorin. That is the fruit of education. Or what else can one say?


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

37

SOCIETY

The remains of the wife of Senator Ben Obi, Collete Ojirhomu, were laid to rest in Awka last Friday after a funeral service at the Old Tracas Stadium, Awka, Anambra State. NWANOSIKE ONU reports

‘Goodnight ... my backbone’

F

OR Senator Ben Ndi Obi, it was hard to say good bye to his jewel of inestimable value - the late Mrs Collete Ojirhomu Obi. Mrs Obi, a former Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) member of staff member, died at 59. The funeral service, held at the Old Tracas Stadium, Awka, Anambra State, last Friday, turned out to be a political carnival of sort, with notable politicians from within and outside the state in attendance. The daily downpour in the past two weeks gave way to a clement weather, and even the vultures that used to gather around the stadium obeyed the instructions of the town crier. Besides politicians, there was a large presence of royal fathers. The politicians, especially the governorship aspirants in Anambra State, came in exotic cars while the women made fashion statements with their attires. The brown casket, coated with silver, conveying the remains of the late NTA ‘Iron Lady’, kept sympathisers on their toes, with everyone straining neck to catch a glimpse of it. The difference on that day was that there were no cultural displays, but the uniformed attires of many groups spoke volumes of whose funeral it was. Security operatives from the police, Civil Defence, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), State Security Service (SSS) to the military were on hand to ward off any problem. The majestically dressed in-laws of the chief mourner, Senator Obi, from Jakpa, Uvwie Local Government Area, and those on his mother’s side from Itsekiri, Warri South Local Government Area, all in Delta State, added clour to the funeral. They held sympathisers and guests spell bound. Many believed that the deceased left an indelible mark in Awka kingdom given the large number of people who came to pay their last respects to the her. At the church service conducted by the Anglican Primate, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, he advised people to love one another the way Collete Obi did in her life time. He said people should not cry for the deceased; rather they should weep for themselves, as the society’s values have been eroded because of the quest for wealth. Rev. Okoh said: “People handle pains, agonies and disappointments in different ways; some take to drugs, yet without solution; some develop many relationships with opposite sex, among others, but only God can solve all our pains, sorrows, frustrations and agonies. “Let us bring the value of selflessness, but if we ignore it and continue going the way we are going, the sun will rise in the West against us. Let us weep for our country and seek complete reconciliation between us and God.” Others, who spoke after Rev. Okoh’s sermon, included Anambra State Governor Mr Peter Obi; Prince Arthur Ezeh and the deceased’s husband, Senator Obi. He narrated how his in-laws

•The widower Senator Obi and family members

•From left: Chief Ikimi; Alhaji Abubakar and Mrs Ojukwu

•Senator Nwobodo (left) and Gen. Nwachukwu

treated him when his mother, who came from the same area with his late wife, died some years ago. Obi said the difference between his late mother and his wife was that his wife’s wish was to be buried in Awka and not in Warri. He thanked everybody that took part in the funeral, especially, Prince Ezeh; the traditional ruler of Awka, Obi Gibson Nwosu; Senators; the President and his cabinet; Awka people and Governor Peter Obi, for standing beside him all through. Turning to the deceased, Obi said: “Collete, how do I go from here? It is unbelievable to fathom a life without you, after an existence that was creamed with your presence, my backbone and support.” The Coordinator, Transform Nigeria Movement (TNM), Obi Ochije, praised the late Mrs Obi. He described her as a hard worker and a woman with listening ears. Ochije prayed God to grant the Obi’s family the fortitude to bear the loss. For the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, it is not how well people lived on earth, but how they lived their lives. Pastor Oritsejafor cited the lives

of Aaron and Jesus who lived over 100 years and 33 years, adding that the truth is that Collete had gone but that God would continue to keep the family she left behind. The reception ground in the same venue was decorated by Unique Rental Services of Awka. The decoration was awesome. The arena was fully air conditioned and filled with people clicking glasses. Two local bands entertained the visitors. There were enough food and choice wines for all. Among the dignitaries were former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; former Ebonyi State Governor Sam Egwu; former Senate Presidents Ken Nnamani and Adolphus Wagbara; Senator Jim Nwobodo; Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu; Chief Philip Asiodu; Gen. Ike Nwachukwu (rtd); Chief Tom Ikimi; Alhaji Idi Farouk; Senator Azu Agboti; Senator Uche Chukwumerije; Mike Ajaegbo and wife Julie; Prof Ben Nwabueze (SAN); Chief Audu Ogbeh; wife of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustee Chairman Mrs. Josephine Anenih; Prince Arthur Ezeh and Dr George Obiozor. Also in attendance were Senator

•Gov. Obi and wife Magaret

•Senator Chukwumerije

•Senator Ajegbo and wife Julie

Hope Uzodinma; former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Prof. Chukwuma Soludo; former Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Prof Maurice Iwu; APGA Chairman Chief Victor Umeh; Alhaji Isiaku Ibrahim; Mr Bisi Olatilo; Southeast Traditional Council Chairman Eze Cletus

•Pastor Oritsejafor

PHOTOS: NWANOSIKE ONU

Ilomuanya; Col Austine Akobundu; Prof Chinwe Obaje; Chief Clem Nwankwu; Chief Chidi Anyaegbu; Chief Tony Okam; Zik Obi; Igwe Chris Onyekwuluje; Amb Jerry Ugokwe; Most Rev Paul Udogu; Most Rev Emmanuel Chukwuma and Most Rev Christian Efobi, among others.


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

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SOCIETY

The 70th birthday of Alhaji Abdul Lateef Ayinde Lawal, the proprietor of Allahu Lateef Private Schools in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State was a huge celebration in Ikeja, Lagos, reports AMIDU ARIJE

T

HE Proprietor of Allahu Lateef Private Schools in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Alhaji Abdul Lateef Ayinde Lawal, has joined the septuagenarian club, praising God for preserving his life to be 70. According to him, there is no other way to thank Allah for his life than throwing a party for people to felicitate with him. Alhaji Lawal was excited; he smiled all through as he acknowledged cheers from guests. Those he could not shake hands with, he waved to from afar. His wife, Alhaja Aminat, was beside him. The celebrator was in brown buba and sokoto with an agbada. Alhaja Aminat wore brown iro and buba with a headgear to match. Earlier, the Nasrullahi-Li-Fatihi Society of Nigeria led by its National Missioner, Alhaji Abdullahi Akinbode, held a special prayer for him. After the prayer, the Chief Imam of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, Prof Kamaldeen Balogun, gave a lecture. Balogun praised the celebrator for his doggedness and character. For the reception, the celebrator changed into white buba and sokoto with agbada. The reception, which was anchored by the duo of Alhaji Abdul Rahman Ekelojuoti and Abdul Rasaq Onasowo started with prayers. The band of Hello Melodies led by Seyi Olusanya entertained guests; there was no dull moment. The music added glamour to the occasion. Guests nodded their heads and shook their bodies to the rhythm of the songs dished out by the band. When the celebrator and his wife arrived, all stood still to welcome them. Once seated on the beautifully-designed chair made for him and his wife, a prayer was said and the ceremony started. The occasion was chaired by his schoolmate, Senator Jubril MartinsKuye, who showered encomiums on him. He described the celebrator as a responsible and religious man. “He is a very responsible man, very religious and honest, his good character has brought us here today,” he said. Martins-Kuye also supervised the cutting of the cake. The cake was cut after the spelling of Allah. This was followed by cheers from the guests. The celebrator’s first child, Alhaji Abdul Yekeen Lawal, said his father is the best on earth. He hugged his father and prostrated for prayers from his dad. “He is a righteous, kind, honest and God-fearing father. He takes everyone around him as his child, he never segregates,” he said.

‘He’s a great father’ •From left: Senator Martins-Kuye; The celebrator Alhaji Lawal; his wife Alhaja Aminah and Mrs Jumlar Solaja

•Chief Omolale-Ajulo and his wife, Clara

Another child, Rasak Lawal, said his father “makes sacrifices for us no matter what.” There was a short health talk by Dr Isa Abdul Mujeeb-Tosin on health is wealth. Mujeeb-Tosin encouraged all to take to a good lifestyle and avoid alcohol. “For you to live above 70, you must eat fresh fruits, avoid alcohol and engage in regular exercise,” he said. In attendance were Senior Special Assistant to Lagos State Governor on Protocols, Hon Dimeji Showora; Executive Secretary Education Authority, Ifako Ijaiye, a Lagos suburb, Mr Murisik Taiwo Balogun; Chief Steve Omolale-Ajulo, his wife Clara; Alhaji Shehu Aroworamimo; Alhaji Mikail Atanda Erinfolami; Otunba Bola Otudeko; Mrs Ibilola Sholaja, among others.

•Otunba Bola Osideko (left) and Alhaji Shehu Aroworamimo

•From left: Alhaja Serifat Atanda; Alhaja Shadia Aroworamimo and Mrs Kikelomo Osideko PHOTOS: SOLOMON ADEOLA

42ND BIRTHDAY OF WIFE OF AKWA IBOM STATE GOVERNOR MRS UNOMA AKPABIO AT UYO The celebrator Mrs Unoma Akpabio (middle) flanked by her husband Governor Godswill Akpabio (fifth left); Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Mr Umana Umana (first right), his wife, Florence; Diamond Bank Managing Director Mr Maxi Alex Otti, (left); Sir Emem Akpabio, his wife, Christy and Mr Dubem Obazi


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

39

S OCIETY

COMMUNICATE YOUR IDEAS

The Rotary Club of FESTAC Central, Lagos, has been chartered. Mrs Anthonia Agugoesi was decorated as its president. NNEKA NWANERI reports.

In service of humanity

Five Characteristics of Persuasive Speech

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T pays to be good and to wait on the Lord. This maxion holds true for Mrs Anthonia Agugoesi who is now reaping the reward of her good works. The Rotary Club of FESTAC Central invested her as the first president. The club was also chartered that day. In line with the Rotary tradition, members were dressed in either traditional or English attires. Despite the rain, which lasted till noon, many guests came to celebrate with her at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Amuwo Odofin, venue of the induction. With the hotel decorated in the Rotary colours of blue and yellow, friends and various cliques occupied a table each. The District Governor, Dr Kamoru Omotosho, welcomed guests, saying, it is a thing of joy for a mother to have a new child. “Having been watching them with keen interest, I see this club is unique with a difference. Their expectation is very high. I see a lot of them adding value to the Rotary and my hopes keep rising for them,” he said. The District governor lauded the Rotary Club of Festac for the high quality of preparation and impressive preparation. He urged that because of the essentiality of service to mankind, it is important to use service to thank God so that all can live a fulfilled life. Omotosho was charged with the responsibility of performing the task of carrying out the induction and presentation of the club. Decked in a black agbada, Omotosho called on Mrs Agugoesi and her team to stand out. They all quietly filed to the front, wearing beautiful smiles. They stood tall and smart before their guests in front of the hall. He described the newly-inducted president as one with so much passion for the club. “She has been given a role

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•Omotosho (left) presenting a certificate to Mrs Agugoesi. With them is President of the Chartering Club, Victor Achuonu

•Former District Governors Richard Giwa Osagie (right) and Deinde Shoga

to play having been exemplary in everything the Rotary stands for - strength and substance,”he said. After presenting her with a certificate of charter, he wore her the insignia of office and handed her a gong. She later decorated her officers with the Rotary lapel. The members of the board are men and women from various ethnic groups. As she performed the task, she spoke to them in low tones: “I give you this to wear with pride and defend what you believe in”. To an-

other, she said: “This pin speaks volumes of who you are and what you believe in anywhere around the world.” In her acceptance speech, the new president gave a run down of some of the club’s project it hopes to undertake during her tenure, urging its members to employ prowess in nurturing and growing the club, as well as effective mentoring for members to be retained Right after the induction, the guest speaker and Director-General of Nigerian Association of Chambers of

Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr John Isemede, took to the microphone He told of where the country was in the past and where it is gradually heading to. He said some actions should be taken lest Nigeria falls, adding that parents should go closer to their children to help them develop their future. It was fun all through the evening as the guests held a raffle draw. Many went home with various packages.

AWARD

•From left: Mr Henry Ojoye assisted by Secretary to the Ikorodu Central Local Goverment, Lagos, Hon Japphelt Odesanya to present Grand Community Builder Award on behalf of Factor Magazine to Action Congress of Nigeria National Legal Adviser Dr Muiz Banire. With them is Mrs Yemi Onafowokan. PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA

ELCOME to your column on public speaking. Last week, we started the discussion on persuasive speech. We defined persua- AMODU LANRE OLAOLU sion as “the art of gaining (Ph.D) sospeak2lanre@yahoo.com. fair and favourable consid07034737394 eration for our points of view.” We did an analysis of this definition and we considered other people’s views on the subject. Today, we shall be exploring some characteristics of persuasive speech. Persuasive speech is such a valuable means of achieving our objectives that it becomes necessary or, permit me to say, compulsory for us to master it. You don’t have to be a major public speaker before you find persuasion useful. You don’t necessarily need to be a marketer. If for any reason you need to make people see any subject from your point of view, then you need persuasion. Do you want to make a seminar presentation? Do you have a business report to deliver? Do you want to influence people to act better under given circumstances? For all of these and more, you need persuasion. Considering the importance of this type of speech, let us go ahead and explore its characteristics. •Persuasive speech urges the audience to choose one option above the others: when we discussed the informative speech, we noted that its main aim was to enlighten the audience on unfamiliar topics. When your main objective is to inform, you teach your listeners generally without suggesting what you want them to think, but when you want to persuade them, you suggest which fact you want them to accept above all others. For example, a topic such “Means of Transportation” can either be informative or persuasive. For an informative speech, all you need to do is to list the means of transportation available such as cars, trains, ships and airplanes. A persuasive speech, however, will go further to make the audience see why air travel, for instance, is better than the rest. •Persuasive speech is not about teaching but about advocating: to teach is to educate on something, while to persuade is to push for something. From this explanation, it is easy to see that the level of energy involved in both is different. When I tell you about the Caribbean and what a typical vacation over there is like, I am just enlightening you about a life you may not be familiar with. Whether you agree with me or not does not change what the Caribbean is, so, why do I need to sweat? But if I am trying to sell you a ticket to go for your vacation, it will be a different ball game because I need you to act, I need you to make a sacrifice (opportunity cost) and I need you to spend. To be able to achieve all these, I will need to put in more energy into convincing you that the trip is worth it. •Persuasive speech focuses on evidence: when materials are offered in an informative speech, they are meant to help illustrate the ideas of the speaker. For instance, a teacher puts a cardboard with pictures on the wall so that the students can associate words with pictures. But the same cardboard in the context of a persuasive speech will be aimed at helping the students to make decisions. You will be providing strong reason for suggesting that your listeners should do what you are asking. •Persuasive speech demands commitment from the audience: if there is a type of speech that the audience is likely to feel uncomfortable listening to, it is persuasive speech. For an informative speech, the audience’s involvement is minimal. All a person has to do is to sit, listen and learn. In the case of persuasive speech, however, he/she would sit, listen, learn and act. Compare how you will feel when a person tells you what happened when he visited a refugee camp with how you will feel if he is just about to go and he requires your contribution. For the first case, you will listen with interest, but for the second case, you will listen with anxiety hoping he wouldn’t ask you for too much money afterwards. So, persuasive speeches thrive on their ability to make the audience act. •Persuasive speech is about leadership: if you will ask people to contribute relief materials for victims of a natural disaster, you must be able to show them that you have already contributed. I don’t have to have boarded a ship before I tell you what its inside looks like, so far I can read. But if I want to convince you that it is a trip you can’t afford to miss, I must also tell you my experience. From this, we see that persuasive speech places a leadership responsibility on the speaker. To persuade effectively, you must become accustomed to the points above. But then, what is the value of knowing the characteristics of a thing without knowing the methods of its application? If you want to know how to effectively apply persuasive speech, then join me next week (quite persuasive right?). Dr. Amodu teaches at the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, Ogun State.


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

40

SOCIETY

WEDDING BETWEEN OLUJIMI AINA, STEP SON OF FORMER SUPREME COURT JUSTICE GEORGE OGUNTADE AND IBIJOLA, DAUGHTER OF VICTOR TOKUNBO BALI AT HABOUR POINT, VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS

•Groom’s parents: Justice Adesola Oguntade and wife, Modupe

•The couple, Olujimi and Ibijola

•Bride’s parents: Mr Victor and Mrs Taiwo Bali

•Oba Adedapo Tejuoso and Chief Nike Akande

•From left:Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas and Alhaji and Alhaja Raji Rasaki

•Chief Olu Okeowo

•Dr Wale Babalakin

•From left: Balogun Bisi Omidiora; Chief David Richards and Oloye Obafemi Olopade

•Mr Modupe Alakija and wife, Folorunso

•From left:Debola Williams; Mrs Modupe Lawale and Mrs Kemi Nelson


FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

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POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

The governorship aspirants in Ogun State are on the track. Correspondent ERNEST NWOKOLO examines their strengths, weaknesses and issues that will shape the contest.

Ogun 2015: Can PDP dislodge ACN? Chief Jide Taiwo

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HE die is cast between the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State. Will Governor Ibikunle Amosun keep his job beyond 2015? Can PDP bounce back? Amosun, who was sworn-in on May 29, 2011 as the fourth civilian governor, has just completed two years out of his four year-tenure. But political parties and aspirants are warming up for another political battle, thus compelling some observers to conclude that they are raising the tempo of politics in the state prematurely. In the build up to the April 2011 general elections, six political parties – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Labour Party (LP), the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the National Conscience Party (NCP) participated in the epic battle for the governorship. Each of them presented its candidate as the possible successor to former Governor Gbenga Daniel. But, Amosun (ACN) defeated the former military administrator of old Oyo State and ECOMOG Commander during the Liberian civil war, General Adetunji Olurin (rtd) [PDP], Mr. Gboyega Isiaka (PPN), Rev. Olajide Awosedo (LP), Olawale Okunniyi (CPC), Ogbeni Lanre Banjo (NCP) and Kayode Olubiyi (APGA). In the future polls, contestants would run on the platforms of the All Progressive Congress (APC), if registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), PDP, LP and perhaps, APGA. Already, there are political alliances, realignment, sensitisation and campaigns. Not even the calls for caution by former Minister of Mines and Steel Development Alhaji Sarafa Ishola on the aspirants has changed the tempo as the advice is unheeded. Chief Ishola, the former Secretary to Government (SSG) under former Governor Daniel and now a governorship aspirant, said anyone that is campaigning now to become the next governor is “either ignorant or lack, knowledge of the game of politics.” According him, what is paramount to the people is not who becomes the next governor, but how they can profit from the dividends of governance. But some governorship aspirants guided by the maxim that success does not find home in the indolent and sluggard have started hitting the road. Others storm the palaces of traditional rulers and new media space through proxies to woo a section of the electorate and simultaneously using same to wage war against their perceived and feared opponent. Governor Amosun. Analysts contend that the politics of the Gateway State is sophisticated. The state has produced many political gladiators. They include former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Head of Interim National Government (ING) Chief Ernest Shonekan, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Segun Osoba, former Governor Daniel, the late Chief Victor Olabisi Onabanjo, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 Presidential election, the late Chief Moshood Abiola, and the late Afenifere leader, Pa Abraham Adesanya. The state is politically delineated into three senatorial districts - Ogun Central, Ogun East and Ogun West. But the people see themselves more as comprising of four distinct zones - Remo, Ijebu, Yewa and Egba (RIYE) by reason of their differential ancestral, historical, tribal backgrounds and idiosyncrasies. There is an unwritten agreement about the zoning of the governorship, but the

The seasoned property magnate, who hails from Yewaland, is another governorship aspirant. The snag in Taiwo’s aspiration is that he is per ceived as a green horn. This property valuer and developer, who has garnered goodwill over the years through estate business across the country, is yet to harness same for political gains. His foot soldiers are on the field marketing him and chances are that he would pursue his ambition on the platform of the PDP.

Abiodun Akinlade

• Gov. Amosun

• Obasanjo

The member of the House of Representatives is from Yewa. This former PDP member, who returned to the House on the ticket of ACN, is actively involved in oiling his governorship campaign. Apart from the foot soldiers working for him, he is banking on the goodwill gained over the years as a federal lawmaker. His ambition, a frosty relationship between him and Amosun. Akinlade may move from ACN to the Labour Party soon where he hopes the ticket would be given to him to actualise his goal. Analysts have since identified impatience, immaturity and unguarded optimism as his major weakness. According to observers Akinlade stands a better chance of becoming a governor, if only he could wait till after 2015 and also stay put in ACN.

