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Nigeria’s truly national newspaper

News House urges Ajimobi to probe Alao-Akala’s contracts P10 Sport Argentina coach under fire for losing to Super Eagles P24 Business FirstBank declares N26.9 billion profit after tax P2


VOL. 6, NO. 1779 FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011


OVERNORS and other Nigerians who have been pushing for a new revenue allocation formula may have won a major victory. Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) chair Elias Mbam yesterday said it will produce a new, equitable and just sharing formula early next year. Governors have been calling for a review of the formula which is largely skewed in favour of the

New revenue formula coming From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

Federal Government that, according to critics, has little to do, to the detriment of states and local governments. The Federal Government takes 52 per cent from the federation account, leaving the 36 states to share 26.72 per cent. The 774 local gov-

ernments get 20.60 per cent. The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) revenue panel headed by Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, has recommended a drastic reduction in the Federal Government’s allocation. It proposes 35 per cent for the Federal Government, 42 per cent for the states and 23 per cent for

the local governments. The RMAFC also asked Akwa Ibom State to refund N10.91billion to Rivers State, following the recommendation of the committee set up to look into the Supreme Court judgment on disputed oil wells between the two states. The RMAFC boss spoke in

N150.00 Abuja after receiving the report of the committee on the implementation of the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Attorney General of Rivers State versus Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State and the Attorney General of the Federation. Mbam described as desirable, a new revenue allocation formula for the country, saying his first action on assumption of office as Continued on page 2

Confusion hits PDP over choice of House Speaker P

EOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) leaders were battling yesterday to resolve the logjam over the choice of House of Representatives Speaker. They met last night in Abuja with governors who were said to have agreed to back Mrs Mulikat AdeolaAkande. It was all in a bid to pacify First Lady Patience Jonathan, who is said to be in support of Mrs. AdeolaAkande – in line with her campaign promise of 35 per cent affirmation. Party leaders, including

Party chiefs, governors 120 sign up Protest votes may back Adeola-Akande for Southwest give it to Northwest From Yusuf Alli and Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

National Chairman Dr. Mohammed Haliru Bello and some members of the National Working Committee (NWC), held a marathon meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan on the stalemate yesterday. The Nation learnt that the party’s game plan on Speaker changed on Tuesday when

Bello was briefed on Mrs. Adeola-Akande. It was gathered that Bello was mandated by the Presidency to convey its position to a group of Reps-elect on Tuesday night. But, at the night session, Bello was said to have read the mood of members and instead of briefing the whole house, he confided only in a few Reps-elect on the new

disposition. It was learnt that the Repselect, who are backing Muraina Ajibola, told the PDP National Chairman that the new game plan might “not work”. All attempts to change the adopted candidate from Ajibola to Mrs. AdeolaAkande left the party divided. The worst-hit is said to be

the camp of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, which sees Ajibola as its candidate from the Southwest. Based on the division, the President convened a meeting at the Presidential Villa yesterday, with some members of the Board of Trustees, NWC, and Bello in attendance. The party leaders, including governors, went into an-

other round of talks as from 10pm. At the night meeting at the Rivers Governor’s Lodge were Vice President Namadi Sambo, Bello, Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim and Chief Tony Anenih. Governors Forum chair Continued on page 2

APGA, LP, ANPP may join govt •ACN ‘won’t participate’ From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja


ORE facts emerged yesterday on the President’s meeting with leaders of opposition parties. At the talks were leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Labour Party (LP) in Abuja on Wednesday. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Party (ICPC) was not represented at the meeting. The Accord Party has kicked against its exclusion from the parley. Three parties- APGA, LP and ANPP- were said to have advised President Goodluck Jonathan to consider giving some cabinet slots to opposition parties. The ACN may not nominate candidates into the cabinet, its Deputy Chairman Boss Mustapha said last night. Another source claimed last night that President Goodluck Jonathan, in fact, offered opposition parties some slots. The offer has already created anxiety among ex-ministers, many of whom have shelved their statutory leave to intensify their lobby. Continued on page 2

•From left: Group Managing Director, First Bank Plc, Mr Bisi Onasanya; Chairman, Prince Ajibola Afonja; and Secretary, Mr PHOTO: NAN Tijjani Borodo, at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja ... yesterday. Story on page 2.





•Super Eagles’ Taiye Taiwo, displaying the United Nations “Decade of Action on Road Safety” commitment he endorsed at the National Stadium in Abuja ... yesterday. With him are the Deputy Corps Education Officer, FRSC, Mr Bisi Kazeem (left) and FRSC Media Officer, Mr Osondu PHOTO: NAN Ohaeri.

•The new Chief of Staff to the Governor of Niger State Dr Mohammed Kuta Yahaya (right), the new Secretary to the State Government Mr Daniel Shahsere (middle) being sworn in by Hon. Justice Aliyu Maiyaki at the Government House Minna ... yesterday.

FirstBank records N26.9b profit


IRST Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Plc has announced a Profit After Tax (PAT) of N26.936 billion. It also gave a dividend of 60 kobo per 50 kobo share for its shareholders for the financial year ended December 31, 2010. At its Annual General Meeting (AGM) yesterday in Abuja, the bank also announced that its total assets now stands at N2.3 trillion above the previous year’s N2.2 trillion, showing a year-on-year increase of six per cent. This achievement is driven by growth in its loan portfolio and bond investments. FBN Plc’s Chairman, Prince Ajibola Afonja, explained that the bank’s profit rose by 1,484 per cent to N26.9 billion from N1.2 billion recorded over the same period in 2009. Afonja attributed the performance of the bank to transforming processes in service delivery implemented within the period. According to him, “we imple-

APGA, LP, ANPP may join federal govt

•Declares 60 kobo per share dividend By Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor

mented a framework that enables collection, resolution and future prevention of various customer issues; implemented a mobile banking solution designed to address the issues raised by financial exclusion and mainstreaming the large ‘unbanked’ segments of the domestic population.” The bank’s Non-Performing Loan (NPL) ratio declined to 7.7 per cent in December 2010, an improvement over the 8.2 per cent recorded in December 2009, thus bringing the current NPL for the period under review to N94 billion. First Bank also achieved a total capital adequacy ratio of 22.5 per cent and a tier one capital ratio of 24 per cent, signifying low levels of debt on the balance sheet. The bank’s Group Managing Director (GMD) and Chief Execu-

tive Officer, Mr. Bisi Onasanya, assured shareholders that the bank’s operations would be expanded. He said the bank’s deposits grew from N103 billion to N1.45 trillion, up another 7.7 per cent from N1.34 trillion as at December 2009. According to Onasanya, FBN’s “growth was driven predominantly by current Accounts and Savings Accounts (CASA) which grew by 13 per cent and 46 per cent respectively and now makes up 81 per cent of total deposits, significantly higher than 69 per cent as at December 2009. This shift in the bank’s deposit mix he said “was driven by deliberate focus on low-cost liability generation as well as discouraging expensive deposits. This was in part achieved by various schemes introduced to the market such as the

Continued from page 1


FirstBank Golden promo, Hifi Savers Account, FirstCurrent Plus and FirstSavings Plus.” The National Coordinator of Independent Shareholders Association, Mr. Sony Nwosu, though applauded the performance of the bank, advised the managers of the bank to enlarge the bank’s numerous banking halls in all the branches so as to accommodate its teaming customers.

New revenue formula coming Continued from page 1

RMAFC chair was to set up a committee on how to formulate a new revenue allocation for the three tiers of government. He said the task of generating a new revenue formula involves looking into many documents, making consultations and going to the field to verify some of the indices. Mbam said the monthly salary of a senator is N1.06 million. He said the remunerations due to federal legislators are in the public domain, having been published by the RMAFC.

He said any senator who receives anything higher than this should be reported to the Clerk of the Senate, who is the chamber’s accounting officer. Receiving the report, the RMAFC boss said the plenary session of the commission would look into it passionately and implement it to the satisfaction of the stakeholders involved. Committee chairman Alhaji Abdullahi Maiunguwa, who presented the report, said the committee set up on April 13, 2011 relied on documents, data and technical information pro-

vided by various agencies and institutions of governments related to the matter. In the course of carrying out the assignment, he said the committee received data on the 86 oil wells attribution from the National Boundary Commission, in conjunction with the Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation and their production data from the Department of Petroleum Resources. He said the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation provided all the documents related to the 13 per cent derivation Fund during the period

under consideration by the committee while the CBN provided information on interest rate to be applied for the purpose of the assignment. Maiunguwa said the computation of the amount due to Rivers State covered April 2009 to April 2011, stressing that the committee found out that Akwa Ibom State would refund N10.910billion to River State. This amount, according to him, is exclusive of the prevailing commercial interest to be charged as the committee is still awaiting the rate to be charged from the CBN.

The President is said to be weighing options on his former Chief of Staff, Mike Oghiadhome, to determine the post to give him. Sources said President Jonathan urged opposition parties to “make available tested technocrats who can assist the government to address the challenges facing the country”. A highly-placed source, who pleaded not to be named, quoted the President as saying: “I want you to give me technocrats who are coming to work and work.” The source added: “He does not want usual politicians who will not add value to the government. “These technocrats will man strategic ministries that can help transform the state of the economy and infrastructure.” Asked of the disposition of some of the opposition parties, the source said: “So far, I think the Presidency has got feelers that APGA, LP and ANPP may participate.” Another source said: “The opposition parties are insisting that such technocrats should not be compelled to become automatic members of the Peoples Democratic Party. “They also do not want a repeat of what ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo did in 2003 with the Government of National Unity, which he used to muzzle the opposi-

Confusion hits PDP over choice of Speaker Continued from page 1

Chubuike Rotimi Amaechi and others were there. They reportedly agreed that David Mark should carry on as Senate President and Mrs Adeola-Akande should be Speaker. A top source said: “We don’t know the exact situation of things as Ajibola’s fate is unknown. The First Lady felt the President should fulfill his administration’s commitment to 35 per cent Affirmative Action by conceding the speaker to women. “Dame Patience Jonathan believes women did enough during the campaign and should be allowed to be Speaker as that is the highest ranking office available that women could occupy.

“The First Lady is concerned that she also made a promise to Nigerian women during the campaign and she wants to fulfill it. “Virtually all women groups are on her neck and she has picked up the challenge to push the Mrs. Adeola-Akande agenda. “Already, some opposition parties have bought into Mrs. Adeola-Akande’s project of the First Lady, following the suspicion that Ajibola is Obasanjo’s candidate. “But, the party all along has been campaigning for Ajibola and it felt that dumping him at the last minute will not augur well for cohesion. “The PDP leadership insisted on Ajibola. In fact, the National Vice-Chairman, Southwest, of

the PDP, Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo, explained that the zone, including its leaders, like Obasanjo, had long adopted Ajibola. “Key leaders from the SouthWest are disappointed that their choice does not count again. “There are fears in the party that there might be protest votes on June 6, which may pave the way for the emergence of a candidate from the Northwest, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal. “Tambuwal has been defying the party’s zoning formula and the stalemate may end up in his favour, if the Presidency does not resolve the logjam.” As at press time, the President and the party leaders were yet to arrive at any decision on the matter, it was learnt. “When we reconvened later in

the night, we should be able to reach a conclusion on the matter,” the source said. But, there were indications that about 120 Reps-elect have signed up for the zoning of the Office of the Speaker to the Southwest. A returnee member of the House said: “We are still very much on course; we are gaining momentum. There seems to be a consensus that the Southwest should produce the next Speaker. “When we met on Wednesday night, over 120 Reps-elect signed to allow the Southwest to have the office of the Speaker.” Six candidates are jostling to be Speaker of the House of Representatives. They are Aminu Tambuwal (Northwest); Ajibola; Mrs. Adeola-Akande; Hon. Emeka

Ihedioha; Hon. Eziuche Ubani; and Hon. Bethel Amadi. By the party’s zoning formula, it ought to be a straight fight between Hon. Muraina and Mrs. Adeola-Akande from the Southwest. But, Reps-elect from the North, especially the Northwest, are rallying their colleagues from the Southeast to alter the zoning formula “to ensure equity and fairness”. Besides, they are saying the House should be allowed to elect its leaders, who “must be competent and “not just because they are from a particular zone”.

tion parties. “Inasmuch as they are ready for an all-inclusive government, the parties will want to play their roles as the opposition in the country. “I think the President has accepted these terms because he is just after results and to put things right in the country.” It was gathered that willing opposition parties are expected to submit the list of their candidate on or “before Monday”. A source said: “The ACN leadership is not keen to be part of the PDP government. The fact that opposition parties had audience with Jonathan does not mean that we want to run the government together with him. “As a party, I can tell you that we won’t nominate candidates.” The olive branch to the opposition has caused anxiety for some ex-ministers who are holed up in Abuja. A former minister said: “The offer to the opposition might change cabinet equation. So, we have to belt up in our lobbying. The truth is that some of us can not travel on vacation, until the cabinet list is out. “A few of us who had decided to go abroad cancelled the trips because no one is sure of the President’s mindset. “Since some of the opposition parties are willing to participate in the government, it implies that some of us hoping to return may be dropped.” The President is said to be weighing security reports on Ogiadhome to determine the position to offer him. Although Oghiadhome has asked the President’s friends and traditional rulers to intercede on his behalf, it was learnt that the President has foreclosed his return as COS. A Presidency source said: “Oghiadhome is a personal friend of the President. Whether he is COS or not, he will remain part of this administration. The President is considering what to offer him.”

CORRECTION Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Inumidun Akande, will retire on June 10 next year when she turns 65 and not this month as reported on page 32 of our May 31 edition. The error is regretted. – Editor

ADVERT HOTLINES: 01-280668, 08070591302, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678






The ABC of FoI Bill •-Continued from yesterday

Exemption of law enforcement and investigation. 14. Every government or public institution must ensure the provision of appropriate training for its officials on the public’s right to access to information or records held by government or public institutions, as provided for in this Bill and for the effective implementation of this Bill. Training of officials on the right to information and on the effective implementation of this Bill. 15. (1) Subject to subsection (2), a public institution shall deny an application for information that contains personal information. Information exempted under this subsection shall include – (i) files and personal information maintained with respect to clients, patients, residents, students, or other individuals receiving social, medical, educational, vocational, financial, supervisory or custodial care or services directly or indirectly from public institutions; (ii) personnel files and personal information maintained with respect to employees, appointees or elected officials of any public institution or applicants for such positions; (iii) files and personal information maintained with respect to any applicant, registrant or licensee by any government and/or public institution cooperating with or engaged in professional or occupational registration, licensure or discipline; (iv) information required of any tax payer in connection with the assessment or collection of any tax unless disclosure is otherwise requested by statute; and (v) information revealing the identity of persons who file complaints with or provide information to administrative, investigative, law enforcement or penal agencies on the commission of any crime. (2) A public institution shall disclose any information that contains personal information if – (a) the individual to whom it relates consents to the disclosure; (b) the information is publicly available. (3) Where disclosure of any information referred to in this section would be in the public interest, and if the public interest in the disclosure of such information clearly outweighs the protection of the privacy of the individual to whom such information relates, the public institution to whom a request for disclosure is made shall disclose such information subject to section 13 (2) of this Bill. Exemption of personal information. 16. (1) A public institution shall deny an application for information that contains – r financial information obtained from a person or business where such trade secrets or information are proprietary, privileged or confidential, or where disclosure of such trade secrets or information may cause harm to the interests of the third party: Provided that nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed as preventing a person or business from consenting to disclosure; (b) information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with the contractual or other negotiations of a third party; (c) proposal and bids for any contract, grants, or agreement, including information which if it were disclosed would frustrate procurement

or give an advantage to any person. (2) A public institution shall not, pursuant to subsection (1), deny disclosure of a part of a record if that part contains the result or product of environmental testing carried out by or on behalf of a public institution. (3) Where the public institution discloses information, or a part thereof, that contains the results of a product or environmental testing, the institution shall at the same time as the information or part thereof is disclosed provide the applicant with a written explanation of the methods used in conducting the test. (4) A public institution shall disclose any information described in paragraph (1) (a), (b) and (c) if that disclosure would be in the public interest as it relates to public health, public safety or protection of the environment and, if the public interest in the disclosure clearly outweighs in importance any financial loss or gain to, or prejudice to the competitive position of or interference with contractual or other negotiation of a third party. Exemption of third party information. 17. A public institution may deny an application for information that is subject to the following privileges(a) Legal Practitioner-Client privilege; (b) Health Workers-Client privilege; (c) Journalism confidentiality privileges; and (d) Any other professional privileges conferred by an Act. Exemption of professional or other privileges conferred by law. 18. A public institution may deny an application for information which contains course materials or research materials prepared by faculty members. Exemption of course or research material. 19. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Bill, where an application is made to a public institution for information which is exempted from disclosure by virtue of this Bill, the institution shall disclose any part of the information that does not contain such exempted information. Severability. 20. A public institution may deny an application for information that contains information pertaining to – (a) test questions, scoring keys and other examination data used to administer an academic examination or determine the qualifications of an application for a license or employment; (b) architects’ and engineers’ plans for buildings not constructed in whole or in part with public funds and for buildings constructed with public funds, to the extent that disclosure would compromise security; and (c) library circulation and other records identifying library users with specific materials: Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, an application for information shall not be denied where the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs whatever injury that disclosure would cause. Denial by a public institution to disclose records. 21. Any applicant who has been denied access to information, or a part thereof may apply to the Court for a review of the matter within thirty days after the public institution denies or is deemed to have denied the application, or within such further time as the Court may either

•President Goodluck Jonathan

•House Speaker Dimeji Bankole

before or after the expiration of the thirty days fix or allow. Judicial review. 22. An application made under section 21 shall be heard and determined summarily. Hearing in a summary way. 23. Notwithstanding anything contrary contained in the Evidence Act, or any regulation made under it, the Court may, in the course of any proceedings before it arising from an application under section 21 of this Bill, examine any information to which this Bill applies, that is under the control of a public institution, and no such information may be withheld from the court on any ground. Access to information by court. 24. In any proceedings before the Court arising from an application under section 21, the Court shall take precaution, including when appropriate, receiving representations ex parte and conducting hearings in camera to avoid the disclosure by the Court or any person of any information or other material on a basis of which any public institution will be authorized to disclose the information applied for. Court to take precautions against disclosing information. 25. In any proceedings before the Court arising from an application under section 21, the burden of establishing that the public institution is authorized to deny an application for information or part thereof shall be on the public institution concerned. Burden of proof. 26. (1) Where a public institution denies an application for information, or a part thereof on the basis of a provision of this Bill, the Court shall order the institution to disclose the information or part thereof to the applicant — (i) if the Court determined that the institution is not authorized to deny the application for information; or (ii) where the institution is so au-

•Senate President David Mark

•Mrs AbikeDabiri-Erewa

thorized, but the Court nevertheless determines that the institution did not have reasonable grounds on which to deny the application; (iii) where the Court makes a finding that the interest of the public in having the record being made available is greater and more vital than the interest being served if the application is denied, in whatever circumstance. (2) Any order the Court makes in pursuance of this section may be made subject to such conditions as the Court deems appropriate. Order to disclose information. 27. This Bill does not apply to— (a) published material or material available for purchase by the public; (b) Library or museum material made or acquired and preserved solely for public reference or exhibition purposes; or (c) material placed in the National Library, the National Museum or the non-public section of the National Archives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on behalf of any person or organization other than a government and/or public institution. Exempted materials. 28. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Criminal Code, Penal Code, the Official of Secrets Act, or any other enactment, no civil or criminal proceedings shall lie against an officer of any public institution, or against any person acting on behalf of a public institution, and no proceedings shall lie against such persons thereof, for the disclosure in good faith of any information, or any part thereof pursuant to this Bill, for any consequences that flow from that disclosure, or for the failure to give any notice required under this Bill, if care is taken to give the required notice. (2) Nothing contained in the Criminal Code or the Official Secrets Act shall prejudicially affect any public officer who, without authorization discloses to any person, any information which he reasonably be-

lieves to show – (a) a violation of any law, rule or regulation; (b) mismanagement, gross waste of funds, fraud, and abuse of authority; or (c) a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety notwithstanding that such information was not disclosed pursuant to the provision of this Bill. (3) No civil or criminal proceedings shall lie against any person receiving the information or further disclosing it. Protection of Public Officers, Cap. 77 LFN, 1990, Cap 245 LFN, 1990, Cap 335, 1990. 29. (1) The fact that any information in the custody of a public institution is kept by that institution under security classification or is classified document within the meaning of the Official Secrets Act does not preclude it from being disclosed pursuant to an application for disclosure thereof under the provisions of this Bill, but in every case the public institution to which the application is made shall decide whether such information is of a type referred to in sections 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, or 20 of this Bill. (2) If the public institution to which the application in subsection (1) is made, decides that such information is not a type mentioned in the sections referred to in subsection (1) hereof, access to such information shall be given to the applicant. (3) If the public institution to which the application mentioned in subsection (1) is made decides that such information is of a type mentioned in sections referred to in subsection (1), he shall give notice to the applicant. Documents under classification, Cap 335 LFN, 1990. 30. (1) On or before February 1 of each year, each public institution shall submit to the Attorney-General of the Federation a report which shall cover the preceding fiscal year and which shall include— (a) the number of determinations made by the Public Institution not to comply with applications for information made to such public institution and the reasons for each such determinations; (b) the number of appeals made by persons under this Bill, and the reason for the action upon each appeal that results in a denial of information; (c) a description of whether a court has upheld the decision of the public institution to withhold information under such circumstances and a concise description of the scope of any information withheld; (d) the number of applications for information pending before the public institution as of October 31 of the preceding year and the median number of days that such application had been pending before the public institution as of that date; (e) the number or applications for information received by the public institution and the number of applications which the public institution processed; (f) the median number of days taken by the public institution to process different types of application for information; (g) the total amount of fees collected by the public institution to process such applications; and (h) the number of full-time staff of the public institution devoted to processing applications for information, and the total amount expended by the public institution for processing such applications. (2) Each public institution shall make such report available to the public, among other means, by computer and telecommunications, or if computer and telecommunications means have not been established by the Government or Public Institution, by other electronic means. (3) The Attorney-General shall make each report, which has been submitted to him, available to the public in hard copies, online and •-Continued on page 58




A phone call...and missing N180,000 was returned •12-year-old boy honoured for returning cash


OR returning a bag containing N180, 000 and two mobile phones to the owner, a Junior Secondary School (JSS) I student in Ondo State, Yusuf Ibrahim, has been awarded a scholarship by the government. He is to enjoy tuition-free studies for the rest of his secondary school education. The gesture might be extended to cover his education in the higher institution, depending on his conduct. Ibrahim has since become a star and is accorded no less recognition. The 12-year-old student of C. A. C. Grammar School, OmooluOrogbo, Akure, who said the missing bag at the junction of his school, would not move away until he found its owner, 45 minutes after. He stood on the spot and held the bag until one of his teachers showed up to reclaim his belongings. Ibrahim’s journey to fame began with a phone call. As he waited at the junction, one of the phones in the bag rang and he picked it. The female caller, simply identified as Mrs. Adagunodo, said she was the owner of the missing bag. The boy wasted no time in directing her to the spot where he was. The woman soon appeared to reclaim the bag, with everything intact. The development came at a time the state government was mounting a campaign to instil discipline in schools. The Dr. Olusegun Mimiko-led administration had earlier expelled eight students of Saint Peter’s Unity Secondary School for allegedly defrauding the state government. The students, who were arrested for allegedly presenting fake bank tellers to the manage-

‘When I saw the money, I remembered what my mother told me that I should not take what does not belong to me. I have to wait at the spot where I found the money till the owner came for it.’ From Damisi Ojo, Akure

ment of their school as proof of their tuition payment, were arraigned in court. The students are: Adenuga Abiodun, Ewegbemi Femi, Imafidon Tope, Akinnawonu Nelson, Olorunusi Ayodeji, Ayinnuola Damola, Umeric Michael and Akinbowa Tayo. And when the issue of Ibrahim came up, the Ministry of Education, under Dr. Pius Osunyinkanmi as the commissioner, felt it was wise to honour the boy. Hurriedly, the commissioner organised a press conference at the Alagbaka, NUJ press centre to present Ibrahim to the whole world. At the conference, Osunyinkanmi announced a scholarship for Ibrahim from JSS I to SSS III. The

•Ibrahim flanked by Osunyikanmi and his mother

scholarship, he added, will be extended to higher institution, based on the boy’s conduct. He also announced a personal donation of N50, 000 which he presented to the boy after the press conference. He explained that the ministry decided to showcase the boy so that he would be an example to others who are not of good conduct. He noted that such a rare conduct should not be allowed to go unnoticed. The commissioner said: “Having celebrated the disheartening behavior of the eight students who defrauded the state government, we thought it wise to advertise to the world the young Ibrahim who demonstrated a rare quality. “Indeed, what he has done attracted commendation from the Ministry of Education. He typifies an average Ondo State person. An average Ondo person is honest, hardworking and dedicated to duty “Ibrahim found a bag containing N180, 000 and made sure that the money gets back to the owner intact. How many Nigerians can demonstrate this rare quality? In

fact, they are few. In order to reward honesty, we have decided as a government to give him scholarship “We know that this kind of honour will propel other students to do same. It is an honour to Ondo state and Nigeria at large”. The mother of the boy, Mrs. Bukola Ibrahim who found time to accompany his son to the press conference, said he had continued to impress it on her children that stealing is not good. The mother of four said that she was not surprised that the boy demonstrated such gesture because he was brought up in a disciplined and Godly home. Her words: “Though, I am a farmer, I have always told him not to bring anything that doesn’t belong to him home. I have told him not to steal what does not belong him. Despite the fact that we are managing, I always tell me children to always be contented with whatever I give them. “I also make sure that I teach him with the word of God. Anytime I am in the church, they must be there

with me. I am happy that the boy has brought honour to the family. We are not rich but we are contended.” The school principal, Mrs.Olufunmilayo Akinbami, was also full of praises for Ibrahim’s good conduct. She said: “I am highly elated that the boy is a student of my school. He has shown to us that there is a reward for honesty. He is a good example that should be celebrated.” Mrs. Akinbami commended Ibrahim’s mother for bringing up the boy in the ideal way, urging other parents to follow suit. Ibrahim could not but urged others to shun stealing and other sociovices, saying: “Temptation came, but I overcame. When I saw the money, I remembered what my mother told me that I should not take what does not belong to me. I have to wait at the spot where I found the money till the owner came for it. “I want to thank the Ministry of Education, most in particular, the commissioner for the honour done me and I promise to keep the flag flying.”

Ibadan Poly students beg Ajimobi, rector over misdemeanour


TUDENTS of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday apologised to Governor Abiola Ajimobi and their Rector, Prof Olusegun Odunola, and the management for their unruly behavior on Tuesday at the governor’s office. The management closed the polytechnic following the students’ misbehavior. In a letter to Ajimobi, Odunola and the school management, the students, through their representatives, said they did not mean to embarrass the governor on his first day in office, or the rector and the school management. They had besieged the state secretariat in Agodi, Ibadan, demanding to see the governor over what they described as “exorbitant fees and tight condition” the school al-

•Governor: no student was brutalised From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

legedly attached to the payment. In the June 1 letter signed by Omoyele Bayonle, Salami Bolaji, Ibironke Temitope and Olayanju Kazeem, the students urged Ajimobi and Odunola to accept their unreserved apology. They pleaded with the Rector and the school management to reopen the polytechnic. They promised not to repeat such an unfortunate behaviour again. Ajimobi said he was yet to receive the letter. But the polytechnic’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Alhaji Soladoye Adewole, acknowledged the rector’s receipt of the letter.

He described it as a step in the right direction, adding that it was good the students realised their mistake. Ajimobi has denied reports that he ordered policemen to “brutalise” the students. In a statement yesterday, the governor said none of the students was either molested or brutalised, either at his instance or that of his security aides. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), through its Secretary, Alhaji Bashir Akanbi, had alleged that the students were “beaten and stripped naked by security personnel attached to the Governor’s Office”. The statement urged the oppo-

sition not to “decorate bare-faced lie as truth” in antagonising the government. It said the governor, despite the embarrassment the students caused him, addressed them as a good father, promising to address their grievances. The statement said: “We urge the PDP to play opposition of maturity and stop serving the people a broth of lies laced with antagonism. The new government in Oyo State has promised to review downwards the fees of students of The Polytechnic, Ibadan. We wonder why a government (PDP’s immediate past administration), which flagrantly increased the polytechnic’s fees, should accuse a government that is poised to reverse this trend of insensitivity.”


Two killed in clash of Oyo ACN, PDP supporters


WO persons, said to be supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), have been confirmed killed during a bloody clash in Igboho, Oorelope Local Government, Oyo State. They were identified as Alhaji Yekini Atunwa of the PDP and Mr Tajudeen Popoola of the ACN. They were reportedly shot dead during a free-for-all in which dangerous weapons, including guns, were used rival party supporters.

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

It was gathered that the presence of heavily armed riot policemen did not deter the warring party loyalists from venting their spleen on one another. No fewer than 23 of them were injured and some others escaped with bullet wounds. As the clash went on, the residents reportedly closed their shops. Many ran into their homes for safety.

Police Commissioner Adisa Baba Bolanta urged the residents to maintain peace, confirming that two people died in the clash. Eyewitnesses said trouble started late Tuesday when “a minor disagreement among some members of the political parties” began; it escalated into a bloody clash on Wednesday when they unleashed dangerous weapons on one another. It was gathered that guns, cutlasses, charms, clubs, and other dangerous weapons were freely

used as the combatants vandalised over 10 vehicles during the clash. The ACN members were said to be on their way to receive Deputy Governor Moses Alaka Adeyemo when they were allegedly attacked by the PDP supporters. According to sources, the jubilating ACN supporters were said to be singing anti-PDP songs; the PDP supporters also mobilised, chanting anti-ACN songs. The situation was said to have degenerated into a free for all when some PDP supporters report-

edly launched an attack on a convoy of vehicles belonging to some ACN chieftains. It was learnt that within a twinkling of an eye, the area was enveloped with gunshots from both sides forcing some of the supporters of the two parties to flee the scene for safety. It was learnt that during the gun battle between supporters of the two political parties that both Yekini Atunwa and Tajudeen Popoola were shot dead leaving several others injured.



NEWS NBA advises Jonathan on criminal justice From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja


HE Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA), yesterday urged the Federal Government to ensure compliance with the country’s criminal justice system. The NBA also commended President Goodluck Jonathan for obeying court orders. NBA president Chief Joseph Daudu (SAN), spoke during a visit to State House. The met with Jonathan and Vice-President Namadi Sambo. According to a statement issued by Mr. Musa Aduwak, a Director of Information in the office of the Special Adviser to the president on media and publicity, Daudu, who led some members of the NBA executive, said more work needed to be done to ensure compliance with the laws of the land, so that a solid foundation could be laid for the future. He expressed appreciation to President Jonathan for offering the position of Honourary Adviser to the leader of the NBA, and assured that he would offer honest, unbiased and trustworthy advice to President.

Mark is sole candidate From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor and Bukola Amusan Abuja


ORMER Governor of Gombe State Alhaji Danjuma Goje and his counterpart from Kwara State, Dr. Bukola Saraki have opted out of the race for the Senate Presidency. The two former Governors are senators-elect waiting to be sworn-in on Monday alongside 107 others. Goje spoke yesterday at a press conference held at his private residence in Asokoro District, Abuja. He said: “As a party man as well as a prospective senator who believes in the rule of law and teamwork, I have now decided to publicly announce that I will not contest the Senate presidency on Monday, 6th June, 2011 when the seventh National Assembly would be inaugurated”. The decision by Saraki not to contest for the office was conveyed by a senator-elect from Kwara North senatorial district, Alhaji Shaba Lafiagi yesterday. Lafiagi told reporters he had the mandate of Saraki to make the clarification. According to him, the former governor had given his full support for the candidature of David Mark, stressing that Saraki himself would have attended the briefing, if he had not travelled overseas. With this development, Mark remains the sole candidate for the position of President of the Senate. What is left is for the senators-elect to rubber-stamp his candidature on Monday immediately after the inauguration of the seventh National Assembly. Mark’s erstwhile deputy, Ike Ekweremadu will similarly be rubber-stamped as Deputy Senate President.

•From left: NBA Gen. Secretary; Mr Olumuyiwa Akinboro, NBA past president; Prince Lanre Odogiyan ,Vice-President Sambo, President Jonathan, NBA Director of Administration, Osita Okoro, Daudu, NBA NEC member, Augustine Alegoh and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN Anyim during NBA delegation's visit to the Presidential Villa, Abuja… yesterday.

Senate has done well, says Mark


ENATE President David Mark yesterday gave the sixth Senate a pass mark. Mark said: “The time has come to draw the curtains on the sixth Senate. For us, we have had our season and we have come to the close of this responsive, stable and vibrant Senate. The process of our emergence as leaders of the 6th Senate, four years ago, precisely on 5th June 2007, has been applauded as the most democratic.” “All this while, we have remained committed and steadfast to the virtues of ethical leadership and transparency. We maintained an open door policy, realising that it is our collective responsibility to protect the Legislature and make it the pride of all.” “In strengthening and sustaining our country’s democracy, we rose up to the occasion of our collective mandate to demonstrate patriotism and nationalism in legislating for good governance and improving the living stand-

•Sixth Senate passes 91 bills, 92 motions From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

ards of our people.” He went on: “When we started the 4th Republic in 1999 and experienced so many legislative hiccups, little did we know that by the end of 12 years the people of Nigeria would give us the kind of support that we have enjoyed, particularly in the last 4 years. There is no doubt that since then the Senate has become more stable, cohesive, independent and assertive. I am happy to note that in the past four years, an unprecedented number of bills and motions have been considered and passed. This to me is a remarkable improvement.” “The circumstances surrounding the ill health and eventual demise of our late President, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, GCFR, (May his gentle soul rest in peace, Amen) were a major test of our legislative competence. The nation looked up to us for

a solution to a situation some people had already considered an impasse. My distinguished colleagues, you collectively rose to the occasion by introducing the Doctrine of Necessity.” “That singular action by this distinguished Red Chamber saved our dear country from imminent political crisis to the contentment and applause of majority of Nigerians. The concept of the Doctrine of Necessity has enriched our political lexicon and rescued us from the brink. History will however not judge our performance on the face of how we handled this lacuna alone but in other areas.” “In addition, the 6th Senate for the first time successfully amended the 1999 Constitution. Despite its very cumbersome processes, not only did we do it once but thrice, with the confidence and support of the generality of our people. Through common understanding and our commit-

ment to the provision of the greatest good to the greatest number of Nigerians, we have been able to accomplish what hitherto was branded an impossible task.” He added “I am indeed happy to have been part of the 6th Senate which also successfully carried out the amendment of the Electoral Act (2010). This amendment provided the water-shed for the conduct of free, fair and credible elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) this year.” Making his valedictory speech yesterday, Senator Adiego Eferecaya advised the incoming senate to do everything possible for true federalism to be practiced in Nigeria. On his part, Senator Nimi Amange said; “We should try in the next senate to amend our constitution to allow senators have two terms. It will help to stabilize the National Assembly. What we want today is true

CJN advises Chief Judge against abuse of office


HE Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu has advised the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, against abuse of office. He spoke at the swearingin ceremony held at the Supreme Court yesterday, Katsina-Alu urged him to discharge his duties according to his conscience and not to allow criticism to overwhelm.

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

Justice Auta was sworn in following the approval of his appointment by President Goodluck Jonathan upon confirmation by the Senate. Justice Katsina-Alu said: “Don’t be carried away by the powers of your office. Don’t mind whatever lawyers will say against you; you are not answerable to them but to God. Give Nigerians justice

and you will go home and sleep very well. We as judges owe Nigerians justice and fair play. In some cases you will face lawyers who will not prepare well for their case and yet criticise you for taking any decision. To such lawyers, ignore them. You are not working for them but for Nigerians. “So many people who may not know the facts of the case will criticize your judgment or any mistake by any of your

judges. But be firm and courageous because you are not answerable to them but to God. Most of your critics may not be lawyers, ignore them. We as Judges are here by the grace of God almighty and if they did not like us, they should fight God who put us where we are instead of fighting us. “At this democratic system of governance, Nigerians wants fair play and justice so give them justice according to your conscience and go home and sleep well.”

Reps absolve Etteh of complicity in N628m contract scam


HE House of Representatives yesterday absolved former Speaker Patricia Olubunmi Etteh of any complicity in the controversial N628 million house renovation contracts scandal that rocked the lower chamber in 2007. The development came as the House adjourned sine die to allow for the inauguration of the seventh National Assembly on Monday. Mrs Etteh had, as part of her valedictory speech, requested

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor

the House to adopt a resolution absolving her of complicity in the alleged N628 million House renovation scam. Shortly after her election as Speaker in 2007, Etteh was accused of inflating the amount of money earmarked for the renovation of her official residence and the official residence of her Deputy, Hon. Babangida Nguroje to the tune of N628 million.

The controversy that trailed the allegation formed a major part of why Etteh and Nguroje were forced to resign their positions on October 30 2007. But Mrs Etteh denied any wrong doing during the valedictory session which last overs than six hours. She said: “I want to put the record straight. I have not been indicted. I want the House to pass a resolution that I am not guilty. We have the right to educate Nigerians. “In my own case, I have

never stolen a penny belonging to the House of Representatives or Nigeria. Mr. Speaker, nobody under the sun is capable of tarnishing my image. I have heeded the word of my advisers not to open my mouth to talk. No decision taken since 1999 till 2007 that I did not know about. “I want to challenge the House and the House of Representatives Clerk who was the Legal Adviser of this National Assembly to release any record against me if there is any.”


federalism where states will control their resources. What we are practicing today is not federalism.” Speaking with reporters at the end of the session, the Chairman of Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Aloysius Etuk said that between June 5, 2007 and yesterday, the Senate passed 91 bills out of a total of 514 Bills. He also disclosed that “458 of these Bills were read for the first time, 130 Bills passed 2nd Reading, while four Bills were negative.” Elections and inauguration of the seventh Senate will hold at the National Assembly on Monday.

INEC disowns planned ‘celebration’


HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dissociated itself from a programme being planned by a group named Nigeria VoteCount Campaigners to celebrate the succcess of the general elections. INEC, in a statement yesterdy, said: “This programme scheduled for Thursday, June 9, in Abuja, is entitled “Celebration of the widely applauded April 2011 General Elections in Nigeria and one year in office of Prof. Attahiru Jega and his team of National Commissioners”. Already, invitation cards and a programme brochure bearing the INEC logo have been printed and issued to the public. “The public is hereby advised that INEC’s endorsement was not secured for the purported “celebration,” neither did the INEC Chairman and National Commissioners, who are purportedly being celebrated, give their blessing to the planned programme.”



NEWS Police arrest kidnap suspects •Recover weapons From Shola O’Neil, Warri and Polycarp Orosevwotu, Ughelli


HERE was jubilation yesterday in Sapele, Delta State, following the arrest of two hoodlums suspected to be the masterminds of several kidnappings in the area. A police service rifle, arms and ammunition were recovered during the raid on a hideout of the criminals. It was gathered that the duo were behind the abduction of the parents of two aspirants in the April elections. The mother of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate in Delta Central, Chief Ighoyota Amori and father of Justice Party (JP) House of Assembly candidate, Chief Ejaife Odebala, were abducted some weeks ago. Sources said the suspects also kidnapped the wife of a councillor and demanded for a ransom which was paid to them. The hoodlums were said to have gone to a school to share their “dividend”, when one of the kidnappers was heard complaining that he was being cheated. His protests alerted residents to their hide out where they were arrested. Two of them were arrested. Others fled and about N1.5million and a Jetta car were said to have been recovered at the scene. It was gathered that their arrest followed a raid of the areas by a crack team from the Sapele Police Division. The raid also led to the recovery of the rifle of a mobile policeman, who was recently shot dead at a filling station in the town. The suspects were said to have also confessed to several kidnap and robbery incidents in Sapele. Security sources said some politicians and socialites have been incriminated in the hoodlums’ confessional statements.

Lagos council chief beats up LASAA official


N official of the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA), Mr. Dotun Ajayi yesterday narrated his ordeal in the hands of the Chairman of Ikorodu West Local Council Development Authority (LCDA). He alleged that the council boss assaulted him on May 20 while supervising the removal of all posters and illegal advertisement materials used for the April elections. Ajayi, who is an officer in the Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement Department of the agency, alleged that he was beaten to a pulp on the fateful day. Speaking to reporters, the LASAA official explained that while he was on assignment to remove political posters and advertisements on Eturenren Road, the chairman injured him as well as damaging his medicated glasses and camera. The chairman, was not available to respond to the allegations as all efforts made to reach him proved abortive.

•Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (second left), his deputy Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka (left) and supervising engineer Mr Jamal Hasihm during the inspection of Ado-Iwokoro-Ifaki dual carriage way...on Wednesday

Jonathan worried over abandoned N7.7tr projects F

OR the Federal Government to complete some 11, 886 on-going projects, it requires N8.8 trillion, the Presidential Projects Assessment Committee (PPAC) told President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday. The committee said projects valued at about N7.7 trillion have been abandoned after contractors collected N2.6 trillion mobilisation funds. The President expressed concern over the sheer number of projects being executed across the country, owing to their financial implications. He spoke in Abuja while receiving the report of the Alhaji Ibrahim Bunu-led Presidential Projects Assessment Committee (PPAC). Presenting the report to the President, the Bunu committee said N8 trillion would be required to com-

•Govt needs N8tr to deliver 11,887 jobs

plete abandoned projects across the country. The President, however, praised the efforts of members of the committee, saying his administration would scrutinise the list for consideration in future budgets. According to Bunu, the initial cost of the projects, calculated on the basis of the sums at which the contracts were originally awarded, was N7.7 trillion out of which N2.6 trillion had been paid to contractors. He said: “Reckoned in today’s prices and allowing for unreported on-going projects, the total cost needed to complete all projects may well be as high as N8 trillion.”

Bunu condemned the attitude of some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) towards the Committee’s assignment, saying some of them failed to respond to request for supply of data. He said the Committee’s in-depth assessment of many of the projects revealed “evidence of large-scale, widespread institutional mediocrity, deficiency of vision and a lack of direction in project management, which resulted in poor conceptualisation, poor design and faulty execution.’’ According to him, there are many uncompleted projects where huge amount has already been spent, only for the projects to be aban-

doned. He said prominent among such projects is the 30-yearold Ajaokuta Steel Company, noting that the $4.5 billion spent on the project had gone down the drain. His words: “Ajaokuta and the over 200 dams spread across the country not yet applied to their design objectives, are painful examples among many, to show that this country hardly realises value for money in many projects where government has spent a lot of money.” The Chairman said the committee also identified inadequate budgetary allocation and high cost of financing projects, as problems militating against project execution in the country. “Added to these are corruption, subversion of the normal project cycle and undermining the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP)”, he lamented.

Foreign account: How govt officials beat Conduct Bureau T O beat the government policy, government officials use their wives’ and relatives’ names to operate foreign accounts, the Code of Conduct Bureau has said. Bureau’s Chairman Mr. Sam Saba said in Abuja that some government officials are honest about the operation of foreign accounts, while a lot of them hide the accounts. He said he was fortunate to come into privileged information from an international banker who revealed to him that numerous government officials

had devised means of hiding the foreign accounts when opening and running them. Saba added that the banker told him that when the defaulting officials are opening the accounts, they use either their wives’ or relatives’ names, and sign with their left hands in order to make the accounts untraceable to them. When they are reportedly asked by the bankers if their wives knew about the usage of their names in opening the said accounts, Saba said he was told that the officials al-

ways tell the foreign bankers to forget about the aspect of the deal and just open the accounts which indicated that their wives do not get to know that their names are being used for money laundering. He acknowledged that it had been difficult tracing the foreign accounts belonging to these top officials, though he was confident that with the decision of the Bureau to invite the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit {NFIU} into the matter, the identities of the affected officials would

soon be made known as well as the balances in those accounts. Saba said: “Very few of them (public officials) are usually honest on foreign accounts. They close and write and show us proof. But they are very few. A lot of them operate but they hide under different names and they sign with their left hands which makes the accounts difficult to trace to them”. He said President Goodluck and Vice President Namadi Sambo have declared their assets.

Recovery of body sparks grief in Delta


HERE was sorrow in Okuovwari-Amukpe in Sapele Local Government, Delta State, scene of last Wednesday’s pipeline explosion at the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), when the decomposing body of a fisher woman was recovered from the Ethiope River. The body identified as that of Mrs. Gladys Ebiwoni was discovered 24 hours after security agents told Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan that nobody died in the inferno. An explosion gutted the

From Shola O’Neil, Warri

PPMC facility last Wednesday, with one national daily (not The Nation) reporting that over 24 persons died in the explosion. The Divisional Police Officer of Sapele Police Station, Emmanuel Ighodaro, and State Security Service (SSS) officials told Uduaghan that there were no casualties. But 24 hours later, the charred and decomposed body of the mother of seven was discovered a week after the incident.

