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Gbenga Daniel’s associate, Apagun Olumide, found dead in lake –Page 5

Senator robbed at gunpoint by his driver Loses N8m, vital documents –Page 5

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Vol.06, No. 2068

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

SUNDAY

MARCH 18, 2012

N200.00

House okays N38.8bn jumbo allowance for members Each Rep now on N27m special pay per quarter –Page 6

Six die, 25 houses razed in Port Harcourt tanker fire –Page 2

Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, his wife Judith and Commissioner for Health, Sampson Parker, at the scene of the tanker fire accident at Igwuruta Roundabout, Port Harcourt, yesterday.

DERIVATION North’s position a joke –S/South, S/West leaders –PAGE 2

NATIONAL CONVENTION

PDP govs in fresh plot to stop Bamanga –PAGE 4

Jonathan loyalists move to disqualify Oyinlola


NEWS

2

THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

• The smouldering tanker and a razed building at the scene of the fire disaster at Igwuruta junction, Port Harcourt , yesterday

Onoja supports dialogue with Boko Haram From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

A

RETIRED Major-General in the Army, Lawrence Onoja, has supported the Federal Government’s move to dialogue with the Islamic sect, Boko Haram. He said dialoguing with the group, no doubt, will help douse the tension caused by the activities of the Islamic sect and will eventually bring an end to the incessant bloodbaths in the Northern part of the country. Addressing reporters in Osogbo, the Osun State capital at the weekend, when on a courtesy visit to the state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, he also advised the sponsors and leadership of Boko Haram to sheath their sword and approach the Federal Government on how to address the injustices for which they claimed to be fighting. Onoja, an Action Congress of Nigeria senatorial candidate for the Benue South Senatorial District in the April 2011 polls, said he came to Osun State to identify with the good works and visionary leadership of Aregbesola. He disclosed that he never planned to secretly decamp to another political party as speculated by some people. He said: “The rumour of my plan to defect from ACN to another party was unfounded, callous, orchestrated to run me down. It is the handiwork of some political jobbers and neophytes who are still afraid of my outstanding profile and the grassroots popularity of the ACN in Benue State. “These rumours are mere ‘pepper soup joint’ campaign of idle minds, who are out to destabilise the ACN in Benue state. It is a publicly known fact that the ACN won most of the elections in the 2011 polls but they were rigged by the desperate PDP government.

Six die in Port Harcourt tanker fire A

FAMILY of four -father, mother, and two children- was burnt to death at their Port Harcourt residence yesterday in an early morning petrol tanker explosion. Two other persons were similarly burnt after the petrol tanker fell on its side at Igwuruta Roundabout on the Port Harcourt International Airport road and burst into flame. Several other persons were injured and rushed to the hospital. Over 25 houses and four vehicles were burnt in the disaster. Six fire fighters and two of their vehicles were attacked by an irate mob on

• 25 houses, four vehicles also burnt • Six fire fighters attacked, hospitalised From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

the grounds that they arrived the scene late. The fire fighters are said to be on the danger list in the hospital. The tanker driver and his conductor were reported to have also been injured. The tanker, according to sources, unexpectedly fell on its side and spilled its content which immediately caught fire. Time was about 4.30am when most people were still in bed. The fire quickly spread

to nearby houses trapping the occupants. The victims were badly burnt. Only the bones of the family of four were found on what remained of their bed. The newly-posted Police Commissioner, to Rivers State, Mohammed Indabawa visited the scene to personally assess the situation. He gave the casualty figure as six and described the accident as very unfortunate. The State Commissioner for Special Duties, Emeka Worgu, and Chairman of

Ikwerre LGA, Welendu Amadi sympathised with the residents and promised government’s assistance for the injured and the displaced They, however, condemned the attack on the fire fighters. “This is a sad incident. Attack on fire fighters and destruction of their vehicles are very unfortunate,” Mr. Worgu said while Mr. Amadi declared: “I am so disappointed about the attitude of persons who decided to take the law into their own

hands by attacking the fire fighters, who were on duty. Government will assist the injured and displaced persons. The incident is very sad.” The incident triggered a traffic chaos on the road leaving many travellers who had flights out of the city, stranded The road was only cleared at about 10am after policemen and soldiers were deployed there to bring the situation under control. An witness, who simply gave his name as Uche, said if the fire fighters had arrived much earlier, the casualty figure and destruction of valuable property would have been minimal.

Derivation: North’s position a joke, say T S/South, S/West leaders HE fire ignited by Dr. Junaid Mohammed and the Coalition of Northern Leaders, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen continued to rage yesterday as many activists and leaders from the South picked the gauntlet to dispute the contention of the North on revenue allocation to Niger Delta States. Former leader of the Ijaw National Council, Professor Kimse Okoko told The Nation on telephone that the North’s position stemmed from indolence and increased lack of initiative. Reacting to the coalition’s contention that about 70 per cent of Nigeria’s oil revenue derives from off-shore locations, Okoko said, “they are merely trying to reap from where they did not sow.” Okoko who is a Political Scientist said: “On this on-shore off-shore debate, they are merely wasting their time. It is already settled. How can anyone argue that oil found off-shore belongs to nobody; no com-

By Bolade Omonijo, Taiwo Ogundipe and Sam Egburonu

munity? What about the effect of spillages on communities in the area? What about environmental pollution? All this led to the political solution provided by the Obasanjo administration that was formalized by an Act of Parliament. So, what are they talking about now?” When told that the North may be heading back to the courts for interpretation of the Constitution, hinging its argument on the 2002 judgment by the apex court, Okoko insisted that it is a “specious argument”. He contended that “they are not looking at things objectively. They cannot threaten us with the courts. The law is meant to be interpreted for the people.” Lagos lawyer Femi Falana, holds a similar

view. He sees no logic in the submission of the Northern coalition and its spokesman. On the call to review revenue allocation along the line of the Northern submission, he said: “It is a dubious justification of the economic crimes committed by a bankrupt class. The campaign for more funds is to further enrich the northern faction of the ruling class. Some of the states in the north are richer than some African states. Right now, we import beans from Burkina Faso, a landlocked country. “In the Second Republic, Governor Abubakar Rimi of Kano won the UNESCO award for promoting education. The reactionary ruling oligarchy removed Rimi and replaced him with Bakin Zuwo. Balarabe Musa was impeached by the same forces of retrogression to stop the march against illiteracy and

ignorance. “Today, most states in the north and south have refused to comply with the UBE law which provides for free and compulsory education for every child from primary to junior secondary school. While Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was blaming the poverty in the North and the Boko Haram menace in the North East on 13 percent derivation, Mr. Atedo Peterside blamed poverty in the North East on Lagosians who have four cars. With voodoo economic advisers like Sanusi and Peterside, the transformation agenda of President Jonathan is a huge joke.” Falana urged all the leaders to first commit themselves to the socio economic rights enshrined in the constitution before agitating for devolution of powers, fiscal federalism, Sovereign National Conference and a new revenue allocation for-

mula.” Secretary General of the National Democratic Coalition, Mr. Ayo Opadokun warned that the North may be embarking on self destruct by the position it has taken. While querying the legitimacy of the mandate of the Junaid Mohammed group, Opadokun said: “Perhaps the people who call themselves the coalition for the North do not appreciate the gravity of the national question and are not in touch with historical facts. They are not being helpful to Nigeria. “If they are, they would realize that when the agitation for resource control for oil was hot, Nigeria could not lift more than 700,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Yet, we had an OPEC quota of more than two million. “It took a calm, reasonable and logical Yar’Adua to work out the Amnesty deal that restored some order and allowed us to lift oil. This fact should not be lost on the current self appointed •Continued on Page 4


Column

THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

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T has been a terrible harmattan in the country, particularly in the north. Everywhere is dusty and bitterly cold. The savage winds from the Sahara bite and sting like some ferocious insects. Nobody is sure as to why the chilly condition has persisted. But there you have the great winds still going strong in late March. Some have ascribed the phenomenon to climate change. Others more spiritual and superstition-minded have called it the wages of wastrels. Whatever it is, it is clear that the north has been badly hit by the harmattan. There is much murk and mucus everywhere as the winds kick off some phenomenal dust. Old citadels are falling. Ancient houses are crumbling. The minarets with their soulful and mellifluous wailing are numb with fright and cold. The populace is pneumonic with icy discontent. Even the traditional beasts of burden are chafing with arctic distemper. It is not always like this even in harmattan. This one is not an ordinary harmattan. At its onset, there is always something mildly intoxicating, even heady about the harmattan season. Tropical stupor recedes. The crisp air fills the lung and fuels excitement and a certain exhilaration of spirit. There is a gamey possibility about and big games abound. Even the palm wine tastes better, chilled by the cold, dry winds which act like a natural refrigerator. This frosty season, Malam Adamu Ciroma has been on the mind. Ever since the zoning fiasco which brought the Jonathan presidency, the great Malam has retreated behind the icy fortress of testy silence and furious outrage. While the controversy lasted, Ciroma had been uncharacteristically vehement in his denunciation of this new-fangled doctrine of necessity which he felt was designed to shortchange the north and ultimately threaten the geo-political equilibrium of the nation. He was after all one of the famed architects of post-military power transfer, staking his prestige and authority to bring Obasanjo back to power. Now, everything has gone up in a bonfire of political vanities. Please recall that Malam Adamu Ciroma is no ordinary northerner. He is one of the most respected and revered northern leaders of this era with a justly deserved reputation for frugality and forthrightness. In a career spanning journalism, apex banking and politics, he has seen his reputation rise as a man of honour and integrity. For many who may not know, Ciroma also wields a witty and drily ironic pen. It is also useful to recall that twice in his illustrious lifetime, Ciroma has come very close to clinching the most coveted prize in

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HE public presentation of the DAWN blueprint by the Afenifere Renewal Group at the splendidly refurbished Lagos City Hall has come and gone, but not its ripple effects. Several people and the security buffs are still wondering what the dominant faction of the Yoruba elite are up to. Federalism is not a tea party. The battle to redefine and refine this nebulous concept for the greater good of the greatest number of Nigerians appears to have been joined in earnest. Suddenly, the northern tyrannosarus is astir. Snooper was there. But yours sincerely made the dreadful mistake of asking Okon, the contrarian cook, to tag along at a safe distance. “You must not come near me, and you must not indulge in any monkey tricks”, the crazy boy was warned. Unfortunately, the mad boy took this as a major mandate and open cheque for the most extreme and vulgar Yoruba-baiting. The fireworks started almost immediately as we reached the precincts of the old and imposing colonial edifice.

The eighteenth harmattan of Malam Ciroma

•Ciroma the land. In 1979, Ciroma was the runaway choice of the younger members of the northern establishment. But the northern old guard who are past-masters of political ambuscade struck and gave the crown to a pliable and diffident Shehu Shagari who had publicly expressed his preference for a senate seat. In the event, Shagari was to fulfill his historic destiny by claiming that he was always upstairs praying while the NPN barracudas were downstairs parceling out the national patrimony. Again in 1992, Ciroma was set to see off a determined challenge for the NRC presidential slot from Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi when General Babangida struck, sending principals and principalities packing with classic cynical chicanery. Ciroma took it all in the chin, patiently waiting for the inevitable unravelling of the Babangida Transition Programme. He did not have to wait for long as the entire country erupted in flames in the aftermath of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 elections won by MKO Abiola. That momentous, nation-defining event and current tragic happenings have forced one to think of another harmattan season in the not too distant past. Eighteen years ago, in February 1994 to be precise, snooper was part of a south-west delegation to the north to explore ways of staving off the looming national apocalypse brought about by General Abacha’s ascendancy.. It would be recalled that in November, 1993, Abacha, exploiting a dubious clause in the decree setting up the Interim National Government

headed by Earnest Shonekan, summarily bundled the former UAC kingpin out of office. It was clear even by then that rather than addressing the pressing national issues which he claimed had brought him to power, Abacha himself was nursing other ideas. It was also clear by then that the dominant faction of the Yoruba political class and o t h e r progressives throughout the country were warming up to give the goggled tyrant the battle of his life. The broad aim of the delegation was to secure a pan-Nigerian alliance of politicians that will seek an immediate termination of military rule. In the charged atmosphere of that period, it was a most dangerous and risky thing to do, akin to bearding the lion in its den. But the aim of the delegation was to persuade the northern political class that all politicians suffer under military despotism, irrespective of tribe, creed or religion. It was this delegation that eventuated in the All Politicians Summit. Ironically, it was originally conceived by businessmen, technocrats, leading journalists and a sprinkling of academics and politicians. Some illustrious and departed northern technocrats of Yoruba extraction acted as the arrowhead. I believe that Akin Osuntokun was the youngest member of the delegation. It was therefore inevitable, given his stature and strategic importance, that Malam Adamu Ciroma’s house would be our first port of call after some diversionary sight-seeing. It was past midnight on a chilly harmattan evening that the delegation arrived at Malam Ciroma’s modest and frugally furnished mansion somewhere in the old Kaduna GRA. There were still quite a lot of people in the ante section of the house waiting to see the great one. As usual with a diligent and conscientious politician, the former governor of the Central Bank and former presidential candidate was holding a crucial meeting. There

Echoes from the Lagos City Hall Snooper noticed that Okon was stalling and refusing to cross over. “Why are you not crossing?” snooper screamed at the mad boy. “Oga, you no see say I don reach zebra-crossing?” the mad boy quipped, pointing at an imposing Yoruba chieftain with bold, perfectly calibrated tribal marks. “May god punish your mother”, snooper cursed under his breath and quickly increased his pace. As soon as he entered the hall, snooper could hear the boy openly complaining about the sharp smell of locust-suffused gbegiri and ewedu stew. “Yeye people and their shit food”, the boy snorted as he squeezed his nostrils in disgust. Fright and panic overtook snooper. Rather than quietly settle down, snooper noticed that Okon was all over the hall, pumping flesh and gladhanding like a popular politician. He was parading himself as an observer delegate from a neighbouring state. At a point, snooper heard the boy openly sneering. “Yoruba people,

you don come with your trouble again? As your papa don quench, suffer go whack una dis time” Strangely enough, snooper heard some people laughing . When the keynote speaker, in a flight of rhetorical fancy, asked what the Yoruba people will shut down should the good people of the north decide to shut down their supply of farm produce, Okon croaked. “Dem go shut dem mouth”. Snooper was now getting worried . During a lull in the proceedings, the distinguished war-hero, General Alani Akinrinade, came over from his exalted seat to exchange some comic banters with snooper. As soon as he left, Okon sidled up to his boss. “Oga, no be sakadelic Brigadier be dat?” the mad boy whispered, recalling General Gowon’s famous and fond appellation for the dashing Yakoyo-born general. “Shut up and get lost”, snooper swore at the mad boy.

S

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nooping around With

Tatalo Alamu was a near concentric row of those waiting for their turn. It was around two in the early hours of the morning that we were ushered into the presence of Malam Adamu Ciroma. There was an austere and sombre dignity, an equanimity about him which reminded one of a medieval Islamic scholar. An ironic, politically savvy grin played around his lips as he eyed everybody with a distant gaze of wan curiosity. The sparks started flying immediately after the mandatory introduction and a brisk exchange of pleasantries. It will be recalled that shortly after the June 12 presidential election, Ciroma went public with characteristic forthrightness and fearlessness. He had noted that he thought Abiola won the election “fair and square” and therefore could not understand what the whole problem was about. But shortly after the annulment, Ciroma took what seemed to have been an acrobatic one eighty degree somersault, caustically noting that the South West was behaving like “a rain-beaten chicken”. When he was duly confronted with what seemed to be the incontrovertible evidence of the perfidy of the northern establishment and its complicity in the annulment of the freest and fairest presidential election in the history of the nation, a calm and composed Ciroma cleared his throat as he eyed everybody with benign puzzlement. Yes, he had said that Abiola won the election far and square, but when the same election was annulled by the military authorities and an apocalyptic meltdown loomed, he had to reassess his stance as a patriot and statesman. “We cannot join you in pulling down the entire nation over a mere election, because without a country, there cannot be a democracy”, he noted tersely and with his customary ironic bemusement. Those were the words ringing in snooper’s ears in the wake of the zoning controversy that brought Jonathan and after what seemed like the divine abridgement of Yar’Adua’s tenure. “Without a country, there cannot be democracy”. Why didn’t Ciroma and the northern establishment adhere to these words of wisdom? To be sure, there was something grossly unfair and “I sabi am for Calabar with dem Black Scorpion”, the crazy boy persisted as snooper shooed him away with a frantic heave of the body. A few minutes later, the crazy boy was back with the mother of all troubles. He was panting and grasping for breath. “Oga dem two Yoruba leaders dey fight for inside toilet. He get one who call dem old man agbaiya and dem old man call am omale. Naim katakata com burst”. Okon announced breathlessly. Snooper rushed to the toilet only to find a lone female cleaner. “Na dem Yoruba leaders don turn woman. Kai juju dey where im dey”, Okon snorted. By this time, snooper felt he had had enough of Okon’s antics. It was time to teach him a lesson. But back inside the hall, a mild commotion was already brewing as Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the feisty and intrepid governor of Osun state, decided that it was not the best of times to take political hostages. Okon, sensing imminent danger, quickly melted away in the ensuing melee.

politically immoral about the disruption of the zoning formula. But there was also a divine immutability about it all which made Jonathan’s ascendancy virtually inevitable. Nobody wished Yar’Adua dead. But life must go on. If a certain tradition of orderly succession must take firm roots, the nation cannot afford to succumb to emotional blackmail. Institutions are built by repeated gestures which then become routinised habits burnt forever into human consciousness. Institutions appear so normal and natural that it is easy to forget that they are products of super-heroic human efforts of restraint and flexibility in the greater national interest. It is not about Jonathan who so far is proving a fatally unaccomplished leader. Neither was it about Abiola who could have proved that the north does not enjoy a monopoly of presidential incompetence. It is about institutionalizing the principle that the presidency of a modern nation-state is not the birthright of an ethnic caucus. By vehemently and vociferously opposing Jonathan’s succession and subsequently his right to contest in the name of some zoning formula, and by lapsing into a stony silence of bitter resentment thereafter, Malam Ciroma and the old northern establishment appear to have fatally shot themselves in the foot. Perhaps they unwittingly succumbed to Obasanjo’s deliberately vexatious antics and brilliantly strategic baiting. It is the old game of conjuring numbers and he who holds the presidential aces retains the magic formula. Caliban has learnt very well from Prospero. After the unbroken string of northern military autocrats who held sway for almost two decades, after repeated attempts to harry and harass Obasanjo out of office after his first term, after the shenanigans of dark scheming surrounding Yar’Adua’s last days and after the uproar occasioned by the politics of zoning, the impression has taken firm root that Malam Ciroma and the northern old guard are merely fixated on power at all costs. Yet the industrialization of power without the power of industrializing the nation or a visionary ethos for its rapid transformation has turned out a perilous project. Last week after his Siberian sabbatical, Malam Ciroma appeared to have come in from the cold. He was sighted at a parley on the way forward for the north organized by his old military tormentors. This is as it should be. The harmattan is still raging out there. The horses might have bolted from the stable. The north is roiling in spiritual, economic and political discontent. During Ciroma’s arctic AWOL, the north has been taken over by the Boko Haram boys who have rendered the old domain of the old man virtually ungovernable. It is a measure of how further power has slipped from their grip that a new northern group convened by Junaid Mohammed is asking Justice Belgore, a scion of the feudal north, not to allow Jonathan to use him for tenure elongation. It is a measure of Jonathan’s open disdain for a once dreaded power mafia that he should respond with contempt and curt condescension, asking not to be disturbed while at work. Some works indeed. It is the eighteenth Harmattan of Malam Adamu Ciroma.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

News

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Lawmaker cries out over Apapa traffic gridlock By Oziegbe Okoeki

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HE lawmaker representing Apapa 1 constituency, Lagos, Hon. Mufutau Egberongbe, has described the near static traffic situation on the Tin Can Apapa Wharf highway as socially and economically suicidal. Speaking with reporters yesterday on the daily gridlock at the Apapa axis of Lagos state, Egberongbe said the situation is caused by the indiscriminate parking of tankers and trailers on the highway and bridge. “Over 3, 000 of them come into Apapa on a daily basis to load petroleum products”. “The way tankers are parked with reckless abandon on the Tin Can Apapa Wharf highway, it has virtually turned into a parking lot and no other road user can pass that road, it is not about time wasting, it is about static movement.” He also blamed the corrupt tendencies of officials of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) whose activities slow down movement of tankers and trailers so that they would be made to pay more demurrage, “it is a systemic attitude at securing demurrage to the detriment of our people”, Egberongbe said. “What we need do is that this corrupt tendency should be eliminated and the activities of these Port concessionaires should be adequately looked into such that their activities will be expedited from what it is now”, he said.

PDP govs in fresh plot to stop Bamanga Jonathan loyalists move to disqualify Oyinlola D ESPITE two concessions made by President Goodluck Jonathan, some PDP governors have launched a fresh plot to stop a former Governor of defunct Gongola State, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur from emerging as the consensus national chairman of the party. If the President fails to meet their third demand, some of the governors have zeroed in on a former Minister of Commerce, Amb. Idris Waziri, the outgoing acting National Secretary of the party, Dr. Musa Babayo, and the National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Rufai Alkali to replace Alhaji Tukur as consensus chairman at the national convention of PDP scheduled for March 24 in Abuja. Also, a fresh battle line has been drawn between the presidency and PDP Governors Forum following the technical disqualification of a former Governor of Osun State,

From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. Oyinlola, who is the anointed candidate of the PDP governors as the new National Secretary of the party has been stopped by some loyalists of the President in the National Working Committee (NWC). The loyalists, who suspected moves by the governors to hijack the party ahead of 2015 poll, claimed that Oyinlola allegedly submitted his form late and could not contest for the office of National Secretary. Desperate attempts were being made last night to ensure that Oyinlola made the list of candidates. Investigation by our corre-

spondent showed that in his bid to anoint Alhaji Tukur as the next national chairman of the party, the President made two concessions to the PDP Governors Forum These are: suspension of constitution amendment to make Senators and members of the House of Representatives as members of the National Executive Committee of the party; and the dropping of the Prince Uche Secondus as the consensus new Deputy National Chairman of the party. Secondus, who is the outgoing National Organizing Secretary of the party and a key loyalist of Jonathan for the 2015 project, will now be dropped for Dr. Jaja from Rivers State as the new Deputy National Chairman It was however learnt that the governors, who were not done

Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom casting his vote in the PDP State Congress in Uyo, Saturday

Derivation: North’s position a joke •Continued from Page 2 champions of Northern cause. To drive home the point, Mr. Opadokun said, “given the situation at hand in the country, there is already mutual distrust among the component parts. If this people continue with their campaign, the South South may take otherwise non-palatable decisions. This is an inauspicious moment to raise these issues.” However, he agreed that there are leaders in the Niger Delta region who have been fleecing their own people. He cited the revelations in a London court that convicted former Delta State Governor James Ibori as an example of mindless profligacy in the region. He said others like the Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi could point to tangible things done with the people’s wealth. Mr. Opadokun, however, agreed that only the Niger Delta people can effect a change. He said, “that does not mean that people outside the region should begin to manipulate the system to their own advantage as the Northern group appears to be doing.” Another NADECO chieftain,

Chief Ayo Adebanjo said the North “is very unrealistic and their demands are not in tune with the principles of true federalism.” Okoko, Adebanjo and Opadokun reasoned that the only way out of the logjam is for a national conference where all the issues will be canvassed and resolved. The inexorable move towards a national conference is on. Almost all the zones are holding meetings to serve notice on their respective positions and prepare for the hard tackles that may be required. The South West has been helped by the emergence of a dominant tendency. The governors and other leaders have been meeting to fashion out common positions on all issues. The integration agenda is one of the products of the meetings. The South South, too, through the BRACED arrangement involving the six states are working out political and economic integrative agenda. Top of the demands are fiscal federalism that would allow the federating units control the exploration and marketing of their mineral resources with tax being paid to the centre as was the situation in the First Republic.

