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VOL. 7, NO. 2157 FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012



•ALL FOR THE COMRADE: From left: Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chairman Chief Bisi Akande, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, his Edo State counterpart Adams Oshiomhole, ACN National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and his Ogun State counterpart Ibikunle Amosun at ‘An Evening with the Comrade’ in Lagos…last night. The programme is a fund-raiser for Oshiomhole’s re-election. The election is scheduled for July 14. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN


$620,000 bribe: Police detain Farouk Lawan

Leave Jonathan out of scandal, says Presidency

Rep may be taken to court on Monday Tambuwal meets with ex-officials

•SNG: President knows about it


From Yusuf Alli, Abuja


AROUK Lawan, chairman of the House Ad Hoc Committee which probed the fuel subsidy scandal, was detained last night. The Police Special Task Force is holding the lawmaker for the alleged $620,000 bribe, which businessman Femi Otedola said he gave him. Lawan said he collected the cash to prove that the Zenon Oil chief put him under pressure. Also detained is the Clerk of the Ad Hoc Committee, Boniface Emenalo, who is belived to have collected $120,000, part of the bribe. Lawan, after a five-hour grilling, had his fate sealed at 9pm when the Task Force told his counsel, Mr. Israel Olorundare(SAN) and Mr. Sam Ologunorisa(SAN), that he could not be granted bail. Continued on Page 4




RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has asked to be left out of the House of Representatives’ cash-forclearance scandal. Dr. Jonathan noted that he has no reason or desire to meddle in the affairs of the House of Representatives and its leadership. The President, according to a statement issued by presidential spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati, described as false and baseless the insunuation that the executive plans to unseat the leadership of the House. The Presidency said attempts to drag it into the matter are entirely speculative and without factual foundation The statement reads:

From Victor Oluwasegun, Dele Anofi and Gbenga Omokhunu Abuja

“The Presidency has denounced the lame and diversionary attempt by some newspapers to drag the person and office of the President into the very unsavoury bribery scandal involving the Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Fuel Subsidy Probe Ad-Hoc Committee and a wellknown petroleum products marketer. “The mischievous insinuation in today’s editions of the newspapers that the entire affair, in which the two key players have publicly confessed their roles, is part Continued on Page 4





‘My bright Sunday afternoon suddenly turned dark’ •Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola exchanging pleasantries with former Governor Lateef Jakande at the graduation ceremony of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo... yesterday. Watching is Chief Omolade Okoya-Thomas PHOTO: MOSES OMOSEHIN

For Adobi Mojekwu, one of the victims of the Dana Air plane crash, the tears of many a relative, associate and well-wisher may take longer to dry. They have been pouring out their hearts in a memorial website, reports OLUKOREDE YISHAU


•From left: Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Jibril Aku, Miss Universe 2011, Miss Leila Lopez, Executive Director, Corporate Banking, Ecobank, Ms. Foluke Aboderin and Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Mrs. Denike Laoye during the Miss Universe’s visit to the bank ...yesterday PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU

•Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Wael Ammar, Managing Director, Total Nigeria, Mr. Francois Boussagol, Chairman, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Hakeem Bello-Osagie and Chairman, Total Nigeria, Mr. Stenislas Mittelman at the Etisalat/Total Nigeria Plc strategic partnership signing ceremony in Lagos...on Wednesday PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

HE was 46 years on May 10. But, exactly 24 days later, Adobi Mojekwu boarded a Dana Air plane from Abuja on her way to Lagos. The plane got to Lagos with difficulties and crashed in Iju-Ishaga on the outskirts of Lagos. Some days after, a memorial website was opened for her. Friends, associates and people she mentored have been pouring encomiums on her. What they have written about her indicates that many may never recover from her death. An acquaintance, Chinyelu Onuora, recalled how she sent her a text that she was compelled to pay premium for the return trip, which was never to be. Onuora said: “Shortly after replying you in expectation that your flight would have arrived, those gory BB messages and pictures started hitting my phone. My bright Sunday afternoon suddenly turned dark, sadness enveloped me. I hate to think you are gone and have asked why severally without an answer.” The deceased’s cousin, Chukwuemeka Okpalaoka, recalled how she was the only one who could get away with calling him a name he despised. He said the deceased’s car is in his house and he only had the courage to drive it some days back. Okpalaoka said: “Considering the fact that as cousins, we never used to talk about 15 years ago, yet we lived in the same house. You would cook and not give me, but you always waited for me to come back from work, because you knew I always had a story to tell. Here we are 15 years after, you alone called me a name I so despised and

hated. I could not have a complete day without talking to you. I must not come to your house with a full belly. You were ever so curious to know the kind of woman I would marry; you had to go through all the hold-up at Apongbon to see this woman I want to spend my whole life with. ‘So that is your spec,’ you said. I did not know I was the one getting married or you. “I would buy ordinary yam for you and you would tie ribbon on it and check it into a plane that eventually took your life. ‘Please nothing should happen to this yam,’ you would tell them. You would cook the yam yourself and tell people. ‘This is Mimi’s yam, my brother.’ “Adobi, your eco green Hyundia ix35 is in my house. Come, let me drive you round. I have finally driven it. Please come, please come I am waiting... I will be at the arrival terminal waiting for you to come. Just because I know you live. “Heaven is wondering what has changed. You have made your grand entry over there as you always do here on earth. I know this because even the devil would not have you in hell because you would take the attention away from him and make the people there happy! Adobi, you live, I know you live. Life might not be the same without you but I know you live!” One of her childhood friends, Nonny Azike, said it is difficulty coming to terms with the fact that she is dead. Azike said she has been seeing flashes of those days when they used to play all the time, share food, sweets and dolls. She said: “Going to school, though you were younger, I took you like a baby sister I did not have. Then we lost touch for so many years and

Coroner’s inquest for hearing next Monday


•Chairmain, Isolo Local Development Council, Sghamsideen Olaleye, member, House of Representatives, Hakeem Muniru and one of the beneficiaries of Muniru’s empowerment programme, Mrs. Wosilat Jimoh in Lagos... PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU yesterday

HOURHG its Alimosho District office, the Coroners’ Court of Lagos State has approved the request for an inquest into the June 3 crash of Dana Air plane in Iju-Ishaga, a Lagos suburb . Lagos lawyer Femi Falana, in a letter addressed to the Chief Coroner of Lagos, accused the management of the Dana Air, of causing the death of 153 passengers by allowing a ‘defective’ aircraft to fly. Besides, he alleged that the distress call made by the pilot of the plane to the airport was ignored. The lawyer activist said in the letter: “In the light of the foregoing, we request you to use your good officers to cause a coroner’s inquest to be conducted into the cause of the air crash and make appropriate recommendations.” Acting on the request, the chief coroner, L.A. Okunnu has directed the coroner, Alimosho District Mr. D. A. Komolafe to conduct an inquest. The Alimosho coroner’s District has fixed next Monday for the hearing of the inquest. It urged any party seeking the post-ponement of the hearing to apply to court No 5, Abule-Egba before June 18.




No more shouts of Uncle Tukis

ay nly


•The late Adobi

Shortly after replying you in expectation that your flight would have arrived, those gory BB messages and pictures started hitting my phone. My bright Sunday afternoon suddenly turned dark, sadness enveloped me. I hate to think you are gone and have asked why severally without an answer

found ourselves a couple of years ago, discussing how we would reunite since I don’t stay local. I was looking

forward to the food you promised preparing for me. I can’t believe this. God knows best, farewell my friend Adaobi till we meet to part no more. Good night.” Writing on the website yesterday, Ejike Iroegbunam said the late Mrs. Mojekwu was a major influence on her life. He said: “You touched our lives in such a wonderful way that you would always live in our hearts!” Mr. Chike Okonyia recalled the good times they had together: The smiles, the jokes and the words of encouragement. He said: “Words cannot express my shock. I must submit to my God and His will for all mankind. I am persuaded that He knows all about this...but it is hard. We had quite a few laughs and good times back then. “ Mrs. Lola Ade-Onojobi said she prayed the name on the manifest turn out to be another person. For five days, she said she was in shock. She said: “I still remember your voice, your laughter, your style and zest for life.”

F there had been one survivor in the ill-fated Dana MD-83 plane, I have no doubt who it would be: Charles Chukwudi Ntuko. Tukis (as close friends call him) was an indefatigable fighter with unquenchable zeal to live, achieve and make lasting impacts. He faced obstacles with great courage and replaced disappointments with hope and new targets. Challenges and obstacles lined up against him early in life, having lost both parents before he left secondary school. Undaunted, Charles did not only gain admission to study one of the most sought after courses (Accounting) in one of the most revered institutions in Nigeria (The University of Nigeria), he went ahead to graduate as the best student in his class. When the National Union of Accounting Students was drifting, Charles was drafted by well-meaning members to contest for presidency of the association and lead a “Salvation Team”. He ran the most extensive and impactful campaign ever witnessed in the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. After achieving landslide victory, Charles and his Salvation Team paid thank you visits to all the halls and sent personally signed letter to all student-voters. This helped to elicit a lot of goodwill and commitment from students for his team. As president of NUASA, his achievements were unprecedented. He got the doyen of Accountancy profession, Chief Akintola Williams and his wife, to host students of the department to a dinner in his Ikoyi residence. He solicited for and received donations from people such as the late Chief MKO Abiola for the department. Several banks, manufacturing companies and accounting firms were persuaded to host NUASA members on industrial tours, accept our students for vacation jobs and make contributions to the departmental projects. As a member of his team, I remember on two occasions, we had meetings with Chief Kalu U. Kalu, former Chairman of Union Bank and partner of Dr. Pius Okigbo in Skoup Consult, on how to mobilise financial support for the Department of Accountancy. Under his leadership, the association became a real partner to management on the issue of development and students’ welfare.


By Okwy Peter Okpala

An avid reader and lover of nature, Charles believed that charity began with a smile, some kind words and comforting gestures. He was always jovial and warm. The bond of friendship and brotherhood we shared was so strong. It is hard to accept that shouts of “Tukis, Uncle Tukis” will no longer reverberate in my house. He was about the closest friend of my wife and the favourite uncle to my children. Whenever situations seemed to overwhelm us, Charles was always there to take us away. Charles was always full of ideas, willing to dare and succeed. Unlike most of his classmates, he did not apply to work for anybody. He set up his own business and developed a wide network for marketing fruit juice, wines and other products. At a point, he ventured into production. He was the Managing Director of Amex Brown Ltd and Hitwave Ltd. Lately, Tukis devoted his life to promoting entrepreneurial development among youths. He carried with great dedication and passion, the vision of motivating and encouraging youths and channeling their youthful zeal, vigor, enthusiasm and stamina towards productive endevours, for the good of the society and to the glory of God. In this mission, which he considered a divine assignment, Charles partnered

•The late Ntuko

notable institutions and NDOs such as Lagos Business School, Sound Minds Initiatives and the FATE Foundations. His last outing was for a collaborative project with FATE Foundations for MTN Nigeria Ltd. He was one of the seven judges for The Budding Entrepreneurs Competition. The Port-Harcourt and Lagos legs of the project were concluded successfully. The final leg was what he concluded in Abuja before boarding the ill-fated plane. When Charles’ body was recovered from the wreckage, there were no scares, no stains, and no stress on his face. His shirt was still neatly tucked in. He must have been the last man standing, fighting to remain alive and hoping help will come. Had help come when it should, Tukis wouldn’t have surrendered to death. Tukis, I know before you surrendered finally you wanted to talk to me. Still speak! I can still hear. What were those assignments you wanted me to complete? We had always agreed that death to men of vision should never mean the death of their vision. May it be so with you Tukis! I have cried, I have wailed but the best way to mourn you is to uphold your vision and complete your project… God help me! Good bye Tukis. Goodnight. • Okpala is of the Department of Accounting,University of Lagos.

Thirty-eight years ago, the late Godwin Abugu was in Ilorin courtesy of a scholarship to attend the Government Secondary School. He died in the Dana Air plane crash. Former Abia State Governor ORJI UZOR KALU pays tribute to them. Excerpts:

•Candle light memorial service for victims By Wale Adepoju

A statement by Ireti Bakare Yussuf on behalf of a group, the Third June Memorials, reads: “The memorial service would be a special service of songs, poetry and readings to mark the loss of our friends, families and fellow citizens who lost their lives in the tragic Dana Air Crash of June 3, 2012 and other tragedies which have cut short the lives of our fellow Nigerians this year. “If you lost loved ones in the crash, please send their names and a picture to so it can be included in the picture memorial during the service. Let us mourn with the families of the departed. May our prayers heal their hearts. Let us bid farewell to the departed, may their memories live on in our hearts forever.”

Good bye, good night Abugu

LASUTH releases victim’s body to family HE Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) yesterday released the body of one of the victims of the Dana Air plane crash to his family. The body, The Nation learnt, was immediately buried in his family house at Lekki, Lagos Island. Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr Wale Ahmed said autopsy has been completed on all bodies and have been embalmed. He said DNA samples will be sent abroad soon for analysis. So far, nine bodies have been released. Although 19 of the 43 identifiable bodies are ready to be claimed, some of the families are yet to claim them. A multi-faith candle light memorial service will hold on Sunday at the Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island in memory of victims of the crash.

Charles believed that charity began with a smile, some kind words and comforting gestures. He was always jovial and warm. The bond of friendship and brotherhood we shared was so strong. It is hard to accept that shouts of “Tukis, Uncle Tukis” will no longer reverberate in my house. He was about the closest friend of my wife and the favourite uncle to my children. Whenever situations seemed to overwhelm us, Charles was always there to take us away



ODWIN Abugu emerged as one of the best ten pupils in the old Eastcentral State and bagged government scholarship with the likes of Chuks Nwosu, Ikechukwu Aporo, Chinaka Obasi and Udensi Okoli in 1973.

The late Ajie Ukpabi Asika having benefitted from Rockefeller scholarship in the U.S. thought it wise to partner with the then Kwara Governor David Lasisi Bamigboye in an exchange programme. The best ten from the East moved to Ilorin,the best ten from Kwara were sent to Enugu. Ezenwa Mojekwu was part of the second set of 1974-1979. Abugu adjusted to life in Ilorin and the five Igbo Boys from Old Biafra also met some senior Igbo boys who were part of the school team, Kwara Academicals champions in the days of school Principal, Mr.Oshatoba. The G. S .S., Ilorin team was good. They had Frank Omenka; yes, the latter day Col. Omenka. He was a Higher School student and actually joined the Army from there. Folorusho Gambari (Gambus), exShooting Star, was in the squad as well as two other Igbo boys, Aniagor and Odiachi. Former NTA sports commentator, Waheed Olagunju

was also a student there. The late Abugu and his mates from the Southeast, back home on holidays, would regale friends with stories about Ilorin. The number of scholars had increased to include more names like Iche Uduma, Emeka Nweze, Ike Anieriobi,Chiedu Chukwueke, among many others. You would hear them talk about Midland Stores, Gambari, Fulani, Alanamu and Ajikobi, which were also houses in their school.You could hear big names like Justice James Adesiyun,Joseph Abu, Anene Ogbeha and James Amego,both Commissioners. Then the high sounding places, with names such as -Ogori Magongo, Lafiagi, Pategi, Ifelodun, Irepodun and Bamigboye’s town OmuAran.They were really proud of the people, relished the opportunity. Abugu left for Russia after school where he bagged a Phd. I hope Kwara would remember him in death.



NEWS Leave Jonathan out of scandal, says Presidency Continued from Page 1

•Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, flanked by Group Managing Director/CEO, FirstBank of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Bisi Onasanya and National, President, Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Chief Chukwu Nwachukwu at the signing of an MoU between the Bank and NASSI on enhancing the growth and development of SMEs at the Radisson Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos...yesterday

Budget 2012: Fed Govt releases N404.1b



HE Federal Government has released N404.1 billion for the implementation of projects by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) this year, Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said yesterday.

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy explained that of the N239.8 billion cash-backed, the MDAs have expended N94.1b. She spoke on the state of the economy at a news conference in Abuja yesterday. According to her, the figure represents about 39 per cent of the cash-backed approvals. Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said the first quarter 2012 releases totalled N304.1 billion. The balance of N100 billion was released in the second quarter. More funds would have been released for projects during the six-month period but the MDAs were still implementing the 2011 budget up to the end of the first quarter, because of the extension of implementation of last year’s budget. The Government said the minister, will ensure that fi-

From Nduka Chiejina, Abuja

nancial years do not exceed the 12-month calendar period and ensure that the implementation of the current year’s budget does not spillover to 2013. On the fuel subsidy payment, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said in addition to the N451 billion paid so far on the arrears of fuel subsidy claims for last year, an additional N17 billion had been released for the 2012 claims. She confirmed that the Federal Government did not suspend fuel subsidy payments as reported in the media. According to her, the Committee set up by the Federal Government to review the subsidy payment regime following the sack of the auditors would release its report next week. The government

will act on its recommendations, she said. The Minister said President Goodluck Jonathan had directed the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) and the Director General, Budget Office of the Federation to clear all the outstanding salary arrears of civil servants. She attributed the delay in the payment of workers’ monthly salaries to hitches in the IT infrastructure of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS). Both IT initiatives, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said, were adopted by the government to ensure transparency and efficiency in recurrent expenses.

of a plot by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the executive arm of government to unseat the leadership of the House of Representatives, is totally false and baseless. “For the benefit of unwary members of the public who may be deceived by the political innuendoes now being woven into the subsidy probe bribe affair, President Jonathan wishes to affirm that he has absolutely no reason or desire to meddle in the affairs of the House of Representatives and its leadership. “Neither the President nor anyone acting on his request or order has anything to do with the scandal that has sadly engulfed the House ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy. The attempt to drag the Presidency into the matter is entirely speculative and without factual foundation. “Against the background of its avowed commitment to the effective prosecution of the war against corruption in Nigeria, the Presidency notes with satisfaction, that given the seriousness of the scandal, the House of Representatives has already recalled its members from recess for a special session to deliberate on it tomorrow. “The Presidency, therefore, urges the media to allow members of the House and law enforcement agencies to conduct and conclude investigations without further unhelpful distractions. “Recent developments notwithstanding, President Jonathan’s directive to the Attorney-General of the Federation on the report of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, as adopted by the House of Representatives,

subsists and he fully expects that all those indicted in the report will be duly investigated and prosecuted, if a prima facie case is established against them.” But the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) yesterday said President Goodluck Jonathan is aware of the $620, 000 bribe allegedly collected by Hon. Farouk Lawan. SNG spokesman Yinka Odumakin said: “The probe is bound to collapse. “The issue is about a house of corruption wanting to preserve itself. The report touches the major artery of corruption in Nigeria and it was going to be terminal. “A rearguard attempt succeeded in planting a bribe on Farouk through a major player in the oil industry by the ruling party. It is the same script used in the power probe where Ndidi Elumelu committee’s N5.2 billion malfeasances were used to bury $16 billion scam. “We are wiser now. We will get to the bottom of Otedola-Lawan saga without brushing aside the $20 billion subsidy theft that led to all this. That all those involved in the subsidy scam have been shielded so far while the Presidency is busy showing video of a subplot clearly shows what this is designed to achieve. The President is aware of the $620, 000 bribe,” he said. A member of the House of Representatives, Jerry Alagbaoso, denied that he assisted the embattled chairman of the ad hoc committee on fuel subsidy regime, Farouk Lawan, to collect money from oil marketers. Continued on Page 59

Police detain Lawan over $620,000 subsidy bribe

Continued from Page 1

Lawan refused to release the cash to the STF, led by Police Commissioner Ali Amodu. This, it was learnt, may have been why he lost his battle for bail. The lead counsel, Olorundare (SAN) said: “We have just been told that he will not be granted bail tonight. We are suspecting a premeditated plan to detain Lawan so that he won’t be part of the emergency session of the House of Representatives on Friday (today). “Ordinarily, the offence is bailable. Why did they allow Otedola to go home after barely spending an hour and kept this lawmaker waiting for five hours?We got here with our client at 4pm but they did not tell us that Lawan will not get bail till 9pm. “I asked CP Ali Amodu why the police were detaining Lawan, he said ‘based on orders from above’ but he did not specify whose orders. The OC Legal interjected by saying we will meet in court. “It is frustrating and a slight to isolate Lawan from his lawyers. They just kept us in a room without access to the lawmaker. “Yet, each time we asked about Lawan’s whereabouts, the police could say “he will soon be with you in a minute.” Now, it is over five hours of waiting.”

200 lawmakers sign up for Lawan’s suspension

mon and how the alleged $3million bribe was negotiated. “We also picked Lawan up on From Victor Oluwasegun and VER 200 members of the House lege by Chief Whip, Mohammed Bawa. Dele Anofi, Abuja of Representatives have signed The remaining event will be pure pro- his reaction to allegations from up for the suspension of fuel sub- ly in Asokoro and Maitama, Abuja. tocol as members will debate back and Otedola, who had earlier voluntarily come to the Police sidy probe chairman Farouk Lawan over The meetings were hinged on what forth on all that has been in the public “We also picked him up on the domain while they were on break. Eventhe bribe-for-clearance scandal. would be the form and content of today’s alarm he raised in the Leadership tually, it will culminate in a resolution. Members are angry that the scandal has plenary, it was learnt. over a plot to bribe the Ad Hoc Sources told our correspondents that impugned on the integrity of the House The Maitama meeting, which took Committee. In the last two and brought personal slight on members. place in the house of a member of the there may be a rally today at the Nation- hours, Lawan has been writing al Assembly in Lawan’s favour. But Lawan, who got wind of the move, leadership, was to find a common way On rumoured plans to impeach the his statement, a source said.” visited Speaker Aminu Tambuwal early out of the $3 million bribe –for-clearance Asked why Lawan’s counsel Speaker, a member, Kaka Kyari yesterday to plead for leniency. scandal and protect the House’s integriGujbawu (PDP, Borno) said it was nei- were not allowed to be part of Lawan reportedly told Tambuwal that ty. the questioning, the source addleaving him stranded now will also bring Though the House has called for an ther the intention of President Goodluck ed: “We have not reached the Jonathan nor that of any body within the opprobrium to the House. emergency session today, it was polarised stage where the lawyers will be Tambuwal was said to have told Lawan on the appropriate action to take on La- Presidency to remove Tambuwal. Gujbawu said: “The President is not part of the interrogation. What that he has no personal grudge against wan, who admitted collecting $620,000 interested in who becomes the Speaker we have done so far is to isolate him but that members’ decision on the from businessman Femi Otedola. issues for the lawmaker to refloor will be final. Some members are said to be suggest- of the House within the present circum- spond to.” stances, but I will say that as far as I am The Speaker’s position is in tandem ing to the Speaker not to set up an ad hoc It was learnt that the House with that of the Deputy Chairman of the committee to investigate the issue. They aware, there is no meeting that is going leadership wanted Lawan to be House Committee on Media and Public would rather have the House Committee on to remove the Speaker or to effect a part of its Emergency Session Affairs, Victor Ogene, who yesterday said on Ethics and Privileges take over the case. change in the leadership of the House. “We should put our House in order today in Abuja . that members will be guided by their de- According to them, this will give Lawan A source said: “We told the and find ways and means of regaining sire to safeguard the institutional Integ- a breathing space and a face-saving oppolice that Lawan will be availthe confidence of Nigerians because the rity of the House. portunity. able as long as those in charge Over five caucuses were said to have Today’s session is likely to see a mo- Presidency did not ask anybody to go of the case will allow him bail to met. Meetings were held simultaneous- tion being moved under order of privi- and collect money from anybody.” enable him participate in our The police may take Lawan retrieve the bribe money from The principal officers also advised to appear before the emergency session on Friday. “Our expectation is that the to court either on Monday or Lawan, who insisted that he debated extensively on what Task Force. Tuesday. will make the sum available should be the fate of Lawan. It was gathered that Lawan police will honour this part of A source said: “Yes, we are only to the court. But to prevent a rancourous arrived at the Force Headquar- the obligation.” A senior police officer said: detaining him, pending the “He said he could not lay session, some former principal ters at about 4pm. conclusion of investigation. himself bare without any officers of the House met with He was interrogated at the “We are happy that the hide and We may not release him till shred of evidence.” Tambuwal on Wednesday Office of the acting Inspector- seek game has ended, we can next week. As Lawan was honouring the night to advise the leadership General of Police, Alhaji M.D. commence full-scale investiga“We may have to meet in police, House Speaker Aminu of the lawmakers. Abubakar, by Amodu and his tion into the bribery saga now.” CP Ali had in a June 4 letter court for bail application.” Tambuwal and his principal After consultations with the team. On the $620,000 cash, the officers met for about five hours House leadership and some Lawan was asked to make a to Lawan asked him to report source said: “The police were on how to manage today’s leaders of the Peoples Demo- statement on how he knew Ot- for interrogation. Continued on Page 59 unhappy that they could not emergency session. cratic Party(PDP), Lawan was edola, what they have in com-


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Obama unfolds new strategy on sub-Saharan Africa

HE United States (U.S.) yesterday announced a new strategy towards sub-Saharan Africa. The strategy “provides a proactive and forward looking vision grounded in partnership”. A statement by the White House’s Office of the Press Secretary said the strategy has four objectives, which are aimed at strengthening democratic institutions and spurring economic growth, trade and investment. President Barack Obama said Africa and its people are partners in creating a future grounded in growth, mutual responsibility and mutual respect. Obama added Africa is more important than ever to the security and prosperity of the international community. He said Africa’s economies are among the fastest growing in the world. The American president said: “The burgeoning youth popula-

•To strengthen democracy, trade, security •Warns coup plotters, elections’ riggers By Olukorede Yishau

tion in Africa is changing economies and political systems in profound ways. Addressing the opportunities and challenges in Africa requires a comprehensive U.S. policy that is proactive, forwardlooking, and that balances our long-term interests with nearterm imperatives. This U.S. Strategy Towards Sub-Saharan Africa solidifies and advances many of the initiatives that we have launched since I took office in order to help achieve that balance.” Obama observed that sustainable economic growth is a key ingredient to security, political stability and

development. He said: “While many countries on the continent have made tremendous strides to broaden political participation and reduce corruption, there is more work to be done to ensure fair electoral processes, transparent institutions that protect universal rights, and the provision and protection of security and public goods. Our message to those who would derail the democratic process is clear and unequivocal: the United States will not stand idly by when actors threaten legitimately elected governments or manipulate the fairness and integrity of democratic processes, and we will stand in steady partnership with those who are com-

mitted to the principles of equality, justice, and the rule of law. America believes in Africa as a region of growing opportunity and promise, for Africa, for America, and for our people and our economies.” Obama said Africa has the potential to be the world’s next major economic success story. He promised to work with “our African partners to build strong institutions, to remove constraints to trade and investment, and to expand opportunities for African countries to effectively access each other’s markets and global markets, to embrace sound economic governance, and diversify their economies beyond a narrow reliance on natural resources, and — most importantly— create opportunities for Africa’s people to prosper.” The American president added that under the new strategy American companies will be encouraged to seize trade and investment opportunities in Africa.

Air crash avoidable, says ex-deputy governor By Emmanuel Oladesu

FORMER Lagos State Deputy Governor Rafiu Jafojo has said plane crashes are avoidable, if government moves swiftly to halt the corruption in the aviation sector. He said the non-compliance with safety regulations by airline operators have led to disasters that had wrecked families and left the nation in agony. Jafojo, who spoke with reporters in Lagos, lamented the recent plane crash involving Dana Air and commiserated with the victims’ families and relations. He urged the Federal Government to make public the report of committees set up to investigate previous air disasters, stressing that, if culprits had been brought to book, re-occurrence would have been averted. Jafojo added: “If aviation sector is run the way it should be, then, these disasters are preventable. The rules must not be set aside. There is need for compliance because the sector must have zero tolerance for corruption. This is necessary to put an end to fear, anxiety and gloom that have encircled the critical sector.”

NACOMYO mourns crash victims

• From right: Wike (middle), Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission, (UBEC) Dr Ahmed Modibbo Mohammed (right) and Zamfara State Commissioner for Education Dr Na-Allah Isah Mayana…yesterday

Why girls must be educated, by Wike


INISTER of State for Education Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has said it would not be in the interest of the country for the girl-child not to be educated. Speaking in Gusau during a visit to Zamfara State Governor AbdulAzeez Yari Abubakar yesterday, Wike noted that the Federal Government is committed to improving enrolment of the girl-child in the North. The minister said the government is combining the construction of girl-child schools and dedicated en-

rollment drives to improve educational standard across the country. He said: “We have stepped up advocacy for increased enrollment of the girl-child in Northern Nigeria with a view to integrating the girls into the mainstream of the development process.” He stated that no segment of the nation should be denied quality education because of lack of resources. Wike said: “It is important for girls to attend school for us to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

We should not discourage girls from going to school due to traditional and religious reasons”. Governor Yari said the state government has commenced the execution of projects aimed at increasing girl child enrollment. He said that in the last one year, his administration has constructed 346 blocks of classroom for girl-child schools. The governor said traditional rulers have been involved by the state to increase girl child enrollment. Wike held an advocacy and

sensitisation meeting with education commissioners, chairmen of State Universal Basic Education Boards and Girl Child Desk officers from the seven Northwest. The stakeholders declared their commitment to work with the Federal Government to improve the enrollment of the girl-child in the zone. The minister of state inspected the Girl-Child Secondary School under construction in Gusau and Almajiri schools in Talata Mafara and Maru.

Campus Life girl Ngozi Agbo to be buried on June 20


HE remains of The Nation’s Campus Life coordinator, Mrs. Ngozi Agbo, will be buried on Wednesday, the family said yesterday. According to statement , the interment will be proceeded by a service of songs at the Chapel of Christ Our Light, University of Lagos (UNILAG) on Tuesday. The lying-in-state will hold at LOTAD Funeral Services on Oba Ogunji Road, close to LASU Museum, Agege, Lagos by 9am, after which the interment follows at Atan Cemetery. The late Mrs. Agbo’s students have continued to pay tributes. Laz Ude Eze, a former Campus Life correspondent at University of Ibadan (UI), who is now undergoing his postgraduate degree in Public

By Wale Ajetunmobi

Health at University of Kentucky in United States, said: “Despite Mrs. Ngozi’s busy schedule, she insisted to be present at my induction into the medical profession four years ago. She was not just my Editor on Campus Life of The Nation newspaper but also a friend and mentor. She added values to my life and lives of her many students. She was one of the most intelligent and diligent women I have met.” He added: “No woman deserves to die from child birth. The pain on us is excruciating. I can’t describe how upset I am that child birth still kills women in Nigeria. I hope to use the words you told me last year when I lost my childhood friend to console myself. By God’s grace,

Ngozi’s baby will grow up and continue from where her mother stopped.” Adetunji Solomon, a postgraduate student at University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), said: “I must thanks Mrs. Ngozi Agbo for the special interest she had in my life. I must thank her for her prayer and useful advice. I owe her many thanks for the support she gave me during the Jos crisis of 2008. I appreciate the late Ngozi for the hope she raised in me because hopelessness is a sin. I can’t thank her enough.” Msonter Anzaa, a 200-level Medicine student, Benue State University, said: “Aunty, you have played your part and left. It is hard to believe you are gone. You had a vision of a just nation and pursued it articulately while your pen still wrote. You were

•The late Mrs. Agbo

a model and leader. And though you are no more today, we shall continue with the work you started.”

THE National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO) Lagos state chapter has commiserated with the families of the victims of Dana Air crash in which 153 passengers and all crew members lost their lives. The council in a statement signed by the publicity secretary Bro Moshood Abdul-Wasi urged the Federal Government to identify those that were responsible either through negligence of duty or lackadaisical attitude adding that they should be severely dealt with to serve as deterrence to others. It is only when incidence of this type happened that the ineptitude of the government agencies are brought to the fore, the Council noted and reiterates the need for the government to correct the lapses in the aviation sector.

Muslims pray for victims, Nigeria By Amidu Arije

Muslims faithful yeasterday gathered at the Lagos Central Mosque, Idumota to pray for the victims of the Dana Air plane crash in Iju Ishaga, a suburb of Lagos. The prayer was led by the Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheikh Garuba Ibrahim. The mammoth congregation prayed for the victims, the nation and a peaceful world. They also prayed to Allah to grant the families of the deceased the fortitude to bear the loss. Sheikh Ibrahim described the incident as a monumental loss in the country. He said: “We pray to Allah to protect those who are still alive and that may such occurrence not happen again. We pray for the victims that may Allah forgive them and grant them peace; we have also prayed for the families of the victims that God give them the fortitude to bear the loss. Oh Allah, may this not happen again in Nigeria.” He urged government to carry out proper scrutiny of the airline operators before giving them licences. He added: “A thorough check must be carried out and the air worthiness of the aircraft ascertained before allowing them to fly the nation’s air space. We cannot continue wasting lives like animals.” Baba Adini of Lagos, Sheikh Abdul Hafeez Abou urged the government to ensure airline operators obey the rules.




•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (middle); his deputy, Mrs. Titilayo Laoye-Tomori; former Commonwealth Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyaoku (third right); Managing Director, Arm Hospital, Mr. Vernon Page (left); Artistic Director, National Troupe of Nigeria, Mr. Martins Adaji (right) and Nigerian representatives at the Pan African Festival (Panafest), Mr. Taiwo Oluwafunso (second left) and Mr. Kehinde Oluwafunso (second right), at the Second Panafest Colloquium and Exhibition held in Lagos. PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA

EFCC arraigns OSOPADEC chairman for alleged N540m fraud


HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned the embattled Chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) Mr. Adebowale Henry Ajimuda, and four others before Justice Gloria Okeke of the Federal High Court, sitting in Akure, for the alleged misappropriation of N540 million. The others are Mann Omobayi Alli, Ikuomola Vincent Aghone, Mafolabomi Monday and Olayinka Olaitan Joseph. Reporters were barred from the court room. Policemen were stationed within and outside the court as early as early as 8am. They frisked the few people that were allowed into the court room. Police spokesman Adeniran Aremu said the command acted on the court’s instruction . In a statement by its Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC said the accused will face trial on a 13-count charge. The charges border on fraud, embezzlement of public funds and conspiracy to commit fraud.

•Lawyer urges NJC, NBA to query proceeding From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation and Damisi Ojo, Akure

Some of the charges read: “That you, Ajimuda, Alli, Aghone, Monday and Joseph, sometime in March, 2011, in Akure, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to defraud OSOPADEC of N300 million and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. “That you, Ajimuda, Alli, Aghone and Monday, on or about the March 1, 2011, in Akure, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, knowingly and by false presentation, with intent to defraud OSOPADEC, caused the payment of N240 million to yourselves through a First Bank of Nigeria Plc cheque drawn by OSOPADEC purportedly for the benefit of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) for the training of restive youths and thereby committed an offense punishable under Section 1(2) (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.”

Olanipekun lays foundation of law auditorium From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan


HE Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Council of the University of Ibadan (UI), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), yesterday urged individuals and organisations to contribute to Nigeria’s growth. Olanipekun spoke while laying the foundation stone of the 350 capacity Faculty of Law auditorium he is building for the university at Ajibode (UI second acquisition). He said lack of a “giving attitude” is responsible for the high level of poverty in the country, Olanipekun said: “One of the reasons our people and institutions lag behind is because we expect government to do everything alone. Most people like to amass wealth and do not care to give back to the society.” UI Vice Chancellor Prof. Isaac Adewole said the building of the auditorium would enable the university relocate some faculties to the new area. He said: “Today represents a significant milestone, as there is a paradigm shift in our efforts to develop the university. None of the founding fathers of UI knew the institution would go this far. “Relocating the Faculty of Law to Ajibode will facilitate smooth running of activities and growth. “The proposal, at first, was coldly received by lecturers and students in the faculty, but we are happy that we have their support now.” The Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Oluyemisi Bamgbose, who was represented by the Acting Dean, Mr. J.O. Akintayo, said the auditorium project was a boost to the study of law.

‘The scam was perpetuated through four forged OSOPADEC vouchers, which were raised by the accused persons to cover the phony expenditure’ The statement said: “The embezzlement of the funds was executed in four installments. The first installment, involving N150 million, was drawn with a First Bank of Nigeria Plc cheque numbered HC8050863652. “The second installment of N75 million was pulled out with a First Bank cheque numbered HC8050867481. The third tranche of N75 million was drawn with a First Bank cheque numbered HC8050866673, while the fourth installment involved N240 million.

“The scam was perpetuated through four forged OSOPADEC vouchers, which were raised by the accused persons to cover the phony expenditure. The accused claimed that N300 million of the fund was committed to the training of 3,000 ex-militants. “Prosecution counsel Aso Larry Peters sought leave of the court for the 13-count charge to be read to the accused and their plea taken and it was granted. The five accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges. “The lead defence counsel, Banjo Ayeniji, told the court that he had filed a formal bail application for the accused. He said the charges were bailable offences and urged the court to grant them bail on liberal terms. “Peters opposed the bail application. He urged the court to take judicial notice of the evidence before it and the fact that, if granted bail, the accused might intimidate the prosecution witnesses. “Peters said EFCC intends to file fresh charges against the accused person before an Ogun State High Court and granting them bail could jeopardise investigations.

“Justice Okeke granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N1 million each and one surety each in like sum. Each surety must not be less than a Director in the Federal Civil Service. “Before adjourning hearing to September 26, Justice Okeke ordered the accused to report to the Ondo State Commissioner of Police on the first Wednesday of every month.” An Akure lawyer, Mr. Morakinyo Ogele, urged the National Judicial Commission (NJC), the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and the EFCC to query the proceeding. Ogele said Justice Okeke has no jurisdiction to sit on the case because she will retire today. He said: “By law, they ought to be given 48 hours. The application was filed last week without a case number. The court should have adjourned the matter to study the affidavit in support of that motion for bail.” Ogele queried the authority of the court to prevent reporters from covering the proceedings. He said: “It is unfortunate that reporters were prevented from covering the arraignment of men, who allegedly stole public fund.”

Agunloye: ACN is popular in Ondo


OVERNORSHIP aspirant of the Action Congress of Nigeria

(ACN) in Ondo State, Dr. Olu Agunloye, yesterday said the mass defection of politicians from other parties to the ACN is proof of the party’s popularity with the people. The former Minister of Defence said the “Omoluabi Platform”, which he founded, has contributed immensely to the party’s

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

growth in the last one year. He said since May 8, 2011, the platform has attracted thousands of new members into the ACN. Speaking with reporters in Akure, the state capital, Agunloye said: “The defection of Labour Party (LP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in droves has swelled the ACN’s number. “No fewer than 200 formal

defections, under the auspices of the Omoluabi platform, have been recorded, with several meetings in Erusu-Akoko, Akure, Okitipupa, Osogbo, Ila and Lagos, among others. “When the Omoluabi drive for a greater ACN commenced last year, the focus was on the grassroots and equal opportunities for everyone across the 18 local government areas. “We have been able to make people believe in

Omoluabi values of honour and integrity in governance, as well as created a platform for those who demand a change to enable the state join the mainstream of Yoruba politics.” He said the former Chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC), Chief Adewale Omojuwa, has pledged to recruit more members into the ACN.