The discovery of the body sparked off wailing among her Ijaw kinsmen, who deployed a speedboat to retrieve her body from the creek on Wednesday. It was gathered that Mrs. Ebiwoni was caught in the inferno that resulted from the pipeline fire at Atighwor– Jesse waterside, where she was fishing. The fate of an 18-year- Good Samaritan, who got missing in an attempt to rescue her, is still unknown. Her husband, Jonathan (44), who visited the waterside

with his seven children, cried. He said his wife was the bread winner of the family, adding that life had become more difficult for him and the children. The deceased’s eldest child, Nancy, a J.S.S 3 pupil, said: “My mother was fishing when she died despite the effort of an 18-year-old boy to rescue her. “We are calling on the government to come to our aid because my father has no job, our late mother carries over 80 percent of the family responsibilities.”

ACN to EFCC: investigate ex-commissioners From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

THE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Rivers State has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the former commissioners, over alleged looting of funds. The party’s Acting Publicity Secretary, Jerry Needam, yesterday in Port Harcourt accused the ex-commissioners of corruptly enriching themselves at the expense of the state. ACN alleged that the former commissioners lived above their means and official remunerations. ACN said: “The party regretted that most of the perpetrators of the economic sabotage and unpatriotism are again lined up for a return into Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s cabinet. “The ACN, therefore, calls on the EFCC to beam its searchlight on the former commissioners and investigate the mysterious sources of their staggering wealth. “To save Rivers State from economic collapse, we urge the EFCC Chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri, to view the allegations with seriousness and investigate the private and official activities of the former commissioners.”

Law school opens From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

THE Southsouth campus of the Nigerian Law School in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, has taken off with 252 students. Equipped with modern library, clinic, cafeteria, auditorium and class rooms, the location of the school will enable the spread of law education to inhabitants of the six Southsouth states. The campus covers Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Edo, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states. The Director of Administration, Dr. Francisca Amene, said administrative activities and students’ resumption started last month. She said contrary to insinuations, the school is secured and has enjoyed relative peace.



NEWS Osun elects Speaker, principal officers

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•Aregbesola warns lawmakers


HE Osun State House of Assembly yesterday elected Najeem Salami its Speaker; Akintunde Adegboye, Deputy Speaker; and Ipoola Binuyo, the Chief Whip. It also elected Timothy Owoeye, Leader of the House; Afolabi Atolagbe, Deputy Leader; and Taiwo Akin Adeyemi, Deputy Whip. Olalekan Afolabi was appointed Osun Central Senatorial District’s Whip; Ajibola Akinbiyi, Osun West Senatorial District’s Whip; and Mohammed Olatunji Ibrahim, Osun East Senatorial District’s Whip. Salami and Adegboye took the oaths of office before the others were sworn in. Governor Rauf Aregbesola said he would begin a process that would make it

•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (second right); Deputy Governor Titilayo Laoye-Tomori (second left); Chief of Staff, Alhaji Ggoyega Oyetola (left); and Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, at the swearing-in ceremony of House of Assembly principal officers in Osogbo...yesterday. From Soji Adeniyi, Osogbo

possible for lawmakers who abandon their constituencies to be recalled. He spoke at the inauguration of the sixth House of Assembly in Osogbo, the state capital, where the 26-member Assembly, all of whom were elected on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), began sitting. The governor urged them to hit the ground running

123456789012345 Afe Babalola urges 123456789012345 123456789012345 123456789012345 EFCC to sue 123456789012345 123456789012345 Diamond Bank 123456789012345 123456789012345 From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan 123456789012345 EGAL luminary, Chief 123456789012345 Afe Babalola (SAN), 123456789012345 123456789012345 has urged the Eco- 123456789012345 nomic and Financial Crimes 123456789012345 Commission (EFCC) to pros- 123456789012345 ecute Diamond Bank Plc and 123456789012345 its top management workers 123456789012345 for granting unsecured and 123456789012345 123456789012345 unauthorised loans to an 123456789012345 Ibadan-based customer. 123456789012345 He threatened to file an 123456789012345


application for the judicial review of an order of mandamus to compel the commission to file charges against the bank and its top management workers for offences bordering on granting unsecured credit facilities and money laundering should the EFCC fail to take legal action within 14 days. Babalola wrote the commission over the case of five former Diamond Bank’s workers who are on trial for the same criminal charges based on the bank’s petition to the EFCC. EFCC’s Director of Operations, Ibrahim Lamorde, acknowledged receiving Babalola’s letter in a May 20 reply on behalf of the commis-

•Chief Babalola

sion’s Chairman, Mrs Farida Waziri. He promised that the commission would address the matter appropriately. The former bank workers are: Messrs Adesoji Adekunle; Utienyin Obioru; Chukwuma Kalu; Gbolahan Ladoja; and Tokunbo Obayemi. They were arrested and detained twice by the commission in October, 2008, and 2010, following petitions by the bank, which alleged that they granted an unauthorised credit facility to a customer of the bank earlier in the year.

Yobe Assembly turns down Grand Khadi’s confirmation From Duku Joel, Damaturu

OBE State House of Assembly has suspended the confirmation of Ibrahim Ahmed as the Grand Khadi following a petition by a senior Khadi, Shuaibu Talba. Talba petitioned the Assembly, protesting Ibrahim’s appointment on the grounds that Talba was his junior in service and that he was not qualified for the office of the Grand Khadi with his senior still in service. At a session on Wednesday, the Assembly suspended the confirmation of Ahmed and referred Talba’s petition to the House Committee on Judiciary. Proceedings at the Assembly were almost marred over the issue as some lawmakers insisted that Ahmed must be confirmed but others opposed the move. The Speaker, Alhaji Usman Adamu, asked for continuation or suspension of the confirmation and the Assembly voted in favour of suspending the report for confirming Ahmed as the Grand Khadi. Adamu directed the House committee to investigate the petition and report back on June 14.


and justify the confidence the people reposed in them. He said: “I will not hesitate to personally initiate the process of recall against any lawmaker that abandons the cause of his people or cannot pull his weight in this Assembly.” The governor said he had a mandate to work for all the residents and communities, adding that he intended to use the mandate effectively. Aregbesola said: “Those

of you that are diligent and faithful to the cause of our party and your people will be recommended for higher service.” Salami, representing Ejigbo State Constituency, was favoured over Abiodun Awolola, another secondterm lawmaker from the same Osun West Senatorial District, as Speaker. Salami said the lawmakers would cooperate with Aregbesola to develop the state.

•Salami, taking the oath of office...yesterday

He said the state would enjoy good governance that had eluded them for years. Former Speakers, Dr Mojeed Alabi and Adejare Bello, attended the inauguration. Aregbesola said he could claim that his administration had begun with the new parliament, urging the lawmakers to realise that the time had come for the people to have the best. He said the government

had the opportunity “to do whatever we want to do; we have the clay in our hands. It is our duty to get the best for our state”. Aregbesola urged them to see the inauguration as an opportunity “to recompense the people who stood by us through thick and thin – those indefatigable men and women who suffered deprivations and personal injuries but stuck by us and loyally supported us to victory”.

Suspected NYSC members’ killers get June 28 date A CHIEF Magistrate’s Court in Bauchi, Bauchi State, yesterday adjourned till June 28 hearing in the case of 14 suspects arrested over the killing of the 10 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members during the post-election violence in Giade, Giade Local Government Area. The suspects, led by Dan Azumi, are: MaiKudi Damina; Babangida Adamu; Basiru Ahmed; Mohammed Bello (aka Dan Sokoto); Suraju Ibrahim; Ali Adamu; Adamu Mohammed; Yusuf Adamu Mohammed; Bello Abdullahi; Musa Adamu; Umar Audi; Anas Adamu. Others are: Auwal Moham-

From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

med; Ahmed Sabo; Isa Garba; Suleiman Umar; Yusuf Saleh; Adamu Mohammed Bucha; Ibrahim Adamu (aka Emeka); Bello (aka Baban Kero); Saleh Umar; Maichanjin Waya; Yahaya Mohammed; and Al-Mustapha Babayo. Police prosecutor, Sergeant Dikko Makama, opposed the bail application for the accused on May 31, when the case came up at the Chief Magistrate’s Court 8. Makama told the Magis-

trate’s Court, presided over by Mohammed Kafin-Madaki, that “Police investigation was still ongoing and the suspects, if released on bail, will tamper with the investigation”. The court upheld his opposition to the bail. Dan-Azumi and the 13 are facing charges of criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide and criminal mischief, contrary to sections 96, 221 and 337 of the Penal Code. A report sent to the State Criminal Investigation (SCID) by the Divisional Po-

lice Officer (DPO) in charge of Giade Police Station, Zailani Hassan, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said: “After the election, and as the result of the presidential election was being awaited, the accused conspired, organised and killed seven corps members, one police woman, two businessmen and burnt six vehicles parked at Giade Police Station and burnt one church.” The Nation gathered that the reason for the long adjournment was to enable the Police prepare and send the case file of the accused, who had not engaged a counsel, to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

Man held by Police after hacking children to death


HE Police have arrested Terseer Imobo, a 24year-old palm wine tapper, in Mbakunde kindred, Mbakaange District, Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State for allegedly killing two children. He was said to have first macheted his one-year-old son to death before killing his elder brother’s threeyear-old son. The incidents, which occurred last Tuesday, have

From Uja Emmanuel,Makurdi

thrown the community into mourning. An elder in the community, James Kaave Ortese, said Imobo was being detained at Vandeikya Police Station, adding that nobody suspected he would use his machete to kill since he was a palm wine tapper. Ortese said: “He went into the bush, as usual, for his palm wine business, only to return home to cut his son

into pieces. Thereafter, he attempted to kill his wife but she fled; he then killed his brother’s son after which he was overpowered and handed over to the Police.” Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chairman in Vandkyeikya Local Government, Mr. Isaac Akpentomon, said the incident was not political. He described those making such statements as failed politicians who were looking for ways to impress

their pay masters after disappointing them during the April elections. He said: “You all know Vandeikya people voted massively for the ACN in all the elections, not minding the fact most of the political appointees hail from this area. But some of the failed politicians want to worm their way into the hearts of their pay masters. So, they are giving this incident a political colouration. But we shall resist such moves.”

Kwara ACN urges probe of deaths at PDP office


WARA State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has urged the government to probe the circumstances that led to the death of scores of people at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign office in Ilorin, the state capital. Over 20 people died last week in a stampede at the PDP campaign office, named Mandate House. In a letter to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and the Police Commissioner Peter Gana, ACN Chairman, Mr Kayode Olawepo, urged the

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

government to set up a judicial commission of inquiry to probe circumstances surrounding the incident. The letter reads in part: “The commission should determine, amongst other things, investigate the cause of the deaths, who was responsible for them and how such an incident may be averted in the future. In addition, the commission should recommend where criminal offences appeared to have been committed prosecutions of the

culprits. “The proceedings and the report of the commission should be made public to win public confidence in the process and to avert any allegations of a cover-up. “In our view, therefore, not only is the government dutybound to take decisive steps to investigate what has happened and to take steps to prevent its recurrence, doing so will also be the decent and honourable thing to do in the circumstances. “This demand for a judicial probe is without prejudice to

our petition before the electoral tribunal challenging the legitimacy of the current PDP administration in the state. “We commiserate with you and with all the people of our dear state for the tragic loss of multiple lives at the Mandate/ PDP campaign office on May 27. Our views on the tragic incident have been publicly documented. “However, as you will recall, a similar incident at the same place, also claiming multiple lives, occurred last year during the Eid-El-Kabir season...”




PDP should return chairmanship T slot to Southeast, says Ngige


HE Action Congress Party of Nigeria (ACN) Senator-elect for Anambra Central, Chris Ngige, has urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to allow the Southeast present its next national chairman. Ngige spoke in Abuja yesterday. The ACN chieftain hailed the appointment of Senator Pius Anyim as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), PDP

From Jide Babalola, Assistant Editor, Abuja

should demonstrate its belief in justice by allowing the Southeast to retain its national chairmanship position. He described the zoning of the slot to the Northeast before the expiration of the tenure of the current National Executive Council (NEC) as robbing Peter to pay Paul. Ngige urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that the chairmanship slot

remains in the Southeast where it was zoned till 2012. The Senator-elect dismissed suggestions that the issue is solely a PDP affair. “It has to do with the Southeast, not just the PDP,’’ he said. Describing Anyim’s appointment as a case of putting a round peg in a round hole, he said the former Senate President ‘’is politically taller than others speculated to have been

shortlisted for the position.” He said: ‘’Anyim is younger, energetic, intelligent and above all politically suave. “With this appointment, we still expect Jonathan to ask his party men to return the ‘stolen’ position of National Chairman to the rightful owner (the Southeast) till March 2012. You cannot rob Peter to pay Paul.” Ngige was a founding member of the PDP. He defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2003.

HE Imo Progressive Forum (IPF)has cautioned Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State on the implementation of his administration’s free education policy. Director-General of IPF Christian Esiobu spoke yesterday in Owerri, the state capital. Esiobu hailed Okorocha for the gesture, adding that the effective implementation of the policy would cushion the economic hardship of parents. The former governorship aspirant advised Okorocha to give priority to security in order to attract foreign investors to the state. He also enjoined the gov-

Group advises Okorocha on free education policy From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

ernor to revive the moribund industries as part of measures to create jobs for unemployed youths. Esiobu advised Okorocha to appoint credible people into his cabinetfor the actualisation of his rescue mission.

PAC begins on-line registration THE Police Assistance Committee (PAC) and its affiliate Association of Tradesmen and Artisans have embarked on an online registration for more members. They also seek to intensify efforts on how to assist the police and other security agencies to fight crime. Director-General of PAC Martins Oni said the on-line registration is aimed at ensuring that dubious people are not enlisted in PAC. Oni said the on-line registration would enable the public to receive and disseminate information that could assist the police and other security agencies in combating crime. He urged intending members to forward their letters of intent to PAC.

•From left: Mr Soji Olagunju, Mr Bode Emmanuel, Mrs Aderonke Fetuga, Prof Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), Chief Folake Solanke (SAN), Mr Obi Okwusogu (SAN) and Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) during the 10th anniversary celebration of monthly judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria at MetropolitianClub, Victoria PHOTO:SOLOMON ADEOLA Island, Lagos....yesterday.

Police arrest robbery suspects By Titilayo Banjoko

Gunmen attack petrol station From Adimike George, Onitsha


UNMEN yesterday attacked a petrol station in Onitsha, Anambra State. A security operative was reportedly killed. They tied the security operatives to an electric pole before carrying out their operation. Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Larry Osita confirmed the incident. He said the police had begun investigation of the situation. Osita urged residents to volunteer information to the police.

Court grants Ogbuawa bail N Awka Federal High Court presided over by Justice Peter Olayiwola yesterday granted Pius Ogbuawa bail. The business mogul is standing trial for his alleged complicity in the kidnap of two Chinese nationals working with Innoson Motor Plant, Nnewi, Anambra State. Justice Olayiwola granted Ogbuawa bail in the sum of N20 million with sureties. The case has been adjourned till July 20.


Abia NSCDC parades four suspects


HE Abia State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC) has paraded a 65- year- old man, his son and two others for illegal possession of fire arms and alleged kidnap attempt. The suspects are Iwejuo Ehiemere( 65), his son

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

Nkemdirim (31), Babangida Onwugbelu (27) and Chigozie Mgbelu. They were reportedly arrested in Obingwa local government. Corps Commandant Nathaniel Ebong said they were arrested about a month

ago following a tip off.He said they were handed over to the soldiers of Operation Jubilee for investigation. Ebong said: “We found out that they have two AK 47 guns with which they operate, but we are still trying to recover the gun. We are determined to find those deadly guns as soon as possible.”

He assured on the security of lives and property. “Security watch is a collective effort of everyone, so one of the ways you people can help us is to report criminals to the NSCDC or any other security agencies.” Ehiemere admitted being found with a gun.

Accord protests exclusion from presidential parley


CCORD has condemned its exclusion from the Presidential parley with some parties on Wednesday. President Goodluck Jonathan met with leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Action Party of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Labour Party (LP)at the Presidential Villa to deliberate on what he called ‘consultation before the administration swing into action and to thank them for their role in the election.’ The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) turned down the invitation. National Chairman of Accord Party Muhammad

Nalado wondered why the party was left out of such meeting despite its status as a performing party since 2007. Nalado said the Accord had been winning seats at the state and national levels. The Accord chieftain questioned the rationale


used by Jonathan in inviting parties to the parley. According to him, the Accord Party is eminently qualified to be rated among the leading parties and as such should always be considered for participation or involve-

ment in any arrangement that would bring members of other parties to participate in the government. He assured of his party’s readiness to team up with Jonathan to facilitate the development of the country.

THE Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Police Command yesterday paraded armed robbery suspects and car snatchers. Addressing reporters at the Lagos State Police headquarters, Ikeja, DSP Samuel Jinadu said the leader of the gang, Charles Okon, was arrested with his girlfriend, Mariam Onwuka. He said Charles confessed to have been involved in 17 armed robbery cases in Ogun, Lagos and Osun States in the last eight months. Godwin Adams, a member of the gang, said: “I was amazed when he was arrested because he had earlier dropped the bad habit.

Police foil kidnap attempt in Anambra

NAMBRA State Police Command yesterday foiled the kidnap of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA)chieftain and former House of Assembly Chief Whip Frank Anthony Igboka. The incident took place in Njikoka local government. He was kidnapped on Nimo road and bundled into the vehicle the hoodlums used for the operation. On getting to a police check

•Arrest seven persons From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

point at Neni junction in Anaocha local government, the former lawmaker reportedly struggled with one of the hoodlums in the vehicle. Igboka thanked God for his deliverance. He said: “My brother, I have no mouth to talk to you

now.The glory should go to God first. I thought I was in a dream land within those few minutes before the police arrived. “I was driving my 406 vehicle when these people swooped on me, dragged me out of the vehicle and drove off. So, on getting near Neni junction, they sighted a po-

lice check point and turned immediately. Before then, I had noticed that they were jittery and I started to struggle with them inside the vehicle.” “Luckily, I fell off the vehicle with one of the kidnappers.But the boy ran into the jeep and they sped off.” Police Commissioner Multari Ibrahim confirmed the incident.



NEWS Tribunal gives Ondo ACN go-ahead to inspect materials


HE Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to produce all materials used for the House of Representatives election in Ilaje/Ese-Odo. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and its candidate, Mr. Felix Rawa, had petitioned the tribunal to nullify the victory of Mr. Raphael Nomiye of the Labour Party (LP). ACN’s counsel Charles Titiloye, who filed the petition, also prayed the court to allow his client inspect all materials used for the election, which was kicked against by INEC. The tribunal granted ACN’s prayer and ordered the commission to allow the party to make copies of the voter register, ballot papers

Man arraigned for ‘raping’ fiveyear-old orphan

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

and result sheets used in the election. It also granted the request of ACN lawyer to file a counter-affidavit and its jurisdiction as well as INEC failure to file a counter- affidavit and address in the application which barred it from opposing the application. Also yesterday, the House of Assembly member-elect for Owo constituency 1, Samuel Arowele of the LP, filed a 19-paragraph reply to a petition by the ACN, which accused him of forging the certificate of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State. Arowele said he never attended OOU, which is on the certificate he tendered to INEC. He said he attended Festcom Institute, an affiliate of OOU consult.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti


N ex-convict, Mr. Gbenga Ojo (27), was yesterday arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, for allegedly raping a five-year-old orphan. He was accused of raping the minor on May 30 at No.4 Adebayo Street, Ado-EKiti. The victim alleged that the accused invited her into his room, raped her and warned her not to tell anyone. The victim’s foster mother, Mrs. Tope Ajirotu, said she found out about the incident when she returned from church and noticed that the girl was walking in pains. Ojo, who did not have any legal representation, pleaded not guilty. The Magistrate, Mrs. M.A. Aina, ruled that Ojo should be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the case till June 16. She advised him to get a counsel before then. Women, under the aegis of Ifelere Mothers, protested the alleged rape at the court premises, brandishing placards bearing inscriptions such as “Ekiti mothers demand justice in this rape case,” “Stop all violence against women” and “Justice must be done.” They were led by the Women Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mrs. Ronke Okunsanya, and Mrs. Beatrice Olaleye. Mrs. Okusanya said: “Two weeks ago, a 12-year-old girl was allegedly impregnated by a policeman. We want our children in school to be lawyers and medical doctors. We don’t want men to take advantage of them.”

LAUTECH VC disowns N10m donation to Alao-Akala From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan


HE Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, never donated N10 million towards former Oyo State Governor Adebayo AlaoAkala’s birthday, the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof. M.L. Nassar, has said. He said LAUTECH is an institution of learning without any political affiliation. Nassar was reacting to reports that he donated the money for Alao-Akala’s birthday celebration and contributed several millions of naira to the ex-governor’s reelection campaign. The Osun State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was quoted in the report to have said that the vicechancellor should be questioned on how N2 billion left in the school’s coffers was squandered within a year. In a statement by the institution’s Registrar, Mr. Niyi Fehintola, Nassar debunked the allegations. It said: “The former VC, Prof. B.B. Adeleke, did not leave a healthy financial purse in the university and neither was the university involved in any shady political activity.” Nassar described the alleged squandering as spurious and baseless.

Lagos Assembly tightens security By Oziegbe Okoeki


HEAD of Saturday’s inauguration of the 7th Assembly, security has been beefed up at the Lagos State House of Assembly complex. Movement into and out of the complex is stringently monitored, while staff wear their identity cards for easy identification. A private security outfit has replaced the men of Neighborhood Watch and Nigeria Civil Defence Corps (NCDC, who had been on guard in the Assembly for years. People going into the complex are expected to identify themselves, state their mission and declare their belongings at strategic security posts. Regular visitors to the Assembly are yet to get used to the new development, but they praised the House leadership for being security conscious. Chairman, House Committee on Information, Strategy and Security, Mr. Ipoola Omisore said: “We are being pro-active. We noticed that the Assembly premises is porous. Many people who have no business at the Assembly enter and move from one office to another, disturbing those working.”


HE Oyo State House of Assembly has resolved that all contracts awarded by ex-Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala from December last year till May 27 should be probed by Governor Abiola Ajimobi. The resolution was made on yesterday at a plenary session attended by 13 members and presided over by the reinstated Deputy Speaker, Kazeem Ayilara. It also ordered the immediate dissolution of the caretaker committees for the 33 local governments.



bers to contribute to the party’s development and the success of his administration. LP Chairman Dr. Olaiya Oni congratulated them for joining the party. He said “the government will continue to embark on laudable projects and programmes that will impact positively on the lives of the people in all ramifications.” Leader of the new members Chief Elewe Ademuwagun said they joined the LP because of its laudable achievements in the last two years.

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

The House directed the interim chairmen to hand over to their Directors of Personnel Management. Eight of the 13 lawmakers were those suspended during the crisis that engulfed the House last year, but their suspension was reversed by the court, which described it as illegal. The House urged Ajimobi to immediately constitute a seven-member caretaker

committee for each of the councils. Each committee, it said, must consist of at least two female members. The House urged the governor to review all appointments and employments made by Alao-Akala’s administration from December to May 27. It urged that the Ajimobi administration to dissolve the state Judicial Service Commission (JSC), State In-

dependent Electoral Commission (OSIEC), Civil Service Commission (CSC) and Local Government Service Commission. The resolution followed a motion by Felix Ige (Kajola Constituency), which was supported by the reinstated Majority Leader, Mr. Samuel Adejoumobi. The House also directed the Ministry of Finance to obey the court order reinstating the hitherto suspended members by paying their outstanding salaries and allowances. It adjourned till today.

Bureau probes Daniel, others


ORMER governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, and his deputy, Alhaja Salmot Badru, are being investigated by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), a Federal Commissioner, Dr. Ademola Adebo has said. Adebo, who arrived in Abeokuta, the state capital, on Wednesday, said CCB, in line with its constitutional duty, was investigating petitions of corruption, abuse of office and illegal operation of foreign accounts against members of

1, 000 PDP members join Ondo LP O fewer than 1,000 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ikare-Akoko, Ondo State, have defected to the Labour Party (LP). Receiving the new members, Governor Olusegun Mimiko described the LP as “the party of the masses.” Mimiko, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Alli Olanusi, said the state has improved significantly in the last two years because of the party’s people-oriented programmes. He urged the new mem-

Probe Alao-Akala’s contracts, House urges Ajimobi

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

Daniel’s administration. He said Daniel and Mrs. Badru had filed their written declarations and submitted relevant documents to the bureau’s panel for “authentication and verification.” Adebo said it was not yet uhuru for the duo and other members of Daniel’s administration, adding that the submission of asset declaration forms is merely “crossing the first hurdle.” He said the real thing be-

gins with “field verification and investigation of the particulars of claims contained in their declarations.” Adebo, who spoke with reporters shortly after grilling two members of Daniel’s administration at the bureau’s office in Abeokuta, the state capital, said Daniel appeared before the panel last Friday. Those grilled are former Commissioner of Agriculture Mr. Tunji Akinosi and Mr. Kola Sorinola, who was in Special Duties. The Secretary to the State


Government (SSG) had earlier appeared before the panel.

Fayemi gives deadline for road project


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has promised that the construction of the AdoIworoko-Ifaki dual carriage way will be completed before the end of the year. He spoke shortly after inspecting the work on the said road and Omisanjana road in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. Fayemi said the December deadline was achievable if the present pace of work is sustained. He said his administration was interested not only in

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

the quick completion of the road, but also in the quality of job done. Noting the centrality of the Ado-Iworoko road to residents, Fayemi gave the contractor the options of either

working from dusk to dawn or cordoning off the stretch from Oriapata to Pathfinder, while a diversion will be created to facilitate movement. He restated his administration’s commitment to delivering the gains of democracy to the citi-

zenry, saying work is ongoing on Ado-Ilawe and Ado-Afao roads. He said Ado-Ikere road had been advertised for reconstruction, adding that the World Bank would assist with the construction of Ado–Ijan road.

13-yr-old wins Cowbell’s maths contest


13-YEAR-old Junior Secondary School (JSS) three student of the STT Regency College, Kolawole Oluwafokunwa, has won the first prize of the junior category of the Cowbell National Sec-

ondary School Mathematics Competition. The organisers said the competition, which covers the 36 states and Abuja, was conceived to awaken interest in the subject. Oluwafokunwa said he prayed before solving mathematical problems.





NEWS Corruption: Keyamo slams civil society groups

Ajimobi appoints aides OYO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday appointed Alhaji Waheed Olajide as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG). The governor also announced the appointments of Dr. Adeolu Akande and Dr. Festus Adedayo as Chief of Staff to the Governor and Senior Special Assistant (Public Communication). Alhaji Olajide, 61, a chartered accountant, studied Chemistry at the then University of Ife, now known as Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife. He holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Ibadan. Akande, 45, holds a doctorate degree in Political Science from the University of Ibadan. He was Deputy Editor of the Nigerian Tribune and lecturer in Political Science at the University of Ibadan. He was Special Assistant (Research and Communication Strategies) to the then Vice-President Atiku Abubakar. Adedayo, 42, holds a doctorate degree in Political Communication from the University of Ibadan. He was Deputy Editor of the Nigerian Tribune and Special Adviser to the Governor of Enugu State. Until now, he was Chairman, Editorial Board, of National Life in Lagos. All the appointments take immediate effect.

Watch your back, opposition parties advised THE Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum (YRLF) has urged opposition parties to be vigilant. In a statement by its Secretary, Mr. Akin Malaolu, in reaction to President Goodluck Jonathan’s Wednesday meeting with opposition parties in Abuja, the group said the parties should make “vigilance their watchword, so that they will not be deceived into abdicating their role as watchdogs of the government.” “There is no doubt that the Peoples Democratic Party Presidency under Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has now realised the enormity of the unredeemed mess and a complete hash of the golden assignment it secured by stealth these 12 years, which has crippled the nation in all spheres,” the group said. It challenged the opposition parties to “make a difference in states where they have made political conquests so that the clouds of economic gloom and socio-political miseries, which had enveloped our dear people for some time now, can start to clear with comforting speed.” The statement added: “Whichever direction we turn to today, it is the same tale of woes, well – known to and told by everyone on the street, every housewife, and everyone living in Nigeria, however high his status may be.”

From Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor


•Pedro, Chairman, NBA, Ikeja Branch Mr Adebamigbe Omole and Akeredolu...yesterday

Fashola, Akeredolu renew calls for true federalism, leaner cabinet


AGOS State Governor Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) yesterday called for a reduction in the number of ministers in the Federal Executive Council (FEC). Akeredolu suggested an amendment of the Constitution to remove “in its entirety” the provision that there must be ministerial nominees from each state in the cabinet, to reduce the cost of governance. Fashola renewed calls for a state police and true federalism, saying the centrally-controlled force sometimes stands in the way of justice, as

By Joseph Jibueze

a governor has no power to compel a police officer to do anything. The governor, represented by the state’s Solicitor-General, Mr Lawal Pedro (SAN), said lack of true federalism was the reason why an Attorney-General of a state has no control over investigators. They spoke in Lagos at the 2011 Annual Chief Alao AkaBashorun Lecture, organised by the NBA, Ikeja Branch. It was delivered by Akeredolu, and entitled: “Deepening the Democratic Culture in Nigeria: The Role of the Legal Profession”. Akeredolu said the NBA must take the lead in setting an agenda for the develop-

ment of Nigeria’s democracy, which according to him, has not impacted positively in the living standards of the people. He called for devolution of powers and entrenchment of true federalism as a panacea to the myriads of problems in the country. This, he said, would include creation of state police to check insecurity and the ability of states to manage their energy needs. “The state cannot depend on the federal police for effective community policing. It is an aberration in a federal system. If the government can entrust huge sums of money as security votes to state executives with nothing to show for it, it should not be difficult for

them to allow state police to function,” he said. Akeredolu said the provision of electricity should also not be the exclusive preserve of the Federal Government in a country with a fast growing population. To him, the states must be allowed to enter into contracts with independent power companies with a view to generating power for themselves. “This is the only way to stop the cabal which constantly frustrates all genuine efforts of the government to resolve this problem,” he said. Fashola said lawyers should be involved both directly and indirectly in the political process in order to change the society.

Tribunal to INEC: allow ANPP inspect poll materials


HE governorship election petitions tribunal in Kano State has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to grant the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) access to materials used in the conduct of the April 26 governorship election. It also granted a motion jointly filed by the African Democratic Congress (ADC), the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), seeking the leave of the tribunal to serve the second respondent (Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso), through ‘substituted means’ by pasting

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

copies of the service on the walls of the Secretariat of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. Counsel to Alhaji Salihu Sagir Takai, the ANPP candidate in the disputed election, Efut Okoye, had prayed the tribunal to compel the electoral umpire to grant his client access to sensitive materials used in the governorship election. He said: “My Lord, we are seeking the leave of the court to have access to the election materials used in the conduct of the April 26 gover-

norship election in Kano State. “The provision of the Electoral Act and the rules of the Federal Court, which are applicable to this Tribunal, sufficiently allow your Lordship unfettered discretion to grant our humble prayer. “We believe that access to the election materials would serve the course of justice. The application is supported by an affidavit, sworn to by my humble self and the Electoral Act.” Ruling on the application, Tribunal Chairman Justice Iyabo Oladuni Kasali held that the panel has been empow-

ered by the Electoral Act to grant the request of the petitioner, provided that the “tribunal is satisfied that access to the election materials by a party or all the parties to the litigation would serve the course of justice.” The counsel to ADC, the PPA and the NNPP, Rilwan Umar had filed a motion, urging the tribunal to grant him permission to serve Kwankwaso through ‘substituted means.’ Justice Kasali granted the prayers of the petitioner. He said: “The petitioner can serve the second respondent (Kwankwaso) through ‘substituted means.”

AGOS lawyer Festus Keyamo yesterday urged civil society organisations to terminate their unhealthy romance with corrupt politicians and public officials who have been accused of corruption. In a statement made available to The Nation, Keyamo described reports of an unholy alliance between some civil society groups and certain politicians and public officers accused of corruption as disturbing. “The reports indicate that some immediate past public officers (and in particular, one of such that has been spurning the invitation by the anti-graft agencies) have reached out to civil society groups in order to mobilise them to verbally attack and weaken the moral authority of the anti-graft agencies (especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), to thoroughly probe them and bring them to book. The alarm raised by the EFCC as to this nefarious plan of the politicians and the almost simultaneous Babel of voices from some individuals attacking the leadership of the Commission, is too coincidental to ignore,” he said He asked: “Why would any civil society group worth its salt keep mum at this time about mountains of allegations against corrupt politicians and dissipate so much energy chasing shadows? Why have the so-called civil society groups not made any comment about the slow judiciary, conniving defence lawyers, and other factors outside the hands of EFCC that have hampered the quick dispensation of justice to those already facing trial? Whose purpose do these groups serve at this time by attacking the Commission’s leadership and diverting its attention when it is trying to apprehend fleeing past public officers at this critical time?” Keyamo, who regretted that “some hitherto vibrant and respectable civil society groups have been turned into havens of jobless people, hungry touts, and merchants of fraud who will collect anything from corrupt persons to defend them,” urged the “hungry individuals, masquerading as civil society groups to fight corrupt politicians and public office holders by teaming up with anti-graft agencies.”

Anyim: Southeast monarchs hail Jonathan


HE Southeast Council of Traditional Rulers has praised President Goodluck Jonathan for appointing former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). Describing the appointment as worthy, the Chairman of the Council and the Obi of Obinugwu, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, expressed the royal fathers’ gratitude over the appointment.

Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

He said: The Southeast Council of Traditional Rulers is grateful to Mr. President for the rare wisdom you exhibited in the appointment of an illustrious Igbo son, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, GCON, as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF)”. Ilomuanya described Anyim as “a nationalist and pa-

triot, who thoroughly appreciates the enormity of the responsibility entrusted upon him”, stressing that as the SGF, “we are convinced that he (Anyim) will surpass public expectation considering his pedigree and proven track record in public administration”. The monarch, who doubles as the chair of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers stated that by the appointment “Mr. President has once again demonstrat-

ed that you are indeed, a leader whose word is his bond,” adding that Ndigbo are appreciative of Mr. President’s good gesture and therefore, assured him of their cooperation and support. Ilomuanya urged the SGF to strive to justify the confidence reposed in him by Nigerians, noting that the fact that he was chosen from thousands of other capable hands was an eloquent testimony of the President’s con-


fidence in his administrative capabilities.


FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011



Aregbesola: My travails in the hands of Oyinlola and his goons’ • Continued from May 31, 2011

Importation of Sunday Adeyemo a. k. a Igboho to eliminate me


NE Sunday Adeyemo, a.k.a Igboho, a notorious thug who used to ply his trade as a roughneck in his native Oyo state before the heat became too hot for him and he evaded arrest by relocating to Osun state where he becomes a demigod that has been used to terrorize the people in the past six years. He has grown so powerful that he rubs shoulder with the illegitimate power holders in Osun today who now live under the perpetual fear of attack from him and his boys. Prior to the 2007 General election, Sunday Igboho was caught with a cache of arms and sophisticated weapons kept in the home of an Islamic cleric in Osogbo. The two of them were released without trial barely 24 hours of their arrest and nothing has been heard of the case till date. This same Sunday Igboho was later arrested by the police for gun running, on the basis of its intelligence report and on the orders of the Inspector General of Police. Curiously and in a twist of fate, Igboho soon regained freedom and came back to the streets of Osogbo, terrorising my supporters and threatening to kill me several times. When the former Commissioner of Police, Mr. John Moronike was redeployed, the major gist was that he refused to buckle under the weight of undue pressure to release Sunday Igboho from detention.

How Oyinlola shielded Isaac Makinwa from justice over April 14, 2007 serial murder in Ilesa On the day of elections, April 14, 2007, late Isaac Makinwa, the then Chairman of Ilesa East Local Government of Osun State lost the election into the state House of Assembly. Frustrated by the loss of his deposit, Makinwa drew his riffle, shot and killed four of my supporters for daring to celebrate the victory of AC candidate in the election held that day. He was arrested by the Police for the crime of serial murder and was detained pending

The Rape of Tosin Ajakaye For merely being my supporter and refusing to kow-tow after notable PDP leaders like Chief Gani Oladiran , an acolyte of Oyinlola was accussed of involvement in the rape and dehumanization of then 17 year-old Miss Tosin Ajakaiye in September 2007 and other members of Action Congress (AC). It is sad and unfortunate that up till he was flushed out of office, Oyinlola did not utter a word of condemnation of this rape charge regardless of the worldwide outrage that greeted the incidence that changed the life of the young lady who was then seventeen (17) years old. When Oladiran and the other boys were picked up for questioning by the police, Oyinlola prevented Ibukun Fadipe’s arrest till date on this matter. Tosin Ajakaye merited this treatment simply because of her unwavering support for me and my aspiration to be the Governor of Osun State.

Military invasion and occupation of Ilesa on April 15, 2007 Dissatisfied with the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that unjustly declared Oyinlola as the winner of April 14, 2007 governorship election, spontaneous protests erupted in major towns across the state. Oyinlola consequently ordered soldiers to embark of armed pacification of people in Ilesa largely because they are my kinsmen and women. The soldiers sacked Ilesa and imposed an atmosphere of panic in the hitherto peaceful city. Many people were murdered in cold blood. We have pictorial evidence of soldiers’ ruthlessness against defenceless civilians. The attached picture is one that explains my petition. We have made several searches for the young man in this picture and our years of findings have yielded no result. We do not know whether he is alive or dead. Former Governor Oyinlola was caught on tape, ordering that I should be declared wanted in connection with the protest just as he ensured that the General Officer Commanding (GOC) the 2nd mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Major-general Mohammed

‘We won’t disappoint Benue people’ Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswan promised to implement policies and programmes that would foster development and guarantee public welfare in his inauguration speech delivered in Markudi after taking the oath office. Excerpts.


MUST begin by giving thanks to the Almighty God for this remarkable day. He is, indeed, a great and omnipotent God. I am also full of thanks and appreciation for the people of Benue State who have once again found my Deputy Governor, Chief Steven Lawani (OFR) and my hum-

cial car then used by his wife fully loaded with thugs armed with sophisticated weapons attempted breaking the convoy in a manner that could have led to a breakdown of law and order. When stopped by the policemen officially detailed to provide security for the AC chieftain, the PDP Chairman still went ahead to block the road through which I was passing with the four vehicles and left them there until the police and people in his convoy had to carry one of the vehicle out of the way to create an exit road for the people’s governor. If not for the patience and maturity displayed by our party members, such conduct is enough to cause a breach of public peace. To cover this shameful and uncivilized conduct, Awotunde later rushed to the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) Radio station to falsely claim that I invaded Ikirun with thugs destroying and vandalizing Council property.

arraignment in court for this capital offence. As soon as the elections were over, Oyinlola used his influence to pressure the Police to drop the plan to charge Makinwa to court for murder and released him into freedom.

• Suswan

ble self worthy to entrust with their mandate to lead them in the next four years. Today is exactly four years since we took similar oaths of office and allegiance, administered by the same jurist, the Hon. Justice Iorhemen Hwande, the Chief Judge of our dear state to assume the mantle of leadership.

Consistent but unlawful refusal of OSBC to air my political messages

• Aregbesola

Saleh supervised the mass killing of civilians in Ilesa. The soldiers carried out several other bestial acts in Ilesa and Osogbo including rape that later became a scandal which consequently led to their panic return to barrack.

Saturday February 7, 2009, attack on my convoy in Ikirun As I was returning from a wedding ceremony of the daughter of my friend and supporter, Alhaji Tijani Oladosu in Ikirun, Ifelodun Local Government which I chaired, several vehicles in my convoy were attacked by armed thugs led by one Sarafa Awodele who was then the chairman of Ifelodun Local Government. Apparently displeased with the show of affection, support and enthusiasm shown by the people who trooped out of their homes to wave at me as I drove through Ikirun, the PDP Council Chairman Alh Sarafa Awotunde in a convoy of four cars including his personal Murano jeep and the offiBy all accounts, there is palpable evidence that the Benue Renaissance begun by the first Executive Governor of Benue State, the Late Aper Aku thirty years ago has been rejuvenated by us. We were also greatly inspired by our political progenitor, the Late Senator J.S. Tarka whose dogged, unpretentious and grass-root approach to issues, gave the ordinary people a sense of belonging in the affairs of the state. As such, most of our projects so far have been equitably distributed among the rural areas of the state. You would have noticed, also, that we have not unnecessarily mixed up partisanship with governance as we took decisions for the people of Benue based on fairness, justice and equity. Your Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, history has shown us time and again that re-election battles for Governor in Benue State have always been very keenly fought. In this year’s general elections too passions were raised to high pitch about the future of our dear state by people of various political persuasions, some almost to a frenzy. Indeed some of our leaders were led to despise and even slander others who dared to hold contrary political views. Our polity became so heated and traumatized to the point that our once closely-knit society was threatened along primordial and mundane sentiments. We are happy that all those are now history as

It is necessary for me to bring to your distinguished attention how the publicly funded Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) consistently denied me the use of its channels to broadcast my lawful messages to the public. The OSBC, in clear violation of the Broadcast Code, refused to air several jingles, mews releases and other paid for programmes on its channels. A clear example was the Call to Prayer (Islam) which I sponsored in the memory of my father, Alhaji Alli Aregbesola. When the tapes for this message which was to have been aired five times daily in line with Islamic practices was taken to OSBC, it was flatly rejected by officials of the Corporation who I was reliably informed, had to seek clearance from Oyinlola before deciding whether to air it or not. The OSBC established its disdain for the law and discriminated against me when the same Islamic Call to Prayer was sent back to the studio and made out in the name of another chieftain of our party, Alhaji Fatai Diekola Oyedele. The OSBC accepted the material and gleefully aired it once my surname was not mentioned on it. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola Governor. the people of Benue State have once again decided through their votes that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should form the government again. By this gesture they have demonstrated that irrespective of our shortcoming as human beings and contrary opinions by others, the people have seen sufficient merit in our developmental agenda, Our Benue, Our Future. Throughout the months of the campaigns we maintained an abiding faith in both God and the people of Benue State. We did not have to win at every polling booth, or at every ward or even in every local government, knowing fully well that democracy allows us all the freedom and space to choose whichever candidate or party we wanted. Our opponents, however, underestimated the impact of our administration in providing basic infrastructures like roads, water and electricity in the rural areas. They rather held us solely responsible for the backlog of problems of youth unemployment, poverty, disease and ignorance, and demanded that we provided instant solutions to all these at once. What is more, they disagreed with the basic idea that government works out budgets and plans and moves from one phase to the other. We told the truth in all our campaigns •Continued on page 13




‘Jonathan, other governors should learn from ACN’


HE only sure path to Nigeria’s true gianthood is for every elected public office holder in the country to draw a cue from the people-oriented principles and programmes of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The above were the words of a chieftain of the party in Lagos, Hon. Kayode Omiyale, who was also an aspirant into the House of Representatives in the recently concluded elections. It was while speaking with The Nation on Monday. He expressed the view in his reflections on the polls and the inauguration of President Goodluck Jonathan and the state governors across the country which was held on Sunday amid pomp. Omiyale, a former education Secretary for Lagos Mainland admonished all the elected and sworn-in executives not to be carried away by the euphoria of their inauguration and settle down quickly for a serious governance business. “Of course, success is sweet and there is nothing bad in celebration it; what should be seen as paramount is how well the success is used in the interest of the voters, the owners of the mandate, who have been yearning for better days,” he said.

•Continued from page 12

• Omiyale By Musa Odoshimokhe

Speaking further, the politician specifically urged all the executives across the country to put their partisan predilections aside, study, internalize and actualise the peoplefriendly mode of administration of the ACN-controlled states in their domains. He stated: “If one casts one’s mind back to what happened to Lagos State

between 1999 and 2007 when Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was in the saddle in the state, one cannot but see clearly, the visible evidence of genuine developmental democracy on all fronts. While others were making a mockery of governance in other states, he was busy feeding Lagos people with the fruits of democracy. After leaving the stage amid ovation, the current governor, Babatunde Fashola took over with the same spirit, without reversing the gear of all-round development of the state. “All over the country and even outside it, today, what is happening in the state has turned a reference point. This is why I believe that if all our governors and even President Jonathan should be patriotic and honest enough to learn from the two patriots and the party’s flag bearers in Ekiti, Oyo, Ogun and Osun States to move the country forward.” Commending Nigerians on the outcome of last elections, Omiyale said: “The way Nigerians trooped out to participate in the April polls suggested that they were indeed hungry for truly representative democracy. It is therefore incumbent on all the elected leaders to justify their efforts by actualising their electoral promises.”