All the tree Northern zones seem to be agreed on the issues being canvassed, especially a revisit of the revenue allocation formula in favour of non-oil producing states. They are calling for strict adherence to provisions of section 162 of the Constitution and its interpretation by the Supreme Court in April 2002. Dr. Mohammed has served notice that the matter may be taken back to the judiciary for adjudication. While those arguing for 13 per cent derivation say the 2004 Act of the National Assembly had ratified the formula, the Northern spokesmen argue that the constitution is, and should be, supreme and does not contemplate political solution. Another Lagos lawyer, Dr. Soni Ajala said: “it is clear from the proviso to Section 162 (2) of the 1999 Constitution that the principle of derivation is to be reflected constantly in the formula to be approved by the National Assembly, which shall not be be less than 13% of the revenue accruing to the Federation Account directly from the natural resources. The proviso are not limited to littoral States but all States

from which revenue is derived from their natural resources.’ “From the above far sighted pronouncement of the apex court, it stands to reason that the present revenue sharing formula until it is modified by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the Presidency is very much in sync with the Supreme Court judgment. “The revenue formula is also in substantial compliance with the international Law of the Sea. This point was exhaustively addressed by the Supreme Court in the same judgment. “The argument on the status of Abuja is untrue and indeed belated. The Decree that established Abuja as the Federal Capital Territory is clear on the status, legal and otherwise of Abuja. And the original indigenes of Abuja FCT who were mainly from present Niger State, Kwara State and Nasarawa State were duly compensated monetarily and by resettlement. Even till date, the resettlement of the indigene of Abuja is an on-going exercise of the Federal government through the Federal Capital Administration Authority.”

with the two concessions from Jonathan, also wanted Oyinlola as the National Secretary of PDP. But Jonathan’s loyalists felt the governors are asking for too much. A meeting of some members of the NWC and PDP leaders were held on Saturday in Abuja on how to clip the wings of the governors, who are being led by Governor Rotimi Amaechi. A top source said: “Almost a week to our convention, there is an uneasy calm in the party as the President seems to be losing out in the game. “The President has made two concessions but the governors are adamant on Oyinlola as the National Secretary of the party. “But the loyalists of the President are worried that the governors have not shown much commitment to the Bamanga Tukur’s Project which the President is passionate about. “In fact, when the President accepted to dump Secondus for Jaja as the consensus new Deputy National Chairman, he had to send his Chief of Staff, Mike Ogiadhome to prevail on the governors of Akwa Ibom, Delta, and Bayelsa to allow the Chairman of the Governors Forum and his colleagues to have their way. “This is why we (the loyalists of the President in the NWC and outside) met in Abuja today (Saturday) on Plan B at the national convention. “What we have now in the party is Jonathan Group and Amaechi Group (that is PDP Governors Forum).” Another top chieftain of the party said: “What some PDP governors, led by Amaechi, are asking for is Oyinlola as the National Secretary or else Bamanga Tukur may not have his way. “But the presidency is suspicious that once the governors produce the national secretary, they may change the game completely at the national convention and betray the President. “No one can predict most of the PDP governors especially Amaechi and those from the North. They have seen the convention as a crucial step towards 2015 poll, the governors want to be in good stead. “At a point, some forces in the presidency invited an ex-governor, who was one of those who made Amaechi the Chairman of NGF, to draw his attention to the conspiracy of some governors. “The influential ex-governor apologized and said he never knew that things will turn this way.” As part of the final onslaught, investigation showed that the governors have positioned three candidates to vote for instead of Bamanga Tukur if the President will not yield National Secretary to them. They are a former Minister of Commerce, Amb. Idris Waziri, the outgoing acting National Secretary of the party, Dr. Musa Babayo, and the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prof. Rufai Alkali. Meanwhile, a meeting of some governors might hold in Port Harcourt today on the way forward. It was gathered that the session might be attended by some governors from the North and SouthEast. It was unclear last night if the governors will do the bidding of Jonathan on Tukur or not.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

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HY would a successful architect and businessman take his own life? This was one of the questions triggered yesterday by the dead in Abeokuta of Chief Oluwole Olumide, described as a close political and business associate of the immediate past governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. Olumide, an architect and until Friday night, the Apagunpote of Egbaland, Balogun of Imo (Abeokuta) and Baba Ijo of Methodist Church, Imo, was found dead in an artificial lake at the popular Golf Resort in Abeokuta owned by him. Had he lived, he would have been 70 in May. Olumide, according to sources, had left home on Friday for the resort with his driver behind the wheels. At the resort, however, he reportedly asked his driver to pull up by the lake side so that he (Olumide) could pray. As he was alighting from the car he instructed the driver to return home and fetch some security guards. The driver, now back at the resort with the guards requested by his boss, looked everywhere for him to no avail. He called his mobile phone too with no success. He then raised the alarm and a search party comprising local divers, fire fighters and security men, was quickly mobilised. The search party sighted his cap floating on the lake and then his shoes. The search for his body continued all through the night. But by 9.05 am yesterday the body floated. He was pulled out of the water wearing his usual white kaftan with a handset. On his wrists were beads -accessories used by traditional chiefs in many parts of the South West- and some cash in his pocket. An ambulance belonging to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), registration number CD 104 took the corpse away at about 9:30 am. The remains were deposited at the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Aro mortu-

Gbenga Daniel’s associate, Apagun Olumide, found dead in lake Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

ary. The Divisional Police Officer of the Ibara Divisional Headquarters, Abeokuta, Muyideen Obe, led his men to secure the grief – soaked resort. Obe, a Chief Superintendent of Police was later joined by the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Ikemefuna Okoye, but he declined to talk to reporters. The resort is one of his several landmark architectural designs in the ancient town, the others being the Olumo Rock improvement project and the proposed Abeokuta Central Business District. The mood at his Surulere, Ita-Eko, Abeokuta residence which was locked against visitors, was as gloomy as that at the Golf Resort, a project that had caused him despair in the last few months. The land on which the resort is built is a subject of

controversy between him and the Ibikunle Amosun Administration. About two weeks ago, he was detained for 24 hours by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and interrogated on the matter and his alleged business deals with Otunba Daniel. An EFCC source told The Nation last night that Olumide cooperated well with his interrogators and his evidence was found useful. His passport was reportedly seized by the agency but because of his valuable evidence and cooperation, the EFCC agreed to release the passport by tomorrow to enable him travel abroad. The Ogun State government, in a white paper on the report of a panel to probe land allocation in the state by the Daniel Administration had said the allocation and Certificate of Occupancy, C of O, in respect of the contentious land on

which the resort stands originally belonged to Abeokuta Golf Club and not Abeokuta Golf International Ltd. “The government was misled into issuing the said C of O meant for Abeokuta Golf Club to Abeokuta Golf International Club Ltd. whose chief promoter is Apagun Oluwole Olumide and that the survey plan attached to the said certificate was wrongfully and clandestinely altered after the Certificate of Occupancy had been signed by the governor to achieve the intended mischief. This action by itself taints the said Certificate of Occupancy rendering it a suspect document,” the White Paper said. The commission summoned Olumide to testify before it but he did not honour the invitation. Consequently, the committee recommended that the C of O registered as number 7 at page 7 in vol.476 dated 29th October 1992, issued to

Abeokuta Golf International Limited be revoked and, upon application, a fresh one with the correct and exact land size dimensions and abuttal properly demarcated be issued to the Abeokuta Golf Club and handed over to the registered trustees of the Club. However, the Hillcrest Estate and the Mamu Village excisions granted out of the original land allocated to the Club were retained in public interest. Early callers at the resort yesterday included former governor of the State , Chief Olusegun Osoba, the Senator representing Ogun Central Senator Gbenga Obadara and Chairman of the Qualitec Group, Chief Yinka Kufile. Chief Osoba described Olumide’s death as “unfortunate, shocking and painful.” “It’s too much for me to bear now. It’s not something I’m ready to talk about. It’s too much and most unfortunate. I leave everything to God,” he said.

L-R: Commander, 205 Rotary Group, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Mike Iloenyosi; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Umar, and Minister of Defence, Dr Bello Mohammed, at the inauguration of two of the Nigerian Air Force helicopters at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja.

Senator robbed at gunpoint by his driver • Loses N8m, vital documents A SENATOR from one of the states in the South-south zone was on Friday robbed at gunpoint by his driver, who made away with N8million cash. Also taken away by the driver was the senator’s briefcase containing vital career documents including his international passport and that of his wife. The loss of the passport thus scuttled a planned trip to China by the victim. The police are investigating. The driver, it was gathered, was primarily a member of the six-man team in the transport pool of the Senator. But having sent his principal driver on a mission outside Abuja, the Senator turned to the suspect whose name was given as Muhammed.

From: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

Muhammed was assigned to drive the Senator to the Chinese Embassy and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. “Everything went well from the embassy until when they were approaching the airport gate and he decided to pick his travelling documents from the briefcase only to discover that N1million was missing. “Before the discovery, the Senator had N4million cash and $25, 000 in his briefcase. I think he wanted to conduct some transactions in Naira in Lagos. “Worried by the missing N1million, the Senator asked the driver what went

wrong but he was just mumbling. Out of curiosity, the Senator placed a call to his son and key aides to know whether there was any urgent demand that warranted the removal of N1m from his briefcase. They all denied knowledge of tampering with the briefcase. “He asked the driver to make a U-Turn from the airport to his residence in Jabi District. But while on the highway the driver drew a gun and asked the Senator to go down or lose his life. “The bewildered Senator complied and raised the alarm but most motorists ignored him even as he kept shouting ‘help, help me’. His predicament was compounded by the fact that the driver did not al-

low him to pick any of his handsets from the car.” After trekking for a while, the Senator was assisted by a good Samaritan to get home. Investigation revealed that when a call was later placed to the driver, he asked three aides of the Senator-one Ada, Fred (a co-driver) and Osaze to go to an Estate along Jabi Karimo axis to go and pick the car. Another source added: “When the aides got there with some detectives, they met the car unlocked and the key put in the pigeon hole. He also left the international passports of the Senator and his wife on top of the car. “But the briefcase con-

taining the money and documents had been taken away. When he was asked about the whereabouts of the briefcase, the driver, who was suspected to be within the vicinity of the estate, said he left it in the car.” The driver has since switched off his phone to prevent being trailed with the aid of GPRS by security agencies. The distraught Senator was said to have relocated to his constituency instead of proceeding with his trip to China. The source added: “The Senator has never used the driver for any assignment. Friday was the first time he asked Mohammed to take him to the airport. The driver used to run local errands for the family. “In fact, as if the Senator’s wife had a premonition, she is always driving herself anytime she is in Abuja.”

News 5 Reps search for investors in green field refineries From: Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

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HE House of Representatives is organising an international oil summit next week in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, to show case Nigeria’s potentials in the industry with a view to attracting investors in the green field refineries. The Nigerian Refining Capacity Summit is scheduled for March 28 and 29, according to the Chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Dakuku Peterside (PDP, Rivers). He described as shameful and unacceptable the volume of imported fuel into the country despite its status as the 12th largest producer of oil. He expressed Reps’ disappointment at the non-utilisation of the licences issued almost 10 years ago by the Federal Government to private firms for the setting up of refineries in the country. He said: “Almost after 10 years that the Federal government granted 20 licenses to private investors no single refinery has been built in Nigeria. Paradoxically, Nigeria is the only member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that imports 85 percent of its domestic petroleum products needs and now we have reached a crisis level”. Besides, Peterside maintained that innovative approach to solving the problem has become imperative, saying, “several Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) have been done on the four existing refineries without commensurate results and even if all of them function at 100 percent capacity production only 445,000 barrels of crude oil can be refined locally. “It is shameful and embarrassing that Nigeria, the 12th largest producer of crude oil world wide and 8th largest exporter, imports 85 percent of its domestic needs”. According to him the Uyo forum will be attended by over 500 participants from around the world and will identify issues militating against self-sufficiency in refining of petroleum products. “The Summit would also attempt to find ways and means to create investment friendly regulatory and legislative framework, proffer solutions to identified problems and serve as feed stock to the Petroleum Industry Bill popularly known as (PIB),’ he said.


News Oshiomhole is ACN candidate

THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

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• says defeat of godfatherism is final

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

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OVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole yesterday emerged candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) with a total of 334,267 votes cast during a direct primaries of the party held across the 192 wards in the state. Chairman of the ACN electoral committee, Hon Kenneth Kobani who announced the result of the primaries said 341,333 persons were accredited to vote at the primaries. Kobani who declared Oshiomhole winner of the primaries said figures of the votes represented 97.9 percent of the entire votes cast. He said: “I Kenneth Kobani as the Chief Returning Officer hereby declared Governor Adams Oshiomhole as the candidate of the ACN in the July 14th governorship election election.” A Certificate of return was later presented to Governor Oshiomhole which was observed by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) led by the State Resident Commissioner, Mrs. Rose Oborifobo. Oborifobo said the conduct of the primaries was an indication that the electorate has been duly educated on election matters Oshiomhole said his emergence signified the final defeat of godfatherism in the state. Oshiomhole, who explained that he was humbled by the decision of the party to elect him, promised to double achievements recorded in his first term. According to him: “It is not every governor that gets a chance to get re-elected. I know the implication of this endorsement. I do not take it for granted. ‘’The outcome of the primaries showed that the people are ready to sweep out all political impunities. I am indebted to you all. I have no reason to do less than what is possible. Edo will never remain the same again.” He went on: “Edo politics will never be the same again. We want to build a new political mass movement.” He said. Two Hiace buses were later presented to Governor Oshiomhole for campaign by the State Chairman of the party, Thomas Okosun.

House okays N38.8bn jumbo allowance for members

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HE quarterly allowance of members of the House of Representatives has hit the N27million mark. It used to be N15million per Representative This translates to an 80% increase and an additional N9.720billion strain on public purse every quarter or N38.88billion per year. The House leadership had been under severe pressure from members to review the allowance meant for running their oversight functions. The leadership was said to have succumbed to the pressure with a view to insulating members from temptation from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) in the course of performing their oversight functions. The quarterly allowance is just one of the several enjoyed by the Reps and Senators. Other benefits and allowances, as approved by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) are salaries, vehicle maintenance and fuelling, Personal Assistant, house maintenance, entertainment, utilities, constituency allowance, hardship allowance, vehicle loan, duty tour and estacode (where applicable). Only last year, the House requested Camry cars for the oversight functions of its 360 members costing a total of N2.5billion. The increase in the quarterly allowance of the Reps is bound to raise questions following the recent decision by President Goodluck Jonathan to cut the emolument of public officers. It was gathered that the Reps launched their bid for the

•Each Rep now on N27m per quarter By Festus Eriye and Dapo Olufade, Lagos

secret increase in the aftermath of the belt tightening measures put in place by the Speaker of the House Aminu Tambuwal. At an executive session last month the Reps had queried why their predecessors in the sixth National Assembly earned N42 million per quarter as against the N15million they were receiving. Some of them were also alleged to have asked the Speaker why Senators are on about N45 million quarterly allowance. They said they could not understand what was described as “the yawning gap” between House quarterly allowance and Senate’s. A reliable source said: “Members actually wanted a reversion to the old rate of N42 million per quarter but Tambuwal rejected the move in view of the financial challenges facing the House. “The Speaker also claimed that the leadership would prefer a low rate allowance in line with its ongoing reforms. “After a stormy session, the House leadership sensed that a revolt was in the offing and it had to go back to the drawing board. “After consultations, Tambuwal announced an increase of N12million in the quarterly allowance of members. So, they will now earn N27million per quarter. “If Tambuwal had not increased the quarterly allowance, I doubt if he would still be in office by now. “Also, the House leader-

ship decided to bow to members’ demand to insulate them from being influenced by MDAs during oversight functions. We do not want members to function at the mercy of MDAs, we felt we should avoid recourse to bribery. It was however gathered that the increase was effected secretly to avoid backlash from the public. “We did not make noise about the increase because of perception. Our quarterly allowance is short of what the Sixth House of Representatives got but before you know it, we will be the butt of attack. “Nigerians do not pay attention to the allowances of the Executive and the Judiciary. Out of the N4.8billion budget passed on Thursday, the National Assembly’s share is about N150 to N200billion. What fraction of the budget is that? Yet, we are always the sacrificial lambs,” the source added. Investigation showed that the payment of the additional N12million quarterly allowance was effected last week by the House leadership. A member of the House said: “Yes, we have started receiving the increase, it is left to us to use it judiciously because we have a busy calen-

dar.” It could not be ascertained at press time whether the House leadership put the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) into confidence on the increase in the allowances. Section 32 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 constitution empowers only the RMAFC to either enhance or cut salaries of political office holders, legislators and the judiciary. The section reads: “The Commission shall have power to (a) monitor the accruals to and disbursement of revenue from the Federation Account; (b) review from time to time, the revenue allocation formulae and principles in operation to ensure conformity with changing realities… “(d) Determine the remuneration appropriate for political office holders, including the President, Vice-President, Governors, Deputy Governors, Ministers, Commissioners, Special Advisers, legislators and the holders of the offices mentioned in sections 84 and 124 of this Constitution.” But the Executive arm was said to have got wind of the secret increase in spite of the

directive of President Goodluck Jonathan to effect 25 per cent pay cut. A presidency source said: “The Executive has got wind of the increase but the truth is that it will not guarantee any loan to pay any allowance. And any chamber that overshoots its budget will be on its own. “It is also left to RMAFC to join issue with the House on the appropriateness.” Jonathan had, in January, announced the pay cut in the salaries of political office holders. Another member of the House said: “We are not political office holders; we are elected members of the National Assembly. So, Jonathan’s directive is not binding on us, it applies to only the Executive. “During the administration of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, he announced a similar pay cut but the Judiciary wrote to RMAFC to be exempted from the exercise. The directive did not affect the Judiciary accordingly. “The quarterly allowance is a statutory benefit of members of the National Assembly because it is within our budget plans. It is not as if any lawmaker is stealing money.”

Oyo workers sack leaders •Reject new pay package

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ORKERS in the employment of the Oyo State Government over the weekend sacked leaders of the state chapters of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) for being allegedly compromised. The workers, who stormed the American Quarters Agodi secretariat of the union in their hundreds, rejected the new minimum wage table released by the government. They described the package as unacceptable. The workers were addressed by leaders of the Caretaker Committee put in place. But Commissioner for Finance Zachius Adelabu described rejection of the new wage and change of the union’s leadership as strange. He however stated that since the workers claimed that they had sacked their leaders, they should be allowed to solve their internal crisis. The angry workers recalled Governor Abiola Ajimobi pledged to pay them a living wage during his electioneering campaign. They said he had failed to deliver despite the fact that Oyo workers are the least paid in the South West. A communiqué signed by caretaker committee members led by Bayo Akande disclosed

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan that the workers have resolved to resume at the NLC secretariat from tomorrow until government honours the N18, 000 minimum wage agreements with a table that will be beneficial to all category of workers. Akande stated that the new wage table only takes care of workers on Grade Levels 01-04, leaving the rest with ridiculous amounts as monthly increase on their present take-home pay. The union leader berated sacked NLC and TUC leaders for compromising workers’ welfare by their unilateral decision to go along with the government on the issue. He pointed out that there was a standing order of the congress which made it forbidden for the leaders to agree on anything with the government without the consent of congress. Akande insisted that the caretaker committee was not just composed, recalling that it had been in place since last year during the agitation for the implementation of the minimum wage when the leadership of both the NLC and TUC was sacked for allegedly betraying the workers' cause. NLC Chairman Alhaji Bashiru Olanrewaju was not available for comments yesterday.

•Villagers waiting to fetch water from a hole as water scarcity hits harder on Nbamoto village in Lamurde Iga, Adamawa...yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Court stops PDP congress in Anambra

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N Abuja High Court presided over by Hon. Justice U.P Kekemeke yesterday stopped the proposed state congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State. A PDP chieftain Hon Emma Mbamalu had dragged the party to court seeking an order restraining the party from conducting local government and state congresses in the state. The matter was in suit number FCT/HC/CV/2631/ 12. Also, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cancelled the purported ward congress held in the state penultimate week. A letter to the National Chairman of PDP dated March, 5th 2012 and signed by INEC secretary, Abdullahi A. Kaugama, urged the party to reschedule ward congress in Anambra and other states to enable them have a basis for

•INEC also cancels ward elections From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

proceeding with LGA, states and zonal congresses. Other affected States were Sokoto, Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarrawa, Jigawa, Lagos, Anambra and Katsina. Police cordoned off the Cosmila Hotels where the congress was shifted to by the Benji Udeozor’s faction of the PDP in Awka yesterday. It was initially scheduled for Amawbia Primary School field. Party faithful who thronged the arena were disappointed by the heavy security. Counsel to the Plaintiff, Ikechukwu Ezechukwu (SAN) had sought an order of interim injunction restraining the defendant by itself or through any of its agencies from conducting any local government congresses in Anambra state

or State congress yesterday or any other date pending the determination of the motion on notice. Justice Kekemeke granted the application. Reacting to the court order, former PDP Chairman in the State Dr Tony Nwoye said the party needed fair and credible congresses to challenge the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He alleged that results of the congresses had already been written in hotels by one person describing the plight of PDP in the state as unfortunate. According to Nwoye: “we need to be democratic, the era of writing any result at somebody’s home or hotel is over in Anambra state. PDP wants to move forward, we can not continue like this.”


THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

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RESIDENT of Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) Dr. Gani Enahoro has proposed lasting solutions to seasonal outbreak of Lassa fever in the country. Enahoro gave the advice over the weekend during a briefing held at the council’s headquarters in Abuja. He said a study revealed that the infection is caused by bush rats and has so far claimed 53 lives within the year in more than 12 states including Edo, Rivers, Anambra, Taraba, Borno and Nasarawa. Other States, according to him, are Ondo, Gombe, Plateau, Yobe , Ebonyi and Lagos States. He said: “The epidemiol-

News

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Minister seeks better work ethics

Lassa fever: Veterinary council proffers solutions T

From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

From Olugbenga Adanikin and Adebowale Adenike, Abuja

ogy of lassa fever indicates that bush rats and other possible rodents act as reservoirs of the infection and therefore is the source of the disease. ‘’It therefore reasonably means that the best control is for rats to be kept away from having contact with man directly and indi-

rectly.” He also attributed the recent outbreak to the impending heavy rainfall and bush burning. Enahoro called for adoption of the new global public health initiative of OneWorld-One- Medicine, relying on multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach to tackle the fever. He also said the government should constitute an all

en-compassing Lassa fever multi-disciplinary and interministerial committee involving the federal ministry of health, Agriculture, Environment and information. Community health sanitary workers, he further stated, should be mandated to inspect surroundings of living quarters and compel environmental sanitation to reduce the menace of rats and rodents. Enahoro advised government at all levels to establish at least one Bio-Safety

Levels 3 or 4 laboratories for confirmatory early diagnosis of highly pathogenic viruses. He lamented that there is no laboratory in Nigeria operating beyond BioSafety Level 2. He also said veterinarians in poultry and large animal practice should ensure adherence to bio-safety and bio-security measures while use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be enforced in all livestock farms.

IRED of unethical activities in his workforce, the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar has tasked staff of the ministry to adhere to work ethics and values. The Minister spoke during an interactive session with staff of the ministry in Abuja. In a statement yesterday in Abuja, the Director, Press and Public Relations, Kingsley Agha, stated that the ministry’s website which was hacked and subsequently shut down during the fuel subsidy crisis would be restored soon. Umar pledged to address the welfare needs of the staffs as soon as the 2012 budget allocation is released.

Church Kwara Police holds revival arraign 37 recruits T

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• Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation Comrade Kayode Opeifa in a chat with chairperson of Counselling Association of Nigeria (CASSON), Dr Anodeji Badejo at the Youth Jamboree forum on Road Safety for youths and students at the University of Lagos (UNILAG)... last week

PDP congress: Enugu exco members returned unopposed, Nwodo absent

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RINCIPAL Officers of Enugu State Executive Council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were returned unopposed at yesterday's congress. They include the chairman, Vita Abba; secretary, Steve Oruruo; deputy chairman, David Ajah; tresurer; Frank Okeke and legal adviser, Emeka Igwesi. Others include financial secretary, Oliver Okwor; women leader, Mrs. Oby Okwor; organising secretary, John Onuigbo and youth leader, Chris Iyiani.

From Chris Oji, Enugu

Over 1600 delegates from the 17 local councils of the state participated in the congress which produced 36 executive members. At the congress were Governor Sullivan Chime, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu; Power Minister, Barth Nnaji; Senator Ayogu Eze and other members of the National Assembly. Former National Chairman of the party whose name was conspicuously listed,

Okwesilieze Nwodo and his supporters were however absent at the congress. The election conducted under peaceful atmosphere was supervised by the pioneer chairman of PDP in Enugu state, Chief Charles Egumgbe. Re-elected Abba thanked the delegates by for reposing trust in him by returning him unopposed. He promised to take the party to higher heights and urged members of the party to join and cooperate with the reconstituted exco in piloting the affairs of the party.

130 to get N275m Niger compensation

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EPAIRS of the ruins of the violent attack that greeted the January protest on federal government removal of fuel subsidy in Niger state will cost the government over N275 million. 130 affected individuals, organisations, palaces and government agencies are to benefit from the repairs. Chairman of the white paper committee on the fuel subsidy protest Dr. Mustapha Ibrahim Lemu disclosed this to reporters yesterday in Minna. He said that the compensation is meant to alleviate the losses of the victims. Initial claims of individuals, he said, were over N878 million but the consultants evaluation pegged the dam-

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

age at N313 million. He however did not explain why government decided to pay N275 million as against the consultant's recommendation. Lemu, who is Commissioner of Tertiary Education, further said that the number of beneficiaries would have been more but for the inability of some victims to provide evidential proofs to back their claims. According to him, the state government has also directed the committee on fuel subsidy palliatives to fast track works so that their recommendations will be implemented for the benefit of the people.

HE Kwara State Police Command has arraigned 37 recruits currently undergoing training at the Police College Ilorin, the state capital for presenting fake certificates. The suspects, including eight women, had spent five months in the college before they were discovered to have tendered fake certificates and other documents to secure admission. They were arraigned before three separate magistrate courts on charges of criminal conspiracy, forgery, impersonation and using as true a certificate known to be fake. The police said the offences contradict sections 97, 363, 132, and 163 of the Penal Code Law of the federation of Nigeria. Screening team of detectives from the monitoring unit from the force headquarters, Abuja led by one U.C Chika (DSP) was said to have uncovered the fraud. Chika alleged that the accused were recruited into the police force with various certificates ranging from Senior Secondary School Certificate, National Certificate of Education and University degrees among others discovered to have been forged. They were also accused of presenting birth certificates and declaration of age which did not represent their true ages and thereby using them as true, having known such to

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be false. Police First Information Report (FIR) on the matter stated that investigation conducted at the State CID Ilorin revealed that they committed the offences. The prosecution objected to the bail of the accused and urged the court to remand them at the Federal Prison, Ilorin pending the outcome of on-going investigations into the matter. The defence counsel, Mr. Shina Ibiyemi of Legal Aids Council, Ilorin, prayed the court to release the accused on bail pending the determination of the case. He submitted that they are still presumed innocent of the allegation until the contrary is proved. Magistrate Kudus Salahu and Mercy Akinjide ordered that 25 of the accused be remanded at Federal Medium Security Prison, Mandala, Ilorin while Magistrate A. Bello granted 12 of the accused bail, each at the sum of N50, 000 and two sureties in like sum. Bello also said that one of the sureties must be a Level 8 officer at the Kwara State Civil Service while the other must be ordinarily resident within the jurisdiction of the court with a certificate of occupancy. The case has been adjourned till April 4, 2012.

Emedith Consulting for launch

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N outfit with focus on personal development and motivational speaking, Emedith Consulting, is to be unveiled in Lagos on March 24 at the Lagos Oriental Hotel at 12 noon. A statement by Emeka Azinge, Head Consultant of the outfit said the keynote speaker would be Mrs. Osayi Alile Oruene – the Executive Director, FATE Foundation. Emedith Consulting delivers personal development/ motivational sessions to teenagers, students and young adults to better equip them to face the rigours of life, school and profession, as well as conquer the personal challenges that hinder them from attaining maximum potential.

Osun gets committee to Eshanokpe for burial transform civil service COMMUNITY leader in Agbarho Clan, From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

12-MAN technical committee has been inaugurated in Osun State to transform the civil service. The committee is headed by a foremost public administration scholar, teacher and author, Prof. Ladipo Adamolekun.

