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The house in Mabera, a suburb of Sokoto, where a botched raid resulted in the death of the two hostages on Thursday PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Killing of Briton, Italian

Boko Haram kingpins moved to Abuja as Italy queries Nigeria Why we killed hostages -Suspect Murder sparks Italian, British row Allocation: Look Page inward for more 7 money, Jonathan tells Northern governors

Don't drag us into break-up

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debate, Kwara, Kogi leaders tell North

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4-6

11 cartons Page of explosives 7 intercepted at Lagos airport


2 News

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

At the 2012 Obafemi Awolowo Memorial Lecture held at Central Business District, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos... yesterday

•Dr. Olatokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, founding member and Executive Director of the Obafemi Awolowo Fundation with former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

•From left: His Imperial Majesty, Oba Okunade Sijuade, Olubuse II, the Ooni of Ife, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Ado Bayero, the Emir of Kano and His Royal Highness, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha.

•Alhaji Shehu Idris, the Emir of Zaria (left), with His Eminence, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto.

•Asiwaju Tinubu in a warm handshake with Chief Ayo Adebanjo.

•Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Social Development, Dr. Dolapo Badru (left) and Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. •Senator Femi Okunrohunmu (left) and former Governor of Osun State and National Chairman of the ACN, Chief Bisi Akande.

•Former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Uwais (left) and Prof. Anya O. Anya.

•From left: Chief Johnson Igbi, Chief Mac Ofurhi and Chief Kings Iriri. PHOTOS: Omosehin MOSES


THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

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4 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

•Video plea: One of the hostages, believed to be Chris McManus, is seen pleading for his life as his armed captors stand behind him in the second video to be released by his kidnappers in December

•Bullet holes pepper the walls of the house where the hostages were killed

•Blood covers a bathroom inside the house in the suburb of Sokoto

Why we killed Briton, Italian—Suspect

•Special boat service kit

•Ring leader, Abu Mohammed, others moved to We had a standing instruction to kill the hostages immediately we sight Abuja •How the hostage compound was located security agents around the building. involved in kidnapping and would

T

HE men arrested in the after math of Thursday’s botched at tempt to free two abducted foreigners in Sokoto have told security agents why they killed their victims. British Chris McManus and Italian Franco Lamolinara were killed by the suspects as Nigerian soldiers and the British Special Boat Squad (SBS) stormed a house in Sokoto to rescue the foreign engineers. They had been in captivity since their abduction inBirnin Kebbi,the Kabbi State capital, last May. Five men were arrested in connection with the abduction and killing of the duo. Among them is Abu Muhammed believed to be the ring leader of the group and a factional leader of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram. They were moved to Abuja yesterday by security agents for interrogation. The suspects,sources said, told their interrogators that they were under instruction of their leaders to shoot

Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

the hostages whenever they came under any threat from security agents. One of the suspects was quoted as having said : “We had a standing instruction to kill the hostages immediately we sight security agents around the building. “We were to kill the hostages since we were not sure of being alive after an encounter with security men.” However, a faction of the sect yesterday denied involvement in the abduction and eventual murder of the Briton and Italian. According to an international cable television, a source informed that an un-named Boko Haram spokesman called a Nigerian journalist in Sokoto to tell him that the Islamic group had no hand in the incident. The cable television stated that the Boko Haram faction spokesman claimed that they had never been

never do it for the purposes of extortion. It maintained that for now, bombing its targets remained its major strategy and had no intention of changing it. Senior security sources yesterday said a desperate call by a Boko Haram member during a gun battle with Abu Mohammed and others in Zaria might have led to the retaliatory killing of the hostages in Sokoto. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the Thursday operation was coordinated by the State Security Service (SSS) and the military in conjunction with British secret agents. It was gathered that it had been difficult to locate the whereabouts of the hostages in the last 10 months because their captors kept relocating them at the slightest suspicion of security tracking. The SSS,it was gathered, however, recorded a breakthrough when it located Abu Mohammed and some other leaders of the sect in Zaria ,

We were to kill the hostages since we were not sure of being alive after an encounter with security men...

Kaduna State. A reliable source said: “Those arrested in connection with the abduction and killing of the hostages have been moved to Abuja for interrogation. I mean Abu Mohammed and four others. “They are being quizzed to know their motive, why the hostages were killed and the Al-Qaeda connection. This probe has international dimension to it because Britain and Italy will want to ascertain why their citizens were targets.” Giving an insight into the operation ,the source said : “The operation to free the hostages was conducted in Zaria and Sokoto. “Having established that Abu Mohammed faction abducted the hos-

tages, the SSS conducted a comprehensive investigation which led to the uncovering of his hideout in Zaria on Tuesday. While he was in Zaria , this leader made sure that the hostages were kept in Sokoto. “Following the finding of the hideout, the SSS, supported by the military, succeeded in invading the place and arrested Abu Mohammed and four leaders. “The moment the game was up, one of those arrested was chosen to lead security agencies to the compound in Madera Quarters in Sokoto where the hostages were kept. “At that point in Zaria , the first leg of the operation by the SSS and the military achieved 100 per cent suc•Continued on Page 6


NEWS 5

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

•Members of the Special Boat Service, pictured here on a training exercise, were sent in to the kidnappers' hideout to try and rescue the two hostages

•Franco Lamolinara's house in Turin

•Bullet holes scattered on the walls of the house in Mabera, where the doomed rescue operation took place

•Cameron •Monti

Nigeria,Britain,Italy in diplomatic row •Rome demands ‘detailed re-construction’ of Sokoto mission •How raid was conducted

ITALY,Nigeria and Britain are embroiled in a dual diplomatic row as a fallout of Thursday’s botched attempt to free two British and Italian engineers from the den of the Islamic sect,Boko Haram in Sokoto. Rome demanded from Abuja,on the one hand, a ‘detailed reconstruction’ of the events leading to the death of its citizen, Franco Lamolinara,in the rescue operation. On the other hand, the Italian government asked for a political and diplomatic explanation from London on why it was not consulted before hand. Branding the situation “inexplicable”, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said his country was not informed or consulted about the botched mission to rescue Briton Chris McManus and Italian Lamolinara. The reaction from Britain was swift in coming with Defence Secretary Philip Hammond declaring: “It isn’t inexplicable. It’s completely explicable what happened.” The Italian Prime Minister, Mr.Mario Monti, requested President Goodluck Jonathan to provide a “detailed reconstruction” of the rescue attempt as soon as possible. Senior British military sources said: “This has not been a good day but that should not take away from the fact that it was properly scoped,

intelligence-driven operation that our special forces undertook. You can be the best in the world and still be unlucky. “This operation was the best opportunity for a successful conclusion and everyone is mortified it went wrong.” Mr.Hammond said Rome was “informed” without specifically approving the rescue mission. The mission,he added, was launched after specific intelligence that the hostages were to be moved and killed. It was understood that British and Italian officials had been in contact since May when the men were kidnapped in Birnin Kebbi,the capital of Kebbi State. Said a Downing Street source:”We contacted the Italians yesterday (Thursday) as the operation was getting under way, but this was a very fast-moving situation. “Our priority was to respond to the situation on the ground and to do everything we could to try and secure the safe release of the hostages.” The British Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron, was said to have spoken to Mr Monti by phone after confirming the death of the hostages. Mr. Monti summoned an emergency meeting of Italy’s parliamen-

tary safety and security committee yesterday to discuss the issue. At the background was a constant flurry of calls between the British Embassy in Rome and London as diplomats kept the government informed. Mr Monti was said to be ‘furious’ at having been kept out of the loop and wanted to know, from Britain, why Italy had not been consulted about the operation before it started. He was informed by Mr Cameron as he flew back to Rome from a visit to Belgrade and once he landed at the city’s Ciampino airport, he did not leave his official plane for two hours as it became an unofficial ‘war office’. He was quoted as telling aides: ‘It was wrong that we were not told beforehand of this operation and now I want to know why and I want the full details of what happened.’ Parliamentarians across the parties also demanded to know why Italy had not been consulted. Licia Ronzulli, from former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom Party fumed:’Let’s get this out into the open - Cameron cannot decide for Monti. ‘Italy is a sovereign state and is a member of the European Union and should be considered as such: it is not a territory open for conquest or

a colony. No one can decide for us. Massimo D’Alema, the president of the parliamentary security committee and a former prime minister, said he wanted to know why the operation went ahead without the British telling their Italian counterparts about it. The Italian press also showed its indignation with La Stampa screaming with the headline”Rome was not told,” while Corriere della Sera said : “It is understandable that the Italian public feels a sense of humiliation.” La Repubblica said for Italy to have been kept in the dark about the raid could only mean “a blow for the new-found international credibility” established by Mr Monti in the four months since he succeeded Mr Berlusconi. Details of the failed rescue operation yesterday suggested that Mr.Cameron gave his nod on Thursday morning following intelligence that the hostages, whose location had only recently been discovered, were at risk of being moved and murdered. Intercepted mobile phone calls indicated a move was imminent and the Special Boat Squad (SBS) squadron, which arrived Nigeria two weeks ago had to launch an emergency rescue in conjunction with Nigerian soldiers in broad day-

light. That was 11am,Nigerian time. Monitoring the situation from London was the British government’s crisis committee of political, military and intelligence officials — known as COBRA.It includes the Prime Minister and oversees national security operations. The Director of Special Forces was in constant contact with the SBS commanding officer and other intelligence agencies, including MI6. The government’s listening service at GCHQ Cheltenham used mobile phone and satellite technology to inform the commandos of the hostages’ position. At least, two of the abductors were killed during the operation .The other abductors then turned on McManus and Lamolinara and killed them. Residents reported a lengthy firefight between the two sides. Security agents have already arrested five suspects for alleged involvement in the kidnapping of the victims . The suspects included the ringleader of the kidnappers, a man going by the name of Abu Mohammed, a senior source at the State Security Service (SSS). Security sources said two of the conspirators were picked up on Tuesday, including Abu Mohammed, •Continued on Page 6


6NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

Nigeria,Britain,Italy in diplomatic row

•Lamolinara

Hostages’ murder:

•The house in Mabera, a suburb of Sokoto where a botched raid saw the death of the two hostages •Continued from Page 5 near Sokoto, on the basis of a tipoff. After interrogation the two led them to the compound. The Nigerian and British forces mounted a joint raid two days later. The source said three kidnappers were taken alive from inside the house and the others were killed. British military and intelligence officers had been working within Nigeria for several months ahead of the operation, before a contingent of special forces — drawn from the elite Special Boat Service — were deployed in recent weeks, officials familiar with details said. The house where Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara were found was splattered with blood yesterday. Calm had returned to the streets. Prescription drugs, including penicillin, anti-malarial tablets and other toiletries, were scattered on the floor of the house, suggesting the men had been there for some time. The large compound where the hostages had been held was left pock-marked with bullet holes. The crime scene appeared to be completely unguarded yesterday with bystanders wandering in and out of the house. “After all the gunfire, I saw soldiers bring out five dead bodies from the house. Two were white, three were black,” said Murtala Naboro Tsafe, whose house is directly opposite the compound. He added that at about 6.30 p.m. “soldiers marched three people out of the house who were still alive”. Neighbours were shocked. “We never suspected what was going on in the house. There were people going in and out of the house every day, but we never saw any white man,” said Tsafe. Resident Sani Tukur said: “I never noticed anything suspicious around the compound as it looked totally empty, the only person I saw around is the watchman.” About 20 members of the commando unit were involved in the rescue. After the raid, soldiers were said to have surrounded a house in the city. Gunfire continued into the night and ambulances took away the wounded. The French news agency-AFPquoting residents, reported that about 100 soldiers took part in the raid. They had a tank and two helicopters. The gun battle lasted seven hours. Walls of two adjacent houses where the raid occurred were pocked with bullet holes. Blood was

splattered in two bathrooms and on the entrance floor of one of the houses — a zinc-roofed single storey. Residents said they saw no British troops. They came in two trucks and a tank and blocked the entrance to the house. “At around 11 am I saw soldiers coming... uncountable, about 100. They started firing,” said a businessman, asking not to be named. Another resident earlier said “around 100 troops surrounded the area.” The kidnappers apparently tried to flee by scaling a wall into a nextdoor house which was partially built. Soldiers asked residents for old tyres which they lit and tossed into the building in a bid to smoke the kidnappers out, then engaged them in an intense gun battle, the witnesses told AFP. “They asked people to give them tyres, they lit them and threw them in ...They said the kidnappers were trapped,” said a 38-year-old civil servant. A big hole on the wall of the partially built house was apparently caused by a shell from the tank. “After the shootout had been going on for about seven hours, the soldiers gained access into the house,” said a witness who lives directly opposite. The witness reported seeing four bodies being taken out of the house as well three men in handcuffs. They also said a private security guard at the uncompleted house was killed in crossfire. Yesterday, residents walked in and out of the houses at will. Witnesses said one of the houses was looted of its furniture, including the ceiling. Hours later security forces showed up at the scene in trucks and fired into the air to disperse residents. The Nigerian kidnap had been the subject of a recent briefing by the Security and Safety committee by intelligence chief Gianni De Gennaro who had said there was ‘no suggestion to an imminent end to the situation or a rescue attempt’. Italy has a strong commercial presence in Nigeria through energy company ENI and it was through these channels that good communications had been opened with the kidnappers. Mr.Cameron said of the operation: “After months of not knowing where they were being held, we received credible information about their location. A window of opportunity arose to secure their release. We also had reason to believe that their lives were under imminent and growing danger. ‘I am very sorry that this ended so

tragically,’ he stressed, adding: ‘Terrorism and appalling crimes such as these are a scourge on our world. No one should be in any doubt about our determination to fight and to defeat them.’ It was gathered that officials of the British Ministry of Defence approached Mr Cameron on Wednesday evening and made it clear they believed there was a ‘time-limited opportunity’ to mount an attempt to free the men. The Prime Minister took the decision to go ahead and then followed the operation ‘in real time’ on Thursday morning. A meeting of the government’s emergency committee Cobra was convened, but word came back that the two men had been killed by their captors. Military leaders will face questions about the rescue operation. The construction company, Stabilini Visinoni, thought to be the employers of Lamolinara and Mmanus denied yesterday that they were on its payroll. President Goodluck Jonathan said: ‘The perpetrators of the murderous act, who have all been arrested (will) be made to face the full wrath of the law.

‘Why we killed hostages’ •Continued from Page 5 cess. “Concerning the operation in Sokoto, we are probing a clue that during the gun battle in Zaria , one of the Boko Haram members made a phone call to Sokoto that their leaders were under siege. “This theory of phone call is being analysed to know whether it is true or not. “You know the operation in Zaria was a heavy crossfire, Boko Haram was humbled. I think the phone call made those in Sokoto to become desperate to kill the hostages. “The operation would have been like that against Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan .” A top government official said: “The British Government was involved in this operation and their security operatives were convinced that the SSS, the military and other agencies gave their best to free the hostages. “It is obvious that the sect is deadly and we all have to be a step ahead. I mean the international community.”

•McManus

•Timeline of the kidnap and eventual death of Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara by Boko Haram

B

ritish hostage Chris McManus and his Italian colleague Franco Lamolinara died after a failed attempt by the Special Boat Service to rescue them from al-Qaedaaligned kidnappers. This is how the crisis unfolded: May 2011 Christopher McManus, 28, and his colleague Franco Lamolinara, 47, are kidnapped. They were working on a Central Bank of Nigeria building project for B.Stabilini, a construction firm, in Birnin Kebbi. Armed men burst into the apartment in the compound where they lived. The kidnappers ignore a “large sum of money” in the flat, according to accounts from the Nigerian police. A Nigerian engineer is shot and wounded, reports said, while a German colleague manages to escape by climbing over a metal fence outside the apartment. The Foreign Office begins work with the Nigerian authorities to secure their release. August 2011 The first video of Mr McManus and Mr Lamolinara is released. The minute-long footage shows the engineers with beards, blindfolded and on their knees. Behind them stand three men in khaki fatigues and holding automatic weapons. The hostages give their names. Mr McManus asks the Government “to meet the demands of alQaeda.” The video is accompanied by 10day old photos of the men without their blindfolds, but no details of the abductors or their demands are given. “No one can tell you who the kidnappers are and what they really want because they have not made any contact,” a subcontractor on the Central Bnk project said. December 2011 A Nigerian group, calling itself ‘Al Qaida in the land beyond the Sahil’, announces it has captured Mr McManus. It releases a second hostage video to a Mauritanian news agency. It shows a more heavily

bearded Mr McManus in a red shirt, alongside three men in dark clothing armed with Kalashnikov rifles and a machete. McManus is shown asking the British Government to answer the demands of the group to save his life. He calls on the British people to pressurise the government into acting, so that he could return to his family, according to Shura al Mujahideen fee Junubu Afarika, a South African Islamist website. One of the kidnappers says it will be the “last message” issued to the Prime Minister about the hostage. The speaker says the British government had failed to answer their demands and it was given two weeks to “take the correct decision.” Christmas 2011 David Cameron contacts Mr McManus’ family to offer his support. February 2012 A Squadron Group the Special Boat Service is deployed to Nigeria. The task force is made up of two troops of forty commandos, plus support staff, who enter the country on commercial airlines. A command post is set up in the British Embassy in Lagos. Wednesday night A deadline approaches by which the men would be killed. Intelligence is received from mobile phone calls intercepted by GCHQ in Cheltenham indicating the hostages are about to be moved. David Cameron gives approval for the SBS operation. Thusday, 10am GMT The SBS troops mount a daylight raid, driving in trucks to the house where the hostages are being held on the outskirts of Sokoto. Overhead a Hawker Beechcraft twin turbo prop plane relays footage of the operation to headquarters in Lagos and Cobra, the emergency response group at the underground headquarters in Whitehall. The troops shoot dead two of the terrorists as they storm the house but the hostages are executed by their captors with shots to the head. Courtesy: London Telegraph


NEWS 7

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

UK deports 120 Nigerians in cargo plane

A

BOUT 120 Nigerians were yesterday deported from the United Kingdom (UK). The UK returnees were said to have been deported for committing immigration offences, including the absence of valid residential documents. The deportees arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos aboard a chartered cargo aircraft which taxied to the cargo terminal after landing. The aircraft, a sourced hinted, arrived in the early hours so as not to draw undue attention. The deportees, made up mainly of young men and women, narrated their unsavoury experience of being brought back home unprepared. Many of them were seen making phone calls to their friends and relatives to pick them up at the airport, even as they made frantic efforts to move their luggage, which were neatly packed in Ghanamust-go bags. They waited along the main entrance into the cargo terminal, drawing unusual attention from airport workers who were rushing to work in the early hours. The deportees expressed reservations about the way they were brought back home in a cargo aircraft,

Shell has invested $2.7m in human capital development in Niger Delta -MD Bisi OLANIYI, Port Harcourt

South Africa wise to reverse decision on deported travellers, says Saraki

T

HE decision of the South African government to reverse its hardline posture on the country’s diplomatic row with Nigeria is a clever one, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki, has said. South Africa sparked off a crisis between it and Nigeria recently by deporting 150 Nigerians on the basis of unsubstantiated reasons. Saraki, who is the immediate past governor of Kwara State, told reporters at the Ilorin International Airport on his way from Abuja yesterday: “I am happy that South Africa did the right thing, for this is a country that is benefiting tremendously from us. ‘’If you look at the trade balance, you will see that South Africa is benefiting more than Nigeria. And if you are benefiting, it means that you must guard what you are benefiting. “So, I think they are a clever country to have quickly reversed and done the right thing. Kelvin OSA- OKUNBOR which they said was enough indication of the value the government places on them. Scores of airport workers stopped by to interact with the deportees, some of who narrated their ugly experiences. Some of them were worried that they did not know what to fall back on now that they are back in the country they left many years ago. One of the deportees, a

Adekunle JIMOH, Ilorin

‘’But I think again it shows that we too don’t take advantage of our strength. A country like Nigeria, particularly if you look at the trade balance with South Africa, it should be that when Nigerians arrive there, they should be pampered because we are doing a lot to help their economy. ‘’So, I am glad that that has been done to restore the dignity of Nigerians and I also commend everybody that rose quickly. “It is part of what we are seeing now that the ordinary Nigerian has a voice. In the past, 125 Nigerians who nobody knows their names, it would just have happened like that. But now, it shows that the government is really for the people. ‘’I think it is a good development and I know that other countries will from now be more careful in dealing with Nigeria.”

young lady, who declined to give her name, said: “I am not interested in discussing why we were brought back home. My problem now is how to get out of this international airport without drawing unusual attention. I must add that it is not a pleasant experience.” Another deportee, a young man, who gave his name as Wale, said: “ How do I cope now that we have been sent home unprepared?”

He poured invectives on the leadership of the country, saying that if the economic situation at home were pleasant, Nigerians would have no business travelling abroad to humiliate themselves in a bid to survive. Cars, mainly commercial limousine operators and car hire operators lined up at the main entrance of the cargo terminal to ferry the willing deportees to their various destinations.

T

HE Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, has disclosed that the Anglo/Dutch oil giant has invested $2.7 million in human capital development in the Niger Delta, to facilitate access to education at all levels. He said support for education was just one aspect of SPDC’s social investments in the Niger Delta, with the programmes beginning with scholarships and awards, but now expanded to technical training, agriculture, micro-credit, small scale business development, healthcare, sports and capacity building, among others. Sunmonu, who is also Shell’s Country Chair and Vice-President Production in Sub-Saharan Africa, noted that the programmes were aimed at economic empowerment of the people of the Niger Delta region, who had hitherto been neglected, with their areas marginalised. He pointed out that the initiatives had been helping Niger Deltans to acquire skills and set up their own businesses, thereby creating wealth and contributing to the overall development of the region. The managing director stated these at his official residence at the Shell’s Residential Area, along Aba Road in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, while hosting five of the 10 pioneer beneficiaries of SPDC’s Niger Delta Overseas Post-Graduate Scholarship Scheme. It was disclosed that some of the beneficiaries who travelled to the United Kingdom in 2010 for the post-graduate programmes in oil and gas-related engineering disciplines at the prestigious Imperial College, London; University College, London and University of Leeds had been employed and could not make the dinner. Sunmonu stated that the beneficiaries, who were picked from Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa states, successfully completed their Master’s degrees and were now ready to contribute to Nigeria’s development. He said: “Our (Shell’s) investments in formal and informal education represent one of the biggest corporate social responsibility portfolios operated by a private company in Sub-Saharan Africa. “Two years ago, I challenged the community content team (of SPDC) to consider a scholarship scheme in core petroleum engineering disciplines. They did just that and I am proud to be here (dinner venue) hosting the event.’’

11 cartons of explosives intercepted at Lagos airport

A

combined team of security agencies led by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Command yesterday impounded 11 cartons of explosives weighing 95kg, which were smuggled into the country. The 11 cartons of explosives labelled catridge powder devices and chargers were flown in from South Africa on February 24, 2012, but vigilant personnel at the Nigeria Aviation Company Limited (NAHCO) warehouse alerted security agents when they observed that the importer, wanted to smuggle the items out of the cargo terminal without declaring them and without paying the relevant duty. The Customs Area Controller in charge of the MMIA, Mr Charles Eporwei Edike, while parading the suspect before journalists, explained that the importer, who claimed to be a miner in Kaduna State, brought the explosives into Nigeria concealed in pallets made of other goods without disclosing the content to the relevant authorities. This, he said, contravened the rules of the government and further fuelledthe suspicion that he connived with some clearing agents to take the explosives out of the cargo. He explained that vigilant security agents at the terminal noticed that the goods were undeclared explosives concealed with other goods and notified the Customs, which in turn informed other relevant agencies, including the Nigeria Police, to carry out tests on the items, which

Kelvin OSA- OKUNBOR were found to be prohibited explosives. He gave the name of the consignee as Miero Marble Granite and Stones Limited in Kaduna State, with one Mr Michael Awara Ernest as the representative to collect the explosives at the cargo terminal. The Customs boss further gave the name of the manufacturer (consigner) of the explosives as Nobleteq Arms and Ammunition Gateway Industrial Park in Centurion, South Africa. He explained that in view of the security challenges in the country, where members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect have been unleashing mayhem on ordinary Nigerians, it is prohibited for anybody or organisation to import any explosives into the country without the relevant approvals and permits. The Customs boss explained that the explosives and other imported items like bullet proof jackets, security cameras and naval belts had been handed over to the police and other security agencies for proper investigation with a view to ascertaining the motive for importing them. He said: “The explosives, according to our investigations, are meant for marine and offshore operations. It is against the Explosives Act of 1964. The importer has violated all existing regulations and even contravened the law. ‘’If these items were released to him, they could be used to cause mayhem. We are now going to hand him and the items over to the police for further investigation.”

From left: Soji Adeniji; Kenny Adenuga; Yemi Mapaderun (Registrar); Gbemiga Omole; CN Nnaemeka and Tola Johnson at the induction ceremony for associates and members of the Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria (SMM) in Lagos recently.

Revenue allocation: Look inward for more money, Jonathan difficult to export raw fruits. OVERNORS who are tells Northern governors He commended the state pushing for a readjust-

G

ment of the revenue sharing formula got a a candid advice from President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday: they should develop the natural resources in their states to generate more funds instead of relying on the shares from oil exploitation. The President believes that if the states partner with the private sector and create the enabling environment for investment to thrive, there would be less emphasis on the oil revenues, as most of the states would be self-sufficient. He therefore urged the state governments to draw up an agenda aimed at reviving the dead sectors of the economy. Jonathan spoke in Makurdi, the Benue State capital yesterday during the commissioning of Teragro, a subsidiary of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) and the first fruit concentrates processing factory in the country. Following the dismal pov-

•Says oil revenue shouldn’t be an issue Yomi ODUNUGA and Daniel ESSIET, Makurdi

erty rate released by the Bureau of Statistics recently, the 19 governors of the northern states called for a review of the revenue formula they said was in favour of some states, particularly the oil-producing states in the South-South. The President’s statement is seen as a veiled response to the push for a review of the revenue allocation formula, including the derivation sharing ratio; a development that has divided the governors along regional lines. The President said: “We have resources in all parts of the country to sell. All states of the federation have products they can export. The governors should work with private sector operators to produce and

sell what they have not only to Nigerians but also for export. “Nigeria is an agro-based economy even before the civil war and that is why they did not borrow money to prosecute the war. We should be able to revive this process like it happened in those period where oil is not an issue. “If we create the enabling environment and liase with the private sector, people will not need to steal or go into 419 before they can make it.” Arguing that the tranformation agenda of the administration would be based on the involvement of the private sector in developing the economy, the President described the commissioning of the factory as “good example of all we have been doing.” “The idea is good because if you get concentrates, it will be easy to export since it is always

governor, Gabriel Suswam, for seeing that a factory that could not be commissioned by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007 was finally made to work with the patnership of the private sector. Earlier in his speech, the Chairman of Transcorp, Mr. Tony Elumelu, said the corporation decided to venture into the agro business as a way of pushing forward the tranformation agenda of the administration and generate employment for the generality of Nigerians. “What we are doing today is an answer to your call for transformation starting with agriculture. We will conserve foreign exchange with the commissioning of this factory and we are also planning to export fruit concentrates abroad. “Already, we are getting calls from Europe amd elsewhere and they have shown interest in what we are doing.”


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

W

HEN Israel’s PM B e n j a m i n Netanyahu visited US President Barak Obama this week the talk was one of concern on the way each side was handling the issue of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons and tempers were getting frayed, although each leader kept his cool. There were great expectations of American support of the military option from the Israeli side but the American president kept to his diplomacy and sanctions option to the frustration of his visitor. Obama told his visitor that the US had all options on the table available for use including the military options but his visitor did not believe him. Neither did Obama sound convincing as he accused his political opponents in the Republican Party of beating the drums of war in accusing him of not doing enough to defend Israel by not stopping Iran by force or allowing Israel to go solo in this regard. Indeed, Netanyahus’s frustration was summed up in the historical analogy he gave on Auschwitz-the Holocaust venue-when US leadership during the Second World War vacillated on attacking the Nazis because it feared the ferocity of Hitler’s retaliation. In effect then Netanyahu was telling his host that it is about to repeat the mistake of a predecessor in office over the expectations of sanctions to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapon rather than military intervention. Netanyahu’s high expectation is similar to that of a young man describing his father’s expectation of God when praying. ‘Father had great expectation of God‘ he recalled. ‘He did not actually accuse God of inefficiency but when he prays his voice is strident and forceful like that of a disgruntled guest in a badly managed hotel‘. In Washington this week when talking with Obama on Iran’s nuclear acquisition, Netanyahu reminded me of this man’s father. However in real and pragmatic terms Netanyahu told his US audience that he will never allow his people to live in the shadow of annihilation which is no exaggeration since Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has vowed to wipe Israel off the world map. Indeed at a stage in his press conference with Obama, Netanyahu quipped that the Iranians call the US ‘the Great Satan’ while Israel is by inference the ‘Junior Satan’ since they are allies in the same boat in the confrontation with Iran. To me, any way, Netanyahu has made his point and Obama too has shown his hand and has literally pulled rank on the Israeli PM that as the US president, he holds the ace on how to deal with Iran not acquiring nuclear weapons. It really does not matter now, how or when the US and Israel prevent Iran as they must, to preserve the state of Israel

When friends fight on values and expectations

against Iran’s stated objective of its destruction. It again will not matter much if Israel acts unilaterally on the matter to save its neck as it is naturally expected to do as a sovereign state. It will however matter no end and create a political and military tsunami in the US and beyond, if Iran acquires nuclear power without being stopped by the Obama administration that has publicly and consistently deemed such an acquisition unacceptable. Obama may have for now shown Netanyahu who the real boss is in the Israeli –US relations, but in the process the US president has unwittingly put his political life on the line especially in an election year. Obama is now being seen to be soft on Iran, an implacable foe of his nation, that in rather similar circumstances on leadership vacillation made the Jimmy Carter presidency a one term one over the Iranian hostage crisis during the regime of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. This episode created the creepy impression that Democratic Party presidents in the US are weak in tackling foreign crisis decisively. This view was further strengthened later by Bill Clinton’s dithering on the break up of Yugoslavia and the subsequent slaughter of thousands of Bosnian Moslems in Sbrerenica in Bosnia Hercegovina. Worse still it was

rumored that the Clinton presidency was warned, but ignored the warning towards the end of its second term, that Al Qada was planning to attack the US. The ignored warning happened as 9/11 in the first year of Clinton’s successor and made the war on terror the consuming subject of George Bush’s presidency from 2001 -2008. Obama won the US presidency in 2008 by denouncing the war and promising to bring back troops and close Guatanamo Bay where high profile terrorist prisoners are kept. But he first sent more troops to Afghanistan before creating a deadline to bring troops home from Afghanistan and has not been able to close Guatanamo Bay to date, towards the end of his first term. Now, another war looms in the Straits of Homuz over the Iran nuclear crisis and the US president is still clinging to the strategy of war aversion that won him his first term, in the hope that it would fetch him a second. Surely someone should tell the lovable US president that times have changed. This surely is 2012 not 2008 and most importantly on this Iran nuclear issue, procrastination is the thief of time. More disturbingly, the history of US democratic leadership dithering on crucial world issues, with its attendant terrible global consequences,

must not be allowed to repeat itself. In the same vein there have been great spats between great friends in many parts of the world in recent times, especially this week. I will mention some in passing and dilate at length on others as I did on the Obama– Netanyahu controlled macho brawl on Iran. The first is the deportation tussle between Nigeria and S Africa over yellow fever cards. Next are the defection of a minister in the Assad regime in Syria to the side of the protesters and the insistence of the Supreme Court in Pakistan that corruption charges against the President of Pakistan must brought to court by the PM this month otherwise the PM must go to jail. After this we take a peep at the problems of the euro zone and the statement in a documentary that said that the 17 nations that formed the European Community ‘married in haste and will divorce at their leisure‘. These are issues that seem like ordinary disagreements but are really fundamental eye openers on history, economics, governance, loyalty, and constitutionalism. Starting with Nigeria and S Africa the issue is one of history and lack of respect for it and the S Africans are the culprit. Even if Nigerians at any S African airport have no entry documents it behoves

the S African authorities to stand them aside decently and do the needful to allow them entry into that nation in the shortest possible time and the reason is historical. Without wasting words I say categorically that without Nigeria there would have been no S Africa today led by the ANC government in power in that nation. The S African government in power today can find out about that from former presidents Nelson Mandela and his successor Thabo Mbeki. Nigeria led the anti apartheid struggle that culminated in the collapse of apartheid and Nigeria civil servants had their salaries deducted monthly to fund the anti apartheid struggle and S/ Africa has no right now to maltreat Nigerians at any of its ports for any reason whatsoever. That really is the kernel of the matter and for now the S African government owes Nigeria an apology on the unwarranted deportation of Nigerians. In Pakistan the Supreme Court has fallen out with the politicians who were itS main ally in getting rid of former military President Pavez Musharaf. The Supreme Court ruled then that Musharaf must rid himself of his military uniform before he can be elected president and Musharaf sacked the Chief Justice of Pakistan then. The politicians then protested and saw to the ousting of Musharaf and the reinstatement of the CJ. Now it is the same CJ that is supporting the military against the politicians by insisting that charges should be brought against a sitting president that the PM insists has immunity against prosecution while in office according to the constitution. Yet the party of the president won recently the parliamentary elections into the Pakistani senate which in a democracy shows that the mandate of ruler ship is with

the politicians the Supreme Court is prosecuting and not the army it is favoring. What a sad day for the rule of law in Pakistan? In the euro zone which is in financial turmoil Germany’s strict handling of the crisis has raised sour grapes about its political and economic past. As a result of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s insistence on prudence and balancing the budget being made a law in the euro zone some fiscally restive members of the euro zone have accused Germany of making them suffer for its loss of the all powerful former German currency the deutsch mark which Germany forfeited at the advent of the euro. Some observers have said that at the end of the second world war an European Germany emerged which has now been replaced by a German EU dictating the pace and direction of finance and political economy in the euro zone. Which really is unfair given that Germany has led by example of good fiscal discipline which if the PIGS of Europe namely Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain had followed would have spared the rest of Europe and their own citizens the agony of riots and resentment over palliative austerity measures that manifest in retrenchments and lost pensions. Germany insists that euro zone member nations must strictly cut their coats according to their cloth in order for the zone itself to exist so that the euro does not die. That should not cause a quarrel as it is basic good husbandry which is applicable to any responsible government as well as its citizenry. Germany deserves commendation for this and not the present suspicion and vilification of those in the euro family tilting dangerously towards obvious fiscal indiscipline and the resultant economic pain and distress.