Lawmaker advocates good leadership for National Assembly By Sunday Ogundugba


OUSE of Representative elect representing Ekiti North Federal Constituency 1 ,Mr Bimbo Daramola has called for full investigation into the 10 billion legislative scam in the Federal House of Representatives, saying it would serve as a deterrent to incoming leadership of the house. Daramola in a statement yesterday said the Nigerian legislature needs new breed leadership that would sanitize the rot in the house. The statement reads in part: “The situation the house has found itself begs for a leadership that will sanitise and deodorize the suffocating stench from the rot in the legislature. This is because the new parliament cannot stand on a distracted house. “It is one of the saddest spectacles of our nation, that the House of Representative, a democratic institution will be at the mercy of a bank and members are not outraged. “Talking about the strength of our institution, it beats me how one man could go into negotiation on behalf of the whole house and conclude such transactions that exposes members and the constituencies to the tune of 10 billion “As the 7th Assembly is inaugurated, I urge other elected members of the House of representatives to be reminded that aside jostling for leadership positions must review the activities of the outgoing speaker of the house. “The new legislature need to rise up for integrity and to battle for institutional integrity rather than keep quiet.There must be conscious effort to deepen the supremacy and impact of our institution in order to get the confidence of Nigerians “If we keep quiet about the 10 billion scam,Nigerians will believe that we have joined the bandwagon.Our entry should be a relief to Nigerians because the parliament should be bulwark of democracy. “As the jostling for leadership in the house begins, we must make strident call for full investigation into this 10 billion legislative sleaze and those who have exposed this ridicule must not be murdered. This is the first condition and assurance that whoever must become the next speaker should commit themselves to ,otherwise we would be spinning round in circles.

‘We won’t disappoint Benue people’

and conducted ourselves in the most orderly manner in line with global tenets of liberal democracy. We are happy today that the people of Benue State have vindicated us. My dear people of Benue State, elections have come and gone, now is the time to settle down to serve you. Now is the time for reconciliation. Now is the time for all hands to be on deck. Now is the time for us to walk together and to work together as brothers and sisters. For me and my team, it is a new beginning in which we must all invest more hope, commitment and patriotism. We see a brighter future ahead of us, that can only be achieved if we act consciously, in unison and with commitment. Once again, I invite all sons and daughters of Benue state, at home and in the Diaspora, to disregard partisan differences and join us to move Benue state forward. As a government, we have learned from our past experience, what would greatly help us in the discharge of our new mandate. This is why as we brace up to take courageous and meaningful steps toward enhancing our people’s welfare, we nurse no grudges against our opponents who, in any case, have a legitimate and constitutional right to hold divergent opinions. Let me say here, as we celebrate this day, that democracy is the only system of government that accommodates us all, especially if our disagreement is based on principles and is devoid of violence. After all, as popular saying goes the minority should have their say while the majority should have their way. I wish to assure you once more that we will continue to do all that will unite the good people of the state, just as we shall do everything within our powers to maintain peace and respect the sanctity of every life and property. To achieve all these, we will continue to count on you, the good people of Benue individually and collectively. We solicit your cooperation and understanding as we also begin to implement the last phase of our Blue-print, Our Benue, Our Future. In this regard, I shall soon constitute a cabinet of credible and expe-

rienced individuals who will be presented to our new State House of Assembly for their kind approval. We intend to involve more hands. We also wish to provide enough incentives for astute and enterprising individuals to create wealth in the productive sector of the economy, which is the new focus of the administration. At a momentous occasion such as this, it is essential for us to take stock of what had transpired in the past four years. This is a necessary step so as to enable us appreciate from where we are coming and where we are heading. In this regard let me briefly ask you to cast your minds four years back when our beloved state was besieged by communal clashes, border disputes, armed robbery and cultism. Cast your minds back to those years of darkness when there was no security, no taxis, no good roads, no street lights, no walkways, no proper sanitation and no night life in Makurdi. When we took off in May 2007, there were virtually no infrastructure like water, electricity, urban and rural roads. The conditions in our primary, secondary schools as well as tertiary institutions were not good either. There were no good classrooms, no teaching materials and very low motivation for teachers and poor management of schools. Salaries and other allowances were being owed primary school teachers for several months. General hospitals purported to have been constructed by the previous administration were abandoned in bushy environments, without water or electricity, without perimeter fences and without drugs or other necessary equipment. There was a

• Suswan

drastic loss of morale among the civil servants of Benue State while the traditional institutions were totally neglected and treated with disdain. Four years on, we have fully reasserted ourselves and inspired confidence in our people to the effect that we have transformed our state headquarter into a modern city with all the amenities found elsewhere. We have also succeeded in reversing that notorious impression of stagnation of government activities and projects and we can say with all sense of responsibility that Benue state has gone back to work. We have indeed made a start

in many areas of our public life beginning with infrastructural developments which we regard as a catalyst for economic development. In this regard we have embarked on the construction and rehabilitation of thirteen (13) major rural roads in the state, out of which we have already completed three. They include Adikpo–Ikyogen– Jato-Aka road, Ugba-Anyiin road, EkeOlemgbecho/ Ugbokolo- Otukpo road. Government offices have been renovated and refurnished to create a more conducive working environment for all of us. Today, we also have a brand new Governor’s lodge, a structure that is not only symbolic of our new status of modernist development, but is already acclaimed as a tourist destination! We have also constructed township roads in Makurdi, Gboko, Katsina-Ala and Otukpo complete with walkways and street lights. The construction of water works at Makurdi, Otukpo and KatsinaAla to produce a total combined capacity of about 130,000 cubic metres of water per day is at 95% completion while about 565 boreholes have been sank across the state so far. During same period, about 43 towns and villages have been electrified in Benue State. In the agriculture sector we have purchased 137 new tractors, repaired 44 broken ones and we also adopted a very effective modality of distributing fertilizers to the real famers at the grassroots. During the first term, priority attention was also given to education by building more classrooms, rehabilitating many that were dilapidated and providing educational

‘When we took off in May 2007, there were virtually no water, electricity, urban and rural roads. The conditions in our primary, secondary schools as well as tertiary institutions were not good either. There were no good classrooms, teaching materials and very low motivation for teachers and poor management of schools. Salaries and other allowances were being owed primary school teachers for several months. General hospitals purported to have been constructed by the previous administration were abandoned in bushy environments, without water or electricity, without perimeter fences and without drugs or other necessary equipment’

materials in primary and secondary schools all over the state. The Benue State University also enjoyed enhanced funding as it became one of the first state-owned universities to implement the enhanced salary scale for academic staff last year. Civil servants in Benue State also enjoyed a pay rise as well as other benefits which they were hitherto denied. Ladies and gentlemen, time will not allow me to mention all the critical areas in which our government intervened. These achievements notwithstanding , I want to admit that we were confronted by several challenges, which included inadequacy of power supply, low internal revenue generation machinery which has however been re-organized for optimal performance. The near absence of the private sector to complement Government efforts remains a challenge. Indeed, we do recognize the enormous challenges that lie ahead especially with the ever swelling number of unemployed youths and rural-urban migration. During our next term, we shall place more emphasis on the area of poverty reduction and employment through industrialization and the improvement of agriculture. The proposed Mbatiav and Igumale Cement factories will be vigorously pursued. Government would also revamp ailing industries and privatize or lease them as soon as they take off. We shall help our people to establish cottage industries through easy access to loan and credit facilities. The Benue State government will also establish skills acquisition centres in the state to help produce skilled and self reliant manpower in various fields of human endeavour. My good people of Benue State, we are all aware that our efforts to improve the economy of the state by stimulating the growth of the private sector cannot be realized without addressing the issue of inadequate power supply. It is in view of this reality, therefore, that government applied to ADB/ADF to finance a study on the Katsina-Ala Hydro electric project at Udura village to produce 1200 Mega Watts of electricity. The grant of US $2.7M has been approved and documentation is going on.





Market needs 1m barrels more, says OPEC delegate


LOBAL oil supply needs to increase by 500,000 barrels to 1 million barrels a day in the next several months to meet demand, an oil official from a Middle East nation said six days before Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meets. While members of the 12nation OPEC agree more crude is needed, they have yet to decide whether to formally change production quotas, the OPEC delegate said yesterday, declining to be identified by name because he is not authorised to speak publicly. OPEC pumped 28.9 million barrels a day last month, according to Bloomberg estimates. “It is the easy option not to change quotas at this meeting, but to avoid doing so sends a strong message that spare capacity is low or that there is a desire for higher prices,” New Yorkbased head of commodities research at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lawrence Eagles, said by phone yesterday. “On balance, lifting targets is politically the better option. However, higher targets and higher output do not necessarily go together.” OPEC, which supplies 40 percent of the world’s oil, meets June 8 in Vienna to review output targets, after Brent crude gained 21 percent this year to over $114 a barrel. The group will probably maintain production levels, according to 27 of 30 analysts in a survey by Bloomberg News conducted May 24-31.

In business, one of the challenges is making sure that your product is the easiest to experience and complete a sale. - Mark Cuban

Rescued banks: Sept deadline not feasible, says Rewane •’Legal actions won’t pose long-term risk’


HE September 30, 2011 deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for rescued banks to recapitalise or get liquidated seems unlikely, the Managing Director of Financial Derivates Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane has said. The banking watchdog had last Monday ordered the rescued banks to conclude recapitalisation deals with new investors or face liquidation. Should the banks fail to reach merger agreements, the CBN has said AMCON could inject funds, effectively nationalising them, but there has been resistance to this from some bank directors and shareholders. “We can’t keep the process open indefinitely,” CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said. “If there is no agreement (with new investors), clearly option B is AMCON recapitalisation and option C liquidation.”

By Collins Nweze

Sanusi’s statement had elicited reactions, with some experts expressing fears on the implications of the announcement on the gains already recorded in the last two years. He said liquidation had always been the last option and it still remained so because CBN’s aim is ensuring financial stability in the affected banks. “Liquidation is not a first option. If it was, it would have happened before now, and preventing it was why CBN injected a N620 billion lifeline into the banks in the first place. Liquidation is a last option,” he said. But the Financial Derivative boss in its June report, said it will take much longer to satisfy the various stakeholder interests presented in many of the recapitalisation plans. He explained that although the transac-

tions are tilted in favour of potential acquirers, there is still room for the negotiating parties in the merger and acquisition plans to reach agreement that will consummate the transactions. Acknowledging that the CBN governor is committed to recapitalising the banks, he said the process, is experiencing legal bottlenecks as seen in the court action that put First City Monument Bank and Finbank Plc merger plans on hold. “There also seems to be more technical issues encumbering the process as talks have broken down between other target banks and interested parties,” Rewane said. He said the main obstacles to the negotiations are some erring shareholders who have been able to resort to the law to put a hold on further negotiations. “It, however, does not look like this would pose a long-term risk to the recapitalisation process. The negotiations will be allowed

to run after the legal bottlenecks are removed. The only snag could be that the offer by the acquiring banks could be below the targets’ expectation,” Rewane said. He said the rescued banks are expected to take on a more favourable look to offers made by interested parties to facilitate the completion of the deals. The banks may also have to find ways of soothing disgruntled nerves both within the management team and shareholders as well add speed to negotiation plans. Oceanic Bank is yet to sign an accord with a potential investor after talks collapsed with First Bank of Nigeria Plc. FinBank has signed an agreement to merge with First City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB), FCMB said on May 5. Union Bank said on March 23 it signed an agreement with African Capital Alliance under, which the group will invest $750 million into the bank.

COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$112.3/barrel Cocoa - $2,856/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢78.07.pound Gold -$1,161/troy ounce Rubber - ¢146.37/pound


-N8.1 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation -11.3% Treasury Bills -2.64% Normal lending -24% Prime lending -18% Savings rate -3% 91-day NTB -6.99% Time Deposit - 6% MPR -7.50% Foreign Reserve - $32.5bn FOREX CFA 0.281 • 220.9 £ 253.5 $ 153.59 ¥ 1.5652 SDR 245.85 RIYAL 39.3

By Toba Agboola


NITED Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has disclosed that Nigeria spends more than N300 billion yearly on food importation. Speaking at the quarterly business luncheon of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Resident Representative and Director, Regional Office, (UNIDO), Dr Patrick Kormwa, said this figure represents about 80 per cent of the income generated by Nigeria. Korma said, there is food crisis in some African countries and this is contributing to the political unrest. He said the Federal Government should focus more on the agricultural sector, adding that this is the only solution to address the issue. He said more than 50 per cent of Nigerians live under poverty, and that without a strong industrial base, unemployment and poverty will continue to increase. The President, LCCI, Otunba Femi Deru, said the economy has transformed into a trading and consuming economy, not one that produces. He said this is not good enough for a country that wants to be among the best 20 nations.

UK-based Nigerian firm targets 45m subscribers



‘Nigeria spends N300b on food importation’

A •From left: Vice President, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), John Jegede; President/Chairman of the council, Prince Rasaq Quadri and Honourary Treasurer, Adesina Adebayo, during the 19th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the PHOTO: BADE DARAMOLA institute in Lagos.

PenCom raises PFA’s capital base to N1b


HE Capital base of Pension Funds Administrators (PFAs) will be raised to N1 billion from June 30, 2012, the Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mr Ahmad Muhammad has said. Muhammad, who said this in a circular made available to The Nation, added that the decision to raise the capital from N150million to N1billion was informed by the need to reposition pension operations. The decision was reached after consultations with operators in the in-

By Chuks Udo Okonta

dustry. He said: “The commission has through its oversight function observed that the minimum paid up share capital of N150million was no longer adequate to meet the operational expenses of the PFAs business given its information technology nature and an average gestation period of five years. The commission had consulted with the pension industry for its input on the new minimum capital required for the PFAs.

“The input of the pension industry and subsequent review by the commission resulted in the presentation of a technical paper to the board of PenCom on the Issue.” He explained that the circular is intended to intimate PFAs about the commission’s decision on the new minimum share capital requirements for PFAs, saying the minimum shareholders’ fund of N1 billion unimpaired by losses has been approved. “This amount is considered adequate to absorb unforeseen losses and improve the

financial condition as well as business processes of the PFAs given the current market situation.” Muhammadu said the increase in the minimum capital requirement would also encourage healthy mergers or acquisitions and promote stability in the industry, adding that it is expected that the improved financial condition of the PFAs would usher in the implementation of the reviewed capital requirement, as well as enhance service delivery and product development.

FRIMOBILE Limited, a United Kingdombased Nigerian Telecom provider, yesterday said it is targeting between 20 million to 45 million subscribers from members of the ethnic communities living in the UK. Afrimobile Limited is a virtual network operator that will provide mobile phone services including electronic money transfer and digital e-wallet services to subscribers. “We are targeting between 10 to 45 million ethnic minorities living in the UK,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Mr Kayode Ehindero, said at a private product launch in London. He expressed concern that there was no telecom provider in the UK that was willing to render services to the communities adding“ they have been under served and exploited for too long”.



BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.

LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

Africa said: “Financial services in Nigeria are an area where we see increases in listings”. He declined to say how many banks had approached the bourse because the discussions are confidential. The eight banks, which the CBN bailed-out N620 billion ($3.9 billion) are Afribank Nigeria Plc, Bank PHB, Equatorial Trust Bank Ltd., FinBank Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank International Plc, Spring Bank Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. Banks, majority of which are the rescued banks, had given loans to equity speculators that contributed to N700 billion of non-performing debt. CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi fired the chief executives of the rescued banks and set up AMCON to buy bad debts from the banks to help recapitalise them before matching them with potential buyers.

12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 Arik 16.30

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.15 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35


LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

been resistance to this from some bank directors and shareholders. “We can’t keep the process open indefinitely,” CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said. Sanusi’s statement had elicited reactions, with some experts expressing fears on the implications of the announcement on the gains already recorded in the last two years. He said liquidation had always been the last option and it still remained so because CBN’s aim is ensuring financial stability in the affected banks. “Liquidation is not a first option. If it was, it would have happened before now, and preventing it was why CBN injected a N620 billion lifeline into the banks in the first place. Liquidation is a last option,” he stated. But the LSE’s head of primary markets for the Middle East and

08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1. Dana


ANKS bailed out by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2009 may seek to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) to raise funds before a deadline to recapitalise, the LSE’s head of primary markets for the Middle East and Africa, Ibukun Adebayo said. He told Bloomberg some of the eight banks that received funds from the apex bank have contacted the LSE about possible listings. The banking watchdog had last Monday ordered the rescued banks to reach recapitalisation deals with new investors by September 30 or face liquidation. Should the banks fail to reach merger agreements, the CBN has said Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) could inject funds, effectively nationalising them, but there has

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LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30

1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik

Bailed-out banks may seek London listing

08.00 18.00

LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30

•Star prize winner of N250,000 in the Finsplash promo draw for Victoria Island Zone, Miss Blessing Ngbeokwere; flanked left-right by the Chairman of the occasion/Chairman Eti Osa Local Government Area, Wale Adeniji; GMD/CEO, FinBank, Mrs Suzanne Iroche; MD, Olubodun & Sons Ltd, Alhaji R. Tinubu; ED, Finance & Strategy, FinBank, Mr Godwin Ize-Iyamu and ED North/Retail Banking, FinBank, Adam Nuru, at the draw, held in Lagos yesterday.

Fed Govt to build six fertiliser blending plants


HE Vice President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, yesterday said the Federal Government plans to build six fertilizer blending plants across the country.The six plants, he explained would be distributed along the six geo-political zones. A statement from the office of his media aide, said Sambo, made this known when he received the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Terrence McCulley who led two US Congressional members on a congratulatory visit to the Vice President over the successful inauguration.

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

According to the release, the Vice President, thanked the United States for their various support through grants to enable Nigeria provide consultancy service for its hydropower plants. He assured the Congressmen that the new administration would provide the needed development in the next four years, and focus on Power Supply which will be pursued through the Power Sector Reform Roadmap. On the 10 thermal power plants cur-

rently under construction, Sambo, said when completed, they would lead to an additional 5000MW of electricity to the National Grid. Others, he said, are the development of multipurpose dams and irrigation schemes, large hydro power plants in Mambila and Zungeru; transportation in the areas of Railways, Deep Seaports, improvement of Airports, inland waterways, dredging of the River Niger, where work is about 60 per cent done and the plan to dredge River Benue.

Govt wades into FAAN, Maevis agreement impasse


HE Federal Government yesterday intervened in the protest staged by different aviation unions seeking the revocation of the concession agreement between the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Maevis Limited. Maevis Limited is responsible for the provision of automated airport management system at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. The government’s intervention came as some workers from FAAN shut their offices for hours yesterday to express their disenchantment over government’s perceived delay in revoking the agreement with Maevis, which

DN Meyer raises production capacity to 8.4m litres

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor, Aviation Correspondent

is alleged to be fleecing FAAN of huge revenue as the concessionaire providing passenger facilitation services. Confirming the development, Director-General,Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren, explained that there has been on-going meetings with the aggrieved workers to see ways of dousing the tension, the protest has engendered in the industry. “We are meeting with them. We don’t want them to go to the international terminal as they did on Wednesday. That may cause a breach

of security because it is when there is chaos that evil minded people carry out their evil acts. They capitalised on the pandemonium to penetrate and we have to stop this. That is not a good image for us. We’re law abiding citizens and we must always show this,” he stated. The NCAA Chief, also appealed to the various aviation unions, including the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN), as well as other affiliate bodies to respect the court's injunction restraining FAAN from terminating the concession deal of Maevis Nigeria Limited.


ANAGING Director, DN Meyer Plc, Mr Tola Osunkiyesi yesterday disclosed that the firm has raised its production capacity from 5.6million litres to 8.4million litres of paints. He said the increase was to enable the company respond to the demand of the customers faster so that the dealers will keep investing in Meyer. “For example, we have increased our production capacity from 5.6million litres to about 8.4million litres so that we can respond faster and give them the comfort they need to continue to investment in the company,” said the managing director. On credit facility, Osunkiyesi, who spoke with journalists during a dealer forum in Abuja, assured his customers “from the second half of this year, credit facility will be given on a case by state case basis.” He, however, put a caveat on the facility. He said: “For example you don’t expect me to give credit to a dealer, who gives me bounced cheques. But if I have a dealer who has been doing very well, definitely I will approve credit for him.” He said, plans are already underway to establish depots in Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Sokoto instead of relying solely on the Kano depot that presently serves the whole axis. The expansion, said the managing director, was in order to quickly respond to the demand of the dealers immediately. He added that the company has resolved the issue of rebate to the dealers and ready to release the payment in the next two weeks. Osunkiyesi said there was a lot of restructuring in the company but now that the management is done with that, “but we are now in a position to be where the old Meyer used to be.”

PENGASSAN woos media over Petroleum Industry Bill


ETROLEUM and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called on the media to intensify campaign on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). The outgoing deputy president of the association, Mr Mustapha Wali, made the call yesterday in Abuja while expressing dismay at the nonpassage of the Bill by the outgoing National Assembly. In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Wali called on the media to join other stakeholders in the industry to ensure that the Bill was passed by the incoming National Assembly. “Since 1999 till date, this is one of the most important bills, which ought to have been given accelerated hearing and passage because it is the livewire of our country.’’ Wali urged the media to give the Bill the same attention and zeal it deployed to the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill (FOI). “Even the journalists have a role to play; the way you have played in the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill, that is what we expect you to do to Nigeria; to let Nigerians to know what is happening in the industry.’’ Wali also called on President Gooodluck Jonathan to fulfill all his electoral promises, including signing of the Bill when passed by the National Assembly.



AGRO-BUSINESS World food digest

Japan donates 125 tractors to Ghana GHANA’S Ministry of Food and Agriculture has taken delivery of a fleet of 125 tractors as part of a national programme to support the development of small farm agriculture. The tractors are a donation by the government of Japan as part of an international aid project. The New Holland TD80 straddle mount tractors, built at New Holland’s Turkish plant in Ankara, were to be handed over at the premises of the Agricultural Engineering Services Directory of Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA). CFAO Equipment, New Holland’s official distributor in Ghana, will provide technical and service support for these units.

Seafood exports drop in Argentina

• Members of All Farmers/Fishermen and Cooperators in Lagos State during Governor Babatunde Fashola’s PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS inauguration at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos.

Experts warn on effect of poor soil E NHANCING soil fertility and converting agricultural biowaste are some of the issues government must address to promote growth in the agricultural sector, experts have said. Speaking with The Nation, the Project Manager, Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (C:AVA) at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom, Dr Kolawole Adebayo, said without a fertile soil it would be difficult to get quality produce. According to him, the way soils are managed can improve or degrade the natural quality of soils. For him, good management involves soil conservation measures; and judicious use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, and farm machinery, adding that this can only be possible if farmers have long term control of such land. Adebayo said insecure and crum-

Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agriculture Correspondent

bling tenure arrangements are contributing to declining soil fertility. He said insecure tenure rights have reduced the incentive for farmers to under-take soil fertility-enhancing investments. The Project Manager said secure tenure arrangements would help induce investment in soil fertility. For farmers to increase yields, Adebayo noted that application of balanced nutrient replenishment is necessary to ensure continued long-term soil fertility. On biowaste, Adebayo said farmers are yet to explore erecycling of farm waste which is a good source of nutrients for farm and crop needs. He said exploring agricultural

biowaste will add value to the soil and agricultural practices. A soil specialist, Prof Ayo Ogunlela, said soil fertility is an issue of concern because of slow down in farm yield growth. Ogunlela, who is of the Agricultural Engineering department, University of Ilorin, said declining soil fertility and mismanagement of plant nutrients have made the task of providing food for population difficult. The Executive Director, Olusegun Obasanjo Centre for Organic Research and Development (OOCORD), Ibadan, Prof Jonathan Babatola, said increasing use of inorganic fertilisers on the soil can lead to serious environmental consequences. He said application of inorganic fertilisers has negative consequences on human beings and animals, which have access to products from such farms.

Anambra farmers get N21.7m loan


O boost food production, the Anambra State government has launched the 2011 farming season with the distribution of N21.7 million credit to farmer groups. Governor Peter Obi said at the launching in Awka that the money would ensure viable private sectordriven agriculture in the state. Obi noted that farmers were important elements to the vision of reducing hunger and extreme poverty in the country. He expressed the commitment of the state government to agricultural development of the state. According to him, his administration has created 2,000 jobs in the education sector and is targeting

1,000 jobs each in the agricultural sector and industrial sectors. “The government is equally working on the construction of roads and bridges to provide access roads to farming communities. “Our target is to ensure that youths in the state take agriculture as a career,” he said. Earlier, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Chief Godson Ezenagu, had advised farmers to avoid farming around flood prone areas due to the anticipated heavy rains expected this year. Ezenagu said the state government had procured 4,000 tonnes of fertiliser, tractors and a variety of improved seedlings as a demonstration of its commitment to as-


rural communities,” he said. He said sometimes, the coordinators reached out to local government chairmen to assist them to pay contribution and that some council chairmen responded positively while others did not. He identified some projects executed in the zone to include construction of rural roads, markets, borehole and value addition to crops, among others. According to him, participants have also acquired pumping ma-

$4m grant for African communities THE Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, United States has announced a $4 million grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to bring healthier sorghum to underserved communities in Africa. The grant will help fund the completion of the development of biofortified sorghum, a more nutritious and digestible sorghum for Africans who depend on sorghum as their staple diet. DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred began working on the project in 2005 in conjunction with the African Biofortified Sorghum (ABS) Consortium, an Africa-led public-private partnership. The ABS Consortium is a key partner in this project and will work to secure regulatory approvals and pursue production and deployment plans as Pioneer and Danforth complete product development. Sorghum is a cereal that has many characteristics comparable to corn. However, unlike corn, sorghum is naturally drought tolerant. It provides calories and minimal nutrition in dry areas of Africa such as in the Sahel, the area of Africa just south of the Sahara desert. The sorghum nutritional improvement project will permit greater levels of essential nutrients to be delivered to those who live in arid places where sorghum is relied upon as the staple food source. Additionally, the biofortified sorghum may become important in new geographies as a result of the effects of climate change.

Oceanic Bank funds tractor project


• Governor Obi

sist farmers. He said the state government had also approved the distribution of fertiliser to farmers at 25 per cent subsidy, to make the products affordable and boost food production.

Poverty hinders World Bank’s project XTREME poverty is a major challenge to the implementa tion of the World Bank-assisted Fadama III programme, according to the Southwest Zonal Coordinator, Alhaji Razak Salawu. Salawu said in Ibadan, Oyo State, that some would-be beneficiaries were too poor to provide the 10 per cent counterpart contribution required to enable them participate. “This shows that the level of poverty is still very high in the

ARGENTINA recorded 3.9 per cent decline in seafood export in the between January and April, according to statistics from the National Health Service and Food Quality (SENASA). The numbers revealed that the region exported 114,316t of fish and seafood valued at $310.1 million in the period. While the exports declined in volume, Argentina reported a rise of 11.9 per cent in value compared with those recorded in the same period last year, when 118,877t were sold abroad for $277.1 million. SENASA certified fish exports for around 81,760t between January and April, valued at $198.5 million, and 32,556t of seafood valued at $111.6 million. Brazil was the biggest importer of Argentinean seafood with a total of 19,712t worth $59.5 million, while Spain took the second place with about 16,720t valued at $52.9 million. Italy imported 5,352t valued at $19.8 million, while the US was the fourth biggest importer with 5,262t worth $31.5 million.

chines to irrigate their farms, spraying pumps, garri processing machines and oil palm processing machines. Furthermore, he said farmers had been trained in modern farming systems and resolution of farm conflicts under the programme. On the issue of counterpart funding, he said only Osun, Lagos and Ondo states had paid up to 2011 and appealed to the other states to also comply.

CEANIC Bank is partnering some local firms to provide low interest finance options on agricultural tractors. Facilitated by PrOpCom (an NGO arm of UK Department For International Development (DfID), based in Abuja), the arrangement involved the bank, Tractor Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria, Springfield Agro Limited, Lagos, which will supply the tractors. The aim is to enable poor farmers have access to tractors at market rates, while repayment terms are affordable to the tractor operators. According to the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Oceanic Bank, working with Springfield Agro Limited (SFAL), TOOAN, PrOpCom shall be responsible for, among other things, to establish a lease finance arrangement for financing 150 tractors for service providers. The MoU shall remain in force for 36 months, and the scope of collaboration will be reviewed every six months or as the need arises. The tenor of the tenor is 24 months, with an option of accelerated liquidation. 20 per cent of the cost of tractor will be borne by operators’ through equity contribution, while the bank’s credit will be 80 per cent. Head of development Finance, Oceanic Bank Plc, Mr Felix Oyakhamoh, expressed happiness that a new window has opened to assist the nation’s farmers. “Agricultural financing is just about to start. Before now, banks shied away from agricultural fi-

nancing. We have taken a lot of knocks from outside. Banks have done that (agric financing) in the past and got their fingers burnt. But there are problems in agriculture that need to be fixed before banks can easily finance the agric sector. Examples are infrastructure that needs to be in place. Bankers’ fears are well founded, but banks need to do soul searching and realising that agricultural financing is a development financing project, the profits will come later. We can unlock potentials by financing agriculture. Profits will come later.” Today’s ceremony is a result of the understanding with PrOpCom and this, to me, is a good deal.” He said: “The CBN is keen right now and is ready to share risks with banks to help banks lend to agriculture.” Agricultural lending should have a percentage of credit of the banks. If we do the right thing, we have everything to be the food basket for the world. I believe it will work.” General Manager, Springfield Agro Limited, Pradeep Sarkar, acknowledged the first success recorded, with First Bank and expect that with Oceanic Bank. He also acknowledged the success in private sector financing of tractor business in India. “There is no subsidy for any area of agriculture in India, but it is financed 100 per cent by the private sector. Nigeria is going in that direction. We hope this will be a great success and let Oceanic Bank be part of agricultural revolution in Nigeria.




Experts forecast food price hike T HE effect of climate change could further push up food prices later in the year, an expert has said. A consultant to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Prof Lateef Sanni, said the unpredictable weather conditions would push up food prices. According to him, the situation would be worsening because most Nigerian farmers produce at a small scale adding that this will have serious implications on food production. The weather condition, he observed should serve as a reminder to farmers to consider insurance coverage for the future. Sanni said farmers would have to depend on crop insurance to manage the risks associated with climate change. Director, Centre for Com-

• Prof Salako Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agriculture Correspondent

munity-Based Farming Scheme (COBFAS) University of Agriculture, Prof Felix Kolawole Salako, however, said the impact of this year’s

weather conditions may not create food supply challenges. As much as there may be challenges, he noted there is no possibility that shortages may create some price rises. Notwithstanding some sporadic rainfall in certain areas in recent days, he noted that there is sustained wetter weather in the right places. Last month, farmers in Kano State expressed anxiety over the late arrival of rainfall for the commencement of the 2011 planting season. Farmers were restive about the situation, which they fear might affect this year’s harvest. One of the farmers, Abdul Ibrahim, said he was apprehensive about the lack of rains for the planting of crops. “Last year, by this time, we had already planted our crops. In fact, many of us had started harrowing and ridging the farms. But this year, we are

yet to witness any sufficient rainfall,” he said. Another farmer, Usaini Hudu, said he had conveyed manure to his farm located at Jido Village about one month ago in preparation for the season, but that the late arrival of rains was discouraging him from making further efforts on the farm. “I pray that the rains come in full to enable us plant our crops so that we will have good harvest,” he said. “It will ease our present hardships caused by high prices of foodstuff.” Most parts of the state have witnessed only two rainfalls so far, and the heavy rainfalls recorded in towns and villages in the neighbouring Kaduna State have further increased the anxiety of the farmers. Across the market, the prices of fruits and proteinbased items have not remained stable.

• From left: IITA Director-General, Dr. Peter Hartmann; Finnish Ambassador, Anneli Vuorinen; Swedish Ambassador, Per Lindgär Download and Kjell Lillerud of Norway.

Nordic ambassadors laud IITA’s research efforts


HE Ibadan-based International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has received praises from resident ambassadors of three European countries. They are Anneli Vuorienen of Finland, Kjell Lillerud of Norway and Per Lindgärde of Sweden. The diplomats praised the quality of research and scientific professionalism displayed at the institute in fighting hunger and poverty in tropical countries during their visit at the weekend. They reinforced the imperative of agricultural research in addressing the challenges of food insecurity in tropical countries.

Vuorienen said: “The level of excellence and knowledge at IITA is extraordinary.” She expressed confidence in the ability of the institute to find a lasting solution to the problem of hunger in Africa. Lillerud said he was proud of his Norwegian government’s support to IITA and the positive impact its research had made on the lives of people in the tropics. He said: “I am happy my country is supporting IITA and I am impressed with the work here.” Sweden’s Lindgarde, who organised the visit, said his country appreciated the positive impact which IITA’s work had had on food pro-

duction in Africa. “We see the value in the work IITA is doing and we will continue to give our support.” The institute, established in 1967, is one of the worlds leading research partners in finding solutions to hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. Using the Research for Development (R4D) approach, the institute works with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture. In more than four decades of existence, the institute has contributed to building the capacities of scientists in

tropical nations, thereby helping to stabilise the national research systems, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa. Improved maize varieties released by the institute make up 60 per cent of farmers’ preferred varieties in West and Central Africa. “The biological control programmes of the institute against food crop pests saved cassava, a major staple in Africa,” said Dr Peter Hartmann, the IITA Director-General. The visit provided the Nordic ambassadors and the IITA administration the opportunity to explore a broad range of development challenges, a statement said.

Association advocates price subsidy for local rice


HE Association of Small-Scale Agro Producers of Nigeria (ASSAPIN) has advocated price subsidy for locally produced rice. The National Vice-President of the association, Mr Joshua Mabinuori, made the call in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. Mabinuori said subsidy for locally produced rice would discourage importation and

increase local production and consumption. He described as “colossal waste” the huge amount expended on rice importation annually, adding that time had come for governments at all levels to invest in local rice production. “ One of the ways by which the government can discourage rice importation and encourage local production and

consumption is when the price of the locally produced rice competes favourably with the imported rice. “By this, farmers will produce more and consumption will also be high because people will buy more. “Presently, a local farmer producing rice incurs more expenses producing 50 kg bag of rice because of higher cost of production than his coun-

terpart in other countries. “What the government should do as a matter of urgency is to encourage local rice production through price subsidy. This will assist farmers to remain in business and also reduce rice importation,’’ he said. Mabinuori also urged the government to increase budgetary allocation to agriculture to enable the country to become selfreliant in food production.


Agro business opportunities in Taraba By Daniel Essiet, Agriculture Correspondent


ARABA State lies largely within the Northwest area of the country. It consists of undulating landscape dotted with a few mountainous features. These include the scenic and prominent Mambilla Plateau. The state lies largely within the tropical zone and has a vegetation of low forest in the southern part and grassland in the northern part. The Mambilla Plateau with an altitude of 1,800 meters (6000 ft) above sea level has a temperate climate all year round. Agriculture is an important sector in Taraba State, employing over 70 per cent of the residents. The state is ranked in farm output, primarily producing coffee, tea, groundnuts and cotton. Crops such as maize, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava, and yam are also produced in commercial quantity. The state’s arable land is large enough to support the farming population. It’s diverse climate, rainfall patterns and soil types can sustain a wide range of agribusiness enterprises, including: tropical and temperate horticulture; inland and coastal aquaculture; the production of grains, oilseeds and fibres; grazing and feed lotting of livestock; thoroughbred breeding, forestry and the production of timber products.. Rice is Taraba’s most important crop, raised on most of the cultivated area. Fruits and vegetables are grown across the state. The state has a large livestock population, with sheep, goats, and camels are raised by herders. Cattle, horses, and donkeys are also raised, and dairy is encouraged by the government. In addition, cattle, sheep and goats are reared in large numbers, especially on the Manbilla Plateau, and along the Benue and Taraba valleys. Similarly, the people undertake other livestock production activities such as poultry production, rabbit breeding and pig farming in fairly large scale. Communities living on the banks of River Benue, River Taraba, River Donga and Ibi engage in fishing all year round. The state enjoys a long growing season with planting beginning in February to May. Taraba’s wide variety of agricultural produce is largely unprocessed. So, agribusiness opportunities exist in processing of fruits • Governor Danbaba and vegetables, as well as provision of agricultural equipment and financial services. The state government is initiating programmes to diversify agricultural products. For this reason, it has put in place attractive incentives to encourage private sector investment in agribusiness. Investment in the sector, it is envisaged, will create food security. It is intended to provide the best climate for private investment to thrive in food processing. It represents an opportunity for development that will create sustainable growth in the agribusiness sector. The state proximity to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), coupled with its climate and the availability of lowcost farm labour, make it a logical source for meeting growing fruit and vegetable consumption coming from Abuja and its environs. Taraba is a logical supply source for agricultural products. The farming community also represents reliable supply chain partner for national customers. Considering the extensive range of agricultural resources and rural production, there are significant new agricultural opportunities available within its stable investment and regulatory environment. Its enjoys several advantages. Geographic isolation and serene regime. Then proximity to striving state economies, which means that national companies source from the state and deliver produce throughout the year.This assists to drive demand for products in the national market. Internationally, producers from the state face the problem of being small players with limited visibility. Significant gaps will need to be filled to enable major food and export crop producers show that agricultural growth potential exists in the state. For this reason,the sector demands modern agricultural machinery, more efficient technologies and fertilisers, enhanced pesticides to protect crops, animal feed, and packaging equipment. What the state needs is continual innovation in farm machinery, plant and animal breeding programmes and solutions underpin the ability of agribusinesses to bring commodities to market. So far, the government is adopting massive mobilisation of the farming populace, land development, public-private partnerships (PPPs), provision of subsidies and support services. The outcome would be the provision of food for the teeming population, job creation, especially for the youths, boosts to farmers’ incomes and living standards, availability of raw materials for agro-industries and a range of export items to earn foreign exchange.





Jonathan’s speech •Uninspiring. The President failed to show direction at such a golden moment


F President Goodluck Jonathan’s speech during his inauguration last Sunday is a taste of what to come in the next four years, then Nigerians had better brace up for a dour and unimaginative tenure. Apart from October 1 1960, May 29, 2011 was arguable, Nigeria’s other most momentous time in history. Here is a man from a minority ethnic group attaining the most exalted office in the land after 50 years of Nigeria’s independence. Here is a man who has just won what is clearly a pan-Nigeria mandate against daunting odds. Here is a man who has by general acclaim, organised and won the most credible election in the land. Here is a man who by omission or commission brought Nigeria to the threshold of a new beginning. But when the moment came to charge the populace on the purport and import of this new era in a most elegant, if not grandiloquent manner, the Presidency failed the moment.

‘Jonathan gave Nigerians neither a road map nor showed them a destination ... He could have told Nigerians about deepening our democracy ... he could have told us about strengthening our institutions ... the cheapest point he missed to score was to have told Nigerians that even if he did nothing else, he would abolish blackout in Nigeria in the next four years – at any cost’

The 35-paragraph speech is flat, poorly sequenced and inchoately riddled with greetings and acknowledgements. In a speech like this, the niceties of recognition are kept short and consigned to the end of the beginning, not littered all over the place. And in all the back-patting, the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was conspicuously omitted. It is a speech like this that reveals the character of a leader and the essence of his era. Nigerians listened so hard but could not hear any new words or fresh message. The President and his writers purveyed the same old, trite words. Transformation is supposed to be the keyword upon which this administration is anchored (against reform which was the vogue in the recent past), it is used over half a dozen times in the speech, but there was neither substance nor image associated with the word. It fell flat. As uncharismatic as the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was, the essence of his inauguration speech still rings clear and sharp in our heads today. He told us a new thing: that he would be a servant leader; that he would uphold the rule of law; that he would reform our electoral system and that he would declare emergency in the power sector. By these, Yar’Adua captured the moment; he was able to read the mood of the people by carving a fresh part away from his predecessor. Jonathan gave Nigerians neither a road map nor showed them a destination. Yet opportunities abound to hit at the core of

Nigerians’ expectation. He could have told Nigerians about deepening our democracy by consolidating the reforms in our electoral system; he could have told us about strengthening our institutions. He could have told Nigerians he would pick up the federalism gauntlet and the cheapest point he missed to score was to have told Nigerians that even if he did nothing else, he would abolish blackout in Nigeria in the next four years – at any cost. The whole world watched President Barack Obama of the United States of America during his inauguration about three years ago, as he got all the peoples of the world rising to their feet, applauding, dropping tears as “yes we can” resonated across continents. Presidential speech writing is not an assignment to trifle with. Many at times, the speech propels the principal. President Jonathan must get the best in the land now. It is also allowed to employ a speech coach to help him raise his elocution as his delivery is still below the level we like for our President. And whether he and his minders know it or not, he is the leader of Africa. There are certain minimum presidential standards expected. Again, President Jonathan failed to seize a great moment of history. His speech was uninspired and uninspiring. He failed to rouse the people and he would not make a commitment to the people either; but it is still morning yet. He has four years to make amends.

Kwara tragedy •With good governance, such would have been averted


T was supposed to be a joyous, even triumphal event, for members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State. After two terms in office as Governor of the state, the immediate past Chief Executive, Dr. Bukola Saraki, was poised to hand over to a PDP successor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, who had been declared winner of the governorship election even though the outcome of the polls is being challenged before the Election Petition Tribunal by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). It was therefore understandable that supporters of the PDP would be enthusiastic in celebrating the valedictory ceremony for the outgoing governor who had also been elected to the Senate. The event, which took place last Saturday at the party’s campaign headquarters in Ilorin, known as ‘Mandate House’, however ended on a tragic note when at least 20 persons reportedly died, following a stampede that resulted in the collapse of the fence of the building. The victims of the collapsed structure were among party supporters who had queued up to receive money and Ankara fabric being distributed at the event. That precious lives could be lost in such pitiable circumstances only demonstrates how much poverty has devalued the quality of human existence in Nigeria. About four supporters of the PDP reportedly died at the same venue last year during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration. The tragedy underscores an unsavoury aspect of our contemporary political culture whereby people participate in political events, support parties and even sell their

votes for immediate material and pecuniary gratification. This in itself is a function of the high poverty level that drives people to scramble for paltry sums of money or material items of little financial worth. It is unfortunate that rather than utilise democracy as a vehicle to deliver enduring development dividends and empower people to overcome poverty, public office holders across the country invariably worsen popular misery through visionless leadership, corruption as well as inept policy conceptualisation and implementation, among others. The resultant mass hunger, deprivation, joblessness and despair in turn create the context for the kind of superficial and subversive generosity responsible for this latest loss of lives in Kwara State. We will recall that a similar stampede by desperate people for free bags of rice being distributed in Abuja last year during the country’s 50th independence anniversary also resulted in harrowing and unpleasant consequences. The Kwara State government’s account of the event only reinforces the fact that the pervasive poverty, which has so far not been ameliorated by democratic governance, is the fundamental cause of the tragedy. According to former Governor Saraki’s Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Masu’d Adebimpe, “preliminary investigation by the police revealed that some hoodlums, while attempting to rob party women at the valedictory ceremony had pulled down the fence of the venue which resulted in a stampede that led to the loss of lives”.

However, the state government’s management of information about the tragic occurrence leaves very much to be desired. The government made itself vulnerable to allegations of attempting a cover-up when it claimed shortly after the incident that two persons died, even though it admitted that details at the time were still sketchy. It would certainly have been much tidier to have accurate information before issuing a statement. Of course, the tragedy is only one manifestation of a problem that is prevalent across the polity – the poverty of governance that compounds the quagmire of underdevelopment. It is time for Nigerians to demand qualitative governance that empowers them to be self-reliant rather than scrambling for humiliating handouts from politicians. We pray that the souls of the departed rest in peace.