Sina Kawonise

• Daniel

• Kasamu

reality is that there has not been strict adherence to the zoning arrangement. The Ijebus produced Onabanjo and Daniel. The Egba (Ogun Central) produced Chief Osoba and Amosun, but the Ogun West is yet to clinch it since the creation of the state 37 years ago. It is not surprising that the people aspiring for the elective offices are scrambling for the blessings of the gladiators because the electorate, who are not so literate, rely on them to decide which governorship candidate they should vote for. The last time the Yewa people came close to producing a governor was in 2011 when two of their sons, Isiaka and Olurin, clashed. But the hope of their people were dashed as they lost to Amosun. What probably should have been a bloc votes from the area was inevitably splited between the duo. Today, the Ogun West (Yewa people), while not ruling out its inherent susceptibility to routine political manipulations, has also not relented in blaming the zone’s loss on the clash of interest between the two gladiators former President Obasanjo and Daniel - who the Yewas claimed, in a bid to further their personal agenda, caused the area to have two contestants on the field at a time only a consensus candidate would have delivered the magic. The fear was even expressed early during the build up to the April 26, 2011 governorship polls by one of the opinion leaders from the zone, Chief Ishola Olateju, who lamented that the disagreement between Daniel and Obasanjo over the Yewa’s aspiration, remained a major obstacle to the actualisation of that project. Olateju had warned that, should the Obasanjo - Daniel feud continued “the governorship, which was zoned to Yewa may be

lost. During that failed bid, Obasanjo stood as the promoter of Olurin while Daniel sponsored and campaigned for Isiaka. Ahead of 2015, aspirants are warming up again. They include Gboyega Nasiru Isiaka, Hon. Isiaq Akinlade, Jide Taiwo, Mr Sina Kawonise, Hon. Kayode Amusan, Anthony Ojesina and Amosun.

Isiaka Isiaka contested the 2011 election on the ticket of the PPN, but lost. He is still eyeing the office. This time, he is likely to run on the platform the LP, if the party offers him the ticket. His former boss, Gbenga Daniel, isstill backing him. According to Daniel,” Isiaka is cool headed, intelligent and hardworking.” Many people also agree that there is nothing wrong with the young technocrat - turned politician. But the challenges Isiaka may still face derive from his link with Daniel, who ran a highly maligned administration and who at the time also did engage in many political battles with the stakeholders. This, according to analysts, was what worked against him during the 2011 polls. The electorate saw Daniel in Isiaka in whichever direction he turned. To them, a vote for Isiaka was a vote for Daniel and, by extension, a call for the continuation of Daniel’s style of governance, perceived at the time as a debilitating yoke that should be thrown off. The people have not forgotten that, while Isiaka called the shot at the Gateway Holdings Limited as the managing director, he did little or nothing to stop the concession of assets the Ogun State founding fathers bequeathed to the incoming generations.

Former Information and Orientation Commissioner in Daniel Administration Sina Kawonise has been holding con sultation with people. It is certain that he will seek expression for his ambition through LP, but the odds against him are many. He is an Ijebu man from Ogun East like Daniel. It is unlikely that an Ijebu man would be a good sell now as a governorship candidate for 2015 and that is even if the LP could be so blursighted to leave the likes of GNI and Akinlade and drop its ticket on SK’s lap.

Anthony Ojesina Ojesina, a former Commissioner for Environment, has his eyes fixed on Okemosan. He has promised to harness the resources of the state to create jobs and industries. He plans to enhance the state’s Internally Generated Revenue and improve the healthcare delivery.

Kayode Amusan Amusan is the only governorship aspirants who has openly declared his ambition in a political gathering in Ijebu - Igbo home of Prince Buruji Kashamu. Amusan who hails from Ogun Central, is being groomed by the PDP to penetrate the Egbas in 2015 where Amosun also came from. Kashamu lamented that if Amusan, younger than Olurin, was fielded as PDP governorship candidate in 2011, the fortune of the party would have perhaps, been better at the poll.

Senator Amosun The governor has not formally declared his intention to re - contest, but his body point, to the fact that the Oke - Mosan office may not be vacant until 2019. Amosun is the person to beat, if he enters the race, and given his record achievements in the last two years, it is highly probable that the Owu-born governor would win. The roads expansion projects, financial re engineering, clean environment, affordable and qualitative education and model schools across •Continued on pae 43


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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

POLITICS Former military governor of Imo and Lagos states and pro-democracy activist Rear Admiral Ndubusi Kanu (rtd) is the Chairman of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). He spoke with reporters in Lagos on national issues. EMMANUEL OLADESU was there.

Why NADECO is back, by Kanu N

ADECO is known for its agitation for a Sovereign National Conference in the past. With its re-emergence, would it come up with new tactics? Do you think SNC is relevant in in Nigeria today? People really need to understand what the Sovereign National Conference that we clamoured for is all about. People have explained it to make mischief out of lack of knowledge. With reference to quite some people in government, they don’t really understand SNC. When you take a young man who was just 15 years in 1993, how old would he be today? Where are they today? They are in governance, quite a few of them and they had only seen twilight of Babangida Administration. They go further to later years, from Babangida to Abacha, to annulment, to seeing how much money or contract you can get at corridors of power; then come to assassinations, stealing, organised armed robbery, and now kidnapping. So persons like that cannot understand what SNC is all about without applying the mind. If the pressure of living and pressure of enjoying overwhelm the mind, you cannot understand what SNC stand for. If you look back, the problem in Nigeria did not really started from the military. It is when the Federal Government stepped into sovereign matter of the region that the problem started. Military now came in. Even under the first military rule, we have federalism. We have been saying these all this while that under the military that was an aberration, I never asked to become governor of old Imo State and later governor of Lagos state. Let me repeat that even under the military that time, there was no unitarism like we have now established by the military so called constitution. Then as a military governor of Imo State, I derived my power from the constitution of Eastern Nigeria. As governor of Lagos then, I was subjected to the constitution of Western Nigeria and Lagos Colony. There was no question by then of suspending a governor by the federal government. For instance, in spite of the fact that I was the governor of Lagos State and Muhammad Buhari was Federal Commissioner for Petrol-eum, he came with his ministry officials and apply for pipeline right of way for federal government. The

issue is that, if you take the unitary system of governance we have now, you cannot blame those who are operating it. But if you look at the issues that is dragging the nation back critically like security and power, you will understand that it will take the synergy of all the units(regions) in the country, in that diversity to move forward. But, in a situation where those in power are concerned more about accumulation of material wealth, that is where corruption will continue to thrive. We are running a unitary system of government in Nigeria. There are so many connotations that we can go on talking about. The truth is, many unbelievable things are happening in the country now and if we don’t act, we may be heading to a tough time. When you look back at Nigerian politics and governance since the return to civil rule in 1999, are you satisfied with what you have seen so far? It is good to look back and look around too. Yes, we can see few infrastructure development put in place, infrastructure like communication advancement and other level of development. However, the body politics of Nigeria is facing greater danger and sliding further backwards over years. In the result of how we come about this sorry state, we have been saying and we will continue to only peaceful way can lead Nigeria back to the right path. Democracy is what NADECO fought’ for. Are you satisfied with the present political situation the country? Let me state briefly here that when the June 12 election, a free and fair election was annulled; an election that Nigerians let off religious sentiment, left everything and voted their conscience, when you can say bribery and intimidation wasn’t the case, when young men ans women counted votes one-by-one. I wish we could play back what happened in those days before the election was annulled. The question is, whatmakes it possible to get that free election annulled? What

• Rear Admiral Kanu

makes it possible for the military to annulled the election? What follows? What if Nigerians, if NADECO or no NADECO protested? Everybody just accept what the military did. What do you think would happen if the whole country rise up against the annulment? Of course what goes round will come round. When you do bad to the people, you will never know it will flip to other side. So inequity is inequity and it will go round. Same thing with equity self. So that happened? We have been operating civil rule for 14 years. Ask yourself what has happened? To put it briefly, we are not yet there in the democracy we fought for. This is not a matter of trying to blame anybody. Issues have gone beyond blaming anybody. The cost and effects is what really matter. What does it cost Nigeria to be going through what we shouldn’t go through? What are the collective factors? When we are talking about SNC, we are not talking of just to go and sit down and talk. We are talking about going back to the sovereign people who are suffering in the midst of plenty. We are talking about people that wanted to live together very much as a country and surrender their sovereignty administrative control central governance on their own free will, sense of belonging and maintain their own sovereignty. There are no two ways about it. If we don’t go back to the feelings where all of us, different people with different backgrounds accept to live together as one, then, the crisis will

continue to stare us in the face. If we have got a fundamental problem in the land, these matter will keep on increasing. That is the factor why NADECO decided to intervene. We are saying let’s quickly find peaceful and lasting solution to all these problems. We have been saying it for long; we would keep saying that the country is heading towards where it shouldn’t go. Could you reflect on your ordeals during the struggle against the military government after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election? Many things have been written before about that. Many things have been spoken and narrated before about my experiences of those period. I want to appeal to you, let’s shift our attention from our experiences in NADECO, let’s shift to motivation; what really pushed us into the struggle and what was the position of those things in Nigeria today. Many Nigerians will still like to share your experience as a top military officer who served high positions at a time but later joined forces to ensure that the military relinguished power. What’s your experience like? Anyway, at the beginning, I was picked at home one morning by a group of policemen led by someone who later became DIG in this country. Before he died in a crash we later became friend. Together is one retired ACP, he was CSP then and up till today, I still relate with him afterall. Yes, first in the morning I was led to the Force Headquarters. While there, I was told I’m carrying arms and ammunitions and then, they brought a paper for me to write statement. They also brought a paper allegedly prepared by me as NADECO’s Chairman of Action Committee where I have recommended massive arm and ammunition importation. I made it clear that, if I prepared the paper brought to me, they won’t see it in the first place. They also made remarks about Dr. Beko Kuti and some other members of NADECO until the wee hours of the following day. Later, I learnt they were looking for cars and I asked what for? They said we are travelling to my home time. It was around 4 a.m that early morning. I said No I am not travelling anywhere and that whatever they want to do to me, they should do it there. I said I am not going. I even told them that I wish they take me back to my house because I won’t stay at the Force Headquarters. In the morning, they were all around. We all take off to the airport. Four plain cloth policemen were with me. We did fly to Port Harcourt. From there, we drove to my hometown and to my house. While there, they said I should come inside and join them in searching. But I decline. One of them threathened me that what happens of they planted something capable gave putting me in serious trouble, I said that will be between them and their

‘We are running a unitary system of government in Nigeria. There are so many connotations that we can go on talking about. The truth is, many unbelievable things are happening in the country now and, if we don’t act, we may be heading to a tough time’

conscience. I remained at my balcony when they conducted their search of the whole house. I overheard one of them saying this man has nothing to hide and that was where it ended and I was flown back to Lagos. There are so many harassment meted out at me thereafter purposely to break me down. I don’t want to go into all that. But at a time, I decided to send message to Abacha. Admiral Akhigbe was by then the Naval Chief. The message I sent then was that I shouldn’t be subjected to un necessary harassment after serving my country well defending her territorial integrity. There are so many to tell as regards my experience when NADECO was running from pillar to post. What motivated you to join NADECO when it was formed? I don’t mind telling anybody who cares that I am a well trained Naval Officer. I don’t mind taking on any Admiral anywhere in the world, any day, any time. While I was in the service, where I was trained in India; there was an inscription on the dome there. It was, Safety, Honour and Welfare of your country come first, always and every time. The Safety, Honour and Welfare of the men you command come next. Your own safety and welfare come last. And there was no training that talk about being a governor. My first Military appointment was when I was in the Supreme Military Council (SMC). I was put under General Muritala Muhammed. Nothing was done single handedly by the Head of State. Everything was from the SMC. Olusegun Obasanjo was a member likewise myself and other officers. Obasanjo was not superior to any member of the council. So, anytime Obasanjo says he did this or that after the assassination of Muritala, there is nothing he did independently; all actions were by SMC. I also partake in Babangida’s Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC) after Ubitu Ukiwe’s exit. I was also a member of Political Bureau set up by the Babangida’s administration. There was a fixed programme for return to civili, government but they changed the whole thing. In fact, after the annulment of June 12 election in 1993, someone like Akampgbo said anyone that talk about June 12 was inciting people and risk treason. Chukwumerije too along with Akampgbo talks against June 12 but deep inside their heart they could see clearly that ordinary Nigerians who voted during the election are angry about the turn of event. Anybody in uniform or out of uniform, I mean anybody who is in his right senses for any reason, that support annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election, is personal to him. The annulment is against the country and the people, anyhow you look at it. So, there is no need saying that anybody, including IBB himself, David Mark who is there today and Obasanjo who was at the helm of affairs of this nation between 1999 to 2007, anybody at all, whoever that gave support to the annulment of June 12, 1999 election did not give their support to serve the interest of this nation, except their personal interest. Now, whenever there is Military aberration, it is the political authority that the military take

Ogun 2015: Can PDP dislodge ACN? Continued from page 44

• Osoba

the state are laudable achievements. Already,many groups have endorsed him for a second term. Expectedly, the youths have declared their readiness to support Amosun and to work assiduously for his re - election in 2015. The youths under the aegis of the Ogun Youth Professional Forum (OYPF), said they have endorsed him in advance following his administration’s massive infrastructural development investment drive, provision of qualitative and affordable education. The leader of the group, Mr Olamide Agboola, and Secretary, Doyin Bajomo, after the group’s meeting in Abeokuta, said they were impressed Amosun’s projects add-

ing that they are of global standard. He said: “We are compelled to make this open declaration and endorse Governor Ibikunle Amosun for a second term, having been convinced by the midterm report sheet of the administration. We are of the opinion that he meant well for the state going by the developmental projects across the state. “Initially, we thought his was going to be another thieving administration, particularly when the issue of obtaining bond to run his government cropped up. But having meticulously studied his style of administration, we are convinced that he meant well for the state and allowing him another term of office will not be out of place”. The forum, which comprises of information technology experts, engi-

neers, business men and women in Nigeria and abroad also explained that they were advocating for Amosun’s re -election because his administration has laid “solid foundation for business to thrive in Ogun.” “We are not politicians; we have our businesses here in Nigeria and overseas, but we found out that the mosquitoes, who ate our land dry before now are also re-grouping to deceive our people for a second time. We want to tell them that the Ogun electorates will not allow them again. “With what is on ground now, Amosun has provided the enabling environment for businesses to thrive. Amosun has good future for the state with what is on ground and we must tell our people to support this course because of the future of our children,” they added.

• Isiaka


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

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Gaidam tackles Yobe health challenges •Continued from Page 17 ices for the citizens, Gaidam directed the Chairman, Hospital Management Board, Dr. Mamman to immediately submit a bill of quantity to his office for a complete redesign of the hospital to meet international best practices. He also directed the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Mr. Babagoni Machina, an engineer, to immediately provide a 500KVA power generating set to the hospital so as to provide constant electricity to patients on admission. The SSG was again directed to immediately ensure that a new borehole is sunk at the hospital to address the problem of water scarcity at the hospital. Governor Ibrahim Gaidam also went to the 200-bed ultra modern hospital which was initiated in 2007 by his predecessor the late Mamman Ali where he announced that the hospital will be equipped in piece meal over a period of time and latter handed over to Yobe State University as its teaching hospital. While the Ministry of Health was grappling with the state of emergency imposed on it by the governor, Gaidam took a surprise visit to the Government Girls’ College, Damaturu where he blamed the mass failure of students at the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) on the poor management of schools in the state. Governor Gaidam, who expressed his dissatisfaction with the ministry

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HE Delta State chapter of the Campaign for Good Governance has inaugurated members of its executive committee and local government co-coordinators, with a call on political leaders to reduce the cost of governance for sustainable democracy. The event, which attracted people from across spheres of human endeavour and civil society organisations across the state included a lecture which had as its theme-”High Cost of Running Government in Nigeria.” They include Prof. Patrick

•The 200-bed capacity hospital to become Yobe State University Teaching Hospital officials, immediately split the ministry into two namely higher and lower education ministries. In the circumstances, the governor has carried out a minor cabinet reshuffle Former Commissioner for Education Mala Musti has been posted to Land and Survey, while Aji Yerima Bularafa who was in charge of Ministry of Youths took over the Ministry of Higher Education. Alhaji Mohamed Alamin is now in charge of Ministry of Lower Education. Governor Gaidam was particularly angry that the standard of education in the state has failed to improve despite the huge resources committed to the sector over the years.

“I think the poor management of this ministry is the cause of massive failure of children in final year examination. Look at the condition of the class rooms. How can students do well in this kind of atmosphere? No wonder, year in year out, we keep having 10 or 15 per cent in SSCE and the National Examinations Council (NECO). “We will not tolerate that any longer. The knowledge gap between the children of the rich and the poor must be bridged. That is my vow during my electioneering campaign,” Gaidam said. The governor directed the Ministry of Water Resources to sink a borehole in the school to enable the

Things must change; the culture of impunity has to give way for a responsible system. As the governor said those who are not ready should give way. There are a thousand and one people of Yobe State out there that are ready to work with their whole heart to add value to this government if given the opportunity

students have constant water supply. Reactions have continued to trail the action of the governor. Aji Modu Juluri headed a Special Committee on Project Monitoring in the state. His committee was mandated to verify the quality of projects being executed and their various levels of completion and compliance to specifications from 2007 to 2012. The committee said it observed a lot of “documentary and structural” lapses. Juluri said that over 34 MDAs; including ministries, were visited. He described the governor’s action as “self-proven and a welcome development for the progress of the state.” A senior government official who prefers anonymity said: “I like what the governor has decided to do. He has been approving billions of Naira and people are busy cutting corners with the funds. The truth must be told, Governor Gaidam has good intentions for the state but there are many saboteurs out there frustrating his efforts.” Another senior civil servant who spoke to Newsextra in confidence for

PHOTOS: DUKU JOEL

fear of intimidation observed that Governor Gaidam’s surprise visit to the hospital is a wake-up call to those government officials who indulge in sabotaging the good intentions of the governor and his administration by failing to do the right thing as public servants. “Things must change; the culture of impunity has to give way for a responsible system. As the governor said those who are not ready should give way. There are thousand and one people of Yobe State out there that are ready to work with their whole heart to add value to this government if given the opportunity,” he said. Abdullahi Bego, the Special Adviser to Governor Gaidam on Press and Information Affairs explained that the intention of the governor is to ensure that things are working in the state. “Let me say this. The intention of His Excellency is very clear. He wants to ensure that things are really working in the state and that the value for monies spent on projects is realised.

Reduce cost of governance, leaders urged From Aiwerie Okungbowa, Asaba

Igbigbi, Provost, Delta State University, Anwai Campus, Asagba of Asaba, Obi Prof. Chike Edozien, represented by Eso Ongaye, Onoi of Asaba , Delta State Commissioner for Commerce Kingsley Emu and a host of others. The guest lecturer, who was an

ex-presidential aide and ex-Commissioner of Economic Planning in the State Mr. Clement Ofuani, urged a rethink of running governments, stressing that spending about 70 per cent to 80 per cent of the budget on recurrent costs and a paltry 20 per cent to 30 per cent on capital development is a recipe for under-development. According to Ofuani, developing

countries such as Nigeria are prone to corruption due to reasons such as widespread poverty, lack of social security framework and failure of institutions charged with enforcing laws. He said the impact of corruption on high cost of running government are creation of offices and position for accommodation of protégés, cronies without respect to public interest. Another impact of corruption, he said, is making of procurement without following due process and competitive pricing, including poor quality jobs leading to additional ameliorative expenses. Ofuani said high cost of governance can be ameliorated by privatisation, use of information com-

munication technology, incentives, accountability and law enforcement. Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Patrick Igbigbi emphasised the need to reduce governance, noting that Nigeria lags behind most in the same income bracket due to high cost of governance. In his opening speech, Coordinator, Obaro Onuafe urged the electorate to develop the culture of vigilance, charging them on the need to hold leaders accountable. He blamed the low level of development on an immature political class. The high point of the occasion was the formal swearing-in of the state executive members and local government coordinators.