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

HE New Covenant Baptist Church (TNCBC), Ojokoro will today March 18 begin a four-day Revival Service. The revival service holding under the theme of Moving Forward through Worship is to hold at the church premises on Mount Zion Ground,11, Olaniyi Street, off Community Road, Jankara Ijaiye, Ojokoro. To minister are Pastor and Pastor (Mrs.) Bayo Jesuniyi of the Praise Family Band. The host pastor is Rev. Stephen Bolarinwa.

It is mandated to help transform the civil service based on the principles of meritocracy, professionalism and capacity building. Other committee members include Chief Inaolaji Aboaba, Mr. Folorunso Abiona, Dr. Goke Adegoroye, Mr. Samuel Aderogba Laluwoye, Mr. Dipo Famakinwa and the Commissioner for Human Resources and capacity Building, Ms. Bolaji Akande . The Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor Mr. Gbenga Adebusuyi is representing the Chief of Staff on the committee. At a sensitisation meeting

with Permanent Secretaries, General Managers, Executive Secretaries, Directors, Deputy Directors and Assistant Directors over the week, Adamolekun charged them to brace up and accept the challenges of transforming the civil service. He revealed the committee would interface with consultants and facilitate access to necessary documents and provide inputs. He assured that the essence of the transformation agenda is not to witch-hunt or down-size but to truly transform the state. Competence tests, he added, will be carried out tomorrow on top civil servants at Osun State Auditorium, Oke Bale Osogbo by 9am.

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Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State, Mrs Alice Obukata Eshanokpe, who died on January 10, this year is to be buried in Oguname-Agbarho on March 31 at 9 am. A farmer and trader, Mrs Eshanokpe, 90, until her death, was the oldest member of The Apostolic Church, Ughwrughelli-Agbarho Assembly and the leader of the Women in Ekrote family in the community. She is survived by five children, grandchildren and great grand children. They are Mrs. Blacky Oteri, Okpako John Eshanokpe, Godwin Eshanokpe, Joseph Eshanokpe of The Nation Newspapers and Deaconess Victoria Onobrakpeya.


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

News

Fulani herdsman machetes man From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo. middle-aged man Deacon Pekun Olusola is lying critically at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan , Oyo State capital, following severe machete cuts sustained in both arms and forehead after an attack by a Fulani herdsman. The incident, the NATION gathered occurred at Aba Alata, near Ajagba village, along Awe / Iwo road, in the Afijio local government area of the state. The man was said to have entered into an agreement with the Fulani herdsman known as Aliyu Raman to rear cattle numbering about 20 in his ranch. But the Fulani herdsman was said to be selling the cattle unknown to the owner. Some months after, the owner of the cattle decided to visit the Fulani herdsman in his ranch. But Olusola was said to have been disturbed on noticing reduction in his cattle and demanded explanations from the Fulani herdsman. He was said to have macheted Olusola in anger. He also attempted to burn the motorcycle. Olusola’s scream of pains attracted the attention of nearby villagers who promptly called men of the vigilante at the neighbouring Awe town. They handed over the herdsman to the police.

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Ondo ACN begins mobilisation for governorship poll T A

Reject Oni’s suit, Ekiti ACN urges Supreme Court

CTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN governorship aspirant in Ondo State Dr. Olu Agunloye has urged the people to brace up for change. He assured that power would shift from Labour Party (LP) to the main opposition party in the state. Agunloye condemned the alleged repression of opposition in the state by suspected agents of the ruling party, advising ACN members to shun provocation and unruly behaviour that could lead to a breach of peace. He spoke at his campaign

By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor

office, along Oba Adesida Road, Akure, where an LP member of House of Representatives, Mr. Ifedayo Abegunde decamped to ACN. Accompanied by his colleague from Lagos State, Mr. Deji Jakande, the federal legislator from Akure North/ South Constituency torn his LP card and accepted the ACN flag and constitution, amid cheers by his supporters. The ceremony was initially billed for the City Hall in the heart of the ancient town.

It was shifted to the “Rallying Point for Hope” the campaign office set up by Agunloye. Also at the rally were some governorship aspirants, including Chief Jamiu Ekungba, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, Chief Segun Ojo and Senator Olorunnimbe Farunkanmi. Agunloye congratulated Abeginde for his wise decision to dump LP, which he described as a sinking party, assuring that ACN will give every member a sense of belonging. He described the Mimiko Administration as an administration on the last

slap, urging the people to prepare for people-oriented government early next year. Agunloye accused the ruling party of intolerance, pointing out that the City Hall, which was denied Abegunde, was unfortunate. He assured that a transparent and purposeful government will halt the trend of deceit in the state when ACN gains control. Agunloye added: “What we need in Ondo State is not continuity but change and the presence of this crowd today underscores the readiness of the people for a new era of progress”.

NCC poised to protect consumers From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

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HE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reinstated commitment to protecting consumers from abuses that might arise from the mobile payment policy aimed at reducing the volume of cash in circulation. The Executive Commissioner Stakeholders management of the commission, Mr. Okechukwu Itanyi, said the implementation policy of the system in Lagos is anchored on broad-based accessibility and availability of banking services at a reasonable cost for majority of the citizenry. He spoke yesterday at the 47th edition of consumer outreach programme with the theme “Mobile Payment! The Consumer Perspective” held in Owerri, the Capital of Imo State. Itanyi said:“Based on the statutory functions of the commission as provided in the Nigerian Communication Act 2003, the commission mandated its consumer Affairs Bureau specifically to ensure that the interest of the telecom consumers are adequately protected”.

L-R: Publisher The Source Magazine, Mrs. Comfort Obi; Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar and widow of the Co-pilot, Mrs. Simi Pwol-Jah during the I.G condolence visit to the family at G.R.A Ikeja, Lagos… yesterday. Photo: Olusegun Rapheal.

IG visits Lagos •Condoles with families of air-crash victims

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HE Acting InspectorGeneral of Police, Mohammed Dikko Abubakar yesterday paid a condolence visit to bereaved families of the late Captain Garba Yalwa, an Assistant Commissioner of Police and Captain Hannah Pwol-Jah, a Chief Superintendent of Police involved in last week’s helicopher crash in Jos, Plateau State. Abubakar, who was accompanied to the Ikeja quarters of the families by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Training, Marvel Akpoyibo, sympathised with the families.

Oshiomhole’s mother, board chair bag award

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HE mother of Edo State governor, Alhaja Aishetu Oshiomhole and chairman, Edo State Produce Board, High Chief Aremiyau Aligame Momoh,have been conferred with 2012 Sheik Mahmud Gumi National Islamic Heroes

Award by the International Institute of Islamic Affairs. The award receipients, according to the organisers were honoured for contributing their quota to nation-building and towards the development of Islam in the country.

By Tunde Busari and Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf

H assured them of the Police readiness to support them in the area of their welfare, including the education of the children of the deceased. He said, “Loss is not an easy thing to bear. It is a sad moment for me because I knew some of these officers personally. I am assuring you that we will take care of the family and children that are left behind. ‘’We will take care of their academics and protect them like our own children. This is the price we pay as the police and that is why we are sad when people castigate us”. The IG noted that the late officers were not only dedicated but promising. one of them, he said, recently flew him to IlaOrangun in Osun State for an official assignment. He also noted that the incident was a sacrifice for the country, while praying to God to repose the souls of the officers and give their families the fortitude to bear the loss. “The Presidency is also

touched by the incident coming at a time we need more dedicated loyal officers to boost the performance of Nigeria Police. That is why it is a sad development. So on behalf of the president, I am again praying that God be with you,” he said. On the new police uniform, the IG expressed discomfort over criticisms against it in some quarters. The new uniform, he explained, “is completely an operation uniform which is in tandem with what obtains in

other countries. ‘’In fact, other services in Nigeria also have different uniforms, why then should the police be an exception. I am assuring you that this is the beginning of a new police that Nigerians will be proud of.” On the dismantled road block, he said the era of using road blocks to extort money from the public was over . He encouraged the public to be more vigilant by challenging any policeman on roadblock. “I am happy to tell you that you can travel from Onitsha to Lagos without encountering a single road block. ‘’This is the new trend which has come to stay. I am seeking the collaboration of the media to push this to the public so that together we succeed,” he said.

HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ekiti

State has urged the Supreme Court to reject what the party calls “bid by ousted Governor Segun Oni to return to office through the back door.” The party wants the apex court not to dignify the appeal filed by Mr. Oni with any attention, saying the case has revealed his “pernicious intent to railroad the Nigerian judiciary into a perilous voyage of selfdestruct driven to its ludicrous apogee.” According to the party’s Director of Media and Publicity in the State, Chief Tai Oguntayo, hearing the ex-governor’s appeal would amount to extending the circus show he (Oni) started at the Court of Appeal to the hallowed chambers of the Supreme Court. Oguntayo maintained that Oni’s recourse to the apex court is nothing more than an exercise in futility since the Court of Appeal was the terminal point for cases arising from governorship election petitions as at October 15, 2010 when the matter was decided in favour of Governor Kayode Fayemi. He said: “The time the petition of Dr. Kayode Fayemi was decided by the Court of Appeal in October 2010, the position of the law was as contained in Section246 of the 1999 Constitution. “For ease of reference, the relevant portion thereof runs thus: ‘An appeal to the Court of Appeal shall lie as of right from...(b) decisions of the national Assembly Election tribunals and Governorship and Legislative Houses Election Tribunals on any question as to whether-(i) any person has been validly elected as a member of the national Assembly or of a House of assembly of a State under its constitution... “The decisions of the Court of Appeal in respect of appeals arising from election petitions shall be final.” The ACN pointed out that judging from the “plain, unambiguous and unequivocal provisions of the Constitution” quoted above, the appeal is “a nonstarter and a dud bomb. There is absolutely no cause for anyone to bother about it.” It asked the Supreme Court not to allow “the unabated assault on the judicial system by Segun Oni and his cohorts.”

Two arrested for extorting job seekers

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WO persons have been arrested in Edo State for allegedly extorting money from persons currently seeking recruitment into the Nigeria Army. The two suspects identified as Power Innocent and Otene who came into Edo from Bayelsa State were alleged to have been collecting N50,000 from the applicants with a promise of facilitating their recruitment into the Nigeria Army. They were nabbed at the

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

Ekehuan Barracks where the applicants are currently undergoing physical and mental exercise. It was gathered that the suspects were lodged in a Hotel in Benin City from where they go to Ekehuan Barracks since the recruitment exercise began. The sum of N450,000 was allegedly found on them but the suspects denied extorting money from the applicants.

They however admitted that they collected N30,000 from one of the applicants who came to them for help. Military personnel in charge of the training, Brigadier-General Ekanem warned the applicants not to give money with a view of joining the Nigeria Army. According to him, “You must not pay to join the Nigeria Army. You will be selected based on merit. We will test your physical fitness and your level of education”.


NEWS REVIEW

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THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

Mrs Glory Bassey displaying a document she claimed established ownership of the house she was living in

Some of the evacuated lining up for documentation at 13 Brigade last Sunday

Pereleta Awolowo shows some of things packed in the church. in the background is her child

Mrs Veronica Bassey and her baby

BAKASSI Evacuated returnees cry out for help S

OMEHOW the word, Bakassi, over the years has assumed a connotation of hardship and suffering - and for good reason. Right from when the International Court of Justice delivered a judgement in 2002 that ceded the area to Cameroon, till when it handed over to Cameroon by Nigeria in 2008, it has been series of stories of misery for those who were displaced. For those who returned, they have consistently complained of been abandoned to their fate. Also the state government which has borne the brunt of taking care of the returnees have often complained about the lack of interest of the international community despite the role they played in the displacement of the people. So when the officers of the 13 Brigade of the Nigeria Army raided the resettlement camp in Ekpri Ikang in the New Bakassi local government area to evacuate the resettlers on the ground of insecurity, it didn’t really seem out of character. It just appeared to be another episode in seeming unending drama of troubles. The New Bakassi issue itself, it should be noted has always been embroiled in crisis. Right from the onset there was problems with the resettlement camp. When government had allocated the houses the returnees from Bakassi most of them had complained that they were riverine people hence the landlocked area in Ekpri Ikang in in the New Bakassi, carved out from three wards of an already existing Akpabuyo local government would be inconvenient. For this reason it was gathered some of the returnees had rented out their houses to enable them stay close to the river. Others returnees were piqued that it was in appropriate for them

Innocent Asuquo Bassey

Living Faith Church Ekpri Ikang

Almost four years after they were uprooted from their home, the story of the Bakassi evacuates remains one of misery. Nicholas Kalu reports to be lumped with a people that already existed, saying this would lead to a loss of culture and identity. The issue of the loss of identity has been the reason for political upheavals in the area. In fact this was largely responsible for the last governorship election not holding in Bakassi. A section of the returnees believed that merging them with a people that were already existing was going to push them into extinction as they would be swallowed up by the original indigenes due to their large number. It was for this reason that they emphasized that they want their own place at Dayspring 1 and 2 and Qua Islands across the Calabar River being a portion a land, they claimed, remained after the Bakassi peninsula was handed over to Cameroon. This had led to the creation of factions with some agitating for their remain in the New Bakassi in Ekpri Ikang, and others saying it must be across the River. Last year elections had held in the Dayspring and Qua Island as the Independent National Electoral Commission did not recognize the New Bakassi despite the Cross River House Assembly 2007 Law 7 that created it. But in this year’s governorship election, a court injunction obtained by parties sympathetic to the New Bakassi cause stalled election in the Dayspring and Qua Islands. Since INEC also did not recognize the New Bakassi, elections did not hold. On January 6, 2010, the Cross River State Government allotted 208 buildings units to some of the displaced Nigerians from Bakassi in an elaborate ceremony at the Ekpri

Ikang, at the New Bakassi Local Government Area. Of this number, 21 units had been allotted to Akwa Ibom State, 54 units to Bayelsa, 32 units to Cross River, 6 units to Delta, 39 to Rivers, 10 to host communities, 28 to Bakassi Local Government Area and 18 for others. The Bakassi returnees included people from all these states. The ceremony marked the end of the first phase of the resettlement programme. Governor Liyel Imoke pointed out that about 3, 000 housing units would be required if all the needs of the displaced people were to be met. However almost a year after the keys were handed over to supposed Bakassi returnees on that February, the houses were unoccupied and the entire place have was almost overrun with weeds. The Donald Duke administration, it was gathered, had acquired the land for the resettlement for the displaced Nigerians, but construction work on the housing project did not commence till the end of that administration. On assumption of office, Governor Liyel Imoke awarded contracts for the construction of the houses. Then the Akwa Obutong Community, whose land was used for the resettlement, demanded compensation for acquired land. They claimed they lost their houses and other property following their eviction from the land by the state government. The community had attempted to disrupt the project to compel government to either compensate them or find an alternative settlement for them.

In spite of this work still went on with constructions of the houses. It was learnt that following government’s refusal to meet their demands, the Akwa Obutong people threatened not to allow the displaced Bakassi residents take possession of the houses. Members of the community then lamented that they have been subjected to suffering following the forceful acquisition of their land by the state government. At that time, they said they claimed they lost their houses and farmland without compensation. The people said they would resist it whatever it takes as they will never allow the Bakassi people to occupy the houses while they are left to wander, homeless in their own land. This had often led to minor altercations between aborigines and settlers. Due to the problems surrounding the resettlement, attempts were made by some states whose indigenes were affected by the displacement to evacuate their indigenes for fear of possible attack by the host community. However, after a while some people, who claimed to be returnees, started inhabiting the houses. That was until last Sunday when men of the 13 Brigade of the Nigeria Army raided the resettlement camp, evacuating all residents. The Army said the action became necessary following reports that some ex-militants are using the place as a hideout. Public relations officer of the Brigade, Joseph James said they had information that there was a gradual build-up of militants in the

camp. He also said those occupying the camp were not the right people to be there. Some of those evacuated from the houses, were taken to Calabar for documentation and also to sign an undertaking that they would never go back to the camp. When The Nation visited the resettlement camp, military officers were seen patrolling the area to make sure none of those evacuated returned to the houses. Mr Innocent Asuquo Bassey, who claimed to coordinate the returnees at the camp said the Army did not do well in the manner they threw everyone out without warning. “Sunday morning we woke up to find out that the Army had entered the Bakassi resettlement camp. We were confused concerning the action. We were told the main reason was to bring everyone out because of security, as they suspect criminal acts. Although their action is in the interest of the returnees, it was not done properly because presently our people do not have a place to stay. We were not even informed. Our appeal is for government to provide a place for us to stay, feed us, shelter us. “Most of the people evacuated were genuine returnees. In their bid to remove the bad eggs, they also evacuated real returnees, now we have nowhere to lay our head. This is tantamount to throwing away the baby with the bath water. “We beg that they should allow the people go back to their houses. What they should do is carry out a proper assessment of the real returnees and the intruders instead of chasing everyone out. “We have not had security here and that is why it has been easy for this place to be infiltrated. •Continued on Page 26


THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

News Review

10

Season of change at Canterbury

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FG, Boko Haram begin talks

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HE Federal Government has in the last week held its first indirect peace talks with Islamist sect Boko Haram, meeting mediators to discuss a possible ceasefire, according to political and diplomatic sources. Two people close to Boko Haram have been carrying messages back and forth between the sect’s self-proclaimed leader Abubakar Shekau and government officials, the sources, who asked not to be named, said. It was not clear whether any mediators met with President Goodluck Jonathan himself. A presidency spokesman said he could not immediately comment.

Nigeria’s unity non-negotiable –Sultan, Ooni, others

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OUR of the nation’s foremost traditional rulers declared in Osogbo, Osun State on Sunday that Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable. The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saa’d Abubakar, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero and the Emir of Zauzau, Dr.Shehu Idris, on a visit to Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State said for ages, the institution of traditional ruler ship has championed the course of unity among Nigerians. Emir Idris who spoke for them said: “We have, for centuries, charted a course in the promotion of unity and progress of this country by visiting one another in our respective domains and we also encourage our subjects to follow suit. With this, we hope that our visits will foster unity and harmony in the country.” Gov. Aregbesola said Nigerians had no option than to sustain the corporate existence of the country since they have no other they can call their own.

NLC kicks over anti-workers bill HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) kicked angrily on Wednesday against the bill now before the Senate requiring labour unions to vote before embarking on strike. The sponsor of the bill, Mr. Heineken Lokpobiri said it was to “democratise the entire process of calling a strike.” “Before you embark on any strike, let there be a majority, not a situation where the leadership of every union will sit down, take a decision, call a strike. Some members will not obey and then they will not resort to going physically to prevent people from going to work,” he argued. But NLC President Abdulwaheed Omar in reacting to the presentation of the bill said its sponsors and “the ones behind the mask have shown total disdain for Nigerians.” He was confident the bill would go the way of previous attempts to stifle the labour movement.

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•People gather around the wreckage of a crashed Police helicopter in Jos, Nigeria, Wednesday, March 14, 2012. A top police official and three others have died in a police helicopter crash in central Nigeria after patrolling one of the country's religious flashpoints, police said Wednesday.

DIG, three others die in helicopter crash

Suicide bomber kills 19 in Jos church SUICIDE bomber smashed his explosive-laden car into St. Finbarr’s Catholic Church, Jos, some 200 metres from the Plateau State Government House, on Sunday killing 19 worshippers. The bomber struck 10 minutes into the Hausa service. Among the dead was an expectant woman, 11 other victims died on the spot while the remaining eight were taken to the University of Jos Teaching Hospital. The attack was the second in two weeks in the Tin city. Twenty two people were injured. President Goodluck Jonathan denounced the bombing and similar terror attacks in the country. He pledged a total defeat of terrorism. Governor Jonah Jang, while on an inspection of the scene of the blast, called for prayers to God “to bring an end to these attacks.”

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STEPPING DOWN

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HE newly promoted Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Operations, Mr. John Haruna died in a helicopter crash in Jos on Wednesday. Three other persons-Assistant Commissioner of Police Garba Yalwa (pilot),Chief Superintendent of Police Alexander Pwol-Ja (co-pilot) and the DIG’s orderly, Sonatian Shirunam-also died in the crash. The helicopter crashed just three minutes after taking off from the Nigeria Prison Service field for what the police authorities called “a routine aerial patrol” following last Sunday’s suicide bomb attack on St. Finbarr’s Catholic Church, Rayfield, Jos. The burning helicopter crashed into a residential building.

STOP PRESS

HE State Security Service (SSS), on Wednesday in Abuja, paraded eight young men said to be involved in the abduction and killing of the British and Italian hostages-Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara. Three of the suspects are being quizzed for allegedly carrying out surveillance on the hostages in

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HEALTH WARNING

Archbishop of Canterbury to quit

World faces antibiotics danger

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RCHBISHOP of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, announced Fri day that he would step down at year’s end after a decade of leading the worldwide Anglican Communion at a time of continued controversy over the role of women and gays and lesbians in the church. Williams, 61, said it had been a privilege to serve as head of a communion that includes the Episcopal Church in the United States. But he has decided to take up a position as master of Magdalene College at Cambridge University, a return to the world of academia in which many say the bookish cleric has always felt most at home. His decision to resign after 10 years on the job was not completely unexpected by church watchers. His predecessor, George Carey, served for 11 years. But it comes as the Anglican Communion wrestles with thorny issues that have bedeviled many Christian denominations. In July, for example, the Church of England is to decide whether women can serve as bishops. Some traditionalist priests and parishes have threatened to leave the church if the change goes through as expected.

SSS parades suspe British, Italian

A Goodbye Britannica

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FTER 244 years, Encyclopaedia Britannica is ceasing production of its multivolume reference books, shifting its focus to online encyclopedias and educational tools, company executives announced on Tuesday. Britannica usually prints a new set of tomes every two years, but 2010’s 32-volume set will be the last one ever produced. Print encyclopedias account for less than 1 percent of Encyclopaedia Britannica’s revenues, with curriculum products and other educational tools bringing in 85 percent and the remaining revenues coming from online subscriptions to its website.

NTIBIOTICS will soon become so ineffective that a sore throat or grazing your knee could kill, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned. The microbes that cause the most common infections are starting to resist the drugs, meaning conditions will become much harder to treat. This will make remedies more expensive, and some conditions could even become untreatable. WHO director general, Margaret Chan, said that the world was fast approaching the ‘post-antibiotic era’. She said the chances of changing this were ‘dim’ and expressed concerns that the production line of more resistant drugs was ‘virtually dry’. ‘A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it,’ she said.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

News Review

and sudden tragedies SEC DG accuses Reps Committee of demanding bribe

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HE Director general of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Arunma Oteh,on Thursday, accused the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market, Mr. Herman Hembe, of demanding a N44 million bribe from her. She clained her refusal to play ball might be responsible for the probe of the failure of the capital market by the House. Ms Oteh also alleged that Hembe requested from the commission a Business Class ticket to travel to the Dominican republic for a conference which he did even attend or bother to return the fund for the ticket. The Committee had summoned the DG over allegation that she spent N30million on hotel bills in eight months following her appointment in 2010.

Group accuses Belgore's committee of trying to elongate Jonathan's tenure

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HE Junaid Muhammed-led Coalition of Northern Leaders, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen alleged ,on Thursday, that the Justice Alfa Belgore Committee on Constitution Amendment was pursuing a ‘sinister third term agenda’ for President Goodluck Jonathan with a single seven-year tenure proposal. The group vowed to resist any attempt to extend the President’s tenure beyond May 29,2015. The Presidency dismissed the allegation as curious and mischievous as the panel has not even concluded its assignment. It said the President is busy and does not want to be distracted.

des suspected killers of sh, Italian hostages Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State prior to their abduction while the remaining five are said to have been part of the meeting of the highest decision making -Shura Council-of their faction of Boko Haram that sanctioned the abduction. The SSS said the leader of the faction, Abu Mohammed, died on March 9, 48 hours after he was arrested following a gun duel with security men who went to effect his arrest in Zaria, Kaduna State.

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THE WEEK IN QUOTES “At a point when other parts of the nation are articulating positions which should improve their interests in the manner the nation should be structured, the North is being torn apart by conflicts, violence and deep mistrusts among its communities.” –Former military ruler, General Abdusalami Abubakar at the opening of a meeting of Northern Elders in Minna.

“PDP leadership is not a job for the children; it is a job for the daddies at the moment.” –Alhaji Bamanga Tukur on whether at 76 years old, he is not too old to steer the ship of the ruling party.

“The deaths of Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara were a terrible tragedy. But let us be clear: the responsibility for their deaths lies squarely with the people who kidnapped them, held them, threatened them and then murdered them in cold blood.” –British Defence Secretary Plillip Hammond, speaking in the House of Commons on the failed mission to rescue the two hostages in Sokoto.

“Instead of having the courage to address the numerous security challenges facing us as a nation, and instead of coming up with relevant laws to deal with the endemic issues of corruption in the country and instead of creative legislations to generate employment and reduce poverty, the sponsors of this bill rather decided to assault Nigerians.” –NLC President Omar Abdulwahab denouncing a bill before the Senate to make it mandatory for unions to vote before embarking on strike.

Senate approves N4.8trillion budget

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HE Senate, on Thursday ,approved N4.8trillion spending for the Federal government in 2012 based on an oil benchmark of $72 per barrel. N2.425 trillion of the amount is for recurrent expenditure and N1.519trillion is for capital. The Senate earmarked N372.5billion for statutory transfers and N559.986billion for debt service. There is also a provision of N180billion for the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) of the Federal Government.

•Tukur •Abubakar

OBITUARY

•Hammond

•Omar

SUICIDE BID

Godwin Daboh Adzuana

Man climbs mast over N15m debt

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ONTRO VERSIAL politician, Godwin D a b o h Adzuana died on Thursday at the Garki Hospital, Abuja. He was 70 years old. He came to national prominence following his attack on the renowned Middle Belt leader, J. S. Tarka in the 70s. Daboh was former national treasurer, PDP; deputy coordinator, Concerned PDP Elders for Jonathan/ Sambo; national chairman, Concerned Nigerians for IBB and national chairman, Benue State Elders Forum. He made his entry into politics in 1957, when he became a member of the United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC). He was subsequently a chieftain of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).

