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2 NEWS NULGE takes agitation for local government autonomy to NASS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

•House says autonomy not negotiable

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HE Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) yesterday took its agitation for local government autonomy to the National Assembly Complex in Abuja. The workers commenced the rally from Berger Junction at 7 am with the revolutionary music of the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti and other freedom fighters. At about 10 am, the National President of the union, Comrade Ibrahim Kalyeen, explained to the surging crowd of placard-carrying workers that they were to take the rally to the National Assembly and pleaded with members of both chambers to grant the local government areas autonomy through the ongoing constitution review. According to him, communities and local government areas are underdeveloped because the state governors siphone allocations meant for their development. He added that that it had become expedient for the local government to have their accounts separated from those of the states. There was, however, drama as the procession arrived at the National Assembly. The armed policemen and personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, who lined across the road from the Federal Secretariat’s entrance thought they had barricaded it. But as the daring workers penetrated the first and second barriers, the police ran ahead to stop them at the last gate. The security operatives locked the main entrance into the complex, preventing the rioting workers from entering into the chambers of the National Assembly before Senate President David Mark, who was represented by Senator Kabiru Gaya, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, represented by Hon. Leo Ogor, came out to listen to the workers. The NULGE President asked the National Assembly to give the local government areas their autonomy. He added that they wanted local government area officials, like elected members of other tiers of government, to have a tenure of four renewable years. He said: “We are here today to say we want your members to continue from where they stopped in the review of the 1999 Constitution. We want a repeal of the law for direct budgetary allocation to the local government.“ Responding, Tambuwal said that the House of Representatives identified with the workers’ position on local government autonomy. His words: “Let me state that

John OFIKHENUA, Abuja we identify with your cause. We have insisted that local government autonomy is not negotiable. We have already negotiated and majority of us believe in the autonomy of the local government area.“ He, however, stated that members of the 36 states houses of assembly must also consent to the position before the autonomy can be attained. Similarly, the Senate President said the National Assembly had already insisted that the local government areas must gain autonomy. He said that the federal lawmakers had decided to fight for the separation of the councils accounts from those of state governments.

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•Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi (left) and the Ekiti State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Sotonye Wakama, decorating the Commander, Governor's Convoy, Mr. Femi Ojewuyi, with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in Ado-Ekiti... yesterday.

Court clears Jonathan for 2015

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday won a key legal battle ahead of the 2015 presidential race. A Federal Capital Territory High Court ruled that he is free to seek re-election if he so desires. Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi dismissed the prayer of the plaintiff, Cyriacus Njoku, a PDP member, that the president's tenure should count from May 6, 2010 when he was first sworn in on the strength of the doctrine of necessity activated by the National Assembly. The court declared that President Jonathan's tenure commenced on May 29, 2011 when he was sworn in after winning the presidential election and not earlier. Njoku had approached the court following a statement credited to the President that he is serving his first term in office. The President, he claimed, could not be a candidate in 2015 because he was running a second term in office. Joined as Respondents in the suit are Jonathan, the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The Plaintiff also sought a perpetual order of injunction to stop PDP from nominating Jonathan for the election, and INEC from accepting his name as a presidential candidate. However, Justice Oniyangi in his ruling, said the President's assumption of office on May 6, 2010 to complete the tenure of the late President Umaru Yar'Adua should not be misconstrued as his first term in office. He dismissed the suit as speculative and said the Plaintiff failed to establish that Jonathan has declared interest in the 2015 presidential election. He said: "After the death of Umar Yar'Adua, there was no

PDP hails judiciary over judgment

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HE leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the ruling by the FCT High Court that President Goodluck Jonathan is constitutionally free to contest the 2015 Presidential election as yet another victory for the nation’s democracy. In a statement shortly after the ruling yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, said the judgment has laid to rest debates on whether or not the President is constitutionally eligible to contest the 2015 election, adding that it now depends on the party and Nigerians to decide when the time comes. Stating that the court ruling has “freed the nation from the shackles of intimidation and harassment by some desperate elements seeking to impose themselves on Nigerians,” the party said the judiciary has also restated the freedom and right of every Nigerian to seek any office under the constitution. The statement reads: “The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) applauds the ruling by the FCT High Court that President Goodluck Jonathan, as a Nigerian, has the constitutionally guaranteed right to seek re-election in 2015. “This landmark ruling is yet another victory for the nation’s democracy. It has laid to rest the Kamarudeen OGUNDELE, Abuja

election or bye election. President Jonathan was merely asked to assume the office of the President in line with Doctrine of Necessity. He was not elected as the President but was made to assume office by virtue of Yar'Adua's death. "Having exhausted the late President's tenure, he sought for his party's ticket and ran for the office of the President successfully in 2011 general election. He is therefore currently serving his first tenure of office, and if he so wishes, he is eligible to further seek his party's ticket through the party's primary election and

Gbade OGUNWALE, Assistant Editor, Abuja unnecessary debate on whether or not the President is constitutionally eligible to seek re-election in 2015. “The court held that President Jonathan is in his first term, which commenced on the 29th of May, 2011 and thus is free to seek a second term in office in the 2015 general election under the platform of the PDP or any other political party. “The import of this judgment is that it is now left for the PDP as a party and Nigerians to decide, through legitimate processes, whether or not to return President Jonathan to the Presidency in 2015 if he indicates interest. “With the ruling, it is now left for the President, the PDP and the people to decide and not for some people to try to stop others from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights through intimidation and harassment.” The party appealed to Nigerians to continue to be law abiding and resist all attempts by “desperate politicians” to truncate the system through the distortion of the facts of the law. Metuh assured that the party will continue to focus on the welfare of Nigerians in line with the transformation agenda of the administration.

to run for office in 2015." Justice Oniyangi cautioned that this judgment does not in any way impose Jonathan as PDP's automatic candidate. The court also said the suit was premature since Jonathan has not obtained any form from his party for the 2015 election, neither has the PDP commenced its primaries for the purpose of selecting its flag bearer for the election. Njoku, he said, ought to have waited for the party to commence the primaries and could only complain if the process breached the 1999 Constitution and party guidelines since selection of candidates is the exclusive preserve of political parties. The court declined to restrain

the PDP and INEC from submitting and accepting Jonathan's name as a candidate for the 2015 Presidential election. The suit did not disclose any reasonable cause of action, he pointed out, and held that the plaintiff lacked the locus standi to file the action. The Judge said the combined effects of Section 315 (2) and Section 137 (1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution which deal with qualification and tenure of office of the President cannot be used to disqualify Jonathan from 2015 Presidential election in the absence of established facts that he has been elected twice in the previous elections. He said: "if Jonathan so wishes,

he can seek for sponsorship of the PDP or any other political party of his choice to actualise his presidential ambition in 2015. "Let me put on record in order to guide against any mischief, that the court is not saying that the 1st Defendant (Jonathan) is an automatic candidate of the PDP or any political party of his choice for the 2015 presidential election. "From the foregoing, I hold that the Plaintiff lacks the locus standi to file the suit. And where a Plaintiff has no locus standi to institute a legal action, the court shall have no jurisdiction. And in the circumstance, I hold that this court has no jurisdiction and the case is hereby struck out." It awarded a cost of N20, 000 each, in favour of President Jonathan and PDP, to be paid by the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff filed the suit following a statement credited to the President that he is serving his first term in office. According to Njoku, Jonathan could not be a candidate in 2015 because he is running a second term in office. Citing Section 137 (1) (b) of the Constitution, the Plaintiff maintained that the President could not swear to an oath of office thrice. In his preliminary objection to the suit, Jonathan, through his lawyer, Mr. Ade Okeanya- Inneh, SAN, had insisted that he is currently in his first term of four years and can therefore seek reelection. He said he had not even indicated or announced anywhere, whether in words or writing, that he would contest the Presidential election to be conducted in 2015 and therefore urged the court to dismiss the suit in the interest of justice.

ECOWAS heads of state vow to wipe out terrorism in the region

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COWAS heads of state have vowed to tackle the issue of terrorism headlong. They made the commitment during the 66th session of Heads of States and Governments of West African leaders on Mali and Guinea Bissua in Abijan, Cote d'Ivore According to a communique issued at the end of the meeting on Thursday, ECOWAS leaders endorsed the Counter-Terrorism Strategy and Implementation Plan as well as the Political

•Condemn suicide bombings, guerilla attacks by terrorists Vincent IKUOMOLA and Nike ADEBOWALE, Abuja Declaration on a Common Position against Terrorism. On the security and political situation in Mali, the ECOWAS authority strongly condemned the ongoing suicide bombings and guerilla attacks by terrorists and extremist groups in the north of Mali. It also urged the allied forces to take all necessary

steps within the framework of the counter-insurgency operation to neutralise them and ensure the prosecution of collaborators. Meanwhile, ECOWAS leaders at the meeting endorsed the revised Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for AFISMA and urges both the political leadership and commanders of the allied forces to ensure improved coordination among themselves for a harmonious and effective

operation. They also endorsed the recommendations of the Meeting of the Chiefs of Defence Staff regarding the urgent and other identified needs of AFISMA. In this regard, Authority directs the ECOWAS Commission, in close collaboration with the AU Commission, to ensure that these needs are met without further delay, in particular the deployment of troops and the provision of additional lo-

gistics. The Heads of State and Government welcomed the disposition of Burundi to deploying troops in Mali within the framework of AFISMA, and called on the AFISMA Force Commander to ensure follow-up with a view to integrating the Burundi troops into the ongoing operations. They also welcomed the constructive cooperation of Algeria, Mauritania and Mo-

rocco in the efforts to resolve the crisis in Mali. The sub-regional leaders also charged the allied forces to scrupulously uphold human rights and international humanitarian laws in their operations. To this end, they welcomed the ongoing initiatives by ECOWAS, the AU and other partners to quickly deploy human rights observers to the conflict zone and inculcate human rights values in service personnel through induction courses.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

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4 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

Varsity unions threaten showdown with FG

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HE three non-academic unions in Nigerian universities, Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), have warned the Federal Government to desist from the planned mass sack of non-academic staff of universities as recommended by the Prof. Mahmud Yakubu-led committee. The SSANU National VicePresident in South-West, Comrade Alfred Jimoh, gave the warning yesterday on behalf of the three unions at the congress organised by the union at the Paul Hendricks Hall, Uni-

Prophet docked for allegedly committing adultery with 'client'

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N Ejigbo Magistrate Court in Lagos on Friday granted bail to one Samson Egbeola in the sum of N250,000 for allegedly having series of unlawful sexual intercourse with one Franca Bajou, a business woman. Egbeola, 43, a self-acclaimed prophet, was facing a 3-count charge of being an impostor, unlawful sexual intercourse and charming. The accused, who resides at No. 16 Akewusola St., Egan pleaded not guilty to the threecount charge preferred against him. The police prosecutor, ASP Nicholas Atumonye, told the court that the accused committed the alleged offence at Egan in November, 2012. He said the accused, under false pretence, presented himself as a prophet to the 26 years old business woman. He said the accused shaved Bajou's pubic hair, cut her nails and used them to prepare a charm. According to Atumonye, the accused told the business woman to use the charm to prepare food for her husband. The prosecutor further alleged that the accused, having brainwashed Franca, had series of unlawful sexual intercourse with her under the pretence that such sexual escapades would solve all her problems. Atumonye said that on Feb. 16, Egbeola was allegedly found with three candles and pictures which he presented to Bajou as charms which had the potency of preventing her husband from having another wife. He alleged that the offence contravened sections 166 (d), 25892) and 130 (c) of the criminal Law of Lagos 2011. The magistrate, Mrs M.B. Folami adjourned the case till April 4 for mention.

Tayo JOHNSON, Ibadan versity College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan. Jimoh said the report of the Prof. Yakubu committee was full of lies, deceit and misrepresentation, adding that if the government implemented it, it should prepare for industrial violence in the universities. He said: “Some of the 189 recommendations of the committee were that there should be an immediate disengagement of non-teaching staff who are due for retrenchment and stopping universities from hiring non-teaching staff on casual, part time or contract basis.

“It also recommend converting all non-teaching staff in Nigerian universities to the staff of federal or state ministries of education to enable government restrict administrative spending.” The SSANU Vice-President wondered if the retrenchment of over 40 per cent of the nonteaching staff was the solution to the economic hardship in the country or the bad system of leadership and level of corruption. He said what they are agitating for is the full implementation of their 2009 agreement with the government, saying that if the government wants to use the purported retrench-

ment to weaken them, it will not work. He added: ”I learnt that they have even set up a technical committee to review our retrenchment and they expect the committee to deliver their report within two weeks. If they think that the only way they can sustainably implement our 2009 agreement is to sack our members and reduce us, it will not work. Government is not seeing the non-teaching staff of the universities as an important element when compared to our teaching colleagues. They should be prepared for an industrial violence if they do. He, however, gave the government a two-week ultima-

tum, which will lapse on March 15, to study their own report on the assessment or be ready for mass action. The SSANU boss urged all the members of the three unions not to relent in their bid to fight for their rights and support the struggle to claim them. In his own remark, the Chairman of SSANU in the University of Ibadan (UI), Comrade Wale Akinremi, lamented the lukewarm attitude of the government towards its workers, pointing out that they are under staffed and over worked in UI while the government is still planning to retrench some of them.

The Nation promo star winner claims car prize

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WINNER in the ‘Buy The Nation and Sporting Life and Win Brand New Cars’ promotion, Samuel Daramola, has claimed the star prize – a brand new salon car. Daramola, with serial number 2352, visited the corporate headquarters of Vintage Press Limited, publishers of The Nation and Sporting Life on Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos, yesterday to pick the car. Decked in a white shirt, black suit, a tie and matching pair of shoes, an elated Daramola received the key to the car from the company’s Executive Director, Finance and Administration (EDFA), Mr Ade Odunewu. The Zenith Bank Relationship Officer’s serial number was picked by former Super Eagles’ Captain and striker, Nwankwo Kanu, as the star winner for Sporting Life. Former president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Ejike Asiegbu, picked the number of Jos-based Ganiyu Adeleke as the star prize win-

•Mr Odunewu (right) presenting the key to Daramola… yesterday. PHOTO: ALIYU WILLIAMS

Tajudeen ADEBANJO ner for the The Nation. Other lucky winners of

consolation prizes like LCDs, home theatres, refrigerators, irons, radios and mi-

crowave ovens have been coming to redeem their prizes.

Gunmen raid varsity hostel, rape two

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BOUT six gunmen yesterday invaded Paul University, Awka, Anambra State, raping two female students at gun point. The invasion infuriated other students of the institution who barricaded the three gates leading into the university for several hours to protest what they termed insecurity on the campus. It took the intervention of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Gaius Igboeli, and the Anglican Bishop of Awka, the Rt. Rev. Alex Ibezimhe, to stop the protest. The VC had spent about 45 minutes persuading the students to let him into the cam-

•Angry students protest insecurity Odogwu EMEKA ODOGWU, Nnewi pus. He was followed by Bishop Ibezim who addressed the students. The situation almost got out of hand when the students dared the police and insisted that no one would be allowed entry into the campus. Sources said the gunmen stormed the university at about 1:45 am, seized a double barrel gun from one of te varsity's security men, Godwin Orji and then attacked him with a broken bottle.

"The gunmen did not steal anything. They stole one double barrel gun belonging to one of our security men who they injured with broken bottles. They just came and dragged the two girls into a nearby bush and raped them," one source said. "The rapists came with one AK 47, three Pump Action guns and other dangerous weapons but they didn't steal anything, only a double barrel gun." The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the university, Ikechukwu Abana, could not be reached for comment on the development.

Only last Wednesday, robbers broke into Bishop Ibezim's office and made away with over N6 million. Last year alone, the university campus was thrice invaded by robbers. Meanwhile, a motorcycle operator in Nnewi has been hit and killed by a bus driver who was evading arrest by officials of the Anambra State Traffic Agency Team (ASTA). The victim was rushed to the hospital where he died. The bus has been impounded by the police. The Police Public Relations Officer Emeka Chukwuemeka did not pick the calls made to his mobile phone at press time.

Imoke returns quietly

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FTER three months absence from the country, Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State returned home quietly last night. The governor arrived the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja at about 6.50 pm, sources said. He wore a light brown suit. He was met at the airport by only his look-alike younger brother. They both walked through the departure hall towards the diplomatic car park where a black Sports Utility Vehicle

Yomi ODUNUGA, Kelvin OSA-OKUNBOR and Nicholas KALU (SUV) was waiting to take them away. Officials of the state government were largely unaware of his return. Most of them expressed shock when asked to confirm that the governor was back. It was gathered that the governor later left for Abuja. News of his return sparked joy among the state’s political elite, particularly political appointees.

He is expected in Calabar in the next few days. Soon after the governor commenced what he called a vacation, rumour of his death swept through the state and the rest of the country, prompting him to take to Facebook to deny the rumour. In one post, he said: ”Gratitude for the concern, kind words and messages. I am well, very well and in good health and spirit. “One can’t continuously cheat nature, especially at the punishing pace we do. It’s probably been eight to ten

years or more without a break or a decent vacation. “I truly needed to take this time off. Thankfully, we are unified in our approach to governance. So, there’s continuity, which is important. Best regards.’’ When our correspondent visited the governor's private residence in Abuja, there were signposts that he had indeed arrived Abuja. There was heavy security presence in and around the house. We were, however, not allowed inside.

•Imoke

Police arrest Anambra’s most wanted robbery suspect •Recover arms, ammunition Odogwu EMEKA Odogwu, Nnewi

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HE Anambra State Police Command yesterday arrested one of the most wanted robbery suspects in the state, Obinna Offor. Offor is regarded as the third in command to an alleged robbery kigpin, Ofeakwu, arrested by the police a few months ago. In an operation led by the second in command of Special AntiRobbery Squad (SARS) identified as Joe, Offor took them to Azia/ Osumogho in Ihiala Local Government Area, where they recovered arms and ammunition, including two AK 47 rifles, one rocket launcher, one machine gun and thousands of AK 47 ammunition. The Officer in Charge of SARS, James Nwafor and his team said they arrested three more suspects at the Azia hideout, rescuing an old man held captive by the hoodlums for two weeks. The witch doctor used by the robbers was equally picked up by the police. In a swift reaction, the Ndigbo Peace Movement (NPM), commended the feat of the Nigerian Police in ridding Anambra State of criminals and thanked the the police in the state, led by Bala Nassarawa, as well as SARS leadership. But he appealed to them to strive to act within the armbit of the law at all times. Speaking to The Nation , the NPM leader, Mr. Uzor A, appealed to the general public to bring genuine and useful information that would help the police in unravelling the mystery of kidnapping and armed robbery that has been plaguing the zone. He described the Anambra State Police Command as dedicated to reducing the number of criminals terrorising the state.

Jonathan charges African leaders on peace, stable politics Augustine EHIKIOYA, Abuja

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PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday pledged to continue to work with President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d'Ivoire and other leaders in the sub-region with a view to achieving greater peace, security, political stability and economic prosperity in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Jonathan, who spoke at the City Hall in Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire after he was presented with the keys to the city by the Mayor, Konan Ouanigbe Jean. African leaders, Jonathan said, must continue to do their best to foster greater political stability and accelerate economic growth in their countries and across the continent. He stressed that no significant progress can be achieved without stable governance structures and stronger national economies, pointing out that there is an intrinsic link and a symbiotic relationship between political stability and economic development. President Jonathan who is on a state visit to that country was quoted by his Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, as saying : "Without political stability our economies cannot grow and stronger economies will help us achieve greater political stability.


NEWS 5

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

Mark, others mourn The Guardian editor

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HE leadership of the Senate yesterday expressed shock over the death of the late Assistant Political Editor of The Guardian newspaper, Mr John Abba Ogbodo, in a car crash. Senate President, David Mark; Senate Leader, Victor NdomaEgba and the Chairman Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Enyinnaya Abaribe, in separate statements described Ogbodo as a "man of very high moral standing, who was well guided by the ethics of the pen profession." Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement in Abuja said Mark "literarily broke down and struggled to fight back tears as the news of the death of The Guardian Assistant Political Editor John Abba-Ogbodo filtered into town." He added that Mark in an "unusual subdued voice" lamented the untimely demise of Ogbodo who he described as an accomplished journalist and a worthy son of Benue State. The President of the Senate noted that late Ogbodo was a vibrant, versatile and resourceful journalist who was professionally minded at all times. Mark said: "I feel so devastated. Ogbodo was like my son. Our relationship became stronger and cemented when I met him in the National Assembly as a journalist. Of course, being my relation and a member of my constituents, it was like home away from home for both of us. "Death is an inevitable end. We don't plan for it. It must come when it shall. But frankly speaking, this is one death so cruel. "I sincerely sympathise with the immediate family, the Guardian house and the entire Nigerian media for this painful loss." Senator Mark noted that Ogbodo added value to the practice of journalism in Nigeria, say-

Onyedi OJIABOR, Assistant Editor and Sanni ONOGU, Abuja ing he was a man of very high moral standing, who was well guided by the ethics of the pen profession. Abaribe said: "The Senate has been informed of the unfortunate and untimely death of Mr John Abba Ogbodo, (a member of the Senate Press Corps) in a vehicle accident along Anyigba Ajaokuta Road. "Mr John Ogbodo was among others enroute to an official assignment outside Abuja. "The Senate is deeply saddened by the death of Mr John Abba, a highly respected and trusted journalist of many years standing. "The Senate joins with many others who knew him in offering our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to the family, the Senate press corps, Guardian Newspapers and the Nigeria Union of Journalists." Ndoma-Egba said: "It is with the utmost shock and sadness that I received the news of the death of Mr. John Abba Ogbodo of The Guardian Newspapers on Thursday, February 28, at Ayingba, Kogi State. "I recall the several occasions when our paths met and the regular banter between us was who was most ranking of the duo? "The late John would always remind me that he was a ranking member, having been in the parliament since 1999 and for good measure, would remind me that he had traversed the two chambers in the National Assembly. "Physiologically, John may not have been a titan of a man. But he made up for it with his intellect, humor and sense of camaraderie which stood him out among his colleagues. "His untimely exit is such a great loss to parliamentary reporting in Nigeria. I pray that God grant his medium and nuclear family the fortitude to bear this unfortunate loss."

How to tackle insecurity in Nigeria –Shekarau

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FORMER presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, has called for concerted efforts from Nigerians in order to address the prevailing insecurity in the country. He said the task of ensuring security of lives and property should not be left for government and security agencies alone. His words: “This problem of insecurity is an issue that is affecting the whole nation. Nigeria is being threatened security wise; it is the responsibility of every citizen. It is no longer the issue of government or security agencies. It is the responsibility of every citizen to be law abiding and vigilant.” Shekarau spoke at the induction and investiture ceremony of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), held at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, on Thursday. The event was organised to formally usher in the new national president of the body, Major. Gen. Umaru Usman (rtd) and his deputy, Mr. Frank Nneji, who were elected in May last year. Besides Usman and Nneji, several others, including the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr. Adeseyi Sijuwade, an engineer, were also inducted into the body. The Northern States Governors Forum had earlier decried the “senseless killing” of innocent citi-

Hamed SHOBIYE, Assistant Editor, Online zens in the region. This came against the backdrop of several gun attacks in the region last weekend. At least five people were killed in a fire incident caused by bomb blast at Gamboru Market in Borno State on Thursday, while another 10 lost their lives at Kogom Village in Plateau State on the same day. Also on Friday, unknown gunmen killed five young men playing card game in Gombe town, a development that prompted the governors to issue a statement, urging perpetrators of violence to sheathe their swords. Shekarau, however, urged the federal government to rise to its constitutional responsibility of ensuring the safety of citizens. “80 per cent of security depends on information. The citizens should be up and doing. Nobody should sit back home and wait to be protected. We must sit up and be part and parcel of the arrangement and, of course, we challenge the government also to sit up. “The government has a constitutional responsibility of ensuring that its citizens are well protected either from local and external attacks. Any government that is not doing this is deemed to have failed,“ the ANPP stalwart said.

•The Minister of Finance and Co-ordinator of National Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, displaying her medal after she was named the Silverbird Man Of The Year in Lagos on Thursday. With her are (from left) Governor Rabiu Kwankwanso of Kano State; Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan Of Delta State; Governor Peter Obi Of Anambra State; Governor Isa Yuguda Of Bauchi State and the Minister Of Labour, Chief Emeka Nworgu.

Insecurity: State police a must, says Deputy Senate President

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EPUTY Senate President, Dr Ike Ekwerenmadu, has made a case for reforms in the country's security system to ensure effective policing of its populace. Ekwerenmadu who delivered a lecture titled Policing and National Security in Nigeria: the Choice Before Us, at the 2013 annual lecture of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka said it would be wrong for Nigeria to move into another century as it prepares its centenary celebration

Nwanosike ONU, Awka and Odogwu EMEKA Odogwu , NNEWI without looking for a way to reshape her security. The deputy senate president said: "Since state police is not only justified but an imperative now than ever, I suggest that the system, if introduced, would serve a purpose and allay the fears expressed by some Nigerians." He said that the country

cannot afford to carry over the security challenges of this era to another 100 years. Outlining the challenges of the Nigeria Police Force, Ekwerenmadu named inadequate manpower, lack of equipment and security infrastructure, poor remuneration and corruption in the centralised police system as some of the problems plaguing the police. He argued that most Nigerians were merely afraid of the name, state police, but said he is more at home with

the name, decentralised police. "US has over 850 kinds of police, and what we do not know is that vigilance groups, Hisbah in Kano, Bakassi Boys in the East are all forms of decentralised police, and the state funds them. So, we should not fear about funding." He concluded that there is no crime-free country in the world, but that all Nigeria needs is to detect and punish offenders for investors to flood the country.

Ogbeh commends APC governors’ visit to Borno

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HIEFTAIN of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Audu Ogbeh, has commended the governors of the proposed All Progressives Congress (APC) for their courage and show of solidarity with the people of Borno State. Nine governors and one deputy (Zamfara’s Abubakar Aliyu) on Thursday walked freely in the Monday Market ravaged by the activities of the Boko Haram sect. The governors waved at crowds of traders who hailed them. Ogbeh described the governors’ action as very heroic, saying he was very proud of them just as the elders of the party are, too. He said it was a positive statement on their preparedness to always identify with the people in any given situation. He said: “I commend this very heroic act and I am very proud of them, and so are the elders of the party. They have shown their intrinsic faith in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It also shows that they are the new generation that does not believe that once one part of the country is in trouble, we should give it up. “ There are many people in Abuja who have refused to visit those states. So, we congratulate and commend them for their courage and show of patriotism. They make us very proud indeed,” he said. Ogbeh took a swipe at critics who have been describing the APC as peopled by strange bed fellows, saying they were ig-

•Seadogs urge PDP to encourage new party Augustine AVWODE and Nicholas KALU, Calabar norant of the type of party that is being built. “Let me also say that this heroic act of our governors shows the kind of party we are building. For those who say we are strange bed fellows, we will like them to know that they are ignorant of our objectives. “We are out to put Nigeria exactly where it should be in the comity of nations,” Ogbeh said. Borno State has been the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency which has claimed many lives. Meanwhile, the National Association of Seadogs (NAS) has called on the PDP and well-

meaning Nigerians to encourage the newly formed All Progressive Congress (APC) to succeed in order to promote healthy democracy. The association, in a statement issued by its National President, Mr. Ide OwodiongIdemeko, in Calabar posited that the success of the merger would engender healthy competition in the political space as well as enhance democratic practices. The statement reads: “As a forward thinking organisation with strong belief in the principles of democracy and freedom, we would like to see a situation where the governing party, the People’s Democratic Party, and all other well-meaning Nigerians will

accord the newly formed alliance the necessary encouragement and needed support to succeed. “Nigerians should be encouraged to exercise their right to belong to any political association of their choice and should be allowed to form alliances to realise their legitimate political aspirations. “Undoubtedly, the success of this merger will engender healthy competition within the political arena and enhance democratic practices across board. “It is our belief that the ultimate benefit of improved democratic processes and practices would be the fostering of a modern democracy in our country, Nigeria.”