10 COMMENTARY

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

South Africa, is this your reward for our love?

I

experienced one of my most depressive moments in the evening of May 11, 1981. I had just sat an exam in the remote school I attended and decided to see a friend on my way home. Dare and I did not attend the same school. We became close primarily because of the passion both of us had for Bob Marley‘s songs. I had never seen Dare in the pensive mood I found him on that day. He sat with his chin on the back of his clasped hands, gazing intently at something his own eyes alone could see. “Is anything the matter?” I asked, fearing that he could have lost a dear one. His response was a shocker. “Bob Marley is dead,” he said in a voice that was laden with emotion. A heavy stone dropped from my heart to the pit of my belly. “Marley is dead?” I asked repeatedly. “What becomes of reggae? What becomes of music? What becomes of life? What becomes of me?” Questions ran riot in my mind. As far as I was concerned, good music had died with Marley. And, for the first time, my faith was shaken in the saying that nature abhors vacuum. If nature actually abhors vacuum, what was the point creating one in the death of Marley? As it turned out, however, I only needed to wait for five years to see another fine flower of reggae music. I had gone to Yola, Adamawa State on vacation when I heard a

clear velvety voice in the sweet reggae music that blared from a cab‘s speakers. The music was as strange as the voice that rendered it. Upon enquiry, the taxi driver told me the artiste‘s name was Lucky Dube. Lucky what? I queried. That must be another Jamaican, I thought to myself. I would later discover that Lucky Dube was a South African. I felt a deep sense of relief and pride. For five years, I had lived with the thought that good music had left the world. But I was confronted with the reality that the piece of reggae music that almost sounded better than Marley‘s was delivered by an African. Lucky Dube became my new music idol. I surrendered my ears to his voice, gave my heart to his message and faithfully threw my money to his records. Then on October 19, 2007, a sword was driven into my heart with the news that some gunmen had shot him dead in Johannesburgand in the presence of his three daughters. That became another low moment of my life. I woke up everyday praying for the repose of Dube‘s soul and for God to grant his South African compatriots the fortitude to bear the loss. Unknown to me, Dube was shot by some of his compatriots because they thought he was a Nigerian. That much was confessed by the suspects who were arrested in respect of Dube‘s death. It is needless to say that the confession left a sour taste in my mouth. And just as I was wondering whether the confession of hatred against Nigerians could be true, Gen. Buba Marwa, Nigeria‘s ambassador to South Africa, declared that the hatred the average South African nurses against Nigeria is palpable. So, Dube‘s assassins had gone away rejoicing that they had just wasted the life of a Nigerian who could have been my own brother, uncle or nephew! What could Nigeriahave

For many years, Nigeria remained at the forefront of the struggle for the emancipation of the black population of South Africa from the ignoble regime called apartheid. Our churches and mosques devoted their sessions to praying for the fall of the soulless regime. Our newspapers devoted their editorial pages to condemning the obnoxious governments of Ian Smith and Pieta Botha. Nigerian musicians like Ras Kimono, Mandators and the late Sunny Okosuns devoted their songs to condemning the unhappy regime

done to deserve that? Here was a nation that fetched and carried for South Africain the heady days of apartheid. For many years, Nigeria remained at the forefront of the struggle for the emancipation of the black population of South Africa from the ignoble regime called apartheid. Our churches and mosques devoted their sessions to praying for the fall of the soulless regime. Our newspapers devoted their editorial pages to condemning the obnoxious governments of Ian Smith and Pieta Botha. Nigerian musicians like Ras Kimono, Mandators and the late Sunny Okosuns devoted their songs to con-

demning the unhappy regime. It was for no other reason than apartheid that Nigeria made Africa the centre of its foreign policy for decades. We shunned the wealth that could have accrued to us from patronising the West and pumped our money into the purse of the African National Congress, the political organisation at the vanguard of opposition to apartheid in South Africa. It was in recognition of the role Nigeria played in the war against the apartheid regime in South Africa that Nigeria‘s former Head of State, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, was appointed the chairman of the Eminent Persons Group, the think tank of the movement against the apartheid regime. Why then would the black population develop the kind of hatred and persecution that has left our ambassador lamenting? From time to time I receive complaints from Nigerians who seek visas to South Africa. Their major complaint had been that many officials of the South African embassy insist on heavy bribes before they would process their visas. But during the week, the matter got to a head with the deportation of 125 Nigerians who were on legitimate business trips to South Africa, using lack of genuine medical certificates declaring them to be free of yellow fever as a guise. At what age and time? Is this South Africa‘s reward for our love? Yet our corrupt and inept leaders are to blame for all this. Why would the citizens of a richly blessed country like Nigeria be trooping to South Africa if we are not led by rapacious and gluttonous individuals who would spend $16 billion on electricity and there would be nothing to show for it? Why? •This piece is an updated version of the one I wrote as a columnist on the Back Page of Saturday Punch in May 2010.

Nigeria, South Africa and Xenophobia Knucklehead

I

N an unusual reaction to the latest manifestation of cruel treatment of Nigerian on foreign shores, our country’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, vowed that Nigeria would no longer take kindly to the ill-treatment of any of its citizens in any part of the world. Attributing the recent deportation of 125 Nigerians from Johannesburg to a growing xenophobic attitude of the average South African, the minister indicates that our government’s years of globally-acknowledged indifference to the fate of Nigerians in other lands is now coming to an end. For an administration that has refused to offer any worthwhile quotable quote, the looming diplomatic row with the South African authorities might just offer the platform to record some everlasting quotes that would outlive these erratic interventions. It is, indeed, a soothing relief that the government is now making the right noise, hitting the right musical note by threatening fire and brimstone against a country that has yet to wean itself off the unholy imprints that its old apartheid system emblematized on its consciousness. Pity. However, the point must be poignantly made quite early on this page that this is not just about the 125 Nigerians that were deported last week for allegedly being in possession of fake Yellow Fever vaccination certificates. For sure, no one is pushing for the exemption of Nigerians from any immigration procedure, no matter how obtuse, since it was mandatory for every traveller to the former apartheid enclave to produce the certificate at the point of entry. Yet, it is shocking, to say the least, that the immigration personnel in former President Nelson Mandela’s country could adjudge documents that were officially verified before the issuance of visas as fake. Fake yellow fever vaccination certificate or not, it is on record that Nigerians have never been treated fairly in South Africa right from the point of entry. As some visitors to the country have pointed out, the authorities often force them to go for a second inoculation, as they place no value whatsoever on the yellow card issued in Nigeria. Jide Babalola and John Ofikhenua, both Abuja-based reporters who visited the former apartheid enclave some years ago, recalled being given the Hobson’s choice of either taking their $100 vaccination at the airport or being turned back to Nigeria. Therefore, one is tempted to ask: Is this just a disagreement over simple health certificate as the South African authorities are trying to portray or the odium that the Nigerian green passport attracts at different entry points in foreign lands? Moreover, why should Nigeria always be the butt of every rude joke in the comity of nations? The government’s righteous rage over the South African issue could not have come at a better time. We may fancy ourselves as Africa’s Big Brother, but when brotherliness is reciprocated with the kind of silly chauvinism coming out of Madiba’s territory, then a decisive action is needed to define the terms of that relationship. It is after doing this that the abused party in the marriage of inconvenience can then take a deep pulse

and embark on some sort of introspection. It is not enough to take retaliatory action by deporting visiting South Africans on flimsy excuses or threaten businesses owned by their citizens here. We cannot continue to blow hot and cold over a matter that the South African government continues to treat with kid gloves. The arrogance that has been displayed by Johannesburg so far could only mean one thing——the xenophobic feeling may be deeper than what is occasionally meted out to Nigerians at the airports and on the streets as it happened in 2009 when foreigners, especially Nigerians, were attacked by enraged youths. There is reason to suspect an official imprimatur of the South African authorities in this nonsense. Nevertheless, we need to ask the question: why should any Nigerian be in a hurry to leave the shores of this country and chew his sorrow in places where his humanity counts for nothing? In truth, South Africa is becoming an alternative destination for restless Nigerians in search of the proverbial Golden Fleece as a report written by Joke Kujenya and published in The NATION of Thursday, March 8, 2012 has shown. Her visit to the South African embassy in Lagos indicates that more Nigerians are battling to obtain visas. Yet, here is a country with a high crime rate with murders, assaults, rapes (adults, child and infant) and others taking the pole position when compared to most countries. With an average of 50 murders a day and over 18,000 annually, it is befuddling that many of us would give an arm and a leg to obtain a South African visa. Violence and coercive sexual behaviour against women may be seen as somewhat legitimate in South Africa but that did not stop many Nigerian ladies from longing for visas that would enable them to take up lucrative prostitution career during the last World Cup hosted by the country. Xenophobia or not, Nigerians continue to take their chances. Why? The hopelessness and despair at home have pushed many to take the suicidal decision to try their luck in countries where things are, at least, presumed to be better organized. If South Africa-based firms are making more profits in Nigeria than they do in their country, it is because they have succeeded in tapping into the boundless opportunities many of us have failed to see. We do not need to list the names but we do know those multinational companies that are reaping billons of naira yearly as profits all because they appear more focused. We do not need to begrudge them and we cannot blame them for our inability to put our economy in proper shape. These same firms are offering jobs to thousands of Nigerians who could have joined the long line of visa seekers only to be treated as common criminals and refugees. That is the tragedy of the Nigerian story. We cannot continue to waddle in self-pity, boasting about our resolute stance against apartheid and how delighted we were when an end was put to the colour war with the emergence of the symbol of that fight, Nelson Mandela, as President of a post-apartheid South Africa. That was in the past. We need to move on and begin to address the local xenophobic

With

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

tendencies threatening to tear us apart. Should I list them? If care is not taken, little known countries in Africa that are barely on crutches may inflict graver assault on travelling Nigerians for being a wasteful Big Brother that would settle for just any crumbs. We definitely cannot continue to whine about how our good deeds are not being appreciated. As a nation, we should be concerned that majority of those deported to Nigeria by the South African authorities were students. With a decaying education system, dearth of infrastructure and crying unemployment, South Africa and some other countries on the continent are increasingly becoming attractive for many Nigerians. It is doubtful if the subculture of violence and criminality in these places would ever discourage them from taking the jump. The reason is simple: nothing indicates that they would be better off staying back home in Nigeria. In any case, what difference does it make if all they need to do is to replace the ethnic bigotry at home with the biting hatred by the host communities? Today, the government accuses the South African government of xenophobia against Nigerians. That may be true and it is should be condemned. However, what concrete step has the government taken to put an end to the ethnic discontents brewing at home? These discontents come in various shapes and forms. They are at the heart of our national malaise. Today, it is South Africa. Tomorrow, it could be the turn of Sao Tome and Principe to humiliate Nigerians out of their tiny oil-producing island if we do not get our priorities right. We bicker over little things and ignore those things that can make us truly great. Perhaps, the South African government would not be in a position to jeer back at us with a disturbing eerie silence over the controversial Yellow Fever certificate row if its officials are not conversant with our usual double-speak. While some diplomats have been hitting the headlines, threatening diplomatic war with any country that diminishes the sovereignty of the country, some other persons are busy ferrying their loots to the former apartheid enclave to buy choice houses, invest in education and the best health facilities that money can buy. A bird, who should know, whispered to me that this is the tragic contradiction in this latest spat. Most of our leading politicians and briefcase businessmen should get my drift. Now, do you still wonder why one party has maintained a dignified silence leaving the other to go on with its raving folly?


Blacksmith shoots self dead after collapsed marriage

Crime/ 13

Calabar: The city that doesn't sleep

Thriller/ 19

Life & Style / 41

‘How I cope with maledominated team’

Weekend

PEOPLE THE NATION, Saturday, MARCH 10, 2012

Relat io

nship

11

Youths protesting the banker’s murder

Kingsley became a victim because his customer was the first casualty and he went to sympathise with his late customer's family only to be killed along others

The late banker

with Governor Obi (middle) rch the community’s mona (right) at the burial


12

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

We’ve lost our potential benefactor, says Anambra monarch as bank manager killed by Boko Haram is laid to rest D

ISTRAUGHT, tears and anguish were the mood at Azigbo, Nnewi South, Anambra State when the remains of Mr Kingsley Ugochukwu Onyenwe , 37, former bank manager, Diamond Bank, Mubi branch, murdered by Boko Haram were laid to rest. Late Kingsley, before his death, had a son, Chukwuebuka Emmanuel Onyenwe, but had not perfected the marriage with his mother before his death. That has brought about a serious problem between the lady and the late Kingsley’s family. He was with Chartered Bank from 2001 till 2005 before joining Diamond Bank group and subsequently became Manager of the Mubi branch, Adamawa State. He attended Local Authority Primary School, Ajegunle; Ojoku High School, Olodi Apapa and Lagos State Model College, Badagry, all in Lagos and the University of Maiduguri. The family had already received N1 million from the Anambra State governor , Mr Peter Obi ,and the son, of course, would benefit from the scholarship Obi granted children of those killed by Boko Haram. Kingsley was among the 14 people killed recently in Mubi, Adamawa State by the Boko Haram sect. Twelve of these were from Adazi-Nnukwu. Kingsley became a victim because his customer was the first casualty and he went to sympathise with his late customer’s family only to be killed along others. At his funeral were Governor Obi; Executive Director, Regional Businesses, North, Diamond Bank, Oladele Akinyemi; Chairman of Traditional Rulers Council, Nnewi South , Igwe C.C Umeadiba, the Azigbo traditional ruler; Sir Donald Ibezim Udogu and Chief Majah Umeh, Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Culture. Others were Prof. Chinyere Okunna, Anambra State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget; member representing the Nnewi South Constituency 1 in the state House of Assembly, Chuwuma Iruba; Hon Rita Mmaduagwu representing Nnewi South 2; Chief Sony Chukwu Nwandu, Owelle of Azigbo and hundreds of youths led by Pastor Afamefuna Osakwe. The Anglican Church performed his burial rites at St James’ Church, Azigbo by Venerable (Dr) G.O Maduka and Rev C Chijindu. Obi commiserated with the Azigbo community and immediate family members of Kingsley and thanked the Azigbo youths for not taking the law into their hands as they protested the death. ‘’What happened touched everybody. I went to Mubi. What happened should be committed to prayers. Ndigbo must be in Nigeria . Nigeria must protect us

•Dignatories at the burial

•The late Kingsley

Odogwu EMEKA ODOGWU, Nnewi and we would live anywhere in Nigeria. “Nobody can sack us from Nigeria and they need Ndigbo. We joined others to develop all parts of this country. I want you to know that whatever God does not know does not happen, but this kind of thing would not happen to anybdy in Azigbo again.” He said Boko Haram was the handiwork of those struggling to destabilise the economy of Nigeria, adding that Ndigbo must remain in Nigeria as Nigerians, working for the good of the country. Igwe Umeadiba, who was visibly pained by the death of his promising subject, said: ’’We are not happy that he died untimely because he was among the future hopes of his family, village and community. He died a painful death. Everybody is not happy because he had reached the stage the community would start benefitting before he died. ‘’ We are grateful to the government of Governor Obi for his effort to bring the corpses of those murdered home because they would have been buried there. We thank Obi also for his support for the burial.” Sir Udogu said: “The show of maturity by our youths and other Ndigbo to restrain from reprisal attacks is what I am impressed with. It amazes me because it was the opposite of the expected when the senseless violence broke out in the North.

•Sympathisers at the family house

What happened touched everybody. I went to Mubi. What happened should be committed to prayers. Ndigbo must be in Nigeria . Nigeria must protect us and we would live anywhere in Nigeria — Governor Obi

•The deceased’s aunty, Elizabeth

Kingsley’s death is most unfortunate as many have been rendered hopeless’’. There were placards with inscriptions condemning Boko Haram and urging the Federal Covernment to provide security for lives and property of Nigerians anywhere they are, especially those of Ndigbo targeted for destruction at the slightest

provocation. The youths chanted anti-terrorism and antibloodletting songs. One of the surviving brothers of Kingsley, who lost his father and mother, Chukwuma, could not speak, but had time to appreciate people for their contributions in making the burial of his late brother a success, while his aunty, Elizabeth Agbai, sobbing, said: “Let God throw somebody up from the remaining children, two boys and four girls, to enable them take up the challenges because this happened at a time the family and community were looking up for benefits from him’’. Chief Umeh recalled how Governor Obi put in efforts to ensure the corpse was brought to Azigbo, adding that the Obi administration had done much for Azigbo and would still do more. He called on the people of the community to continue to

show support for the administration. Mr. Akinyemi refused to speak with our correspondent on the bank’s plans for Kingsley’s family. President General of community’s union, Mr. Peter Chukwudum, commended Governor Obi for his support in connection with the burial and his administration’s efforts to develop Anambra State, pledging that Azigbo would continue to support his administration. But Chief Nwandu insisted that those who killed Kingsley did not want the community to benefit from him. He, therefore, appealed to Diamond Bank to employ people from Azigbo as replacements for their illustrious son who died in active service. He said that would go a long way to defuse the tension in Azigbo over the death.


13

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

Blacksmith shoots self dead after collapsed marriage

•Sympathisers at the scene of the suicide

•Alamu after shooting himself

N

OBODY took 38-year-old Alamu Olajire seriously when he threatened to take his own life after his marriage collapsed. But the reality dawned on friends, family members and neighbours of the Ibadan-based hunter and blacksmith when he shot himself dead on February 11. Sources close to the family said the deceased, who had been battling with a protracted stomach ache, might have considered the suicide option after he was abandoned by his wife and six children. A neighbour, who pleaded not to be named, said: “We thought he was joking when he threatened to kill himself after his wife left him and took their six children away. Repeatedly, he said that his response to his wife’s action would be a movie the woman would watch forever. Sadly, he made good his threat by killing himself.” Until his death, Olajire lived in the Ido area of Ibadan. Earlier on that day, he was said to have visited his mother in the Omi-Adio area of the city to complain that his wife had left home with the kids. He then threatened to deal with his wife for what he termed her despicable attitude.

I strongly believe that Alamu killed himself out of frustration, following his failed marriage. I think he could not stand his wife leaving him during his trying period. He had been battling with failing health, and it was during this period that his wife decided to discontinue the marriage Kunle AKINRINADE Our correspondent gathered that from Omi-Adio, the deceased headed for his uncompleted building at Bakatari, where he loaded a locally-made gun and shot himself in the chest. The gunshot was said to have attracted the attention of some residents who rushed to the scene only to find him in a pool of blood with the gun beside him. A source, who craved anonymity, explained that the incident was a strange one, adding that there must be more to it. The source said: “This incident

is strange. I want to believe that there are evil forces that must have pushed the deceased blacksmith to commit suicide. “This is Africa. Some wicked people can use juju to prompt a man to kill himself or other people.” Some members of the deceased’s family, however, disagreed with this position, saying that frustration must have been responsible for Olajire’s action, going by the remarks he made before his death. “I strongly believe that Alamu killed himself out of frustration, following his failed marriage. I think he could not stand his wife leaving him during his trying pe-

riod. He had been battling with failing health, and it was during this period that his wife decided to discontinue the marriage,” the source said. Alamu’s mother was said to have fainted immediately she got the news of her son’s death. And when she had regained consciousness, she described her son’s action as unreasonable, saying the challenges before him were not enough reasons for him to take his own life. The distraught mother said: “He came to my house in the early hours of the unfortunate day to complain that his wife had left him, taking their children along. I told him to take things easy, saying that God would intervene in the matter. He also complained about his deteriorating health and pleaded with me to accompany him to the hospital where he was being treated. “I reminded him that we were yet to defray the medical bill earlier incurred at the hospital and that he should wait until we were able to get the money. “I advised him not to let the thoughts of his ill-health overwhelm him because I believed that God would restore his sound health.” She explained how the deceased had left her residence in annoyance, not knowing that he had resolved to kill himself. She said: “He left my house in anger and vowed that he would take an action that would make me unhappy. But I continued to plead with him as he was leaving, saying he should just take things easy. When he noticed that I was just pleading with him, he jumped on a commercial motorcycle and left. I suspected that he could do something, but I never knew he would kill himself.” Another source, who described

the deceased blacksmith as an unassuming person, said his action was misguided. “Why did he kill himself? There was no reason for him to have done that. “I knew him to be a quiet person, and he was very resourceful. Apart from being a blacksmith, he also worked as a hunter and made fairly good money to start work on his uncompleted house where he committed suicide. “He had been battling with his health lately and the illness relapsed only a few weeks ago. It was in the middle of this that a quarrel with his wife led to the breakdown of their marriage, and he allowed despondency to overwhelm him. We were all thinking about reconciling them, not knowing that that he was considering suicide. “His death should serve as a lesson for many others with similar experiences. Divine intervention is the only solution to human problems because suicide would only complicate issues. Now, who will take care of his aged mother and children?” Some sympathisers at the scene of the incident, who knew the deceased, also expressed shock at his death. Some of them said he should have moved closer to God for solutions to his medical and marital problems instead of considering suicide. The incident was reported at Apata Police Station, Ibadan, Oyo State, while the body of the deceased was taken to Adeoyo General Hospital for autopsy before he was released to his family for burial on Friday, February 17. The Public Relations Officer of the Oyo State Police Command, Mr. Femi Okanlawon, declined comment on the incident when our correspondent called him on the phone.


14

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

•From left: Innocent, Yakubu and Augustine

•Bernard (left)and Tunji

•Emeka

‘We’re not robbers; we only use police uniform to hijack goods’ H

UMAN rights organisations were saddled with a strange responsibility during the week. Suspected members of a 10-man robbery gang smashed by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Police Command, called on the human rights organisations to rescue them from police net, saying they were wrongly tagged as armed robbers while they were hijackers of goods.

Ebele BONIFACE In an interview with our correspondent, the leader of the gang, Emeka Amadi (28), a native of Mbaise town in Imo State, said it was wrong to tag the gang’s members as robbers when they did not operate with guns but with a police uniform. Amadi said a member of the gang named Julius merely wore a mobile police (MOPOL) uni-

form with which the gang used to intimidate their victims by giving them the impression that they were members of a special task force constituted by the Federal Government to impound contrabands. Giving an insight into the gang’s mode of operation, Amadi said: “We were 10 in number. Each member had a role to play. My own role was to drive our operational vehicle. I used to lead the other members of the gang to

spots where we hijacked trucks. We didn’t carry guns at all. “Once our victims saw Julius in MOPOL uniform, they assumed that we were policemen. Hence, they promptly complied with our instructions. We also wore Tshirts that carried the label of task force. “Each time we blocked a truck or a trailer, we arrested the driver and the conductor and tied their hands and legs with their shirts. We didn’t even beat our victims.

We normally dropped them at a spot where they could be easily assisted by passers-by. “Even the truck or trailer we hijacked was dropped after off-loading the goods into the receivers’ trucks or trailers. The receivers of the goods usually hung around our operational areas for quick offloading. “During our first operation, we hijacked a truck that carried cartons of a brand of food seasoning. •Continued on Page 15


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

•First hijacked truck •Continued feom Page 14 In the second operation, we hijacked a trailer loaded with engine oil. It was the arrest of the receiver of the engine oil that exposed us. “The trailer had loaded the engine oil from the Apapa depot of Conoil, but we trailed it to Ojuelegba where we blocked it, held the driver and conductor hostage and transferred its content into a waiting vehicle in Mushin (Lagos). “From Mushin, the goods were transported to a buyer in Kano, who paid N10million for it. But the money was not paid to us. It was paid to the first buyer at Mushin.” Tunji Abdul (21) one of the suspected receivers of the goods, claimed to hail from Oyo town in Oyo State. But he denied buying the stolen truckload of food seasoning. He said the only thing he bought from the gang was engine oil. Abdul recalled that he was supplying tiles and other kinds of building materials to some construction companies in Lagos, particularly the builders at the Housing Estate in GRA, Ikeja and the Ghanaian Embassy before he met the gang. He said it was his arrest that led to the arrest of three other members of the gang and the receiver of the cartons of food seasoning. He also said Amadi’s arrest gave the officer in charge of SARS, Abba Kyari, a Superintendent of Police, the toughest time because the three GSM numbers he used in tracking criminals got three wrong persons. Abdul said he had worked against the efforts made by SARS operatives to track the hijackers, knowing that once they were arrested, the buyers of the hijacked goods would be exposed. But luck was on the side of SARS and five of the suspects were tracked tracked down while five others were at large. A Kano-based businessman who bought some of the hijacked items was said to have ordered his boys not to sell them when he discovered that the matter was being investigated by the police. Abdul also denied stealing a generator the police found in his house. He said he bought it as a tokunbo (fairly used) generator, but the police took it away when they arrested him.

•Second hijacked truck

Asked how he came about the hundreds of fairly used tyres he was said to have with him, he said it was not true that he had such tyres. The matter, he said, had been investigated by the police themselves and they had found it not to be true. On the 600 bags of sugar found in his possession, he said it was one Yerima, an employee of a manufacturing company, who supplied them to him. Said he: “Even in respect of the engine oil that I received, I have not got a dime from the second receiver who is based in Kano.” The third suspect, who was alleged to have received the cartons

of food seasoning, Yau Yakubu (24), an indigene of Kubao Local Government Area, Kaduna State, said: “I have a store in Alaba market. We sell rice at Alaba Rago in Ojo Local Government Area along the Lagos-Badagry expressway. “On that day, I was in my shop when these boys came with the goods. They asked me to buy each carton of the seasoning at N1,500. I paid them about N20,000 while my brother bought goods worth N1.5 million and paid them cash. “I did not know that they were stolen goods. I did not know that they were hijackers. I am not their member. It was my first time of buying anything from them. I did

not know that they were criminals.” The fourth suspect, Innocent Nwokoro (24), a native of Okigwe, Imo State, recalled that he used to work as a bus conductor in Lagos. He said: “I was arrested at Ojuelegba. Emeka is my friend. He was the one who called me and begged me to follow him to Ojuelegba to collect money for a business they had done. I have never followed him to rob or hijack goods. “If he had told me the nature of the business, I would not have followed him. I was not even going to benefit from the said money.”

Once our victims saw Julius in MOPOL uniform, they assumed that we were policemen. Hence, they promptly complied with our instructions. We also wore T-shirts that carried the label of task force. Each time we blocked a truck or a trailer, we arrested the driver and the conductor and tied their hands and legs with their shirts...

Another recipient of the goods, 22-year-old Augustine Ifeanacho, a native of Omor village in Ayamelum Local Government Area, Anambra State, said he was a trader on CD plates before his arrest at his Shagamu residence, Ogun State. Explaining how he was arrested, he said it was one of the suspects named Ben Anarobi led policemen to his house. “The deal was planned in a hotel along Morroco Road Yaba,” he said. “They waylaid the truck and hijacked the food seasoning somewhere between Ijora and Randle Avenue, Surulere. They dropped the driver and the conductor on the Third Mainland Bridge and sped off to Anthony area where the receivers of the goods were waiting in a 40feet trailer. “As for the engine oil, the gang trailed the truck from the Apapa depot of Corn Oil in Ijora to Randle Avenue. The seasoning was valued at N16 million while the engine oil was worth about N16,1 million.. “Julius, who is still at large, was our MOPOL actor while Ojenmeko was our gang leader. He is also at large. Emeka was his second in command.” Anarobi, a 35-year-old indigene of Omor village in Anyamelum Local Government Area, Anambra State, said he was dealing in motor spare parts, which he said he used to buy in Lagos and sold to traders at motor parks in Nkpor after Onitsha. Explaining his role in the deal, he said: “They called me to help them to sell the engine oil. I was not involved in the seasoning case. They took about 2,333 cartons of engine oil belonging to Con Oil. I have not paid them. “I was arrested at Fatai Atere junction. I was near the rail-line, smoking Indian hemp when the place was invaded by SARS men. That was where I was picked up. “I have a shop at Oduduwa modern market along Fatai Atere road. I offload my spare parts there. I did not follow them to rob or hijack trucks. I am a genuine businessman. Any businessman who looks for quick money can fall into this type of temptation. It was the gain in it that attracted us. We don’t follow them because we cannot rob or hijack vehicles like them. I don’t know whether they carry guns or not, because I do not follow them.”