No room for PDP in Ekiti, says ACN chieftain


KITI State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain Chief Joseph Alake has said the achievements of Governor Kayode Fayemi has sealed the fate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He applauded ACN National Leader Bola Tinubu for spearheading the battle of the progressives in the Southwest. Alake described Tinubu

By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

as “a pan-African democrat and consummate politician bubbling with vision and altruistic tendencies”. He said the progressive administrations legitimately installed in Lagos, Edo, Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti states are living up to expectations and urged the governors to sustain the tempo. Alake described Fayemi

“as a faithful and dynamic governor and a promise keeper, who has uplifted the aged and vulnerable through his social security scheme”. He said: “Today, elderly people from 65 years and above get monthly stipends. “The governor, unlike the PDP administration, which was an interloper, has not embarked on any white elephant project. He is transparent and does not allow

corruption to thrive.” Alake said by consulting all the local government areas before presenting the 2012 budget, Fayemi has proved that grassroots development is a priority of his administration. He hailed the governor for awarding the contract for the construction of the EfonIpole-Ikogosi Road and theAramoko-Ijero-Ido-Osi Road.



NEWS Two dead in Kwara cult clash

Diesel fumes can cause lung cancer, says WHO’s agency IESEL, a petroleum product used by some heavy duty vehicles and machines, can cause lung cancer, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an affiliate of the World Health Organisation (WHO), has said. In a report released in Lyon, France, the IARC said people exposed to diesel fumes risk lung cancer “After a week-long meeting of international experts, the IARC has classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence that exposure is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer,” the report said, while also labelling the gasoline (petrol) exhaust as possible carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B). Chairman of the IARC Working Group Dr Christopher Portier, said: That “the scientific evidence was compelling and the Working Group’s conclusion was unanimous: diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in humans. Given the additional health impacts from diesel particulates, exposure to this mixture of chemicals should be reduced worldwide.” “For diesel engines, this requires changes in the fuel such as marked decreases in sulphur content, changes in engine design to burn diesel fuel more efficiently and reductions in emissions through exhaust control technology.” The IARC said governments and other decision-makers have a valuable evidence-base on which to consider environmental standards for diesel exhaust emissions and to continue to work with the engine and fuel manufacturers towards those goals.


From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

By Segun Balogun

However, the group is concerned that implementing needed policies and regulations will take many years “particularly in less developed countries, where regulatory measures are currently also less stringent.” Director, IARC, Dr Christopher Wild, said : “The conclusion sends a strong signal that public health action is warranted. This emphasis is needed globally, including among the more vulnerable populations in developing countries where new technology and protective measures may otherwise take many years to be adopted.” Reacting, the Executive Director of Environmental Law Research Institute, Prof Lanre Fagbohun, advised the government to take emissions from diesel vehicles seriously, because developing nations can barely provide comprehensive healthcare for their citizens. “I do not expect that a state like Lagos, which is known for proactive interventions, will fold its arms in the face of this report,” he said in an interview with The Nation. “Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA), Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), the Ministries of Transport and Environment have to work together more effectively to achieve safe vehicular emission. By now, we should be getting nearer to being able to measure vehicular emission in Lagos State.”

SUSPECTED cultists have allegedly hacked two men to death in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital. The incident occurred in the wee hours of yesterday. It threw residents of the area close to the Kwara State Polytechnic into mourning. Two unnamed cult groups clashed on Wednesday night till yesterday, leading to the death of the two people. Police spokesperson Mr. Fabode Olufemi, said the rival cult groups were said to be from the Polytechnic. “It was surprising that two dead bodies were discovered in a bush yesterday morning. “ One was beheaded while the other was not.” He said that the bodies had been deposited at a mortuary, adding that investigation had begun. Spokesman of Kwara Polytechnic Yunus Abdulkadir denied that students of the school were involved in the killing.

Benin monarch advises NMA From Osagie Otabor, Benin

•Lagos State Director of State Security Services (SSS) Mr Achu Ben Olayi speaking during his visit to The Nation... yesterday PHOTO:NIYI ADENIRAN

Why democracy is not working, by Afenifere chief


OREMOST politician and Afenifere chieftain Sir Olaniwun Ajayi has warned that there may be no election in 2015, unless President Goodluck Jonathan moves ‘swiftly’ to rekindle public confidence by confronting the fundamental questions germane to political stability and peaceful co-existence. Ajayi, who reflected on the nation’s 13 years of civil rule, lamented the failed institutions, including the legislature, executive, judiciary, trade unions and media, pointing out that massive evidence of democracy are absent. He spoke with reporters in his Isara-Remo, Ogun State home on the menace of corruption, threat to security by militant sect Boko Haram,

•Fears election may not hold in 2015 By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor.

ineptitude on the part of the President and collapse of discipline in the polity. The politician, who was summoned to Abuja in February by the National Security Adviser, Gen Patrick Azazi over his statement that “Jonathan may be the last President of Nigeria’, lamented that Dr. Jonathan has not convinced Nigerians that he is up to the task of governance. Noting that democracy is not working, the frontline politician blamed the colonial powers for inciting Nigerians against Nigerians and the indigenous rulers, especially the soldiers, for looting the treasury and

Ajimobi inaugurates roads in Ibadan

monetising politics. Ajayi observed that the greatest challenges confronting the country today are insecurity and corruption, lamenting the inability of President Jonathan to restore order into a state of pandemonium. He said: “Corruption will continue until the bubble burst. It will reach a peak. Can the President also restore security? If he can do it, he should call the Chief of Defence Staff and Inspector General of Police and give them two or three months to end Boko Haram insurgency. He is not prepared for the work. Under him, Nigeria is gradually going under. “He said Boko Haram has infiltrated his government. he should give his command.

If the Chief of Defence Staff and Inspector General cannot do it, they should go. What did former President Olusegun Obasanjo do to Odi, a village in Bayelsa State? Since then, there was peace. It is either you are the President of not. He knows those who are behind oil subsidy scam. Why can’t he take action? He should rise to the occasion”. Ajayi said he had no apology for being harsh on the President, adding that the situation in the country is too bad. He stressed: “I was summoned to Abuja to see the National Security Adviser when I said Jonathan may be the last President of Nigeria, if this trend persists. Things are moving so badly. It should not continue like this.

God has endowed this country with good people and abundant resources. God will not allow this country to go into ruins”. The Afenifere chieftain urged the National Assembly to turn a new leaf by shunning corruption, stressing that they were not elected to take bribes and fuel corruption. He also enjoined the executive arm to move up from its position of weakness to render invaluable service to the country through implementation of laudable programmes, transparency and accountability. On judiciary, Ajayi, who is also a lawyer, said: “We have a terrible face of judiciary now where the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal are at loggerheads. This does not portray the judiciary in a good light”.


YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday inaugurated some roads in the five local government areas in Ibadan metropolis. He said his administration would make life better for the residents. The roads include Ile Oke-Idi/Omo-Oke Apon Road in Ibadan North Local Government; Bisi Akande Road in Ibadan South West Local Government and Bere-Ayeye Road, among others. The governor also inaugurated the secretariat of Ibadan South West Local Government at Aleshinloye. The project had been abandoned for 21 years. Ajimobi said his administration would not compromise quality in the execution of projects, adding that there would be no room for wasteful spending. He said: “We were elected to serve and I want to assure the people of Oyo State that we will use our tenure to better their lives and turn things around in this state.” The governor, who addressed the people at a Town Hall meeting at Mapo Hall in Ibadan, the state capital, said his administration would rehabilitate all major markets in the ancient city. He said revolving loans would be made available for small scale entrepreneurs to boost their businesses.

THE Benin monarch, Oba Erediauwa, yesterday told the leadership of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) to work towards eradicating preventable diseases, especially malaria, and tackle infant and maternal mortality. Oba Erediauwa said early missionaries in Nigeria could not eradicate the disease many decades ago. The Benin monarch spoke when the national executives of the NMA, led by its President, Dr Osahon Enabulele, visited him. Enabulele told the monarch that the NMA is thinking of how to reposition the health sector to expand the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). He said the NMA would hold a conference to address all internal and national challenges militating against health care in the country.

Vehicle owners warned THE Commissioner of Police, Border Patrol, Abuja has warned owners of abandoned vehicles parked at Seme Border to remove them or lose them to members of the public through auction. The vehicles are Mercedez Benz, Nissan Blue-Bird, Santana car and Nissan Silva car, all unregistered.

Prof. for burial

•Visafone Communications Limited’s Assistant General Manager (Sales), Lagos 1, Mr. Edeke Mfon, handing-over the keys of a Toyota Hiace bus to Mrs. Anu Oladele, a representative of Stratford Communications Limited at the presentation of vehicles by Visafone to its Perfect Partners in Lagos.

THE remains of Prof Cornelius Oluwasade Orangun, who died at 80, on April 19 will be buried tomorrow. A commendation service will hold this morning at Oke Igbala Ayo Spiritual Church of Christ (C&S) in Isolo, Lagos. It will be followed by a Christian wake keep at Erin Ijesa, Osun State at 5pm. The funeral and outing service will take place at Christ Anglican Church, Erin Ijesa tomorrow.



NEWS AGF, Fashola, Imoke, others for sixth NBA conference


HE Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) Mohammed Adoke (SAN), Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke, his predecessor, Donald Duke, and the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) President Joseph Daudu (SAN) are among the dignitaries expected at this year’s Section on Business Law (SBL) annual lecture of the NBA. SBL’s Chairman Gbenga Oyebode said the event would hold from June 17 to 20 at the Expo Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

By Eric Ikhilae

The theme of the lecture is: A globalised legal regime: prospects and challenges. Oyebode said the conference would examine current trends in global legal practice. The NBA spokesman addressed reporters alongside SBL’s Vice-Chairman Asue Ighodalo and the Chairman of the Conference Planning Committee, Soji Awogbade. He said local participants would be educated on new approaches to the profession and how to maximise existing opportunities in practice areas.

SON advises indigenous firms By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie, Asst. Editor


HE Standards Organisations of Nigeria (SON) has urged business owners without the ISO 9001 certification to get and use it as their launching pad to the global market. SON’s Director General Dr Joseph Odumodu spoke in Lagos at the NIS ISO 9001: 2008 certification of Marine Platforms Limited in Apapa. Odumodu said: “The challenges of globalisation, including its attendant ease of movement of goods and services across borders, have made the acquisition of competitive edge inevitable. “Any company that wants to remain relevant in the market place will have to work hard to satisfy not just current needs but future anticipated needs of the customer.” The SON chief noted that embracing the management approach, which drives effective performance, would enable Nigerian businesses to access global markets in their areas of operation. He hailed the management of the company for getting the NIS ISO 9001: 2008 certification, saying it is a quest for quality service provision and relevance in current competitive global market. Odumodu said the NIS ISO 9001: 2008 Quality Management System framework provides a globally recognised and acceptable solution to the challenges associated with quality management. He said this is why it is the key to a successful business.

Digital arts academy begins in Nigeria


WORLD-CLASS digital arts school will soon take off in Nigeria. Called the Digital Arts Academy (DAA), the school will train Nigerians in modern digital arts. In a statement, the academy said courses will be targeted at equipping creative minds and professionals with specific design skills that are critical to the 21st century. This, it noted, is in its response to adapt to the new world order of digital explosion. The school’s Director, Mr Michael Oseji, said: “DAA is an accredited Apple and Adobe training centre that enables you to start and develop a career. It fuels your passion in digital arts, using the latest tools, techniques and technology.

By Adline Atili

“As an affiliate of Friends of Design, a reputable DAA in South Africa, we offer over 30 specialised courses uniquely tailored to suit the needs of executives, working professionals and creative individuals in the design, media, advertising and print industries.” The school’s Operations Manager, Mr John Adiele, said: “Whether you desire to learn from scratch or get upto-speed on new features, DAA can accommodate you with our wide-range of specialist courses. These are customised to meet your need for comprehensive and robust courses that are designed to help you start a career in digital arts.”

Fayemi hails Abubakar at 70


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has congratulated former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, on his 70th birthday. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, the governor praised Gen. Abubakar for his role in enthroning democracy in Nigeria. He hailed the former military leader for resisting the temptation to perpetuate himself in office but instead bowed out honourably when the ovation was loudest. Fayemi noted that Gen. Abubakar has carved a niche for himself in the annals of the nation’s history by heeding the strident calls of his countrymen who wanted a return to civil rule after years of military rule. The governor acknowledged the roles the retired general is playing in ensuring peace in Africa and other troubled parts of the world. This, he said, is at a great personal sacrifice at a time the former Head of State should be enjoying his retirement. Fayemi said Gen. Abubakar’s exemplary lifestyle and sterling qualities as a national leader, elder statesman, peace maker and a family man make him a role model for the younger generation. The governor wished the former military ruler long life, good health and more service to humanity.

•Lagos State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr Ben Akubueze; Constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze (SAN); Chief Dr. Sylvan O. Ebigwei; Senator Ben Obi and Prof. Pat Utomi, at the presentation of a book: Dim Chukwu Emeka PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA Odumegwu-Ojukwu (AMan of History), in Lagos.

Subsidy bribe: ‘ACN lawmakers won’t compromise’ A

CTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) members in the House of Representatives will not compromise their stand on probity and integrity in the ongoing fuel subsidy bribe scam, a member said yesterday. Muniru Hakeen, who is representing Oshodi/Isolo Federal Constituency of Lagos State, said the bribery allegation has dented the image of the House. The lawmaker cautioned against sweeping the allegation under the carpet. According to him, the House is anxious to isolate the culprits and clear its name, as the first step to regain public confidence. Hakeem warned that a House session that will hold today on the matter may become stormy. The lawmaker noted that all eyes are on members of the House because of the bribery allegation. Hakeem, who spoke in Lagos at the inauguration of an information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre, matriculation of students for free computer literacy programme and distribution of free General Certificate of Education (GCE) forms in his constituency, noted that the activities of some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members might dent the image of the House. He said: “The House of Representatives will get to the root of the matter. All ACN members will stand by the rules of the House. We will not allow this crisis to hamper the report of the Subsidy Probe Committee. No opposition legislator will be involved in fraud. That is why we say that PDP cannot be a reliable party. “The fuel subsidy scam was real. Those in power used the opportunity to become million-

•House spokesman rules out political solution

Bribe allegations embarrassing, says Rep


MEMBER of the House of Representatives representing Lavun/Edati/Mokwa federal constituency of Niger State, Sani Kutigi, has decried the recurrence of bribery allegations in the House. He said the development is “an embarrassment to the sanctity and integrity to the legislative arm”. The lawmaker was reacting to the $620,000 (about N100million) bribery scandal against Farouk Lawan, the Chairman of the House AdHoc Committee on fuel subsidy probe. Kutigi noted that the allegation against Lawan is one scandal too many. He warned that if not carefully handled, the matter may erode public confidence in the legislature. Speaking with our correspondent on phone, the lawmaker said while the House was trying to get over the shock of the Stock Exchange Commission (SEC) bribery allegation, the fuel subsidy bribery scandal has further battered the integrity of the House. He said: “The development in the House is true and very sad for the members. It is coming at a time we are yet to settle with the SEC bribery scandal against one of us. Now, this fuel subsidy bribe.” The lawmaker said the development is an embarrassment to the House, though only few By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor

aires and billionaires in a day. The PDP government is fond of increasing fuel prices after elections. Today, the country is broke. That is why we should end the PDP rule. Their government has inflicted the nation with budget failure and a new electricity tariff without electricity. We will not allow them to sweep this probe report under the carpet.” House spokesman Zakari

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

members are involved in the scam. He argued that “as long as a member of the House is involved in the scandal, the whole House takes the blame”. Recalling former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s allegation that the National Assembly harbours robbers, Kutigi wondered if the former President was aware of the fuel subsidy bribery scandal before he made that statement. The lawmaker said notable members of the House have been at the centre of major scandals, adding: “It is painful that those who have been in the House, who should be experienced and know better than some of the new ones, are at the centre. What are they doing to the reputation of the house?” Kutigi expressed confidence in the leadership of the House to handle the latest scandal, saying efforts should be made to ensure that public confidence in the legislature is not eroded by recurring bribe allegations. “We have to ensure that we correct the impression this negative development is creating for the National Assembly and its members. We have to ensure that the public confidence we enjoy is not only assured but also sustained,” he said.

Mohammed has said the House is not seeking a political solution to the bribery scandal. He said those who mooted the idea were only speculating. Mohammed spoke on phone during a Channels Television programme, Sunrise. The lawmaker urged Nigerians to wait for the decision of the House after today’s emergency session. He said: “The House is not aware of any political solution being sought. It is speculative.” The lawmaker allayed fears

among Nigerians that the ongoing bribery scam would force the House to abandon the report of the Farouk Lawan Committee on Fuel Subsidy Probe. He said: “The House of Representatives will insist that the oil subsidy scam report should be implemented. The House is meeting as a matter of urgency because this matter is of urgent public importance. We will ensure that the Executive takes necessary action on the report, including the prosecution of the culprits.”

Nigerians in China seek consular office


IGERIANS living in the Chinese second largest city of Guangzhou have urged the Federal Government to establish a consular office there. They noted that the office would, among other things, assist them in procuring residency papers and eliminate undue harassment. The Nigerians said this is the only way their investors from Nigeria could be confident and comfortable to do business in China. The residents alleged that Nigerians suffer abuses because they had no valid papers to do business in the Asian country. It was learnt that hundreds of Nigerians are languishing in

By Jude Isiguzo

different prisons in China for minor offences. Speaking during a recent visit to the country, a China-based Nigerian businessman, Mr. Festus Uzoma Mbisiogu, said the Nigerian government should establish a consular office in Guangzhou to cater for the interest of Nigerian businessmen in that region. Mbisiogu, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Blue Diamond Logistics and President of Good Governance Initiative (GGI), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Nigeria which advocates stable power supply, said it takes about 24 hours by road and three hours by flight to travel from

Guangzhou to Beijing. He noted that Nigerians in Guangzhou face tough times to process their documents which, in most cases, have to be done in Beijing. He said a consular office in Guangzhou would end the nightmare presently faced by Nigerians in that region. Mbisiogu said: “Most times, our people here face challenges on visa issuance because there is no consular office to educate them on how to go about it. I strongly believe that if Nigerian authorities see the need to establish a consular office in this area, Guangzhou authorities may adjust their policy on issuance of visa and they will relate with visa applicants in

times of emergency. This measure, if taken, will also reduce the problems of illegal immigrants, as most of the problems of illegal migrants arise from the absence of a consular office. “Too many Nigerians find it difficult to process their visas or office documents because many are referred to Beijing or Nigeria for ratification. This measure often exposed Nigerians to untold hardship.” Mbisiogu urged Nigerians living in China to be law-abiding, saying most crimes in China attract death penalty. He advised Guangzhou authorities to issue visa to genuine Nigeria businessmen in the region, saying Nigerians daily generate huge revenues in Guangzhou.









NEWS ECOWAS holds ICT forum


HE fourth ECOWAS business forum and the second ECOWAS private sector awards scheduled for The Gambia will focus on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development. This was the outcome of the meeting by the committee comprising representatives of the ECOWAS Commission, Regional Business Associations (RBAs) and other stakeholders, held in Banjul, The Gambia. The meeting also agreed that two awards will be given out, one for a young entrepreneur who has demonstrated innovations in ICT and the other to a company that has distinguished itself in the field of telecommunications.

The Committee, which also called for the establishment of a communication strategy in order to attract at least one sponsor from each Member States and by sector, set up four sub-communities for planning and preparation for the forum. A working group was also formed to make proposals to the draft budget. Commissioner for Macroeconomic Policy Dr. Ibrahim Bocar Ba, who was represented at the meeting by the Director of Private Sector Dr. Alfred Braimah, affirmed ECOWAS’ commitment to the awards and charged the committee to come up with concrete measures whose implementation would ensure the success of the two events.

APCON rewards workers •From left: Director, Sales and Marketing, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Mr Peter Folikwe, Technical Director, Mr. Joel Ajiga, National Sales Manager, Mr Sola Owoade and Head, Human Resources, Mr. Akin Oladiran, during the 50th anniversary promo press conference in Ikeja, Lagos.


HE Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has honoured workers who have served for over 10 years and some founding fathers of the profession. The occasion, which was held at the media centre of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was attended by the council members, staff of APCON, some past registrars and council chairmen. A past Council Chairman, Chief Olu Falomo, expressed joy at the

By Damilola Ogunfuye

occasion, advising the awardees to see the award as a blessing from God. He urged them to put in more effort to ensure that APCON gets a brighter image Nigeria and abroad. Council Chairman Mr Lolu Akinwunmi congratulated the awardees and encouraged them to continue to work and ensure that APCON is taken to greater height. He also congratulated the past chairmen and registrars whom he described as role models in the industry.

CICAN to honour SON, BoI, others

T •From left: Chief Operating Officer, La Casera Company Limited, Mr Prahlad Gangadharan; Deputy Director, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mrs Oluremi Ayeni and General Manager, Marketing, Mr Dave van Rensburg ,during the unveiling of the firm’s new LATINA sugar free drink.

Over 1.4m jobs created in 12 months, says Aganga T HE Federal Government created about 1,401,242 jobs within the last one year through the implementation of trade and investment reforms, policies and programmes, Minister of Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga, has said. Aganga spoke during the ministerial session of the fifth National Council on Trade and Investment, in Minna, Niger State.

By Toba Agboola

He said the ministry hoped to double the figure soon. According to the one-year score sheet of the agencies and parastatals under his ministry, the Bank of Industry (BoI) created 1.4 million jobs, Small andMedium Enterprises Development Agency(SMEDAN) (31, 122);

Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone (30, 000); other Free Trade Zones (FTZ) under the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (5,120). Aganga said the ministry is executing marching programmes for Small and medium enterprises in collaboration with the states to remove the bottlenecks associated with securing collateral and make it easier for SMEs to access to loans to start or expand their businesses.

Indomie incorporates local content


UFIL Prima Foods Plc, makers of Indomie Instant Noodles, is aiming for 100 per cent local content production using locally sourced materials. Factory Manager, Indomie Seasoning Plant Paneet Beniwal told reporters during a tour of the firm’s ultra-modern plant in Ota, Ogun State that continued investments in production capacity and innovations has helped the company to remain afloat. The company was committed to expanding its capacity to 100 per cent local production of noodles. “ With this ultra-modern seasoning plant which was officially inagurated in 2008, Indomie has stopped importation of the seasoning as raw materials are now sourced and produced locally as well as the noodles in our factory. “The only raw material imported is premix and this is because the material is not available in Nigeria. With this, we are able to create more jobs for Nigerians and cost of production is reduced

By Damilola Ogunfuye

by at least 30 per cent”, he said. Beniwal urged the government to continue supporting the company such as to encourage more local and foreign investors alike to invest in the manufacturing sector. He advocated a policy that will ensure reduction in the price of manufacturing tools by reducing the import tariffs on them. While conducting reporters round the facility, the Production Manager, Mr Adewale Oretuga, said the company invested in the world class plant to sustain the quality of the food, which is the heart of its business. He added that anyone coming into the factory passes through a decontamination chamber fitted with an air shower to ensure that bacteria from the human body does not escape into the factory or produce. According to him, raw materials such as sugar, salt, ascent

flavour enhancer are mixed by the machine at the right temperature to avoid contamination. He said the company also takes the issue of raw materials quality seriously as an automated metal separator prevents raw materials that are below the company’s stan-

HE Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Bank of Industry (BoI), Lafarge, BUA and Olofa will be honoured at this year’s Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) merit award. The award is aimed at rewarding excellence,exemplary leadership and outstanding contributions of captains of industry to economic development, as well as nation building. Tagged: ‘CICACN Crystal Night of Excellence’, the award, the third edition in its series, is a project of journalists from the print and electronic media covering the real sector of the nation’s economy. Scheduled to hold on June 28, 2012 at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja,

Lagos, this year’s award, like the past editions is expected to attract dignitaries from different walks of life, including the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom and the President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Chief Kola Jamodu. Others are the Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr.Joseph Odumodu, Chairman, BUA Group, Alhaji Rabiu Abdulsamad, Managing Director, BoI, Ms Evelyn Oputu and the Olofa of Ofa, Oba Muftau Okikiola Badamosi, who is expected to be the royal father of the day among others.

Vitafoam celebrates 50


ITAFOAM Nigeria Plc has started its 50th anniversary celebrations by rewarding customers who partake in its consumer promotion. At a press conference in Lagos, the firm said the promotion was a way of appreciating their patronage over the years. It said the promo is open to those who buy products worth N15,000 and above. The N15,000 gift, he said, would be in form of a pillow. Director of Sales and Marketing, Vitafoam, Mr Peter Folikwe, said: “In this period of very harsh operating environment, especially for the manufacturing sector, if a com-

pany is giving out gifts to all consumers who patronise it, it is worth celebrating. He added: “Purchase of products worth N35,000 would automatically attract two of the company’s special pillows worth N15,000 each. There is also a scratch card, whose content after being opened will determine other gifts won by a customer. Products that can be won through the cards include generators, refrigerators and other household appliances. But the biggest there are the five star prizes of Home-makers, which have been planned to be won in Nigeria.

AGOA: Nigeria exported $44.3b goods to US in 10 years


IGERIA exported $44.3 billion worth of goods to the United States (US) in the past 10 years, under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), it has been revealed. The US has, however, urged Nigeria to increase the export profile ahead of the AGOA programme’s extension to Asian countries, which may pose stiffer competition against African countries. Economic Counsellor at the US Embassy in Abuja, Perry Bell, who gave the volume of the two-way trade under the Act as $82.1 billion since the enactment of the Act in 2000, said Nigeria should concentrate more on the

export of non-oil products to the US as these products have more prospect of being picked off the shelves instantly. Bell, who said Nigeria was the biggest beneficiary of the AGOA Act, said it would be good if the country can reduce its dependence on oil and diversify into other products, especially agricultural produce. He said in 2011 alone, Nigeria topped the list of countries that exported crude oil into the US by $33.7 billion, a figure, which represented about 99.9 per cent; while the non-oil produce represented 0.45 per cent, adding that the country that came close to Nigeria in oil export was Angola, with

$13.5 billion worth of crude. “The top supplier is Nigeria. So, you can say that Nigeria is the largest beneficiary of AGOA, but it is predominately oil,” he said, adding that the US was considering extending the opportunity of AGOA to other parts of the world under the World Trade Organisation (WTO). According to Bell: “The implication would be stiffer competition between Africa and other producers for the same market. Africa has unilateral access to the US, which is the most generous access into the largest economy of the world.”




NGO draws attention to sickle cell

Centre repairs 1,144 VVF patients

Navy provides free medical treatment




FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012




Page 17


Imo partners artisans on security



HE Imo State government has secured the cooperation of artisans to fish out bad eggs in their midst as part its comprehensive plan to contain crime in the state. Under the plan, the artisans would immediately relocate from Owerri, the state capital, to designated locations provided by the government. The state governor Rochas Okorocha who stated this in a meeting with artisans in the capital, said having declared total war on kidnapping and other forms of criminality, artisans would join in the fight to

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

make Imo safer for more investments. He said: “It is a known fact that there are some bad elements in your midst. Government has resolved henceforth to partner with you in the fight against crime which will definitely lead to the fishing out of those suspected criminals. We must collectively fight crime to ensure that our state is safer for more investment.”

The governor directed the immediate set-up of a Joint Task Force Committee that will liaise with relevant government agencies to drive the task of relocating those operating in unauthorised locations in Owerri city as well as keep the city clean. Okorocha promised to provide additional locations and the essential basic amenities like electricity, water and access roads to boost their businesses. He added that his administration would not relent in providing a

friendly and conducive atmosphere for small-scale enterprises to thrive in the state, adding that further steps would also be taken to attract direct foreign investments that will boost trade and tourism in the state. Governor Okorocha, who also expressed gratitude to the group for their support, disclosed that arrangements are being perfected to ensure that artisans undergo advanced skill acquisition programme in the newly established Imo College of Advanced Professional Studies (ICAPS).


RANSITION council chairmen in Anambra State have assesed the profile of infrastructure in the state and returned a pleasant verdict. The state is in a remarkable renewal, they said, giving the credit to Governor Peter Obi. The transition committee chairman of Njikoka Local Government, Onyeibo Dazza Udeozor said: “For the first time in the history of the state we have a governor who sees the entire state as his own and has gone about developing all sectors simultaneously through his Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS). “This has led to the state having the best road network in the whole Nigeria. Truly the governor deserves only the best”. His Awka South counterpart, Emmanuel Ekene Okoye, commended the governor especially for the facelift he has given Awka, the capital city. Okoye said Obi has changed the face of the state’s seat of power, listing the construction of Zik’s Avenue, Agu-Awka Bye-pass, Ngozika Estate, Government House, GRA, Court Road, Prisons Junction dual-carriageway, workers’ secretariat, Arthur Eze Road, Majua Road, library complex as some of the facilities that changed the state capital. “I’m aware the governor has replicated this in all the communities in the state and that is why many people now prefer to come to work in the capital city from their villages,” Okoye said. The transition chairman of Onitsha North, Iduu Okosi, said Onitsha people would forever be indebted to Obi for the massive infrastructural development he had brought to the commercial city. Okosi said the governor is the first to position Onitsha as the commercial giant of Nigeria through the establishment of the stock exchange, a business centre in addition to rehabilitating old roads and building new ones, among others. “Our governor took the bull by the horns and got Onitsha working,” he said. Orumba North council chief, Emeka Aforka, said his people

•Governor Obi flanked by Chief Emeka Anyaoku (left) and Igwe Chukwudubem Iweka after Obosi residents honoured the governor

Anambra councils appraise infrastructural renewal Anyaoku’s community honours Obi From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Awka

were proud to associate with the governor who he described as the man of the moment. “We are happy to associate with a visionary leader like the governor,”

he stated. The governor has won several awards from media organisations and has been singled out for praise by credible individuals and organisations. Under the Obi administration, international donor agencies such as

the UNDP, World Bank, the EU have all said Anambra was the best in terms of commitment to leadership. Obi is also scheduled to receive yet another award from the Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria. He has already been nomi-

nated and the information communicated to him by the Sole Administrator of the institute, Prince G. O. Don-Aki. The award, according to DonAki, is in recognition of Obi’s steadfastness in inspiring growth in the state’s transport sector. The Obosi community, home of former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has honoured the governor with the title of Commander of Peace (COP). The Ex-Rangers International Footballers Association, Enugu led by its chairman, Mr. Luke Okpala and Secretary, Mr. Bonny Uzoh, •Continued on Page 45



Centre repairs 1,144 VVF patients

T •Governor Elechi

HE Ebonyi State government has said that it repaired 1, 064 Vesico Veginal Fistular (VVF) patients free across the six geo-political zones of the country in the last three years since the National Fistula Centre, Abakaliki built by the wife of the state governor Mrs. Josephine Elechi. Flagging off the exercise at the centre recently, Mrs. Elechi said that the centre has begun the repair of another set of 80 women with uterine prolapse at the centre. She said that two more medical doctors had been engaged by the centre to assist in the repair of the women drawn from vari-

Rivers plans refuse disposal pilot scheme T

HE chairman of the Rivers State Environmental Sanitation Authority, Mr. Isobo Jack, has assured that indiscriminate waste disposal will soon be over in the state. He gave the assurance in Port Harcourt at a stakeholders’ meeting. Jack noted that government was planning a pilot scheme that would prohibit the dumping of refuse at unauthorised places. He further stated that the scheme would also combat all forms of street trading and hawking within Port Harcourt metropolis. He said: “No offender would be spared by the time the scheme commences. Under the scheme, waste collection and evacuation will be carried out in the best global practices in order to achieve the aim of keeping Port Harcourt in particular and Rivers State in general clean. “The proposed pilot scheme shall cover the entire old Port Harcourt Township, the entire stretch of Aba Road and other areas. The mode of refuse collection in the pilot scheme zone will be door-to-door. The sanitation authority


From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

will, in conjunction with designated refuse operators, embark on enumeration of buildings and introduce tariff for waste collection and disposal.” Jack also disclosed that more mobile sanitation courts would be established in the state, while stressing that the review of extant sanitation laws was already in progress. The wife of Rivers State Governor, Mrs. Judith Amaechi, in her remarks, stated that it was time for residents to reciprocate government’s investments in the area of environmental sanitation. Mrs. Amaechi also urged residents of the state to complement government’s efforts if the state’s capital must still be described as the Garden City.


Ebonyi ous parts of Nigeria, adding that 65 other women had earlier been repaired of the uterine prolpse of which the number would get to 145 after the repair of the current batch. “The centre had repaired about 1, 064 women of Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF). We discovered that apart from the VVF disease, the uterine prolapse was another ailment that diminishes the dignity of many women in Nigeria, hence we had to expand the activities of the Fistula Centre to accommodate free repair of women with the uterine prolapse as most of them were indigent and ignorant that their conditions could be treated. “When we go out to sensitise people in the rural communities, we find out that many women suffer these disease conditions and are erroneously treated by the rural neighbours as persons who were cursed or had committed evil against their gods. “So, we have kept working with the local government council development centres to educate the uninformed rural population that these people are innocent women. More so, we enjoined them to ensure that their children go to school so that we sustainably address these problems fuelled by illiteracy”, she stated. Mrs. Elechi acknowledge the assistance of various bodies in the discharge of the mission of the National Fistula Centre, especially the United Nations Interna-

•Wife of Osun State governor, Mrs Sherifat Aregbesola presenting gift item to Ma Abigail Asabi during a free healthcare service programme for senior citizens organised by her office. With them are Hon. Ayo Omidiran, member representing Irewole/Isokan Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Special Adviser to the Governor on Youths, Sports and Special Need, Mr Biyi Odunlade and Commissioner for Health, Dr. Temitope Ilori watch doctors. He thanked the Chief of A- Field, UNICEF Mr. Charles Nzuki who was at the event with members of the A-Field staff. Nzuki told our correspondent that the UNICEF



HE Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Ikom, Cross River State has taken its sensitisation tagged ‘Operation Keep Nigerian Roads Safe’ to churches within the zone. The unit commander Mr. L. O. Ugenlo in company with other officers disclosed this during a visit to Winners Chapel Ogoja Road, Ikom, recently. He reminded worshippers on the need to drive safely. In his message, he revealed that FRSC is determined to ensure that our roads are safe. He further said that efforts were being made to ensure that road transport casualty is reduced by 30 per cent before 2015,

Delta From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

ers by the state government. The commissioner said that with the introduction of free education up to the secondary school level, the number of public primary schools increased from 1, 146 in 2007 to 1, 174 in 2011 with a corresponding pupil enrolment of 361, 225 and a teaching staff strength of 16,802 while public secondary schools increased from 413 in 2007 to 831 in 2009 after re-organisation. He said there has been a steady increase in allocations to the educational sector in the state. Continuing, he said: “In 2010, N7.7b was allocated to the primary and secondary sectors and in 2011; 16.9b was allocated for capital development. His words: “However, in 2012, the total number of secondary schools now stands at 453 due to the articulation of secondary schools. More important is the fact that 40 new secondary schools were opened across the state during the period under review to meet the yearnings of the citizens, especially in the rural and riverside communities.”

•Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State inaugurating operational vehicles donated to the State Board of Internal Revenue in Umuahia PHOTO: IBEABUCHI ABARIKWU


‘Expect more dividends of democracy’ THE chairman of Ipaja-Ayobo Local Council Development Area, Hon. Shakiru Yusuf, has promised more dividends of democracy for residents of the area. Speaking on his 200 days in office, he explained that his administration has provided a number of infrastructures to alleviate the suffering of the people. He said: “We have provided a new administrative building for the council’s chapter of Nigeria Union Local Government Employees (NULGE), a new primary healthcare centre in Igbogila with modern medical equipment and a new transformer for the use of the council secretariat.

“We have embarked on the provision of an ultramodern health centre to alleviate the sufferings of pregnant women while we want to ensure that our workers are well taken care of.” While unveiling a new grader purchased by his administration for road rehabilitation, he promised that the era of impassable roads in the council would soon become history. “We have bought this new grader in order to address the poor condition of roads so as to make them accessible to motorists. I want to assure residents that the perennial poor state of roads in this council area would soon become a thing of the past,” he said.

Be focused, students advised

•Family members and relations of Miss Mariam Mustapha (second left standing) at her graduation from Quranic School in Lagos

was partnering with the centre because their activities are tailored towards the reduction of maternal mortality, saying that they would continue to collaborate with the centre in that regard.

ORMER governor of Anambra State Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife has praised the leadership style of Governor Peter Obi which he said has resulted in unprecedented achievements. Dr Ezeife, who spoke with reporters at the end of a one-day lecture on Igbo Unity held recently at the NUJ Press Centre, Enugu, said that Governor Obi is doing well in Anambra State. He said: “If you go to Anambra State, you will be surprised at the level of development; especially with regard to road construction. There were places that had no roads before. But now, roads have been constructed in those areas. I took a tour of Anambra State two years ago and I was surprised with what I saw. This young man is the chairman of governor’s forum, Southeast.” Continuing, Dr Ezeife said: “This man belongs to APGA. He is Vice-Chairman Nigeria Governors’ Forum. This man is honorary adviser to the President. He is one of the two governors who made it into the Economic Committee at the national level. He is shining. This man deserves to be the next president.” On the possibility of Igbo uniting and accepting to present a consensus presidential candidate come 2015; Dr Ezeife said that they would work towards actualizing that. The former governor said that, if the position is zoned to the Southeast, then let

Obi hailed on development He further said that the Igbo need trust and courage to do it. They should pray to God for his blessings. one million contestants come out to contest He advised those who do not believe in for it. We have people who are qualified for the Igbo course to have a change of heart. it.


FADAMA III disburses N496.4m


ERMANENT Secretary of the Cross River State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Bassey Echemi has said that the FADAMA III project in the state has so far disbursed the sum of N496, 401, 499 to 1,100 sub-projects in 78 communities since its inception in 2009. Echemi, who stated this at the formal launch of FADAMA III project in the state in Calabar, said that a total of 168 community associations had been formed and registered. He said that out of 1, 489 sub-project proposals, 1,100 have been completed. He said that FADAMA III has created jobs for 9, 411 direct beneficiaries and 2, 480 indirect beneficiaries in the state since the beginning of its implementation in Cross River State. At the formal launch of the project,

Cross River From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. James Aniyom said that FADAMA III was one of the agricultural programmes that have contributed to the alleviation of poverty among rural dwellers. He lauded the achievements of FADAMA III programme in the state, adding that it has played a key role in government’s empowerment policy. He said that the recent award won by the state FADAMA 111 project was a testimony that the project has been a huge success.

FRSC takes safety crusade to churches

Delta to sanction erring school owners ELTA State Government has threatened to mete out severe sanctions against private school owners operating on temporary site for more than five years. The Commissioner for Education, Basic and Secondary, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare warned in Asaba, the Delta State capital that such licenses will be withdrawn with effect from September, 2012. He said government has allocated a total sum of N21.1b to education sector in the 2012 budget. He further said that efforts are on to reposition private schools for effective service delivery. According to him, there has been steady growth in students’ enrolment in the past five years due to increasing incentives offered to students, parents and communities in the form of free education, payment of examination fees, infrastructural development as well as improved welfare package. Muoboghare disclosed that there has been remarkable improvement in the teacher/pupils ratio to meet the required standards. This, he said, results from regular employment of qualified teachers, coupled with consistent training and re-training programmes for serving offic-


A Principal Research Officer with the Federal Institute of Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr Shakirudeebn Ajani has urged students to be focused in life. He also advised them not to allow quest for wealth affect their future careers. He spoke at the annual programme of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria Oshodi Area Council. The programme tagged All School Leavers and SS3 Get Together had the theme “trending the path of greatness.” The programme, according to the Amir (president) of the group Mallam Abdul Rahaman Ojedele, is meant to educate and enlighten students who had just finished their West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and all undergraduates on what should be their next level of action after their various examinations. Ajani urged the students not to see themselves as achievers yet because they

By Aminat Adesina

are just about to climb the ladder of achievement, adding that they are just an ordinary level holder who don’t have any level yet. He urged the students not to allow little down fall overpower them. “Do not be afraid of failing and to see failure as just an outcome of something done. There is no crime in falling but there is a crime when you fall and don’t rise again,” he said. Ajani reminded the students of the need to be prayerful and focused as these will go a long way to assist them in achieving their goals. “The students should not allow any distraction in their lives. They should be focused and prayerful,” he said. The occasion was chaired by Hon. Isiaka Olamilekan Sodiq, who also advised the students to be focused and have a direction in life. “The students should be spiritually developed and ensure they follow their set goals in life. This will help them to become a happy person tomorrow,” he said.