‘Oba’s attackers won’t go scot-free’

•Continued from Page 17

•From left: Chairman, Iru-Victoria Island Local Council Development Area Prince Abayomi Daramola; Commanding Officer 65 Battalion Bonny Camp Lt Col Haruna Dasuki; Hon Simon Omowele and Stanley Inyere during the inspection of a refuse being cleared by the council at Bonny Camp. PHOTO: TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO

lums, adding that law enforcement agents met the assailants beating the traditional ruler at the scene of the incident. Mr. Ayilara who stated that peace has since returned to the town, told the visiting commission members that it was Oba Akanni’s driver who rushed to the station on the day of the incident to inform them of the attack. He added that but for the quick

intervention of the police, the situation would have been worse. Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun inaugurated the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the May 8 crisis which left the palace of the Olofin of Ado-Odo in ruins. The Commission’s terms of reference, amongst others, include identifying persons or institutions directly or indirectly responsible for the mayhem and recommend appropriate punishment.


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

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•Some of the widows

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HE ugly spectacle of women swirling around offices and ministries especially during the work days has not gone down well with the Kwara State government. The women, who are also found around Government Reserved Area (GRA) in Ilorin, the state capital, were going about begging for alms. Against this background, the state government, under the auspices of its poverty alleviation office, empowered no fewer than 300 women; mostly widows. Speaking during the programme, Senior Special Assistant to Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed on Poverty Alleviation, Hajia Sarat Adebayo said the state was expending about N2 million in meeting some of the widows’ needs. She added that begging had become an offence in the state as her office and that of governor’s wife had set up a committee to

Kwara takes 300 widows off the street From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

monitor enforcement. Hajia Sarat said: “We are here to empower our women to be productive economically. The theme for the scheme is “no gain in begging.’ “These women will wake up in their different homes and start roaming the ministries and offices soliciting for alms. “The Maigida widow empowerment scheme in the state does not condone any act of begging. So my office, Poverty Alleviation collaborates with the wife of the governor’s office Social Well-being of our women, Health Welfarism and Education for all and Empowerment (SHEE). The concept remains Omolewa’s under the Shared Prosperity of our

state. “The programme is aimed at taking these women off the street. We have held series of meetings with the women to know exactly what each of them require to earn a living. Based on their request government is providing all these to empower them so that they can add value to the system economically, socially and politically and tell them that there is no gain in begging.” She said further that “300 women across the 16 local government areas of the state are benefitting today, though a preponderance of them is from Kwara Central. The cost of the programme is about N2million. “The beneficiaries are all widows. They claimed they took to begging as their breadwinners are no more. As a result, govern-

ment shares in their passion. Because of the passion of Mrs. Omolewa Ahmed in empowering women and see to their welfare, the scheme is on. “My office and that of the governor’s wife have set up a committee for monitoring. Before the commencement of the programme they have signed an

We have held series of meetings with the women to know exactly what each of them require to earn a living. Based on their request government is providing all these to empower them so that they can add value to the system economically, socially and politically and tell them that there is no gain in begging

Wamakko revives water schemes

•Governor Wamakko

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HE Sokoto State government has taken steps to

scale back rural-urban drift by stepping up infrastructure at the state’s grassroots areas. The government reactivated no fewer than 46 hand pumps at the cost of N9.5 milliona and also purchased chemicals for drilling worth N9.5 million. Some 89 water schemes have likewise been completed at the cost of N112 million. Not done, the administration of Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko extended water scheme to Salame and rehabilitated water projects in Tungar Malam Rashidu and Binga in Gwadabawa Local Government

Area and at Yaka and Karfen Chana in Gudu Local Government Area. Another achievement of the Wamakko administration was the provision of three solar water schemes at Tangaza, Rabah and Kebbe local government areas as well as construction and erection of 50 water tanks with the capacity of 10,000 gallons each at the cost of N106 million. In 2009, the government budgeted N510,376,963.00 that was used in reactivation of 200 motorised rural water schemes; construction of solar-powered boreholes, drilling of borehole in hard and soft formations, provision of generator house, overhead tanks, purchase of drilling rigs and supporting supervision vehicles. In 2012, the administration constructed 10 complete motorised rural water schemes at Hurumi, Gandun–Ardo, Wauru, Adosa, Tungar Toro, Kwala Mamman, Kyadawa and Madorawa new settlement at the cost of N91,931,862.58. Similarly, nine complete package solar-powered rural water schemes were constructed at the cost of N79 million. Also 50 overhead tanks which have capacity to store up to 5,000 gallons of water in different locations in the

state were completed at the cost of N106, 870,800. The administration also awarded contract for the construction/drilling of 32 complete package solar-powered rural water schemes across the state at the cost of N270, 068,816.00. The government is aggressive about provision of water to the rural areas as clean water complements healthcare delivery services through avoidance of water borne diseases. The administration procured drilling chemicals, equipment and casting screen materials at the cost of N18, 000,000 and submersible pumps with starter electrical cables at the cost of N28, 500,000. It has completed

undertaking with government not to resort to visiting offices and ministries begging for alms. Defaulters would be dealt with according to the law.” Items distributed are 30 deep freezers, 30 grinding machines, 30 cartons of beverages, cereals, yam flour, grand nut oil and charcoal.

Danbar Kwannawa water scheme in Illela Local Government Area at the cost of N3 million. It also procured another batch of submersible pumps, starters, electrical voltage and modern geographical/geological equipment at the cost of N27, 888,724 to enhance exploration for water and its distribution to rural areas. Governor Wamakko’s administration completed motorised water scheme at Hiliya in Tambuwal Local Government at the cost of N930, 000 and that of Gidan Ali at the cost of N534, 000. The government awarded contract for the construction of four complete package of solarpowered rural water schemes at

The government is aggressive about provision of water to the rural areas as clean water complements healthcare delivery services through avoidance of water borne diseases

the sum of N34, 590,956.64 in four local government areas namely, Tudu, Bashire, Birjingo and Mashaya. The Sokoto State government believes in total provision of amenities through the poverty reduction programme. For this reason, the Department of Water Supply has embarked on provision of more water to the rural areas. It embarked on motorised water schemes that target 89 of the schemes across the state. The state has expended about N111, 534,000 on this project. In similar manner, the department has provided 50 overhead tanks and 50 boreholes throughout the state. The joint contract which cost N272, 500,000, has been completed. The department also reactivated 26 hand pumps and handed them over to the communities. It has also embarked on the construction of 40 solarpowered /motorised water scheme as a way of supplementing shortage of electricity to power the scheme. Having an ardent belief in equitable distribution of amenities, the administration of Governor Wamakko, through the Department of Rural Water Scheme, has been able to distribute water to all nook and cranny of the state so that every citizen would enjoy the benefits of democracy and good governance.


THE NATION FRIDAY JUNE 14, 2013

48

NEWS

Political engagement: A new approach Text of a speech delivered by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu at a public lecture organised by the Students Representative Council (SRC), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria with the theme: “Youth: The Fulcrum of Every Society” on June 8

I

CONFESS to feeling inspired with every visit to this institution that shaped my perception of lifeand grounded my entire intellectual development. This intellectual development is not only a debt I owe to my teachers who have formed me but a challenge to me to go out there and influence society for the benefit of those to come. For this, I must say thank you! I thank my teachers, of the academic, the moral and even the political, who showed me the virtues of honesty and commitment to serving humanity. And for the students who consider me a model worthy of their time and regard today, my gratitude to you is as large as our great institution. We are gathered under this shade today because somebody found the wisdom to lay the foundation for this institution. Ahmadu Bello University is an institution with a weight of history that challenges us to do justice to whatever comes our way. We learn, from this, that at any time in history, someone has to make a sacrifice for successive generations. Our diversity in this prestigious institution, across ethnicities, religions and regions, stimulated by remainders of the legacies of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, after whom our institution is named, instills an all-inclusive spirit in us such that we end up as tolerant and understanding wherever we find ourselves in private and public engagements. You must consider yourselves lucky for being a part of these distinguished Nigerians as among you I see future political leaders,advocates of change, captains of industry and technocrats—the hope of our country! As philosophers teach, everything changes. So we don’t need a political philosopher to spell out that there is dynamism in our politics. Our politics is an interpretation of who we are, what we are and the things we stand for. The presently unclear phase of our political disharmony is the issue we must reflect on today—and that we must do together. The dynamism of modern politics is one further excited by the reality of the internet and a consequent increased participation of the youth in political and civic matters. But the place of the youth in our democratic space is jeopardised when the elite in our State decide to model our government after a gerontocracy—a government by the old and for the elderly. Ours is a system in which new and modern ideas are denied a chance to grow and mature. The tragedy of our democracy is that it is one in which the yearnings of the youth are stamped down in order to perpetuate a tyranny of interests. Tyranny it is when a certain slim range of people impose their private interests on the majority; tyranny it is when the agents of change are left on the cliffs of unemployment, poverty, insecurity, substandard education and, worse still, policies destroyed by our heritage of corruptions. It is, however, understandable that our youth have lost hope in the leadership of this nation; a sane society is known by the opportunities it provides for the youth. But I must offer that the youth should not allow themselves to be drawn into any campaign that attempts to colour the internal borders of our country. We are doomed as a nation the moment the youth gethoodwinked by the bickering of bitter politicians who ride to relevance on sentiments that only inspire distrust among citizens. My experience so far in politics has taught me that age does not guarantee maturity to responsibly play the role of a patriot in an atmosphere of tensed political antagonisms. Thankfully, this is the Age of the Internet; borderless interactions in and out of cyberspace have opened a new door of social and political influences for the youth and the oppressed. This age of information has revealed that no people can ever be entirely wrong at the same time; the evil among us are so because of certain disorders in their superficial orientations, education or even mental state. That Boko Haram insurgency was launched in the north does not incriminate the entire northerners or Muslims; neither is kidnapping and the previously illfamed militancy in the south crimes of the entire people of Niger-Delta. Similarly, the recent massacre of our security officers by certain elements of the largely good-natured Eggon people of Nasarawa state must not be adopted in interpreting the ethnic identities of these people. There is no man on this earth who smiles at the injuries on his body. And

these militants, kidnappers, extremists and other agents of exclusions among us are injuries on the collective body of the nation. These events only call out loudly for careful and people-centered leadership. This is our call, and we must be fair to our history.

Who we are… in Democracy

The biggest illusion we have lived in as a people is believing the cry heard from various corners that Nigeria is an unnatural entity coerced together—a sort of Frankenstein state. I have no doubt that this is a very, very inaccurate judgment. The truth is far simpler— there is not a single region in what is now Nigeria that was home to just a single ethnic group living all by themselves before the coming of the colonialists. Exclusive ethnic identities are inventions of our political advocacies and relevancies. Nigeria was a stretch of land hosting many city-states andcosmopolites, where in the south-west the Ijebu and the Egba people didn’t consider themselves as one, talk less of as Yoruba. In the south-east, it was a taboo to infer that the people of, say, Arochukwu and Onitsha were one—none accepted identification as Igbo. The Hausaland too was not monotonous as today’s Hausamen from Kano and Katsina would rather identify with their city-states than with any corporate ethnicity. But while they each had their distinct identities, they also welcomed anyone who could come and contribute to the city or state, they welcomed anyone who desired to be a citizen. So why these unnatural and suddenly insurmountable walls of ethnic exclusivities? We live in the saddest form of self-deceit, that this or that region of Nigeria favoured by someone or the other would remain one if we allowed the secessionists and ethnic irredentists get their cartographers working against our country’s map. There is no country in this world whose borders simply surrounded a people of the same identities, wishes and desires. Our ability, in spite of the divides, to come to a consensus or sacrifice a cause or compromise a stance, is what makes us a nation. But we have chosen to play the politics of exclusion where the trust of the people is first for their kinsmen or religion before alignment with the nation. This dangerous departure from patriotism, which saw to rise in ethnic advocacy, nepotism, bigotry and militancy, has been used by enemies of change to subdue and destroy any quest for the Nigeria of our dreams—a Nigeria where we abandon our bloodline in our service to the nation. Who we are in a democracy is not ambiguous; it is a single identity vested with the same rights for all, rights of equal citizenship! We are citizens, just citizens, not Hausa-Fulani, not Igbo, not Yoruba, not Jukun, not Ijaw, not northerners, not southerners, and no matter our protests, no matter our influence and affluence, we all must have just a single vote in a participatory democracy.

What we are… in Democracy

What are we? We are Change! We are the scattered, and mostly unfamiliar and unrelated citizens, in who lie the same purpose, in who lie the hunger for a functional society, in who lie the dream of a new Nigeria. Change, in this time of political anarchy, is the wisdom to see through the propagandas designed to destabilise the country. Change, in this trying time, is the strength to stand together despite the blowups of bombs-permeter-square in our land. Change, in this time of distrust, is the maturity to disregard the theories of stereotype artists who heap the failure of a nation to a particular region or people, to an “other”, a “someone else” who is not “one of us”. Change, in this era of internet evolution and revolution, is the maximisation of the privileges offered by the internet in which every man with a laptop or tablet or mobile phone has a valid voice that must be heard. The debate has always been that online representations of Nigeria in cyberspace do not capture our social realities in the actual world. While I agree that cyber-Nigeria is not our absolute portrait since our non-literate fellow countrymen in their teeming millions have been left out of its political exchanges and interactions, we must recognise the power and influence of the internet users on the psyche and struggle of the nation.

Globalisation is not just a word, and as slow as it is in Third World Nigeria, it has interposed unimagined twists of events we have only been reading in foreign tabloids in Nigeria. Globalisation is a teacher of the good and the bad, and today the influences are no longer passed just through the privileged bourgeoisie. The increase in internet access enhances the speed of dispersion of ideas. It happened in Tunisia. It happened in Egypt. It’s happening here… But, we must be devout apostles of change to realise our dream of Change!

What we stand for… in Democracy

Democracy loses its allure when it is perceived as a forte of the rich—through oligarchic eyes. With such a mindset, the people themselves make democracy expensive and destroy it. The moment you task your candidates with paying to earn your votes, you lose your moral right to question his excesses. I agree with the Australian political theorist, Professor John Dryzek, when he explains the essence of democracy, thus: “Democratization… is not the spread of liberal democracy to ever more corners of the world, but rather extensions along any one of three dimensions… The first is franchise, expansion of the number of people capable of participating effectively in collective decision. The second is scope, bringing more issues and areas of life potentially under democratic control… The third is the authenticity of the control…: to be real rather than symbolic, involving the effective participation of autonomous and competent actors”. To democratise Nigeria, we must understand the powers we refuse to explore. The “tyrants” in democracy are actually individuals from amongst the people, but when they become agents of electoral malpractices and political dishonesty, the dice turns up against the people from which they have come. When I say “people”, I don’t mean just the voters. The electoral officers who comply to rig a fair election abuse their chance at creating a saner nation while damaging the trust and hopes of an oppressed people of whom they are members. Politics is not magic; it’s a calculation of the good and the wrongs we do in the quest of power. Here is where we need to come together to make our democracy work; let us drop any form of identity that introduces us as something other than “citizens”, and let us drop any citizenship that asks for anything other than “Change” for the better. Let us destroy any institution that preaches divisions and exclusions. Unless we put our patriotism away from greed and any undemocratic advocacy, our collective struggle to install a popular government will remain a mission impossible.

Approaching the Modern Democracy

Traditional political engagements were, until the coming of the internet revolutions, carried out largely by the civil societies and opposition political groups. But the internet has introduced a medium not only for instant dissemination of information and broader based interaction, but one that has also offered us a new space for the gestation of political ideologies, mobilisations and revolts. The trigger of this internet-based political revolution is, perhaps, the suicide of Tunisia’s Mohamed Bouazizi, a young vendor whose singular act to protest repeated harassment by the local police punctured the overstayed dictatorship of that North African country. Bouazizi’s death would not have been noticed without the internet, and social networking sites from where cell phone photograph of the dead vendor stirred up the anger of fellow citizens. The defeat ofBen Ali by the protestors sent a message to other similarly oppressed people, a message that went beyond the North Africa territories. What has this got to do with Nigeria, you ask? The Bouazizi Effect is not only an instigator of Arab Spring, it taught disgruntled citizens worldwide a way to take their anger beyond cyberspace. It taught the loudest way to condemn anti-people policies. It taught Bahrainis to demand for a freer political clime… It taught the Egyptians to demand for a new president… It taught the Libyans to take up arms against their president whom they not only overthrew but killed… It taught the Yemenis to oust their president. And, wel-

•Mallam Ribadu

come back home, it inspired Nigerians to take to the street in their revolt against the removal of fuel subsidy in January 2012. While the decision to challenge unpopular policies is laudable, absolute orderliness is not expected from angry young men on the streets. This is where we must rub minds, like family, to find a way out of this mess; how do we end this reign of corruptions and insensitivity to the plights of the common man without subjecting any of us to the bullets of those asked to send us back to our houses in which we find miseries and hopelessness? How do we tell our political leaders that a thing is missing without getting shot? I use “we” because I’m just as passionateand concerned as you and YOU! I use “we” because if we allow ourselves to be divided into “Us” and “Them”, the possibility of winning this war is null. The exclusionists who invented “them” to stop us from forming a formidable political “we” are the people we must fight, and there is just one way to achieve this: Citizen Engagement!

The Meaning of Political Engagement

My commonsense understanding of engagement in a democratic polity is the realisation of one’s rights, having studied and understood the deficiencies inherent in a system from which expectations of satisfaction have been unsatisfied. Political engagement is inspired or justified by one’s decision to discharge his or her constitutional responsibilities in an attempt to either react to an unpopular reform or policy or merely embark on a personal quest to contribute one’s quota to a government found wanting. In our response to the dynamism of present politics, the traditional engagement that tasked the civil societies and opposition parties with engaging incumbent governments and their reforms or policies, we must pander to the non-violent form of citizenship mobilisation popularised by Bouazizi Effect. Mind you, I do not mean setting oneself ablaze to register a grievance. I mean exploring the power of our numbers, from the internet to the physical landscape, to investigate and challenge a political injustice; I mean defying attempts by exclusionists to tear us apart in our campaign for an ideal candidate; I mean understanding that for achieving impact, an engagement in cyberspace is not enough until it is propounded and taken to the actual world. Here again, we have a task before us: Citizenship Mobilisation.

Nigeria: Engaging the Modern Politics

In 1999, we welcomed a democracy with a hope of building a civilian government in which every citizen is an active participant. A decade later, our democracy was led into chaos where the “Who” and the “What” of our identifications are colourfully worn to pronounce our differences and divides. This is a masterfully orchestrated bang that opened the Pandora box we have tightly secured since the unfortunate events of the Nigerian Civil War—in fact, since before then! We have existed as a nation struggling to forgive itself of the mistakes of yesterdays, but while we struggled with this, our democracy has become modelled into an avenue where sentiments are highlighted by pro-exclusion politicians to corner the votes of their kinsmen because they cannot do so on grounds of their individual reputation or records. This careless stratagem is a pathway to self-destruction begging for our collective, and very immediate, effort at snatching our future from the hands of those who ride on such ethnic and religious and regional sentiments towards self-enrichment. •Continued on page 61


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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

51

AGRO-BUSINESS

How to attain food security, by experts H

OW can food security be achieved? It is by making agriculture a commercial venture, experts have said They spoke at a meeting between the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) and federal universities of agriculture in Makurdi, Benue State. Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof. Baba Abubakar, said there was need to improve investment in agricultural research and development in sustaining economic growth, alleviating poverty and preventing future food crises. He said research and development (R&D) investment was low compared with investment efforts in countries with well-developed and successful institutions for innovation in agriculture.He listed such countries to include Brazil, China, India, and Japan. Abubakar said increase in R&D performed by global agricultural input industries has coincided with significant changes to the structure of these industries. He said a functional research system was critical to agricultural industry success and long term development. He said the agric research system faces challenges related to shortage of quality faculty; inadequate finance and inability to diversify funding; poor and debilitating facilities and infrastructures; deteriorating quality and relevance of teaching and research; limited capacity for research, knowledge generation and adaptation capabilities; and an inability to meet increasing demand for equitable access. Abubakar said only 1000 of 10,000 staff of the research institutes have PHDs. According to him, research capacities are generally poor, due to shortage of senior faculty, poor infrastructure and facilities, lack of funding and strategic leadership. This development, he noted calls for focused and urgent intervention by the governments, institutional leaders and development partners. Abubakar said there was a consensus that neglect of agricultural research system cannot continue. He said the government must show commitment and support to the sector,

By Dan Essiet

recognising it as an engine of development that produces qualified human capital, generates knowledge and ensures participation in the economy. The National Project Corodinator, The West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) Prof. Damian Chikwendu said agriculture is an engine for economic development and that sustained agricultural growth was crucial for reducing hunger and poverty. He said farmers lack good quality seeds, the soils are depleted yet they farm without reliable water supply and unpredictable weather conditions. Besides, he said farmers have no access to credit facilities from financial institutions as the terms are not favourable for them. The low productivity of these farms fuels the cycles of poverty and hunger in communities with high rate of unemployment for youths. He said a big challenge was that farmers lack skills and knowledge to explore experiences and to see how the delivery and potential of agricultural research can improve their productivity.