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

They have killed my hope, laments father of 26-yr-old gunned down in cold blood F

IFTY-YEAR-OLD Emmanuel Kuye, had hoped to reap bountifully from his ‘investment’in his son, Abiodun, who recently graduated from Kwara State Polytechnic with a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Accountancy. His hope, however, got dashed a few weeks ago when his 26year-old son was gruesomely killed by unknown gunmen, sending his father into the fit of endless tears. The late Abiodun, according to sources, had allegedly kept some money with one Iyabo, near their residence in Sango-Ota, Ogun State, in the hope that he would use part of it to purchase a new laptop before leaving for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camp. He was allegedly called on the telephone by the woman to come for his money in the evening of the unfortunate day. He was said to have hurriedly left home for the woman’s residence, a few distance from their home only to be shot dead by gunmen at the frontage of the woman’s residence shortly after collecting the money. The incident happened in Agbebi area of Sango-Ota, Ogun State. The woman was said to have raised the alarm on the incident which attracted sympathisers to the scene and Abiodun was found in a pool of his blood, cold dead. Kuye, a trained mechanic amid sobs recalled the events leading to the untimely death of his son in the hands of cold fellow. He said: “On Saturday January 14, I was just leaving for home from my workshop in Abule Egba, Lagos State when I received a call that my son(Abiodun) had been shot by some unidentified persons. And when I got home that night I was told by his two siblings that he got a telephone call from Iyabo to come for the money he had kept with her. They said that he was shot right in front of the woman’s residence shortly after collecting the money. “When I spoke with some of the sympathisers around when the incident happened, they said they were at the Onipanu Police Station, Ota and that I should come over. I never knew my son had died until I got to the station only to find in a pool of his blood in a vehicle parked at the station and I broke into tears. The policemen sought my consent before his body is deposited in mortuary for post-mortem but I told them that I was not ready for that because of my financial predicament and after signing an undertaking, his body was released o me for burial.” Asked why he decided not to permit Police investigation on the matter, he said: “I did not want to make any case with the woman because of my financial predicament and that is why I decided not to approve of further investigation because I do not have any money to offer anyone. You know that there is no way you will not drop ‘something’ for law enforcement agents once they commence

•Deceased’s father •Deceased’s father

Kunle AKINRINADE their investigation and I am a struggler with barely enough resources to probe into the killing of my son.” He narrated how Abiodun had started keeping money with the woman in order to purchase a new laptop before going for his youth service programme. “. I never knew that he was keeping money with the woman until lately when I became suspicious of his closeness with the woman. I then asked him if he was dating any lady through the woman and he explained that he was not considering relationship with the opposite sex let alone date any girl. He said that his focus remained his education. But he also explained to me that he wanted to buy a new laptop and that one of my friends that sells computers had agreed to sell one to me for N80,000. He said he had saved some money and that he would soon buy the laptop. I later got to know that he had saved about N100, 000 with the woman. “On the day of the incident, he was said to have taken N6, 000 to the woman for safe keeping, not knowing that the same woman would send for him later in the day before he met his untimely death. The next day after the incident, I accused her of complicity in the death of my son at her resi-

•Abiodun, the deceased

dence and she denied, saying that she had never collected or kept money for my son. But her hus-

He graduated in July 2011 from Kwara Polytechnic, and was looking forward to his youth service in February (last month). He was to enroll for professional examinations of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) and to also support me in training his younger brothers when he hoped to get a good job

band later confessed to community leaders who had intervened that she actually did. “The question is, if my son gave her N6,000 in the morning and later returned in the evening of the same day to ask for all his money in her care only to be shot dead by unknown persons in her residence, when did she pay him the money? How come we could not find the money on him and his mobile telephone? I learnt that the woman allegedly smashed my son’s handset to the ground to prevent access to his call logs on the day of the incident. Even his ATM card and driver licence can-

not be found as I speak. “Another thing is that the woman allegedly rode on a motorbike together with my son to her house when she called him on phone to pick his money in company of some men on two other motorbikes at a particular junction near her residence. And we learnt that some men on a motorbike were the one that shot my son dead.” The crest-fallen father of three lamented how he had laboured to raise his late son in the hope that he would support him in future. “The evil ones have killed my hope. Abiodun was my hope for a better tomorrow, but heartless fellows have extinguished his life in his prime. I have worked through thick and thin to ensure that he and his two brothers received good education. I have not been able to finish building my house; I only managed to complete two rooms where I live with my family because of the huge cost of seeing them through their education. His immediate younger brother is studying for a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Marketing at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta. I have not been sleeping well since his death and that is why I had to go underground for some time for fear of being attacked by the masterminds of the killing. “He graduated in July 2011 from Kwara Polytechnic, and was looking forward to his youth service in February (last month). He was to enroll for professional examinations of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) and to also support me in training his younger brothers when he hoped to get a good job. He knew how I had laboured to raise and send them to school and he too was doing some menial jobs during holidays to complement whatever I was able to give him for his studies. My son lived a much disciplined life and he did not keep bad company. Once he got home, he would not leave the house for any reason to indulge in despicable activities.” The said Iyabo, however, denied complicity in the killing of Abiodun. She said: ”Whatever they are saying about suspecting me of having a hand in the death of Abiodun is not true because I did not have a hand in his gruesome death. On the day of the incident, Abiodun came to my house in the morning and dropped N6, 000 with me. He said he wanted to buy a new laptop and that I should help him raise some money to add to the amount he brought and I explained to him that I was also hard up for money. “When he came back in the evening, I explained to him that I could not raise any money to assist him and he took the N6, 000 and left my residence. Not long after, I heard a loud noise and I rushed outside only to find him in a pool of his blood at a junction near my home. I repeat that I am not in any way responsible for his death because our area has become notorious for dastardly acts by criminals and he may have fallen victim of such. “I am very close to his parents and my children go to their house to play. Even my generator is still with his brothers because they came to pick it when there was power outage a few weeks ago and I have not gone back to ask for it. I believe that whatever is hidden to men is open before God and I can say it any where that I don’t have a hand in his death because my hands are clean.”


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

H

E has spent 67 years in the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo. He has worked with three successive Alaafin in the palace, yet he looks strong and agile. Ironically, very few people in the palace where he has lived for three scores and seven know him by his real name. Indeed, many of them would tell you there is no one by that name in the palace, even though they see and interact with him on a daily basis. They know Pa Lasisi simply as Baba Keji. He walks with the agility of a teenager and years of walking around the expansive palace barefooted do not seem to have taken any toll on the soles of his feet. He shows no sign of pain or fatigue when he walks. He has a height that makes it impossible for one not to notice him. Some think his being unusually short is a disadvantage, others believe it is a positive attribute because it makes people to notice him easily. Pa Lasisi himself thinks it is a disadvantage because it makes him to attract attention. There is no way a first time visitor to the Alaafin’s palace would miss him. His shrill voice, big eyeballs and dark skin are a combination that could give one a chill. But your impression of him is bound to change for better on getting close to him–a jolly good fellow having the best of time. “I have lived in the palace for a long time,” he said. “The current Alaafin met me here. When his father ascended the throne in 1945, he brought me to the palace.” He had been a farmer and a fisherman before he joined Oba Adeyemi II in the palace. Although he considers himself an indigene of Oyo town, he said his roots could be traced to outside Oyo town. According to him, his father was a Nupe man. But he was born in Oyo town. He has a family compound in Oyo. He is the only person alive among his siblings. His rich knowledge of Oyo history and events around the palace is enviable. If his knowledge of Oyo history is commendable, he finds his difficult to know his actual age. Asked how old he was, he took a long pause and said: “I can’t tell you my real age. There is no record of my birth. My parents did not record it, unlike what I did for my children. I won’t hazard any guess about my age because I believe in records. And since there is no written record, I won’t say I am of a certain age.” Pa Lasisi is certainly a lucky man. With the demise of Oba Adeyemi II, who reigned between 1945 and 1955, his successor, Alaafin Bello Gbadegesin, Ladigbolu II, who reigned between 1956 and 1970, could not resist his charm. So, he allowed him to remain in the palace. He is as influential in the palace as he is friendly. Anyone who ignores him in the palace could be doing so at his or her own peril, because he is one of Alaafin’s favourites. He said: “I do two types of work, I am a hunter and I am also the head of butchers here. I inspect the cow the butchers want to slaughter and I go to the abattoir with them every day. “I was in charge of the former Alaafin’s fish pond. My job for the former Alaafin was to dig fish ponds for him. But things have changed. What I do mainly is to go to the abattoir and get offal for Oba Adeyemi III.” He admires Oba Lamidi Adeyemi to great lengths and says

•Pa Lasisi

‘I’ve served three Alaafin of Oyo and worked in the palace for 67 years’ Gbenga ADERANTI he cares less when people accuse him of treating the Alaafin like a god. He attributed the source of his strength to Oba Adeyemi 111, saying: “It is the grace of the Alaafin that gives me strength. If you put your trust in the Alaafin, you won’t lack anything.” He uses no drugs to sustain his health. “Each morning I wake up, I say ‘may the Alaafin live long.’ As I pray for the Alaafin to live long, the prayer returns to me.’” Pa Lasisi has one wife and five children who all live in the palace. As sharp as he looks, however, he found it difficult to give the age of his first child offhand, saying he would have to consult his son’s birth certificate to be sure of the age of his child. Like a man who was love-struck, he smiled merrily when

Pa Lasisi is certainly a lucky man. With the demise of Oba Adeyemi II, who reigned between 1945 and 1955, his successor, Alaafin Bello Gbadegesin, Ladigbolu 11, who reigned between 1956 and 1970, could not resist his charm. So, he allowed him to remain in the palace

The Nation asked about his wife. “My wife is from Ilora, a town beside Oyo. We first met at the Sawmill area in Ilora. The Alaafin played a major in my getting a wife. How much the Alaafin spent or what transpired between the family of my wife and the Alaafin, I don’t know,” he said. Till date, he said, his wife’s family maintains a close contact with the palace. Incidentally, some members of his wife’s family were feasting in the palace during the interview. Pa Lasisi admits being a lover of good food, especially pounded yam and amala prepared by his wife. As old as he is, going to abattoir on a daily basis is an integral part of his life. “Every morning, I go to the abattoir to inspect the cow that is about to be slaughtered for the day. After they might have slaughtered the cow, I bring the offal to Kabiyesi, because that is what the Kabiyesi eats. Then I move to the fish pond to collect fish.” But how does he determine the health of a c o w

when he is not a veterinary doctor? “You don’t have to be a veterinary doctor to determine whether a cow is healthy to be slaughtered or not,” he argued. “Yes, I am not a vet doctor. But before the advent of vet doctors, there was a way we determined the health of animals.” Considering his age, one would fear that death might knock at his door anytime soon. But he does not share the sentiment. “If death comes, I will go. I’m not afraid. Why should I be afraid of death?” he defiantly. Reiterating his belief in the efficacy of juju, otherwise called African magic, he said: “When I was young, I could stay under water and travel up to seven kilometres. There was this pot then that my father had. Inside it was a cream. Anytime we wanted to swim, we would rub the cream on our body and go deep down the water. Fishes, snakes and crocodiles would just be looking at you. None of them would attempt to attack any of us that had rubbed the cream.” The oldest man in the Alaafin’s palace regrets that while he was a beneficiary of the magic cream, he has not been able to pass it to his children. He said: “My son, you won’t pray to pass your hardship to your children. It is a profession that has no record. If it had been recorded, I would have put this into practice for you to know what I’m talking about. Interestingly, while Pa Lasisi is a dwarf, none of his children is.” God never allowed that to happen. God compensated me with tall children. Mind you, my wife is not a dwarf,” he said.

•Pa Lasisi

•Pa Lasisi


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

The burial rites of the LateDim Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Ikemba Nnewi, ended penultimate Friday, but the battle to choose his successor as Ikemba Nnewi and as Ezeigbo Gburugburu, may have begun. But there was another angle to who actually gave the late Ikemba Nnewi the title of Ezeigbo Gburugburu. Many said it was Eze Obidiegwu Onyeso of Nri, while others said it was Igwe Kennth Orizu of Nnewi, none has mentioned the actual person who gave Ojukwu the title until we went in search of that and eventually captured the man behind it. He is 75year-old Chief Shedrack Onuora Mbanefo, the Head of Adama Nri Traditional Authority, the kingmakers of Igboland. Chief Mbanefo said that Ezeigbo Gburugburu was the 90th title of Late Dim Ojukwu and his last. In this interview with our correspondent in Nnewi, ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU, Mbanefo talks more about the title. Excerpts:

I

UNDERSTAND that you crowed Ojukwu Ezeigbo Gburugburu. Is it true? Yes, it was around May 4, 1996. Ojukwu came to Nri at Obu Adama palace and we began the ceremonies of coronation. After all said and done, he said that I would be the last person to crown him anything or to give him any title. Then, we agreed and we gave him Offo na Alo (The staff and strength of power) of Nri. But because of problems at Nri, we went to Enugu on the May 4, 1996 and performed the ceremony, but before then, we had performed all the rites at my palace, Adama Nri palace. And because I was not crowning him Ezeigbo in Lagos or Kaduna but Ezeigbo Gburugburu, I gave him Offo na Alo and told him that he would not fight again; I said everything would be on round table conference. He told me that Igbo nation would be coming to pilgrimage at Adama, the citadel of Igbo but because of politics, nobody has come to do that but to fight here and there. Even Ohaneze Ndi Igbo came to disturb the coronation but eventually everything went fine. He maintained the Ezeigbo which I crowned him till his

•Onuora Mbanefo

Why Ojukwu’s Ezeigbo Gburugburu title was mired in controversy — 75-yr-old Mbanefo who crowned the late Ikemba death. I also crowned his 2nd in command (2IC), Chief Michael Olua Okoye, from Awkuzu, Onowu Igbo.

What was your position then at Nri when Ojukwu was crowed Ezeigbo Gburugburu. Were you a king then or

Onowu (2IC)? I am a king maker. My position is a king maker. All the chiefs in Nri are king makers.

Remember that many in the likes of Late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Chief Sam Mbakwe, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, among others, could have been named Ezeigbo Gburugburu but Ojukwu knew the meaning and went for it before others...

,

My father crowed the last monarch, Tabansi Udene in Nri. My forefather crowed Ubadike, Tabansi’s predecessor. So we are known as king makers. But before, Adama had a king, the king of Adama (Eze Adama) is the king of all the Igbo. But later, people from Diodo, Ezendinamoke migrated from Ugbene, in Aguleri side and said that they wanted to have a king that would be a group leader during wars like Samuel and Saul. So, after Eze Adama, Ire moko was crowed Eze Nri, so that he would be going to war and that is where the common parlance, Efee Nri, Nri efee Adama started (worship Nri and Nri will worship Adama). Why was Eze Onyeso against crowning Ojukwu Ezeigbo? Ojukwu desired to be crowed Ezeigbo Gburugburu in 1996, so Obidigwu Onyeso, being king of Aguukwu Nri, said Adama cannot crown Ojukwu Ezeigbo Gburugburu, that he would rather crown him as Eze Nri. We told him that in Igbo tradition, no king crowns another king and that is why we have kings and king makers. So, when Ojukwu came to us for the coronation having got three Ezeigbo titles from Imo and Anambra communities, we had no choice than to oblige him. Obidigwu Onyeso wanted to invite the Police from Awka division to besiege Nri on the day of the coronation. That was why the coronation did not take place in Nri any longer. Ojukwu then told us to come to No. 4, Isiuzo Enugu on May 4, 1996 for the coronation. So, Ojukwu was crowned Ezeigbo Gburugburu at Enugu on May 4, 1996. There also, we crowned his 2nd in command, Onowu Igbo from Awkuzu. I remembered that in May 1996, about 100 policemen besieged Nri, can you tell us what happened the day Ikemba was to be crowed Ezeigbo Gburugburu? Eze Obidiegwu Onyeso and some of his members said that I would not crown Ojukwu anything and that I should not give him anything. But Adama gives Offo (staff of power) to anybody that would be crowed king in Nri. The day Ojukwu indicated interest in being crowned Ezeigbo Gburugburu, as a historian, he (Ojukwu) said I would be the last person that would crown him. What is your regret in all this? That title as I told you was the 90th title of Ojukwu as he had already had 89 titles and that was his last because he insisted he would not take any other title after that Ezeigbo Gburugburu, which was even done in controversial circumstances. Ohaneze castigated Ojukwu then for taking that honour and issued a disclaimer against Ojukwu, urging the public to ignore him and the honour. But today everybody is saying Ojukwu Ezeigbo Gburugburu was this , was that. Today, they have all called him Ezeigbo Gburugburu. There was this professor with the University of Lagos who wrote against Ojukwu for being honoured Ezeigbo. She said: ’’One person cannot lead the Igbo,’’ adding that Ojukwu should mind his utternaces as people did not know any other •Continued on Page 22


THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

Saturday

THRILLER

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

•Pictures show typical scenes in Calabar at nights

C

ALABAR. Long ago, it was the time when the Cross River State capital went to sleep when the sun went down the western horizon. That was before the tourism drive of the Donald Duke-led administration, sustained by the present Liyel Imoke’s administration, changed face of the state, making it more visible on the world map. Consequently the once touted sleepy town became a hub, attracting visitors from all over the country and even beyond. Attendant on this development was a more intense social life. Coupled with the impression that the average Calabar person loves to live life to the fullest, the city had gotten all the necessary ingredients for frolicking and relaxation. Oft has the word ‘Calabar’ been described as ‘Come And Live And Be At Rest’. A good pointer to this is that the entire 32-day Calabar Festival jam-packed with various programmes designed to make people have a good time, has never had a dull moment even for one day. If anything, many would prefer it to continue. The proliferation of hotels, drinking joints and clubs in the past few years has stimulated an active nightlife to match the influx of people who seek fun. It is now common in most parts of town, especially the Marian Road axis, to see such a motley of crawlers at night who are out

Nicholas KALU, Calabar

to have a good time. Most of them, especially youths, patronise the drinking joints that litter the city which seems to sparkle at night. The rave of the moment however is the night-clubs which inject so much power into a bubbling night life that is blossoming in the city. The growth of night clubs has provided a fresh avenue for most residents and visitors to unwind, drinking, dancing and socialising. Among a host of such clubs are Jaspers along Marian Road, Mayfair Lounge at the Channel View Hotels, Pinnacle Club and Base Bar. Alongside these is government’s desire to sustain the tourism drive of the state, which led to the establishment of merrymaking spots such as the Marina Resort and Tinapa Resort. Mr Jasper Essien Kooffreh owns and runs the most popular club in town, Jasper. According to him, he had to return from diaspora to establish the business which he said has so much potential in the state in view of government’s tourism thrust. He said: “Running a club in Calabar is no different from running a club in any other city, but the only difference is that the people here are not hostile. Security wise, I think Calabar is very good com-

Night life in Calabar

pared to other places. So that is why nightlife and clubs would thrive in Calabar because people can feel safe going out. “We have to comment the state government because they introduced tourism, encouraging people outside the state and in diaspora to come and build up the tourism sector. That was why I came back as well. We have taken it far because we now have a lot of modern bars and clubs. It was not like that before”. Calabar has been regarded as a largely civil service state. As a result of this, much of the life injected into the city has been attributed to students of the two higher institutions in the city, University of Calabar and Cross River University of

Technology. Whenever these schools are closed for any reason, there seems to be an attendant lull in social and economic activities in the city and by extension, a drop in the verve of nightlife in the city. But Kooffreh disagrees, saying that though students play an active role, their absence does not jeopardise patronage. According to Kooffreh, with the presence of private companies that are growing in the state, the future will always be bright. The tranquilly and serenity of the state he said has also helped the business to bloom. “The state provides most parts of the country with chippings from Akampka. There are foreign and indigenous investors who own quarries there. We have a cement factory here, UNICEM, which is massive. We also have Niger Mills which is also massive and we have Dangote. So it is not just the university because if it is just that, I don’t see how the hotels and clubs would be surviving. “So all of them add up. Construction companies are coming in. They are employing locally, making a lot of indigenes to have


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

income to enjoy themselves. These are people who work from morning to evening and then, they want to unwind,” he said. He added: “We (Calabar) may not be really commercial. Ironically, even in towns that are so commercial, you don’t have this kind of business. I see the future of nightlife in Calabar blossoming because for instance, when I started this club about two years ago, we only had a couple of clubs. There is a market for this business if you are ready to put in energy, be ready to work hard and manage it properly. With so many projects the government is embarking on, when they kick off they would bring in more investments and more people and, of course, they would want to unwind. “With the focus of tourism in the state, most commercial cities cannot boast of what we have socially and also because of the enabling environment. A lot of businessmen who travel a lot have relocated

The proliferation of hotels, drinking joints and clubs in the past few years has stimulated an active nightlife to match the influx of people who seek fun. It is now common in most parts of town, especially the Marian Road axis, to see a motley of such crawlers at night who are out to have a good time

to Calabar knowing it is a place they can leave their families while they go about their businesses. That has helped a lot. So I believe there is a big future because if a

town is not safe, you cannot leave your house after 9 o’clock.” Also, Mr Chinonso Nwanah, popularly known as Nomzy, who is the marketing executive of another popular club, The

Mayfair Lounge, said the tourism drive of the state is really helping the business in the state. “People are always coming in and out of Calabar. It is a place where people come to have fun and we give them quality fun ,“ he said. He also attributed the thriving business to the peaceful environment of Calabar. “I can beat my chest and welcome anyone who wants to come to Calabar and say you are going to have a quality and wonderful time,” Nomzy says. Mr David Ndukwe is from Abia State, but had lived in Calabar for over 15 years. He also loves to enjoy himself. He says one of the things that have made the town so appealing has been its healthy nightlife which provides the opportunity to have fun. He added: “Yes, there’s been so much improvement in the night life here and this could be attributed to improved security situation in the city as people go about any time without being molested”.


22

‘It’s taboo to seek Ojukwu’s replacement when he was yet to be buried’

,

•Continued on Page 18 Igbo leader than Zik. She said all kinds of things. She even challenged Ojukwu to put his ideas in books like Zik. But check the newspapers today and see what these same people are writing in honour of Ojukwu. Over 100 police officers were invited and they took over the village and guests from all walks of life, including Chief Uche Chukwumerije, Prince Arthur Eze and several traditional rulers and wealthy individuals were not allowed to have a space at Akamkpisi village, venue of the event. Remember that many in the likes of Late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Chief Sam Mbakwe, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, among others, could have been named Ezeigbo Gburugburu but Ojukwu knew the meaning and went for it before others. That was why it was controversial. Ojukwu was indeed happy for the title because it gave him an egde over others of his contemporaries. Ojukwu was honoured alongside Bianca as Iyom Ndigbo. Ojukwu had the Offo na Alo Ndigbo, which can be translated as Ezeigbo Gbururgburu. Many dissuaded him from accepting the honour by saying we were palace servants not kingmakers. My regret is that a child will kill an elephant and another person will surface to claim the glory and honour. It is not good. We are doing the work that God assigned to us. So, if we do the one that will attract blessing and somebody surface, to claim the blessings. Is it good? What is not good is not good. What these people did is not good. Bianca’s father, Onoh, was once quoted as saying that instead of calling Ojukwu Ezeigbo Gburugburu, he should be called Eze Ogbu Ndi Igbo n’ Igwe and latter on, Okwosa said the title was befitting for Ojukwu. What do you have to say on that? Onoh did not agree initially that Ojukwu would marry his daughter, Bianca. But he latter agreed. The day we were to pay the pride price, I was in the front with Ojukwu. We trecked from Reformatory to Onoh’s house. Onoh was there and he received us. It was said that when an unjust man repents from his evil ways, he will be forgiven (laughs). What is the different between Eze Nri and Adama in Nri that made you to crown Ojukwu Ezeigbo Gburugburu? Good, the difference is clear. There is this common proverb that says: Efesia Nri, Nri effee Adama (After worshipping Nri, Nri will in turn worship Adama). The truth is that Adama is the citadel of creation of human beings. When you come to Nri, the Adama is the aborigine, the owners of the land before other neighbouring towns. It is a small town surrounded by water. So the difference is clear but it is one. As far as you come to Nri and stay over 100 years, you are a citizen. We don’t have Osu, slave or anything. It is a freedom town but Adama is the head of Igbo, Nri is under the Adama umbrella; the Adama is in Nri. It is a fam-

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

How just is it to crown somebody’s son with his father’s title while his father has not been buried? It is against the custom of Igboland. So, it is not done

,

•Onuora Mbanefo

•Onuora Mbanefo

ily. So what we have is Adama Nri, it is a kindred in Nri but they are the king makers. What’s the issue between you and Eze Onyeso? The plan was to stop the coronation once I was apprehended. So, it was to disrupt the coronation. I committed no offence

then. It was in the area where Ojukwu was supposed to be crowned Ezeigbo Gburugburu that Ebube was crowned Akamkpusi Nri. The coronation that took place amidst police and other security agents, how I disappeared there that day was what I cannot explain.

Some press men who saw me in Enugu for the coronation were very surprised that they started asking me if I had used submarine or plane to get to Enugu. So their plan was to disrupt the coronation but God didn’t grant that. But a prominent son of Nri then, one Mr. Philip Umeadi (SAN) and others had re-echoed what Eze Onyeso said that Adama is a servant to Nri people and never king makers? Well, Umeadi is a politician, though he later regretted making that pronouncement and he later said something against Obidiegwu. In the olden days, my father said that “na onu mmadu ji ri akwuma ka oga eji ri akwumakeke” (The tongue that criticises people, will be used to praise them). So somebody who crowned somebody can still dethrone him. Mr. Umeadi and Emeka Onyeso latter criticised Eze Onyesor about somebody allegedly hanging himself in his palace. Emeka Onyeso is my agemate and classmate. . Why are people saying that Eze Obidiegwu Onyeso crowned Ojukwu Ezeigbo Gburugburu? These are the things we are seeing. He wants to take the glory because he has seen that what I did is justifiable and that is how God and our ancestral fathers want it. Ojukwu is the ‘Jesus Christ’ of the Igbo race. So, Onyeso has seen the benefit of what I did and wants to take glory now. hat he did was on print. Why do you think Onyeso is associating himself with the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu who he never recognised when alive? That is a very big question. You said what somebody did was wrong and distanced yourself from him while alive, why then are you associating yourself with the person now that the person is no more? While Ojukwu had not been buried, he was looking for his probable replacement. It is a taboo. It is not done at all. It is when you bury the dead that you will look for his replacement. So, you mean the conferment of Ijele Igbo on Uwazuruike by Eze Onyeso is not proper? It is not in accordance with tradition. I saw it from the newspapers. If I confront him, it will be that we are engaging in power tussle. But what he did is wrong. Why did you crown Ojukwu Ezeigbo Gburugburu? I gave him the title because he was Igbo’s ‘Christ’. Without him, Igbo would have been slaves forever. That was why I considered

all the sacrifices he made to serve/save Igbo nation and crowned him Ezeigbo Gburugburu. Just as Jesus Christ did to save mankind. That is why Nri and Adama people do go to wherever a sacrilege is done to purify the area. So without Ojukwu, we would have remained in bondage forever. The way Onyeso criticised Ojukwu is the same way some Nigerians said ‘crucify him’ but now, everybody is eulogising him and paying tributes, what do you have to say on that? Whatever that is happening is how God decreed it. If you bury truth, it will later germinate and stand firm. Justice must always prevail. So, I am thanking Nigerians in particular and the world at large for later finding out the truth about what Ojukwu did to the nation and Nigeria. When Christ came, so many people did not believe in Him, even His own people but now, His good news is circulating every where. That is how Ojukwu’s fame will circulate around the globe because good name is better than riches. So, I thank those who latter understood what Ojukwu did and pray that it shall be well with them. So what you are saying is that Onyeso did not plan giving Ojukwu Ezeigbo Gburugburu before you? He did not plan to contribute anything on Ojukwu’s coronation. He was not even there. The only thing he planned to do was to disrupt the coronation. When will you crown another person that will replace Ojukwu? That should be when God says. We don’t crown any how or because of material positions. You have to research and know what the person has done to merit the title so that he can defend it. Even this Eze Nri we are talking about, we crown it by merit. How can you justify the title conferred on Emeka Ojukkwu and Uwazuruike? How just is it to crown somebody’s son with his father’s title while his father has not been buried? It is against the custom of Igboland. So, it is not done. His father was still in the mortuary when he was crowned. After his father had been buried then, if he wants to be Ikemba I or II, he will be justified but that never happened. It is wrong for one to take a title while his father has not been buried. What does Adama Nri stand for? Adama is the Adam, the “Diana” of Igbo people, the originator and citadel of Igbo kingdom. Nri is in Aniocha Local Govt. Area of Anambra State.


23

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

‘Why I let my husband chase me for six months’

Edited by: VICTOR AKANDE

Tel: 08077408676

E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com

ntertainment

Angel Okorie Orizu

LOCATION

BACKSTAGE

SNAPSHOT

REEL NEWS

MUSIC

SCREEN

See page 28-37

For Trace TV, P. Square has forgotten its days of little beginnings


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

STANDh BY! Wit

VICTOR AKANDE E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com Tel: 08077408676 (SMS only)

THINK

nt part of An importa s of any the succes is its civilisation late the mu ability to e t led to the a th factors ther success of o Eric s.— civilisation rt Reine

KOK’s tribute to Giringory

SNAPSHOTS Mercy Johnson’s marriage to be shot into movie

“Don't stop, say something, what if you were in front of a live audience and you forgot your line. Look for something to say…”

T

HAT was quintessential James Iroha admonishing me on the third episode of the “New Masquerade” set in 1984. On this occasion, I had forgotten a line, while shooting a scene at Trans Ekulu, Enugu . Dee James, as we all called him, encouraged me to always endeavour to fill the gap and make up during other “takes”. The humour mill known and addressed as Giringory would always have something to say to enliven any situation. With his rare combination of Ibibio/Efik, a smattering of Igbo and spoken English that verged on malapropism, his classic delivery of comedy made him a clear progenitor of modern comedy as we have it today in Nigeria. If the Ali Babas, Okey Bakassis, Gordons etc are raking in millions today, it's largely because they are tapping from a template perfected by Giringory in speech or conduct or both. As an upcoming artiste in 1984, through the uncanny hands of fate, I became the Stand-in during rehearsals at Studio B, ABS TV (Now Enugu State Broadcasting Service TV, Independence Layout). Giringory, Clarus, Jegede, Ovularia, Ramota were all resident in Aba and travelled to Enugu to rehearse on Sundays and shoot from Mondays. I remember an occasion with me as stand-in, when Dee James had not arrived from Aba, and I had to read his lines. The guest for that episode was the musical icon, Oby Onyioha, and I remember how she exclaimed at the end of rehearsals that until she looked up, she didn't know it was not Giringory rehearsing the lines. I felt elated because it meant I was scrupulously observing the character Giringory. This was the moulding and process of growth for me in the industry. I had a ringside view of the “New Masquerade” when I joined the cast in 1984 with Chris ObiRapu as Director, before Bolaji Dawodu came from Lagos Headquarters of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) to replace him. This was a time when NTA was vibrant and resourceful in its programming. The different NTA Zones had their contributions and competitions. Enugu Zone C produced “New Masquerade”, from Lagos Zonal Headquarters came “New Village Headmaster” and “Samanja” was produced from Northern Directorate Zone D of NTA etc. Those were the days when people would skip

forge. The Nigerian Television Authority needs to do more in its area of Drama Programming if it has to “beat” the reach of getting back its lost viewership. Dee James was the innovator of this format, playing such significant roles as Mister Bankrovitch, Adamu and himself as Giringory. Combining such roles as above, with impeccable British accent, a flawless Hausa accent and his nutty character as Giringory, makes James Iroha a remarkably versatile artiste. He spoke English, French, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Ibibio and Efik. No doubt he helped popularise the Ibibio/Efik language in today's Nigeria. Oh, what a fine dancer he was! His steps were exceptionally graceful especially with regard to the Ikpirikpi Ogu fame (Ohafia War Dance). He danced with all parts of his body, twitching the ear, the eye, nose, chest to the appointments just to get home to scintillating rhythm of this dance. He served his country well watch drama series on NTA. through dance, drama and public What do viewers look forward service for over 40 years. But did to watch on NTA these days? his country fulfill its part of the Mostly foreign soap operas, social contract in his rainy day? produced some 10, 15, 20 years From reports extracted from his ago with neither social relevance last interview, Dee James was nor cultural significance to our anything but a rich man. Will this peculiar experience as a nation. be my/our “portion”, the living It's a shame on our general psyche and collective intelligence. legends as often pitifully referred? So, does is mean that Peter Igho, What is the condition of the one of Nigeria's foremost other living legends? The list is producers, did not train legendary: Davis Offor (Clarus), programmers to keep the flag Chika Okpala (Zebrudaya), Lizzy flying as he made his exit some years ago from NTA? Or could it Evoeme (Ovularia), Romanus Amuta (Natty) etc. Has any be that there is no money as welfare package to rehabilitate usual to produce local content? them been conceived? Why don't Fellow Nigerians, have we we seek them out now! We suddenly forgotten the import should seek them out now to and impact of such programmes as Cock Crow at Dawn, Mirror in ascertain if they are worse off than James Iroha. That is the way the Sun, Behind the Clouds, to ensure that we don't repeat Magana Jariche, Amaka Igwe's that sad, old refrain: “IF WE HAD Checkmate etc? It is pertinent to note here that culturally, socially, KNOWN”. Finally, where will Dee James economically and even politically, there were invaluable lessons that be buried? He had no house in his we learnt from these programmes village as reported in the said and watching television then was interview he granted. Will his a real pleasure. That is apart from remains be kept in the morgue the social bonding they helped to until a resting place is put up? Agencies of government, his home state, Abia, interested stakeholders, in that eternal but humorous words of Chief Zebrudaya Okoroigwe Nwogbe alias 4.30, “A yu a, over to you. I have spoke… James Iroha, OON, gentleman actor of the finest breed, one of the greatest expressions of God's creative intelligence to this generation. Fare thee well.