Govt urged to curb corruption


HE President of Council of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), Mr. Olatunde Busari has said that Nigeria would not make any progress if the perpetrators of scams in the various sectors of the economy are not brought to book. Busari stated this while speaking with newsmen shortly after the 38th Annual General Meeting of the institute held at its National Secretariat, Alausa Ikeja Lagos recently. He also said the ongoing probe of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), should be extended to those who were involved in the Initial Public Offers (IPOs) of some companies, where massive frauds were allegedly perpetrated. He charged members of the institute to shun unprofessional conducts that will tarnish the image of the profession. He said: “Without discipline; accountability; commensurate returns to the efforts put into labour, then we cannot say democracy has thrived. “We won’t make progress until we bring to book all the perpetrators of scams in the various sectors of the economy. Democracy can’t thrive if it is founded on corruption. What we will agitate and urge as an institute is that government must have the sincerity of purpose.” On the stock market probe, Busari said: “It is a bit belated at the time the probe started; a lot of people had lost their lives because of losses incurred in the stock market due to a lot of factors.” “I’m not sure that SEC is the only body that should be probed because there are so much insider dealings; so much sensitive information being made available to the privileged few. People will buy shares at a particular fixed amount; four people will be privileged to the share certificates issued to them; while some are waiting.

even as he stated that road transport casualty has increased by seven per cent in the first quarter of 2012. Continuing, he enjoined the congregation to join the crusade aimed at making our roads safe. Responding, the resident pastor of the church Pastor Solomon Olaife thanked the unit commander for coming to sensitise members of the congregation. He assured him and his team of the willingness of the church to obey all traffic rules, even as he said that his members are reminded on every service day to be good road users.

•From left: Coordinator, Ijaw Monitoring Group, Comrade Joseph Eva, Guest Speaker, Prof. Omololu Soyanbo, and National Coordinator Oodua People’s Congress, Otunba Gani-Adams during a lecture on June 12 organised by Oodua People’s Congress in Lagos PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU

By Biodun-Thomas Davids

The ICSAN boss said efforts have reached advanced stage with the Head of Service of the Federation ”towards ensuring the proper listing of our certificate in the Scheme of Service,” adding that “this would give us more mileage and also attract more people to the profession.” Assuring that the Institute would sustain the tempo towards the attainment of its objectives, Busari said: “In our pursuit at projecting corporate governance, we have continued our partnership with regulatory bodies in Nigeria. Lately, we have intensified our relationship with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) towards regaining our positions on their Boards. This will enable us to influence policy decisions that are in line with the dictates of good governance.”


Council helps residents

S part of efforts to enhance the living standard of the people the Iru-Victoria Island Local Council Development Area has empowered more than 400 people. The recipients were beneficiaries of the poverty alleviation programme of the council. They were selected from all the wards of the council. The programme which was the first to be initiated by Hon. Abayomi Daramola-led administration held at the council’s secretariat. Hon. Daramola said that the donations were purposely to engender economic activities in the area, even as he stated that they would help in bringing about economic well-being of the residents. “The gesture aims at making the people economically self-reliant as it will serve as investment promotion for the purpose of stimulating appropriate activities in the various wards of the LCDA,” he said.

By Risikat Ramoni

Those who engage in buying and selling were financially empowered while artisans received instruments relevant to their trades. Some of the items donated to the people were sewing machines, hair dryers; hair clippers, generating sets, fishing nets and lines, and grinding machines. Other items included prayer mats and kettles donated to authorities of 1004 Mosque in Victoria Island. Apart from traders who received financial aid, some widows, the aged, disabled persons, and people whose houses/shops were gutted by fire equally received financial assistance. In its determination to encourage education among the school-age children, the council distributed exercise books to primary school pupils and students in secondary schools. Not only that, some students in institutions of higher learning received bursary awards. Some of the traders were given crates of soft drinks and coolers. Phones, lines, umbrellas, tables and two chairs which have the council’s logo on them were donated to some for call centre businesses. The council chairman assured those equipped with the call centre businesses of non-molestation from either council or kick against indiscipline (KAI) taskforce. Life jackets were also donated to the Tarkwa Bay branch of the National Association of Tourism Boat Operators and Water Transporters.

Police warn vehicle owners

•Hon. Daramola presenting life jacket to representing TarkwaBay branch of the National Association of Tourism Boat Operators and Water Transporters

THE Lagos State Police Command has warned owners of vehicles parked at Ilasan Division, Lekki Lagos to remove them immediately or forfeit same through auction. The vehicles are: 1. BMW Saloon car - AU 180 FKJ 2. KIA - CD 341 FKJ 3. Toyota Corolla Starlet-HL 73 KJA





FOIA: Nothing doing •The Freedom of Information Act draws blank one year after promulgation


ONSIDERING the daily barrage of tales of fraud and insinuations of corruption in Nigeria’s media, one would have thought that the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) last year was the perfect antidote to all that. But nothing has changed: business goes on as if no such law was passed to make government officials surrender information on demand for public consumption. Alas, in one year, requests for official information have been few and even those have been flagrantly ignored by government officials at all levels. This was the verdict emanating from various fora to evaluate the strides made by the media since May 28, 2011 when President Goodluck Jonathan signed the FOIA bill into law. A communiqué emanating from a UNESCO workshop on the implementation of the FOIA held on May 4 (World Press Freedom Day) has as its primary concern, the need to continuously sensitise government officials “on the existence and implementation procedures of the FOI Act.” That the government which ought to activate the law requires some push and sensitisation speaks volume on the status of the law, one year after. In fact, the workshop arrived at the conclusion that instead of providing the enabling environment for FOIA to take root and thrive, most ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government would want to wish away the law. At a recent forum, a video conference for select Nigerian journalists, organised by the Public Affairs Section of the Consulate General of the United States, hardly anyone present

admitted to having been granted access to official information in pursuing their reports. In fact, each of the 15 journalists present at the occasion narrated their ordeals in their bid to secure official documents for their public interest reports. However, the most ignominious examples come from unlikeliest quarters: the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and President Jonathan. A shareholders group is currently in court with the Central Bank governor, who allegedly ignored the group’s request for specific information on the processes of the recent bank liquidation, especially as it concerns one of the banks. But the Presidency takes the prize as it is alleged to have shunned the request of a media resource body, The International Press Centre (IPC) for information concerning the president’s supposedly unredeemed promises. Why would the president exhibit such disdain for a law he signed and commended to the people to obey as a matter of duty? Nigeria’s version of the FOIA took some tortuous 12 years in the making, needing a combination of activism and electoral blackmail to have it eventually signed, rather grudgingly, into law last year. Coming about 46 years after its US counterpart, the tenets are basically the same: that all government officials or public institutions are required (subject to certain exceptions) to disclose information pursuant to a request by any person. In addition, public institutions are required to put in place, adequate machinery for record keeping and publish information about their activities as specified under the law.

To paraphrase Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary –general, in his World Press Freedom Day address, freedom of expression and information are our most precious rights. They underpin every other freedom and provide foundation for human dignity. Coming from a tradition of official secrecy laws and government as some form of secret cult for a few, it can be said that Nigeria has come a long way. Persistence, court processes and relentless advocacy will continue to inch us further to our destination, which is an open society where everyone’s right is guaranteed under the law to access and disseminate information freely. This is the way of today’s world and we dare conclude that it is apposite that the most developed countries are those that are free and open.

‘Coming from a tradition of official secrecy laws and government as some form of secret cult for a few, it can be said that Nigeria has come a long way. Persistence, court processes and relentless advocacy will continue to inch us further to our destination, which is an open society where everyone’s right is guaranteed under the law to access and disseminate information freely’

General Abubakar at 70 •We congratulate him; but he has to speak up more on critical issues


ENERAL Abdulsalami Abubakar inhabited the nation’s political consciousness for several decades during which he served on the high command of the military regimes that governed Nigeria for better or worse. Until he was named Head of State following the death of the loathsome dictator Sani Abacha in June 1998, he was not a central figure in the politicised military establishment.

‘We congratulate him on this milestone ... We wish General Abubakar had spoken up at critical moments on issues convulsing the nation, if only to advise and warn, and thus help chart the way forward. Now that he has joined the conclave of elder statesmen, we urge him to embrace the usages that go with the distinction’

But he was never far from the centre of things. That record established his place in the council of Nigeria’s statesmen. When he reached the landmark age of 70 years on June 13, he joined the ranks of Nigeria’s elder statesmen We congratulate him on this milestone. General Abubakar will probably be remembered best for his role in steering the country toward democracy after it had been hobbled by a military that exhausted itself and the country into the bargain. The fact that he had not figured as a principal element in the long-drawn military rule that had few redeeming graces made him the ideal transitional figure. He executed the task with sincerity of purpose, if not always with transparency. The Constitution he bequeathed to the country was not made public until the new president elected under it took office. The document fails in many respects to reflect the reality, wishes and aspirations of the people and yet claims to have been fashioned by the people; that is why some persons learned in the law have called it a forgery.

More tellingly, it was under General Abubakar’s watch that President-elect Moshood Abiola, detained by Abacha for refusing to renounce the mandate conferred on him by the sovereign Nigerian electorate, died, mysteriously. Instead of releasing Abiola, Abubakar kept him captive and enlisted the United Nations, the United States, the Commonwealth to pressure him to renounce the mandate as a condition for being freed. Abiola’s mysterious death occurred in that context. Since leaving office, General Abubakar has given generously of his time and energy to serve the cause of democracy, heading election monitoring teams under the auspices of the Commonwealth and the African Union. We wish General Abubakar had spoken up at critical moments on issues convulsing the nation, if only to advise and warn, and thus help chart the way forward. Now that he has joined the conclave of elder statesmen, we urge him to embrace the usages that go with the distinction.

Russia, Soviet style


LADIMIR Putin knows no shame. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton accused Russia of supplying attack helicopters to the Syrian government. Apparently, blocking the United Nations Security Council from punishing Syria isn’t enough for the Russian president. He needs to be actively helping the Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad, kill his own people more efficiently and in even larger quantities. Mr. Putin’s record at home is also shameful. Anti-Putin street protests began six months ago after a disputed parliamentary election and were reenergized by Mr. Putin’s inauguration in May. Even then, they pose no threat at all to Mr. Putin’s power or the corrupt status quo. But Mr. Putin, who honed his bullying instincts as a K.G.B. officer, cannot tolerate any challenge or even a robust political debate. On Monday, the Kremlin sent 10 police teams across Moscow to stage early-morning raids on the homes of leading opposition figures. Last week, Mr. Putin’s party, United Russia, muscled through Parliament a law that imposes a $9,000 fine — about what the average Russian earns a year — on people who take part in unsanctioned demonstrations or demonstrations that result in damage to people or property. Detaining citizens arbitrarily, imposing excessive fines and harassing them because they want to exercise free speech is unacceptable. There is a lot to protest in Russia. This includes pervasive corruption and a climate of impunity in which journalists and reform-oriented politicians can be killed and the perpetrators are never held accountable. Kremlin officials complain of “growing radicalism.” If what they mean is discontent, Mr. Putin and his policies are why. Russia has a veto in the Security Council. And the Obama administration needs its cooperation to help rein in Iran’s nuclear program, isolate Mr. Assad of Syria and deal with a host of other issues. Mr. Putin has crossed a line with this helicopter sale to Syria. Mrs. Clinton was right to speak out. She and President Obama also need to speak out in support Russians’ right to demonstrate freely. Mr. Putin doesn’t care, but he needs to know that others do and are watching. New York Times

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IR: I’ve never cease to be amazed at the penchant Nigerians have for crying wolf just to attract attention. On my mind is a report published in Thisday newspaper of June 7, and titled ‘Probe Telcos on Promos, EFCC, ICPC told.’ In the report, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) ‘called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Crimes Commission (ICPC) to jointly probe fraudulent promos frequently engaged in by telecommunications providers all over the country.’ Firstly, the report lacks seriousness. Its author, Senator Iroegbu, must have meant the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and not Independent Corrupt and Crimes Commission (ICPC). Also,


The call for probe of telcoms promos the students must have meant to castigate the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) for its role in regulating ‘promos’ in the country, though it referred to the body as National Lottery Commission. Singling out the recently concluded Etisalat FC Barca promo, the NANS’ Senate President, Comrade Kolade Olaoluwa, in a signed release said, ‘we are reliably informed that there are some collaborators working in the National Lottery Commission with some of

these communications companies to defraud Nigerians in the name of promos.’ While the students’ sense of probity is commendable, concluding that telcommunications companies and the NLRC are culpable, without concrete facts being provided, smacks of irresponsibility. It must be noted that while irresponsible companies abound, ripping customers off in the name of ‘promos’, complaints must not be vague or preposterous. Does NANS have proof of under-

dealings as it concerns any promo? Then, it would do well to seek redress in court. If it has no proof, accusing staff of Etisalat and NLRC on newspaper pages is simply outrageous. In this wise, the onus falls on the students to get facts that winners of the promos were in fact dubious. NANS’ leadership must understand the logic behind operating a lottery - to get more ‘suckers’ to participate. It’s all about profit what all businesses want. And right now, companies in major sectors of

The right way to honour MKO Abiola


IR: Many Nigerians might have been deceived into thinking that President Jonathan has made up his mind to do what his predecessors failed to do by officially declaring June 12 a public holiday to honour the martyr of democracy, Chief MKO Abiola. Most disappointing, only states of the South-west geopolitical zone put up platforms geared towards commemorating this significant day in the destiny of Nigeria, thereby making it seem a regional affair. If May 29, a day that the country returned to civil rule was made a public holiday, why can’t June 12, a day that served as the foundation for the actualisation of the May 29 date be made Democracy Day? June 12 is not a day for only Chief MKO Abiola; it is a day that depicts what Nigerians can achieve if they decide to work in unity. June 12, 1993 marked the moment when Nigerians rubbished tribal, religious, and ethnic barriers for the enthronement of a strong force geared towards securing better standard of living for the citizens. The insensitive and irrational annulment of the election adjudged to be the freest and fairest in the annals of the country is still being remembered till date.

It is a sheer pretense claiming to honour a martyr when his tenets and ideologies are being stifled. Chief MKO Abiola sacrificed his life to ensure the amelioration of the suffering of the masses, provision of quality education, health services, and other dividends of democracy. Have these ideals been realized? The best way to honour the man is to transform his beliefs and aspirations to reality. It has been argued that the President’s attempt to rename UNILAG was to gain cheap popularity in the South-west; if it is not so, why can’t he declare June 12


a public holiday? It is obvious that renaming UNILAG is not basically to honour the late democrat, but rather, a smart political calculation. It is a terrible thing to play politics with honouring of a patriot like the late Chief Abiola. Besides, why can’t the President officially announce him as winner of the election and allow his family members to enjoy the benefits derivable there-from? The fact is that Chief MKO Abiola is already immortalized in the heart of rightthinking Nigerians. Whether the President honours him or not, his memory and those of the evil

geniuses that masterminded his untimely exit are forever resonant in the heart of Nigerians. The President will only do himself favour by properly immortalising him in a decent way devoid of any form of protest. Chief MKO Abiola left virtuous footprints on the sand of time in such a way that 19 years after the injustice against Nigerians, the echo continues to reverberate. Indeed, Chief MKO Abiola is an immortal as his legacies live on. • Simon Godwin Iretomiwa University of Lagos

the economy engage in one form of lottery or the other. But, NLRC was set up with the mandate of regulating lotteries, making sure they are transparent. A face-off even occurred in 2010 when the NLRC confronted promos run by the telecommunication companies. The companies are still on its radar. And beyond, only in March, it was also reported in newspapers that NLRC shut down Sojette Nigeria Ltd based in Benin City, Edo State, over alleged illegal lottery promotions. It would be sad if NLRC is not living up to its expectation. The truth of the matter is that losers would always feel aggrieved and cheated. And while any lotto organiser can easily manipulate outcomes, to the telcom companies, rubbishing their integrity on the basis of manipulating prizes of funded trips to any part of the world, SUVs worth millions of Naira, or running rolling N1billion promos, while not impossible, is unthinkable. Should one ever try to compute the revenue telcom companies rake in per second, during or after the promos, he or she might appreciate why using a N15m Range Rover SUV as bait is a win-win situation they would involve in regularly. Hence, any accusation levelled on staff of Etisalat or NLRC by NANS should involve bolder lines of action for it to hold any water, else, serious minded people would be apt to quickly discard such positions as stemming from ignorance. • Kehinde Agbekorode, Agege, Lagos.

Nigerians should not lose hope

IR: Despite the current challenges Nigeria is facing, like threats to security, social injustice, youth unemployment, political killings, labour unrest, bombings, among others, there is hope and Nigerians should not lose hope. Nigerians should pray to God to redeem and deliver our country, for, only God can redeem the nation from the present fears of insecurity and poverty in the land. Only God can heal our wounds,

so that, there would be peace. I want to assure Nigerians, that, with the prayers of the saints, all will be well, as, God is ready to intervene and heal our land, if we humble ourselves and fear God. With the potentials available in the country, if we repent our sins and do the will of God, from the leaders to the followers, there is hope for Nigeria and Nigerians in all spheres. There is also greater tomorrow for Nigeria, if we pray fervently and put all hands on deck,

to move the nation forward. Nigeria had faced many difficult situations in the past, but, God had always proved faithful. As the problems facing Nigeria presently are big, God would come to our rescue once, we keep relying on Him. The current security challenges in the nation could be attributed to high level of corruption and bad governance on the part of the leaders. Since government has forfeited the trust of the governed,

the people had lost the trust in those holding offices in government, while the situation has created the environment of political killings, poverty, unemployment, insecurity among others. Nigerians desire political leaders that will turn our bad situations to better, and whose primary concerns are to build institutions and empower the powerless. • Prophet Oladipupo FunmiladeJoel (Sekunderin), Lagos.




Reality Bites I

Dumbed to a name (1)

Olatunji Ololade

T is so hard to forget what it is worse than useless to remember. There is inspiration; that gossiped reality which hums to the ear of the attentive and promising mind from the courts of political correctness and personal morality. Then there is the profane and hideous sentimentality of the barroom and the court of public opinion. The Nigerian mind is fitted to receive and accommodate relative truths from both parliaments of reason and irrationality but only the character of each individual determines that to which his faculties shall be open and remain closed. Alas, many a Nigerian mind are permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivialities so much more that not a few minds are tainted and infinitely corrupted by base and pitiful sentimentality.

‘Were MAULAG undergraduates, alumni and their sympathizers sufficiently inured to such institutional and personal scholarship that lifts the scales of prejudice, mediocrity and narcissistic tendencies, they might attain invaluable insight and inestimable maturity that turns turbulent tides to pliant rushes and drifts’


A trifling gaffe is sexton to all and sundry – that President Goodluck Jonathan renamed University of Lagos (UNILAG), Moshood Abiola University, Lagos (MAULAG), has become wonderful bait for both his detractors and former loyalists to pick a fight with him. It is understandable that every self-styled intellectual and crusader of human rights are perpetually embroiled in the haulage of vitriol and accumulated angst at Mr. President; what is incomprehensible and wholly unacceptable is the elevation of pettiness and blundering irrationality in the wake of Mr. President’s act. President Jonathan, fabled for his knack for stirring the hornet’s nest courtesy his ham-fistedness and inclination to dole savage policies unto an equally savage and clueless race has done what only he can do best; but his critics – MAULAG undergraduates, alumni and their sympathizers – on the other hand, parade themselves with pitiful conceit, illogicality and cheek that best serves a band of kept women desperate to be done right by. Within the gamut of bitter criticism and scornful arguments muted in the wake of President Jonathan’s action, there is shamefully no true and absolute account of things except the truth and absolutism of the biased and egocentric. The spirit of arrogance and bigotry has casted its shadow on the outcry and spirited debate over the name change. Many who parade themselves as vanguards of justice and the affected school’s rights advance their views and self-acclaimed flawless points of view without respect for any other point of view. The incurable sophists that they are continually thrust their own low roof with its

HEN news filtered to me that Professor Oserheimen Osunbor, former Governor under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State was suspended from the party for alleged anti-party activities, I literally developed political convulsion. I had asked rhetorically: what crime has this soft spoken professor and Senator committed against the Uromi born political oracle to deserve this awkward treatment and victimization? But, just as I was recovering from that nauseating development, the dictator, unknown to me, had set loose, his famished baboons, to devour another Professor and former Special Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Julius Ihonvbere – a political scientist and two-time governorship aspirant under the party. And the reason? Anti-party activism. Most humiliating in their suspensions, is the gathering of some strange political bedfellows, unscrupulous elements and renegades who in a motel room, hired a camera man, while acting the godfather’s script to announce the undemocratic suspension of these great men and setting up a kangaroo committee to try them. I mean people who, ordinarily are not capable of unbuckling the sandals of these professors or offering a cup of water for a drink, let alone accepting same. That the PDP lost two professors within a month is not a political joke. Osunbor has never hidden his support for Oshiomhole’s developmental strides, although, he is yet to formally defect. Noteworthy also is the alignment of men of timber and calibre with the Oshiomhole administration. One refers here to the likes of Chief John Odigie Oyegun, Rev. Peter Obadan, Barrister Thomas Sado, Isaiah Osifo, Chief Sunny Uyigue, Alimikina, and Mrs. Lucy Omagbon among other innumerable ones that have teamed up with Governor Oshiomhole. I remember when Edo PDP was at its ebullient formation with no serious politician

narrow skylight on the mass of dumb and clueless protesters piteously handicapped to see the unobstructed heavens by their inclinations to be pushed and incited to silliness. Hardly anyone is paying attention to the issues that matter. President Jonathan and his apologists are holding dearly to Section 7 of the act that established former UNILAG now MAULAG whereas his critics are claiming that he had no right to change the school’s name and enforce another without “wide consultation” and respect for the views of the affected parties. Critics of the name change are harping on its destruction of the school’s 50-year legacy of educational excellence. What excellence? As you read, the school is yet to enrich Nigeria by any earthshaking scholarly attainment: no core science or social scientific break-through. Like every other educational institution in the country, it wallows in decadence and obsolescence. The January 2012 report of Webometrics, a world tertiary education ranking institutions organization, ranked former UNILAG 52nd of top 100 universities in Africa and 3, 486th in the world. The University of Benin ranked 1,639th on the global scale, the 22nd in Africa and the first in Nigeria, followed by the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State as the second in Nigeria, 35th in Africa and 2,266th in the world. The University of Ibadan, the 38th in the African first 100 was the 2,515th in the world while the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, came 48th in Africa and 3,228th in the world. Obafemi Awolowo University ranks 49th in Africa and 3,263rd in the world. Others were the Ahmadu Bello University, University of Ilorin-4,302 nd, University of Jos 5,681st, Auchi Polytechnic- 6, 254th and the National Open University of Nigeria-6,576th, which came 55th, 63rd, 88th, 95th and 100th, respectively

on the African list. UNILAG now MAULAG, like every other Nigerian tertiary institution couldn’t make the list of the first 1,600 tertiary institutions in the world – as usual. Topping the world list were Harvard University, which maintained its first position followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley that came second, third, fourth and fifth respectively. “To hell with the rankings!” not a few defunct UNILAG apologists would say. Many of them would query the parameters by which the rankings are done even though they would never do that had their beloved school of fabled “excellence” been rated best in Africa and among the top 50 in the world. Even if their sophistry and disregard for the global university rankings may be excused, is their arrant arrogance and inclination to delude excusable too? Defunct UNILAG like Mr. President has failed woefully and repeatedly to measure up to the high pedestals and expectations that Nigeria erroneously demanded of it. But inanimate school buildings and outmoded curricula does not a failure make, it’s the human elements, as had always been the case that should be blamed. Former UNILAG, like every other institution in the country has failed to produce that much sought yet elusive breed of thoroughbred men capable by character and talent to utilize that higher training, the end of which is culture, and an overwhelming intensity to self-actualize and prove themselves useful to their generation and the Nigerian nation. It is to such tedious task that MAULAG authorities should apply their strength; it is to such progressive endeavour that MAULAG alumni should marshal their passion and angst; it is to such beneficial enterprise that MAULAG un-

dergraduates should submit and learn. If President Jonathan rescinds his decision, it wouldn’t imbue the bumbling institution with the “excellence” it lacks and so haughtily claims. Neither will the lot of the university improve by its sudden name change. The quality of the university’s scholarship will remain the same. The tiresome sophistry and concerted outcry against the university’s name change should be redirected to more productive endeavour, like the elevation of scholarship and the training of thoroughbreds habituated to reason, catholicity of depth, scholarship and culture. Such training should be geared to discourage the prejudices that bulwark society, and to stamp out those that in sheer barbarity of intellect and ideology deafen all to the wail of reason and the matchless patriotism of past heroes like Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (M.K.O) Abiola. Were MAULAG undergraduates, alumni and their sympathizers sufficiently inured to such institutional and personal scholarship that lifts the scales of prejudice, mediocrity and narcissistic tendencies, they might attain invaluable insight and inestimable maturity that turns turbulent tides to pliant rushes and drifts. No degree of wit and ornamental sophistry can rewrite the fortune of MAULAG and other unexceptional Nigerian citadels of learning. It’s about time critics of the name change matured in intellect and reason. Who knows? They may eventually understand this timeless approximation of reason: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” Apology to William Shakespeare. •To be continued… SMS only 08038551123 (

Why Edo PDP lost Osunbor, Ihonvbere to ACN

By Cephas Onaivi

visible in the rival dominant ANPP, except Chief John Odigie Oyegun and a spoon full of others. The once full house has since become a ghost house. It’s a pity, my former party is hemorrhaging and nobody to safe her from self destruct. So, when Ihonvbere, my role model mounted the podium to formally declare for ACN last Saturday, I could not but reminisce on our days in the PDP. The quintessential vice president of the United Democratic Front for Nigeria exited the PDP in a grandiose and colorful outing reminiscent of a presidential home-coming laced with his characteristic fluent oratory. And I said to myself again, what a loss to Edo PDP! However, words cannot begin to express the relief that I felt on Saturday. I said to myself that these are men, who cannot allow others to live their lives for them. These men insisted that they would live their lives not for any godfather. They refused to capitulate to anti-democratic pressures and tendencies. These men have not failed to be known for something. They are rich in electoral values and ethos. They possess huge reputations, character and following. They are among the best and brightest intellectuals who have refused to be power eunuchs to a dictator who fancies himself as god. Those serving this despot can only but thrive at the leisure, election, appointment and pleasure of their godfather but these our professors won’t. Ihonvbere’s transmutation may not have been circumstantial. It’s simply by choice. He is exploiting the yearnings of Edo people for a vibrant government that will not wait to be reminded before it takes certain critical

decisions. Since Edo PDP and its one man leadership in the state appear not to be upbeat in this regard, Ihonvbere decided to invent his own thoughts and ideas of how to be active and decisive. Therefore, if the PDP misadventure and tragic turn of events was not obvious to us before now, the undemocratic manner and intolerant character of the leader for suspending these giant scholars brought it into bold, public glare and relief. Now, he has set the state PDP on fire by conducting sham primaries and the alleged losers can go to hell while the puppet candidate can wait for Abuja to deliver him in the election. It probably was aimed at satisfying the mischief and dubious intent of the money bag who has surrendered his soul to the godfather as a puppet. Now, since they refused to shun irrationality and easy resort to impunity, the blunder is taking its toll on the party just as there is no doubt that the party will end up losing more than what it set out to achieve as new frontiers for confrontation and resentment would in no doubt be the order of the day. The resounding question again: who then is remaining in the PDP? Isn’t this catastrophic? Is the leader always right? Can he be a god unto himself? Who, between the two giant professors and the godfather, is more of a political liability or asset to the party and the people of Edo State? Aren’t the professors more of political assets and the leader, a liability? Who else is remaining in Edo PDP? Surprisingly, the remnants are also disgruntled and hope to rock the boat from within. They are out to collapse the party on

the leader and assist in making him to fail while pretending to be loyal. This is so, in order to get their bread buttered and avoid the wrath of the godfather. The godfather wants and does not share power; that’s how Edo PDP has been running. His words are law and unchallengeable. He is the deity. But, these proud Edo sons say, No; we can’t be your megaphones and power eunuchs. So, Edo PDP, like a heart, hemorrhaging blood can never be the same again. Never will she pride herself again to high heavens that she is in charge of the state and capable of winning elections without the electorates in the 18 local government areas and 192 wards but Abuja. Never will the names of these fine gentlemen appear in PDP’s roll, whenever they gather to execute devilish plans against the general aspirations of the people of Edo State and forever, will the party’s light dim in the political firmament of the state. • Cephas, writes from Benin Edo State

‘These men have not failed to be known for something. They are rich in electoral values and ethos. They possess huge reputations, character and following. They are among the best and brightest intellectuals who have refused to be power eunuchs to a dictator who fancies himself as god’



EDITORIAL/OPINION “The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.” ¯ Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th US President)


HE unfurling bribery scandal between Lawan Farouk and Femi Otedola is a classical exemplar depicting the saying that to live and be prospering is to be haunted. Lawan is an eloquent veteran lawmaker while Otedola is a capitalist owner of Zenon oil that is ready to undo anything that would stand in his way of maximising profit in his chosen oil business. Lawan must have underestimated this man when he was carrying out his duty as Chairman of House of Representatives ad hoc committee on the probe of management of fuel subsidy funds in the country. Earlier in the week, Femi Otedola visited the Nigerian Police Special Task Force (STF) to formally report that he actually gave as bribe $620,000 to Farouk Lawan as the Chairman of the Ad Hoc probe Committee on Fuel Subsidy regime. He wants the police to ensure that Lawan brings the exact State Security Service (SSS) marked dollar bills he (Otedola) gave him. But Lawan has refused to tender the money, saying it is his proof that Otedola tried to bribe him-the lawmaker has not shown up before the STF despite his reported invitation by the police. Lawan might find it difficult to extricate himself of criminal liability in this case because the House exposed his earlier denial of collecting the bribe only to be reportedly shocked when he was confronted with the video of the shady transaction which security agencies allegedly made available to the House leadership. He was reported to have collected in person $500,000 from Otedola while the committee’s secretary later allegedly collected a balance of$120,000 from Otedola’s Abuja home on behalf of the Representative. Lawan was not yet reported to have shared the money amongst the members of the committee. Curiously too, he kept the money for 60 days without divulging its collection to anyone until the scandal burst. He should not go down alone for playing into the hands of his enemies which from all indications point in the direction of the central administration that is hell bent in ensuring that fuel subsidy, that the probe report had exposed to be phantom, is removed from the sale of petroleum products in the country. Otedola as a bribe giver too in a matter that affects his interest negatively should face the full wrath of the law. Otedola’s infamous act


F you throw a feast for your people they will eat it all up to the last morsel but should your people cook for you, surely you will be gorged with food. This is the wise saying of Ndigbo and it holds true for the ongoing stand-off between Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and his counterparts from the other states of the Southeast. The story is abroad how the occupier of Douglas House in Owerri engaged in a fish-wife bickering with his colleague in Umuahia, Abia State, not over a matter of state, but over a small issue of protocol. We also hear that the Imo governor who is just one year old in office is hardly on talking terms with his brother governor in Anambra who happens to be in the same party with him and who is also the chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum. On two consecutive occasions this year, Governor Okorocha has shunned the meeting of the Southeast governors which gather as the need arises, to deliberate on issues affecting the zone. By the same token, the governor who was overwhelmingly voted into office, has not been visible in such strategic gatherings as the National Economic Council, among others. We are too few to engage in an internecine warfare, is another Igbo wisecrack. If there is any group in Nigeria today that must bond together and act as one, it is Ndigbo. Especially so now when the drum of regionalism beats stridently across the country and no one is sure what tomorrow portends. For an okorocha who has hungered for high office in the last two decades, his first year as governor has been rather disappointing even though not entirely a failure one must admit. While one sees a boundless zeal to upgrade infrastructure and develop the state, his method is much flawed and he runs the state as if it were a motor parts shop. He has run the state in the last one year with warped procedures and processes; he has acted like an overlord passing down ill-digested ideas and brainwaves. Examples abound but few will suffice: he woke up one day to insist that civil servants in Imo State must turn out to work in suit; black suit at that under the tropical African sun. For what purpose, to what end? He woke up another day and decreed that civil servants must earn their keep. Great idea, but must be carefully worked out and implemented; distinguishing the commercial enter-

Lawan-gate: When hunter becomes the hunted

•Farouk Lawan and the discredited conduct of Lawan, in the light of existing evidence, that is everything but honourable, should not under whatever circumstances, be allowed by President Goodluck Jonathan and other protagonists of fuel subsidy removal, to diminish the sanctity of that highly revealing fuel probe report. If the probe report had favoured Otedola and his cabal friends, one is cocksure that he would not have brought in the security angle; just like if the burble had not burst, Lawan too would not have reported the matter to the House leadership. The matter is what can be described as a game of two devils- One a pretending democrat, the other, an avowed establishment person. Head or tail, the nation

loses. Otedola needs to be informed in case he has forgotten that under the laws of the country, the giver and the taker of bribe are both culpable. His excuse that he embarked on the act to show that he was pressurized against his will to part with the money is balderdash. His claim of being aware of the implications before the law is equally empty. The truth of the matter is that there must have been meeting of the minds between the two but perhaps because of whatever doubt the oil man might have or nursed about the integrity of Lawan to deliver prompted him to bug every interaction he had with the lawmaker. He who comes to equity must come with clean hands. Otedola in this particular instance agreed to this sting operation with the State Security Service (SSS) not because of his love to uphold systemic probity in the country but because of his resolve alongside other oil marketing cabals to either get the probe report of the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime to favour their clique or if things turns awry like it has become in the present situation, to malign reputations of members of the committee and to ultimately rubbish the report emanating there-from- Himself and fellow conspirators will not succeed in this regard. If those in power are haunted by their misdeeds, then the powerful should not blame anyone for they are paying the price of their crass indulgence. Paul Rodriguez once


SMS O8181624757,

Gov. Okorocha versus the Southeast prises from the social and phasing the processes. Major contracts are awarded on mere word of mouth and the delicate art of statecraft is put in abeyance. The mother of all aberrant action is his newfangled Community Council Government also known as the fourth tier of government. Perhaps it may be salutary and beneficial to create many more levels of administration but again, it has to be carefully worked out and implemented over time. But that is not the method of Governor Okorocha; workers are simply yanked off their seats and sent to their villages as staff of a 4th tier government that has neither structure nor basis. The question, is what has he done with the second and third tiers he already has? Has he succeeded with them by any inch? Has he applied his budget to the letter in the last one year? How much allocation has he received on behalf of the 27 local government areas in Imo state and how much did he disburse to them in one year? All these are stories for another day but they are pointers to his attitude at the zonal and federal levels. Ndigbo never needed leaders like they do now. Igboland is today, in the wilderness – politically speaking; it is like a headless body thrashing… The Governors’ Forum is all that is left and no matter how ineffectual it may be, boycotting it does not make it better. Okorocha must fix it from within as he cannot achieve much as a lone ranger. Attempting to form some opportunistic body with jobbers and charlatans will not

help either. Especially now that our good old Ohaneze Ndigbo is comatose having been consigned to one obscure corner of Aso Rock where its present leadership led it to. Governor Okorocha hasn’t got all the time in the world. If he really wants to leave the kind of legacy he desires, he must retrace his steps, take a sober review of the first one year. He should stick to the basics, which is to draw up realistic budgets and implement them to the letter. Of course he must curtail his political ambition, shun greed and cut corruption to the minimum. He must think global and cooperate with his fellow Southeast leaders. These are the recipe for success.

The Peter Obi-Umeh tango

Comparatively, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State has put up a commendable performance. In spite of Nasir el Rufai’s mischievous comment, Anambra is perhaps, the toughest state to govern in Nigeria. Why is it so? Methinks it is because it boasts of the highest number of moneyed people in the country but with many of them lacking good sense and political savvy. In fact being an Igboman with immense means and dabbling into politics could be most calamitous especially where there are numerous such people. Ask the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra the demon that is often unleashed during election time; it is simply unmanageable mayhem. Why do you think Obi has not held local government elections in six years? He simply

described hunting as not being a sport because ‘in a sport, both sides should know they’re in the game.’ I doubt if Lawan realised earlier enough that that huge dollars that he bargained with Otedola was a bait to nail him for his double personality. When their minds met, he must inadvertently have focussed his own senses outside this fact. To the public, he is an articulate no nonsense lawmaker but behind the klieg light, the man is a smooth operator- a legislative ruse. Whether good or bad, there is a price for everything under the sky. It is almost certain that a judge no matter how long will one day be faced with seeking justice that he once dispensed on people; that a governor will one day be governed by another when out of office; that a president will have another person preside over his affairs; that the dictator will one day be dictated to and that the hunter will become the hunted. The day has come for Lawmaker Farouk Lawan, veteran member of the House of Representatives to face the consequences of the law he has helped to make for the country in over a decade. The House should be that of honourable members and not that of dishonourable men and women. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo once described legislators in the nation as thieves. Just barely a month ago, a N44 million bribery allegation is levelled against Herman Hembe, former chairman of the house committee on capital market, who allegedly demanded the money from now suspended Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Arunma Otteh. I just hope Obasanjo is not laughing at the turn of events today in the national assembly. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States (1953-61) and the supreme commander of the Allied forces in western Europe during World War II might be right afterall when he aphoristically declared several decades ago that: ”The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.” Indeed, a big scapegoat had be made in Lawan Farouk in the Nigerian systemic grand conspiracy and big hunt championed by Otedola, to discredit the probe report that is expected to nip the death of protagonists of fuel subsidy removal in the bud. For maintaining a double personality, the hunter and the leader of the ‘integrity group,’ this time around has indeed, become the hunted.

cannot. It is not humanly possible. The entire state could conflagrate in the attempt to hold any LGA election in Anambra today or even in the near future. While Governor Obi has managed to hold the state together and put in a modicum of good work, he got his politics all mixed up. He is simply not a politician. He failed to build the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) that provided him the pedestal he has stood upon all these years. A political party is like marriage, what you put in is what you get out. Gov Obi neglected APGA and now that he has to go, APGA may have to go with him and that will be a shame. But there is still some ray of hope. He must reconcile with Chief Victor Umeh, the chairman of the party who stood by him through thick and thin. In spite of Umeh’s flaws Obi must work with him and quickly work out a consensus with him on APGA’s governorship candidate in the next election. As it is, PDP has almost stolen the thunder in the state so Obi must play the politics: reconcile, empower and mobilize. Is it not strange that nobody is decamping to APGA as we see happen with ruling parties in other states? LAST MUG: To Prof. Jemie on his birth day :if the information one gleaned from a listing is correct,then Professor Onwuchekwa Jemie was 72 years on the June 3rd. I raise my glass to a distant mentor and a gentleman of the pen who schooled at Columbia and Harvard before we discovered they were Ivy-league and who taught at Purdue, CUNY and Swathmore. The one who brought so much light to The Guardian newspaper in those early, heady days. May you live long sir.