‘Of course, the tragedy is only one manifestation of a problem that is prevalent across the polity – the poverty of governance that compounds the quagmire of underdevelopment. It is time for Nigerians to demand qualitative governance that empowers them to be self-reliant rather than scrambling for humiliating handouts from politicians’

Mending relations with Pakistan


NE MONTH after the killing of Osama bin Laden, the danger of a rupture in relations between the United States and Pakistan appears to have passed, for now. No evidence has been found that senior Pakistani officials knew of the al-Qaeda leader’s presence in the town of Abbottabad, and the army and intelligence chiefs have pledged to find anyone who may have helped him. At a grim but frank meeting with those officials and Pakistan’s president and prime minister in Islamabad last Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Joint Chiefs chairman, Adm. Michael Mullen, discussed specific steps the two countries could take together on counterterrorism. Said Adm. Mullen: “Now is the time for action and close coordination, for more cooperation, not less.” That, rather than an attempt to punish or bully Pakistan, strikes us as the only workable approach. True, the full story of Osama bin Laden’s stay in the country is not yet known, and official Pakistani cooperation with elements of the Afghan Taliban, as well as other terrorist organizations, appears to be ongoing. Some in Pakistan are pushing for a cutback in cooperation; several joint intelligence centers are reportedly being shut down. But Pakistan and the United States continue to share powerful interests, including a desire to defeat al-Qaeda — which has waged unrelenting war on the Pakistani elite — as well as Pakistan-based Taliban factions. As an attack on a naval base in the center of Karachi last week indicated, some of those extremists may have infiltrated the armed forces, making the need for counterterrorism cooperation all the more urgent. U.S. aid to Pakistan, which has exceeded $20 billion since Sept. 11, 2001, is sometimes portrayed in Washington as a handout that Pakistan must earn. In fact Pakistan provides vital cooperation, including a supply route to Afghanistan and bases for the drone strikes that have greatly weakened al-Qaeda. But more importantly, U.S. dollars support pro-Western forces in a fateful internal battle over the future of this nuclear-armed Muslim country. What should concern Congress is not the amount of spending but the fact that so little of the aid for economic development and other civilian projects has actually been put to use. Pakistani generals, too, complain with some justification about the slowness in reimbusements for military operations against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and their failure to obtain needed equipment such as helicopters. Ms. Clinton, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and other recent envoys have laid out specific steps for Pakistan to take in order to regain the confidence of Washington. Some have already been carried out, such as the return of a helicopter that crashed in the Abbottabad operation; Ms. Clinton suggested that “some very specific actions” should be forthcoming. Let’s hope they are. But the reality is that the United States cannot afford to write off or abandon Pakistan as long as there is the chance of exercising influence over its leadership. Given the stakes, even a bad relationship is better than none. – Washington Post

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IR: Nigerian leaders have tried all their best in the past 50 years to put the country in good shape. With their widelyacclaimed political experience and exposure, they believe they had put up some good tries that deserve we give them more time to remain in the helm of affairs of the nation. This they seek with impunity and without a moment of reflection that most other countries we started together have left us far behind. What a show of shame! It would be unnecessary to say that their very best have not been good enough to make life better for the present generation, because as one of the several millions of Nigerian youths who are at the receiving end, we know where and how we individually feel the pains. Simply, the failure of our leaders is self-evident everywhere in the country. The most inconceivable is that though all of these so-called political leaders were born in Nigeria’s halcyon days with organized access to best education and scholarships, they still could not do better. They enjoyed so much and did very little. They ended up destroying the very system that made them; reduced the country to a mere parody of what they inherited; mortgaged our future for personal gains and well-being of their children; and left the present generation scrambling for survival. Nigerians have wandered in the wilderness without a committed leader to save us. Our problem is not that there are no people equipped with progressive political ideology to lead us out of the woods, but it is that, severally, these people have been rejected and allowed to waste away in the name of mainstream politics. We instead fall prey to the rhetoric of political do-gooders who only pay us lip


Let President Jonathan emulate ‘the rascals’ service; who claim familiarity with the country’s political terrain and enormous political experience to fix in four years, what they have failed to do in decades; and who at the end, take advantage of their self-made poverty in the land to buy our conscience and then cause divisions along ethnic lines. I make bold to say that the acceptance of these people for so long is responsible for the frustrations that have engulfed our land today. It is once said that when a thing is done the same way over and over again, no different results could be achieved. This explains the unimpressive results recorded from age-long recycling of old politicians in our polity. But the urge

of the present generation to see things done differently has led to the emergence of new crops of leaders in the persons of Fashola, Aregbesola, Oshiomhole, with several others just joining the train. So far, the outstanding leadership performances of the trio have emblematized the seriousness, sincerity and willingness of the new generation of leaders to bring change. What further evidence: Gov. Fashola put up an extraordinary performance that is visible to all and sundry who visit Lagos. It is such an impressive performance that even hardened cynics could not but fancy. Also in Osun State, Gov. Aregbesola engaged, in his first 100 days in office, 20 thousand youths

through an empowerment scheme – a feat his immediate predecessor could not achieve for over seven and half years. Hardened critics may argue their monthly pay are meager, but for able-bodied men and women who had for long roamed the streets of Osun, always at the mercy of friends and relatives for survival, constant N10,000 – N15,000 a month makes a whole lot of difference. You would know only if you had been in the same shoe. But why must these unemployed Osun youths wait helplessly for so long in total neglect? Why did Oyinlola-led PDP state government stay for over seven years without any clue to easing the suffering of these youths? Why has PDP con-

trolled Federal government in the last 12 years not initiated such empowerment scheme for Nigerian youths? These and several other national questions underscore the perceived failure of PDP government in the past years. However, President Jonathan has been handed a fresh opportunity to rewrite the history. How he fares this time around would say a lot about him and his party. But before then, this is my advise on how the youths could be empowered: with N10 billion set aside monthly, the president could run a scheme that would touch lives of 400,000 helpless youths out there with 10,810 engaged and paid N25,000 monthly from each state of the federation. This precedent has been set by Aregbesola, one of those the President described as ‘rascals’ of the Southwest. He needs to emulate these ‘rascals’ if actually he wants his name written on a platter of gold in Nigeria. • Alimi Olukola Fatai Osogbo, Osun State.

National Assembly should appoint INEC chair


IR: I commend President Goodluck Jonathan for signing the Freedom of Information (FoI) bill into law. That signifies a good intention to open Nigeria to true freedom and transparent accountability. He is helping the country to achieve a violence free revolution. I am, therefore, encouraged to sensitize him on the need to put in place a solid electoral arrangement, beyond his handpicking Prof Attahiru Jega as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman. President Jonathan brought in Jega when he should have engi-

neered the legislature to consider the recommendations of the Justice Muhammed Uwais Electoral Reform Committee, set-up by the former President, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Instead of doing that, he dodged the issue by confusing the nation with the choice of Jega to replace Prof. Maurice Iwu. I am saying if President Jonathan cherishes lasting legacies, such as the FoI, he should please revisit the recommendations. Agreed only God is omniscient, but consider the personalities involved in the committee: Justice Uwais himself, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, Advocate Olisa Agbakoba, etc. who are not less eminent or less patriotic than Jega.

Equity, justice and fair-play demand that the recommendations be judiciously considered by the National Assembly and implemented at federal, state, and local government levels, unless we continue to dodge electoral justice in the country. I am not advocating the exit of Jega. He has introduced some measures that should be incorporated into the recommendations. But, it is not honourable for us not to reckon adequately with the committee’s report. The members may never forgive us, and posterity may never forgive us, either. Most importantly, our partisan rulers must sufficiently hands-off electoral matters, which-

ever way we adopt to achieve that process. Yes, President Jonathan is patriotic enough to choose Jega who is generally known for reliability, but can the President speak for his successors this century and in future ages? I commend Senator Abiola Ajimobi for frowning against violence in Oyo State. I enjoin Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed of Kwara State to put an end to people dying in stampede at government functions in Ilorin, because it is a blemish. • Pius Oyeniran Abioje, University of Ilorin.

Soldiers/police clash: FG must punish culprits


IR: The Community Defence Law Foundation, CDLF, wishes to join other groups and individuals in condemning the brutal killing of three policemen by suspected soldiers of the Nigerian Army in Lagos on May 26, at 242 Recce Battalion, Ibereko - Badagry. The killings were said to be a reprisal of the earlier killing by a policeman of a soldier at a check-point in Lagos.

It is condemnable for a policeman to have shot and killed a soldier at a check-point for no just reason. But, for senior police officers to have gone to the army barracks to apologise and search for peace requires commendation and not the summary execution meted out to them by suspected soldiers of 242 Recce battalion. This has shown that our security agencies need orientation because to them human life do

not necessarily mean anything as they continue to kill at will. No doubt, in the past, several of such killings and assault had been meted out to civilians with very few cases getting justice. Hardly a day passes in Nigeria without a record of harassment from our security personnel and, as such President Goodluck Jonathan must take decisive action in stopping these wicked killings by our security agencies.

CDLF canvasses for stricter punishment on any security personnel who assaults or kills with no lawful justification for doing such. Human life is sacrosanct, it is also a fundamental right hence, must be protected by the government. The government must assist the security agencies to organize refresher and orientation courses for its junior officers regularly. This is in

the quest to improve their relationship with other sister organization and members of the society at large. We call on the government to immediately compensate members of the slain security officers’ families. Their children’s education, employment, accommodation and health insurance should be guaranteed by the government. • Uzodinma Nwaogbe CDLF, Maitama Abuja.




Expensive folly (2)

Reality Bites L

(Ignorant youth, motivational speakers, youth leaders…con-artists)

Olatunji Ololade

IKE captives, our youth are shackled by webs of ‘brilliant’ arguments. They are smitten by random sound bites and quotations by professional ‘life coaches’ and ‘motivational speakers.’ It doesn’t matter that anecdotes they retail are not much expression than sound. It doesn’t matter that characters by whom they are spellbound, are generally foetal-adults with not an honest livelihood and relatable experience to their name. Young, fresh graduates and undergraduates; rich, spoilt brats without the least anecdotal work and life experiences mount the podium at random, hawking clichés and impotent sound bites; teaching clueless, idle youth to tread paths even they would rather not tread. Sublime, isn’t it? It is our tragedy today that Nigeria parades ‘promising’ youth with the heart of a lion and wit of a hyena. It’s our tragedy that our youth talk the talk of champions and walk the walk of cowards. A simple lust remains our woe. Now more than ever, we are desperate to harvest sugarcane where we planted thistle. That is why we become easy prey for rampaging motivators to rip off.

Their talk is of ‘seed.’ Bet their unfortunate, middling, ignorant audiences do not know that every session they attend, they plant no seed; they are nothing but fertile earth for their crafty motivators and ‘youth leaders’ to sow in and reap from. Let us not dwell on their usual fallacies; there are no universal solutions and approaches to life that are at once practicable by and applicable to all. Peculiar problems beget peculiar solutions. Individual remedies lie in the hands of individual man. They are usually relative and self-taught; as different circumstances dictate. Which is why, I maintain that our ‘motivational speakers’ and ‘youth leaders’ are fraudsters – particularly the child-adults role-playing wise adults. What is it that gets to you? Their clean-cut suits or passionately belted pick-me-ups, and psychobabble they steal from more reputable frauds or reliable role-models every day? Today, the Nigerian educational system fails: the western model and our indigenous, religious, cultural models inclusive. The evidence abounds in the quality of our middling youth. Were we as promising as we are deemed to be, we would

This is the cold hard truth that you’d pay to avoid. Covey and Tracy et al may not be frauds but Nigeria’s increasing band of psycho-babblers constitutes the worst form of fraud. The reason why these foetal-adults and lazybones thrive is because there is a strong demand from an audience desperate for the illusion they sell. You.


ORLD acclaimed authority on leadership, John Maxwell, in his book The Right to Lead, asks the question: what gives a man or woman the right to lead? He provides the answer himself: the right to lead “isn’t gained by election or appointment. Having position, title, rank, or degrees doesn’t qualify any one to lead other people. And the ability doesn’t come automatically from age or experience either. No, it would be accurate to say that no one can be given the right to lead. The right to lead can only be earned”. To state that Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, who turned 54 Wednesday, May 25, is one man who fits the bill as enunciated by Maxwell will be merely stating the obvious. “Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds,” says Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924). This immortal statement was uttered about 100 years ago. The American writer may well have been referring to the emergence of Rauf Aregbesola, the young “rascal” with tall but seemingly impossible dreams to the phenomenon who now bestrides the Nigerian political landscape like a colossus. Rauf, as his friends and admirers fondly called him, is different things to different people. He is such an enigma that even people who have never come into contact with him talk as if they can write a whole chapter on him. But every one agrees at least that here is a hugely successful politician with an uncommon courage and determination to achieve his setpolitical goals, despite all odds. The epoch-making election of Barack Hussein Obama as the first black president of USA is a consummation of a process which is routed in the visionary and courageous activities of the likes of W.E.B. Dubois, Martin Luther King Jnr., and even General Collin Powel and Condoleezza Rice, to mention a few. Nigeria has had her own DuBois, Luther Kings and the Powells. The incumbent governor of Osun State has joined the list of such leaders. His stoic determination to use every means (good set of lawyers, forensic experts and formidable propaganda machinery) legally possible to retrieve his stolen mandate laid the foundation for the free, fair and credible election we had in the last election in the South-West nay Nigeria. Aregbesola’s eventful life is a study in perseverance, dogged determination, diligence, resolute pursuit of what is true and just, extra-ordinary commitment to community values of brotherhood, tolerance, moderation and service. The cardinal principle that informed Aregbesola’s leadership is sacrificial leadership. To him, leadership entails personal sacrifice. He is a leader that is ready to forego his personal comfort to liberate his people. He is also a leader who believes in the empowerment of his followers. Over the years, he has raised many political leaders. There are many examples of political office holders who benefited

understand that the so-called regenerative words of Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Stephen Covey would sound just as lame springing from the lips of the lazy, scheming brats parading themselves as Nigeria’s array of “upward, mobile, promising youth leaders and motivational speakers.” Were you as intelligent as you claim to be, you would understand that even Ziglar goofed when he said that “Success is dependent on the glands - sweat glands,” for success hardly depends primarily, on hard work. There are other essentials including attitude, perseverance, doing what you love and loving what you do. After all, a person may be a passionate artist, and be successful – just because he loves what he does, nothing feels like “work,” let alone, hard work. You see, motivational phrases that are based on one person’s experience don’t really work for the vast majority of people – successful or not. At least, you could quote the likes of Ziglar, Covey et al. You could hardly glean appreciable anecdotes from Nigeria’s band of ‘motivational speakers.’ It’s time you saw them for the fraud they have become – for what promising youth in their prime would abandon medicine, law, journalism, education, engineering for ‘motivational speaking’ even before they earned their first keep? It’s the lazy, fraudulent type that does that. It’s the scheming, greedy kind that does that. True motivation, wherever it is truly given, requires neither a fee nor payment of any kind from the recipient. It need not be seen as a money-making venture. The giver, is at best, honest and iconic; an indisputable champion and veteran in whatever discipline he is practiced. He inspires the youth and elderly alike without being

aware or having to force it. And most such role-models would neither hawk nor vend any magic formula to attaining success or selfactualisation. The best they could do is to share the adventures of their souls in the stormy and pliant realities called, ‘life.’ And the best you could do is to excite by their fortitude and faith in the universe’s steadiness in process of retribution and rewards, as determined by individual human’s endeavors and contributions to the global enterprise. There are no top 10 secrets to getting rich. Once you’ve solved your current problems, you’ll be rewarded with a whole new set of harder problems. There is no free lunch. No psychic to tell you the winning lottery numbers. That book you read? Well, that’s just some narcissist’s story that had to be embellished a bit so that you might be excited to buy it. There are no easy answers. Even I, who write this, do not pretend to have any ultimate answer. This is the cold hard truth that you’d pay to avoid. Covey and Tracy et al may not be frauds but Nigeria’s increasing band of psycho-babblers constitutes the worst form of fraud. The reason why these foetal-adults and lazybones thrive is because there is a strong demand from an audience desperate for the illusion they sell. You. The truth is otherwise too painful, and no one wants to pay good money for that – they are already living it. That is why they fake escape from it. Do you too? Remember, there is no luxuriant path to success. The lanes are strewn with hindrances and so on. Even you are a fraud if you are more interested in getting ahead than doing what is right – like following the slow, steady path of hon-

Tribute to Governor Aregbesola at 54 By Lanre Aminu from his political goodwill. Once he identifies an individual’s leadership potential, he backs such a person to triumph at the polls. That is why many politicians in Lagos and Osun states nay Yorubaland will remain eternally indebted to him. His readiness to commit his personal resources to help others achieve set political goals marks him out as a selfless politician. Some of his political godsons in Lagos where he cut his political teeth are Igbos and Hausas. His philosophy is that any body living and contributing to the economic growth of a place should enjoy full citizenship of such a place. To him, the indigene and non-indigene dichotomy is an anathema that is against the spirit of national integration and cohesion. If other political leaders across the nation can adopt this approach and abolish discrimination, the much sought-after national unity would not be far in coming. Aregbesola belong to the few known to have held high political offices without using the offices for personal gains. He has never been indicted for awarding any contract or for selling public property to himself, immediate and extended family members, despite having the privilege of holding the office of Lagos State commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, a ministry that controls the equivalent of the budget of eight states put together for eight years. He is one man who sees politics as potent weapon for social change. He is a man committed to the good of his fellow human beings. Aregbesola has sufficiently demonstrated that he is a God-fearing, liberal democrat with a large heart, a man with a divine and uncommon vision, a humanist with a historic mandate to make a difference in the lives of the longsuffering people of Osun state with whom he has established a covenant. His principal motivation for service is the desire to make life more meaningful, enjoyable and livable for the toiling masses. His manifesto, which has now become the official blue print of his administration is to banish poverty, hunger, unemployment (create work/wealth), restore healthy living, promote functional education and enhance communal peace and progress. These are the basic needs of the people that any well-meaning government must give priority attention to, which will consequently endear them to it. He has fulfilled his promise to run a people friendly gov-

est industry to progress or something like it. Bet this is where you get to say: “Keep spewing rant and whatnots, those young girls and boys are smiling to the bank every second.” Well, what can I say; the universe always corrects every imbalance and deceitfulness to its equilibrium. That is why those thriving, scheming ‘youth leaders’ and ‘life-coaches’ you see in Nigeria today, could fall into irrelevance, bankruptcy and disrepute tomorrow. Its time you pursued life on your own terms. It’s time you repossessed that quiet confidence and steadfast belief in your innate ability to confront and solve challenges as they arise. You need no master plan or magic formula–just a general direction in which to proceed, content that confronting some bit of vicissitude in the road less traveled might better allow your inimitable aptitude to flourish. You need not the heart of a lion and the wit of a hyena to navigate the shoals of objective reality and perceptual delusions. You could try the slow, steady path. And you could seek direction by serving as sound-boxes for the emptiness your favourite ‘motivational speakers’ perpetuate knowing that having attempted every perfect formula you pay them to oblige you, you will find suddenly, that obvious yet ignored pointer to the path you ought to have traveled. Then you would realize how dismal your life has become. You will find you have squandered your youth on impotent saws and debilitating sound bites. You will find you have avoided harsh, unalterable reality for the love of pick-me-ups and sugar-coated shortcuts, only to encounter it in its most vindictive temperament in your twilight.

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ernment. Osun state government under his leadership now exists for the welfare of the masses. The records are there: the recruitment of 20,000 youths under the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES), the Education Summit to address the problems of education, the setting up of farm settlements in each of the 30 local government areas of the state. Commodity warehouses are to be constructed across the state as storage for agricultural goods to be transported to Lagos. The Osun State government has re-branded in what is an evolving social package and re-engineering of the state. The concept of ‘Omoluabi’ as the core value of the Yorubas has been re-energized. There are various challenges which borders on lack of infrastructure and white elephant- projects embarked upon by the defunct Oyinlola administration. The state indebtedness under the administration has become a huge burden to the present government. The pragmatic governor has successfully renegotiated the cost of the fund to a more tolerable level with financial institutions. Children in primary schools across the state will have free lunch from adequate food production. Outrageous school fees paid by the students of the state owned-tertiary institutions under PDP led government have been drastically reduced. Establishment of vocational centres in the nine federal constituencies in the state is another project that the Aregbesola led -government wants to use to banish poverty in the state; so also are plans to establish both industrial and residential estates in the state. As Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola celebrates his 54th birthday, it is my prayer that the Almighty Allah (SWT) will continue to bless this icon of purposeful, courageous and principled leadership with good health, peace of mind and wisdom which he needs to lead Osun State to the promise land. • Aminu is National Coordinator of Oodua Youth for Good Governance

‘His principal motivation for service is the desire to make life more meaningful, enjoyable and livable for the toiling masses. His manifesto, which has now become the official blue print of his administration is to banish poverty, hunger, unemployment (create work/wealth), restore healthy living, promote functional education and enhance communal peace and progress’



EDITORIAL/OPINION ‘The House of Peers, throughout the war, did nothing in particular, and did it very well.’ ————W. S. Gilbert (1836 - 1911) HE first leg geared towards rounding up the last democratic transition that ushered in another fresh tenure of four years ends mid-night of today as new set of elected legislators will be inaugurated in Abuja tomorrow. The executive arms across the federation were inaugurated last Sunday while before today, some state assemblies have commenced fresh terms of four years. The mood across the nation to many who got elected is quite genial while to the few who misused power and have been booted out with their cronies, the period of teeth gnashing, regrets and buck passing is now. In the midst of all these, it is imperative that we do not lose sight of the daunting challenges of nation building and the demands of democratic ethos if the dream of getting to the Promised Land must be achieved. The Vision 20-20 that all civilised nations subscribe can only be a reality in the country if we set forth in the right direction. And as far as one is concerned, setting forth means setting the right legislative agenda which Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Lagos state governor and leading progressive light in the country has been championing. As a result of the fact that ideological delineation among political parties is not well ingrained in the land, the nation must watch out in this dispensation, otherwise, partisan legislative consideration will override national interest. This could be a dangerous trend that can only be avoided once we allow equity, fairness and justice to prevail in the running of the affairs of the two chambers of the national assembly. There can only be progressive laws if focussed and principled leadership elected through transparent rather than primordial sentiment is allowed to emerge. Overtime, the national assembly has applied the rule on ranking in selecting its leadership. By this, it is meant that only returning legislators, presumed to have the requisite experience can be allowed to assume leadership positions. But in over twelve years of democratic rule, the nation has failed to produce any known outstanding leader from either of the houses of the national assembly. Yet,


In search of legislative agenda

• David Mark

apart from 1999 when the country newly embraced democracy, other successive leadership tenures in the federal legislature have been products of ranking. However, ranking as a legislative policy is good since it is meant to throw up candidates with requisite experience, exposure and maturity for legislative leadership positions. But unfortunately, it has failed to achieve this in the Nigerian situation. Rather than being policy driven, the national assembly leadership overtime have been partly combative and partly complicit with the executive arm in the ripping of the Nigerian state. It is doubtful if any of the outgoing or past leadership of the national assembly realise the

potency of the principle of Separation of Power and doctrine of Checks and Balances espoused by that popular French political philosopher, Baron dé’Montesquieu. Under a system where the above are well observed, there is considerably high mutual respect between the legislature and the executive arms of government. In America and other developed democracies, it is possible for the legislative arm to quiz the executive arm where necessary relying on the doctrine of checks and balances. But here in Nigeria, the leadership of the national assembly merely bark only when they want a favour that may not necessarily be granted by the executive. So, private and not public interest have been the catalyst behind most of the decisions taken by the legislature in the federation. How then can such legislature be respected by the executive and even the judicial arms including other agencies of government that have been milked in the past by legislative leadership produced through ranking? The outgoing and past leadership of the federal legislature have failed the nation and worse still the returning Senate President, David Mark, will likely, courtesy of the retrogressive ranking policy, be ‘selected’ as the next number three man in the country. What can this man point to as his achievement in the past four years to merit being returned to the position if not for his unholy complicity with the executive arm of government? This policy

of ranking is a disservice to opposition members of the national assembly that were turned to on-lookers by manipulations of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The country at the moment needs legislative leadership that can set it on the right course of legislative agenda. We need legislative leaders that will understand why laws that can set the nation on the proper course of true federalism must be enacted. Nigerians are tired of this defective federal structure that keeps items that can best be implemented by the component states in the exclusive legislative list; that gives over 52 per cent of the nation’s revenue to the federal government while 36 states, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the numerous Local governments across the federation share the remaining token per centage. The resolution of these problems needs the understanding of a national assembly leadership that is selfless and more importantly one that emerged through the goodwill of other political parties in the legislature. The ranking rule has not performancewise benefited the country. It has proved to be a tool through which emerging successive leadership of the national assembly became subservient to the whims and caprices of the ruling PDP and by extension, that of the presidents inflicted on helpless and hapless Nigerians by the anti-democratic ruling party.

‘So, private and not public interest has been the catalyst behind most of the decisions taken by the legislature in the federation. How then can such legislature be respected by the executive and even the judicial arms including other agencies of government that have been milked in the past by legislative leadership produced through ranking?



BUJA, NIGERIA — Visiting Nigeria the week of President Goodluck Jonathan’s inauguration is a special privilege. This country of nearly 160 million people, about one in five of sub-Saharan Africa, is on to something historic. The people feel it. After a sometimes agonizing half-century since independence, Nigeria is on the verge of a takeoff. In my conversations with President Jonathan — who took the oath of office on Sunday — and with government ministers, leading businesspeople and representatives of civil society groups, I felt a firm determination to ensure that this time, in this decade, Nigeria fulfills its potential to become an African economic powerhouse and a member of the world’s leading emerging economies. In practical terms, Nigeria would like to make the BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — the BRINCS by the end of the decade. To those who only know Nigeria as a country that squanders its oil wealth, this ambition might seem outlandish. But for those of us who have had the chance to work with its leadership, this goal seems fully with reach. There are five solid reasons for optimism. The first is the reform that Nigeria has been undertaking over the past dozen years. The country has changed since June 8, 1998, when the brutal dictator Sani Abacha died, opening the way for a restoration of civilian rule and the strengthening of critical institutions, including the National Assembly and state and district governments. The second is the advent of democratic elections. President Jonathan came to power last year when his predecessor, Umaru Yar’Adua, died in office. This April he won a resounding mandate of his own in elections that were praised by observers as by far the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s history. The president’s democratic mandate is not in doubt, even if tensions linger in Nigeria’s traditional north-south ethnic divide.

Nigeria’s historic opportunity

Jeffrey D. Sachs is director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

By Jeffrey D. Sachs The third is the global wind in Nigeria’s sails. The rise of China and India is reshaping the world economy, and providing solid support for Nigeria’s growth. Commodity prices are high, as the Asian giants tap global markets. Nigeria can expect to sell not only its vast hydrocarbon deposits at good prices, but also a wide range of agricultural products and manufactured goods. The links with Asia won’t be only through exports. China is determined to be a major partner, financing core infrastructure — highways, rail and power grids — and developing major industrial capacity. The fourth is the “age of convergence,” the tendency of developing countries like Nigeria to make unprecedented economic advances through the deployment of best practices and advanced technologies. China, of course, has been doubling its G.D.P. every seven years with blistering economic growth rates of 10 percent per year. Nigeria is enjoying robust annual growth of around 7 percent, and could catch up to China’s rate if policies are well designed and implemented. Information technologies are rapidly spreading, from the heart of sprawling Lagos to the most remote villages. For the first time, Nigeria will have a network of up-to-date information, providing a platform for sharply higher productivity and economic specialization. The fifth is Nigeria’s commitment to tackling extreme poverty and disease throughout the nation. The president’s senior adviser on the Millennium Development Goals, working with the National Assembly, has been leading a bold mechanism to transfer

federal funds to state and local governments in a robust and accountable manner. All over the country, schools, clinics and water points are being built. It’s a great honor for us at the Earth Institute to be working with the government on this initiative. Nigeria’s international partners can also take a bow. Back in 2005, they entrusted Nigeria with partial debt relief, and the country is turning money that otherwise would have gone toward debt payments into local investments in health, education and infrastructure. Meanwhile, a series of finance ministers has been working to end Nigeria’s image as a place of financial scams and official corruption. Prosecutors have warned international oil companies to clean up their act — even indicting Halliburton for corruption and obtaining a settlement from the company. Of course, Nigeria still faces very real risks. The country’s population is enormously diverse, with sharp regional and religious divisions. Violence continues to flare. Global climate change poses risks to health, agricultural development and water supplies. A recent U.N. report notes that Nigeria’s rapidly growing population could exceed 700 million by the end of this century, unless family planning services are put in place. The public wants these services; the government’s challenge is to respond effectively. I’ve watched nations on the eve of economic takeoff, in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia. Optimism is in the air in Abuja, and for good reason.

•Jeffrey D. Sachs

Everton to battle Siasia looks beyond Argentina Spurs for Ahmed Musa Pg. 41

Pg. 24

Nation Friday, June 3, 2011




This is a disgrace! Pg. 24

You messed up our prestige KANU’S TESTIMONIAL MATCH

Marriage stops Essien Pg. 41

Messi: Can't play anywhere else

Pg. 24

FRIDAY, JUNE 03, 2011


NATION SPORT Messi: Can't play anywhere else ARGENTINA and Barcelona star Lionel Messi has affirmed his loyalty to the Catalan club as he arrived in Buenos Aires to meet up with the rest of the Albiceleste squad, while denying rumours that he has a problem with Carlos Tevez or anyone else in the national set-up. 'La Pulga', who put in a Man of the mMatch performance to lift his third Champions League title against Manchester United on Saturday, arrived this morning at Ezeiza airport to a crowd of journalists and photographers. The 23-year-old superstar ruled out any possibility of leaving Barca who recruited him from Rosario as a teenager, as he began preparations for July's Copa America with the Seleccion. "I cannot see myself ever playing in any club shirt apart from Barcelona's," Messi told reporters as he left the airport on Tuesday morning, confirming his commitment to the club. The Argentine star is a certainty for Sergio Batista's Copa America squad, due to be announced later this afternoon. Rumours in the Argentine press have alleged personal difficulties between him and fellow Albiceleste star Carlos Tevez, but Messi dismissed such reports as ridiculous. "Carlitos has spoken and he said that there is no fight. You guys have already had me fighting with Tevez,

[Juan Roman] Riquelme, [Diego] Maradona... I have no problems with anyone and I do not plan to." And the star finished by affirming his next target was to replicate his club success in the international game, starting by lifting the Copa America in July on home soil. "I have been lucky enough to win everything with Barcelona and individually, but my goal now is to win things with the Seleccion," he confessed. Messi and 24 other players will be announced in Batista's Copa America squad at 18:00 local time, a list which will be cut down to 22 for the start of the tournament.

Berbatov vows to stick with Man Utd despite snub MANCHESTER United's Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov vowed on Thursday to stay and fight his way back into the first team after he was left out of the club's Champions League final against Barcelona. The 30-year-old did not even make the substitutes bench for United's 3-1 defeat last Saturday, raising question marks about his relationship with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and his future at Old Trafford. "I am a Manchester United player and I will be glad to fulfil my contract," Berbatov told the Bulgarian daily 24 Hours in an interview published on Thursday. "Everyone has some difficulties but I have always fought and will keep fighting for a prime place (in the squad). I never gave up in my life," he added. The former Bulgarian national team captain, who has one more year on his contract at Old Trafford, denied reports that he had stormed away from the stadium before the Champions League kick-off at Wembley on Saturday. "The truth is that I was in the dressing rooms and watched the game on TV. I was just so very disappointed and ashamed that I was left out of the squad. I cannot hide my emotions and I did not want people to see how sad I was," Berbatov said. Yet he did not blame Ferguson for his decision to leave him out. "I was indeed very disappointed and it hurt me a lot. But this was the manager's decision... The pain from Wembley cannot make me give up but only fight more," he said. The Bulgarian was upbeat about his future at United and said he would



No excuses for defeat, says Batista

A •Messi

keep targeting the Champions League title in his career. "There is always next year. I will aim for this title as long as I play football," he said. Berbatov was England's Premier League joint-top scorer alongside Manchester City's Carlos Tevez this season, as United won their 19th league title, and said he was ready to help the club win again next year. "I am very proud. Winning England's top scorer title is a grand achievement for me as a foreigner," he said. "Manchester United is the highest step for me. Everything after that will be a step down. "This moment will come but for the time being I am a United player and I want to stay and help win the 20th title, which I am certain is on its way."

Israeli firm to secure 2012 African Nations Cup ISRAELI security firm Magal Security Systems Ltd announced on Wednesday it had been awarded the contract to provide security for the 2012 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) holding early next year in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Magal will furnish several sites including airports, hotels, stadiums and training grounds with an integrated security system known as Fortis, which is a unique security means already used at different stadiums and Olympic villages. A regional control centre will oversee happenings of all the sites from the same place, thus reducing the need for deployment of security personnel, according to the Local Organising Committee (Cocan). The deal is worth $35.5 million (•24.6 m), according to Israel’s JSSNews. The Cocan says one of its priorities is to host a problem-free showpiece. The 28th edition of the Afcon is scheduled for January 21 through February 12, 2012, with some 16 teams participating. Magal's systems are installed in more than 75 countries worldwide, protecting airports, borders, nuclear facilities, military bases and communications centres.


RGENTINA coach Sergio Batista said last night there can be no excuses for his side’s 4-1 defeat to Nigeria. Batista’s team, made up of primarily under-25 stars and those on the periphery of the international scene, were crushed by an experienced Nigeria side in Abuja, but coach Batista defended his decision to take the young team to Africa so close to the Copa America. "We knew we were taking a risk, it would be much easier to just stay in Buenos Aires and think about the Copa America,” admitted Batsita. “We know what is at stake, but if we do not play then we will not know which players we have for the future. We are aware that we are risking much more against a team like Nigeria, who have been playing together for some time and are a very good team.” The Super Eagles took the lead through Ike Uche after barely ten minutes and doubled their lead against a lacklustre Argentina 15 minutes later when Victor Anichebe converted a soft penalty. Uche then grabbed his second when Argentina once again failed to

deal with a Taye Taiwo surge down the left wing, leaving Batista's men to go in at half-time facing the prospect of a real trouncing. Emanuel Emenike added a fourth in the second-half before Mauro Boselli grabbed a consolation for Argentina deep into injury time when referee Ibrahim Chaibou inexplicably awarded a penalty against the home side. "With a result like today we can not have any excuses,” shrugged Batista, not the climate, nor the pitch, nothing. We faced an opponent who played better than us.” Batista’s decision to announce his Copa America squad less than 24 hours before the contest has been called into question by the Argentinian press; with the majority of the squad already aware they had no role to play in Batista’s plans next month, a poor performance was probably to be expected. "We can not take anything positive from the game today,” added Pablo Zabaleta, who captained his country for the first time. “We were totally overwhelmed by our opponents… A defeat like this is very hard to swallow.”


This is a disgrace! A

RGENTINE Football Association (AFA) president Julio Grondona has accused coach Sergio Batista of jeopardising the reputation of the national side, following the 4-1 friendly loss to Nigeria. The humbling defeat in Abuja on Wednesday arrived just a month before the start of the Copa America (July 124), which Argentina will host. "These matches aren't for making money, they're friendly matches that Batista asked for," Grondona told Argentine radio station Radio Mitre. "You can't mess around like that with the prestige of the national side." Grondona expressed his discontent

with Batista, who had selected a squad shorn of stars and largely composed of inexperienced players for the trip to west Africa. "It will be different in the future," warned Grondona. "You can't play against a team like Nigeria, who fielded their best players, with a team that is not up to scratch." For his part, Batista had claimed that "these outings are useful, whatever the result, because it allows you to see the players of the future". Two-time world champions Argentina, who reached the quarterfinals at last year's World Cup in South Africa, face Poland in another friendly in Warsaw on Sunday.

Siasia looks beyond Argentina


IGERIA coach Samson Siasia and his players are keeping their feet firmly on the ground despite an emphatic win over Argentina on Wednesday night in Abuja. Siasia's Super Eagles dismantled the Albiceleste on their way to a 4-1 win, but the coach insists that neither the result nor the performance will matter if they fail to win this weekend's 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier against Ethiopia. "The boys have done very well, but winning today is just one part of the

job. If we don't beat Ethiopia, this victry means nothing," Siasia says. Defender Taye Taiwo was one of the game's more eye-catching performers in a Nigeria field of stand-out performances, and he agreed: "It was a good game, and the most important thing is that we won. But we have to think about Ethiopia. "It won't be an easy game and we have to be focused on playing according to how the coach wants us to play."

added. Puyol, 33, was out for almost three months after sustaining a tendon problem in his left knee toward the end of Janaury. The Spain international centreback was included in Barcelona’s squad for their Primera Division encounter against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on April 15, and also came on as a late substitute against Manchester United in their 3-1 victory in the Champions League final at London’s Wembley stadium on Saturday evening. One of the doctors who carried out the operation, Ricard Pruna, said in a press conference at Camp Nou following the operation: "The injury has been ongoing for about four months and has several episodes. It started with a badly bruised knee.



ORMER Super Eagles Captain, Nwankwo Kanu is set to retire in style as he brings the world best footballers to the country for a testimonial match slated for June 11 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos. However, Ghana’s box-to –box midfielder, Michael Essien might be conspicuously missing at the testimonial match due to his wedding ceremony which comes up on June 11. However, the Chelsea ace has still indicated an undying love for Kanu as he pledged to show up despite tying the knots on that day. Two representatives from FIFA, Nigeria Football Federation(NFFF), and the English FA Chairman, Samuel Richards are amongst dignitaries expected at epoch match. The Nationsports gathered that that close to thirty five world class players are expected . Amongst whom are Didier Drogba, Eto O’ Fils George Weah, Kalusha Bwalya, Kevin PrinceBoateng Lomana Trésor LuaLua, and Abedi Pele. Others are Osei Kufor, Emamuel Eboue, Kolo Toure,Asamaoh Gynag, Muntari Sulley Mohammed Aboutrica Alex Song, El Hadji Diouf, Siphiwe Shatbalala Manta Kayaland Bonfere

A •Siasia

By Stella Bamawo Joe . Many members of the ’94 Super Eagles squad would not be found wanting at the testimonial match too. In a chat with the Nationsports, Kanu stated that he was ready to quit the stage for younger players while hoping to continue playing his motivational and ambassadorial role in the Eagles squad. He said: “Kanu will no longer wear the famous green and white jersey. It is time to start recognizing our young ones, allow them to grow. “ I feel good, knowing that I have done a lot, I have achieved a lot, it’s just like coming out to say thank you to the fans and Nigerians and then give them the last good game from me. Nigerians should make sure they come out and support the game. . It is going to be more like a carnival, so Nigerians should come out to watch the game so that our visitors can see how much they cherish their own.” Meanwhile the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) has thrown their weight behind the testimonial match as they have expressed delight at Kanu’s initiative to bring the best of footballers to the doorsteps of every football loving Nigeria.

Uchebo, Musa played an important role in making Venlo avoid the drop in the past season. The Nigerians accounted for three of the four goals scored against FC Zwolle The 18-year-old Musa prefers a switch to England. VVV Venlo expect to get a lot of money as transfer fees because Musa is contracted to the club until 2013.

Not yet Uhuru for Eagles, says Nieketien •Advocates Osaze's return if repentant

Barcelona's Fabregas interest has cooled off —Wenger ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger says that Barcelona have not made contact with them over the signing of Cesc Fabregas this summer. The Spain international midfielder has been linked with a return to Camp Nou for a number of years and last summer Barca made an official bid for him. However, it was rejected with Fabregas publicly committing himself to the

Pacquiao 24th in Forbes' highest-paid New No. 1 Donald athletes list ready to tackle Mayweather Jr. placed second behind Tiger Woods in last year's list with $65 million in total earnings. But the undefeated American boxer has not fought in 13 months since a dominating win over Sugar Shane Mosley. Mayweather's 12-round non-title bout against Mosley on May 1, 2010 earned 1.4 million pay-per-view buys, the second-most lucrative nonheavyweight bout ever. Pacquiao, 32, is the only boxer in this year's list joining 29-year-old Brazilian football star Kaka at 24th spot. The reigning pound-for-pound king is also the Philippines' richest congressman with over P1 billion of declared wealth. Kaka, an attacking midfielder, appeared with British striker Wayne Rooney on the cover of the Electronic Arts Sports soccer video game FIFA 11, which sold 100 million units. Pacquiao is currently boxing's biggest draw, said His last six fights generated more than six million payper-view buys combined.

•FiFA’s representatives, English FA, Chairman to grace event •Players to start arriving from June 9

S reported by Dutch number one sports daily Voetbal International, the Nigerian wonder-kid Ahmed Musa is attracting interest from several foreign clubs. The ex Kano Pillars forward has been watched this season by scouts from Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Borussia Dortmund. Along with his compatriot, Michael

Other Sports...Other Sports...Other Sports...Other Sports...Other Sports...Other Sports MANNY Pacquiao dislodged Floyd Mayweather Jr. in's highestpaid athletes list as the boxing superstar and first-term Congressman in the Philippine House of Representatives placed 24th among 50 superstars of the sporting world.

Marriage stops Essien Putin hails re-election of •As Kanu drags world best footballers to Teslim Balogun Stadium

Everton to battle Spurs for Ahmed Musa

Puyol out for 3 months after surgery BARCELONA captain Carles Puyol has been sidelined for the next two to three months following an operation on his left knee on Wednesday. The Spanish and European champions made the announcement on their official website and added that the centre-back will be discharged from the clinic on Thursday. “Puyol has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to remove a floating piece of gristle from the femoral trochlea,” read a statement on Barcelona’s official website. “The surgery was carried out by Dr. Cugat and his team, and Dr. Pruna. He’ll be out for two or three months. “In principle, he’ll leave the hospital this Thursday and in about two or three months he’ll be able to play again,” it


The Memorial

AMONG the things Jack Nicklaus values in golf, consistency ranks right up there with greens in regulation. So does normalcy, which the Memorial Tournament returned to this week with the presence of the world's No. 1-ranked player. Consistency and normalcy are two characteristics that also describe the golfer who now stands if not astride the golf world, at least atop it. Luke Donald of Hemel Hempstead, England, and Evanston, Ill., is the third player this year, after Lee Westwood (twice) and Martin Kaymer, to be ranked No. 1 since Tiger Woods relinquished the spot to Westwood in November 2010. Woods, who missed last year's Memorial, is again missing this year with injuries to his Achilles' tendon and knee.

English giants. Reports have been less intense this time over the departure of the Gunners’ captain to Barcelona, despite the 24-yearold enduring yet another barren campaign at the Emirates Stadium while watching the Catalan giants win the Primera Division and the Champions League. Wenger, though, remains confident of having Fabregas in his team sheet for the 2011-12 campaign and is quoted as saying by ESPNSoccernet: "There was an interest from Barcelona last year which I won't hide. This year there hasn't been an interest. "My No. 1 wish is to keep Fabregas for me he is the best midfielder in the world and we naturally built the team around him." Fabregas struggled with injuries in the 2010-11 season for Arsenal, but still scored three goals and provided 14 assists in 25 Premier League games. He also netted thrice in five Champions League appearances.


X-INTERNATIONAL, Peter Nieketon has said that inspite of the landmark victory Nigeria recorded against Argentina on Wednesday, the team should not celebrate yest as there's a lot of ground to cover. Nieketien, who played in his hey days as a midfielder said, though the Super Eagles played as a team for the first time after a long time, the Technical crew must remain focused and pretend as if nothing has been achieved. "I believe that the process of building a team takes a gradual process. We are getting, but should not be carried away. Samson Siasia should concentrate more on players current form and ensure he does invite players based on speculations. But overall, the players did well," he said. He said the players played with so much hunger for success, a development that

By Innocent Amomoh have elluded the senior national team for a long time, adding that if the team continue in this form, the future is bright. On the match against Ethiopia in AddisAbaba, Nieketien assured that with the present form the players displayed, the maximum points is assured for the Eagles, saying that especially with the midfield getting the understanding needed. He said the only players missing in the team that took on Argentina was West Brom forward, Osaze Odemwingie, while advocating for his return if he is repentant. The Eagles takes on Ethiopia in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers on Sunday in group B which has other teams like group leaders Guinea, and Magadascar.

'selfless' Blatter

RUSSIAN Prime Minister Vladimir Putin congratulated the controversial Sepp Blatter on his re-election as head of world football, predicting he would continue to work 'selflessly" for the game. Putin, long seen as a close ally of the FIFA chief, championed Russia's successful bid for the 2018 World Cup where to the surprise of many it beat off a challenge from England. "I am sure that you will continue to selflessly serve this remarkable sport," Putin on Thursday said in a telegram congratulating Blatter published by the Russian government. Blatter, who took over FIFA in 1998, has faced widespread calls for reform following allegations of sleaze surrounding the bidding for the 2018 World Cup and the 2022 edition awarded to Qatar. But delegates at FIFA's 61st congress returned Blatter by a landslide of 186 votes out of 203 on Wednesday after a call for a postponement of the election by England's Football Association over the corruption scandals ended in defeat. "The results of the elections clearly show your great international authority and acknowledge your unique contribution to the work of FIFA and devotion to the popularization and development of football," Putin said. "I sincerely wish you good health, happiness, well being and new successes in your activities," Putin said. Putin said Russia was ready for the

"closest" cooperation with Blatter especially as it prepares to hold the 2018 World Cup. Russia's winning of the right to hold the 2018 World Cup caused consternation in England although in recent weeks the greatest controversy has surrounded the successful Qatar bid for 2022. The World Cup will be a landmark event in Russia's post-Soviet history and will be the first time the country has held an event across the swathe of its territory from the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad to the Urals.

•Vladimir Putin

Blazer to continue as CONCACAF Secretary General CHUCK Blazer will continue to perform his duties as the secretary general of Concacaf after acting president Lisle Austin’s attempt to remove him from his post were branded "unauthorised" by the New York faction of the same organisation. The acting Concacaf president sent Blazer the news of his sacking in a letter, seen by, shortly before midnight on Tuesday to his hotel room in Switzerland, where he is in attendance at the Fifa Congress. However, the governing body of football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, has now discarded Austin’s decision to remove Blazer via an official communique. In a statement on their official website, Concacaf explained: “Today an unauthorized declaration was made by Lisle Austin attempting to remove Chuck Blazer as General Secretary of CONCACAF. “This attempted action was taken without any authority. Under the CONCACAF Statutes, jurisdiction over the General Secretary rests solely

with the CONCACAF Executive Committee which has taken no action. Further a majority of the Executive Committee Members have advised Mr. Austin that he does not have the authority to take such action. “Chuck Blazer continues as CONCACAF General Secretary and with the full authority of his office. The Confederation continues its normal operations including the Gold Cup commencing on June 5th at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas." This announcement came from Concacaf's New York office, while Blazer's sacking was on letterhead from the Trinidad & Tobago facility. Although the Trinidad paper was distributed in Switzerland, it suggests geographical as well as factional discord among the organisation. Blazer is currently undertaking an anti-corruption investigation alongside a group of American lawyers. His work has already resuled in the suspension of erstwhile president (and Austin ally) Jack Warner.