The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Prof Emmanuel Kuche, said the university is determined to improve food production by reducing the gap between potential and actual production through wider use of the stock of knowledge and technologies. He said WAAPP would increase agricultural productivity and competitiveness. The university, he noted, is ready to work with WAAPP to fuel sustained agriculture-led growth strategy that would allow the country to meet its food needs. Dean Faculty of Agriculture,University of Uyo, Prof Ini Akpabio, said beginning farmers are critical to creating rural prosperity, but they face unique challenges and require education and assistance to ensure their profitability and sustainability. According to him, enhancing the ability of small farmers to access market opportunities and diversify their links with markets is one of the most pressing development challenges facing the country. He said the university was making cassava cakes and offering training to help farmers produce them.

•From left: Prof Abubakar, Prof Kuche and Prof Chikwendu at the forum.

‘Soil vital to economic growth’

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N understanding of the land can contribute to the economic development of the country, a professor of Soil Survey and Land Evaluation, Abayomi Fashina, has said. He spoke on the topic: Can this soil sustain? The dilemma of the pedologist at the 37th Inaugural Lecture of Ekiti State University (EKSU). Fashina, also a professor of Pedology, said the brownish substance is a resource waiting to be tapped into for the country’s economic growth. He noted the value of the soil to human existence, noting that the wealth of the soil started with God,who created the first human beings from soil and, thereafter, showed him that human existence depends on sound understanding of the soil. According to him, the soil fulfils some functions and services for society, which are central to social, economic and environmental sustainability. A few among these functions are ‘food and fibre production, support of ecological habitats and bio-diversity, pro-

He said WAAPP was working to draw on views from the field and those of the experts from research institutions and universities to be more effective and responsiven to their needs. He said the programme would assist farmers adopt new innovative methods of using Information and communication technologies (ICTs). To accelerate sustainable development, he said there was need for innovation platforms to foster a new development approach based on exploiting the potential of research institutes and faculties of agriculture to address problems and challenges faced by al farmers. He said the objective of WAAPP was to generate and disseminate improved technologies to farmers. He said the programme works through Adopted Villages of the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) and Federal Colleges of Agriculture (FCAs). He said it offer farmers the opportunity for rapid growth by closing the gap between current and potential production and productivity.

•Prof. Fashina By Joke Kujenya

tection of cultural heritage, provisions of raw materials and provision of a platform for construction.” However, the soil cannot do any of these by its own unless its proper utilisation is in effect. “And this is where proper understanding of the value of the soil becomes help-

ful,” he argued. On the value of soil to economic enhancement, Fashina said “Soil is a vulnerable and essentially non-renewable resource, which with proper handling of one hectare of top soil, the most productive soil layer, it can contain up to five tonnes of living organisms. This he said is because it can take more than 500years to form a mere 2cm thickness,” he informed the audience. “In fact, soil provides a large social function through providing the basis for green space, including gardens, playing fields and public open spaces. But, we humans often take for granted is the fact that these are social benefits that enhanced the well-being of every living being. It is in this light that soil plays a very important role in how people live. And this is why it is very important that we study and understand the value of soil to our daily lives.” He said the reasons for studying soils is because the substance is the flesh and blood of land and cannot be omitted from assessments of lands as a resource for human requirement be it agricultural or non-agricultural. “In this wise, the future of human existence continually rests on the soil beneath our feet, hence the need for its conservation at all costs,” argues the professor of soils. Looking at different classes of soil, Fashina said anyone wishing to grasp

the import of the massive landscape, need to understand that one of the most serious problems affecting agricultural productivity, today in the tropical and developing countries such as Nigeria, is the ineffective and unplanned use of our agricultural lands. He stressed that it was necessary that every hectare of land is used according to its potential capacity if the objectivity of optimising and sustaining agricultural productivity is to be achieved.” He noted that for Nigeria to achieve optimal land usage, “the primary and most effective land conservation method is appropriate allocation of lands to uses for which they are most suitable. In addition to this, optimum soil condition is fundamental to successful and profitable agriculture venture; because while most kinds of soils can be put to industrial and urban uses, agricultural uses are very discriminating of the soil type.” “He said what Nigeria therefore needs to do is that, its prime soil should be reserved for agricultural uses. “Sadly however, when there is no information on the quality of the soils, occupying a piece of land and or regulation guiding the use of land for various purposes; the best agricultural lands of any nation will continue to be lost to the industrial, urban and other uses,” he said.

Cocoa farmers attack Ministry over solo pumps

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OCOA farmers have protested the non-inclusion of solo pumps in the procurement notice advertised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The farmers noted that solo pumps are effective, easier to manage, last longer and are environmentally friendly. According to Evangelist Joshua Oyedele, farmer and Vice President, Cocoa Association of Nigeria in Ondo/Ekiti states zone,

more than 90 per cent of the cocoa farmers use solo pumps. He said the pump affords its users to target spray cocoa pods and disease spots on cocoa plants. He added that most cocoa trees in Nigeria were tall and the solo pump was the right spray equipment for achieving effective and efficient coverage of the plants. Ntufam Odi Ayangba, a farmer in Effraya in Cross River State stated that as an old co-

coa farmer, he was not able to carry the 15litre knapsack sprayer because of the weight. He said most cocoa farmers are old and cannot carry the knapsack sprayers. In his response, President of Cocoa Association of Nigeria, Mr Sayina Riman, said he had engaged the ministry’ s officials on the need to correct the anomaly without any positive response. He argued that officials were not conversant with farmers actual needs and were

therefore unable to provide for them. Riman said lack of consultations with stakeholders caused this oversight, adding that over the years, various equipment and materials purchased for agriculture were left to rot because they were not required by those who were supposed to use them. The president expressed disappointment with the ministry for refusing to listen to the proposed users and procuring what they dont need.


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AGRO-BUSINESS

Experts decry use of child labour on cocoa farms

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CHOCOLATE firm, Petra Foods, is working to stamp out perceived harsh labour practices and improve the quality of produce. Its Director, Cocoa Sustainability, Mr Marc Donaldson, said improved livelihood of farmers was crucial to a steady supply of quality, traceable beans. Donaldson,who was in the country for the Cocoa Productivity and Quality Programme (CPQP), said his company was interested on the safety of children used as labour on the farms. The company is working towards a cocoa supply chain where no children are subject to harsh conditions. His organisation, he said, would not accept the use of illegal, abusive or forced labour in any of the farms it is associated with. Donaldson said his organisation would help tackle child labour and improve working practices in the cocoa supply chain. He explained that his company monitors conditions on farms, which will be certified to give buyers assurance that the “worst forms of child labour” have not been employed. So far, he said there was no evidence of the use of child labourers in farms in the country. Donaldson said his organisation was working with the Farmers Development Union (FADU) in Oyo State with some global partners in fair trade to ensure local farmers produce quantities of cocoa required by major manufacturers. He said FADU has promoted the social and economic development of the cocoafarming communities through improvements in farming practices that drive higher productivity and better quality in a sustainable, traceable manner. His organisation with other global partners ,he said were are working with FADU to ensure through certification that farms did not employ abusive practices, adding

Stories by Daniel Essiet

that sourcing cocoa for the international markets remain a safe means of buying in bulk. Six parties have committed themselves for four years to raise cocoa production and make it sustainable. About 7,500 cocoa farmers are to be trained to obtain the UTZ Certificate and will be raising their production from 300 to 1,000 kilos a hectare. FADU is a signatory to the agreement. Those involved in the programme include Continaf, a Dutch importer of cocoa and coffee, and Oxfam Novib’s partners. FADU is an organisation of small-scale male and female farmers. Oxfam Novib supports FADU in developing a credit system for farmers and in improving their position on the market. FADU and Oxfam Novib will also be working on preventing child labour in cocoa production,. FADU’s Programme Coordinator, ,Mr Victor Olowe, said it was essential to tackle poverty, adding that the organisation would support the long-term future of sustainable cocoa production and make a difference among farmers and the communities that rely on cocoa for their livelihoods. Head of Sales and Sustainability, Continaf BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Mr Arjen Thiescheffer, said following their training, the farmers achieved UTZ certification, adding that the increased incomes benefit farmers who invest in other projects in their community. Managing Director, Continaf Nigeria Limited, Vineet Chaudhary, said his organisation was working as part of the global cocoa and chocolate industry alongside governments, NGOs and international organisations to bring about positive and sustainable change to the way cocoa is grown and harvested throughout the country. The Project Manager, Kokodola Project,

•Donaldson

•Chaudhary

•Olowe

•Thiescheffer

Mrs Mopelola Fafunmi said CPQP known as Kokodola Project started its operation in seven local government areas of Osun State. The project,she said is to create a sustainable and efficient value chain for certified cocoa

to improve the lives of cocoa farmers. She said the four-year project started fully in April last year in Osun State where 1788 farmers were trained on good farm practices.

Deans seek funding to transform agric

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HE Federal Government has been asked to adequately fund the agricultural sector to achieve meaningful transformation. Deans of Agriculture of Nigerian Universities made the call at their 57th annual general meeting (AGM) held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Ondo State. In a communique after the meeting, the association said: “Government at all levels should enhance allocations for agriculture and training and increase the budgetary allocation to the sector from

the present 1.7 per cent to at least 10 percent in line with Maputo Declaration in order to ensure food security, create jobs and wealth. Also, budgetary allocation to agriculture and training should be released on time to ensure proper training of personnel so as to fast track the implementation of the agricultural transformation agenda of the Federal Government.” The Deans also called on the Ministry of Agriculture at all levels to facilitate the establishment of properly equipped research and training farms for agricultural training institutions with a view to provid-

ing adequate entrepreneurial skills to Nigerian youths who are tired of agriculture of hoes and cutlasses as it is currently practised in Nigeria. The association urged the National Assembly to hasten the passage of the bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Institute for Agriculture (NIAg) to create the enabling environment for private-public sector participation in agriculture and agricultural training. On the training of students, the association asked for a review of agriculture curriculum to reflect

‘How to stop exploitation’

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OW can exploitation of farm workers be curbed? It is by strict implementation of a national minimum wage, says an expert, Dr Kola Adebayo. Adebayo,Director, African Region, Cassava Adding Value for Africa(C:AVA), said many agricultural workers are exploited. He said farmers receive wages well below the minimum wage and endure long working hours in the country’s fields and food processing factories. Adebayo argued that the existing national minimumwage and working time regulations should apply to farm workers. He said farm workers have no way of challenging employers over exploitative practices, adding that there is need to create a vehicle farm workers can use to lodge complaints and pursue labour claims against employers, without fear of being arrested and deported. He said farmers still receive slave wages and accommodated within squalid living conditions, arguing that there was a need for overhaul of policies which contribute to the exploitation of farm labourers.

Calling for progressive reform, Adebayo said it should free up the industry to reward workers appropriately for the valuable work they do on the farms. Dean Faculty of Agricukture, University of Uyo (UNIUYO), Prof. Ini Akpabio urged the government to create an enabling environment to support the agricultural industry to make transition to practices that are standard in every other sector of the economy. He said producers in the sector need subsidies to create jobs and growth, and it was imperative that initiatives are taken in agriculture sector to help in increasing farmers’ income and boosting production. Akpabio stressed the importance of doubling food production and preparing a proper roadmap for successful implementation of increasing economic growth. The don canvassed improvement of government-provided agricultural support services to enable small farmers to take up commercial farming through sustainable practices.

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current realities of national and global transformation as this will prevent ambiguity and re-package agriculture for better delivery and higher efficiency. Addressing the Deans during the meeting, the Vice-Chancellor of FUTA, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola, urged them to be more concerned about the quality of training they give students studying agriculture so as to make them self-reliant and key into the transformation agenda in the sector. The host of the meeting, who is also the Dean of School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, FUTA,

OULTRY producers must invest in capacity and standard for the industry to grow, the Director, Federal Department of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development,Mr Joseph Nyanger, has said. Addressing a stakeholders’ meeting in Auta-balefi, Keffi, Nasarawa State, Nyanger said there must be standard to make poultry products competitive. The meeting, he said, would enable stakeholders to discuss and approve draft guidelines on how to improve the standard of operations. He recalled that in the last quarter of 2012 the Poultry Value Chain (PVC) team constituted an advisory panel to come up with standard of practice. The director said members of the panel met in Ibadan early this year and came up with a draft standard for the industry. He urged the stakeholders to proffer meaningful contributions that would enhance the poultry industry for the populace. The team leader of the Poultry Value Chain, Prof. Funsho Sonaiya, urged the stakeholders to be mindful of the kind of standards the industry needed. ‘’We should be keen about issues like

Prof. J. A. Alokan, said the communiqué underscored the key position that agriculture would continue to play in the country’s quest for a self-reliance and vibrant economy. One of the high points of the meeting was the honour bestowed on Prof. Sheu AbdulRahman , the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University,Gashua, Yobe State. The association’s chairman, Prof. Abayomi Fasina, said Rahman was honoured for his contributions to the development of agriculture .

Hard times hit poultry farmers how to improve efficiency of broilers and layers and how to improve production. ‘’And we should also look at ways to include 100 per cent value addition in poultry farming,’’ Sonaiya said. He said that there was no point creating the standards without enforcement. According to him, issues in the draft standards include provision of good quality breeder stock, provision of good quality day old chicks and availability of quality poultry feeds. Others are poultry health coverage, marketing, processing and value addition and research and innovations. President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Dr Ayo Oduntan, said the problem with the industry was how to enforce some of the laws to enhance better performance. He said some of the poultry farmers were going through difficult times,urging the Federal Government to assist in solving their problems.


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NEWS

Fresh dust in aviation as FAAN destroys FRESH dust has been Bi-Courtney’s billboards raised in the aviation industry with last

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week’s damage to two billboards belonging to Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2) by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). The damage occurred without a prior notice by FAAN, according to BASL. The organisation has a court judgement restraining FAAN from tampering with any of its adverts. But officials of the government agency, with heavilyarmed policemen, allegedly stormed the pedestrian overhead bridge connecting the MMA2 multi-storey car park (MSCP) with an unmarked truck and vandalised Bi-Courtney’s billboard on the bridge, creating serious disruption of traffic on Airport Road. FAAN said it ordered the removal of all illegal advertisement materials on billboards and structures on Murtala Muhammed Airport Road in Lagos. According to its General Manager, Corporate Communication, Mr. Yakubu Dati, the placement of such advert materials infringes on advertisement rights of FAAN. He said this is because the company or organisation liable for the placing of the advert materials did not receive FAAN’s permission to do so. “Every advert placement within the airport premises, including the internal and access roads must be done with the authorisation of FAAN, which has the right over all airport

land as contained in the act establishing the Authority,” Dati said. Bi-Courtney had sued FAAN and its Managing Director before Justice Stephen Jonah Adah of the Federal High Court in 2010. The company is seeking, among others: “A declaration that the defendants are not entitled to unilaterally remove, pull down, destroy, dismantle and/or interfere with the adverts placed on the plaintiff’s overhead pedestrian bridge at its terminal in the MMA2, without first referring same to the dispute resolution mechanisms set up under Article 22 of the Concession Agreement dated 24th April, 2003. “A declaration that any act of the Defendants by which it seeks to unilaterally remove, destroy, dismantle and/or interfere with or otherwise cause the removal, destruction, dismantling and/or interfere with the adverts placed on the plaintiff’s overhead pedestrian bridge at its Terminal in the MMA2, by self-help and without recourse to the Concession Agreement dated 24th April, 2003 and ultra vires the Federal Airports Authority Act, Cap F5 LFN 2004. The originating summons was supported by 11 paragraphs affidavit deposed to by Olabayo Oluwabukunola, a legal officer of the plaintiff. But, FAAN in its preliminary objection to the suit, contended that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain it, or that the matter be “stayed pending the resolution of the matter via

dispute resolution mechanism provided in the Concession Agreement”. However, in his judgement of November 15, last year, Justice Adah granted Bi-Courtney’s prayer by restraining FAAN from tampering with the company’s advert on the overhead bridge. Reacting to the destruction of the billboards, Dati said: “Every advert placement within the airport premises, including the internal and access roads, must be done with the authorisation of FAAN, which has the right over all airport land as contained in the Act estabilishing the authority.” Contrary to the argument, Bi-Courtney, however, said it did not need FAAN’s permission before putting its adverts on the structures at MMA2. Head of Litigation, Bi-Courtney Limited, Tola Oshobi, explained further: “I want to say that we don’t need any permission from FAAN. The matter has already been settled by Justice Stephen Jonah Adah of the Federal High Court, Ikeja Division, in November 2011. “By virtue of the concession agreement we have with FAAN and the lease agreement on the hotel project, we do not require any permission from the agency or any other government agency to place adverts on both the bridge and our ongoing hotel/conference centre projects. Justice Adah had granted the relief we sought in the suit we instituted against FAAN and its Managing Director in the Federal High Court.”


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EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 13-06-13

SEC lists Cadbury, UACN, 30 others for margin list •Profit-taking bites harder as equities lose N485b

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HE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday released the list of quoted companies which shares could be used in margin lending and transactions, with a caution that only investors and persons with adequate knowledge of margin lending should engage in it. In a statement signed by head, media, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Yakubu Olaleye, the apex capital market regulator stated that the margin list is not an investment recommendation but a guide to those who wish to engage in margin activities. The margin list included Cadbury Nigeria, Ashaka Cement, UAC of Nigeria, Conoil, Custodian and Allied Insurance, Dangote Cement, Dangote Flour Mills, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Fidson Healthcare, Flour Mills of Nigeria, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria, Guinness Nigeria, Honeywell Flour Mills, International Breweries, Julius Berger Nigeria, Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria, Livestock Feeds, Mansard Insurance, Mobil Oil Nigeria, National Salt Company of Nigeria, Nestle Nigeria, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company, Nigerian Breweries and Oando. Others were Okomu Oil Palm, PZ Cussons Nigeria, Presco, Seven-Up Bottling Company, Total Nigeria, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, UACN Property Development Company and Unilever Nigeria. The margin lending rules

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

and guidelines earlier instituted by SEC made provision for a margin list- a list of securities which shares have been adjudged by SEC to have enough liquidity and fundamental strengths to serve as margin securities. The margin lending guidelines cover the type of securities that qualify as marginable securities as well as the profile of investors that may participate in margin trading. The guidelines also provide the criteria for determining marginable securities and those securities excluded from the list of marginable securities. It should be noted that the guidelines exclude banking stocks from being used as collateral for margin trading transactions. According to SEC, retail investors who do not have the requisite knowledge should consult a knowledgeable financial expert as the unprecedented stock market decline in 2008 was fuelled by excessive speculative activities and unsupervised use of margin loans to fund investment in listed equities among other factors. The Commission noted that the margin lending rules and guidelines and the resultant margin list were part of efforts to forestall the untoward events that contributed to the previous market decline. SEC stated that the regulation of margin lending will ensure that the market is founded on the principles of risk-based supervision. It urged investors to check the margin list on the website of the Commission before

entering into a margin lending arrangement with a broker or a bank. “As the apex regulator of the capital market, SEC is committed to building a world class market, notably one that is inclusive, innovative and effective, but is also perceived as fair, transparent and built on integrity,” SEC stated. It reiterated the importance of the capital market as the best source of cheap medium to longterm finance for private and public entities pointing out that the capital market mobilizes savings to meet long term financing needs in a manner that benefits the savers, the investors and the economy as a whole. Meanwhile, profit-taking transactions continued to rattle the stock market yesterday as equities lost N485 billion in 7,684 deals. Equities had lost N353 billion on Wednesday. Aggregate market value of all equities dropped from N12.502 trillion to N12.017 trillion. The main index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the All Share Index (ASI), also slumped to 37,406.73 points as against its opening index of 38,915.54 points. Highly capitalised stocks continued to headline the bearishness. Nestle Nigeria led the decliners with a loss of N37.05 to close at N965.95. Nigerian Breweries followed with a drop of N12.50 to close at N157.50. Guinness Nigeria dropped by N10 to close at N270. Lafarge Wapco Cement Nigeria lost N9.80 to close at N88.20. Total Nigeria declined by N9.38 to close at N160.62. PZ Cussons Nigeria lost N5.36 to close at N48.26. Flour Mills of Nigeria dropped by N5.24 to close at N104. Cadbury Nigeria lost N5 to close at N55. Okomu Oil Palm slipped by N3.08 to close at N46.92 while UAC of Nigeria dropped by N2.14 to close at N58.01 per share.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 13- 06-13


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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

MONEY LINK

Forum urges CBN to enforce rules on credit bureau

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HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been advised to enforce its policy mandating financial institutions to obtain a credit report from at least two credit bureau operators before giving out loans. This was part of the resolutions reached at the credit reporting forum held in Lagos. Considering the critical role that a Credit Reporting system plays as an enabler in developing a stable and inclusive financial system, especially in emerging

By Collins Nweze

markets, the Federal Government was also advised by participants drawn from different sectors of the economy to take the development of the Credit Reporting system in the country as a national project. This, participants said, should boost usage by financial institutions and ensure an inclusive system. Over 180 delegates representing key drivers of the nation’s financial system including the CBN, credit bureau operators, deposit money banks, microfinance banks, insurance, pension administration, payment systems, financial training institutions, discount houses, trading and finance companies, industry associations among others attended the conference.