‘He woke up another day and decreed that civil servants must earn their keep. Great idea, but must be carefully worked out and implemented; distinguishing the commercial enterprises from the social and phasing the processes’





Mpu in Enugu State may not be found on the map, but it has a prominent son in Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who pulled the high and mighty to the community for the funeral of his father, Igwe Mathias Ekweremadu, on June 8. CHRIS ORJI reports.

•From left: Senator Ekweremadu and members of his family PHOTOS: OBI CLETUS


HE rural Mpu community in Enugu State had never seen such a thing before. It was a funeral for which no expense was spared. Everything was done to ensure the comfort of guests. The guests were no mean men. Many of them are among those running the country who came to honour one of their own, Ike Ekweremadu, the Deputy Senate President, who buried his father, Igwe Mathias Ekweremadu, on June 8. In attendance were: Vice-President, Namadi Sambo; wife of the President, Dame Patience Jonathan; Senate President, David Mark and Deputy Speaker, ECOWAS Parliament, Hon Saran Sereme from Burkina Faso. Virtually all the National Assembly members were there. No fewer than 80 senators, 280 House of Representative members, 20 ministers , 15 governors, ambassadors, traditional rulers from across the country and party leaders were among the ‘A’ guests. Igwe Ekweremadu, who died at 82, is survived by 24 children, 54 grand children and four great grand children. The funeral service was held under a large air conditioned canopy built to accommodate 5,000 people. It was filled during the service at which over 50 clerics from the Methodist and Anglican denominations. The service was electrified by gospel music by Remi Oladimeji, with his traditional Yoruba drum alongside the Uncommon Voices. The Yoruba swept the dignitaries off their feet. They danced to the music. "This is a remarkable figure, for a great man like Igwe Ekweremadu," said the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Bishop Ola Makinde.

A king’s funeral ‘Pa Ekweremadu is being honoured today because of his kindness and care for the poor. He has paid his dues and he is being honoured for it today’ The Prelate renamed the Methodist Church at Mpu to Mathias Ekweremadu Memorial Methodist Church. Delivering the homily, he bemoaned the ills of the country, saying the moral decay was such that it is becoming incurable. He said the "elaborate funeral being witnessed is a testimony to the good life the deceased lived." The prelate said Igwe Ekweremadu did not withhold his good will but dispensed it to people for them to enjoy quality life. Bishop Makinde charged politicians to emulate Igwe Ekweremadu in making life better for the people. "It is now that you will secure the good relationship you will have with your people after you finish your office. If you don't perform now, by the time you become a commoner like them they would be treating you with scorn," he said. He asked them to shun wealth accumulation, saying: “whatever you accumulate, you will,

on the last day, occupy only a space of six feet underground.” "Pa Ekweremadu is being honoured today because of his kindness and care for the poor. He has paid his dues and he is being honoured for it today," he said. The Deputy Senate President described his father as "mathematical Mathias", lamenting that it was difficult to pay adequate tribute to a man of his mould in a few pages of paper. He said of his father: "You were an encyclopedia, a volume and, indeed, an institution." Senator Ekweremadu told the audience that his father taught him that he cannot be happy when others around him are not. "He taught me to, as much as practicable, pursue peace with all men, even at my own personal costs. He taught me to love as though my life depends on it. I found that it, indeed, depends on it. He taught me that my worth does not consist in what I have, but in what I give. He

taught me to dream big and to pursue my dreams with vigour." He praised the late Igwe for being a caring father and a philanthropist whose love for his community was unequalled. Mark extolled the late monarch, saying: “If you want to know who the Igwe was, you take a look at the children and their character.” He stressed that good products always come from good seeds, adding that the late Pa Ekweremadu reflected that in his life time by giving all his children good education. Sambo, who read the President Goodluck Jonathan’s tribute, said the death of Pa Ekweremadu is not only a loss to his immediate community and family but to a larger extent, Nigeria because of the vision and legacies he left behind. Mrs Jonathan said the deceased is worth celebrating for having 24 children and training all of them to university level. She condoled with the family and the people of Mpu, urging them to take heart. The late Igwe Ekweremadu was employed as a missionary teacher at Missionary School, Agbani in 1951. He was conferred with the title of "Okwa Anekeoji" in 1977 by his community. He was installed the Igwe of the community in 2003. •More pictures on page 26



SOCIETY •Continued from page 25

•Secretary to Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim

: From left : Dame Jonathan; Sambo and Chime

•Senator Mark (left) chatting with Deputy Speaker House of Reps., Hon Emeka Ihedioha

•From left: Ebonyi State Governor Martin Elechi; his Abia State counterpart Governor Theodore Orji and his wife, Josephine

•From left: Governor Obi; Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji; National Vice-Chairman of PDP Southeast and Akobundu Austin

•Cross-section of the clerics

•Hon Uche Ekwunife

• Prof Monye and Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

•Enugu State Deputy Governor Sunday Onyebuchi PHOTOS: OBI CLETUS




‘She is beautiful, kind-hearted, exciting’ S the bride Olujoke Opeyemi, a banker was led into St. Thomas More Catholic Chaplaincy, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, by her father Dr Olu Olofinlade, a Second Republic Federal lawmaker, the congregation sang heartily Great is thy Faithfulness. In her flowing white gown, she walked, alongside her father to the podium where her beau, Opeoluwa Omolabi, an insurance marketer, was waiting. He was dressed in a black suit, black bow tie and pair of shoes. The officiating minister Revd Francis Isichei, began the marriage rites, with the couple holding hands. A reading from the book of Tobit, in the Jerusalem Bible, which encouraged the couple to be fervent in prayer and build their hope in God was taken. After the Liturgy of the Word, the lovebirds were asked to declare their consent and this was followed by the exchange of vows, rings and blessings. After being declared husband and wife, the couple sealed their union with a kiss. Revd Isichei urged the congregation to pray for a successful union of the couple. He also prayed the Lord to always be with them. Afterwards, the couple and their parents signed the marriage certificate. The parents looked splendid in their attires. Both fathers wore a wine and cream Aso-Oke; the mothers dress in an orange lace and a wine head gear. The recessional hymn was sung as the couple marched out accompanied by their parents, bridals train, grooms men, family members, friends and well-wishers. They all took turns to take photographs in front of the church. The party train moved to UNILAG Multipurpose "Hall C" for the reception. The hall was decorated in Brown and yellow gold. The couple danced into the venue as P-square song, blared from the Disc Jockey DJ Forever’s turntable. They were accompanied by some women. The event was anchored by MamaKay. D' soul lifters music band dished out scintillating music. Chairman of the event Revd John Taiwo congratulated the couple on their marriage, praying that it be fruitful. "I feel elated today, I want you to know that there would be ups and downs and obstacles; nobody can say marriage is always smooth. It is only basic that you endure. There will be misunderstanding. There is no way it will not happen because you are from different background, different upbringing and different levels; you only need to endure for that moment so that you can live together and understand each other better. "I wish you well. I pray you will celebrate many years of marriage together in long life and prosperity,” Revd Taiwo said. The couple cut the designed cake of four steps, which had a smaller division on each row with designed roses on each. In their first assignment, Olujoke knelt down to feed her husband. Opeoluwa reciprocated by placing her on his knees and feeding her with the wine and cake. He sealed it with a kiss. The couple trilled the guests with some nice dance steps. The bouquet thrown was caught by Olutoyin Olofinlade, a fashion designer and the bride's younger sister. The couple, who hail from Ido-Ekiti, Ekiti State attended University of Lagos (UNILAG). "Today is the best day of my life," Olujoke, an Access Bank worker said. She recalled how the relationship of 18 months culminated on marriage.


Olujoke, daughter of Dr Olu Olofinlade, a Second Republic Federal lawmaker, and Opeoluwa, son of University of Lagos teacher Dr Kehinde Faluyi got married in Lagos, last Saturday after an 18-month courtship. ABIKE ADEGBULEHIN and AMINAT ADESINA report. •The couple Opeoluwa and Olujoke

•From left: Dr Faluyi and his wife Mojisola and Revd Taiwo

•Dr Olofinlade and his wife Eniola

•From right: Chief Hon Akintunde Rotimi, Prince Tajudeen Olusi and Chief Adekunle Alli

•Prof Tayo Fashoyin and his wife Ebun

•Prof Peter Nwilo and his wife Augustina

•Prof Rufus Taiwo (left) and Dr Musbau Junaid PHOTOS: DAVID ADEJO

"We were in his house when he stood up acting as if he was angry, I asked him what the problem was and he told me not to worry. He just opened the wardrobe and brought out the ring and we are here today and I thank God," she said. She also described her husband as the "most wonderful man in the

The groom's mother Mrs Mojisola Faluyi described her daughter in-law as a humble, responsible and kind-hearted girl. "I am so happy today. I thank God for sparing my life to see today and I thank God that my son got a wife from a very good and

world. He is handsome, understanding and caring". Opeoluwa, computer scientist working as an insurance marketer, describes his wife as "kind-hearted, beautiful and very exciting to be with. I really appreciate and thank God for meeting such a wonderful lady like her".

dedicated Christian home," she said. An elated bride's mother, Mrs Eniola Olofinlade said: "I feel great today because it is the happiest moment of my life. This is what I have been praying for and I am very grateful to God that he has made my dream come true".



SOCIETY Former Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Managing Director Timi Alaibe drew dignitaries to Harbour Point on Victoria Island, Lagos, last Sunday, for his 50th birthday celebration. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO was there.

Alaibe’s grand 50th birthday bash


HERE is no other reward for good except good, says the adage. For Timi Alaibe, a Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, blessed is the day he hearkened to the cry of a man not from his ethnic group, seeking financial assistance to return to school abroad. The person he assisted turned out to be the cousin of former Deputy Senate President Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu. To say that Mantu was delighted by Alaibe’s kind gesture will be an understatement. Mantu was bowled over and he never forgot. So, years later when the Federal Government created the NigerDelta Development Commission (NDDC), Alaibe approached Alhaji Mantu for a job in the commission. Mantu got Alaibe job in NDDC and he later became its managing director. From then on, the Bayelsa-born banker turned politician hit the limelight. By virtue of his position, he was instrumental to ending the NigerDelta crisis. Recognising his talent, the President picked him as his Special Adviser on Niger Delta after expiration of his tenure. Last Sunday, Alaibe celebrated his 50th birthday. As expected, the man from Igbainwari in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State received praises for turning the golden age and for his contributions to society. The birthday party was not just all about celebrations; it was also a moment of sober reflections for Alaibe who fought poverty to achieve success. His is a classic grass-to-grace story. He is from a humble background and was raised in Ajegunle, popularly known as ‘Jungle City’. Back home in Igbainwari, he became famous among neighbourhood kids for his swimming prowess and fishing with crude hooks. While he lived among the poor, he was determined to climb up the social lader so he learnt the art of creative survival quite early in life. The celebration began with a cocktail and photo session. Guests savoured good wines and nodded to music by the live band. Afterwards, they were led into the hall by a bevy of beautiful ladies. The celebrator stood at the entrance to welcome the guests into the lavishly designed hall. The settings re-enacted memory of a Presidential dinner for the many A guests in attendance. Various entertainers from gospel artist Lara Joe to Etim, DJ Jimmy Jazz, P Square and D’Banj were slated for performance. By the time The Nation crew left the party around midnight, all had performed except D’Banj. Comedians Basket Mouth and I go die were also on hand to thrill the guests. Before the ‘birthday boy’ cut his cake, a special performance was

•The celebrator, Alaibe being assisted by (from left) Chief Diepriye Alamieyeseigha; Mrs Ireti Kingibe; Alhaji Mantu; Gen Azazi; his wife; Governor Oshiomhole and Ambassador Kingibe to cut the cake

•Senator Danjuma (left) and Mrs Nkiru Anumudu

•Kingsley Kuku (left) and Hon Opara

•Hon Edure Barnabas (left) and Hon Boyelayefa Debekeme •Richard Ajamajebi (left) and Otunba Funsho Lawal

done by his children. The hall yelled as Alaibe’s quartet – Ebimobore, Ebikemiye, Ebiye and Ebitimi dazzled on the stage. Senator Daisy Danjuma supervised the cutting of the cake. Those who paid tributes to him at the event include President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by National Security Adviser (NSA) General Owoye Azazi; Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole; Alhaji Mantu; former

Secretary to the Government of the Federation Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe; former Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa Tony Elumelu; former Deputy Speaker, House of Reps., Austin Opara and Niger-Delta activist Ankio Briggs. President Jonathan congratulated his kinsman describing his attainment of 50 as a landmark. He thanked God for guiding and protecting the celebrator over the

years. Governor Oshiomhole described Alaibe as a young man who has achieved so much. He wished him all the best, stating that Nigerians still expect more from him. Mantu described Alaibe as a de-tribalised Nigerian. “I’m playing the role of a father figure. I want to urge all of us that once we discover a talent, help him grow. Timi, I’m

proud of you and look forward to you becoming President of Nigeria,” he said. Alaibe thanked all for their support. He recalled how God used him and other good Nigerians to end the Niger Delta crisis. “We are only tools used by God to stop the crisis in the region. We believe also that God can intervene in the crisis in the North,” he said. •More pictures on page 37

29 FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012

Vol 4. No. 1755

A global health care brand’s offerings The British United Provident Association (BUPA) offers first-class insurance health care services to over eight million people in 190 countries. It is represented in Nigeria by Anthony Somefun Limited (ASL). WALE ALABI reports on its activities. The beginning


HE British United Provident Association (BUPA) started in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1947 with just 38,000 members. Since then, it has developed into an internationally respected brand. In 1971, BUPA extended its health insurance cover to expatriates around the world. It has expanded its network to reach 190 countries and grown its membership to over eight million members of about 115 nationalities with over 7,500 participating hospitals and clinics worldwide. With offices in the UK, Hong Kong, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, India, Australia, USA, Denmark, Egypt, France and Spain, and an international network of brokers and business partners, the group is a non-profit making shareholding company and has credible financial standing with excess of 3.95 billion pounds in reserves. Unarguably the largest expatriate private health insurance provider, it also offers cover for local nationals where the local regulations permit. It recognises the high standard its members expect, and is familiar with treatments and health facilities available around the world. It also knows the importance of offering advice and support through every stage of a patient’s care and recovery. The benefits of membership By sharing its extensive knowledge and experience with its client, BUPA helps to protect their health and wellbeing no matter the circumstances. BUPA “cares for the lives in its hands” and is dedicated to providing all the insurance services, help and advice needed to keep members, their family and employees in the best of health. Its dedicated team respects its clients’ individuality, culture, privacy and dignity and aims to provide services that can be relied upon throughout a BUPA international membership. As a member of BUPA International, clients will be covered for a wide range of benefits including choice of provider, around-the-clock multilingual help and support from BUPA Customer Services department and access to a second medical opinion from a world expert in their field. With a network of over 7,500 participating hospitals worldwide, it can guarantee direct settlement of eligible in-patient claims. On quality, it runs an international hospital accreditation programme to ensure that they are working with medical providers whothey know give the best outcomes. Claims

are settled within five working days and can be paid in more than 80 different currencies. And with growing awareness of Internet, members can enjoy the ease of being able to manage their individual or families’ health plan through a website. Communication edge BUPA has over 1,000 employees from many countries and cultures. Professionally trained and continually coached, they aim to treat clients with respect, compassion and understanding every time contacted. It has various language specialists, who can speak to clients in their languages; its helpline speaks 34 languages and have a wealth of local knowledge and expertise. With a team of medical doctors available 24 hours to call upon if required, its aim is to treat and care for clients as individuals enabling them to receive the most appropriate treatment every time. If a member’s circumstances require additional medical assistance; for example, the member lives in a remote part of the world or somewhere with limited medical facilities, either one of the following two options can be used for assistance cover: evacuation and repatriation Evacuation Where there are concerns about the quality of local medical care, this option is ideal. If the treatment needed is not available locally, it will arrange for the member to be evacuated to the nearest centre of medical excellence no matter the location of the patient. Repatriation This is where a client wishes to be return to his or her home country. Roll of honours Since inception, it has won many awards for its services.

‘BUPA cares for the lives in its hands’ and is dedicated to providing all the insurance services, help and advice needed to keep members, their family and employees in the best of health. Its dedicated team respects its client’s individuality, culture, privacy and dignity and aims to provide services that can be relied upon throughout an international membership’

•Toyosi Akerele, founder, Rise Networks (third right) and participants at the Define my Tomorrow Career counselling in Port Harcourt.

• Health Minister, Prof. Chukwu Onyebuchi

BUPA international won the Queens Award for enterprise in the International Trade category for the third time in 2010 for its continued substantial growth in overseas earnings, commercial success and outstanding achievement. It also won in 2005 and 1999. In 2009, it received the best international Private Medical Insurance provider Award at the UK’s health insurance Awards for the fourth time and for the ninth time since 1999. BUPA was also recognised for its FT business offshore Excellence Award in 2000. The Nigerian affiliate In Nigeria, it is represented by Anthony Somefun Limited (ASL). ASL, which is also registered in the UK, has been operating as BUPA country representative in Nigeria since 2008. The Head, Business Development, ASL, Mr Emmanuel Akpose, states the mission of the brand: “At ASL, we pride ourselves to being available for whatever assistance any of our clients require and endeavour to treat each client with utmost importance. Recognising that each client is an individual with different needs, requirements and circumstances, we at ASL tailor our services to perfectly fit with each client’s needs. “We thrive on ensuring that all our clients endeavour to go for a wellness screening or medical check-up at least once a year, as early detection of certain illnesses can significantly increase the recovery rate of a patient.” According to him, “If, for any reason, a client would prefer for ASL to contact BUPA International on their behalf regarding any medical related issue, we will be more than willing to assist clients. Also, at ASL, we have a dedicated team, who have been trained on BUPA International products and services and who are ready to offer any client who requires further clarification regarding BUPA’s policy summaries and membership guides.” “Finally, ASL tries to make sure all clients and expatriates attempt to cover their families and employees as well as themselves under BUPA international’s Private Health Care service, especially in developing countries where people cannot rely on the health system due to unavailability of adequate medical experts and facilities.” On how claims are settled, Viavor Bababunmi, an executive of the firm, said: “BUPA International settles claims directly with hospitals and health care providers in BUPA’s network, usually in local currency. This means less administration and inconvenience for their members. A personalised membership card is also issued to members who have all the emergency contacts numbers necessary, providing peace of mind.” Since it started operations in Nigeria, ASL has made appreciable impact on the business of caring for lives through product delivery, advising and customer care. Its high networth clientele spans banks, schools, churches, oil and gas and individuals.




Luezer’s Archive lists Noah Ark work N OAH’s Ark Communications Limited has published its work in the world renowned Luezer’s Archive. This is is a worldwide advertising archive that is regarded as the ‘Bible’ of advertising. It is a bimonthly publication that showcases the best of advertising. Out of the thousands of entries received, only the best 70 get published. At a briefing at the agency’s office in Maryland, Lagos, its Managing Director, Mr Lanre Adisa, described the listing as an achievement not only for Noah’s Ark’s team, but also for the creative advertising industry. He said the agency was motivated to enter its work for the archive when it realised that no Nigerian agency’s work has been featured in the publication. He disclosed that the same work has been entered for this year’s

Cannes Advertising Festival.”We are, indeed, very delighted as a company and also proud to position the Nigerian creative advertising industry in the league of global advertising practitioners by emerging the first Nigerian agency to be featured in Luezer’s Archive,” he said. He explained that the agency recently clinched the advertising businesses of Swift Network, Horlicks (GSK) and Paga. “Only recently, Noah’s Ark emerged fourth on the medals table in the Lagos Advertising & Ideas Festival (LAIF), last year beating several old generation advertising agencies. The Managing Director, Chini Productions, Mr Nnamdi Ndu, described the Noah’s Ark’s entry as a great achievement not only for the agency, but also for the advertising industry.

Macleans canvasses better oral care for children


ACLEANS Milk Teeth has reiterated its commitment to ensuring good oral health among children. It has conducted a free dental screening for them in Lagos. At the event, which spanned three days, there was an awareness campaign for parents on the need to maintain healthy oral care of their children. The Senior Brand Manager, Macleans Milk Teeth, Mr Emeka Uchenna, said: “Macleans Milk Teeth is a specially formulated toothpaste for children between one and six years. It is formulated with the right child-safe amount of the active ingredients in the adult toothpaste, especially fluoride. “The quantity of fluoride in children’s toothpaste is absolutely important because of the possibility of dental fluorosis, a dental condition which leaves the teeth pitted and mottled, due to too much fluoride in the system as a result of swallowing of

toothpaste during brushing”. Macleans Milk Teeth has 500ppm of fluoride, which is safe for children at that tender age. It contains active calcium protection specially formulated for strong healthy milk teeth and gums. It comes in gentle minty taste, soft texture and natural peppermint flavour. Thus making Macleans Milk Teeth the effective toothpaste solution for strengthening first teeth’s enamel and protecting against tooth cavity in toddlers and children between one and six years. The screening had paedotontists and dentists, who examined children, to determine the healthiness or otherwise of their mouth and educated parents on how to meet the dental needs of the children. Fun methods of brushing and encouraging regular brushing in children were discussed and parents were charged to inculcate the habit of brushing every morning and night among the children.

•From left: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Lagos State, Mr Wale Raji; 2 nd VicePresident, Chemical and Non-Metallic Products Employers’ Federation (CANMPEF) Dr. Palaniappan Sridharan and outgoing President, Mrs. Peju Adebajo, during the 33rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the union in Ikeja, Lagos


O boost customer interaction on the social network, the telecoms company, Etisalat, has introduced a platform through which customers can enjoy access on Facebook with its new Facebook Bundles and Facebook SMS service. The facility allows customers to subscribe to a daily, weekly or monthly plan and based on the plan customer’s subscribe to they can access Facebook for as long as they desire. The Facebook SMS service on the other hand, allows subscribers receive SMS notifications on posts to their Facebook pages as well as update their Facebook status via SMS. Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Wael Ammar, said customers, who subscribe to the Facebook bundles and SMS service, will have a rewarding experience because of the convenience the services offer. “Facebook bundles and Facebook SMS provide convenient and affordable access to Facebook

Etisalat offers consumers access on Facebook content in a very rich and engaging format. The services are unique because they are accessible to mobile phone users removing the barrier of needing a stationary PC to access Facebook,” he said. To launch it, Etisalat is giving its customers a 30-day free access to Facebook, allowing them tag photos, chat, play games, share albums and more. At the end of the free trial, customers can subscribe to the daily bundle at N25/day; weekly bundle at N100/week and monthly at N200/month. To subscribe, customers can send the letters ‘fbd’ to 229. For the Facebook Weekly bundle, customers can send ‘fbw’ to 229 and for the Facebook Monthly bundle they can send ‘fbm’ to 229. Upon subscription to any of the bundles, the Facebook application

link is sent to the subscriber’s phone. The subscriber must click on the link to download and install the application for free. After an installation, subscriber can either login to a Facebook account or regist e r f o r a n e w o n e a n d have access to Facebook throughout the chosen bundle. The Facebook bundle subscription is renewed automatically. By accessing the link, the service can be activated by p r o v i d i n g t h e correct login details and inputting the activation code. Following successful activation, subscribers start receiving SMS notification update from facebook and can also update Facebook wall by sending SMS to a set of short codes at N10 per SMS.

•Some winners displaying their prizes at the presentation in the ongoing Legend Real Deal promotion in Lagos.





FRIDAY, JUNE 15 , 2012

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• Fathers day golf gift basket

For dad with love Forty-eight hours to Fathers’ Day, many children are thinking of how to appreciate their fathers. There are timeless gifts to titillate the old man and they are not that expensive. All that is needed are imagination, creativity and love to make him know that you care. Here are tips from JANICE NKOLI IFEME.


N 48 hours, it will be Fathers’ Day. It is a day to show appreciation to fathers for being patriarchs of their families. How do you appreciate a father? What is the kind of present to give him this Sunday? Or are you not planning to surpirse your father with a gift on that day? Fathers deserve to be shown and told how much they are loved and appreciated daily. But, because of today’s willing lifestyles, this gesture is often overlooked. Father’s Day is your best chance to get him gift and card to show that you care. Considering

what to give dad on Father’s Day can be frustrating, especially for a dad who has everything, or is difficult to please. A good starting point is to do a little of prying into his recent acquisitions. Perhaps there is a particular restaurant he loves to frequent these days. Maybe he’s even found a new hobby. Help him enjoy himself with it. Perhaps he has been hinting that he needs something new, yet has not got the item for himself. Practice the art of identifying some • Fathers day cookies. • Continued on Page 32

Parking fee protest at Shoprite

Light up your home

Page 33

Page 32

Up, up go foodstuff prices

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For dad with love • Continued from Page 31

hints he might have been dropping. Knowing what a father wants, not necessarily what he needs, is essential in choosing the perfect Father’s Day gift for him. A classic bag Dad has stuffs to carry around so get him a classic sack, satchel, case, bags, duffels or briefcase, whichever he prefers. Executive essentials Executive essentials, such as laptops, briefcase, montblanc pen and attache case are all suitable gifts for him.

• Personalised tan leather toiletry bag

• Tool kit

sure to love.

Fathers Day gift box

His choice wine

A gift box featuring a decorative band is a fun and a memorable way to show dad how much you care. Choose colours with masculine appeal. A creative message is a nice idea. You can even inscribe his favourite sports club on it.

What better way to unwind after a long hard day at the office than with his favourite liquor? Choose wisely and remember, there’s no need to remind ad drink responsibly. His favourite magazine

Personalised marble keepsake

A subscription to his favourite magazine or newspaper is a nice idea and sure to be well received. Most often he will neglect to treat himself to this type of leisurely fun. Now is a good time to do him the favour.

It is common to go to the stores and get good gifts that he will appreciate. But you can go the extra mile and get him marble keep sake. Personalise it by telling him why he is a source of love and inspiration all year through. End with your own loving sentiment and name to create a truly unique keepsake he will treasure always.

Shaver To keep him looking handsome and dashing, present him with a shiny new electric shaver. Let him indulge without the hassle of having to use shaving cream. It will also reduce time spent on shaving considerably, and that is something all busy Dads can appreciate.

Leather toiletry bag Whether he is travelling or heading for a weekend getaway, a genuine leather toiletry bag will give him pleasure; one with smooth finish and convenient compartments for soap, shampoo, toothbrush, cologne and extra storage for other personal items.

Get him organised

For the golfer dad Whether on the course or at home, he is above par in every way. Let him know it with your exclusive golf ball set designed for him alone. Protect his shoes and other golf accessories while off the course in a handsome golf shoe bag. This is an essential accessory for every golfer. A golf ball makes an excellent gift for all players and fans alike. Glass mug The traditional style glass mug is a terrific gift for dad, step-dad, grandpa or that special gentleman who deserves a little relaxation in style. Make him feel cozy An adjustable chair makes a thoughtful gift for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. It is perfect to bring along picnics, to keep drinks cool


IGHT brightens up a place and gives an extra glow to the environment. Your home or even office is a place that should not look gloomy. There are different types of lamps and they come in various colours and shapes. Lamps have brought about efficient lighting. Most of these lamps are long lasting, durable and cool (they do not generate heat). They are cost effective. When choosing a lamp, check the brightness, if it uses battery or if it requires charging. Check the bulbs and ensure they are not fake or they will die prematurely. Most lamps have various sections from which you can change the colour of the light. Some people prefer red. Green colour is also great for night, The elderly prefer blue because of its easiness on the eyes; amber does not attract flying insects and white, which is the most common, gives bright illumination. Lamps make use of less energy than normal light and if the procedures for each lamp are followed accordingly, they would remain bright and last longer. There are different kinds of lamps, sculpted, ceramic, metal, glass and perspex , among others. They also vary in col-

• Personalised beer mug

or carry along to the sports field. There is easy access to cooler contents while seated. Moms and kids will love it because of its light weight and small collapsible size. Dad or grandpa will love it for the easy access to the cooler while enjoying their favourite hobby. Make dad feel extra comfortable and cozy with a brand new ottoman or footstool. Now he can relax while watching his favourite TV programmes. Whenever he puts his feet up there will be no guesswork as to who he is thinking of. DIY dad If he is the Do-it-yourself (DIY), get him a new tool belt and high tech tools. That is always a hit with the handyman Dad. Mr Fix-It will think of you each time he uses it.

Get him some gadgets There is no doubt that men love their gadgets. With that in mind, a few more Father’s Day gift ideas might be accessories for his cell phone or iPod. If he is the father to a large brood, planning a family game night could be a fun way to spend Father’s Day. It might not be typically perceived as a ‘gift’ for him, but time spent with his family is to be treasured. That’s what dad’s day should be all about, after all. The kids might enjoy making Daddy a personalised poem, painting or drawing. This can be a fun way to get creative. For the Dad who is young at heart, perhaps buy him a new video game console. Be sure it is that must have system he’s been raving about. Also include a few popular games he is

If he could use a little organisation in his life, a thoughtful present might be an organiser that will hold the remote, magazines, glasses and snacks. An emergency road kit is also a nice gesture. Everyone wants their parents to be safe while driving, in the event of a mishap on the road, some essentials could prove very valuable. These kits can be purchased from a supplier or store, or assembled at home. In the event that he lives miles away and visits are far and few between, a thoughtful present could be a phone calling card plan and brand new cellular phone. This is another gift that will keep on giving and will be utilised on a regular basis. Unlimited minutes to speak with his children mean unlimited laughter and reminiscing. If dad is a grandfather, it is a lovely idea to have the grand kids play a crucial role in making this day extra special. Have them make homemade cards or drawings, and write special poems depicting what their grandfather means to them. This will make Father’s Day very meaningful for everyone.

Light up your home Lamps add extra glow to the environment. Durable lamps will light up the home and environment even when there is power supply or not. OMOWUMI OGUNTUASE writes. ours. Not all lamps are used in the same areas, some are designed for commercial purposes, some are table lamps and others are for general purposes. Most lamps have long life span and are durable but one should prevent them from falling because not only will that affect the outward appearance, it will also damage the entire assemblage of the lamp itself and it will definitely start having functional problems. Ceramic table lamps can add an elegant and classy look to your table either at home or anywhere. It will also blend with any type of decor. They are very economical and do not have

the impression that because they are cheap, means they are of low quality. If you want bedside lamps that are easy to make use of, you can go for a touch lamp. This is very easy to switch on and off as you just need to touch a particular place without force. It can produce a dim light when needed and bright ones too. The switches on touch lamps are not visible as those on other lamps. So, if you do not want people to focus on the switch, you should choose a touch lamp. They do have their own disadvantages as they can be placed only where there will not be constant contact with it as it can easily come on or off at the slightest touch.

• Monroe table lamp

Glass lamps are very decorative but not really durable. They increase the charm and looks of the room more than any other type. Generally, lamps can be used by anyone and at anytime and you should have different types in your home or office or anywhere else.




Shopping Right with

Connecting with customers


• The car park

Shop owners, customers protest parking fee at Shoprite The proposed parking system at the Ikeja City Mall caused trouble on Monday, when shop owners and shoppers protested the parking fee of N200 per hour. TONIA ‘DIYAN reports.


HE Ikeja City Mall housing the Megastore, Shoprite, and other outlets was not the place to be on Mon-

day. The sprawling mall at Alausa, Ikeja, was shut to shoppers, following protest over the introduction of parking fee. When the mall was opened in December, last year, parking was free, but now it costs N200 per hour. The shop owners and their customers are complaning that the fee is too high. On Monday, they joined forces to protest, leaving the place shut for the whole day. The place returned to life on Tuesday, following a meeting between the management and the shopowners. The “new pay-on-foot parking system”entails shoppers to stop at the entry boom, press a button on the ticket machine for their tickets, take the ticket from the boom as it opens and park their cars. They keep the tickets and after shopping, they look for a parking kiosk at each mall entrance. Once they get one, they validate and pay for the tickets at the parking kiosk before they leave. It is only after the ticket is validated that they drive to the exit, insert the tickets into the reader and the boom will open again for them to drive out. The tarrifs are: zero to 45 minutes, free; 45 minutes to one hour, N200 and entry after 8pm, N350. “I sometimes ask my driver to park here on my way to Alausa because cars are not allowed in and then when I am done with my business at Alausa, I breeze into Shoprite to buy one or two items. They might not be things I need immediately, but I would just want to visit the mall and pick something at least. No item is useless. Such item would be useful someday,” said Mrs Yewande Yinusa, a business woman. Mr Chukwuma Eze said: “For Christ’s sake, too much of everything is bad. Shoprite should try and be fair in their judgment. How can you ask me to come and shop for only 45minutes because it is the only free time given to me to have my car parked in the car park? Are they saying we should stop bringing our cars to the mall? It is more convenient for me to come shopping with my car. Of course, how am I expected to carry items bought if I leave my car at home or in the office? My dear, when I come shopping here, I spend time and when I say I spend time, I spend the whole day shopping. And here I am being asked to shop for a limited time because I have my car parked outside. And to make matters worse, the price is outrageous. They have the list outside; you can take a look at it yourself. They also have handbills to that effect.’’ Miss Funmi Folorunsho said: “I have stayed two and half hours here already. That would have cost me N500; an amount that can afford me three loaves of bread at

Shoprite. Why would the management want to rob us of the money we are supposed to shop with? It is not fair at all. They should review the price and make shopping fun for us. Mr Lanre Showande said: “I think the fact that people troop in and out of this place made the management come up with this drastic decision. I know they need funds to maintain the park, but the way they are going about it isn’t right. They should consider shoppers’ satisfaction in their decision making always. We make this place what it is t is. If we do not come here, it probably would have packed up completely or not doing well in terms of making sales and improving structure”. “The parking space brings sales to this mall. Those accused of parking their cars and going elsewhere, still patronise the mall before leaving. As a result of cheap items sold at Shoprite, shoppers are always tempted to enter the place. And there is no way you will enter and not buy something. The place is inviting with friendly prices too. So, honestly I do not know why the management is bothered that people are parking their cars and going somewhere else to later come back for their cars. There is no better mall they can visit around here. Shoprite has no competitor”, said a shop owner who refused to give her identity. Mr Emeka, who is in charge of the car park, lamented how shoppers would not find space to park their cars most of the time because of some people who just drive in, park their cars, spend hours outside the mall and then come back for their cars at their convenient time. “We don’t even know who the shoppers are anymore; this place has become a general car park for people who visit this area. We want to be able to have enough space for shoppers and not have them drive back home when they do not find a parking space in a car park that is meant for their cars while they shop. “However, we will resolve the issue as soon as possible and come up with an amount that would be favourable to all parties involved. The management of the mall would sit on a round table with the shop owners and arrive at something favourable to all parties and then get back to the shoppers. I am sure everyone will be happy at the end of the meeting.” He further said shoppers are not even the problem, but the shop owners are putting pressure on the management because their customers were running away and refusing to shop like they used to do until the parking system issue came up. “So, I was told by some of them,” he said. This issue is not supposed to bring dispute in the first place, because more than enough awareness have been made already through our leaflet since February. We decided to kick • Continued on Page 34

ATURALLY, the retail climate favours big-box stores that can offer bargains. But because small retailers cannot win price wars, experts say independents need to leverage their biggest advantage over the chains: personal relationships with customers and the ability to deliver superior service. As shoppers become more value focused, they are turning toward big-box retailers. Small retailers can bolster sales by targeting wealthier shoppers who are less pricesensitive and may pay premiums for better service. Upper-income households often perceive of value in very different ways from lower-income shoppers. So, what can independent retailers do to JANICE NKOLI IFEME compete with their larger counterparts? In whatever market they are targeting, small retailers need to court their best custhat offer personalised discounts. tomers. They need to maximise the oneThey are also marshalling out innovative on-one personal relationships that they ways for marketers to connect with cushave with customers, tomers as part of an effort to better underThat is the secret weapon that small instand what makes consumers buy and to dependents have against big national encourage companies to rethink their apchains. If I am savvy and communicate with proaches to the role of the retail store. my customers well, I can draw loyal cusNew waves of digital technologies that tomers into my store before they go into pitch consumers while they shop are being the national chains. developed. Some retailers have started testOne way to do that is through affinity ing basic versions of the new technologies, discounts that encourage loyal customers for instance a door frame that comes with to spend more, rather than trying to ata 52-inch touch screen that lets consumers tract new business by cutting prices across see the retailer’s full range of merchandise. the board. Consumers can email data about an item to They are going themselves or a friend or to their customer scan a bar code to learn base, and they more about a product and are mailing out get recommendations, ‘The surest way to to their best cussuch as tops and accessomeet a shopper’s extomers targeted ries that match a pair of discounts to get pants. pectation is through them into the Another device is a good service and qualstore. That is a lot mirror that enables a smarter than shopper to scan a dress ity delivery. Even the putting a 70 per and then project that cent off sign in most difficult shopper clothing onto her body front of your before going to the cannot shun this’ store dressing room. She can Through affinalso tap the mirror to ity programs, review different colours, tailers can strengthen their relationships find matching shoes and send the image to with their best customers and appeal to her Facebook profile. those shoppers’ bargain-hunting mood at On the other hand, retailers are grappling the same time. with lackluster sales and consumers who are Beyond customer service, retailers need dissatisfied with the store experience as to keep inventories lean to keep costs online shopping with its related interactivity down. Store owners need to be especially becomes mainstream. Shopper satisfaction vigilant in refusing late orders and watchat retail stores is declining up to 15 per cent ing for over shipments to avoid having yearly, according to an ongoing IPG Media merchandise they would not be able to Lab study of more than 10,000 North Amerisell. can shoppers. In addition, small retailers can take a cue Online shopping gives buyers lots of infrom large chains that display as much merformation to guide their purchases. And conchandise as possible on the floor, rather sumers want detailed product data, reviews than holding inventory in the stockroom. from previous buyers, related recipes for Likewise, stores should watch their food products, health and nutrition informastaffing levels to control costs. They want tion and more. to be able to staff to the peak hours as much A shopping site, The Digits blog Stop & as they can. Shop Supermarket is testing handheld scanThat means mostly in evenings and weekners in 289 stores that show customers’ perends, as most two-income families have sonalised discounts as they shop. The offers little time to shop during the day. Busiare based on such factors as shopping hisnesses might decide to open later in the tory and just-purchased items. The scanner morning and extend hours at night to reach also lets consumers place orders and check more customers without needing to staff out faster. more hours. The role the store is playing is changing. Marketing companies are experimenting Shoppers are walking up with a different set with a new wave of digital technologies of expectations. to pitch to consumers while they shop: inIn all, the surest way to meet a shopper’s teractive dressing-room mirrors, kiosks expectation is through good service and with virtual customer-service representaquality delivery. Even the most difficult tives, shopping carts and digital scanners shopper cannot shun this.