AC Milan targets, Drogba, Adebayor AC Milan has targeted Didier Drogba and Emmanuel Adebayor in its search for a big-name striker, the Daily Mirror said. Milan may offer Chelsea 10 million pounds ($16 million) for the 33-yearold Drogba, the Mirror said. If that bid fails, Milan will turn its attention to Adebayor, who spent part of last season on loan at Real Madrid from Manchester City, the newspaper said. Guus Hiddink is ready to quit as

Turkey national team manager to take over at Chelsea, the Sun said. Hiddink has had enough of international soccer and wants to return to club management as the replacement for the fired Carlo Ancelotti, the Sun said. He expects to open formal talks with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich next week, following Turkey’s Euro 2012 qualifier in Belgium today, the newspaper said.

Higuain Heads Up


ARSENAL, Tottenham and Manchester City have been alerted that Real Madrid may be willing to sell striker Gonzalo Higuain for just 15 million pounds, the Daily Mail said. Higuain scored 13 goals in 25 games last season, when he missed four months with a back injury. Dimitar Berbatov wants to stay at Manchester United after being left out of the squad for the Champions

League final, the Mirror said. Berbatov said that being dropped has made him more determined to win back his place, the Mirror said. Newcastle, Bayern Munich and Dortmund are interested in the striker, the newspaper said. Inter Milan will make Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas its top summer target if Wesley Sneijder leaves for Manchester United, Metro said.




N4.5b spent on roads

Dependants of slain officers demand justice

Succour for physically challenged







Akwa Ibom




Page 25

Anambra savours quality roads


Peter Obi

HEpeopleofAnambraState havebeeninajubilantmood following the completion of anetworkofroadsinthestate. The development brings good cheer to residents of remote areas of the state who had faced the challenge of access roads from one parttoanother. Those who monitored the last elections in the state had good testimonies. “Starting from Onitsha South to North council areas, we had no restriction and the roads were wonderful,” a News Agency Nigeria correspondent told Newsextra.

From Adimike George, Onitsha

“Our monitoring took us from Onitsha through Nkwelle Ezunaka by-passuptoAwkuzuandNteje,all inOyiCouncilArea.Theroadswere all good to ride on,” the correspondent further disclosed. From Nteje to Otuocha Aguleri down to Omambala River from wherethestate’snamewasderived, in Anambra East Council Area, it was a smooth ride. No potholes! No bumps. “In a space of two hours, we had moved round Anambra North comprising seven local

governments,” the reporter narrated, commending the state government for making movement easyforthepeople. But looking at the history of the state, one discovers that about sevenyears ago,preciselyin2003,it had the worst network of roads in the entire southeast states, if not in theentire country.

During the reign of Governor ChinweokeMbadinuju,theroads were worse. His cosmetic approach to road rehabilitation was to impact negatively on the roads at the end of his administration.

In a space of three months after his exit, most township roads which his administration rehabilitated collapsed maximally, creating more gullies on the roads which made them completelyimpassable. When Dr. Chris Ngige came into office in 2003, there were virtually no roads in the state. Ngige, who as at that time was written off by the people because of circumstances that surrounded his victory at the polls swung into action. Continued on Page 26

Delta State Governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan (middle),Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama (left) and Chairman, Delta State Scholarship Board, Monsignor Buchi Aninye, with beneficiaries of the scholarship


ELTA State government is delivering on its manpower development promises, as 522 students indigenous of the state in the nation’s tertiary institutions have been given scholarship awards by the government. The award came under the 2010 Internal (Local) Scholarship Scheme. Presenting the letters of award to the students at the Unity Hall, venue of the event in Asaba, the state capital, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan announced the beneficiaries to include 43 PhD students, 104 Master’s degree students and 375 undergraduates. Dr. Uduaghan said the PhD students will receive N300,000

Delta empowers 522 students From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

annually, those doing their Master’s degree programmes will receive N200,000 annually while the undergraduates will receive N100,000 annually to cover the period of their programmes. He further said that the state government would ensure that finance did not prevent hard working and intelligent students from completing their programmes. The governor decried the situation whereby promising but

N100m voted for scholarship Governor promises more people-oriented development indigent students’ careers are put on hold due to financial challenges, stressing that for as low as N10,000, the dream of some intelligent students are cut short. He assured hard working students desirous of completing their university education that they would not experience any

financial inhibition. He said: “We want to assure you that as long as I remain the governor of this state, I will continue to support this scheme because it is not only you that are benefitting from it but the society is also benefitting from the scheme.” Dr Uduaghan stressed that the

present exercise is aimed at promoting the human capital development agenda of his administration, even as he explained that a well-laid foundation for the youth will encourage growth and reduce social vices in the society to the barest minimum. Uduaghan also promised to create job opportunities for graduates in order to ensure that their dreams of pursuing various programmes in the universities are realised. Continued on Page 26



Delta empowers 522 students •Continued from Page 25 According to him, his administration will also create opportunities for the unemployed, urging unemployed graduates to seize several self-employment initiatives by his government to uplift themselves. He added that “unemployed graduates could be enticed into criminal activities, political thuggery thereby creating social vices in the state.” He charged the students to be good ambassadors of the state government and their families saying “we expect you to be of good behaviour. Try to project the image of Delta State.” In a welcome address, the Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Hope Eghagha expressed appreciation to the state government for initiating the youth empowerment schemes in the state, thus reducing the heavy financial burden on their parents. He said the government has remained focused in the development of education in the state. He disclosed that Delta State government has already given scholarship awards to 284 children of deceased civil servants; 69 physical challenged students; 36 First- Class Honours graduates and was successfully paying fees for over 20,000 students in the Students Special Assistance Scheme. He said the scheme had become moribund as its last disbursement was in 2005/2006 academic session, even as he stressed that the scheme then had been limited to under-

graduate students. He stressed that the need to key into the human capital development agenda of the Uduaghan administration informed the expansion of the Internal Scholarship Scheme to include both students of Master’s degree and Ph.D programmes. Prof. Eghagha said the government spent a total sum of N99, 992, 218 for the 2010 scholarship scheme award, adding that it was a demonstration of the political will of the present administration to develop and support the education sector. He assured that all students of Delta State origin are eligible to participate in the selection process which, according to him, was based on merit. Eghagha said a total of 2,803 students applied with a written test conducted on August 28, 2010, adding that the shortlisted candidates were further subjected to a final screening on September 21, 2010. According to him, 408 undergraduate students were shortlisted while 375 were successful. 125 Master’s degree students were screened and 104 students were successful. 51 Ph.D students were shortlisted, but 43 made the final list. He noted that those who are qualified to apply for the scholarship scheme at the undergraduate category were 200 level regular students with grade point average of 3.50, Master’s degree student possessing a minimum of second-class honours in their first degree and upper credit for Polytechnic

The need to key into the human capital development agenda of the Uduaghan administration informed the expansion of the Internal Scholarship Scheme to include both students of Master’s degree and Ph.D programmes •One of the award recipients graduates while Ph.D students would possess the same qualification as Master’s students. Prof. Eghagha urged beneficiaries not to relent in their efforts to excel in their goals, even as he added that they would cease to benefit if there is a drop in their academic performance.

Expressing appreciation to the governor, the Chairman of the Scholarship Board, Monsignor Buchi Aninye commended him for his generosity in sustaining the scheme and promised that the board would work assiduously to continue to achieve the dream.

Anambra savours quality roads •Continued from Page 25 Frontally, he tackled the issue of roads; federal, state and even council roads were rehabilitated and reconstructed, depending on the level of damage. The result was that in three years, before he was sacked as governor, he has written his name on the minds of the people because of the number of roads he constructed. When Governor Peter Obi came into office in 2003, people believed he would surpass Ngige’s feat especially in terms of road construction and rehabilitation. Expectedly, he has lived up to expectation. Keen watchers of development in the state are of the view that he has done more than all the past governors of the state. This feat he achieved through the Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS) which was anchored on developing all the sectors of the state simultaneously. So today, people have cause to celebrate as far as good roads are concerned. Anambra State which ranks last in 2003 now ranks first in the Southeast and can compete favourably among other states in other geo-political zones. In 2003, the state could not boast of one good kilometer of road. But today, the state has recorded over 700 kilometers of tarred roads. A breakdown of the roads according to statistics shows that Ngige did about 191 kilometers while Obi has completed about 531 kilometers, even though some roads are still under construction. An interesting aspect of this achievement is that even villages are connected. One could easily access any town or village in the state from any part without recourse to getting through the major cities. Mr Ebuka Onyebuchi, from Ichida in Aniocha Council Area attributed the success and tremendous road development in Anambra State to prudent management of resources by the government. According to him, Obi has recorded a feat no single governor had achieved in the state, despite that he is still developing other sectors. This has greatly endeared him to the people. Among the major roads he has constructed in Onitsha alone include the Government Reserved Area, (GRA) Roads, Atani-Ogbaru Road, Onitsha township roads like Ugwunobomkpa, Old Market-New Market Roads, Oguta Road, Enugu Road, Creek Road, Uga Street, Obanye, Anionwu, St. John and Niger streets. But all these roads would have collapsed

•Inspection of ongoing old Nkpor-Abagana, Enugwu-ukwu, Nawfia old Road

Anambra State which ranks last in 2003 now ranks first in the Southeast and can compete favourably among other states in other geo-political zones. In 2003, the state could not boast of one good kilometer of road. But today, the state has recorded over 700 kilometres of tarred roads easily like the ones constructed by past regimes if he had not gone a little further by opening the Nwangene and Sacrimony creeks that serve as water channels from the commercial town into the River Niger. This singular project which past administration

neglected will be evergreen in the minds of residents of Onitsha. Roads at Awka, the state capital include the double lane Zik’s Avenue. From Nibo, in Awka South Council Area, Obi has linked Nibo-Umuawulu-Awgbu-Amaokpalu-Oko-

Ndikelionwu in Orumba Council Area. Other roads under construction include the Amansea-Ebenebe-Ugbenu-Awba-Ofemili roads which comprise about 32kms with four bridges. Even about 14kms of road is ongoing while about 18kms of roads have been completed at Ayamelum Council Area that had suffered neglect by past administrations. Roads like Omor-Anaku-IgbakwuIfite-Ogwari roads have been completed. According to the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, Anambra State has almost the least allocation from the Federal Government. Yet the state leads in the entire Southeast with the best road network and about 10 urban centres as well as appreciable primary health and educational facilities particularly in rural areas. Its Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, in an interview with Newsextra commended the Obi-led government for landmark success in area of road infrastructures.



FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011


IGER STATE Governor Dr. Mua’zu Babangida Aliyu has said that the burden of re-election is heavier than that of an initial election. Aliyu, popularly called Chief Servant, said this during his swearining-in ceremony to begin another four-year term. “The burden of accountability is heavier once you have been given a second chance to correct your earlier shortcomings,” he said. “That is the reason we see this opportunity as a great challenge to prove to the people that we genuinely meant well by asking them to give us their mandate from the beginning. This mandate is a sacred trust between us, the people and Allah (SWT). May Allah help us to uphold the mandate to the commendation of the people and to the reward of Allah (SWT)”. The swearing-in ceremony took place on a bright and beautiful morning in Minna as the sun poured its rays over Niger’s capital city. The locals radiated the mood of the day. As early as 8.00 am, the Minna Trade Fair Complex, venue of the inauguration ceremony for the second term of Governor Aliyu, Talban Minna, was already a beehive of activities. From the city gate, well past the entrance of the Trade Fair Complex, stretching toward the College of Education and the Minna Cantonment, sundry political groups, youth bodies, non-governmental organisations (NGO) artisans, vigilance groups and many more groups, who wore materials printed with the picture of the governor and name in various colours but especially the light blue colour of the state, all took positions amid drumming, singing, chanting of victorious songs in local dialects and some waving the party flags. The complex itself was full to capacity. And security personnel had a hectic time controlling the crowd. In the mean time, officials of the state government, party chieftains, and elder citizens of the state as well as invited special guests were being courteously ushered into their various seats. Interestingly, from artisans in the street to party officials up to top government officials, the recurring opinion, if one could so label it, was that the governor did his best and which has eclipsed whatever effort had been made by anybody in the past. And for this, they crave that he should carry on with the good work.

Re-election burden is heavier, says Aliyu

•Niger State Governor Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu being sworn in by the Chief Judge of Niger State, Hon. Justice Jibrin Ndajiwo in Minna By Augustine Avwode

In smattering English, some artisans expressed their satisfaction. The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), who is also the chairman of the organising committee for the inauguration, put it more succinctly. His submission was that the state has never had it so good, saying it has made considerable progress in the last four years and that the re-election was an affirmation of what the majority of Nigerlites think of the Talba. “As a Nigerlite, I can confidently tell you

where we were in 2007 and where we are now. One must start by saying that all glory be to God for all that He has enabled us to achieve. If you recall, nobody gave Talba a chance. He was under-estimated, people said he was not a politician. And by their interpretation, a politician is somebody who does not say the truth but simply play around the issues at stake. But Talba was straightforward, a technocrat of repute and whose only consuming passion is how to change the socio-economic and political status of the people and the state. Go and ask anybody, I can tell you that out of 10 peo-

ple, eight will tell you he has done very well and want him to continue. And as a clear testimony, during the primary, nobody came out to challenge him. It was not for fear but a measure of approval of what he has been doing and a desire to see him continue as long as the constitution permits him to do so. That is why we are here today. And I am sure, very sure, that he will not disappoint them because he didn’t disappoint them in the last four years.” At exactly 10.50 am, the Deputy Governorelect, Hon. Ahmed Musa Ibeto, was called to •Continued on Page 39

Offiong Boco thanked the team for their visit and used the opportunity to appeal for government’s quick intervention on the dilapidated state of the school’s building. Expressing their gratitude for the visit, one of the students Patience Joseph thanked the Carnival Queen and appealed for an upgrade of the school’s infrastructures. Schools visited were Community Secondary School Mkpani and St. Patrick’s Technical College, Ugep all in Yakkur Local Government Area. Others were Rev. Eyaba Memorial Girls’ Secondary School and Com-

munity Secondary School Akpiapum all in Obubra Local Government Area. The advocacy team had earlier visited Community Secondary School Akpet Central in Biase Local Government Area. The third phase of the advocacy visits will cover selected schools within the Northern Senatorial Districts of Cross River State. Highlight of the visits included song renditions, comedy segment, presentation of gifts to the school, distribution of cheese balls from Combination Industries and questions and answer segment.

Students urged to fear God


S part of the responsibilities of her position as Carnival Calabar Queen, Miss Adaeze Priscilla Eluke has embarked on the second leg of her advocacy visits to some secondary schools in the North Central Senatorial District of Cross River State. In each of the schools visited, Miss Eluke said “the students should have the fear of God in them, even as she said that strong Christian faith would guide them to make the right moral choices. She also advised them to be of good behaviour and present themselves as good role models in the society.” While in the area, she paid courtesy visit to the Chairman of Obubra Local Government Area, Rev. Chris Obase who gave her a warm reception. Rev Obase praised Miss Eluke for her initiative of visiting schools, adding that it will help in positively changing the worldviews of the students. He further commended the wife of the governor, Obioma Liyel-Imoke for her initiative in fighting teenage pregnancy and child abandonment in the state. He added that her supporting the second phase of the Carnival Queen’s advocacy tour with hundreds of exercise books and pens for schools to be visited within the local government area is a boost. Speaking on behalf of Mrs Imoke, her Special Assistant on Public Health Regina Ejemot advised the students of Government Comprehensive Secondary School, New Nettim Odukpani to abstain from pre-marital sex in order to prevent teenage pregnancy and to guard against child abandonment. She disclose that the purpose of establishing Mothers against Child Abandonment (MACA) is to make Cross River State, a State Fit For every Child and also to fight against child abandonment. Grace Kekong of the Ministry of Health advised students on sound nutrition as this

•Eluke and some of the school children From Kunle Johnson, Calabar

is a major criterion for a healthy living. She reeled off the adverse effects of pre-marital sex on students’ health which include unwanted pregnancy; prolonged labour during child birth; spread of sexually-transmitted infections, among others. She advised the students to be obedient to their parents and that they should justify the resources spent on their education by taking their studies seriously. Responding, the Principal of the school




Edo to spend N1b on AAU

Abia spends N4.5b on roads


BIA State has spent N4.5 billion on road construction and rehabilitation across the state in the past nine months. This was disclosed by the former Commissioner for Works,Prince Christopher Enweremadu. Speaking with Newsextra in Umuahia, Enweremadu said that Governor Theodore Orji spends about N500 million every month in the last nine months to pay contractors working on various road projects in the state. Enweremadu noted that prompt payment of contractors by the governor made them work day and night, stressing that roads in Aba such as Obohia, Ohanku and others have been receiving due attention. He said: “Sometimes I wonder where the


Jang reiterates commitment to youth empowerment


OVERNOR Jonah Jang of Plateau State has reiterated his commitment towards empowering the youth to prevent them from engaging in destructive actions as that will encourage them to contribute meaningfully to the economic development of the state. The governor, who spoke through the state Director of Research and Documentation, Chris Kwaja at the Youth Camp IV training ground, Lamingo, Jos where 355 youths from the 17 local government areas gathered. The Youth Camp is the initiative of the Institute of Governance and Social Research (IGSR) in collaboration with UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre whose responsibility is training youths in with the aim of bringing to an end the incessant crises in the state. Also speaking at the camp, President IGSR, Prof. Isawa Elaigwu stated that the crises had

Plateau From Marie-therese Peter, Jos

made Jos and its environs the shadow of itself. He stressed the need to give Christian and Muslim youths the re-orientation that they need to cohabit in peace. Elaigwu maintained that the first three phases of the training paid off as youths who participated refused to engage themselves in subsequent violence which erupted in the state. This necessitated the fourth phase of the training which aims at encouraging more youths to do away with violence. The former Chief of Defense Staff, Lt. Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro who was chairman at the event, also urged the youth not to be rebels but honour the society which they live in by doing the right thing at all times.

HE Edo State government is to spend N1 billion to lift the state owned Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. Major infrastructure to put in place are the completion of the long abandoned administrative block, two students’ hostel blocks, one each for female and male, renovation and construction of faculty buildings for the university, procurement of a generating set to power the university dam, a security patrol van and four electricity transformers. Acting Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Cordelia Agbebaku stated this while


Abia From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

governor gets the large sum of money he is spending on roads, when one considers the fact that the state does not receive much from the Federation Account”. The former commissioner continued: “The governor will one day tell the people his magic or ‘Theodorenomics’ he is using to change the face of the state in so short a time after liberating the state from the hands of unpopular political people who have the mind to run down the state” Enweremadu noted that the achievement of the governor in the past nine months after the liberation was the magic he used to turn the state round to his benefit during the last general election, which earned both him and the party [The PDP] the total victory. He said:“You know the governor was encumbered for close to three and half years of his administration and if he had remained where he was before now it would have spelt doom for him and the party in the state. The commissioner noted that the governor has even worked on roads that do not belong to the state, such as Aba-Owerri road, PortHarcourt road and some portions of the AbaPort Harcourt at the Osisioma end of the roads that had been rehabilitated. Enweremadu said that some erosion sites on some of the roads, both state and federal, have also been handled by Governor Orji like the East road close to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Aba adding: “the governor built the road because of the promise he made to the church when he visited them”.

2000 women protest arrest of youths Ebonyi From Ogbonnaya Obinna Abakaliki

• Anambra State Governor Peter Obi flagging off the 2011 farming Season at AUSCO Farms, PHOTO: OBI CLETUS Agu-Awka, Anambra State

Imoke assures children of better education standard


ROSS River State government is to pass a law to set standards for the the establishment of private primary and secondary schools in the state. Governor Liyel Imoke disclosed this while addressing a cross section of primary and secondary schools pupils/ students during an

Speaker challenges members-elect


PEAKER of the Lagos State House of Assembly Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji has urged members-elect of the Assembly to take the task of making good laws for the effective governance of the state their paramount interest. He stated this in a keynote address he delivered at the opening of a four-day induction/orientation programme for newly elected and returning members and Management of the House organised by the Assembly at the Eko Tourist Beach Resort, Akodo, Ibeju Lekki recently. According to Ikuforiji, “We must get to the task of making good laws for effective governance and administration of Lagos State in the paramount and collective interest of the people. The function of the legislature is fundamental, for it shapes the democratic character of the other two arms of government. True democracy, he said, can only be realised when legislators have the will, ability and information to make decisions that reflect the interest and needs of society. “We must never allow our narrow interests to becloud our sense of reasoning in providing good laws for our people. We must be resolute and ensure that we remove every obstacle put in our way to strengthen the legislature and entrench good

By Oziegbe Okoeki

governance”, Ikuforiji said. The theme of the programmme is, ‘7th Assemblyof the Lagos House: The building of a virile democratic culture through an excellent legislature’. The programme was focussed the legislature role in modern governance, emerging trends and strategies towards building a transformational legislature. Also speaking, the Clerk/Permanent Secretary of the Assembly, Mr. Taiwo Olatunji tasked members on punctuality at plenary saying, “it is hoped that the 7th Assembly would take the issue of punctuality serious”. Ikuforiji admonished members-elect on the need to settle down, after celebrating their collective victories, and take a look at their electioneering promises and design a blueprint towards redeeming them within the framework of legislative powers conferred on them by the constitution. He expressed optimism that the lawmakers will not fail in the onerous task, adding that, “we will assist other arms of government in providing necessary infrastructure and socioeconomic need of our people. We will do this with decorum, civil and great sense of responsibility”, the speaker said.

From Kunle Johnson, Calabar

interactive session organised by A State fit for a Child (asfac), a pet programme of his wife. Obioma as part of the Children’s Day celebration, in Calabar. According to him, teachers in such schools will be tested as schools will not be accredited unless they have fields for recreation, enough desks, and laboratories while subjects will not be accredited unless they have enough qualified teachers to teach. The governor warned that any official who gives approval to any school that does not meet the state standard will be sanctioned, adding that where the state’s standard is not met, the school will be closed and the students taken to an approved school. On NECO and WAEC, the governor explained that government has not banned NECO but does not pay students examination fees because it is not complementing but alternative to WAEC, advising the children that their limitations should not stop them from acquiring education. He disclosed that two factors that make children successful are good teachers and discipline and advised that despite the circumstances in their environment, they can still succeed, adding that teachers are accountable and must teach them right because children have the right to good education.

Briefly •From left: Bolanle Nassar, Social Worker, SOS Children’s Village Nig; Segun Ajasa, Corporate Communications Manager, Onward Paper Mill Plc and Chika Madu, HOD Marketing, Onward Paper Mill Plc, during the donations to SOS Village Isolo by the company in Lagos PHOTO: JOHN EBOHOTA

Parents urged to ensure brighter future for children HE President of Joy of a Child Foundation, Evangelist Elishama


•Evangelist Ezenwani (middle) in a group photograph with children at the event

Cross River


VER 2000 women in Ebonyi State have protested alleged arrest of their children by the Coordinator of Ezza South Development Centre, Joseph Egede. The protesting women disrupted human and vehicular movement on Hill -Top road, in Abakaliki, the state capital . They blocked the entrance of the headquarters of the State Security Service (SSS) on Hill-Top road for about two hours. The women carried placards with inscriptions: “We shall not run away from our community because we didn’t vote for PDP during last April elections”, “Enough is enough, stop arresting our children indiscriminately”, “ We beg Joe Egede to allow us have peace in our community”, “Our lives are in danger, please let us be, we voted for our choice candidate”, “Human rights group, we urge you to intervene in our plight,” among others. Spokesperson for the women, Mrs. Jane Nwankwo, alleged that since the conclusion of the last elections in which Martin Elechi lost in Ezza South to Julius Ucha of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Egede has been arresting the youth in the community. She said: “After the general elections, the entire community decided to make peace with Egede and the Council Chairman Lazarus Ogbe. But the peace meeting did not bring about the desirable reconciliation. “We embarked on a peaceful protest at Onueke, Ezza South Local Government headquarters on May 19, but Egede’s boys dispatched us. We gathered that Egede has penciled down the name of 10 youths in our community for arrest, so we decided to come to the office of the SSS to protest the move.” Jane called for the intervention of the Director of SSS. Ogbe and Egede have not reacted to the development.

Ezenwani has called on parents and care givers to ensure the safety and protection of children as that would prepare them for a brighter and fruitful future. Ezewanni gave this appeal last week at the Nigeria’s Children’s Day Ceremony organised by the foundation in partnership with Oke-Ira Community, Ogba, Lagos. The programme with the theme: Zero Tolerance for Child Abuse brought together 50 children drawn from Lagos had the Baale of the Oke-Ira Community, Baale Bello Abowaba, the Head of Ministry of Health, Ojodu Development Council, Dr, Fatuyi in attendance. . According to her, the survival and development of Nigerian child can be ensured when the fundamental human rights of the child to health, education, politics and violation against child abuse are guaranteed. She lamented the spate of violation and discrimination against the Nigerian child which has remained an impediment to the fullest productive capabilities of the child. Although she lauded the child right law

By Adeola Ogunlade

which has been enacted in over 18 states, she said “our drives for the protection of the child must be effective at the home front where children are nurtured into adulthood. “Children are the beginning of the future in any society, and preparing for a future where peace, justice, fairness, creativity, integrity and love reign are imperative if truly we desire a better future. Ezewanne continued: “prevention remains the most effective way against child abuse as we don’t need to wait for another child victim or heal another child victim or punish an offender”. In his goodwill message, the tradional ruler of Oke-Ira Community, Baale Bello Abowaba, applauded the effort of the foundation in the fight against child abuse saying that it requires the collaborative effort of all stakeholders. Abowaba pledged the commitment of the Oke-Ira community toward the promotion and protection of the children who need care ad guidance to lead a better life.

ACCA partners ACT THE Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), is in partnership with the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT). Their agreement which was signed at ACT’s annual conference in Liverpool, United Kingdom, is for a period of three years and is geared towards extending the existing mutual co-operation between the two organisations. According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), ACCA will partner ACT by working internationally to promote the associate members of the Association of Corporate Treasurers (AMCT). In a statement issued in Lagos, the agreement will enable ACCA members worldwide to access the exemption programme to obtain

the ACT’s AMCT Diploma in Treasury, which is the benchmark of technical treasury competency, and also enable ACCA members wishing to take the Certificate in International Treasury Management (CertITM) benefit from a reduced course fee, whether taking CertITM as part of AMCT or independently. Neil Stevenson, ACCA’s Executive Director, remarked: “This Memorandum of Understanding signed with ACT, is a great opportunity for our members around the world seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge. By working together, ACCA and ACT will promote the benefits that professionals bring to the effective management of the organisations in which they work, especially those with complex financial arrangements.

Edo From Osagie Otabor, Benin

addressing guests at the 40th Inaugural Lecture Series of the Ambrose Alli University, entitled: From Protest to Assent: Unraveling the African Novel as a Protean Art, delivered by Prof. Jude Agho, in Ekpoma. The Ag VC who outlined Oshiomhole’s development plan for the institution, said two new buses have been delivered to the university. Prof. Agbebaku announced that the school’s monthly subvention has been increased to N215 million and disclosed that N410 million was given to the institution by Oshiomhole in 2010. She pledged her administration’s willingness to transparently generate data needed for the development of the university.She called on students to avoid

• Oshiomhole actions like the recent violent protest that led to the closure of the university.

FRSC renews effort on children’s safety


N its effort to ensure safety on our roads, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has embarked on the physical protection of children while on Nigerian roads. The exercise involves dressing children them in reflective jackets and armbands. About 1.5 million of the first batch of the kits are ready for distribution among school children. The FRSC, RS2.19 Oshodi Commander, Mrs, Kudirat Abidemi Ibrahim, gave the hint during the Children’s Day, Child Safety Campaign and launch of Road Safety Tales Book , organised by her unit. She said the initiative became necessary following, “increasing number of vehicles and

By Biodun-Thomas Davids our ever expanding road networks and its attendant challenges to children and inevitable crashes from reckless, drunk and uninformed drivers plying our roads.” She added that the effort would be corroborated by educating them, “to be mentally prepared to face the inherent challenges on our roads”, emphasising that, “they must be seen and safe.” Meanwhile ,Duke Ochukenji, the Brand Manager, Golden Penny Noodles, one of the corporate sponsors of the event, has charged the Corps to enhance its safety campaign through “long-term massive community by community safety enlightenment and orientation.”

Politicians advised


HE Director of Markaz Islamic and Arabic Institute, Agege, Lagos, Sheik Habebullahi Adam Al-Ilory, has urged newly elected government officials to be just and ensure equal distribution of the nation’s wealth among citizens. Al-Ilory, who gave the advice at a Jumah service and special prayer to mark Democracy Day last Friday in Lagos, also observed that indiscipline and corruption had been the bane of the country.

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

He warned politicians that if they ignored their duties and obligations or failed to carry them out appropriately, they might derail from the right path. Al-Ilory said, “After the elections, there have been winners and losers. But the winners have a big task at hand. One of the tasks is that they must ensure that there is equity and justice. They must also ensure that all acts of indiscipline are eradicated from the society”.

Council chief harps on education


HAIRMAN of Otto-Awori Local Council Development Area of Lagos, Mr Bolaji Robert has tasked parents on the upliftment of their wards education. Robert stated this during the Children’s Day celebration at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education Sports ground, Ijanikin, Lagos. He said his administration’s primary concern in education is to leave a legacy that will be remembered for a long time. Modern day facilities, he said, will continue to be in place to cater for the children’s need. According to him, his administration has taken precise action towards achieving the set goals in core areas which include education. “The welfare of our children is a priority, especially their education, for it is the bedrock of every civilised society. We understand that it is the key to national development and that is why we will continue to invest significantly in the sector. We have constructed a fully equipped modern nursery and primary school at Ilemba-

Awori. Academic session has already begun, with our children being provided with free school uniforms, books and all other necessary learning tools,” he said. He urged parents to reciprocate this gesture by sending their wards to these new schools as everything a modern day school will need has been provided. Among other facilities that have been constructed to be inaugurated soon include Ajewanwa and Ibasa Nla Nursery and Primary Schools. While highlighting his scorecard, he said public and private schools have benefited from distribution of books, chairs, desks, provision of drinkable water and an enabling environment for learning. Others include distribution of Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary, free GCE forms and bursary awards to students of various tertiary institutions so as to encourage them to be their best in their chose academic career.

Food Fair CONSUMERS’ dreams came true recently at the Food Affair Festival held at Muri Okunola Park in Victoria Island, Lagos. They were treated to different delicacies representing the diverse cultures of the people. The event attracted expatriates and Nigerians alike who were thrilled with the variety of foods. From gourmet foods to every day meals, it was indeed a delightful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The children were not left out, they had a play area, where they could go and play after eating their meals and could have snack as

well, while their parents watched them at a distance in a sitting corner chatting with friends and acquaintance. It was indeed a family event. Organised by Miss Ronke Adeola of 1421 Limited, who said her passion for the project is her love of food and the privilege to have witnessed similar events around the world. She said she recognise the fact that there is a need to celebrate food in Nigeria, and the different kinds of foods that have been infused into our everyday living. Brandssuch as UTC, Nutricema, Honeywell and Smooth FM supported the project.

•Robert (holding mic) presenting computer sets, drums set, and school uniforms to the Headmaster of Ilemba-Awori Nursery and Primary School while the Vice Chairman, Hon Olufemi Musa (middle) watches .





•From left: Governor Fashola, his wife Abimbola and Deputy Governor Orelope-Adefulire

There was a lot to eat and drink at the ball to commemorate the swearing-in of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and his deputy, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire. MIRIAM NDIKANWU reports

Colour, glamour at Fashola’s inaugural ball I

T was the day the Lord has made not only for them, but also for 25 others across the country. The day opened with their inauguration and ended with a ball. In Lagos, the party was well attended. It attracted virtually all the former governors of the state. It was a night to remember for many. Governor Babatunde Fashola and his deputy, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire radiated charm and warmth. Earlier in the day, they had taken the oath of office. After that exercise, it was time to unwind before embarking on the arduous task of steering the ship of the state. An array of guests came from far and wide, to witness the colourful swearing-in and also attended the ball held at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.. The swearing-in held at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, was attended by Fashola’s wife, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola; national leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; his delectable wife, Senator- elect of the National Assembly, Oluremi Tinubu; immediate past Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan; former Governors and Military Administrators of the state, Alhaji Lateef Jakande; Commodore Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd); Brig-Gen, Mobolaji Johnson (Rtd);

Brig-Gen, Raji Rasaki (rtd) and the former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Prince Bola Ajibola. There were also the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, RT Hon Adeyemi Ikuforiji; State Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Chief Henry Ajomale; the Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Akiolu I, National Assembly and State House of Assembly members elect; Chairmen of Local Governments and their counterparts in the Local Council Development Authorities (LCDAs); former members of the State Executive Council; members of the body of Permanent Secretaries; commander of military and paramilitary formations in the state; party supporters; religious leaders, among others. Guests had started trooping into the venue of the event as early as 8.30am with thousands of party faithful dressed in uniform attire and dancing to various mobile music bands that added glamour to the ceremony. Governor Fashola, clad in blue native attire and a cap to match took his oath of office at exactly 11:15am alongside his wife and two children. Chief Judge of the State, Justice Inumidun Akande administered the oath of office to Fashola and Adefulire who was also in company of her husband and two children.

When lawyers unwind Pg 31

In his acceptance speech shortly after inspecting the guard of honour, Fashola pledged his administration’s commitment to tackling security issue in the state. His government, the governor said, would invest massively in security and safety of lives and properties in the state in order to reduce crime to the barest minimum. The pursuant of developmental policies, the governor explained, would continue from where his previous administration stopped. He noted that Lagosians took the best decision in giving him and his deputy the mandate to continue in office. According to him: “I understand the import of that mandate, it is a mandate in support of the continuation of the transformation we have collectively achieved in the last four years. “It is a mandate for good governance. It is a mandate for the continuation of the people oriented policies that take us daily towards the brighter and rewarding future,” he explained. The governor noted that as the leader of the team he cherished the mandate just as he was conscious of the import of the hopes and aspirations of Lagosians. “As a government, our task in meeting your expectations will certainly be made much

easier if we all submit ourselves equally to the rules and regulations of our daily interactions and businesses, because not only will voluntary compliance reduce our cost of enforcement and citizens’ contact with law enforcement agents; it will leave your government with more time and resources to focus on developmental issues that improve our lives collectively; a lawful and orderly society will certainly benefit more people,” he added. At the ball, which climaxed the day’s event, dignitaries came in their hundreds to wine and dine with Governor Fashola who looked trendy in his black dinner suit with a matching bow tie. His wife, Abimbola, looking ravishing in her fitting black silk dress, appeared years younger than her age. Legislators-elect; top government functionaries; policy makers; movers and shakers of Lagos and the crème de la crème of the society all gathered to rejoice with Governor Fashola on the occasion of his inauguration. Champagne and assorted wines were served by expertly trained and courteous damsels who served as maids at the ball. It was not a night for speeches as everyone took time to relish the memorable evening. Noticeable absence of the media showed that the event was highly exclusive. •More pictures page 30

A General’s wife at 50 Pg 33




•Asiwaju Tinubu (middle) flanked by (from left) Mr and Mrs Sarah Sosan; Mrs Tinubu and Mrs Toun Ajomale

•Alhaji Jakande flanked by his wife and Hon Opeyemi Bamidele

•Brig-Gen and Mrs Mobolaji Johnson (rtd)

•Rear Admiral Ndubisi Kanu

•A cross-section of Muslim clerics

•Oba Akiolu

•Hon Adeyemi Ikuforiji

•From left: Justice Inumidun Akande; Dr Muiz Banire and Prince Adesegun Oniru

•A cross-section of Christian clerics




SOCIETY The Capital Market Solicitors Association (CMSA), has held a dinner to commemorate its 10th anniversary NNEKA NWANERI reports.

• Ajibade (second right), Oteh (second left) and others cutting the cake

•DG of Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyeama

HERE was no clue about their profession; indeed, nothing, gave them away as lawyers. But they are lawyers, who are not engaged in litigation. They are solicitors of the capital market. They operate in the capital market and their gathering, at the Metropolitan Club, Victoria Island, Lagos, was to celebrate the 10th year existence of their association, Capital Market Association (CMSA). CMSA is an association of lawyers engaged in capital market law and practice, and they also train and enhance professional competence and skill. To them, the gathering provided an opportunity of having a nice time together after a busy week at the Stock Exchange. They were well dressed, the men in suits with bow ties and the women in dinner gowns. They filled the exquisite hall of the Metropolitan Club, Victoria Island, which was decorated in blue and white; the official colour of the


•Chairman, Investments Security Tribunal Dr Nnenna Orji

•Senator Ladipo Odujere and wife

•Mrs Andrea Ajibade and Olayode Delano

When lawyers unwind •Capital market solicitors at 10 association. The late arrival of the Special Guest of Honour and Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Arumah Oteh, allowed members to move around to chat with one another. Adrenaline band, the invited musician, dished out scintillating tunes to the delight of guests. With Oteh’s arrival the event kicked off immediately. By this time, the hall was packed. Ace stand up comedian Holy Mallam anchored the event as Master of Ceremonies.

He entertained guests with rib-cracking jokes. The association’s chairman, Dr Babatunde Ajibade (SAN), while welcoming guests said it was an honour that the anniversary was taking place during his tenure. “There are many who doubted that the association would last. It is becoming more and more relevant to the sector in which it operates,” he noted. He gave kudos to the founding father of

Adenike Akinbola, a casualty of medical blunder, which cost her the use of her legs, married Abraham Oyekan at a ceremony many described as extraordinary. JOKE KUJENYA was there


HE day Saturday began with a drizzle. It was about 10am and there were fears that the rain may disrupt the wedding of Abraham Oyekan and Adenike Akinbola. Mercifully, the rain stopped in good time and guests began to Flock the Jonah Wyep Hall of Nigeria Air force Warrant Officers’ Base in Ikeja, Lagos. For good reasons, many were stunned by the wedding. Family members whispered to anyone that cared to listen: “It was a miracle of the millennium,” that the wedding was about taking place. The bride, Adenike was not born handicapped. Like every regular baby, she brought joy to her parents’ life. Sadly, she became deformed because of medical negligence. She lost her legs and life took a different hue for her. Undeterred, Nike moved on in life till she earned herself an MBA in Finance Option. With her educational criterion, she began working and it was on the job she met her spouse, Abraham Oyekan. Their wedding was as colourful as the

•The couple, Adenike and Abraham

‘See what God has done for my daughter’ expectation of the guests, many of whom came wondering, if the marriage will scale through. It did. Abraham was the first to walk down the aisle looking back time and again to see if his would-be wife was on his trail. Minutes later, Adenike was ushered into the hall with songs of praise unto God.

Adenike, as she had done several years, held on to her walking stick, wriggling her shoulders to the drum beats and smiled her way down the aisle to fill the space beside her would-be husband. All the while, Adenike’s father, Pa Akinbola was in tears. “I never believed that God could do this for my daughter,” the retired Airforce Officer said, with his eyes teary.


the association, Anthony Idigbe (SAN), whose idea, he noted, gave them a cause for the day’s celebration. He mentioned how much the association has taken care of its members’ welfare. Oteh, who looked quite excited, smiled all through the evening. She said the day was worth celebrating as it provided an opportunity for interaction with one another, especially among lawyers without being serious. “It is great to see a baby grow to this extent. This is an important milestone and a strong foundation that you have laid,” she noted. She advised lawyers who are yet to be members of the association to join. The anniversary cake was later cut jointly, by all the new and old executive members and trustees, and it was followed by a toast proposed for the nation, the Nigerian Capital Market and the CMSA. On the contrary, Abraham was all smiles. He said he had married Adenike based on God’s directive, so he has every cause to smile. “I believe that God decides to give Adenike to me as a gift. I have worked for most of my adult life with the Albino part of the Civil Society Groups. So naturally, there is the passion for special people like Adenike.” Abraham Oyekan, who is in his early 30s also added that GOD’s directive coupled with Adenike’s level of intelligence attracted him to his brief despite her physical challenge. “And my joy surprisingly is that at the time I informed my parents, family members and friends and told them that this is of God, people encouraged me beyond my expectation.” If there were any fears of the unexpected, “It was Adenike that had fears about how she would be accepted with my own people based on past experiences she had encountered. But, like I said people encouraged me and nobody raised any eye-brows. My parents too were very supportive beyond words. From the time I told them it was of God, they raised no objection. By the time I brought her to the family, and they met her eventually; they were happy and welcomed her as if she was their own daughter. “Our courtship lasted for about two years; we met in 2008 at our place of work. I have no fears that we would have and raise our own children together. You know, as a person that works with the Civil Society Group; so there has been that natural passion for special people with challenges. And I have no reservations concerning that decision. If there is any concern at all, she was the one raising such and I have assured her she has no reasons for such.”



SOCIETY The Cultural Consulate, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran organised a seminar to commemorate the birthday of Fatima Zahra, daughter of Holy Prophet Muhammed at Ikoyi, Lagos last Sunday. TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO was there.

Celebrating a ‘virtuous’ woman


T was a celebration of a woman whose lifestyle radiated love, philanthropic gesture and uncommon virtue. Fatima Zahra, daughter of Holy Prophet Muhammed, was not an ordinary woman. She personified the true nature of heavenly-endowed virtue. She was a divine being with the best traits. Last Sunday, Muslim scholars within and outside Lagos converged on the auditorium of the Cultural Consulate, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, located along S.L Edu Avenue, formerly Alexander, Ikoyi, Lagos to commemorate Fatimah’s birthday. Aside eulogies poured on the deceased, the guests’ speakers delved on several areas in the lives of Fatimah where today’s women could tap from to live a meaningful life. The speakers include Lagos State University (LASU) don, Dr Is-haq Akintola; Sheikh Dhikrullahi Ambali; National President, Muslim Sisters’ Organisation, Hajia Salamotu Ibrahim; Amirah (President) Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Lagos State chapter, Alhaja Fatimat Gawat; her National Council of Muslim Youth Organisation (NACOMYO) counterpart, Alhaja Dhikrat Oshodi; NACOMYO Vice-President, Alhaji Mustapha Balogun; Dr Halimat Kareem and Chairman, Ansar-UdDeen Society of Nigeria, Ebute Meta branch, Alhaji Shakirudeen Adigun. Welcoming the guests, the Cultural Counselor, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Nigeria, Seyyed Mahmoud Azimi described Fatima Zahra as a woman that embodied all the attribute of the prophets. If to be a man, Azimi said, would have come as a prophet. “Her spiritual divine qualities are heavenly, as she was in the real sense of the word brought out the dignity of woman’s character to the fore. “She is a woman who is the pride to family building and a beloved Islamic woman of all dimensions that one can imagine, whose virtues were endless of the noblest messenger and his house-hold,” he said. “Brothers and sisters in Islam as we converge to celebrate Fatima Zahra, her astute qualities that has emancipated the role of Muslim woman and indeed the Iranian Muslim woman in Religion and

•Dr Akintola flanked by Azimi (right) and Sheikh Ambali

•Alhaja Gawat (left) and Alhaja Akinola

Cultural movement to society, our thinking as Muslims, we need to look within our society on how we can project this qualities exhibited by Fatima Zahra,” he added. The Diplomat stated that seminar of such nature will add more to proceeding advantages to attain spiritual uplift that is better for family development and the society at large. “Today Iranian Muslim women, as ever before are committed, whole hearted individual, shoulder high and supporting the men in rebuilding her beloved Nation either in the area of culture, science and education,” he said. Dr Akintola urged Muslim women in Nigeria to be active in partisan politics. Their indoor staying, the LASU don described, as erroneous perception of the religion. “It is a reactionary approach to Islam. Muslim women are not slave. Islam came to set them free. They are supposed to be equivocally vocal like the men. They should not be docile or too quiet,” he said.

•Alhaji Balogun (left) and Alhaji Adigun

He hailed the Iranian government for giving women right to participate in governance. He chided Nigerian human rights organisations for keeping quiet when Muslim women were disenfranchised during Voters’ Registration exercise because of wearing hijab. Even when the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) said hijab is not a barrier, Akintola said the rights group kept mute. Alhaja Gawat expressed displeasure over the absent of Iranian women at the seminar. She urged the Cultural Counselor to ensure their women participated in such seminar. “We are here to celebrate our fellow woman. I do not see the reason why Iranian women should not be at this event. Mr Azimi, please next time, we want to see your women; we care to know our Iranian sisters living in Nigeria,” she said. The FOMWAN leader urged women to be mothers to their respective communities and not their wards alone.