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Gen. Henry Adefowope

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ORMER Federal Commissioner for Labour (197578),Major General Henry Edmund Olufemi Adefowope (rtd) died last Sunday, aged 86. No cause was given for his death. The medical doctor-turned soldier was also, at different times, Federal Commissioner for Foreign Affairs (1978-79), and member International Olympic Committee (IOC). He headed Nigeria’s Olympic Committee between 1967 and 1976 and was the chairman of the local organising committee of the Second All-Africa Games in Lagos in 1973. He studied medicine at Glasgow University in Scotland, graduating in 1952 and was commissioned in the Nigerian Army in 1963.

MAN created a big scene Tuesday at the Federal High Court, Abuja premises. Musa Inuwa, an indigene of Adamawa State, claimed former Vice-President Abubakar Atiku owes him N15 million for a construction work he did for him. “I’m here to file a complaint against Atiku Abubakar. The man has refused to pay me the N15 million he owes me for the work I did for him,” he told court workers. Inuwa claimed his petitions to the Police and the State Security Service (SSS) did not receive attention; hence his decision to come to the court. Apparently unhappy with the response he got from the officials, Inuwa stormed out of the office and climbed a nearby telecoms mast – threatening to jump to his death unless his case was dealt with. A combined team of police and court staff managed to talk him down from his precarious perch.


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


COMMENT and ANALYSIS

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THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2012

Festus Eriye efestus2003@yahoo.com 08052135878 (SMS only)

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N case you have not noticed, the sovereign national conference has started in earnest – at least on the pages of newspapers. Each day, some regional group lays out its shopping list for when the hard talking begins. The South-West has been emphasising stronger regional ties and fiscal federalism. The South-South zone has indicated that what is being sold as a generous allocation of 13% derivation is actually tantamount to 87% deprivation. It will ask for more when the time comes. The only zone that has not clearly articulated a position so far appears to be the South-East. On Thursday, the new pressure group Coalition of Northern Leaders, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen – issued a fresh communiqué in which it advertised what was obviously a regional bargaining position in the event that push finally comes to shove. Among other things the group says the north will demand a review of the existing revenue allocation formula which it calls “obnoxious”, “lopsided” and “unfair”. It will also canvass the overturning of the Supreme Court ruling on offshore-onshore dichotomy because it claims the existing formula is a violation of the International Law of Sea Convention (LOSC). Even more interesting is the demand for a discussion of the status of Abuja because its original owners got no compensation. “The fiction of a so-called virgin land sold to the late General Murtala Muhammed was just that; a fictional and shameless invention by an obscure geographer from the SouthWest, to justify the heist of a peoples’ land. No land can be declared a virgin land when it is occupied for several generations by peoples and communities,” the statement said. All the issues raised by the coalition are weighty and cannot be tackled in just one go. However, one of the more provocative of the group’s interventions deserves some attention. The Dr Junaid Mohammed-led committee claims that the Justice Alfa Belgore Committee on Constitutional Amendment was actually pursuing a “sinister third term agenda” for Jonathan via the vehicle of the single seven-year tenure proposal. President Jonathan’s response was swift. Through his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, he dismissed the accusation as a distraction. “Every intelligent man in this country knows that President Jonathan is in his first term in office. So, how have they suddenly jumped from first term to third term? From the point of view of arithmetic, even their claim cannot stand,” he said. Reading through these statements, it seems that the way politicians count is a universe removed from how mathematicians calculate. It is apparent that in the eyes of the Northern coalition, the portion of Umaru Yar’Adua’s tenure which Jonathan served out – however amputated it was – amounts to some sort of “first term.” With that sort of reasoning, the president is presently enjoying a “second term.” Were the constitution to be successfully amended, and were the incumbent to agree to test-run the first sevenyear tenure, that would amount in the eyes of the Mohammed group to a “third term”. It is also important to digest the presidential statement carefully. It makes an unambiguous declaration that Jonathan is serving his first term. Under present arrangements a third term is unconstitutional, and any discussion of it would be purely academic.

Jonathan and the tenure elongation bogey

Lekan Otufodunrin Otufodunrin@thenationonlineng.net 08050498530 (SMS only)

The president’s distraction began the The Journalist’s Wife day he made tenure his priority N his book, Banner Headlines which I

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• Jonathan

• Mohammed

But that does not address the question of whether the president would like to avail himself of constitutional second term that he is entitled to. When the Northern rump within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) threw up zoning to stop him from running last year, Jonathan argued that nothing under the constitution prevented him from contesting. The same legal arguments are available to be deployed were he to succumb to the allurement of seeking four more years in Aso Rock. Abati is at pains to show that the president’s actions over tenure were purely altruistic. “If their concern is about the sevenyear term tenure, President Jonathan has made it clear that his proposal is out of patriotic concern about the amount of wastefulness, greed, tension, conflict and the obsession that go into the search for second term.” In spite of such statements deep suspicions remain because of our history of leaders who didn’t keep their word – especially when it came to transition of power. From General Yakubu Gowon, to Ibrahim Babangida to Olusegun Obasanjo, a string of leaders found some reason to alter commitments to vacate the throne. In Jonathan’s own case, for all his projection of disinterest, the coterie around him

keep banging out the sit-tight rhythm on their drums. Take the recent statement by Asari Dokubo, leader of the Niger Delta Volunteer Force, in which he said the president would occupy Aso Rock for eight years. Dokubo might not represent the president in any official capacity, but the general sense is that he is being used by someone to fly a kite. He spoke authoritatively – like someone who knew something. If Jonathan regards the never-ending insinuations about tenure elongations as a distraction, then the blame for the nuisance lies squarely at his door. Many of us were shocked that a man who many regarded as a transitional figure who would keep things on an even keel and exit the stage, quickly thrust the seven-year tenure project to the top of his to-do list. Unfortunately, that is not the most pressing problem facing the country at this time. The economy is in poor shape – with a large number of our young, active population unemployed. The electricity generation and distribution crisis remains intractable. Up north the Boko Haram insurgency is giving us worldwide notoriety as the latest territory to be occupied by the global Jihadist terror network. You would think a man with all of these on his plate would not have time for minor distractions like presidential tenure. After Obasanjo’s abortive third term project, Nigerians have become hypersensitive to anything that smells remotely like a tenure elongation scheme. In the past he or his spokesmen have suggested that the president would not benefit from any of the provisions of the on-going constitutional amendment process. But under the present climate that is no longer enough. The only thing that would douse the speculations is for Jonathan to make a clear and unambiguous declaration – short of an oath – disavowing any post-2015 stay in office. That sort of statement was what Obasanjo failed to make back in 2007 at the height of the fevered push to get him a third term in office. His refusal to categorically denounce the tenure elongation campaigners only helped stoke the fires of speculation. Jonathan has clearly learnt nothing from the misadventures of his mentor. Until he does what he needs to do, he will be confronted almost daily by such “distractions” from factions of the political elite who hope to benefit from his continued stay in office, and from those who will suffer grievous loss if he continues beyond 2015.

“Reading through these statements, it seems that the way politicians count is a universe removed from how mathematicians calculate. It is apparent that in the eyes of the Northern coalition, the portion of Umaru Yar’Adua’s tenure which Jonathan served out – however amputated it was – amounts to some sort of “first term”

once quoted in this column, Stafford Sommerfied, former editor of the defunct News of the World painted a scary picture of what it takes to be an accomplished journalist and why ladies should think twice before marrying one. “Don’t become a journalist unless you feel that you must and nothing else will do. Even then think twice. To reach the top you must be dedicated; your work must come before home, family and everything. No sensible girl would marry a reporter or be one,” he wrote. Sommerfield is right to a large extent. My experience as a journalist and that of other colleagues confirmed Sommerfield’s assertion. It takes a lot of efforts to ensure a balance between the job and every other thing, including family and faith. The Journalist’s Wife by Mrs Ochuko Blessing Ohu, widow of the slain Assistant Editor of The Guardian, shot dead by unknown gunmen, recently launched in Lagos enumerated the agonies of wives of journalists based on her experience and that of many others she spoke with. Every job has its hazards but any young lady who reads Ohu’s book may be tempted to take Sommerfield’s advice that no sensible girl would marry a reporter seriously. “Behind the glamour lies the pain, the fear, the uncertainty. At times, you wished there was something you could do to change the situation. You wished you could re-direct the course of your life. Sometimes you may want to have a prayer of agreement with your husband and children, but he will not be there with us. You want to go church together but he is not there. “There were issues you would like to discuss passionately with your husband, but he was not there because he is pursuing one story or the other,” Ohu recalled in the book. Another journalist’s wife said, “Whenever I think of it, it makes me sad because anytime your husband goes out, you keep on praying and panicking and calling, telling him to be careful, asking of his whereabouts. Most of the time, when he writes certain stories, you are always scared”. It definitely takes a lot of grace to cope as the wife of a journalist. My wife who though trained as journalist but is not practicing as one, once in a while lets out her frustrations about how my too busy schedule sometimes forces people to ask her what kind of job I do as I am always not around to accompany her to gatherings couples should attend together. My heart goes out to wives of journalists, particularly those who despite the agonies they have endured due to the nature of their husbands’ jobs have become widows following the killing of their loved ones by faceless gunmen who the security agents have not been able to find. I join in thanking Blessing for her book which will definitely draw attention to the plight of wives of journalists and probably make journalists to begin to think about how to balance their work and family life. While journalists like every other professional need to excel at work, they also have to cater for not only the financial needs of their families, but their emotional needs. Like every other widow, Blessing deserves the support of all to cater for her five children. This is the only way we can reward Bayo for the hard work he did in the service of humanity which journalism is all about.


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

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THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

Comment & Analysis

HERE is history to be made. But who will make it? Who among our leaders will break new grounds and do the unusual. Who will dare to redefine leadership and public office, and ask what he can do for his country, rather than what his country can do for him? Who will breathe on Nigeria the fresh air that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy sought for America in the 60s? Right now, the answers are pretty remote. A news report on Friday captured the brazen bleeding of this country by its leaders. The report said chairmen and members of boards of government parastatals and agencies have been receiving billions of naira as sitting allowances. There are 71 of such boards in the country, and in a year are supposed to sit for four times or a maximum of eight. I do not have any information as to whether or not the boards have been sitting for up to four or eight times in a year. But according to the report, the board chairmen and members were paid a cool N4.8b in four years. This figure was reportedly outside what they may have got in contract payments, or travel expenses, furniture, vehicle and medical allowances. Now if that figure covered mere sitting allowances for four years, please stretch it back another four years, and another four years, and you will begin

Who will make history? Billions of naira as sitting allowance is absurd to appreciate how much is being sucked out of this hapless country. You will also agree that perhaps the greatest challenge confronting the country is the Olympian appetite of its leaders. Trillions of naira has been going into the pockets of these leaders just for sitting down. We must bear in mind, however, that this huge appetite is by no means restricted to parastatal boards. It cuts across everything that bears the name public. It is alive at the local councils. It breathes at the state level. It is entrenched at the federal tier. No society forges ahead weighed down by such sweeping mercantile indulgences of its leaders. Eric Blair, popularly known as George Orwell, detailed such crippling indulgences in his all-time bestseller Animal Farm. That farm, or nation, if you will, like Nigeria, had everything it needed to prosper. It even managed to shake off

its overlords, or colonialists, but it ended up a much compromised, retrogressive and hypocritical society, thanks to its overfed leaders. A farm which once forged ahead on the strength of the equality of all animals discovered that some animals were indeed more equal than others. Those more-equal animals soon found out that fruit windfalls were better suited for them than they were for lesser comrades. When such contradictions tended to become an issue and unsettle the republic, a certain clever officer among the higher ranked animals explained it away that the more equal comrades got the cream of the land because they were “brain workers”. They thought harder for the republic than the rest did, and therefore deserved more. Outside this brain-worker principle, it is hard to think of any other reason for paying out billions of naira as sit-

“The people know that in their country, public office is essentially rehabilitation ground, and not a platform for genuine service to the people. In saner climes, it comes with profound expectations. Its holders often wilt and grey under its enormous weight. Here, a gaunt, greying man quickly recovers his wilderness years shortly after coming to power”

ting allowances. By the principle, leaders must be remarkably different from those they lead. They must be better housed; in fact, they must own houses across the country and even beyond. They must be better fed. They must be on top in cash and in kind. The air and halo of superiority must always be around them. But the truth of the matter is that the led are not always fooled. They may not have the power to snatch ill-gotten wealth from their leaders but they know how to exact their pound of flesh. That is why we have what is called voter apathy. Call an election, and only a handful of people come out to vote. They abstain because their votes do not always count, but also because they can hardly vouch for the people putting themselves forward, or are put forward, for public office. The picture hardly changes even when incumbents want to return to power. The people know that in their country, public office is essentially rehabilitation ground, and not a platform for genuine service to the people. In saner climes, it comes with profound expectations. Its holders often wilt and grey under its enormous weight. Here, a gaunt, greying man quickly recovers his wilderness years shortly after coming to power. In our case, public office is cream and juice and little sweat, if any at all. How many compromised leaders have been sent top jail? Who will dare to be different? Who will make history?


THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

Comment & Analysis

15

Walk the talk President Jonathan asks Northern governors to look inward for more income. Let him show the way

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T is sad to note that flat, hollow words seem to have become the trademark of the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency. Yes, Presidents and leaders are given to rhetoric and even banal words that amount to nothing, especially when caught off guard by the press, but we worry deeply when it becomes a way of life of our Presidency. Governors from the Northern states of Nigeria had recently embarked on a rather mischievous clamour for more slice of the national cake, as baked in the Federation Account. President Jonathan was presented a most auspicious opportunity to respond to this obvious gaffe of the Northern governors on March 9, in Makurdi, Benue State, at the commissioning of what has been described as the first fruit concentrate processing factory in Nigeria. The President had told his audience which included governors from the North that: “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(sic) an agro-based economy even before the civil war. We should be able to revive this process like it happened in that period when oil was not an issue.” Sound piece of advice there especially if we overlook the pock marks of Jonathanian inelegance of language. Since crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria about 50 years ago, the country has lapsed irretrievably into a mono-product economy. Government after government has talked about diversifying the economic base; government after government has been unable to break out of what has come to be known as the oil doom syndrome. Nigerian governments at all levels seem content with merely gathering the enormous rent from

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HEN Governor Idris Wada was going round the state campaigning for vote to be elected as the person to take over the mantle of leadership from former governor of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Idiris many voters in Kogi State did not trust him that he can take the state to greater heights. As the mantle of leadership has now been giving to him, what ordinary citizens are saying about the trust the people placed on him is to restore the past glory of the state in order to be at optimal level with other states in the country. The general decay of infrastructure in the state needs to be addressed to ensure the much expected and much talked about democracy dividend is available to the people; this has eluded them in the past. The people of the state look up to him to have a blue print on how to explore the abundant human and natural resources available in the state and harness them for the benefit of the entire state. The people of the

crude oil exploration and sharing same; thereupon they go about to mismanage and squander the revenue. This has largely been the cycle in the past 50 years: A most vicious one indeed. For more than 50 years, we have not been able to grow local capacity; the industry has remained foreign dominated. Neither can we refine the product here as other oil-producing countries are wont. Not even the quantity we consume locally can we manage to put through basic distillation process. Till today, we still ship our heavy crude to other countries to process and ship the refined products back for our use at premium cost. But worse, at a heavy economic, social and psychological cost to the nation. Imagine the enormous impact vast refineries and petrochemical complexes would have had on Nigeria’s economy today in the face of high youth unemployment? Apart from this aberrant crude (oil) situation, there are over a dozen other ways Mr. Jonathan, from his Olympian presidential heights, could catalyse, influence, support or even cajole the lower levels of government into more economic activities should he truly mean what he says. He could push urgent constitutional reviews to loosen such strictures that bar state governments from embarking on certain economic activities locked in the exclusive schedule of the statute book. For instance,

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

•Editor Festus Eriye •Deputy Editor Olayinka Oyegbile •Associate Editors Taiwo Ogundipe Sam Egburonu

•Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi

states can’t even mine the sand deposited in their backyards. What is the Federal Government doing collecting value-added tax (VAT), making vehicle number plates, among numerous such petty economic activities best consigned to the level of local government? On the part of the state governments, they suffer from the same germs of inertia and lack of creativeness ravaging the Federal Government. Consider Benue State which prides itself as the ‘food basket of the nation’; it can actually be the food basket of Africa or the world with a bit of vision and dash from her leadership. But nearly half of the vast food produced from that vast fertile land is wasted for lack of storage and processing capacities. And this vast fertile land that stretches across the north central states of Nigeria is still largely tilled manually as was done in the days of Adam and Eve. The fruit processing factory in question has been in the making for more than a decade. Across the Southeastern states of Nigeria, there is more revenue to be derived from the palm trees than from the federal allocation. While cocoa holds huge promise to turning around the economy of the southwest states. Apart from mining and agriculture, there are massive opportunities in tourism and human capacity export like in sports and eknowledge. In the Northwest zone of the country for instance, the Yankari Games Reserve in Bauchi State can drive the economy of the entire zone as the so-called Dongoyaro trees can release a pharmaceutical revolution. If that exquisite natural bequeathal were in South Africa or even Ghana, Nigerians would holiday there in droves, paying premium rates. The examples are far too many just as the economic diversification songs have been playing for so long. But they are mere pop songs and hollow talk as demonstrated by the President in Makurdi. Why can’t he walk the talk?

LETTERS

Can we trust Governor Wada?

state expect him to focus his attention on the tackling of ethnic rivalry that has eaten deep into the bone marrow the state’s civil service and has retarded the progress needed to make it one of the best in the country. Governor Wada should articulate his policies and programmes on the best

qualities that would be readily available to him without giving consideration to any ethnic agenda, which would see him losing focus on the way forward for the state. As he prepares to appoint his cabinet all eyes would be on him not to make costly mistake of appointing political thugs

and miscreants who would be waiting in the wings for the role they played in ensuring his election. This has been the undoing of past administrations in the state, he should therefore go for those who would deliver the necessary input on the development of the state without any personal consideration, because at

the end of the day the bulk stops at his table. The appointment into various boards, departments and other parastatals should be on merit and reflect the competence that would bring the much needed progress to the state. The governor’s recent move of allocating some

mobile phone lines for people to contribute to the governance of the state should be seen as a right step taken to ensure all the people of the state are carried along in its governance. We hope the trust the people have on him would not be a mirage and be happy to see development of the state is been seen and commended by all sundry. By Bala Nayashi Lokoja, Kogi State

Illegal policemen in Ajegunle community

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ESPITE the order recently given by the Acting InspectorGeneral of Police, Mohammed Abubakar dismantling all road blocks by policemen across the country, I want to call his attention that this is being ignored. He and the Police Commissioner in Lagos should come to the aid of defenceless and vulnerable Ajegunle Okada riders, pedestrians and motorists over illegal extortion by their

men in Ajegunle. It is sad that Nigerians no longer have regard for Police as a profession due to the systematic corruption in the country. Over the years, Ajegunle has been noted for criminal activities, this will stop with well-equipped and disciplined officers to fight against the menace. No profession is free of corruption in Nigeria, but illegal raiding and arrest of innocent Ajegunle residents between the hours of 7pm and 8pm is rampant thus mak-

ing many to live in palpable fears. Police ought to be friends of the public but the reverse is the case at Ajegunle. People, especially the illiterate ones are being arrested unjustly are taken to unhygienic police cells while between N5000 to N10000 is demanded for bail whereas bail is free. Police brutality is more pronounced in this area. Okada riders and motorists are now victims of these illegal police officers who have turned themselves into

lord of Ajegunle community. Some of the illegal checkpoints are Okoya, Opaleye, Mobil road, Wilmer road, Jimoh-Ijora, New road junction and others. The Ajeromi-Ifelodun Police Station, Layeni Post, Tolu Post and Amukoko DPOs need to be thoroughly investigated on the illegalities of some of the police officers in the area. The fear of Ajegunle police officers at undesignated checkpoints have led to many ghastly ac-

cidents among motorists and okada riders. Police are meant to protect lives and property but the reverse is the case here. Lastly, we urge the Lagos State Police Command Commissioner, the two local government chairmen of Ajeromi-Ifelodun, the IGP and Lagos State Government to arrest the situation now. By Godday Odidi, Ajegunle Apapa, Lagos

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THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

Comment & Analysis

Ethnic diversity and unity 1 Ropo Sekoni ropo.sekoni @thenationonlineng.net

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HE discourse on unity has over shadowed ethnicity in a country that has not been one in terms of ethnicity and cultural values for long, in comparison to other nations. Any discourse that gives more attention to the goal of unity than to method or process of acquiring unity poses (whether pundits or ideologues admit) obstacles to sustainable unity. It should not surprise political realists that Nigeria’s unity remains rhetorical, despite all efforts to eclipse the country’s ethnic diversity in the overall organization of the country’s political and economic space. What needs new attention is the claim by military and civilian pundits that ethnicity does not matter in Nigeria, as much as unity does. Ethnicity has always been stigmatized in the country. The British that created the country did so after a long campaign against the validity of the cultures and languages that colonial masters met on the

Femi Orebe femi.orebe @thenationonlineng.net 08056504626 (sms only)

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HEY sowed the wind, now they are reaping the whirlwind abundantly. For far too long, every attempt to nudge the Northern elite into educating its youth and opening up their feudal society to the modernising effects of western education was regarded as excoriation by what they pejoratively called the Lagos-Ibadan press; reference to Ibadan then meaning the very positive role the Tribune newspaper played in that era. Not a few cautioned the North that if it regarded education as expensive, ignorance was evidently much more expensive as we have now all come to see. Unfortunately not just the North, but the entire country is now on the receiving end of that whimsical negligence. Testifying before the Herman Hembe-led House of Representatives’ Committee on Capital Markets and Other Institutions this past week, the Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Arunma Ote, bemoaned how the spate of bombings by the Boko Harm sect in large parts of the North has led to an increase in insecurity which in turn has had a massive negative effect on the operations of the market. This is apart from the deaths, in thousands, the massive human dislocations and ruination occasioned by the bombings in the North. Although escalation in the activities of Boko Haram has been largely attributed to the July 30, 2009 capture and rather gruesome murder of its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, after he had been safely arrested , a murder human rights groups have deemed extrajudicial, the origins of this ‘grassroots or amorphous’ insurrection have been due mostly to illiteracy, pervasive poverty, rampant government corruption and the

The place of ethnicity and culture in the organization of the country in its journey towards sustainable democracy and development ground when they arrived. Such ethnic groups were characterized as tribes of primitive men and women that lived not in nations or nation-states, but in non classifiable space(s). The success of the Act of Union of 1706 that brought England, Scotland, Wales, etc under one political authority must have convinced Frederick Lugard to amalgamate the three regions of multiple nationalities into one geographical territory and political space in 1914. The emergence of a big country with a new name and a new (imported and imposed) political culture was enough to excite its authors and baffle the subjects brought together by fiat and with the goal of ending the stigma put on ethnicity by colonial pundits and anthropologists. But Chief Obafemi Awolowo saw beyond the euphoria of creating a huge multinational country that was not sutured by common cultural values. Without wanting to run away from the experiment of amalgamation, he quickly offered ideas that could make Nigeria work and prosper as a big country or state that houses ethnic groups that were hitherto distinct nations in their own right. He made bold to de-stigmatize

ethnicity and present it as the basis for a functional economy and sustainable democracy in the new nation. In his Path to Nigerian Freedom, he unapologetically called for re-organisation of the country along the lines of ethnicity into a federal state. It is difficult to know how much of Awolowo’s idea influenced the change from unitary rule of Nigeria under colonialism to federal governance between the 1950s and the 1960s. What is clear is that the regional autonomy given to each of the three regions was turned into an instrument of development by each of the three leaders of the time: Ahmadu Bello, Nnamdi Azikiwe, and Awolowo. As far as Awolowo was concerned, the potential awaiting a big country like Nigeria was huge, but the journey to that its actualisation required political creativity that the trio of Bello, Awolowo, and Azikiwe accepted and benefited from, but which has been snuffed out of Nigeria’s political vision since the intrusion of military dictatorship into the country’s political space in 1966. It was fiscal federalism that was first thrown overboard. The principle of resource control which allowed regions to keep 50% of revenue from resources

in each region disappeared and was revived only a few years ago, when 13% was approved for states in which petroleum is produced. That too may soon evaporate, if the demands of Northern Governors’ Forum for change in allocation to oil-producing states become law. The next thing to be dismantled by military dictators is political federalism that gave some space to identity politics. States were deprived of the functions that they had traditionally performed. States were created without any consideration to the role of cultural values, such as formed the core of Awolowo’s argument in favour of federalism. To compound the problem, constitutions were created that had little or no input from citizens. Military dictators and their civilian successors gave Biblical or Koranic authority to the concept of No-go areas in the discussion of the country’s constitution. The current resistance by elected legislators and even the President to calls for national conference to create a new constitution based on the wishes of the peoples of Nigeria is the latest manifestation of the No-go area mentality created by military dictators between 1966

and 1999. Ironically, pundits or persons who should know better keep looking for a Nigeria that is devoid of ethnic diversity by calling on citizens to aspire to think like citizens of one united, indivisible Nigeria, regardless of the character of the constitution under which the life and experience of citizens are determined. Nigerians are being urged not to be preoccupied with what they are, but what they can become; supra-ethnic citizens, regardless of whether the road to Supra-ethnic Nigeria is littered with manifestations of ethnic domination and regardless of the illogic of hoping that privileging of one ethnic group or clusters of group over others can lead to creation of a multiethnic nation that has succeeded in overcoming its trace or history of amalgamation. Such opponents of a free discussion relish telling citizens that Nigeria has reached the end of constitutional history. A season such as the one in which the contributions of Chief Obafemi Awolowo are being cited by friends and foes alike is one that calls for a return to basics: the place of ethnicity and culture in the organization of the country in its journey towards sustainable democracy and development. To be continued next week.