Group commends Reps for public hearing on Oyerinde

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HE Coalition to Save Nigeria (CSN) yesterday commended the House of Representatives for holding a public hearing on the gruesome murder of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, the former principal private secretary to the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. The National Chairman of the coalition Dr. Philip Ugbodaga, said he was saddened that the public hearing, rather than help unravel the mystery surrounding the mindless murder of Oyerinde, has only succeeded in perpetuating the official cover-up with the police and the State Security Services maintaining the reliability of their conflicting reports of investigations into the murder. “We ask again: how can two different sets of suspects acting differently and using separate weapons be responsible for the murder of a

Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin single individual? “The excuse by the AGF for not making any progress in the arraigement of the actual killers as a result of the above is self-serving, deceitful, unacceptable and deliberately fashioned to permanently sweep the heinous crime under the carpet. “After the House’s public hearing, what next? We demand action. We demand justice. Justice for the family. Justice for his friends and comrades and justice for the society that he struggled all his life to better. On the first anniversary of the assassination of Oyerinde in May, we expect to be comforted by the news of the commencement of the trial of the actual killers, and we call on the security agencies to immediately put their act together in order to achieve this.


NEWS 6

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

2015: North launches fresh battle plan against Jonathan

Adesina emerges President Guild of Editors ‘

•Begins consultations, search for candidates •Anenih gets marching order to ‘fix’ North for President

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HE northern political class is squaring up against vested interests in the PDP in reaction to the recent onslaught by President Goodluck Jonathan on forces opposed to his alleged bid for a second term in office. Apparently spurred by the President, the party during the week formed the PDP Governors Forum to neutralise the influence of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) headed by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State. The Presidency followed that up by summoning Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State allegedly on account of his recent statement that the President signed a pact with northern governors to serve for only one term. Governor Aliyu called the ‘forced’ emergence of the PDP Governors Forum a manifestation of dictatorship. Northern leaders and governors are not taking the development lightly, sources said last night. They are understood to have begun consultations on how to stop the President’s bid for re-election and ensure that power returns to the North in the next election. First, they are insistent on Jonathan honouring the alleged one-term pact. But if he goes ahead to seek re-election, the northern leaders are disposed to actualising their plan of a northern president in 2015 on the platform of an alternative party. The search for the appro-

Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

priate parties or platforms for that purpose is already on, one source said. In the event that the North takes that line of action, the PDP is likely to be the biggest loser. It was gathered that northern governors and leaders are of the view that the President has perfected plans to hijack the party structure to secure a second term ticket. Sources cited the recent clampdown on some members of the National Working Committee and the muzzling of some PDP governors as part of the moves to make the second term ticket a “settled matter” for the President. A highly-placed source said: “The North is aware of Jonathan’s game plan and our leaders have started consultations on how to checkmate him. “As far as PDP is concerned, our leaders are aware that it is not a platform they can use to effect change democratically in 2015. They are considering alternatives, including the newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC). “They are also considering an amalgam of forces under any of the existing parties to vote out Jonathan.” Asked about the time frame for the consultations, the source added: “Within the next nine to 10 months, the direction the North will take will manifest. “So far, the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Governor Babangida

Aliyu, has given a hint of the battle ahead. “The fact is that Aliyu did not act alone; he had the backing of northern leaders before speaking on the oneterm pact.” One governor confided in our correspondent: “The North has its own agenda for 2015. Just wait and see. We will do a thorough homework and wrap it up in the dying minutes because of the power of incumbency.” It was also gathered that the new Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, was selected principally for the office to reconcile the party and help it fix how to win the 2015 poll. His mandate is to “fix the North” for Jonathan in 2015 because of his experience in leading the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP). Besides Benue, Plateau and Taraba already taken for granted for Jonathan, the remaining 16 northern states might be difficult to track. A party source said: “Anenih is coming in to clear the mess ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo left in PDP as the BOT chairman; fill in the gaps being created by the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and reconcile aggrieved party members. “The presidency chose Anenih as a vital strategist for 2015 poll. Jonathan and his foot soldiers believe that Anenih can tackle some of his old political allies who are in the opposition parties. “How far Anenih can appease the North is a major hurdle he needs to cross.”

How security reports almost scuttled 10 governors’ visit to Borno

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HE explosions that rocked Maiduguri, Borno State, on Thursday during a meeting of the governors of the newly formed All Progressive Party (APC) did not quite come to them as a surprise, The Nation can now reveal. Several bombs went off in Customs and Bolori-Baga Road while the meeting was on at Government House, Maiduguri. In attendance were Governors Kashim Shettima (Borno), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Tanko al-Makura (Nasarawa), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Kayode Feyemi (Ekiti), and Abubakar Aliyu, the Deputy Governor of Yobe State. Massive pressure, mainly from security agencies, had allegedly been piled on them to call off the meeting on the strength of security reports that terrorists planned to strike during their visit. State Directors of the State Security Service (SSS), according to one of the governors at the meeting, had warned them about plan by the Boko

Our CORRESPONDENT Haram splinter group, the Ansaru Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan, to strike during the meeting. The same warning was said to have been relayed to the governors from Abuja by the security agencies and the Presidency. “They (SSS and Presidency) told us they had a security report that the place (Maiduguri) was going to be unsafe for us,” the governor said. “They said Ansaru was going to strike; that there would be bomb explosions.” The governors ignored the warning and went ahead with the meeting. They even took time off their deliberation to visit the Monday Market, the biggest in the city, and the Government College, Maiduguri to interact with the people who have lived under fear of attacks by terrorists over the last three years. Another governor said they were closely monitored by security agents all through the meeting. They said their choice of Maiduguri as venue of the meeting was to prove a point that “there should not be a no

go area for any Nigerian leader.” President Goodluck Jonathan plans to visit the State next week, for the first time since the insurgency began in 2009. Hundreds of lives have been claimed by the crisis. While in Maiduguri, the governors donated N200 million to Borno and Yobe States as a mark of solidarity with the people of the two states. At least, three fresh bomb explosions occurred yesterday in Maiduguri. The explosions were reported in Gamboru ward, Customs area and Gwange. Several people were injured but no group has claimed responsibility for the explosions. Contacted for reaction, both the spokesperson for the State Security Service (SSS) Ms. Marilyn Ogar, and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe drew blank. Calls made to their mobile telephone lines by our correspondent Friday evening were left unanswered. Neither of them also responded to text messages sent to them on the matter.

Oseheye OKWUOFU and Tayo JOHNSON, Ibadan

•Adesina

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EPUTY Editor-inChief and Deputy Managing Director, The Sun newspaper, Mr. Femi Adesina, was yesterday elected as President, Nigerian Guild of Editors in a keenly contested poll. At the Premier Hotel, Ibadan venue of the Ibadan 2013 Convention of the guild, all the contestants congratulated their new President, who was held high by jubilant members after the results were announced. Adesina defeated his opponent, Tukur Abdulrahman, the Managing Director, New Nigeria, by polling 149 votes against the latter’s 57. Other positions contested for were those of the VicePresident, North; Standing Committee and the Deputy President. However, the positions of secretary, treasurer, assistant secretary, vice-president (West), vice president (East) and social/publicity secre-

tary were unopposed. Sulaiman Gaya, who scored 102 votes, defeated Alli M. Alli, who scored 62 votes, thereby emerging as VicePresident, North. Sebastian Abu, who polled 105 votes, and Ali Hakeem, who scored 108, emerged as Standing Committee members of the Guild. Aisha Sule, who scored 137 votes emerged Deputy President, having defeated Ken Njoku, who scored 57 votes with four voided votes. The Returning Officer, Mohammed Haruna, said, “The voting commenced and went smoothly. Generally speaking, it was free and fair. I am sure the loser will accept in good spirit while the winners will be magnanimous in victory. “However, we received a petition that the other candidate (Njoku) should be sworn in instead of Sule who won the position of Deputy President. As it is now, Aisha stands elected.” Adesina, in an interview with journalists shortly after the results were declared, said: “Victory is of the Lord and God’s only. I want to thank the Nigerian Editors for breaking away from premordial sentiment.

It was a pan Nigerian mandate. I hope this can be translated to Nigerian politics whereby people can freely elect their leaders irrespective of ethnicity and tribal bias

“It was a pan Nigerian mandate. I hope this can be translated to Nigerian politics whereby people can freely elect their leaders irrespective of ethnicity and tribal bias.” He said that the new executive would maintain the dignity of the Nigerian editors, adding, “We sill have a sense of responsibility and we will not do anything that is unethical. We will be strong on ethics. We want to build our secretariat in Abuja within the next two years. “I pray that at the end of the two years, we will be able to point at our secretariat.”


NEWS 7

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

Fashola condemns murder of hip-hop artiste Damoche

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•Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State (l), immunising a child during the commencement of polio campaign at Ayobo/Ipaja Local Council Development Authority in Lagos... yesterday.

Alaafin hails ACN-controlled states on purposeful governance LAAFIN of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, has lauded Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) controlled state governments in the south-west for their sincerity of purpose in tackling the myriads of problems inflicted on the people by previous administrations. The monarch, who described the state governments as focused, well-intentioned and committed, noted that their five cardinal principles, namely

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n Bode DUROJAIYE, Oyo n peace, justice and fairness, infrastructural development, welfarism, and zero tolerance for corruptible tendencies, are unprecedented in the history of governance in the zone. Alaafin made the remarks when executive members of the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Miners and Agriculture (NACCIMA), led by its National President, Dr. Ademola Ajayi, paid him a visit.

Wamakko urges committees to ensure quality project execution OVERNOR Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State has urged members of the reconstituted projects implementation committees to ensure execution of quality jobs by contractors handling various projects across the state. Wamakko made the call when he inaugurated capital projects monitoring committees in Sokoto. He said that the state government would ensure that projects were executed in accordance with specifications. “Government has full expectations that you will be honest, transparent and uncompromising in discharging your assignment,’’ he said. He said that the state government would give the committees all the necessary support and assistance required to enable them excel in their assignments. Each of the senatorial districts in the state has a committee that will supervise government projects before payments are made upon completion.

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On the entourage of the association was the Iyalode of Yoruba Land, Chief Mrs. Alaba Lawson. According to the paramount ruler, ‘We are all living witnesses to the deadly reigns of previous administrations, especially in Oyo State, where human lives were not sacrosanct due to motor parks hooliganism. “They regarded themselves as untouchables and flagrantly abused people’s rights with impunity. But the present administrations are not only God-fearing, but have listening ears. They listen to wisdom of elders, and attend to peoples yearnings without fear of favour. The past leaders are deceitful, wicked and selfcentred. They have nothing to show for their tenure,” the monarch said.

Alaafin also identified neglect of social development as a contributing factor to the development of institutional structures which foster and encourage mass unemployment, inequality, exploitation, poverty, deprivation and frustration in the country. While appreciating the tangible roles of NACCIMA in economic emancipation, Oba Adeyemi recalled the unique positions occupied by the Yoruba in the socio-economic development of the country. Earlier, NACCIMA National President, Dr. Ajayi, who acknowledged what he called ‘unequalled sense of undiluted history’ of the Alaafin, commended the initiatives of the ACN state governments on regional integration.

Group marks love feast non-governmental organization, Green & White Initiative AAccording Plus, recently held its love feast, tagged Love at its peak. to the founder of the organization, Ms. Osuagwu Chinwe, the aim of the feast is to re-orientate Nigerian youths through educative and enlightenment programs.  “We also offer practical basic assistance to the less-privileged through visitations to homes and one-on-one identification.” The event, which also featured a seminar, had in attendance, Mrs. Ethel Ezeabasili, who was the guest speaker. The seminar focused on better understanding of Valentine celebration by the youths, with lots of fun and side attractions.

Ajimobi, Osoba, Ekpu hail media’s contribution to democracy YO State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, former governor of Ogun State Chief Olusegun Osoba and veteran journalist, Mr Ray Ekpu, yesterday called for sustenance of good journalism in Nigeria. They made the call while addressing members of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) at hilltop Premier Hotel, Ibadan, Oyo State. Ajimobi, who emphasized the great contributions of journalists to the enthronement and return of democracy to Nigeria at different times in history, said that men of the pen profession also have the duty to protect the democracy that they fought hard to facilitate. The governor said: "But for the press, the democracy we have today would not have been possible. Journalists put government on its toes, thereby ensuring that office holders do the right thing at all times.”

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n Miriam EKENE-OKORO n AGOS State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has condemned the gruesome murder of upcoming hip-hop artiste, Olaniyan Damilola, popularly called Damino Damoche. Fashola, who spoke at the flag-off of the National Immunisation Plus days and the Eko free health mission, held in Ipaja, Ayobo-Ipaja Local Council Development, LCDA, said the killing of Damilola, who is also a student of the Lagos State University, by some suspected cult gangs who operated on a motor bike, further confirmed the need for government restriction of commercial motor cycle operation in the state. According to him, “just yesterday, Damino Damoche, was shot at the entrance gate of LASU. Those who perpetrated the evil act used Okada. “Just one month ago, a medical doctor was killed by some armed men who were riding Okada. The doctor would have been here to render medical service to those who would require medical services at this free health mission,” the governor recalled. Fashola added: “Some people may be saying that the ban on Okada has rendered them useless. Is this a suitable business, a business that has led to the death of many who could contribute effectively to the development of the country especially Lagos state. “Those who perpetrate these evil acts aren’t spirit but we (residents) are the one offering them shelter when they come to the state.” The governor urged residents to be security conscious, saying, “anyone you suspect that doesn’t live in your neighbourhood, report such people to the nearest police station, the chairman of their Community Development Area, CDA, and landlords should ensure that they don’t rent their house to criminals.” Governor Fashola also decried the attitude of parents and guardians restricting immunization officers from administering polio vaccine on their children, saying that such will affect the effort of the state in having a polio free society. He said four million chillren would be immunized in the programme scheduled to last for one week. “It is only when parents and guardians bring their children for immunization that the state can continue to record success in polio eradication.”

n Bisi OLADELE, Ibadan n Ajimobi expressed the hope that the Nigerian media would soon grow to the stage that it would largely determine who wins elections in Nigeria. He, however, urged Nigerian journalists to document their experiences in books, as they will be great historical materials for future generations. "Let journalists put their experiences in the book form," he said. Ajimobi also called on practitioners to be committed to the ethics of the profession, and thanked them for their choice of Ibadan as the venue of the convention, pointing out that his administration has been restoring the glory of the city with the various developmental projects undertaken by his administration. He said that his administration would be known as the founder of the new Oyo State by the time the tenure lapses.

In his own speech, Osoba also lauded the guild for choosing Ibadan for this year's convention. He reminded them that Ibadan has been the largest city for journalism after Lagos. Osoba lauded the out-gone president of the guild, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, for sustaining and improving the ethics of the profession. He called on journalists to shun corruption. Ekpu, who was the Chairman of the occasion, also highlighted some of the exploits of the Ibadan based Nigerian Tribune and Sketch Newspapers in the history of journalism and democracy in the country. He emphasized that journalists have a duty to speak the truth to the society even when he contended that the society may not like it. "We must stick to the ethics because journalists have a role to play in the development of democracy. We fought so hard for the Freedom of Information

Act. Let's make use of it. Journalists must do what we ask others to do," Ekpu said. The former Newswatch magazine director also lauded the out-gone administration led by Adefaye and urged the newly elected officers to sustain and raise the accomplishments.

Group, leaders pass vote of confidence in Fayemi By Tajudeen Adebanjo Ekiti indigenes in Lagos State have hailed the performance of the state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. They gave the commendation at a forum organised in honour of the governor by the Igbimo Ure Ekiti, a non-partisan social group, in Lagos on Thursday night. Speaking, at the event, the President of Igbimo Ure Ekiti and former Minister of Health, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi said Fayemi has performed creditably well through the implementation of his administration’s policies and programmes as contained in the 8-point agenda. Adelusi-Adeluyi said the infrastructural development that the state has witnessed in the last two years of the administration is worthy of commendation as motorists now enjoy good, motorable road network. He stated that Fayemi is also restoring the values of equity, fairness and integrity which Igbimo Ure Ekiti stands for, stressing that the State has not witnessed any “invasion” by any anti-graft agency since Fayemi’s assumption of office in 2010.

Kaduna Assembly denies plan to remove Speaker HE Kaduna State House of Assembly on Friday dismissed the rumour of plans by the legislators to remove the Speaker, Alhaji Muazu Gangara. The Chairman of the Assembly's Committee on Information, Alhaji Yakubu Yusuf, told newsmen in Kaduna that there was no rift between them and the speaker. "It is an unfounded rumour. There is no rift between the members and the speaker to warrant such action. “The speaker has been running the affairs of the house without bias and with all sense of responsibility, and we are satisfied. “He has never shown any form of discrimination or favouratism between the members of PDP and those in the CPC. “He regards us as representatives of our people and gives us the respect and encouragement to do our job," Yusuf said.

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Bank closure: Residents of Kwara community travel to Ekiti for transactions ESIDENTS of OmuAran in Kwara State now travel to neighbouring states for bank transactions due to the closure of commercial banks in the last three weeks. According the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), banks in Omu-Aran shut their doors to customers following a text message reportedly sent to a bank manager informing him of plans to rob his bank.

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The situation was further compounded as banks in neighbouring Offa render skeletal services due to the recent communal clash in the area. The two new generation banks in neighbouring Oro town had also been shut due to a recent robbery incident. Investigation showed that residents of Omu-Aran now travel to Ilorin, the Kwara capital, and Ekiti State to transact business.

Mr. Moses Oyewole, the Business Manager of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in the district, said that the situation had negatively affected the company’s target. ``Majority of our customers have capitalised on the unfortunate development and refused to pay their bills. ``They laid the blame on their inability to get money from the bank as the excuse for not paying their bills.


8 NEWS Governor Obi commences road projects in three Anambra communities

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OVERNOR Peter Obi of Anambra State has commenced the construction of four major road projects in Awka, Okpuno and Amawbia communities of the state. Speaking during the ceremonies, Gov. Obi said that his commitment to the people of Anambra State was total. He said: “We will continue to do only things that would benefit the state. He revealed that with the understanding with the Federal Government, the state would soon start the reconstruction of the dual carriage road from Amansea into the heart of the capital. He cautioned Anambra people against being deceived by politicians and advised them to vote in as the next governor, a person who is not above 50 years and who would still have the energy and stamina to run around for the good of the state. “I always pray to God to give the state somebody better than me,” he said. At the flag-off of CentralBank Okpuno and Kenneth Dike Roads all in Awka, the traditional ruler of the town, Igwe Dr. Gibson Nwosu, described the road construction and the provision of other infrastructure as a revolution, which the state was witnessing for the first time in the state. Dike assured Governor Obi of the support and cooperation of Awka people for the development of the town. Speaking in the same vein, a community leader in Okpuno, Prince James Obidinma said with the many roads Governor Obi was constructing in Okpuno town, they now feel a sense of belonging. He described the development as the righting of many injustices perpetrated against the town until Obi came to wipe their tears. At the flag-off of Amawbia by-pass, Chief Joseph Ofodile said Anambra had never had it so good. He said that “the consensus among the people of the state is that since it is not possible for Obi to go for a third term, due to constitutional constraints, the least he could do is to anoint a successor that would be like him, otherwise, all these politicians prancing all over the place and buying sachet water for Amansea people, would come and destroy all he has built.” Speaking during the commencement of the project, the Commissioner for Works, Mr. Callistus Ilozumba, assured the people of the communities of quality and durable work. He said that Anambra was a peculiar state, where politicians paid jobless people to ascribe projects the governor was doing to other people, simply because he did not make noise about them. “Look at the Central Bank road about to be constructed, they have paid their people to say that it is being done by the Central Bank. In the past, we had even witnessed those that inspected the projects the governor was doing and claimed same as theirs,” he said.

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

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HE Comptroller of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone C, Owerri, of the Nigeria Customs, Victor David Dimka, yesterday, in Owerri, the Imo State capital, supervised the destruction of smuggled frozen chickens with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N23 million.

Customs destroys N23 million worth of frozen chickens in Imo Okodili NDIDI, Owerri Speaking during the exercise that was witnessed

by officials of the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), State Security Service (SSS), National

Environmental Standard and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NAESRA), Dimka, disclosed that the consignment, which was

•Governor Obi during the flag off of Kenneth Dike Library Road... yesterday

Imo ACN salutes Okorocha on merger

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HE Imo State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) said yesterday that it was ready to fully participate in the local government elections in the state slated for April 27. The ACN disclosed that its structures across the state were still intact and fully prepared to sweep the council poll across the 27 local government areas of the state. “We are on ground in all the wards across the state and our members are seriously mobilising ahead of the election and we are confident that we will sweep the poll.” Speaking with The Nation in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the chairman of the party in the state, Chief Charles Ubah, stated that the party will resist any attempt to undermine the credibility of the elections by any group of people, stressing that the election must be free and fair. “We know that as an election presided over by an agency of the state government, there may be attempt to manipulate the process, but we are ready to defend our votes. We will insist on a free and fair election like we did in 2011, which produced the current administration. Although the Imo State Independent Electoral Commission is yet to announce the newly created electoral wards, we are prepared for the election in all the wards and council areas,” he added. In a related development, the ACN commended Governor Rochas Okorocha, for his decision to join other

Okodili NDIDI, Owerri progressives in their quest to rescue the nation from the stranglehold of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The party described the governor as a patriotic Nigerian who is committed to the success of Nigeria’s democracy and good governance, assuring the governor and his teeming supporters, especially members of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), of the willingness of the party to work harmoniously with everyone in the new All Progressive Congress (APC). “Okorocha’s decision to join the new party is a healthy development that will flush out PDP from the state. We salute the patriotism of the governor and other leaders of the various merging parties for their sacrifice to salvage the country from maladministration, insecurity, corruption and poverty. “The merger is the solution to the country’s political problems. The new party will lead the country

into a new chapter of prosperity and good governance. In Imo State, we welcome other parties into the

merger, we welcome the governor in a special way for his foresight and democratic dispositions.”

smuggled into the country, was apprehended by his men along Port Harcourt/ Owerri road on a tip off. According to him, the frozen poultry was packaged in about 2310 cartons that were cleverly concealed in animal feeds. “We got information on the consignment and trailed them to a safe point along Port Harcourt/ Owerri Road and arrested the vehicle and the owner of the goods. This will serve as a signal to smugglers that it will no longer be business as usual. The importation of frozen chickens has been banned and that order has not been reversed.” Dimka further noted that smuggling poses a great danger to the health and economy of the nation, warning that the Nigeria Customs will not fold its hands, while smugglers sabotage the efforts to rid the country of contraband. According to him, “The owners have been arrested and further investigations are going on. We have been empowered to fight smuggling and bring it to the barest minimum and we solicit the assistance of Nigerians in the area of credible information that will assist in the collective effort to save the economy of our country from the devastating effects of smuggling.”


COMMENTARY 9

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

Financialism — A moral and ideological warning for world leaders in action

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EXT Thursday March 7 is the book launch of an unusual book by two unusual people, one a Nigerian and the other an American. The book is a rich synthesis of the unique life, career experience and contact of the co authors on the management of the global political economy illustrated with good stories and analogies. The stories especially remind one of ‘tales by the moonlight‘ which in the slogan of Hallmark Films are’ good stories well told ‘ to teach morality and inculcate wisdom. The book’s focus is on the political economy and how past, historical, ideological and philosophical efforts at making the global economy work to reduce poverty and inequalities have failed. This failure, the authors contend will continue unabated unless the present global trend and error of taking Financialism, which the authors call a corruption or negative mutation of capitalism as the ideological panacea for the world’s political and socio – economic ills, is immediately and urgently acknowledged and corrected. The title of the book is Financialism – Water from an empty well; How the financial System Drains the Economy. The authors are Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the former Governor of Lagos State, leader of ACN and an astute businessman; and Brian Browne, the former US Consul in Nigeria from 2003 to 2007 who has served as a diplomat widely in Africa and is a Columnist in this newspaper, The Nation. The Forewords to the book are by two global giants in their own right namely Professor Wole Soyinka the Nobel Laureate in Literature and the Reverend Jesse Jackson the former US presidential candidate who made the famous statement that ‘God is not finished with me yet‘ when he lost the

bid for presidential candidature. The two forewords which are rich in the experience of both well known warriors against poverty, oppression and man’s inhumanity to man, literally beg the reader to take time and the book to benefit from the practical, cerebral, real world, strong views of the authors on the running of the political economy. This is a book written by co authors who were bold enough to admit that even though they are not professional economists or planners they are not afraid to affirm that both past and present economists have not been successful in theory and practice to get the world out of incessant and successive financial and economic crises. The book’s main thrust is that the market economy driven from Wall Street by greed is leading the world to another financial abyss so soon after the global meltdown of 2008 .The book argues that Wall Street and financial markets have claimed the top of the US ‘ business totem. ‘Wall Street and the financial houses became the new temple of the American Economy‘ and this has been achieved with the mischievous claim that this was the newest, productive and dynamic form of capitalism when it is indeed the face of financialism which the authors say is an assault on itself. It postulates that the real sector which produces goods and services in manufacturing has been abandoned by governments who now dance to the tune of invisible market forces dictated by the financial markets, its leaders and its products. It is this false recipe that the apostles of global financialism have put forward as the blue print for the global economies to adopt to survive financial crisis and the co authors are shouting foul

in Financialism. Comparison abound between Nigeria and the US in the book. While the US is said to be on the decline because of its arrogance and the thinking of its citizenry that it has the best products and is God’s own country, Nigeria is seen as never having tasted prosperity; and has always been wallowing in poverty because of poor leadership; and the fact that the Nigerian nation skipped the manufacturing stage whilst the US is the first post - industrial nation in the world. According to the authors ‘America has become apostate to its own ethic of hard work, solid savings and low debt. It forgot that debt which comes cheaply is the most hard to pay ‘Americans, according to the book worship money and no one can be successful politically in the US without being obliged to fund raisers who are beholden to the financial system and its sponsors from Wall Street. Even President Barak Obama was not immune to scrutiny as the authors correctly predicted that he would be reelected as he desired because he is part of the establishment and raised funds there from , and thus would be able to do scant reform; and the book was written well before the reelection. Which shows the predictive fore-

sight of the co authors. My intention here is not to do a book review but to draw readers attention to the book albeit in the form of a me and my big mouth manner. This is because I am really fascinated and excited by the amalgam of fresh ideas and stories in the book whose main concern is on the global political economy, its past and present management and the course in which it should be directed to achieve sustainable global prosperity and social equity. The book provides ample research material for this column with its name of Global Economy and Politics. The book also is a lesson in constructive criticism, as it provides suggestions to both Nigeria and the US on the way forward after averting the powerful and all -consuming ideological ambush of Financialism. All the same I cannot resist the temptation to put the book in the context of this column especially with regard to events of the past week. The book Financialism should be a companion to world leaders who genuinely want to lead their people aright and into prosperity especially in this age and time of austerity and youth unemployment which are the hallmarks and by products of blatant Financialism as exposed by

While the US is said to be on the decline because of its arrogance and the thinking of its citizenry that it has the best products and is God’s own country, Nigeria is seen as never having tasted prosperity; and has always been wallowing in poverty because of poor leadership

Asiwaju Tinubu and Brian Browne in their book. I would recommend the book to South Korea’s new first lady president Park Guen – Hye who was sworn in this week and who promised to recreate the economic prosperity her late father a military dictator Park Chung Hee achieved in making S Korea one of the Asian Tigers through export driven growth and prosperity decades ago. I recommend the book to the Castro Brothers who have ruled Cuba between them since 1950 when they sent Baptista packing from Havana with the illustrious Che Guevara leading the attack. This week Raul Castro - who recently took over as president from his senior brother , the ailing Cuban leader Fidel - was elected for another five years till 1918 by the Cuban National Assembly. Raul Castro has said he would step down then and has made provision for a successor if he did not make it to 1918. Significantly Raul told the Cuban Assembly that he was not appointed into office not to introduce capitalism but to protect and promote socialism. While that may sound ambiguous it still shows how far from rapport Cuba is from its big neighbor and exporter of capitalism, nay financialism, the USA. The book is recommended for the leaders of Italy especially with the hung parliament from last Sunday’s election, that has made the world

to see Italy as ungovernable. To me, aside from the center left party that claimed only the lower house, two real winners emerged from the last Italian elections for different and opposing reasons and that explains why they cannot ever form any coalition . The first winner is Beppe Grillo a comedian that Italian took seriously because he said politicians are useless and have run Italy aground and the people voted for his party - the Five Star Movement and its candidates -even though they know they lack the experience to govern. The second winner is the epitome of the discredited Italian politician that Grillo campaigned against, Silvio Berlusconi now the Houdini of modern Italian politics. The wily fox Berlusconi simply bent in the direction of the storm of anger against his past political and personal record and wooed the electorate by condemning the reforms of austerity measures with a promise of tax refund, and the Italian electorate got hooked and returned him and his center right party - People of Freedom - to relevance on the edge of political extinction. Surely, these two unique Italian leaders who are part of the present world leaders in action, will benefit immensely from Financialism – Water from an empty well, by the co – authors - consummate politician and leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and fellow columnist, Brian Browne.