Write to us, express your views, observations and experiences. Let’s have your comments about shopping. Your comments, questions and answers will be published first Friday of every month. With your full name and occupation, send e-mail to: SMS - 08033349992





HE prices of foodstuffs have been rising and fluctuating since the rainy season began. Tomatoes appear to be the most affected as their prices have been unsteady. Its price at the Mile 12 market is N6, 500 per basket. Only two weeks ago, it went from N10, 000 to N20, 000. A basket of fresh pepper has moved from N10, 000 to N14, 000 while tatashe increased from N12, 000 to N13, 000. A dealer, Alhaji Musa Mukaila said: “The price can change at any time. Tomorrow, it can be N10, 000”. He noted that it also depends on the number of vehicles bringing in the crops, saying: “if the vehicles are many, the price will come down but if they are few, the price will go up.” The vehicles usually carry the crops from Benue, Jos, Ghana and Isehin to the market where they are offloaded and made accessible to traders. The Secretary of the Perishable Goods Section of the market, Alhaji Muhammed Abdul, explained that rainfall is the major reason for the rise and fluctuation in prices. “Two weeks ago, it was worse because the rain was very heavy. Some people have planted and cannot harvest. Like, in my village in the North, the second or third rain washes away everything including maize. Any water above the knee can automatically wash away the crops. The farmers lose millions of Naira. It’s just like the overflow of a river. When this rain comes, it overflows all the crops and you won’t find anything to harvest. So, it is nothing strange. It is just the season we are in”. A retailer, Mr Franklin Godwin, said: “Food stuffs are now very expensive. It keeps rising. I wonder when it will ever fall. We sell according to how we buy.” The price of onions has remained rela-

Up, up go foodstuff prices A visit to major markets reveals that the increase in prices of food stuff is caused by the vagaries of weather, JANICE NKOLI IFEME reports. tively stable. A full bag sells for between N5, 000 and N6, 500; a small bag of 50kg costs between N2, 500 and N3, 000. Half sac sells at N3, 000 to N4, 000. A month ago it was from N6, 000 to N7, 000. Big tubers of yam, formally ranging from N200, N300 to N500 each now cost N400 to N700. A sac of Irish potato formally N15, 000 and N16, 000 now costs N20, 000, N22, 000 and N23, 000. Rice was sold at N7, 000, N8, 000 and N9, 000, depending on the brand but is now N7, 500, N8, 500 and N9, 500. A bag of yellow garri formerly N3, 500 is now N4, 500; the white one formerly N5, 000 is now N6, 000. A bag of beans formerly N17, 000, N18, 000 and N20, 000 depending on the size of bag now costs N20, 000, N22, 000 and N27, 000 respectively. At Iddo and Oyinbo markets, beans rose from N12, 500 to N28, 000 while white garri rose from N3, 600 to N5, 100. Yellow garri rose from N2, 900 to N3, 900. Rice also rose from N8, 500 to N8, 700. A sack of carrot was N3, 000 and N3, 500 but it is now between N6, 500 and N7, 000. Cucumber was N3, 500 but now N5, 450. Cabbage has come down from N5, 000 and N6, 000 to N2, 000. A paint of crayfish at Mile 12 and Oyinbo markets rose from N1, 500 to N3, 000 or N2, 800.

Shop owners, customers protest parking fee at Shoprite • Continued from Page 33

off this June and then it becomes a problem to some people,” he said. Shoppers were ready to pay, spend few hours at the mall and get a few things, even though it wasn’t convenient for them but the shop owners who are said to be more affected, protested and called for a reduction in the prices fixed. I learnt some shoppers want to continue using the park for free, but for crying out loud, we need money to maintain it and make it conducive. So many malls practice the packing sytem. I do not know why our case should be different. Mr Emeka said. “The claim that sales were disrupted on Monday is not true,” he said. “Sales on Mondays are usually low. In fact, Mondays and Tuesdays. And then it starts picking from Wednesdays and then all through the weekend. So activity here on Monday was just the same, despite that shop owners were on our neck”, he said. Another shop owner lamented: “Shoppers who are supposed to shop here and buy their regulars from me are scared away by the harsh decision put up by the management of the mall. My fear is that, I might not make sales the

way I used to. I know what the situation was when business activity was disrupted. I know how much money I would have made but didn’t make. So, I wonder what it would be when we will have to accept this and suffer it at the long run. Why would I pay a huge sum of money to own a shop here, and then run at a loss at the end of the day or lose customers and have my goods stocked in my shop longer than they should be? This development is not welcomed, it is not favourable and as such should be properly looked into, giving shoppers and shop owners more priority”. Mr John Abah, a supervisor at the security unit, said: “It is only natural that one pays for services used. This should not cause any kind of dispute or protest. I supervise security officers on duty to make sure they all are at their posts performing their duties from time to time; making sure that shoppers’ cars are safe and well-parked for easy movement in and out of the compound. Therefore, if we are asking for a token to help us maintain this place, I think shop owners and shoppers should be considerate enough to do their part.”


• Tomatoes

ICE is one of the widely grown crops in the world. It is grown everywhere and it is almost always a part of every meal. It is easy to prepare. Rice companies in the country said the market demands modern packaging products, good quality and high economic value. Rice is packaged in various sizes ranging from 2kg, 5kg, 10kg, 11.5kg, 20kg, 25kg, 35kg, 40kg to 45kg Qualities of materials used are also selected to have good resistance and to prevent dirt or bacteria. It is transparent and not easily torn. Some of the bags are clear and rigid to prevent water from entering into them and to prevent leakage. Every home eats rice at least weekly. It has become a necessity in various homes today. It is said to be meal for ladies and infants. But these days, the men prefer to have it instead of other solid meals like eba. Most of the time they would rather demand for something light, even at occasions. Among the cereals, rice and wheat share equal importance as leading food sources for humankind, although rice commands a higher price than wheat in the market. The 5kg rice bag is sold for between N1, 000 and N1,200 while the 11.5kg is sold for between N3,000 and N3,500 However, for children, rice needs to be supplemented with other protein sources.

Rice packaged on sale The packaging of rice in various sizes has made it more affordable and available, writes TONIA ‘DIYAN.

• 11.3 Kg Rice pack

Fight germs with disinfectants


• Disinfectants

OW clean is your water, especially in a country like Nigeria where water- borne diseases are high? No matter how rich you may be, or how well you dress, the presence of micro-organisms in your water, may not allow you live healthy. Chlorine, which was presumably discovered in the 13 th Century, is one of the most commonly used water disinfectants, to deactivate most micro-organisms present in the water and it is relatively cheap. Also, you need to disinfect your bathing water, especially if you have sensitive skin. If you do not

The presence of micro-organisms in homes increases the chances of contracting diseases. Disinfectants destroy these germs. OMOLARA MOFESOLA OMONIYI writes. disinfect your bathing water, you are prone to many skin diseases, which may be present in the water you use daily. You also need to disinfect the water you use to do all your cleanings. Germs are present on the floor of your homes, in which merely detergent may be unable to wipe out. So, the use of detergent and water and the addition of disinfectant will wipe off all germs.

You also need to disinfect the water you use in your regular washing of hands. You need to wash your hands after every activity, because it is very likely to invite germs unto your hands. But you may not involve the disinfectants in your foods. Disinfectants abound in your neighbourhood stores. The popular ones are Dettol and veet, among others.




Group seeks patronage for members


EMBERS of the Chemical and Non-Metallic Products Employers’ Federation (CANMPEF) have indicated their interest in the redevelopment of Lagos State. They stated this at the association’s 33rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos. The Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Lagos State Mrs. Olusola Oworu, who was represented by Permanent Secretary, Mr Wale Raji, said the state government aims to develop an offshore economic growth zone, attract investments, promote export, create job opportunities and establish a one stop global business haven. According to her, the Lekki Free Trade Zone creates opportunities for manufacturers to import and export goods without paying charges, adding that Lagos State seeks a conducive environment for investors as well as to enhance and sustain competitive-

ness in Lagos. She said the state government “has also completed the master plan on the 3,500 hectares of land earmarked for the project. The airport is designed to handle about five million passengers yearly with provision for a modular terminal for future expansion. She disclosed that preliminary work on the project had since commenced with the clearing of 4.5 km of the access road and 9km of perimeter road, and added that this was in furtherance of its objective to make the Lekki Free Trade Zone a fully functional investment haven. The Executive Secretary of the Federation, Mr Ebenezer Ali, said the success of any economy is dependent on the success of its industrial activities. He urged the government to improve the business environment in which the industries operates. Ali added that the forum also

serves as an opportunity for exchange of ideas among members and friends of the Federation on management of business operations. As part of the activities for the AGM, CANMPEF inaugurated new executives. Chief D.V.G Edwin, Group Managing Director, Dangote Cement Plc was elected the new President.He took over from the Acting President Mrs. Peju Adebajo. Dr.Palaniappan Sridharan, Managing Director, Nycil Limited was elected First Vice President; Mr. Rotimi Aluko, Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Voda Paint Limited was elected the Second Vice- President and Mrs. Omolara Elemide, Managing Director, CAPL Plc was elected the Treasurer. The new trustees include Mrs. Adebajo; Mr Joe Hudson, Managing Director, Lafarge Wapco and Mr Tella, Managing Director, IPWA Plc.


HE Lubricant Producers Association of Nigeria (LUPAN) has called on the Federal Government and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to protect the industryby checking fake imported lubricants. Its members said though lubricants produced in the country comply with standards, some imported lubricants do not. He alleged that some people imported substandard lubricants to sell at cheaper prices. More worrisome is the import duty tariff of 10 per cent, which is the same for imported lubricants and for base oil - the major raw material used by lubricant producers in Nigeria.This is not an incentive to encourage producers and keep them in business as well as keep millions of their employees in their employment, they lamented. In a communiqué signed by LUPAN Executive Secretary Mr Emeka Obidike C., the association appealed to the Federal Government to review downwards to five per cent the import duty tariff on base oil, which is the chief

PRCAN urges quacks to register


HE Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN) has urged unregistered public relations agencies to enlist with the body. PRCAN Vice-President, Mr Chido Nwakanma, made the call at the Fourth Public Relations Master Class training organised by the association in Ikeja GRA, Lagos. He said: “Public relations is made for this era. Our primary business is the strategic management of information (communication) flow between and among various stakeholder groups. We live in the Information age. Not surprisingly, public relations is growing in importance.” He said the acceptance of public relations by the corporate world and government institutions imposed on its professionals the imperative of continuous capacity development. Training and retraining are even more imperative for its members, Nwakanma added, because clients demand more from PR agencies. Nwakanma, who is also Chief

Executive of Blueflower Limited, a strategic communications management firm, said public relations budgets were also growing in response to the increased demand. He stated that there were increased dangers as well, beyond the demand for increased accountability and results by clients. He said: “The other danger comes from people and organisations practising public relations on the sly and taking huge bites from the PR cake we are trying to bake. They range from advertising agencies, who should be our allies in building another arm of the communication business, to journalists with briefcase media relations agencies, to management consultants. We invite genuine professionals to come and join PRCAN so we can elevate practice standards together and enlarge the pie.” Nwakanma also said: “PRCAN also calls on our colleagues on client side, from private organisations to government agencies to emulate their colleagues in other professions – Law, Accountancy –

in inviting professionally registered public relations firms to handle their briefs and provide external professional counsel to their organisations. They should eschew the short sightedness of running briefcase agencies to which they assign briefs from their organisations. With such practices, it is difficult to maintain standards and even less accountability, all of which denudes from the value of the profession.” He affirmed the commitment of the professional body to manpower development in the industry. “PRCAN supports the public relations industry by insisting that staff members of agencies, particularly those who head key departments, must be registered members of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR). Our training programmes are also part of mandatory CPD required of serious professionals across disciplines,” he stated. The PRCAN MasterClass Series on “Planning and Managing Strategic PR Campaigns” had about 30 participants.

raw material that is used in producing their lubricants. They are seeking a higher tariff regime for imported lubricants to protect local producers as well as remain competitive in the market. They want the regulatory bodies SON and DPR to be more firm in ensuring compliance to standards by these imported lubricants, to check the influx of poor quality and substandard lubricants and to protect consumers. The Chairman of the group, Chief Anthony Enukeme, called on the Federal Government to accede to their demands to boost local production capacities, enhances employment generation and earn foreign exchange when they export lubricants produced in Nigeria to other countries in Africa. The Vice-Chairman of the group Alhaji Ado Mustapha added that as major employers, the Federal Government should assist them.

Lagos Business School alumni get new president


•From left: Deputy General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, RedStar Express, Mr Victor Ukwat; Chairman, Mohammed Koguna; and Managing Director, Mr Sule Bichi, after a meeting in Lagos.

Group tasks govt on fake lubricants

EMOLA Aladekomo, Group Managing Director, Chams Plc, is the new President of the Lagos Business School Alumni Association (LBSAA). He succeeds Udeme Ufot, Managing Director of SO&U Saatchi & Saatchi. LBSAA has an electoral system which stipulates that the vice-president becomes the president after a two-year tenure. Aladekomo was the former vice-president of the association. An entrepreneur, Aladekomo is a pioneer in the field of public opinion polling, market research, electronic display board, financial and identification card technologies in Nigeria. He also pioneered electronic funds transfer which heralded today’s dominant Western Union transfer. He is the president of the Nigeria Computer Society ; Chairman, Cardcentre Nigeria Limited, Treasurenest Limited; Crops Nigeria Limited, Smartcity Resorts Plc, Insider Lagos and Chams Consortium Limited, among others. He is an active farmer, with one of the largest citrus plantation southwest. Other executive committee

members include Mr Wole Oshin, Managing Director of Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc and Mr. Steve Obiago, Group Head, Information Technology Operations, Diamond Bank Plc, were elected Vice-President and Secretary. LBSAA has 4,400 members. The association is made up of chief executives, owner managers, executive directors, senior and young managers, who have completed the various executive programmes of the Lagos Business School, Pan African University.


Firms unveil photo printing machine


KYSAT Technologies Limited, and KIS Photo-Me Group, a photo printing machine manufacturer, have launched the new DSK Wet Minilab Generation 4. The machine produces formats up to 12"x18"or x36", prints in HD quality and features an exclusive automatic enhancement technology for digital pictures. Some of the features and specifications of the new machine include compact design, new version of eye-tech digital science operating software and optional film scanner. Others include 340dpi resolution, 800 prints per hour and internet 500GB archiving capacity (equivalent of 250,000 photos). Speaking in Lagos during an interactive session with key dealers drawn from Nigeria and Benin Re-

public, the International Sales Manager, KIS Photo-Me Group, Mr Pierre Buendia, said the need to match consumers’ dynamic expectations was responsible for the new product that was launched last year in France. “Photo-Me recognises that today’s consumers are expecting more from their photos and that is why the new DKS4 delivers a full range of high value-added services in a simple operation. The machine, which is a new generation of professional wet digital minilabs, is fully compactable with the Photo-Me Photobook Builder,” he said. The Managing Director, Skysat Technologies, Mr Izzat Debs, said his company as the authorised distributor of KIS Photo- Me Group in Nigeria and West Africa, was glad to partner with the France-based company to serve Nigerians.



Savannah, Societe Generale banks and the ‘Abiku’ myth (2)


HERE do we go from here? The consequences of the inertia on the part of the shareholders of the two banks to recapitalise them and put them back on stream on the one hand and the reluctance of the regulatory bodies, particularly the CBN to take a decisive action to resolve the crisis in the two banks is causing an unwarranted distortion and name calling in the banking system. My findings show that with the restoration of the two banks (SBN and SGBN) licences, the matter had been taken out of the jurisdiction of the NDIC in whom the depositors would have found solace. Thus, it is only the CBN that can wipe the tears off the faces of the hapless depositors by acting decisively on the logjam. The promoters of the banks have continuously trampled upon the rights of the depositors who deserve to be protected by the law more than the shareholders who were actively involved in the collapse of the two banks. The most unfortunate aspect of this drama is the wanton disregard of the rights of the depositors who have been deprived of their hard earned deposits which had been trapped in the SBN and SGBN for 10 years and six years. It is very hard to imagine how these teeming depositors would stand-by and watch endlessly without seeking redress from the same courts which restored the licences of the two banks. At the moment, it is a case of a camel passing through the needle’s eye for the CBN to absolve itself of blame in this quagmire. For instance, while the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on February 5, 2009 ordered the restoration of the operating licence

By Rasheed Abdullahi-Alli

of SBN, the court went ahead to make a consequential order, directing the CBN to give the SBN up to six months as per its (the CBN) circular to all banks just about a month before the revocation of SBN licence on February 15, 2002. The CBN circular being referred to by the court was issued on January 10, 2002, which gave a six-month deadline (i. e. January 10 – July 1, 2002) to all banks to recapitalise, failing which appropriate supervisory intervention would be applied. The Court’s deadline had expired since September 2009. In the case of SGBN, the court equally gave a 30-day deadline within which to resume operations which had since expired. The intransigence by the CBN is therefore to blame for the present predicament. In clear terms, the CBN does not owe the shareholders any duty to allow dead banks to live. Rather, it has a duty to alleviate the sufferings of the depositors of the SBN and SGBN by diligently and fearlessly exercising its power to send the two Abiku banks back to their graves in the interest of the hapless depositors. Suffice it to say that the shareholders had recouped their investments long before running the banks aground through various insider abuses and other corporate governance infractions. Therefore, it is left to the CBN to take the path of honour by revoking the operating licences of the two banks in order to give way to the NDIC to start the process of discharging its mandate of depositors’ reimbursement. • Alli is a Lagos-based financial analyst

Dan Weiden wins Cannes Lions award


HE organisers of the 59th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity have announced the recipient of the Lion of St. Mark. He is Dan Wieden, CoFounder/Global Executive Creative Director of Wieden+Kennedy. The award is to celebrate and honour the long and outstanding contributions to creativity in communications. Wieden grew up in Portland, United States, graduated from the University of Oregon and worked briefly in public relations before applying his writing talents to the advertising business. Initially, he wrote a trade magazine copy for a timber company. And then he set about changing the face of communications as we know it. In 1982, Dan and his creative partner David Kennedy, founded Wieden+Kennedy. Their first client was the upstart company Nike. After being told by Phil Knight, Founder of Nike, that ‘He didn’t believe in advertising’, Dan and David set about making some of the greatest advertising that doesn’t believe in advertising ever made. Dan famously coined the Nike tagline ‘Just Do It’. Almost three decades later, the agency that started with five employees, now has offices in Portland, New York, London, Amsterdam, Delhi, Shanghai, Tokyo and São Paulo with nearly 1,200 employees around the world. Notwithstanding the incredible growth of Wieden+Kennedy, Dan’s motivation and goal was to start a different type of advertising agency. An agency where people could perform at their best without structures and bureaucracies and where creativity would not be lost as the agency grew. Dan has won numerous awards and attention, but what his clients most value and appreciate is Dan’s relentless ability to dream and inspire. His fight to remain independent and continue to provide a place where fellow dreamers can work has resulted in some of the best work of our time and an environ-

ment where people and clients both can flourish. In its 30th year under Dan’s leadership, Wieden+Kennedy has grown to be a global brand in its own right. W+K operates 24 hours, in dozens of languages, on projects as varied as branding international companies, operating an experimental advertising school and producing sports documentaries and TV series while releasing some of Japan’s best music through W+K Tokyo Lab. All the while, every office has at least one pro bono client and has followed Dan’s example and played an active role in supporting the arts and culture of the host city. In 2010, Wieden+Kennedy was chosen Agency of the Year by Adweek, Ad Age, Campaign, Creativity and SHOOT. It was the first time in history one agency has swept the honour, and further proof that Dan’s vision of an independent, creatively-led agency can make meaningful, progressive and challenging work for its diverse client base that includes some of the world’s most recognisable brands such as CocaCola, Chrysler, Delta Airlines, ESPN, Heineken, Honda, Kraft, Levi’s, Nike, Old Spice and Procter & Gamble. “Dan’s integrity and brilliance have inspired a generation and gained worldwide respect. While his work is much admired, his vision has reverberated across the industry, changing the course of brand marketing and redefining the structure of the business,” says Terry Savage, Chairman of Cannes Lions. “We are extremely proud and honourd to present Dan, one of the nicest people in the industry, with the Lion of St. Mark for his outstanding contribution to creativity in communications.” On the award, Wieden says: “This is a pretty big honour. To be honest, I’ve always identified with that renown military leader, of whom it was said, his men would follow him anywhere. Mainly, out of curiosity.” The Lion of St. Mark accolade was presented for the first time last year to Sir John Hegarty.

Price for success


0:2020. Does these mean anything to you? That is great. Ah, in case the figures look like some obscure answers to an obscure mathematical equation, a recap will suffice. According to some government’s economic think-thank, for Nigeria to attract credible foreign investments, have robust economy that can compete favourable with other global economies, the country hopes to be one of the 20 biggest economies by 2020. That is the vision of the government. That is meant to happen in eight years. Anyway, to give that aspirational date some political swagger, cascade it down to the populace, 20:2020 actually sounds really preppy. However, some of the eggheads in the corridors of power have also posited that Nigeria should be an economic hub for the rest of West Africa. Their argument is based on the fact that Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa with over 160 million people. To achieve this, they argued further that the country would need to attract credible investments. But, they reasoned, looking at the way we are, the way we are structured, the way we organise ourselves, we cannot say we are efficient. Or are we? Okay, do not worry about Nigeria being organised or not, or what the eggheads are saying. This is sure as sure. We thrive when things are disorganised, when things are in disarray, when everything is dismembered. That is when we, like cream, rise to the top. Some would say we are “resilient”. By extension, our resilience has turned us into a peculiar nation, an unusual people. We are different in a totally different way. Say, we are wired that way. That is our cutting-edge, our brandvalue. That is why one diesel-merchant and a senator would open a can of worms over bribery allegations in the village square, and still have the temerity to throw his weights around. That is why a serving councillor of a local government would build a block of classroom and spend twice the amount [it cost to build the classroom] to open the same project. That is why a president of the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), a commission that oversaw the crash of the stock market, is still sitting pretty. That is why, amidst the incessant bomb blasts and recent plane crash, business has continued as usual. The show, as they say in show-business, must go on. Agreed, we must look at the bright side of life, count our blessings, look up and hold on. Though bomb attacks surround us, we would stand firm. Though cyber-attacks lurk on the horizon and Nigeria is ranked by Symantec, as occupying the 59th position on its latest internet security report, we should take that as the price we have to pay for our success. What success, Mr Columnist? Before an answer is provided, chew on this piece of news: Nigeria was ranked 66 on the report in 2011 by Symantec. The Symantec Internet Security Threat Report is one of the most comprehensive sources of internet threat data in the world covering Indian Ocean Islands, West, East and Central Africa (IWECA). This report, released recently, is an analysis of internet threats, based on its deployment systems to scan over eight billion e-mails daily. Nigeria’s position has actually increased on the list of countries vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The ranking works this way: if a country is ranked first, that country has the most security threats.

This is so for Nigeria because of some level of successes we have recorded in the number of mobile devices we now have and the myriads of internet connectivity available. There are more mobile phones in the country more than ever before. There are more underwater cable systems on our shores than ever before. The advent of more bandwidth routes and explosion in mobile devices is an indication that our economy is booming. The adoption rate of mobile devices has increased significantly. More Nigerians own smart phones such as Blackberry, Android, iPhone, and iPad. These mobile devices are internet-enabled and, as such, are exposed to worms and malicious virus on the internet. That is why there is an increased internet security threat in Nigeria. On the other hand, broadband capacity has also increased, and businesses and individuals have unlimited opportunity to access the internet.Therefore, the internet with broadband access is a platform for malicious activities for security threats. As a result of this, according to the report, the avalanche of technologies, especially mobile devices, has caused internet security threats to triple in Nigeria. Does that answer your question, please? But do not panic. Nigeria is not the only country on the list. There are 200 countries. Symantec sensors networks, which have gathered tremendous amount of information and intelligence about the threats happening in the world on the internet, have also estimated that based on its perception, the reason for Nigeria’s cyber-attacks threat is the country’s booming economy. According to Morgan Stanley Research by 2015, Nigeria’s economy will be bigger than South Africa’s economy. That is cheery news. But this is not cheery at all: 2015 is just three years away. 2020 is just eight years away. We are not near that 20:2020 Vision at all. There is infrastructural… never mind. However, that does not meet the estimation of the eggheads, is wrong. It is not. It is just that, right now, the cyber-attacks, internet security threats, cyber-crimes et al are the price we must pay for recording the level of success we have achieved in the number of mobile devices and internet capacity we have accumulated.

‘But this is not cheery at all: 2015 is just three years away. 2020 is just eight years away. We are not near that 20:2020 Vision at all. There is infrastructural… never mind. However, that does not meet the estimation of the eggheads, is wrong. It is not. It is just that, right now, the cyber-attacks, internet security threats, cyber-crimes et al are the price we must pay for recording the level of success we have achieved in the number of mobile devices and internet capacity we have

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



SOCIETY •Continued from page 28

•Alhaji Aliko Dangote

•Alaibe’s children at the ceremony

•Gen Stenley Diriyai (left) and Dr Georgiana Ngeri-Nwagha

•Phillips Oduoza and Arch Nene Lawal

•Nduka Obaigbena (left) and Uncle Sam Amuka-Pemu

•Denzil Kentebe (right), Briggs and Prince Tonye Princewill

•Perebowe Ebebi

•Chief Onyema Ugochukwu

•Otunba Victor Osibodu and his wife, Funke




SOCIETY Former Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Inumidun Akande, has bowed out of service after attaining the mandatory retirement age of 65. NNEKA NWANERI was at a ceremony to mark her exit.

‘She came, she saw, she conquered’ I

T was a two-in-one celebration for those who had for three years worked with the former Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Inumidun Enitan Akande. The retired judge celebrated her 1,004 days of purposeful leadership and exit from the judiciary. Justice Akande was the third female and 13th Chief Judge of the state. She was sworn in on September 8, 2009. There was no sign that something big was going on inside the Lagos State Judiciary Recreation Centre, Ikeja GRA, but for the exotic cars and police escorts parading the arena. They accompanied personalities including the paramount ruler of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu; Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye; Lagos State Head of Service Mr Adesegun Ogunlewe; Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Mr Lawal Pedro (SAN),`and AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner for Justice Ade Ipaye, among others. Decked in black suits, they sat around the clean poolside of the recreation centre, chatting. Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), speaking in a documentary on Justice Akande's days in office, described her as a passionate woman who never gave up till she got what she wanted. He said sometimes her doggedness and persistence were misunderstood, but Fashola said it was all part of Justice Akande's "bullish" attitude to getting things done. "She is so committed that sometimes her emotions betray her," the governor added, praising her for contributions while in office. Oba Akiolu hailed Justice Akande for her “monumental” achievements. The monarch prayed for her good health in retirement. The Chief Registrar, Mr Ganiu Safari, said Justice Akande's tenure witnessed "a near magical turn-around of the judiciary." "Today, the Lagos State judiciary is a witness to her detailed achievements within her short but eventful days in office. "As she bows out, we will put on record her solid accomplishments and record for posterity her deep passion for the growth of the judiciary," Safari said. He enjoined all to celebrate the “judicial icon who came, saw, conquered and left her footprints on the sands of time.” For Justice Akande's daughter, Mrs Olateju Akande-De Sovoye, words were not enough to describe her mother's impact on her life and the judiciary. She said her mother's retirement was only the beginning of greater things to come as she believe the former Chief Judge still has a lot to offer this country. In her pure English accent, she spoke glowingly about her mother. "She's retiring, but not tired. It is only the beginning for her. She has a lot more to achieve," she said. Justice Akande said her retirement reminded her of the day she was sworn in. She gave account of her stewardship, saying: "Bowing out office, I am, no doubt, convinced that we have within the period, creditably discharged our functions and laid solid foundations for succeeding administrations. "Indeed, it is in my view that the mark of successful leadership does not consist only in the quantum of service rendered or achievements recorded but how well a leader has done to bequeath a lasting legacy, a roadmap, an indicator leading the pathway forward for succeeding leadership." Justice Akande thanked all those who helped her succeed in her career.

•Oba Akiolu (right) in a handshake with Justice Akande (second left). With them are Mrs Oladunjoye (left) and Senator Tinubu

•From left: Mr Ipaye; Justice Ayotunde Phillips and Justice Opeyemi Oke

•From left: Mrs Patricia Arawore; Permanent Secretray, Lagos State Ministry of Home Affairs and Culture, Mrs Doyin Olushoga and Rtd Justice Olusola Hunponu-Wuse

•From left: Justice Deborah Oluwayemi;Justice Latifat Folami; Executive Secretary, National Judicial Commission, Mrs Owoye Balogun and Justice Olabisi Akinlade

•Mr Ogunlewe (left)and Pedro (SAN)

•Justice Olatunde Oshodi; Justice Habeeb Abiru and Justice Adedayo Oyebanji

•Justice Josephine Oyefeso; Justice Lateefat Okunu and Justice Yetunde Adesanya PHOTOS: NNEKA NWANERI




•Alhaji Fatai Jinadu

•The celebrator Dr Folusho Jinadu (fifth left) being assisted by his wife Oluwatoyin, Kofoworola and his children to cut the cake

•Alhaji Gbade Akanni (left) and Princess Owen Alao Adeniran

•Mrs Adeola Yesufu (left) and Mrs Jumoke Shogbola

•Mrs Adetutu Awobiye (left) and Mrs Funmilayo Oyeneyan

•Mr Victor Awobiye and Mrs Bimbo Abinusawa

•Mr Akin Ogundimu and his wife Alake

•Mr Kunle Jinadu and Mrs Sayo Jinadu

•Sir Enoch Akintoye

•Mr Wole Ogunleye

•Mrs Edith Abegunde

•From left: Mr Yemisi Ogunleye; Alhaja Risi Onabiyi and Mrs Bose Banjo PHOTOS: DAYO ADEWUNMI •Continues on Page 39



SOCIETY •Continued from page 39

•Mr Lawrence Ogunleye (left) and Chief Seye Karunwi

•Chief Jacob Mosanya (left) and Mr Yinka Opanubi

•Mr Wole Owolabi (left) and Mr TK Jinadu

•?Mr Tayo Ogungbemile

•?Mrs Modupe Owolabi

‘He’s God chosen for me’ Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State was agog on June 2 when Adebukola daughter of Elder Samuel Adesiyan and Aniefok, son of Revd Imeh Ekwere got married. DAMISI OJO reports


•The couple Aniefok and Adebukola

T was a union across boundaries as Bukola and Aniefok from Oyo and Akwa Ibom states got married. The rich cultures of both states were on display at the couple’s engagement. It was a dream come true for Bukola and Aniefiok. They danced to express their joy. Dressed in Akwa Ibom native attire, the couple entertained guests with different dance styles. They were joined as husband and wife at the Gospel Faith Mission International, Olorungbeja Assembly, Oluloyo. The officiating minister, Pastor S.A. Okunade, urged the couple to make trust the cornerstone of their marriage, noting that any marriage without trust will not last. He said: "I want to plead with the couple to trust themselves. It is an important ingredient for the success of any marriage. Once, there is no trust; such marriage will hit the rock in the shortest time" The cleric advised the couple to love each other and ensure that they do not allow the third party to intervene their affairs. 'There is no marriage that is perfect; you have to learn how to tolerate each other. Marriage is not always rosy; it is the couple that will ensure that they still remain one. "They will have to quarrel, but they should learn how to resolve it without involving the third party. They should see themselves as one indivisible entity", he added.

At the reception, the chairman, Revd Samuel Akinola, was philosophical, telling the couple to place their marriage in God's hand. Akinola, who noted that any marriage without God, will soon hit rocks, advised the couple to always pray together. 'I want to advise the couple to be prayerful and look unto God always", he said. Adebukola, a biochemist, in eulogising her husband, said: "It is a dream come true for me because Aniefiok is highly caring and loving. Apart from being a God fearing man, he is hardworking and a cheerful giver." Adebukola said language would not be a barrier to their union. She added: "I am one of the people who believe that language should not be an obstacle to marriage. Since marriage is a union between two adults of opposite sex, one is free to marry from any tribe once the couple understand each other. "I am happy that I married a man from Akwa Ibom, who loves me. There is nothing wrong with that (ethnic difference). He is God chosen for me and I am sure that the marriage will last". Aniefiok, an electrical engineer, said the Yoruba are one of the best tribes in the country. He said he had no regret marrying a Yoruba lady. "The Yoruba people are one of the nicest tribes in the country. So, I am happy that I marry a Yoruba lady, who is educated, Godfearing, loving and straight forward," he said.

UEFA European Championship FIXTURES FRIDAY 15TH JUNE

Ukraine V France Sweden V England

17:00 19:45

FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012




After two weeks of intransigence, some lawmakers determined to effect a leadership change in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly have been checked by a combination of presidential might, state power and threat of sanctions by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Correspondent ISAAC OMBE reports from Yenagoa.

Power play rocks Bayelsa Assembly P EACE has returned to the Bayelsa State House of Assem-bly. For about 10 days, ‘rebellion’ reigned unfettered. Eleven of the 24 lawmakers had penultimate week removed the Speaker Hon. Kombowei Benson in a brief sitting that lasted less than 30 minutes and without the symbol of authority- the mace. It was a move reminiscent of the impeachments of governors in Anambra, Ekiti, Oyo and Plateau States under the Obasanjo presidency In his place, they elected Hon. Fini Angaye, a one-time deputy speaker of the House. Allegations raised against Benson, include running a one man show and financial indiscipline as the state’s number three citizen travelled to India for medical check up. When news reached him that some mebers, even without the numerical strength had hatched the plot to remove him, he had to hurry back to save his job and career. According to reliable sources, it took the intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor

Dickson Seriake and party hierarchy in the state to restore peace to the House. Members of the House, already polarised into two camps, however, got together late Monday night in a show of amity and oneness. The meeting at Benson’s residence at the Assembly quarters came shortly after the state PDP hierarchy finally brokered peace in favour of the Speaker. Sources close to the meeting said he barely managed to escape being removed by the whiskers. Those present iat the meeting were Benson; Deputy Speaker Hon. Sam Ateke; Leader of the House Hon. Peter Akpe; Monday Obubo; House Committee Chairman on Information Obiene Iniyobioyo and the ‘two week’ Speaker Fini Angaye who had led the failed removal bid. They spoke to journalists on the renewed peace and why the crisis had ended with the retention of Benson as the Speaker. The Speaker, who addressed journalists, said: “The party leadership brokered peace. The two groups have



come together; the issues that were raised have all been looked into and we believe that the house is one. It has always been said that we are the best House of Assembly in Nigeria and that is because of the hard work and peace that has been existing in the House”. He added that, “yes, issues were raised and now we have gathered together again”. He assured that those who plotted his removal would not be punished, saying, “there is no victor no vanquished;I have always preached peace and togetherness”. Angaye, believed to be arrow head of the whole saga, in answer to a question on the crisis, said, “there was no power tussle, it’s only the beauty of

democracy”. A Government House statement also confirmed the development, saying, “Bayelsa Governor Seriake Dickson has resolved the crisis in the State House of Assembly after a fourhour peace meeting with the feuding parties in Government House, Yenagoa tonight”. A source disclosed that President Jonathan’s visit to the state last weekend contributed largely to ending the feud as he reportedly ordered the status quo to remain. The source affirmed that the two most important political office holders in the state-the governor and Speaker- owe their election to the President and the First Lady and as a

result would not want to see anything that could upset the apple cart politically in the state. It was believed that the move to iunseat the Speaker was a decoy to get at the governor because of the belief that the stringent financial measures being implemented by the Speaker was at the instance of the chief executive. The source who pleaded anonymity said as a parting shot: “President Jonathan installed the governor while the wife installed the Speaker, so there is no way the duo would allow either to be impeached”. There were, however, fears that the combatants might just have returned to the drawing board.

Cross River, Akwa Ibom resume battle for oil wells


IME, they say, is to long for those who wait. But this is one waiting game the two neighbouring states of Cross River and Akwa Ibom must patiently undertake as the July 10 date set by the Supreme Court for judgment over the dispute between the twosister states over 76 oil-wells draws nearer. For a monoculture economy like Nigeria that depends entirely on crude oil production, those oil wells mean so much to the contending states. Counsel to Cross River State, Mr. Yusuf Ali (SAN), while arguing the case of his client, urged the court to compel both the Federal Government and the Akwa Ibom State to pay it N15.5 billion being the 13 per cent derivation that ought to have been paid to the state since November 2009 to March, 10, 2010. According to him, the N15.5 billion is made up of N9.2 billion for the state and N6.3 billion for the local government councils of the state. Cross River State also asked for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Federal Government from excluding it from its entitlement to 13 per cent derivation in relation to the sharing of revenue from the federation accounts as a littoral state, based on the 76 oil wells which it claimed had earlier been attributed to it. Ali contended that following a boundary dispute between Cross River the Akwa Ibom states, that the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, summoned the two states and amicably resolved the dispute for them. He argued that upon a demarcation of the boundary dispute between the two states, 90 oil wells were found to be in the territory of Cross River State. And that “By negotiation, however, (and ) for the sake of peace, 14 of these oil wells in the territory of Cross River State, were attributed to Akwa Ibom State for the purpose of application of derivation. Akwa Ibom State received and still receives revenue on deri-


•Akpabio By Augustine Avwode

vation for the 14 oil wells which are physically in the territory of Cross River state but which are attributed to Akwa Ibom. This benefit is sequel to the boundary settlement between the two states which Akwa Ibom now seeks to rescind or renege on”. But, Akwa Ibom state, which was represented by Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN, a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and under whose tenure the first phase of the handing over of a section of the Bakassi Peninsula was relinquished by Nigeria to Cameroun took place, told the court that Cross River which used to be a littoral state when the Bakassi Peninsula was part of Nigeria, lost that status with the handing over of the Peninsula to Cameroun and contended that Cross River was no longer entitled to receive 13 per cent derivation revenue. “By virtue of the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Cross State became landlocked and no part of its territory

lay or lies contiguous to the sea. Cross River qualified as a littoral state because it had access to the sea through Bakassi Peninsula and the estuarine part of the body of water (inland waters) called cross river. Bakassi Peninsula lies contiguous to the sea while the Cross River estuary empties into the sea. The fact of Bakassi Peninsula and the Cross River estuary being part of Cross River State was the sole qualification and basis for Cross River state being adjudged as a Nigerian Littoral State prior to the ICJ judgment.” According to him, the International Court of Justice’ judgment excised the entirety of the Bakassi Peninsula from Nigeria and gave it to Cameroun, as a result, Cross River state ceased thenceforth to be a Nigerian Littoral State.” On the part of the Federal Government, represented by Mr. Damian Dodo and Mamman Usuma, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), argued that Cross River State was not entitled to their claims. The FG supported the argument canvassed by Akwa Ibom State and asked the court to dismiss the suit. But while the states wait for the judgment, which the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, fixed for July 10, concerned stakeholders have expressed concern that except care is taken, Nigeria may land itself in another trouble with Cameroun. This, it was gathered, was that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague had ruled that neither Nigeria nor Cameron should exploit oil reserves in the Peninsula until the maritime boundary had been drawn. But that Nigeria may soon be dragged back to the court for not heeding that directive. A legal practitioner who would not want his name mentioned said all parties should wait for the Supreme Court decision but that those who argue that Cross River is no longer

a littoral state should tell the world how ships manage to get to the Calabar Port and why the Nigerian Navy maintains a headquarters in the state. “I think the state remains a littoral state because the Calabar Port is accessed by ships direct from the sea without passing through the territory of any other state or country. The Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy is based in Calabar, Cross River State and it accesses the sea in the course of its duties without traversing the territory of any other state. The Cross River estuary as is shown in various maps, opens directly into the Atlantic Ocean and this entire estuarine region is in the territory of Cross River State.” He argued that until such a time when the boundary is drawn, nobody can justifiable say that Cross River is now a landlocked state. “Although the Bakassi Peninsula had been handed over to Cameroun in the wake of the ICJ judgment, the maritime boundary between Nigeria and Cameroun is yet to be set by that court. Indeed, it is only now that the International Maritime Boundary Committee of the International Court of Justice is in Bakassi to complete work on the maritime boundary between Nigeria and Cameroun. Until it is done and made public for the world to see, it will be incorrect to say Cross River is landlocked”, he said. As Nigerians in general and both states in particular wait for the highest court in the land to make its pronouncement, the wish is that nothing would further aggravate the bruises Nigeria has suffered in the bid to have a say in the region said to be rich in hydro carbon as whichever the pendulum swings on July 10 has some implications for the country that transcend the immediate interest of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states.