What is the condition of the other living legends? The list is legendary: Davis Offor (Clarus), Chika Okpala (Zebrudaya), Lizzy Evoeme (Ovularia), Romanus Amuta (Natty) etc. Has any welfare package to rehabilitate them been conceived? Why don't we seek them out now!

•Giringory

—Kanayo O. Kanayo, MFR writes in from Lagos.

WRITE TO US! Do you watch Nollywood movies? What do you think of the Nigerian motion picture industry? Send your review of any movie or short essay on any topic of your choice about the film industry in not more than 200 words. Send entries by e-mail to: victor_akande@yahoo.com or SMS your short comments to 08077408676

Jim Iyke to launch album in Ghana

P

LANS are currently underway for the launch of Jim Iyke's album in Accra, Ghana later on this month. The event is scheduled to take place on the 25th of March at the Aphrodisiac Nite Club in Accra. Jim Iyke, has tried his luck on music, just like his other colleagues such as Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Desmond Elliot, Ramsey Noah and Stella Damasus. He has earlier released two singles which featured 2Face Idibia titled "Who am I?" and "Born to Do This", which featured Puffy T.

Segun Arinze, wife welcome second child

T

HESE are certainly good times for actor and President of Actor Guilds of Nigeria, Segun Arinze as his wife was recently delivered of a baby boy. Julie Arinze gave birth at a hospital in Houston Texas on March 2nd, 2012. Both mother and son are said to be doing fine and Segun will soon join them in America.


25

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

RE ELNEW S

W •Mrs West presenting the cheque to Akin Shuga

Shuga Limb Foundation gets support

A

KIN Tofowomo's Shuga Limb Foundation has attracted the attention of Nigerian-Britain Association for the former's concern over the seeming increase in the number of people living without limbs in the society. At the Nigeria-Britain Association Patron's Night and Cocktail Reception party held recently for the new Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Peter West, Shuga Limb Foundation was recognized and honored for its effort in ensuring that those without limbs in the society are given hope by way of artificial limbs. To further support the organization's drive, a cheque of N250, 000 (two hundred and fifty thousand naira) was presented to Shuga Limb Foundation by the Association's Governing Council. Akin Tofowomo is the founder and lead singer of the popular music band called Shuga.

ITH about 328 entries fighting for laurels at this year's edition of the prestigious Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA), preparations are on for another exciting convergence of African filmmakers to review its strength and weaknesses. AMAA, it has been noted provides this platform through its continental version of the Oscars. Chairman of AMAA's College of Screeners, Mr. Shuabu Husseini said his team of screeners are currently in camp and putting finishing touches to the assessment of film entries, ahead of nominations that will be announced in Banjul, capital of The Gambia. The ceremony is billed for March 17, 2012, Husseini said the entries received through the AMAA regional offices in Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg and Nairobi were 328 in all. The total includes 88 short films, 57 documentaries, 43 entries from Africans in Diaspora, six animation films and 134 features films from Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Namibia, Guinnea, Senegal, South Africa, Kenya, Cameroun, Uganda, Algeria, Egypt and Zimbabwe among others. Husseini who noted that there was an increase in the entries sent in for this year, when compared to the previous years, said the academy is impressed that filmmakers and allied practitioners in Africa are beginning to see the scheme as a career-defining project. “The growing awareness of AMAA and the fact that filmmakers are becoming aware of the need to put their works up for mention has given rise to more participation at AMAA awards. Winning at AMAA enhances reputation of any filmmaker in Africa and helps

AMAA to unveil nominations in The Gambia their marketing and financial drive among other benefits. Besides AMAA is the only big thing now in Africa and so only a mention put a filmmaker's game running,'' he said. On the nomination event, Naomi Lucas, Head Business Development of AMAA said that the choice of The Gambia for the nominations unveiling this year, is to offer a new experience for celebrities and motion picture practitioners to explore the beauty and splendor

of the West Africa country that has become one of the most important tourist destinations in the world. “Many of our people are used to going to Europe and America for events and they know little about the beautiful continent of Africa. One of the objectives of AMAA is to unite Africa and celebrate our diversity. Previous nomination events have been held in South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Burkina Faso.'' Said Lucas. •Shuabu Husseini

2nd I-Rep Documentary Festival underway

T

HE 2012 edition of the IRepresent International Documentary Film Festival has been scheduled to

hold in Lagos from March 22nd to 25th, at TerraCulture.Organisers say the daily event which begins at 10am, is

conceptualized on the framework of Africa in Self Conversation, and would explore Democracy and Culture - The Documentary Film Intervention as its theme. “As would be deduced from the unprecedented and sporadic people's mass action that attended the January 1, 2012 removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government, a new sense of participation in governance is evolving on the African continent. It is thus increasingly becoming important to explore opportunities open to African filmmakers to bring better understanding and approaches to participatory democracy as a part of African political culture through the medium of documentary films”. A statement on the iRep site reads. The scope of the Festival is expected to cover such areas as is a seamstress who has to Democracy and contend with an old father and Demonstrations, New media a troublesome sister and she technology and participatory has to travel to the East for democracy, and The potentials some family issues. of the Nigerian films to explore At the airport, both and exploit the documentary characters bump into each format in its production virtues. other and their phones, A key sub theme in the 2012 incidentally the same model, iREP Documentary Film fall down but on picking them Festival is: IS NOLLYWOOD up, they unknowingly make a DOCUMENTARY? This will swap. About to board, they feature a conversation among both receive SMSs relating to filmmakers and their publics on their destinations but not the potentials of Nollywood knowing the sources, they unwittingly change flights. As films to embrace the Documentary ethics in its they arrive their destinations, operation and outputs. they discover their mistake. Professor Jean Paul Colleyn They are left with only one (Director of Institute of African option; carryout each others' Studies, Paris) is billed to assignment. deliver the Keynote Speech at Laced with a high dose of humour, Phone Swap features the Festival. Also to speak at the fantastic artistes like Nse Ikpe Festival are luminaries with vast knowledge and relevant Etim, Chika Okpala Zebrudaya, Joke Silva, Afeez experience in filmmaking and Oyetoro, Ada Ameh, Lydia the media. They include Alhaji Forson and Wale Ojo, a Adegboyega Arulogun, Tunde Nigerian based in UK. He has Kelani, Emeka Mba, John done a couple of Hollywood Momoh, and a host of other movies like Johnny English. He personalities, whose has been doing this for over 25 contributions have affected years. He will be around for filmmaking in no mean the premiere. measures.

All set for Phone Swap cinema rounds

W

•Timaya with Edwin Okoli

Port Harcourt agog for Club5 Lounge Mercy MICHAEL

R

IDING on the success of the popular Port Harcourt upscale fun spot, Eddy Wine Bar, its owner, Edwin Okoli, will on March 16, 2012 open a new lounge, he described as celebrity hangout. Club5 Lounge Bar, as the name of the spot is, the amiable business will be unveil amidst glamorous activities which will include a Red Carpet reception, and performances by celebrities, including Duncan Mighty, Timaya, Flavour, J Martins, Magnito, Maleke, I Go Save, Mo'Hits Crew. He said the event will also parade the presence of some Nollywood stars who have become regulars at the bar. Located at Notore Industrial Complex Onne, in the Garden City of Port-Harcourt, the event, he said will also attract socialites, government officials, captains of industry and fun lovers.

•Kunle Afolayan

ORK is complete for one of the most anticipated films of 2012 and Producer/Director of the flick, Kunle Afolayan says that he is positive the flick will be well accepted. Titled Phone Swap, the Producer, at a press preview of the flick held recently at Ozone Cinemas said that the flick is a result of tireless effort by his cast and crew and he is very positive about its outcome. “Phone swap is something different from what I have done in the past. It is light, it is something bright. It is a different genre from Irapada and Figurine and the reason is because we just want to prove to people that we are not oneway traffic. We can actually make people laugh,” he enthused. Akin (Wale Ojo) is an ambitious corporate executive who is bogged down by the intrigues of his office. Ne needs to be at the retreat and the venue is kept secret from him but with the help of his assistant, he discovers it is Abuja. Mary on the other hand


26

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

Star Quest's gender-balance band, the B.E.A.T is currently putting finishing touches to its debut album. Thriving to make more impact in the larger music scene, Samuel Tochux, the band leader revealed this and more in this interview with AHMED BOULOR.

How we shared our cash prize—The B.E.A.T

Almost every member of the BEAT was rejected before we eventually formed the group. We were all left-over's from other groups before we formed our group.


27

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

Wande Coal for MTN Lagos Polo weekend show

Curtain draws on Star Quest preliminary auditions

•Star Quest judges

Solidstar drops ‘Omotena’ video

Idol veers into American hit tunes

Iceprince fathers love child


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R COVER E V

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

COVER COVER

O CFor Trace TV, P. Square has forgotten its days of little beginning

R E V O O C C COVER

'Delta girl' turned actress, Angela Okorie Orizu is one of the fast-rising actresses in Nollywood. A graduate of Public Administration from Lagos State University and undergraduate of Theatre Art, University of Lagos, the artiste who hails from Ebonyin state but was born and bred in Cotonou spoke with MERCY MICHAEL about modeling, acting, marriage, and growing up among other issues

R COVER E V

Collins Tadeniawo MICHAEL

‘I don’t like men who talk too much’

c I was scared of Festa w men. You know ho e; these Festac men ar with they will just sleep you and then dump you. That is just the ed truth. I was just scar

R VE

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

O C

COVER

37


SANTILLANA: ME BETTER O S ALD

Pg. 32

RON

SATURDAY

THAN

SI

NATION

SPORT

CRITICISM MADE ME

— DE GEA Pg. 32

PAGE 29

Saturday, March 10, 2012

YAK SEEKS • Yakubu

SURVIVAL H T I W

• Anichebe

• ANICHEBE RETURNS AGAINST SPURS • AS OSAZE FACES UNITED HUDDLE


Table

Italia Seria A league Table - March AC Milan Juventus Lazio Udinese Napoli Roma Inter Milan Catania Palermo Chievo Atalanta Fiorentina Bologna Genoa Cagliari Parma Siena Lecce Cesena Novara

26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 26

16 13 14 13 11 11 11 8 10 9 9 8 8 9 7 7 7 6 4 3

6 13 6 7 10 5 4 11 4 7 11 8 8 5 10 9 8 7 5 8

4 0 6 6 5 10 11 7 12 10 6 10 10 12 9 10 11 13 17 15

53 39 41 37 44 39 36 34 39 22 30 27 26 35 23 32 30 30 16 21

22 17 30 23 25 33 36 35 43 31 28 27 30 48 29 46 28 42 40 46

31 22 11 14 19 6 0 -1 -4 -9 2 0 -4 -13 -6 -14 2 -12 -24 -25

54 52 48 46 43 38 37 35 34 34 32 32 32 32 31 30 29 25 17 17

Carragher

Player

Saturday Palermo Sunday Genoa Cesena Atalanta AC Milan Catania Lazio Novara

v Roma v v v v v v v

Juventus Siena Parma Lecce Fiorentina Bologna Udinese

Sociedad v Zaragoza Malaga v Levante Gijon v Sevilla Real Betis v Madrid Sunday Atletico v Granada Espanyol v Vallecano Valencia v Mallorca Santander v Barca Osasuna v Bilbao Monday Villarreal v Getafe

Ronaldo Messi Higuain Falcao Llorente Benzema Soldado Kone Barral Fabregas Castro Sanchez Xavi

Team

Madrid Barca Madrid Atletico Bilbao Madrid Valencia Levante Gijon Barca Betis Barca Barca

Goals

30 28 16 16 13 13 12 9 9 9 9 8 8


NIGERIA PREMIER LEAGUE

Time to bounce back — Adebayo Saturday, March 10, 2012

36

SENATOR JOHN SHAGAYA SPEAKS

GOLFLINE

with

How we built Tony Akhigbe IBB Golf club golflineintl@yahoo.com 08094863638

•Adebayo

Shobowale to miss ABS clash

•Senator John Shagaya

Mayuku honours Animam

T

HE Golf writer of the V a n g u a r d Newspapers, Richard Animam, sadly passed away last year and ever since, the homoe of golf has been engulfed in ending grief. But interestingly, a former two-time Captain of the Ibori Golf Club and indeed a major player in the Delta State House of Assembly, Honorable Dan Mayuku, is all set to wipe off tears of numerous admirers of Animam in golf courses by floating a major tournament in the memory of the late journalist. Last Saturday at the Benin Golf Club, Honorable Mayuku announced that his Evergreen Project will float a two-day major tourney for Animam. The event will happen at the Ibori course in Asaba on March 24 and 25 and

it shall involve close to 100 Professional golfers and 250 amateur golfers from across the nation. The Pros will play for some N3 million. "I particularly love Richard", Mayuku stated. "He's cool and his several stories on the pages of the Vanguard actually helped to develop the game of golf in this country. I am a total golfer and this is reason the Evergreen Project is honoring a late journalist who lived for golf. Evergreen did same thing when we lost a Pro golfer, Ali Abdullahi in a road accident". Daniel Mayuku equally added that the event will afford Evergreen to move closer to the family Animam left behind. He promised a million naira gift for the family.

•Shobowale

FIXTURES


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

RE ELNEW S Jessica Simpson poses nude for Elle magazine

J

ESSICA Simpson has posed naked on the April cover of Elle magazine, inspired by the pose made famous by Demi Moore on the cover of Vanity Fair and a similar shot of Cindy Crawford on the cover of W. And for when you're done staring at the "Fashion Star" mentor wearing no fashion at all, there's news as well: She and fiance Eric Johnson are expecting a girl. "I swear, I will croak if she asks me for a pair of Nikes instead of Christian Louboutins!" Simpson told the mag. "Eric is so athletic. We're gonna have this athletic girl and I won't even be able to take her shopping, 'cause all she's gonna want is sports bras and Nikes!" As Elle tells it, here's how the magazine shoot came together: "Though mom-to-be Jessica Simpson arrived at Milk Studios in Los Angeles on a crisp January morning looking quite the fashionista in a Roberto Cavalli wrapdress, Lanvin wedges, and an oversize YSL leather bag, it quickly became clear to

Eddie Murphy comedy exhumed

Film director denies extorting from actress

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ARAMOUNT Pictures executives are crossing their fingers that even a fraction of that interest surfaces for the actor's A Thousand Words, a comedy that arrives in theaters this weekend nearly four years after it was made and seemingly a lifetime removed from Murphy's 1980s heyday. Going out with minimal publicity support from the star, the DreamWorks production has generated tepid interest in pre-release surveys, and analysts expect an opening weekend box office of less than $10 million. A Paramount spokeswoman said the movie cost $40 million. But two people familiar with everyone on set that Simpson's the production who were not burgeoning belly should take center authorized by the studio to speak stage for the principal shot." The publicly on the subject pegged the price singer-actress-fashionista was described as "enthusiastic," reportedly tag at about $70 million. To boost interest, the studio has discussing her pregnancy cravings after "confidently posing au naturel." targeted female and African American There's also a version of the cover filmgoers with a series of promotions with Simpson wearing a red dress, and ads while hoping that Murphy's presumably for the more skin-shy return to his comedic wheelhouse will retailers. take care of the rest. "This is a sweet, heartfelt movie, and it's a chance to see Eddie do some very physical comedy," said Megan Colligan, Paramount's president of domestic marketing and distribution. "He's really funny in this film." A high-concept comedy about a fasttalking book agent, A Thousand Words harks back to Jim Carrey comedies including Liar Liar and Bruce Almighty.

50 Cent to headline ‘Shady 2.0’

M-NET celebrates with expanded line-up

W •Eddie Murphy

G H O L LY W O O D Godwin Kotey passes on

Van Vicker faces Agya Koo

ith a noticeable phenomenal growth and interest spanning nearly a decade M-Net has been inspired to further expand its AfricaMagic channel offering to meet its viewers increased demand for content made in Africa for Africa. Currently the AfricaMagic channels deliver original stories, dramas, series and talk shows which capture the diverse imagery, culture and thinking of the continent. As a result, M-Net has now announced that is developing the AfricaMagic channels further to ensure that audiences get the best possible selection of African programming available under one brand. Thus, all M-Net productions in East, West and Central Africa will now be found on an expanded line-up of AfricaMagic channels. “Big Brother, Jacob's Cross, Tinsel, Changes, 53 Extra, Mashariki Mix and Naija Sings are just some of the shows that audiences have rated highly,” confirms M-Net Africa Managing Director Biola Alabi.

“They were previously shown on the M-Net channel but we are increasing our range of AfricaMagic channels and moving these programs to an exciting new AfricaMagic branded channel. This is in fact the ideal home for them, where they will become part of a homegrown brand that viewers have themselves made one of the biggest names in Africa.” She goes on to say that the focus for the M-Net channel will be to showcase the best of international movies and series while the AfricaMagic channels are the ultimate destination for anyone eager to view African programming.

•Biola Alabi


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

Go on guy Whitney, may because your soul of continue to sing! My left me Valentine’s

gift, now he wants to come back My guy left me before Valentine’s Day; he thought I was waiting for his gift and now he wants to come back to me. Should I go back or just let him go? 5 reasons not to get back with your ex -By M. Rose Sometimes, it’s not a good idea to get your ex back. When you love someone, this is a hard decision to come to. Some find it impossible and go back to the same person over and over again. But I’m here to tell you this isn’t always the best decision for you. Whether you’re waiting for the one you lost to change or you just can’t stay away, here are the top 5 reasons why you should NOT get back with your ex. 1) It didn’t work out in the first place for a reason. Think about why you broke up. Think about all the problems you had with your ex. Did his inability to keep a job drive you crazy? Was it her incessant flirting with other guys, despite her love for you that made you end it? Or maybe you just fought constantly over everything from dinner plans to whether or not Pluto is a planet. When you’re considering rekindling that flame with your ex lover, think about what set you over the edge. What made your relationship unfixable. Is that something you really want to go back to? Time makes us forget all the bad and only remember the good—but you did break up with your ex for a reason. Consider those reasons before crawling back. Much less sexy when you’re alone... 2) Living in the past prevents you from moving on. You may find yourself wanting your ex back because you’re currently in a rut. You think back to the good times and wish they were still happening—you remember moonlit dinners, trips to the Cape, and now you’re only making dessert for one instead of two (and it’s much less gluttonous to eat chocolate cake with others). We all get stuck in the past every now and then, and while a little nostalgia can keep us going in the really bad times, thinking about what happened long ago is no good reason to get your ex back. Moving on is often the best medicine after a break up. Dwelling on what’s already happened will never move you forward in life— imagine if we as humans were never able to learn from our mistakes. We’d be doomed to make the same stupid mistake for the rest

of our lives. If we decided to pick a spouse who didn’t appreciate us, we’d be constantly picking that same type of person forever. Doesn’t that just suck? Use your ability to learn from your mistakes to make your next relationship better and healthier than your last, instead of repeating your last mistake. 3) Sure some couples get back together and make it work, but how many examples are there? You’ve seen it happen before. Your friend or cousin or best friend’s bridesmaid’s sister had a horrid break up, then she realized later that her ex was truly the one for her. And they got married in a huge ceremony and lived happily ever after. Good for them. But one example is not the norm—that’s a huge misnomer. And further, do you even know the details of why the example couple broke up in the first place? Maybe it was something silly. Or maybe they’re just the exception. Much more often, two people get back together and realize all those problems they had before haven’t changed. He still doesn’t respect her, and she still refuses to pay for anything. Those issues that caused your break up haven’t changed. Nothing has changed. Getting back together usually only causes a rehash of why you broke up in the first place. Which then leads to another break up. 4) People don’t change. I know this is a controversial topic, but I’m willing to put it out there. PEOPLE DON’T CHANGE. Sure, maybe your ex would be on her best behaviour for a few weeks if you got back together; but deep down to the core, she’s still that same woman who you couldn’t make it work with. I promise you,

the chances of your ex changing this time around are next to nil. Now, yes people have the capabilities to change—it’s not an absolute. People can change their clothes, their hairstyle, even aspects of their personality. But change has to come from inside yourself (and even if you want to change, it is DAMN hard). Your ex will not change for you. Her personality, her bad habits, the way she truly is when nobody’s watching, 99.9876% of the time those are traits people won’t change. You are much better off finding a partner who you don’t want to change. A good relationship starts when you accept the other person for who they are, when all the walls are down, when you’ve seen them at their best and worst, and you love them just the way they are. 5) Don’t settle for somebody who couldn’t keep you around in the first place. Even if your ex was the one who initiated the break up and left you heartbroken, this main idea still applies. Either way, one of you wanted to break up and the other went along with it. There was something in your relationship that made it not work for one of you, so being with your ex wasn’t exactly an ideal situation. So why should you settle for such a situation? The bottom line is that there was a break up. Break up means something was wrong beyond the little annoyances. And all of this says that you can find someone better for you. Someone who won’t want to break up with you, or who you won’t want to break up with. Never settle or deny yourself future happiness. Even if you can’t see it now, you will find someone else. You can find someone who treats you better than your ex did. But in order for that to happen, you have to move on and not get back together with your ex.

She’s HIV positive, but she can’t Hope you’re fine? stay without sex Please what should a woman do if the husband rejects her for marriage as every attempt by the church to reconcile them proves abortive? The lady is HIV positive and the guy is not. What is your advice as the lady can’t stay without sex? If you are the HIV-negative partner in a mixed-status relationship, talk with your partner about condoms and safer sex practices. If you are in an ongoing relationship with your partner, support him/her in taking all of his/her HIV

medications at the right times. This “medication adherence” will lower his/ her viral load and reduce the risk that HIV can be transmitted. You may also want to stay up-to-date on developments about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Though researchers are not recommending PrEP be immediately used to prevent HIV infection, recent research findings suggest this may someday be another prevention method to be used with – not instead of – condoms, safer sex practices and other HIV prevention methods.

Should I tell my guy about my child?

From left: Coordinator, Senior Citizens Care Foundation (SCCF), Gbadebo Olamerun; High Chief Felicia Adebodun Popoola; Traditional ruler of Ekitipupa, Oba Wiliams Akinlalu; his son, Prince Femi Akinlalu; Sakariyau; Jide Taiwo, [CEO SCCF] and Prince Bola Akinlalu at the 100years birthday celebration of High Chief Popoola at Igbotako Ondo State.The day was dedicated to the elderly by the SCCF .

Hi Aunty, I’m a girl of 22 and I’ll in a relationship that has the potentials of leading into marriage. However, I made a mistake when I was 18 that resulted in a child. Should I tell my guy about the child? Let him know and he must realize that you may always have contact with the father of your child if he is picking his responsibilities. Also for the for the sake of your child, he/she needs to be close to his/her real father if he is a caring man. If your man can’t bring himself to play with your child from a previous relationship, then you have a big problem of jealousy. If he can’t cope with it, he will have no respect for you and your relationship won’t last. Your child will always be a part of your life and he has to accept that.

Hearts With Adeola Agoro

E-mail: libranadeola@yahoo.co.uk

Not a piece of cake but it was fun all the same I must confess that I’m not in my elements as I write this because I’m really knackered. I started a project last week and we put it to bed today. It was not a piece of cake as we moved from one location to the other, but all the same, we had fun. Aunty Toyin Babatope Adegbola, Mama 2D, Femi Ogedengbe, Austin Otah Esq, Victor Afolayan and the rest of the crew, you’re all a rare breed and I’m proud of you all. My ever supportive partner was not able to be there physically, but his contributions and faith were massively felt in the project. Thanks darling. I’m not able to advise directly today, I’m culling the responses of people who have had similar experiences to the problems presented before me this weekend. For those who are pleased that despite my fatigue, I’m still able to respond to their needs anyhow, I say thanks for your understanding. For those who may be unhappy that I’m not answering directly, please forgive me. It’s one of those things. Enjoy your weekend.

I think sex before marriage is bad but I’ve allowed my boyfriend before Good day ma. Please my boyfriend always wants to have sex with me although I have allowed him to do this before. I don’t want to leave me because I love him so much but I really never wanted sex in our relationship so I don’t want to have sex with him again because I know that sex before marriage is not good. Please advise me. – Pat. You are honest, Pat, and I respect that. And that means I’m going to be honest with you, completely honest and straight up. After all, we’re not talking kiddy games here. I sense you do not understand what a dangerous path you are on. You simply don’t realize how high the stakes are in your decision whether or not you go to bed with this guy. You’re well aware that sex before marriage is against God’s law. You admit that. You know that it’s wrong. I know it’s wrong. God tells us it’s wrong. It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in a passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God. He’s not thinking about you. He’s thinking about his glands and what he wants. This guy isn’t concerned about

what’s right and wrong. The truth of God’s law doesn’t matter to him. What this guy wants is sex; real love isn’t a part of this picture, and that means he cannot love you the way God wants you to be loved. Something else really disturbs me about your letter, Pat. You said if you didn’t have sex with him now you might lose him. That tells me you are more concerned about this guy than finding and obeying God’s will for your life. Quite honestly, you are letting this guy become your God. He is first in your life. That is dangerous territory. God doesn’t play games with us. He makes that very clear. So what you are doing, Pat, is mocking God. You are saying that you know what God wants you to do, but you aren’t willing to do it. You are putting your boyfriend above God. And you are fooling yourself if you think you can fool God. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows,” we are told in the Bible. I can’t tell you exactly what you will reap if you turn your back on God and go to bed with this guy or any other guy. That sexual sin could have any number of serious consequences: broken fellowship with God, guilt and shame, loss of dignity, AIDS or some other sexually transmitted disease, low self-esteem, unwanted pregnancy, stirred up desires which can’t be fulfilled, and, yes, even fear. Remember, God loves you. With his help, you can do it. I know you can

It’s been two years of no calls from him, yet he says he loves me Hi Aunty Adeola, please help me out. I’m in love with a guy who says he loves me but he calls only once in a while whereby I make all the necessary calls. It’s been two years that we have been on it. Is it true that he loves me? YK, Lagos. Dear YK, I think this has happened to many, if not all of us. There can be various reasons for this. It might be that he has lost interest. It is also possible that he is used to you calling and going to all the trouble, so he doesn’t feel that he needs to bother any more. It can also be that you don’t give him an opportunity to call and show some initiative in the relationship. It might mean a lot and it might mean nothing. What I always do in such situations is just step back for a while. Try not calling him and not getting in touch with him for several days. His actions will give you an answer. I know it will be very tough to refrain from calling, but it’s better to have some clarity. There is a possibility that this will give him some space to miss you and come looking for you. Also, it is possible that he will not miss you enough to make a call. That will tell you a lot as well. At this early stage in the relationship, I would not ask him directly what’s going on. You have already demonstrated that you are very interested and want to continue being with him. If the reason for him not calling is that he feels stifled by too much attention from you, this conversation will only make things worse. A good relationship is based on balance. Both people need to care equally and make an equal amount of effort. You have done enough to show this man that you are in him. Now you should give him a chance to decide if he wants you enough to make an effort. I know exactly how you feel! But believe me, even if you do break up, you will get over it eventually. Everybody deserves to be with someone who adores them and wants to be with them and only them. Maybe this guy is that person for you and maybe not. But you will meet someone who will love you and adore you. You just have to believe it.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012 Once the first flush of romance has passed, all relationships lose their sparkle and passion. And, if you don’t do something about it, you can easily become strangers and problems can surface. So check out our 40 top tips to enable you to reconnect with each other and put some life back into your relationship... 1. Kiss each other It’s one of the most intimate things you can do with your clothes on and will help to maintain and build up the romantic bond between you 2. Leave notes for each other Get a pack of sticky notes and write little messages you can leave where your loved one will find them. We’re not talking about ones that say: ‘Remember to take the bins out’ 3. Go away together Sometimes, it takes some distance and time together to remind you how much you love and enjoy each other’s company. Get someone to look after the kids and get away for a night or weekend, where you can just do fun things together that you can never do at home. 4. Have a power cut Imagine that the juice is cut off for a night. This means no TV, no music, no lights. Just you, your partner, some candles and conversation. 5. Cook your favourite meals They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, maybe it’s not quite that easy, but cooking his favourite food shows how much you care. 6. Go on a date... together Arrange to meet somewhere, arrive separately, then pretend it’s the first time you’ve been out together. Find out about each other again - tell each other stories about when you were young. This will remind you what you used to see in each other. 7. Talk to each other Turn off the TV and have a chat. Talk about stuff that you both like - films, books, cooking, gardening, DIY, anything as long as you talk. Commu-

40 tips to boost your love life (1) nication is one of the biggest parts of a relationship and not talking will cause you problems. 8. Say thank you We show gratitude to strangers and people we work with all the time, but it’s easy to forget to do the same for our partners. A small gesture of thanks, whether it’s saying thank you for emptying the cat litter, cooking a nice meal or just for being there goes an awfully long way. 9. Make time We all have busy lives and even evenings can be taken up with lots of chores or work. So try to spend just 10 minutes alone together every day to find out what each of you have been up to.

don’t even need to say them ? send a text or email and say it. 15. Pay each other compliments Tell the other one how good they look, how nice a shirt or top looks, or even on the choice of footwear. Compliments make everyone feel better. 16. Laugh Humour is good for your health anyway, and sharing jokes with each other makes for a better bond. Rent a favourite comedy DVD, look at old photos of yourselves... anything that will tickle your funny bones.

19. Forget the past This means silly arguments or things where one of you may have done or said something they now regret. Move forward and concentrate on your future together. By harbouring resentment, you will never be able to move on with your relationship. 20. Work as a team Don’t blame each other for things that may have gone wrong. Admit to mucking up and try to use it as a positive thing and move on. No-one is at fault for everything, and noone can do everything perfectly, either. Once you realise

22. Praise each other We all yearn to be told we’ve done something well and, in some cases, praise from your partner will be the only time this happens. Make each other feel great with a few well-chosen words 23. Sex isn’t everything We know we’ve said have more sex, but you also need to remember that being able to move around the bedroom like an Olympic gymnast doesn’t necessarily make for a brilliant relationship. Simply spending time together and talking is far more important. 24. Trust each other

28. Focus on the here and now When things aren’t going brilliantly, it’s easy to look at previous marriages or relationships and compare your current situation with them. Try to avoid this at all costs, because not only is this impossible, it’s extremely unhealthy. Think positive and about the present and the future!