10 COMMENTARY

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

Jonathan’s tactical error on Amaechi vincentakanmode@yahoo.com

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HERE is hardly a better way to justify the saying that no condition is permanent. Six years ago, he gnashed his teeth in the cold after he was shut out by the powers that be in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Today, Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, is not just the beautiful bride, he holds the ace as far as the party’s survival is concerned. After his tenure as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, he threw his hat in the ring for the governorship primaries of the party in the state in the build-up to the 2007 general elections. He won the primaries, but with the culture of impunity that prevailed in the party while Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo held sway as President, he was shoved aside by the party’s hierarchy and his cousin, Celestine Omehia, was handed the party’s flag. Amaechi remained stoically calm as Omehia and other PDP stalwarts embarked on vigorous campaign for the governorship seat. But no sooner was Omehia declared the governor-elect than Amaechi headed for the courts to file a case against the PDP for wrongly substituting his candidacy with Omehia, and to ask that he be declared the elected governor of Rivers State. After a protracted legal battle, judgment was declared in Amaechi’s favour and Omehia had to vacate the seat for him. But he had hardly settled down in office when his first adversary emerged in the person of former Minister of Information and prominent Niger Delta leader, Chief Edwin Clarke. The two had got along well until 2008 when Clarke’s clamour for amnesty for Niger Delta militants became their point of disagreement. Amaechi, known for being principled, vehemently opposed the clamour

for amnesty. He believed the only motivation behind Clarke’s push for amnesty was the fact that most of the militant youths were Ijaw like him. The smouldering feud would later extend to Clarke’s political son, President Goodluck Jonathan. But it was not fanned into a flame until sometime in October last year when the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission (RMFC) ceded some of Rivers’ oil wells to Bayelsa, Jonathan’s home state. The development resulted in widespread protests in more than 30 communities in Rivers State and even in Abuja where some indigenes of the state also protested. Before long, verbal assaults began to fly between Amaechi and the governor of Bayelsa State who claimed that the 11th edition of the administrative map of Nigeria had given the oil wells to Bayelsa. Insinuations that President Jonathan had used his office to influence the ceding of Rivers’ oil wells to Bayelsa left him offended and highly embarrassed. A few weeks later, there were reports of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFCC) investigating the Amaechi administration over corrupt practices. There were also reports of attempts by the Presidency to instigate the Rivers State House of Assembly against the governor. Jonathan’s loyalist and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe reached into his verbal armoury and launched a missile against Amaechi, accusing him of disrespecting the President. “He (Amaechi) sees himself as the governor of governors, and he begins to feel that he is even bigger than the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I want to make him know that God is still God. He must have respect for the Presidency. He must have respect for the President of this country. In America, even within the same political parties, they struggle and they fight over positions. But once a President emerges, everybody will hold his tongue and support the President to succeed so that Americans can get the best. But is that what our President is getting? It is sad, it is unfortunate that people from the South-South, even governors, particularly Governor Rotimi Amaechi, has no respect for the president of this country. I think this is the right time we should let him know,” he

•Amaechi

If Amaechi was a mortar, he has become a pot since the face-off between Tukur and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. He is now far more delicate to roll. Like a mosquito that perches on the scrotum, his case requires much more diplomacy than the aggression being adopted by Jonathan and his men

said. Determined to reduce Amaechi’s influence as the chairman of the highly influential Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Jonathan and his loyalists last week formed a parallel PDP Governors’ Forum with the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, as the

chairman. With his utterances since he was named the helmsman of the new forum, Akpabio, who only last year predicted that the PDP would remain in power for 50 years, has not hidden his desperation to crush any perceived threat to Jonathan’s second term ambition and PDP’s continued hold on power. “What the PDP is trying to do now is to cleanse its house; to try to identify the ones they call Judases and say to them ‘go out, the train is moving’. We will ask them not to remain standing otherwise we will crush them,” Akpabio told members of the National Working Committee of the party, including the party’s National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur in Abuja on Tuesday. Yet many would see the confrontational stance of the President and his loyalists against Amaechi as a tactical blunder. Whether they know it or not, there are more loyal governors to Amaechi than there are to Jonathan at the moment. The reason is simple. Majority of the governors believe their ego was badly bruised with the Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur’s decision to dissolve the executive committee of the PDP in Adamawa State against their protestations. Now they are waiting for an opportunity to take their pound of flesh from Jonathan for failing to call Tukur to order. By implication, therefore, every move against Amaechi is a move against the governors, whose grip on their constituencies can only be underestimated at the President’s peril. If Amaechi was a mortar, he has become a pot since the face-off between Tukur and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. He is now far more delicate to roll. Like a mosquito that perches on the scrotum, his case requires much more diplomacy than the aggression being adopted by Jonathan and his men. Even if, like a leper, he is not endowed with enough fingers to milk a cow, he definitely has all it takes to spill the milk. Jonathan and his loyalists ought to have acted on the saying that if you cannot get a man to become your friend, you should make it impossible for him to become your enemy. But all that appear to be too late in the day as the feuding parties have crossed the Rubicon. Happily, however, the ordinary Nigerian could be the ultimate beneficiary. You know what I mean?

Memo to the ‘resurrected’ First Lady(2) Knucklehead

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ND what in the world do they mean by tagging you a murderer of truth? They said you looked at them straight in the face and danced through your lies to the embrace of your husband. They wondered why it took you close to four months to come out with the half-truth, knowing that you never told anyone what you were actually treated for. In that split moment of self-glorification, the truth that had been hidden for months hit us like thunderbolt. By the time you finished the sermon on how you were brought back from the dead, you left us searching for the appropriate words to describe your conduct. Some called you a despicable liar. But I believe that was too harsh. I’d rather put it mildly by saying you were simply being economical with the truth. That’s a nicer way of saying it. It is a special privilege that Nigerian citizens accord top citizens; we are a grateful nation and we dare not accuse the highly-placed of lying from both sides of the mouth. For three harrowing months, you twisted logic and foisted the most incongruous illogic on us. I’ll explain, Ma. But first, your words when you mounted the pulpit on that innocent Sunday: “I actually died; I passed out for more than a week. My intestine and tummy were opened. I am not Lazarus but my experience was similar to his own. My doctors said all hope was lost. “A black doctor in London who is with us in this service was flown in when the situation became critical. It was God himself in His infinite mercy that said I would return to Nigeria. God woke me up after seven days. I know that some people somehow leaked the information that I was dead. They are people that I trust and rely on; to them, I was dead and I would never return to the country alive. Some of them even sold my things off. “I won’t say everything here. It is the Lord’s doing that I returned alive. When God says yes, nobody can say no. People are always afraid of operation (surgery) but in my own case, while my travail lasted, I was begging for it (surgery) after the third operation because I was going to the theatre every day. It was God who saw me through. I did eight or nine operations within one month. It was not an easy one.” Now, my observations: Take, for example, the belated comparison of your ordeal to that of Lazarus in the Bible. From Nigeria to the Bible; indeed, you and your ways have come a long way Ma. People said if it was indeed true that you ‘died” for seven days before God’s healing balm touched you through your doctors, then you missed the chance to praise Him by, first, baying for the blood of imaginary enemies on your arrival in Nigeria. They said you went off the cuff by blowing the trumpet of no surgery in Germany

With

Yomi Odunuga E-mail:yomi.odunuga @thenationonlineng.net SMS only: 07028006913

President Jonathan and his wife

when you actually went under doctors’ scalpels more than eight times! They also noted that your confession was lacking in key details and they are asking salient questions—If it was not “that hospital”, which hospital did you stay for the six weeks? If it was not cosmetic surgeryor tummy tuck, what were you treated for? Was it food poisoning as being alleged or could it be common cold and catarrh or even toothache? You see, the ways of VIPS like you never cease to confound us. Madam, you missed the point if you think that those asking these questions do not wish you well. On the contrary, they are your true friends—the ones that would never think of selling off your things because you were on a sick bed. They are not even qualified to become business fronts to the high and mighty. All they want from you is to set good examples. They want to see a virtuous woman that would not take God’s mercy for granted. They said your ‘resurrection’ will only have meaning if you begin to truly touch lives positively. For your information, there are too many vulnerable children

out there who have no access to basic healthcare; many Nigerians cannot afford treatment for common ailments like malaria and flu; countless others rely on self-medication; and many more have died due to poor healthcare facilities. Yet, in this country, billions of dollars are frittered on medical tourism by those who are expected to make the system work. White elephants are erected to satisfy the taste of those in power. These, to my mind, are the physical evidence of wasted billions. Has it ever crossed your mind Ma that that black medical doctor that was flown from the United Kingdom to save your life, and who was probably flown into the country with taxpayers’ money just that he could attend your extravagant thanksgiving ceremony, could have been working in any of our medical facilities if they have not been turned into glorified consulting clinics! It grew so bad that those who loot the public till now travel abroad to give their teeth a clean wash! State governors and their lackeys now retain the services of medical personnel in farflung countries while the hospitals at home rot away. There is no doubting the fact that your famed ‘resurrection’ must have left more than a modest dent on the nation’s leaky treasury. We, the people, thank God for your life. And in doing that, we hope that we would not have to die before having the chance to exhale....like you just did even if yours was heavily garnished with tissues of lies! For the records Ma, I hope you understand that my piece is not an affront. Some people don’t like telling the truth, others don’t like hearing it. The truth hurts for a little while, but lies hurt forever. That you were given a second chance by the Ceeator demands something deeper and ennobling. A little bit of introspection should make it clearer. If only you can take a pulse and reflect on these things, you will understand that your decision to side-kick imaginary enemies devalues the essence of the office. However, in all this, the choice is yours for one lie often begets another. Good enough, truth is eternally triumphant. Make your choice, Ma!


COMMENTARY 11

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

Dispensable lives M

OTHER Nature could be beautiful, kind and nurtur ing, but she also has her dark moments. Floods, droughts, earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones are all natural disasters that have the gargantuan capacity to destroy communities and indeed cities. The biggest most recent natural disaster was the Haiti earthquake in 2010 where an estimated 316,000 people were killed by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake and a minimum of 52 aftershocks. As devastating as these events were, they were not preventable because they happened naturally. But when disasters are caused by man, it is inexcusable. Mankind has frequently created catastrophes that have devastated the immediate environment and taken countless innocent lives. The effects of chemical or radioactive spills are especially horrific to a person’s physical and mental state of health. The adverse effects resulting from chemicals are known to evoke a wide spectrum of biological responses in people, depending upon the extent of their exposure and its potential to interact with the person’s anatomical structures and physiological functions. These effects could finally result in clusters of disease or instantaneous death. That is why when I shockingly learnt of the alleged dumping of harmful waste by the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company (KPRC), the NNPC subsidiary in Rido community of Chikun LGA, Kaduna State, I was appalled. The community of Rido is about half a kilometre from KRPC with an estimated 30,000 people residing there. But between June 10 and 14, 2012, a powdery, dusty substance was dumped by contractors that were hired by the KRPC. Almost immediately, two human deaths were reported with a high death toll of dogs and chickens within the vicinity. At least six more deaths were reported within two weeks of this alleged callous crime; many children were admitted into the community’s only hospital and clinic. Many villagers experienced respiratory tract problems, as the fumes they inhaled were toxic and caused incessant, severe coughing. Even though children and animals alike had gone to the waste dump to pick wood and other things, those that did not go near the dump site experienced severe symptoms as the wind blew the powdery substance to nearby distances. The village head, nurses that work in the community and eyewitnesses have clarified the above facts. The proprietor of Biams Integrated Farms, a farm located 500m from the vicinity of the waste dump, recorded the loss of 700 chickens in less than three hours, within four days of the waste’s dumping on their poultry farm. Staff employed at the farm complained of headaches and bloated stomachs. Justifiably, the matter is now in court and it would be inexcusable for the legal system not to take this matter with the seriousness it deserves. KINGS (Kaduna Integrity Groups), an NGO, has on behalf of the Rido community taken the matter up in court and a legal battle has been in the works since last year. Abdullahi Umar Ladan, leader of KINGS, has repeatedly called on the relevant authorities to come to the aid of the people in Rido Community by avoiding another illegal dumping of any toxic waste. A veterinary doctor of Biams Integrated Farms, Abdul

Ogochukwu Ikeje ohgeeoh@gmail.com 08084235961 (SMS only)

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HAT was going through the minds of Africa’s political dinosaurs as Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation on February 11? What were the Mugabes of Africa thinking as the Catholic pontiff said he was stepping down from his exalted office? Many are honoured to kiss his papal gold ring. Multitudes struggle to touch him. Amongst Catholics, there is a strong feeling of being lifted upon being blessed by the Pope. Yet, a great deal of that gave way as Pope Benedict ceased to be the head of the Catholic Church on Thursday. There was more he left behind. His sovereignty was chief of them. Although the Vatican is essentially a city, making it the world’s smallest nation, yet it is self-governing all the same, and the pope is its head. He answers to no council chairman or city mayor. There is no state governor to dictate to him, and no president or prime minister to sanction him. The pope is sovereign. When he travels the world, presidents receive him warmly and listen when he speaks. Millions across the world hold him dear as their spiritual father. What were Africa’s long-reigning despots thinking that Monday morning as Pope Benedict shocked the Catholic world and much of humanity with his decision to give up all the power and privileges? I can bet some of them may have concluded the Pope has lost his mind. Some within the Catholic fold have asked the Pope to rescind

Ganiyu, spoke about the high mortality rate experienced with poultry on the farm. He also described some of the symptoms experienced by villagers, who described the smell of the waste as “having a tear-gas effect”. The victims spoke about taking painful breaths from the fumes of the waste. Despite the fact that the waste has long been evacuated, residents of the community are still suffering from the effects of this traumatic event. The KEPA (Kaduna Environmental Protection Agency) has also confirmed that industrial waste was dumped in Rido community when KRPC refurbished some of its facilities. KEPA had informed KRPC that any waste to be dumped has to be done only with official clearance from KEPA, as industrial waste is a specialized waste and there are usually specific sites where these are dumped — far away from community settlements. There have been futile promises by the affected government agencies to look fully into the matter but, till date, no impactful action has been taken on behalf of the people of this longsuffering community. The KRPC has continuously denied any misappropriate action taken by them, claiming that any dumping of waste was conducted by contractors. If indeed toxic waste was dumped by KRPC, then there need to be accountability by the organization as well as adequate compensation for the victims. Whatever the facts, a chemical incident has resulted as an unexpected, uncontrolled release of a chemical from its containment. The WHO defines a public- health incident as “where two or more members of the public are exposed (or threatened to be exposed) to a chemical.” In a majority of cases, it’s an acute release where the exposure and dose do not rise quickly and public health measures are not taken so promptly, even though the public- health concern can emerge suddenly and acutely. Chemicals enter our body through the eyes, skin, lung or digestive tract. The rate varies from different chemicals and the concentration of a chemical as well as length of time of exposure can have varying but

But when disasters are caused by man, it is inexcusable. Mankind has frequently created catastrophes that have devastated the immediate environment and taken countless innocent lives. The effects of chemical or radioactive spills are especially horrific to a person’s physical and mental state of health

ultimately damaging effects. So how do we protect our people and environment from exposure to these chemical disasters? The federal government should set up procedures and organizations to ensure that the public- health management of any chemical incident is effective and comprehensive. In the case of the Rido community, it is apparent that the safety measures put in place were not adequate enough to protect them. At the local level, public- health authorities need to identify situations where chemical incidents could occur and assess the likely risks to exposed people, property and the environment. There should be facilities for emergency plan development and implementation. This means well- stocked pharmacies within a clinic, functional ambulances and highly trained staff attached to the clinics. Vulnerability assessment, also known as community risk assessment (CRA) in the field of chemical incident management, is an assessment of the potential effects of a chemical incident in the local area. This is composed of four major steps: identification of hazardous chemical sites, identification of possible incident scenarios and exposure paths, identification of vulnerable populations, facilities and environments, and lastly estimation of health impact of potential chemical incidents and the requirements for health-care facilities sensitized on the dangers of such. There should also be proper monitoring of vulnerable areas with emergency phone lines available in preparation for any chemical incident. In April 2010, a Maesrk Line vessel, “MV Nashville” was apprehended by the Nigerian Ports Authority. It was filled with toxic waste. In June 2010, a ship, “MV Gumel”, was detained in Lagos with several containers of toxic waste. Similarly, in 1988, radioactive waste was dumped in Koko, Delta State. The list seems endless. Ironically, in all these cases, the federal government sought substantial compensation for these crimes. There should not be double standard in how the crime of toxic waste dumping is investigated. Since it is proven that chemical waste has a long-lasting impact on our society and environment, all potential victims are entitled to compensation. Sadly, there can be no compensation for those innocent adults and children that lost their lives in 2012 in Rido community. A community’s basic right to coexist in peace and lead happy, healthy and productive lives has forever been blemished by the incident of chemical waste dump. No matter how powerful or influential an organization is, no one has the right to play God with innocent people’s lives. And if that unfortunate gamble is indeed taken, then, the culprits should be ready to not only face the wrath of God himself but be accountable to the proper authorities within the confines of our judicial system

The pope and African dinosaurs his decision, saying the head of the church does not traditionally resign. Indeed, no Pope stepped down in 600 years, which is why the Catholic world has been grappling with unusual challenges for two odd weeks now. One of those challenges is what Pope Benedict shall be called since Catholics are not used to a living ex-pontiff. Will he revert to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger? After some thinking, they have decided to call him Pope emeritus. The man himself has pledged “unconditional obedience” to his successor, forestalling another possible problem of loyalty. But I am certain that on February 11, the issues of post-Benedict XVI in the church were not on the minds of expired African leaders who have sworn to die in office rather than leave the scene. Pope Benedict XVI stepped down on account of old age and frailty which come in the way of effective discharge of duties. At 85, he is well aware that he lacks the energy of travel, of regular church supervision and of such other demanding responsibilities with which popes are saddled. He reckons that his office

demands more than he can give. I also believe he places his health above the perks of office. More crucially, I think Pope Benedict was persuaded to let the whole world know that someone else can also do the job. All of that is nonsense to our sit-tight leaders whose time elapsed decades ago though they have chosen to hang on till death part them and the office they hold. At 70 they believe life has just started and that they can outrun a cheetah. At 80 they think there is none wiser who can lead the country better. When they leave the plane of self-deceit, they descend into mindless corruption schemes. They design self-perpetuation plots to secure their ill-gotten wealth. These are the people who have made the continent a laughingstock among the nations and continents of the world. These walking relics of bygone ages have made a mockery of Africa and its people. By 2009 when he died in office, Omar Bongo was 74, more than half of which he spent in Gabon’s Government House as

I have no experience of Catholicism but I believe the pope has left a good legacy. He preferred to shock his two billion congregation with the suddenness of his resignation rather than grieve them and himself with incapacitation. Our African dinosaurs know that they are unloved but do not care whether we weep or rejoice when they die in office

president. Within that time he had changed the name of his hometown from Lewai to Bongoville and combined the office of president with those of defence, information, planning and prime minister, among others. He also managed to secure choice properties and assets in the sweetest parts of Europe. France was a favourite ground to show off his many acquisitions and his well-tailored trousers. He knew where to source high-heeled shoes to disguise his vertical challenge. Till his death, the official word was that he was fit as a fiddle. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, 71, has been ruling Equatorial Guinea since 1979 and is clearly Africa’s longest-serving president. His country is among the world’s biggest oil producers but his people are ranked among the poorest, while he is reckoned to be in the league of the richest. If he does not die in office, he is very likely to hand over to his son. Robert Mugabe, 89 last month, is easily Africa’s oldest non-monarch leader, though neither his country, Zimbabwe, nor the rest of the continent is proud of that. He looks destined to die in office. Paul Biya, 80 in February, has been in power since 1975, first as prime minister and then president. These are the dinosaurs of Africa, who, between them, have inspired other Africans to seek power and hold on to it until death do them part. We have seen enough of that reckless ambition in Nigeria, through the military days down to what we call democracy now. I have no experience of Catholicism but I believe the pope has left a good legacy. He preferred to shock his two billion congregation with the suddenness of his resignation rather than grieve them and himself with incapacitation. Our African dinosaurs know that they are unloved but do not care whether we weep or rejoice when they die in office. All they care about is themselves.


12

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013


Jonathan’s govt’s failure has provided an ideology for APC –Kanti Bello •Pages 20&21

My husband is a typical African man when it comes to romance –Gani Adams’ wife Mojisola

•Pages 39,44&45

13

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

Lamentations of traffic wardens ,

•The late Sgt. Bello Alli

I am a sad ma day I look at m n. Each I look at wher y family, e the poor sanit we stay, the place, my ation in to send them inability to s like many oth chool children; at tim er I am a uselesses I feel Is this what on father. after putting s e gets o years into ser many vice?

,


THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

14 HEY are victims of a law that gives with one hand and takes back with the other. It is the law which in one breath says the Nigeria Police Force is one but in another breath fixes a terminal point with regard to promotion for men of its traffic section. The situation has left this category of policemen at the mercy of poverty. Unfortunately, the authorities appear to be reluctant to effect any change in the arrangement. Consequently, poverty does not only stare the men of the traffic warden arm of the Nigeria Police Force in the face, it sleeps and rises with them like Siamese twins. You only need to see their homes to agree. The plight of these men and women who are part and parcel of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is proof that all animals may be considered equal, but some are more equal than the others. The men of the traffic section feel that the system gives them a false sense of equality. They believe that for too long, they have continuously suffered neglect, discrimination and untold hardship. They can only afford to live in slums not because they choose to but because they cannot afford anything better with their salaries and emoluments. Yet, come rain or shine, they stand on the roads across the country, struggling to ensure that traffic flows freely. They all seem to agree that their nemesis is Decree 21 of 1975, which established the section. Unfortunately, the authorities concerned seem to be unwilling to change the law that confines their terminal position to Senior Traffic Warden. The case of Sgt. Bello Alli, a former traffic warden with identity number 809, illustrates the condition of traffic wardens. He was among the first batch of employees into the Traffic Warden Service (TWS) of the NPF, and he worked diligently at his post at Ilupeju Police Station, Lagos. He had been employed as a constable in the 1970s. But after three decades of service to his fatherland, he rose to the rank of a sergeant before he died of heart attack in 2004. Sgt. Alli’s promotion was stagnated for decades while his counterparts in the regular police service rose to become commissioners of police and so on. Today, his family is struggling to make ends meet. Traffic wardens are known not to have offices in most police stations. One of them, who craved anonymity, said in many cases, they change for duty at beer parlours where they pay the owners between N100 and N150 for the safe keeping of their belongings. Of the numerous stations visited in the course of this story, the reporter discovered that only three had offices for traffic wardens or Motor Traffic Department (MTD). Even in those cases, the buildings that house the offices were either dilapidated or uncompleted. Recounting their individual experiences, some traffic warden officials said they could barely send their children beyond junior secondary school because their pay is too poor compared to those of their counterparts in the regular police. The wardens, who pleaded that that their names should not be mentioned because of the sensitive nature of the issue, told The Nation that they were being treated as slaves. They decried a condition where some of them had not been promoted in 15 to 20 years, urging the Federal Government to come to their rescue. Victims of circumstances One of them, who had served for almost 35 years, said: “I have been in the service since its inception. I will be retiring next year after putting in 35 years in service to this country. Yet, I am still a sergeant and will retire as a sergeant, while police officers who met me in this job have risen to Superintendent of Police (SP) or Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP). “If I was promoted normally, I should be a Deputy Superintendent of Traffic (DST) or Superintendent of Traffic (ST), but I am retiring as a Sergeant. What then is the

T

•A traffic warden on duty

‘We’re so poor children can’t n Precious IGBONWELUNDU n gratification for service if after serving for 35 years I cannot send my children to good schools or live in a good environment? “From the little money I earn, I starve myself, but my children cannot go beyond junior secondary school. We are being treated as though the government does not want the service to continue or has no good intention in establishing it. Even in the police, we are seen like enemies of the regular policemen. They harbour so much hatred for traffic wardens. “The last promotion traffic warden personnel received was in 2007, during the tenure of the former IGP Sunday Ehindero. He was the last IGP that promoted TWS personnel. “I was promoted as sergeant in 2003 under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, after a petition was written by an organisation, Vanguard for the Actualisation of Traffic

Wardens’ Autonomy (VANCTRAWACT). Obasanjo told the IGP to ignore Decree 21 of 1975 that established the service and promote us. “As I speak with you, that promotion has not been confirmed, and it is now 10 years. So, even though I may retire as a sergeant, I will not even get the entitlement of a sergeant. It is that bad. I cannot wish that my enemy becomes a traffic warden. God forbid any of my relations joining this service. “I am a sad man. Each day I look at my family, I look at where we stay, the poor sanitation in the place, my inability to send them to school like many other children, at times I feel I am a useless father. Is this what one gets after putting so many years into service? “More painful is the fact that before my eyes, little children that joined the police less than 15 years ago have risen to become my seniors. So, what is the joy in being a traffic warden? “I remember clearly that signals came from the IG in 2009, 2011 and 2012. In each year, we were asked to come to the

The problem with traffic wardens –Police spokesman HE authorities of the Force Headquarters, Abuja, have poohhooed the claims of the traffic wardens attached to the Motor Traffic Department of the Nigeria Police Force. According to the police, the ubiquitous army of orange-and-black uniformed men manning the various intra-city traffic points across the federation can best be described as auxiliary appendages of the regular police. Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, dismissed claims by the wardens that they are part and parcel of the regular Force. According to the police spokesman, the wardens used to be under the Federal  Ministry of Works. Mba, however, could not immediately provide details of the circumstances under which the services of the men were transferred from the Federal Ministry of Works to a department in the police. In an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, the police image maker declared that wardens are not policemen and they can never be converted to policemen. According to him, the role of the wardens starts and ends with traffic control because they are not trained to handle any

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n Gbade OGUNWALE, n Assistant Editor, Abuja other function that the law vests in the police. He added that in carrying out their assignments, the wardens work under the direct supervision of the regular police at the Motor Traffic Department. Mba said: "The traffic wardens are auxiliary workers attached to the Nigeria Police Force. But they are not policemen and they can never be converted to policemen. "Their job starts and ends with intra-city traffic control because they are not even trained to handle accident investigation. Their role is mainly to protect accident scenes from being corrupted. "They cannot also arrest traffic offenders on their own without handing them to the regular police immediately. They don't have the same condition of service as the police. They cannot be sent on operations or rescue mission in the event of crime. "For instance, they cannot be drafted to fight robbery, kidnapping or to quel riots. As a matter of fact, these traffic wardens do not know anything about policing". To drive home his point, Mba drew

attention to the differences in the crest attached to the cap of the police and that of the FCC warden, stressing that the same organisation cannot have two different sets of crest. Mba also drew attention to the difference in the regular police uniform and the uniform of the traffic wardens. He added that the police and the wardens do not share the same rank specifications. According to him, there are Constable, Corporal, Sergeant, Inspector ect. in the ranking order of the police. On the other hand, there is Traffic Warden Grade 1, Traffic Warden Grade 2, Senior Traffic Warden etc. in the hierarchical system of the traffic warden unit. Mba challenged the wardens to produce their letters of employment for the public to see whether they were engaged as policemen or traffic wardens at the point of recruitment. "So there is nothing in the terms and conditions of their service that qualifies them for conversion to police. The police system in the United States, for instance, is classified into two categories; they have what they call Sworn Officers and the Unsworn Officers within the police.