The North: Reaping the whirlwind of disdain for Western education Not a few cautioned the North that if it regarded education as expensive, ignorance was evidently much more expensive as we have now all come to see odious opulence of their politicians and many of the North’s traditional institutions. All these are what the miscreants believe the institution of a Sharia government will correct which is why, to the last man, they are ready to put their lives on the line through suicide bombing It has been suggested, for instance that in Maiduguri, which can justifiably be dubbed the sect’s headquarters, most people eke out a living, barely surviving on less than two dollars a day. This agonising poverty has ensured that there is never a dearth of sympathizers for Boko Haram which has, in turn, facilitated recruitment from the ranks of young men ready to die, seeing no substantial difference between dying and their miserable lives. But nothing in the books ought to have warranted this because, truth be told, the North has for a very long time cornered most of Nigeria’s resources and one of the easiest ways the North- dominated Nigerian military governments cast this in stone was the very lopsided manner in which Local Government areas were created. By their whim and caprice the likes of General Babangida ensured that the North, solely on basis of geographical spread but certainly not true population, has more than a reasonable preponderance of Local Government Areas. Given the raison d’être of Local Governments as a means of bringing governance nearer to the grassroots, the huge monthly allocations to these many centres which by far outstrips what goes to the South, should ordinarily have impacted positively on lives in the North.

Corruption and easy lifestyle have completely vitiated that. Instead of investing in massive education of its youth, the governments look askance when huge portions of their youth population get thrown into what is called the almajeri conundrum in which under 5-year olds are dispatched in their innocence to clerics who in turn throw them on the streets with plates in their hands, begging alms. When the governments want to act at all, they buy the older and much more virile youths thousands of motor bikes and ship them - men and bikes - enmasse to Lagos in trailer loads only to come down south to cause maximum damage to riders since their ubiquitous radios are permanently wired to their ears denying them attention to traffic rules and regulations. Their victims are daily making up the numbers at places like the Igbobi orthopaedic hospital and other local bone healing centres in town. Whereas in the South, where some of the governments are almost equally guilty of massive corruption and thieving from the public purse – we have former Delta State governor Ibori to showcase for that - there is still a semblance of development at the Local Government Areas, in vain will you look for what LG funds go to in the North. From the above it is easy to see why some leading lights of the North continue to demonise talks about devolving powers to the states which are obviously more suitable platforms for development than a far flung Federal Government somewhere in Abuja. I have heard calls for a sovereign national conference

or any conference at all to streamline the terms of our union, described as nothing but a ‘jaded recidivism inspired more by fissiparous tendencies that help no one’, to quote my friend. How he knows it will not help the proponents is beyond me. Apart from direct federal allocations to its higher number of states, the North has, through a near monopoly of federal power, equally cornered a huge part of the national patrimony which makes calls for higher federal allocation to the North laughable especially when they suffer no ecological degradation as a result of oil exploration . And, if only a fraction of these stupendous riches has been allowed to trickle down to their town folks! In a recent article: ‘The Real Owners of Nigeria’, Samuel Diminas asked: Who impoverished the North? He went on to answer his own question. Wrote he: ‘I want to posit that the Core North through their aristocrats and ex-military rulers rake an enormous income from oil money individually, much more than any Individual/group of individuals from the South, and collectively more than 10 times the entire Niger Delta business men in the oil and gas industry put together.’ He then went on to justify his claim that ‘an estimated 75% of crude oil and gas produced by indigenous companies in Nigeria is controlled by the North. It is an area , he says, the North has truly conquered, courtesy Generals Babangida, Abacha and Abdulsalami, all former heads of state, asserting categorically that Ni-

gerians would weep if they knew how much of the nation’s resources these individuals allocated to themselves and their business fronts before they stepped aside. He then proceeded to show how through outright cronyism huge allocations of oil blocks were made to traditional and military aristocracies of the North to a near total exclusion of southerners. He actually mentioned both their names as well as their company names but more galling according to him was the fact that oil blocks became a wedding gift item to many of their children and sons-in laws. But the most painful is that all these unearned riches are never allowed to trickle down to the poor except that they are able to ogle, and adore the palaces that the likes of Alhaji Mai Deribe built in Maiduguri. While it is true that Kano and Kaduna, or even Maiduguri roads are not paved with crude oil, it has become an absolute desideratum that these stinkingly rich individuals spare a thought for the poor amongst them. It is of utmost importance, in what one might call the urgency of now, to borrow a friend’s title to his riveting book on restructuring Nigeria, for them to partner with their somnambulist governments in re-engineering and reviving education in the entire North as a means of giving hope to the hopeless millions among them. Failure to do this, they will never again be able to sleep soundly or with their two eyes closed. Boko Haram has already guaranteed that.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

Tunji

Adegboyega tunjade@yahoo.co.uk 08054503906 (sms only)

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WANTED to write once again on the state of our medical institutions when in the last four months or so alone, at least three Nigerian personalities passed on in foreign hospitals. These were the Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Emeka OdumegwuOjukwu; Chief Matthew Tawo Mbu and Prof Sam Adepoju Aluko. Ojukwu died last November in a hospital in the United Kingdom where he had been receiving treatment for stroke since December 2010. He was aged 78. Mbu died last month, also in a London hospital, at the age of 82. Prof Aluko on his part died at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, United Kingdom. He was also 82. All these were accomplished Nigerians. Interestingly, they knew that once upon a time there was quality medical care in this country. Not a few people in their generation who had died wondered where the country missed it. However, I had to revisit the issue of our medical care with the experience of an unknown Nigerian in an Indian hospital that was reported on page 5 of this paper on March 14. It is a pathetic experience. The hapless Nigerian is 50-year-old Patience Uvaise who travelled to India about a year ago in search of cure for cervical spondylosis. Apparently, she had heard stories of the wonders that Indian doctors are doing and wanted to benefit from it. She must have heard too that it is by far too cheap to get treated in India than in Lon-

Postscript, Unlimited! By

Oyinkan Medubi 08187172799 (SMS only) puchuckles7@gmail.com

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FIND sports fascinating. I like the straining and the pulling, the heaving and the hawing, the neck sinews pulling taut like wild dogs snarling under severe restraints, the body undergoing wicked punishment for its temerity and dare to accumulate fat like a fat cat. I also like seeing the muscles stretched beyond human endurance. Oh, the measure of satisfaction I get from watching people put their bodies through sports routines for great gain is simply immeasurable. Someday, I hope to emulate them. For now, why bother? Unlike James Bond who gets to live many times, we ordinary folks get to live only once. My love for sports is legendary. While I was growing up, sports and I were as far apart from each other as two opposite poles. The only stab I took at it then brought so much pain that I remember swearing under my breathe something vaguely to the effect ‘never again’, a little akin to Mark Twain’s very brief retort: ‘Long life? No sports’. So, I kept off the fields, and the fields also respectfully kept off me except, of course, when I went to watch events, and I did so from afar. Now, you know there is no crime without punishment. What I thought

Comment & Analysis

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India, from love songs to medical care In spite of the risks, more Nigerians besiege this country for medical attention. What a shame! don or France or Germany or other developed countries. I guess the Indian hospitals are mainly for such people who do not have the means to go to these other places but yet want something more reliable than they could get in, say, Nigeria. Unfortunately, Uvaise has found out, contrary to her expectation, that there is a difference between the white person that is taking tea and the black man who is drinking pap but yet believes that what both of them are drinking is hot water! Whereas Uvaise could walk when she left the country, she can no longer do that after a series of surgeries in India. What happened was that she was admitted into a private hospital, Hiranandani Hospital in Navi Mumbai for treatment where she ended up with paralysis after three surgeries. She has taken the hospital to court for negligence. The hospital refuted the allegation. The court referred her case to another hospital, JJ Hospital, for probe as to whether her situation was reversible. The report is a damning no. And that has made Uviase to resolve to stay put in the Indian hospital because she

cannot understand how she would return home worse than she left. We used to know India for its love songs. So. if Uvaise were to be a man, we would have thought he had been enchanted by the captivating voice of some Indian damsels singing some love tunes into his ears. But no. The fact though is; anything could go wrong in any hospital, including some of the best in the world. As a matter of fact, what doctors do is try; only God heals. But then, no one in his or her right senses would walk into a hospital which he or she believes is manned by quacks or halfbaked doctors, or doctors without the right equipment to work with. Indeed, if there is any profession where half bread is not better than none, it is the medical profession. The lack of tools and motivation has made many of our experienced surgeons to leave our shores for greener pasture elsewhere. They joined the next available planes and trains as far back as the 1980s. This is the situation in Nigeria; and it is this situation that is responsible for the influx of Nigerian sick

“Poor men, as the accursed that they are, must be asking themselves whether sending our big people abroad for medical care is not a waste of resources. But their wisdom is folly in government circles. My point of departure with government is not necessarily about the waste of resources; but more about taking outside jobs that even some of our quack doctors could handle better!”

to foreign hospitals in search of cure for their ailments. As a matter of fact, some of our big men would not want a Nigerian doctor to treat them even for very minor ailment because they do not have the confidence that the minor ailment would not be mishandled in a way that it would degenerate into a major complication. Imagine the way Chief Gani Fawehinmi was misdiagnosed here only to get to know what was wrong with him abroad, by which time it was too late. Even our former president, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was clinically dead abroad months after he was flown out for medical treatment before he was returned home to die, after being moved from one country to another. This is one of the reasons why many of us laugh when government officials talk about national pride; I wonder whether they know what that really means. Even the Indians, as imperfect as their system might be, can lay a better claim to national pride. At least many sick Nigerians are flooding that country because they believe they will be cured there. How many people see Nigeria in that light? Even those who used to are leaving the country for better climes because we are impervious to change. I cannot recall the number of times when many of us on the editorial board of this newspaper, including very distinguished Nigerians who had paid their dues, had wondered aloud whether we have government here. And it is the same story every day; the changing never changing. And there is no incentive for

Our sports have gone the way of our frivolous jollification was only a Mutually Assured Dislike (MAD) between me and the sports fields has now turned out to be a crime against the Fields Rights Society (FRS), you know, just like animal rights groups. It turns out that hating the field lays the fat on one like mad! This means a re-write of Twain’s famous words. Rather than have ‘Long life? No sports’, we now have ‘No sports? Fat!’ Good heavens, whoever knew so much peace could bring so much trouble?! Any way, that is why I took a resolve to get interested in sports. I began by taking up walking. I also watch sports on TV. Watching sports on TV, particularly football is an incredible experience. I find it incomprehensible that a group of men (or women now!) would gather around a pitch and run after a defenseless ball for no other reason than to push it into a net. Worse, I really cannot understand that that same group of men (or women now!) would be paid so much or regarded so highly for kicking that ball around for a while to the mad joy of a frenzied crowd. I mean, what does kicking balls around a field produce? I distinctly remember beating my children when they were young for doing that and asking them to go and do something worthwhile! Listen, about that crowd frenzy thing, it is pure madness. I understand that football has so gone into people’s heads now that when a game is on, there is very little you can do to get them to move from

their chair just because the house is burning! If a man (and only a fan too) can shoot and kill his own wife for changing the TV channel during a football game, how on earth do you think that kind of man can be asked to kindly take someone to the hospital just because the person is dying? So, please tell me, how I should understand how the humanity in man gets so seriously subtracted during a football game that a man cannot know his brother again. Now, family members are divided over their respective different football clubs and they are not talking to each other; just as I am now not talking to the Ministry of Sports over their handling of all affairs concerning the nation’s sports. Don’t get me wrong, I am only still a watcher, and I watch from a very long distance indeed, where no fan can kick out or shoot at me, when in the frenzy of the game. That gives me a very vantage point of observatory. From that observatory, I see that the country has only one sports event of note, no, had only one event of note, until the government took over, and that is football. Now, that has been so bungled up you cannot recognize the playing from the administering, like telling six pence from half a dozen. The Nigerian administrators lack the will to administer well since they are only interested in flying their agbadas all over the place till you cannot see anything around you again. Let me tell you a joke. Someone reported that a

conference of sporting bodies took place somewhere in an African country and all the countries in the continent were represented with the minimum number of seriously minded individuals. Alas, however, they all still had to wait for the Nigerian contingent which arrived in such a large number with flowing agbadas you would think they had gone there to seek asylum. And then, all that your Nigerians did there was take photographs. It is a funny thing really. Each time there is an international event like the Olympics, the contingent is often made up of people who have no business with sports (such as the girlfriends of the girlfriends of the sisters, brothers, friends and neighbours of some highly placed officials who are not in anyway related to the Ministry. By the time the names of the coaches are submitted for visas, the quota is filled. Is this not simply bizarre?! Naturally, the players look at this weird set-up and promptly lose the zeal to play for the country. You would too, if you were a player and all you can see in your country’s corner of the stadium are only big shots’ girlfriends and boyfriends. Your hand of salute would go limp while the country’s anthem is playing, and your playing feet would suddenly develop, err, cold feet. If the country is not serious, why should a player be? This is why from first place in African football in the eighties and nineties, Nigeria has dropped to what now, I

change because the same people are being recycled in government under different nomenclatures. At over 80, they still think some jobs are meant exclusively for people like them. Anyway, so that we do not give room for high blood pressure, please relax your nerves as you share with me this joke on the internet concerning the places to be if you are a public official in Nigeria in need of medical attention (I need not add it must be abroad because that is implied): The writer calls it “The authoritative list of places to seek medical attention for Public Office Holders”: 1.Torn Ligament (a.k.a. Thierry Henry injury) - United Kingdom; 2. Catarrh and common colds – Germany; 3. Running (I guess runny) stomach (a.k.a. diarrhoea) – Belgium; 4. Headache – Spain; 5. Backache – Italy; 6. Gonorrhea (God forbid!!) South Africa; 7. Muscle pull – Ghana; 8. Eye pain - Japan (for laser treatment); 9. Tummy tuck – Germany; 10. Breast Enlargement – (and if I may add, enlargement of tibi) USA 11; Facial surgery (a.k.a. Plastic Surgery) Greece/Spain/Italy. Poor men, as the accursed that they are, must be asking themselves whether sending our big people abroad for medical care is not a waste of resources. But their wisdom is folly in government circles. My point of departure with government is not necessarily about the waste of resources; but more about taking outside jobs that even some of our quack doctors could handle better! I am pained, for instance, that Dr. Jeremiah Abalaka is idle simply because some people poured sand in his ‘garri’ over his claim to be able to cure HIV/ AIDS. Yet, we are flying people abroad for treatment of minor ailments on government’s ticket!

don’t know. I also see that, in other sports, the Ministry of Sports does not exist. It sleeps like a sleeping beauty until woken up by the kick of an impending international game. Seriously, it would seem no one does anything in that place until disaster knocks at the door, then come and watch scrambling! The other day I listened to a TV interview given by a sports analyst who said that there are only five (5) months to the London Olympics and a coach has only just been appointed for the Athletics team. Now, how’s that for inefficient scrambling?! We have scrambled around so much in everything concerning our national life we have even forgotten how to do it. So, all other balls like volley, basket, tennis, etc., and field jobs like judo, boxing, wrestling, no longer exist until there is a tournament. They have all become victims of the disease eating up the country – the Nairamania that feeds our frivolous lifestyles. So, whatever does not accrue anything to any official’s pockets for this mania is not worth pursuing. This is why no one is doing any serious administering in the ministr(ies). And so, the world gallops on in excellence, collecting greatness and honour, while our Ministry of Sports (et al.) continues to snooze on, collecting infamy and notoriety. Then everyone complains that hundreds of millions have been spent on a sporting event, only to have nothing come out of it. They forget this important fact of life – nothing comes from nothing! If national monies are spent on the friends of the friends of girlfriends and boyfriends, we should be content enough with what we get out of it – more friends. Meanwhile, I will continue to walk as a sport.


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

Comment & Analysis

Power politics or welfare politics? Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the history of African nationalist political thought •Continued from last week

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HERE is no sorrow without its alloy of joy, there is no joy without its admixture of sorrow. Behind the ugly terrible mask of Misfortune lies the beautiful soothing countenance of Prosperity. So, tear the mask! The juxtapositions of darkness and light, joy and sorrow, pain and gain run through his philosophy, and he takes as an article of faith that the end of pain and travail is glory. After receiving his Western education, he became part of a small minority of the highly educated Africans in a colonial state. But this elite was so powerful and so successful that its members eventually inherited power from Europeans and generated ideas about their country. In the case of Chief Awolowo, he invested in the notion of progress-the genuine hope that Nigeria would develop and that he and others would be the agents of that transformation. The notion of progress was intermeshed with that of nationalism. He accepted the ideas of the nation-state but, at the same time, he had his own ideas about ethnicity and even the larger project of a continental identity for Africa. He participated in local and global cultures; his perspectives were drawn from local, national, continental, and international current of ideas. Europeans at first resented him, but he later acquired power from them. Western education supplied new knowledge, globalized knowledge, but the African elite it produced belonged to a society with its own intellectual paradigm. However, this paradigm developed alongside discussions of tradition and modernity. Modernity includes the notion of change-in practices and ideas that are new, from technology to consumption. It also connotes newness, an intergenerational or intercultural marker between a past and a present. To those with access to objects and ideas associated with modernity-and who flaunt them as worth having-it also connotes prestige. Chief Awolowo can be identified with some of these assumptions of modernity and the identity that resulted. He and others also belonged to an emerging set of new identities defined in solidifying ethnic terms, but, at the same time, they had to engage in struggles to defend the nation and compete for power. Awolowo saw firsthand shifting identities, which he described in his early years living at Ikenne and Abeokuta and in his experiences at Ibadan and Lagos. A new set of Yoruba elite emerged: educated, semi-educated, school teachers, lawyers, and the like set new aspirations. Identities also changed rapidly. Elements of it overlapped, and we see how Awolowo started as an Ikenne boy, growing up among the Egba, acquiring education, broadening his educational base, engaging in the modern occupations of teaching, typing, public letter writing, and

By Toyin Falola

later commerce, law and politics. He also belonged to an extended lineage, township, and culture. When in 1945 he became part of the leading founders of the Egbe Omo Oduduwa, his Yoruba identity became a form of political instrumentality. His Ikenne roots grew out of Ijebu-Yoruba identity: Then he became Ijegba, an identity that grew out of living in Abeokuta. The formation of Egbe Omo Oduduwa grew out of colonial control and the rising politics of decolonisation. For Awolowo and other Africans of the colonial era, their identities were not only multifaceted but often thrown into crises and flux. The Ikenne boy became a Yoruba man and a Nigerian politician. He engaged in local politics, competed at the provincial level, became a regional leader, and aspired to national leadership. To all these, add the profession of teaching and law. In all these identities, the most definitive in Awolowo's life and career was that of his Yoruba-ness, that is, of an ethnicity framed by the colonialists as "tribe." The politics of British indirect rule ensured that these "tribes" would consolidate, and they later engaged in bitter political competition that led to the Nigerian civil war in the 1960s. As to be expected, the political leaders of the time regarded their actions in plural waysas nationalists fighting for Nigeria but also as regionalists advancing the progress of their own people. In describing his entry to politics through the Nigerian Youth Movement established in 1934, Chief Awolowo described his work for the party as selfless, and regarded the Nigerian Youth Movement as a nationalist organisation. It should be noted in passing that Lagos was the preeminent centre in the early years of nationalist politics. Chief Awolowo blamed the injection of ethnic nationalism into Lagos politics as the cause of the collapse of an emerging and unifying organisation. Chief Awolowo regarded his own search for an appropriate federal system and the creation of more states along linguistic lines as paths toward a peaceful and progressive country. Even his ideas on the Egbe Omo Oduduwa, which his political opponents saw as "tribal," he took on as a platform "to ensure a strong and harmonious federal union among the peoples of Nigeria." This platform, which others regarded as "tribal," was actually in conformity with his principles of state creation and federalism and with what was to happen much later with the creation of thirty-six states. Chief Awolowo in Focus: His Doctrine for Nigeria Chief Awolowo was primarily concerned with how to bring progress to Nigeria, to free it from European domination and exploitation, to restore its dignity, and to question all negative assumptions and rac-

•Awolowo

ist prejudices. He did not make distinctions between scholarship and politics, academy and ideology. What we may call scholarly paper, he conceived as a document of economic and political liberation. His motive was to attain development. He created a body of ideas on progress, conscious of the need to respond to negative comments about his people and country. The major ideas they espoused addressed issues of Western domination, imperialism, exploitation, African personality, identity, and alternatives for Africa. Chief Awolowo belonged to the nationalist phase of African history and the forest of ideas that they all generated, although he did not agree with some of them. He made his own distinctive mark in various ways: intellectual ideas, community organizing, political mobilisation, and leadership. First and foremost, he has to be understood as an intellectual, one who was able to reflect on a large body of data and then able to create policy actions from the conclusions. He was intellectually restless, in the sense that the ideas and policies were many and often came in a flood. At a time when Nigeria was underdeveloped and with limited resources, the task of effecting change was tremendous. Chief Awolowo was able to do this through the use of one skill in particular: visionary leadership. That is precisely what is missing today in the management of our institutions. We once blamed the 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. Thus, we can talk of an Awolowo Doctrine, which, over time, has now become the very doctrine of the majority of Nigerians. Let there be one Nigeria, an indivisible entity. He so much believed in Nigeria that he dedicated his autobiography not to his wife of inestimable value, but to "A New and Free Nigeria Where Individual Freedom and More Abundant Life Are Guaranteed to All Her Citizens." He did not say that Nigeria should collapse into pieces, even when he regarded the space as an artificial creation of the British. He believed that political leaders ought to be committed to the maintenance of the country's unity. A second component was that there must be a constitution, republican in nature. States, with their local governments, should be semi-autonomous and federating units. He devoted considerable amount of reflections on the idea of federalism and how to put it into practice. His notion of federalism was located in democracy. To those who alleged that he wanted to take over government by force, they should be reminded of his belief that "Government by tyranny or dictatorship is maintainable only by the use of force and by various acts of repression and oppression against those who disagree with or are critical of the tyrant or dictator." Ultimately, this reflected his belief that the business of government is about people. He insisted that resources should be devoted to the elimination of poverty. He was opposed to expensive expenditure on the military and defence on the grounds that spending resources meant for development on arms was unproductive. He was in

support of building an army tions. Neither will they accept to protect the country and its leaders who say one thing territorial integrity, but not "as and do another or who create an instrument for maintain- budgets on grandiose projects ing a totalitarian regime". He only to divert public money warned, "Any government to their private pockets. Leadthat does not enjoy the good- ership is about service-no will of the people should re- more no less. Wesley College sign: it must not utilize the got it right in its motto: "Bi people's money for the pur- Eniti Nse Iranse" (as he that pose both of their enslave- serveth), drawn from Luke ment and starvation." 22:27. While the secondary The focus on people led to schools of the time, whose the third doctrine: progress mottos were in Latin, ridiand development. All citi- culed this Yoruba one, the zens must be educated, and young Awolowo saw serhe was the principal figure in vant-leadership in practice; the introduction of free uni- the students lived the motto, versal primary education in did everything for themthe Western Region in 1955. selves, and ran the school usThe educated citizens must ing teamwork. A nation is be active in developing the teamwork. Chief Awolowo country's resources. For Nige- wanted to serve, and he also ria to progress he argued that sought to lead. the state must use the reToday, public service has sources of the nation to cater become about accumulation to the people by creating jobs, and personal aggrandizemaking education available, ment in which the leader beand creating the conditions to comes the master. The state is have access to the basic ne- imperialized, converting citicessities of life: housing, food, zens into subjects, resources clothing, and health. He into private ownership. Polilinked an economic set of ob- tics is about how to control jectives to the larger principles people and resources, and the of state objective: "the more game of politics is how to prosperous a State is, and the game opponents to create more equitably and justly dis- greater access to the spoils of tributed its wealth is, the less office. The higher the level of liable it is to the danger of in- power, the more the resources ternal disorder and the more that flow to private pockets so able it is to discourage exter- that the wealthy is the one nal aggression." with the closest access to the The objectives his work corridors of power. In that enitemizes were grounded in vironment, power brings welfare politics. His own per- wealth, fame and adulation, sonal narratives of overcom- not public service. ing poverty became transIf Chief Awoloeo lated into the project of allow- were still alive he would aring all to do the same. He gue that we need a set of leadgenuinely believed that no ers who will be our servants one should be poor and was not our bosses, who will not most happy when formulat- ask us to look at their grandiing and implementing poli- ose houses while we live in cies to eradicate poverty. He shanties, who will endure the believed that poverty is same kind of suffering as the manmade, "the direct out- majority of the population, come of an inhuman and un- whose children will attend godly social order, in which a the same public schools as strong, selfish, ruthless few those of their "subjects," who exploit and deprive the will use the local hospitals masses of the people, politi- when they are sick. He would cally and economically." The make the same immortal statestate, he argued, is the only ment he made over sixty years one with the resources and ago: "It is the amount of pacapability to eliminate poverty triotism, unstinted effort and and ensure equality of oppor- wisdom which we apply to tunity to children, irrespective the exploitation of our vast reof the income of their parents. sources, and of the just and However, the most impor- equitable distribution of the tant lesson to take away from results of such exploitation, Chief Awolowo's work is his that will determine the meaprescription for the imple- sure of our greatness and hapmentation of welfare politics. piness as a people." His sloHis legacy to Nigeria, and in- gan, "freedom to all, life more deed the world, is the pro- abundant," will forever reposal of critical conceptions main true. Let us all work for that must be infused into po- it. litical leadership. He argued "(Abridged text of the that leadership must be 2012 Awo Foundation Lecgrounded in ethics-a moral- ture, Friday, March 9, Lagos, ity of spending resources Nigeria, by Professor Toyin more carefully, without cor- Falola). Falola is the Frances ruption, and with compas- Higginbotham Nalle Centension for people. Leadership nial Professor in History and must respect the rules of law a Distinguished Teaching and human rights and can- Professsor at the University not be based on violence and of Texas at Austin, USA. the oppression of alternate political ideology. As Chief (Abridged text of the 2012 Awo Awolowo concluded, politics is about vision, the politics of Foundation Lecture, Friday, March Nigeria, by Professor Toyin formulating ideas and objec- 9, Lagos,Falola). Falola is the Frances tives, the politics of present- Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Proing those objectives, and the fessor in History and a Distinguished politics of implementing them. Teaching Professsor at the UniverPeople cannot be expected to sity of Texas at Austin, USA. accept a set of objectives different from their own aspira•Concluded


19

POLITICS THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

•Babangida

•Abubakar

•Mohammed

North’s sudden frenzy over Boko Haram In the last few days, Northern leaders have organised numerous high stake meetings to tackle the Boko Haram security menace and articulate the region’s position on the burning issues of restructuring, amongst others. Dare Odufowokan examines the hidden reasons behind the new awakening.