POLITICS In this interview with OLUKOREDE YISHAU, Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, declares that after one year in office, President. Goodluck Jonathan has started the process of transforming the education sectors.

How Jonathan is changing face of education, by Wike P RESIDENT Goodlucknational leader who is providing Jonathan has clocked onesolutions to the varied developyear in office, what is yourment challenges facing the naassessment of his administration?tion. As a key participant in this ad- In specific terms, what areas do ministration, serving as a ministeryou think President Jonathan has of state and also as a Nigerian in-performed well? terested in development, I can tell Naturally, I will speak on the you categorically that the Presi-education sector where I am very dent has performed brilliantlyconversant of development iniwell. He has set the nation on thetiatives of the President. In the path of development and the re-last one year, the President has sults are gradually becomingmade giant steps in the education manifest to the people of the na-sector. This has been appreciated tion. The fact that he was electedby all stakeholders in this sector. via an overwhelming nationalThe President has directly spread of voters ensured that hetouched the basic education and started working and is continuingthe tertiary education sectors in to work for the entire nation. Presi-very fundamental ways. The very dent Jonathan has provided for Ni-first and most profound achievegerians, a calm, calculated and pro-ment in the education sector is gressive minded leadership thatthe initiation of the four year strahas stabilised different sectors oftegic plan to completely re-posiour economy. His quality leader-tion the nation’s education secship has attracted local and foreigntor. As you know, this is a total investments in addition to the in-step aimed at ensuring that the vestments by the Federal Govern-nation gets a qualitative educaments in critical areas of need fortional system. Under this four our people. As we approached theyear strategic plan, the Jonathan first year anniversary, the admin-administration is working toistration threw open its doors forwards six critical components. public assessment through theHowever, in order to ensure the Ministerial Platform. It was anfaster revival of the sector, the open platform for people to knowgovernment is working strategiexactly what has been done in dif-cally in the two areas of access ferent sectors to improve the liv-and quality and standards and ing condition of Nigerians. At thequality assurance. In the last one forum, journalists, civil societyyear, the administration has cregroups and other Nigerians via theated access to quality education, social media interacted with min-both at the basic education and isters and top government officialsthe tertiary levels. Schools have on the achievements of thebeen built for the Almajiris, the Jonathan administration and waysgirl-child, nine new Federal Unito make progress. The generalversities and approval given for agreement has been that the Presi-the setting up of private univerdent has performed well in the lastsities. A few days ago, Vice Presione and has gone ahead to estab-dent Namadi Sambo, on behalf lish a process for the developmentof the President, flagged off the of the nation in different areas. distribution of books to primary Why do you think that there areschool pupils and junior secondloud critics, especially amongst theary pupils. In the area of ensuropposition of the administration?ing standards and quality assurTruly, the existence of the oppo-ance, the administration has disition is to criticise in order for anyrectly worked on the improveadministration to remain on itsment of the capacity of our teachtoes. As such, what the oppositioners in the basic education sector. has been doing is in line with itsOver 500,000 teachers have rerole in a democracy. However,ceived training from Federal initiated what we are saying is that criti-Government cisms should be constructive andprogrammes in collaboration geared towards the overall devel-with the state governments. opment of the nation. One thing Talking about the books, what has been clear; nobody can declaremeasures are in place to ensure that the President has not per-that they get to Nigerian chilformed. Most issues raised are po-dren? litical in nature. President Jonathan We have worked out different himself has embraced every singlestrategies to get the books digroup in the nation, working as arectly to the children. The Federal Ministry of Education and

• Wike

the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, have established committees that will work with officials of the State Universal Basic Education Boards to take the books to children. We have different levels of supervision mechanisms to check those intent to divert the books. We are also working with the law enforcement agents to track the books and the distribution channels. We have branded inscription on all the pages of the books to deter those who in the past tore off the first page that had the branded inscription, only for them to sell the books. In this case, once you have the book, we can easily track you down if you are selling them. The books are free of charge to all Nigerian children in public schools and we will deliver the books to them. What about our Federal Unity Colleges, any positive steps to improve them? When I took over, I noticed some challenges that hampered the development of these schools that serve as the models for other schools in the states and other proprietors of schools. From the very beginning, we indicated that we would rehabilitate these schools and return them to their days of glory. As of today, we have actualized our promise in this area. We adopted a phased rehabilitation of the Federal Government Colleges in all the geo-political zones. Beginning this year, we have selected schools in the zones for complete rehabilitation. In the selected schools,

we will fix the libraries, laboratories, classrooms, hostels and assembly halls. Between now and 2015, we hope to tackle the infrastructural deficits in all the 104 schools. For the schools not selected for the phased rehabilitation for this year, we have worked out a framework with UBEC to make direct interventions in the junior secondary section which falls under the present UBEC mandate. These schools will not remain the same again. Beyond all these, we are in the process of amending the UBEC Act to give the commission a new mandate. When the bill goes through the National Assembly, UBEC will directly have interventionist powers in the Federal Unity Colleges. Other than infrastructure in the Federal Unity Colleges, the President has approved the regularisation of the appointment of 1305 part-time teachers in the Federal Unity Colleges. This is in addition to the employments of another 2000 teachers in Mathematics, English Language and relevant science subjects. Remember, we made these gaps that existed for years before the President took over. Gradually and strategically, the President is resolving these challenges for the development of the education. In the tertiary education sector, all the existing Federal Universities have received direct grants for infrastructural development purposes. Why do you think the President has promised to accord education priority attention? The reason is simple. Tied to any development in the country is education. As we develop infrastructure, health and other critical sectors, we must develop the education sector. This is because any development not premised on a sound educational system cannot be sustained. If you build infrastructure, you must have qualified engineers groomed from the education system to sustain these infrastructure. The grooming of these engineers starts from the basic education level through to the tertiary level. The same applies to the health and other sectors. As an educationist, the President knows that this is a legacy that will drive the economy, the social and political life of the nation. Our education system is on

the path of growth, thanks to the President’s foresight and political will. The commitment he has shown to changing our educational landscape has attracted the National Assembly, both the Senate and the House of Representatives to collaborate with us in the Education Ministry to drive home the Transformation Agenda in this sector. Now that you have mentioned the Transformation Agenda, do you think it is working? I know it is working and the ordinary Nigerian knows it is working. I am a practical person and as a minister, I do not just sit in the office to expect report. I have been on the field to monitor the progress of work in all the numerous projects that we have embarked upon. Any where I went, I received kind words for the President on the transformation that he has brought to bear on the nation. People are indeed grateful. On more than three occasions, highly respected traditional rulers in different parts of country told me that they were pleased that the President is a man of his words. They explained that he said he was going to intervene in the almajiri issue and he has practically done so. Several past administrations made the same promise and nothing was done. The same goes for the girl child schools and the pledge to completely turn around the education sector. The President’s Transformation Agenda has been quite practical in its approach and Nigerians are involved. The overall results will be seen at the end of the day. However, the beauty of it all is that the process of transformation is on and the people are seeing the efforts on the ground. Would you agree with critics who contend that the President has been moving at a very slow pace? We must continue to work with the President to deliver on his campaign promises as he has already started doing. All the results will not manifest in one year. However, the administration of President Jonathan has succeeded quite early in the day to lay the foundation for the total transformation of the nation. There is no sector of our national life that is not being transformed as of today. Everywhere, the President and his lieutenants have set in motion programmes and projects to transform Nigeria and Nigerians can only look forward for the best.

North stands by June 12, says Shettima Yerima Shettima, National President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, was involved in the struggle to give life to the June 12, 1993 people’s mandate freely given the late Chief MKO Abiola. In this interview with MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE, he explains that the North has not changed its position that Abiola won the election and what the date should mean to every Nigerian.

• Shettima


HAT is the northern youth’s position on June 12? The struggle for June 12 was not only meant for Yoruba alone. We have paid our dues in this whole struggle. But by accident the struggle was waged in Lagos, it does not in any way means a southern issue. I am a typical Hausa man from Zaria and per-

haps my origin falls among the best Hausa languages just like Balarabe Musa falls among the best Hausa languages, Shehu Sani among the best Hausa languages. So many of us but we by stood by June 12 and fought for it. That these people could not come down to Lagos to celebrate June 12 does not mean that they are not party to it. Last year there was a symposium in Kaduna, we organised it and this year we are still going hold symposium and mark it. The greater part of the north still has sympathy but also we must appreciate the fact that, the south has easy way to propaganda than the north because they control the media. And the fact that south through the media has always had the upper voice when it comes to publicity they appear to be in the

forefront of June 12. So, what do we expect at this anniversary? We shall participate full at the June 12 anniversary commemoration and northern leaders will be very much around here in Lagos. They are going to do more but basically what we are looking at now is at the unity of the country. Issues bothering on our national unity, our nation are being threatened. We must insist that things must be done well and once. The President has just honoured Abiola with UNILAG, is this enough? It is not enough to honour Abiola with that but then I think it is an attempt to appease some people because of his ambition. If he chooses to do that in an attempt to bring in some people especially the southwest which has over a time now is being controlled by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), so there is need for him to come

and break into its rank by getting the sympathy of some people and of course he had achieved that. This is because there are some people who say no there is something wrong in the naming of the university, some are saying there is nothing wrong in it and why not Abuja or National Stadium? No problem, the president chooses to do what he wants but we must ask for more. When Obasanjo was there for eight years, he did not even name a local primary school after him but if this man says Abiola is Martyr and says okay we are going to name Unilag after him, we must commend him and collect it. He will not be there for ever but the name will be there for ever. To me, there is nothing wrong in that but we are going to ask for more for

Abiola. We want May 29 to be off and June 12 should be seen as democracy day. Abiola is somebody who made sacrifices and paid the supreme price that brought Obasanjo who directly benefited from it but could not acknowledged Abiola. But what is wrong if Jonathan decides and says look we must acknowledge him because I am direct beneficiary of what this man did and make June 12 democracy day. He declares Abiola as ex-president and looks out for a better place like the National Stadium Abuja and names it after him to ensure that Obasanjo’s name is not named after it. I foresee that in future the man will be lobbying for that because he would want to make sure he is there. But let us appreciate the little the government has done for now and ask for more M.K.O.



Family seeks justice over murder of three siblings G

RIEF-STRICKEN family of Chief Essien Ukpabio in Akwa Ibom State is still in search of justice since three of its members were murdered in dramatic fashion in March this year. The events played out like one of those scripts in movies. Charles, Emmanuel and Joseph were invited by expatriates working with A. G. Vision Nigeria Ltd., in respect of compensation for a dam project on their ancestral lands. The compensation was valued at over N500m. Thirtynine-year-old Charles just qualified as a sailor weeks earlier. He came in from Calabar to attend the meeting. Everything went well until the expatriates excused themselves from a discussion. Suddenly, over 20 heavily-armed policemen allegedly led by a State Security Service operative in Akwa Ibom Command, swooped on them. Everyone in the compound somewhere in Ikot Ekpene was ordered to lie face-down. They were handcuffed and forced into a truck. The policemen then opened fire on the six men from Mente village in Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom. In no time, they had been crippled. Not done, they took the three siblings, Charles, Emmanuel and Joseph, to their village to identify their father, Chief Essien. They ransacked the compound, frantically seeking the 84-year-old. The patriarch however had gone into hiding. His 72-yearold wife, Atim, was the only one around. The policemen reportedly kicked her, threatening she would be killed if her husband was not produced. To show they meant business, they

By Sunday Oguntola

brought two of her sons, Charles and Joseph, out of the truck, bleeding. The old woman almost passed out in shock. She became hysterical, wondering what offence his sons committed to have been shot and incapacitated. The security operatives dragged then to the plantain tree at the back of their father’s compound and shot them dead. This was right in the presence of their aged mother! Atim couldn’t bear the catastrophe. She practically lost her mind! Yet, the merchants of death were not done. They executed the remaining four men, including Emmanuel at the roadside, claiming they were armed robbers. All of these allegedly happened on March 25 in Akwa Ibom State. The three siblings were younger brothers of popular gospel singer and film-maker, Lady Evangelist Helen Ukpabio. She would wish the incidents happened right in one of her movies. But this is not time for another award-winning script. The incidents were happening right in her household. The movie-maker was all tears during a meeting in Lagos. ‘’Why would they kill my brothers just like that because of plots of land?’’ she wailed. She’s been through hell since the incident. Her younger sister, Elizabeth, a Master’s degree holder in English and Linguistics, died of shock on hearing her brothers had been murdered. She was 34 years old and working with the National Broad-

‘I want their killers fished out and brought to book. This is a country with laws and I believe nobody should get away with such a gruesome offence

•Continued from Page 17 said the award was a testimony of Obi’s sacrifice and contribution towards nation building and the welfare of Anambra State. Speaking for the Obosi community, Chief Osita Ike Obosi noted that the community honoured the governor because he had taken it upon himself to reconcile all warring communities in Anambra State. Speaking at the event, the Former

casting Corporation (NBC) Abuja before the incident. Her death has increased the family’s casualties to four in just days. A devastated Ukpabio said all efforts to get justice over the killings have proved abortive. “We have written petitions to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and law enforcement agencies to no avail. Nobody seems to be willing to get involved. It seems my brothers have died in vain and the family eternally cheated,’’ she lamented. She alleged a current senator and a community leader were behind the murders. The duo, she said, hired the policeman to eliminate the family of Chief Essien Ukpabio and claim the compensations of over N500m approved for the community by the federal government for construction of a dam in the clan. Eighty percent of land in the community, according to findings, belongs to the 84-year-old man. The patriarch, Ukpabio said, had always been in the eyes of the storms over ownership of the land. In the 80s, he was allegedly arrested on trumped-up charges. This was after his plantation had been destroyed for a government project. ‘’He was sent to 14-year-imprisonment but served for one and half years before the Babangida’s government set up a panel that discharged him,’’ Ukpabio recalled. He said his family had always been haunted since then. ‘’We have always been hated in the community because of the cocoa plantation. God was seeing us through until now,’’ she stated. Ukpabio’s litany of woes keeps mounting. The corpse of 32-year-old Emmanuel remains unseen. ‘’The police said they have instructions from above not to release it. We have tried everything we know but nothing seems to be working,’’ she lamented. Attempts have also been made to steal the two corpses in the family’s possession. On three occasions, unknown security men had allegedly ransacked morgues in the local government to get them. Ukpabio said she is hiding them to prevent anyone from getting away with them.





Her aged parents, she said, are hospitalised owing to shock from the murders. According to her, ‘’We cannot even keep them in Akwa Ibom. They are somewhere outside the state in utter shock and pains. My mother is utterly traumatised having witnessed the killing of her sons in her presence’’. She said she has not even broken the death of Elizabeth to them. ‘’I don’t know how to tell them their beloved daughter too is dead. What have they done to go through all of these in their old age? How much worse can things get for these people?’’ Ukpabio wondered. She is upbeat they might totally pass out if they get to know of Elizabeth’s death. She alleged she had also been receiving death threats and calls over

the issue. ‘’Some people have been calling to say I am the next. One of them said they will wipe away my family and nothing will happen. I want Nigerians and government to help me. They should not allow us to die just like that’’. Ukpabio is demanding for justice. ‘’I want their killers fished out and brought to book. This is a country with laws and I believe nobody should get away with such a gruesome offence’’. It’s been over two months yet justice is yet to show up. The corpses cannot be buried because one of them is still in police custody. This is the kind of plot Ukpabio would have loved to have in her movies, not something to experience.

Anambra councils appraise infrastructural renewal Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku said that Obi was the first and only governor that has demonstrated genuine commitment to peace in the state, especially Obosi town. He said that his intervention in the town checked the wanton destruction of lives and property the town wit-

nessed during their recent crisis. He assured on measures to keep the peace. In his remarks, Governor Obi called on the people of the town to embrace peace for the restoration of its glory. He warned those fanning the embers of discord and anarchy of serious consequences if they do not

•Apapa Local Government Area Chairman, Joseph Ayodeji (left) receiving a gift from the executive council members at his 40th birthday anniversary celebrations

mend their ways and embrace peace. He called for collective efforts, especially among indigenous people of the town. Earlier in his remarks, the new traditional ruler of the town, Igwe Chukwudubem Iweka recalled the pivotal role Obi played through many meetings with stakeholders towards the restoration of peace. He invited others to emulate his selflessness. That was why the Federal Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Adewumi Adesina’s description of Governor Obi as a man of vision holds water. Adesina said Obi is a committed and dedicated leader who is very passionate in developing and repositioning the agricultural sector and has sustained prudent and transparent management of resources. He spoke while rounding off his visit and inspection of the Omor Rice

Mill in Anambra State. The Minister said that the Federal Government would partner with the state to revamp the giant rice mill and described an inspiring, the Governor’s commitment to the project. The Minister announced this after inspection of facilities at the mill. He said his Ministry would equally work with the Ministry of Water Resources to resuscitate the collapsed Anambra Irrigation Project at IfiteOgwari to drive the mill. Responding, Governor Obi called for integrated and comprehensive turn-around of the project that would revitalise the mill, the irrigation project, the canal and access roads. He said that the state government is committed to the partnership as the facility has the potential to empower the people, fight extreme poverty and hunger in the state.




O fewer than 100,000 Nigerian children die annually out of 160,000 who are born with sickle cell disease. Five million are said to be suffering from the disease in the country. A former director at the Institute for Medical Research and Training, College of Medicine, University College Hospital, (UCH) Ibadan, Professor Adeyinka Falusi provided the statistics at the teaching hospital as part of activities marking a week-long global Sickle Cell day. She wants governments across the board to pay more attention to the disease. Prof. Falusi, now the National President of the Sickle Cell Hope Alive Foundation, noted that inadequate advocacy and the negative attitude of government in combating the disease have helped to increase the number of sickle cell patients in Nigeria which she put at 167,000. She said as the number of patients suffering from the disease increased, the Nigerian government has not done enough to help provide necessary equipment to do ante-natal screening for early detection of the disease in infants, adding that the UCH also does not have the screening equipment. The president of the NGO who was flanked by other members of

•From left: Professor Milicent Obajimi, Dr Helen Oduntan, Professor Adeyinka Falusi and Professor Chinedu Babalola at the event

NGO draws attention to sickle cell From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

the foundation, including the Head of Department, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmacy De-

The don called on agencies and well-meaning Nigerians to donate towards making life comfortable for those living with the disease


HE Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Saki West Local Government, Oyo State Chapter, has praised the Transition Committee chairman of the council, Hon. Dapo Popoola for his staff welfare programme. Comrade Rasheed Oke, the NULGE chairman in the council gave the commendation at a special health programme put together by the union to assist the downtrodden in the community. According to the NULGE chairman, Hon. Popoola’s efforts in the local government have

partment, UCH, Paediatrician, Oni Memorial Hospital, Dr. I. O. Campbell and Deputy Director Pharmacy, Hellen Oduntan, said there was need for advocacy and a positive attitude from government towards the sickle cell patients in the country. She said that Nigeria has the highest number of Sickle Cell patients in the world and the poorest health care and support for the helpless patients. Prof. Falusi appealed to governments at all levels to give as much attention they give to HIV/AIDs treatment to the sickle cell disease. She called on government to es-

tablish neo-natal screening centres across the country to detect babies having the disease at the early stage of their lives and provide penicillin vaccine and other drugs to help the innocent babies. The don also called on agencies and well-meaning Nigerians to donate towards making life comfortable for those living with the disease. She said the vision of her group was to increase awareness and improve quality of care and support for the sickle cell patients. To this end, she listed various ways through which her organisation would embark on aggressive enlightenment campaigns

and advocacy in the cities and rural areas so that the number of sickle cell patients could be checked. Falusi said it is wrong to say that one out of every four children born by parents with AS genotype will be SS, adding that it is possible that the couple would not have a single SS. She clarified that her group was not out to discourage would-be couples who are AS genotype from marrying one another but to educate them about the risk involved and the need to be ready to give adequate care to any of their children who may turn out to have the SS genotype.

NULGE hails Oyo council on staff welfare From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

impacted positively on the lives of the staff and residents of the council. The NULGE chief said Popoola assisted in the construction of the union’s secretariat, prompt payment of salary and refurbishing loans. He therefore enjoined the staffers to reciprocate the good ges-

ture of the council chairman by giving his administration the maximum support and always be loyal to the administration. In his keynote address, Popoola who was represented by the Secretary to the Local Government Alhaji Abdul-Waheed Adesina, commended the union for their support in administering the local government. Hon. Popoola spoke of his achievements in less than 10

months of his administration which includes asphalting of three major roads, construction of six roundabouts, construction of bridges and drainages, building of modern motor parks, construction of 12 blocks of three classrooms with stores and offices in some primary schools, among others. He further enjoined the union members to be dedicated, punctual, loyal and to shun indolence in their offices. A lecture titled “Civil Servant: Planning for the Rainy Day” which was delivered by the Oyo State NULGE welfare officer com-

rade Alhaji K. A. Ajibade highlighted the roles of a discreet civil servant. He admonished them to be prudent in their spending and always remember their retiring period, to save as much as possible for this period. In a lecture, Dr. J. O. Oshoko enjoined the gathering to periodically go for medical check-ups. In attendance at the occasion were Alhaji M.A Owolabi, Director of Finance and Supplies, Alhaji S.A Ahmed, representing the Director of Personal Management, Mr. Bolade Babalola, Director of Education and social Services, among others.

In less than 10 months of his administration which includes asphalting of three major roads, construction of six roundabouts, construction of bridges and drainages, building of modern motor parks, construction of 12 blocks of three classrooms with stores and offices in some primary schools, among others

•Council Manager, Ojokoro Local Council Development Area, Mr Raphael Bello (middle) receiving an award from a representative of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) president, Luke Ogeruga (second left). With them are (from left) Secretary to the Council, Hon Gbemi Odumbaku; Mrs Elizabeth Bello and wife of the council chairman, Mrs Omolabake Olabinjo


FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012

They have done their best for the people of the community and student of the school because no government has done this. The community and school have gained because we were under malaria infection

•The Naval team with the school principal and other community members

Navy provides free medical treatment in Bayelsa


S part of activities marking the 56th anniversary of the Nigerian Navy, the Central Naval Command has conducted free medical treatment for students of Community Secondary School, Agudama Epie, and other residents of the community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state. Speaking at the event, the Flag Officer Commanding Central Naval Command, Real Admiral John Olutoyin said the free medical treatment has always being part of the Nigerian Navy’s outreach to their host communities. Olutoyin noted that apart from ensuring the safety of lives in their various areas of responsibility, the Nigerian Navy gives free medical treatment as part of the activities to mark their week in which over 500 persons are treated. Mrs. Caroline John Adume, Principal of the School commended the Navy. “So many people could not go for check-up or treatment for lack of money but the free treatment has given many people the opportunity to check their health status,” she said. Other beneficiaries of the exercise who spoke in the same vein included Mr. Simeon Otiomodiomo, who said the gesture of the Nigerian Navy has enabled them to get free drugs and be checked for vari-

From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

ous ailments including malaria, hypertension and blood sugar. They really tried”. Mrs. Pere Commander who could not hide her joy appealed for more of such free treatments. Mrs. Lucky Febai, a housewife, said the exercise was okay. “I have gotten some drugs from them. God bless the people who organised it,” she prayed. “They have done their best for the people of the community and student of the school because no government has done this. The community and school have gained because we were under malaria infection,” said Mr. Walson Sample, a senior staff of the school. The Command had an inter-denominational church service at the St. Peters Church in Yenagoa to usher in the week-long activities. In an interview with journalists shortly after the chirch service, Olutoyin who explained the significance of the anniversary celebrations to the people of Bayelsa State, said: “It brings to fore the fact that the Nigerian Navy has come to stay in this state”. He added that since the Navy’s arrival in the state, it has been able to contribute to combating the se-

•A resident is tested by the medical team ries of illegal activities in the waterways in conjunction with other arms of security services in the

state. As long as the Navy is in the state and the region at large, the Flag

Officers says the Command will continue to secure the environment for those out to do legal business.

Lagos council to pay the elderly N10,000 monthly


HE Chairman of Surulere Local Government in Lagos State, Hon. Tajudeen Ajide, has said his administration is planning to financially assist the elderly in the area by giving them N10,000 monthly allowance.

•From right: Commissioner for Rural Development, Hon Cornelius Ojelabi; Special Assistant to Lagos State Governor on Information, Lateef Raji; Commissioner for Health, Hon Jide Idris and Commissioner for Information, Hon Lafeef Ibirogba during the monthly Town Hall meeting held at the state Secretariat, Alausa

By Tokunbo Ogunsami

Ajide, who was speaking about the programmes of his administration for the people of the local government, said all hands are on deck to actualise the plan of paying the elderly N10,000 monthly. He said residents of the council area should pay their levies, rates and taxes regularly to enable the government have enough money to implement the projects it has lined up for them. “We need money to put in place the good things of life for the residents of this local government. This is why we have increased our revenue generation capacity. “Initially, we had six revenue collectors, but they are now 30 in number. We are focused and determined to make life better for the residents of Surulere Local Government. No amount of blackmail will debar us from doing this,” Ajide said. The local government chairman denied the allegation levelled against him by some revenue col-

lectors in a newspaper publication (not The Nation). He said the allegation is a figment of their imagination. According to him, he increased the number of revenue collectors to 30 in order to boost the revenue drive of the council “so that we will have enough money to implement the programmes we have for the residents of Surulere Local Government.” Ajide said by increasing the number of revenue collectors from six to 30, his administration is also creating employment for youths. He said: “Our detractors should realise that this administration is bent on improving the lives of Surulere Council residents. There are 44 primary and secondary schools in this local government, the highest in the country. We need money to assist the dynamic Governor Babatunde Fashola administration in running these schools. This is why we have boosted our revenue generation drive by increasing the number of revenue collectors.”






Expert advocates mega food parks in Lagos


FORMER Chairman, Poultry Association of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, Mr Lanre Bello, has advocated the establishment of the parks to boost food production. Speaking with The Nation, Bello said the parks would add a new dimension to the state government’s effort to develop food processing units. According to him, setting up the parks will provide better infrastructure to reduce waste. An estimated 40 per cent of fruit and vegetable production is wasted because of lack of storage, cold chain and transport infrastructure. The government, he said needed to give the much required boost and support to the food chain right

By Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

from the producer to the retail outlet. “This is by developing mega food parks, logistics and cold chain transportation, fisheries, sea food, animal produce, meat, dairy, cereal and ready-to-eat produce”,he said. With mega food parks in select areas, the phenomenal food waste can be curbed,Bello said. He listed challenges faced by farmers to include the unresolved issue of the Land Use Act, lack of collateral by most farmers and lack of good storage facilities. Despite agriculture being the largest employer of labour and accounting for about 45 per cent of

the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), he lamented that banks allocate only 1.05 per cent of their loan portfolio to agriculture. Bello, the Chairman of Crown Chicken Nigeria Limited, urged the government to increase lending to farmers. For farmers to make long-term, income-generating investments on land they must have access to credit, Bello said. On the use of land as a collateral, he said the law allows farmers to use their rights to farming and residential land as collateral for loans. He, however, added that farmers are required to present, not only the certificate of occupancy(C of O), but also the governor’s consent if they are to use land as a

collateral. Until the issue of the Land Use Act is resolved, farmers will continue to face challenges accessing agricultural financing, he said. On the efforts of the Bank of Agriculture, he said the maximum loan limit the bank can grant a farmer without collateral is N250,000. This amount, Bello said, was not enough to meet the basic needs of farmers. Bello urged the government to work with stakeholders in order to raise the level of food processing and boost production. He implored the government to fashion policies for raising food processing and generating farm level employment.


300,000 Bauchi farmers for e-Wallet fertiliser


•From left: Director General, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Nteranya Sanginga and Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi during Sanginga’s visit to the governor in Ibadan, Oyo State

O fewer than 300,000 farmers from Bauchi State have so far registered for the e-wallet fertiliser distribution system introduced by the Federal Government. The Commissioner of Agriculture Tasiu Muhammad made this known at a briefing on the activities of his ministry. He said the state is among the first states to embrace the policy for the distribution of fertiliser to the farmers directly. Arrangement had been concluded for the sales of fertiliser in the remaining local government areas after the launch at Gwaram village in Alkaleri Local Government by Governor Isa Yuguda. The commissioner said pest control chemicals worth N22million were procured for the control of pests, such as grasshoppers, army worms etc. He added that over 1,000 cotton farmers are expected to cultivate over 1,000 hectares during this years’farming season. He added that 52 agricultural workers were trained at Sabere farms in Yola for cotton

producers. The government, he said, has approved the purchase of 22 new tractors, refurbishing of 28 serviceable tractors and servicing of 16 functional ones at N259m. He said to ensure that farmers have access to low interest credits for farming operations, the government has accessed N1billion loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for on-lending to farmers through cooperative societies. Tasiu said so, far, the government has received over six million applications from interested farmers that want to benefit from the N1billion CBN loans, with over four million screened for the facility. For this farming season, he said, 5,000 metric tonnes of urea have been procured at N580million and 1,500 metric tones of NPK blended by Bauchi Fertiliser Blending plant. This is, in addition, to the 14,800 metric tonnes of fertiliser valued at N1. 628billion allocated to the state by the Federal Government makes which the fertiliser will be sold to the farmers at 50 per cent subsidy using e-wallet system, he said.

Segun Adewunmi is the Chairman of the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA). In this interview with GBENGA ADERANTI, he speaks on how the group hopes to revolutionise cassava farming; the transformation agenda and why the government should drop farm settlements.

‘Why we support cassava transformation plan’


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan is canvassing use of cassava bread, how realistic is this? Cassava bread is just one of the small uses of cassava. We have the ethanol which market is limitless; we have cassava industrial starch. We’ve not been able to produce 10 per cent of the cassava starch that we have. Cassava bread is a good innovation, it is so realistic. It is a very good thing, if it happens because in the first place, it has been proved that cassava flour is better for health than the white wheat. There was a conspiracy against it and that was why the House speedily passed the Bill. Cassava bread is a welcome idea to us as farmers. Can cassava be exported? Cassava cannot be exported from this country until next year or year after. The reason is that the cost of production of cassava here is so high compared with the world market. Even we are discussing with transformation team now on how our cassava product can penetrate the world market. We are not thinking of exporting this year. We are thinking of using what we have to meet the domestic demand. We are practical people, we are into it. There is usually three year glut. This year cassava is plenty and

available.No one will plant because the price at which you are going to sell will not be more than the cost of uprooting and transportation. Most people will leave it to rot. Then the following year, there will be scarcity and people will rush to farm, all these have been arrested by the programme of the NCGA. We are thinking about meeting the domestic demands. After that, we will establish mechanised farms to produce cheap cassava, so that we can compete in the world market. While some farmers are getting eight tonnes from one hectare of land here, farmers in South Africa are getting 50 tonnes from the same one hectare, the cost of production is much less that is what we are working upon. How do you hope to compete at the international market? We the cassava growers association have two programmes: a programme for peasant farmers in which case, we insist they turn all the unsold cassava into gari and sell them into the refugee camps in Africa. Secondly, we are now thinking of mechanised farms; the government has come to our aid with the reduction of the cost of fertiliser next year. That means we can begin to

think about industrial cassava.We have made arrangement for committees to see about preservation of derivatives from cassava; things such as garri; fufu and all those things. We can use cassava to produce varieties that can be sold to various supermarkets. How are you going to bring together millions of Nigerian farmers to key into your revolution? We intend to start by employing five extension officers per local government. You know we have 774 local governments in Nigeria now; that will translate into 3,870 people being employed and trained in extension services. Under these extension officers, we will group the farmers; may be 50 farmers per extension officer, who will supervise all their input operation and everything so that, they can comply with the best practice of agronomy. We want to first of all mobilise 1000 farmers in every local government. We have acquired land .We are still acquiring land .We will distribute, demarcate them into blocks, five hectares, 10 hectares and give them to farmers. We want to cluster the farms around proposed factories and plan according to sequence usage. We are registering farmers now. Any

farmer that goes to Union Bank and asks to be registered will be registered. The bank will give them forms and do the registration right there. After being registered, you go straight to the nearest officer of Cassava Growers Association. We have them all over the place.You will go and submit your registration form. The Federal Government guarantees 75 per cent of the loan, In puts such as chemicals, fertiliser, are subsidised 50 per cent by the Federal Government. These are facilities our members are enjoying. We hand over registered members to those who will teach them modern practice of agriculture. Considering the fact that most. The year farmers are illiterates, do you think they will be receptive to this programme of yours? Very, very receptive. Most of their children are literate and secondly, it is not difficult to teach, most of the operations will be done by the experts. The part the farmer will do is just the physical work. All the extension officers are given bikes so they can reach the interior whether in the rainy season or dry season. Every farm will be measured out and numbered. The purpose we are paying through the bank is because we want every-

•Segun Adewunmi

body to have an identity number. How do you intend to address the problems of preservation of cassava and the end products? I’m happy with the way the Federal Strategic, Grain and Food Reserve works because I did garri for them for a long time and they would provide polythene bags, sealer and other things, which would assist to preserve the garri. The garri stayed for three years and was still very fresh as if it was produced yesterday. I believe same thing could happen to other food derived from cassava. With this we will be able to put them in supermarkets and export some of them. I know they have preservation that is the area we should focus on.




Imo: A new agro investors’ destination


•Labourer carrying two bags of cowpea on his shoulders to transport them from one place to another.

Don calls for restraint on unplanned shrimp cultivation A S shrimp exports continue to rise, a don Prof Martins Antetekhai has called for restraint on unplanned cultivation to halt illegal entrance of saline water into the nation’s natural water. Antetekhai of the Faculty of Sciences, Lagos State University (LASU) said unplanned farming would result in increase in salinity of the water, thereby reducing drinking water sources and hampering crop cultivation through damage to the fertility of the land. He noted that fishermen and fish-farmers are stewards of the marine environment, adding that they have a role in the promotion of respon-

Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent

sible fisheries to preserve the environment. One of such is the use of non-destructive fishing techniques, which reduce the negative impact on biodiversity, including on larger, longer-lived marine organisms that are more vulnerable to depletion. He said the operators have to be careful in using marine resources so that they will still be available in the future. Strengthening the fisheries management agencies, fish-

ing community and fish workers organisations and private sector associations, he said, are critical to sustainable and equitable use of marine resources. He said there is a need to manage fisheries in the most efficient and sustainable way. According to him, a strong international legislative and policy framework for fisheries is in place with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and its related international agreements and plans of action.

Worldwide, he said there are regulations establishing protected areas where no fishing is allowed. With about 32 per cent of the global of fish stocks for exploitation, depleted or recovering from depletion, the don said the future of aquaculture development prospects appear promising. He urged the government to encourage Nigerians to start rearing fish, rather than relying on captured fisheries, which are declining. He suggested that they should embark on commercial cage farming, which would enable them to grow fish instead of relying on captured catches.

Abia ADP moves to boost food production A

BROAD-based growth strategy to increase food production is being executed by the Abia State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP). The Progamme Manager, Mr Enyinnaya Elekwachi, said this is essential to meeting the increase in food demand and generating the income in rural areas. He said efforts to increase food has led to enormous gains in agricultural productivity and food production. He said the government is encouraging farmers to experiment with new technologies and management sys-

tems to spur growth and create jobs in the sector. He said the programme will foster economic development through the agric sector. One of the interventions of the programme is dedicating 50 hectares of land for the colouration with National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) in on-farm Adaptive Research (OFAR) trials and seed multiplication programme of the Vitamin A enriched ‘yellow’ cassava stems at the programme’s proposed agricultural industrial complex

in Ohafia/Arochukwu Local Government Areas of Abia State. The programme is working with the Leventis Foundation (Nigeria) Limited for a joint agricultural school project. Other achievements include the inauguaration and donation of a cassava processing cottage industry by BATN Foundation to Saiky Farmers MPCS Limted Ubani-Ibeku,Umuahia North Local Government Area, Abia State. He said it was important for the state government to achieve success in agricultural development.


IFDC offers $725,000 credit to dealers


HE Nigeria AgroDealer Support (NADS) project assisted agro-dealers to access $ 725,000 from micro-finance organisations and suppliers, according to the International Centre for Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development (IFDC). The IFDC Country Representative in Nigeria Mr Scott Wallace disclosed this in Abuja. NADS, a three-year programme implemented by the IFDC from October 2009 to 2011, was financed by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). IFDC had in 2008 pro-

posed the project, to address the problem of insufficient use ofagro-input by farmers and other practices necessary for increased productivity and farm incomes. One of the major objectives of the project was to train the agro-input dealers estimated at 12,000.On the achievements of the project, Wallace said that 2,300 agroinput dealers were trained,bringing the total number of trained input dealers to 5,000, leading to increased sales. He said by supporting NAFDAC’s advocacy efforts, the project facilitated the certification of1,200 dealers in crop protection products.

Under the project, the first comprehensive directory of agro-input dealers in 16 states was compiled, thereby providing a “valuable tool for implementing new policy reforms”. It also transformed four state agro-dealer associations into regional associations covering 16 states and enhanced their membership from 400 to 2,700. Furthermore, under the project, an “extensive survey of agro-dealers was undertaken, which highlightedtheir scale of operations and needs. The country representative, however, expressed disappointment that the

planned $500,000 loan guarantee scheme intended to leverage credit for agro-dealers was not achieved because of the lack of interest in the project on the part of banks. He said: “Despite repeated efforts to change the minds of their leaders, the banks regarded the amount as smalland the risk as high and were unwilling to ease restrictive conditions for agroinput related lending.” Wallace, however, said the achievements of the project and the lessons learned presented an opportunity to capitalise on the AGRA investment and the new directions of the Federal Government.