"The Sworn Officers are the ones recognised as police officers, while the Unsworn Officers already know themselves as auxiliary staff of the American Police. The unsworn officers do not parade themselves as policemen neither do they aspire to be converted to the police", the police spokesman emphasised. He advised any of the wardens aspiring to become a policeman to first of all resign his present employment and follow the regular process and procedures of joining the police. Mba, however, cited a case of a certain brave traffic warden attached to a unit in Lagos who got an automatic conversion to a policeman. According to him, the said unarmed warden singlehandedly disarmed two armed robbery suspects within a twinkle of an eye. He said when the story got to the attention of the highest police command, the police authorities at that time decided to recognise the warden as a hero by converting him from a traffic warden to a policeman with immediate effect. "That is the only case of conversion from warden to police ever known to me", Mba declared.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

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•Pictures 1-3: Some of the areas where traffic wardens live in Lagos

and neglected that our go to university’ 3

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face the hard life. Those state headquarters for promotion who are fortunate join the interview. These interviews were army or the police. conducted across the country. “Go to Ijora Badia “But at the end of the You will hardly see any traffic (Lagos), you will see for interviews, no traffic warden was warden who has put 15 to 20 years yourself the kind of life promoted. The recent promotion traffic wardens are of the rank and file will confirm into service who has a child in the exposed to. They live in what I am telling you. Go and university. The best our children the worst houses in the check if any traffic warden was slum community. I weep promoted. We have always been can attain is the junior WAEC, each time I think of the abandoned and yet they claim we after which they are forced to face situation because it is very are part and parcel of the NPF. pathetic. I weep not for “Government should please the hard life. Those who are myself, because I have less separate the TWS from the NPF if fortunate join the army or the than three years to put they want us to survive. It is into the service, but for the better to even merge us with the police. Go to Ijora Badia (Lagos), young ones. Federal Road Safety Corps you will see for yourself the kind “Does the government (FRSC) or make the service expect them to give their independent. Then, if they feel of life traffic wardens are exposed best when there is no they have no need for the service, to. They live in the worst houses encouragement? Are they it is better they scrap it than put expected to be happy? I people in perpetual bondage. The in the slum community. I weep have a junior colleague suffering is just too much.” each time I think of the situation whose wife suffered a Another officer said it was stroke and died. He could near- impossible to see the child because it is very pathetic not raise enough money to of a traffic warden, who has put save his wife, and yet he between 15 and 20 years into goes to work every day. Is service, in the university. that a life? He said: “You will hardly see “The service is not encouraging. I cannot allow my child any traffic warden who has put 15 to 20 years into service to become a traffic warden. The Federal Government is not who has a child in the university. The best our children can encouraging us. How can someone be a slave in his father’s attain is the junior WAEC, after which they are forced to

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house? “Police officers are promoted at random, but you hardly see a traffic warden promoted. That decree establishing the service is long overdue for a review because that is where the police hide to stagnate us. Decree 21 of 1975 says our terminal point is Senior Traffic Warden, which was disregarded by President Obasanjo who told then IG Tafa Balogun to ignore the law and promote us after we had complained. “So, 21 graduates who were already in the service were sent for training and promoted to the rank of Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Traffic (AST) with one star, while our terminal rank was extended to DST, an equivalent of a DSP in police. “I was elevated to an Inspector in 2006 during Ehindero’s era, and I can tell you that many wardens who were promoted to sergeant in 2003 are still sergeants till date. Some of us who were promoted to one star have sat and passed the promotion exam but no confirmation. “If the Federal Government wants to encourage us, the TWS should be removed from the police. Because when it comes to our welfare, the police is maltreating us seriously. The TWS can be made independent of the police, a retired military or police officer can be appointed to head the service. “Would you believe that despite orders by the IG that all DSTs and STs should head the traffic departments of the police, black clothed policemen with no experience in traffic are posted to head the MTDs? “We are treated unfairly by the police. Yet, we are the ones who stand in the sun or rain on a daily basis. I am just praying to God to give me strength to complete my remaining years so that I will leave the service. There is little to look forward to. “We are just hoping that the government will take a lasting decision on this issue. Several committees have been set up on this issue, but at the end of the day, nothing rewarding comes out. We have heard that many recommendations have been made but we have not seen any result because the hostility and animosity increase by the day.” The way forward A public commentator, Abiona Olanipekun, said: “I wonder why traffic wardens remain on the same rank for longer period than the general duty officers. I have seen a traffic warden of 13 years on a rank without being promoted while a general duty policeman had been promoted at least twice, and some even thrice within the same period. “For instance, a policeman who enlisted in the Nigeria Police in 1993 has attained the rank of inspector while a traffic warden that was enlisted in 1983 remained a

Continued on page 45


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

Driver’s family to Edo lawmaker:

We suspect foul play in our son’s kidnap •Their accusation is borne out of illiteracy—Lawmaker

•Hon. Edoror •Victor's wife at the Assembly gate

•Kidnap victim,Victor

I am not sure this is kidnapping anymore. I went to his house to demand for my husband but he asked his security details to drive me away...He does not call us. He said the kidnappers gave him a cell phone and N3,000 but that he cannot make calls with the phone except the kidnappers called him

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ELICIA Igbinovia is currently in agony. At the corner of the gate leading to the Edo State House of Assembly, she sat weeping inconsolably. At times, she would jump up running around shouting for whoever cares to prevail on Hon. Victor Edoror to bring her husband back. She has joined her husband’s family to lead a threeday protest to the Assembly Complex over the whereabouts of her husband, Victor. Her husband is a civil servant attached to Hon. Edoror who is representing Esan Central Constituency in the house. Edoror is a first-term lawmaker elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). On Sunday February 3, Hon. Edoror called Victor to take him to a function at his constituency and on their way back, unknown gunmen waylaid them and abducted the lawmaker and his driver at Irrua, administrative headquarters of Esan Central.

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•Another relative in protest over the kidnapped driver

Osagie OTABOR, Benin Two weeks later, Hon. Edoror was released but his driver is yet to be seen or heard from. The kidnappers are not calling to make any ransom demand. A lawmaker told The Nation that the kidnappers never mentioned the driver during the period of negotiation for the release of Hon. Edoror. The questions on the lips of Victor’s family are: Where is our

son? If he were killed, where is his body? A three-day protest by the family members to the premises of the Edo State House of Assembly paralysed activities at the complex as workers were locked out for several hours before policemen intervened and restored order. The family said they are suspecting foul play about the fate of their son, alleging that the lawmaker is not showing enough concern to ensure the release of their son. Placards carried by the family members had inscriptions such as: ‘Edoror, bring back our son’; ‘Where is our son, your driver?’ ‘Tell us what you have done to our

The accusation that I have used their son for rituals is borne out of illiteracy. It is uncivilised. Look at my hands, I was tied for two weeks. I was kept in a cubicle and couldn’t stand straight. I sympathise with the family. I don’t want to believe that the driver was a part of my kidnapping. He is very close to me. I took him as my younger brother. I attend to his private needs. The security agencies should determine whether he was one of them or not

son’. ‘Why are you silent on our son’s release?’ Felicia alleged that Edoror asked security officials to chase her away when she went to demand the whereabouts of her husband. She said: “Edoror called my husband on Saturday to take him to Irrua, that one of his relatives had an accident. Since that day, I have been waiting for my husband and I have not seen him. I asked the lawmaker, he said he didn’t see my husband, that they were kept in different places. They came to my house three times asking me not to worry, that if the lawmaker is released, my husband would also be released. “I am not sure this is kidnapping anymore. I went to his house to demand for my husband but he asked his security details to drive me away. One threatened to shoot me and I dared him to shoot. “He does not call us. He said the kidnappers gave him a cell phone and N3,000 but that he cannot make calls with the phone except tend to his private needs. The sethe kidnappers called him.” curity agencies should determine An elder brother of the driver, whether he was one of them or Osahon, said the lawmaker has not. refused to meet with them over “The truth is that it is myopic their missing brother. for them to think that I am a rituReacting, however, Hon. Edoror alist. How can I use somebody said it was uncivilised and myo- for rituals? In no distant time, the pic of the family to accuse him of truth will come out. I have known using his driver for rituals. He the driver for three months now. said the kidnappers were yet to I am an open person. When I was contact him or make any demand with the kidnappers, they never for the release of his driver. discussed about my driver. What Edoror explained that the kid- surprised me was that the kidnappers took his driver away in nappers told me I wasted their his yet-to-be registered official ve- time because I had a little delay. hicle, adding that the kidnappers, “When the incident happened, did not mention his driver dur- the driver drove towards the kiding his two weeks’ ordeal in their nappers’ vehicle that had den. blocked us. He parked the car He said he heard gunshots and ran out towards them holdwhile in the kidnappers’ jeep and ing his head. I was shocked at they told him that his driver had the way the driver surrendered been shot. to them easily. I was dumbAccording to him, “I have been founded. I thought, how could putting heads together with the the driver run out of the vehicle? family to look for what to do. The They took him away to the other kidnappers are not calling. They car and left me in the jeep. They are not asking for anything. put him in my car and the other “The accusation that I have used car. They were eight all of them their son for rituals is borne out armed with assault rifles. I canof illiteracy. It is uncivilised. Look not do thanksgiving now beat my hands, I was tied for two cause I have not seen my driver.” weeks. I was kept in a cubicle and It was gathered that Governor couldn’t stand straight. ISSSAdams Oshiomhole has mansympathise with the family. I dated the Directorate of the State don’t want to believe that the Security Services and the State driver was a part of my kidnap- Police Command to resolve the ping. He is very close to me. I took kidnap saga and rescue the him as my younger brother. I at- driver.

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

I

T was a sad story of two love birds: Barely two months after an auto-mechanic, Adekunle Jegede, and his lover, Hadiza, started an affair on a pleasant note, their romance turned tragic a few days ago. Jegede was said to have killed his lover and her son while she was on a visit to his residence in Akingbade area of Ibadan, Oyo State capital. The father of five used to ply his trade in Ilesha, Osun State, before relocating to Ibadan when he encountered a reversal of fortune. He is said to live alone but visits his family in Ilesha periodically. He was said to have met Hadiza late last year and promised to marry her. The deceased was still nursing a two-year-old boy called Jonathan, who she had from a botched marriage to an unidentified man when she was living in Lagos before relocating to Ibadan when the father of her son denied paternity of the child. The story allegedly changed when Hadiza told Jegede she had taken in and that he was responsible for the threemonth pregnancy. The development had infuriated Jegede so much so that he allegedly denied responsibility for the pregnancy. Hadiza then sought the intervention of one of Jegede’s siblings to plead with his brother not to deny the pregnancy. Jegede had reportedly given a condition that he would only accept responsibility for the pregnancy if doctors could confirm that he was truly responsible for it. Jegede, who had promised to take the deceased as his second wife, had allegedly invited her to his residence on Tuesday January 29, 2013 for a ‘crucial discussion’. The deceased had planned to spend the night in her lover’s house so they could both see the doctor for the test the next day Wednesday, January 30, 2013. Not long af•Jegede, ter the dethe suspect ceased went to bed, Jegede reportedly woke her from sleep asking that she accompanied him to see a friend in t h e neighbourhood. They had not walked a distance when Jegede seized the woman with her baby strapped to her back and smashed her on the ground, killing her instantly while her son cried ceaselessly. Apparently not ready to leave traces, Jegede allegedly killed the boy too and returned home after accomplishing his evil mission. However, concerned neighbours who had seen Hadiza the previous night asked for her whereabouts from Jegede but his response was not convincing, hence, they invited the police. But what could have led 46-year-

46-yr-old mechanic kills pregnant lover, two-yr-old son ‘ •Late Hadiza and her son

I hatched the plan to get rid of her shortly before midnight at the frontage of my residence. I woke her up and asked her to accompany me to a place. She strapped her baby and came with me. As we were walking along, I slowed down for her until she was a step ahead of me. When we got to a spot near a bush, I pushed her down and while she was struggling with me, I strangled her

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Kunle AKINRINADE old Jegede to kill his fiancée and her two-year-old son? He told the police shortly after he was arrested following a man hunt. He said: “I met her last December and she was nursing a child. She was rejected by the man who impregnated her. She started coming for

weekends in my house and a few weeks later, she informed me of her pregnancy. I asked why she would say that when we ‘met’ only a few times. “Some days after, she came with one of my siblings about the issue and that one pleaded with me to accept it. I told them that I would only accept subject to a doctor’s confirmation that the pregnancy belonged to me. So a day before the day we were to meet the medical doctor, I asked her to come and sleep in my house so that we could go for the test the next day. “I hatched the plan to get rid of her shortly before midnight at the frontage of my residence. I woke her up and asked her to accompany me to a place. She strapped her baby and came with me. As we were walking along, I slowed down for her until she was a step ahead of me. When we got to a spot near a bush, I pushed her down and while she was struggling with me, I strangled her,” he said. He gave gory details of how he killed the innocent baby, saying: “The baby kept crying and I

thought he could draw people’s attention to the scene thereby exposing me. I reached for the cloth his mother used to wrap him (Jonathan), freed him and smashed his head on the ground.” A neighbour had reportedly told the minions of law that there was a heated argument between Jegede and the deceased, adding that some neighbours had brokered truce between them not knowing that he was nursing any evil plan. The foul odour from the decomposing bodies was said to have attracted neighbours to an uncompleted building where they were kept. The suspect was said to have denied knowing the whereabouts of his lover until he was taken to the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID) where he allegedly later confessed to the crime. He had initially lied to the police accusing his physically challenged boss of being responsible for his lover’s death. His tissue of lies could not, however, prevail following a thorough investigation by Inspector Dauda Animashaun and Corporal Tunde Ajibade. The two police officers handling the case exposed Jegede’s complicity

in the killing of Hadiza and her son. A top police officer in the Oyo State Police Command, who initially confirmed Jegede’s arrest, claimed that investigations were ongoing. He added that the suspect would be arraigned in court once investigation was completed. Meanwhile, the suspect was arraigned on Thursday at the Iyaganku Magistrate’s Court, Ibadan on a two-count charge of murder and mutilation. Magistrate Fatimoh Badrudeen ordered that the suspect be remanded in Agodi Prisons, while the case has been adjourned till March 19, 2013. Commenting on the incident, a neighbour, who asked not to be named, blamed the deceased for not finding out much about the suspect before agreeing to a relationship with him. “The late woman is to be blamed for not being vigilant enough. She barely knew the suspect before going into a relationship with him shortly after she was thrown out of her pervious marriage. Besides, she was still nursing a baby when she started dating him and did not bother to ask him probing questions concerning his marital life. “The saddest part of it all is the fact that none of her family members knew the suspect and that must have been the reason why no one asked her except vigilant neighbours whose curiousity led to the arrest of her lover. The incident is, indeed, a food for thought for ladies to watch out for the kind of men they go out with.”


THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

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Jonathan’s gov t’s failure has provided an ideology for APC

Senator Mahmud Kanti Bello represented Katsina North Senatorial Zone from 2003 to 2011. The Senator is reputed for his bluntness. In this interview with Assistant Editor, LINUS OBOGO, Kanti Bello speaks on what he describes as Jonathan’s government’s failure and why Nigerians should rally round the emerging All Progressive Congress (APC) to get the country out of the woods, among other issues. Excerpts:

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children and grandchildren. Any right thinking Nigerian should think of the future of this country and leave PDP to join the CPC and the emerging APC to rescue it, otherwise, it will sink irretrievably. You said you left the PDP as a result of the inability of the party to tackle what you described as security challenge and sundry conundrums confronting the country. Are these challenges caused by the party or the political leadership? It is about the party which is in control of the government at the centre. And as a party in government, it is a complete failure. The crisis in the country, occasioned by the PDP government, is not one in which you can fight as member by staying put in the party. The party is corrupt, inept and completely directionless. Those ruling on the platform of the party do not even know what they are doing. For instance, the governor of my state, Katsina, has turned himself into a little emperor. It is sad that the governor does not listen to anybody in the state. So, with this kind of leadership at the federal and state level, my dear friend, we

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OU left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). What informed your movement at this time, especially when your political acumen would have been most needed by the party? I came to realise the situation in which Nigeria has found herself and which is that there is no focus in the management of the affairs of the country. As a politician, I play my politics based on principles. From the perspective of the part of the country where I come from, I had gotten tired of having to look at the papers everyday and all I find is that this much has been stolen and that much has been looted from the national treasury and no action is being taken to put a stop to it by the leadership provided by the PDP. I have also discovered that corruption at the national level is on the highest scale under the PDP. As a patriotic Nigerian, I feel I must not allow myself or the name of my family to be associated with this kind of mess. That was my first consideration. Secondly, I earnestly want to contribute my quota to the development of my country and it is a disaster that under the PDP government, all the industries in the North are no more. All the textile industries that were based in Kano, Kaduna, Kaukuri are all gone today and our people have become poorer with the coming of the PDP government in 1999. Much more disturbing also is the security challenge in the country. No country can prosper without security. The security situation in the North is so terrible that nobody feels safe any longer. Not even during the civil war did we witness what we are today experiencing. It is sad that we cannot boast of security of lives and property, not only in the North, but all across the country. It is against this backdrop that I felt that to make a positive contribution to change Nigeria, I needed to leave the PDP. That is one of the reasons I had to leave the PDP to join the CPC with the hope of helping General Muhammadu Buhari so that we can, at least, do something to salvage the situation in the interest of the future of our

–Kanti Bello just have to change the system. It is that bad that Nigerians are being held by the jugular and what is required is for all right-thinking Nigerians to rescue the country from their clutches. That is the situation we are at the moment. You were part of the system between 2003 and 2011 as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where even the legislative arm was also alleged to be neck deep in endemic corruption. What did you do and how come you did not leave the PDP at the time? I want to first of all make it clear that I was not in the PDP as a senator in 2003. Rather, I was in the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Let me say this with all sense of modesty that it was while I was in the ANPP that I went out of my way to beg General Buhari to come into politics because Nigeria needs a radical leader like him to undergo a radical transformation. So, some of us felt that the only person that could bring about that change was Buhari. The endemic corruption has got to stop. This requires someone who is untainted to achieve that and Buhari remains that person. But incidentally, my friend, brother and

They are talking about the people in the merger talks having different or no ideology. What ideology are they talking about anyway? We already have an ideology given to us by President Jonathan. One of the ideologies is that we have to stop people from stealing public funds. There is also the ideology that corruption must be stopped. We have to provide security to Nigerians. Is this also not an ideology? We must ensure that our industries are resuscitated and our energy boosted to generate electricity. So, what ideology are they talking about? The failure of President Jonathan and his PDP government has provided us an ideology to chart a course for good governance for the country.

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political associate, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua had approached me and told me to come and join him in the PDP because he was running for the Presidency. He said he needed a senator with experience to assist him move this country forward. I saw that he had good intentions for the country, so I obliged him. He was a good man and he had good intentions, but unfortunately, his health challenge took a better of him. However, he was great leader. He was one of the best presidents this country has ever produced. So, it was the late president that actually brought me into the PDP, and as a nationalist and realist, I heeded his invitation. That was how I joined the PDP. But as a man who believes in the rule of law, I felt that something had gone wrong when the PDP constitution prescribed zoning in the party, and it had to be abandoned. I came out and told Goodluck Jonathan that he could not contest because the ticket was still zoned to the North, not minding that the bearer of the ticket was dead. As far as I was concerned, the PDP constitution was very clear on zoning. So it was the turn of the North. Even though I was the Chief Whip of the Senate and a member of the national caucus at the time, I was not deceived that it was still the turn of the North and that was why I yielded myself as the national deputy campaign coordinator for General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd). I believe fervently in the principle of rotation. Unfortunately, those who were not patriotic like the governors turned round and rooted for Jonathan, even though they knew he was not supposed to stand for the presidency on the platform of the PDP. Going by the party’s constitution, they knew that it was constitutionally wrong to have allowed him to contest. Rather than tell him ‘Mr. President, you could run in 2015 after the North must have completed its turn at the presidency’...If they had taken this stance, their action would have made the party credible. But they chose, rather, to play the ostrich. I tried as much as I could to convince the governors during one of the meetings that it was not right to allow Jonathan to run, but instead,


THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

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from the meeting I attended when the governors met with him, there was nothing like they all queued up behind him. that. And if there was anything like that, then they should prove it to Nigerians that Now that it is affecting them, they are trying to tell Nigerians that President Jonathan Jonathan signed a pact with them. But as far as I know, there is no fact in their claim. signed a pact with them not to contest in 2015. But as far as I can remember, there was no such pact. The question I am asking them is why didn’t they challenge him when he The issue now is not whether Jonathan runs or not, does it not make sense to you that we just must stop PDP? was contesting in 2011? It was on the basis of this inconsistency that I decide to leave PDP for the CPC. I felt it But how do you intend to kick out a party believed to be the largest on the was time I left the party, something I had done six months ago. continent and more national in outlook? Considering the sheer size of the PDP in our party politics today, would you say My friend, Nigeria being ruled by the largest party is the largest most corrupt country you made the best and an informed decision leaving the party? in the world today. But is this what Nigerians want? Nigerians are tired and no longer am an old man and at my age, there is no decision I make today that I will ever live care about size. What we care now is the morality, how to make the country great so to regret tomorrow. I graduated from the university 41 years ago as an engineer and that Nigerians can live in peace. so, I am enlightened enough to know the implications of every decision I make in Is it because it is the largest party that I should not have security? Is it because they life. At my age also, if I take a decision, it should not necessarily be in my best constitute the so-called largest party that I should be afraid to travel from my village to interest, but in the best interest of my nation. I have been in the public Abuja? I am not even sure that sleeping in my own house now is safe. Is service for the past 41 years. I believe in every decision and action I that what being the largest party is all about? Is that why US$2.6 may have taken to be in the best interest of this country. billion of oil subsidy money should be missing? My friend, let How would you assess governance under President Jonathan Nigerians get serious for once and come together to fix this from when he became President of Nigeria after Yar’Adua’s country and the only way to achieve this is to chase the death till date? largest party of out of Aso Rock. I cannot point to anything he has achieved as President. The menace of the Boko Haram sect has continued to There is absolutely nothing to place a finger on. The threaten the existence of the country and much worse, only achievement that can be credited to him is that we crippled the economy of the North. What is it that have progressed from bad to worse. Look at the the leadership has not done right to tackle the insecurity in the country, each time the President menace? says he is on top of the situation, we will witness The crisis of Boko Haram is simple only if we attacks of fatal proportions. The North was not had a serious government. If a group of people is known to be a region of kidnappers, but now we bombing and butchering their fellow human are deep in it. If a whole Emir could come close to beings on the street, they must have an agenda being butchered on the street, what does that say for doing that. What is it that they want? I do not about the state of security in the country? We are think that any sensible human being will just in a terrible mess. wake up and for no reason, go on a killing spree. On the issue of corruption, how on earth can There must be a motive. It is the responsibility of we justify the level it has assumed? Take the case a responsible government in power to try and of the pension fund, for instance, when the find out what is it they want. At the beginning of Senate cried itself hoarse that Abdulrasheed the crisis of the Boko Haram, I remember Maina should be produced, the IG of police advising that the government should try and played games with the issue until the man find out what was it they wanted and what were escaped outside the country right under the nose their grudges? of the IG. There was a time the Presidency was Having found out what they want, the quoted to have said that it had no power to dismiss government should know what is in the best him. They said it was only the Head of Service that interest of our nation and do what is right for the could dismiss him. This game continued for about six country. If a whole Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria months until they paved the way for him to escape. Is cannot travel to Maiduguri or anywhere in the North, that a good leadership scorecard? No. what type of commander-in-chief is that? He has refused If the Senate can be courageous enough, it should insist to visit any part of the North. With that type man as our on the President producing the Commander-in-Chief, who will save Chairman of the Pension Fund, Nigeria? As Commander-in-Chief, he has •Kanti Bello Maina, failing which an the entire security apparatus at his impeachment process should be disposal. commenced against him. The drama On the ongoing merger talks with If you are living in Nigeria, that played out, leading to his your party, the CPC and others, some Is it because it is the eventual disappearance from the Nigerians have expressed cynicism. you will be able to see the largest party that I country, amounts to an impeachable What is your reaction to this? optimism in virtually every IGERIANS are a very funny offence. The amount involved is too should not have people. They are talking about colossal to be waved aside. Besides, one who has gotten weary of security? Is it because the people in the merger talks it is billions of naira of people’s life’s the listlessness of the having different or no ideology. savings that were mismanaged by they constitute the soWhat ideology are they talking about just a few people in government. It is Jonathan-led PDP called largest party that I anyway? We already have an ideology a national shame and government. The optimism is should be afraid to given to us by President Jonathan. One of embarrassment. In any case, I do not ideologies is that we have to stop expect much from the scandal. After very much palpable in every travel from my village to the people from stealing public funds. There all, that is what the PDP is all about. right-thinking Nigerian living Abuja? I am not even is also the ideology that corruption must Virtually everyone seems to be be stopped. We have to provide security heaping the problems of Nigeria in Nigeria. Maybe because sure that sleeping in my to Nigerians. Is this also not an ideology? on President Jonathan, so much so you live in Lagos, you may not own house now is safe. We must ensure that our industries are that today, if a man cannot get his resuscitated and our energy boosted to wife pregnant, it is blamed on know what is happening in Is that what being the generate electricity. So, what ideology are Jonathan. Did the problems he is this country. Who is that largest party is all about? they talking about? The failure of being pilloried about predate him Nigerian that does not desire a President Jonathan and his PDP as President? Or did the problems Is that why US$2.6 government has provided us an ideology emanate during his time in office? change? Is it a good thing to billion of oil subsidy to chart a course for good governance for Look, if the problems of Nigeria hear that PhD holders are the country. started with former President money should be When a country of about 160 million Olusegun Obasanjo, in 1999 because queuing up to drive Dangote missing? My friend, let people cannot even clothe its citizens of lack of progress under his watch, trucks? My friend, Nigerians Jonathan has done nothing to Nigerians get serious for until we import cloths from India and China, then something is fundamentally improve the situation. Rather, he has are suffering. Is that what our once and come together wrong somewhere. This is an ideology. escalated them. If Nigerians were graduates have been reduced There is need to overhaul our educational not the kind of peace-loving people to fix this country system and make sure that our children that they are, what Jonathan has to? get the best of education in Nigeria. Is been doing would have long created that not an ideology? The ineptitude of a religious violence in the country. President Jonathan has offered us an How do you reconcile yourself ideology. Nigerians are craving for a with a President whose every policy change. They are not asking for communism, socialism or capitalism. Rather, they are statement is usually announced in the church? Is that how to run a country in a asking for quality life, quality education, healthcare, shelter, electricity, good roads and pluralistic society? security. I believe that this has nothing to do with the system of government being Nobody should mistake my position as hatred for President Jonathan. I do not have anything personal against him. But the fact remains that I love Nigeria. I just do not like operated. Those talking about APC having no ideology do not know what they are talking the way he is running the country and I think I am old enough not to say it. about. What they do not seem to know is that Jonathan has already given us an What do you think is the way out? Should he vacate the presidency so that Nigeria ideology. Nigerians want economic prosperity and that is an ideology. can make progress? HANGE the PDP and change the government. That is all. The PDP has become How optimistic are you about the merger? a system of government today in Nigeria. The party has become something of a The optimism is not something you promise or offer people. But if you are living in cult. Governors are being muscled and they can no longer talk. Some of the Nigeria, you will be able to see the optimism in virtually everyone who has gotten governors have become sycophants in government. weary of the listlessness of the Jonathan-led PDP government. The optimism is very The PDP has become Nigerians’ headache and the only cure is to attack it with APC. much palpable in every right-thinking Nigerian living in Nigeria. Maybe because you That is what is known to cure headache. I want to urge Nigerians to be discernible live in Lagos, you may not know what is happening in this country. Who is that enough to swallow APC in order to get relief. We must come together to kick out the Nigerian that does not desire a change? Is it a good thing to hear that PhD holders are PDP which has lost it identity as a party and become a system of government. We have queuing up to drive Dangote trucks? My friend, Nigerians are suffering. Is that what to kick them out. That is why we are calling on all patriotic Nigerians including you the our graduates have been reduced to? As a fine journalist that you are, I want to journalists to come on board to kick the PDP out. personally appeal to you that you also have a role to play by joining forces to help It is being alleged that President Jonathan signed a pact with the PDP governors in change this country. 2011 that he will not run in 2015 and you were quoted to have punctured their claim. What role are we expecting to see Senator Bello to play in the next dispensation? You were not a governor, so how could you claim to be privy to whether or not such a I will play the role the Katsina people want me to play. And I will continue to play the deal was ever struck by a group of governors? Besides, should Jonathan not run in 2015? role of rebuilding my country, Nigeria. I will do my best to ensure that this country is I really do not care whether Jonathan runs in 2015 or not run. But all I know is that united so that we can kick out the PDP.