11. Have fun together Remind yourselves what you used to enjoy doing before you got bogged down in the humdrum nature of life together. Play games together, go out walking - do whatever it was that used to make you feel alive and happy. 12. Listen Talking is obviously important, but listening is just as vital. If one of you has something they need to say (no matter how trivial it seems), then the other really needs to listen to them properly and, if necessary, do something to change.

14. Say ‘I love you’ Those three words are often forgotten as relationships progress, but, said properly, they mean so much. In fact, you

26. Buy flowers Whether you’re a man or a woman, flowers say that you care. If you’re buying them for your fella, then try and get blooms that are more manly your florist should be able to help. If you don’t think they’ll go down well, why not buy him a chilli plant, or something for the garden instead. 27. Remember the good times Think about great holidays you’ve had together, funny nights out or weekends away. Not only is this a way to have fun, but you’ll also remember why you got together in the first place.

10. Send a card Communication doesn’t necessarily have to mean talking. Write down some heartfelt words in a card and then post it. We all know how much we like getting nice post, rather than bills, and something as personal as this can make a big difference.

13. Plan dates Knowing that you have a special date coming up (even months ahead) can be good for both of you. These dates can be specific events, such as birthdays, anniversaries, or simply evenings you set aside.

saying. Sometimes you won’t agree with something your partner says or does in public at this point, let it pass. Belittling your other half in front of other people makes both you and them look stupid and petty and it does nothing for your relationship. If you genuinely don’t like what they think, talk to them about it at a more appropriate moment.

29. Make yourself happy If things aren’t going well in your relationship, look at yourself and how you feel. Now try and do some things to boost your own self-confidence and mood. If you’re happy, the chances are it will rub off on your partner.

...having fun could boost your love life 17. Make love more often The more time you spend together in the bedroom, the better it will be for your relationship. 18. Spend some time apart We know this sounds a bit weird, but allowing each other time and space ‘to breathe’ is just as important and spending quality time together. This can be some sort of hobby or interest that your partner doesn’t share.

•Master Chibuike Michael Okoro flanked by his parents during his 1st birthday

this, you will hopefully begin to work together as a team. 21. Make breakfast Breakfast in bed is fast becoming an outdated ritual, so knocking up some smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and a pot of coffee and taking it up to your loved one is bound to do some good. It’s just a simple act that starts a day on the right note.

If one of you says you’re going to do something, then believe that it will happen. Second-guessing your partner, or even going ahead and doing something without their buyin is a surefire way of making things go wrong. Instead, sit back and let things happen naturally. Trust is key! 25. Have respect We don’t always agree with each other - that goes without

30. Flirt with each other Flirting is what relationships are built on at the start. Then, as we get older and spend more time together, flirting stops being important. So why not start it up again? It doesn’t have to be much - just something small that makes your other half think, ‘Ooooh!’ A word of warning - make sure you confine your flirting to each other. Source: goodtoknow.co.uk

Apapa LG Chairman, Lagos, Hon. Ayodeji Joseph (middle) ; Apapa LG Vice Chairman Hon. Cecilia Bolaji ; Hon. Jamiu Olawale lawal Akapo; Hon. Dupe Oniyitan-supervisor for Women Affairs and poverty alleviation; Hon. Sikiru Oshokoya, ACN chairman, Apapa; Mr. O. M. Williams Council Manager; Hon. Amos B. Adughto Supervisor for Work; Hon. Anosike, Supervisor for Marketing and Revenue; Hon. Kamel Olasode, Education; Hon. Muri Jimoh Transport and Chieftaincy Matters and Hon. Tolulope Onishile Budget and Statistics during the inauguration of Apapa Road Maintenance Agency (ARMA), Burma Road Junction, Apapa.


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LIFE

Society Profile

THE NATION, Saturday, MARCH 10, 2012

Auchi Poly Rector Philipa Idogho

STYLE Gossip Interviews

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See Page 48


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THE NATION SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

&STYLE

LIFE

Society Profile

Gossip Interviews

With KAYODE ALFRED E-mail:kayflex2@yahoo.com TEL:08035733605

Where is Edozie Madu?

Lola Adefusika ages gracefully

Agbani Darego bereaved

Enitan Allen re-focuses

Sir Shina Peters on tour


&STYLE

LIFE

Society Profile

Gossip Interviews

THE NATION SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

Timilehin Adelegbe hits golden age

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TEL:08035733605

Vivian Chologi not in a hurry

Debbie Ogunjobi savours new marital life

Osaze Osifo's prematur exit


44

SOCIETY

THE NATION SATURDAY, MARCH 10 , 2012

Pamodzi boss celebrates at 50

I

•Itemuagbor family with Grace Egbagbe (in glasses)

T was on a Monday. The traffic of people in the Lekki apartment of Mr. Mike Itemuagbor, MD of Pamodzi Sports Marketing and Proserve Securities Limited was awesome. It was an event that was attended by those who matter in the Nigerian sports. The event was kicked off with a prayer by the pastor of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David Church, Pastor Idowu Iluyomade, who was in his element, could not but lace his exhortation with rib cracking jokes. To him, 50 was worth celebrating because only a few people attain that age in the country today. Incidentally, most of the guests that morning were within that age range. “When you turn 50, you turn golden, that is the jubilee. That is where you get jubilation and celebration. For those of you who have turned 50 and you have not blown your trumpet, it is an error,” said Pastor Iluyomade. He ,therefore, told the guests present to blow their trumpets. This was followed by a wild shout of jubilation. Iluyomade, thereafter, pronounced the “birthday boy”, a pastor. Responding, Itemuagbor promised to double his efforts in his service to God. “You will see a different person from today. I’m not going to retire at 50; I’m going to redouble my efforts.”

Gbenga ADERANTI While appreciating his wife, Suzan (aka Edede), Itemuagbor said his wife was more than a wife, but his grandmother. It was an opportunity for the couple to show their affection publicly, an act which made many green with envy. Except a few of them, most of the guests appeared in their formal office wear to celebrate “Pastor Mike”. It was a birthday that broke barriers as nationalities of different countries were around to celebrate Mike. It was a day all the big boys and big girls in the sports industry were around to celebrate their own. Sports Editors of The Nation, Thisday and Vanguard newspapers, Ade Ojeikere, Duro Ikhazuagbe and Onochie Anibeze; Sangowawa; the representatives of Edo State Government; elder brother of Glo boss, Ademola Adenuga; Sports presenter, Aisha Falode; Barrister Grace Egbagbe; MD Proserve, Mrs Modupe Adesanya ; Modele Sharafa; Taiye Ige; Bolaji Ojo-Oba; Barrister Dudu Orumen; Chris Oshaifi; Dr. Henry Nzekwu; Mika Amanokua represented Edo State governor. Itemuagbor used his birthday to impact the lives of orphans by clothing 2000 orphans with new clothes.

•Onochie Anibeze (left) and Otunba Sangowawa •From left: Itemuagbor, Chief Ademola Adenuga and Susan

•Modele Sharafa Yusuf and Bolaji Ojooba

•Amir Sensel

•From left: Pastor Iluyomade, Mr Yemo Adebanyo, Pastor Trevor Akindele and Dr Ayo Oluokun

•Hetty Bakare

•Ige and Ojeikere


THE NATION SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

SOCIETY

45

Alaafin, others grace Osun monarch’s coronation

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HE sound of gunshots, colourful masquerades’ performances and a large number of well wishers heralded the coronation of Oba Abeeb Adetoyese Agbaje, Olu of Ileogbo, last Saturday at the ancient town. Ileogbo, a town in Osun State, played host to monarchs, dignitaries and religious leaders during the ceremony. Among these were Alaafin of Oyo,Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; Oba Adeyeba Sikiru, Olojudo of Ile Ido; Oba Iteade

Gbenga KUTELU

Adewuyi, Alagbon of Agbonbiti; Oba Tajudeen Adebowale, Olowaa of Elefon; Oba Jimoh Ajayi, Ologudu of Ogudu; and Barrister Kolapo Alimi, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. Others were Alhaji Moshood Olalekan Adeoti, Secretary to the State Government; Honourable Bisi Odewunmi, Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, Chief of Staff to the governor.

The representative of the Governor of Osun State, Barrister Alimi, who chaired the occasion, congratulated the oba for ascending his father’s throne. Furthermore, he stressed the need for the people to cooperate with him in the interest of the town. The staff of office was presented to the monarch by Barrister Alimi. Oba Adeyemi prayed for the new oba and advised him to rule with the fear of God. Oba Agbaje thanked his people and the monarchs in attendance for their support to make the event a success.

•Oba Jimoh Ajayi, Ologudu of Ogudu ,and Oba Tajudeen Adebowale, Olowaa of Elefon.

•Barrister Alimi, Olori Adenike, Oba Agbaje and Alaafin of Oyo during the presentation

of the staff of office

•Oba Murideen Adesola Lawal, Timi of Ede, and Oba James Adeleke, Oloogi of Oogi

•Oba Christopher Ayodele Oyediran, Akire of Ikire-Ile and Oba Almaroof Adekunle Magbagbeola, Olofon of Ifon-Osun •Oba Adewuyi and Oba Sikiru

•Oba Emmanuel Oyeleso Oyebanji, Olupo of Olupona, and Oba Solomon Oyewo Ojo, Oonifin of Ikonifin

•A group of journalists marching towards the new oba to congratulate him


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

Shopping for clothes: How to get it right

•A confidence style for plus size

For some, shopping for clothes seems to be a difficult task. Shopping doesn’t have to be an impossible chore. Below are some tips to guide for smart and precise shopping, and these will help you have a better wardrobe by spending less time and money. Have a plan Check your wardrobe and make a mental note of what you could use Set a budget Knowing you can only pay a particular amount for a dress ahead of time will help you sort through the cloth racks quickly. Start early For special occasions, allow yourself at least two weeks prior to the event to find the dress. You will need extra time for shoes and accessories. Camisole and short to the resque Wear a smart short and camisole underneath your outfit because it is likely you may try on one or two clothes, having in mind that most of the boutiques do not have changing room. Shop with at least one person This will be helpful in a situation whereby you need a second opinion or better still put the item on hold and bring someone back with you later. Keep a blind eye to sales and promotions Chances are you will blow your budget right there unless you stay on task. Try it on Walk, sit and bend in the clothes. Do they move easily? Are the seams pulling? Do zippers, buttons and so on function properly? Care tag If laundry concerns matter to you, check the care tags. Never buy anything that doesn’t fit perfectly. The only exceptions are pants (trousers) and skirts that can be easily altered for length at the hem or waist.

•French connection Rockafella beading dress

•Rose Peters

•Many women are unsure of the clothing items that they should include in the wardrobes to create a wellrounded version of their personal styles. You can use small elements within the wardrobes to create personal styles like these

•Oseri Okharedia

•Windsmoor sequined dress

•French women have a reputation for always looking stylish. Their secret is to buy only a few pieces of the very best quality they can afford. Then they wear these classic pieces frequently (and probably for many years) updating with accessories as needed

•Model

•Trendy casual fashion


47

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

Toms shoes rage Funmi OGEDENGBE

L

ITTLE did the founder of Toms shoes, Blake Mycoskie, know that his idea of making shoes for children he discovered without shoes would be a musthave in the wardrobes of many. The reason for this is not far-fetched. Toms shoes are comfortable, easy to carry and above all fashionable. When Tom’s footwear newly arrived in Nigeria, it was mostly used by men, but now, it is a unisex thing because ladies are left out. Toms can be worn to the beach, for casuals and most interestingly socials. Toms footwear makes you classy, chicky and unlike the everyday “heels”, it makes you comfortable. And the most interesting thing about Toms is that for every pair of shoes purchased, Toms gives a free pair to a child in need somewhere in the world. They are comfortable from the get-go.

Yemi Desalu

Bucknor to launch The Ngozi Anyiam for Funke Essential Bridal Handbook Top Model of the F World Legendary Models, a subsidiary of Legendary Gold Limited presents Ngozi Anyiam for one of the world’s most glamorous events – the 19th Top Model of the World contest- scheduled for today at the prestigious Westspiel Casino, DortmundHohensyburg, Germany where contest will be presenting the most stunning top models from around the world. Ngozi Anyiam, who has strutted runways for reputable designers within and outside Nigeria, will be amongst the 44 stunning contestants from around the world who will vie for the most coveted title in the modelling industry. Legendary Gold Limited owns the franchise of Top Model of the World in Nigeria. It undertakes a national model search all over Nigeria annually through its event, the Nigeria Model Awards, and it is from this that Legendary Models recruits its models.

OREMOST event planner, Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, is set to launch a compendium titled The Essential Bridal Handbook, a body of work in event planning and management. The Essential Bridal Handbook, which has already been published, is set to be launched on March 31 at the Civic Centre, Lekki, Lagos. The founder and creative director of Zapphaire Events, an enterprise whose areas of expertise are in consultancy, marketing, planning and management, has put together her experiences based on many years of involvement in the event planning business along with contributions from major stakeholders, specialists and icons in the events management industry. The handbook is intended to be a resource directory on the latest trends in wedding planning. It contains information on various service providers in different fields and has tabs for easy category finding, a bridal calendar and many more interesting features.


48

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

One or two things are unique about Dr. Philipa Idogho, the Rector of Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State. Apart from her beauty that strikes you when you meet her, she is the first female rector of the polytechnic and the first alumnus to head the institution. How does she feel heading a male-dominated team of management? She bares her mind in the encounter with GBENGA ADERANTI and DANIEL AILEMEN

‘A lesson I learnt from an Army General’ •Dr. Idogho

W

HILE many pride themselves as exthis and ex-that, she regards herself as a trail blazer. On meeting her for the first time, three things are likely to attract her to you: her intelligence, voice and dress sense. Dr. Philipa Idogho, the Rector of Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State is a woman you would want to meet over and over again on account of her beauty and sense of humour. She is the first female rector of the Auchi Polytechnic and the first female alumnus to head the institution. Born of Catholic parents, she says her faith has really helped her in the running of the institution. She said: “As the first female rector, the grace of God has been helping me. I tell God every morning to send His angel to help me. I don’t sit down until I dedicate the day to God. The factor has been prayer and the in-depth knowledge of God. When you know God, there is nothing you cannot do. ‘’While I was growing up, we were neckdeep in religious activities. Even when I got married, I made sure that I was involved in religious activities. My parents didn’t teach us any other way. That is where I can say I derived my strength from,” she says. Most women sacrifice family for career, but Idogho says her family life has not in any way affected her career. Rather, the strength of her family has been one of the factors that brought her to her present position. “I have a stable home. When there are challenges, I have a good husband to lean on,” she says proudly. As gentle as she looks, she does not condone nonsense. For example, her tough stance against forging credentials and cheating in examinations drew the attention of the Anti-Examination Malpractice Campaign Organisation of Nigeria, which in 2009 appointed her a member of its Board of Trustees. Besides her sense of toughness and humour, she is also witty. “The main philosophy of life I have is to see smiles on peoples’ faces. When I see people not being happy, I’ m not happy too. I just like helping people to become satisfied. When they are not satisfied, I try to find out what the problems are and try to make them happy. That is what I’m cut out to do in this world.” Idogho, the wife of a medical doctor, says her disciplined background has played a

crucial role in bringing her to her present position. She would never forget what the husband of her eldest sister once told her. According to her, the man, who was a General in the Nigerian Army, once advised her: ‘You don’t have to look at the position I’m occupying, you make sure you get whatever you want in life on your own. If you are hardworking, people will come and look for you, not you looking for positions.” With her team, Auchi Poly has assumed greater heights in the last four years. “I have a good team, I don’t see myself as a boss,” she said. She believes her leadership style has helped her a lot. “We’ve done very well four years down the line. We’ve brought Auchi Polytechnic to an enviable height,” she says with pride. She added: “In 2011 Webometrics rating, the polytechnic emerged the best polytechnic in Nigeria and West Africa, and we came 11th in the ranking among the universities in Nigeria. It was the first and the only polytechnic ranked in this category. We have improved from the 11th position in 2011 to emerged 10th this year. We’re improving. ‘’The polytechnic has also distinguished itself in the areas of fabrication designs and art. It has won three times consecutively, the NUXART competition in art involving universities, polytechnics and colleges of education. In the last four years, the polytechnic has had the distinction of being one of the eight polytechnics in Africa and the only one in Nigeria to be designated by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) as a

centre for flexible skills development and community learning,” she said as she explained what she had been able to do with her team in the last four years. She has always been with the staff of the school and says she has never had any problem with them. “In order for the staff to imbibe my leadership style, when I came on board, I had to address the different groups in the academic community to let them know my vision and mission for the school and for everybody to key into it,” she said. Idogho believes that criticism is part of life. Therefore, she would not be distracted by it. She said: “There will be criticism even when you are doing well. I take criticism in good faith. Criticism is good; it helps you to move on. What you should not do is to allow criticism to distract you from your path. A leader must remain focused. My training as secretary has really helped me. Whether I ‘m under stress or not, I remain calm. Apart from funding, which is a challenge, managing people is also a big task. “ She is not oblivious of the fact that irrespective of what you do, there are people who would remain obstinate. But she said she would not allow such people to distract her. “There are some people who feel the status quo must remain. The way it is, let it continue. People are not adaptable to change. But I have a role to play in Auchi Poly. Irrespective of what they say, I will remain focused,” she says. As a student of Auchi Poly, life was good, she noted. But she said that things went bad later. She said there was an issue that made

She would never forget what the husband of her eldest sister once told her. The man, who was a General in the Nigerian Army, once advised her: ‘You don’t have to look at the position I’m occupying, you make sure you get whatever you want in life on your own. If you are hardworking, people will come and look for you, not you looking for positions

her to feel very sad and when she became the rector, that was the first she addressed. Hear her: “When I assumed office, I discovered that many students were hanging out to receive lectures. What would a student gain from that? I was a student here. We were comfortably seated in the classrooms. ‘’Today, the number of students who want to access education is increasing everyday and infrastructural facilities cannot cater for them. I had to embark on infrastructural development. A block of one-storey building and workshop facilities for the centre of entrepreneurial development; the construction of a story building of six classrooms; construction of 200 capacity elearning centre on campus are some of the efforts I’m making to make sure that students learn under a conducive environment. ‘’Mind you, we are not stopping at that. We have started work on another lecture theatre that would be able to take 100 students during lecture. We have done a lot in providing facilities for students in the last four years and are still doing more. “We are not just embarking on infrastructural development; we’ve also embarked on human development. The first thing I did when I assumed office was human development, by ensuring that students and staff became computer literate. With that, you can achieve so many things. Also, if you take the statistics today, in the last four years, we have a total of 95 members of staff who are pursuing various MSc. and PhD programmes in various parts of the world.” In tertiary institutions, funding is an issue. But to her, whatever you have, you must use it wisely. “Managing resources is an ability you have to acquire and reaching out to other organisations is an art you have to cultivate. I reach out to people whether you’re young or old. I use the resources we have internally maximally. I tell people to come and see what we have done and let them see the areas they could be of assistance to us. .‘’But if I have the kind of money I want, I will change Auchi Poly to little London,” she says with a smile. As a parting shot, she says: “I want to be remembered for the total transformation of the polytechnic and putting the polytechnic in the pride of place to compete globally. That is exactly where we are and we hope to improve on this.”


49

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

‘Building mansions in Ojukwu’s compound after his death is belated’

Elder joseph Ifeanyichukwu Nwanko, a former Chief Security Officer of the Federal Polytechic, Oko Anambra State, is an ex-Biafran soldier popularly known as Aburi. In this interview with ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU in Inewi, Elder Nwankwo shares his thoughts on the life and times of the late Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. Excerpts:

D

ID you know Ojukwu and how did you meet him?

•Nwankwo

in shamble. The basis for unity in Nigeria was no longer here. Take for instance, a southerner came to rule this country and Boko Haram, an Islamic sect, emerged. To do what other than to destabilise his government? Some people said that they are born to rule while we are born to serve. So Ojukwu wanted us not to be servants. He wanted us to play the leading role the Igbo man had been known for that made this country one. Can you tell me the factors that made Ojukwu not to get those things he wanted? He wanted freedom for the Igbo man and Igbo man plays dirty politics; and that is why I said that Igbo man is an enemy to himself. If he had been helped to achieve freedom for Igbo race, it would have been a nice thing for us. So they did not give him the helping hand and that is why he missed it. We the Igbo are against

ourselves. As a veteran who fought for Biafrans during the war. What do you think that should be next for Ndi Igbo after this burial? You see, after this burial, the entire Igbo race should come together and fashion a way out. The people of like minds should come together for this purpose. This noise making is not a way out. Let the elite and progressives gather together and fashion out solution for the entire Igbo race. No saboteurs. When Alex Ekwueme wanted to become the President of this nation, who sabotaged him? Was it not an Igbo man? If we should forget about selfish interest, the elite and the eggheads can now come together and start from where Ojukwu stopped. Do you think that Ojukwu’s involvement in partisan politics affected the Igbo race?

I look at that as an eye service. If you want to help me, help me when I am alive. Whatever you are doing when I am no more is rubbish. So I call whatever they are doing eye service. But that is not the ultimate. Ojukwu had played his own part, we that are building this mansion, can we play our own part?

Before I answer the question, let me tell you that I am Elder Joseph Ifeanyichukwu Nwankwo (JP). I am from Ifite village Oko. I was in the Nigerian Army in 1953. I served in Kaduna but was later posted to the military school Apapa, Lagos State after the July 29 incident, that is, the counter attack by the Nigerian Army. I came home and was posted to Nigerian Army in the Eastern Nigerian Army. The army was divided into segments — The Eastern Command Nigerian Army, Western Command Nigerian Army, Northern Command Nigerian Army. I was there during the war, which we tried to avoid but unfortunately we could not as an indigene of Eastern Command Nigerian Army. I had no other choice than to join the Eastern Command. Later on, the war was declared and we had to join to defend the Eastern nation. We did our best for 30 months but as God would have it, the other part of it which is long story, happened and we had to re-join Nigeria, back to square one. Since then, a lot of things have been happening. I tried my best to defend my nation – Biafra. The war ended and it was clear that we have to be integrated into Nigerian Army. As soon as the war ended, some of us were dismissed while some were discharged. Unfortunately, I was one of those who were discharged from the Nigerian Army. But later on, we were called back to receive our retirement benefit which is now in progress. Did you know Ojukwu in person? Yes, I knew Ojukwu in person. When I came back, we all stayed at University of Nigeria Nsukka when the 7 battalion Biafran Army was built. I met him on two occasions. Not that he was a friend of mine but when he gave orders, I met him as a soldier and he was in the command and when he issued out instruction, he wanted you to be prepared for the better. I knew him as a man who wanted an Igbo man to live. I met him with Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu when they came to address us at 7 Battalion Nsukka, where I was trained and where I fought. And that was the first and last time I met him. Are there things that Nigeria or Igbo are doing for Ojukwu now which is a mark of ignorance? It is one of those things I mentioned before I said that the praises they are now showering on him are belated because when he was alive, if he had had this encouragement, we would not have been in the position we are now because we have played the 2nd fiddle, if not the 3rd fiddle, in Nigeria. I thought they could have given him a helping hand so that he would have achieved the purpose for which God created him. He did not achieve his aim and that was what also happened to Nzeogwu. He did not achieve his purpose on earth. This was because the nation was

No! You shouldn’t be antagonistic to theFederal Government. If Ojukwu had not ventured into politics, many things would have gone wrong. So thank God he entered politics and made himself relevant in the interest of the whole nation. Now we are talking of APGA, the Igbo man’s party. Without joining politics how would an Igbo man own a party? How can you describe the big mansion, the big new transformer and other things being provided in Ojukwu’s compound now that he is no more? I look at that as an eye service. If you want to help me, help me when I am alive. Whatever you are doing when I am no more is rubbish. So I call whatever they are doing eye service. But that is not the ultimate. Ojukwu had played his own part, we that are building this mansion, can we play our own part? Or are we doing that to achieve political gains? What advice do you have for the entire Igbo race or the elite towards producing the next President of this country come 2015? Coming together as one entity is number one. When you see a party like ACN, even when some of them belong to other political parties, they still see ACN as their party, APGA is Igbo party in identity. Do you think that Nkwo Nnewi triangle and construction of roads in Nnewi by the government is right now that Ojukwu is dead? Ojukwu as a man was a hero that the world knew. I answer Aburi not because of anything but the choice that agreements on that Aburi accord would have saved us from bloodshed that the Igbo suffered, even Nigeria too. So we overlooked the Aburi accord which we are now clamouring to go back to when they are calling for national conference. What are they talking about – confederation. So Ojukwu was a war hero, he left for Ivory Coast and came back and we sang a hero’s song for him. When he was alive, we all forgot about him. Today, he has gone to meet his forefathers. It is today that we remember the active part he played during the war. He never wanted Nigeria to disintegrate but he defended the part of Igbo man. He wanted Nigeria to be one and that is why he told Ndigbo at Kano sometime ago that we are now one Nigeria, defend yourself wherever you are. So he wanted peace and he loved his people as much as himself. Frankly, the Igbo man is the enemy of himself and that is why we never valued Ojukwu when he was alive. Today, we are singing a hero’s song for him. Is it today

that we are remembering him? Igbo man said: Jaa m nma na ndu (praise me when I ‘m alive not when I’m dead). All these praises on Ojukwu are belated because they are valueless to him. What he wanted he did not get it but I thank God for him and that is why it will be difficult to find someone who will replace him. The shoe is too big. So it requires God’s intervention before we can get someone who can now play the role he played. Treating our people abroad, do you fancy that? That is not patriotism on our side because we waste resources in India and elsewhere which is enough to equip our own hospitals because we have the best of brains in the medical sector. If you go anywhere, our products are doing great but because of corruption and ineptitude, we rush abroad for treatment at the slightest call rather than resort to our hospitals here; let those we visit abroad start coming here in Nigeria for treatment. What legacy do you think that Ojukwu left behind? I think they are now looking for somebody who will replace him as Igbo leader. The legacy he is now leaving for the Nigerian nation is that if we don’t want to be one, let’s pull apart. If we want to be one, let’s be one into to and in all sincerity of purpose and not the question of playing hide and seek game. He said he wanted us to be one but if we can’t, why not separate? We have confederation. Do you think that Uwazurike deserves the title of Ijele Igbo given to him by Eze Nri? Well, Uwazuruike has been playing a role but that role he is playing is still the role that a civilian plays. The push is not there. He deserves the honour given to him but can he perform? Is he qualified to take over from Ojukwu as Eze Igbo Gburugburu? I am afraid if he can. He was trying and struggling when Ojukwu was alive because Ojukwu was supporting him. But now that Ojukwu is dead, I’m afraid, I don’t know. Except if all the Igbo men rally round him to give him total support. But who do you think can replace Ojukwu? Only God knows, I don’t know. You see in Isreal, when Jesse was told to bring somebody that would take over the leadership of the Israelites, a lot of people were brought out but God said no. But King David was brought from the bush and God said. “Anoint him, ”he is the leader that we are talking about. We may look at the faces of people and say yes, this man can do it but is he supported by God? The man that is endowed with lion heart is the man that can take over the position of Ojukwu. There are indications from different quarters that Eastern Governor’s Forum may anoint Sen. Uche Chukwumerije. What is your position on that? Senator Uche Chukwumerije is a good man. But I am still afraid but let God’s will be done. Only God knows who will take over this position and maintain it well. Are you satisfied with the Ojukwu’s burial arrangement? Ojukwu’s burial was news and some people wanted to test their popularity. The arrangement was good. But, after the burial, what next? Giving him national burial is not what we are talking but what comes next?


INTERVIEW

50

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

Why there are less scandals among Catholic priests in Nigeria —Osun Catholic Bishop Abegunrin The Most Reverend Gabriel Leke Abegunrin is the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, Osun State. He tells GBENGA ADERANTI why there are fewer scandals among Catholic priests in Nigeria than their counterparts elsewhere. He also recalls his journey into priesthood and bares his mind on the possibility of a black Pope in the nearest future.

H

OW did your parents react to your decision to become a priest? Well, I came from a very lowly background and my parents were not educated. But I had uncles and relations who were educated. In our locality then, the industry of those that were educated was teaching. That was the job that was readily available for those who had Grade II, Grade III, NCE and, later, degree and the rest of it. Actually, when I conceived the idea of becoming a priest, I did not tell my parents for fear that they might refuse. What I did was to tell my uncle who was a teacher. It was my uncle who told my father. Surprisingly, my father took it kindly. It was my mother who was a little bit worried. But after some time, she was able to accept it. I took entrance exams and passed. That was how it started. What informed your decision to become a Catholic priest? Well, it is what you see that you aspire to be. The reverend fathers around us then in our village were white people and they were doing marvellous things. They were spending their time, money and energy to help people to nurse their sicknesses and pay their hospital bills, school fees and the rest of them. That kind of selfless service to people was actually what attracted me. And then there was the issue of an altar boy serving in masses and the rest of it. I got close to them so much that I fell in love with their ways of doing things. Getting close to them and not finding them to be dubious and not finding them to actually aspire for anything for themselves was fascinating. They left their gorgeous places to lowly places like the villages and hamlets where there were no tarred roads or water and they were not complaining. After running after them and taking part in the services they conducted, I got attracted to their way of life and I said if a black man could be a priest, I would like to become one. But do you think a black man can become the Pope in your life time? That is in the hands of God. And why not? In the College of Cardinals now, we have a good number of Africans. So, it is actually possible. We normally see it as the decision of the Holy Spirit. Because in choosing a Pope, there is no rigging, no campaign. What they do is to go into fervent prayers. They also try to make it as close as possible. It is one

of the kind of elections that that the political world has not yet been able to penetrate because of the confidentiality and the way they do it. At the venue where the choice of the Pope takes place, even before they do it, there will be experts who will comb the place seriously so that there will be no leakage. You will only see the sign that a Pope had been chosen. Well, some people say human beings, wherever they are, must act like human beings. I believe so. But it should not be to the extent of putting the church to shame. Everybody is mindful of who he is representing–the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, the church is bigger than anybody, because nobody can claim to be the owner and founder of the church. It is Jesus Christ Himself. That is why in choosing the Pope, one would depend on the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit so directs, why not? If there is equality among the cardinals, why not? Maybe I have to explain myself a bit on that. When I say nobody owns the church, I have to be specific. I mean the Catholic Church. In other churches, there are owners. But in the Catholic Church, nobody can call himself the founder. The church may be established through you, but you are not the founder. The founder, as far as the Catholic Church is concerned, is Jesus Christ Himself. And you know that more than 1,500 years after Christ, there was only one church until the breakaway started. That was when churches started to have owners. But in the beginning, it was not like that. It was when church started breaking that some people started calling churches their own and their families and children would inherit the church. In some cases, it is the wife who inherits. But even in the Catholic Church today, there are factions–the charismatic, the pentecostal and all sorts. Pentecostal churches are not Catholic. You can have Catholic charismatic, but there is no Catholic pentecostal. The charismatic in the Catholic Church are called Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria. We gave them that name because of adulteration. Some people claim to be Catholics when they are not. They call themselves various names and add ‘Catholic’. People break away from the Catholic Church to start their own churches when they want to become leaders, when they want to become rich through the church and

the rest of it. The Catholic Church does not allow personalised property. For instance, where we are right now, I don’t own the place. When I die or I am transferred or I become old, someone else will take over the place. The Catholic Charismatic Church of Nigeria belongs to Catholic Church members who are interested in praying charismatically. The church allowed it because in a church, there are many organisations and associations. The Catholic Church allows associations to be formed. They want to pray in certain ways and they still want to belong to the Catholic Church. As long as they obey the rules and regulations of the Catholic Church, it is allowed. But they have a limit. They have to act according to the rules and regulations of the church. They are given a chaplain. Even a bishop looks after them. That is why they are different from the pentecostal and other groups who call themselves charismatics. Why does the membership of the Catholic Church keep shrinking? A lot of things are responsible for this. First, some people be-

•Bishop Abegunrin

To me, I think it is our cultural background that is saving Nigeria. That is why we are not yet into scandals. Maybe there are some in some quarters that are very low, which have not been caught in the media, I don’t know. But the media in the western world, I think they touch into the bedroom occasionally...