•From left: Mrs Jalilat Adeniran; Mrs Abimbola Eniafe; Mrs Titilayo Alase; Mrs Rasheedat Soluade and Mrs Rasheedat Oni

•Hajia Ibrahim

•Dr Kareem (left) and Alhaja Oshodi

This, she said, would make them improve lives of others and have lasting positive impact in the community. She equally enjoined them to reflect on the virtue of Fatimah and work towards emulating her qualities.


Hajia Ibrahim’s lecture centred of life and times of Fatimah. She described her as a great philanthropist. “Despite her dislike for amassing materialism, she said, Fatimah never hesitated to give her last Riyal as charity.”


•From left: President, National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS) Lagos State Chapter, Princess Sidiquat Disu flanked by (from left) NCWS State Co-ordinator, Prophetess Elizabeth Abdul; NAWOCA Senior Project Officer, Mrs Aanu Akinola; NAWOCA Assistant Director Health Education, Mrs Olaide Oyenuga and NCWS third Vice president, Alhaja Bolanle Agoro during a programme jointly held by NCWS and National Coalition on HIV/AIDS



SOCIETY A Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, Brig-Gen Dapo Adebayo, hosted friends and relatives to a 50th birthday bash for his wife, Deconess Idowu. NNEKA NWANERI was there.

A General’s wife at 50


T was Mrs Idowu Adebayo’s day and many gathered to celebrate with her. Smiling all through the day, the mother of four and wife of a senior research fellow at the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, Brig-Gen Dapo Adebayo, she was clad in a pink Iro and Buba, with golden headgear. She moved from table to table acknowledging greetings. It was her 50th birthday celebration. Large tents stood on the Lawn Tennis court of the Ann Baracks, Yaba, Lagos. They were decorated with blue and yellow baloons. An hour earlier, a thanksgiving service was held. The only Bible reading at the service was taken by the celebrator’s second daughter, Bola. The passage was from Psalm 90:12. The service was officiated by the Pastor-incharge of Christ Apostolic Church, Yaba, Kunle Magbagbeola. Everyone had one good thing or the other to say about the ‘birthday girl’. Her husband Gen Adebayo, who summed up the accolades poured on her while giving the vote of thanks. He described her as a virtuous, disciplined and supportive wife. He likened her to the brain box of a car, and actually called her his “brain box.” “She is a pride to her family and has been very tolerant. It hasn’t been easy getting this far,” he said. He admonished other wives to learn from her prayerful life. “It is my joy to present her today, (requesting that she march forward to

meet him at the podium) and on behalf of my children and family, I want to thank her,” he said gleefully. In her response Mrs Adebayo gave all the glory to God. “I’m happy and grateful to God. This is the first time the fruits of my womb and my husband will celebrate with me, so I give God the glory. She said despite the nature of her husband’s job, he (her husband) has always been there for her, cared for her and been a loving father to the children. “Due to the nature of his job, always up and doing, sometimes, there are transfers to different parts of the country. Though it hasn’t given me a biased mind about him, or make me complain for being the only one managing the home front, because God has been seeing me through. I never knew I will live up to what I am today. So I give God all the glory and adoration,” she said. She advised young girls to be prayerful, committed, disciplined and be focused on their goals. Her daughter, Bola, said she brought her siblings up to be better and distinct from their mates. “She’s led us in God’s way. A good and prayerful mother everyone will wish to have. She taught us from our childhood till now to always trust in God and be strong in prayer and thanksgiving. “So I want to tell her I love her and wish her many years to see her grandchildren and see her children succeed in life,” she prayed.

•From left: Brig-Gen Funso Oyeniyi (rtd); Brig-Gen Lucky Banjiram and Maj-Gen Kayode Oni

•The celebrator, Deaconess Idowu and her husband, Gen Adebayo cutting the cake

•Co-ordinator NYSC Lagos, Mr Ladipo Laniyan (left) and Mr Remi Amele

•From left:Prince Gboyega Abimbola; ACN chieftain, Otunba Dele Macaulay; Kemi Abimbola PHOTOS: NNEKA NWANERI and Mr Tijani Popoola


•Former Miss Chinyere Jacinta Maduike and her husband Mr Joseph Uwalaka at the Ikoyi Registry, Lagos


•Chairman Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Area, Hon Hakeem Bamgbola flanked by Supervisor for Works, Hon Tunde Olokodana (right) and Hon Adeshina Mustapha at the event




Judge buries mum in style May 14, would remain evergreen on the minds of people of Ekinrin Adde, a community in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State. It was a day the sleepy settlement witnessed the largest crowd in recent times with the funeral of the mother of an illustrious son of the town, Justice Alaba Ajileye, a judge of the Kogi State High Court. Reports AMIDU ARIJE

•From left: Tayo Jegede; Hon Ayo-Odugbesan; Justice Ajileye; Jide Owootori and Justice Obayomi


ATURDAY, May 14, in the lives of the indigenes of the sleepy settlement of Ekinrin-Adde, was a momentous day. It was a day the village played host to one of its largest crowds ever, at the burial of an octogenarian icon, Madam Alice Arinola Omolaye-Ajileye (a.k.a IYALE), who was acknowledged as a woman of good testimonies. The roll call consisted of eminent personalities from across the nation. Ushers of St Paul’s Anglican Church, EkinrinAdde, in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State where the funeral service held, had to devise various crowd management tactics to ensure order. The surge from the crowd led to the vicar pleading with indigenes and members of the church to vacate their seats for scores of VIPS left standing outside the church. Outside the church and at the reception venue, officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps and their counterpart in the National Civil Defence had a hectic time. Weeks before, there were indications that the town would play host to unprecedented crowd. All the hotels and guest houses in neighbouring towns of Kabba in Kogi State and Omuo in Ekiti State had been fully booked. The Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Ijumu, The Rt Rev. Ezekiel Ikupolati., who officiated at the service urged Christians and politicians to prioritise God rather than hustling for material things and positions in dubious ways. While stressing that excessive desire for such earthly things lead to destruction, he said it was unlikely all elected politicians in the last election could boast of toeing the right path to victory. Ikupolati, who said all human beings were dust and would return to dust, called

•Mrs Ajileye

on all Christians and particularly politicians to imbibe the good character, service to others, honesty and love which he noted Madam Ajileye exhibited throughout her life-time. Earlier, reading his mother’s biography, Justice Alaba Ajileye of the Kogi State High Court described her as loving, humorous, accommodating and kind-hearted woman who would not allow anyone around her to go hungry. While attributing the success of the burial to God, he appreciated all his well-wishers, stressing that the vacuum left behind by his mother would be difficult to fill. Also speaking, Director of Prosecution, NDLEA, Mr Femi Oloruntoba, and the Chairman Ijumu Local Government Area, Deacon Owotogbe, described Mama as a pleasant and easy-going woman. Judicial officers from various jurisdictions in the country were prominent among the thousands who attended. Eminent lawyers including Senior Advocates of Nigeria were not left behind. The burial ceremony also paraded top government functionaries, serving and former state commissioners, members of state or national assemblies, serving and retired military top shots. Madam Olori Ajileye left behind a proud legacy of responsible and accomplished children and grandchildren, including, a Judge of the Kogi State High Court, a frontline estate surveyor, Engineers, top medical personnel,

•From left: Femi Afolayan; Justice Ajileye; Femi Oloruntoba and Justice Adebawa

•Mrs Taye Omotesho and Mr Henry Philip

academicians and a journalist to mention a few. Few days to Madam Ajileye’s demise, she was said to have been radiant and extraordinarily strong. There was no sign that her time was up. She was full of life and was in her best form. Then, suddenly, a mild fever struck. None of those around her then believed that she would die. She was hospitalised for barely

48 hours. At a point in the course of her treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, she announced that she was going to sleep. And indeed, she slept, and in her sleep, she passed on to glory, peacefully, quietly and triumphantly, at about 12:05 am on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, which coincided with the birthday of one of her children, at the age of 87 years.


•From left: Vice Chairman, Apapa Local Governmnet, Mrs Bola Dada; Chairman, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding of Nigeria, Are Kazeem Olarewaju; Alhaja Taibat Ibidun Tijani; Otunba Moshood Tijani; Tope Tijani and Chairman Apapa Local Government, Mr Ayodeji Joseph

•From left: Member Lagos State House of Assembly, Ajiboye Adeleye; Wahab Alawiye-King and Muftau Egberongbe








REAMS are mysterious. They have a way of fore-telling or fore-boding. Without Prophet Yusuf’s dream as contained in the Qur’an, perhaps the Israelis would never have had any contact with Egypt. And, the fierce Arab- Israeli conflict that has lingered for more than six decades would probably not have occurred. Dream has potential to serve as prophesy. It might look a torturous journey for a black man to become an American President. But the genesis of that journey was the dream of another black man (Martins Luther King) whose dream served as a guiding light that saw Barack Hussein Obama to the White House. Thus, black American presidency is a product of dream. United States’ first Jewish Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, had a dream five years ago which he promptly announced to the world though without calling it a dream. The then 83 year old renowned diplomat went to the Middle East that year (2006) on a peace mission with some other interested parties from the West. After a realistic assessment of the region as compared to his past biased thought, Kissinger admitted, for the first time, that the Middle-East conflict could never be settled by use of force. This was based on his experience as an observer of historical trend as well as an active participant in international diplomacy. Coming from an American Jew of this status whose greatest diplomatic achievement was his contribution to the Middle East peace in a period of about a decade, one can hardly dispute this new line of thought in hitting the nail on the head. Kissinger had witnessed three major wars between the Arabs and the Jews in less than two decades. He had taken part in those wars directly or indirectly. He had also played a vital role in negotiating peace between the two antagonists either as a partisan arbiter or as a presumed genuine peacemaker or both. As a matter of fact, no American Secretary of State has ever been so much involved in the Middle East conflict and resolution as Kissinger since the outbreak of the first war in that region in 1956. Originally a German Jew born in Fuerth, Germany, in 1923, Kissinger had spent 68 years of his life in the U.S. to where he migrated at the age of 15 in 1938 and became naturalised in 1943. He was in the U.S. military intelligence in 1947-1948 when the occupation of Palestine by the Jews began. He had been named Time Magazine’s man of the year 1972 due to his perceived effort in finding a resolution to the Middle East crisis. Kissinger had also been a co-winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize for peace based on his relentless effort in forging an enduring peace in the region. And, for more than 40 years he had served either as official adviser or Secretary of States or consultant to the U.S. government on the Middle East. Now, having realised that in more than 60 years of incessant struggle, in that region, wars had severally been fought and won or lost, just as victors vanquished had emerged; yet no peace had been achieved he came up with a new diplomatic paradigm. Using this situation as a yardstick for measuring what he would have considered his own life accomplishment, Kissinger became convinced that no amount of force could win peace especially where justice is absent. In a retrospective view of the futility of America’s unwarranted aggression in various parts of the world, Kissinger decided to counsel his own government against further use of force in resolving any conflict in the contemporary time. He was particularly referring to America’s posture on such Middle East countries like Iraq, Syria and Iran where tensions were still very high on what the US perceived as terrorism but which those countries believed to be nationalism. Kissinger had witnessed America’s failure in Vietnam and Cambodia after many years of bloodletting and barbaric destructions. He had been part of his country’s failing governments engendered by wrong policies on the Middle East. And, recently, he saw how the U.S. aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq sparked off a new dimension in terrorism. Judging the future by all these experiences of the past, Kissinger concluded that changing the Middle East policy was his government’s only option if the U.S. really wanted to continue to lead the world in contemporary civilisation. He, therefore, called on the then President Bush to enter into dialogue with Syria, Iran, the various factions in the Iraqi crisis as well as other stakeholders in the Middle East. Frank and realistic as Kissinger’s counsel 08051101861

Kissinger’s new dream


seemed to be however, there was a reality on ground, which, for strategic reason, he refused to touch. And, without that reality, it may be difficult for the world to know peace in a foreseeable future. The reality had been contained in a 19th century poem of a renowned India born British poet, Rudyard Kipling who said: “…West is West and East is East; never will the twain meet…” This poetic verse has since formed the basis of the relationship between the Orient and the Occident at the instance of the latter. Culture is fundamental in the life of man. And, at the very foundation of every culture is religion. This is particularly true of Islam a religion which, in all ramifications, forms the culture of its adherents. For centuries, the Westerners didn’t seem to agree with this norm. Rather, they would prefer to re-define Islam from their own religious perspective thereby causing fundamental frictions continually between both sides. In Islam, there is no distinction between temporal and spiritual lives. All aspects of Muslim life are a package within the realm of Islam as long as they do not contradict the injunctions of the Quran and Sunnah. This is a fundamental norm which the West considers repugnant because it does not tally with its own perception of religion. Not only that, Islam is also seen in the West as a religion not adaptable to the western civilisation despite the fact that the West would have remained a dark region without Islam which the Muslims brought to Europe through Spain in the 8th century. Today, Islam is the second largest religion in the West after Christianity with a population of about 35 million adherents. What the West fails to realise in this is that any attack on a Muslim country is an attack on over 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, divide and rule tactics notwithstanding. Kissinger had always known this fact but he had always swept it under the carpet if only to keep his job and chart the course of his Jewish race. Now, having exhausted all intrigues, might, propaganda and exploitation, with futile result, it seems to be dawning on the West that peace, rather than war, is a major pre-requisite for its further exploitation of the rest of the world through capitalism. And, such peace can never be forged by war. To an average Muslim, Islam is a culture that is worth dying for since genuine martyrdom is believed to be an automatic ticket to paradise. It will be fool-hardy on the part of the West therefore, to want to re-design the culture of such die-hard adherents because it has a divine origin. Following Kissinger’s newly propounded paradigm, most Americans began

to post questions online querying Washington’s relationship with Tel Aviv. After 62 years of that seemingly unholy relationship, they wanted to know America’s benefit from that relationship in concrete terms. This is against the background of the country’s incessant wars around the world covertly at the instance of Israel and at enormous cost to the US which has virtually been turned into a globally antagonised nation. The modern Americans, especially the youths, are coming up with a new but probing reasoning that may introduce a logical revolution into the new millennium. To these youths, losing tax payers trillions of Dollars and thousands of lives in protection of an inconsequential relationship while driving the economy aground may soon lure the world into an unprecedented waterloo. They are alarmed that the same US which pretends to be the champion of the oppressed people of the world because of her own antecedent could also go ahead to fund and strengthen oppression against some helpless people. This has prompted questions such as: for how long will America fight another nation’s unprovoked war? And what is the difference between the condemned apartheid in pre-independence South Africa and today’s situation in Palestine? Perhaps no one has described this situation more succinctly than an American journalist and author of repute, Jeff Gates. An excerpt from his widely read books entitled: ‘Guilt by Association; Democracy at Risk and’ The Ownership Solution’ published in New York Times on October 2, 2009 painted this picture with the vivid colours it deserved. Please, take your time to read the thought-provoking piece which he started writing by quoting a similar thought by some discerning Jewish Americans in a protest against the creation of Israel in 1948. It goes thus inter alia: “.....For more than six decades, American support for Israel has relied on the ability of pro-Israelis to dominate U.S. media, enabling Tel Aviv to put a positive spin on even its most extreme behaviour, including its recent massacre in Gaza . With access to online news coverage, that Zionist bias is becoming apparent and the real facts transparent... “Though Americans seldom show a strong interest in foreign affairs, that situation is fast changing. While a few of them grasp the subtleties of one-state versus twostate proposals, many have seen online the impact of a murderous Israeli assault on Palestinian civilians that was timed between 2009 Christmas and the inauguration of Barack Obama’s presidency in January 2010.... “....Thus, with access to online news, many Americans are asking questions as to why they are forced to support a colonial apartheid government in Israel. Others want an answer for a question like: Is Israel a credible partner for peace? Perhaps, it was in response to the last question and in line with Kissinger’s new thinking that President Barack Obama came up with a new American foreign policy on which he addressed the nation on Thursday, May 19, 2011. In that address, he stated as follows: “....For decades, the conflict between Israelis and Arabs has cast a shadow over the region. For Israelis, it has meant living with the fear that their children could get blown up on a bus or by rockets fired at their homes, as well as the pain of knowing that other children in the region are taught to hate them. For Palestinians, it has meant suffering the humiliation of occupation, and never living in a nation of their own.

Moreover, this conflict has come with a larger cost to the Middle East, as it impedes partnerships that could bring greater security, prosperity, and empowerment to ordinary people. “My administration has worked with the parties and the international community for over two years to end this conflict, yet expectations have gone unmet. Israeli settlement activity continues. Palestinians have walked away from talks. The world looks at a conflict that has grinded on for decades, and sees a stalemate. Indeed, there are those who argue that with all the changes and uncertainties in the region, it is simply not possible to move forward. I disagree. “At a time when the people of the Middle East and North Africa are casting off the burdens of the past, the drive for a lasting peace that ends the conflict and resolves all claims is more urgent than ever. “For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure. Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state. Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection. And Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist. “As for Israel, our friendship is rooted deeply in a shared history and shared values. Our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable. And we will stand against attempts to single it out for criticism in international forums. But precisely because of our friendship, it is important that we tell the truth: the status quo is unsustainable, and Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace. The fact is that a growing number of Palestinians live west of the Jordan River. Technology will make it harder for Israel to defend itself. A region undergoing profound change will lead to populism in which millions of people – not just a few leaders – must believe peace is possible. The international community is tired of an endless process that never produces an outcome. The dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation. Ultimately, it is up to Israelis and Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them, nor can endless delay make the problem go away. But what America and the international community can do is to state frankly what everyone knows: a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples; Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.... “So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, and a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state... “As for security, every state has the right to self-defence, and Israel must be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat. Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism; to stop the infiltration of weapons; and to provide effective border security. The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. The duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated... “These principles provide a foundation for negotiations. Palestinians should know the territorial outlines of their state; Israelis should know that their basic security concerns will be met. I know that these steps alone will not resolve this conflict. Two wrenching and emotional issues remain: the future of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees. But moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair, and that respects the rights and aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians....” Can this serve as a catalyst for permanent peace in the Middle East?



FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011


Dependants of slain officers demand justice


EPENDENTS of the slain senior police officers at Badagry, Lagos have called on the Federal Government to come to their aid and ensure that they get justice. According to them, the children of the officers and those of their extended family members risk dropping out of school if something positive is not done. One of the victims of the gruesome murder, Mr Salisu Samuel who was the Divisional Police Officer, left behind six children, a widow, aged parents and many siblings. The man, who was described as the breadwinner of a very large family was responsible for the upkeep of so many in his little Nupe village Mowka. His younger brother John Salisu, who was at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), mortuary Ikeja at the weekend to inspect the corpse of his late brother said that his brother’s killing was a premeditated. He wondered why his brother whom he described as a charming, hard working and selfless officer would be killed like a common criminal. “It is very disheartening. The whole family has collapsed since the news of his gruesome murder in the hands of the military last week. He was the first child of the family and everybody, including our aged parents, is in shock. The family is calling for justice. We do not have confidence in the panel set up by the police and the army. We want a judicial panel of enquiry to be set up by the government and the international human rights groups. “We want the whole world to hear and see how soldiers are killing Nigerians. My brother’s death was a set up. He was a close friend to the Commanding Officer of that barracks. They ate and drank together. It was unfortunate that he was killed in the manner that he was killed by those he claimed were his friends,” Mr. Salisu said. On his part, Mr Samson Okedusi who was the Divisional Crime Officer at the police station before he was murdered left behind


ERVING jail terms is supposed to reform criminals and make them chart a new course in life but for 20-year-old Joseph Ajayi, serving jail terms is to learn new skills of robbing unsuspecting victims. Joseph Ajayi, who was paraded by the Edo State Police Command had just finished two months jail term for robbery when he was arrested again while attempting to rob victims with a weapon carved to look like a gun. He said he carved the wooden gun himself with which he had successfully robbed two persons and made some money with which he rented an accommodation for himself. “I carved this thing by myself. The first time I made N15, 000 and shared it with this my friend Uyi. I rented an accommodation with the money. It was the third time we were arrested.” Joseph Ajayi, who claimed to be an orphan, said he would just point the wood at his victims at dark places and they would, out of fear, give them all they had in their possession. His accomplice, Uyiosa Ehigiamusoe who was weeping profusely said he would be 17 by October this year. He claimed that he was coerced into joining Joseph to rob with the wooden gun and that what he made during the first time made him to go again before they were nabbed. “I was returning from work and didn’t get any vehicle back home. I saw some boys. I didn’t know them before. They said I should join them or they would beat me.” Police Spokesman, ASP Peter Ogboi said they would be charged to court after investigation has been completed. Also, 31 suspected cultists believed to be involved in last week’s killing of several persons in Benin-City and its environs were paraded by the police. State Police Commissioner, David Omojuola had, last weekend, given Divisional Police Officers in the state marching

•Mrs Folashade, ASP Afolabi’s widow, and their children By Jude Isiguzo

two wives and many children, five of who are undergraduates in different universities in the country. His younger brother Michael told Newsextra that all that the family wants is justice. He said: “The culprits should be tried in the public because we do not believe in the kangaroo panel being set up by the police and the army. We want a judicial panel of enquiry to be set up by the Federal Government so that the culprits will be punished publicly and this will serve as deterrent to other erring officers who take the laws into their hands.” The family of the late Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Taofeek Afolabi said his death is a rude shock to the family. His wife Folashade, a petty trader narrated the last moment she spent with her late husband. She said: “My husband left home on Monday and on Tuesday, I called him at about

11:00 a.m. because I heard there was trouble at Badagry. When I asked how he was, he told me that he was fine. When I learnt that he had been shot, I went to see him at the hospital and he asked after his children. I said they were fine. Now he is dead, who will take care of our children in nursery and primary school? My husband was everything to me and I don’t know if I can have any other husband like him. I am a petty trader and he cared for me and his family so much. Now that this has happened, where do I go for help? Afolabi’s elder brother Fatai said the government must curb the excesses of the military. He said: “The gruesome killing of police officers is one case out of hundreds of cases of atrocities committed by the military. Anytime something happens to one of them, they will go on rampage killing innocent civilians. Last year in Ilesha, a drunk soldier was found dead in the gutter. That was how soldiers trooped into houses and started killing innocent people. We can

20-year-old robber returns to prison

•Jospeh Ajayi demonstrating how he operates with the wooden gun persons were killed. From Osagie Otabor, Benin The police said they were still on the trail orders to fish out suspected cultists. of other fleeing suspected cultists. Omojuola, in a press statement, said plans Omojuola, who briefed the press through were uncovered that mayhem would be unthe Deputy Commissioner of Police, leashed in the state under the guise of cult Mohamad Hurdi said the 31 suspects were war. arrested at Ekpoma, Uromi and Benin meBetween Friday and Monday, more than tropolis. 15 persons were reportedly killed in the state He said: “More names have been meneither through stabbing or shooting at close tioned and we are doing everything possirange but the police confirmed that only five ble to apprehend them. Those arrested

•Michael Okedusi, younger brother of late DCO remember the Ojuelegba killings in 2005 where soldiers killed innocent people. Now it is police officers. Next time it may be the Commissioner of Police, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) or even Mr. President himself that the soldiers will kill. So, the Federal Government must put an end to this dastardly act of the soldiers. My brother loved his job. He struggled in life and he has put in eleven years. For him to be wasted just like that is indeed disheartening.” Meanwhile, the AFRICANS for Human Rights International (AfriRights), a human rights organisation in Lagos in a press statement has petitioned the Presidency to set up a national judicial panel of enquiry to fish out and publicly try the soldiers responsible for the killing of the police officers in Badagry. The president of AfriRights Afolabi Gbajumo in the statement said: “AfriRights unequivocally condemned the criminal spate of killings and rampant torture of policemen and police women together with innocent persons by rampaging arrant soldiers.”

I carved this thing by myself. The first time I made N15, 000 and shared it with this my friend Uyi. I rented an accommodation with the money. It was the third time we were arrested… More names have been mentioned and we are doing everything possible to apprehend them would be charged to court as soon as investigation has been completed. We have to preserve the sanctity of life. Nobody has the right to take the life of another.” Among the 31 suspected cultists paraded were students of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma and the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi all in Edo State. The undergraduates identified themselves as Joel Ureki, 23; Omoruyi Osarumwense 26; Collins Igiogbe, 24; Omonuwa Eghosa, 32; and Ogbeide Oyerenuan, 36. Others were Uyi Ekhator, Omoruyi Sunday and Aghedo Destiny of the Department of Business Administration, Federal Polytechnic Auchi 22. Some of those paraded claimed to belong to Black Movement of Africa and Neo-Black Movement while others denied being involved in cultism.



FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011

Chime presents cars to Enugu monarchs


N fulfilment of its promise to royal fathers, the Enugu State government has donated cars to the over 400 traditional rulers in the state. The cars, Hyundai Elentra, 463 in number were presented to the royal fathers at the Government House, Enugu. Governor Sullivan Chime, who personally made the presentations, told the monarchs that the cars were a demonstration of their social status in the society. He regretted the situation where the traditional rulers, whom he described as custodians of our culture and traditions were seen riding on commercial motorcycles, saying that some of them could not afford a motorcycle. The Governor said: “Today’s event marked the fulfilment of the promise made to you about a year ago. We are aware that your role in the society is a very hectic one having to be a life tenure unlike ours which has time frame. I want you to see the cars as symbolic, being aware that some of you have other cars better than these ones. “For those of you who have other cars before now, you can add this one to your fleet of cars. It is something that should be in the home of every of our traditional rulers. It is symbolic.” Chime said that the presentation would have come earlier than now but was deliberately delayed until the elections were over. “If we had presented it before the elections, it would have been misconstrued to be part of our campaigns. We are doing it now that the elections were over to underscore our genuine concern to the plight of our royal fathers,” Chime noted. Earlier in his speech, the state Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Jacob Ude said the Chime administration at inception inherited ill- motivated traditional rulers, adding that everything about them was pitiable. •Continued from Page 27 the podium where the state’s Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Jibrin Ndajiwo was already waiting to administer on him the oath of office and oath of allegiance. At exactly 11.00 am, Governor Aliyu was called for the administration of oath of office. There were spontaneous shouts of T-a-l-b-a!, from the excited crowd. Cultural troupes, which could not be accommodated in the programme, but were everywhere sang throatily as the governor, spotting a white babaringa embellished with intricate touch of green to give a general splendor of the national symbol, walked to the podium in well measured steps, acknowledging the near endless cheers, clapping and singing from supporters, friends and wellwishers who thronged the venue. And in 10

•Governor Sullivan Chime presenting one of the 463 cars for traditional rulers in Enugu state to Igwe Joseph Chibuko From Chris Oji, Enugu

He pointed out that the problems bedevilling the royal fathers at the inception of the administration include poor remuneration, lack of mobility and non-certification. He said: “Governor Chime immediately addressed these problems by increasing their remuneration, giving out certificates of recognition and today solving the problems of mobility with the presentation of these cars.”

Today’s event marked the fulfilment of the promise made to you about a year ago. We are aware that your role in the society is a very hectic one having to be a life tenure unlike ours which has time frame. I want you to see the cars as symbolic, being aware that some of you have other cars better than these ones

‘Re-election burden is heavier’ minutes, the formality was over. He now has the daunting task of steering the ship of Niger State for another four years. In his inauguration speech, the Talba expressed appreciation and gratitude to all Nigerlites – “male and female, young and aged; various unions, associations and professional groups for the overwhelming support and wonderful outing, which made it possible for us to win over 60.8% of the total votes cast to win the gubernatorial election on April 26, 2011 thereby revalidating our mandate to provide leadership for our dear State for another four years”.

•A chieftain of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State, Mr. Gbolagade Busari having hand shake with Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi at the inter-faith prayer session to usher in the new administration in Oyo State held on 31-05-2011, at the State Secretariat, Ibadan.

Conceding that the job at hand is enormous, he declared that it is an opportunity to prove to the people that he genuinely meant well. In his words: “The burden of accountability is heavier once you have been given a second chance to correct your earlier shortcomings. That is the reason we see this opportunity as a great challenge to prove to the people that we genuinely meant well by asking them to give us their mandate from the beginning. This mandate is a sacred trust between us, the people and Allah (SWT). May Allah help us to uphold the mandate to the commendation of the people and to the reward of Allah (SWT)”. He hinted that he was ready to accommodate every person in tackling the task at hand, he appealed to politicians in other parties “to eschew bitterness and come to the fold to join us in forming a new coalition and partnership for the consolidation of the transformation of Niger State”. He added that: “Our victory is not for vainglory; it is victory for committed service to the people of Niger State, in the same way that our government is not a government for members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) only, but a government for all Nigerlites – party men and non-party men, wherever they may live, including those in the Diaspora”. Outlining his vision which he said would “make Niger State a haven of peace, tranquility and prosperity”, Governor Aliyu promised to “use this renewed mandate to maintain and improve on the standards attained in the critical sectors of education, agriculture, health, infrastructural development, housing, women and youth empowerment, and culture and tourism, among others, where we have been adjudged to have done exceedingly well. We shall specifically pay more attention to the welfare of all the people of Niger State - not just a few, not the elites, not the politicians, and indeed, not those who think that politics and government patronage are their birth rights. We will be embarking on policies and programmes that will bring significant succor to the people while improving the quality of their lives”, he declared. On the rather nervy issue of security, Governor Aliyu advocated mass participation, saying it must not be seen as a job for the government alone. “In view of the increasing security challenges around the country, particularly in Niger State, we urge everyone to be-

come more security conscious and watchful of any suspicious characters, with a view to reporting such promptly to the security agencies. We urge our community leaders to look into the modalities for reactivating our erstwhile traditional security systems of keeping close watch over visitors in our neighborhoods, with a view to fishing out and neutralizing people with questionable characters before they abuse the privileges of our hospitality. While we shall continue to support the security agencies to discharge their responsibilities, we must remember that enforcement of security is a collective responsibility”. He heaped praises on the members of the State House of Assembly for excellent performance, the judiciary and the civil service and noted that he had enjoyed the unwavering support, wise counsels and guidance of eminent citizens of the state represented on the Economic and Social Advisory Council of Niger State (ESACON). But he quickly pointed out that in the next four years he would continue to play the Oliver Twist by asking for more of such counsels and supports. The Chief Servant, in closing his speech, expressed hope both for Niger State and the country. He, however, emphasized that it could only be made possible, and quickly, if there is a unity of purpose and common vision, making it clear that it can’t be a job only for the government but for all. “I am delighted to note that all the areas of policy highlighted in the foregoing are aimed at entrenching a new and better relationship between the people and government, while promoting a new social contract of shared rights and responsibilities, which should encourage the people to do their own bit as government does her own. We must note that government cannot do it alone; we have to do it together, since we are all united in a common purpose: the transformation of Niger State for the better. Together, in partnership, I believe, we can make it happen. Our future looks very bright, clear and hopeful. Indeed, Niger state and Nigeria will continue to be great, Insha Allahu, once we put our minds to it and put all our hands on deck”, he declared. And as he stepped out to face his task, his deputy, Hon. Ibeto was called to give the vote of thanks, bringing to an end an inauguration marked by love and enormous goodwill from the people to their re-elected governor.

FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011


She also challenged them not to be discouraged rather to see themselves as a creation of God. She called on those with ability to emulate what the foundation has done

•Mrs Uquang, coordinator of the foundation, with the representative of Mr. Anietie Usen of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and some of the physically challenged


HE less privileged in Akwa Ibom State have received a huge boost, as Fountain of Devine Love Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) procured and distributed a variety of empowerment tools to them. The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was a joint partner in the empowerment programme. Some of the beneficiaries got wheelchairs, some sewing machines, power generating sets, among others. In an address presented by the coordinator of the foundation Mrs. Margaret Uquang, she said the event is very important because it marks the beginning of a worthy cause and the fulfilment of the organisation’s dreams. She said the name of the foundation is liv-

Succour for physically challenged From Mike Akpan, Uyo

ing up to its name because divine love touches on everyone, whether privileged or not. She said God gives everyone talents irrespective of any disabilities. Uquang added that God also expects people to develop and use their talents and potentials. She thanked NDDC for supporting the physically challenged in the state. She also used the occasion to call on public spirited individuals to come to the aid of the foundation by donating generously. Also speaking, the chairperson of the oc-

NGO urges more commitment to women’s welfare


HE country director of Ipas, Dr Ejike Oji has advised governments at all levels to show more commitment to the welfare of women and the vulnerable group. Speaking in Umuahia while addressing about 300 women on the need to take care of their body during and after childbirth at a workshop, Oji said that the return of Governor Kwakwanso in Kano State is as a result of what he did for women when he gave them free medical treatment during pregnancy. Oji said that it is a pity that most administrations in the country find it difficult to take care of the women in the society, regretting that in every six minutes a woman dies in Nigeria because of healthrelated cases during child birth. The IPAS country director said that as at the last count, about 59,000 women die every year in Nigeria during childbirth, stressing that most governments have found it difficult to build good health centres for both men and women. He told women at the workshop that their job will be to train women on the need to know their reproductive rights and healthcare and measures to take while delivering children during child birth.

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

Oji explained that apart from unsafe abortion, so many women die as a result of infections they contacted at dirty delivery rooms, high blood pressure, bleeding after child birth and other health-related cases. He thanked the women of the Southeast for their resourcefulness in ensuring that the girl child from their zone are sent to school, adding that such move has helped to make the girl child to know their rights, adding that it will help in reducing mortality rate during child birth. Oji said that the issue of miscarriage by women during pregnancies and unsafe abortion still remain the highest killer of women in Nigeria, stressing that the only way to reduce women death during child birth is for government to take adequate care of pregnant women. He explained that IPAS stands for women and their health-related matters, even as he maintained that his NGO has been working with several women groups in the country such as the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), National Council of Women Societies (NCWS); Army Officers’ Wives’ Association and FIDA.

casion and wife of the former state governor, Obong Anwan Imo Isemin applauded the foundation for such magnanimity which she said is a rare. She also urged the recipients not to be discouraged, but rather see themselves as a creation of God. She called on those with ability to emulate the foundation and help the needy in society. Mr. Anietie Usen, director of commercial and industrial development at the NDDC, who was represented by a staff in the commission, said he is passionate about the plight of the less-privileged in the society.

Usen commended Mrs Uquang for her initiative. He said the contribution of the NDDC is on micro-enterprises, adding that the Commission will assist more robustly if the foundation’s needs are chanelled to the NDDC’s social services unit. One of the recipients, Edidiong Okon Edet thanked the foundation for remembering them and prayed that God will continue to strengthen Mrs. Uquang for the task ahead. She however, appealed to the foundation and government to help them with tricycle which will enable them get to long distances.


‘Jonathan should redress injustice on Southeast’

IRST Republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Amaechi Mbazuruike has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to reciprocate what he described as “unconditional massive support” given to him by the Southeast during the general elections in April, adding that Jonathan remains indebted to the zone because of the gesture. Reacting to agitations to concede appointment of certain key positions to the Southeast, Mbazuruike in an interview in Awka, Anambra State said such demand was nonnegotiable. The elder statesman said: “We gave President Goodluck Jonathan unconditional massive support during the just-concluded election believing and hoping that he will not short-change the Igbo. We are still looking forward to that. “The Igbo across the country gave Goodluck stronger support than his zone because we believe he is our son. We expect him as our own to right the wrongs and injustices done against Ndigbo by previous administrations,” he said. Mbazuruike lamented that since after the civil war, the Igbo have been relegated to the background despite their major role in the fight for Independence in 1960. “Beyond agitation for appointments, the Igbo have been ignored in so many other areas. For instance, when you open pages of newspapers, you will see award of road contracts across the country but in the Southeast, the OnitshaOwerri Road project awarded over 10 years ago is yet to be completed. Onitsha-Enugu, Enugu-Port Harcourt, Enugu-Abakaliki Roads are all in bad shape. “The same is applicable to other areas of

From Adimike George, Onitsha

development. There is no favourable platform for the Southeast. There is also no adequate replacement of retiring Ndigbo in service at the centre. “Look at the issue of Second Niger Bridge, a vital project for the Southeast. We have heard less of the dredging of River Niger. We need a change which we believe is in Jonathan. “The Igbo hold not only the largest population scattered all over the country but are also very enterprising. So, why the continuous relegation of the Southeast to the background just because of circumstances of the civil war? “During the reconciliation after the war, the then Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd) declared “no victor no vanquished” and promised that Igbo will not be treated like defeated region but it is not working,” he stated. He, however, regretted that the present crop of Igbo politicians lack discipline, maturity in political action and unity, saying that they were responsible for the woes of the geo-political zone. The octogenarian popularly known as “the boy is good” also charged traditional institutions, governors and other well-placed Igbo to throw their full weight in the pursuance of the liberation of the Igbo nation.


FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011



Dolphin crashes again N

IGERIA Premier League leaders Dolphin suffered their sixth loss of the campaign as they fell 1-0 at Gombe United Wednesday. However, the Port Harcourt outfit maintained top spot with 50 points from 24 matches as second-placed Sunshine Stars of Akure were also pegged back by the odd goal at Enugu Rangers. Rangers coach, Alphonsus Dike, thus moved a step closer to keeping his job after he was fired with a seven-point ultimatum for the team’s three games beginning with the home tie against Sunshine. Efe Yarhere hit a brace for Warri Wolves in a 3-1 home win over bottom club JUTH

• Fall 0-1 to Gombe United FC of Jos. The big striker found the back of the net in the 28th and 61st minutes. JUTH drew level on 29 minutes through Hassan Hussein, but Oghogho Oduokpe struck a minute from full time to give the hosts a more comfortable victory. Warri Wolves have thus shot up to third place on 42 points, while JUTH remain stuck at the foot of the table with 19 points. Ten-man Kwara United recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory over Crown FC back

at their refurbished Kwara State Stadium with goals from Lukman Ijaya after 45 minutes and Ahmed Mohammed on 57th minute. Mohammed, fresh from a stint in South Africa, smashed home from outside the box against a cautious Crown. The home team were reduced to 10 men when Gani Anifowoshe got the marching orders for his second booking of day. Over 10,000 fans were in attendance at the 18,000capacity Kwara State Stadium and coach Kadiri Ikhana said they hope to

•A Dolphin player tackles a 3sc player in an NPL fixture

NPL top scorers fire blank


IGERIA Premier League joint top goal scorers, Ibrahim Ajani and Kabiru Sanusi fired blank after the conclusion of match day 24 matches across the country. Ajani was on duty when his team, Sunshine Stars, traveled to Enugu Rangers, but was unable to hit target despite posting an impressive performance. Sunshine lost 0-1 to Rangers on match day. Unlike Ajani’s Sunshine Stars, Sanusi’s Kwara United claimed maximum points in front of their fans. However, Sanusi failed to find the back of the net with central defenders, Ahmed Mohammed and Lukman Ijaiya, ensuring that the fans had something to celebrate. The star of match day 24 turned out to be Plateau United’s George Akpabio, who scored twice to increase his tally to nine. Akpabio has scored five goals in five matches in the second round and hit target target four

times in the first round. "I'm happy to be among the top scorers now. I will continue to work harder to always be on the scoresheet," he told Enyimba’s nine-goal hero, Victor Barnabas was unable to increase his tally in the 1-0 victory over hard-fighting Bukola Babes. Former junior international, Samuel Tswanya, converted a penalty to ensure victory for his team after Nonso Elias failed to convert a penalty in the first half. Super Eagles sensation, Ekigho Ehiosun, was left on the bench during Wednesday’s international friendly against Argentina. The Warri Wolves forward has scored eight times this term. Ehiosun will away with the Eagles for Sunday's African Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia which means he won't be available for Wolves' road trip to Lobi Stars.

Enugu Rangers had to depend on new boy, Ifeanyi Ekwem for victory as eightgoal wonder-boy, Brendan Ogbu, couldn’t increase his tally. In Minna, Sibi Gwar scored his seventh goal against Lobi Stars, but Moses Orkuma ensured his team got a point for their trip to Tornadoes.

continue their winning ways so as to woo the fans back to the stadium. Meanwhile, Crown are exploring the possibilities of playing their remaining home games at the recently commissioned Kwara State Stadium. Champions Enyimba needed a second half penalty converted by Samuel Tswanya to beat a resolute Bukola Babes at the Enyimba International Stadium in Aba. Former Enugu Rangers striker Nonso Elias could have put the home team in front but he lost a penalty in the first half. In Abeokuta, Shooting Stars gave their campaign a massive boost with a 2-1 win over visiting Kano Pillars. The victory moved 3SC up to 13th position with 31 points. Gambo Mohammed fired his seventh goal in the 70th minute to half the advantage of 3SC. Home teams also ruled the roost in Jos and Port Harcourt. Plateau United defeated Zamfara United 2-0 at the Rwang Pam Stadium in Jos in the battle of the strugglers and Sharks were 1-0 winners over Ocean Boys. Plateau United are now fourth from bottom on the table with 22 points, while Zamfara remain smack in the drop zone on 20 points. Sharks are now fourth in the standings with 41 points. Lobi Stars were the only team to get a result on the road as they held Niger Tornadoes to a 1-1 draw at the Bako Kontagora Stadium in Minna. Kaduna United will host Heartland in the last game of Week 24 on Thursday.



Nadal defeats Söderling to advance DEFENDING champion Rafael Nadal bludgeoned bitter Roland Garros rival Robin Söderling to defeat on Wednesday as the world number one reached the French Open semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) victory. The top seeded Spaniard, hoping to emulate the great Bjorn Borg as a six-time Paris champion, will tackle British fourth seed Andy Murray for a place in the final. It was Nadal's second successive French Open win over fifth seed Söderling after his

• Nadal

victory in the 2010 final had avenged his stunning fourth round defeat to the Swede the year before, still Nadal's only loss in Paris against 43 wins. Despite being on the verge of losing his world number one spot to Novak Djokovic, who he could yet meet in Sunday's title match, Nadal shook off the shackles which had restricted his performances in the earlier rounds. Söderling, for his part, was undone by 41 unforced errors. "I played a very tough opponent. I'm happy I'm through to the semis," said Nadal. "I was much better than in previous matches. I was more solid and Robin made more mistakes than usual." Nadal was 3-0 up with a double break in the first set, the second of which was created by a sweet backhand pass, picked off his toes. Söderling, the runner-up in 2009 and 2010, clawed back one of the breaks but Nadal, mixing breathtaking defence and accuracy from the back of court, got the best of a series of gruelling, rallies to take the 49-minute opener.

Sania-Elena moves into finals INDIA'S Sania Mirza and her Russian partner Elena Vesnina got the better of Americans Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond to enter the French Open tennis women's doubles final on Wednesday. The seventh-seeded IndoRussian pair registered a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 win over the second seeds in a match that lasted for an hour and 45 minutes at the Roland Garros. In the final, Sania and Elena

will be up against unseeded pair of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka from Czechoslovakia, who defeated third seeded pair of Vania King of United States and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-3. It will be Sania's third Grand Slam final appearance in her career — the first two being in the mixed doubles in the Australian Open — and first in women's doubles.

RESULTS Plateau Utd 2-0 Zamfara Utd Tornadoes 1-1 Lobi Stars Kwara Utd 2-0 Crown FC Sharks FC 1-0 Ocean Boys Gombe Utd 1-0 Dolphins 3SC 2-1 Pillars Wolves FC 2-1 JUTH Enyimba 1-0 Bukola Babes Rangers 1-0 Sunshine

Akpabio’s brace inspires Plateau LATEAU United top scorer, George Akpabio, scored a brace against Zamfara United on Wednesday to increase his tally to nine goals and boost his team’s revival in the Nigeria Premier League. Akpabio’s match day heroics have made him the hottest striker in the second round of the NPL after scoring five goals in five matches. Before Wednesday’s brace against Zamfara, the Premier League rookie had scored three second round goals

“We are still building our game and thank God we are meeting up with people’s expectation for the team. I am happy that the fans were impressed and happy with us today.” Nigerian and Real Zaragoza forward, Ikechukwu Uche reviewing the Super Eagles friendly match against the national team of Argentina at the Abuja National stadium, where he scored a brace in the 4-1 humiliation of the visitors.

against Lobi Stars, Ocean Boys and Sunshine Stars respectively. Akpabio’s first round goals were against Zamfara United, 3SC, Kwara United and Crown. Wednesday’s encounter was one of the match day 24 ties in the NPL which resumed after a break observed during the weekend. The first half ended goalless but Akpabio rose to the occasion with two goals from the spot to put the fans in celebration mood.

• Sania-Elena

Murray: I can beat Nadal ANDY Murray is confident he can beat Rafael Nadal in the semifinals of the French Open on Friday, but only if he plays a lot better than he did against Juan Ignacio Chela. The Argentine, who coincidentally was the man Tim Henman beat to reach the last four at Roland Garros in 2004, is a wily campaigner on clay but not in the same class as Murray, who eventually prevailed 7-6 (7/2), 75, 6-2 after two hours and 53 minutes. It may have been straight sets but it was anything but straightforward as the world No 4 fought back from two breaks down to win the first set, saving

three set points, then let slip a similar lead in the second.