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

The Obu House in Idi Anaga Compound, Elu Ohafia, Abia State,1 is a historical monument under the National Commission for Museum and Monument (NCMM). It houses some priceless artifacts. Tourists from within and outside the country troop to the site to see some of these ancient relics. But the place is currently crumbling and may soon collapse. As if that is no enough, some of the artifacts have also been stolen. OKORIE UGURU recently visited the site

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HE Obu House which the indigenes of Ohafia refer to as Obu Ndi Anaga in Elu, Ohafia Council Area of Abia State, is a tourist site with priceless artifacts. The monument has been attracting tourists to Ohafia for many years. It houses artifacts that are hundreds of years old. A replica of some of the artifacts in Obu House is close to 10 feet wooden artwork that adorns the entrance of the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos. However, Obu House is currently on the brink of extinction as a result of neglect by the NCMM and the activities of a syndicate artifact robbers that are currently pillaging Ohafia and carting away priceless

•Obu House

Obu House: Artifact disappear from NCMM monument site artifacts. To understand the Obu House and its artifacts, one has to understand some ancient tradition of the Ohafia people. In the olden days, the Obu of every clan was very important in the life of the comunities. Community meetings and rituals were held in them. Activities that took place in the Obu help to protect certain societal values of the people of Ohafia.

The Obu Anaga served many purposes. it was the place where war strategies and other kinds of adult meetings were held. It was also a place were Ndi Anaga clan held sacred celebrations. There was a special ceremony by the Ndi Anaga clan where sacred pot of soup and fufu bowl would be cooked and brought into the house. All the male adults of the clan would come and dip their hands

and eat from the same pot. Normally, before the commencement of the festitvity, the deities of the land would be appeased

Inside, the priceless ancient wooden artworks are gradually being damaged by the elements. Some unscrupulous elements had cashed in on the present state of the Obu to steal one of the priceless art works

Tourism News

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HE Indian Vice-Chief of Army Staff, Lieuten ant General SK Singh, has expressed his excitement at the level of tourism development in Nigeria. General Singh, while leading a 5-man delegation on a courtesy call to the tourism village, expressed his gratitude at the reception, stating that it was a privilege to visit the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, pointing out his surprise at the humility of the Director General, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe. He said that the visit was a follow-up to the former Indian President’s visit in 2007, stressing that Nigeria and India have always had very strong ties using the meeting of Common Wealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) in 2004 as an

for protecting the clan and prospering them with bountiful harvest from their farms. The reason for the adult eating from the same pot was

India commends tourism in Nigeria

•From left: Otunba Runsewe receiving a plaque from General Singh instance where Otunba Runsewe performed excellently as the organiser of the event, thereby enabling Nigeria, India and Brazil to consolidate on their cordial

relationship. The Indian VCOAS also expressed the desire of the Indian government to take the relationship to the next level. He said the purpose of

the visit was to strengthen the cultural relationship of both countries. The NTDC helmsman on his part, said he was very honoured to have the delegation lay emphasis on the strong relationship between Nigeria and India, while noting that the visit was like a dream come true. He noted that for the first time in NTDC, foreign delegates came on a courtesy call with their wives, demonstrating that the Indians are one of the most hospitable and loving people in the world. He also noted that the Asian country has a highly medicinal weather condition and gifted doctors all complementing its potential for medical tourism.

that if any clan member poisoned his kinsman or slept with another kinsman’s wife were to eat from the pot, the person would die within a year. The Obu created a kind of bond of unity among the Ndi Anaga people and also served as a check against any one committing evil in the clan. Inside the Obu are priceless carved wooden art works that are as old as the

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Later, Otunba Runsewe stated that NTDC was willing and ready to visit India to showcase Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and enjoy that of the latter as soon as they provided the major cultural festivals India has to offer within the year. The visitors expressed their excitement at the initiative, promising to inform the corporation on their yearly cultural programmes. After being presented with NTDC-branded promotional items and a muffler designed with Nigeria’s national colours, the delegates took a tour around the tourism village to relish some of the artefacts on display while taking photographs.

HE Executive Secre tary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Mr. John Kennedy Opara has said that mothers are strong pillars in nation building and they play vital roles in the training of the children. He made this assertion recently while playing host to the Executive members of the Women Wing of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches (OAIC). The NCPC boss stressed that for men to be successful, it is important to have our mothers and wives by our side to stand in the place of prayer because, “without them, we cannot go far in life”. Mr. Opara further stressed the need to train and support women at all times. In his words, “when you train women, you train the whole


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013 founding of Ohafia. The carved works are about six in number. There are two tall ones that held the thatched roof of the mud house with four extra that support the first two. These wooden supports are ancient art works with motifs on the body that depict different aspects of day to day life of the Ohafia people in the olden days. When this reporter visited the Obu last Sunday, the site was in a deplorable condition. The wooden gate, about three feet which serves as a gate to the place, had given way. The metal corrugated roofing sheet used to protect the Obu House is gradually peeling and falling off from the roof. The artifacts are exposed to the elements. There are gaping holes inside the house whereby rain water penetrates to further damage the priceless work inside and accentuates the process of decay and distruction of the artifacts. Inside, the priceless ancient wooden artworks are gradually being damaged by the elements. Some unscrupulous elements had cashed in on the present state of the Obu to steal one of the priceless art works. Chief Eke Kalu, who spoke to this reporter on the state of the monument was the former keeper of the house. He said if the NCMM were alive to their

responsibilities, it would not have allowed the place to digenerate to such level. “It is really in a deplorable condition and needs urgent attention. The roof is partly off and at the mercy of the elements. It may not survive this raining season if nothing is done.” Elu town, the host community, has also put in place a committee to look after the monument in the absence of the NCMM. The head, one Mr. Agbai Oti said they had written several letters to draw the attention of the NCMM but nothing had been done so far. He said the curator of Umuahia Museum, one Mr. Nwaneri had visited the place but so far nothing has not changed. “We have written to the curator to tell him that the place is crumbling . We have written two to three letters and nothing has been done,” he said. This writer later called the curator of NCMM, one Mr. Nwaneri on the stolen artifact and the state of the monument. He said he had visited the place for an on the spot assessment and promised that renovation works would commence this month. On the inability of the NCMM to secure the place leading to the loss of artifacts, he said the museum has no staff on ground to take care of the monument and that NCMM was partnering with the host

Naija7wonders commends Wole Soyinka for Benin Moat visit

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••Inside Obu Ndi Anaga

community. He said it was individuals within the community that stole the artifacts and that it had been recovered. However, the community said the artifacts have not been recovered, even though there are some people who are suspected of having a

•The place were the artifact was removed

hand in the disappearance of the stolen artifact. The Obu Ndi Anaga was taken over by the Naitional Commission of Museum and Monuments (NCMM) in 1961. Between then and 2006, NCMM employed an attendant who did not only act as a tour guide to tourists visiting the site but was also responsible for the day to up keep. All these was to change when the keeper was disengaged from the employwmnt of the NCMM leaving the site without direct keeper. The curator of the National War Museum , Umuahia was supposed to supervise the place, but that has not been the case. The visits of NCMM officials to the monument have been infrequent and had yielded little or no positive result for the place. Mr. Agbai Oti, the leader of the community committee on the museum said the the nation risks losing the anceint works if nothing is done urgently. He said the people of Elu Ohafia are calling on the NCMM to renovate and secure the place to avoid the rest of the artifacts from being stolen.

OAIC women pays courtesy visit to NCPC boss

••NCPC boss and the women him, “if we are able to get nation”. He averred that more women to go on pilgrimage was a tool for pilgrimage, they will come spiritual and moral transback morally and spiritually formation. According to

transformed, they will positively affect the their children, husband and the nation at large”.

Earlier, the President of the Association, Pastor (Dr) Mrs. Toyin Oluitan thanked Opara for his selfless service to the country and the Association. According to her “we have come to show appreciation for your support to us and for putting smiles on our faces.” She intimated that the major aim of the Association was to ensure that the spiritual and economic well being of our women and children are being catered for and also ensure that our children have what it takes to defend their faith.

HE Seven wonders of Nigeria project Direc tor, Mr. Ikechi Uko has commended Prof Wole Soyinka for visiting one of the least known of the 7 wonders of Nigeria site, the Benin Moat. The Moat is one of the seven wonders of Nigeria and last week, the Nobel Laureate paid a visit to the Moat on behalf of UNESCO. According to Mr. UKo of all the seven wonders sites in Nigeri, the Benin Moat has received the least attention from government and the people of Edo State as a tourist attraction. Uko believes that the visit to the ••Prof. Soyinka moat by someone as important and prominent as Prof. Soyinka draws attention to the Moat. He said the Naija 7 wonders team has had problems organizing an expedition to Benin to study and draw global attention to one of the greatest works of man in Nigeria and is thrilled that the Prof has helped the cause with his visit. The expedition to the moat is expected to happen this year if all the necessary logistics are in place. In another development, Uko is proposing to build an Aviation Musuem for Nigeria using the abandoned aircraft as exhibits. In a proposal he developed for the aviation managers, he suggested that Naija 7wonders be allowed to develop an Aviation Musuem in Nigeria that will warehouse some of the disused aircraft. Nigeria needs an Aviation Musuem with a hall of fame that will inform, preserve and promote Aviation history of Nigeria, the players and the incidents that have shaped the industry over the years. This Musuem will fit properly with the transformation agenda of the government of leaving lasting legacies. It is part of the ideals set out by the seven wonders of Nigeria project which is to present Nigeria in a new light to grow national pride and generate tourism income. An Aviation museum, the first of it’s kind in this region will attract tourism traffic and will educate and empower a new generation of aviators. Instead of destroying the aircrafts, they can be put to beneficial use in educating the youths and drawing tourism income. Some of the aircraft are out of production and can be treated as vintage crafts if well packaged. Naija7wonders is proposing to work with the authorities to make this project a success in the shortest possible time using time tested methods. As a travel promoter I do know that with the cooperation of stakeholders the Musuem will be up and running within a calendar year. Naija 7 wonders is the search for the unique wonders of Nigeria, a project started with over 50 judges including journalists, tour operators and other professionals. After 24 months, seven unique sites were chosen as the seven wonders of Nigeria. These sites are , Obudu mountain resort, Sukur landscape in Adamawa, Oke Idanre in Ondo State, Benin moat, Kano walls, Osun groove and National war Musuem Umuahia. The second phase of the project is the differentiation and promotion of the sites and an Aviation Musuem sits properly on that list, considering the impact Aviation has had on Nigerias history.

Meeting Africa records growth

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S Meeting Africa 2013 drew to a close at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg on Wednesday, 20 February 2013, organisers, hosts and delegates were unanimous: this was the Meetings of Africa at which the continent came together to collaborate and to advance Africa together as the world’s premier business event host destination. By the end of the event, 2 884 delegates had come through the Meetings Africa 2013 turnstiles. There were 300 international, regional and local buyers in attendance at Meetings Africa 2013, 30 percent more than attended last year. “It was really exciting to welcome these buyers to Meetings Africa 2013,” says South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Mr.

Thulani Nzima. “It’s very encouraging that so many buyers – 78 percent of them – were in attendance for the first time this year. It shows that interest in our region is really growing.” An international standard buyers qualification process was implemented for the first time this year to ensure that only buyers who were serious about doing business were invited, and hosted, at Meetings Africa 2013. Mr. Nzima says the high number of first time attendance of hosted buyers represents a potential of almost 62 000 delegates that could attend business events held in South Africa in the next 18 to 24 months.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

48

UNPAID STIPENDS: Fed Govt is daring us

‘General’ Reuben Wilson was a leader over some 500 militants in the creeks of the Niger Delta from where they held oil firms and the Federal Government to ransom for years as they fought for the development of the region and when it was time to accept the government’s amnesty, he led all of them out to join him and surrender their guns in exchange for the government’s amnesty offer. Today, he is the leader of all the other leaders who commanded other militants’ camps under the aegis of the Leadership Forum for Peace in the Niger Delta. In this interview, Wilson expressed anger with the National Assembly and the Federal Government for delaying the payment of the monthly stipends of the ex-militants under them and said the delay meant the government was underrating them. He also spoke on the plans of the former freedom fighters to be actively involved in the choice of the next president of the country in 2015. Excerpts:

-Ex-Militants’ Leader Reuben Wilson

Former freedom fighters under your leadership met recently and decided to tackle the Federal Government for failing to pay your monthly stipend of N6,500. What really happened? am the chairman of the Leadership Forum For Peace in the Niger Delta and that is the forum that covers all the camp leaders that accepted amnesty during the first phase. Since this year, we were not paid the N6,500 that the Federal Government used to pay us until early this week when they now paid the January salary. Before the payment came, the boys had become very worried and we had to reach the amnesty office and Kingsley Kuku said the National Assembly did not release the money to the amnesty office. During our meeting in Bayelsa State about two weeks ago, all the leaders who have thousands of the former freedom fighters under them agreed that if we were not paid by Wednesday, that anything the boys do, the government should not hold us the leaders responsible. These are people that were doing well in the creeks and you brought them out and they cannot go and steal to feed their families. The boys have been complaining that they would block roads and all that. After that day, Kuku reached out to us that we should exercise patience, that the president has ordered that they should pay us next week. I was invited to the JTF office in Yenagoa that we should talk to our people to calm down and wait for next week. We would have expected the National Assembly to talk to us but they didn’t, except the amnesty office. We hope that by next week, they would pay. There were reports that at the meeting, the leaders were very angry. There is anger in the air. The people are angry. The boys can’t go and borrow money from the banks. The boys were bitterly annoyed. We are trying to calm them down because they are our boys. The police command sent a message to Abuja about our plans. Yesterday, a lot of the boys were in my house and they were threatening everything. In fact, if it were not for the calls and pleas from the amnesty office, the boys were ready to go and die. They said they were ready to do anything because there was no point for them to live if they have no money to eat. We tried to calm them down and for many weeks, that is what we were doing until things went out of control and just when they thought all their money was going to be paid, they did not see the money for January and February; so the boys decided to go into the streets in Yenagoa although we stopped them before they could do much damage. Do you think the Federal Government is not concerned about your welfare? I think so. If they really appreciate what the boys are going through, they would have paid the money since the 25th of January. That is how the amnesty office used to pay. Maybe, they are saying what are the boys going to do? They cannot tell us that they are not eating. Their children are in the best schools in the world. They don’t have any concern about us. If not, they would have given the money to the amnesty office

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to pay. They are daring us. But we are calming them down. The National Assembly should be warned on this. This delay in payment should not repeat itself or the boys will mobilise and go to the National Assembly. If they like, let them arrest them and lock them up. Maybe they will accommodate the boys in their office because if this happens again, the boys will storm the National Assembly for the mother of all protests. Kuku has said that we should calm. But I am saying if this repeats itself, the National Assembly should be ready for us. Let me also state that after this, the next battle will be about the allowance of the leaders. We will tell the Federal Government our mind. Right from the beginning of the amnesty programme, we are being paid N65,000 with our boys. It does not happen that a police sergeant will earn the same salary with the commissioner of police. It does not happen that the MD of a company will earn the same salary with his workers. These are the boys we commanded in the creeks and we are being paid the same thing. When I was in the creeks, I had about 500 boys that I was taking care of. I managed them in the creeks. What can I do with N65,000? That was not the agreement we had with the former president. Yar’Adua told us that we would not regret accepting amnesty. He told us that he would give us accommodation, a place that we would want the house to be, that is where he would give us. We asked him, what about our security? He said he would give us security. He said it again that he would key us into companies so that we can have contracts to take care of our needs. When we were in the creeks, we had speed boats. Now, there is nothing. We don’t have security. We have lost many leaders since accepting amnesty. Recently, one of the leaders was shot dead again. The leaders are dying. Some of them can’t afford their children’s fees. Very soon, the Federal Government will say the leaders are stubborn but we will mobilise ourselves and go to Abuja and we will ask them whether they were responsible for the increase in the oil production, from 600 barrels to over two million barrels a day. Very soon, they will accommodate us if they don’t do something about this. Enough is enough. How did you get the boys to join you in the creeks and remain loyal to you? We have boys in all the oil communities.  We were not there for our selfish interest. We needed development in the Niger Delta. The money they used in building all the structures in Abuja came from the Niger Delta. So, everybody was interested in how things can change. They felt the pains so that they can get the Federal Government to change.  It is just like people joining the police or the army.  When I was in the creeks, you cannot come close to me. The new people would see the camp commander and they would register and get trained. We had a training section in the creeks. So, after their training and they were fit, they would be part of the struggle. How did you feed them? We were always in touch with the oil companies and we would tell them what we wanted. Of course they knew the implication of not listening to us, so they would always attend to our requests. We divided ourselves into groups and the boys were very comfortable. Now, we are out and the oil companies are not listening to us again. They know we do not have guns again. Was there any time you were afraid that the government could come after you? Why? We were in the right struggle and we were doing the right thing to ensure that the government developed the Niger Delta. People gave us names, that we were terrorists. But we were not. In the creeks, we did things that were right. When Yar’Adua called us that we should drop our arms, that

they would solve our problems, we listened to him and we dropped our arms. Some of us spent seven years, some five, some 12, some 15 years and some 20 years. You know when you look at your community, you see the oil being taken away and nothing is coming back. We were angry and that was why we went into the creeks. It is our area. We grew to see the suffering that our people went through and we decided to fight the authorities to draw attention to the plight of the oil communities. Have you seen the Niger Delta of your dream? The only development I think I have seen is that our son is there,  on that seat. We are still expecting the remaining. For now, I cannot say we have seen the development we were fighting for. I am from Koluama and we have oil companies there. We are landlords to Chevron and we do not have roads to the place. The East-West Road is still the way it was. Work there is very slow. You mentioned Koluama. That is where fire erupted as a result of gas explosion. Yes. I am from that community. I happened to be the CSO of that community. My people are crying everyday. My people are crying and since that explosion took place, they cannot fish again. The women and the men are dying. People are crying and nothing has been done. It is very bad. I don’t like to think about it. It is a shame that this kind of thing happened and the oil company could not do anything. Koluama clan is one of the clans that produce one of the highest votes during elections. During the election, all the votes went to the PDP but this thing happened and till today, the people are still in pains. Any time I talk about this, I weep because we are dying. Both Chevron and the government have not done anything for the people. If the government or any other body  wants to do anything for the people of Koluama, they should go down and see things for themselves and give to the people directly. Anything you give to somebody in the city will not get to the people. Very soon, the people will register their grievances. I am not sure they can hold themselves again. There seems to be a division among the former freedom fighters on the support on the 2015 election vis a vis the interest of the president. What is your stand? Let me start from those who say the president will not win a re-election. The president has a lot of people and I believe that those who have said Goodluck Jonathan will not have their support may have been angry. But I know that anybody who thinks the president will not return to office is joking. Let me tell you, nobody, I repeat, nobody from this country will be able to stop Mr President. We will not be violent in this. I want Nigerians to think; the oil we are enjoying today is from the Niger Delta. This is the first time that somebody from here is sitting on that seat and they are already saying he won’t complete his second term mandate. This is sinful. They are enemies of progress and they are the people that should be sent on exile because they don’t want progress. We are behind him. He is our son and brother. As he is there, we will continue to give him the support he needs and I am saying again that nobody can stop him. I am one of the people who fought for the good of this country. He must complete his two tenures. There is a new political group that has sworn to stop him They are not serious. They are selfish. We are watching them. Some of them were behind the Boko Haram crisis that is distracting the president. Our support is for Jonathan and we will work hard to achieve this. The gods of the Niger Delta, the God in Heaven will be with Jonathan and with us. We will disgrace these people. They are just selfish. I am saying this on behalf of the former freedom fighters that we are behind Mr President and they cannot stop him.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

Don’t teach my student nonsense

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EBRUARY was really bad for some of us. For me, cer tain things came up that shook my stoic deportment to life. I had borne the pains and anguish for some time before I decided to reach out to a dear friend on phone in the middle of the night. I’m glad I made that call. I was able to pore out my heart and at the end of the early morning, I was much better. When I thought mine was the heaviest burden to carry, one of my mentors/father made a phone call to me that I should see him. As soon as I got there, he begged that as part of my work schedules for him, he needed me to teach him the basic use of the computer. I was surprised at that request. This is one individual who wouldn’t care about sending SMS let alone learn the use of the computer. Why the sudden interest? I needed to know. Not one to display emotions, he told me that a large sum of money (enough to buy me a clean house in a good part of Abuja) had been transferred from his account without his knowledge. The money has been traced to Hong Kong and he’s hopeful they nab the people who did it. While investigations are going on, he would like to dedicate just one hour per day to teaching him how to use commands on the computer so he would begin to open his emails himself, do internet banking and generally be literate enough to ensure that no one else has his passwords. I couldn’t refuse that demand. Yet, I couldn’t say that yes, not only do I have more knowledge of the computer than an average user (after all, I’m an author who has written all my published books straight from my laptop) I actually learnt to use the computer on my own. I didn’t’;t go to any

computer school for that. Years of practice and on-the job efforts got me this far and made me a pro. I prayed that he wouldn’t ask me to teach him how to recognize your letters without looking at the keyboard – those are things they teach you in computer schools. Asking him to go to a computer school would mean special schools that open from 7.00pm to 8.00 would need to be located for him. (All big people are always on the move and 9.00pm is still day time for a lot of them). Lo and behold, Baba wanted to teach him what I had prayed he wouldn’t ask me to – recognizing letter without looking at the keyboard. Up till now, I don’t know how I managed to take his mind off that. What I know is that today, after just four days of teacher/student arguments, he is able to boot his computer, type words and start new paragraphs, highlight letter to increase font sizes, close files and a few other things. I have to sometimes remind him of commands like ‘Enter’, ‘Backspace’and ‘Control’, but we’re getting there. The highlight of the lesson is that since Baba has never been alone with a woman since the years I’ve known him the lessons are done in the presence of his PA and his son. Baba obviously doesn’t understand why these young men laugh when I say things like , ‘open’, ‘close’, ‘enter’, ‘control’, ‘go down’ and ‘shift’. As they are idle when we are busy, their minds must be playing some silly tricks and they are enjoying it. As for me, I pray I’m able to help Baba computer literate before the end of March and while I laugh at the games of these young men, I pray they don’t end up teaching Baba nonsense.

My husband is double dating, what should I do? Please my husband is double dating; what should I do? AA, Ogbomosho. My dear sister, I won’t deceive you and help you break your home. The truth is that most men have other women apart from their wives in their lives. It is not in my position to condemn your husband because if you ask him, he would have his reasons for having an affair. We should be asking some important questions: Hope he has not stopped carrying out his duties as a father and a husband? Does he still respect and gives you his love and attention? Is he now a visiting husband or he still comes back home? We spend too much time worrying when our husbands stray and in some cases, we even fight and throw tantrums. All these won’t solve the problem. And if the man has gone really far as to have actually established another home and has even started raising kids in that other home, there’s very little can

do except to try to do your own best to be a good wife and leave the rest for fate to determine. While you may be moping, brooding and wondering why he is sharing your love with another woman, I think it is best to ask yourself where you might have gone wrong. If you’re found wanting in any way, please adjust and see if he can begin to see the good in you and you alone. Although, sometimes there are just not any particular reasons why men stray, but below are some of the common reasons why men seek the company of another woman, despite taking care of their wife. •Boredom– Men tend to get bored of their married life. Life, at times, become monotonous. The wife may be too involved with household chores and children and may not have the time for him. He is in search of excitement and finds it in another woman. •A roving eye – Men are supposed to have a roving eye. They like looking and

admiring other women. They like to taste something “new” and “different.” •A nagging wife – Many husbands get fed up with a nagging wife at home and prefer the loving and caring company of another woman. •A neglected wife – Many women do not take care of themselves. They go out of shape. They lose out on their figure. At home, they do not take care of their appearance or dress up properly. Naturally, a man gets fed up with his wife and prefers a better looking woman. •Sexual incompatibility is also a reason why men go in for another woman. A few years down the line the husband may feel his emotional and physical needs are not being met and tends to seek the company of another woman. The husband often finds an outlet for his physical and emotional needs by having an affair with another woman. •To try out something new is often a reason given by the husband for indulging in an extra-marital affair. He often

feels he needs a change of scene and would like to spend time with someone who is “different” and perhaps “more exciting”. •Easy access to female companionship is another factor which provides an opportunity for a husband to have an extra-marital affair. Often on business trips, he tends to take advantage of being with another female colleague and enters into a relationship with her. •Male ego is also another factor for men to cheat upon their wives. Husbands often feel superior about being a man and like to focus on their “macho” qualities of being able to attract another woman. •Peer pressure also encourages a man to cheat upon his wife. Some friends may cajole him into trying out something “new”. They often introduce him to other females with whom he can spend more time. •A wife paying too much attention to children and household chores often forces a man to go in for relationships outside marriage. He feels neglected. He wants more attention and since he is not getting it at home he prefers to get it from an outsider.