‘ lieve that the Catholic Church is too strict; that there is no freedom in the church for

people to do what they like. You can’t belong to the occult. You can’t belong to all these powers of the world. You have to be strictly spiritual in Christ’s way. You can’t belong to all these worldly powers. There are certain

chieftaincy titles you may not be able to take if you belong to the Catholic Church. If you take a chieftaincy title from the underworld and you still want to take the communion, the church will say no.

Again, some people want to marry culture with church. I mean the wrong part of culture because the church allows cultural input into its •Continued on Page 51


THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012 •Continued from Page 50

services. But the way some people want to put culture is that in Catholic when you are a communicant, it has to be one man, one wife. But since people may say, ‘Oh, I am an African, I need many wives,’ such people will not be able to be communicants. And they may be people who have money and once they are not able to take the communion anymore, they may want to leave the Catholic and go elsewhere where even if they have dozens of wives, they will still be able to take their communion. Another thing is that disciplinary standard is high in the Catholic Church. Some people don’t want to be disciplined. No matter how young a Catholic priest in a parish is, whatever he says is final. Some people want to make their money anyhow, so they leave the Catholic Church. If you see a painting of human being in any of the Catholic sign posts, it must be the painting of a saint and not me or any of my priests. But you would see now that on almost every billboard of many churches, the founder and the wife are the pictures you see. And we may ask: whom are they propagating? Is it Jesus Christ or themselves? That is what Catholic does not allow. I cannot even allow myself to be painted on the board, because I’m not evangelising my name. I’m not preaching myself; I’m preaching Christ. Those are the areas they disagree with us because they want to do their thing in their own way. The Catholic Church was everywhere in the 80s and 90s. But it seems the church is fading out. Nobody heard anything about the Catholic Church, especially in the South West, until that Ekiti bishop led a fuel price hike protest. Did the church go underground? You see, we’re not actually silent. But with due respect, the media would only pick what would sell. That is what I would say. And we’re very, very positive. You will realise that, The Nation, for instance, if a vendor raises it and what is there is that Catholic bishops are praying for Nigeria, you won’t find it on the front page. You would find it in one corner inside. But if you find that ‘Catholic quarrels with Bishop Abegunrin in Osogbo,’ or ‘Bishop Abegunrin fires Governor,’ you will find that on the cover. So it is the media that is quiet, not the church. The church is very positive. With due respect, our society over the years has been brainwashed negatively and that is what sells now. Some years back, the Conference of Bishops declared their support for President Goodluck Jonathan. Do you still feel the same way now? Well, actually, the church supports any good government. We are partners in progress in any good government. And the fact is that President Jonathan is not ruling alone; he is only heading. He has a cabinet. As a matter of fact, a number of us are responsible for what is happening. We still love Jonathan and we are still in his support. You would find that we are still supporting him, because we pray for him every day. We find him to be a man of peace. We find him to be a man who appears to be honest. Unfortunately, people had been listening to contradictions before him and they are now used to contradictions. But if through his own gentle and human approach a lot of things are happening against him, against Nigeria, we can’t say because of that we would dump him, because he wants peace and progress and oneness of Nigeria. But he is just such a gentle man. People have to pity this man, because he was not a politician but a teacher. And like people would say, culturally or naturally, his fame has brought him to where he is.

INTERVIEW

51

‘Govt should summon courage and arrest Boko Haram’s sponsors’ We believe that if people believe in his kind of spirit, we believe he has a large heart to forgive and he is not quite sectional. We know a lot of people, when they are in power, everything goes to their village in their own quarters. But he doesn’t look like that. He is a man with the fear of God. That is why we think he is a person Nigerians can use to establish the oneness that we want and to bring about the justice that has not been. Nigeria lacks justice, and that was exactly what he was trying to bring about. But the kind of society he is ruling is a difficult one. Catholic priests abroad are always in one scandal or the other, but in Nigeria it looks like they are angels. Does that mean they don’t have scandals here? Well, there are varieties of scandals. Wherever you have human beings, you have human behaviour. Priesthood has not taken over humanity; we only pray that we are able to overcome the demand of the flesh, which is in various ways. Any human person will love money. But if you’re a man of God, you really believe that what does not belong to you, you don’t touch it; the same thing that causes scandals overseas. If you really believe that the vocation you have been called into, you’re not really worthy, it is God that called you into it, you must depend on that God to maintain that vocation. Again, the thing that works for us is this: I belong to the Bible, I also belong to the culture of my people– the Yoruba and Africa. That cultural background helps us a lot to maintain the laws of the church. Our culture, which is based on discipline, there is still the fear of God. Discipline and, of course, shame, takes us away from what is happening overseas. Overseas too, I think the problem is that they are over-civilised, because what Nigeria holds dear, they handle with levity. Now, the church struggles even overseas that abortion is bad. But so many states in the United States have legalised abortion. I don’t think it will see day light if they bring it to the National Assembly in Nigeria, because we still believe that abortion amounts to killing a human person. But I find a sort of contradictions even overseas: the way they talk about human rights, yet they kill babies in the womb, to me it, is contradiction. To me, I think it is our cultural background that is saving Nigeria. That is why we are not yet into scandals. Maybe there are some in some quarters that are very low, which have not been caught in the media, I don’t know. But the media in the western world, I think they touch into the bedroom occasionally. Maybe it is because of the level of our media that scandals are not revealed yet. But at least as far as I’m concerned, in my environment, there has been no priestly scandal around. I would not be able to speak for the whole of Africa or the whole of Nigeria. Maybe when our media become like those of the western world, there would be discoveries. Even the ones overseas, what some people are suffering for is what happened 30 to 40 years ago. It is a sort of retroactive laws which I don’t think we have here yet. That is, the law of today will be catching the offence of 40 years ago. Why is it that Catholic priests are not flamboyant. Is it because they are poorly paid? We are not flamboyant, alright. The church allows for moderation in what we do. We are in the world, not of the world. Instead of living

flamboyantly, we prefer to do charity with what we have. Charity is our watchword. Until I became a bishop, I did not hang any medal on myself. I just didn’t like it. Of course, until I became a bishop, I never wore a ring. But because now it has become part of my dress, I have a ring just because the church says we have to wear it. Otherwise I was doing my own simple thing. Would you say you are fulfilled in this vocation? Well, let me just begin by saying that I’m grateful to God. I’m grateful because I’m fulfilled. I wake up everyday and I line up what I want to do and I do as much as possible, so that by the time I go to bed, I’m feeling so happy that I’ve spent the day very well. In the public when you talk about accountability, people think about money. For us,

accountability is not money. Even the way you spend your life, you spend your hours, your energy, your resources, all those things, you account for them. If I’m able to do as much as I wanted on a day, and I go back, knowing that I have put in my best, I’m fulfilled. It is a matter of everyday of my life. I became a bishop in 1995. I became a priest in 1979. Since I became a priest, I have not one day regretted, because it is not my doing but God’s grace. I try as much as possible to play the game according to the rules. I think one has to pray because you’re not okay if you don’t pray. There are so many stumbling blocks on the way. With prayer and charity, you surmount so many stumbling blocks. This vocation goes with charity.

A woman came up on the TV one day, probably in SSS. She was saying that the people behind Book Haram were known but they couldn’t arrest them. We’re bitter about that. Why can’t they arrest them? Why can’t they mention their names? It seems Boko Haram is in the hands of the big men, the rich ones...

•Bishop Abegunrin

A vocation is different from a profession. You can choose a profession either for yourself or for others, but vocation is a special call of God to do a particular job for Him. Priesthood is a vocation and not a profession. If you understand it that way, one will not find it difficult to follow the rules of the game. Would you advise any of your family members to be a priest? Of course, yes. I will, even if he wants to be a priest under me. But it is not automatic, because you have what is called discernment. Discernment is a way of judging if one will be able or not. That discernment follows people when they are in the seminary. If someone portrays the type that will not be a good priest, that will be worldly or not able to keep the rules, even if he is my blood brother, I will say well, my brother, you love priesthood, but that is not the way the Lord has chosen for you. Look for another vocation or another profession. What is your take on Boko Haram? Boko Haram is a very difficult thing. But it appears we need to do more than just talking about Boko Haram. While we still pray for their conversion to normalcy because it is abnormal to kill your fellow human being, another thing is this: there are some people who are responsible for this kind of act. I think the government will do well to fish them out and even arrest them. These kind of people who throw bombs are not the people that can buy ammunition. That means some people are sponsoring them. A woman came up on the TV one day, probably in SSS. She was saying that the people behind Book Haram were known but they couldn’t arrest them. We’re bitter about that. Why can’t they arrest them? Why can’t they mention their names? It seems Boko Haram is in the hands of the big men, the rich ones. If the government should summon courage, if that is the only thing we will suffer for, it is better to really get them and bring them to book. Are you preparing for government’s plans to return schools to their original owners? Here, I’ve not requested for the return of a school since I became a bishop. And there is a reason for that. I’m looking for a stage where I can place my request because the schools are totally damaged. And in Osun, it will be difficult to give us all the schools, because most of the schools belong to certain bodies. I don’t know how many of these schools you can call government schools in Osun .The schools either belong to Christians, Muslims or individuals. That means if they give back all the schools and they are charging fees, there will be no free school for the public. But what I can ask here, especially in Osun, is that the government should be able to dialogue with the school owners and point out those schools we are still interested in. We are partners in progress in education, health and socials. When our students go out for competitions and come first or second, you don’t mention my name, you mention the name of Osun State. I’m happy about that because the glory is to God and our leaders in the society. Whatever happens, I still doff my hat for our leadership in Osun State. But what makes it difficult is that it is as if the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) wants all of us to do it together. It is not possible. That is because we don’t operate the same way.


52

FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

No longer two but one

D

ear Reader, I welcome you to another edifying edition of Family Forum. I strongly believe that this month will be a period of overflowing blessing for you, in Jesus’ name. All your heart’s desire and aspirations for this year will find fulfillment in Jesus’ name. In the course of the month, I shall be considering the Theme: No Longer Two But One! God’s Word says: …and they twain shall be one flesh… (Matthew 19:5-6). A man and a woman are designed in the miracle of marriage to become one flesh. This is heavenly arithmetic. Oneness of the cou-

ple spells unity! The force of unity is a very powerful one. Even after creation, God, …called their name Adam… (Genesis 5:2). It was Adam who called His wife Eve. This will tell you how important this oneness is. It has a lot of advantages, if couples practise it. The oneness of the man and the woman in marriage, is supposed to affect all realms – spirit, soul and body. Spiritually, they should belong to the same kingdom. In the realm of the soul, they should be able to think and speak with one accord. Physically, they should be able to freely share their bodies together. These make for perfect union.

The importance of the concept of oneness in marriage cannot be overemphasized. God’s Word says: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity (Psalms 133:1). If it is good for brethren to dwell together in unity, it is certainly more so for a couple to be united. When unity exists between a couple, tremendous power is made available and the impossible becomes possible to them. It is the original concept of God in marriage that couples enjoy the benefits of oneness. The concept of oneness teaches believers that if you are truly one with your spouse, you will treat him/her as yourself (Ephesians 5:29). If for any reason, you hate your spouse, it is a sign that you are not united with him/her. Whatever you cannot do to yourself, you will not do to your spouse. An understanding of this will chase away selfishness from homes. It will put an end to fighting and misunderstanding. The concept of oneness also makes it easy for a husband and a wife to share their bodies freely with

one another. It will also make it possible to derive a greater degree of pleasure from their physical union, which is their procreative power. Another lesson this concept of oneness teaches is that divorce is not part of God’s programme for the home. The husband in the home is likened to the head, while the wife is likened to the body. Even in the physical, you don’t separate the head from the body, else is will result in death. God’s concept is that you do not put asunder what he has joined together (Mark 10:9). If this concept is perfectly understood and followed, it will reduce the problems experienced in homes today, and eventually make marriage a happy institution as God ordained it to be. There is a couple that got married some years ago. They were married for over 10 years, but there arose a problem in their home which resulted in a divorce. At that time, both of them were unbelievers, but God did a miraculous thing in their lives.

After some time, they both became Christians, and after being divorced for about five years, they are now happily reunited. God is no respecter of persons. What He has done for them, He can do for you too. Believe God for a miracle! Yours will be the next testimony! To enjoy oneness in marriage, you have to first be in oneness relationship with God. You secure this oneness relationship with Him, by confessing your sins and accepting Him as your Lord and personal Saviour. If you are set for this, say this prayer of faith: 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, call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: faithdavid@yahoo.com Tel. No: 234-1-7747546-8; 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.

General information on glaucoma- The silent thief of sight Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve, and is the most common cause of blindness in the USA. Most loss of vision from glaucoma is preventable if the disease is treated early enough. Glaucoma is known as the silent thief of vision for good reasons. Over 90 percent of cases of glaucoma are of a variety that may have no signs or symptoms because peripheral vision can be lost before a person’s central vision is affected. Many people are unaware they are losing vision until less than 20 percent of their visual field remains. Unfortunately, this can frequently be prevented by a simple test for glaucoma routinely performed as part of a complete eye examination. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in adults in the world; one estimate claims nearly 68 million persons worldwide with almost 7 million becoming bilaterally blind. Unfortunately, nearly 50 percent of people with glaucoma may go undetected until they have lost substantial vision. With the increasing risk of glaucoma with age, this is especially important for the elderly population. The estimated percent of the population in the USA over 65 is expected to more than double within the next few years. The number of new glaucoma cases is expected to proportionally increase. The importance of obtaining a full medical eye evaluation, including a glaucoma check, is advised for anyone over the age of 40. Many cases of glaucoma may take years to show signs of visual loss. The goal in Ophthalmology is to detect glaucoma at the earliest stage so that appropriate medical and surgical therapy may prevent visual loss. Diagnosis There are three important factors in the diagnosis of glaucoma: intraocular pressure (the pressure inside the eye), the condition of the optic nerve and the patient’s visual field. In the case of open angle glaucoma, pressure builds up slowly over many months or even years. Glaucoma can also occur with normal eye pressure. There is generally no pain, redness or blurred vision, and in the early and middle stages, patients may not realize that they have glaucoma, un-

less they receive regular eye examinations. The physician will also check the condition of the optic nerve, looking for the telltale paleness and indentation that may indicate glaucoma. Once vision is lost due to optic nerve damage, it cannot be restored: current glaucoma treatments aim to stop or slow further loss of vision by reducing pressure. Typical early vision loss caused by glaucoma begins in the side, or peripheral vision. A large amount of side vision can be lost before the patient notices, and by this stage, the glaucoma may be very advanced, and it may be difficult to prevent further vision loss. A careful visual field examination, though rather time consuming, may well identify loss of peripheral vision before the patient notices, allowing early treatment of the glaucoma. Types Glaucoma means damage to the optic nerve in the back of the eye which sends the signals to the brain related to the sense of sight. This interrupts the sense of sight and leads to an irreversible loss of vision. This can be due to a number of mechanisms. The most widely accepted is elevation of the pressure within the eye, which directly damages the nerve. There is a second theory that insufficient blood supply to the optic nerve may also cause damage. The various mechanisms that contribute to glaucoma are still not clearly understood and are being actively investigated. Currently, the only treatment available to prevent further loss of vision from glaucoma is the lowering of the pressure within the eye. This can be achieved by several methods. These include: medical treatment, laser treatment, and surgical treatment. There are two primary types of glaucoma, open-angle and angleclosure. The first is by far the most common and is either inherited or develops with age. The patient rarely notices the symptoms with open-angle glaucoma until relatively advanced stages of the disease. Unfortunately, by this point in the disease a patient may have irreplaceably lost a large portion of their visual field. Early detection and appropriate treatment are the best means in preventing loss

•Glaucoma disease can be treated but many lose their sight sight when the disease is not detected early

of vision from glaucoma. This can be accomplished by a complete medical eye examination to include a glaucoma check by determining the pressure within the eye and observing the optic nerve. The second form of glaucoma, angle-closure, can be due to many different causes. The most common cause being due to a buildup of fluid behind the iris resulting in a sudden blockage of the drainage system in the front part of the eye. This can cause a rapid rise in eye pressure, producing dramatic symptoms in the patient. They may develop a severe headache on the side of the involved eye, halos around lights, and nausea and vomiting. The eye will usually get quite red and this form of glaucoma has been mistaken for conjunctivitis. This form of glaucoma needs prompt medical attention in order to save as much sight as possible in the affected eye. The exact treatment may depend on the primary cause of the blocked drainage system. A laser surgical procedure is frequently required to restore the normal fluid drainage from the eye. Medical Treatment of Glaucoma The most common treatment for glaucoma is the use of eye drops. Some of the eye medications used have been available for over a hundred years. But many new drugs have recently been developed to lower the pressure within the eye

for patients with glaucoma. One of the other commonlyl prescribed class of eye medications in the treatment of glaucoma is Betablockers. These are the same types of medications used for the treatment of high blood pressure for many years. They share many of the same side-affects but to a lesser degree than medications taken by mouth. These have been available for over 30 years now and have proven themselves over time. Unfortunately, there are some patients with glaucoma that are unable to take this class of medication because of complications with other medical conditions. These include patients with heart and lung problems. The other classes of medications used to treat glaucoma have their own advantages and side-effects. It should be understood that many of the medications used to treat glaucoma are powerful drugs with potential hazards. It is important that a certified health care provider prescribe these medications Laser Treatment of Glaucoma There are other ways to try to lower the pressure within the eye than with medications. Lasers have been shown to be effective in the treatment of glaucoma in a large percentage of patients. The number of different forms of laser surgery used in the management of glaucoma has been increasing with the development of new equipment.

The most commonly used laser is called an Argon laser, which has been used to treat glaucoma for over 20 years. Newer forms of laser are now being used to treat glaucoma and may show some improvement in results. Many patients who undergo laser surgery must still continue to take their eye drops after the procedure. The effects of the laser have been found to be temporary in some patients. It is therefore important that patients continue to have routine eye examinations after laser surgery. Lasers have also been used to treat other forms of glaucoma by creating holes in the iris in an effort to prevent a form of glaucoma termed acute angle closure glaucoma. This procedure can normally be accomplished in the office with the use of topical anesthesia. Following placement of a special contact lens on the eye the doctor creates a new opening in the iris with one or two lasers and then the patient is sent home with eye drops to use following the surgery. Surgical Treatment of Glaucoma The final treatment for glaucoma involves surgical drainage of fluid from the eye in an effort to lower the pressure within the eye. Normally this is reserved for patients which have a poor response to eye drops and/or laser surgery. This can sometimes be combined with another eye operation, like cataract extraction surgery. When a patient has had successful glaucoma surgery they may not have to take further eye drops. Unfortunately, glaucoma surgery includes all of the risks involved with any eye surgery. There are two primary ways of draining fluid from the eye. One requires the surgeon to create a new drain in the eye called trabeculectomy, and the second method involves implanting a glaucoma drainage device. The choice of which technique to use is determined by the type of glaucoma the patient has and the number of previous surgeries on the eye. The important thing to remember, as with laser surgery, is that glaucoma is never cured, but rather controlled. With proper treatment over 90 percent of patients can have their disease stabilized and less than 5 percent will lose all vision. Culled from The New England Eye Center Website


FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

Creatures that affect your health:

Houseflies

Coming from America and going to an open market in Lagos can be a culture shock when you see flies swarm over meat or fish or fruits or vegetables. The traders seem to have signed a pact to let them be. Too often, I’ve seen pictures on international TV stations showing povertystricken Africans (especially children) with these flies on their faces; lips and all. Having them around in abundance is a sign of slovenliness and dirt. For these flies, the feces in the latrine, the vomit on the clinic floor, the jollof rice on your party plate, and the suya at your favorite joint are all food that they taste with tiny hairs on their legs. They can hop from dirt to exquisite cuisine to our detri-

I

have this unshaken be lieve about the efficacy of our products [remedies] for the treatment of infertility and hormonal disorder, our utmost joy is that both home and abroad testimonies abound. I was in UK late last year for our usual Health Week and by the special grace of God we attended to many people that we treated on their diverse ailments. The case of Mr Davies and his will remain in our record for long, it was quite outstanding! They have been married for some time; about thirteen years but there was no fruit of the womb. Having visited so many hospitals home and away without result,they therefore resigned to fate until they were introduced to me by a family that had similar problems but which God used Phylarny

ment. Children should be taught that they should not allow flies to come near food because we do not know where they have been and we do not know what disease they are carrying and bringing to us. For the same reason, nobody should sleep with mouth open in public. Flies carry various microbes that cause diseases including cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, and leprosy. The garbage and sewage around dirty markets help them to breed fast. The female fly can lay up to a hundred eggs at once and these eggs hatch under 24h. The young metamorphose from maggot to adult stages in about ten

days. The reproduction rate of flies is fast and is enhanced by availability of damp, warm, garbage that nests the eggs. The flies enter our homes as if they don’t know that the homes are ours. Let’s blame the English for calling then “houseflies” and the biologists for making it official: Musca domestica. Houseflies stubbornly try to land on our food. If there is a fly around, you may be forced to say grace before meals with one eye open. Unlike human eyes with single lenses, the houseflies have eyes that biologists call compound eyes. These eyes have many tiny lenses arranged in a global fashion and they can see front, back, up, down, left, and right at the same time. They can therefor fly away quickly when they see your hand coming at them. To keep the home free of houseflies, cleanliness and freshness is important. The

Sound Health with Banji Filani 07089729930, 07034809006

Infertility and hormonal disorder Global Healthcare to solve when they visited Nigeria. In our usual manner of conducting test before treatment, we did it with our scientific Quantum Bio Electric Body Analyser whereby we discovered that both of them {the couple} has problem of Azospermia for the man and Hormonal problem for the woman. They couldn’t believe it when they got a pregnant report from doctor two months after our treatment, the pregnancy has now been reported to be three now

and we are so glad for this testimony, till now they call me from UK very often. I always believe no woman or family created by God to suffer before childbirth but the major problem people have most time is lack of knowledge and understanding some things they should know. There are various reasons for inability to be pregnant and part of the problems are male factor that I mentioned earlier in the case of then Davies but for women, the causes are numerous apart from the hormonal problem.the root of female infertility is often the failure of a woman fertility hormones to transmit chemical signal at exactly the right time for conception to take place. This can make ovulation not to occur or create irregular patern of ovulation which eventually result to irregular menstrual flow. Another causative factor is tubal blockage which is a situation whereby the sperm cannot meet the eggs for fertilization. Also fibroid of different forms,whether penducate sub inucous or sub serious can delay conception. STD can cause Pelvic inflammatory disease in a woman. A single episode in the disease which may become chronic can thereafter cause infertility. PID produces an inflammation that may affect fallopian tube,uterus and ovaries which will have

mosquito net screens them out of the house but they can enter through opened doors. They are attracted by smell and matter that they can feed on. Keeping garbage well secured outside and far from doors and entrances is a major factor. Insecticides are a last resort. With more and more supermarkets springing up, the old fashioned style of selling fresh, unpackaged foods in the open outdoor display in traditional markets may become phased out. The garbage heaps associated with old fashioned markets would disappear and there will be less breeding ground for houseflies. 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

symptoms like pains in the lower abdomen, pain during sexual intercourse,pain during urination,irregular menstruation,vaginal discharge with foul odour,pregnancy feeling without pregnancy. There is what is called Ectopic pregnancy,which is pregnancy outside the uterus,the surgical treatment of this complications may permanently damage the affected tube,blocking the egg and sperm from meeting and when this happens, it results to infertility. Genetic factor can also have a role in female infertility. In some cases involving defect of a man’s Y chromosome which produces abnormality in the development of the sperm-producing system.other factors link to male infertility include that of testicle,disorder of hypothalamus or pictuitary gland,testicular damage from disease such as nimps,chemotherapy or radiation treatment for testicular cancer . A couples ability may be diminished or prevented by age or reason that include exposure to a certain environment or other toxins. Infertility is one of the areas of our specialization and many have come to us for solution to rejoice few months after and we pray that your shall be possible because you will join the number of those God has answered through our clinic. Dr. Banji Filani is the Chief Consultant Phylarny Global Healthcare,Lagos. For further information or discussion,call him on 0 7 0 3 4 8 0 9 0 0 6 , 08023422010

53 Coping with diseases with Prof. Dayo Oyekole

Hepatitis

H

EPATITIS is an inflammation of the liver. Unless further qualified, the term is usually taken to refer to a virus infection of the liver; also known as “infectious hepatitis”. Hepatitis is also (occasionally) a result of a bacterial, protozoan or other microbial infection. There is also Toxic hepatitis which is caused by poisoning of the liver with various chemicals (such as industrial solvents), drugs, or (very rarely) general anaesthetics. Virus hepatitis occurs in two basic forms, one of which is called infectious hepatitis (or hepatitis A) and the other, serum hepatitis (or hepatitis B), which is also “infectious”. It is fairly certain that these two conditions, although clinically similar, are caused by different viruses and the modes of transmission are different. In Hepatitis B, transmission is mainly by the injection or transfusion of contaminated blood or blood products, or by accidental skin pricks or other injuries caused by contaminated needles or other sharp objects. Transmission also occurs from inadequately sterilized hypodermic needles, syringes, surgical and dental instruments, tattooing instruments and razors. Hepatitis B is also common among narcotic addicts and others who use unsterile syringes for drug injections. The virus which causes hepatitis A, by contrast, is mostly transmitted in the faeces. Although it can be spread by blood transfusion, the main route is from infective faeces to the mouth via the hands or objects contaminated with the faeces. The patient with hepatitis may notice little or nothing wrong, but in more severe cases, the patient will have fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, a severe loss of appetite and aching in the muscles. Then jaundice, caused by an accumulation of yellow bile pigment in the blood, appears after a few days or, in some cases, a week or two from the onset of the symptoms. The liver may become enlarged and tender and may develop cirrhosis. The conditions may lead to death from liver failure. In Holistic Lifecare, hepatitis patients are strongly advised to have adequate bed rest, with proper care in the handling of infected excreta. Alcoholic beverages should be strictly avoided. The holistic remedy being suggested for total cure of Hepatitis is a combination of natural extracts of Eugenia caryophylatta, Musa cavendichii, Citrus lemonis, Euphorbia unispina and Capsicum frutescens,. For further information and consultation on Holistic Lifecare research and services, especially on Blood Infections, Infertility, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Chronic Debilitating Conditions as well as mental and social problems, please call on: 0803-330-3897 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0803-330-3897 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit: Mosebolatan Holistic Lifecare Centre, Adeyalo Layout, Ogbere-Tioya, Off Olorunsogo Express Bridge, Ibadan. Website: www.holisticlifecare.com. Distance is no barrier, we can send remedies by courier if need be. We also have facilities for accommodation, admission and hospitalization in a serene and homely environment.


54

Events & Places

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

As years roll by in the constantly evolving world, old structures give way to new ones. Yet these old structures are of historical importance. The fast-changing face of Lagos Island's skyline has dwarfed some of the iconic buildings which define the history of the city. OKORIE UGURU tours some of these buildings

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HEY were once the toast of Lagos, the landmark that defined the city’s political, religious and social hue. Major decisions were made inside these buildings, so also they hosted major religious and social events. But time has left them behind. Although now stripped of the lustre of their good days, these buildings in Lagos are still standing. They represent echoes of the years gone by. For the young, these are simply old structures in need of demolition. But the old, seeing some them as desolate and unkept, would only shake their heads in nostalgia. For new residents of Lagos, it will be a journey into discovery to go on a tour of the Lagos metropolis and its environs to see some of the ancient landmarks that shaped the past and present Lagos and Nigeria. Cumulatively, three of them given prominence

below have a cumulative age of about 445 years, if one starts counting from when the foundation stone of Christ Church Cathedral, Marina was laid. The three structures are King’s College built in 1908; Christ Church Cathedral and Shitta Bey Mosque, on Martins Street, built in 1892. Christ Church Cathedral is the oldest Anglican church in Nigeria. It was started on March 29, 1867. It took almost 80 years before the dedication in May, 1946. To many ,it was worth the wait as it is regarded as one of the finest church structures in Africa. Shitta Bey Mosque’s architectural design is a little different from the more common domeshaped structure. It was built by a Brazilian, Joas Baptista Da Costa, for a rich Muslim from Sierra Leone, Mohammed Shitta Bey. The Nigerian Railway Corporation for more than

•The Jaekel House

Exploring Lagos ancient landmarks a century defined transportation in Nigeria. It was responsible for the movement of people and goods from one end of the country to another. A historic building, now a museum known as the Jaekal House offers an insight into this. It is also

one of the foremost ancient buildings in Lagos. Tucked inside the Railway Quarters in EbuteMeta, Lagos is the Jaekal House named after one of the expatriate drivers of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) from the 30s, William Jaekal.