• Murray




FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011


e-mail: 08033349992 sms only


A fair for one-stop shopping It was shopping galore as patrons gathered at the Maryland Business Plaza, Lagos, to buy gift items, children’s goods, books and other materials on display. JANICE NKOLI IFEME was there


HE colourful banners with their inscriptions heralded patrons into the Maryland Business Plaza on Ikorodu Road by the BRT Harbour Works Bus stop, Maryland Lagos. Entering the premises, it was obvious that a shopping exhibition was on. The various book shops and gift stores wooed patrons with their sign posts displayed at strategic points. Some shoppers were seen coming out with the items they had bought; others window shopped. The exhibition tagged: Book Fair, is an annual event organised by the Christian Booksellers Association, Nigeria, whose members came from different parts of the country to showcase their products. The fair began last Tuesday and ends tomorrow. Its tag of book fair could be • Continue on Page 44

• Children’s package

Star product of the week

One-stop shopping

Page 44

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SHOPPING • Continue from Page 43

deceptive because it is not only about books. There are gifts for children, teenagers, adults, men and women as well as books that cover every aspect of life. Indeed, there is something for everyone. Also on display are CDs, DVDs and audio tapes. The Nation Shopping gathered that it is tagged book fair because of the association organising it. Otherwise, it is simply a trade fair. Among the participating stores are: Supernatural Dimension, Dayspring Book stores, The Bible Society of Nigeria, Manna Recourse Centre, Soughtout Publications, Platlord Nigeria, Life Press Limited, Joshua’s Bookmart, Rightway House, Laterna Ventures, Lase books, Clam Bookshop, Jetmove International Limited, Trade Trends Limited, Reshman’s Book Palace, Common Sense, Vision Bookshop, Divine Life Publishers, Glorious Books and Bibles, Bible Wonderland Limited, among others. There are unique gifts items for the elderly such as walking sticks, scratch stick, blankets, comfortable sleeping wears and towels. Some of the best selling authors whose books are on display are TD Jakes, Bishop David Oyedepo, Joel Osteen, Brian Tracy, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Rober Schuller, William Kumuyi, Matthew Ashimolowo, John Mason, Keneth Hagin, Anthony Robins, Myles Munroe, Zig Ziglag and John Maxwell, among others. The President of the organisation, Pastor Samuel Assiamah, urged the public to take advantage of the fair as members of the Christian Book sellers Association have converged from different parts of the world giving room for variety as well as discounts and clearance sales. He noted that this year’s event is the 17th edition. According to him, the theme, Read the Book, taken from the book of Revelation chapter one verse three was chosen to encourage people to read as reading would bring them back on track. He pointed out that it is a follow up on the theme of last two years being Bring the Book and that of last year- The Books were opened, adding “Now, it is time to Read the Book” He noted that the purpose of the book fair was to equip the Church and the public. He said; “Various materials that people do not know would be on display. There is nothing you will not find. Every gift item the entire family needs is available, so you can do your shopping here for this period. There are ample materials to buy. It is an avenue for networking among sellers and buyers. Last year’s theme was Bring me the Books and this year, we are opening the books”, he said. According to him, the association’s vision is to see excellent Christian resources impact on the life of people everywhere. He added that its mission was to create a forum for Christian resource industry stakeholders, including retailers, importers, Church suppliers and distributors to share ideas about marketing, promotions and merchandising. Also, to develop distribution strategies for efficient delivery of products, to encourage one another through fellowship and link members with suppliers and retailers around the world. The association has membership from over 50 countries around the world. Declaring the exhibition open, the event’s special guest of honour, John Bede Anthonio also the CEO, Readers’ World and former Special Adviser to the Lagos State Government, said the theme of the fair was apt. Referring to the Biblical allusion in the Book of Hosea chapter four verse six which states: my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, he said there is the need to read as the world needs knowledge to make progress. The Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the association, Pastor Yemi Olushile, expressed his belief that a gathering of such magnitude was for a great purpose. He said: “A vehicle transporting fuel and diesel also needs to be fueled. So also, anyone who reads is fuelling himself. We need to renew our strength”, adding, “the secret of a burning flame is in the flaming of the wood”. He noted that studying is the key to adequate preparation, as it avails one proper knowledge and exposure. He said: “Abraham Lincoln realised this when he said, if I am given six hours to cut a tree, I will spend enough time to sharpen my knife. Jesus used 30 years to prepare for a ministry of one and half years. Everyone being used of God must have devoted time with God and that you can achieve through books. I believe it is high time that the leadership imbibes the art of reading.” He said the books and gifts ministry was

A fair for one-stop shopping

• Anthonio (middle) cutting the tape to declare the fair open. With him are (from right) Pastor Assiamah, Mrs Adebola Jaiye Ojo, Pastor Olushile and Mrs Favour Onobajere.

very important as they help to guide you on the right materials to buy. What initiates what you are looking for is the pressing need in your life at the moment. The immediate need suggests the type of book to buy.” He noted that the book fair was a meeting point for business and interaction. Further on the importance of books, saying that the worth of the material is paramount, saying: “I have a barber who I pay N1,000 every two weeks to cut my hair. But two years, having spent three weeks in Orlando in the United States without a hair cut, I spent $40 going round town, looking for a barber on a Sunday morning, when I could not bear it any more. For me at the time, it was the value of the hair cut that mattered and not the price, because I was ready to pay any amount for it. That should be the attitude towards buying books. Some people do not like to spend money on books, but a book is one of the most valuable things you could ever buy. People do not value books. People say books are expensive because they do not value books. I do not think books are expensive. I know a woman who would be ready to buy gele ( head tie) for N2,000 but would not spend N1,000 on a book. There is no problem in life for which a book has not been written to proffer solution. The more you read, the more your problems are solved.” A member of the association, Mr Segun Adekola affirmed: “Since it is a gathering of the importers, there is variety, good pricing and discounts. Besides, there is access to various books at the same time. It is like a yearly check up. You can get that book you have been looking for. All the materials are highly discounted”. An author and publisher, Rev Henry Aghorunse was also seen sitting by some of his books. He said the book fair was a great opportunity for people to assess books of their favourite authors. A shopper seen buying one of his books, said: “He is one of the very good local authors we have. Many people prefer to go for foreign authors who are already known internationally, but I can tell you that I also buy books from Nigerian authors because they write based on the Nigerian experience, so one can easily identify with the issues”. Some of the books written by Aghorunse are: The Force of Persistence, The Birthplace for Change, Acting Forward, Uncommon Faith for unusual times, Don’t Give Up, Standing on the Promises, among others. Another shopper, Mrs Joy Idonijie said she always looks forward to the book fair. She

• Rev Aghorunse sitting by his books.

‘Various materials that people do not know would be on display. There is nothing you will not find. Every gift item the entire family needs is available, so you can do your shopping here for this period. There are ample materials to buy. It is an avenue for networking among sellers and buyers’ said: “Since I know they do it every year, I always come around to buy books for my library. Besides, I have seen interesting and unique gift items for my children and friends as well. Look at this pocket electronic Bible, I bought it at this fair three years ago and you would think I just bought it yesterday. I think the idea of the book fair is good. I give kudos to the organisers. They are doing something really good”. The Christian Booksellers Association Nigeria (CBAN) is the Nigerian chapter of

Christian Booksellers Association International (CBN) with the headquarters in Colorado Spring, United States. Its membership is spread across all the geo-political zones of the federation namely: Eastern Region (Port Harcourt), Northern Region (Kaduna), Middle Belt (Jos), Midwestern Region (Benin), Western Region (Lagos) comprising Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti and Kwara states; not excluding the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.




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FROM MY MAILBOX Dear reader,


HANKS for your comment and response to The Nation Shopping. As always, we are poised to serve you more and give you every valuable information on our finger tips. As we do first Friday of every month, here are some of your comments as space would enable us. Please bear with us if your comment is not published in this edition. Thanks a million,


JANICE. I once went for shopping with my Dad during Christmas and demanded for a suit with a shoe to match. Unknown to me, he did not have enough money to pay for the suit. We could only buy the shoe. I almost ran mad in the shopping mall and let me tell you, that was the Christmas I will forever live to regret all the days of my life. So, my comment on shopping is that you may need to purchase stuffs but to purchase it is the problem and you know, and in a situation whereby you badly need the item you really want to purchase, you will just feel so devastated. Nuhu Jeremiah, Christ Ambassador’s College. Hi Janice, I thank you for your good advice on shopping. Without your advice stated in The Nation Newspaper, I wouldn’t have realised my mismanagement in spending money. Now, I go for what I plan to buy. Keep on advising people on shopping right. Anonymous

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immune system, good skin, eyes and hair. It improves brain and visual development in babies and children. It slows down ageing process as well. It enhances muscles growth and body repair in athletes and in people with active lifestyles. While the super egg heart enriched with omega 3 fatty acid and vitamin E is capable of preventing and managing various diseases like coronary heart diseases, hypertension, type 2 diabeties, etc, You are sure to get a healthy and balanced immune system, you can lose weight and manage your weigth programmes when you cultivate the habit of eating the super egg Heart. It protects against muscular degeneration of the eyes, and cataract, which cause blindness in old age. It also lowers the main form of fat in the body that has been linked to increase heart disease. This product is now available in all leading stores and supermarkets.

Hi Janice, I like your write up about shopping in the newspaper. Keep it up. You are a woman of valour and quite impressive. How is your day? More grease to your elbows. Gabriel, Kano State. Good morning, I often appreciate your effort in the articles you publish. Keep it up Anonymous Hi, I did not read your article, but from the comments of readers, it must have been super. Keep it up. Anonymous Dear Janice, I always enjoy your piece in The Nation. My shopping is all about having a lot of fun and I like eating some solid food. Jude Akponome Kudos Janice, I love the way you inform readers on shopping. It has really helped me personally. Adebiyi Opeyemi Joseph, OOU I always enjoy your shopping in The Nation. I want to be your pal Nk, your piece on Friday is another idea to the ones I have already. Cheers, Emeka. After the Presidential election, there will be no more shopping in PDP. Chris Wopara Port Harcourt. Dear Janice, I used to overlook your shopping page thinking that naturally, it would be all about women, but I was wrong. Even as a man. I learnt a few tips on buying electronics from you. Besides, you have also taught us men, how to buy good clothing and how to dress well. Thank you. Gregory Udoh, Uyo Dear Janice, I am an ardent reader of your column, Shopping Right. You may not know it, but you are really helping a lot of us not just to shop right but to maintain our purchases. Your write-up titled. Reality check on your wardrobe actually taught me a lot of things I had not thought about. Like you rightly observed, “we buy new clothes and make ourselves look good, but what about our actual wardrobes? All too often, they easily become overloaded, with too many clothes piled in to a small space, shelves bursting with jumpers or accessories and shoes littering the floor”. This is the exact description of my wardrobe, but reading your column has changed all that. Johnson Areh, Onitsha. Thanks for that topic on dressing to look slim. This is something that had bogged my mind so much, but I ran into your column which has really helped me out. Now, I can confidently say that I know how to make my clothes work for me. I can now combine my clothes better to showing off my best features and minimise the not-soflattering ones. I could not help commending your efforts. Tony Udoh, Badagry

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



47 FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011

Vol 3 No. 131

Before now, St Louis sugar was the dominant brand in the consumable cube sugar sector. Dangote Sugar is set to stir the market with the introduction of its own brand of vitamin A fortified white granulated sugar, writes WALE ALABI

Dangote redefines sugar market with new product S

T Louis, the cube sugar brand is synonymous with consumable sugar in every Nigerian home. Targeted at the retail end of the market, the brand has since the 70s dominated the market. And like a monopoly, it became a generic name for cube sugar in the country. But the industrial sugar giant, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc is set to speed up the reign of St Louis in this sector with the introduction of its own brand of refined vitamin A fortified white granulated sugar meant for the retail end of the market. The sugar, which would be available in the packs of 1kg, 500g and 250g; will hit the stores before July 2011. Addressing the media at a pre-launch briefing in Abuja at the end of the Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc Annual General Meeting last Tuesday, the acting Managing Director of the company, Sai Prakash said, “I am happy to announce to you that the new Dangote Refined Vitamin A fortified white granulated sugar will be in the Nigerian market on or before the third quarter. We have scaled the various hurdles that came up in the course of the retail project implementation. “The necessary machinery is in place to see to the successful introduction of this new pack sizes from our company’s stable. The sugar will be available in 1kg, 500g and 250g. It is going to come in two formats. One is going to be in a water-proof granulated form which is meant for the retail market and the other in a cube cartons, form which is to be used for export. So, we have inaugurated 24 machines and by the end of next month, we should be able to produce 10,000 tons of this product.” “We hope that once we establish this in the local market, we will start to export to other countries which it would be of great demand because the one that has this whiteness comes

in 25 to 35 but what you get in the export market is about 200. That is to show that you are producing fine quality sugar and attractive pricing.” On what informed Dangote to veer into the retail segment of the market, Prakash said: “The retail end of sugar market is huge. The research we conducted showed that consumers are yearning for our brand in the lower segment of the market. And we have to respond to their demand.” Before now, Dangote was renowned for its industrial sugar brand servicing big manufacturers and breweries such as Nigeria Bottling Company, (NBC) Cadbury, Nestle, Guinness Nigeria and Nigerian Breweries Plc. The industrial sugar which is usually packaged in 50kg bags, is targeted at this segment of the market. “ What we are producing before now is 50kg pack which is going for industry customers such as pharmaceuticals manufacturers, breweries and so on. But if you are looking at the retail stores, households, kitchens and the ordinary Nigerian, you look at the 250grammes. They could still buy this and use it for the same purpose,”Prakash explained. On promotional activities lined up for the new product, the acting managing director said a number of marketing activation campaigns have been conceptualised and produced to drive the product and stir the retail sugar end of the market. His words: “We have recruited our sales and marketing personnel for the product and we have also started our promotional campaigns. We have also come up with modern model incentives for distributors and consumers across the country.” And to ensure constant availability and accessibility, Dangote Sugar has appointed over 40 agents in the country, especially those marketing Nestle and Bournvita products. This strategy, observers believe, would help to maximise market


share and mind share. If all these plans fall through, Dangote is set to replicate what it did in the industrial segment in the retail segment. And it current advertising pay-off, ‘We are the sugar in your tea’ will indeed become a singsong in every home. Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc was founded 11 years ago. It commenced operations as a refiner in March 2000 with an initial capacity of 600,000

metric tonnes per annum. DSR is one of the largest sugar refining companies in the world with Ion Exchange Resin(IER) world-class sugar refining technology. It has a capacity to produce 1.44 million metric tonnes per annum. At present DSR controls 80 per cent of the industrial sugar market in Nigeria. Like its cement brand, Dangote sugar is regarded as a cash cow to the Dangote Group.

Afren unveils drilling programme


FREN, alongside the operators of the field, Oriental Energy Resources, have taken the field from appraisal, to development and now production in under two years. It is expected to exceed guidance and contribute significantly to Afren’s production profile in Nigeria. Exploration and appraisal work is ongoing at the Okwok and OML 115 assets, in close proximity to Ebok. Speaking in Lagos, Afren Plc Chairman Egbert Imomoh said: “Production at the Ebok project is a major milestone in our development as a company and, alongside our partners at Oriental Energy Resources we see significant potential for production growth over time. We have worked hard to develop Ebok as a model for indigenous production in Nigeria, focusing extensively on relationships with indigenous contractors and communities to maximise the downstream impact we have. For example,

the full operation and maintenance contract on the FPSO at the Ebok field has been awarded to Century Energy Services, a leading indigenous oil services company who is already providing similar services at the Okoro field and employ the majority of their staff from the Niger Delta region.” Afren’s community relations department has been engaging with communities around the Ebok project for over 12 months, carrying out a needs based assessment and implementing projects aligned to the findings including educational scholarship programmes, the provision of infrastructure for primary schools, and environmental protection projects. Also the company has announced the farm down of a 35 per cent interest in the Keta block and operatorship to ENI (Afren retains a 35 per cent. interest). In exchange, the company will receive a carry through the drilling of one exploration well, back costs

and carry through seismic in the next exploration phase and a milestone bonus payable upon first production being achieved at the block. Ongoing subsurface studies have yielded positive results, further validating existing prospectivity and in particular identifying substantial additional potential in large scale Turonian intervals analogous to those that have proven to be oil bearing at the large Jubilee field and other discoveries to the west. On this basis NSAI has independently increased its estimate of gross prospective resources to over 1.4 billion bbls. The partners plan to drill the 325 mmbbls Cuda prospect during the third quarter. Afren has also launched a formal process to farm down a portion of its current 70 per cent interest and attract an industry partner to participate in future exploration of this high potential block. The outcome of the bidding process, with results

anticipated during the second half of the year, will determine the timing of exploration drilling on the block. Plans are also in place to acquire additional seismic on the block. The partners plan to drill an exploration well in the second half of the year targeting Ebok North, an untested fault block in the northern area of the field where the Company believe the same reservoirs that have been proved to be oil bearing elsewhere at the field are also present. Gross unrisked prospective resources are estimated at 35 mmbbls. An exploration well is also planned on OML 115 that will be drilled during the second half of the year. The Ufon prospect is a 60 mmbbls target that is interpreted to have oil prospectivity in the same D series reservoirs that have been proven to be oil bearing at the nearby Ebok and Okwok fields.




Timex to host summit


IMEX School of Communi cation, Kaduna has scheduled its first training programme for July 11 – 13. Subsequent training programmes will be held at the school in September and November this year. Tagged: National Communication Summit, the project was initiated in Abuja few years ago as Timex Communications Ltd contribution to the growth and development of best practice PR and communications in the country. Timex CEO, who doubles as the executive director and founder of the school, Malam Kabir Dangogo’s contribution in the last three decades, has seen to the uplift of PR profession at corporate, national, continental and international levels. At the summit, the inauguration of the Governing Council of the school is one of the highlights of the opening ceremony on July 11. Communication scholar, Prof. Lai Oso of Caleb University, Lagos is the chairman of the governing council. He leads six other distinguished academics and practitioners on the council. Distinguished personalities expected at the summit include Prof. Jerry Gana, former Minister of Information and Culture as the Special Guest who is expected to deliver the keynote address; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Press Council (NPC), Mr Bayo Atoyebi as the chairman; President, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations

(NIPR), Alh. Mohammed Abdullahi; President, Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr. Gbenga Adefaye; Chairman, Advertising Practitioners Council Of Nigeria (APCON), Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi among others. Some of the issues to be examined during the three-day outing are Building and Managing a Successful Brand; Crisis Communication & Reputation Management; Public Speaking & Development of Presentation Skills; Social Media and online Communication; Advertising & Marketing Communications; Business/Financial Communication Strategies; Managing Internal Communications; Public Information Management; and Strategic Media Relations Management. Resource persons include Abdulhamid Babatunde, CEO & Principal Consultant, Slim Jenkins Media Services Ltd; Henry Angulu, former Director, Public Communication, Federal Ministry of Information & Communications and CEO, Tunga Media Ltd; Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo, former Permanent Secretary (Media & Publicity) to Governor Mohammed Makarfi of Kaduna State; Mr. Emeka Maduegbuna, CEO, Corporate and Financial Communications; Mr. Taiwo Ola Jnr, CEO of TimexIntermedia Ltd; Muktar Adamu, CEO, Kuppy Consult; and Dr. Danjuma Gambo, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Mass Communications, University of Maiduguri among others.

•President Obama and his wife, Michelle, at the bar.

Obama endorses Guinness Stout in Ireland A S part of his much awaited visit to Ireland, US President Barack Obama stepped into his one of his ancestor’s local pub, Ollie Hayes’ bar in Moneygall Co. Offaly, where he was welcomed with a perfectly served Guinness.

Obama visited the town, as part of his visit to Ireland, to meet his distant relatives and see the house that they grew up in. A special delivery of a keg of Guinness was made earlier this week by Guinness Master Brewer, Fergal Murray in anticipation of the President’s visit and much to the delight of bar owner Ollie Hayes and all the locals who joined him at this momentous occasion, President Obama accepted the warm welcome by sampling the Guinness. Speaking, John Kennedy, Managing Director of Diageo Ireland said: “Today marks a fantastic day for

Ireland when we welcome US President Barack Obama into Ireland for the first time. What a great occasion also for the President who has had the opportunity to meet his ancestor’s. It is a real honour that he chose to savour a Guinness as part of his journey back to his Irish roots, which truly marks an occasion that will be remembered by people all over the world for generations to come.” Also speaking, bar owner Ollie Hayes, said: “We have been waiting in hope for this very day and I can say that it is without doubt one of the proudest days of my life. It’s not every day that the US President drops by our bar for a Guinness! We are going to talk about this day for ever more.”

AIRTEL unveils 2SIM offer


•L - R: Mr. Femi Mokikan, Executive Director, Human Resources, Seven-Up Bottling Company (SBC) Plc, presenting the new Pepsi Can to Mr. Said Ajami, Key Accounts Manager, SBC and Mr. Sanjay Naidu, General Manager, SBC Apapa Plant.

Pepsi, 7Up Can drinks hit market


ONSUMERS of various brands from the stable of Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc are in for refreshing moments as the soft drink giant has introduced 33cl Can of its various brands into the market. Before now, its brands, which have continued to enjoy high level patronage from its teeming consumers across the country, were only packaged and sold in glass and pet bottles. These brands include:

Pepsi, 7Up, Mountain Dew, Mirinda and Teem. Mr Sunil Sawhney, Managing Director, Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc, said the introduction of the brands in Cans is in response to the desire of consumers to have their refreshing Pepsi, 7Up, Mountain Dew, Mirinda Orange and Teem in elegant, portable cans. This is in tandem with the youthful lifestyle of the consumers which is gregarious.

“What this means is that itinerant consumers including picnickers, travellers, and fun-lovers across the country would now enjoy the pleasure and comfort of going around with their favourite drinks in cans”. Recently, PepsiCo International at the New York Fall 2011 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, officially launched its Skinny Pepsi can into the US market. The introduction of the Pepsi can into the US market has generated much excitement among its consumers.

EADING telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, unveiled an innovative and value based 2SIM offer, first in Africa. The 2SIM offer comes with two matching numbers in one single starter pack and gives Airtel customers on the package access to a world of benefits including 1 Kobo per second midnight call rate to SIM partner, 10 Kobo per second call rate to SIM partner and 120 free monthly SMS. The new offering is available to pre-paid customers. Other benefits of the offer to customers include: one month subscription-free caller ring back tone (CRBT) and free delivery of breaking news and ringtone from Airtel live to owners’ phone. Furthermore the customers will have free access to Facebook and push email (gmail, hotmail, Yahoo, etc). These offers are available on a 30-day promotional basis. Existing Airtel customers on Airtel 2Good Xtra and Airtel Big Family packages can also enjoy the benefits of 2SIM offerings by registering their Airtel SIM partner numbers. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Airtel Nigeria, Rajan Swaroop said: “We are very pleased to announce that this new offer is available for our prepaid customers. At Airtel Nigeria,

we always strive for leadership in everything we do, delivering worldclass and innovative services.” “The double-SIM pack is a truly innovative and very relevant offer that is ideal for family, friends and associates as well as give our customers access to a number of additional services,” he added. In line with the terms of the 2SIM card offering, Airtel customers who subscribe to the package will get free SMS and discounted call rates between the two numbers for life as long as the customer uses his line. Additionally, each SIM card holder will benefit from free breaking news and free ringtones from Airtel Live portal for one month. The appeal of this product is that these services will be available even to non-data enabled devices, ensuring that Airtel remains true to its promise of giving affordable communication access to all. ”This shows once again that we’re driven by the vision of providing affordable mobile services for all,” Rajan Swaroop concluded. To enjoy the Airtel 2SIM benefits, new customers are expected to buy the Airtel 2SIM pack. New customer may also buy a standard Airtel SIM pack and Dial *448*1*Airtel number# to register his SIM partner. Existing customers can equally dial *448*1*Airtel number# to register partners.



LASAA: Adding value, raising standards

ATM Reconciliation: Challenges, solutions

‘Advertising is always better received when it adds something, rather than simply taking up the consumer’s time and space.’

A friend, frontline software developer for the financial institutions and MD/CEO, Precise Financial Systems, YELE OKEREMI wrote this piece.


TMs are designed to perform the same functions as conventional human tellers. I will imagine that these machines were designed and developed to reduce human effort and provide higher availability than any other reason when they were first invented. The availability of inter-bank electronic switches, however, introduces a dimension that makes these ATMs do things that were not hitherto obtainable by human tellers, particularly the ability to dispense cash to customers of other banks from another bank’s ATM. These types of transactions are referred to in banking parlance as “not-on-us” transactions. The converse of this type of transactions is those that occur when customers of the reference banks withdraw cash from the ATMs of other banks. This type of transaction is called “remote-on-us” transactions. Note that this capability is not in the exclusive preserve of ATMs. In fact, this same type of transaction could have been done by human tellers who have access to PoS terminals connected to the inter-bank switch thereby getting authorisation from these machines before proceeding to dispense cash to customers of another bank. The use of ATMs is not totally new to the banking industry in Nigeria. A number of banks in the past had deployed some of these machines, though in very low quantity to serve their own customers only (behaving more or less like human tellers). ATMs have become more common and more acceptable to the general banking populace with the implementation of the first interbank financial switch by Interswitch, which now makes it possible for customers to collect cash from just about any available ATM. Today individual banks have hundreds of ATMs on their networks. If ATMs have been available in Nigeria for many years before now, the challenges of ATM reconciliation would not had been so much either because the challenges existed in magnitudes that were too minute to notice, or they were not as pronounced as what we have now. Now, it is posited that the total loss that the banking industry may have incurred may be attributed to ATM issues are in the region of billions of naira. The magnitude of the ATM cash reconciliation control has become more complex by the introduction of the switching capabilities of these lovely machines. It means that the challenges come in a twoprong manner: First, to ensure appropriate cash control on the ATM, and second, to ensure complete and accurate inter-bank settlement of transactions that may have occurred on the various ATMs nationwide. The sheer magnitude of the transactions that occur daily on the network of a typical Nigerian bank on its ATMs makes it impossible to carry out effective cash control and ATM reconciliation manually. This automatically suggests the need to automate this process. Now it should be noted that the two-fold challenges that come about by the use of ATMs must be tackled in a concerted manner but if we are to achieve the best of success, the strategy and tactics to be employed to tackle the challenges must reflect both sides of the challenge. In other words, we cannot deal with one side and leave the other hanging. Without gainsaying, the challenge of cash control on ATMs must be regarded in a similar manner as the cash control measures banks adopt for conventional human tellers. Some of these concepts include dual control, maintenance of transactions log, cash officer responsibility that guarantees that an individual is made accountable for each till at any time and of course daily cashier balancing exercises. In conventional banking operations, cashier balancing is the final process that closes the job of any teller for the day

EFORE the emergence of the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) on the out of home media landscape, the sector was haphazardly dominated by a flotsam of core practitioners, half baked practitioners and outright quacks who knew next to nothing about what outdoor advertising entails. But that was then. Not anymore. The arrival of LASAA as a regulator in the sector in Lagos State has not only restored sanity, it has also contributed to the beautification of the Lagos environment and boosted the revenue of the government. In a wake up call to practitioners in the sector shortly before LASAA’s advent, Kole Ademulegun, President, Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) said: “Ladies and gentlemen, outdoor advertising which is still the cheapest in this part of the world is about to change and takes its rightful place in the media mix. It’s about time we change the look of outdoor and give it the right perception in the mind of the public. We want to re-professionalise the practice of outdoor, while the era of having welders and charlatans take undue advantage of our seeming quietness or inactivity will become a thing of the past.” In the same vein, another lead player in advertising and who is also the Registrar of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Alhaji Bello Kankarofi admonished thus: OAAN must be logical and more professional. It’s not about many billboards which results in cluttering the landscape with dues not being paid.” Indeed given the growing competition amongst producers of goods and services in a global economic meltdown period, outdoor advertising remains the most viable alternative to brand custodians who want to dominate the market and keep competitors at bay. Besides, these days, more and more consumers are spending more time outside the home. The pioneer Managing Director of LASAA, Makanjuola Alabi further drove this point home when he said: “Signage can no longer be an afterthought. Businesses can’t afford to just “hang up a shingle” or throw up some plywood with painted letters. In order to compete in today’s competitive marketplace, you must think of your sign not only as a sophisticated, powerful marketing tool but also as a major tourist attraction that informs commerce, architecture, entertainment, shopping and sport. It should work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, creating the first impression of your business, telling people who you are, where you are and what you offer. Signage promotes the excellence in a brand. It creates an indelible mark on the minds of consumers.” According to its founding fathers, LASAA’s mission is to see: “An industry that is responsible and responsive to the changing needs of consumers, advertisers, media buyers and the community.” Established by the Lagos State Structures for Signage and Advertisement Agency law of 2006 (as amended), LASAA has in the last five years raised the standard of out of home media practice. It has also ensured that the quality of materials being used is of international standards. Gone were the days of planks and plywood. LASAA has contributed greatly to the state beautification project. The agency has also helped to generate more revenue to the coffers of the government. Despite these laudable contributions however, the former managing director had to leave LASAA last year with a hay of controversy trailing him.

The exit of Makanjuola Alabi gave room to the emergence of Olatunji Bello. Bello is on a familiar terrain. As a Commissioner of Environment during the Tinubu regime in Lagos, it was under his ministry that LASAA’s egg was first hatched and incubated as a parastatal. Since he mounted the saddle, Bello has promised practitioners in the sector a better deal. In his maiden encounter with stakeholders, Bello said: “The standard of our practice will not change in LASAA. We will not accommodate sentiments in the discharge of our duties. We will continue to create a level playing field for everybody in the industry. We believe every one of you has a chance to practice outdoor advertising as long as you meet the stipulated criteria.” Continuing Bello stated, “Our new thinking in LASAA is to create a win-win situation for us all. We are giving a new face to LASAA’s activities in order to correct some of the erroneous impressions of the past. We will remain a referee in this industry and not your competitor. LASAA will never descend to the arena. Our informed vision remains to be a world leader in signage control, outdoor advertising regulation and civic beautification. Our partnership is important in the interest of the environment.” Since he came on board, Bello has launched a number of forward looking initiatives aimed at reinventing the LASAA brand. One of these is the slashing of the LASAA rate by 20 per cent. This initiative has been widely acclaimed by stakeholders in the sector. Another initiative by LASAA is its partnership with Courteville operators of the AutoReg platform. The partnership is aimed at reorganising branded vehicles registration in the state. According to Bello, “As part of its resolve to effectively discharge its function on mobile advertisement registration, LASAA has signed a partnership agreement with Courteville Investment Plc (operators of AutoReg) to manage the registration of branded vehicles in Lagos State. This new agreement will see LASAA use the existing vehicle registration platform of Courteville in the registration and issuance of mobile advert permits. The partnership will also see Courteville, provide a mobile advertisement database for LASAA while also establishing mobile processing outlets. This arrangement will also accelerate the registration and renewal of mobile advertisement by the members of the public. Courteville is also expected to design, develop and provide appropriate mobile advertisement documentations including printing of vehicle licences are captured as fleet for mobile advert permit. To achieve the anticipated success, part of the agreement is to engage in the use of hand held devices called Laspectors customized for the purpose of providing LASAA with remote verification and authentication of all approved mobile advertisements in Lagos State.” LASAA’s achievements are so laudable in Lagos as a change agent that other states in the country are already borrowing and implementing its template. Should LASAA continue with its current strides, it would have fulfilled the vision of its founding fathers and confirm this attestation by TIME magazine that “Outdoor advertisement is the most powerful way to reach a mass audience effectively, a medium where there is no remote control.” •This is an excerpt from BrandTalk: Story of Nigerian Brands by Wale Alabi published by Brandz Republic due for release soon.


and it attests that all accounting entries have been posted correctly and there were no errors in either cash disbursements or receipts. If there is a problem with this process, then a call over of all transactions for the day is done and compared with the sequence of cash disbursed or receipts until such differences are resolved. This same measure is transferrable to ATM cash control conceptually with just little modifications in practice. The other leg of ATM transactions control lies in the control of the “not-on-us” and “remote-onus” transactions, which must have passed through the switch and hence are eligible for end of day settlement. The process of reconciliation can only effectively control these transactions. Let me take the liberty to define reconciliation in a simple manner to mean bringing to agreement two independent parties. In accounting, reconciliation takes place to bring into agreement records of transactions maintained by two independent parties. In other words, the process of reconciliation seeks to authenticate the similarities in the records, and seek explanations for any differences in the records maintained by both parties. It is important to note that among other reasons, the process of accounts reconciliation is aimed at safeguarding the assets and ensuring the propriety of liabilities of an organisation. Since reconciliation involves two parties, it follows that the process must have access to the records that were independently maintained by each party. In the case of ATM reconciliation, the records required for effective reconciliation are first the records of transactions from the host banking application of the bank, and secondly the statement of transactions supplied by the switching companies, corroborated with their settlement reports. In order to have effective ATM reconciliation transactions, it is important that records to be used for the exercise must be correct and complete. There is only one way to ensure these two conditions are met and that is to ensure the presence of control totals in the records being used for the reconciliation. This is the reason why it will be impossible to do any perfect ATM reconciliation in any bank except the records used for the exercise can be traced to the host banking application where the closing balances on the appropriate accounts can be used as control totals to ensure integrity of transactions. Secondly, it is important that both records (host banking application and switching company statement) must have mutually agreed unique references (unique references may include card number, terminal identifications, transaction time etc) that describe individual transactions. The way and manner the transactions are posted on both platforms must be consistent and one must be a perfect mirror of the other. There are several important structures, which must exist as conditions precedent to a successful reconciliation of ATM transactions. These are timely and consistent availability of required transactions records, availability of separate and individual ledgers for different types of ATM transactions, proper definition and implementation of software interface between the host banking applications and the switch front-end-processors, and individual posting of ATM transactions to the respective ledgers on the host banking application on a real-time basis, as well as availability of a sound automated reconciliation system. The absence of any of these conditions is sufficient to create extreme difficulty in ensuring proper reconciliation, if not completely invalidating the possibility of reconciliation of ATM accounts and banks as well as Independent ATM Deployers (IAD) must ensure that they have these structures in place if they expect to be in perfect control of their ATM business.

*Editor - Wale Alabi *Consulting Editors - Rarzack Olaegbe, Sola Fanawopo * Correspondent-Jimi David * Human Relations Executive - Owolabi Afolabi *Operations Executive - Isiaka Hassan *Creative - Oluwaseyi Sulaimon*Front Office Executive - Blessing Nkeanya * Business Development - Kenny Hussain * Legal Adviser - Olasupo Osewa & Co Brandweek is powered by Drumbeat Media and published every Friday in THE NATION newspaper. Corporate Suite: 20 Akinremi Street, off Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Lagos. All correspondence to the editor - 0808.247.7806, 0805.618.0040, , e-mail: © All rights reserved.
















13 banks’ assets hit N9.8 trillion


ANKS assets are in creasing by the day. The results of 13 banks for the 2010 financial year showed a combined net worth of N9.8 trillion, The Nation investigations have shown. The assets comprise of cash and balances with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), treasury bills and other eligible bills, as well as loans and advances to customers form part of the components of the assets. They also include advances under finance lease, insurance receivables, investment securities, investments in subsidiaries, associates, property and equipment. The banks, amongst them FirstBank of Nigeria Plc which has a net asset of N3.3 trillion; United Bank for Af-

Stories by Collins Nweze Senior Correspondent

rica, N1.62 trillion; Skye Bank, N705.9 billion; First City Monument Bank, N604 billion; Diamond Bank, N594.8 billion; and Fidelity Bank, N481.6 trillion. Others are Stanbic IBTC Bank with net assets of N385 billion; Zenith Bank, N364 billion; Sterling Bank N277.1 billion; Unity Bank, N256.7 billion; Wema Bank, N203.14 billion; Guaranty Trust Bank, N210 billion and Access Bank, N175.7 billion. However, these assets may decline as banks comply with CBN’s directive that they limit investments in property to their offices of operation. Also, the apex bank’s order that banks contribute 0.3 per

cent of their total assets to the Banking Sector Resolution Cost Fund, otherwise called the Sinking Fund will deplete banks net assets by at least N60 billion within this year. The Sinking Fund is meant to assist the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to offset its recovery costs. AMCON, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mustafa Chike-Obi had estimated that the 24 banks will contribute about N60 billion to the fund. The AMCON will aside from the inflow from the banks, get a N50 billion contribution from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which is a mandatory 10-year input from the apex bank. Chike-Obi exclusively told

N200b agric loan: CBN, UBA inspect facilities


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and United Bank for Africa Plc have embarked on facility tour of Grand Cereals Oil Mills Limited, a beneficiary of its loan facility in Jos, Plateau State. This is meant to ensure that beneficiaries of the N200 billion Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) utilize the funds effectively to enhance food security. Grand Cereal Oil Mills Limited, an integrated food company, owned 64 per cent by UAC is a beneficiary of

N2 billion loan facilities from UBA Plc under the commercial agric loan scheme for upgrade of its Oil Refinery Plant, Fish Feed Plant and Storage Facility. Managing Director, Grand Cereals Limited, Mr. Layi Oyatoki said the new feed fish plant, with a capacity for 60 tones per day, the country and by extension neighbouring West African countries will not need to import fish again. “There is no need to import fish into the country or any of the West African states. With the facility

now in place, the Blue Revolution of the Federal Government has received a major boost and I can assure that all the fish needs of this great country will be met” he said. While commending UBA and the CBN for boosting the agro based industry in Nigeria, Oyatoki said with the combined facilities of the new oil mills, fish plant and storage facilities about 200 new jobs has been created thus, reducing high unemployment rate and boosting the economy.

The Nation that the fund is being expected to hit the Sinking Fund account by June ending. The calculation is that by this time, all the banks would have released their results for the year ended December 31, 2010 and their total assets known. The apex bank and the participating banks would make contributions to the sinking fund over a period of 10 years, starting from this year. The Sinking Fund is a binding agreement between the banks to contribute three ba-


INBANK Nigeria Plc has been given a ‘No Objection Letter’ by the Central Bank of Nigeria to carry on with its proposed merger with First City Monument Bank Plc, the Managing Director/CEO Mrs. Susan Iroche has said. She said Finbank has already publicised that it executed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the CBN following which it got the letter from the apex bank in respect of that MoU. Speaking yesterday during Finbank’s Finsplash Savings Promo held at its head office in Lagos, Mrs Iroche said its recapitalisation is on course and expressed confidence on meeting the September 30 deadline set by

Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%


Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011


O/PRICE 34.00 25.49 5.56 3.31 0.83 0.63 6.17 0.50 1.01 0.90

C/PRICE 35.70 26.76 5.83 3.47 0.87 0.66 6.45 0.52 1.04 0.92

CHANGE +1.70 +1.27 +0.27 +0.16 +0.04 +0.03 +0.28 +0.02 +0.03 +0.02


O/PRICE 0.80 5.28 2.64 3.68 4.72 0.62 1.05 1.68 1.90 1.29

C/PRICE 0.76 5.02 2.51 3.50 4.49 0.59 1.00 1.60 1,81 1.23

ment is trying to improve the bank’s services, and reposition it to become a top player in Nigeria’s financial services industry. Other prizes include two LCD televisions, five generators, 20 DVD players to other cash prizes of N5,000 to be won by 10 persons and over 50 radio sets and other prizes. Yesterday’s draw was the 15th in a series held in different parts of the country and fourth in Lagos. The Finsplash is a valueadded promo targeted towards businessmen and women, civil and public servants, the armed forces, medical and practitioners, employees of corporate organizations, associations, artisans, unions, lecturers, students among others.

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 400m 467.7m 400m 452.3m 500m 499,8m


Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

the apex bank for all rescued banks to recapitalise of be liquidated. She said all the efforts the bank has put in the exercise will be successful. “We have already publicised that we executed MoU with the Central Bank of Nigeria. We have a no objection letter from the CBN in respect of that MoU. For us, recapitalization is on course and we are very, confident about that. We are fully on course,” she said. FinBank and First City Monument Bank last month, signed a MoU authorising them to exist as one business entity. Iroche explained during the promo in which Blessing Mgbeokwere emerged the star prize winner with N250,000 that manage-



OBB Rate Call Rate

is an agreement to return some of the funds to the contributors. The CBN and the 24 banks had in January signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of the banking sector sinking fund. The apex bank had explained that stakeholders resolved in the national interest, to establish a banking sector resolution cost fund to meet any shortfalls and to ensure financial stability and the soundness of the banking system.