Private equity firm to lead $1.5b deal in Africa

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CTIS, a private-equity company, will lead investment of as much as $1.5 billion in African commercial property to meet rising demand from international companies targeting a growing middle class, Bloomberg report has said. “We are seeing a shift in interest from South African brands to European retailers” seeking opportunities in fast-growing economies such as Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya, Kevin Teeroovengadum, director of Actis’ sub-Saharan Africa real estate unit, said. Actis, which is based in London, plans to invest in projects including shopping centers, office towers and industrial parks that will come to fruition over the next five years, Teeroovengadum said. The company will use the proceeds of its second African real estate fund that raised $280 million in October, while the rest of the investment will come from commercial partners and loans.

Bank launches campaign

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It also registered representations from the Bank of Tanzania and credit bureau operators from South Africa and Tanzania, while the International Finance Corporation (IFC) also attended and made presentations. The participants called on the Credit Bureaus Association to work on a standardised (uniform) data format that will facilitate easy reporting of credit information by subscribers. “The Association should also explore the possibility of providing micro-lenders, insurance, retailers with cost effective means of utilising credit bureaus, including reaching out to donor agencies for support, and thereby integrating them into the Credit Reporting system. “The National Identity Management Commission should work hard at meeting her target of 10 mil-

•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

lion registrants by December 31st and make this available to the credit bureaus,” they said. It was also resolved that a well-coordinated credit bureau education programme aimed at training actual process owners of subscriber institutions on the uses and benefits of credit bureaus should be carried out. They said this should be augmented by a public enlightenment campaign that will promote credit bureau usage and create the proper orientation.

Unity Bank wins award

U

NITY Bank Plc has been rewarded with a Special Recognition award for its unwavering “Excellence in Banking” and unmatched commitment to the economic development of Nigeria, particularly the Northern states. Unity Bank Plc received the Special Recognition Award from Business Day newspaper at the just concluded Maiden BusinessDay Banking Awards. A statement from Hassan Abdul Ag. Unit Head, CSR, Digital marketing and Events, Corporate Communications Department of Unity Bank Plc, the awards were instituted to “recognise Nigerian banks that have been outstanding in supporting economic growth in Nigeria.

fully considered to support real banking and recognise banks that have adopted best practices in banking service delivery. Abdul noted that “in many states of the North, Unity Bank has continued to play an active role in socioeconomic development through public/private sector partnerships. The sum of N7.75billion was recently provided by the bank to Kaduna State government in financing the agricultural sector covering the state’s poultry production and agricultural products processing programmes. In the same vein, he said the power sector in Kano State, has currently signed a partnership agreement with Unity Bank to the tune of $16 million.

Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor)

They have been instituted as a credible way of rewarding banks that are supporting economic growth in Nigeria without putting at risk the financial system.” The award was presented by Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State to Mr. Lanre Elisha Fagbohun, Executive Director, Lagos and West of Unity Bank, and was in recognition of the bank’s position as one of the leading retail banks based on its nomination as Nigeria’s most Exceptional and Supportive Bank to the Development of the Northern Economy. The newspaper also said the categories and the criteria were care-

DATA BANK

FGN BONDS Tenor

Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

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

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

NIDF NESF

OBB Rate Call Rate

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

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 13-06-13

SYMBOL PAINTCOM IKEJAHOTEL NEIMETH MRS ACADEMY PRESTIGE IPWA PRESCO TRANSCORP WAPIC

O/PRICE 1.69 0.83 1.65 16.70 2.32 0.59 0.66 34.00 1.17 0.97

C/PRICE 1.84 0.90 1.76 17.80 2.43 0.61 0.68 35.00 1.20 0.99

CHANGE 0.15 0.07 0.11 1.10 0.11 0.02 0.02 1.00 0.03 0.02

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) 149.7450 (S/N) Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N) Parallel Market 153.0000

CCNN NASCON ETERNA WAPCO AFRIPRUD RTBRISCOE PZ DANGSUGAR LIVESTOCK MAYBAKER

O/PRICE

C/PRICE

CHANGE

12.80 14.00 3.70 98.00 2.00 1.80 53.62 12.85 6.47 3.38

11.52 12.60 3.33 88.20 1.80 1.62 48.26 11.57 5.83 3.05

1.28 1.40 0.37 9.80 0.20 0.18 5.36 1.28 0.64 0.33

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

12%

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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

July ’12

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

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

Movement

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 13-06-13

SYMBOL

IAMOND Bank will next week Monday, break its new campaign to claim its position as one of the leading financial institutions in Nigeria- providing customers with tangible financial solutions tailored specifically to suit their lifestyle. In a statement, the bank said the launch follows a successful brand refresh in November 2012 where the brand saw changes in its colours moving away from the monosyllabic greys and dark tones to more vibrant colours, adding that the motive was to make the brand more approachable in line with its positioning as a leading retail bank in Nigeria. For more than twenty years, Diamond Bank has built equity as a strong reliable salient bank. Relatively unscathed by the upheavals of the Nigerian Banking sector in the 1990s and more recently, the bank is now considered one of the foremost banks in lending to customers, SME banking and corporate banking especially in the oil and gas sector. According to the statement, in a highly delicate and competitive banking environment with little or no product differentiation and where products are easily replicated, banks must seek to clearly define their role and product positioning. Diamond Bank’s new media campaign “you need a new bank,” reminds customers of the power of choice especially when it comes to choosing a bank. As customers are becoming more discerning of banking products and services, the bank is putting a stake in the ground- armed with a portfolio of products and technology to produce faster and more efficient services, the question becomes ‘’why do you stay with a bank that does not meet your needs?” said Ayona Trimnell, Head Corporate Communications, Diamond Bank Plc.

ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE INVE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL INVES BGL SAPPHIRE FUND BGL NUBIAN FUND FBN MONEY MARKET FUND FBN FIXED INCOME FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY • ARM AGGRESSIVE

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 139.16 165.11 0.80 1.16 1.16 100.00 1,000.00 1,817.23 14.39 1.39 1.87 12,214.81

9.08 1.00 139.16 163.93 0.78 1.16 1.15 100.00 1,000.00 1,808.06 13.69 1.33 1.80 11,854.08

• KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUNDARM AGGRESSIVE • OPEN BUY BACK

Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833

Movement


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

56

CITYBEATS

CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway slides into decay

T

HE day couldn't have been worse for Richard Alele, a commercial bus driver and Michael, his bus mate, popularly called "conductor." For one hour, they were stuck in the traffic of OjaOba/Abule Egba axis on the LagosAbeokuta Expressway. Earlier that day at Abule-Egba, his bus had fallen into a pothole; one of its front tires burst. That 'minor accident' set Alele back by N6, 000 and wasted two hours of the day's work. In the bus were about six passengers all in various degrees of distress. At 4pm, the sun was biting as sweat took over the passengers' bodies. Outside, road-side hawkers sweating under the scorching sun plied the bus with their goods - Gala Sausage rolls, soft drinks, bread, biscuits, sachet water, walking sticks and bowler hats. "I have been working on this road for three years and this is the worst I have seen," said Alele. By then, the traffic had improved and a maddening rush began for the hundreds of vehicles caught in the quagmire. Alele was not fast enough; his space was taken, forcing him to drive his bus into a pothole, jolting his passengers into a panic. "A journey of 20 minutes has taken two hours; I am supposed to close by 1 pm, but because of this traffic mess, I can't close at 5 pm. The situation of this road is unbearable; the government should just help us mend it," Alele said in a fit of frustration. The traffic snarls occasioned by the potholes that have taken over the road have assumed a frightening proportion. The vital route leads to the popular Living Faith Tabernacle aka Winners Chapel, Obasanjo Farms and The Bells University among others including Ota industrial area. It is the only access route for millions of residents living on the outskirts of the nation's commercial honey-pot. From the Iyana-Ipaja axis to the old toll gate at the border of Lagos and Ogun State, motorists spend hours especially at peak periods no thanks to the over 60 potholes on the road. The road-stretch between Super bus stop and Oja Oba/Abule-Egba is an eyesore. The one-time four-lane

‘The bad spots are causing unnecessary suffering and impeding our own work. We do more work here because of this bad road but our hard work does not show because it is difficult controlling the traffic’

• The Oja-Oba axis of the route

By Seun Akioye

road is now one. As soon as motorists approach that section, all cars would move in one accord to the only manageable lane and because drivers are impatient, accidents are frequent, and as such, worsening the existing misery. In April, men of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) hit that spot with their lorry, shovels and granite sand. According to regular users of the road, FERMA filled some spots with the sand and planted a signboard by the road-side; mission accomplished. But motorists knew better; when rain fell some days later, the sand was washed away and the pool got bigger. Officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) complained bitterly about the state of the road. "The bad spots are causing unnecessary suffering and impeding our own work. We do more work here because of this bad road but our hard work does not show because it is difficult controlling the traffic. This place is a headache for all of us," an officer said.

• A damaged portion of the road

From Abule Egba to U-Turn bus stop, motoring brings hell. By the traffic light, more than half of the section has gone bad as huge ditches compel motorists to a halt. At peak periods, Abule-Egba is a 'no go' area. Traffic wardens too bear the brunt as they are assaulted by dusts raised from the bad spots. "Look at this uniform I made only three months ago; the bad environment has destroyed it. See dust all over us. When it rains too, we get beaten; look at my shoes," a po-

PHOTOS: SEUN AKIOYE

liceman lamented. By mid-day, hundreds of youths descend on the road to eke out a living, hawking all sorts of goods. But they are not entirely happy about the situation of the road. Eze Okorie, who sells bowler hats and walking sticks at Super bus stop, said: "I want the government to fix the road because when it is good, I will still sell because traffic light will stop vehicles." Emmanuel Nwankwo, who sells drinks at Casso bus stop, had a different view: "When some vehicles try to avoid the potholes, they run into us. Most times, they hit each other and in the night when we are running after the vehicles, we fall inside the potholes. I relocated here from Oja Oba because I fell into the water there and got injured." From U-Turn through General, Ijaiye, Casso and Mosalashi, several potholes await motorists. While Alakuko is in good condition, from there to the old toll gate is a night mare. On June 4, the Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC) began palliative works on the route. Potholes at Abule Taylor, Salolo, Casso and Toll

Gate were filled. While the work reduced users' suffering, it was far from a permanent solution. Gbenga Akintola, the Executive Chairman of the Corporation, told The Nation: "The people that ply that road work in Lagos; we plan to give succour to them before the rains set in. We just want to bring relief to all road users on all the Federal Roads in Lagos. So, we are discussing with FERMA on ways to collaborate." The LSPWC only fixed the side of Lagos at the toll gate, leaving a large bad portion on the side of Ogun State. The development, according to a traffic officer from the Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), was of no effect. An officer at FERMA (South West region) said the agency would begin work on the road before the end of the month. The assurance by FERMA meant nothing to Alhaji Eniolorunmo, a commercial bus driver, who expressed his doubt, saying: "What will they do? They will just put granite sand on it and after the first rain, we are back to square one," he said. Whatever happens, time will tell.

Son slaughters father in Oyo

• The chairman, Konibaje Tipper Garage, Ketu, Lagos, Comrade Ganiyu Abubakar Adewoye, being tested for blood pressure/sugar levels by a member of the medical team of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in its 'Beyond the Road' programme organised by the RS2.17 Ojota Command of the Corps on Wednesday. The Unit’s Head of Operations and Head of Administration and Human Resources, Lucas Oguntade (CRC) and Emma Fekoya (CRC) respectively, watch with keen interest. PHOTO: DADA ALADELOKUN

TRAGEDY struck early yesterday in the Ladigbolu area of Oyo West Local Government Area of Oyo State. A mentally-challenged middle-aged man allegedly slaughtered his father. The deceased, identified as Olanipekun, a retired head teacher of a primary school in Idi-Ope area, was alone with the 'sick' son when the incident occurred. According to sources, the son woke up from sleep, pinned him to the wall and slaughtered him with a long kitchen knife. "Before the father could regain consciousness, the son went for a sharp

From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

knife and slaughtered him. The scream of the father attracted neighbours who rushed to the scene only to find the father in a pool of blood. The son stood by the corpse until the police came to arrest him,'' a source said. When The Nation visited the home of the deceased, his corpse was said to have been moved to an unknown hospital mortuary by the police. Residents and neighbours were weeping profusely. The deceased was described by many as a 'kind-hearted gentleman.''


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

57

CITYBEATS

CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

Policemen's 'road show' causes stir

T

HE scene was an amusement park of sorts. Onlookers caught fun free of charge, though with their hair on edge. The muscle-flexing dramatis personae armed uniformed policemen, who were said to belong to the Ogudu Area Command - saw nothing wrong in what many condemned as a brazen show of shame. They spat fire while the show lasted. The repulsive drama held right at the bus stop under the concrete pedestrian bridge, shortly after the Ojota dumpsite before 7Up at the Lagos end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. It was about 12.33 pm, yesterday. By an eyewitness account, two Volkswagen Golf private cars in red and ash colours respectively, peopled with armed policemen on routine patrol, had pulled up at the scene. The policemen "in their usual character," beckoned on a young man, who was trekking along the road. The man, as would be expected, complied. After a brief interrogation, he found himself in the ashcoloured car. Deeply at a loss for his offence, he broke into tears. "A woman alighted from a nearby vehicle and demanded to know the boy's offence. It was later learnt that a brother of the woman had recently fallen victim to such an indiscriminate arrest by those policemen during such "dirty" duties. For the woman, a bloody civilian at that, to be that audacious as to asking them a question, a policeman grabbed her by her wear's collar and gave her a dirty slap which

‘I wondered if that policeman would slap that woman in the presence of her husband. I felt like attacking the policeman, but for the fact that it would have been too costly for me’ By Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor

could have jolted a dead body," the eyewitness recalled. Not ready to brook the assault, she placed a call. Minutes after, her attackers knew her identity. She works with a "powerful" Task Force at the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja. The drama got more enthralling when a Task Force Monitoring Pick-Up Van fully loaded with armed policemen hit the scene. The scenario turned babel as the law-enforcers from both camps threw decorum to the dogs, barking at each other. Then, after a 12minute rage, a phone call came to the rescue. It conveyed an inviolate order from their Area Commander. "Oga dey call us; make we go together," one of them said. Pronto, the three "fighter" vehicles drove off

towards Ogudu area, thus ending the show. But for the next five minutes, onlookers took over the "stage," recounting their various unsettling encounters in the hands with the men, who are supposed to be their friends. One of the "viewers," Ahmed Ajadi, who claimed to work in the area as a clerk, decried what he termed the impudence of the policemen. "I wondered if that policeman would slap that woman in the presence of her husband. I felt like attacking the policeman, but for the fact that it would have been too costly for me," he fumed. Another person, a woman, who simply gave her name as Mrs Okey, said the policemen had made a habit of such a raid to extort money from innocent people. "They will either brand you a 419er or a yahoo boy. If you are with a laptop or any other thing with or without your receipt, you are in trouble. It is time police authorities arrested this trend," she said. At that point, a man who claimed to be a retired police officer cut in: "I am well aware that there is a Monitoring Unit in the police; whether or not it is effective is a different matter. But I'm doubly sure that the current Commissioner of Police (Mr Umar Manko) in Lagos won't condone any act of indiscipline such that we just witnessed here. He warns them every day." After shaking his head thoughtfully, another keen watcher submitted: "I beg, na God go save us from the police for dis country," as he walked away from the scene.

Work begins on Ago Palace Way

P

ALLIATIVE works designed to bring immediate relief to the flooded parts of Ago Palace Way, Okota, a Lagos suburb, have been flagged off by the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat. He explained that the effort would not only ensure easy flow of rain waters by through the drains, but would raise the road level. He described the road as a failed asphalt road resulting from the growth in population and the consequent pressure resulting from development along the corridor. He noted that the original design was to use the sides as drains which the development has blocked. Hamzat said the palliative works which would cost about N90 million would take about eight weeks to complete, adding that contract for the fourth phase of the route from Century Hotel to the end of the road had been awarded. While restating the commitment of the State Government to delivering a

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie, Assistant Editor

first-class road on the axis, the commissioner urged motorists to bear with the resultant challenges which, he said, the ministry was positioned to address. He called on the residents of the area to co-operate with the government and contractors when they are fully mobilised for the reconstruction. Also in a statement, the ministry has restated that the phased development of the Meiran Road linking the LagosAbeokuta Expressway with the Ajasa Command communities was in satisfactory progress. Hamzat said the contractor had attained a 100 percent of site clearance, 90 percent of relocation of services and 98 percent of drainage works, while the earthworks were currently ongoing with over 70 per cent completion. He said: "While the desire for topquality road network that will have immediate and visible impact on

• Scene of the drama ... yearterday

NAMA, police debunk plane crash rumour THE Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Lagos State Police Command yesterday dispelled the rumour over a purported plane crash in Igando, a suburb of Lagos. The managing director of NAMA, Engineer Nnamdi Udoh, said that "the small disused aircraft found at a location in Lagos, is a junk acquired to be used for educational purposes in Badagry." He added: "This morning, we were inundated with enquiries over a crash involving a small aircraft, but there is nothing like that. It is a hoax because our system did not capture any missing plane''. Udoh said the American registered aircraft is carrying registration number N972TF. He said the aircraft "is a junk one belonging to the late Apostle Gabriel Oduyemi of Bethel Ministries and had long been parked at a NAMA facility up till Wednesday night when it was eventually removed. "The aircraft was actually released to Captain M.J. Ekehinde who will be using it for educational purposes in Badagry. A cross section of the wings was removed to ease transportation to its new location. I affirm again that NAMA facilities are working at optimal level and this could have assisted in detecting any missing plane within the nation's airspace." In the same vein, Lagos State Deputy Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Damascus Ozouani, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), confirmed that the private jet found at Dapsey Filling Station, Igando, did not

crashland. Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, Ozouani explained that the disused jet was being towed from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, to Badagry when one of its tires burst. NAN gathered at the filling station that the jet which can accommodate about eight passengers has the inscription, "Gabriel Oduyemi World Crusades" on its tail board. Ozouani said at about 12.45 am, the command got a directive to escort the jet from MMA Ikeja to Badagry (by road). "The operation was led by Capt. Matthew Ekehinde, but in the process of the journey, one of the jet's tires burst at College Bus Stop and the jet could not move. It was parked at Dapsey Filling Station along Igando for repairs. We have provided security for the plane until it is moved to Badagry,'' he said. Also speaking, Mr Supo Atobatele, General Manager, Public Affairs, NAMA, confirmed that that there was no record of any plane mishap. "There is no record of any missing plane in the airspace from our Total Radar Control of Nigeria (TRACON) facilities,'' Atobatele said. Meanwhile, the filling station's manager, who refused to disclose his name, said: "We came in here this morning to resume work only to meet the private jet here." He lamented that the incident had caused the station a drop in patronage as motorists could not drive into the station to buy fuel.

A chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State, Mr. Hakeem Adelabu-Soule, has urged the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to allow the Lagos State Government fix the federal roads it is willing to repair. Adelabu-Soule, who spoke to reporters yesterday in Lagos, said: "The Federal Government should allow Lagos and other states to repair federal roads for the comfort of the masses. If a state has the resources to fix federal roads and it is willing to do so, it should be allowed. FERMA

should not debar such state. "Lawmakers in the National Assembly should ensure that roads in their constituencies and senatorial districts are in good condition. They should enact laws that will alleviate the sufferings of the masses and improve their living conditions. The people at the grassroots need good roads, electricity, potable water, health facilities and the likes." Adelabu-Soule said he supported Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola and Professor of Law, Prof. Itsay Sagay (SAN), that Nigeria's three-tier federal structure is a fundamental error and an anomaly.

Advice for FERMA on Lagos roads

• Hamzat

socio-economic lives of citizens cannot be over-emphasised, there is the need for people to appreciate that construction method in the state is fast changing with its emphasis on minimal disruption to users' activities. The periods of rains are low-activity periods in construction and cognizance of this must be taken and road is not an exception.

Students support climate change cause By Mirian Ekene-Okoro

LAGOS State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has disclosed that 21,893 students in the state are currently leading the advocacy campaign against human activities that aid the menace of climate change. He made the disclosure yesterday at an event to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Climate Change Club held at the Police College Ground, Ikeja.

The governor said members of the club were supporting efforts aimed at ensuring that human activities that contribute to global warming are greatly reduced. He said the students are spread across the 654 private and 2116 public primary and secondary schools in the state.

ANOTHER rare achievement has been recorded by an indigene of Amuwo Odofin community, Ismail O. Sekoni, who was recently decorated as a 2nd Lieutenant of the Nigerian Army, after graduation from the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA). The Executive Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Council, Comrade Ayodele Adewale, while receiving the officer in his office, was full of joy. He thanked him for making

the council proud during his course at the NDA. The council boss advised him to remain committed, diligent and above all, disciplined in his chosen career. He also urged youths of the community to make the council proud like Sekoni. Responding, Sekoni thanked the local government chair for the rare honour and pledged to remain loyal and committed to the service of the nation.

Council chair praises Army officer

• Provincial Pastor, The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Lagos Province 23, Brown Ohitzo; his wife, Helen, during the project commissioning of Oke Ifako Pry School, Gbagada, Lagos ... yesterday


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

58

NEWS

Man arrested for ‘impersonating HE State Security ServUduaghan’ ice (SSS) in Delta State

Man banished for ‘incest’ From Osagie Otabor, Benin

A FATHER of six, Godwin Omoike, was yesterday paraded through South Ibie community in Estako West Local Government Area of Edo State for allegedly having carnal knowledge of his 18-year-old daughter. The victim is said to be in JSS III. Omoike was paraded on the orders of the elders and traditional ruler of the community to appease the gods and cleanse the land of the alleged abomination. He said he did not know how he found himself on top of his daughter and added that he had decided to fast and seek forgiveness from God. Chairman of South Ibie Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Prof. (Mrs.) Modupe Adelabu being presented with a Vigilance Group Relwan congratulatory message card by the Secretary of Ekiti Development Network (EDN), Prof. Yakubu said it was the Bayode Popoola at her office in Ado-Ekiti...yesterday. victim who reported the sexual exploits of her father. Yakubu said the father had ilast year informed them that a friend impregnated his daughter. He said the USTICE Adolphus suspect would be banished Enebeli of the Port Harfrom the community after court High Court yesthe parade terday adjourned till July 29, From Clarice Azuatalam, The counsel to the rethe case on whether the poPort Harcourt spondents, (Inspector-Generlice have the right to investigate a rumoured plot to as- plot to assassinate him and al of Police, AIG Zone 6, Calabar; Commissioner of Posassinate Governor Rotimi the governor. From Precious Dikewoha, Amaechi and the Speaker of Ebeta said the open letter lice and others), Donald DenPort Harcourt the House of Assembly, to the Presidency on the as- wigwe, argued that there was THE European Union (EU) has Otelemaba Dan-Amachree. sassination plot allegedly no way the police would not sponsored the building of a Counsel to the Speaker written by the Speaker did investigate the matter, pointpeace and mediation centre to Emenike Ebeta said there not emanate from his client. ing out that the applicant re-integrate ex-militants in was no prima facie evidence He, however, urged the must appear to defend the Ogu, Ogu/Bolo Local Govern- before the court to warrant court to restrain the respond- allegation as the onus of ment Area of Rivers State. his client to answer police in- ents from infringing on the proof lies on him. Denwigwe said stopping Speaking yesterday in Port vitation on the rumoured rights of his client. the police from investigating Harcourt, Mike Gbarabe, the spokesman for the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD), a non -governmental organisation that facilitated the project, From Osagie Otabor, Benin the party cannot caution HE Edo State chapter said EU is interested in buildof the Peoples Demopointed Chairman of the him, then he should withing peace in Niger Delta. cratic Party (PDP) has University of Abuja Govern- draw his membership. Gbarabe said the centre was “Anybody who feels it is asked Dr. Samuel Ogbemu- ing Council. part of the solidarity event of an insult to Ogbemudia dia to resign. He drew the ire of the parEU projects in Niger Delta It described the burnt sec- ty following his statement should know that statescommunities called “Tomortion of the Ministry of Edu- that he led a delegation to manship has nothing to do row is a New Day”. with party affairs. “The project is being imple- cation as an act of sabotage beg Governor Adams Oshi“The message we sent to truncate investigation by omhole to join the PDP. The mented in some communities across will be applicable to the Economic and Financial party had claimed that Oshiin Rivers State by Search for Crimes Commission (EFCC) omhole begged to join anybody no matter his staCommon Ground (SFCG) in tus in the party. on an alleged missing N320 twice. conjunction with CEHRD.” “If anybody in the party million belonging to the The PDP’s State Publicity State Universal Basic Educa- Secretary, Matthew does Ogbemudia did, he tion Board. Urhoghide, at a briefing will face the same thing.” Urhoghide, who disOgbemudia is a member yesterday, accused Ogbemuplayed copies of the petition of the Board of Trustees of dia of indiscipline. From Clarice Azuatalam, the PDP and was recently apHe said: “If he feels that the party sent to the EFCC

EU builds centre for ex-militants

has arrested a suspected fraudster posing as Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. SSS Director Ms Florence Ikanone identified the suspect as 27-year-old Philip Onus Urieh, an indigene of Uzere, Isoko Local Government Area and a graduate of accountancy from the State Polytechnic ,Ogwashi-Uku. She said the suspect opened a Facebook account with the name and picture of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan. Ms Ikanone said Urieh while impersonating Uduaghan has been receiving messages and responding to them as the governor. She said the suspect has been under surveillance by the command and was recently apprehended. The SSS Director said the suspect lured victims to collect various sums of money for appointment as commis-

Amaechi: Court fixes July 29 to hear rumoured assassination plot J

T

a crime-related offence would endanger the lives of citizens and increase problems in the society. He submitted that the police could not be compelled to reveal the source of their information in any given matter as no individual is beyond investigation. He said the allegation against the police being sponsored by some individuals in the crisis should be proved.

Edo PDP to Ogbemudia: resign now

‘TUC not involved in RSUST strike’ Port Harcourt

THE Trade Union Congress (TUC)in Rivers State has stated its position in the lingering strike embarked upon by the lecturers of the State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Port Harcourt. In a statement in Port Harcourt yesterday by its chairman, Chika Onuegbu, said his role in the matter was just to mediate. Onuegbu said what was reported by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Chairman, Dr. Felix Igwe, is not true as TUC has evidence of mails it exchanged with the striking lecturers then. Onuegebu said ASUU opted out of the mediation effort initiated by TUC and said he has a proof to that effect. The Rivers TUC pointed out that ASUU is not an affiliate of TUC and so ASUU never sought the help of TUC. “What happened was that “TUC was the one that sought to help ASUU, unfortunately our ASUU RSUST opted out of that mediation process.”

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on the alleged missing N320 million, wondered why the mysterious fire razed the building housing certificates and financial transactions of the ministry. He said the fire was a ploy to hide the details of what happened at the ministry. The party also called on the government to reconsider its stand on the nonimplementation of 27.5 percent Teachers Salaries Allowance (TSA) being demanded by the members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT)

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•No to Keke NAPEP, says Oshiomhole

From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

“Okada riders who were banned from neighbouring states in the North, Southsouth and Southwest found Edo as a safe haven and were rushing here in droves. “The result is that we now have all kinds of people masquerading as Okada riders. It has become extremely difficult to actually register genuine Okada riders who are in legitimate business. “Even at this hour, I appreciate the fact that there are many bike riders who are doing very honest jobs and contributing to the socio-economic life of this state. “But unfortunately, it is also true that more and more people are hiding under bike riding to commit all sorts of crimes.

“We have a duty to provide for people who are doing genuine Okada business without undermining security. And so I believe there is no better person to talk to them than the leadership of Okada riders that we have known since 2006. “We want to count on you to identify genuine okada riders. For those ones I believe we can partner and work out some alternatives. “If they are interested in transportation we have set up a committee, which is chaired by the chairman of our economic team to work out various schemes, including procuring vehicles, so that rather than ride on two wheels we have four wheels. No keke NAPEP. “We are not going to encourage Keke NAPEP in Edo

sioners and other benefits. Ms Ikanone listed the victims to include Felix Usih from Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area who lost over N3million; another victim Alex Roy Omoni, State Chair of the Actors Guild of Nigeria was swindled of N1 million. Jerry Odugala was dispossessed of N700, 000 by the alleged fraudster. She warned the public to be careful on the use of social media, stressing that modern technology can be used by criminals to exploit the system for negative and dubious intentions.

Delta Assembly passes six bills From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

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HE Delta State House of Assembly said it has passed six bills of the 12 received in the last 10 months. The Speaker, Victor Ochei at a briefing to mark the second anniversary of the fifth assembly, yesterday, said four of the six bills passed have been assented to by Governor Emmauel Uduaghan. Ochei listed the bills passed into law to include State Independent Electoral Commission (amendment) law, State Motorcycle Commercial Uses and Protective Helmets (amendment) law, the 2013 Appropriation law, State House of Assembly Service Commission (amendment) law, among others. Ochei said the State Customary Court (amendment) bill is yet to receive the governor’s assent. He said five bills, which spilled over from the previous session, were passed during the current session. They are State Multi-Door Court House Law, Delta Engineering Project Monitoring and Control Board Law, State Anti-Terrorism Law, State Local Government Areas Paramedics and Passengers Welfare Board and the State Pensions Amendment Law.

‘Ex-Edo SSG performed well’ From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

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Palliatives for Edo’s Okada riders

DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday rolled out palliatives to cushion the effect of the ban on the use of commercial motorcycles, popularly called Okada. The governor also warned that tricycles, popularly known as Keke NAPEP, will not be allowed on highways. He said the ban on motorcycles extends to Aduwawa in Uhunmwode Local Government Area and Oluku and Ekosodin in Ovia Northeast Local Government Area, which are in the Benin metropolis. Oshiomhole spoke at a meeting with the leadership of the Okada Riders’ Union at the Government House. He said the government had set up a committee to work out schemes for genuine Okada riders, including procuring vehicles.

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

•Oshiomhole

State, I will not allow Keke NAPEP to ply our major high ways, and we will not replace two wheels with three wheels. That amounts to celebrating and institutionalising poverty. “We will procure buses, the comrade bus as well as taxis. We have opened up discussions with some banks for the taxis. “For those interested in farming, this is an opportunity for them to farm and earn a good living.”

FORMER Head of Service in Edo State, Sunny Okpaise, yesterday, reviewed Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s account of the Lucky Igbinedion administration and described Ize-Iyamu as the bridge builder, who opposed the retrenchment exercise of the government. A statement by Okpaise described the criticisms that followed Ize-Iyamu’s account of the problems with the Igbinedion’s administration as unfair. He said the former SSG did his best to ensure that the administration worked for the people. “On the retrenchment in the civil service, I did not support that such an exercise be carried out. I was the first casualty of that exercise which happened while I was on official assignment outside the state. “Pastor Ize-Iyamu and some persons opposed it and warned of the implication . Events have since proved us right.”


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

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NEWS

FRSC arrests 50 traffic offenders From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

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HE Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has arrested 50 traffic offenders at Umunya –Nkwelle Ezunaka junction on Onitsha-Enugu Expressway in Anambra State. Some of the offenders were booked for offences ranging from disobedience of traffic light, number plate violation, route violation and expired driver’s licence, among others. Addressing reporters, FRSC State Commander Omeje Hyginus said the sector recorded 84 road crashes with 22 fatal ones. He said the casualty figure was 264, attributing the cause of most of the crashes to human factor. Omeje said of the 84 crashes, 47 were serious and 15 minor and that of the 22 fatal accidents, 44 persons died and 22 others were injured.

How we survived horror killing, by victims S

URVIVORS of the horrific killing in Oarukwu, a community in Amanuke, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, yesterday relived their ordeal. Twenty two year-old Chidiebele Mmadubuko allegedly went on a killing spree, attacking his father, mother and neighbours after allegedly taking substances suspected to be Indian hemp. His mother, Mercy and a kinsman died immediately. He allegedly killed himself afterwards. The suspect’s father, Goddy, who was said to have died the following day, re-

futed the death rumour. A survivor, Obiefuna Okolo, said: “I was in a sister’s shop that night when the boy entered threatening to kill her; we never knew he had a machete with him. “Before we knew what was happening he has descended on the lady but she sustained no injury as she ran inside the shop. “I tried to hold him down but he escaped and went for me, leaving me with machete cuts on my head and other parts of my body.”

For Mrs Grace Ekemezie, only God saved her that night. She said: “I was in my shop at 10pm when Chidi came to my shop telling me that he would kill me. “He destroyed all my goods. But because the shop was dark, he could not see me otherwise, I would have been dead by now. He then descended on those who came to my rescue. “He left my shop and descended on a small boy who was going to get his phone from a nearby shop.

“When his mother came, he attacked her. When she started running, he pursued her and killed her.” Mrs Faith Igwebudu, whose husband was killed, could not be reached for comments as she was said to be in shock. Sources said her husband had gone to save his tenant, known as Ogbo-ogu. An eyewitness said: “Chidi was saying it was time to kill the ‘snakes’, calling himself the only ‘lion’ that could kill snakes.” Chidi’s brother, Ndubuisi, said the ugly incidence has devastated the family.

Obi meets council poll aspirants

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Group endorses Ubah From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

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GROUP, Anambra Awareness Assembly (AAA), yesterday endorsed the governorship ambition of Dr Ifeanyi Ubah. A statement by its Chairman/Coordinator, Azubuike Chidi Okpata and Secretary, Brendy Anaekwe, said: “Our mandate primarily is to champion knowledge and awareness on candidates contesting for the 2014 governorship election. “We adopted Ubah because his youthfulness and vision for the new Anambra vis-àvis free education for all students; free health care for senior citizens and his intended transparent and participatory leadership. “His interest in farmers and his commitment and dedication in all the sectors based on the programmes he is unfolding for the state.”

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

IMO State Governor Rochas Okorocha has called for cooperation between traditional rulers and members of the newly inaugurated Community Government Council (CGC). The governor spoke at a meeting with stakeholders and CGC members at the Ahiajioku Convention Centre, Owerri. He said meaningful development could only be achieved in an atmosphere of peace, unity and harmony. The governor said traditional rulers as chairmen of the CGC have a role to play in the sustenance of peace among the members. He enjoined the people to embrace the communitygovernment, assuring that the concept will definitely boost development in Nigeria and Africa.

Committee for voter’s registration

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi yesterday met with chairmanship and councillorship aspirants for local government election from all the parties in the state. The meeting was held in Awka with over 300 aspirants from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN); All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Labour Party (LP), among others They visited Obi, under the aegis of movement for the conduct of local government election (MCLGE), led by its Coordinator, Ositadinma Obi. The governor told them that he is ready for the election, as fund was allocated for it in the budget. “Money will not be a problem, if we have money for roads and other projects, money cannot stop the election. “Let me tell you, local government election is over due in Anambra State. “Let this not end in the Government House, go to the State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) and tell them to fix a date; this government will support it,” Obi said.

Okorocha counsels monarchs

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

•Obi (left) with the Secretary to the State Government Oseloka Obaze after the meeting... yesterday

Senate committee worried over infiltration of Ebonyi by terrorists T

HE Senate Committee on Police Affairs has raised the alarm over possible infiltration of Ebonyi State by suspected terrorists from Niger Republic disguised as herdsmen. Chairman of the Committee Senator Paulinus IgweNwagu spoke at Oriuzor in Ezza North Local Government Area. He said he has received intelligence reports that the terrorists disguise as herdsmen while infiltrating the state in

From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

their numbers. Nwagu, who represents Ebonyi Central Senatorial Zone, urged the people to be more vigilant and report suspicious people to security agencies. He said: “I have received reports that people are coming in with cattle. That is how

insurgency starts. Some of these bad people may come all the way from Niger Republic disguised as herdsmen. “You may not know and they may come with different motives, we may not know. What is important is that we should be able to report them to the appropriate quarters that is the security agencies, so that they will probe their activities.

“That is why I said how to stop insecurity is not the business of government and security agencies alone. “Above all, we should also collaborate to fund the security agencies because funding is very important.” The senator warned traditional rulers, councillors and community leaders to ensure maintenance of peace and security in their domain. He said he would hand over to the police anyone who aids or abets crimes.

affidavit on the defence in court yesterday. Although the lead defence lawyer, Chief Robert Clarke (SAN) protested the service of document on his client in court, he all the same, accepted service.

He observed that the SSS raised contentious issues in the counter affidavit and sought for time to enable him study the affidavit and react.. Justice Ademola consequently adjourned to June 21.

Why we can’t release Kano arms suspects, by SSS

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HE States Security Service (SSS) yesterday explained why it was dangerous for it to release three men being held over their alleged involvement in the importation and stockpiling of arms for alleged terrorist activities. The three believed to be Lebanese are Abdullahi Thaini, Mustapha Fawaz and Tahal Roda. SSS said it would be inimical to national security to free the three while investigation was still ongoing. The agency said it would be a security risk to release the three without establishing, through thorough investigation, the suspects’ level of involvement in illegal arm import and bunkering; their link with the deadly Lebanon-based Hezbollah and their arms strength. Its position is contained in a

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

counter affidavit it filed before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja. In obedience to the judge’s order made on Monday, the SSS produced the men in court yesterday. Upon claim by SSS lawyer, Eric Osagie that the suspects were still being investigated, the court ordered that they should be returned to custody. The court also ordered that men of the SSS should allow them access to their lawyers, but whose names must be submitted to the SSS before they visit. SSS added in the counteraffidavit, that another major suspect in the case was on the run and that releasing the three was not only premature, it could jeopardize the ongoing investigation. Osagie served the counter

Sit-at-home to be annual event, says MASSOB

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HE Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) yesterday said the June 8 sitat-home was going to be an annual event. It said no amount of police intimidation would stop it. A statement by MASSOB Administrator for Aba Region B, Lady Comfort Ogbuokiri aka iron lady Biafra, said the arrests by the police if it was intended to cow MASSOB members was an effort in futility. Ogbuokiri who spoke through her director of information, Chidi Okoro, said if observing the sit-at-home every June 8 was the best way to remember the Apo Six and others killed in the North by Boko Haram that the organisation had no apologies to make.

THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Anambra State has set up a committee for effective participation in the election process, including voter registration and voter education. Inaugurating the 18-man committee yesterday in Awka, the NLC State Chairman, Patrick Obianyo, said: “The committee would enlighten workers on their civil responsibility.” The committee was also mandated to organise political debate to enhance healthy exchange of ideas that will lead to the positive transformation of the state. He said the committee will be coordinated by himself and the chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), TKC Okoye.