The Jaekal House, according available documents, was built in the 19th century ,around 1890 as the residence of the General Manager of the railway service. It was taken over and rehabilitated by the Legacy Group, a group of

conservationists involved in identifying some of these old landmark structures and helping to preserve them. The house offers everyone the opportunity to see some of the structures built at the period. On the building, the president of the group, Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi, said the builing is among some of the structures they have been working with the Continued on Page 55

Osun community where February is like Yuletide O

TAN Ayegbaju, a serene community in Boluwaduro Local Government Area, Osun State, is reputed as a town where one dares not steal because one would be caught. It is regarded as a community where a stranger cannot enter without the inhabitants knowing. It boasts of a culture in which pride and good name take the centre stage. It is readily held up as a community where religious intolerance is alien. The sleepy community has the potential of hosting the heritage site of the United Nations Education and Children’s Fund

Gbenga ADERANTI

(UNESCO). Here, Christians of various denominations from all parts of the world gather at a place called Oke Maria for religious activities. It is, without a doubt, one of the biggest single religious gatherings in Nigeria. From the top of Oke Maria, a phrase that literally translates to Mary’s Hill, you could see the aerial view of the sleepy town. On top of the mountain is an annual pilgrimage performed by Christians of different shades every second weekend in the month of February. The event commences at 3 pm on Saturday with bible service and a carnival-like procession that lasts for about

•Pilgrims two hours. Originally designed for members of the Catholic Church, the procession begins from the town’s St Nicholas Catholic Church to a shrine on top of the hill, age or status notwithstanding. All together, it is a distance of about 10 kilometres. The night is filled with programmes that range from praying the rosary, to con-

fessions, penitential and healing services. As if the nature has made way for the annual pilgrimage, the host town, Otan Ayegbaju, is neatly tucked in the hollow of the hills. The usually quiet town is always agog a week before the annual festival. All hotel rooms are booked, and private hostels meant for stu-

dents are taken over by pilgrims. It is the period of the year the sleepy town becomes lively. The yuletide season is the only period that has the semblance of the lively air that pervades Otan Ayegbaju during Oke Maria, but it is never as lively. What is today an annual

pilgrimage began as a prayer meeting in 1980; an idea conceived by one Miss C.O. Otuyelu. Speaking about the annual event, the Parish priest, Rev Fr. Stevenson Olowolagba, explained that it is more than a pilgrimage. ‘’Oke Maria is a pilgrimage centre. When we talk of pilgrimage, we are talking


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Lagos State government to preserve. His words: “It is about 100 buildings all over Lagos. Majority are on the Lagos Island.We have a few in Mainland. There are quite a few of them in Badagry. There are a few in Lekki. “What determines the choice is, first of all, the age of the building. Once it is over 50, 70 years, then it obviously has historical value. By the time they get to 100, then you know you are talking about history. Unfortunately a lot of these buildings are totally degraded and the process of restoring them could be prohibitively expensive and where is the money going to be coming? We’ve had some of them written off. “We also look at some of these buildings that actually have some very definitive historical value apart from their ages.Buildings such as the headquarters of governments or a particular house used as an office by a historic figure.We look at the history of the building as opposed to the building just being old. “ It makes it more interesting and also makes it a better tourism attraction. That is what we are doing.We are partnering the Lagos State government to develop the tourism attractions throughout the length and breath of the state. “Well, obviously the ones that come to mind will be the storey building in Badagry and some

churches. It will be difficult to just pick five. I could provide you with a whole list. We just recently identified a few of them to add to list. Some of the churches are still very relevant. Some of the mosques like Shitta Bey Mosque, churches like Christ Church on the Marina, the other, the Catholic Cathedral, even City Hall itself, even the Independence Building, they are all over 50 years. “One of the most important ones is the old Secretariat in Marina. It was where Nigeria was governed from for many years. It was the administrative building for Nigeria for quite a long time. Lord Lugard operated from there. Whether we like these people or not, the reality is that they were part of our history. “Our name even emerged from the deliberations that these people

made among themselves. “It is part of our history and it is not something that we should run away from. This is reality. This is how it is done all over the world. In Britain, there are many indicators of when they were taken over by the Romans, and just because they might not have liked it, they did not go and destroy those buildings. “ The reality of whether the British intervention was good or bad for Nigeria is a different thing entirely. It is a wonderful edifice and it is still in a good condition and it is currently partially used by one of the federal ministries, but it is still in a good condition and a prime example of the tropical buildings going on around the world at that time. It is a monument and it belongs to the NCMM. And then, talk of being some sort of natural history museum.”

about the reality of our lives. Oke Maria, like every other pilgrimage centre or shrine, is a place where people go for sober reflections in order to re-assess where they are coming from, where they are and where they are heading to. It is a kind of self examination. Like a philosopher would say, ‘an unexamined life is not worth living.’ It is a place for spiritual reservoir. As we nourish the body, so also we nourish the soul.” Olowolagba said beyond being a pilgrimage centre, it is also a place where people could retreat for sober reflection. “You know, our society is too noisy. That is why you have to go to a desolate place, alone with God, to reflect and re-examine your way of life, what you have succeeded in achieving, how you arrived at that point, and the failures in life. Why has it been like that? So, it is an avenue to have a conversation with one’s creator.” He described Oke Maria as an ideal place for people who are writing books and doing one kind of research or the other to interact with nature. But why would a Catholic priest call a praying centre a shrine? “Yes, it is a shrine,” he insisted. Culturally, when you talk of a shrine, what comes to your mind is that

it is a place where idols are worshipped. In our own understanding, we are talking about enculturation. You talk of speaking to God in your culture, language and everything. ‘’When Christ was evangelising, he was not using foreign languages to speak to them; he was using what was around them to speak to them. When you talk of a shrine, it is a sacred place. The sacredness of it makes it special. The real meaning of shrine is a place where God is worshipped.“ About 70, 000 pilgrims were on the hill during the last edition of the pilgrimage February. Aside being a religious affair, the annual Oke Maria pilgrimage is a period when the economy of the town witnesses a boom. The Catholic Bishop of Osun, Most Rev. Leke Abegunrin, in an interview with our correspondent, said the gains of Oke Maria transcend spiritual rejuvenation. ‘’There is also the economic gains. Both visitors and residents make lots of sales during the pilgrimage. Because of the high traffic of people to the ‘shrine’, efforts are being made to make the pilgrimage a biannual event,’’ he said. The bishop also promised to have reverend sisters while priests would be sta-

tioned there permanently for families, individuals, groups who may want to come for a retreat. In 1980 when the pilgrimage started, it was held in December. But when it was realised that it was clashing with the Christmas celebrations, it was changed to the second Saturday and Sunday in February. For those who think the annual pilgrimage is only for Catholics, Olowolagba said it does not discriminate. Irrespective of your faith and belief, you are welcome. “The meaning of Catholic is universality. Go ye into the world and make disciples of all nations; that is Catholic. The place is not meant for a specific set of people. Everybody has access to the place. Our primary duty is to assist you, to nourish you spiritually. That is the essence of Oke Maria.” During the pilgrimage, accommodation is always an issue, as many people compete for available space. At the shrine, there are two buildings for male and female visitors, but they cannot meet the needs of pilgrims. “We don’t have enough accommodation at the shrine.If they are more than we can handle, we assist them by getting accommodation at places like

What determines the choice is, first of all, the age of the building. Once it is over 50, 70 years, then it obviously has historical value. By the time they get to 100, then you know you are talking about history. Unfortunately a lot of these buildings are totally degraded and the process of restoring them could be prohibitively expensive

•Shitta Bey Mosque

•Christ Church Cathedral Segun Aina Foundation’s building. There is another five-star hotel that can take no fewer than 200 pilgrims. It is another way of enriching the town financially,“ the Catholic priest said. Ironically, while many people are celebrating the miracles they claim to have witnessed on the hill, the Catholics at Oke Maria hardly do this publicly. “Anything that happens miraculously, we hardly mention it. We give the glory to God, but we are not the master. We’re just mere servants. There is no day people do not come here to pray,” Olowolagba said.

•Grotto

•Hostel for pilgrims


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How America’s secret space plane has been in orbit for over a year and no one knows what it’s doing

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HE U.S Air Force’s highly secret un manned space plane was supposed to stay in space for nine months, but it’s now been there for a year and three days – and no one knows what it’s doing. The experimental craft has been circling Earth at 17,000 miles per hour and was due to land in California in December. However the mission of the X-37B orbital test vehicle was extended – for unknown reasons. The plane resembles a mini space shuttle and is the second to fly in space. The first one landed last December at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California after more than seven months in orbit. The 29-foot, solar-powered craft had an original mission of 270 days. The Air Force said the second mission was to further test the technology but the ultimate purpose has largely remained a mystery. The vehicle’s systems program director, Lieutenant-colonel Tom McIntyre, told the Los Angeles Times in December: ‘We initially planned for a nine-month mission. Keeping the X-37 in orbit will provide us with additional experimentation opportunities and allow us to extract the maximum value out of the mission.’ However, many sceptics think that the vehicle’s mission is defence or spy-related. There are rumours circulating that the craft has been kept in space to spy on the new Chinese space station, Tiangong.

However, analysts have pointed out that surveillance would be tricky, since the spacecraft would rush past each other at thousands of metres per second And Brian Weeden, from the Secure World Foundation, pointed out to the BBC: ‘If the U.S. really wanted to observe Tiangong, it has enough assets to do that without using X-37B.’ Last May, amateur astronomers were able to detect the orbital pattern of the first X-37B which included flyovers of North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, heightening the suspicion that the vehicle was being used for surveillance. Other industry analysts have speculated that the Air Force is just making use of the X-37B’s amazing fuel efficiency and keeping it in space for as long as possible to show off its credentials and protect it from budget cuts. After all, under budget cuts for 2013 to 2017 proposed by the Obama administration, the office that developed the X-37 will be shut down. According to X-37B manufacturer Boeing, the space plane operates in low-earth orbit, between 110 and 500 miles above earth. By comparison, the International Space Station orbits at about 220 miles. The current flight launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in March. www.dailymail.co.uk

Mystery: Scientists work on a prototype for the rocket prior to its launch


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

There can’t be politics without people, says Tinubu

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ATIONAL Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has described the people as the fulcrum of politics, saying the two, like Siamese twins go together. He stated this yesterday in Lagos at the 2012 Obafemi Awolowo Memorial Lecture titled: Power Politics or Welfare Politics: Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the History of African Nationalist Political Thought. Tinubu argued that every leader would need the people to vote for him first by accepting his programme and then the welfare of the people must follow. “The two are the same. They are like Siamese twins which go together. It has to be the people first. People will have to vote for you. They have to accept your programme. And the welfare of the people must flow from the vision and commitment of the leader, which must be reflected in accountability, good governance,

Augustine AVWODE Assistant Editor transparency and welfare of the people,” he said. Buttressing his position, Tinubu said at the time of Chief Awolowo, he needed the mandate of the people to get there. ‘’That is people politics. And he became concerned with the welfare of the people, policy on education, rural integrated development and others,’’ he noted. The ACN leader canvassed making the welfare of the people a paramount policy by leaders. He argued that government without accountability, transparency and welfare of the people is not government. “The welfare of the people must be paramount and more pronounced. Added to that must be accountability, good governance and transparency. What is the definition of good governance if there is no transparency, accountability and welfare? It is about service. It is about development like what Lagos State is doing,” he said.

Don’t drag us into break-up debate, Kogi, Kwara leaders tell North The controversy stirred by Dr. Junaid Mohammed on possible break up of Nigeria is yet to die down. Leaders of Kogi and Kwara, two Middle Belt states the Second Republic legislator threatened to drag along with the North have reacted. Group Political Editor BOLADE OMONIJO, EMMANUEL OLADESU and ADEKUNLE JIMOH present their angry responses: HE political and social elite of Kogi and Kwara states are angry that a section of the North is threatening to hold them as bargain in the event that Nigeria disintegrates. Perhaps taking a cue from Karl Meier’s contention that “this house has fallen” and the foreign prediction that the country can only last a few years given the current sociological pressure, Junaid Mohammed told a Sunday newspaper that the North was not afraid of a break up. He, however, added that this would only be allowed if Kogi and Kwara states were ceded to the North. But, furious at the sheer thought, David Jemibewon, a retired Major General, fired three questions in one minute: “On whose mandate is he talking? Whose interest is he representing? Who authorised him?” Jemibewon, a founding member and leader of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hails from Kogi State. He found it insulting that Mohammed could conceivably be speaking for the people of Kogi and Kwara states. The former military governor of the defunct Western State who reacted on the phone, said Mohammed lacked the mandate of his people in Kogi to speak on such a sensitive issue. He added: “If it’s his personal view, which I cannot query, there is no problem. But if he claims to be speaking on behalf of the North, who gave him the mandate? “I don’t think he represents my interest until he gets my mandate. If he has been authorised, I don’t have the right

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to query him. But who authorised him?” Jemibewon was too angry to continue with the interview. But Rotimi Obadofin, another Kogi politician would not want to contemplate such a development. He said Mohammed was wallowing in selfdeception and self-delusion, pointing out that the two states would not go with the North, if there is a break-up. He said: “If the country should disintegrate at the end of the day, which is most likely, Kwara and Kogi are returning to the West, and this is not negotiable. It is inconceivable that Yoruba of Kwara and Kogi will be part of the North. The boundary is clear. We are Yoruba. There is no boundary between Yoruba of Kogi and Kwara. The contiguity is there. “We have the same culture, language and environment. We till the same land and drink water from the same source. We have the same blood. So, on the contrary, our location is far apart from Hausa/Fulaniland; thousands of miles apart. We don’t speak the same language. We don’t have the same culture. We don’t share the same boundary. In fact, we have absolutely nothing in common. It is easier to integrate Europeans with the Hausa/Fulani than to integrate Kwara and Kogi with them.” The deputy governorship candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria in the state, Hon. Henry Ojuola, would not speak for the whole state. He said: “I am a Yoruba man from Kogi West. I got the mandate to represent my people in the Continued on Page 58

•From left: Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Acting Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ayodeji Daramola and Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Dayo Akinlaja, during the state’s 1st Justice Week in Ado-Ekiti...yesterday.

Awo’s education policy would have saved North ‘s present challenges – Balarabe Musa • Sultan, Ooni, Bayero, Obi of Onitsha, others honour Awolowo at memorial lecture

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AD the free education policy of the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo been implemented in the North, it could have saved the region from the challenges it is facing today. Second Republic Governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, made the declaration in Lagos yesterday at the 2012 Obafemi Awolowo Memorial Lecture titled “Power Politics or Welfare Politics: Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the History of African Nationalist Political Thought.” Balarabe Musa, who was the chairman of the occasion, said the late sage remains the most memorable legend of Nigerian politics and governance. He said: “The late Chief Awolowo is the most qualitatively outstanding and memorable legend of Nigerian politics and governance since the 1940s. He is the one whose role in politics and governance can still be a reliable guide for any first time President of Nigertia even though Nigeria lost the opportunity of having Chief Awolowo as its president. “He knew how to be relevant both in government and in opposition. When he ceased to be the Premier of the ols Western Region, he became a credible and dependable opposition leader. “If his policy of free, qualitative and functional education, for instance, had been implemented and sustained throughout Nigeria, the 40-year gap in educational development between the northern and the southern parts, which inevitably makes the North stand more in the way of peace and national unity, would have been avoided.” The guest lecturer, Prof Toyin Falola, a professor in History at the University of Texas in Austin, said long ago, on the eve of Nigeria’s independence he had expressly asked the emerging leaders of the new Nigeria to choose between power politics and welfare politics. “Chief Awolowo chose welfare politics and his entire career was based on the pursuit of

Uwais, Anyaoku, Ajibola, 13 others to determine Awo’s leadership prize winners

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S a way of sustaining the enduring legacies of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, an award in leadership and good governance has been instituted in his honour. Known as the Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Prize, it is intended to reward leadership and good governance. The Executive Director of the Obafemi Awolowo Foundation, Dr Adetokunbo Awolowo Dosumu, made this known at the 2012 memorial Lecture which held in Lagos yesterday. She said: “As already well known, the hallmarks of Chief Awolowo leadership include vision, credibility, integrity, courage and discipline, among many others. He was also a leader who knew the way, went the way, and showed the way. For him, the growth and development of people was the highest calling of leadership.” She said the details of the prize would be made public in due course, “but suffice to say for now that the prize will be awarded to Nigerians who have demonstrated excellence in leadership and good governance within the country or abroad, within the public sector or civil society “The prize places greater premium on the honour and recognition that it confers on the recipient and it is designed to be a strong incentive for the pursuit of excellence in leadership and good governance in Nigeria.” The prize will be awarded every two years and a selection committee that will use the 13 criteria to pick the winner has already been put in place. Among those in the selection committee are Justice Muhammadu Uwais, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Prof Akin Mabogunje, Prof Anya O Anya, Chief Emeka Anyaokwu, Olorogun Felix Ibru and Prince Bola Ajibola. Augustine AVWODE Assistant Editor

this vision. Welfare politics would generate patriotism and loyalty to the state in a way that would keep Nigeria stable, orderly and peaceful,” he said. He noted that one thing the late sage had in abundance and often deployed for the good of all was visionary leadership. He regretted that such visionary leadership is missing today. He urged the people to call for accountability and visionary leadership from those who govern and rule them. “We once blamed our woes on the British. The British left but the woes remained. Then the politicians were replaced by the military. The woes continued. Then we blamed the military and called for democracy. Greater woes. Now is the time to call for accountability and visionary leadership of the type

demonstrated by the example of Chief Awolowo,” he said. He canvassed service as the hallmark of leadership, saying Awolowo demonstrated “servant-leadership in practice.” Prof Falola lamented that in today’s Nigeria, public service “has become about accumulation of personal aggrandisement in which the leader becomes the master. The state is imperialised, converting citizens to subjects, resources into private ownership…In that environment, power brings wealth, fame and adulation, not public service.” He declared: “If Chief Awolowo were still alive, he would argue that we need a set of leaders who will be our servants, not bosses, …who will endure the same kind of suffering as the majority of the population…and would make the same immortal statement he made over 60 years ago: ‘it is

the amount of patriotism, unstinted effort and wisdom which we apply to the exploitation of our vast resources, and of the just and equitable distribution of the results of such exploitation that will determine the measure of our greatness and happiness as a people.’ ” In her welcome address, the Executive Director, Obafemi Awolowo Foundation, Dr Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosumu, thanked the array of dignitaries and first class traditional rulers across the country, saying she stood in “awe of the amazingly enduring influence of the simple and useful life that Chief Awolowo led.” She admonished those present and Nigerians as a whole to stop being reactive and start being creative in a bid to find lasting solutions to the myriad of problems challenging Nigeria as a nation. Among those present at the event were national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammed Uwais; National Chairman of the ACN Chief Bisi Akande; Constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze; former Lagos State governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande; Senator Bisi Durojaiye; Dr. Fredrick Fasehun; Senator Olorunimbe Mamora; former Ogun State Governor, Chief Segun Osoba; Gen Alani Akinrinade; Prof Jubril Aminu; Chief E K Clark represented by former Edo State Governor, Chief John Oyegun; Chief Wale Osun; Mr Ayo Opadokun; Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Prof Ayo Banjo and Ambassador Segun Olusola. There were also an array of traditional rulers including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade; the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero; the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe; the Amayanabo of Nembe, King Edmund Daukoru; the Orodje of Okpe, King Felix Mudjakpero.


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•From left: Tor Tiv, Alfred Akawe Torkula; President Goodluck Jonathan; Gov. Gabriel Suswam of Benue State; President of the Senate, David Mark and Suswam’s wife, Yemisi, at the conferment of Zege Jende I Tiv on President Jonathan yesterday during the President’s two-day state visit to Benue.

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ENATOR Oluremi Tinubu yesterday ren dered her account of stewardship at a Town Hall meeting attended by leaders and people of the Lagos Central District, Lagos State. The meeting, which trailed the maiden edition held at Muson Centre, Onikan four months ago, was chaired by the senatorial leader, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, who said that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) would insist on accountability among legislators representing various districts and constituencies on its platform. At the ceremony, which held at Banilux Event Place, Yaba, Mrs. Tinubu expanded the scope of her empowerment programmes by giving more financial succour to some selected less-privileged women. Among the beneficiaries was the late Mrs. Iyabo Osijo, who died recently. She was represented by her son. At the senator’s request, a minute of absence was observed in her memory. In her speech titled: “Hand on the plough”, Senator Tinubu spoke on her activities in the Senate as member of Education, Marine Transport, Millennium Development Goals, Trade and Investment, Women Affairs and Employment, Labour and Productivity Committees. She said despite the busy schedule of the Senate, especially the scrutiny of the 2012 budgetary proposals from various ministries, departments and agencies over the past couple of weeks, she also made progress in other areas. Tendering her score card as a member of the Education Committee, she said: “Early this year, the Senate Committee on Education helped resolve matters between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government on a hopeful note that the perennial industrial action on our campuses may soon cease considerably. “In addition, at the end of January 2012, the committee also presented a ‘Report on the investigation of the ilIegality of Post-UME and the failure of JAMB to conduct examinations acceptable to universities’. Parents and

•Senator Tinubu (left) discussing with Chief Ajomale (middle) and Prince Olusi during the meeting yesterday. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

Sen. Tinubu renders account of stewardship Emmanuel OLADESU Deputy Political Editor

applicants complained about multiple expenses, added stress, exorbitant charges, non-standardization of screening processes and so on. “On the other hand, universities’ vice chancellors assert that Post-UME test ensures the admission of quality candidates with better potential for good character and appreciation of learning. The report facilitated a point of convergence and understanding for all stakeholders”. Senator Tinubu also spoke on the activities of the Employment, Labour and Productivity Committee, saying that it is making efforts to assist youths in resolving the problem of joblessness. Senator Tinubu said: “Everywhere in Nigeria today, there is widespread concern that poverty and unemployment continue to foster intense insecurity across the nation. Several of us in the Senate are not indifferent. Our party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) position on issues such as state and community policing, fiscal federalism and peoplefocussed governance increasingly appear to be needed remedies. “There is urgent need to effectively halt our nation’s gradual descent into what Thomas Hobbes, the late English philosopher described as ‘the state of nature’ characterized by ‘continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short’. “According to the NBS report and despite strong growth in the nation’s economy, about 100 million people are today, living on less than the equivalent of one dollar a day. The percentage of Nigerians living in abject poverty - those who can afford only the bare essentials of food, shelter and clothing - rose to 60.9% in 2010, compared with 54.7% in 2004. You see in six years, there was no significant improvement, just a paltry 6.2%. This regrettable trend is

partly responsible for the worsening malaise of crime, insecurity and drug use among young Nigerians. “I want to re-assure this august gathering today that I will continue to work with my progressive colleagues to fight and agitate for legislations that will lead to the creation of jobs for our teeming youth”. The senator said that it is expected that the Federal Government will fulfil expectations for the commissioning of solar lighting projects in some parts of Lagos Central District, starting with Baale Street in Sangotedo area and Agungi Ajiran Road, both in the EtiOsa Local Government Area. She said her concern for social safety nets to protect millions of elderly citizens motivated her to sponsor a Bill for the establishment of a “National Social Security

•ACN ‘ll insist on accountability, says Olusi Scheme for elderly persons in Nigeria” Tinubu added: “The Bill has passed through the Senate’s first reading stage and we are hoping that politics will be put aside to enable this bill become law and thereby facilitate possibilities of Federal Government assistance for our old people, especially those who were in the informal sector”. The senator also disclosed that her constituency office had concluded the selection process for the Post-Secondary School Scholarship Scheme (PSSS), adding that beneficiaries would receive N100, 000 scholarships annually, under the 4-year scholarship scheme”. She stressed: “Monies for the 2012 scholarship scheme have already been disbursed. Today, each one of the 624 beneficiaries of the Petty

Traders’ Empowerment Capital Scheme (PETECS) will be going home with N20, 000 ATM cards at the end of our meeting. Previously, twenty-six beneficiaries collected similar cards during our maiden edition of the Town Hall Meeting, thus we did a successful test run of the scheme. We give all glory to God that Skye Bank did an excellent job in handling things for us, and there was no complaint.” Olusi praised Mrs Tinubu for her sense of accountability, urging other legislators to emulate her. The party leader said, henceforth, ACN would insist on accountability among lawmakers and members of the executive across the tiers. Political and Legislative Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN),

Mr. Teslim Folami, described Mrs. Tinubu as a true representative of the Lagos Central District and advised her to sustain her tempo of achievements. Lagos ACN Chairman, Otunba Dele Ajomale, said: “Senator Tinubu is working hard like her husband. Recently, during the fuel subsidy crisis, she braced the odds and did not mind the threat to her life. She has justified the confidence reposed in her. She is consistent in reaching out to her constituents. We are watching our legislators and when the time comes, we will know those that are qualified to receive plagues”. An ACN leader, Chief Murphy Adetoro, said: “Mrs. Tinubu has made us proud in the Lagos Central. She is ubiquitous.”

Osun orders contractors to move to sites

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SUN State govern ment has ordered all contractors recently awarded the N21 billion road contracts to move to sites immediately. The government said the contractors should commence work immediately to ensure that the projects reach advanced stages before the advent of raining season. Briefing journalists after the state Executive Council meeting yesterday, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Sunday Akere, said that “when the council awarded the six road contracts, which were

to be started afresh, it was directed that the contractors must move to sites immediately without delay.” Akere also told journalists that the state government had awarded a N636,304,986.17 contract for the beautification, landscaping and refurbishment of the state House of Assembly complex. He said the contract for the refurbishment of the House of Assembly complex, which was awarded to Tecno Katagun Construction Company Ltd, was in line with the promise of Gover-

Group holds economic dinner

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HE international lead ership and the entire membership of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio (MMI) worldwide will be holding its presidential economic dinner at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos today. As a result, all the leading men and women in Akwa Ibom State are expected at the event. The invitees will be briefed on the progress of

work on the Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio secretariat and Mboho Unity School. According to a statement from the International President of MMI, Mr Nse Ubeh, the event would also be a veritable platform to stimulate support for development of the organisation which is an off-shoot of the Ibibio Union reputed to have sponsored many of its citizens to study abroad in various fields.

nor Rauf Aregbesola to give the state a facelift and create a conducive environment for the benefit of the people of the state. Akere, who stated that the completion period of the contract is eight months, said that several other projects like the refurbishment work of the main Assembly hall, construction of public eatery/restaurant at the Assem-

bly complex, provision of elibrary for the Assembly, as well as procurement and instalment of solar-powered surveillance system in the assembly complex, among others would be carried out. According to him, the council had approved a bill, called Removal of Obstruction Bill, 2012 which would be passed to the state House of Assembly for approval.

Security seminar holds in Lagos

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one-day security seminar being orga nized by Disaster Prevention and Assistance Initiative in conjunction with the Police Assistance Committee (PAC) along with other major stakeholders on security matters will hold in Lagos on March 15. The seminar, with the theme “Grassroots Security Intelligence/Information Network for National Unity and Development,” will have in attendance community leaders at all levels, para-military operatives, religious leaders, transport operators, tradesmen and artisans, vigilantes, hotel

owners and managers, among other stakeholders. The secretary organizing committee of the convener, Mr. Tony Voke Oforishe, said in a statement in Lagos that the Police and other security operatives will be duly represented at the seminar where the Director-General of the Police Assistance Committee/Association of Tradesmen and Artisan, Dr. Martins Oni, will present a key-note address. According to Mr. Oforishe papers will also be presented by other resource persons with track record on security-related issues, academics and career diplomats at the seminar.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

400 policemen for Ebonyi rerun elections

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VER 400 policemen and other security agents have been deployed in Ebonyi State to man 137 polling units in Ohaukwu South and Ishielu North constituencies to ensure adequate security of lives and property as well as electoral materials during the rerun elections for the two seats in the state House of Assembly. The Chairman of the Joint Inter-agency Committee for Election Security in the state and Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Adeola Adeniji, made the disclosure during a meeting with stakeholders and political parties participating in the elections in Abakaliki. The Appeal Court sitting in Enugu had, in January, nullified the elections of the members representing Ohaukwu South, Mrs. Mabel Aleka; Ishielu North, Hon. Ikechuwkwu Ogbu and Ezza South, Hon. Chris Usulu, for irregularities and non-compliance with the electoral act. While the elections for the two constituencies of Ohaukwu South and Ishielu North have been fixed for today, that of Ezza South is expected to hold on March 4. Mr. Adeniji said about four policemen and other security operatives would be deployed to man each polling unit to maintain security and

Ogbonnaya OBINNA, Abakaliki ensure orderly conduct of the electorate. He, however, warned political parties and their supporters against acts of violence

and intimidation during the exercise. The Resident Electoral Commissioner of the INEC in the state, Mr Okay Ezeali, said the commission would provide a level playing ground for the six political parties taking part in the elec-

tions and ensure free, fair and credible elections. According to Mr. Ezeali, electoral materials for the election had arrived the state and warned that anyone contravening the provisions of the electoral act would be severely punished.

•Governor Okorocha and Governor Amaechi at the reception t... yesterday

Infrastructure: Okorocha hails Amaechi’s performance

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MO State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has lauded the Rivers State Governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, for his unequalled accomplishments in infrastructural development of the state. Speaking in Port Harcourt during a grand reception organised in his honour by the Imo Development Partners and Imo Indigenes in Rivers State yesterday at the Community Secondary School, Nkpolu, Governor

Okorocha commended Governor Amaechi for bringing democratic dividends to Rivers people. “Your Excellency, I must take notice of the political, judicial and social indices of your performance in Rivers State. What you are doing in Rivers State has not been seen before. Thank you very much”, Okorocha said. “So Governor Amaechi, we are in competition now for doing so well. I have seen how happy my people are here. It means that Governor Amaechi is taking good care of them. I want to also thank

you”. Governor Okorocha also commended the Rivers State chief executive for the role played by the Rivers State Government during the recent burial of the late Dim Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu. Governor Okorocha said Imo and Rivers State would ensure they co-exist. “Imo and Rivers States share a common boundary and the part that Governor Amaechi and I should play is to ensure that these two states become one in terms of road connection and all ac-

tivities”. Governor Amaechi assured his Imo State counterpart that he would collaborate with him for the common benefits of the people of the two states. “We will continue to work together with the Governor of Imo State, Owelle Okorocha, in areas we need to partner to develop together”, Governor Amaechi said. Governor Amaechi also pledged his administration’s support to those doing business in the state.

Boko Haram strikes again in Kano, injures three policemen

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OME gunmen, suspected to be members of the dreaded Boko Haram yesterday struck again in Kano, as they attacked Rijiyar Zaki Police Station. An eyewitness account, who described the attack as “serious,” said the gunmen attacked the station from behind, resulting in a gun duel between the militants and the Police. At the end

Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano of the battle, three policemen were injured, while the Boko Haram members who rode on the motor bikes escaped unhurt. The incident occurred shortly before the Jumat prayer. As news of the attack spread, members of the military joint task force were said to have been immediately drafted to the

trouble spot to bring the situation under control. There was a reported case of gun fire between the two armed groups, while the area was cordoned off for the greater part of the day, as the major road, leading to the Bayero University, military formation in Janguza as well as the busy town of Gwarzo, was closed to the traffic. Police helicopter was also sighted hover-

ing around the area. Kano has been under air surveillance since the Boko Haram attack of January 20 in which several people died. The Inspector General of Police, Alhaji M. D Abubakar, it would be recalled, deployed two helicopters for the surveillance on the city, including monitoring of Nigeria’s porous borders with Niger republic.

Court stops monthly payment into Sylva’s company’s account

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BAYELSA State High Court has restrained the state government and First Bank PLC from paying N300 million monthly to SNECOU Group of Companies Limited in which former Governor Timipre Sylva is believed to have an interest. The arrangement came under the various Irrevocable Standing Payment Orders (ISPOs) allegedly approved by Chief Sylva to pay contractors executing jobs for the government. It is not immediately known what project

Isaac OMBE,Yenagoa SNECOU handled for the government, but it was gathered that the payment to SNECOU ran from June 2007 to February 2012. In effect the company would have been paid N32billion. The new administration of Chief Seriake Dickson approached the court for the injunction. In granting the order on Monday, Justice Kate Abiri restrained the 1st Defendant (SNECOU), its servants, agents and or privies “from receiving the sum of

N300 million only monthly or any sum at all from the Bayelsa State Government Consolidated Revenue Fund Account (also known as Account N0: 4112040000417) with the 2nd Defendant or from any other bank account or monies due to the Bayelsa State Government, pending the determination of the motion on notice.’’ Investigations show that the payment was drawn from the Bayelsa State Government Consolidated Revenue Fund Account domiciled in First Bank.

Hearing in the substantive case was adjourned to March 12. Sources in Yenagoa said the payment arrangement was discovered by the financial management team headed by Mr. Timi Alaibe. The committee was set up by the new governor to identify the various sources of leakage in the finances of the state government. Governor Dickson had promised to plug all such loopholes. The governor’s action is believed to have saved the state one billion naira in its first month in office.