Finbank gets ‘No Objection Letter’



sis points of audited total assets at the end of each year to help the AMCON to pay some of its recovery expenses. It became exigent after the CBN and the banks realised that funds from the management and realisation of the eligible banks’ assets to be acquired by AMCON may turn out to be insufficient to meet the resolution cost of restoring financial stability. It is expected that if AMCON recovers more money than is needed; there

CHANGE -0.04 -0.26 -0.13 -0.18 -0.23 -0.03 -0.05 -0.08 -0.09 -0.06

Amount Sold ($) 400m 400m 499.8m

Exchange Rate (N) 153.59 153.4 153.45

Date 25-5-11 23-5-11 16-5-11


Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %


147.6000 239.4810

149.7100 244.0123

150.7100 245.6422

-2.11 -2.57

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

















02-06-11 N8.312tr 25.995.54


January ’11

February ’11

May ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.3%


7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

01-06-11 N8.273tr 25,875.31

% Change 0.5% 0.5%





Rate (Previous) 04 MAR, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 24, MAY, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 117.35 119.45 0.84 1,582.15 9.94 1.00 1.39 1.87 9,171.70 193.00

9.08 1.00 116.81 118.70 0.81 1,576.19 9.46 1.00 1.33 1.80 8,887.66 191.08




Bank P/Court

Previous 04 MAR, 2011

Current 07, MAR, 2011

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833





No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded 1 1.43 21,500 1 21,500 AGRICULTURE/AGRO-ALLIED Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC 1 0.50 100,000 PRESCO PLC 17 8.00 466,200 Sector Totals 18 566,200 AIR SERVICES Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COMPANY PLC 40 8.63 179,256 Sector Totals 40 179,256 AUTOMOBILE & TYRE Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC 1 0.50 1,750,000 R. T. BRISCOE (NIGERIA) PLC 20 2.31 612,031 Sector Totals 21 2,362,031 BANKING Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded ACCESS BANK PLC 219 7.70 22,079,992 AFRIBANK NIGERIA PLC 7 1.45 164,500 DIAMOND BANK PLC 85 6.00 4,772,580 ECOBANK NIGERIA PLC 28 3.90 241,742 FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK PLC 52 7.80 3,917,033 FIDELITY BANK PLC 108 2.67 2,435,939 FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC 568 13.51 22,986,475 FINBANK PLC 33 0.59 11,237,495 GTBANK PLC 674 16.34 21,982,922 STANBIC IBTC BANK PLC 48 10.33 760,307 INTERCONTINENTAL BANK PLC. 66 1.23 11,963,153 OCEANIC BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC 32 1.60 1,862,827 BANK PHB PLC 2 1.11 12,500 SKYE BANK PLC. 117 8.38 12,460,386 1,945,888 STERLING BANK PLC 37 2.00 UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC. 247 6.28 3,215,529 UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC 42 2.51 1,803,254 UNITYBANK PLC 25 1.00 1,437,281 WEMA BANK PLC 46 1.00 2,600,022 ZENITH BANK PLC 397 15.10 46,870,661 Sector Totals 2,833 174,750,486 BREWERIES Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded CHAMPION BREWERIES PLC 3 4.05 5,000,502 GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC 88 255.00 462,067 INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC 26 6.45 379,445 NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC 208 93.65 2,316,528 Sector Totals 325 8,158,542 BUILDING MATERIALS Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded ASHAKA CEMENT PLC 59 23.42 372,756 CEMENT CO. OF NORTHERN NIGERIA PLC 24 10.80 418,805 DANGOTE CEMENT PLC 23 132.00 254,282 LAFARGE WAPCO PLC 27 44.99 156,730 Sector Totals 133 1,202,573 CHEMICAL & PAINTS Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded BERGER PAINTS NIGERIA PLC 15 11.12 41,826 CHEMICAL AND ALLIED PRODUCTS PLC 5 26.76 106,708 DN MEYER PLC 1 1.52 630 Sector Totals 21 149,164 COMMERCIAL/SERVICES Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded RED STAR EXPRESS PLC 4 2.85 32,003 Sector Totals 4 32,003 COMPUTER & OFFICE EQUIPMENT Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded NCR (NIGERIA) PLC. 3 6.27 2,230 Sector Totals 3 2,230 CONGLOMERATES Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded A. G. LEVENTIS (NIGERIA) PLC 1 2.20 100 PZ CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC 72 35.70 5,520,996 TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC 70 0.92 7,350,263 UAC OF NIGERIA PLC 90 39.00 1,653,773 UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC 56 27.80 1,338,889 Sector Totals 289 15,864,021 CONSTRUCTION Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded COSTAIN (WA) PLC 17 4.49 510,500 JULIUS BERGER NIGERIA PLC 55 55.50 908,460 ROADS NIGERIA PLC 1 3.47 80,000 Sector Totals 73 1,498,960 ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded CUTIX PLC 2 2.00 25,000 NIGERIAN WIRE AND CABLE PLC. 2 0.66 70,000 Sector Totals 4 95,000 FOOD/BEVERAGES & TOBACCO Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded 7-UP BOTTLING CO. PLC 17 45.50 16,967 CADBURY NIGERIA PLC 57 20.75 1,752,196 DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC 492 18.50 2,425,700 DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC 72 13.99 3,119,854 FLOUR MILLS NIGERIA PLC 91 90.15 440,571 HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC 33 4.51 729,000 NATIONAL SALT COMPANY NIGERIA PLC 54 6.23 752,654 NIGERIAN BOTTLING COMPANY PLC 17 35.50 380,792 NESTLE NIGERIA PLC 49 400.49 1,165,359 NORTHERN NIGERIA FLOUR MILLS PLC 3 29.20 3,293 TANTALIZERS PLC 7 0.50 403,297 UTC NIGERIA PLC 2 0.66 357 Sector Totals 894 11,190,040 HEALTHCARE Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC 19 1.95 11,743,101 GLAXOSMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC 16 27.30 481,840 MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. 24 3.98 208,272 NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC 1 1.87 2,880 Sector Totals 60 12,436,093 HOTEL & TOURISM Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded CAPITAL HOTEL PLC 1 3.12 4,953 IKEJA HOTEL PLC 17 1.51 587,400 TOURIST COMPANY OF NIGERIA PLC 1 4.53 200 Sector Totals 19 592,553 INDUSTRIAL/DOMESTIC PRODUCTS Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded B. O. C. GASES NIGERIA PLC 1 8.20 1,850 VITAFOAM NIGERIA PLC 43 5.83 3,069,885 Sector Totals 44 3,071,735 INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded CHAMS PLC 1 0.50 18,000 STARCOMMS PLC 24 0.61 8,996,100 Sector Totals 25 9,014,100 INSURANCE Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity Traded AFRICAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE PLC 3 0.50 150,000 AIICO INSURANCE PLC. 67 0.87 7,210,727 CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC 6 1.04 626,135 CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED INSURANCE PLC 10 2.85 943,999 GREAT NIGERIA INSURANCE COMPANY PLC 1 0.50 1,000 GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC 17 0.50 8,126,950 GUARANTY TRUST ASSURANCE PLC 10 1.60 490,000 LASACO ASSURANCE PLC. 3 0.50 76,200 LAW UNION AND ROCK INSURANCE PLC. 12 0.53 865,400

Value of Shares (N) 32,250.00 32,250.00 Value of Shares (N) 50,000.00 3,759,604.00 3,809,604.00 Value of Shares (N) 1,523,749.57 1,523,749.57 Value of Shares (N) 875,000.00 1,414,844.71 2,289,844.71 Value of Shares (N) 165,238,734.30 238,525.00 28,641,687.38 938,530.40 30,467,253.75 6,455,884.33 309,704,952.58 6,630,122.05 362,474,020.46 7,840,451.12 14,714,678.19 2,980,523.20 13,250.00 104,233,472.24 3,893,134.96 20,090,992.46 4,526,167.54 1,437,331.00 2,611,735.73 706,735,805.00 1,779,867,251.69 Value of Shares (N) 20,252,033.10 116,281,498.61 2,443,646.30 217,327,744.54 356,304,922.55 Value of Shares (N) 8,753,648.95 4,455,994.22 33,584,599.15 7,127,345.15 53,921,587.47 Value of Shares (N) 455,235.12 2,855,506.08 913.50 3,311,654.70 Value of Shares (N) 95,438.97 95,438.97 Value of Shares (N) 13,290.80 13,290.80 Value of Shares (N) 209.00 189,839,002.39 6,547,171.12 64,818,621.08 37,299,538.93 298,504,542.52 Value of Shares (N) 2,292,145.00 50,534,559.07 277,600.00 53,104,304.07 Value of Shares (N) 50,000.00 46,200.00 96,200.00 Value of Shares (N) 771,124.64 36,384,919.85 44,897,593.48 42,892,384.54 39,811,683.65 3,245,217.00 4,730,157.54 13,715,067.09 466,221,215.42 91,347.82 201,878.50 224.91 652,962,814.44 Value of Shares (N) 21,999,060.44 13,021,210.36 819,049.75 5,126.40 35,844,446.95 Value of Shares (N) 14,859.00 884,926.50 862.00 900,647.50 Value of Shares (N) 14,411.50 17,382,934.76 17,397,346.26 Value of Shares (N) 9,000.00 5,319,082.00 5,328,082.00 Value of Shares (N) 75,000.00 6,214,596.42 658,180.40 2,710,037.63 500.00 4,063,475.00 787,940.00 38,100.00 460,816.00

Accounts: Compliance rises to 62% • Market cap gains N39b


OMPLIANCE on rendition of annual reports by companies on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as at close of business on Thursday has appreciated from the 57.51 per cent it was at the middle of May to 62.18 per cent on June 1, 2011. According to the information made available by the exchange, from the list of 193 companies assessed, the numbers of those that have submitted their report have moved from 111 to 120 in the period under review. The non submission which the exchange tagged as ‘no communication’ from the affected companies, dropped from fifty-two to forty-eight while those awaiting regulatory approval also reduced from thirty-one to twenty-five. Out of the thirty-two sectors on the floor of the NSE, the forty-eight companies that are yet to communicate with the exchange on the state of their financials, spread out into twenty-three sectors. According to the report, there are 10 sectors having

By Tonia Osundolire and Eshiet Uyoatta

only one company each, five others have two companies each while another six sectors have three companies each yet to formally report to the exchange about their financials. Besides the above mentioned, there are two sectors having four and five companies respectively that are yet to comply. The urgency in meeting the post listing requirements by quoted companies can be attributed to the way the present management team are being perceived. It would be recalled that at his maiden meeting with the press, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema told The Nation that they were not going to compromise the rules and regulation of the market as it affects the stakeholders, be it operators or quoted companies. Companies appearing as the only ones in their sector include; FTN Cocoa processor, DN Tyre & Rubber Plc, Nigerian ropes Plc, Nigerian wire & cable, Investment & Allied Assurance, Daar communication

and Longman among others. Meanwhile, on the floor of the exchange yesterday, the key market indicators both appreciated further. The market capitalisation and the AllShare-Index improved by 0.5 per cent respectively, with capitalisation adding N39 billion while index gained 120.23 points. However, reacting to the sudden high differences recorded, the CEO of Lambert Securities Mr David Adonri said that it had to do with the N0.70 Dangote Cement recorded yesterday to close at N132.00 per share. He added that, the giant stride the company is taking in the cement industry could be responsible for visible repositioning investors are carrying out. “The present decision by the president has caused an awakening of investors’ interest in the sector and everybody is taking position to benefit from the anticipated gain from the company,” he said. Similarly, investors at the end of yesterday’s business traded 449.930 million shares worth N3.660 billion in 5,594 deals.


15 0.52 11 0.76 10 1.81 2 0.50 1 0.50 1 0.50 5 0.50 1 0.50 2 0.53 177 LEASING Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) C&I LEASING PLC 6 1.22 Sector Totals 6 MARITIME Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC 95 1.23 Sector Totals 95 MEDIA Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) AFROMEDIA PLC 2 0.51 DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC 6 0.50 Sector Totals 8 MORTGAGE COMPANIES Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) ABBEY BUILDING SOCIETY PLC 1 1.44 ASO SAVINGS AND LOAND PLC 2 0.50 UNION HOMES SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC 70 0.59 Sector Totals 73 OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) NPF MICROFINANCE BANK PLC 1 1.16 ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC 1 0.50 Sector Totals 2 PACKAGING Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) NIGERIAN BAG MANUFACTURING COMPANY PLC 52 2.53 NAMPAK NIGERIA PLC 5 3.60 POLY PRODUCTS (NIGERIA) PLC. 1 1.27 GREIF NIGERIA PLC 2 13.97 Sector Totals 60 PETROLEUM(MARKETING) Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) AFRICAN PETROLEUM PLC. 43 21.35 BECO PETROLEUM PRODUCT PLC 5 0.50 MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC 21 72.00 CONOIL PLC 38 41.89 ETERNA OIL & GAS PLC. 27 5.02 MOBIL OIL NIGERIA PLC. 11 163.49 OANDO PLC 158 53.00 TOTAL NIGERIA PLC 11 195.50 Sector Totals 314 PRINTING & PUBLISHING Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) ACADEMY PRESS PLC. 2 3.50 LONGMAN NIGERIA PLC 2 6.60 UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC 5 4.99 Sector Totals 9 REAL ESTATE Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. PLC 16 17.30 Sector Totals 16 ROAD TRANSPORTATION Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) ASSOCIATED BUS COMPANY PLC 1 0.70 Sector Totals 1 TEXTILES Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) 0.62 UNITED NIGERIA TEXTILES PLC 4 Sector Totals 4 THE FOREIGN LISTINGS Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED 22 15.22 Sector Totals 22 Overall Totals 5,594

620,153 811,430 203,200 160,000 200 45,000 63,636,363 14,000 33,600 84,014,357

321,436.18 616,686.80 367,832.00 80,000.00 100.00 22,500.00 31,818,181.50 7,000.00 17,136.00 48,259,517.93

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 354,180 427,062.80 354,180 427,062.80 Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,672,088 2,072,043.24 1,672,088 2,072,043.24 Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 100,010,000 51,005,100.00 25,300 12,650.00 100,035,300 51,017,750.00 Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,000 1,440.00 487,556 243,778.00 4,351,220 2,510,048.51 4,839,776 2,755,266.51 Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 200 222.00 10,000.00 20,000 20,200 10,222.00 Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 987,173 2,424,083.29 58,120 200,232.00 50,000 63,500.00 3,000 39,840.00 1,098,293 2,727,655.29 Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 88,602 1,866,637.26 166,000 83,000.00 12,456 906,381.70 134,791 5,660,375.27 919,899 4,621,501.98 14,646 2,279,740.53 4,258,393 225,663,583.55 18,009 3,524,410.07 5,612,796 244,605,630.36 Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 10,468,267 36,638,934.50 55,000 362,900.00 24,128 120,224.64 10,547,395 37,122,059.14 Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 132,062 2,272,682.00 132,062 2,272,682.00 Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 5,000 3,350.00 5,000 3,350.00 Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 178,195 110,997.68 178,195 110,997.68 Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 233,600 3,503,723.48 233,600 3,503,723.48 449,929,729 3,660,195,938.63




I’m not afraid to face EFCC , F says Shekarau

ORMER Kano State Governor Malam Ibrahim Shekarau yesterday said he was not afraid to face the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to answer questions on his eight-year tenure. He asked his successor, Alhaji Musa Kwankwaso, to go to court if he has any claims against his administration. Shekarau said he was prepared to prove his innocence in court. The former governor refuted allegations by Kwankwaso that he incurred a $209 million debt and left behind liabilities of N77 billion. The governor had, in his inaugural speech after he was sworn in on May 29, alleged that the Shekarau administration left an empty treasury and millions of dollars in foreign delt. Speaking through his spokesman, Malam Sule Ya’u, the former governor insisted he left behind N4.36 billion cash. Sule said: “Shekarau, during his tenure from 2003 to 2011 never borrowed a single kobo from anywhere. And I challenge those making such false allegations to furnish you with the name of the bank and the amount given to Kano State Government and for what purpose.” He accused the new govern-

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

ment of castigating the former governor, instead of settling down to the serious business of governance, saying that “governance is a continuous process.” The ex-governor’s spokesperson said: “The 77 billion Naira they are talking about, is so mischievous, their mission is to come and castigate the previous administration. “They are not coming to address the issue of development and progress from where we stopped. You should know their background anyway. “The leader of the government is such as vindictive person, we know his antecedents. I want to tell you that from now till four years to come, we are even going to see the worse.” On the issue of the alleged LOSS OF ORIGINAL DOCUMENT:- I wish to inform the general public, particularly the Plateau State Ministry of Lands & Survey, Jos on the loss of the original copies of certificate of occupancy (c of o) with no 7535 issued on 16th Sept.1987, & Cert. No. PL 11832 issued on 27th April, 1989, all plot are located in Jos, & belonging to D.I.G Fidelis Oyakhilome. All attempt to recover them has proved abortive. If found, contact: No. 87 Nelson Mandala Str., Abuja. Or nearest police station or call - Eddie on: +2348033065796 Gerry: +2348075839975, +2347084366614 Sign: Mrs Geraldine Malumfashi No. 68,12th Avenew Fedral low cost Miango Road Jos.

FOR SALE Honda CRV 08 model....................................1.4 million. Toyota Hylander 05 model............................1.3 million. Millennium Mazda 626......................................400,000. Toyota Camry LE 2008...................................1.3 million. Toyota Avalon 2006.........................................1 million. Volkswageen Passat 2002 ............................600,000. Honda Civic 2009.............................................1.2 million. Toyota Hilux 06 model.....................................1 million. Lexus LX 470 2009..........................................1.7 million. Peugeot 307......................................................500,000. For purchase and enquiries PUBLIC NOTICE call:08034476212,08035004681. THE INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF HEALTH, EDUCATION & LITERACY PROVIDERS-AFRICA MINISTRY (CAC/IT/N0.22465)

This is to inform the public that the above-named organization, registered under Part C of the Company and Allied Matters Act (1990) has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for change in some Clauses/parts of the Constitution and Rules and Regulations of the organization: 1. Clause 3: ‘Registered Office’ to be changed from ‘Plateau State’ to ‘Kogi State’, where the Ministry originally desired to operate, and now operating. 2. Clause 8(e)(ii): ‘Common Seal’ not to be ‘in the custody of the General Director’ but to be ‘in the custody of a Trustee’. 3. Clause 15(d)(iii): ‘Quorum for meeting’ of Board of Directors changed from ‘at least two members present’ to ‘at least three members present’. 4. Clause 15(e)(vii): ‘Removal from office’ of Board members ‘ceases to reside in Nigeria’ to be removed. AIMS & OBJECTIVES: a) Assist individuals, communities and groups of people with facilities to aid their health, education and social needs, b) Encourage people of Africa see their work as ministry, etc. Any objection should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, P. M. B. 198, Garki, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

Signed: (Gbade Ogundare) LEGAL ADVISER.

$209 million foreign loan obtained by the Shekarau administration, Sule explained that it was not a loan as claimed but a fund obtained by bilateral agencies to fund some developmental projects such as the ongoing FADAMA project, phase 1, 2 and 3 in the state, which attracts no interest. He listed such agencies to include: the Department of Foreign International Development (DFID), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations International Children Fund (UNICEF) among others. Commenting on the N4 billion allegedly incurred by the past administration on hotel bills, Sule further explained that it was an accumulated bill incurred from hosting government functionaries, citing an instance with the visit of Vice-President Namadi Sambo to Kano to reconcile the

intra-party crisis that rocked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the hosting of National Assembly members during the induction workshop/retreat, among others. He explained that the actual amount spent by the immediate past government as hotel bills was N3.5 billion, pointing out that Shekarau had approved the payment of the bills but funds were yet to be released as at the time of handing over to the new government. Speaking on the allegation by the PDP that N3 billion was missing from the Pension Fund Scheme (PFS), the spokesman said: “It was unimaginable for N3 billion to disappear. It’s quite incredible for such a mischievous allegation to be made on the former administration”.

Correction Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Inumidun Akande, will retire on June 10 next year when she turns 65 and not this month as reported on page 32 of our May 31 edition. The error is regretted. – Editor

Activists urge council to curb highway extortion From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo


HUMAN rights group, the Independent Masses Forum, has urged the Oriade Local Government of Osun State to check its officials’ alleged extortion of motorists on the Akure-Ilesa road. Chairman of the Osogbo-based rights group, Comrade Wole Folaranmi, said much as all tiers of government should generate revenue to meeting their obligations, extortion in whatever form should be discouraged. He wondered why local government officials should stop vehicles on a road that belongs to the federal government and extort money from motorists. The group urged the council caretaker committee to ensure that council workers deployed for any assignment conduct themselves in a civil manner to reflect the image of the state as a land of virtue. It said: “No one should grudge any tier of government for generating revenue to meet regular and ever-expanding expenditure, but the conduct of officers saddled with responsibilities must be decorous. The situation where motorists are subjected to harassment and delay and thereafter forced to part with money that will not be paid into the coffers of the council is condemnable.” Caretaker chairman, Chief Taiwo Fatiregun said the boys allegedly extorting money from motorists work for a consultant hired by his predecessor. “The council did not send them to go and extort money from the road users. I allowed them to continue the collection because we don’t want to be losing money to other states, particularly Ondo. They are working for a consultant, who is generating revenue for our council,” he said.

The ABC of FoI Bill

•-Continued from page 4

(h) the number of fulltime staff of the public institution devoted to processing applications for information, and the total amount expended by the public institution for processing such applications. (2) Each public institution shall make such report available to the public, among other means, by computer and telecommunications, or if computer and telecommunications means have not been established by the Government or Public Institution, by other electronic means. (3) The Attorney-General shall make each report, which has been submitted to him, available to the public in hard copies, online and also at a single electronic access point. (4) The Attorney General shall notify the Chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Government Reform Oversight of the House of Representatives and the Chairman and ranking minority member of the Committees on Government Affairs and the Judiciary of the Senate, not later than April of the year in which each such report is issued, of the existence of such report and make it available to them in hard copies as well as by electronic means. (5) (a)The Attorney-Gen-

eral shall develop reporting and performance guidelines in connection with reports required by this section and may establish additional requirements for such reports as the Attorney-General determines may be useful. (b) The Attorney General shall in his oversight responsibility under this Bill ensure that all institutions to which this Bill applies comply with the provisions of the Bill. (6) The Attorney-General shall submit to the National Assembly an annual report on or before April 1 of each calendar year which shall include for the prior calendar year a listing of the number of cases arising under this Bill, the exemption involved in each case, the disposition of such cases, and the cost, fees, and penalties assessed. (7) Such report shall also include detailed description of the efforts taken by the Ministry of Justice to encourage all government or public institutions to comply with this Act. (8) For purposes of this section, the term – (a) “government” includes any executive department, military department, government corporation, government controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the government (including the Executive Office of the President), or any other arm of government,

PUBLIC NOTICE Cook/ Steward A female cook/ steward is needed in Abuja, Between the ages of 20 – 25yrs, should be a Hardworking, conscientious, Christian With a minimum of OND degree in /or related courses. Ability to work alone Interested candidate should apply to

independent or regulatory government agency or public institution; and (b) “information” means any term used in this Act in reference to information or record which includes any information that would be held by a government or public institution and information subject to the requirements of this Act, when maintained by any public institution in any format, including electronic format. Submission of reports. 31. (1) This Bill is intended to complement and not replace existing procedures for access to public records and information and is not intended to limit in any way access to those types of officials information that have, hitherto, been normally available to the general public. (2) Where the question whether any public record and or information is to be made available, where that question arises under this Bill, the question shall be determined in accordance with the provision stated herein, unless otherwise exempted by this Bill. Complimentary procedures. 32. In this Bill, unless the text otherwise requires – “applicant” refers to any person who applies for information under this Bill; “application” refers to any request for information made under this Bill; “Court” means a High Court or Federal High Court respectively. “Foreign State” means any State other than the Federal Republic of Nigeria; “Information” includes all records, documents and information stored in whatever form, including written, electronic, visual images, sound, audio recording, etc. “Public Institution” means any legislative, executive, judicial, administrative or advisory body of the Government, including boards, bureau, committees

or commissions of the State, and any subsidiary body of those bodies including but not limited to committees and sub-committees which are supported in whole or in part by public fund or which expends public fund and private bodies providing public services, performing public functions or utilizing public funds; “Public record or document” means a record in any form having been prepared, or having been or being used, received, possessed or under the control of any public or private bodies relating to maters of public interest and includes – (a) any writing on any material; (b) any information recorded or stored or other devices; and any material subsequently derived from information so recorded or stored; (c) any label, marking, or other writing that identifies or describes anything of which it forms part, or to which it is attached by any means; d) any book, card, form, map, plan, graph, or drawing, (e) any photograph, film, negative, microfilm, tape, or other device in which one or more visual images are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other equipment) of being reproduced; “Minister” means the Minister charged with responsibility for information; “Person” include a corporation sole, and also body of persons whether corporate or incorporate; acting individually or as a group; “Personal Information” means any official information held about an identifiable person; but does not include information that bears on the public duties of public employees and officials.









FOREIGN NEWS Policeman jailed for using Mugabe’s toilet A ZIMBABWEAN police officer arrested for using president Robert Mugabe’s private toilet has been jailed for 10 days, it was reported yesterday. A court found that detective sergeant Alois Mabhunu yielded to the call of nature and forced his way past guards to a loo reserved for 87-year-old Mugabe at a recent trade show. Mabhunu was arrested the following day and detained at police barracks for three weeks. On Tuesday he was convicted by an internal police court and sentenced to 10 days in prison, Zimbabwe’s VOP radio reported. But Mabhunu has appealed to the national police commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, to overturn the verdict, the station added. “He has been convicted and sentenced to 10 days in prison by the police court but has since made an appeal to the police commissioner soon after conviction,” said a source quoted by VOP.

Burundi peacekeepers in Somalia ‘unpaid’

Italy marks 150 years of unity


ITALIAN politicians are setting aside bickering for a day as the country fetes itself with a flourish to mark 150 years as a united nation. United States Vice President Joe Biden has joined leaders from some 80 other countries yesterday to review a military parade near the Colosseum. The June 2 holiday marks the birth of modern Italy on a peninsula where citystates and popes fought wars and thwarted unity for centuries. This year’s 150th anniversary saw Italians pour into the capital from the north and the south. Premier Silvio Berlusconi is struggling to keep his government afloat despite a stinging setback this week in local elections. Notably absent from the ceremonies was Berlusconi’s chief ally, Umberto Bossi, whose Northern League party wants less power for the central government.

URUNDIAN soldiers serving with the African Union peace force in Somalia have told the BBC they have not been paid since January. The five months of arrears total an estimated $20m (£12m) for the nearly 4,000 Burundian peacekeepers. Burundi’s army spokesman Col Gaspard Baratuza said the African Union had paid the money into the Bank of the Republic of Burundi. But he said the central bank had not disbursed the salaries

to the soldiers. The African Union pays the Burundian soldiers, who make up the 9,000-strong Amisom peace force battling Islamist militants in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, slightly more than $1,000 each every month. The BBC correspondent in the Burundian capital Bujumbura says the salaries are not paid in Somalia, but directly into their accounts through Burundi’s central bank so the soldiers’ families can access the money more easily.

Two soldiers, requesting anonymity as they are not allowed to discuss army issues publicly, told the BBC the situation was not sustainable. “The Amisom force commander from Uganda has told us that the money is being paid on a monthly basis. But in Burundi we do not know where the money is going,” one of them told the BBC’s Network Africa programme. “Now our families think we get the money and hide it from them.” They said some soldiers be-

lieve the money has been diverted by the government to serve other purposes before being paid to them. “In short we do not want to be used as commercial objects. We are serving the name of our nation; let it serve ours by paying us on a monthly basis as this has to be,” he said. Col Baratuza, who in an interview with the BBC’s Great Lakes Service in April had promised the arrears would be paid that month, said on Wednesday evening the problem would be sorted out soon.

South Africans in anti-xenophobia march


RARE protest has taken place in South Africa in defence of Somali and Pakistani businessmen threatened with xenophobic attacks. A crowd marched through an informal settlement in Johannesburg yesterday chanting: “We want the Somalis to stay.” The march was intended to counter a protest by local businessmen demanding the closure of foreign-owned shops. “I’ll never allow foreigners to take bread from my mouth,” a South African businessman told the BBC. He said that South Africans fought for democracy, and it would be a “criminal offence” to allow foreigners to dominate trade. “I’m a businessman who wants to make a profit,” he told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme.

But the anti-xenophobia campaigners, who were all mostly women, rallied to the defence of the Somali and Pakistani shop owners in the Ramaphosa informal settlement, which witnessed some of the worst violence during anti-foreigner riots in 2008. “They are the only shops from where we can buy things cheaply,” one of the marchers said, adding that local businessmen were “greedy and jealous”. The BBC correspondent in Johannesburg says that as the rival groups demonstrated, the Somalis and Pakistanis locked their shops and stayed indoors while armed police patrolled the area. “The police are giving us protection,” a Somali businessman said. “They told me to close my shop for own protection,” he said. At least 62 people died in attacks on foreigners that swept the country three years ago.

Explosion in Maiduguri


HE Borno State Ministry of Health, epidermic office in Maiduguri has been gutted by fire which destroyed grains and foods worth N30 million. The fire was believed to have been caused by an explosion which occurred at Gwunbuti. The fire started around 7:30 pm yesterday. It is confirmed that the fire has razed the complete unit. The premises also house the action committee on AIDS. The fire destroyed the Emergency vehicles packed at the premises. The hospital was cordoned off when reporters visited the place.

•Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed (middle) with traditional rulers during their courtesy visit to Government House, Ilorin, ..yesterday.


Ife killings: Accused granted bail


MAN who allegedly killed five persons at Isale Agbara, Ile-Ife on April 9, on the day of the National Assembly election, Dedotun Adebowale (a.k.a. Meere) was yesterday granted bail by an Osogbo High Court. Adebowale’s case was transferred from the Magistrate Court to the High Court for proper trial. Ruling on an ex parte motion brought by the accused counsel, Mr. Kehinde Adesiyan, Justice Adeyinka Aderibigbe granted the accused bail in the sum of N10 million and two sureties in like sum. Justice Aderibigbe said the two sureties should be owners of landed property within the jurisdiction of the court while the title deeds of such property should be deposited with the registrar of the court. The judge also ruled that the accused should deposit his international passport with the commissioner of police and should report to the

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

officer in charge of State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) every two weeks until the final determination of the suit.

Justice Aderibigbe also granted an order that the case be transferred from Magistrate Court 2, Osogbo to the High Court which has the jurisdiction to hear the case.

He said the order of the court should be executed as a stay of proceedings of the case in the Magistrate Court. June 16 has been fixed for proper hearing.

Ogun Assembly okays probe of councils’ accounts


GUN State House of Assembly yesterday passed a Bill empowering the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration to constitute a panel to probe the income and expenditure of the 20 local government areas between January 2009 and December 2010. The bill, christened ‘House Resolution 257 – Establishment of Investigative Panel on Local Government Accounts’ will be sent to Governor Amosun for assent as the House winds up the Sixth Legislative Session today, Speaker Tunji Egbetokun said yesterday. The bill was sponsored by Mr Johnson Olu- Fatoki representing Ifo (1) state constituency and was supported by Olawale Hassan Alausa Ijebu– Ode.

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

Egbetokun said the House was already investigating the finances of the councils because of the monumental fraud allegedly perpetrated at the grassroots. He added that the Committee handling the investigation had to call off the exercise when the out-gone administration unleashed ‘the attack dogs’ on the Group of 15 (G-15) lawmakers. The speaker pleaded with the new administration to sign the bill into law, saying it was made in the best interest of the state and the people for accountability and transparency. The House equally passed a bill for a review of land allocation, land administration and sale of the state landed property under questionable

circumstances. The bill was sponsored by Johnson Olu- Fatoki (Ifo), Akeem Salami (Ijebu East), Michael Sewedo Fasinu, Adiro Lukman (Abeokuta North) and Olawale Alausa (Ijebu – Ode). Egbetokun’s deputy, Remmy Hassan (Odogbolu), Abiodun Akovoyon, Babatunde Oshin (Ijebu–Igbo) Adiro Lukman and Alausa sponsored a bill for the establishment of Ogun State House of Assembly Black Book . It was passed on the floor of the House yesterday. The bill, if assented into law by the executive, would bear “acts that contravene the provision of the Standing Orders of the Ogun state House of Assembly and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Ondo PDP appeals court injunction


HE Working Committee of the Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has appealed a court injunction restraining it from acting as member of the executive pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice before an Akure High Court. The appeal was filed sequel to the order of the court on Tuesday restraining the Tayo Dairo-led executive from acting as member of the state executive The PDP chairman in the appeal said the plaintiffs were not members of the working committee, querying their locus standi to dissolve the party’s executive committee. In the affidavit, Dairo regarded the applicants as dissidents who hadcarried out their illegal action without any regard for the party’s constitution. He said the applicants

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

failed to inform the court that they were candidates going for posts which are presently occupied. Dairo said members of his executive were not hand picked as claimed by the other faction. He said the allegation of financial mismanagement levelled against his executive were unfounded. Dairo said the party’s next congress to elect new executives, who will steer the affairs of the party for another four years, will hold in March next year. “If the applicants’ injunction was granted, the party will suffer irreparable damage or loss which money cannot compensate in terms of goodwill and contractual obligations,” he said. Dairo said the action was filed mainly to destabilise the party as most of the people were not financial members.


FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011


AST week, I identified six fundamental proposals made by the Northern States at the 2005 conference and promised to interrogate them this week. Let me state for the record, however, that, even though the Northern States presented these proposals for moving Nigeria forward at the National Political Reform Conference, they are not strictly or uniquely northern. Individuals and groups from other parts of the country, including the Southwest, have advanced some of the same positions in the last ten years. I recall, for instance, a former PDP governor who advanced an argument against resource control on the ground that it was suicidal for the Southwest to champion such position. I also would like to suggest that the antirestructuring position comes in shapes and sizes and it is also not inherently PDP. Politicians in other political parties, including the progressives, have also expressed reservation about the proposal to empower the zones politically and constitutionally. One aspect of the fear is that states would lose their autonomy in such an arrangement. For these reasons, I do not want to treat the position presented by the Northern States as exclusively northern. I see it as one of several positions advanced by intelligent people across the length and breadth of Nigeria. What interests me is to explore the logic of the position and its alternatives. The first proposal by the Northern states was “that the Conference should endeavour to strengthen and re-affirm the corporate existence of Nigeria as indivisible, indissoluble and plural national state under a Federal System, comprising three tiers of government Federal, 36 States and 774 Local Governments.” Initially, this recommendation looks innocuous. All things being equal, no one seriously contemplates the break-up of Nigeria. Of course, confronted with a severe deficit of good governance, we may curse the day Lord Lugard performed the wedding ceremony; but when we contemplate the consequences of a bitter divorce, we are reminded of the need to cool temper and work it out. Yet as harmless as it appears, this recommendation elides a fundamental assumption. Wishes are not horses, and for Nigeria to remain indivisible and indissoluble would require more than a recommendation, the body of which appears to take away the means to achieve the end it favours. Surely if the conference were to succeed in “strengthening and reaffirming” the corporate existence of Nigeria, it would be because other groups and entities are willing partners in the deal. It cannot be an


A question of structure (2)

•Dr. Jonathan

imposition. Expressing such a proposal through a constitutional fiat which doesn’t carry the totality of the Nigerian peoples along is also an exercise in futility. The experience of the past twelve years bears out the validity of this claim. This first proposal even goes beyond the wish for the country to remain indivisible and indissoluble. It specifies the structure of the entity it wants preserved, namely a plural national state, with the structure of a federal system, with three tiers of government, Federal, 36 states and 774 local governments. I do not believe that the position of the Northern states was that there can be no change whatsoever in what the 1999 Constitution enshrined. But I may be wrong. What is more curious, however, is the unwillingness to fault a constitutionalmaking exercise that ended up with the minutest details including the number of states and local governments. That is, even if we concede that reasonable people can


When would that be?....ETERNITY?

NO. 1,779




‘Will Mr. President step up to the challenge or will he continue with the show of helplessness that has seen his government roaring with righteous rage each time bombs decimate the lives of innocent souls? He surely needs loads of good luck!’

disagree over the question whether local government ought to be part of the provisions of a federal constitution. In their second proposal, the Northern states “reject in its entirety any attempt to convert the (geo-political) zones into regions” and insist that “any reference to them as such should be expunged in any official documents…” Now, while a good number of folks from other parts of the nation may find themselves in agreement with the rejection of the “reregionalisation” of the nation, I think it is safe to suggest that the position regarding rotation of the presidency between the North and the South is uniquely Northern. The reason is not far-fetched. While the rest of the geo-political zones see themselves as different one from the other; for the North, there is only one North. Therefore they cannot contemplate the idea of a presidency that rotates between the zones. What is the argument against the regionalisation or zonalisation of the polity? None has been suggested other than the simplistic one that the constitution makes no provision for zones or regions and therefore it is unconstitutional to make any official reference to them. The obvious problem with this argument is that it discountenances the point of the National Political Reform Conference, which, as the Northern document also rightly noted, was to “discuss issues of national interest and importance, and through a consensus make appropriate recommendations for a possible review of amendment of the constitution…” Drawing a thick line in the sand about what is or is not acceptable defeats the purpose of such a national discourse. There are, however, good arguments for regionalisation, the first of which is the obvious fact that the states aren’t working. As presently constituted, we do not have a genuine federalism because the states are not equal partners, and are only little more than appendages of the federal government. This is a structural imbalance that demands urgent



RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan is proving to be a deft hand at the game of politics. After hawking his Government of National Unity (GNU) concept around to rather tepid response, he has now wrapped it in fancy new clothing and slapped a designer label on it: “Collective Government.” This may just be journalistic cynicism but it is hard to tell the difference. If there is one the president no doubt explained it to the opposition heavyweights he gathered together in Aso Rock on Tuesday. It is not that the GNU is such a bad thing. Many countries resort to it in times of crisis as a way of rallying their people. And, by whatever yardstick, Nigeria is certainly a country in crisis. Our economy is on lifesupport; ethnic, regional and religious tensions are stretching national unity to breaking point; and terrorists are laying siege unchallenged to one part of the country. The trouble with the GNU or “Collective Government” as Jonathan seems to prefer is that if not handled wisely it could castrate the opposition, and usher in an informal oneparty system through the back door. Former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, captured this worry when told the media that the meeting with Jonathan should not in any

The opposition dilemma way be interpreted as “the end of opposition”. “Collective Government” also brings with it collective responsibility and blame when things go awry. Usually the opposition parties which are assigned bit roles in such arrangements often end up taking disproportionate stick for problems – as Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrats are finding out in Britain. So what should a patriotic opposition do in face of Nigeria’s present woes? Do they join hands with the reviled ruling party to pull the country from the brink, or leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to swim, or sink and drag the rest of us down with it? Among the opposition parties enthusiasm for submitting to a potentially fatal embrace with the PDP varies. The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and Labour Party adopted Jonathan as their presidential candidate and would readily participate.


attention. Ninety per cent of the states cannot call the bluff of the federal government in the matter of resources as Chief Awolowo did in 1958 simply because these states have no internally generated revenue to match the demands of their citizens and discharge their constitutional responsibilities. What this portends is the imminence of the collapse of the federal system and the emergence of a thoroughgoing unitary system. Second, there is nothing in regionalism or zonalism that is antithetical to the Nigerian value or its primordial system. Federalists reference the importance of the “federal quality”, which inheres in a particular nation disposing it favorably to the adoption of a federal system. Chief Awolowo referred to this as the linguistic or ethnic principle. The regional or zonal structure pretty much captures this quality in us and it cannot be wished away. The North itself is the most vivid example of the veneration of this quality. The reason that the North prefers a North-South rotational presidency is that it affirms the North as one. Even when the constitution provides for states as governing structures, the Northern states act in concert. A regional structure will only formally enhance the success of what is hitherto an informal arrangement between state birds of a feather. Third, one way a formal regional arrangement will promote success is in the matter of resources generation and integrated development. The present structure does not support regional coordination of development in many areas, including transportation, internal security, health delivery, and education. For instance, if there are viable constituent units such as regions or zones, the federal government has no business in education, including higher education. As regional university, Ife was doing extremely well before it was taken over by the Federal Government. Now there are a number of state universities that are no more than glorified secondary schools, and are not ashamed of producing unemployable graduates. What we must insist on, then, is that our federal structure respects the inherent federal quality within its constituent parts; that each of the federating units is viable resource-wise; and that the principle of selfdetermination governs the association of communities and groups within each of the regions. This still leaves pending the issues of rotational presidency and resource control which we have to deal with next. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above Only the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) had before now voiced concern about the GNU. But even it would be caught on the horns of a dilemma as to what to do in the face of the president’s unrelenting pursuit. Should it take the risk for the sake of patriotism, and face the danger of compromising its ability to offer a clear alternative? Should it spurn Jonathan’s advances and wait for a future chance to run things according to its own principles? Surely, there are no easy choices here. But were the opposition to decide on plunging into the unknown, it could very well learn from the experience of the British Liberal Democrats. At the last local elections they paid dearly for their involvement in the coalition government with the Tories. Having analysed their performance and the reasons behind it, they concluded that they could still make a contribution in governing the country, but would henceforth be more aggressive in outlining their policy differences with the Conservatives. This is a model that requires a careful balancing act, but it is a model that could prevent the opposition from “collectively” winding up in the belly of the beast.

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




Emenalo denies report on Chelsea, fumes over Facebook C

HELSEA assistant coach Michael Emenalo yesterday expressed outrage that he was quoted in the media as advising Samson Siasia and commenting on Chelsea players like Fernando Torres, Michael Essien John Obi Mikel and others. The story was picked from which apparently sourced it from an impersonator on Facebook. Several local and international newspapers including FIFA website lifted the story from “I never spoke to anybody. I don't grant interviews and I have never spoken to anybody, not even the English media,” Emenalo said from London. He sounded bitter, embarrassed and outraged.

“Its unbelievable. Do you know that I'm not on Facebook? Somebody is impersonating me on Facebook and that person has once defrauded players making them believe I could get them into Chelsea for a certain amount of money. “I'm scandalized. This is unbelievable. Why are people doing this? Isn't this madness?” Emenalo made name playing for Rangers of Enugu from where he earned call to the national team as a teenager. He became one of Nigeria's best defenders and moved to USA to study on scholarship. Nobody has quit active play for four years, returned and played in the World Cup. Emenalo did when after graduation

NFF dedicates Eagles’ triumph to President Jonathan


HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has dedicated the memorable 4-1 win of the Super Eagles against Argentina in an international friendly match in Abuja on Wednesday to His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR. With aplomb, the two-time African champions walloped the South American giants in a game attended by Vice President Muhammad Namadi Sambo. “We dedicate the victory to the President and Commander-in-Chief, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR for his tremendous and consistent support for Nigerian football in all ramifications”, declared NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari on his return to the country on Thursday evening. Maigari and NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu had gone to Zurich, Switzerland to attend the 61st FIFA Congress which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, and at which incumbent Joseph Sepp Blatter, openly supported by Nigeria for his development programmes and pledged reforms, was re-elected by a landslide. Maigari said further: “Mr. President has been the number one supporter of the


Chelsea manager, he signed on Emenalo as a scout. His ability to read games is tremendous. Emenalo was appointed Chelsea assistant coach last year after Carlo Ancelotti's number two Ray Wilkings was sacked.

THE National Women’s team, Super Falcons will on Friday evening take on their counterparts from the Czech Republic in a potentially explosive international friendly match in Saalfelden. Coach Eucharia Uche-led Falcons are camping in the Austrian border town ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup starting in Germany on June 26. On Sunday, the six-time African champions romped to a 7-0 victory over Wacker Innsbruck, a first division team in Austria. Midfielder Francisca Ordega and striker Esther Sunday hit a brace each, with Desire Oparanozie, Blessing Edoho and Amenze Aighewi also on the scoresheet. The Falcons are to play at least two more friendly games before leaving Saalfelden on June 22 for the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals.


ERY much wary of what happened to 2000 Olympics champions Cameroon, the National U-23 team, Dream Team, will not under-rate their Tanzanian counterparts when both teams clash in Dares Salaam on Sunday in the first leg of an African qualifying fixture for next year’s Olympics in London. Head Coach Austin Eguavoen said on Thursday that his boys

• Emenalo


From Tunde LIadi, Owerri reason for this is not far-fetched. We went for the inauguration match in honour of President Goodluck Jonathan and on our return; we went straight to the Government House, Umuahia to show our solidarity for the Governor of the State, Dr. T.A Orji. All these trips did not afford us the opportunity to train properly for the match and it showed in the game but we are happy that we got the win and the three points at stake which was what really mattered.” Allaputa disclosed.

will approach the match with the right mentality and spirit, in order not to fall to any sucker punch. The delegation will travel aboard Ethiopia Airline from Lagos on Friday afternoon and have a stop-over in Addis Ababa in the evenine before connecting to Dar es Salaam. The match will be played under floodlight at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam from 7pm (5pm Nigeria time).

Nsofor donates trophy to NPU UPER Eagles striker Obinna Nsofor has donated a giant trophy to the Nigeria Players Union (NPU) for U15 players. Presenting the trophy to the Union in Abuja, the West Ham forward said his intention is return back to the society what the society gave to him.


Adedoja congratulates Eagles HE immediate past Minister of Sports and Chairman, National Sports Commission (NSC), Professor Taoheed Adedoja, has congratulated the players and technical crew of the men’s senior football team, the Super Eagles, as well as Messrs Guinness Nigeria Plc on the superlative performance of the team in the June 1, 2011 friendly match in which they beat the

• Nkwocha

Dream Team off to Tanzania

Super Eagles and indeed, all the National Teams. We appreciate him for his keen interest in the teams and his genuine commitment to the development of Nigerian football. “President Jonathan’s goodluck continues to shine through in our National Teams. This fabulous victory over Argentina, the first by our country against that South American giant at senior level, came only few days after President Jonathan’s inauguration”. Meanwhile, the Super Eagles continued their programme ahead of the Cup of Nations Cup qualifier in Ethiopia by returning to training at the mainbowl of the National Stadium, Abuja on Thursday evening.

Enyimba blames fatigue for unimpressive win HOUGH Enyimba stuttered to a 1-0 win over Bukola Babes, the Peoples Elephant have attributed their not too impressive home victory to fatigue. In a telephone interview, the Media Officer of Enyimba, Farriel Allaputatold NationSport that the recent trip to Abuja for the inauguration match and the club’s lack of adequate preparation for the NPL Week 24 tie culminated in the low scoreline. “ We won the match 1-0 but it was a not too convincing one. The

he played for Nigeria during the USA'94 World Cup. He was brilliant and moved to England after the World Cup. He later played in Israel under Avram Grant at Maccabi Tel Aviv. When Grant was appointed

Falcons to clash with Czech Republic

Argentina national team 4 1. He gave kudos to Guinness Nigeria Plc, the sponsors of the match, for the confidence it reposed in the national football team and the Nigerian football community as it committed huge resources towards pulling off such a highprofile friendly. An elated Professor Adedoja pointed out that “the conception and execution of that Grade ‘A’ friendly match is another clear demonstration of the concept of public-privatepartnership in the development of sports in Nigeria.” He expressed the hope that “other members of the organized private sector and corporate organizations will continue to collaborate with government in the effort to develop sporting activities for the benefit of the teeming youth population of Nigeria.” He urged the team not to “lose concentration or fall into the dangerous delusion of invincibility as they move

against Ethiopia in the 2nd leg of their Group B African Nations Cup qualifier this weekend”, adding that “a comprehensive second-leg away victory will aptly complement the high spirits and fresh air currently in our new-look country, Nigeria, and add to our new-found positive image in the comity of nations”.

• Nsofor

From Andrew Abah, Abuja He said that players that excel in the championship would be assisted to travel abroad for their professional career. He said that he is a product of youth championship, and would always contribute to enable the upcoming player to attain their full potentials. The power player was installed as the Ambassador of the players Union. He made a personal donation of N2million to the Union to enable them acquire an office in Abuja. According to the Union, the competition would be played in eight cities of Lagos, Warri, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Jos, Kaduna, Ibadan and Onitsha. Winners are expected to chart home a cash prize of N150,000 with the trophy, while the runners up will win a cash prize of N100,000, the third place team will smile home with N50,000.

National teams’ selectors urged to invite passionate appeal has country and he will prove to gone to the Nigeria team John Okafor be a shrewd introduction to any selectors, especially the


U-23 to give Brown University of America graduate and CD Chivas of the United States midfielder, John Okafor a look in before he becomes lost to the United States national team forever. Okafor whose mother hails from the United States but his father an indigene of Oru East in Imo State has played for the United States at the Under 20 level and may opt to play for that country’s senior national team if Nigeria fails to invite him. In a close chat with the friend of the Okafor family it was

• Says the former US U20 international is an asset

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri gathered that John could still be keen on playing for Nigeria if the Under- 23 handlers extend invitation to the midfielder who has the knack for scoring goals from his midfield position. “Nigeria stands to gain a lot from John if only the country’s team selectors be it the U-23 and even the Super Eagles deemed it fit to give him a call up towards assessing his form and the area he might feat in. He is a quality material for the

of the two national teams I listed.” In four years at Brown University, Okafor played in 64 matches, scoring 14 goals and adding 12 assists. The 6’1” midfielder and native of Verona, N.J., led Brown to three NCAA tournament appearances in four years, and in his senior season ranked second on the team in scoring as he helped the team to a 12-44 overall record. Okafor teamed up with CD Chivas in the Major Soccer League (MLS) in January after his university education.

The Nation June 3 2011  

The Nation June 3 2011

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