Hearts With Adeola Agoro E-mail: libranadeola@yahoo.co.uk Tel: 08023162609

I’m a young girl having a serious virginal odour but I am not the dirty type Sis Adeola, please I really need your help....its personal. I am a young girl having a serious virginal odour which just started a month ago. I am not the dirty type so I wonder what could be the cause; maybe it’s an infection but it’s getting out of hand so much that even when I’m in class I perceive it. Just want you to help me find out what is happening through your experience and a possible treatment. Vaginal Odor: Causes and Treatment Vaginal odor can be a very embarrassing problem. Even if your sexual partner doesn’t notice it, a fishy or unusual vaginal odor can make you feel very self conscious about yourself. What are the possible causes of vaginal odor? What are some of the ways to treat it? When should you worry? Here are some of the things that all women should know about vaginal odor. Possible Causes of Vaginal Odor Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of vaginal odor. This vaginal infection is even more common than yeast infections, and

many women do not realize that they have it. Vaginal odor may worsen after sexual intercourse. Women who have bacterial vaginosis may also notice a thin, white or gray vaginal discharge. Yeast infections can also be a cause of vaginal odor. Women who yeast infections are more likely to notice symptoms than those with bacterial vaginosis. A cottage cheese-like discharge and vaginal itching are two other common symptoms of yeast infections. According to MayoClinic.com, chlamydia and gonorrhea are two sexually transmitted diseases which can cause an unusual vaginal odor. Most women do not experience symptoms with either of these STDs. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can occur if chlamydia or gonorrhea are left untreated, can also cause an unusual vaginal odor. Women who wear tampons may experience vaginal odor if one gets left inside the vagina. However, this is a very uncommon cause. Poor hygiene is one of the more common causes of vaginal odor. Less common causes of vaginal odor include cervical cancer and vaginal cancer.

How to get rid of vaginal odour If you are trying to get rid of vaginal odour, the best thing that you can do is visit the doctor to get tested for vaginal infections and sexually transmitted diseases. Even if you have not noticed any other symptoms, this is very important. A vaginal infection or STD is likely the cause of vaginal odor. The doctor should also do a Pap smear to rule out the possibility of cervical or vaginal cancer. After the possibility of STDs, infections, and cancer has been ruled out, it is ideal to make sure that you are following good hygiene. Make sure that you are showering on a daily basis, especially during menstruation. Avoid douching, though gentle vaginal cleansers like Summer’s Eve can be ideal. If you use deodorized pads or tampons, keep in mind that they can cause irritation and have been linked to greater instances of yeast infections. Vaginal odor can be a very embarrassing problem. The best thing that you can do is talk to your doctor. Determining the cause of vaginal odor is often the main key to treating the problem. Source: MayoClinic.com.

Three boyfriends down the line and my brother Hello Aunty Adeola, I am still hasn’t approved 21 years old and I have had 3 boyfriends within 2 years. The first one is the one that deflowered me and I love him but my brother doesn’t like him and that was why how we departed. The same thing happened with the second guy. Now there’s the third one that I love, but because he doesn’t have enough money to spend for me, my brother and his children don’t want to see him with me. I don’t have a father that is why I am staying with my brother and he has also said

he doesn’t like my guy’s family. Please I need your advice; what am I going to do? I’m really sorry to hear this. Your brother doesn’t seem to know that he is disturbing you emotionally and that is like taking a part of you away with his selfishness. If he had complained about the conduct of any of these young men you have introduced to him, then maybe I would have supported him. But for him to be treating you like merchandise worthy of sale to the highest bidder is not fair

From you to me

•Akinyemi. O. Akande and his wife, Titilayo Olufolahan being presented with their marriage certificate by Pastor Omotayo Ajiboye at the RCCG, Church of the Firstborn, Kingdom 28 headquarters, Ogudu.

Agoro, keep the work you’re doing up. – 08023193788. Dear Deola, your responses to questions are thrilling and compelling. You seem to put yourself in the place of your counselee. Wonderful! Yomi, (08088538960). I am madly in love with you. 08069033966. Good day I’m very proud of you whenever I read your responses. I wish to know you more than this for love. God will bless us, amen. (07059058499). P.S:Thanks Mr. Yomi and the other person. As for those who are expressing love, maybe I should make it a permanent feature on this page that I am married. MARRIED!

enough. Some men are not too happy that girls and young women these days put money before love and they would use all avenues to preach to girls to love first before asking for money. Yet, we have a man who is actually encouraging his sister to marry for the sake of money. Did his own wife marry him for money sake? Try to find out. I’ll like to know if he has daughters. If he does, he should wait for them to grow up so that he can exchange them for money. In fact, he has enough time to groom them into ladies who would bring rich men home. As for you, keep your matters away from him until you’re ready for marriage. I pray that by then, God would have blessed this man you’re dating now so that your brother can eat his words. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give him some of the money o, after all, in a way, not accepting the man would contribute to that one working hard to become successful.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

The contract (1)

You have a degree so you are overqualified for the job. It’s school certificate holders we are looking for,” the supervisor in charge of the recruitment told me brusquely. I pleaded with him, telling him I was ready to do the job even with my degree but he refused and ordered me to leave

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HE first time I saw Max, he had come to do some shopping in my boutique. Back then, I never knew that that chance meeting would have a profound effect on my life. With time, we would grow very close, something that should not have happened as I was a married woman and infidelity is something frowned upon by society. Before you start casting stones at me for cheating on my husband, you need to hear my story first to understand the circumstances that made me stray outside my marriage. I got married to my husband, Bennie about three years ago. I still remember the ceremony which was held in our local church. It was a grand one, as my husband, who is very rich, spared no expense in ensuring that it was an event that would be the talk of the town for a long time. All my friends had been so envious of me back then. “Amanda, aren’t you lucky! I envy you o!” Dorothy, a good friend and one of my bridesmaids had said as I got ready on the morning of my wedding day. “Bennie’s such a great catch! I wish I could get someone like him!” said another. They all went on and on about Bennie’s good qualities and what a great husband he will be. If only they knew. For as I sat that morning staring at my reflection in the mirror while the make-up artist worked on my face, my mind was churning with different thoughts. Uppermost was the nagging thought, ‘Was I doing the right thing or was I making a big mistake that would haunt me later?’ Even as I stood before the pastor at the altar and exchanged vows with Bennie, that thought kept popping up. But I pushed it aside and put on a brave face, smiling and trying to look like a typi-

cal happy and radiant bride on her big day. You might be wondering why I still went ahead to marry Bennie with all my misgivings. Well, there’s a plausible reason behind my decision. You see, I met Bennie at a very low point in my life. It was at a time when nothing was working and it was as if the whole world was about to collapse on my shoulders. I had finished school but had been unable to get a job after several years of job-hunting. Worse still, my mother who had been my sole support after my father abandoned us years ago, had fallen ill with a sickness that defied solution. There was also a younger brother who was still in secondary school. They both looked up to me for support but how could I play my role in the family without a job? At that point, I was ready to do any job as long as it paid some money. So, when I heard a manufacturing company was looking for some factory workers, I went to

apply. But to my shock, I was rejected for the job because of my qualification. “You have a degree so you are overqualified for the job. It’s school certificate holders we are looking for,” the supervisor in charge of the recruitment told me brusquely. I pleaded with him, telling him I was ready to do the job even with my degree but he refused and ordered me to leave. I was walking dejectedly towards the front gate of the company when someone called out to me. “Excuse me, young lady,” the voice said. I turned round. It was a man in his thirties, I had never seen before. “Sorry to butt in this way but I heard you talking with the supervisor concerning a job back in the office. What exactly are you looking for?” he asked. I studied him for a moment. He was dressed in a dark suit and blue tie and he looked quite respectable like a top executive. “And why do you want to

know?” I countered, wondering if he was an official in the company. “I can see you need a job badly. Maybe I can help you,” he stated. He brought out a complimentary card and gave it to me. “I run my own company. There’s an opening there now. So, why don’t you come and see me and we can talk,” he stated. I gazed at him warily, not sure if he was serious or not, then looked at the card again. “Mr Bernard or whatever your name is. As you can see, I’m in no mood right now for silly games. So, if you will excuse me, I will be on my way,” and I turned and made for the gate once more. “What makes you think I’m not serious about this?” he said behind me. I turned round again. “Because I’m a total stranger to you and people don’t just offer jobs to strangers they don’t know. At least, not in this country,” I said. “We’ve been talking for some minutes now so you

can’t say we are still strangers,” he noted, smiling a little. He had this sincere look in his eyes that made me relax a little. “Look, I understand why you are being wary. You can’t trust people these days. But try and come to my office and I will see what I can do for you,” he said. Based on that invitation, I went to his office the following week and he gave me a job right there. It was like a miracle. I was so happy, I felt as if I was walking on air as I went home that day to break the good news to my mother. I resumed work not long after and I couldn’t be happier. My boss, Mr Bernard was a hard-working man who drove his workers hard so they could achieve maximum results for the company. He also treated us well and was not mean to the staff.

The proposal I noticed he travelled a lot, mostly business trips. On one of such visits to Abuja, he invited me to accompany him. “You will need to check the sales records at our office there. So, get ready,” he ordered. We were in the city for about a week and we worked most of the time. After that trip, we travelled together to some other cities and even outside the country. It was on our return from one of such trips to Kenya when the office gossips started to circulate the story about my affair with my boss. I laughed when I heard it as it was all lies. Though we had travelled to different places and stayed in the same hotels, he had never shown any romantic interest in me. He was friendly and treated me well but he always acted like a boss to a subordinate to me. I knew he was still single and

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I often wondered why a successful man like him, with money and such good looks was still unattached. Some time later, on another of our trips, I told him about the gossip in the office concerning us. It was evening and we were having dinner in the restaurant of the hotel. He laughed at my story. “People love to talk. So don’t let it bother you,” he stated. I smiled at him. “Of course it doesn’t bug me since I know it’s not true,” I rejoined. He was silent for a while then he looked at me with a serious look on his face. “Perhaps we can make it real, give those gossips something to really talk about,” he stated. I looked at him warily. “What are you talking about?” I asked. Then reaching across the table, he took my hand and said: “Marry me, Amanda. Be my wife so I can take care of you.” His proposal was so unexpected that I sat for a while, just staring dazedly at him. “You’ve not been drinking sir, so you can’t be drunk...” I started to say when he interrupted me. “I know this must be a surprise to you. But I’ve thought about it and I believe it’s the sensible thing to do. I need a wife, you need a man to look after you. We both get what we want and it’s that not what matters?” he noted. When I pointed out to him that there was more to marriage than that, he said: “I see where you are going. All that Hollywood stuff like love, romance, desire, passion. I don’t believe in all that. Maybe because I’m a realist who doesn’t believe in fairytales...” As if his proposal was not strange enough, there was more to come. Something to do with a contract which stipulated clearly the terms of the ‘union’... •To be continued •Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals •What is the contract all about? Don’t miss the exciting details next Saturday! •Send comments/advice to 08023201831(sms only) or psaduwa@yahoo.com

Society and its obsession with paper qualification (2)

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OR a well educated citizenry is of great advantage to any nation particularly a developing one like ours. Besides the skills acquired, formal education broadens the mind, opening it to a world full of new possibilities and vistas. It also emboldens, as it gives one the confidence to face life boldly and the ability to cope with the challenges of a modern world. Perhaps it’s for all these reasons that there’s the saying, ‘An educated mind is difficult to enslave’. But the reality is that not every one can have a university degree. And this has nothing to do with class or elitism but the issue of ability. Academic work is for se-

rious minds with the intellectual and mental capacity to cope with the rigors of academia. Not everyone has that capacity and it’s not because they are not intelligent. Perhaps, their talent lie in other areas, such as in creating things with their hands or inventing stuff that can be of benefit to society. Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world was a university drop out. He left Harvard to pursue his dream of making computers that would have a profound impact on the world in the field of info tech and communication. What his story shows is that a degree is not the only road to success in life. There are other routes to achieving

something with one’s allotted time on earth. But in our society, most people have been brainwashed to believe that the only way to a successful life is by getting a degree from a higher institution. It doesn’t matter how you acquire the degree; just get it and your way through life will be paved with gold. That is why many do all sorts including cheating, buying exam questions, paying invigilators to look the other way and all kinds of exam malpractices and scams to get admission into the university. Sadly, some misguided parents even aid their children in this cheating game. The JAMB exams is a case in point. Yearly, we hear of candidates who scored very high marks in the exam but fail woefully in the post-UME that some universities organise to as a lecturer friend put it, ‘separate the wheat from the chaff.’ Despite that, some academically deficient candidates still manage to smuggle

their way in and the result of this is that our campuses all over the country are filled with all sorts of students, many of whom have no business being there in the first place. Unable to cope with tough academic work, they pay their way through school by settling some crooked lecturers in ‘cash or kind’. And by the time they graduate and enter the real world, it’s the society that now bears the brunt of this mess. Most are largely unemployable and barely literate like the ‘graduate’ of Electrical Engineering posted to a bakery for his primary assignment for the NYSC programme. And there are many like him out there. What this means is that the piece of paper that the degree is written on is worthless if it cannot be defended by whoever owns it. It’s what is in the brain that matters, not some paper. Many observers have thrown up their hands in frustration, stating that the situ-

ation, like many things that have gone wrong in our society, is beyond redemption. I still believe that something can be done. First, this fixation or obsession with degree acquisition needs to change. Those without university qualifications shouldn’t be made to feel inferior or lesser human beings, that there’s something wrong with them or they are not good enough. Every child came into this world with a skill or talent which can be nurtured in different ways and not by the four walls of a Uni alone. That is why there used be technical or vocational and skills training centres in the past. But many of these are no longer functioning because everyone now wants to be a university graduate even if they have to ‘buy’ the degree and cannot defend it if called upon to do so. Our educational policy needs an overhaul with less emphasis placed on paper qualification and more on skills acquisition.

And in the long run, is it not better to acquire a skill that will be useful to one throughout his life time rather than ‘getting’ a degree through dubious means that one can’t even use to get a job? There are so many unemployed and unemployable graduates these days some of whom have spent as long as ten years or more seeking non-existent jobs. Some, out of frustration and to meet up with their peers take to criminal activities like armed robbery, kidnapping, drug trafficking and others. Perhaps, it might be late for those who have already graduated with their dubious degrees but for the young ones still at the foundation school level and the future generations, something can still be done so we don’t keep producing too many deficient ‘graduates’ with degrees that are useless to them and the society at large. •Concluded


FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2012

God’s master plan for the family(4)

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EAR Reader, Last week, I taught on fruitfulness as God’s plan for man. This week, we shall be examining The Secrets Of A Winning Family. Let us look at some of them: LOVE - Between family members. The issue of love is so vital that without it, the whole world would have perished in their sins. Why? Because God so love the world that He gave His only Son (John 3:16) Love is important for the survival of your home. Let not the wood of love go out. Love knows no bound. It does not fail. Don’t try to love your spouse once and then stop, because of her attitude or something else. Keep loving over and over again. God is love and He abides forever. Your love to your spouse and family members must abide. It must be an absolute, not only when convenient. Remember, love is a commandment. As you obey this commandment, you continually eat the good in marriage SUBMISSION - Spouses must be subject to one another. Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

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Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:21-22). The husband is the head of the wife and that of the family, but here, the Bible still points out that we all must submit to each other. Husbands, don’t because you are the head you now become the lion of the tribe of your house. Respect the feelings and individuality of your family members too, and administer authority with respect. However, wives are commanded especially, to submit to their own husbands in everything. Are you a wife that submits your body, but cannot submit your money? Do you submit in some aspects, but in the other areas, you have vowed never to obey your husband? This is not total submission, and it is not the will of God. As long as what he is asking you to do is not against the Word of God, you must submit in everything, if you want to please God. Partial submission has no reward, but total obedience shall attract a full reward from God and your husband. WISDOM - A man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, the Preacher says: (Ecclesiastes 8:1) Wisdom is what makes your family life to constantly shine and burn brighter. Without this wood, the home does not radiate beauty. You need wisdom to keep the fire of love burning in your family (Proverbs 4:7). God’s Word says: He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart (Proverbs11:29). Don’t trouble your own house with foolishness. Correctly apply the Word of God. The rod of the prophet does not work in the hands of the foolish. The Word must be correctly applied, for it to produce. Whenever you are faced with any circumstance in the family, ask God for wisdom.

Benefits of exercise

VERYONE likes a person who is bright, cheerful, helpful, energetic, in summary beautiful. Good health necessarily results in beauty of body, mind, and spirit, and of relationships. We all need to make effort if we want to become our best. We need healthy minds to solve problems, to be innovative, to make progress, and to be successful. Our bodies need to be functionally fit in order for us to work well, to deliver the best goods and services, and to profit from everything in life. Our spirits need to be fit to gain goods and overcome evils. Effort in one aspect: body, mind, or spirit, results directly or indirectly in good health in all aspects of our being and living, especially in relationships. Nobody is really ugly, bad, or useless. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We all need effort to be our functional best, to be fit to cope with the dynamics of living and even to thrive in life.For many of us, the physical effort we put into exercise is a stimulus of our innate capacities, a path to better life. Life can sometimes be strangling in the sense that we do not have a set aside or protected time for physical exercise. There are many ways we can grab brief and good exercises during the course of the day if we want to. When you need to take that file upstairs, climb the stairs with vigour and feel your heart beat faster and your breath panting by the time you reach the top. When you need to walk across to another building, try going at a pace that is quicker than your usual pace. These little bits of exercise can add up to significant fitness by the end of the day.You

will take exercise seriously if you know what it does for you. You will lose excessive weight and look and feel your confident best. This does not mean you cannot be fat if you are genetically fat. A fat person can be good looking and healthy. You should know what is excess weight for you, what can precipitate heart or other health problems, and what you find embarrassing. You will work better when you are fit. If you find yourself procrastinating, lackadaisical, escaping tasks and challenges, lacking drive, opting out, unambitious, negative, un-achieving, you are at a low point and you need to stimulate your life. Use physical exercise to animate your body and when your heart, blood circulation, breathing functions, and body metabolism pick up, your mind too picks up and you may marvel at yourself, a new creation. Exercises that are good for stimulating ourselves are: walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, and using the skipping rope. Sports such as lawn or table tennis, football, golf, squash, and bad-

minton help us to loosen our joints, strengthen our muscles, make us walk or run, and stimulate our senses, body functions, and metabolisms. These exercises stimulate the heart and drive blood throughout the body more effectively to deliver oxygen and nutrients and to remove waste products. These exercises burn calories and lower fats (triglycerides and cholesterol) that can be deposited inside blood vessels (arteries) to clog them and make them less functional. Though blood pressure may rise transiently during exercise, regular exercise lowers blood pressure in the long term because of a better working heart and healthier blood vessels.

•Exercising body

Because exercise makes our organs, muscles and joints strong and efficient and we are less easily fatigued at work. We are better able to face challenges and better fit to carry out exerting duties. Exercise alone cannot lead to better life. Other factors are important; for example, good nutrition. Whether rich or poor, we can always have some good nutrition. Rest and sleep are also important components of our efforts to reach better life. Sleep is important for the body and mind to recuperate and reinforce. Our social networks and relationships are also important for our sense of identity, our psychological well-being, and the all-important aspect of living: to love and be loved. Ofcourse, we do need to relate everything to our origin and end so we need to keep the spirit fit too. All these factors plus the effort we make to exercise are a recipe for good living. Your questions Some of you wanted to know how much a treadmill costs. Here is Lagos, I know there is a fitness shop at Ikeja Mall (Shoprite) but I have not been inside it and you may like to see if what they have is affordable for you. Good luck and keep fit. Dr. ’Bola John is a biomedical scientist based in Nigeria and in the USA. For any comments or questions on this column, please Email bolajohnwritings@yahoo.com or call 07028338910.

Use the wisdom of God to quench every fiery dart of the enemy in your home. Constantly Give God Glory Constantly acknowledge God as the only reason behind the success in your home. Give Him back all the glory (Hebrews 3:4). Never attribute the success of your home to yourself, rather, give Him the glory due to Him. God’s Word says: Without me ye can do nothing( John 15:5). Anything you praise God for continually appreciates. Let high praises flow out of your heart and mouth at all times. Let your home be a habitation of God Almighty. Keep your family in the spirit of praise and the earth shall continually yield her increase to you. Is your marriage and family experiencing a breakdown or turbulence? Do not be troubled. All that you need is a personal encounter with God. You need to make a decision to belong to God. You need to be born again. This is done by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as your Saviour and Lord. If you are ready for this new birth experience, please say this prayer: Dear Lord, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know I am born again! Congratulations! Till I come your way again next week, please call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: faithdavid@yahoo.com Tel. No: 234-17747546-8; 07026385437, 07094254102 For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all the Living Faith Churches, and other leading Christian bookstores: Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work and Building a Successful Family.

Health benefits of orange •Nutrients in oranges are plentiful and diverse. The fruit is low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, but is rich in dietary fiber, pectin, which is very effective in persons with excess body weight. Pectin, by its action as a bulk laxative, helps to protect the mucous membrane of the colon by decreasing its exposure time to toxic substances as well as by binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon. Pectin has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by decreasing its re-absorption in the colon by binding to bile acids in the colon. •Oranges, like other citrus fruits, is an excellent source of vitamin C (provides 53.2 mg per 100 g, about 90% of DRI); Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood. •Orange fruit contains a variety of phytochemicals. Hesperetin, naringin, and naringenin are flavonoids found in citrus fruits. Naringenin is found to have a bio-active effect on human health as antioxidant, free radical scavenger, antiinflammatory, and immune system modulator. This substance has also been shown to reduce oxidant injury to DNA in vitro studies. Total antioxidant strength (ORAC) of oranges (navel variety) is 1819 µmol TE/100 g. •Oranges also contain very good levels of vitamin A, and other flavonoid antioxidants such as alpha and beta-carotenes, beta-cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps the body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. •It is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish. •Orange fruit also contains a very good amount of minerals like potassium and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure through countering sodium actions. Citrus fruits, as such, have long been valued for their wholesome nutritious and antioxidant properties. It is scientifically established that citrus fruits, especially oranges, by virtue of their richness in vitamins and minerals, have many proven health benefits. Moreover, it is now beginning to be appreciated that the other biologically active, non-nutrient compounds in the citrus fruits such as phyto-chemical antioxidants, soluble and insoluble dietary fiber helps in cutting risk for cancers, chronic diseases like arthritis, obesity, and coronary heart diseases.


FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

Health Matters With DR MIKE OYAKHIRE 08170268670 email: drmikeoyakhire@yahoo.com

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Medical surgical issues 2

Anorectal conditions, hemorrhoids and anal fissures

ters may simply take in a patient as a statistic, based on his HEMORRHOIDS commonly called piles, are abnor- social status and how much money he has , whereas othmal dilatation of the veins and inflammatory condition ers nurture the desire to ensure the best for the patient not of other vascular and tissue cushions in the Anal and minding the financial implications. The latter is difficult to Ano rectal region .It is hereditary, and more common af- find and hence the decision to go for surgery should not be ter the age of forty. Men and women surfer the condition taken without proper and detailed enquiries . with most cases in women becoming more troublesome One recognized problem that comes up frequently for during pregnancy discussion is the issue of recurrence, in fact some physiPredisposing factors include prolonged sitting, espe- cians in general practice for this reason alone have strongly cially without back rest, prolonged standing, lifting of advised their patients against surgery. heavy objects, constipation, low fibre diets, chronic alRecurrence is most likely to occur in individuals engaged coholism, excessive sugar intake, lack of exercise, obe- in professions that require prolonged, sitting, standing and sity and eating without drinking enough water. driving through long distances. Early return to work, Among these, heredity and constipation (in after surgery with little or no rehabilitation may association with hard stools )are worpredispose to recurrence, and irrespective thy of note. You can do a lot to preof the cause, the foundation for recurvent hemorrhoids, by carefully rence may begin in the post op period studying your family medical hiswhich requires more than just mantory, just as in Asthma and Sickle agement of post op pain, as the healcell disease , so that early ing process may span the course enough you know what and of twelve weeks .During the healwhat to avoid. ing period, the patients is unable Internal Hemorrhoid when to maintain normal posture withnot complicated with fissure out more pain and discomfort, in Ano is mostly painless, but forcing him to adopt abnormal external hemorrhoid occurpostures capable of causing ring in the elderly when thromsmall but steady trauma to the bosed, painful and bleeding vertebral column and its major should be taken seriously and content, the spinal cord. Micro inthe best option is to take the pajuries to the spinal cord take time to •Doctors performing operatient to the nearest Hospital. Even develop and are usually not easy to tion in a modern theatre when it is known to burn itself out correct. The connection the diaphragm in a short while, it is safer if the sur, (the huge muscle responsible for breathgeon examines and determines what is to ing ) makes both with the vertebral column be done. and the spinal cord , as well as with the covering There is a tendency to underrate of the Heart makes it necessary to undertake detailed hemmorrhoidectomy with anal stretch procedures .For evaluation of any patient before deciding on surgery as a Surgeons and patients the stories are different . Most solution for hemorrhoids and anal fissures. colorectal surgeons overseas rate them as simple office Though still ongoing recent studies (Oyakhire and Didia procedures, depending on the experience of the surgeon ) seem to suggest that small but clinically significant racial and what tools he can successfully use. Perhaps com- variations occur in the curves located at the lower regions parison studies in terms of skills, training , equipment of the human Spine. As more patients , those who have the and cost benefit analysis have not been undertaken. money continue to travel out of the country for surgery General surgeons here in Nigeria equally don’t think it ,these little differences become important ,because proceis anything to worry about giving their proven ability to dures based on studies which utilized non Nigerians may produce good results under various unfavorable condi- fail, when used on them. The spinal nerves make their exit tions . This may again not be the general picture when in very close anatomical relationships with the bony strucone considers what happens in parts of the country tures which help maintain stability of the functional spiwhere as many as three local government areas are ser- nal units, and which all working together maintain life. viced by one qualified medical Doctor ,alone who may At all times two rhythms, one at the craniovertebral (upper not have had specialist training in Surgery. end of the spine), and the second ,lumbopelvic or lumbosacMore over, preoperative work up and the very impor- ral (lower end of the spine), have been observed in syntant post op management are bound to be different from chrony with normal breathing. Additional studies have one centre to the other; depending on knowledge, re- also demonstrated that compared with lying down, and sources and other issues bothering on policy . Some cen- standing, sitting down is the position associated with the

•A modern day theatre

Surgical materials

highest interdiscal pressure( pressure within the soft bone that prevents the vertebral column from collapsing). With these in mind, and if hemorrhoids are associated with prolonged sitting, the implication is that surgical interventions involving the maxillofacial, oral, colorectal, and anorectal regions may temporarily or permanently affect the spine in a way that might not be immediately obvious to the medical surgical team. Hemorrhoidectomy and anal stretch being more likely to be performed in adults means adequate attention be given to the control of pain during and in the post op period. Apart from the pain at the op site , abnormal postures which the patient assumes as he tries to reduce his discomfort can equally reduce or exaggerate the normal vertebral angulation of the spine. The resulting stretch on the nerves may add to the patient’s agony and drive him in the direction of heart attack Overseas, there are very many specialists and subspecialists in areas that Nigerian authorities will call superfluous, but that is the mindset that people can change . There are units responsible for sleep, each under the headship of a consultant or Director with specialist qualification in sleep medicine. Again experiments have shown that sleep deprivation can shorten life span reduce immunity and trigger heart attack. Pain in any part of the body will make anyone sleepless, and this is usually terrible with operations in the perineum. Pain units can be created to handle post op cases as is done overseas, and working in good harmony with physiotherapists will ensure what best suits a particular patient;let it be their responsibility to work out what analgesic will cause the least side effects for a patient, while remaining as potent as desired. When such division of labor takes some responsibility from the surgeon, he is less likely to crash from the burden of care which at times can be overwhelming, and will be in a better state of mind to follow up a patient even after discharge

Antioxidants in coffee, tea may not help prevent dementia, stroke

RINKING coffee and tea D rich in antioxidants may not lower your risk of de-

mentia or having a stroke, according to a new study published Wednesday in the online journal Neurology. The study may call into question other research suggesting a diet high in antioxidants helps reduce the risk of dementia and stroke.