Elechi: stop harassing Nigerians From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

EBONYI State Governor Martin Elechi has condemned the harassment of Nigerians living and doing business in member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Elechi spoke in Abakaliki, the state capital, at a sensitisation programme on the relevance of the ECOWAS Protocol on free movement of persons, goods and services organised for the Southeast by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Represented by his deputy, Dave Umahi, the governor said often times Nigerians’ goods were seized and at other times, they were subjected to differential and discriminatory treatments. He called for synergy among member countries to tackle the security challenges facing the region. Elechi called on ECOWAS member states to show greater respect and protection to Nigerians living in their countries.


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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

NEWS

‘Borno has high HIV/AIDS awareness’ From Duku JOEL, Maiduguri

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ORNO State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Salma Anas Kolo, yesterday said there is a high level of awareness for HIV/AIDS in the state. She also said discrimination and stigmatisation among the infected has reduced by 80 per cent while awareness about the disease has increased to 95 per cent. Dr. Kolo addressed reporters in his office in Maiduguri, the state capital, as part of activities marking the two years of Governor Kashim Shettima. The commissioner said 16,396 patients were on treatment in the state, adding that the ministry was partnering the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the NASCP to reduce the prevalence rate in the state. She said the state government has signed and paid the World Bank’s counterpart funding in the effort to control the disease. The commissioner also said health workers have placed 2,384 Tuberculosis patients on free anti-TB drugs and 158 leprosy patients on free treatment. Dr Kolo explained that 797,300 rapid diagnostic test kits for malaria have been distributed and 663,000 doses of Fansidar were distributed for intermittent preventive therapy for expectant mothers. According to her, 214,566 doses of ACT were administered to patients while 2,170,000 treated mosquito nets were distributed in the last two years. Dr Kolo said guinea worm has been eradicated and awaiting certification, adding that surveillance across Borno State for the control of the disease is ongoing. The commissioner said Diptheria vaccination was conducted in collaboration with Medicine San Franceirs in Kimba village, Biu Local Government Area, within the same period. On Lassa fever, she said only three suspected cases have been reported to her ministry, adding that all were confirmed negative after diagnosis/test.

Haematologist to be buried June 17

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HE remains of a distinguished Haematologist and Oncologist, Dr. Adebayo Olujohungbe, will be buried in the United Kingdom (UK) on June 17, the family has said. Dr. Olujohungbe died in Canada on May 26, few days to his 50th birthday. He was born in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, on June 3, 1963. According to the family announcement, a service of songs will be held for him btween 7pm and 9pm at Dean Row Village Hall, Browns Lane, Wimslow SK9 2BR. On June 17, his remains will lie in state between 10am and 11am at Jonathan Alcock and Sons Limited, 1-3 Brook Road, Cheadle SK8 1PQ, followed by the funeral service at Bramhall Methodist Church, 23 Bramhall Lane South, Bramhall, Stockport, SK7 1AL. Interment will follow at Wiimslow Cemetery, Manchester Road, Wimslow SK9 2LE.

Gunmen kill two soldiers in Kaduna village attack T

WO soldiers were killed yesterday when some gunmen engaged security operatives, including soldiers, in an exchange of gunfire in Kwasakwasa village, 70 kilometres from Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State. The incident came four days after an attack on three villages in the area and barely 24 hours after Governor Mukthar Ramalan Yero visited the area. The governor had promised that the government would collaborate with neigbouring Zamfara and Niger states to tackle persistent attacks in the area. The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, One

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Col. Sani Kukasheka, confirmed the incident. He said there was an encounter between soldiers and gunmen. The Army spokesman said he was attending a programme in Jaji, Kaduna State, when the incident occurred. Kukasheka said: “Yes, I can confirm to you that there was an encounter between our sol-

diers and insurgents in Birnin Gwari. A number of the assailants were killed. Unfortunately, we also sustained two casualties. Details later. Thank you.” The latest attack on the village, which sources said was repelled by security agents, occurred at 6am yesterday. It was learnt that some vehicles belonging to the security operatives were burnt during the attack. The source, who said several villagers and security men were injured in the attack,

hailed the soldiers deployed in the area for their bravery. He added that the boldness displayed by the security agents helped in repelling the invaders. The casualty figure among the gunmen could not be ascertained at the time of filing this report yesterday. However, the source said the Chairman of Birnin Gwari Local Government Area, Alhaji Idris Alhassan, was on hand to convey the victims to Birnin Gwari General Hospital.

•From left, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, representing the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, Group Managing Director, Emzor Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Stella Okoli, Mr. Fola Adeola and Lagos State Deputy Governor Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, at the Heart and Soul Gala of the Chike Okoli Foundation at the Muson Centre, Lagos.

Monarchs threaten to dethrone corrupt members

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HE National Development of Summit of Traditional Rulers (NDSTR) has threatened to wield the big stick against any monarch found to be corrupt or lawless, it was learnt yesterday. The custodians of the people’s culture said they would not tolerate kidnapping, illicit drug business, terrorism, among other crimes, in their domains. NDSTR declared its stance yesterday in Kano at the end of its two-day general meeting attended by members of the body’s governing council. The council, in a statement after the meeting, also agreed

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

that besides dethroning any defaulters, family members of such chief would also be barred from holding similar positions in future. The council voted Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha the Best Performing Governor on Security Management. It noted that the governor is the only State Chief Executive who has dedicated his security vote to the running an effective security network. The council said Okorocha wisely collaborates with traditional rulers in recruiting, training and paying vigilantes,

an approach the monarchs said has made a great impact on the fight against crimes and corruption in Imo State. On arrival in Kano, the council members visited the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Dr Ado Bayero, to celebrate with him on his golden jubilee anniversary on the throne. The council chairman, His Royal Majesty Emmanuel Sideso, described Bayero as the best Kano has ever seen. He said the emir is a dogged and proven advocate of peace, an inspiration to leaders, a champion of economic development and a man of profound garlands.

Bayero hailed the council for its vision and wished its members success in their pursuits. Also, the council has elected new officers to replace those who had been in office since the inception of the summit in 2008. They include: the Chairman, Governing Council, His Royal Majesty, Emmanuel Sideso, Abe I, JP, the Ovie of Uvwie, Delta State; Programme Chairman, His Royal Majesty, Alhaji Umar Mohammed Atiku, Emir of Akko, Gombe State; and Secretary General, His Royal Majesty, Prof. Laz E. N. Ekwueme, Ezeijikala II of Oko, Anambra State.

Wada urges council chiefs to stop OGI State Governor frequent travels Idris Wada yesterday

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urged the chairmen of the 21 local governments to remain in their local government headquarters instead of embarking on frequent visits to Lokoja, the state capital. The governor said the council chiefs’ itineraries were preventing them from doing the jobs they were elected for. Wada spoke at a sensitisation workshop for chairmen, vice chairmen, secretaries, treasurers and directors of local governments in the state. The governor decried the high rate of travels among the local government adding that it is better for them to remain in their domains, where their people need them most to enjoy dividends of democracy. The governor, who was

From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja

represented by his deputy, Yomi Awoniyi, urged the council chairmen to make the Finance and General Purpose Committee a must and regular in the present dispensation. Wada said his administration would cooperate with antigraft agencies to eliminate corruption at the grassroots. The governor advised the chairmen to maintain peace and tighten security in their areas because of the challenges posed by insurgents, herdsmen, political thugs and other security threats. He said his administration has zero tolerance for corruption, adding that the council chiefs need to hold regular Security Council meeting with heads of security agencies. Wada said the chairmen

would henceforth be held accountable for any security breach in their area. The governor advised them to be conscious of their personal security and that of their areas. The governor also advised the council chairmen to work in harmony with their principal officers for the rapid and sustained development of the state. The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Olugbemiro Jegede, said the seminar, the fourth under the present administration, was aimed at engaging elected and appointed key stakeholders for the attainment of the objectives of the Transformation Agenda. Various papers on the tenets of the Transformation Agenda of the Wada administration, sSymposium on transforma-

Surveyor-General, SUCON rank Nasarawa top in lands reform

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HE Surveyor-General of the Federation (SGOF), Prof Peter Nwilo, as well as members of the Surveyors’ Council of Nigeria (SUCON) have said Nasarawa State is on top of the list of states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the implementation of land reforms that conforms with world best practices. Prof Nwilo led members of SUCON and the Director of Mapping during a visit and inspection of the newly inaugurated complex of Nasarawa Geographic Information System (NAGIS) in Mararaba, at the gateway to Abuja, the FCT. The delegation hailed Governor Umaru Tanko AlMakura’s reforms, including the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy (CsofO) within 14 days, instead of the previous arrangement which took a lifetime to get a land title. The SGOF said Nasarawa has broken the record as the first state on the way to fully comply with the Survey Coordination Act 1962 as well as the standards set by the Presidential Task Force on Lands Reform, which advocate the aerial mapping of lands in the country. Taking a cue from Abuja’s GIS programme, which was executed by former FCT Minister, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Nasarawa initiated and awarded a similar contract to a consortium of firms. under Siraj Engineering Consultants. The contracts provides for the GIS, aerial mapping of the state lands in use, as well as creating cadastral districts for planned development intended to phase out the expanding slums in the state.

Baptists’ quarterly assembly

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HE second quarterly assembly of the Itesiwaju Baptist Association holds tomorrow at Ire-Akari Baptist Church, 3/5, Abeokuta Street, Isolo, Lagos, from 9am. It will be presided over by the Moderator, Rev. Gbenga Ojo, of Araba Baptist Church, Ilasamaja, Lagos, and Consultant, Rev. Femi Ajayi, of Victoryland Baptist Church, Isolo, Lagos.

Police deny report on Rukubi killings From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia

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tion, transformation and good governance as well as creating an enabling environment for transformation were delivered by resources persons, including Dr Abdullahi Shehu, the Director-General of Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa.

HE Nasarawa State Police Command has denied a report that over 50 people were killed during an attack by unknown gunmen at Rukubi village in Ekye Development Area of the state. A statement issued in Lafia, the state capital by the command’s spokesman, Cornelius Ocholi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), described the story as not only false but also aimed at causing disaffection and tension. Police Commissioner Umaru Shehu had denied a report that he had a prior knowledge of the attack on Rukubi village by unknown gunmen. The police chief had said the report was intended to drag his name through the mud.


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NEWS UN: world population to reach 8.1b in 2025 THE United Nations forecast yesterday that the world’s population will increase from 7.2 billion today to 8.1 billion in 2025, with most growth in developing countries and more than half in Africa. By 2050, it will reach 9.6 billion. India’s population is expected to surpass China’s around 2028 when both countries will have populations of around 1.45 billion, the report on “World Population Prospects.” While India’s population is forecast to grow to around 1.6 billion and then slowly decline to 1.5 billion in 2100, China’s is expected to start decreasing after 2030, possibly falling to 1.1 billion in 2100. In another notable finding, the report said Nigeria’s population is expected to surpass the population of the United States before the middle of the century, when the U.S. population is projected to be 400.8 million compared to Nigeria’s 440.3 million.

Iranians go to poll today amid hardline challengers

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RAN’s six presidential hopefuls are wrapping up their final day of campaigning ahead of today’s elections. Momentum has recently been building around moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani. But he faces a tough challenge from hardline candidates like top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and Tehran

mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf. The election will decide a successor to incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is not eligible for a third term. His eight years in power have been characterised by economic turmoil and Western sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear

Turkey PM finally agrees to meet with protesters

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URKEY’s state-run Anadolu news agency says embattled Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with representatives of the protesters occupying Istanbul’s Gezi Park. The announcement came hours after the prime minister gave a “final warning” for the protesters to leave the park, the site of massive protests for the last two weeks. Erdogan will meet with eight artists and two representatives from Taksim Soli-

darity, a group that has coordinating much of the Gezi sit-in, Anadolu said. The meeting later Thursday will be the first time that Erdogan has met with a group directly involved in the occupation. Sticking to his trademark defiant tone, Erdogan also dismissed the European Parliament’s condemnation over the excessive use of force by Turkish riot police against demonstrators. The comments showed that Erdogan appears determined to end the widespread pro-

programme. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called on all Iranians to vote. “Whoever is elected, if he enjoys a strong and overwhelming vote, he will be able to stand up against enemies and aggressors more properly,” Ayatollah Khamenei’s website quoted him as saying.

•Murdoch

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EDIA mogul and N e w s Corporation’s boss Rupert Murdoch has filed for divorce from his wife Wendi Deng, the company confirms.

The couple, who were married in 1999, have two children together. According to a Hollywood gossip website, the couple filed their divorce papers at

A •Erdogan

tests that have trained an unflattering spotlight on his Islamic-rooted government.

ment from his last wife, according to CNBC news. The BBC’s Robert Peston reports that the couple had a pre-nuptial agreement and have held shares in trust for their children, so the divorce between Mr Murdoch and Ms Deng divorce is not likely to lessen the magnate’s grip on his media empire. New York Times media reporter Amy Chozik tweets that, according to the divorce filing, the “relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably”.

Political engagement: A new approach •continued from page 48

The challenge ahead is enormous. The challenge is for us to form networks that will engage and destroy the evil missions of the exclusionists and agents of anarchy among us. In a time of anarchy, everybody is a politician. This is a time of anarchy. In a time like this, we should have no identities other than ordinary Citizen. We are citizens of a world challenged, a people confused and abused, a nation whose resources is misused by leaders whose major worry is the amount of dollars in their bank accounts. The situation is one of psychological abuse, existential abuse. My antidote for this monstrous reality is also psychological: First, while it has become really difficult to set aside our ethnic identities in discharging our civic responsibilities, we must know that in a democratic space, our only identity especially when we gather around ballot boxes and in the service of the nation is our citizenship: “Nigerian”. We must be conscious of this identity, it defines a patriot. Second, always have in mind that politics is not magic. And that people are responsible for the governments that happen to them. If the electorates wear their patriotism to vote in a popular candidate, the electoral officers too must know that their manipulation of figures is a betrayal of trust

and their fellows awaiting them at home. No candidate can rig an election without complicity of the people. Third, offline and online political engagements are compulsory ventures of every citizen of a troubled country. Though, I have always maintained that Nigeria is a Third World country and, for this, we must not be carried away on the social media. A percentage of Nigerians who have no internet access is important. In every decision, and agenda, we aspire to pursue, they must be in the know. Fourth, membership of social and political groups and networks including community volunteerism is the surest way of fixing our weakened bonds and salving our rivalries. The more we meet to discuss personal and public issues without pandering to the designs of the exclusionists, the more we understand and forestall propagandas fashioned against us. The new Nigerian, irrespective of his origin, must be a part of any network that analyses and tries to influence public policies or government. Lastly, let us have in mind that we are now in a sinking ship in which we alone understand, and can reestablish, the hydraulics of our statecraft. Let us have in mind that we are all politicians in this storm. Conclusion The reality of modern

Nigeria is one that challenges us to drop any other identity aside from that of Citizen in our effort to rescue the ship of state from this stormy sea of chaos. All the destructions in the guise of inter-ethnic, interreligious and inter-regional clash are traced to politics and this supports my earlier declarations that every citizen of a troubled country must become a politician. A

since 2009, when protesters took to the streets in anger at the results which they said had been rigged in favour of Mr Ahmadinejad. The opposition says more than 80 of its supporters were killed in a crackdown over the following six months, a figure the government disputes. Several have been sentenced to death, and dozens jailed. The two reformist candidates from 2009 - Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi - remain under house arrest.

One in six children lives in poverty in UK

Rupert Murdoch files for divorce the New York state supreme court on Thursday morning. In 2011, Ms Deng famously leapt to her husband’s defence to slap a protester who threw a pie at him as British MPs quizzed him over phone-hacking. Mr Murdoch reportedly met his Chinese-born third wife in 1997, at a company party. They were married two years later, weeks after his divorce from Anna Mann. The media mogul was reported to have paid $1.7bn (£1bn) in his divorce settle-

The surge of support for Mr Rowhani came after Mohammad Reza Aref, the only reformist candidate in the race, announced on Tuesday that he was withdrawing his candidature on the advice of the pro-reform ex-president Mohammad Khatami. Mr Rowhani now has the endorsement of two ex-presidents, Mr Khatami and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Most of the other remaining candidates in the poll are conservatives close to Ayatollah Khamenei. Friday’s election is the first

politician is a conscious citizen of a country, a politician is first known by his citizenship, a politician is young and old, a politician is poor and rich, a politician is a thinker and volunteer, a politician is employed and jobless, a politician is a humanist and patriot, a politician is a teacher and student, a politician is you and I. Thank you very much.

T least one out of every six children in the UK lives in relative poverty, according to data released by the Department for Work and Pensions. In 2011-12, 2.3 million UK children (17%) lived in homes with substantially lower than average income. This rises to 27% (3.5 million) if measured after housing costs are paid. Children’s campaigners say the true figure is higher and that 300,000 more children live in poor homes than in the previous year. This is because there are two accepted ways of measuring poverty - relative and absolute. The government prefers the measure of relative poverty - defined as when families have a net income that is below 60% of “median net disposable income” - as does

Labour. But the number living in absolute poverty is higher and on this measure, one in five children in the UK lives in poverty - a total of 2.6 million in 2011-12. On this measure, 300,000 more children fell below the poverty line compared with the year before. The absolute measure of poverty differs because it is adjusted for inflation. Campaigners say the reason the headline figure has remained stable is because incomes are falling in the recession.

PUBLIC NOTICE

I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Asiru Fatimo Omolara Opeyemi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Oshinowo Opeyemi Omolara. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE ARISTOS ALL STARS FOOTBALL CLUB OF PORT HARCOURT This is to inform the general public that the above named Club has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under Part C of the Company and Allied Matters Act 1990. NAME OF TRUSTEES: 1. NWOLU PRECIOUS 2. CHINWEZE SUNNY WORUKA 3. Hon. KINSLEY AMADI AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE: 1. For recreational activities such as playing football and keeping fit. 2. Promotion of friendship amongst members. Any objection to this publication should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: BARR. IGWE MOORE No. 8 Divine Avenue Off Obi-Wali Road, Rumuigbo Port Harcourt.


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THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

NEWS

Rivers PDP crisis: Speaker denies issuing open letter to Jonathan

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Multi-million naira goods gone in Anambra as fire razes 150 shops

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•Court fixes July 29 for Judgment

HO authored the open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan in which his attention was drawn to the threat to the lives of top government officials in Rivers State, including Governor Rotimi Amaechi and House of Assembly Speaker Otelemaba Dan- Amachree. Dan- Amachree, who allegedly wrote the letter and subsequently invited for interrogation by the police, denied knowledge of the controversial document. Count me out, the speaker told Justice Adolphus Enebeli of the State High Court in Port Harcourt, the state capital. He told the judge that neither him, nor any government official knew anything about the document, which according to him, bore no signature. The controversial document, which raised allegations of insecurity and threat to the lives of some government functionaries in the state, was credited to Dan-Amachree. It (document) was prominent in the media last month. In the document entitled: “Open Letter to Mr. President”, the speaker reportedly raised alarm of plans to kill Amaechi, himself and some other government officials, loyal to the governor. Also within the period, the Chief of Staff (CoS) in Government House, Tony Okocha, raised another alarm on plots by some persons to introduce bombing into the crisis rocking

From Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt

the local chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Okocha alleged that the private homes of perceived loyalist of the state governor were the targets. Commissioner of Police Mbu J. Mbu described the allegations as serious and invited both the speaker and the CoS for more clarifications. In a news briefing in Port Harcourt, Mbu said: “The speaker has raised very serious issues about security threats and about the attempt to assassinate the governor (Rivers), His Excellency and Chief Security Officer of the state. “That is a very serious issue and the speaker of the state House of Assembly will be invited and will be interrogated to give facts and throw more light into this information.” Gripped by fear of arrest, the duo went into hiding for a while and later reappeared before the judge to seek an order to restrain the police from inviting and arresting them over the alarms linked to them. They accused the police of a ploy to infringe on their fundamental human rights and urged the court to stop them. They were asked to serve parties in the suit - the Inspector- General of Police (IGP), Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIGP), Zone Six, State Commissioner of Police (CP) and the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), State Crim-

inal Investigation Department (SCID) for their defence. The defendants in their counter affidavits said the submissions by the applicant were invitation to the court to stop the police from inviting a citizen for investigation. Addressing the court on the application at the sitting yesterday, Dan-Amachree, represented by Emenike Ebete, told the court that the motion bordered on the suspicion that the fundamental human rights of his client was going to be infringed upon by the police. Ebete urged the court to go ahead and give the order to restrain the police from inviting and arresting the speaker, saying he was innocent of the allegation against him. He said the application was based on the invitation by the police to his client to answer to the charge for which he did not make any report on. Ebete noted that the offence linking Amachree to the charge (the document), was his position as the speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, which suspended the Executives of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, and the failed efforts by the Felix Obuah-led PDP executive committee in the state to have the suspension order reversed. Dan-Amachree’ lawyer accused Obuah of instigating the police to form a biased opinion against his client to enable them effect his arrest. He stressed that none of the

•Mbu

government officials wrote or made any report of threat to live to either the police or the President, including the speaker. The counsel told the judge that “the applicant was invited by the police to answer to the charge for which no report was made against him. The affidavits before the court are meant to explain that the offence of the applicant was that he suspended elected officials of Obio/Akpor council in his capacity as speaker and that he declined Obuah’s order to vacate the suspension. Ebete said: “This was the bias upon which the speaker was invited by the police. The open letter addressed to President Jonathan was not signed by anyone. “There is no nexus on the document for which the speaker is being invited. There is no nexus between the document and the applicant. “Neither my client (the speaker), Amaechi or any of the government officials made any report to the police, or president Jonathan on threat to their lives. Apart from the document there is no other reason the police is trailing the speaker. “The position of the law is that any document that is not signed is baseless. I urge the court to discountenance the document and not rely on it.” The judge adjourned the case till July 29 for judgment.