MO is one of the most diversed states in terms of agriculture. Its economy depends primarily on agriculture and commerce and the chief occupation of the people is farming. Their cash crops include oil palm, raffia palm, rice, groundnut, melon, cotton, cocoa, rubber, maize, etc. Food crops such as yam, cassava, cocoyam and maize are also produced in large quantities. In the state there are amazing topographic changes that lend hand to the diversity of agriculture. The location of the state in the tropical rainforest gives it the ecological basis for production of a wide range of tropical agricultural crops with extensive potentialities for industrial usage There are fertile areas to grow an amazing variety of crops and support dairy and sheep farms as well. As a strategy for enhancing agricultural development, private investors are invited to participate in direct agricultural production, by investing in the planting and cultivation of agricultural crops such as maize, rice, legumes, roots and tubers. Forestry is yet to be developed in the state. Of the 490 species, only about 100 are being utilised.Viable projects that can be invested in Imo include, match splint and tooth pick manufacture, tissue paper production, etc. Investors can go into the planting and cultivation of cashew, oil palm, oranges, citrus trees, etc. The state’s most valuable livestock products are chicken eggs and broilers (young chickens). Imo is conducive to livestock production, especially rearing of goats and sheep.Modern poultry farming has been introduced in the state and is practised by a large number of people. Investors will find this sector attractive. The mechanised Imo Modern Poultry Farm atAvutu, in Obowo Local Government Area has taken the lead in private fish farming, a sector much neglected by investors in the state. It is gifted with a homogenous market with emergent economy and altering lifestyles, which has created tremendous opportunities for food producers, machinery markets, service providers and others. The message: the diverse crops, lower utility rates and reasonable workers’ compensation costs make the state a good place to do business. Determined to ensure a successful implementation of the Rural Agricultural Programme (RAP) embarked upon by his administration, the Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has called for partnership with foreign investors to

move the state forward. In a speech at an International Business Forum Nigerian-Switzerland Trade and Investment Forum- held in Zurich, Switzerland, the governor said the state government needs partnership with investors in technological skills aimed at maximising its abundant agricultural potential. He said: “We are not begging for money or handouts, rather what we need is strategic partnership that would help the state grow with adequate returns on investments.” According to the governor, the government is ready to budget 30 per cent of the total cost of any joint project as well as guarantee free land and other requirements needed by the investors. Speaking further on the occasion, the governor said Imo remains the only state , where there is zero tolerance for corruption in addition to abundant human and natural resources as well as market and labour for potential investors. He enjoined investors to disregard reports from some media houses that Nigeria is prone to corruption, adding that Imo is a haven for investors where businessmen are guaranteed profits at the shortest possible period. He said: “Now that we have unveiled our potential, we are waiting for genuine investors to come and take advantage of what we have to offer. “We don’t want ‘briefcase contractors’ who will disappear after collecting mobilisation fee for contracts, rather what we need is genuine businessmen who will partner with us for the growth of the state”. Okorocha has called on traditional rulers in Imo to procure at least five hectares of land each from their communities aimed at facilitating the forthcoming agric enhancement programme to be embarked upon by a team of foreign agric experts led by a South African, Dr. Brylyne Chitsunge. The governor reiterated his determination to boost agriculture in the state and ensure food sustainability and creation of employment opportunities for the people.

•Gov Okorocha





EAR Muslim parents, Assalam alaykun wa Rahmatu Llah wa Barakatuhu! This is not a parents/teachers association meeting in which new school fees or new calendar year is often discussed. It is rather a meeting of positive and constructive minds over the most fundamental issue in the life of man. And it is to be moderated by the guideline divinely put in place in the name of ‘Al-Qur’an’ by the Almighty Allah.Your joys as parents are secret, so are your grief and fear. Hardly can you hide the one or openly express the other. Happy are those of you parents whose children tread the path of your divinely guided dream. And sorrow is the portion of those of you who end up regretting bringing any children into this world. All of you will account either for what brings you joy or what pushes you into sorrow. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had admonished on this when he said: “all of you (parents) are shepherds and all of you shall be asked to account for your herds”.Children are the most invaluable gift of Allah to man. They can neither be bought nor sold. Even adoption or exchange of children for money (otherwise called child slavery) is only a temporary act which will become a permanent question later. One day, the child will return to his parents or get to know that the foster parents who care for him in life are not his real parents. Then he will ask the permanent question: “whose child am I? This is why adoption of children in the Western sense is prohibited in Islam. You can only help to bring up abandoned or stranded children not biologically yours for humanitarian reason but not for the purpose of turning such children into your own. As a parent, you may give your biological or adopted children your love and your ideas but surely not your thoughts. Because they (children) learn more and understand better from what they see than from what they hear. Children of today have their own thoughts which you may never be able to take away from them or even alter. You may clad them in the best attire and house them in the most comfortable residences. You may send them to the best schools and endear them to a world of unlimited affluence. But hardly will you ever be able to influence their thinking faculty in any way. While you are busy interacting closely with their physical beings today, you will discover that their thought dwell in the abode of tomorrow which you can neither see in your dream nor perceive in your imagination.Children are a bundle of joy. But they can also be a load of grief. At least, they form the source of both in the life of man. No man or woman becomes a parent without first being a child. What is perceived as experience in any human being today sprang from the childhood pranks of some years past. And the cycle continues.Everything in life has its own manual. For Muslims the general manual of life is the Qur’an; that anchor message of Allah, which leaves no stone unturned in the life of man. In chapter 31 verse 13 of that divine Book Allah relays to us how Prophet Luqman counselled his son. The verse goes thus: “And (remember) when Luqman said to his son while admonishing him: ‘My son, associate none with Allah, for to associate others with Him is a grievous iniquity’…. (Go and know that) Allah will bring all things to light, be they as small as a grain of mustard seed or hidden inside a rock or even in the earth. Allah is wise and He is All-knowing. My son! Be steadfast in offering Salat; enjoin justice and forbid evil. Endure with fortitude, whatever befalls you. That is a duty incumbent upon you. Do not scorn fellow human beings nor walk arrogantly on land; Allah does not love the arrogant and vainglorious ones. Be modest in your gait and lower your voice when talking because the harshest of voices is that of the braying of an ass….”The above verses of the Qur’an are a good example of how Allah wants us to rear good human beings in every society by bringing up our children in exemplary manner. Prophet Luqman and his son were just used symbolically. Noting concrete can be achieved without the fear of Allah which every parent is expected to preach practically to his or her children from the very early age as did Prophet Luqman. And the only concrete substance in life is what forms the visa with which man is admitted into the hereafter. The evidence of that

FEMI ABBAS ON 08122697498

Letter to Muslim parents

•Muslims worshipping in a mosque substance in any man or woman is contentment.It is however unfortunate that most Nigerian parent especially in the elite class do not see life as a queue which ought to be followed scrupulously. They rather believe that any queue, at all, is a fool’s rout to success where short cut is always available.Those are the parents who create special class for their children right from birth. They show those children how superior they are to other children and tell them the category of children with whom they should be friendly not on moral but on material grounds. They provide for them what those children do not need. They take them to schools in very expensive cars and create in them the impression that money is not their problem. Thus, when occasionally, their children refuse to ride in old cars brought for them by their drivers, the parents quickly apologiSe and send new cars to convey them from the same schools attended by some children of paupers.These are children who have never worked for one kobo in their lives. All they know is that money is abundantly available and meant for them to spend. They cannot fathom where the money is coming from and how their parents acquire it. And here are parents whose main source of income is stealing directly either by the use of pen in their offices or indirectly by deceit. With such dirty money, they sponsor their children in the most expensive schools abroad or at home. They follow them to school to grease the palms of their teachers to ensure that their children secure the required marks for promotion into the next class or certificates that will be used as meal tickets in life.It does not matter to them much whether or not those children understand what they are taught in school. What matters to them is the short cut that will enable those children graduate as early as 19 or 20 years of age so that by the age of 23, such children would have become Chief Executives of banks or multinational companies in which they (the parents) had fraudulently acquired major shares. And with that the cycle of corruption would continue in the family unabatedly.Now, why wouldn’t such a brazing desperation pave way for mass cheating in school examinations and eventual monumental corruption in the society as now being experienced in Nigeria? Are the children to blame? What else is expected of them when you parents are prepared to buy anything for them including live examination papers? And the children of the less privileged parents would also want to take advantage of the terrible rot to succeed in life. Where such advantage is denied, they become desperate and plan

to stand in the way of those who deny them. That is how criminal tendencies escalate in the society. Some of you parents often forget that no amount of fraudulent spending can make any child rich except by the grace of Allah. Today, where are the children of yesteryears moneybags? For such shallow-thinking parents the Qur’an has the following admonition: “Are they the ones who apportion your Lord’s blessings? It is ‘WE’ (Allah) who apportion to them their livelihood in this world, exalting some in ranks above others so that the ones can take the others into their service. Your Lord’s mercy is better than all their hoarded treasures”. (See Q. 43: 32).The misfortune or calamity afflicting the world today, especially, that of Nigerian society, is caused by the elite parents. Right from infancy, most children of the elite, particularly the white-collar jobbers, have been given the impression that they are born to be masters. And they behave as such at every stage of their lives.It all starts with unwarranted lavish spending on children’s birthdays which have virtually become the past-time of those parents, especially women. Sometimes millions of naira is spent by parents to celebrate the birthdays of their children in a society where many families can hardly afford one meal per day. The implication of this is that such spoilt children are being practically taught how to spend money without being taught how to make money. And by the time they grow up, they would have been fully used to easy money while the parents would have then forgotten how they initiated the innocent children into the world of corruption through stupendous extravagancy. Today, what used to be ordinary examination cheating in the primary and secondary schools has grown monstrously to become the national calamity called corruption. We now have black market certificates issued in most of our higher institutions both at federal and state levels at the instance of naira. We also have criminal election rigging practically supervised by political vampires who wear the garb of umpires. There are law makers in our country who must take bribe before voting for or against any bill. There are law enforcers whose main source of income is nothing but audacious corruption. There are unrepentant civil servants who live like kings and queens while milking the society shamelessly without any regard for their pedigree. There are half-baked lawyers who are feeding fat on fraudulent opportunities while capitalising on the deliberate lapses created by our so-called

constitution.In all these, who will curb the ever-rampantly growing corruption in Nigeria? Is it the parents who are so desperate that they would do anything, including illicit sex, to see their children through? Or school principals, proprietors and lecturers who are the real architects of examination fraud and certificate rackets? Or the officials of the various examination bodies who often facilitate and help to perfect the act? Or the Secret Security Agents whose orientation is to call a spade a hoe where money is involved? All of these and others not mentioned here are elite parents who can hardly come up with a clean hand on anything legitimate. How can they curb the largess from which they benefit so tremendously?Unfortunately, some of you Muslim parents, have, in defiance to Allah’s instruction, have joined this terrible cartel. You feel satisfied with your children’s fraudulent mundane lives even as you are evidently indifferent to the spiritual lives of those children. This has caused some temporal agony in certain lives and spiritual melancholy in others.We were in an Islamic meeting in Lagos sometime in the mid 1990s when a septuagenarian parent of four grown up children suddenly burst into tears. He subbed painfully like a house wife who just lost her first child at the point of delivery. Surprised and embarrassed, we enquired from the man what the matter was since the issue under discussion in that meeting had no sad angle. In his response after calming down, the man who was a former Nigerian Ambassador said he had lost his entire life. He narrated his pathetic story in a very sober mood and concluded that he had lived his entire life in vain.He told us how three of his children (all boys) had their secondary and university education in London. The fourth child who was a girl joined them immediately after she completed her secondary education. And after graduation, they all got juicy jobs and settled permanently in England. But by then, they had all crossed over to the other side of the bridge haven adapted to a nonIslamic life style.This was however not the cause of his regret. The real cause of his regret was the attitude of those children to his religious own life which he claimed to have cherished so much. First, the children never thought it right to pay him any visit in Nigeria despite his old age. Secondly, whenever he visited them, in London, none of them allowed him to observe his daily Salat as they told him was uncivilised. After all efforts to persuade them failed, he had to abandon them and live like a man without children.The old man’s most agonising point was in seeing the children of his friends who practise Islam very well in the same country (England) even as they were all doing fine in their various careers. The difference was that the parents of those other children had cared for their spiritual lives from the very beginning. That is the plight of a man who had the courage to voice it out after admitting his guilt. There are thousands of others like him who would prefer to lick their messy wound secretly till death comes to strike.If this can still happen in a Muslim home at this age, despite the Qur’anic lessons abundantly available for those who want to learn, what is the value of life? Why would any sane person want to lose his life and his life hereafter just to gain vanity? See what avarice is doing to some Muslim parents? It is only for the reason of avarice that most Muslim parents do not see any necessity in giving their children such qualitative Islamic education as they do in the Western way. But Allah has a wonderful way of doing things. Some of the children who could not be given formal secondary education some years past, because their parents were too poor, are professors in the universities or top professional today and yet remain solid Muslims. What else? Train your children in the way of Allah and leave what will become of those children to Allah alone who provides even for ants. Let your children know that the only antidote against greed and avarice is contentment which gives man absolute rest mind and enables him to appreciate Allah’s endowment in his life. Anything else is sheer vanity that invariably fetches regret. It is only with contentment that any form of corruption can be eliminated. For you Muslims, there is a lesson to learn and impart.



NEWS Court reinstates sacked SIEC members From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

N Ado-Ekiti High Court yesterday ordered the reinstatement of the chairman and members of the state Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) sacked on October 22, 2010 by Governor Kayode Fayemi. Ousted ‘Governor’ Segun Oni constituted the SIEC. Justice John Adeyeye held that Fayemi acted outside the law when he sacked the commission. He averred that the governor had no powers to sack the commission’s members because their tenure is fixed for five years by the Constitution. The judge resolved all issues raised by the claimants in their favour and granted their reliefs, including but not limited to their return to office, notwithstanding whether or not the positions had been filled or the if claimants have taken other appointments elsewhere.


Lagos arraigns 13 over ‘illegal sand dredging’


HE Lagos State’ Government has arraigned 13 persons for alleged illegal sand dredging in parts of the state. The violators were arrested by the monitoring team of the Lagos State Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure, in collaboration with the State Taskforce Environmental and Special Offences. The team, which stormed Ikorodu, arrested Henry Akinwunmi, a worker at RHS Dredging Engineering Limited; Adeniyi Oni and Akeem Tijani of Goldbrooke Investment Nigeria Limited, and Mr. Osewa Gbenga of Ibile Holdings. Others are: Jackson Ossai, Osagie Anthony, and Sunday Okonkwo, workers at Renecon Company Limited; Tayo Phillips, Friday Nicholas and Moses Amana, all of Vibrapac Dredging Services. Jacob Tonyo is a worker of Swan Dredging Company Limited; Adekiye Koko and Lawrence Teeh of Denka Dredging Services were arrested in Ibeju Lekki. Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure, Prince Adesegun Oniru, told reporters in Alausa, Ikeja.

Fidau for community leader


RRANGEMENTS have been concluded for the eighth day Fidau for Otunba Ademola Ogun, a community leader and philanthropist. According to a statement by the family, the prayer will be held tomorrow at Batol Event Centre, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State between 10am and 12 noon, after which guests will be entertained at the same venue. Otunba Ogun died on June 8. He is survived by wife, children and grandchildren, including Mrs. Adenike Shonubi, a chief magistrate.

•Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime (middle) with members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee, Southeast zone, at the Government House, Enugu.

How 11 babies were stolen in Onitsha


LEVEN babies have been stolen in Onitsha, Anambra State, in the last three months, according to the police. The police, with the help of the publisher of a local magazine, The Third Eye, Mr. Nweke Nweke, have smashed the syndicate responsible for the illegal act and recovered nine of the babies. The suspects are: Ngozi Okeke, Gloria Okafor, an auxiliary nurse in Okigwe,

•Nine recovered From Okodili Ndidi, Onitsha

Imo State, and Mrs. Lillian Achumba, founder of Mma Child Care Centre, Rehabilitation and Motherless Babies Home in Isiala Ngwa, Imo State. Ngozi, who lives in Imo State, allegedly steals the babies from Onitsha and takes them to Imo, where they are sold to the highest bidder.

Nweke said: “Mrs. Monday Ogba, who lives in Obosi, brought a story to my office about how her eight-month old baby girl, Uchechi, was stolen from her house help by a woman (Ngozi), who pretended to be her relation. The house help described the woman and after some investigation, Ngozi was sighted at Lokpa Nta, Umunnochi Local Government Area of Imo State. “I went to the village, pre-

tending to be a customer and invited a policeman from Akparata Police Station, who arrested her. When I returned to Anambra, I reported the development at Obosi Police Station, where Mrs. Ogba had earlier reported the matter, and Ngozi was brought to Awada, where the crime was committed.” It was learnt that Ngozi has confessed to the crimes. She said she works with Gloria, who keeps the babies until they are sold.

Rights group slams el-Rufai over comments on Obi


CIVIL society group, the International Society for Civil Liberties (Intersociety), yesterday advised the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir elRufai, against running down productive governors because of his political interests and biased religious beliefs. In a statement in Nnewi, Anambra State, the Chairman of the group’s Board of Trustees, Comrade Emeka Umegbalasi, said el-Rufai’s piece on Governor Peter Obi was “ill-conceived” and

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

“utterly political”. Intersociety said by ignoring the achievements of the Obi administration, the former minister has proved that his assessment of Anambra State was “short-sighted” and “lopsided”. The organisation said the Obi administration has raised the standard of living, stimulated industrialisation and attracted multi-national corporations to the state. It said Obi has prudently managed the state’s resources without borrowing. Inter-

AIG urges police commissioners to sit up


HE Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) of Police in charge of Zone 9, Mr. Solomon Olusegun, has urged police commissioners to intensify the fight against crimes. Speaking in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, with the Abia, Anambra, Imo and Enugu police commissioners, Olusegun said they must curb kidnapping and armed robbery, which are the prevalent crimes in their states. He said he would meet with them later behind closed doors to map out how to tackle the problems. Olusegun said the commissioners have performed creditably since they assumed their positions, barely three months ago, but there is more to be done. He said: “The Acting IGP, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, has told us to make the country crime-free and we are going to do everything

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

to achieve that, because a crime free society will facilitate investment and bring development to our people. “Policing has a lot of challenges, but we are determined to succeed. We can only do that when the people give us information.” Olusegun urged the commissioners to partner other security agencies. He said: “Police work is not for lazy people. We are meant to work round the clock. There must be a sense of decorum at all times and the sensibility of anyone must never be insulted while handling issues.” Olusegun explained that “stop and search” operations have not been stopped. He said the police have the right to stop and search any vehicle they suspect. “What we were told to stop are road blocks”, the AIG added.

society said Anambra’s development index has risen to an enviable height and the state has become known for good roads and improved health services. It said the Obi administration has opened up rural communities and provided infrastructure to help them develop fast. The organisation said Anambra was the first state to return schools to the missionaries as well as assist them to rebuild and maintain the schools.

Intersociety wondered how el-Rufai arrived at the “lopsided submission that northern states, which are today held hostages by all sorts of criminals, including the Boko-Haram sect, are safer than Anambra”. It said Anambra State surpasses the entire Northwest by any standard of social measurement. The group said public governance requires a towering personality, creativity and frontal initiatives as demonstrated by Obi.

Ekiti to buildN138m civic centre From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

KITI State Executive Council has approved N137,611,325.07 for the building of an ultra modern civic centre in Ado-Ekiti. The Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye, who made this known at the end of the weekly State Executive Council meeting in Ado-Ekiti, said the approved amount covers the cost of architectural design, quantity surveying, structural and electrical/ mechanical engineering work. He said when completed, the ultra modern civic centre would host major events such as seminars, conferences, training workshops, town hall meetings among others, which would boost tourism and commercial activities. He said the state EXCO also approved the preparation of the Ekiti State Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2012-2014 as stipulated under the Ekiti State Fiscal Responsibility Law No 4 of 2011 (sections 12-14).





Dead police corporal’s family demands inquest H

OW did 32-year-old Police Corporal (PC) Patrick Omojiade die? This is the question the bereaved family is asking 44 days after Omojiade died on duty. He was attached to the Adekunle Police Division, Yaba, Lagos where he died on May 2. His death has sparked a controversy between the police and members of his family. While the police claimed that he was killed by robbers, Omojiade's relatives alleged that he was murdered by his colleagues. Authorities at Adekunle Police Station reportedly told his family that he was killed during a cross fire with robbers. But according to the family, the deceased's photograph showed that there were no bullet wounds on his body. The family claimed to have seen a cut on his head in the photograph. Omojiade's family claimed to have received anonymous calls from some of this colleagues, alleging that some officers were responsible for his death. According to the family, it was gathered that the late policeman had mistakenly stumbled on a strange deal on the day he died. "He saw some senior police officers in a room with a big sack filled with money when he reported for duty in the morning. In the

By Jude Isiguzo

evening, he was sent to his death," a family member said. The family, in a May 16 letter by its lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), is demanding an inquest into Omojiade's death. They are worried that about a month after the police have not looked into their request. "We humbly, as solicitors of the deceased's family of late Corporal Patrick Omojiade, do hereby apply that you use your good office to direct the coroner to conduct an inquest into the death of the above named deceased, who until his death was attached to Adekunle Police Station Yaba, Lagos. "The deceased left home on the 2nd of May for his normal official duty post where he was subsequently deployed to Makoko in company of three others, amongst whom is one Abiodun Oyelude, before he was suddenly reported dead by the police. Ever since, the cause of his death has not been made known to his family or his legal representatives," the letter signed by Mohammed Ali and Moses Akpasubi, on behalf of Ozekhome, read in part. According to them, the letter, which was received on May 28, has not been acted upon by the police. The deceased's mother, Mrs.

Agnes Omojiade, relived how she learned of her son's death. She said: "Patrick came to my room at about 5 O'clock on Wednesday morning, to tell me that he was ready to leave for work. He was on a 24-hour duty and promised that he would return the next morning. Then, he left our home in Ogijo, Ogun State, for the Yaba area of Lagos. That was the last time I saw him.” Omojiade was said to have left for Lagos with his father. When they got to Ketu, they went their separate ways. Pa Moses Omojiade was said to have proceeded to his shop; the son allegedly boarded another bus to his duty post in Adekunle. The next morning, the family learnt about Omojiade's death. Mrs. Omojiade said: “Early on Thursday morning, I told my daughters to prepare breakfast because Patrick would be on his way back because his shift was supposed to end by 6 am. By 8 am, Christiana tried to call him on the phone, but his telephone lines were switched off. It wasn't until 10am that Christiana complained that she was unable to reach him all morning. At this point, her younger sister, Augusta, decided to try with her own phone. "Although I was angry with my son, I reasoned that he might have decided to stop at the bank to with-

Robbers kill Inspector •Police deny killing Stories by Jude Isiguzo


draw his April salary. I felt that he should have phoned to let us know about his whereabouts. When it was 1pm and there was still no sign of him, I told Christiana to call his fiancée, Kate, who lives at Alapere. But Kate asked to speak with me. She said she had called Patrick between 9pm and 10pm on Wednesday and his cell phones had beeped for a while. When she tried a few minutes later, they were switched off and remained so throughout the night." She said she told her other son, Joseph, to go to the Adekunle Police station to enquire after his brother. The family monitored Joseph's progress via the telephone till he arrived at Adekunle. Police spokesperson Mrs Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent, said she has not been briefed. In a telephone interview with The Nation, she said: “I will need to go to the headquarters to see a copy of the letter and know the details.”

Commercial drivers get ultimatum

AN Inspector was on Wednesday night allegedly killed in a gun battle between policemen and robbers, who invaded Morogbo Police Station. Three others were reportedly wounded in the attack. Sources said the hoodlums had chased some vehicle dealers with huge cash on them into the station. It was gathered that the hoodlums who were operating on a motorcycle, started chasing the vehicle dealers around the old Badagry toll gate. The Nation learnt that the dealers, were apparently trailed based on information. On entering the police station, sources said, the hoodlums opened fire, killing the Inspector and wounding three others. The hoodlums, it was gathered, succeeded in taking the money from the dealers before leaving. Policemen, who were at the station, were reported to have fled. But, the Command spokesperson, Mrs Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said no Inspector was killed. Mrs Braide said the hoodlums had trailed “one Alhaji Tunde” whose Armada Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) they wanted to snatch. She said the driver of the SUV marked JT 839EKY, in a bid to escape, ran into Igekere Street which is beside the police station. Mrs Braide said on sighting policemen, the robbers opened fire and escaped after the exchange, which lasted for some minutes. She said nobody was killed or wounded.

By Tajudeen Adebanjo


•Chairman, Master Resource Development Centre (MRDC), Mr Abiola Popoola (second right) speaking at the Young Entrepreneur’s Network conference in Lagos. With him are: Board member Noruwa Edokpolo (right); Chief Exevutive Officer, Mrs Modupe Oyekunle and another board member, Mr Rotimi Oyekunle PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

Lagos urges health board not to fail


HE Lagos State Government yesterday inaugurated the governing board of its Health Facilities Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA), charging the members to improve the quality of healthcare services. Special Adviser on Public Health Dr. Yewande Adeshina told the seven-man board that government is committed to an efficient health care system. She said: "The HEFAMAA was established by the Health Sector Reform Law (HSRL 2006) to ensure continuous improvement in the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery. It is the first of its type in Nigeria and the agency began operations in March 2006." Mrs Adeshina urged the board to prioritise the establishment of online registration and renewals; creation and training of monitoring teams; timely and regular rendition of quality data from private health facilities to the state government through local government councils

By Seyi Odewale

and review of work processes in the agency for improved efficiency. "It is in line with the above listed items that the Ministry of Health has carefully recommended a team of experienced professionals of proven integrity, who are known to be passionate about quality, to steer the board. The expectations of government are high, but I am confident that members of this board are equal to the task," she said. She called for teamwork among members in order to foster progress within the healthcare system, irrespective of their professional associations. Emphasis, he added, should be placed on discharging duties without fear or favour. "You have the power to oversee both private and governmentowned health facilities in the state. From our experience, hostility and harassment may await you in the course of your activities and the high and mighty will attempt to

influence your decisions, but I trust that you will be steadfast in the execution of the duties and responsibilities of your different positions," she said. Mrs Adeshina advocated the timely submission of the agency's reports as they will assist government in policy formulation, adding that the board cannot afford to fail. She praised the former board, saying: "Considering the enormity of the work that needs to be done, what the former board has achieved so far is a tip of the iceberg. The new board is, therefore, challenged to work harder to surpass the achievements of the past board." Dr. Abdullah Bello chairs the board. Members are: Dr. Daniel Adjekpemevor, representing Lagos State Chapter of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Mr. Oladapo Olawale, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives and Mr. Kolawole Oyedeji, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists.

LL commercial vehicles operating in Ikorodu and its environs have been ordered to move to the designated Sabo park with effect from today. Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) General Manager Babatunde Edu warned those that fail to comply would face the music. He was speaking at a joint meeting organised by LASTMA and Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Other Special Offences for the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in Alausa, Ikeja. Edu lamented that commercial bus operators were fond of flouting traffic rules as they always drive in directions prohibited by the law. They have turned the nooks and crannies of Ikorodu town into parks rather than using the dedicated parks allocated to them,” he said. Edu said the directive is mearnt to curb the excesses of commercial drivers and street urchins who have narrowed the road to suit themselves, thereby obstructing traffic and posing security threat to the people. He warned that LASTMA officials would not hesitate to impound any vehicle found to have contravened the directive. In addition to fines, violators would also be charged to court in order to ensure strict compliance and serve as deterrent to others,” he said. Edu urged the public not to relent in its efforts at making its grievances known at LASTMA Headquarters, Ilupeju or through the authority’s official website www.

•Mrs Braide

Firm petitions Fashola A FIRM, Naisha Transport Service (NTS), in Apapa, Lagos, has written Governor Babatunde Fashola, complaining about the invasion of its premises by operatives of the Environmental Task Force. It alleged that property worth over N200m was destroyed during the said invasion. In a petition signed by Ifeanyi Madubuachi of the law firm of Falana and Falana, the company is demanding compensation and restoration to its premises. The company said its office is under the control of the Federal Government to which all dues and land charges are paid. According to the petition, the company last February 20 and 29 paid N875,000 and N500,000 as fees for annual right-of-way access and ground rent for 2012 and 2013. The company said without being prompted, it sought to partner the state government in the beautification of the environment and an approval was given in a July 3, 2008 letter. Pursuant to the approval, the company said it beautified the site at its own expense, without any contribution from the government. The company said it was surprised when its office was destroyed without notice last May 11. According to the petitioner, the task force squad was led by one Superintendent Bayo Suleiman, who claimed to be acting on “instruction from above.”




Fashola to accountants: protect public funds L

AGOS Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola , has called for greater vigilance on the part of officers charged with protecting and accounting for public funds. Fashola, made this call while speaking at the public lecture of the chartered accountants in Lagos State Public Service yesterday. He said accounting professionals have a vital role in ensuring good governance through maintaining transparency and accountability of public funds in accordance with relevant financial regulations . The Governor spoke through the Permanent Secretary, Public Service Office,Mr Lateef Abari. Fashola was speaking against the background of the need for public officers to take ownership of the “standard of governance”. “Nigerians expect and hope for positive change, particularly in the management of our resources, the

Stories by Daniel Essiet

burden of responsibility is therefore place on public accountants. I am only stirring the course of a fruitful discourse,” he said. He urged accountants to ensure that the nation’s financial resources are prudently managed and leakages blocked in order to make enough funds available for implementing developmental projects. “The accounting cadre in the Lagos State Civil Service is the first line gate keeper in monitoring resources, especially from internally generated revenue, which was a paltry N600,000,000 in 1999 and currently about N23 billion.” Fashola stated that the country’s current democratic dispensation where government business had become a matter of public concern had placed an increasing demand for accountability and transparency in the management of public funds.

Fitch drops Rivers State's expected notes' rating


ITCH Ratings has withdrawn Rivers State proposed maximum N150 billion five-year fixed rate bond's Long-term local currency 'B+(EXP)' and National Long-term 'AA-(nga)(EXP)' expected ratings. The bond was scheduled to be issued between the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012. Fitch said it withdrew the ratings because the forthcoming debt/transaction is no longer expected to convert to final ratings as the issuer has not yet finalised the bond documents.

Rivers State is rated Long- term foreign and local currency rating 'B+' with Positive Outlooks and National Long-term rating 'AA(nga)' with a Stable Outlook. The state is located in the south with a population of 5.6 million inhabitants (accounting for about four per cent of the national total). However, the state is one of the richest in the country due to the concentration of oil production. Per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is about N700,000, equivalent of $4,500.

being canvassed as an antidote and savior to cushion our economy against any unforeseen circumstance. This is an account that will be kick-started with the sum of N25 billion from a source that is not recognised by our constitution.’ He commended the efforts of chartered accountants in the state’s public service for buying into the administration’s policies and programmes for the development of Lagos mega city through prudent financial administration and management. He added that this has helped the government to cut down on financial leakages while spreading the revenue net to generate more income for the development of the city.

“The issue of revenue disbursement, control and its management has been a sore point, particularly under a democratic dispensation which allows for a greater degree of freedom of speech.” Speaking on the theme of the lecture” Accounting and Accountability in the Oil and Financial Sectors’, the Governor said the constitution of section 162 provides that there should be a federation account into which should be paid all revenues and which authority for disbursement must be tabled before the national assembly. “It is of interest and concern that a revenue account that is unknown to the law or the constitution-the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF),is

World Bank’s $150m grant for Lagos, others


plaining the reason for the increase, Akapa said the bank saw great potential in the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the Federal Government as being capable of revolutionising the agriculture sector . He said ATA is geared towards tapping the potential of the sector. Apart from trying to improve the business environment for agriculture, Akapa said the government is bent on making agriculture a business. He said the bank was satisfied with the progress made by Lagos State to ensure effective implementation of the project to deliver results to the beneficiaries. Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, said the government is committed to exploring the potential of the agriculture sector, adding that the administration of Go-

HE World Bank has approved additional $150 million grant for Lagos, Cross River, Enugu, Kaduna and Kano states to finance the Commercial Agric Development Project (CADP). CADP is a five-year World Bank’s sponsored programme with counterpart funding from each participating state. It helps participating small and medium scale commercial farmers to access improved technology, infrastructure, finance and output markets. Announcing this in Lagos yesterday, while addressing the joint Federal Government /World Bank sixth mission of the project , the Task Team Leader, Dr Lucas Akapa, said it brings the bank’s counterpart funding to the project to $250 million. Before now, the World Bank’s contribution as counterpart funding stood at $100 million. Ex-


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

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



Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

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 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011




0.81 4.29 3.14 10.50 3.16 1.51 1.32 0.66 2.86 0.58


0.85 4.50 3.29 11.00 3.31 1.58 1.38 0.69 2.98 0.60


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

Current Before

O/PRICE 24.00 132.01 2.24 0.64 1.72 1.33 0.93 1.26 15.39 9.16

C/PRICE 22.80 125.41 2.13 0.61 1.64 1.27 0.89 1.21 14.78 8.80

CHANGE 1.20 6.60 0.11 0.03 0.08 0.06 0.04 0.05 0.61 0.36

29-2-12 27-2-12




C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51














July ’11

Dec ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 12.6%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days


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


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

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


LOSERS AS AT 14-6-12


Exchange Rate (N) 155.8 155.8



0.04 0.21 0.15 0.50 0.15 0.07 0.06 0.03 0.12 0.02


Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency


vernor, Babatunde Fashola is determined to boost food security and tackle youth unemployment through agriculture. “ The state government’s effort in Strategic Programme for Accelerated Agricultural Growth (SPAAG) is aimed at stimulating agricultural production for all key staple food items using the value chain approach.” He said SPAAG is closely aligned with the Federal Government Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). As a result of this, he said the government commissioned an ultra modern 20,000 tonne capacity rice processing centre at Imota in Ikorodu, along with poultry estate and network of farm access roads. He said the project rehabilitated 10 rural access roads across the state totalling 22.4 kilometres and valued at N640 million.



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

President General , Trade Union Congress of Nigeria(TUC), Comrade Peter Esele urged accountants to ensure transparency in financial management of public resources. He challenged accountants to emphasise on good corporate principles and practices from accountants when managing the country’s scarce resources. According to him, there is need to enhance transparency and accountability in order to deliver quality services that meet expectations of the public. He said the realisation of the national vision required that the accountancy profession consistently acted in the public interest.

Offer Price

Bid Price


9.08 1.00 124.29 102.00 0.72 1.09 0.93 1,712.80 8.51 1.33 1.80 7,210.94 191.08 1.62


OPEN BUY BACK Previous 04 July, 2011

Current 07, Aug, 2011














PUBLIC NOTICE TOMPOLO FOUNDATION The above named organization has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration in accordance with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act No. 1 of 1990. THE EXECUTIVES ARE: 1. High Chief Government Ekpemupolo -President 2. Bro. Paul Bebenimibo -Secretary 3. Engr. Kestin Pondi -Treasurer 4. Dr. Clarkson Agagha -Member 5. Mr. Job Bebenimibo -Member THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE: 1) To support rural people, communities and institutions denied of their adequate rights and privileges. 2) To provide educational and recreational material support to kids/children in public institutions. 3) To support primary health care services for the less privilege in rural communities in Nigeria through provision of facilities to health institutions, health personnel support and organizing health seminars/workshop. 4) To work towards attaining a peaceful and developed Nigeria where every child, no matter how poor or disadvantaged will have the chance to thrive and achieve their dreams. Any objection thereto should be addressed to the RegistrarGeneral Corporate affairs Commission, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: Planet Soul & Co. No. 6, Okere/Ugborikoko Road, Warri.


Northeast leaders urge Boko Haram T to embrace peace

HE North Eastern Forum of Concerned leaders has urged the Boko Haram sect to sheathe its sword and embrace peace. The leaders issued a communique at the end of their meeting at the Fariah Suites, Bauchi, appealing to the leadership of the Boko Haram to

From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

stop terrorism. The leaders said they would work with the leadership of the Boko Haram to find a solution to the insur-

gency in the North. The forum, chaired by the Wazirin Fika, Alhaji Adamu Chiroma, noted that illiteracy, poverty and unemployment in the Northeast should be solved.

It added that the zone should borrow a leaf from the Southwest’s style of peaceful coexistence that has aided development in the zone. The meeting of the leaders, the first of its kind, came on the heels of the consultations among prominent citizens in the zone.

Man remanded for ‘buying’ car with forged bank draft A

56-year-old man, Abdulsatah Ademolake, was yesterday remanded by an Ilorin Magistrate’s Court for allegedly buying a car with a forged bank draft. The accused appeared before Magistrate Ibironke Olawoyin on a three-count charge of forgery, criminal breach of trust and cheating, contrary to sections 364, 312 and 322 of the Penal Code. Ademolake, a resident of Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, was alleged to have approached Salawideen Taofeek of Okin Motors, Maraba, Ilorin,

From Samson Ademola, Ilorin

claiming to be Alhaji Kareem Alao of Arowomole, Ogbomoso in Oyo State. He said he wanted to buy a Honda Accord car. The charge sheet reads: “That you (Abdulsatah Ademolake) agreed to pay one million six hundred and fifty thousand naira for the car, and thereafter collected the complainant’s name and bank account details. “That on 16/05/2012 you

presented a Guaranty Trust Bank Manager Draft which contained the money and the complainant’s name and you told him to go and cash the money in the bank. The complainant said he released the car to you with original documents and you left with the car.” The police prosecutor, Alhasan Jubril, objected to the bail of the accused on the grounds that the offence was not ordinarily bailable and that he needed to seek advice

from the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP). He urged the court to remand him in prison, noting that investigation was still in progress. Counsel to the accused, Mr. Kolade Awojobi, pleaded with the court to admit him to bail in liberal terms, adding that he is innocent until he is convicted of the offences. Magistrate Olawoyin ordered that the accused be remanded in the Federal Prison, Oke-Kura, Ilorin. He adjourned the case till June 26.

One ‘killed’ as police clash with workers


HERE was confusion in Makurdi, the Benue State capital yesterday following the exchange of gunshots between the police and block industry workers who were protesting the demolition of their business premises. One person was alleged to have been killed. A source said officials of the Benue State Urban Development Board had gone to the block industry and demolished shanties built by the

From Uja Emmanuel, Benue

block owners who were given quit notice four years ago. The source said during the demolition, some youths suspected to be cultists emerged from the banks of the River Benue and shot the police and sanitation officials carrying out the demolition. The police were said to have responded by shooting into the air to scare away the youths suspected to have

been hired by the owners of the property. The sporadic gunshots reportedly scared away people. Many shop owners closed their business premises while others ran to avoid being caught in the crossfire. The General Manager of the board, Musa Ujor Suleman, told The Nation that government has paid compensation for the land and the litigation is over as government has emerged victo-

rious in the court. He said government wants to use the land for the Beach Hotel project to boost tourism in the state because it is located on the banks of the River Benue. Armed policemen and other security agents were yesterday seen mounting roadblocks in the area to tighten security. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO)Philip Agena said his men have restored peace.

Kwankwaso inaugurates N1b pipeline in Kano


ANO State Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso yesterday flagged off the laying of N1 billion 600 mm ductile iron pipes to cover 42 kilometres from Watari Water Treatment Plant in Bagwai Local Government Area to Miltara on the outskirts of Kano city. The pipeline network is expected to increase water supply to Bichi, Bagwai, Dawakin Tofa, Ungogo and parts of Fagge Local Government.

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

Kwankwaso said his administration has concluded plans to begin the Challawa– Goron Dutse pipe laying project, adding that an order has been made to purchase 1000 mm pipes for the project. He said his administration has spent about N5.27 billion on the improvement of water supply in the state in the past one year. The governor said potable water has been provided in

most parts of the Kano metropolis. He said plans are on to upgrade the Joda and Wudil water supply schemes and urged the residents not to waste water, adding that they should pay their bills to enhance service delivery. Kwankwaso, who used the occasion to unfold the government’s plans to reconstitute the Kano State Electoral Commission, (KANSIEC) to conduct the local government poll, appealed to the citizen-


ry to always vote for people of proven integrity to manage their affairs.

Jonathan silent on fixing of Obajana-Kabba-Ilorin Road


ANY residents of Okunland in the Kogi West Senatorial District of Kogi State were disappointed when President Goodluck Jonathan failed to address the lingering issue of the dilapidated Obajana-Kabba-Ilorin Road, during his visit to the state on Monday.