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Researchers followed approximately 5,400 people aged 55 years and older for nearly 14 years. The participants had no signs of dementia when they began the study and most had never had a stroke. They were questioned about how often they ate 170 foods over the course of the past year and they were divided into three

groups based on the levels of antioxidants in their diet low, moderate or high. Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that help protect your cells and repair cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals, molecules responsible for aging and tissue damage, may be a factor in heart disease, cancer and other disease.

Benefits of orange on skin

HIS fruit belongs to the citrus family and is best know for its astringent and toning properties. Oranges are a good source of Vitamin C which is known to improve the skin texture and color. They help restoring collagen in our body which is responsible for skin firming and preventing early aging of skin. So, daily serving of citrus fruits helps our body fight aging. •After eating orange, instead of throwing away the peels, dry them in sun and grind them. Store the mixture. And, use it as a body scrub. •Mix the above made scrub and milk or milk cream and apply on face. It gives an instant glow to your face. And, reduces the dark spots and blemishes on your skin. •If you do not want to go through the tedious step of grinding the peels, you can make a refreshing face spray using the peels. •If you do not use a face spray, simply

pour boiling water on the peels and leave for a day. Next day, filter the liquid and store it in fridge. Apply the liquid on your face using a cotton ball. Let stay till it dries up. Your face will be firm and glowing. •You can use this liquid in preparing face masks. Use the liquid in a day or two. •You can pour this liquid in your bath water and enjoy a refreshing and rejuvenating bath. Your skin will smell fresh all day. •Use the liquid as a hair rinse to get shining hair. It also helps in removing dandruff. •A very innovative tip: Take the juice of 2 oranges and freeze it in an ice tray. Rub your face with frozen orange juice cubes. It will instantly freshen you up and lift up the tiredness from your face. The juice will give your dull and oily face an instant sheen. And, the chilled ice cubes will close and minimize the size of your pores. This also provides relief to acne prone skin and pimples. Source:elements4health.com

Foods loaded with antioxidants include blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, tomatoes, kale, bell peppers, corn, and spinach. The major antioxidant vitamins are Vitamin C, beta-carotene and Vitamin E. They’re largely found in colorful fruits and veggies, especially those that are red, blue, purple, yellow and orange in color. But most of the antioxidants consumed by study participants came in the form of coffee and tea, said study author Elizabeth Devore of Harvard Medical School and Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Approximately 600 people developed dementia and about 600 had a stroke over the course of the study. But those who consumed antixoidant-rich diets did not change their risk of developing brain disease any more than those with low levels in their diets, researchers said. “These results are interesting because other studies have suggested that antioxidants may help protect against stroke and dementia,” said Devore. “It’s possible that individual antioxidants, or the main foods that contribute

those antioxidants - rather than the total antioxidant level in the diet - contribute to the lower risk of dementia and stroke found in earlier studies.” Dr. Richard Lipton, vice chairman of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine says people tend to think antioxidants are called one thing and all have the same properties. But the paper is clear that 90% of the antioxidants came from coffee and tea and that doesn’t have the same protective effect. “This study is not saying that blueberries don’t help you or a Mediterranean diet doesn’t help you, it’s saying this very specific dietary com-

ponent doesn’t reduce stroke and dementia risk.” Lipton told CNN. “This study looked at a certain type of antioxidants primarily from coffee and tea and doesn’t speak to antioxidants in fruits and vegetables and the Mediterranean diet.” In fact, the researchers say there is growing evidence that consuming lots of fruits, vegetables and even alcoholic beverages may be linked to a reduced risk of stroke - that specific antioxidant-rich foods and beverages are more important for lowering the risk of stoke than the overall antioxidant capacity of the diet. Source: CNN.com


•Hon. Ikon


•Hon. Ikon


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013


NEWS 57

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

Oyerinde: Reps praised for public hearing Osemwengie OGBEMUDIA, Benin

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•Rivers State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (centre), his deputy,Tele Ikuru(left) and the Chairperson of Ogu/Bolo Local Council Area, Maureen Tamuno, at the Town hall the governor had with the people of the council at Ogu, Thursday.

Amaechi gives N100m grant to Ogu/Bolo LGA

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IVERS State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has given a grant of N100 million to Ogu/Bolo Local Government Council Area to augument steps taken by the council on developmental projects, including the linking of Bolo Town to the national grid to boost social and economic activities in the area. Amaechi spoke Thursday at a Town Hall Meeting with the people of Ogu/ Bolo, at Ogu, the headquarters of Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area of thes. “The cardinal projects of my administration are edu-

cation, health, road and power. Your chairman has done well in the area of power, we will support her with a N100 million grant, because the Ogu/Bolo Council has taken the rural electrification project which is also our priority project in the area of power to another level,” Amaechi said. Governor Amaechi also said it was necessary and strategically important for his administration to commence the building of a model secondary school in the area by June this year, while urging the people of

Ogu/Bolo to provide 21 hectares of land for the school. “It is your entitlement, we hold the money for Rivers people and before June this year, we will bring out the money and mobilise contractors to site. I also want the Commissioner for Education to bring me the survey plan to ensure we have 21 hectares of land, this is government project, so ignore who owns the land. Let us get 21 hectares of land. This is because it is not only Ogu/Bolo people that will go to school there, it is the entire Rivers State,”

Amaechi said. He assured the people of Ogu/Bolo that his administration will build more health centres in Ogu, Wakama, Bolo and Ele communities. “We will provide more health centres in Ogu, Wakama, Bolo, Ele, because the people are surrounded by water. So, if a woman wants to deliver at midnight, where will she go to? You can’t say Bolo is close to Okrika or Wakama, so, we can say, let the different communities have their health centres,” Amaechi said.

Uduaghan laments injustice, inequity in Niger Delta

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ELTA State Governor E m m a n u e l Uduaghan has decried the injustice being suffered by the people of the Niger Delta region. Speaking at Silverbird ‘Man of the Year 2012’ award held Thursday night in Lagos, where two Delta State citizens bagged awards, Governor Uduaghan said it was unfortunate that decades after a Niger Delta activist, Isaac Adaka Boro brought to the consciousness of the world the injustice being suffered by the people of the Niger Delta region, the situation was yet to be resolved. Minister of Finance, Prof. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Deltan bagged the ‘Man of the Year’ award, while Chief Newton Jibuno, also a

Deltan, reputed for his campaign against desert encroachment, was rewarded for his crusade against desertification in Africa. Others who received awards at the well attended ceremony included Chief Emeka Anyaoku and Sergeant Georgeta Y, a traffic warden with the Nigerian Police; while post-humus awards went to late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti; late political icon, Mallam Aminu Kano; and Niger Delta activist, Major Isaac Adaka Boro. Presenting an award to one of the siblings of Boro, Governor Uduaghan stated that the late Isaac Boro “died fighting for fairness and justice in the Niger-Delta,” stressing that “today, we have not achieved fairness

and justice in the Niger Delta.” While praying that the award should lead to the entrenchment of justice and fairness in the oil-rich region, Governor Uduaghan commended Silverbird for organising the award which recognises the inputs of Nigerians to the nation’s development. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said she felt humbled with the award and called on all Nigerians to be committed to working for the country to achieve greatness, while Chief Jibuno said: “This award is a great honour, it is an honour for me to serve Nigeria more.” Other recipients of the award expressed joy that their contributions to the nation’s development were

being recognised, assuring that they will continue to work in the interest of the country. Earlier, the chairman of the occasion and former federal minister, Odein Ajumogobia (SAN) described the award as “coveted public tribute to Nigeria,” adding: “This is an award to a person who has affected the Nigerian public in a most profound way in the year given.” In attendance at the award ceremony where the governors of Delta, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan; that of Anambra, Mr Peter Obi; Kwakwanso of Kano; Alhaji Isa Yaguda of Bauchi States respectively; representatives of some state governors; Ide Ahaba, Chief Sunny Odogwu, Pat Utomi, ministers, industrialists, among others.

Federal High Court sacks Delta lawmaker FEDERAl High Court in Asaba, Delta State, yesterday sacked the member representing Ukwuani constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Alphonsus Ojo for defection. Ojo was elected to represent his constituency at the April 26, 2011 election on the platform of the Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP) but defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last year.

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Okungbowa AIWERIE, Asaba Ojo, in his notice of summons, argued that the DPP was in crisis necessitating his decision to resign his membership of the party. But the DPP and Mr. Chukwuma Dafikpaku dragged the lawmaker before the court, claiming that his action violated the provisions of Section 109 (1) g and (2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and

prayed the court to declare the seat vacant. In suit number FHC/ ASB/CS/129/12, the Delta State House of Assembly, the Speaker of the House and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were joined as defendants. Justice C.M.A. Olatoregun-Isiola granted the prayers of the plaintiffs and averred that the second defendant (Speaker of the House) was “under mandatory responsibility

to declare the seat of the 3rd defendant (Ojo) vacant.” The court also directed the 4th defendant (INEC) to immediately commence the process of conducting fresh election into the Ukwuani Constituency seat in the Delta State House of Assembly. Reacting to the judgment, Ojo urged his constituents to remain calm, adding that the judgment would be studied and assured that the verdict would be appealed.

HE Coalition to Save Nigeria (CSN), yesterday commend the House of Representatives for holding a public hearing on the mindless and gruesome murder of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, the former Principal Private Secretary to the Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole. Dr. Philip Ugbodaga, the Nation Chairman of the coalition said he was saddened that the public hearing, rather than help unravel the mystery surrounding the murder of Oyerinde, has only succeeded in perpetuating the official cover-up with the police and the State Security Services maintaining the reliability of their conflicting reports of investigations into the murder. “We ask again: how can two different sets of suspects acting differently and using separate weapons be responsible for the murder of a single individual? “The excuse by the AGF for the ensuing confusion as a result of the above for not making any progress in the arraignment of the actual killers is self-serving, deceitful, unacceptable and deliberately fashioned to permanently sweep the heinous crime under the carpet. “After the House public hearing, what next? We demand action. We demand justice. Justice for the family. Justice for his friends and comrades and justice for the society that he struggled all his life to better.” On the first anniversary of the assassination of Oyerinde in May, we expect to be comforted by the news of the commencement of the trial of the actual killers and we call on the security agencies to immediately put their acts together in other to achieve this.

Three UNIBEN students injured waiting for NYSC call-up letters

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HREE students of the University of Benin were yesterday injured while waiting to collect their call-up letters for mobilisation for the Nation Youth Service Corps Scheme. They fell when the railings of a staircase they were leaning on gave way. Those injured included a female and two males. More than ten students fell off the staircase inside the Indoor Sports Hall of the institution, venue of the collection of the call-up letters. The injured students were later taken away in an ambulance. At Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, students were asked to make a compulsory payment of N5200 for their mobilisation for

Osagie OTABOR, Benin NYSC. The payment was N4600 as mobilisation fee and N600 for NYSC identification card. Some of the students said some names were returned from NYSC on the “Error List”, popularly known as “correction list” based on the findings that the over 200 students had problems which included not fulfilling JAMB requirement, especially providing evidence of JAMB Registration in gaining admission. It was gathered that some students presented fake JAMB registration to enable them participate in the NYSC scheme, but were fished out through the records of NYSC and JAMB.

Seadogs confraternity urges support for merger party

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HE National Association of Seadogs (NAS) has called on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and well-meaning Nigerians to encourage the newly formed All Progressive Congress (APC) to succeed in order to promote healthy democracy. The association, in a statement issued by its National President, Mr. Ide Owodiong-Idemeko, in Calabar said the success of the merger would engender healthy competition in the political space as well as enhance democratic practices. It reads: “As a forward thinking organisation with strong belief in the principles of democracy and freedom, we would like to see a situation where the governing party, the Peoples Democratic Party and all other well-meaning Nigerians will accord the newly formed alliance the necessary encouragement and needed support to succeed. “Nigerians should be encouraged to exercise their right to belong to any political association of their choice and should be allowed to form alliances to realise their legitimate political aspirations. Undoubtedly, the success of this merger will engender healthy competition within the political arena and enhance democratic practices across board. “It is our belief that the ultimate benefit of improved democratic processes and practices would be the fostering of a modern democracy in our country, Nigeria.” NAS, however, called on the APC not to see their emergence as an opportunity to grab power at all costs, but to instill and promote a democratic culture among the political class. He said: “We are particularly impressed by the motivating principle of this merger which was captured in the following words by a spokesman for the coalition, ‘we resolved to form a political party committed to the principles of internal democracy, focused on serious issues of concern to our people, determined to bring corruption and insecurity to an end, determined to grow the economy and create jobs in their millions through education, housing, agriculture, industrial growth and to stop the increasing mood of despair and hopelessness among our people.”


58 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

Lagos dep governor, CJ, others honour Anglican Primate as church ordains three new bishops T

HREE bishops were added to the Anglican Church family last Sunday. They were Rev. Simeon Borokini (Akure); Ven. Geoffrey Okoroafor (Egbu) and Ven. James Odedeji (Lagos West). The consecration was presided by the Archbishop Metropolitan, Primate of all Nigeria and Bishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh. The ceremony attracted 15 archbishops, 116 of the 170 bishops in Nigeria, including the Congregation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). The day also coincided with the Anglican feast of St. Mathias. Fully robed, the bishops marched in. The procession was long. The colourful display was a spectacle. It was even made more colourful by the boys and girls brigade. The guild of stewards were fully kitted in their uniformed attire. A combined choir of the Diocese of Mainland relished good songs. The 120capacity altar was filled with bishops who occupied the stall where the choir members stay. The choir was moved to the gallery. Reading the Old Testament from Zechariah 3: 1-10 was the Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Ayotunde Philip. Bishop of Yewa, Right Rev. Sermon Adebola, gave the sermon from 1Corinthians 16: 16, charging the Anglican faithful to cooperate with the new bishops to make the work easier for them. He noted that in all his years as a bishop of the church, the ministry had not been as musical as people used to sing to him. Bishop Adebola said: ‘’They should be regarded as vanguards for Christ’s great commission. The commission is the greatest plan for men by the greatest man to ever live about the greatest plan ever recorded.”

Nneka NWANERI

Urging the new bishops to make a difference in their jurisdiction and Nigeria by ensuring they live a contagious life so others can be infected. He added: “You need a spirit of positive addiction. Give people something to aspire to even as human, struggle in your weakness as where you lead, others will follow.” As the bishops were presented to the public, the congregation went wild with jubilation and applause. Each of the three dioceses sent representatives in their numbers. Most Rev. Okoh, who asked the sheep to support their new shepherd in their task, welcomed the new bishops. He said the occasion was an opportunity to give the younger generation a voice. The primate encouraged the bishops to concentrate on the spread of the gospel and maintain a high standard of morality among the people. For 47-year-old Ven. Odedeji, his joy knew no bounds as he promised to serve the church unconditionally. In attendance were many notable Nigerians, including the former DirectorGeneral of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Dr. Ndidi Okere Onyuike; former Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof Wale Omole; Lagos State Deputy Governor, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; former Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice S.O.Ilori; former Supreme Court Justice George Oguntade; Chairman of Nestle Foods Plc, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye; Vice-Chancellor of Ajayi Crowther University, Prof. Kathy Jaiyeoba, among others.

•From left: Bishop of Akure Diocese, Ven. Simon Borokini; Bishop of Egbu Diocese, Ven. Geoffrey Okoroafo and Bishop of Lagos West Diocese, Ven. James Odedeji at their ordination last Sunday

•Primate Okoh blessing the new bishops

•The wives of the new three bishops, from left: Lagos West Diocese, Mrs Lydia Odedeji; Egbu Diocese, Mrs Ngozi Okoroafo and Akure Diocese, Christianah Borokini

•The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Philips (second left) at the procession.

•From left: The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Adejoke OrelopeuAdefulire, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye and wife, Abosede.

•Ngoeze Joe-Okereke (left) and Dr. Okereke-Onyiuke. PHOTOS: Adejo DAVID


THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

FOREIGN NEWS 59

‘My wife, my wife!’ Desperate cry of Briton who leapt from burning balloon... then watched it soar to 1,000ft with his wife still on board HE horrific ordeal of a British tourist who escaped the Egyptian hot air balloon disaster then watched his wife plunge to her death was relived yesterday. Michael Rennie, 49, jumped 10ft to the ground from the burning basket, then ran 250 yards along a track chasing the balloon screaming ‘My wife. My wife’. But he could only watch in horror as the doomed craft rose rapidly into the skies and exploded at 1,000ft above Luxor, then plummeted to the ground along with its passengers. Mrs Rennie, 48, from Perth, Scotland, was among 19 tourists killed on Tuesday morning. Other victims included artists Joe Bampton, 40 and Suzanna Gyetvai, 34, who lived in Clapham, South West London. Four of the dead had tried to leap from the balloon as it rose. Mr Rennie suffered burns to his face and shock but is in a stable condition in a Cairo hospital. The same balloon, operated by Sky Cruise, had been involved in another crash less than 18 months ago, it was revealed yesterday. Michael Rennie is in hospital in Cairo after the balloon ride went tragically wrong, killing his wife Yvonne Tuesday’s tragedy is believed to have happened near the end of the dawn flight, after a landing rope became entangled with a helium gas tube, severing it and sparking a fire. Mohamed Youssef Mohamed, 27, a pilot for Magic Horizon balloons, was on his own balloon at the time. ‘One of my tourists on board pointed out that the balloon appeared to have caught fire on the right-hand side,’ he said. ‘It was just two or three metres from the ground and was about to land but the pilot was quickly engulfed in flames and flung himself out of the basket. ‘Seconds later, on the other edge of the basket, the British survivor jumped out. By the time it reached 70 metres I saw four people fall – I’m not sure if they jumped or if the basket opened due to the fire. This was all before the sound of the gas explosion.’ The whole incident took a little over two minutes. Another witness, a holiday worker called Mohamed, said: ‘It was a horrific sight. The scene was pure hysteria. The pilot Momen Murad was a professional with around 10 years of experience flying hot air balloons and was well known in Luxor as a skilled flier.’ The green hot air balloon can be seen as it took off, before exploding and plunging to earth in Egypt An investigation is underway by Egyptian authorities and all balloon flights have been grounded. Ahmed Mohamed Al Yemeni, Luxor’s deputy public prosecutor who is in charge of investigating the incident, said: ‘Investigators are searching for evidence of a technical malfunction of a gas

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•The ballon takes off shortly before the incident.

canister used. It appears likely the gas was largely responsible for the accident.’ Yesterday Mr Rennie’s brother David complained that he had ‘not been told anything’ by Thomas Cook, the tour operator used by the four Britons. He said he could not speak about the disaster until he had seen his brother, who works for a construction company, •Michael and but the family ‘were Yvonne on their grieving for our loss of wedding day Yvonne’. Radiology manager Douglas Mitchell said: ‘We are in shock at the sudden and tragic loss of Yvonne. ‘She was a much-loved number of passengers jumped colleague who enjoyed her job and from balloon at around 300ft as it her tragic passing has had a huge was being towed into land and hit impact on all of us who knew and a power line Police identified the man from worked with her. She will be sadly missed.’ Mr Bampton and Miss some of the possessions he left at Gyetvai both worked for Lots the top and said he was a 20-yearold migrant worker named as Liu Road Auctions in Chelsea. They were described by their Han China's lovers' leap: Horrified neighbours as ‘a quiet, lovely photographer captures... Shakes on a Plane Preview couple’. Mr Bampton was originally Shakes on a plane: Feds from Merseyside before moving to investigating college frisbee team... Gordon Ramsay's time at London to become an expert valuer of rugs and carpets. His Claridge's is coming to an end Hungarian-born partner was also after a breakdown in talks about known by her artist name, Zsi long-term contract renewal Gordon Ramsay loses Claridge's Chimera. Investigation: An Egyptian contract in real life kitchen... I know these things happen so inspector of the Civil Aviation Authority walks among the quickly and it's hard to make a wreckage. Shocked eye-witnesses judgement, but I wouldn't have told yesterday how the pilot and a jumped out of that balloon unless

my Wife was right there with me, and I would do my best to hold her hand as we jumped. God bless all of them. It must have been awful to be so close to the ground one moment, then 1000ft up and on fire the next. By jumping out, he made the basket lighter and it floated up trapping everyone and his wife. When I first heard about this I could not see how a 'gas tank' could explode as they are designed not to fail. Now we hear it was loose gas lines caught on the capture rope. In other words the balloon was incorrectly and dangerously rigged and cannot have been inspected properly prior to take off. Ensuring the rope is attached lower down on the basket and fitting armoured gas lines may be part of a solution but there obviously needs to be better safety inspection. The 'ban it' gut reaction is seldom a correct or necessary one at times like this. Don't forget as soon as one person jumped the ballon got lighter & up it went... they would all have had to jump at the same time to have had any chance Do not parachute, hot air balloon or paraglide. There is enough going on inside you sitting in a chair watching the telly. This man will blame himself for

what was most likely an immediate reflex response to danger. Would I leave my wife in a burning house? No. Would I jump away from an exploding gas appliance in my house? Yes. In this balloon situation there was no opportunity for him to recover from, and act after, his initial natural response. That's the truth of the situation but he will probably never recover from the consequences of it. God help this poor man. You can only imagine how horrific it must've been for those who couldn't escape. Those poor poor people. RIP. My wife and i refused to go on one of those flights when we were in Luxor. Appeared to be too dangerous. Lucky at the time us, but we were also nearly choked with the way the ships are berthed at night. Side by side with the inter-connect doors open so that all the passengers had access though the ships to the quay. Fine you would say, but all the doors were open and all the badly serviced diesel power engines for providing power to the ships were left on polluting the atmosphere in the cabins. That was not the end; both of us were confined to our cabins with diarrhoea for seven days of the cruise, and I arrived back home infected by a mosquito bite while visiting the dam and contracted malaria.. My wife contracted a CVT on the return flight due to the cramped seating on the plane. All true. My friends at home thought us mad that we had gone there.They were right, so right. n Culled from Mail of London


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THE NATION SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 1-03-13

Equities close with N34b gains

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IGHLY capitalised fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) multinationals, building materials and financial services stocks rallied the equities market back to the positive yesterday, mitigating the steep decline in the previous day. Equities had lost N212 billion on Thursday, the sharpest decline so far this year. But stocks that had orchestrated the decline yesterday teamed up with other resurgent stocks to pull the market back to the positive side. Dangote Cement, which had been the main loser with a loss of N153.03 billion on Thursday, led the rally yesterday with a gain of N1.97 to close at N147.99. Aggregate market value of all equities improved by N34 billion to N10.618 trillion as against its opening value of N10.584 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), the main value-based index that un-

By Taofik Salako

derlines changes in prices of all quoted companies, trended upward to 33,183.19 points as against its index on board of 33,075.14 points. With the 0.33 per cent increase in average value of equities, year-to-date return at the stock market inched up to 18.18 per cent. UAC of Nigeria followed Dangote Cement on the gainers' list with a gain of N1.50 to close at N50 per share. Ashaka Cement trailed with an appreciation of N1.38 to close at N24.38. Conoil rose by N1.20 to close at N25.20. Oando added N1.09 to close at N14.98. Cadbury Nigeria gained 60 kobo to close at N35.50. Guinness Nigeria gathered 50 kobo to close at N276.50. Zenith Bank rose by 35 kobo to N21.10 while Guaranty Trust Bank and UACN Property Development Company added 23 kobo and 21 kobo to close at

N24.83 and N14.90 respectively. However, Nigerian Breweries topped the losers' list with a loss of N3.50 to close at N161.50. Nestle Nigeria followed with a drop of N2 to close at N886. Ashaka Cement lost 52 kobo to close at N4.69. National Salt Company of Nigeria dropped by 27 kobo to N9.21, while Academy Press slipped by 25 kobo to N2.25 per share. Total turnover stood at 469.35 million shares valued at N3.07 billion in 5,034 deals. Consolidated Hallmark Insurance topped the activity chart with three deals for 120 million shares worth N60 million. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria placed second with a turnover of 73.68 million shares valued at N109.73 million in 263 deals. Access Bank ranked third with a turnover of 30.76 million shares worth N359.85 million in 152 deals. Consolidated Hallmark Insurance's deals placed the insurance subsector atop activity with a turnover of 143.33 million shares worth N81.98 million in 269 deals. Banking subsector trailed with a turnover of 137.71 million shares valued at N1.42 billion in 1,776 deals.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 1-03-13


THE NATION SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

62

SPORT EXTRA

Ameobi: My parents wanted me to be a doctor

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• Ameobi

UPER EAGLES’ forward Shola Ameobi has taken time to think back how he started his football career in England. The Newcastle striker said it was not easy combining school and the game of football as he faced difficult times in the beginning. “When I was a young kid, it was football, football, football. All I did was play football, at home, at school, out on the street, he told dailymail.co.uk “I came home from school and I’d sneak out if I was not allowed and jump out of the window. Our parents John and Margaret were only interested in studies. “Fundamentally they wanted to pass on that we had a good education, so there were a lot of tears growing up. I wanted

to play football, they wanted me to be a doctor. “I remember them saying ‘you won’t play unless you have finished your work’. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to work, I just wanted to fit it round football. “I was grounded all the time for jumping out of windows to play football and coming home

late. (younger brother) Sammy? He was weird. He was into computers. “I joke with him now, that he doesn’t know what it was like. He got a lift every week to games and training because we had a car by then. I had to go on the bus or walk. A different generation.

Ameobi made his international debut for Nigeria in a friendly game against Venezuela on November 14, 2012 in Miami. He would have featured for Nigeria at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, but was held back because of club duties.

Anichebe to undergo late fitness test

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IGERIA’S Victor Anichebe is pushing for a recall into the starting line-up for Everton against Reading but his fitness will be assessed closer to kickoff after sitting out the Toffees’ last two fixtures through injury. Everton will take on Hope Akpan’s Reading in the EPL week 28 fixture at Goodison Park tonight and the Nigerian star will be hoping he gets back into Coach David Moyes’s starting XI on the night as reported by football365.com. Tony Hibbert is the only longterm absentee for the Toffees as he continues his rehabilitation from calf surgery. Reading on the other hand will be without suspended striker Pavel Pogrebnyak. The Russian forward was sent off during last weekend’s 3-0 home defeat against Wigan and will be missing for the Royals’ next three

games. Veteran striker Jason Roberts is still absent and admitted during the week he has no idea when he will be fit to return while goalkeeper Alex McCarthy also misses out.