T was all tales of woe yesterday from owners of 150 shops at the electronics section of Ekwulobia Main Market, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State. They lost goods worth more than N500 million to an early morning fire that ravaged their stalls. The cause of the inferno was still unknown last night. The fire, which started at midnight, destroyed more than 150 electronics and general wares shops, throwing victims and their patrons in Oko and Umunze into mourning. When The Nation visited the scene by 4:30pm yesterday, rescuers were seen battling to retrieve wares and leftovers of electronic appliances from the affected shops. Smoke was billowing from the scene. The fire, according to eye witnesses, could have been put out before the havoc, if the Fire Service at Ekwulobia had responded to a distress call. Rather than swing into action when they arrived at the scene, the fire fighters allegedly scolded those who

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From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

called them. According to the source, the Divisional Police Office (DPO) at Ekwulobia was forced to alert the Fire Service at Awka, but the damage had been done before the arrival of the fire fighters from the state capital. The President-General, Ekwulobia Traders Allied workers Association, Ikechukwu Ezeokeke, and the Chairman of the Electronics section, Frank Timothy, lamented the huge loss incurred by their members. They criticised the response of the firemen, saying the inferno was too intense for private tankers and other volunteers to contain. One of the victims - John Samuel Chetachukwu – looked hopeless at the scene yesterday. He said: “I am a confused person now and I can’t answer your questions. My shop got burnt completely. I was in my house when the youths came to bring me to this place around 4am. When I saw the inferno, I was dumbfounded.

UNESCO to take pupils abroad on educational tour

SUMMER camp organised by the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for junior and high school pupils between ages 14 and 22 has been scheduled to hold in New York, USA for two weeks from July 28 to August 11. The Coordinator and Executive Director of Tehila Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation (TWYEF), Mrs. Stephany Nwannma, broke the news in Ikeja, Lagos when she addressed reporters.

By Tonia ‘Diyan

She said: “UNESCO is to facilitate the visa and not pay for the trip. It is at a subsidised rate of $5,500 with $500 non-refundable. “This is the first time Nigeria is involved in this. We urge educationists, parents, spiritual/business leaders and other decision makers across the globe to take ownership of the idea and sponsor delegates from their communities to participate in the programme.” According to her, 150 countries would be in attendance with 150 pupils from Nigeria.

Seven tertiary hospitals equipped for kidney transplant, says minister

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HE Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said major impact in the health sector would only be achieved with a National Health Act and universal health coverage. He also said seven tertiary hospitals have been equipped with modern equipment and personnel to undertake kidney transplant. The minister, who was rendering account of his stewardship at this year’s Ministerial Platform under the Mid-Term Report of the Achievements of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, noted that the Health Act would define the healthcare system and also provide governance structures for accountability. According to him, the universal health coverage allows for compulsory health insurance and improving geographical access to health. Prof. Chukwu stressed that the two are the cardinal enablers that will make a quantum difference in the sector. The minister also listed the tertiary centres with modern equipment as: Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Osun State; Aminu Kano University Teaching Hospital, Kano; Universi-

From Vincent Ikuomola and Nike Adebowale, Abuja

ty College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State; University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri, Borno State; Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH); University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital and St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, (a private hospital). Prof. Chukwu, also said that University of Nigeria Teaching

hospital has the capacity to undertake open heart surgery. He said: “With this achievements and improvement in the health sector, there is no need for anyone to leave Nigeria to other countries for medical treatment, apart from cases where we do not have expertise in Nigeria. This is because no country in the world can provide all the health needs of its people.”

PUBLIC NOTICE THE FAMILIES OF ONYEMBI IN CONJUCTION WITH “THE WAY OF SALVATION AND FULL GOSPEL MISSION INC” ABA HAS BURIED THE TWO WIDOWS LATE MRS. OLUCHI ONYEMBI AND LATE MRS.CHIOMA MONDAY ONYEMBI ON 1ST JUNE, 2013 WHO WERE ASEPA ROAD SWEEPERS THAT DIED ON FRIDAY 3RD AUGUST 2012 BY MOTORACCIDENT AT ABA OWERRI ROAD ABA. THE FAMILIES WISHES TO EXPRESS THEIR PROFOUND HAPPINESS OVER THE LARGE ATTENDANCE AND EXTENDED ASSISTANCE PARTICULARLY THE COMMUNITY, CHURCH, ASEPA MANAGEMENT AND MORE IMPORTANTLY HER EXCELLENCY CHIEF MRS .MERCY ODOCHI ORJI WIFE OF THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF ABIA STATE (OSINULO) FOR HER CARE AND COSIDERATION FOR HER CARE OF THE LESS PRIVILEGE BOTH IN LIVE AND DEATH. SIGNED: (1) BRIGHT MONDAY ONYEMBI (2) OKECHUKWU NWOSU ONYEMBI (3) HON CHIEF SUNNY ONYEMBI


THE NATION FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

63

SPORT EXTRA

NFF, Eagles resolve bonus row T

HE bonus row between the Super Eagles players and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has been amicably resolved after both parties agreed to bury the hatchet till after the Confederations Cup hostilities. An elated Team Secretary,

•Team flies out tomorrow to Brazil Dayo Enebi Achor said late yesterday that what happened was a mild misunderstanding that has since been resolved and the team will now fly out to Brazil

tomorrow morning. NFF President Aminu Maigari has already said the players have a right to demand for higher bonuses but the federation is

compelled to work within the budget at its disposal. He noted that at the moment the reason for the bonus row was as a result of funds paucity. “And the Chairman of the National Sports Commission and Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has given us his word that all will be well

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•The Super Eagles in training

WARRI RELAY/CAA GRAND PRIX

Athletes ready for action •AFN sets entry standards for Calabar Championship

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HE Warri Stadium was a beehive of activities yesterday as athletes, both local and foreign, put their acts together for today's kick-off of the Warri Relay/CAA Grand Prix. Athletes seen practicing on the tracks included USbased Fred Agbaje, Doreen Amata, Regina George, Abiola Onakoya and Stanley Gbagbeke. The athletes declared their readiness to set personal best times in this relay and the forthcoming national trials in Calabar next week. For Agbaje, it is going to be a competitive event and not rivalry and he is ready to give his best in his first competition on home soil in nine months. Agbaje, whose 10.16secs is the fastest in Nigeria in 2013, said he is looking forward to competing and making the Nigeria team to the World Championship in Russia. Long jumper Stanley

Gbagbeke, also US-based, said he is here for athletics business and that, although this year has not been so good for him, with the Atmosphere around the Grand Prix, he is going to do his best. US-based quarter miler, Regina George, declared her readiness to up her performance in the grand prix irrespective of the times she has been running in the past. "I am ready and I’m here to run. I am a competitor and I am not scared of anyone. I want to run as if I have not run before this year," she said. Nigeria female high jumper Doreen Amata was also optimistic of doing her best. The Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Navy Commodore Omatseye Nasiama expressed the readiness of all athletes to compete and said that all facilities are ready to

enhance performance. The Athletics Federation of Nigeria also unveiled its entry standards for athletes wishing to participate in next week's Cross River State-sponsored All Nigeria Athletics Championships. The championships, which will be used to select Nigeria's representatives to August's 14th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Moscow, Russia, will hold from Wednesday 19th to Friday, 21st June, 2013 at the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar. Athletes wishing to compete in the 100m men and women have until today to run the 10.60 and 11.65 seconds respective times while those for the 400m must have run 48.50 and 55.00 respectively. There are however no standards set for the men and women 5000m, 10,000m, the marathon, 3000m steeple chase as well as the heptathlon/ decathlon.

Emenike returns to training

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•Emenike

NJURED Super Eagles ace Emmanuel Emenike on Thursday took a step closer to his recovery when he left the gym to begin training on the field. The Sparatak Moscow ace trained with the fitness

coach, Ed Dominguez, at the club’s tarasivtsi ground. Emenike is reported to be going strength to strength as he looks set to beat his recovery schedule with the Russian giants getting set for their pre-season tour.

financially in the coming days and that is why we have appealed to the players to understand the situation”. Also speaking on the situation, Sports Marketing icon, Mike Itemuagbor, called on the Federal government to intervene in the financial situation facing the football federation. “When some backroom staff were laid off it was like a joke, now players are revolting, we must save

the NFF and Nigeria from this embarrassment because football is capital intensive but it’s a major image booster for all big nations and the government must take it serious.” The Super Eagles will now have an official training on Sunday on time for its game against Tahiti on Monday in the Confederations Cup championship.

NFF: no query from NSC

HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Thursday denied being queried by the National Sports Commission (NSC) over the bonus issue of the Senior National Team, Super Eagles. NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu stated emphatically that the NFF did not receive any query from the NSC over the matter, clarifying that the Football House informed the Honourable Minister/ Chairman, National Sports Commission, Bolaji Abdullahi before taking the decision to slash the team’s bonus and downsize the technical crew. “We did not receive any query from the National Sports Commission. Before taking the decision to slash

the win-bonus and downsize the team’s crew, we briefed the Honourable Minister. “We are shocked like every Nigerian at the attitude of the players. It is incomprehensible because the NFF President and myself sat down with the Management of the Super Eagles, including Coach Stephen Keshi to explain why we had to slash the bonus and other measures taken. Our Super Eagles players shocked the entire nation on Thursday by insisting they would not collect the new $5,000 winbonus and refused to leave their Country Club Hotel in Windhoek, Namibia for the onward trip to the FIFA Confederations Cup tournament in Brazil. Amadu added: “We are

•Musa Amadu most grateful for the Honourable Minister for his intervention in the matter, which means the team can now travel to Brazil on Saturday and arrive in Belo Horizonte before the first match against Tahiti on Monday.”


TODAY IN THE NATION

FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

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HAT has changed since June 12, 1993? The uniformed services, shamed out of office after thirteen years of official terrorism, are no longer in direct control. Beyond that, the body politics hasn’t changed a bit. Indeed, there are significant lessons unlearned. I do not want to belabour the reader with the known quantity. An election was contested keenly, and a candidate won with clear margins of victory across the nation, a once in the lifetime of the sleeping giant that would have created the much needed action in the direction of nationhood. But that was not to be because in the eyes of a few, Nigeria was not to be unless they are in charge. There were protests and rallies, and then a prolonged battle sustained by the undying optimism of a minority led by NADECO and a coalition of progressives at home and abroad. The struggle was not without its ups and downs. The forces that have always scuttled the emergence of a political nation out of the motley crowd of ethnic nations were at their strongest. They turned the battle against military dictatorship into a sectional and sectarian struggle. It became a we-versus-them affair. And within the struggle itself, ego had its field day and the stress of the battle clearly showed. In the end, the unseen forces that believed in a future for the country intervened giving her a second chance. How has the second chance been used? I want to focus here on four areas of national life that contributed to and/or directly caused the debacle that was the aftermath of June 12, 1993 elections. First is our system of electoral politics and the way we approach elections. The remote and immediate causes of the June 12 fiasco have been well documented. What still stands out was the way the military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida manipulated the sensibilities of the political class and mischievously dribbled them for purposes other than national interest. His idea of leadership at the center was coloured by, not necessarily evil, but certainly primordial considerations of personal and ethnic hegemony. While the June 12 election held the promise of a united nation, Babangida and his crew opted for the unity of a clique promoting the agenda of hegemonists. Sadly, nothing has changed in our electoral politics since the beginning of the present dispensation fourteen years ago. Between 1993 and 1999 the nation was at the brink of collapse as the clamour for peaceful separation rang clear and loud. Shouldn’t it shock reasonable people that we have not moved a bit from the insanity that almost leave us dead as a nation?

RIPPLES Jonathan challenges critics: says I’VE DONE WELL

You’ve done excellently well sir... PETROL is now N50 PER LITRE!

‘Being a Nigerian nigger means trying to smile when you want to cry. It means clinging with relish to life amid psychological death. VOL.8 NO.2,516

C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA

SEGUN GBADEGESIN gbadegesin@thenationonlineng.net

Between then and now

•Babangida

Electoral manipulation greeted the very first elections in 1999 and has only undergone various forms of perverted perfection since, with desperate declarations of elections as “do or die” events. The deliberate and barefaced bungling of the election of the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum is the latest example of the shamelessness of the political class. And it is a mirror image of the June 12 experience. For just like that experience, we are now treated to the drama of participants in a free and fair election shamelessly denying their involvement and asking for evidence of their participation. They are protesting, after the event, that the election shouldn’t have been conducted because NGF Chairs have always been selected by consensus. Well, shouldn’t this have been agreed to by all participants? And if there was not an agreement because some die-hard democrats preferred an election, and you acquiesced, do you have a right to complain because the outcome doesn’t favour you? It’s all in character, and is good evidence that we have learnt nothing and gained nothing. And it is just an indication of what to expect in

‘The June 12 debacle is attributable in part to the depth of the corruption of the body politic literally and metaphorically. And we have learnt nothing from that experience. This is why there is so much cynicism about the government rhetoric on corruption’

2015. June 12, 1993 represented hope for a new sense of nationality with the expectation of a genuine unity of purpose. However, the hope began to be shattered with the struggle for the restoration of the mandate that followed the annulment of the election. Instead of a united front, efforts were made to regionalise and ethnicise the struggle. And that effort has not abated even since the return of civil rule in 1999. We can debate the depth of our ethnic tensions at this time compared with 20 years ago. I am sure, however, that no one can deny what is obvious, that we do not now have a united country and the very idea of a nation is constantly being threatened. If a group can insist that their man must be president or there will be an end to the country as we know it—whatever the election results are—then we know that something is terribly wrong with our sense of who we are and what ideals we espouse. We now think in terms of our ethnic nations, its marginalisation and all, with no corresponding interest in the entity named Nigeria. Why don’t we just get together then

HARDBALL

H

E seems to have gone off da hook, to put it the way of today’s teenagers when they describe an exciting performance by one of their ilk. We speak, of course, of presidential spokesman Dr Reuben Abati in his latest tango with the ‘enemies’ of his boss. A doctor of Philosophy, lawyer and ace columnist, cerebral Abati has as his current object of ‘hate and strafing’, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, former police officer, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and former presidential candidate. We have laboured to make the distinction between the twain to point out that any ‘word war’ between them would be utterly illmatched. When, therefore, Ribadu threw a barb at the Presidency last Saturday from far away Kaduna (reported on Sunday), Abati’s missiles followed swiftly behind, harsh, unsparing and violating all rules of engagement. Irrepressible Ribadu had hacked hard at the Presidency when he addressed the Students’ Representatives Council of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in Kaduna State describing Nigeria’s democracy as one full of tyranny while proclaiming Nigeria a sinking ship. A master of atmospherics who knows how to seize the moment, Ribadu sized up his audience and dug in thus: “The tragedy of our democracy is that it is one in which the yearnings of the youth are stamped down in order to perpetuate a tyranny of interests. Tyranny it is when a certain slim range of people im-

Abati going gung-ho pose their private interests on the majority; tyranny it is when the agents of change are left on the cliff of unemployment, poverty, insecurity, substandard education and, worst still, policies destroyed by our heritage of corruption.” Ribadu said much more to a pliable yet discerning audience with all the rich and farreaching nuances of his treatise. In deed, what he insinuated at and left unsaid is far longer and deeper than the published speech. Dr Abati, too being no novice to the art of the word, read through and between Ribadu’s thick lines. It is no doubt a kick to the underbelly of the Jonathan’s administration, a damning verdict and condemnation. But most importantly, he spoke the truth largely, the harsh truth to obdurate power. But Abati whose government has just given itself a most-flattering mid-term pass mark would not bear an enfant terrible rousing rabble; one that had apparently enjoyed the ‘largesse’ of the same government in numerous ways. Abati, therefore, laid it thick on Ribadu’s back and promptly reminded him the tree

OLA TUNJI OL OLADE OLATUNJI OLOLADE

and reach a peaceful accord for everyone to go to their tents? I think what now holds the country together is the private interests of the political class. It is why the various elements of the ruling party who would have nothing to do with each other still get together to reconcile their differences. The Northern Governors Forum is out to protect the interests of the North. So is the Southsouth Governors Forum. These groups are majority PDP governors. But there is no overriding PDP national ideal that prevents conflict and promotes harmony between the sections. What does is the private and sectional interests that each governor wants to protect. As long as those interests are there, and can be protected by patching up difference, we may expect the Nigeria project to go on. But this is not a guarantee for lasting hopes for the survival of talk less of the prospering of the nation. Finally, we may ask about how we have fared with respect to respect for the rule of law and combine this with the so-called war on corruption. The two are related and have always had a combined effect on the prospect of national development and progress. The first president inaugurated after the June 12 debacle was himself a victim of the manipulation of the rule of law. But he went on to perfect the art of manipulation in many ways, the most egregious being how he mocked the Supreme Court ruling on his seizure of Lagos State Funds. Subsequent administrations continue to mock the rule of law. The Nigerian Judicial Council is by our constitution the authority over the appointment and discipline of judicial officers. But their pronouncements now have to be agreeable to the political class, otherwise they are ignored with impunity. The June 12 debacle is attributable in part to the depth of the corruption of the body politic literally and metaphorically. And we have learnt nothing from that experience. This is why there is so much cynicism about the government rhetoric on corruption. If there is a war going on, it is not visible to the majority of our people. Indeed, they see the opposite when we granted pardon to a notoriously corrupt politician who the international community has written off and an irredeemably corrupt person. The politician that our judicial system absolved from the crime of corruption was found culpable by a foreign court. It is unclear how long we have to wait for our government to redeem itself and our nation from the current state of political stupor. •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above from which his totem was carved. He described Ribadu’s statement as false, hypocritical and self-serving. He digs in: “The Presidency finds it sad and deplorable that Ribadu has resorted to shameless wolf-crying, peddling of arrant falsehood and the denigration of the elected government of his fatherland in furtherance of his selfish quest for continued national political relevance after his wholesale rejection by Nigerian voters in 2011.” Then a go for the jugular: “There can be no doubt that nothing else but blind ambition for an office for which he is clearly unfit is driving Ribadu to infer that an administration led by a President, who welcomed him back from his self-imposed exile, restored his rank in the Nigeria Police to save him from the shame of demotion and converted his dismissal from service to retirement has now become tyrannical and anti-people.” What more to add than that Abati may have slaked the vengeful thirst of his principal(s) but in all his doing, he largely left his job undone. Or better still, he undid his job and he keeps doing himself in as Americans say. Put plainly, Abati has lost his innocence and has let go, gamboling and enjoying a newfound role of an attack dog apparently in contest for relevance with his colleague, the top hound, Dr Doyin Okupe. Ha, this ‘relevance’ thing again. Perhaps all of us Nigerians are travelling in one relevance boat?

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June 14, 2013