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LURRY of activities within the northern part of Nigeria in the past week have given the indication that the region may have decided to confront headlong, the menace of Boko Haram Islamist sect. The sect has been unleashing terror on many cities and states within the region for about two years now, amidst allegations that northern elites have not done enough to condemn the activities of the group, giving room to speculation that it was an orchestrated plan to stamp out all traces of western civilisation from the region. Before now, the northern elite had maintained comparative silence. But events of the past week, across the states of the region, have been acknowledged as more definite responses. Rising from a meeting, held at the Niger Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja during the week, northern leaders, comprising past heads of state, former army and air chiefs, politicians and businessmen, publicly expressed worry over the security challenges in the zone with particular reference to the activities of members of the Boko Haram sect. At the end of the meeting, a committee headed by former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Al-Amin Daggash, was set up by the leaders to look at the issue of insecurity that has suddenly become a major problem in the north and the country and to suggest ways of solving the problem. The committee is expected to complete its assignments before the end of the month and report to the northern leaders when they reconvene on April 7. Few days before the Abuja meeting, a group of concerned northerners, including governors, politicians, academics and other professionals, had met to deliberate

on the same issue of insecurity in the region. The concerned northerners, at the end of hours of deliberations, set up ten committees to articulate northern interests, especially contentious issues of discussing the future of Nigeria under the aegis of a Sovereign National Conference, SNC and eradicating the problem of insecurity in the region. The coalition, which is led by Second Republic member of the House of Representatives, Dr. Junaid Muhammed, set up committees on security and Borno dialogue, constitutional amendments, revenue and fiscal systems and structure of Federalism in Nigeria. The security committee is made up of participating governors, Dr. Muhammed (Convener), Alh. Mahmud Yayale Ahmed (Chairman), Sen. John Wash Pam, Dr. Shettima Mustapha, Prof. Ignatius Ayua , Alh. Adamu Maina Waziri, Mr. Timaus Mathias, Dr. Ladi Hamalai;and Solomon Dalung. Others are Commodore Isa Tijjani, Chief Audu Ogbe, Mal. Mohammed Haruna, Mal. Mohammed Hayatuddeen, Sen. John Shagaya; Prof. Idris Mohammed, Alh. Lawal Batagarawa and Mal. Yusuf Abba. Members of the Borno Dialogue Committee, which is expected to get to the very root of the Boko Haram sect in Maiduguri, include Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa. Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno, Prof. Nur Alkali, Abubakar Mustapha, David Garnva and Kalli Ghazali. Around the same time, the Northern States Governors Forum (NGF) rose from its meeting in Kaduna with a committee mandated to monitor the implementation of the Federal Government’s White Paper on the security challenges in the North-East geo-political zone.

In a communique read by its chairman and Governor of Niger State, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, the NGF announced the membership of the five-man committee to include the governors of Borno, Yobe, Zamfara, Adamawa and Plateau states. Forces behind the new moves Apart from the governors of the states in the region and the traditional rulers, led by the Sultan, the major forces behind the new initiative include former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida; exhead of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar; former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; former Nigeria Permanent Representatives to the United Nations, Alhaji Yusufu Maitama Sule; former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Al-Amin Daggash; former Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Professor Ango Abdullahi; and ex- Minister of Finance, Mallam Adamu Ciroma. Others include Justice Mamman Nasir; former Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy, General Paul Tarfa (rtd), Dr. Muhammed (Convener), Alh. Mahmud Yayale Ahmed, Senator John Wash Pam; Bello Kirfi; former Minister of Environment and Sani Zango Daura. Objectives of the meetings While the northern leaders said the need to return the region to its peaceful past informed their current interest in tackling the Boko Haram menace, sources within and outside the region say a number of recent developments may have forced the elite in the north to take the Boko Haram insurgence more seriously. Alhaji Maitama Sule, who chaired one of the Abuja meetings, however, may have given out one of the fears of the northern elites when, in his opening remarks, he warned that no one would be spared if nothing was done immediately to curb the inse-

•Aliyu

curity menace. A reliable source within the ranks of the concerned group also hinted that there is fear that the terrorists may soon go after the leadership of the North in an attempt to take over control of the area. This fear stemmed out of the fact that the sect had defied all entreaties made to it by the leadership of the region to give up its violent agitation. “There is this fear among the elites of the north that if the sect is not stopped now, it may soon start to vent its anger on prominent northerners to make statements. When the Boko Haram thing first broke, manyof the elite in the region saw it as one group that can be called to order as at when due. “This explains the earlier apathy shown by leaders of the region towards the efforts made over the years to checkmate the sect. But it recently dawned on them that there may be more to the group than they thought,” our source said. The Nation also learnt that recent revelations linking the sect to foreign terrorist organisations, like the Al Quada, have unsettled the northern elites, many of who had all along seen the Boko Haram as a local group of disgruntled extremists who could easily be dealt with. “The stories linking Boko Haram with terrorist organisations unsettled the leadership of the region. It suddenly dawned on the elites that it may be impossible to stop the group from overrunning the entire region. The realisation that the sect is backed by foreigners drove fear into everybody. And when several underground efforts to caution the group failed, it became obvious that the matter has gone out of hand,” the source added. “Today, what we need in the North in order to arrest the situation is unity. And we should learn from the lessons of our elders. But I beg you, let us try to revive the glory of the past. We are all brothers. If there is any trouble, it will affect every one of us. Let no one think that he would escape,” Maitama Sule had said at the Abuja meeting. Another reason for the new concern in the north over the Boko Haram issue is the fear that the Presidency may have resolved to move against some prominent northerners on the suspicion that they were secretly backing the terrorist sect. “The Presidency has been worried over the silence of Northern leaders and elders on Boko Haram crisis. The government is not comfortable that they are not condemning the Islamist sect enough on the spate of attacks and the loss of lives and properties,” a senior government official told The Nation.( (Government sources further disclosed the feelings of the Federal •Continued on Page 21


20

THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

Politics

Is Orji a misunderstood reformer? Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji of Abia State has fought many political battles since he assumed office in 2007. Associate Editor, Sam Egburonu, in this report, wonders if he is a visionless governor, as some of his bitterest critics would say, or a misunderstood innovator, grappling with the task of leaving an enduring legacy.

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NTIL May 29, 2011, when Governor Theodore Orji-led Abia State government organised a grand 20 years anniversary of God’s own State and used the opportunity to showcase some of its achievements in the state, reports of kidnappings and general insecurity had led many observers to overlook the governor’s vision and leadership capabilities. Though he rose up to the occasion and, with the aid of the Joint Military Task Force, tackled the ugly problem effectively, it seems his critics have either resolved not to allow him any credit or are deliberately painting his administration’s activities in black for some political reasons. As a result, the governor has continued

to be associated with one controversy after the other, the latest being the report that angry youths actually pelted him with pure water in Aba Township Stadium during the lying in state of the late Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. A source close to Umuahia Government House alleged that the state government has embarked on many life changing projects but has been painted black always by a powerful political clique in the state which has sworn that the governor would never succeed. The source, a top civil servant, who pleaded not to be named, said the problem was that the governor do not ordinarily like to blow his trumpet. “It is for this reason that his political rivals have consistently

•Orji

Abia State: When a Daniel came to judgment

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EFORE the creation of Abia State in 1991, the people of Old Bende, Aba and Afikpo, met severally to demand the creation of states out of the old Imo State to cater for their interests and facilitate the development of their rural communities. From the requests made, only ABIA was created from the list they presented at the time. The uproarious celebration that greeted the birth of the State was a manifestation of the eagerness with which the people had desired it. Predictably, the people of the young State set out to build an egalitarian society which in their estimation was to be the envy of other Nigerians. The spirit was high with unrivaled determination to pursue the new dream, especially with the christening of Abia as God’s own State. The founding military administration and successive governments took positive steps to lay good foundation for the development of the State. One would readily recall the enthusiasm with which Abians supported every administration that emerged in the State until fate, dear fate, played an unwholesome game on them. The emergence of a democratically elected government in the State, at Nigeria’s return to democratic governance in 1999, turned out as it were, the people’s albatross. The unsuspecting people of God’s own State found themselves in a quagmire having been deceitfully lured into idol worship by a mastermind that had projected the establishment of a dynasty anchored on Jezebel spirit. Little did Abians understand that their future and those of generations unborn were being handed over to the devil. In the guise of ensuring loyalty and submissiveness, a people got enmeshed in idolatry,-big time. The projection was actually to ensnare the State under the perpetual control of one family. The rest of the people were, somewhat, only to be seen and not to be heard, in a State largely populated by people who are republican in nature. While the people grappled with the trauma of psychological slavery, wondering how and when freedom would come, the mercy of God showed up. In a style reminiscent of what a semi-illiterate farmer once said, “Man e propose, God e propose.” What actually the old farmer had wanted to say was, man proposes God disposes; an age long axiom that conveys man’s dependence on the superior authority of the Almighty Creator to enforce his plans, programmes, desires and will. Going by the old farmer’s standpoint, while one familymother and son, had sleepless nights planning how to perpetually enslave God’s people, in God’s own State, unknown to them, the Almighty Creator Himself had also planned how to erode their authority and deliver His people from demonism so that they may serve Him, the only power that deserves worship.

By Bonnie Iwuoha History has shown that God is always provoked to jealousy whenever a mortal being enslaves fellow men to the point of wanting to extract worship from them. The Holy Bible records that God the Creator commanded all living souls in Exodus 20:3; “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” kJV. In Exodus 34: 14, it is further stated; “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God:” KJV. So, whenever man tries to take the place of God in the life of fellow men, the wrath of God is attracted. As it was in times past, so it is even now, that deliverers are sent whenever a people are hoodwinked into pure idolatry, slavery of the soul or hero worship. Among the Jews of old who had spent about 430years in bondage in Egypt, God sent Moses to set them free and lead them to a land of promise that they might be free to serve the LORD. When Moses aired along the way, he was replaced with Joshua. God has never lacked men to execute His will. In Abia State, with the rate of apostasy among politicians that had almost reached an embarrassing height in 21st century Nigeria, God’s intervention brought in Chief T. A. Orji to fight idol worship in various forms and lead the people to safety, that they might be genuinely productive and serve the only true God-the creator of the universe. Certainly, that is by no means a simple assignment, as it has never been with similar tasks in times past. Those who have had a measure of experience in spiritual warfare would appreciate the magnitude of such assignments. They would agree that such a mission would amount to engaging hungry lions in their den and at the same time ensure that they are defeated. It is no mean task deflating the strength of ravenous wolves. Expectedly, the battle for the soul of Abia State has been ferocious. Those who had enslaved the people for about 12years are unrelenting in their quest to regain control of the State. They have employed all manners of diversionary stunts to see if the deliverer of Abians will be distracted. The irresponsible behaviour exhibited by a rented crowed at the Enyimba Sports Stadium, Aba, on Tuesday, February 28, during a funeral ceremony organized by the Abia State Government to honour late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, was one of such condemnable affronts hatched by haters of progress in Abia to divert attention. That has been the situation in God’s own State since Governor T. A. Orji took up the mantle of leadership. The enormity of the challenges notwithstanding, this man of destiny has continued to wax stronger with each phase of his assignment. The strength made available to him confirms God’s word in Numbers 23: 19, it states, “God is not a man, that he

should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” KJV. God’s promises and instructions are firm. God has never abandoned anyone He chooses for a task. Man could fail but God’s call is without repentance or regret. It becomes imperative therefore for people to understand that opposing a man appointed by God for a task, would mean direct affront to God. The level of development that Abia State has experienced since Governor T. A. Orji assumed leadership of the State, eloquently testify of his determination to remain focused in pleasing God who called and chose him for this service. The transformation the State has received in the areas of security; healthcare delivery; housing; urban and rural roads construction and rehabilitation; education; workers welfare and the general wellbeing of the people, is quite unprecedented. I would like to invite Nigerians who had witnessed the eyesore that roads and streets within Umuahia capital development area and environs were a couple of years back, to visit the city now and see for themselves the transformation that has taken place. Aba, the Enyimba city, the commercial hub of Eastern Nigeria, was for many years neglected and abandoned by previous administrations that governed the State. In all honesty, the rot in Aba which was heightened by the careless and lawless attitude of some residents of the city who violated laid down urban development laws and basic principles of environmental decency, by building houses on drainage channels and water ways, converting every available land space to markets, indiscriminate dumping of refuse and sewage in drainage channels, blocking major roads and streets including highways with unserviceable vehicles among many other indecent behaviour that characterized the ugly scene that Aba was for many years, would rattle even renowned world leaders and experts in environmental management. Today, the story in Aba is fast changing, but some of those who love to live in swamps like pigs are resenting the changes which Governor T. A. Orji has brought to Enyimba city in order to restore sanity to the once clean and well laid out city. Going by the words of John Brademas, a famous US Congressman, that “Leadership can be summed up in two words: intelligence and integrity or to use two synonyms: competence and character,” one can boldly posit that God truly brought Chief T. A. Orji to the right place at the right time, otherwise, Abia may have been irredeemable. A Daniel is indeed here to judgment in God’s own State. •Iwuoha is the Special Adviser on Media to Governor T. A Orji

tried to discredit him, inspite of his contributions,” he said. He also confided that it was for that reason that some top government officials and politicians advised the governor to organise the 20th anniversary of the state the way it was organised. “We felt he needed to show the world what he had done,”he said. It would be recalled that some of the major projects that the government celebrated during the anniversary included housing estates in Umuahia, like that of Iseke, Amauba phase one and Amaokwe. Many of such housing estates have also been constructed in Aba, the commercial nerve centre of the east. Our investigation confirms that after tackling the kidnapping menace, which gave the state its worst media image, Orji has paid more attention to construction of roads, especially in Aba. Recently, he reportedly released N2.5 Billion to road contractors. He also undertook to construct some of the federal roads leading to Aba, like the Aba-Owerri road, whose cost was put at over N5 billion. Another important thing Orji has done in the commercial city of Aba is in the area of environmental control. Few years ago, Aba was considered the dirtiest city in the country. Residents, who spoke to us, said it is no longer so. “The Refuge Disposal Unit is doing very well in Aba and Umuahia. Today, if you go to Umuahia, the streets are swept. There are people, cleaners who are there on daily basis. Bins are provided for people to drop their wastes. And the same is happening here in Aba,” Udeagha Ubagha, a bussiness executive told The Nation, adding that this was a sign of great things to come. “I think the governor has long term initiative. So, I suspect most of his critics are looking at short term developments,” he said. Ubagha said other areas that Orji has made impact include education, medicare, transportation, and agriculture. According to him, “under the governor subventions were increased for tertiary institutions in the state. On the area of medicare, he said, “free medical scheme that was introduced by former governor Kalu is still very much on course.” However, Dr. Kingsley Ihioma, a medical practitioner in Aba insists that most of the projects being celebrated today by the government are still on paper. “If you are living in Abia, you would understand the type of politics we play here. 70 percent of these projects you are refering to are still on paper and in the minds of government officials. We are yet to see them,”he said. But according to Chief Onyekwere Uko, a lawyer in Umuahia, “Orji may have done better in the political revolutions he has brought about in Abia State. “Beyond physical development, Orji has tried to renew the social and political reality of Abia State. I can tell you that the claim of political liberation is true,” he said. It would be recalled that as part of her campaign for last April’s general election, the governor’s wife, Mrs. Mercy Odochi Orji, campaigned that the governor’s decision to join PDP was in the interest of Abia State. “Abians should not allow themselves to be deceived because they have seen what happened before when the state was in the opposition, and what has happened since the state joined the Federal Government. All those things that we have been missing have started coming back,” she said. However, because some of the refered benefits are yet to manifest physically, neutral observers to the politics of Abia State are today wondering if Orji is the state’s real albatross or a misunderstood silent reformer. Time will tell.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2011

Politics

Between Kashamu and Ogun PDP godfathers

Political

ripples

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Amaechi’s difficult choice

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HE 2015 elections may be about three years away, but major gladiators on the political scene in Rivers State are already positioning themselves to succeed the incumbent governor, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi. Insiders informed Political Ripples that prominent stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic P a r t y (PDP) in the state a r e currently engaged in subterranean moves to clinch the coveted seat, a development that is presently causing ripples in the party. O u r sources alleged that about f i v e • Amaechi aspirants, w h i c h include Senator Magnus Abe, the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesome Wike; the Deputy Governor, Ted Ikuru, are the frontrunners in the race. Some days ago, speculations were rife that Governor Amaechi may have secretly endorsed Abe, who before he was elected Senator in 2011, had previously served as a Commissioner and Secretary to the State Government under ex-Governor Peter Odili and Amaechi respectively. No sooner had the reports hit town that a counter-claim was made, which rubbished the story that governor actually endorsed Abe. Political Ripples however gathered that while Amaechi has not made known his preference for any of the aspirants, some close associates to the governor are giving impression that he may look in the direction of Wike when the chips are down. This expectation is based on Amaechi and Wike’s closeness.

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• Obasanjo

HERE seems to be no end in sight to the internal crises bedeviling the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP). While other state chapters in the South-West zone are working towards reconciliation, the factions in Ogun State are seemingly consolidating their bitter war of attrition. A source confirmed to Ripples during the week that the man at the middle of the whole rumpus within the party is Buruji Kashamu. Of course his name rings a bell. He is the billionaire businessman lured into politics by the former governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. From being Daniel’s ally, Kashamu became a leading figure of the PDP in the state when he used his wealth to attract membership to the party, using his Omo-Ilu Foundation. However, he soon fell out with Daniel and moved over to the Jubril Martin Kuye faction of the party. And shortly before the gubernatorial election in the state, he dumped the so-called JMK faction to pitch

NFF and Anyim’s political solution

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ANY Nigerians will never get to really understand how a political solution was applied in restoring peace to troubled Nigerian Football Federation (NFF). What most people know is that the crisis rocking the NFF is about to end. The gladiators threatening to tear the Glass House apart are now ready to give peace a chance. Agreements have been reached and implementations are underway. But the much awaited peace didn’t come as a result of the numerous court cases instituted by the combatants or as a result of the many visits to the FIFA headquarters in Zurich. However, Political Ripples reports that peace may have came in form of a political solution proffered by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim. Tongues have been waging on how

the experienced former Senate President casually convinced both Sam Jaja and Ray Nnaji to discontinue their various litigations against NFF. The gist is that stakeholders were allegedly encouraged to be ‘settled,’ so as to give peace a chance. Applying political understanding to solve the football puzzle, Anyim, according to sources, had told all the parties present at the peace parley to keep open minds and be prepared to make sacrifices. Within minutes, he had convinced NFF officials to agree to offer Jaja honourary membership of the Glass House while Nnaji would be made to smile. And that settled the matter. A lot of people have been praising the ingenuous move by Senator Anyim and hoping that his political solution will be permanent.

his tent with former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s faction. Today, Kashamu is his own boss as he leads a faction in the state. An inside source said when he became tired of serving the godfathers, he succumbed to the advise of some of his associates, who maintained that since he has enough money he could be his own boss. But it seems that is where he got it all wrong, politically. This is so because there appears to be a current plot to run the Ijebu-Igbo born politician out of the party. All the other factions during the weekend expressed their readiness for reconciliation on the condition that the Buruji faction remained out of the arrangement. Both the JMK and OBJ faction vowed not to have anything to do with their former man Friday while the OGD faction refused to recognise the existence of Buruji’s faction. According to them, the man was expelled from the party over a year ago. It is left to be seen how the socialitet u r n e d politician will win this war against the combined forces of his erstwhile godfathers.

•Daniel

Bush-Alebiosu back on his feet

C • Anyim

HAIRMAN of the House of Representative Committee on Treaties and Protocols, Dayo Bush-Alebiosu, who has been critically ill since October, is back on his feet. The federal lawmaker underwent several surgeries at the Lagos State Teaching University Hospital (LASUTH) over the ailment. Political Ripples can report that Bush-Alebiosu was at a point walking with crutches. Sources close to him said he was rushed to LASUTH a few days after the commissioning of a project for his constituency. But he has since recovered. Our investigation shows that the lawmaker who represents Kosofe Federal Constituency, resumed legislative duties in Abuja last Tuesday. When contacted this week, he confirmed to Political Ripples that he underwent several surgeries. Dispelling media reports that he was abandoned in the hospital, he thanked his fellow lawmakers for showing solidarity with him through visits and calls, adding that doctors worked hard to save his life.”I thank God for sparing my life and I am happy to be back,” he said.

North’s sudden frenzy over Boko Haram •Continued from Page 19 eral Government saying it was worried and concerned that since the sect increased its spate of attacks, there has not been a strong condemnation of Boko Haram from the region, hence, raising suspicion of collaboration between the group and top northerners. The source said, this was the highlight of a security meeting recently held in Abuja. The meeting resolved to investigate some prominent northerners including a certain former Head of State, a former governor and many others. “At a recent meeting of top security operatives and the presidency, facts emerged on how some northerners had set up a group similar to Boko Haram a few years back. They had allegedly nurtured the said group through financing and monitoring until it became too big to control. “The story is that the group had been disbanded shortly after the 2007 general

election when it became obvious that its founding fathers would not be able to curtail its excesses,” the source added. It is believed that the ongoing efforts to move against the sect by northern elites may be a way of telling the presidency to look elsewhere for the sponsors of the violent sect. “We are also very conscious of the implication of allegations like that. Though many of us will swear our innocence any day, it is important to correct the erroneous impression that northern leaders are sponsors of Boko Haram,” a top politician from the region said on Friday. Also, the Publicity Secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Anthony Sani, recently gave inkling into the thinking in the region on the suspicion within the presidency when he disassociated the forum from reports of a plot to assassinate the President. “Following the last press conference by ACF, through which the forum sought to

address the hype in activities of Boko Haram and the allegations by some groups that there are plans to assassinate Mr. President, there have been cascade of reports and commentaries in the media. “Talking about belated outings of ACF and northern leaders in condemnation of activities of Boko Haram,I wish to state my demur. As the spokesman of ACF, I cannot recall any violent acts by a group in the northern parts of the country which ACF did not openly condemn,” he said. Analysts have also added the dwindling economic situation in the region, occasioned by the violent activities of the sect, to the many reasons why the north could no longer watch while Boko Haram made the region unsafe. It was gathered that a group of prominent businessmen from the region had met with the political elites to call attention to the rate at which business and corporate organisations were relocating away from the region in droves.

“They warned that if something is not done immediately, many of the fleeing businesess will never return to the region when peace returns. This, they fear, will complicate the already worrisome level of unemployment in the area,” a source hinted. Also, the Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council are worried over the development. The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, while addressing a recent meeting, said the region had encountered unprecedented challenges in terms of the rising trend of insecurity, which have deprived it of democratic liberty, freedom and economic prosperity. The Sultan expressed the resolve and readiness of the Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council to collaborate with the Northern governors, who should be the mouth piece of the North, to restore enduring peace and harmonious co-existence and development in the region for the benefit of all.


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

Politics

How Ojukwu’s burial was financed –Obi After the burial of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Senator Ben Obi, Chairman Outreach and Contact sub-Committee and member of the Steering Committee on the burial, spoke on how the federal government, state governors and others jointly financed the grand burial of the late Igbo leader. He spoke to Nwanosike Onu and Odogwu Emeka Odogwu. Excerpts

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On the planning I will like again to put on record the appreciation of the committee. The committee is a 40-man committee established by the governors of the old Eastern Region. I will like to express our appreciation to them. And we also express at close quarters the appreciation of the committee to the South-East governors and in particular the Chairman of the Forum, the executive governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, who took time to participate with the steering committee which, whenever they ran into a hitch, would fly into Abuja, fly into Lagos, fly into anywhere to help resolve those teething problems. I want to say that a few times it was as if we had reached a dead end; we didn’t know what to do, we were financially handicapped, but whenever we called him and told him our problems, he responded. •Obi So the success that you people are referring to worldwide, the success can be easily credited to Ndigbo in general because every Igbo man participated in this success. I, as Chairman of Outreach and Contact, when I had to visit Cote d’Voire, Zambia, Ghana just to inform the presidents of this countries because of their personal relationships with Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, of his demise, I had the full support and backing of Gov Peter Obi. When I spoke with Prof. Wole Soyinka, saying ‘you will speak in Enugu on your friend’, he said to me, ‘look, Ben, consider it done.’ It wasn’t more than two minutes of discussion. In fact, you will like to know that Wole Soyinka flew in from Los Angeles; he arrived Lagos on the 27th and was in Enugu on the 29th. In fact, on the 27th when he arrived Lagos, Soyinka took ill and I called my governor and I said, ‘look, the Nobel laureate has taken ill and he was hospitalized.’ So, he said I should go and see him in Lagos. I tried because that was the day we arrived from London, but I couldn’t, but I reached his good friend, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, who was sitting by him and he said he was recovering. That night, he called me and said he would arrive Enugu on the 29th and he arrived. The chairman of the occasion in Enugu, Ebitu Ukiwe, told him to just go and take a rest. This is the kind of interest people from outside Igboland also showed. When we went to see Gov. Fashola that we were coming to Lagos, he set up a committee directly in his office to arrange for what you saw that happened in Lagos. The same thing with Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, the same thing with Rotimi Amechi, Liyel Imoke - all the governors. Everywhere we went, it was total participation. So you see, I do not know really where to rest the success but I have told you the commitment up to the last minute, the commitment of the governors. You saw what happened in Owerri, you saw what happened in Enugu. The Local Organising Committee was directly in touch with me because the members were dealing with the Con-

tact Committee. So, they were very prepared, they were very committed. Those who even made their own personal contributions did so without complaint. Costs and source of funding I’m not the Financial Secretary or the Treasurer of the committee. All I can say to you is that contributions came basically from the governors of the old Eastern Region. They agreed among themselves that they were going to contribute some amount of money and the governor of Anambra State, who was the one coordinating, took the responsibility to make sure that all the governors paid their dues. The governor of Delta State felt slighted that they did not include him. So when they went to Asaba he said to them, ‘I’m part of this. After all I have more than one third of Igbos in the population of my state.’ So, he immediately made his own contribution. So, I want to say that we had an estimate of what we wanted to do beyond the burial but then there was this advice across board that we drop it and do the burial after which we go out and do what we planned for the great man. So, I don’t have the mandate to speak on anybody’s roles in this assignment because if I tell you now that A brought so much or B brought so much, some people may feel I have ignored them. Immortalisation of Ojukwu We’re thinking about how the people’s general can be immortalised. We don’t want a situation whereby we start a programme or a project in immortalising him then fall short of not completing the project. Any project that we decide to do to immortalise him, you can be rest assured it will be completed. Level of support from FG I will like to place on record the total commitment of the federal government in these burial activities. We did not go as a committee to see the president but the chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, (Obi) was meeting directly with Mr. President. Whatever support that was required, we got. When we wanted to

involve the Army, I was the one who went to see the Chief of Army Staff under the directive of the Chairman of the Central Burial Committee and the Chief of Army Staff set up a committee in his office to advise them and all other requests we made, were passed from the Chairman of the Central Committee to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. There was no request that we made that we did not get. We wanted to use the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, we got the approval; you can all testify to the full participation of the military. So these are all the support that we got from the President. It is also to be placed on record that on our arrival from London, the Vice President, Arch Namadi Sambo, stood in for the President from beginning to the end. In Enugu, the Vice President was there. On Friday (burial day) the President decided to come and perform the burial rites and you all heard when he spoke; how Ikemba came for his (president’s) father’s burial in Otuoke and how from that moment he virtually adopted Ikemba as his father. So, you can see there’s no level at which the Federal Government did not give us maximum support. I don’t know where the Vice President attended a burial twice within 96 hours. You heard the President say he had never seen any burial like this in the world. I don’t think anybody will be buried this way again in the country. Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the Ezeigbo Gburugburu, has confirmed even in death that truly he was a leader On Ojukwu’s successor Ikemba did not just get up one morning to say he is the leader of the Igbo, no. For me, the committee never lost sleep for one day about those who are scampering to be leader or leaders of Ndigbo. Ndogbo are a complete republican natured people. You don’t impose yourself on them. At the appropriate time the man who will lead them will emerge and then we will follow him the way we followed and adored Ikemba. It’s difficult for a people not to have a leader. God in His infinite mercy, never created people and then abandoned them and made them leaderless. Circumstances will always throw up true, genuine leadership. It was the circumstances of the crisis in 1966 that threw up Emeka Ojukwu. He was not a member of the Ifeajuna-led coup but after that, he became governor of the Eastern Region and after that, circumstances again made him leader of Biafra and the rest is history today. When you look at the Igbo nation, there are quite a number of people who are around and who we don’t even know until they come out to take responsibility of leadership and then you start to see certain qualities and begin to imagine that they too truly can play a role in the lives of the people. You may not have the kind of visionary, courageous leader like Emeka Ojukwu to come up again. But then, somebody may come up to play one role or the other in due course but it’s not by imposing yourself on the people. Igbo never recognise imposition. It has to evolve.