The President was at the site of the Obajana Cement Factory, located in the district, where he inaugurated the third phase - 5.25 MMTPA of the industry. President Jonathan also performed the ground breaking of another 3.0 million metric tonnes line in the fac-

tory. He kept silent over the issue of the road. Governor Idris Wada had called on the president to expedite action on the reconstruction of Obajana-KabbaIlorin Road, saying the road is vital to the plant and Nigerian road users since the trucks conveying Dangote Cement

products also use the road. He told guests which included the Minister of Works, Mike Onolemenem, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, four governors, among others that the road which passes through the frontage of the factory is an eyesores.

STF donates drugs to Jos bomb blast victims


HE Commander of the Special Task Force (STF) on Jos crisis code-named “Operation safe haven”, Maj-Gen. Henry Ayoola, has donated drugs to the victims of the Christ Chosen Church of God (CCCG), Jos suicide bombing. Ayoola, who gave the donation yesterday during a visit to the Bingham University Teaching Hospital (BUTH) and Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH)

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu and Marie-therese Nanlong, Jos

said: “The gesture is in furtherance of the civil-military relation initiated by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Onyiabo Azubuike Ihejirika.

“We also use this opportunity to let the public know that we are not only in this state to enforce laws and restore peace, we also help innocent members of the society who fall victim to this kind of attack.” Gen. Ayoola, who also

presented beverages to the victims at the male and female wards of the hospital, said: “Please, accept this from us as our widow’s mite. We hope it will go a long way in aiding the recovery process of the victims.”

Baptist association holds quarterly meeting


HE second quarterly meeting of the Itesiwaju Baptist Association holds tomorrow at Ajayi Dahunsi Memorial Baptist Church, Ilasamaja, Lagos from 9am. It will be presided over by the

Moderator of the association, Rev. Gbenga Ojo of Araba Baptist Church, Ilasamaja and the Consultant, Rev. Femi Ajayi of Victoryland Baptist Church, Isolo, Lagos.




NANS demands trial of T Otedola, Lawan

HE National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) yesterday demanded the trial of both the giver of the $620,000 bribe rocking the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Otedola and the alleged taker, Mr. Farouk Lawan, who is the Chairman of the House Ad Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Management. But the National Youth Council of Nigeria (Kaduna chapter) warned the executive arm against dumping of the report because of the allegation against Lawan. NANS, which made its position known in a statement in Abuja by its President, Comrade Dauda Mohammed said it was shocked by the bribery allegations. The statement reads: “The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) received with shock recent revelations bordering on the dealings involving the Chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on Fuel subsidy probe, Hon Farouk Lawan. We were shocked not only because of the conduct of Hon Lawan as an ad hoc committee chairman but rather because of the esteem regards we have had in the past for Hon. Lawan as the Chairman of the House Committee on Education. “There is no doubt that Nigerians were excited by the decision of the House of Representatives to entrust such responsibility in the hand of a man who have always worn the toga of Integrity in the National Assembly. “With the revelations of the

Police detain Lawan Continued from page 4

•NYCN warns against sweeping fuel subsidy report under the carpet From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

last few days concerning the alleged bribery of Hon Farouk Lawan by a businessman, Mr.Femi Otedola, we wish to state that Nigeria has been taken miles back in our quest for role modeling for the younger generation of Nigerians. “As an organisation, we want to categorically state our opposition to any act of corruption as this has remained a major impediment to our quest for development as a nation. “In this regard, the NANS demands for the immediate arrest and prosecution of Hon. Farouk Lawan, Mr. Femi Otedola and any other person found to have been involved in the bribery scandal. “ NANS also wishes to lend our voice to the demand of other Nigerians that the report of the subsidy probe panel be fully implemented as we are more particular about the message other than the messengers at the point of our history. “We urge the leadership of the House to allow a thorough investigation by the anti-graft agencies into the allegations as we await further revelations on the matter. “We wish to state that Hon Lawan has lost every moral ground to remain as the Chairman of the House Committee on Education as we hereby demand for his

immediate resignation.” On its part, the Kaduna chapter of the NYCN through its Secretary-General Comrade Danjuma Sarki said: “The Executive arm of government should not use the bribery allegation against Lawan to cast aspersion on the report or tarnish its integrity. We maintain that the report that was released by the committee was no doubt a product of a thorough and objective investigation of the massive fraud and clear rip-off of our collective national resources by a few Kleptomania, who have been milking our country dry at the expense of the masses. “We want to caution the President Goodluck Jonathan and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) not to allow the oil cabal and some enemies of the growth and development of the Nigeria people use this opportunity to scuttle the implementation of the report, but should ensure that all those indicted are made to face the music and monies looted by them recovered. “Anything short of that would certainly tarnish the image of his government before Nigerians and the international community. “The government should remember that, all Nigerians are very much aware of the report, the great applause and reactions that it received from the good people of Nigeria was unprecedented. “Therefore, any attempt to


dump the report like that of the Hon. Tony Elumelu-led $16 billion power probe and others, shall be met with stiff resistance by well-meaning Nigerians. “We emphatically reiterate our strong confidence in the House of Representatives, under the able leadership of Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who we believe is a man of honour and integrity, with so much commitment to the eradication of corruption and development of our country. “We call on the House not to allow this allegation shatter its resolve towards ensuring transparency and accountability in the oil industry, but to pursue their cause of sanitising the sector. “However, we demand a thorough and unbiased investigation of the allegation against Hon. Farouk Lawan, the chairman of the committee by Chief Femi Otedola, so as to ascertain the truth and whoever is find guilty should be made to face the wrath of the law.”

‘Lawan acted alone’ By Bunmi Ogunmodede



N FANTE terrible of the House of Representatives Farouk Lawan may have acted alone in the $620, 000 cash-for-clearance bribe rocking the House ad-Hoc Committee on the


LDERSTATESMAN and Second Republic Presidential Adviser, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai yesterday defended the integrity of the embattled Chairman of the House of Representatives ad-hoc Committee on oil subsidy, Alhaji Farouk Lawan, saying that his predicament was orchestrated by a cabal, who were not happy with the

management of Petroleum Subsidy Fund (PSF), which he chaired, it was learnt yesterday. Lawan, who is spending his 13th year in the lower chamber of the National Assembly, was said to have unilaterally delisted the name of Messrs Zenon Petroleum & Gas from the list of indicted oil marketers in the report of the former Committee on the day it was adopted by the House. When confronted by other members of the committee, he reportedly told them that his action was informed by the additional information that he had. A source told The Nation that members of the committee

wanted to openly challenge the removal of Zenon Petroleum & Gas Limited but shelved the idea to protect the integrity of their report. The source said: “He acted alone without the consent of members of the committee. He claimed to have done what he did, based on further information that was made available to him. “Other members of the committee would have kicked against his decision on the floor of the House but for its backlash on the report. Whoever is involved in such acts should carry the can.” The source said whatever decision is taken at today’s session will not in any way affect the ad-hoc Committee report in which oil marketers and federal agencies

misappropriated N1.7 trillion subsidy funds. Mr Femi Otedola, whose company –Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, was initially on the list of indicted firms, spilled the beans when he accused Lawan of demanding for a $3 million bribe to exonerate his company. According to Otedola, he paid $500,000 and additional $120,000 to Lawan and the Secretary of the Committee Mr. M.A. Sani-Omolori respectively, with a promise to pay the balance later. Otedola said he gave the bribe in sting operation with the knowledge of security agencies. Lawan also said he played along so as to have proven evidence against the oil magnate.

As Lawan was being quizzed, the Speaker and all his principal officers met for about five hours yesterday on how to manage today’s session. There were indications from the meeting that the House may suspend Lawan pending the conclusion of police investigation. A source in the House said: “We met on how to manage the session and reduce tension. “We have agreed on a few matters which we might discuss at an executive session which may precede the plenary.” It was also confirmed that some former principal officers of the House of Representatives

between 1999 and 2007 on Wednesday night met for hours with Tambuwal. The meeting, which was held in Halims Agoda’s residence in Abuja , was to assist the House leadership on how to manage the crisis and the way forward. At the session, it was learnt that a former Chief Whip, Hon. Bawa Bwari, made significant contribution at the session on how the House could preserve its integrity. A former principal 0fficer of the House added: “We had a session with the Speaker to avail him of our experience in a crisis situation like this. We are interested in preserving the sanctity of the Legislature.”

‘Leave Jonathan out of scandal’ Continued from page 4

The lawmaker, in a statement, took exception to publications linking his name with Lawan as well as the ad hoc committee. He said he was neither a member of the committee nor a front for Lawan. The lawmaker said: “I wish to state that I am neither a member of the ad hoc


committee on oil subsidy investigations nor a front man to its chairman cum any member(s) as written or implied by the Lawyers League and that the said publication is malicious and the handiwork of political traducers and detractors aimed at tarnishing my hard earned reputation which was built over the years.”

New board likely for SEC next month

HE board of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may be reconstituted in three weeks, it was learnt yesterday. Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala said yesterday that the government had resolved not to elongate the tenure of the members, which expires today. The government appointed Mr. Bolaji Ibrahim Bello, the director of finance and the most senior director, as the new acting Director-General. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said the external auditors looking into the Commission’s book on the Project 50 programmes, have a three weeks timeline to complete the audit after which the government would consider their findings before taking a final decision on the appointment of a DirectorGeneral. She said: “Nobody is attempting to extend their tenure and there should be no fear of that. From Monday next week, with the concurrence of Mr. President, one of the senior directors will be designated on a temporary basis as Acting DG.” After a prolonged intrigue and internal wrangling between the Commission’s

From Nduka Chiejina, Abuja

Director General, Ms. Arunma Oteh, and the board, the outgoing commissioners, directed the former DG to proceed on compulsory leave and appointed Daisy Ekineh to take over from her. But Ekineh will retire today. The Investment and Securities Act provides that there shall be for SEC a board which shall consist of- a parttime chairman; the directorgeneral and chief executive as accounting officer; three full time commissioners; a representative of the Federal Ministry of Finance; a representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria; and two part-time Commissioners one of whom shall be a lawyer qualified to practise in Nigeria with 10 years postcall experience. The Human Resources Department of SEC has redeployed all staff in the office of the director-general. A memo was issued yesterday afternoon redeploying the affected staff from the DG’s office to other departments within the SEC Contract staff of the SEC were locked out of the Head office building on Tuesday while permanent staff were allowed in. No reason was given for the lockout.

Rep Lawan a victim of conspiracy, says Tanko Yakassai From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

contents of the recommendation of his committee. Yakassai, who reviewed the details of the Lawangate said he suspected conspiracy, adding that the whole scenario indicated that there was a calculated attempt by some people to malign Lawan.

Though Yakassai did not support Lawan’s fall to the bribery temptation, he insisted that there was a glaring plot by some powerful people to put the lawmaker to disrepute. The Northern leader said the whole thing looked like a set-up as no concrete evidence has been presented to justify the claim by Zenon Oil chief Mr. Femi Otedola,

that Lawan committee solicited and collected $620,000 from him in respect of the probe. “I know a man like (Lawan) is not in the good book of a lot of people from the Southwest, especially the roles he played in ousting Mrs. Patricia Etteh from the House as Speaker and the emergence of Speaker Aminu Tambuwal in the

current dispensation against aspiration of the Southwest. “I hope this is not a conspiracy to destroy that report, because at the moment, the evidence appears scanty. If the credibility of the investigative panel is questioned, it would no doubt affect the report from such commission” He added that if it was true that Lawan had any contact

with Otedola along that line, then he did not play his role carefully given the fact that many people from that side of the country, will find it difficult to forgive him. He insisted that the report should not be compromised because evidence adduced at the enquiry was revealing and should not be swept under the carpet.




•Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole addressing a rally in Ilushi, Esan South East Local Government...yesterday

We’ll eradicate poverty in Edo, says Oshiomhole E

DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has vowed to reduce poverty by providing resources for the needy, especially in the rural areas. Oshiomhole spoke at the inauguration of a joint facilitated Rice Processing Mill in Udochi, Estako Central Local Government Area. Represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Abdul Oroh, the governor said the project arose from the prioritised needs of the community. He said it would be executed through community procurement procedure. Oshiomhole said it required ingenuity and international cooperation to succeed in rural development in the Niger Delta. State Programmes Officer Peter Akhuomobhogbe said the programmes included the cultivation of 10 hectares of rice to boost self sufficiency by 2015. He said 27 communities

•Ihonvbere: rig and be roasted •Parties get voters register From Osagie Otabor, Benin

have benefitted from the programme An ex-Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirant in Edo State, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, has warned against rigging in the July 14 election. He said riggers would be roasted if caught. Ihonvbere spoke at an Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) rally organised in his honour at Sabongidda-Ora. The professor of economics said he joined the ACN to work and not to struggle for position. He recalled how the PDP leadership pressurised him not to move to the ACN and how President Goodluck Jonathan spoke to him not to dump the party. Ihonvbere donated

N1million and a bus to the party. Seven parties contesting the July 14 governorship election in Edo State yesterday collected soft copies of the voters register from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Resident Electoral Commissioner Kassim Gaidam said INEC would soon begin to distribute sensitive materials to accredited agents, security agencies and the media. Gaidam said voting would take place in 5,519 polling units across the state and that arrangements were on for the distribution of non-sensitive materials to INEC local government offices. “The presence of local and foreign observers, national commissioners, RECs as well as directors from INEC would help check rigging.”

Man jailed for stealing in Edo


TWENTY-SEVEN year old man, Samuel Apuuabi, has been sentenced to one year imprisonment for stealing. Apuuabi was arraigned on a three-count charge at a Benin Magistrate’s Court. The accused, who pleaded not guilty, was said to have obtained N252,000 from three persons. Police Prosecutor Chris Nnamdi said Apuuabi ,an electrician, was brought from Ibadan by a contractor to install wiring in a house in Benin. He told the court that Apuuabi collected N84,000 each from the victims and promised to rent an apartment for them. Nnamdi said when the victims demanded to move into the house, the accused lied and told them that the painter had an accident on his way to Benin. The prosecutor told the court that the accused also lied that the landlord was on a peace-keeping mission to Libya, which was why

Man killed in Rivers

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

AN unidentified man was yesterday shot in the head by hoodlums in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. A policeman on escort duty was injured. Sources said armed hoodlums attempted to rob the man and the policeman on Elf Road, off Schlumberger Road, TransAmadi Industrial Estate. It was learnt that the duo were in a Toyota Hilux van, when the hoodlums attacked them. Sources said as the robbers were shooting, the policeman returned fire,leading to his injury. The body of the victim has been deposited at the morgue of an unnamed hospital. Police spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam said the details of the incident were sketchy. From Osagie Otabor, Benin

the house was not ready. Defence counsel Emma Ukabike said his client took money from them but there was no agreement that the house would be given to the complainants. Ukabike accused the complainants of impatience, saying the house was yet to be completed at the time of his client’s arrest. Chief Magistrate Fred Akhere dropped three charges

of obtaining by false pretence but retained the three-count charge of stealing. “I will not believe the defence of the accused when he said he only gave the complainants the landlord’s phone number and bank account number. “His denial that the bank account where the money was lodged was not his own but that of the landlord is equally not acceptable. “I find the accused guilty as charged in three counts of stealing,”he said.


Candidate seeks police protection

ANDIDATE of the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP) in Edo State Frank Ukonga has demanded for police protection. Ukonga said his life was being threatened because his opponents fear he would win the election. He said his campaign billboards have been pulled down. The SDMP candidate spoke yesterday at an interactive session with the Independent National Electoral Commission

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

(INEC) with parties. He said: “I don’t have protection like other candidates. INEC should do something about it.” Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MajGen Charles Airhiavbere decried the presence of billboards and campaign posters of Governor Adams Oshiomhole in public buildings.

Airhiavbere wondered why Oshiomhole’s billboards were at primary schools where polling units are located. He said his billboards and campaign posters were pulled down everywhere they were placed. But a chieftain of the ACN, Henry Idahagbon, said Oshiomhole’s billboards were at the schools renovated and built by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) administration.

Edo PDP accused of wastage


GROUP, Bini Truth Movement 2012, yesterday accused the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of deploring public funds for its campaigns. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Edosa EfosaOsazuwa, the group said: “The PDP has failed Nigerians again. “This gross wastage of our common wealth and the presence of an ex-convict in the PDP


campaign team to Edo State is worrisome. “We do not understand what they would come and tell the people; possibly on how to steal public funds. “The composition is not only suspicious but distrustful. “The question to be asked is how many of them are for other duties and assignment? “So, all these people will

leave their work to focus on the Edo campaign; there is more to this than they are telling us. “It is a criminal act for these government officials to deplore public funds to campaign for their candidate in Edo. “It should be discouraged because public funds are meant for development of the people and not for campaigns.”

Federal workers decry insecurity

IVIL servants at the Federal Secretariat, Port Harcourt, have decried the poor security and facilities at the secretariat. They spoke yesterday during an Evacuation Drill Lecture organised by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). The workers said there was no fire extinguisher in the eightstorey building and hoodlums

From Clarice Azuatalum, Port Harcourt

walk freely into the secretariat without security checks. A worker said: “The workers here have families as well and we are not ready to die. Nobody is in charge of this secretariat. “We buy water here, what happens if they decide to bring in bombs instead of water?

There is no security here”. “Last time, hoodlums freely walked into the secretariat and collected four telephones from co-workers and escaped.” The Assistant Coordinator of NEMA in the Southsouth, Godwin Tepikor ,said evacuation drilling lecture and exercise is part of NEMA’s programme to test stakeholders’ level of preparedness in tackling emergency situation.

Dickson gives N6b to contractors


AYELSA State Governor Seriake Dickson has urged contractors in the state to deliver quality jobs to the people. He spoke when he presented N6billion cheques to three

From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

construction companies, Julius Berger, Setraco and China Construction Companies, for the completion of three roads.

The roads are YenagoaOporoma road in Central Senatorial district, Sagbama/ Ekeremor road in the West Senatorial District and the Etegwe–Tombia road in the Central Senatorial district.

Knee replacement surgery in UBTH HE University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) has performed its first successful total knee cap replacement (artificial knee joint operation). Chief Medical Director Michael Ibadin said the hospital can perform knee and hip replacement surgeries.


From Osagie Otabor, Benin

At a briefing, Dr. Ibadin said the operation was performed on May 31 by a team of four orthopaedic surgeons, two anaesthetists and a peri-operative nurse, led by Dr. E. Ugbeye. Others are Dr. D. A. Ogbemudia, Dr. A. Bafor, Dr. P.

Oyakhilome, Dr. I. J. Isa, Dr. Akpoduado and Mrs. P. O. Aikabeli. “The early outcome shows relief of pain and correction of deformity. The hospital plans to continue the procedure every six to eight weeks for the first one year and thereafter every fortnight,” the CMD said.




Creativity’ll get you jobs, says Fayemi •Corps graduates 1,871, punishes four From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has urged corps members to be creative to discover openings and gaps in the society which they can fill to employ themselves. He urged them not to join millions of jobless graduates who currently scour the employment market, writing application letters, crafting and re-crafting resumes, seeking and attending employment interviews at the end of which they return home unaccomplished. The governor spoke yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, through the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Dr. Adewale Omirin, during the passing-out parade of the 2011 Batch ‘B’ members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). The governor advised them to explore opportunities to “offer themselves jobs” which abound in the society. According to him, the essence of education, which they have all had, is to sharpen their observation and creativity. He said this would enable them to find their ways out of the maze of unemployment. Fayemi said: “The wide world outside is waiting for you to be explored. There are vast opportunities, which abound in your environment, awaiting your discovery. “Instead of joining the army of unemployed graduates, try your hands on productive ventures, such as agriculture, manufacturing, buying and selling, and rendering social services. Be innovative, and a little additional touch will single you and your products out for good.” The NYSC State Coordinator, Mr. Tunde Baba-Ahmed, said some corps members executed projects on health, mass literacy campaigns, crusade against drug abuse, road safety campaigns, HIV/ AIDs prevention and care, among others.

10 get Kogi Merit Award From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja


HE Kogi State Government yesterday conferred the state’s Merit Award on 10 distinguished members of the 2011 Batch ‘B’ of the National Youths Service Corp (NYSC). Then others received Certificates of Commendation and 23 others got Letters of Commendation. The State NYSC Coordinator, Anthony Azubike Enweonwu, spoke in Lokoja, the state capital, during the passing out parade of the Batch ‘B’ 2011 corps members. He said 75 per cent of corps members performed their mandatory one-year service in the rural areas. Azubike said this was in line with the new directive of the scheme’s Director-General to bridge the rural-urban balancing. The state coordinator said the batch had 1,893 members, adding that the corps members served in four critical sectors: Education, Infrastructure, Health and Agriculture. Azubike added that the outgoing corps members served the state diligently. According to him, none of the 1,117 men and 776 women would repeat their service year.

•Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Mukhtar Yero (left), inspecting the parade by members in Kaduna ...yesterday

Ogun extends service year for nine


INE members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) are to repeat their one-year mandatory service in Ogun State. Three others have had their service tenure extended by three months. The affected corps members allegedly infringed on the NYSC rules and regulations during their service year. The NYSC State Coordinator, Dame Theresa Anosike, spoke yesterday in Abeokuta, the state capital, at the passing out ceremony of the 2011/2012 Batch “B” corps members. She said the erring corps members were penalised for “absconding, absenteeism and insubordination”. The NYSC chief said three exceptional corps members, including Miss Nwabude Sandra, a Microbiology graduate of Madonna University, Elele Campus, Rivers State, were given the State Honours Award for their contributions to uplifting their host communities with different projects.

Plateau’s Excellence Award for 22 •39 others get Chairman’s, Co-ordinator’s awards


WENTY-TWO National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members, who distinguished themselves among the 1,372 Batch ‘B’ members posted to Plateau State, have received the state’s honours. They were said to have distinguished themselves in exemplary conduct, character and performance during the service year. They received State Honours Award for Excellence in Service. Fifteen others got the Chairman’s Award and 24 the State Coordinator’s Commendation Award. The corps members received the awards yesterday at the passing-out ceremony of the Batch ‘B’ deployed in the state. Addressing the corps members at their temporary orientation camp in Bukuru, Jos South Local Government Area, Governor Jonah Jang expressed his appreciation to them for their contributions to nation-building and national unity. The governor urged them to continue in same spirit as they go into the larger society. Jang, who was represented by the Commissioner

From Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos

for Youths Development, Lohfa Bako, noted that the contributions of the corps members in their host communities would remain monuments to the nation’s greatness. He said: “It gives me immense joy to congratulate all the corps members who are passing out today, especially given your contributions to the development of the local communities where you have impacted positively through your services in various fields. “I am happy that the NYSC has awakened us to the immense capacity and capabilities of our youths in the onerous task of nation-building. Your social relations and other forms of mutual affiliations are the building blocks of national cohesion. I am convinced that the vision of the founding fathers of our nation has been amply imbibed by you. As you embark on your next phase of life, it is expected that the unbundling process in the nation’s economy will provide opportunities for your personal fulfillment.”

One dies in Rivers as 28 are sanctioned


NE OF the 4,160 Batch ‘B’ members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who served in Rivers State, died during the last service year. The deceased, Ejiofor Emmanuel, was serving at Community Girls’ Secondary School, Elele-Alimini, Emohua Local Government Area, before his death. Twenty-eight corps members were sanctioned. They comprised 12 persons who absconded from service, and 16 others whose service year has

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

been extended between two weeks to five months, in accordance with the NYSC’s bye-laws. Twenty-one corps members were rewarded for their outstanding performances, with 12 of them receiving the State Honour’s Award and nine conferred with the Chairman’s Award. Governor Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday at the passing out at the Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt, urged the corps members to stay behind and explore

Rivers possibilities. He said: “The end of every service year represents an important stage in the life of the Nigerian youths, even as it marks a readiness to explore the wider world out there. I am sure that the knowledge and experience gained during the service will prove useful for the challenges of today and tomorrow. “As you pass out of the scheme and go into the unpredictable, wide and challenging world out there, it is my hoped that you will take seriously your responsibilities as our successor generation.”

•Three to spend three more months From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

Mrs Anosike said: “Twelve corps members are to be punished for various acts of infringement, including absconding, absenteeism and insubordination. Of the 12, nine will be remobilised for repetition of their service while three have had their service extended for two to four months.” The NYSC chief said Corps Members to comport themselves wisely and lead a life deserving ambassadors of their various families, the NYSC Scheme and the Nation as they join the larger society.

Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun urged the corps members to engage in productive activities and avoid being job seekers. The governor urged them to use the entrepreneurial skill they acquired from their institutions to become self-employed. He hailed those who discharged their obligations well, mixed well with the residents and contributed to major sectors, such as Education, Agriculture, Health and Technology. Amosun said: “In many respects, your modest contributions to the overall development of the state are sincerely

appreciated and will remain lasting legacies to posterity. Let me use this opportunity to felicitate with those of you who have been given various categories of awards. “As you are being honoured today by the state government, in recognition of your extra efforts in developing Ogun State, I enjoin you to exhibit those good ideals of the scheme; particularly self-discipline, in all walks of life. Be industrious at work, be patriotic and foster national unity. Be sure to continue with good works and be good ambassadors of the scheme, even beyond your service year.



FOREIGN Court dissolves Egyptian Parliament


GYPT’s highest court, the Supreme Constitutional Court, has ordered the country’s Islamist-dominated parliament dissolved and ruled that the last prime minister under ousted Hosni Mubarak, Ahmad Shafiq could stay in the presidential race. The decisions came as twin blows to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) that sweep away its political gains since Mubarak’s removal 16 months ago. The ruling means that new elections will have to be held to form a new parliament. The rulings by the court, whose judges are Mubarak appointees, escalated the power struggle between the Brotherhood and the military, which stepped in to rule after Mubarak’s fall. In its decisions, the court ruled that a third of the legislature was elected illegally. As a result, it says in its explanation of the ruling, “the makeup of the entire chamber is illegal and,

consequently, it does not legally stand.” The rulings throw Egypt deeper into uncertainty and threaten more instability after more than a year of tumultuous transition under the military’s rule. The decisions tip the contest dramatically in favour of the ruling generals, robbing the Brotherhood of its power base in parliament and boosting Shafiq, who many see as the military’s favourite in the presidential contest against the Brotherhood’s candidate. Senior Muslim Brotherhood leader and MP Mohammed el-Beltagy said the rulings amounted to a “full-fledged coup.” “This is the Egypt that Shafiq and the military council want and which I will not accept no matter how dear the price is,” he said. The Brotherhood and liberal and leftist activists who backed last year’s revolution against Mubarak accused the military of using the constitutional court as a proxy to preserve the hold of

the ousted leader’s authoritarian regime and the generals over the country. Many of them were vowing new street protests. In the last election, held over three months starting in November, the Brotherhood came out the big winners, grabbing nearly half the seats. Ultra-conservative Islamists known as Salafis won another 20 per cent. In the months that followed, the Brotherhood tried to translate those gains into governing power but was repeatedly stymied by the military’s grip. On Saturday and Sunday, Shafiq goes head-to-head against the Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohammed Morsi, in the presidential run-off. Already, Morsi has recorded landslide victory in Egyptian expatriates’ presidential runoff. Voting indicates impact of higher electorate turnout as Morsi scores 75 per cent of valid votes, after all polling stations abroad have counted ballots.

Obama, Romney offer economic plans


S President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney have laid out competing visions of the road to recovery in back-toback speeches in the battleground state of Ohio. Obama offered what aides called a “framing” of “two very different visions” facing US voters in November. Romney accused the president of failing to deliver economic recovery, saying “talk is cheap”. The two men will face each other in November’s general election. No Republican president has won without Ohio, which Obama won by 5% in 2008. Taking the stage near Cleveland in Cuyahoga County, Obama pitted his

economic plan against Romney’s “top-down” vision, saying Romney would lead the economy down the path it had taken for the last 10 years. Obama said his vision of the economy saw growth coming from the middle class and that voters had “two very different visions to choose from”. “This election is chance for American people to break the stalemate about America’s direction,” Obama said. He acknowledged that the economy was not where it needed to be, but said he believed Romney’s recipe for growth was wrong. He emphasised the refusal of Republicans to pass any economic plans that involved raising taxes for the wealthy, and warned

that deep spending cuts backed by Mr Romney and many Republicans would hurt the recovery in the short term. “Your vote will determine the path that we take as a nation. Not just tomorrow, but for years to come. When you strip everything else away, that’s really what this election is about,” Obama said. After his speech Obama was to move on to New York City, where he is scheduled to appear at a fundraising event alongside actress Sarah Jessica Parker and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Speaking earlier in Cincinnati, Romney said the reason the president needed to give a speech on the economy was “because he hasn’t delivered a recovery for the economy.”

Assange loses extradition plea


HE Supreme Court has dismissed a bid by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to reopen his appeal against extradition to Sweden over alleged sex crimes. Seven judges of Britain’s top court unanimously dismissed the move by Assange as being “without merit”. Two weeks ago the court rejected his argument that a European arrest warrant for extradition was invalid. His lawyers had argued that the decision was based on a legal point that had not been argued in court. Swedish prosecutors want to question Assange over allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two female former Wikileaks volunteers in mid-2010 but have not filed any charges. Assange, whose WikiLeaks website has published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments and international businesses, claims the sex was consensual and that the

allegations against him were politically motivated. The court has given Assange a two-week grace period before extradition proceedings can start. Once the fortnight is over, officials have 10 days to fly Assange to Sweden. The BBC’s legal correspondent Clive Coleman says this is “pretty much the last attempt” by Assange to legally fight extradition. The anti-secrecy campaigner could still take


his case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg and has until June 28 to make the move.

Man gets 110 years for fraud ISGRACED tycoon Allen Stanford has been sentenced to 110 years in jail for operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of more than $7bn (£4.5bn). The scheme was described as one of the largest in US history. In court, Stanford denied any guilt, telling the judge at his sentencing hearing: “I did not defraud anybody.” A Texan banker, Stanford rose to prominence outside the US when he bankrolled international cricket competitions in the UK and Caribbean. But after the collapse of his agreement to stage Twenty20 cricket in England, his financial empire began to crumble amid investigations by US regulators. Forbes Magazine listed him as the 605th richest man in the world in 2006. However, since his arrest in 2009 he has spent three years in detention after being denied bail.






’He woke up another day and decreed that civil servants must earn their keep. Great idea, but must be carefully worked out and implemented; distinguishing the commercial enterprises from the social and phasing the processes’ VOL. 7 NO.2157



N 1787, the United States gave the world a unique gift. Through the famous Philadelphia Convention, Congressional Oversight came into existence as a means of reviewing, monitoring and supervising government agencies, programmes and activities. Aside the American Congress which continues to exercise this legislative power through the Congressional Committee System, other democracies including Nigeria are today partakers of this great tradition. Perhaps initiators of the concept of legislative oversight acknowledged the fact that human beings when entrusted with responsibility and commonwealth are likely to abuse the privilege, hence the need for checks and close watching. There is no where that the tendency to abuse office and commonwealth is more glaring than the Third World countries such as Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries. For us in the House of Representatives, our equivalent of the American Legislative Reorganisation Act of 1946 which concretised the Philadelphia Convention is Section 88 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Order xviii, Rule 184 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives. Here, oversight is embedded in the powers of the legislature. I admit that there is some truth in the allegation that in a few isolated cases, this power of legislative oversight has been abused for selfish purposes by those who do not understand the purpose and import of the role. This isolated few do not appreciate that oversight is a sacred duty being carried on behalf of the Nigerian masses who entrusted us with such solemn responsibility. A few days ago, I had reasons to reflect on oversight as a legislative tool. My thought also drifted to the state of Nigeria’s public institutions, not necessarily in the oil and gas sector. My reflections stemmed from a recent oversight tour of both public and private businesses in the petroleum downstream sector in the Southwest geo political zone of Nigeria. For a while, I saluted the courage and vision of men like James Madison and other founding fathers of America who thought it wise to empower Congress with the power of oversight. I really do not think I should overemphasise the privileges and opportunities American citizens and public organisations have enjoyed over the years on account of this legislative instrument. Nigeria’s National Assembly does not have the long history or the good fortune of America’s Congress that has over two centuries of uninterrupted process. This partially accounts for the few isolated cases of abuse of power of oversight. However, I still believe our legislature need not attain that stature of America’s Congress to effectively add value to the democratic process and there is no better time than now to monitor government business and our commonwealth. As our public organisations stand today, there is really need to worry. And except we urgently address our decrepit infrastructure and man power needs with eve-


...and that will be a MIRACLE



Saving our commonwealth

•Map of Nigeria

rything at our disposal, our public institutions may one day grind to a halt. As representatives of our people, we therefore have everything to gain by routinely monitoring the executive arm for probity, fidelity and above all, efficiency without necessarily being adversarial. This is a sacred duty we owe to the ordinary Nigerian people who have vested in us their trust. But for this recent oversight tour involving members of the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) one would not have been able to fully appreciate the enormity of the deterioration of public infrastructure in the petroleum downstream sector. In just four days, we visited about eleven private oil and gas facilities and over four oil and gas infrastructure belonging to and managed by government. However, the most disturbing but revealing aspect of the tour is our shared view that government is a bad businessman. My colleagues and I agreed that the more businesses are removed from the

purview of government, the better for that business, the government itself and even our people. The Committee also took note of the multifarious problems facing these public institutions. For me, the most critical is power. Almost everywhere we went, power remained recurrent because it plays a vital role in almost every business venture. Issues of obsolete equipment, poor management, inadequate staffing, funding, pipeline vandalism, transparency and environmental challenges also came up. Again, one baffling contradiction is the unresolved issues around HHK or DPK (kerosene). I had to repeatedly ask questions bordering on the never ending scarcity of HHK or DPK and the question of transparency and greed which in my considered opinion, is at the centre of the crisis. Like most Nigerians, I know that this product which services the mass of our people never reaches the final consumer at government approved rate. Sadly, the answers were unsatisfactory. Beyond the availability of HHK or DPK, I know that Nigeria has the capacity to swiftly transit from DPK to LPG (gas) as source of domestic fuel, which is now widely used in countries like Ghana, Cameroun and other smaller countries within our sub-region. The fact that we have not taken deliberate steps to re-orientate our people and develop gas infrastructure to support the use of gas as domestic fuel in homes is an indictment on our leadership. Therefore, if we must live by the dictum which confers responsibility on democracy as a government of the people, then everybody in the public space working for Nigeria including legislators, must have the interest of the larger percentage of Nigerians at heart. If ordinary people in these less endowed countries can access gas, then our people have every right not only to LPG, but a better life. And I think that is what government is all about.



HE allegations and counter allegations were simple and clear enough early in the week. Femi Otedola, a businessman, alleged that Hon Farouk Lawan, chairman of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on subsidy probe, pressured him into offering $3 million financial inducement in order to expunge his company name from the committee’s report. If proven, this would be a criminal matter. But Hon Lawan countered by revealing that it was actually Otedola that made the first move to offer a bribe to influence the work of the committee. Though he collected $620,000 by himself and through a proxy, he claimed he collected and kept the money as proof of Otedola’s unflattering business methods. So far, Otedola has honoured police invitation to shed light on his allegations, including, some reports suggested, presenting video and audio clips of the unholy transaction. In his statement to the press, Otedola indicated that when Lawan pressured him, he got in touch with security agencies to help him nail the legislator. He even likened himself to someone threatened by robbers, and whose wise option was to secure police help and protection. In addition, he claimed that when he refused to part with bribe, his name was included in the probe committee’s interim report. And when he parted with money, he added, his name was removed from the report presented at the House of Representatives plenary. Fi-


This Seventh Assembly just turned one but one could still look back with some sense of pride. In the Lower Chamber for instance, we have had challenges but we have also taken very hard and unpopular decisions in the interest of the Nigerian people. Under the leadership of the Rt. Honourable Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Emeka Ihedioha, we have kept faith with the people. But we are also aware that the room for improvement is the biggest room. Those who are impatient with the National Assembly have every right to feel so but they should also be reminded that this institution is the youngest arm of government. The National Assembly certainly may not have met the expectations of majority of our people but everybody admits we are on course. Rays of hope are evident. This may not be the best of seasons for Nigeria but we should also remember that greatness is a process not an event, even though I disagree with those who opine that the current challenges are necessary for our growth and development. I therefore wish to congratulate the Seventh Assembly as it turns one. But I would also want to remind the law makers of the need not to falter in their constitutional duties. Majority of our people are living below poverty line, infrastructure is virtually non-existent and economic growth is stunted. Therefore, we must be guided by this reality which is very discouraging and unacceptable. The events following the recent tragedy that befell Nigeria’s aviation industry are all pointers to the readiness of the legislature to serve the interest of Nigerians. Aside the visit to the crash site by members of both the upper and lower Chambers, the legislature has also vowed to independently carry out its own investigation regarding the crash. At other times, we also saw a parliament that was alive to its duties and willing to initiate interventions for the common good. We must therefore support our law makers. The lawmakers on the other hand must also at all times invoke every legitimate legislative instrument necessary for its work. We must learn to live by the strength of our example typified by high moral standing. Oversight for instance, remains a veritable weapon. But for this weapon to be effective, information must be at the disposal of the legislature. There must also be information about the activities of where they are over sighting so that they can feed back into better law-making. That, for me is the path to travel. •Peterside is the Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) •Segun Gbadegesin returns next week

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

$3m bribe: Complicating simple things nally, Otedola has called for the police to retrieve the bribe money from Lawan, for according to him, the dollars, which were not his own anyway, were marked. So far, too, Lawan has been the less forthcoming of the two men embroiled in the bribe saga. He only honoured police invitation when law enforcement agents threatened to declare him wanted, but has not surrendered the bribe money to the police as requested. He was equally adamant that he was unimpeachable in the transactions between Otedola and himself. There were, however, fears that the bribe saga could get messier if it involved more than the two Reps being mentioned in the case. The police have said they are trying to establish who bribed whom. They will strive to check the alibis of the two disputants to find out at what point Otedola’s company was included in the interim report, and at what point it was removed, if indeed it was removed. They are also trying to crosscheck what legally justifiable steps both gentlemen took to ‘sting’ each other. If Lawan produces the marked money intact, perhaps complete with the relevant serial numbers, he will have a strong case. If he made any qualified official privy to the matter before the bribe money changed hands, he will stand tall. On the other hand, Otedola has so far looked

good and smelled of roses. The police, it is expected, will try to tear his alibis apart to make him stink. They will want to determine whether he offered to induce the unwary legislator but turned round to entrap him, or, assuming the police have the competence and courage to do it, establish whether this whole saga was planned and executed by the federal government to undermine an increasingly independent and radical legislature. At the moment, Nigerians are sick to their marrows over the sordid affair, angered by the seething plots and counterplots, and despondent that there seemed to be no one left to trust in the corridors of power. But one thing the police need not prove is the evident hostility of the President Goodluck Jonathan to the lower chamber of the National Assembly. In his suppressed rage, the president, who anxiously wishes to be left out of the controversy, seems as keen on shooting the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the foot as he is on cutting his own nose to spite his face. Whatever anyone may think, however, the bribe saga is still a PDP family affair, whether they fight to the death over petty matters or they resolve criminal matters civilly. Indeed, the bribe affair makes the country wonder how abysmally low values have plunged in the party, and just how far down its quarrelsome leaders are prepared to drag the rest of the country.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. E-mail: Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation June 15, 2012