Don’t drag us into break- up Nigeria, Kogi, Kwara leaders tell North •Continued from Page 57

House of Assembly, so I know what my people want. I know their interests, culture, political culture, behaviour and aspiration. I do not pray that Nigeria breaks and I don’t think that any patriot should work for the disintegration of his country. “However, should we get to that point, certainly my people in the five local government areas in Kogi West will go with our kith and kin in the West. We share the same language and culture and would feel more comfortable with them. Junaid Mohammed cannot speak for us. Who is he to decide for our people? How can he from Kano do that?” On the other two senatorial districts of the state, Ojuola said he was not in position to speak for them. His words: “I cannot speak for the Ebira and Igala. But, I know that we share a lot with the Ebira. Remember that we share affinity in old Kwara State. We understand one another.” There were indications yesterday that leaders of various groups in the state who felt stung by the Junaid Mohammed interview held a meeting during the week to consider how to officially react to the statement. While some of the leaders dismissed it as a non-issue and the opinion of one man, others said he could be speaking for an entrenched Northern interest group and should, therefore, elicit appropriate responses. A former House of Representatives member from Ebiraland said, “Junaid should not be dignified with response. I have followed his outbursts since the Second Republic and he derives pleasure in avoidable and unnecessary controversy. I will not want to speak on the issue. I am an Ebira from Kogi State. Beyond that, I am a Nigerian. That’s all. No more. I do not know if there is a North today. The only one that I know died many years ago.” He, however, refused to be identified. Kwara people are no less outraged. Justice Mustapha Akanbi, a retired President of the Court of Appeal, who hails from Ilorin, would not contemplate the break-up of Nigeria. He described whoever is thinking of Nigeria’s disintegration as an enemy of the people and the African continent. “Those talking about the division of Nigeria are pessimists and enemies of the country”, said the pioneer Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).. Justice Akanbi told The Nation that, “speaking for myself, I don’t want the break-up of the country. I want a united country. I have struggled for pan-Africanism all my life. I have struggled all my life talking of one great Nigeria which all African countries can look up to as a role model. Although we have not been able to give them that satisfac-

tion, I will, till the end of my life, struggle for a united Nigeria. “I can’t contemplate a situation where Nigeria will be divided into pieces. It is forward ever, backward never. I think those who talk about dividing Nigeria are pessimists. I am an optimist. Referring to his orientation early in life, Justice Akanbi, who was introduced to panAfricanism as an admirer of the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana, said: “Now getting to about 80 years, how can I start talking about the division of Nigeria? I hope it does not happen during my time and I pray that it does not happen in the time of my own children. Throughout my stay in Nigeria, I have seen any Nigerian as a Nigerian, as I have seen him as an African and that is my basic philosophy and that of my family. I daily pray for the greatness of Nigeria and Africa. When Europeans are having the European Union and other countries are united, how can we be talking about Nigeria in small pieces? Once you start that, you are running into deep waters and I hope the whirlwind will not consume us. “So the question of whether Kwara, Kogi or any of the states will belong to one area, as far as I am concerned, is a non-issue. As a matter of fact, I prefer to be known as Akanbi, the pan-Africanist.” The Kwara State governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in last year’s poll, Alhaji Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), was optimistic that Nigeria would not be balkanised. In Belgore’s words: “We don’t think that Nigeria will break up; we certainly hope it will not break up. Our strength as a nation lies in the different peoples working together for a common purpose of development and economic empowerment. “Poverty and unemployment do not discriminate between north and south. These are ills that are common to both and these are matters that should call for our attention. Rather than talk about breakup, we should not be talking about Nigeria breaking up. instead we should be talking about building a strong and virile nation.” The possibility of disintegration of Nigeria has come up in debates in recent times, following communal disputes in different parts of the country, the Niger Delta struggle, the campaign for a Sovereign State of Biafra in the South East and the devastating strikes by Boko Haram nihilists in the North. There are now more strident calls for sovereign national conference, greater autonomy to the federating units and need for regional control of resources as was the case in the First Republic. This has reportedly and understandably led to unease in the North that believes that it could be at the receiving end if the centre is weakened, leading to the recent call by chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum for a revisit to the derivation formula designed to pacify and placate a devastated Niger Delta.


THE NATION SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

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EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 9-3-12

Stock market loses N73b to profit-taking T

HE Nigerian stock market yesterday broke its recent streak of sustained gains as profit-taking transactions by investors seeking to lock-in and convert recent capital gains overwhelmed demand, leading to a depreciation of N73 billion. Aggregate market capitalisation of all quoted equities slipped by 1.09 per cent from its opening value of N6.685 trillion to N6.612 trillion, its first decline during the week. The All Share (ASI), which benchmarks the entire market and doubles as country index for Nigeria, also dropped by same percentage to 20,950.02 points as against its opening index of 21,181.42 points. The relapse reduced the year-to-date return at the Nigerian stock market to 1.06 per cent. The decline was driven largely by losses suffered by highly capitalised stocks in the cement, banking and oil and gas subsectors. The NSE 30 Index, which tracks the 30 most capitalised quoted companies, dropped from 962.68 points to 954.93 points. The NSE Banking Index

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

also dwindled from 304.15 points to 300.55 points. The NSE Oil and Gas Index dropped to 216.09 points as against its opening index of 219.19 points. Meanwhile, the NSE Insurance Index trended upward to 123.79 points from its opening index of 122.09 points, while the NSE Consumer Good Index improved from 1,681.19 points to 1,711.95 points. Dangote Cement led the slackers with a loss of N5.45 to close at N110.55. Oando followed with a loss of N1.17 to close at N22.38. PZ Cussons Nigeria dropped by N1.14 to close at N25 per share. Zenith Bank, which announced its audited report for the 2011 business year, fell by 34 kobo to close at N13.56. Eterna and National Aviation Handling Company slipped by 21 kobo each to close at N4.14 and N6.95 respectively. Access Bank and Vitafoam Nigeria lost 14 kobo each to

close at N6.82 and N3.16 respectively, while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria and Dangote Sugar Refinery dropped by 12 kobo each to close at N5.30 and N3.80 respectively. On the upside, Nestle Nigeria topped the gainers’ list with a gain of N21.02 to close at N441.54. Guinness Nigeria placed second with a gain of N10.45 to close at N230. Julius Berger Nigeria chalked up N1.18 to close at N24.93. Nigerian Breweries gained N1 to close at N98. NCR Nigeria rose by 53 kobo to N11.27. International Breweries added 21 kobo to close at N6. Okomu Oil Palm gathered 20 kobo to close higher at N22. University Press gained 15 kobo to close at N3.30, while Unilever Nigeria and Red Star Express added 10 kobo each to close at N29.10 and N2.39 respectively. Total turnover stood at 596.76 million shares valued at N4.74 billion in 4,051 deals. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria was the most active stock with a turnover of 173.64 million shares valued at N99.84 million in 189 deals. United Bank for Africa trailed with a turnover of 125.41 million shares worth N324.70 million in 426 deals. Zenith Bank ranked third with 47.30 million shares valued at N648.05 million in 592 deals.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 9-3-12


NEWS 61

THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2011 Continued from Back Page

distorted stories about who and what immediately started the war. Certainly neither Ojukwu nor the Biafrans who wanted to be left alone to lick the deadly wounds inflicted on them in 1966 started the war. Is this fact also some falsified history? I do not know how old you were during 1966/1967 but permit me to inform you that that the Nigerian press of 1966/70 chose or was cowed into being a lying press - Lagos-- based press or being some ethnocentric mouthpiece of the powers that dominated Nigerian public affairs - New Nigerian. Without shame and no guts, they killed and then half-buried truth in the shallow graves of blatant propaganda. Present Nigerians across all the country have now seen through those ‘falsified history’. That explains what’s been about Ojukwu’s passage and burial event country-wide. So long as the issues that led to war are still with us till this day, so long will the war be seen as ‘war of unity’ and please remember that the war slogan of Nigeria, G.O.W.O.N read Go On With One Nigeria Need remind you what NADECO did for one man, the respected MKO Abiola and or for the pursuit of democracy? What would NADECO have done or said to Emeka Ojukwu’s bid and insistence that Brig. Ogundipe took over as Head of State in July 1966 and if there had been against western Nigerians an Army-backed pogrom? Then, was Awo’s visit to the East out of his honest conviction or was he used by the Federal Government of Gowon? My brother, recognition of truth ‘killed and half-buried’ is what millions of Nigerians across the country are on about about Ojukwu. Chukwuka catagubamah@yahoo.com

Re: Falsified history? Re: Falsified history? In this write-up, you have stated that Awolowo was released fresh from prison by Gowon, my question to you then goes, must you also falsify history in your write-up before you can prove your point?, do you have any proof or evidence to show that it was Gowon and not Ojukwu that released Awolowo from Calabar prison in 1966? what do you think about Ojukwu’s response on Awolowo’s release below.. ”On Awo he complained that the Nigerian press had not given him credit where it was due. Striking his massive chest, he declared that it was he, and not General Gowon, that effected the release of Chief Awolowo from Calabar prison in 1966. He reminded me that he was the Governor of the Eastern Region at the time and he could have done as he pleased if he had other motives. Indeed he said he released his fathers Rolls Royce to ferry the former premier of the Western Region from prison.”...Monthly Life magazine 80’s We cannot continue falsifying history! Uche Anyalewechi 08033301079 •I read your article in the tagged “Falsified history”.I must confess sir that you are indeed a blessing to this nation. Well-done sir. Bola owolabi bolasaint2001@yahoo.com •You made my day with that forthright article of yours! Before I read this, I was quite convinced that I had landed on a very strange planet on outer space where everyone has suddenly been struck with acute amnesia! I do not blame the Igbo people of the South East for honouring a man who they see as their

hero! What I cannot understand is the involvement of the FGN? Well this says a lot of the level of leadership we have in this country today? Is the leadership of Nigeria tacitly supporting the disintegration of Nigeria? If yes, why are we fighting Boko Haram? -I think the FGN could have played a quiet supportive role without so openly and obnoxiously coming out! Over 2 million people died in that war! I don’t know how those who lost loved ones on both sides of the divide will feel! What will relative of the Rt. Hon Azikiwe and Asika, who risked everything to support the national cause feel? Jefferson Davis led the confederate states rebellion in America in 1861 America did not grant him a pardon until 1986! Whilst I’m not advocating such hard stance we also do not need to so openly eulogise the cause of dismemberment! emmajebi@yahoo.com •Bravo Mr. Good columnist! Despite the good grammar that made your work, your analysis was purely biased and myopic. You were prejudiced by ethnic sentiment and the manner our dear Ojukwu was committed to mother earth. The so called release of Awolowo by Gowon was in order for the West to join forces against the Biafrans. For writing such an absurd article, I’m beginning to question your degree of competence in the discharge of your duties as journalist. Recheck your facts Mr. Wise columnist Henry, UNN, 08136366837 •I think you are right concerning Ikemba. He led his people into the war out of youthful enthusiasm, not love. Sola, Osogbo •Your unsavory com-

ments on late sage Obafemi Awolowo is unfair vis-à-vis his matchless feat in the cause of nation building. It is an affront and misnomer to dub Awo, a tribalist. Awo was an opposition leader in the House of Reps in the 1st republic. A federal commissioner for finance/vice chairman, who won diplomatically the Nigeria civil war without borrowing a kobo. He led a political party, Action Group (AG) later Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) adjudged the best organized in Africa South of Sahara. Former British Prime Minister, Macmillan said Awo would have become the best prime minister in Britain and US respectively if he were to be citizens of those countries. An authoritative foreign journal exclaimed wasted and organized skill of Awo! It is only a warped mind corroded with bias, envy and blissful ignorance that demean the feat of Awo, yet unequaled in annals of Africa politics. Ayodele Fagbohun Akure, Ondo State. 0816948226 •Your write up on Ikemba was a little too cruel. We should learn to forgive and let go. That is the first thing needed in forging ahead. •You don’t speak ill about the dead who are not there to defend themselves! It is unethical! A Yoruba

man Fajuyi died in defence of his guest Ironsi! Ojukwu refused Gowon becoming Head of State and Supreme Commander and insisted that Brig Gen, Ogundipe suceed Ironsi. These northern soldiers frightened him and he ran into a ship and escaped to Britain! Big coward! Awolowo came on spying mission to Enugu and went back to Lagos to become Gowon Vice Chairman of FEC and Commissioner of Finance where he made all money to try and become Mr. President. Yes! And gave every Igboman 20 pounds at the end of the war! And he banned stockfish and 2nd hand cloth trading, Aba’s main stay! And he came to Aba to campaign, of course they stoned him in his helicopter and fled with his entourage! How

can a citizen abandon his property in his own country? A food for thought for you! How far can killings and injustice go before you rise in defence of your people? Better say you’re sorry before god of truth and justice will strike you partial stroke. To be Continued

CHANGE OF NAME ESSIEN

I formerly known and addressed as MISS EKAETTE ESSIEN AKWA now wish to be known and address as MRS. EKAETTE DICKSON WORNUOHA .All former

documents remain valid NYSC and general public take note.

IYAJI I formerly known and addressed as MISS ETHEL IGANYA IYAJI now wish to be known and address as MRS. ETHEL IGANYA ADAJI . All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE GREAT INTERCESSORS MINISTRY The general public is hereby notified that the above named Church has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act No. 1 of 1990. MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES 1. Rev. Dr. GBARAGE MOSES BARIBERA — General Overseer/ President 2. Rev. (Mrs). GLADYS LEBIA GBARAGE— Vice president 3. Barr. OSBORN DORNUBARI GBARAGE— Secretary 4. Deaconess COMFORT FELIX—Treasurer 5. Pst. ALEX OKORI—Member AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1. To preach the word of God. 2. To make known God’s marvelous grace to mankind. 3. To bring deliverance to the captives. Any objection to the above registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Cresent, Maitama, Abuja, within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED: REV. DR. GBARAGE MOSES BARIBERA


THE NATION SATURDAY, MARCH 11, 2012

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SPORT EXTRA

I am happy at QPR—Taiwo T

AYE TAIWO has expressed his happiness with life at Queens Park Rangers and is not paying much attention to reports linking him with a move to Tottenham. Taiwo made the switch to Loftus Road on loan from AC

Milan in January and has previously claimed that QPR are keen to make the arrangement permanent. He has settled in well at his new club and is enjoying the opportunity to play more regularly, having fallen down the pecking order at the San

Siro. Reports have suggested that the 26-year-old would like to stay in England, and specifically London, and he has been connected with QPR’s capital rivals Spurs. Taiwo is flattered by such speculation but says interested suitors will have to speak to Milan to sort out a deal. “I am liking life in London

to be honest and I am playing week in, week out here and love that,” the Nigeria international is quoted as saying. “Being linked with Tottenham? If it is true it is fine, I have been linked with them before. “I belong to Milan so if a club is interested they know what to do.”

LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS

Ekeji warns Nigerian athletes against banned drugs

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•Taiwo

ITH few months to the London 2012 Olympics, Nigerian athletes have been cautioned against using performance enhancing drugs in order not to bring shame and dishonour to their fatherland. The Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Chief Patrick Ekeji gave the admonition at Owerri while visiting the country’s Weighlifters who are currently in camp preparatory to an African Championship cum Olympics Qualifier in Kenya next month. Ekeji said: “We all know the history and the challenges various sports in the country are facing as regard doping. Weighlifting in particular has had it rough in the past with it. Your coaches will not always be

AHEAD 2012 SPORTS FESTIVAL

Lagos flags off Inter Club Championship

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S PART of the effort to prepare its athletes for the forthcoming National Sports Festival, Lagos State Government is set to begin an Inter-Club Competition. The aim of this multi sports championship, in the short run, is to keep the state’s athletes busy ahead of the sports festival, which Lagos will host later in the year, while the long run target is to give the state a athlete’s discovery platform for future tournaments. The Inter-Clubs Competition is packaged by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Grassroots Sports Development to Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola headed by Prince ‘Wale Oladunjoye and it will be organised quarterly with active collaboration with Ministry of Sports and Social Development in conjunction with all the 36 sports associations in the state. Prince Oladunjoye said that competition will involve clubs from individuals, private enterprises (small

By Innocent Amomoh business owners, shops owners, sole proprietors), corporate organisations, public corporations and schools. Speaking on this new initiative, the Commissioner for Sports, Wahid Enitan Oshodi said Governor Fashola graciously approved the talent discovery programme because he saw it as an avenue to get the state’s athletes busy throughout the year. “The government believes that it is not when we have major tournaments that we should be scampering around to select athletes. In Lagos, we want to do away with the fire brigade approach which Nigerian sports is generally known off, hence this quarterly Inter-Clubs Championship,” said the Commissioner. “More important is that we want to empower these athletes because the prize monies set aside in the tournaments will be half of

the total sum of money for the organisation of the competition so that the athletes would have substantial amount of money in their pockets as winning prizes,” he said. Oshodi said that all the chairmen of the 36 sports associations in the state were excited with this initiative because they and their officials will be the personnels to be used to drive the InterClubs Championship. “The sports councils and all the associations will be actively involved. We have both the infrastructures and personnels on ground already, this will reduce the cost of organisation for us to focus on the athletes’ welfare. This is the first of its kind in the country and I believe the present and the future of sports in Lagos are bright,” he said.

with you and the officials of the Nigeria Weightlifing Federation may not always be with you but please don’t take any drug without getting any clearance from the medical team. “Today, it is very difficult to get away with doping. Before long there will be out of competition testing and you shall still be tested at the actual competition. The test is randomly done in as much as you are in the team. You don’t need to take drugs to achieve results. What you need is regular training, strict obedience to the coaches’ instructions, adequate rest and appropriate diet. Don’t waste too much energy on issues that cannot help you to succeed. If you win and then test positive, it brings bad image on the country and it reduces what you have achieved and makes you to lose face. You will also be severely sanctioned by the sports governing body,” Ekeji warned. The NSC DG used the medium to reiterate the massive support and confidence of the president of the country, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and the Minister of Sports and Social Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and Nigerians that they would come back to the country from the Olympics with medals after they might have qualified in Kenya adding that medalists at the London 2012 Olympics would be handsomely rewarded. Ekeji was earlier welcomed by the president of the Nigeria W e i g h t l i f t i n g Federation(NWF) Chief Chimdi Ejiogu and the acting Director of Sports, Imo Sports Council, Mrs Chizotam Aretola among other officials of the Weightling team headed by coach, Patrick Bassey.

Okocha casts doubts on India comeback

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•Samson Oladiran the proprietor Ideal Star Nursery/Primary and Secondary School presenting trophy to Purple House representation, Adebayo Kayode at the School Second InterHouse Sport, yesterday

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri

ORMER Nigeria World Cup skipper Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha has cast doubts on a comeback in a new lucrative league in India. The 38-year-old midfielder has been lined up as one of the top stars in the I-League, but he has now said he will have to consider his family and business commitments before he decides on whether he will lace his boots again. “My going back to India depends on my health because I’m not growing any younger, I have to consider my family and businesses as well,” Okocha said in Abuja. “But I’m not ruling out the possibilities of playing in India

again.” Okocha has featured for several top European clubs including Paris Saint-Germain, Fenerbache and Bolton Wanderers. He last starred for Hull City in England in 2008. ‘Jay Jay’ is to earn about $550,000 for two months of work in India, reports said. He has been listed under the club Durgapur and will work with former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia. However, the proposed league, which will also draw other top football stars like Hernan Crespo, Fabio Cannavaro and Robert Pires has suffered several postponements and hitches.

Going to Zurich Continued from back page lations (FIFA STATUTES, ARTICLES 10, 13, 17, 62 AND 64). If we feel that we can no longer conform by the rules, we are at liberty to step aside. But we must be told that walking out means that we can no longer play the game since no country will accept our request for friendly games because we don’t belong to the polity. We are free to play our football but FIFA badge referees and other bodies recognised to authenticate results of matches won’t accept ours. Our players who earn a living playing the game will certainly not like the situation where they only train and not play matches. At some point, many of them will seek greener pastures overseas. Many others would change nationality to qualify to participate in bigger competitions and actualise their dreams of playing professional football. If Nigeria becomes a pariah nation, our young men and women won’t be challenged to play football as a means of staying out of societal vices. As a matter of urgency, there is need to conclude the repeal of Decree 101 in line with our present democratic dispensation to conform by the statutes of CAF and FIFA- thereby recognising the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) as the sole body responsible for football administration and development in this country. In all, 209 countries are affiliated to FIFA with their laws and internal mechanisms. Why is ours different? We need to commence a process of reconciling members of the football family that will lead to the withdrawal of all football matters from courts. Those aggrieved must be told to start their campaigns for the next elections in their states. They must test their acclaimed popularity at the polls. I know that those masquerading as stakeholders cannot win votes in their states, having not contributed anything to their local government areas in the last five years. It’s about time the process of repealing Decree 101, which began in 2005 under Sports Minister Bala Bawa Ka’Oje, was completed. The NSC legal department should follow the matter at the National Assembly. NSC chiefs’ argument that because the Federal Government spends N3 billion yearly on the NFF they must monitor it is cheap. NFF, if allowed to operate as a business concern like we have in other climes, can lend NSC three times that figure. We must start to portray the NFF as a credible body, if we want it to achieve its marketing potentials. No company would identify its goods and services with NFF through football, if its story is all fraud, corruption and sharp practices. Henceforth, the minister should identify our football enemies using some of FIFA’s suggestions so that we don’t repeat the trips to Zurich. But some of our enemies include some ex-internationals who feel strongly that it is their birthright to administer the game here without cognate training. This group received rewards in cash, national honours, cars, houses and other privileges with every game. They stayed in the best hotels, got treated like kings and were spoilt to such an extent that they had the temerity to ask for upfront payment before matches, especially before the game against Denmark, which Nigeria lost 4-1 at the France’98 World Cup. What has come out of this new scenario is not different from the past. Each time a minister is appointed, such issues are essentially to distract him. They capitalise on the confused setting to peddle influence. They confuse the minister who panders to their requests by opting for political solutions, rather than enduring ones. In the end, the minister leaves the industry worse than he met it and sports continue to suffer. Clap for Tunmise My jewel, Oluwatunmise Omoikhefe Ojeikere, will be three years old tomorrow (March 11) and I’m excited. Her conduct over time reminds me of my mum (Abigail Isevbua Ojeikere). Cool, assertive and calculated, many say she is the female version of her father. Whatever that means remains to be seen. Little girl, I hope you surpass the feats of those to whom you have been likened. Happy birthday my darling daughter Tunmise.

FIFA U-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP QUALIFIER

Falconets to storm Abeokuta before Zimbabwe tie

T

HE Nigeria U-20 Women national team, The Falconets will leave for Abeokuta, Ogun the venue for their FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Qualifier against Zimbabwe at least seven days to their March 31 tie. Making this known to NationSport, the media officer of the team, Ejiro Femi Babafemi stated that though the actual date had not been officially communicated everything points towards a seven days before the duel against the Southern African. She confirmed that the players have been engaging in very rigorous tactical training sessions aimed at bringing out the best in them and knowing which strategy and style with which to unlock the Zimbabweans. “There are no major update rather than the team’s

preparation which has been very intensive. The girls train twice in the morning and evening everyday and the essence is really to get the best from them which the coaches are doing and the players are also responding to. We have close to 30 players in camp. “Since the match is on the 31st of March we should be leaving at least a week to the match though we have not been told officially when we shall be leaving,” Babafemi disclosed. Nigeria is the only African side that has played in all the editions of the competition since inception in 2002. The Falconets got a bye-pass to the second round after their opponents, Sierra Leone withdrew but their next round foes are brimming with confidence having defeated Mozambique 7-0 on aggregate with victories in Harare and Maputo.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

63


Tomorrow in THE NATION PUNCHLINE

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.7, NO. 2060

The lesson for Sanusi as well as all other public functionaries in all these is that they have to sleep over whatever decisions they are to make before embarking on them —Tunji Adegboyega

•Segun, your story, ‘Falsified history’ only brought out the quality of you being an Awoist. Your brother left my dad with only 20 pounds after the war, what a way to punish a people? Ekwe Basil, Abuja •War, poorly conceived because he didn’t stockpile weapons! Poorly executed because he did not sign a treaty with Russia or China to pay with oil which Awo an opposition leader in the House of Reps in 1st Republic, a federal commissioner for finance/ vice chairman who won diplomatically the Nigeria civil war without borrowing a kobo. He led a political party (AG), later UPN, adjudged the best organized in Africa South of Sahara. Former British Prime Minister Macmillan said Awo would have become the best Prime Minister in Britain/ President in USA if born in either nations. 08169482226, Akure, Ondo State.

Re: Falsified history? ‘

When his health went bad, only his ‘installed’ home-state cared others left him to die despite selfless and bold persona. One day, Nigerians will equally organize a big political banquet for the vampires who wreak havoc on the political, social and economic development of country will go

•Your Saturday piece is a true reflection of my innermost thought. It’s well captured. Keep it up. George, Abuja. •Mr. Segun, thanks for your Saturday work on Ikemba. At least let the truth be told that Ojukwu never stood as a uniting factor as it is being told now. Emma Tortiv •My comment on your article, ‘Falsified history’. Jut like you and many others, seem not bold enough to say Ojukwu role in the civil war is totally bad and con condemnable. You need not to beat around the bush. The facts remain. Ojukwu was a secessionist leader and anti- unity leader. I only like his bravery and intelligence, which he used wrongly. Ayinde from Kano. •Your episode of ‘Falsified history’ really show how Nigerians eulogize the dead than the living. The Ikemba contested as a Senator but was not voted-in by his so called ‘beloved Ndigbo’ and other Nigerians. He contested for the presidency, he was totally rejected by his people even his party did not win in his home state. When his health went bad, only his ‘installed’ home-state cared, others left him to die despite selfless and bold persona. One day, Nigerians will equally organize a big political banquet for the vampires who wreak havoc on the political, social and economic development of country will go. Chike, Port Hacrcourt. •The war lord may have rushed into the war without much dialogue and negotia-

•Ojukwu

tion, I guess he felt that the best thing for his people was to break away. Now that the man is dead, if you ask me, it should be a time for sober reflection, his agitation then should be looked into so that his people will not rue their inability to break away. May his soul rest in peace. Don Ezeala, PH, 08064843000 •I doff my hat for you, for your incisive and brilliant article in today’s ‘Nation’. Most Nigerians are either hypocrites or suffering from debilitating amnesia on the issue of Ojukwu. Those rushing to pay tributes to the egoistic rebel should take time to read Nigerian history between 1960 and 1970. If the so called ‘hero’ Ojukwu had been successful with his plan to divide Nigeria, we in this part of Africa would have been at each others throat with attendant political instability, wanton destruc-

tion of lives and properties and unimaginable setback for Black race .I hope these professional praise singers remember the ignoble and shameful roles he played during the despotic regime of Abacha when he gleefully toured the world to destroy Abiola and June 12 election on behalf of the murderous dictator. A man touted as a ‘fighter for justice’ should not have been involved in such a shameful act. Yours is the only sane commentary I have read on the misplaced and unmerited eulogies on Ojukwu who abandoned his people after luring them to a suicidal venture of war. Since he died, Nigerians have unwittingly been fed on odious ‘falsified history’. I pray that you continue to be objective in your column and please carry on the good work Professor Olabode Lucas b o d l u c s @ y a h o o . c o m ; bodlucs@yahoo.com •What you wrote on The Nation of 3/3/

02 as a reaction to what Orji Uzo Kalu wrote on Ojukwu made good reading and I belong to those Ibo-speaking people nay human beings who feel horrible when horrible and demagogues like Ojukwu are being made to look like God-sent saints – dead or alive— but who will wait for the best time to air their views because then such views will do the needed effect. You wrote well my brother and factually too: period! Do Nigerians and the world this favour(s): 1. There is a letter that Zik wrote to Gen. Ironsi on why Ojukwu hated him which was published in the Headlines, the week Zik died; can you run it for all to read again? Please do. 2. C.C. Onoh, in a speech he gave, sometime back, alluded to that letter and told the world why Ojukwu killed or “demobilized” the Jan 15 coup. Can you run that Onoh’s speech also? Please do. 3. You will do us a lot of good if you run serials on the books on the civil war especially those by Gen. Alex Madiebo, Gen. Effiong, former IG of Police M.D. Yusuf, Ralph Uwechue, Random Thoughts of Ojukwu (a collection of speeches made by Ojukwu just before and during the war and which was endorsed by him through his signature), etc. You write well so you will know what to serialize. 4. Can you research and tell the Igbos nay the world how many of Ojukwu’s wartime lieutenants (military and otherwise) attended his burial – the people’s general as he was called? Please do. 5. Can you research and tell the world how many Igbos of worth were found with Ojukwu since he came back from Ivory Coast (Cote de Voire)? Please do. 6. Why was he crowned the king of the Igbos in Lagos and how many other monarchs “under him” attended the burial of their emperor? 7. etc., etc., etc. Segun there is much to talk about, say and write on that guy: please help. We all know how history will treat him especially for going to war without weapons and without an ally despite the time he had: a war of survival as he told us. Uncle Chii •Did you term Dr. Kalu’s submission as ‘laborious logic’? Well, on Ojukwu you did not come fully as Chinua Achebe of 1987 on Awo but then you did not tell us who broke the Aburi Accord, blockaded the East for daring to implement Aburi as it concerned the Eastern region, created the path to secession, blockaded the East, fired the first shots of war at Gakem and got the then Nigerian press to carry on •Continued on Page 61

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday talk2adeojeikere@yahoo.com

Going to Zurich

M

ARCH 15 may be a watershed in the annals of Nigeria’s football in Zurich, Switzerland. Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi is to meet with FIFA eggheads on the way forward for the game here. It’s strange that we have cultivated the habit of washing our dirty linen in public and if that is the only way that he can be taught what to do, so be it. I have lost count of the number of ministers who have visited FIFA headquarters over the same issue. But I feel strongly that Abdullahi’s visit may be the last since he will tell us what he was told in Zurich and apply the rules appropriately. What stuns this writer is the fact that our ministers have refused to see the land mines on their paths to Zurich, beginning with their travel plans.

Why will the National Sports Commission (NSC) seek permission from NFF to meet with FIFA chiefs? Why can’t the NSC folks see their folly in the exercise where an illegal body creates the enabling environment to rubbish it before its appellate organ? I won’t be surprised if entry visas have not been given to the Nigerian delegation simply because FIFA men are tired of repeating themselves. Minister sir, what would you do if you are attended to by one of FIFA’s secretaries? Would it be worth the trip, if you cannot talk with FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter? What would the minister do if he is told to drop his proposals for Blatter to peruse and send his observations or comments later? Would that have solved the problems? What shall we be telling FIFA about corruption in NFF? Isn’t it the same story that we read about FIFA? If the NSC men feel strongly that NFF chiefs are corrupt, the EFCC is eminently empowered to conduct

investigations and prosecute those culpable. Is it true, honourable minister, that the NSC withheld NFF’s allocations because it is seen as an illegal body? Is it not also true that the NFF has lodged an appeal on the matter? Shouldn’t the cash be allocated? After all, we have seen governors who appealed their removal in court still run their states, until the final judgment is pronounced. I digress. Will the minister be shocked if he is given documents that former ministers agreed with FIFA on what to do for our football to thrive? No FIFA discussion holds without proper documentation. Shouldn’t the minister ask his NSC men if such documents exist? Can the minister convince FIFA that the election, which NSC men also supervised, was an aberration because of a court order? Won’t he be told that no football matter is taken to court? Have we not heard that before? FIFA rules state that once you belong, you

lose your right to seek redress in the ordinary court. The soccer body’s processes terminate at the Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS). How will the minister feel if he sees the contributions of NSC to the statutes that many have described as unacceptable? He will be told that the normalisation committee can only the instituted by either FIFA or CAF, if the NFF has irreconcilable differences that it can’t resolve. The minister will realise the power of the Congress as the only body that can adjust the statutes not a group of aggrieved persons. It is about time NSC men knew that the real stakeholders of our football are not those holding the game to ransom because of their selfish interest, but the governors or their representatives- the sports commissioners. These stakeholders are sacked members of government clubs who want to take their pound of flesh on those who ousted them. After all, they emerged using the rules that they feel are obsolete and unacceptable. FIFA is a society that we willingly joined. We agreed to abide with its rules and regu

•Continued on Page 62

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025, Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor-08094000052, Marketing: 01-8155547, Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja, Tel/ 07028105302 `E-mail: saturday@thenationonlineng.com Editor: DELE ADEOSUN

Lagos

The Nation March 10, 2012  

The Nation March 10, 2012

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