Ideye talks tough ahead Kryvbas visit

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UPER EAGLES’ forward Brown Ideye has expressed confidence over his team’s chances of a good start to the second half of the Ukraine Premier after the winter break. The Nigerian spent the winter with Nigeria in South Africa where his contribution helped Nigeria to her first Nations Cup trophy after a 19-year wait while his Dynamo Kiev teammates were in Marbella-Spain on a winter camping. Dynamo resumes their chase for a UEFA champions league

POLICE GAMES

IGP orders provision of adequate security in Port Harcourt

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HE Inspector –General of Police, IGP MD Abubakar, CFR, NPM, mni, has directed the Assistant Inspector-General of Police incharge of Zone 6 and the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, to ensure the provision of adequate security for all athletes, officials and invited guests of 10th Biennial Police Games slated for Port Harcourt, Rivers State, from 3- 9 March, 2013. The IGP gave this directive at the Force Headquarters while speaking on the benefits the Games hold for the Force and the entire Nigerian sporting community. He further directed particular attention must be given to Hotels accommodating

guests, all athletes’ camping and training grounds; and event centres. Meanwhile, several units of the Police Mobile Force (PMF) drawn from neighbouring State Police Commands have been deployed to strategic points in and around Port Harcourt . Also deployed are units of the Counter Terrorism Unit, who are to cover all sporting venues. These respective units are joined by Intelligence Operatives from Force Headquarters, Zones 5 and 6; and neighbouring State Police Command. These arrangements are in addition to strategic plans already put in place by the Rivers State Police Command.

Fashola, Abdullahi for Greensprings AGOS State Governor, Sports Forum

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Babatunde Fashola and Minister of Sports/ Chairman, National Sports Commission (NSC), Bolaji Abdullahi as well as top officials of the National Academicals Sports Committee (NASCOM) led by its chairman, Yemi Idowu, are expected to grace the second Greensprings Sports Forum. The one-day interactive session, which holds today at 10am, has as its theme The Role of the Media in School Sports Development, with speakers expected at the event. According to Greensprings’ Director of Education, Prof George Hickman, the forum is

• Ameobi family

aimed at highlighting the role of sports development in the allaround and holistic development of young persons. “The Sports Forum is an annual Greensprings School initiative aimed at highlighting the role of sports development in the all-around, holistic development of young persons. It emphasizes the importance of schools having a strong cocurricular, after-school program, along with the regularly scheduled physical education classes to enhance the academic program of schools,” Hickman said.

spot on Sunday in the Ukrainian league with a home game against compatriot Michel Babatunde’s Kryvbas who on the log and the Nigerian believes they can grab all three points with the fans behind them. “It will be a home match so our fans will support us, which is very important. We have some difficulties but I’m sure that we can overcome them together. “In the last game between Kryvbas I scored the winner and it felt good but this time I think we must aim for an early goal.

He told fcdynamo.kiev.ua. Having been ousted from the Europa League by Bordeaux, Dynamo must try to qualify for the next season’s champions league but they face a tough opposition in second placed Michael Odibe’s Dnipro and Metalist at fourth behind Dynamo at third with 38, 37 and 37 points respectively. Ideye believes they are up for a tough run against Dnipro and Metalist who are both in the race for a continental ticket after crashing out of the Europa

League. “Both Dnipro and Metalist are well organised teams. Besides they have also been kicked off from the Europa League. Now they’ll concentrate on the Ukrainian Premier League. ‘Still I believe we are able to win every match this spring,” Ideye added. Ideye has scored 13 goals so far this term to come second behind Shakhtar Donetsk’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan with 18 in the league’s top scorer chat.

Bassey Akpan hopes to be a champion in Vietnam

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ORMER Heartland goalkeeper Bassey Akpan believes his first division club side in Vietnam, Hoang Anh Gia Lai will be crowned champions as the Premier League starts March 2nd. Akpan told Goal.com that they have prepared very well for the new season and is confident that nothing will stop them in the new football year. “Last season, we came fifth on the league table. But we have been able to correct our mistakes and I am sure that we will be champions when the League kicks off March 2nd,” he said. “We made some mistakes last season, but we have been able to plug all the loopholes and after a rigorous pre-season camping exercise, I will say that we are set to take our rightful place in the Vietnamese League. “Our first game in the new season will be against Hanoi T&T and I am expecting a tough game. I am also ready as the first choice goalkeeper of the team. In my first season, I emerged as the goalkeeper of the season with a place in the team of the season. “I am praying to God to give me more grace to be able to improve on what I achieved last season. I was the best goalkeeper but my team finished fifth. “This new season, I want to remain the the best goalkeeper, but I want my team to win the trophy at the end of the season. “I have worked so hard in the pre-season camp and I cannot wait for the new season to commence,” Akpan said.

Europeans, not whites please • Continued from back range friendly games and other logistics for him. True, but board members, such as Christopher Green, travelled with the squad throughout their preparations. No mention was made of his contributions? Did I hear you say that Ade has started again? No; this is stating the obvious because we must resolve the feud, if we truly want to move forward. Already, the board’s vice president, Mike Umeh, has challenged Keshi to name the two members. Umeh left unanswered what would happen if the coach doesn’t oblige. Fragile peace or peace of the graveyard, if you ask me. Keshi talked about two board members who gave him hell in South Africa. I don’t need an oracle to spot Green and Emeka Inyama, two men who have followed the game with passion with Sharks FC of Port Harcourt and Enyimba FCof Aba, before handling Abia Warriors. Green and Inyama know their onions. Perhaps, Felix Anyansi-Agwu, Mike Umeh and Deji Tinubu are as exposed as they are in the game. But Green and Inyanma played the game even though not to Keshi’s level. Some of their tips could be handy. In the spirit of true reconciliation, Keshi should embrace Green and Inyama. It doesn’t make him the weaker person. It would portray him as a mature man with a large heart and as an incredible team player. Time to sheathe the sword is now. The biggest lesson that Keshi should learn is how to be receptive to suggestions, no matter how poorly or rudely they were delivered. Hitherto, this writer received calls from the Big Boss. For many people, this writer hounded the former Eagles chief coach Samson Siasia because he wanted Keshi. Do they still hold this position now that Keshi has delivered the Africa Cup of Nations diadem? I doubt it. “Ade cannot change. He attacks every Nigerian coach. He wants a European coach for the Eagles.” These are some of the potshots thrown at this writer. I support foreign coaches because of their exploits with our national teams- until this feat by Keshi. No apologies for my position because I want the best for my country. Even Keshi is not averse to employing European coaches. Such coaches must be the best, he says and I agree. Such tacticians as Louis Van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola etc. Why not? We have the cash. Keshi says he is prepared to learn from the best foreign coaches. That view tells the story of a man who wants to succeed. I hope that chieftains of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) watched the Monday night interview because we need a renowned European tactician to rejuvenate the body’s technical department. We need to define the way we want to play our football, using the finer qualities of the average Nigerian footballer. We need a football template that would be introduced to the youth at the grassroots such that it would be very easy to go to any of our age grade teams and pick a replacement(s) for any position in the Super Eagles. Nigerian football needs a style unique to us, like we see with Brazilians, Dutch, Germans, French and Spaniards. We could opt for the hybrid, but that initiative must come from renowned European coaches with a rich history of nurturing football nurseries. I wish Arsene Wenger were available for us. Perhaps either Harry Redknapp or Pep Guardiola would be the suitable option. I just wish they would come. Our footballers are talented, but they need to be taught the rudiments of the game at a much younger level. It hurts to see Eagles coaches teach our senior players how to control the ball and what side of the foot they should hit the ball with. These are elementary stuff taught at the academy levels, which are missing in our football system. Our local league is an eyesore. The state football federations don’t exist. We only hear of them when it is time to accompany the national teams to international competitions. They hardly have syncronised football programmes. The game is played in the state by government owned teams. Most of the state football federations’ chiefs lack the initiative to design programmes that would effectively engage the grassroots coaches and the players. A renowned European coach as our technical man would help train and retrain our coaches. It is true that Adegboye Onigbinde can man the position but he won’t earn the respect of our local coaches, some of who believe that his methods are not in sync with the modern time and that he needs to give way for the younger ones. Need I state how Onigbinde’s efforts have been frustrated by coaches that he even groomed as players? Nigeria is the only country where anyone can present himself as a coach and he gets the job. No standards are set. It is unbelievable that Nigerian coaches are in cadre C, the equivalent of primary six in coaching in Africa. It is not good enough, irrespective of what Keshi has achieved with the Eagles in South Africa.


THE NATION SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013

63

SPORT EXTRA Manu: Golden Eaglets set for Botswana test

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•Keshi

Keshi open to fresh options N

IGERIA’S head coach, Stephen Keshi, has declared that he will explore the option of calling up players outside of the squad that won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa last month. The Super Eagles are billed to play their first

competitive game later this month against Kenya’s Harambee Stars in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying since becoming African champions. But the Big Boss, as Keshi is also called, would rather keep to his chest the names of the players he intends to

hand recalls to the team. “I won’t rule out bringing in players that were not with us in South Africa for the Nations Cup. Like I have always said the national team’s door isn’t closed to players who are in top shape and form with their clubs. “Right now we will need all

Osaze shuts the door on Eagles

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IGERIAN striker, Peter Odemwingie is not interested in returning to the Super Eagles ‘unless things get straight forward’ in the national team set up. The forward was controversially left out of the Nigeria squad that went on to win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations title in South Africa and could yet remain in limbo if his latest declarations are anything to go by. “I am not seeking a come back as I have showed you last year I am not so interested now. If things get straight forward maybe one day,” Odemwingie revealed. The forward then took the time to respond those who have questioned his temperament and attitude in

recent days stating that he was more interested in fielding questions about issues related to his taste buds. “So I am happy to please those tired of my wahala that there will be no more wahala. I will answer no further questions about our football. “I am open to talk about Egusi soup, pounded yam, rice and plantain. Calabar festival, Naija got talent and the rest,” he said. Head coach of the Nigeria national team, Stephen Keshi has announced that he would unveil the list of players to face Kenya in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier next month on March 9 and it is looking increasingly unlikely that Odemwingie will earn a recall. The West Bromwich Albion

‘I have list of 23 players in my head’

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LYING EAGLES’ coach, John Obuh has said he has mentally picked 23 players likely to make his final squad for the African Youth Championship in Algeria. March 6 is the deadline for the AYC finalists to submit their final 21-man, but Nigeria plan to send through

• Obuh

their final squad ahead of this date. “I have a good idea of my squad, I have about 23 players, and so just need to drop two of them and we have the final squad,” Obuh said. “I will now have to concentrate on these players now.” There are currently 29 players at the team’s training camp in Tunisia with only Denmark-based Edafe Egbedi still being expected. Obuh said the Tunisia loss on Thursday was an eye opener for him as he tried to give all squad members a chance to stake a claim in the main squad. “It was a test game that showed the players who are ready for the tournament and those who are not,” he said. “We had a better game when I introduced some of the players I have played more often before. But the damage had been done by the first set of players and those who replaced them were not relaxed and were too anxious to score but they could not.”

attacker has played 55 matches netting 9 times for the Super Eagles.

• Odemwingie

of our best players who are ready to play for the country for our next game (against Kenya). As for the names of players I will invite for our next game you’ll have to wait,” said Keshi. But sources close to the Nigerian manager revealed to supersport.com that the duo of Newcastle United forward, Shola Ameobi and Levante striker, Obafemi Martins, could be considered for recalls after missing the AFCON. Keshi also stated that he is not giving up on injured Spartak Moscow forward, Emmanuel Emenike ahead of the clash with Kenya. “Currently I can’t say much about his health as he is not with us now, though I hear he’s out for several weeks. But we are not totally ruling him out of the game, and we will get the true picture of things as it concerns him in a matter of days,” said Keshi. Super Eagles will play hosts to their Kenyan counterparts, the Harambee Stars in Calabar on March 23. The African champions lead Group F of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on four points ahead of Namibia, Malawi and Kenya.

Flying Eagles to play Esperance today

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HE Flying Eagles will now play their second warm-up game in Tunisia against Esperance today by 11am. The match was earlier fixed for Sunday afternoon. The Nigeria U20s are expected to play their main team for this match as the countdown for the 2013 AYC has begun. Esperance are most likely to line-up 18-year-old forward Emeka Emerum, who has just signed a four-year contract with the two-time African champions. Esperance U20 and Club

Africain have also been lined up to test the readiness of the Flying Eagles for the AYC. The Nigerian youth team will begin their title defence on March 17 against Mali in Oran. Both teams clashed in the semifinals of the 2011 AYC in South Africa with the Flying Eagles 2-0 winners. Nigeria’s other Group B games are on March 20 against Gabon and three days later against DR Congo. The semi-finalists will represent Africa at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey in June.

‘Martins will play against Valencia’

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UAN IGNACIO Martinez has confirmed that Obafemi Martins is still in contention to play for Levante this weekend in the derby against Valencia, despite the transfer saga involving the Nigerian striker. Martins has held preliminary talks with MLS outfit Seattle Sounders over a proposed N606m (•3m) transfer that he has looked to push through with some public sentiments. However, the club hasindicated

that they will only negotiate at his buyout clause level and Martinez has confirmed that he is still in contention to feature in the Valencian derby at the weekend. “Oba has trained normally, we have spoken and for now he is a Levante player and if he still is then I would like all my options available to me at Mestalla, the Levante manager said, at a joint Press conference held with Valencia counterpart Ernesto Valverde.

OLDENEAGLETS’head coach, Manu Garba (MFR) believes the double international friendlies against Botswana tonight and Monday at the U. J Esuene Stadium in Calabar is an opportunity to test his wards against a battle-hardened side. The Junior Zebras qualified for the 2013 African Under-17 Championship against all odds by beating a strong field including Malawi, Rwanda and Algeria and coach Manu reckons that the youngsters from Southern part of Africa would be a tough nut to crack. Incidentally, the Junior Zebras this week lost two friendly matches (7-2 on aggregate) to Cote d’Ivoire which incidentally, is in the same group with Nigeria in the forthcoming African cadet competition in Morocco. “There is no match that is small and we have prepared our team for the matches against Botswana with the same approach for our previous matches,” Garba said after the team’s final training

session on Friday. “This match offers us the opportunity to see our team against a team that has equally qualified for the U-17 Championship in Morocco and we believe that they are a strong team having beaten a team like Rwanda which we considered very strong in spite of the fact that we beat them 8-0 over two matches last year,” he noted, allaying fears over injured players. He said: “We have few players who are injured but this is nothing to worry about because we have a pool of 30 talented players in camp. “Nigerians should expect to see a very strong team against Botswana on Saturday because this is a good preparatory match to test the readiness of our players.” After Saturday’s match, both teams would complete the two-match test trade on Monday at the same venueU. J Esuene Stadium

Stephen Worgu joins Enyimba

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TRIKER Stephen Worgu has made a dramatic return to six-time Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions, Enyimba. Worgu, who joins the club for an undisclosed fee for the 2012/ 13 season, had previously played for the People’s Elephants between 2006 and 2007 helping the club win the NPFL title in his final season at the club. The 23-year-old also played for Al Ahly Benghazi and Al Merreikh scoring seven goals in 41 appearances for both clubs within a troubled four-year stint in North Africa. He has now made a detour and will try to help the Aba club win their seventh NPFL title as well as add to their two FA Cup triumphs. “It feels good to be back.

Enyimba is a big club and I want to help them win more titles this season,” Worgu said. Worgu began his professional football education with Ocean Boys in 2005 and helped the club win the NPFL title a season later. Worgu was one of the hottest prospects in Africa after emerging as top scorer in the 2008 CAF Champions League with 13 goals while playing for Enyimba. Soon after, he joined El Merreikh after the Sudanese side outbid Egyptian giants AL Ahly to sign him in a deal estimated at $2.5 million. Worgu later joined Libyan side Al Ahly Benghazi where he was reportedly paid $300,000 as sign on fee but the uprising in Libya brought him back to El Mereikh prematurely. In 2009, Worgu made headlines


SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.7, NO. 2418 •I commend you on what you rightly observed about our mentality as a nation. I cannot agree less with you but as it may, sports if properly and well organized is a tool to national development. Sports, if well organized in any environment, is like an octopus with many branches that can reach every part of human endeavour. You can find sports in health, science, economy, law, sociology, psychology, nutrition etc. Even the unskilled labourer will have their share. If well organized, the poor will benefit more. Sports attracts poor people than the rich, Joseph Olutoyinbo, Minna, 07031517060 •I really can’t thank you enough for your article ‘Champions Africa Needs’. How I wish we have more writers as honest and fearless as you are. Stay blessed, Britto, 08066938700 •I agree that global sports supremacy is no path to meaningful national development. The question is, how many mouths does soccer feed in Nigeria?, Amos Ejinmoye, Kaduna, 08039727512 •I think your article yesterday deserves commendation. Keep writing on that. Thanks, 07037158336 •‘Champions Africa Needs’ is quite thoughtful. How I wish you would apply the same objectivity when it comes to the appraisal of ACN, kuteyi R.R, Ondo, 08062549133 •Dear Segun, I am on your train on your piece: ‘Champions Africa Needs’. I saw beyond the charade, A.T. Mozie, Nsukka, 08033912409 •Segun, thanks for yesterday’s piece. Do you know I was wondering if I am the odd one in this unnecessary hoopla about winning AFCON. Somebody even told me the transformation agenda of Jonathan is working. Personally, I see this madness as a distraction and the mediocrity of our rulers, 08083525724 •Hello Segun, I just read your ‘Champions Africa Needs’. Thanks. I totally agree with you. The truth is that both the African leaders and the led are so illiterate though some may be just lettered. Do you see the attention they pay to issues that should not be our priority? Do you see how our unemployed youths focus on European league as if it in any way benefits them? Can an illiterate who does not even know or agree he is an illiterate be saved from his own ignorance? The Prophet Mohammed (Peace be unto him), taught that “The rescue of the ignorant is his question”. In our case the leadership and the led just follow without questioning “How does this benefit us”? No! if others are in it, we should be in it too. This is the attitude; an attitude of illiteracy. Therefore, we are going deeper in ignorance and our rescue is increasingly seeming a mirage than a thing ever to be attained, ShafihiKasimu-Ozeto, Abuja, 08091130804 •Baba Sege, kudos on your illuminations today – ‘champions Africa Needs’. God bless you, LanreLugboso, 08054741162 •My friend, give credit to whom it is due. If they had failed, same you would have lambasted Eagles, Keshi, NFF and Jonathan.

TOMORROWPUNCHLINE IN THE NATION But the appropriation of the nation's resources by the federal government and the geopolitical pressure by leaders of large or small ethnic groups with small legislative strength have to be addressed by patriotic citizens and organizations, if Nigeria is to achieve its potential as Africa's most populous state —Ropo Sekoni

Re : Champions Africa needs Wise up, 08035768323 •What has football got to do with Nigeria’s do-or-die politics? We have won an elusive trophy and it’s worth celebrating. All the countries that participated went there to win.

Drogbaappreciated the fighting spirit of the young footballers so the issue of luck does not arise. If you have nothing good to write about this great achievement, please hold your peace, 08067177318

•Segun, I want to say you made my day today for your in depth and down to earth piece – ‘Champions Africa Needs’. That is the golden fact. For Allah’s sake, what the hell is the practical impact of winning a football competition to the lives of majority of povertystricken Nigerians? As you rightly observed, luck on our side did the miracle. However, my kudos to Keshi for shaming his detractors, 08069310296 •I agree with your article in totality. Thanks so much for that. Pius, 08068469668 •If it is not an achievement of the Jonathan administration, is it an achievement of your father’s administration?, 07064958094 •Thanks Segun for your illuminations – Champions Africa needs, Nestor, 08037433992 •Mr Ayobolu, having just read your piece: ‘Champions Africa Needs’, I just wanted to thank and congratulate you on a great piece. With Best wishes, Anna Zalik, (a Canadian currently in Nigeria), 08098240803 •Well said bro. Enough of mediocrity. Thanks for the paradigm shift; Africa’s crying need is excellence. Shallom!, Ariel, Lagos, 08168652214

Re : Centennial Delusions •Jonathan’s presidency is to say the least colourless, colonialist and fascist in all its ramifications. Under this nebulous and banal regime, the nation is celebrating her subjugation, subservience and political servitude to unabashed foreign rule. PDP once again is bereft of reason and cultural history dragging the nation inexorably to intellectual sterility and political mayhem. Where are the nation’s historians? Lugard’s bid to unify the nation was purely economic, a political masterstroke to deploy local resources to administer the vast territory for the greed of British overlords. It’s time we halt PDP and Jonathan’s vicious cycle of heinous rule started by Lugard’s ignoble indirect rule of 1914. We should resist this modern day slavery, AyodeleFagboun, Akure, 08169482226 •“Centennial delusions should have been better captioned as ‘Centennial façade’, 08138971607 •I’ve just finished reading your article in The Nation newspaper edition of 20/02/13. I must commend your literary and grammatical dexterity, Begi Solomon, Makurdi, 08061134115 •Sir, you just hit the nail on the head about these Abuja-based centenary celebration inventors with your write up. Keep it up. I am a victim – a graduate of engineering with no job, 08033754008 •You Yorubas hatred of Jonathan and his family has turned to obsession. Don’t forget that he is cleaning the mess a Yoruba man left behind. You can blame PDP all you want, Nigerians are not stupid, 08166802603 •‘Çentennial delusions” is a joyful celebration of the beginning of Nigerian slavery and servitude to the British government. It’s quite unfortunate that our government will prioritise the mark of slavery over the mark of freedom. What a nation, what

a leadership, AlhajiAdeyCorsim, Oshodi, Lagos, 07057631041 •Dear Segun, your piece titled ‘Centennial Delusions’ touched me the most in The Nation’s Saturday paper for its relevance. What Federal Government madness to think of celebrating such and in such a manner, DasheMaximo, Jos, 07080471643 •Mr SegunAyobolu! When will you believe in something good out of the lot? Be openminded had been my advice on your write up. The President made it clear abinitio that the celebration and commemoration would be low-key. What else do you need? Is 2014 from 1914 not real as 100 years? Did the three regions not emerge from Lugardism? Did 1960 independence not come from Lugardism? What of many products past and present from the three regions? The Nobel Laureate from which Nigeria? Compare today’s infrastructure with 1914 at least in quantity, LanreOseni, 08023023745 •You did well in your write up. You are in my prayers, Onuchukwu J, 07032686005 •Hi Sege, the Centennial celebration, I am sure, is another ‘project’ off the stable of the ever prowling political vultures in Abuja with connections in high places. The government knows there is nothing to celebrate. They are, as usual, just looking for something to divert our attention from their crass ineptitude. There’s a bright side to this anyway. Since they said its going to be private-sector driven, let’s allow their friends who pocketed billions of Naira of fuel subsidy money put part of same into good use for once, Olu, 08033013597 •Segun, your piece on the centenary celebration abridge the same conclusion of your principals and I feel it is high time you guys in The Nation portray intellectual discourse in your opinions rather than

projecting that same Lai Mohammed political sycophancy on anything can never be good unless it is coming from his cronies. Segun, between 1914 and 1964, you lost so much time to appreciate why we must continue to celebrate Nigeria in the appropriate context not in this bandwagon style of condemnation. Nice piece but you can do better, 08057716603 •Hi Segun, I agree with your summation about the stupidity of celebrating Lugard when an academic conference would have been enough. But unfortunately, the blackmail that the celebration is “private sector financed” would make them ignore your position. What a big shame and a self-destructing rush to what you aptly describe as “avoidable poverty”, 08037988252 •Thank you for your work on centenary delusions. You know Ayim is just a balloon that is just there as a painted Sepulchre. There is nothing to celebrate. We are just deceiving ourselves, Chuks, 08035410176 •Only a bastard celebrates his mother’s concubine. The white colonizers represent our mother’s concubine and if we celebrate the day our mother gave birth to the child born out of rape from the white conquerors shows how shallow the brain of those taking refuge in the inner chamber of Aso Rock. GEJ and his team are bereft of ideas and that is why they will spend Nigeria’s hard earned money on inanities. Even if all our roads have been painted black, all hospitals in world class status, the aged and unemployed collecting monies from government, will that make them lose their senses and commit abomination? Is it not contradictory if we celebrate the day we were free from bondage and at the same time celebrate the day we got into bondage? Those who conceived this idea need psychiatric attention, 08098117071.

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday talk2adeojeikere@yahoo.com

Europeans, not whites please

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UPER Eagles chief coach Stephen Keshi was exceptional in Monday’s interview on DSTV. He chose his words. He acknowledged everyone’s contributions towards the February 10 feat at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. Keshi observed decorum as he responded to key questions. Rather than compound issues, he offered diplomatic answers. He raised the hope of a brighter relationship with his employers when he apologised over what he termed ‘annoying’ answers of the past. That is the way forward, Big Boss. Do not be deceived by those urging you to discountenance your employer’s contributions. One was particularly interested in what Keshi’s remarks would be on fielding Sunday Mba and the success story that the Warri Wolves striker struck in the country’s achievements. Keshi tacitly evaded that the question. In-

stead, he chose to look at the home-based kids as a group. That was commendable. But it is instructive to state here that the purported meeting that led to Keshi’s decision to throw in the towel came from the fact that his employers allegedly forced him to field Mba, Kenneth Omeruo and Onazi. I had thought that the coach would clear the air on this issue. He chose to wave it aside. I know that he would return to it soon. His body language suggested that he would spill the beans again. The story was that his employer didn’t see any reason why Joseph Yobo would play ahead of Omeruo. They were miffed that he played Omeruo at left back when he ought to have been fielded in the heart of the defence. I had thought that Omeruo’s inclusion arose from the gap created by the red card which Ambrose Efe had in the first game. There is more to this aspect of the story and I promise to unravel it. While in Johannesburg, it was disclosed

that the coach’s employers wanted Onazi to replace a fumbling Igiebor in the central midfield along with Mba and Mikel. The question many would ask is- why did they have to recruit the coach if they could do his job? This expose is meant to open up what transpired in the ill-tempered meeting. It remains to be seen when Keshi would respond to some of these stories. Many of the board members had challenged Keshi to explain why he didn’t field these guys in earlier matches. Like in the game of draught, it is those watching that notice the players’ flaws. It was good that Keshi took their advice. He could have rejected their directives. As the interview progressed, it was quite interesting watching Victor Ikpeba challenge his former captain with certain facts. It was vintage Ikpeba. He was quite a stubborn lad as a player but massively talented. However, the flaw in Keshi’s brilliant interview was his consistent reference to for-

eign coaches as whites. It had a tinge of xenophobia, a subtle racist slant that belies his hatred for whites, when in actual sense he meant Europeans. One would have thought that a celebrity such as Keshi should have a public relations person who would groom him through preinterview sessions to purge him of such irritating words as whites instead of Europeans. Would anyone really say Europeans are whites as the colour indicates? I don’t think so. I would rather that Keshi used the term Europeans, which makes more sense than the xenophobic word- whites. Aside this flaw, Keshi showed that he had learnt from his sojourn in Europe. Keshi referred to Aminu Maigari as his boss and friend. But his revelation left gaps about other members of the board. He held back for other members, although he did say that it was his employers’ responsibility to ar

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The Nation March 2, 2013