Political Politics turf

with Bolade Omonijo boladeomonijo@yahoo.com

The tenure elongation debate

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015 is still three full years away. The general elections may be held any time from December 2014 to April 2015. But, rather unfortunately, the heat is already on. In many states of the federation, governors in their second term are already plotting how to remain relevant post 2015. Some are turning their attention to how to get into the Senate, which would entail displacing those now in the upper legislative chamber. But, others have called their trusted allies and associates to look into the possibility of playing the godfathers at the state level. They know this to be tricky. Not a few godfathers and mentors who were hailed to high heavens yesterday have been consigned to the rubbish heap by protégés. My concern here is not what is happening in the various states. It is the very dangerous debate over the post-2015 ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan. In fairness to the President, he has not indicated interest in staying beyond his present term. In fact, when he made the proposal that the constitution should be amended to allow only a single tenure of seven years, he also ruled out an intention of it applying to his current term. He was elected and sworn in for a four year term, and so it shall remain, he indicated. That ordinarily should be enough to set minds at rest. But, that statement was not sufficiently categorical. Does it rule him out of a possible contest for a second term, probably of seven years? What happens if the elongation is thrown out by the National Assembly? Would Jonathan then stay out of the fray in 2015? Out of the blues, concerned Northerners, at least, so they have described themselves, on Thursday, alleged that the Ijaw man is trying to foist a hidden agenda on the nation through the Belgore Committee. In a highly logical response, the highly cerebral but embattled presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, described the charge as unfortunate, illogical and a distraction. But, he did not rule his principal out of the race for 2015. He however, pointed out, correctly I believe, that Jonathan is in his first term, not second, and that a debate over a third term was thus misplaced. After the demise of President Umaru Yar’Adua, there was a call on Jonathan to step up his profile by refusing to join the 2011presidential race. Those who thought Jonathan could begin to see himself more as a statesman than a politician, called on him to save the country the undue rancour and inter ethnic conflict that could arise from a non-Northerner stepping in for what could have been Yar’Adua’s second term. Students of power who understood the game and the personalities who were key players knew it was an impossible demand. The President was not yet established as a politician, how would he then accept to assume the unfamiliar role of a statesman? It would amount to a David taking on Saul’s armour. Many sentiments went into the 2011 presidential election. President Jonathan’s kinsmen in the Niger Delta saw it as a divinely appointed moment to take the seat. They could not imagine their man refusing to step on the state. They therefore, gave him full support. Their Igbo neighbours associated with that line of reasoning. Both zones gave real and unrealistic votes to keep the President on the seat beyong May last year. Then, the North Central. They could identify with their Southern minorities soul mates. For so long, the minorities of the North and South have complained about marginalization. In the North, the Tivs of Benue and communities in Plateau, in particular, have borne the brunt of Hausa/Fulani oppression. The agitation led to the setting up of the Willinks Committee to enquire into fears of the minorities just before independence. It is also one of the factors for continuing agitation for creation of new states. So, when the opportunity came up for a minority man from the country’s fourth largest ethnic group to mount the dais, all minorities saw reason to rally round Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the PDP candidate, irrespective of their reservations about his capacity, capability and other rational grounds for objection to his candidacy. The Southwest was not left out. The largely ACN territory, for religious and other reasons teamed up with other parts of the South to support one of their own. Opportunity to make a more rational choice will not come until 2015. But, we are here now. About 36 months before another election, groups are already canvassing support for or against candidates who are yet to step into the ring. Honestly, I cannot rule out the likelihood of Jonathan contesting. If body language and the cacophony of voices from his people are to be believed, it seems that he is merely waiting for the appropriate time to make the declaration. The man is smart enough to know that he ought to put a few things in place to negotiate his reelection. The North, for the first time, was outsmarted in the last election, owing mainly to a string of miscalculations. It has started again. Stepping into an empty ring is not a smart way of playing the game. Setting up committees at this point, to plot the way for the region is unlikely to stand them in good stead. My plea is that there is a time for everything. This may be the time to be discussing 2015 in hushed tones, but is is not time to be making provocate utterances and throwing brickbats. I agree with the President that his adversaries are out to distract the administration, but he also ought to demonstrate that he means well for Nigeria. I am not convinced at the moment that he has a roadmap for the journey he has embarked on. He seems to be groping in the dark, thus giving signal that enemies of the Nigerian state could make bold bids.


COVER

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THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

SEC BOSS, ARUNMA OTEH: Victim or villain? Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf writes on the many travails of the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) who is currently being investigated by the House Committee on Capital Market and other Institutions.

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THEATRE of the absurd: that was what Nigerians were literally treated to last Wednesday at the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly following revelations that the Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Arunma Oteh, allegedly spent N30 million on hotel bills in eight months following her appointment in January 2010. More shocking revelations were to follow. In one day alone, it was alleged, Ms Oteh, spent N850,000 on food, while on another day, she incurred additional N85,000 expenses in the same hotel for which SEC’s account was debited. It is instructive to note that the petition that has literally hanged Oteh’s career in the balance was allegedly instigated by workers of the commission represented by Mr. Kola Ogba. The workers had last year in a petition to President Goodluck Jonathan accused Ms. Oteh of squandering over N200 million on hotel accommodation since her appointment as the DG. Copies of the petition were sent to the Senate Presi-

dent, Speaker, House of Representatives, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market, Chairman, House Committee on Capital Market and Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. They sought Oteh’s removal as DG of SEC. A litany of sins According to copies of the NICON Hilton Hotel receipts attached to the petition, the SEC boss has been living in Room 1026 in the five-star hotel since she was appointed. Besides, the workers lamented the alleged frequent overseas trips by the DG, all of which were made on Business Class, “whereas even a minister travels officially in Economic Class”. Besides Ms Oteh, the petitioners also accused the Chairman of SEC Board, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, of conniving with the DG to milk the commission dry by also taking a permanent office at SEC, when he was appointed only on a part-time basis. The petitioners added: “The woman and the chairman are here to loot the commission. The two of

them keep boasting to other board members that they have connections in high places, up to the Presidency and that this is their time to make money. “What of the funny and inexperienced people she brought with her from Tunisia without cognate experience like her and are now directors? As the minister in charge, did you approve these appointments? Who interviewed them and placed them on special scales? “Is there not supposed to be an embargo on appointments? Why not promote from within with capable people marking time as deputy directors?” Apparently drawing inspiration from that petition, the Chairman of the House of Rep Committee on Capital Market raised further posers. Among other things, the lawmakers questioned the Legal Commissioner and the Director of Finance on the rational of buying three Toyota Hilux vehicles for N32 million without following the procurement act of passing the resolution to buy the vehicles through the proper tenders’ board. Two Access Bank Plc employ-

ees were also said to have been hired as advisers to Oteh. The two employees, Mr. Charles Ugheli and Mr. Titi Olubiyi, were reportedly engaged in 2010 in breach of due process and against the advice of both the legal and human resource departments of SEC. SEC is the regulatory authority of the Nigerian capital market, where Access Bank is a key player. The two officers were said to still retain their appointments with Access Bank but were being paid allowances equivalent to that of a director in the Federal Civil Service whenever they travelled out of Abuja. The disclosures came to the fore as the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market looked into the competence of SEC to adequately regulate the market in the light of the crises that had bedevilled the market lately. The committee said the engagement of the Access Bank employees by SEC was an infraction that could explain why the commission had been unable to stamp its authority on protecting investors.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Herman Hembe, noted that questions bearing on integrity, honesty and competence would be raised when a regulator opted to employ workers of one of the agencies it was regulating. He stated, “Worse still, these employees are still workers of Access Bank. They are paid salaries by Access Bank, but work for SEC. This smacks of plenty fraud and the regulation by SEC is impaired by bias and incompetence.” The Executive Commissioner Legal and Enforcement, Charles Udora confirmed that a memo to buy the vehicle was raised but that he refused to sign it. He said he did not sign the tender bid to buy the vehicle because he did not attend the tenders’ board meeting where the purchase of the vehicle was resolved, “and as the most senior lawyer in the commission, I cannot sign the memo.” Mr. Hembe said though the public procurement acts categorically states that the Secretary of the tenders’ board must be the director of the procurement department or •Continued on Page 24


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

Cover

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HEY were two amazons who hankered to stamp their authority in a field otherwise seen as the exclusive preserve of the men: the shrewd world of business. One of these amazons did prove her self-worth and mettle in no time. Among other things she succeeded in building a larger than life image exercising a wide influence over men of means for over a decade. But as with all things human, she soon suffered an eclipse when her arch-rival, the other amazon assumed authority over the former, thus in no time the once famous but powerful amazon was demystified. The above anecdote aptly captures the career portraiture of Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, erstwhile Director-General of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) who was sacked by the now embattled Ms. Arunmah Oteh, seven months after she assumed position as the Director-General, at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the ombudsman to the Exchange. The bulky-framed, flamboyant and colourful Okereke-Onyuike, had her statutory ten years tenure as the boss of the bourse, truncated abruptly on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 following allegations of financial impropriety against her office. She was sacked by the Exchange’s Ombudsman, the SEC without proper recourse to due process. Fight to finish The SEC’s boss had acted on allegation of poor corporate governance, inability to put a proper succession plan, financial mismanagement and insolvency of the exchange under the former NSE DG. But most market analysts at the time pinned her removal to the fallout of the altercation and supremacy battle between her and Africa’s foremost business mogul and richest man, Alhaji •Continued on Page 64 someone from the department nominated by the director, in SEC the Secretary is a staff from the tenders’ board secretariat. The committee asked the management of the commission to explain a memo that was issued by the Technical adviser to the DG, Franca Chukwuogu to the Head of Administration. In the Memo (CADEO) dated 26/01/2011 Ms Chukwuogu had demanded through the head of Administration that the commission pay the rent for a five bedroom bungalow as the official rent for the DG. Another Memo from the Head of Administration, Bello Ibrahim showed that the rent for the five bedroom apartment at Maitama district of Abuja cost the commission over N62 million. The Committee asked the management of the commission to explain why it paid the rent of the DG despite the enactment of the monetisation policy by the Federal government. Furthermore, the committee questioned the rational of the commission for paying the bill of the DG who on appointment stayed at the Hilton Hotel for eight months instead of the 28 days recommended by civil service rule. The committee also accused the management of SEC of abandoning its own training institute – The Nigeria Capital Market Institute (NCMI) while dishing out training contracts to private consulting firms. Responding to the allegations of mismanagement, the SEC boss said that the committee was not giving her a fair hearing.

Unending battles of two amazons

•Oteh Aliko Dangote. Both were heavily engaged in business war, over the control of the exchange, especially, as it relates to who controls strategic leadership positions at the NSE. Although, SEC, while announcing the removal of Okereke-Onyiuke, added that Dangote was also suspended as the President of the Exchange, but he (Dangote) did not suffer any damage in reputation and dignity. Oteh who resumed as SEC DG few months after her predecessor, Mallam Al-Faki resigned amid criticism of the role of SEC in a share-manipulation scandal involving African Petroleum stock, came with the mindset to turn the tide in the industry. This

•Okereke-Onyuike had been eroded under the watch of Okereke-Onyuike, she does fell a victim of the cyclone that hit the market. Expectedly, Okereke-Onyiuke didn’t take the seeming denigration of her person without a fight. She challenged her dismissal at the court and got a ruling in her favour. Among the reliefs granted by the court was a comprehensive compensation package. The victory notwithstanding, it was learnt that ‘Madam Exchange’, as Okereke-Onyuike was generously called by her fans, was still bitter over her removal in questionable circumstance and therefore swore to get even with her accuser, in this case, Oteh.

Even after the former’s exit from the scene, it was an open secret that some of her surviving loyalists at the Exchange and SEC, continued to do the bidding of their former boss. For instance, investigation revealed that Oteh and the staff of the commission have been at a cold war. The workers were not happy over Oteh’s refusal for an outright approval for the payment of some of their allowances since her appointment. Her decision to refer such due rights to the salaries and wages committee of the board forced a good number of the workers to initiate some reactions which would have culminated in a breakdown of law and order. There were strong indications

that Oteh’s stance was as a result of perceived high level of wastage in the system as well as the erosion of due diligence in the commission, two ills which the new director-general considered inimical to her mission at the commission. Her stance was believed to have drastically polarised her office with the commissioners in the commission. Evidence of the bad blood between the two amazons reared its ugly head last Tuesday at the public hearing organised at the instance of the House of Representatives committee on the capital market and other institutions, as Oteh queried the relationship between the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and the former Director General of NSE, Ndidi Okereke-Onyuike who she said is her aunt and the fact that the wife of the deputy speaker is a staff of the commission, adding that it puts her in a prejudiced position. But not a lot of people share these sentiments. In the view of Mazi Okechukwu Unegbu, Chief Executive Officer, Maxi Fund Investment and Securities Plc, insinuations that OkerekeOnyuike could be responsible for the Oteh’s present predicament are uncalled for. Speaking with The Nation over the weekend, Unegbu, who is former president of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) said: “There is no need to say that bad blood exists between the two women because Okereke-Onyuike is no longer in office. Were she to be in office then that accusation of bad blood can stick.” Continuing, he said: “By the way, she was supposed to have retired from the Exchange by December of that year. So, saying there was bad blood or anything of the sorts is a red-herring as far as I’m concerned.”

Oteh: Victim or villain “Not even in Idi Amin time did we have such a kangaroo court”, she said. The Director, Human Resource, SEC, Mr. Useni Dauda, and the Commissioner, Enforcement and Legal, Mr. Charles Ahamefula, both admitted on oath that the two employees were hired on the directive of Oteh. While Ugheli is designated as “Project Adviser,” Olubiyi serves as “Communications Adviser.” Oteh, however, told the committee that the assignment of the two did not conflict with the core mandate of SEC as the regulator of the capital market. She explained that Ugheli, for example, was a project adviser, whose duty was to assist the commission in expanding its office accommodation in Maiduguri and Port Harcourt. When asked whether SEC did not have the capacity to hire or use its own employees for such duties, Oteh claimed that the commission did not have the capacity. However, when asked whether this had been a practice in SEC, the human resource manager replied, “It is strange in my opinion, as we have never done that before.” The committee observed that Oteh’s failure to see a link between her actions in relation to the Access Bank employees and the work of the commission questioned her competence as the director-general. “We will look into your competence as DG of SEC. You will bring all your certificates that qualified you for this job tomorrow and the letter of re-

quest to Access Bank for these employees and their schedule of duty,” Hembe directed. Oteh did not respond to the allegation that she spent N30m on hotel accommodation and bought N850,000 food on a particular day. On several occasions, there were hot exchange of words between Oteh and members of the committee, as the latter consistently queried her managerial capabilities. A member of the committee, Mr. Olabiyi Oyekola, tried to find out the status of Access Bank and UBA stocks in the capital market, but the DG said she could not answer the question without being briefed by the commission’s surveillance team on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. An attempt to find out SEC’s decision on the shares of Industrial and General Insurance and Globe Real, among other firms that had cases with SEC did not yield much result. Oteh responded that some of the cases predated her, while others were before the Investment and Securities Tribunal. The committee also produced a letter allegedly written by Oteh stopping an administrative proceeding into the state of the five nationalised banks, a decision it said was “unjustifiable.” However, the SEC DG in a reaction by his spokesperson, Mr. Obi Adindu, said, “On hotel accommodation, when she was headhunted from her former job as Vice-President of the African Development Bank, she was given the option of choosing either a furnished accommodation or receiv-

ing cash in lieu. “She chose the former. When it was not forthcoming, she was offered hotel accommodation in line with the rules guiding the public service. She did not violate any rules whatsoever by staying in the hotel.” On the engagement of the Access Bank employees, Adindu said the DG did not compromise on anything, as she used her personal goodwill to attract two people on secondment to SEC from the bank. He said, “They (Access Bank employees) work in brand communications support and project management/ premises maintenance, two areas in which SEC was, and still is deficient, and which are absolutely unrelated to the regulatory mandates/roles of SEC. There is, therefore, absolutely no conflict of interest involved in the matter. “They work pro bono, i.e. without earning any salary at SEC. They are not employees of SEC and have no intention of taking employment at SEC. The DG of SEC should be commended for using her goodwill to attract them at no cost to the commission.” The President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Mr. Michael Itigboje, who also addressed the committee, lamented that many of the institute’s members were out of business “because the market is at its lowest ebb today.” He informed the panel that people they had advised in the past to buy shares lost their investments and no longer had confidence in returning to the market.

“Many of our members have died of heart failure,” he said. Itigboje suggested the enactment of a law making it mandatory for all foreign companies doing business in Nigeria to be listed on the NSE. He held the view that the presence of more foreign firms on the Exchange could help in restoring investors’ confidence. Expectedly, Oteh who was appointed by the late President Yar ‘Adua left her job as Vice President at the African Development Bank (ADB) after the capital market which peaked N12.6 trillion ($110 billion) in March 2008 had declined to a bottom of $32.9 billion, she has today become the butt of derisive jokes with many critics blaming her for the parlous state of the industry. Crucified for failure of the past Mr. Boniface Okezie, President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, while speaking with The Nation, fell short of accusing her of gross incompetence and dereliction of duty. According to him, there is no doubt that Ms. Oteh, in the discharge of her duties in the commission failed to deliver on performance. “She didn’t have a sound knowledge of the sector she was presiding over. In the past most people who presided over the affairs of the commission were seasoned or licensed stockbrokers but it was no so in her case”, he lamented. But why didn’t so-called leading lights in the sector raise eyebrow when •Continued on Page 64


SUNDAY INTERVIEW

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THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

AYO OPADOKUN

‘SNC: Delay is dangerous’ In this interview, Chief Ayo Opadokun, chieftain of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and the promoter of the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER), told Dare Odufowokan that Nigeria can no longer afford to delay the convocation of the Sovereign National Conference. He also spoke on a lot of other burning issues. Excerpts

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ORTHERN leaders recently announced the region’s readiness to support the call for restructuring. What is your take on this? I believe that it is a welcome development. It is a pleasant development, especially to those of us who had been faithful in our vigorous and robust campaign for the necessity of the convocation of a National Sovereign Conference to resolve the national question. The fact that the Northern elites now intervenes and support the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference is a welcome development. It is a monumental development in the struggle to retune and rework this country called Nigeria. Why exactly are you so elated by the development? Once upon a time, when we started this campaign, we were derided; we were treated as breakers of the Nigerian unity; we were regarded as renegades. But the fact that our positive campaign yielded and tuned the heart of many and upturned their thinking towards accepting what we have suggested, to us, it is a welcome development and we just hope that the current political operators, particularly President Jonathan, will appreciate that it is time. We can no more delay the convocation of this conference. Any attempt by Jonathan to delay it further means the President himself is contributing towards a total dissolution of this state. This is because for now, the bond that binds this country together is very tenuous and that is why national mutual suspicion and mutual national jealousy remain very strong that nothing, no matter how very important, can happen today that people will not look at such event from the perspective and prism of their ethnic configuration and tribal leanings. While appreciating the readi•Opadokun ness of Northern leaders to support restructuring, you said you hope their change of mind is for good and not other reasons. Can you expatiate on that? I want to imagine that before they arrive at this junction or turn around, they must have done their calculations well. I hope they must have ignored the irresponsible and unintelligent views that quite a number of people have been advancing of recent. For example, the recent matter connected with budgeting in the House of Representatives. If that is the kind of reasoning, then it would not help the country. It seems helpful when Nigerians are allowed to sit down democratically in a representative assembly to discuss whatever are the issues affecting you and me; you bring yours, I bring my own and then we sit down and in the process; we give up something to get something back. By the time you could have finished such consultation and discussion, the conclusion cannot be subject to anybody’s variations, addition, subtraction, amendment and what’s not. The reason being that it is the people that must decide what law they want to be governed by, not representatives that are already in the assembly.

Why not the elected Representatives already in the national assembly? I don’t know whether they are not thinking well or the process that produced them is not sufficiently broad enough for them to appreciate what is at stake. Did they have as part of their manifestoes, the promise to write a new constitution? It couldn’t have been. They didn’t present that before their electorates. They just got there and said they are the only one who can do so. It is arrant nonsense. It is undue arrogance. The thing is that the constitution allows them to re-write the constitution, not making a new one. They said anything you have you can submit to the National Assembly. Who is the National Assembly? Many nationalities are not represented in that place and in any case, constitution making is quite different from constitution re-writing. It is a wide gap of difference. When they talk about sovereignty, it remains with the people eternally. What they have is the right of representation. But the owners of the sovereignty are still alive, it is their own and

they can withdraw it anytime. Would you say the convocation of the SNC is now a lot easier with the support from the north? I think it should be. If the power molders in the north have started seeing the necessity of holding such a conference, it should be easier. I suppose they should be in the position to talk sense into the others, particularly those who want to break the country into pieces. But the argument is that it may lead to the Balkanization of the country. Not talking will still lead to the same thing. It is a thing that stands to reason. The anthem of this millennium is self determination. That is why Great Britain, one of the most vicious colonial masters in history, has been forced to give back to Ireland a parliament. The Scots are clamoring for their own now. You remember what happened when the Queen went to •Continued on Page 26


THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012 •Continued from Page 25 Ireland last year? People were killed in the process. If you do anything to jeopardize the interest of the people you can do it for a time, it cannot be eternal. So, we are clamoring that the national question must be resolved because this is still a country; we don’t have a nation yet. How do you mean we don’t have a nation yet? You ask somebody out there where he is from. He would not just tell you ‘oh I am a Nigerian’; rather he tells you his own ethnic group before anything about Nigeria. Because that is the thing he knows. This thing has not done anything cheerful to most f us. I am sorry for young people like you. We don’t have small things to boast of anymore. In this same country, at the University of Lagos here, I ate with 15 kobo a day in the 70s; five kobo per meal for three square meals. And I tell you, the meals were real square meals. Everything was available. There is still this argument that a Sovereign National Conference has never been convened anywhere in the world when a government is in place. What is your take? My take remains the same. Those who don’t know will not appreciate what we are passing through. In the Republic of Benin, about twelve years ago, they had a Sovereign National Conference and there was a government in place. The difference between Sovereignty and Non-sovereignty is that for the ordinary conference when you finish, if they have a parliament in place, you will submit resolution to them. They are the ones, who through the process of lawmaking will pass the resolutions into law. But in particular reference to what we are talking about now, it should be sovereign to the extent that the discussions, resolutions, conclusions of the representatives will not be subjected to the whims and caprices of any parliament or any group. The only thing that can happen is that you submit such conclusion to the Nigeria people voting in a referendum or a plebiscite. It is only the people that can say that what you concluded at the conference is good or not. So you are opposed to the decision of the Eminent Leaders’ Forum in Lagos which settled for just an ordinary conference? I think what they did in that place is just to advance the course of the SNC. They themselves were not too sure of what government will do or say about their discussions. And if you remember the Executive Secretary of that conference, Tony Uranta, is a close pal of President Jonathan. What exactly is national question?

Sunday Interview

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‘Let’s talk now’ What is the national question? It is broken into two. The first is ‘do you want to stay together as a people? Perhaps, as a result of the many years of interactions between and among the nationalities here, the response can be ‘yes we want to stay together’. But the more fundamental question is ‘what will be the operational guidelines and the rule of engagement? The thorough discussion of these two questions, will no doubt lead us to an acceptable resolution. All the nationalities will have a sense of belonging and a sense of participation in the country. So, we will come together and then we will resolve all issues based on that resolution. As I have said earlier on, Nigeria will now have ‘Magna Carta’ (Bill of right) as they have in Great Britain and the United States of America. We don’t have anything today; this is still a country not a nation. We had attempts in the past to build a nation. Our people wasted the chances. Can you be specific about such wasted chances sir? For example, in 1956/1957 there was the Eric Wilson Commission of Enquiry to look into the cries and the agitations of the minorities. When Eric Wilson finished his job, it was to be tabled and discussed by all. But the British colonial masters, very terrible in their self-interest in all states where they have administered, were able to convince the NPC and NCNC that if they insist on the implementation of the contribution of Eric Wilson, then there will be no independence again in 1960. So, our people look for the weakest link in their chain and subscribed to that. The Action Group was strongly of the opinion that we should deal with the matters of the minorities in the country before you can have the genuine, natural and willing participation of every ethnic group in the Nigeria project. They didn’t do that. What they did eventually was to insert clauses called fundamental human rights in our constitution. If they have done that way back then, a lot of wicked things that are in Nigeria today will not be with us. We had another chance to have a nation, we lost it also. During the crisis that led to the civil war, we could have saved the whole crisis by sitting down to dialogue, but we didn’t. The most unique opportunity we had was on June 12, 1993 when a Pan-Nigeria mandate was given to MKO Abiola. Sadly, it was rejected by a crowd of military jackboots. They didn’t think about Ni-

gerians except their selfish interest. That victory represented two to three important things. One, it was the first time that a Nigerian from another ethnic group other than the north succeeded in getting a PanNigeria mandate that was total. In the First Republic, the victories upon which the NPC governed Nigeria, was 95% in the north. The only external one was that of Dappa Briye. He was the leader of Calabar, Ogoja, River (COR states). In the Second Republic also, the only victory recorded by NPN outside the North was that Diette Spiff in River State. MKO won 27 out of 30 states and yet it was rejected, that victory rejected all the national minuses like the dubious divide between North and South and the Christians and Muslims division. Even though MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe were Muslims, people ignored that. Yet, these characters in the military rejected that. You see, we have had opportunities to re-build the country, to have a nation, it has been filtered away. That is why this country remains at the doldrums. And we remain an unmitigated disappointment and disaster to the black race of the world. They say when you find ten black men anywhere in the world, one of them must be a Nigerian. So with this we have become a giant with a clay foot. We cannot even respond to the manifest destiny God has given to Nigeria as the leader of the black world. The Northern Caucus in the House of Representatives recently protested the votes given to the South-South in the 2012 budget. What is your reaction to this development? It is another symptom of the decadence and lopsidedness of the national structure. When you see people talk about this petroleum crisis, some people regard it as the most important thing; it is just one of the symptoms of the crisis of our legitimacy as a country. To put it more succinctly, do you think their protest is justifiable or necessary? I think it is unjustifiable and unnecessary; the thinking behind what we are saying is uncharitable. The lawmakers from the north were uncharitable in their protest against the SouthSouth vote. Are you buying into the explanation of the presidency that the South-South is getting more because of the urgent need to rapidly develop the region? When did Jonathan come? We have been campaigning vigorously on that before. It is not

•Opadokun

about Jonathan. You need to visit that place. We have visited the place severally. We know what they are going through. You are taking over 95% of your total earnings from their backyard. Go to their place and see what is happening. The menace of Boko Haram started like a child’s play and now has taken a frightening dimension. Are you worried? I am worried but I equally regard it as another symptom of the lopsidedness of the Nigerian state. We are supposed to be a federal union but we are being run as a unitary state. I hope you appreciate that part of the things that give federal constitution a distinguishing mark is that there is recognition on the varieties of people, cultures, traditions and artifact. There is variety of people living in a geographical state, as long as they are multi-lingual, multi-religion and multi-culture, they must be governed under constitution that permits sustenance of such tradition as varied but they meet at a point at the same time, that is to say the component unit and the central, there is no superior, the two of them are equal and they co-ordinate at the centre. As a matter of fact, it

is the component unit that will decide what to do. You championed the one man, one vote agitation. Do you think the mantra is still on course? No, certainly not. In fact, I tell you this, the political operators in Nigeria at the federal levels manipulated the system to their advantage. For example, I was in Burutu, Nomadi, Warri-north, Warri-south and Warri-east during the election. The total number of votes expected to be returned for the senatorial district in Delta was about fifty thousand or so, put together. But Burutu LGA alone recorded 58,000 votes, Nomadi returned 40, 000 votes and another Local Government came up with more than 80, 000 votes. I called those votes ‘mammie water votes’ not human beings. Our people don’t have sense of judgment at all. When you go into coastal areas, there cannot be so much people in the area because they don’t have landed properties to build their homes. They built most of their homes on water. I was there when people came to Asaba INEC office to complain about electoral officers. So, we still have a lot to do. Nothing has happened significantly.

Bakassi: Evacuated returnees cry out for help •Continued from Page 9 If this place is properly secure there is no how unwanted elements would come into our midst. Government should not abandon us. We are international victims and should not be left alone. I am a real Bakassi indigene. I have lost so much.” Bassey however admitted that there was level of infiltration by some ex-militants, but said only returnees were allocated houses officially. He also called on the Bakassi Resettlement Committee to look into their plight. Investigations revealed that most of those evacuated were sleeping out in the open or squatting with Akpabuyo residents. Nsikak James Bassey who

was also evacuated that Sunday said, “I don’t have anywhere to go. They didn’t do it the right way. I don’t have anywhere to stay right now. Before the government brought us back here, they promised to take care of us, but now we have been left on our own. Except for N5, 000 the state government pays us monthly, we have nothing.” Victor Asuquo said, “That Sunday I just woke up and saw the army with guns chasing people out of their houses. Some of us had to escape into the bush. As I am, I am a legitimate returnee of Bakassi and I was chased out of my house. Please they should come and give us a place to stay.” The Living Faith Church aka Winners Chapel in the area also

sheltered some of the evacuated. At the church, Mrs Pereleta Awolowo from Bayelsa recounted, “Sunday I just went to fetch water to take my bath. When coming back I saw people running towards me, they said the army had come to pack people. I just rushed home and carried by baby. Now I have nowhere to stay. I was looking crying but one of the army men told me not to cry that I should just carry my child and go. So I came to the church. Please they should let us go back to our house. Owutobo Friday from Rivers State said, “Just finished bathing and was getting ready to go to church. I was preparing food for the children with my wife. The Army came and started asking me questions, then they asked me to lie on the floor. I was not even

dressed. I was wearing only shorts. They pushed me to the ground. My children were crying, but nobody cared. Later one when I saw a friend and shook him, because of that they descended on me. I told them I was just a fisherman but they would not listen.” Mrs Glory Bassey Edet, said “I was not in the house when the army came. I went to the stream. When I came back I did not see my husband and two children. I heard the army had come and scattered people. I was crying. It was later in the evening I saw them they said they went to Calabar. Now we have to manage staying in the church. Some people still have their things in the houses but the army would not let us in.” Doctor Israel from Rivers State

said, “If this situation passes this week, we would die. We don’t have anywhere. We need shelter. We cannot suffer like this.” Veronica Bassey from Akwa Ibom State, said, “My baby stayed from morning till night without eating. Everything was scattered. My husband is not around but I have to manage this church with my other children.” Pastor of the church, Ibim Akpe, said, “That Sunday we were just here and we and we saw the army troop in and started packing people. I had to house up to 100 people that first day, but some of them have already started to disperse.” On how he was taking care of them, he said “God is taking care of them. I don’t even sleep at night because I have to take care of property packed outside.”


THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

O W O DEN

A E K UMO

g n i t J a A e L r O t c s u e j v t o I l gs, no n i h s t g n i d l i u b – PAGE 42


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Glamour

THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

Evergreen gladiators I

F you want to be trendy and unique at the same time, then gladiator shoes are the thing to wear. For the past five years, more women have been trying out trendy gladiator shoes making them the longest lasting fashion trend around. The reason why these Roman gladiator sandals are so popular is because their style has such a feminine look. You can get them as gladiator sandals, flats, pumps and even stiletto! •Sexy gladiator on display

•Maranzu Odu

•Kaffi

•Seyi Alewi

•Beige trendy gladiator high heels pumps sandals

•Katherine

•Sigerson Morrison high knee sandal

•Gladiator shoes by Cherie


Glamour

THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

t a a c i r f A f o e t Tas k e e W n o i h s a F London

from Africa were in London Last month, some emerging designers Fashion Week, one of the to feature their collections at the London year. Patience Saduwa, who most glamorous fashion events of the on the eclectic collection of was in London to cover the event writes in the world's multibillion the African designers, Africa's place kstage intrigues and politics, dollar fashion and style industry, bac the Ubuntu concept and other issues.

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HE harsh winds swirling round the side streets of Central London added to the cold and gloom of the winter morning. But inside the Freemasons' Hall, Covent Garden, London, a warm, festive air permeated the atmosphere. Not surprising considering it was the venue of the 'Africa Showcase' segment of the London Fashion Week that took place last month in the British capital from February 17-24. Organised under the auspices of the South Africa Artist Management, it presented a golden opportunity for emerging designers from the continent to showcase their talent to an international audience. This, the organisers believed was a unique platform for Africa to tap into the global multibillion dollar fashion industry. Eclectic collection, vibrant colours The show took off on a vibrant note with designs which ranged from an eclectic mix of the simple and elegant to the quirky and bizarre. One of Nigeria's ambassadors to the show, Joan Okorodudu of the House of J'ola, who headlined the 'Focus Nigeria' segment was on top form with her ethnic-inspired designs made mostly from ankara and other African fabrics. Besides showcasing her designs, Okorodudu, who is the founder of Isis Models as well as Nigeria's Next Supermodel (a model search contest), also had models from her stable strutting down the runway in her designs and those of her fellow designers. Also featuring from Nigeria was the design duo of Ayo Van Elma. They gave an exotic touch to the show with their afrocentric styles in aso-oke with caps that issued smoking incense, a reference to the violence in some parts of the country and the hope that peace will one day reign in Nigeria. Other designers from the continent were Clinton Lotter, Frankli Wild, Jose Hendo, Kevin Friedman, Studio24 among others. Ugandan-born Hendo's use of ecofriendly fabrics to create unique pieces drew particular admiration from the audience. One downside of the show was it's brevity, with some of the designers only able to feature very few of their designs on the runway. On this, Theo Omambala, Creator and Founder, Ubuntu International Project, noted: “ They have an expression here, less is more. You don't need to show everything in your collection. It's not about how many but about quality. That's what we need to understand. The problem is in Nigeria, we don't listen.” Backstage drama Though quite successful, the show was not devoid of the dressing-room, backstage intrigues and drama that often characterise such glitzy events. As the hair and make-up of the models were being done, rows of clothes were rolled in continually while orders and instructions flew here and there from Errol Hendrichse, the show's boisterous

Operation's Director. At a point, he ordered those not directly involved in glamming up the models to leave the room. “We need more space here,” he shouted, his arms spread wide like a bird in full flight. Earlier, there were some rumblings from a couple of the designers on some issues. One told The Nation about preferential treatment being given to the designers from South Africa. She said that since the event was organised by South Africans, their designers were favoured on the runway. For instance, they were allowed to show more of their collection. “I brought a lot of clothes from home but only very few were shown on the runway,” the designer, who pleaded anonymity, grumbled. The Ubuntu concept Speaking on African designers' participation at the LFW, Omambala explained that it was necessitated by the need for the designers to showcase to the international audience, the talents available on the continent. “There is the need to tweak our collections so they can be relevant to the international market. It's my mission to create a pan-African collective that is second to none and that's how I came about the Ubuntu concept,” said the Nigerian-born former model. On the Ubuntu philosophy, she stated: “ Ubunthu means, 'I am what I'm because of who we all are.” This is the concept that we have to work together to make ourselves great, we cannot do it on our own especially we as Africans; we need to help each other. So, I put this selection together so we can showcase to the international audience, the kind of talents we have on offer, but also to help the consumer, international consumers, to educate them as to why they should be buying into what we do.” This year's London Fashion Week featured designs by Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Clements Ribeiro, Burberry, Matthew Williamson, Temperley, Topshop, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Henry Holland and Roksanda Ilincic among others.

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THEATRE

With VICTOR AKANDE

I

T would go down memory lane for Hip hop genre promoter of Yoruba lyrics, Abolore Akande, popularly called 9ice, who in concert, last Sunday, celebrated the very best of his music career. The line-up of support artistes at the show which held in the cozy Expo Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites was alarming, but perhaps beyond that, was the unusual cultural razzmatazz created around the show. 9ice, whose subject matter and language of delivery is 70 percent Yoruba language, idioms, proverbs and culture, brought all that to play at the concert which had the Eyo masquerades, the Ikere (masquerade heightened by long tiny leg-sticks) in great number, while costumed Bata dancers, drummers and exponent of the Ewi poetry all took to the stage to regal the celebrant on a spectacular stage built in form of a traditional groove. It was a night filled with fun and excitement as 9ice, the self proclaimed 'Bashorun Gaa' treated scores of fans to an unforgettable time. Leading the pack of performers at the show was Kwam 1 (The Ultimate), Nigeria’s energetic hip hop duo, P-Square, sonorous and daring singer, Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, Davido, and Seriki. Others who performed at

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the show included Yemi Sax and members of the Coded Tones, (9ice's former group) like 2Phat, and ID Cabasa, his former producer and friend of so many years, also took their turns to thrill the yearning audience. Speaking after the show, 9ice's manager, Oladeinde Fajana, said the show which was dubbed Bashorun Gaa and Versus (BGV) was a clash of the titans. The event, packaged by Flytime Entertainment, was tailored after the secondhalf of his latest album which has, perhaps, the highest number of musical collaborations in Nigeria. The night turned out to be the first time the multipleaward winner and former MTV Base African artiste of the year will be headlining his own major concert. “It was a clash of the titans; it was a night dedicated to the celebration of 9ice and all that he stands for in the music industry. It's a night dedicated to all his fans and colleagues who have over the years supported his career. It was an energetic show filled with music that cuts across age, status and music tastes. It's a night devoted to traditional and contemporary music,” he said. The well attended show was anchored by Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, and Wazobia FM On-air-personality, Yaw.

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OLLYWOOD hunk Jim Iyke narrowly escaped death during his last visit to Cameroon. The controversial actor was almost wounded while some girls were rushing to get his attention in the central African country. Jim who recently returned from Cameroon confirmed the story. “Yeah, it's true. Fans kind of mobbed me in a club called Calypso, when we were shooting a club scene at night in Limbe, Cameroon. It got a little rowdy and a glass table with bottles of drinks next to me was broken. “As the bouncers tried to pull me away, I slipped on the drinks on the floor and cut my two hands badly. I had three stitches on each of my fingers on the right hand and one on the left, because I lost a lot of blood, as I was bleeding profusely. The hospital was far and took some time to locate. “I'm fine now and recuperating, but the shooting had to be suspended for a few days until the stitches can be •Jim Iyke removed,” he said.

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e-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com

•Kwam 1 with Eyo

•Coded Tunes group

9ice Concert: Grassroot show in cozy resort •Coded Tunes group

Fans mob Jim Iyke

GISTS

•Wizkid

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ONTEMPORARY gospel singer on the Kennis Music stable, Kenny Saint Brown, has dropped her estranged husband's name. The singer, who is still legally married to former Remedies band member, Eddy Asiedu Brown, has picked a different surname. She is now to be known as Kenny Saint Best, same acronym as the former. Speaking to the press on the issue recently, KSB said; “People actually did not know that I had never divorced, but just separated.

•Tiwa Savage with Don Jazzy

KSB drops ex-hubby's name I think it's the appropriate time to drop the name in order to move to greater things, and I don't want to put it in a way that in-laws would be feeling that it is the name that has been spoiling my image.” “I want to say that I have moved beyond the whole saga. I always try to be the best in what I do, and I have been achieving my set goals,” she said.

•KSB

Omotola, hubby make OK Mag's debut

A •Omotola

MERICA-BASED OK Magazine recently launched its Nigeria edition with sexy Nollywood actress, Omotola JaladeEkeinde and her husband, Captain Mathew-Ekeinde adorning the front page. Omotola, with other couples like Beyonce and Jay Z; US

President, Barak and Michelle Obama and others make the Hot Power Couples list. According to OK Magazine, Omotola and her hubby made the list because they have remained strong together not minding the scandal-filled industry in which Omotola makes out a living.


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Entertainment

Entertainment

THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

t n e d i c c a n How a g n i n r u t e m beca e f i l y m n i t n i po h o k U a r o a —Ad T

HE fact that you shaved your hair in the movie titled Thy Kingdom Come was considered as a selfless sacrifice by many. What other sacrifices can you render as an actress to fit into a movie role? As far acting goes, I can make a lot more sacrifices to fit into a role as long as the role is inspirational and I can pass a message across to my viewers. Notwithstanding, I am not an advocate of nudity or over the top sex related movies but for scripts that makes everything worth it. When you find yourself pushing boundaries, it would mean that you are passionate about passing a message. Would it be right to sum up that the movie, Thy Kingdom Come has thus far registered your presence as one of the most consistent actresses on the scene? For starters, I would like to say that the title, Thy Kingdom Come was a working title for that movie and has thus been changed to King after King. So King after King can be termed as one of my most challenging roles thus far. It was very tasking not just because I shaved my hair but it also was a transitional film where I played the role of a young girl who later became a young wife till old age caught up with her. All three characters in one and I had to keep shifting into different transition depending on the location we had to shoot each day. Playing such is quite challenging and tasking especially trying to keep up with continuity of characterization, makeup and costumes. I am happy with the response. When it comes to consistency, it is something I have worked hard to keep

Nollywood actress Adaora Ukoh insists that her plus size is not a minus rather it is her selling point. The thespian who is now looking forward to breaking new grounds with her fashion label says she never dreamt of plunging headlong into the world of movies until a certain actress moved into her neighbourhood. She also revealed how an accident became the turning point in her life in this interview with AHMED BOULOR.

by making sure that I get involved with only productions or scripts that are quite challenging be it on the commercial scene or big screen. To me, it has never really been about announcing every script that comes my way; it's about quality not quantity. How much were you offered to cut your hair in the movie? Well, I was paid what was good enough but it's all about the movie and making good film. If the script wasn't good enough, for all the cash involved I wouldn't have been part of the project. Is it true that you scripted the movie over a period of 2years? No, I did not script the movie. It was scripted by the Director, Iyke Odife and prolific writer and ZAFAA award winner Emeka Amakeze. I was only contracted to play the lead role. How did you get the opportunity to play the lead role in the movie? I have worked with the Director before so he contracted me again for King after King because the Executive Producer wanted selected actors, which is why the movie had that quality cast. Without mincing words, the acts in the movie are seasoned actors. Basically, I can categorically tell you that the role came solely on merit. Some critics are of the opinion that the two million naira that you were quoted to have received to star in the movie was actually a publicity stunt?! For the record, I don't discuss my fee on the pages of the newspapers, let alone for public consumption. That is not the essence of the job. I will leave all speculations at that. As for the pricing, it could even be worth more than that, so please look less into my pocket and watch a good work come to play. I have smiled to the bank for it and will keep smiling to the bank. What's your impression about the efforts made by the newly elected chairman of AGN, Lagos State Chapter, Mr. Emeka Rising-Ibeh to move the union forward? For every positive change, it is something that needs to be embraced. I believe passion should be the first key to driving a positive change for the guild. So I give him kudos and wish him all the best. I am willing, like others, to lend a helping hand. He is very passionate about the industry and if we all can come together and support him he will go places with his drive for the guild. In your opinion what should AGN do to move forward from where it is at the moment? All we need is summed up in just a phrase - "one voice". What was growing up like for you?

I am a plus size person and no matter how I fight to stay slim, exercise and lose weight; I only find myself blowing up and even bigger. So instead of fighting to fit into the crowd, I have totally embraced my body and curves as plus size and make the best out of it Growing up was fun because I practically had all I wanted. I had great parents that catered to all our needs and most of all gave us good and quality education. Outside that, I was a bit heady growing up because I was an anxious kid so I wanted to be everything before I become an adult. I grew up in Lagos State so I am a Lagosian to the core. We had an interesting childhood because of the kind of disciplinarian father we had. At some point we learnt to bond together as siblings and started playing out our parents. It was fun most times watching our dad confused as to who to discipline due to our gimmicks. Did you always dream of becoming an actress? I never dreamt of it. My first dream was to become a banker because I had a chauffeur driven aunt that is a power dresser who visits our home every now and then. So I just quickly thought that when I work in a bank I will make all the money, not until an actress moved into our neighbourhood and became the cynosure of all eyes. So I automatically wanted to be like her; I approached her one day and she obliged me and took me to my first audition. What has been your most challenging movie role till date? Up until I shot King after King, it used to be World of Commotion. Notwithstanding, I am still looking out for more challenging roles.

What do you think is your selling point as an actress? Selling point is my carriage, I guess. The big, bold and beautiful brand I have created for myself keeps me going and has turned out to be my selling point. It was reported that you escaped a car crash sometime ago; do you mind recalling the incident? That particular accident became a turning point for me, people say there's a thin line between love and hate but I think it should actually be between 'life and death'. I was on my way from an event when I ran into road barricades around Jakande that was when the road was still undergoing repairs. The barricades were always shifted to different sections and there were no illuminating signs to make one slow down so I bumped into the divide and my car almost somersaulted but it fell into a ditch right at the roundabout. My SUV was damaged beyond repairs but somehow God saved my life and that of my cousin. I still can't stop thanking God because I seriously can't tell how my life got saved. Do you not have any misgiving about your plus size considering the fact that most actresses are at the moment doing their best to become slim and trim? I am in my own world and I rule it. I am a plus size person and no matter how I fight to stay slim, exercise and lose weight; I only find myself blowing up and even bigger. So instead of fighting to fit into the crowd, I have totally embraced my body and curves as plus size and make the best out of it. If we take a look around the world, the most successful people are even plus sized e.g. Oprah Winfrey, Monique, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson (who has a more thriving career when she embraced her true self) and multiple Grammy award winner, Adele. For me, size has absolutely nothing to do with success. What kind of man thrills you; do you like them tall, short or average height? Tall, muscular and slim. Above all, he should be dark in complexion. How do you feel being one of those conferred with the African Youth Ambassador Leadership Awards? It's a great honour being seen and appreciated for what you do. The youth ambassadorship award was very exciting and I feel greatly honoured to be a true ambassador to the youths. How have you been able to scale through scandals over the years as an actress? Seriously I do not know how I did it. I live my life by doing the right things; that does not mean I am a saint or perfectionist. I just stay out of trouble. What would make you reject a movie script? A flat story and flat character. If I read a character and realize that if you take the character out of the story the movie will still make sense, I won't play it because it's a filler. How many movie scripts have you rejected? I have lost count... You are one of the very few actresses that have not been romantically linked with anyone. Please tell us, are you in any relationship? Well, I am in a relationship which carefully stays out of the press and out of public consumption. I don't keep celebrity profile relationships. What projects do you have in the pipeline? A couple of interesting stuffs: my blog kicked off on first of January and has been creating buzz. I call it a Café and people are expected to go in and get their daily dose of inspiration. I am also working on my Adaora fashion line for the plus-sized woman. The launch will be in a few weeks. I'm looking at breaking fully in to the 'new' Nollywood, and shoot my own movie. There are still a lot lined up and you'll be the first to know.

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Shabba Records unveils Gosty and Dharsaw

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T was fun and fanfare when the duo of Gosty and Dharsaw were unveiled by Shabba Records- a fledgling outfit with offices in the UK and Nigeria. Both young and versatile acts represent Shabba Records zeal to make a meaningful impact on the ever competitive music scene. The event which was held at the Place, G.R.A in Ikeja on Tuesday, 13th March, 2012 witnessed a large turn-out of guest, music fans, enthusiasts and media men. Born Oluwafemi Sanusi, Gosty was discovered in the UK; he however had been honing his musical skills while he was living in Ebutte Metta area of Lagos. His sojourn to the UK, he said,

afforded him a chance with Hon. Shabba the C.E.O of Shabba Records who saw his talent and decided to give him a chance as an artiste on his label. Dharsaw on his part started rapping in secondary school, and through his rap adventure he came in contact with T. Frizzle who later signed him onto the management of H20 Frizzle and Brizzle Entertainment from where he eventually got signed by Shabba Records. Dharsaw who is currently working on his debut album has worked with other artistes such as SOSSICK, DJ Neptune, Saucekid, General Pype, Isolate and Stidman in the past.

55 for Star Quest grand auditions

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LANS are on for the next stage of auditions of Star Quest, the nation's first and only bandbased music talent hunt competition. Called the Grand Auditions, the event is scheduled to hold on March 23, 2012 at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. The audition is expected to feature 55 of the qualifiers from the regional auditions that took place in Makurdi, Enugu, Benin and Lagos. The qualifiers will slug it out to decide the 36 that will make it to Star Fameland. Obabiyi Fagade, Brand Manager, Star, described the forthcoming grand auditions as battle of the best. “I can assure you that it is going to be a thrilling affair. We are going to have 55 of the best of all the aspirants from all the audition venues from

Makurdi, Enugu, Benin and Lagos. It is going to be a battle of the best of the best and their weapon is going to be music,” He said. The qualifiers from the grand auditions will be selected by the panel of celebrity judges comprising KC of the KC Presh Fame, Waje and Paul 'Play' Dairo, from where they make their way into Star Fameland where they are expected to group themselves into six band comprising six members. Inside Fameland, they will be groomed by top notch music professionals. The winning band will get a contract worth N7.5m, N3.6m, a brand new minivan and one year accommodation in a choice location in Lagos. The accommodation will come with a complete set of musical instruments.


38

Entertainment

THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

Tonto Dikeh's A dinner with fans

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OR the duo of Nene Ukwa and Munachi Ekpo, it was a wonderful experience for them last weekend to have finally met their screen idol, Tonto Dikeh, over a dinner at 4points, Sheraton, Lekki. The two, being twitter fans of the actress, had won a quiz competition organized by the thespian, earning them a dinner date together. It would be recalled that in December last year, Tonto had a party for children who came tops in their schools at Troy Lounge, Ogba, Lagos. Tonto came into our consciousness in 2006 as a contestant at Next Movie Star reality show. Although she didn't win the competition, she has been able to make significant headway in her career, making her one of the most sought after in Nollywood.

Presh signs N20m record deal

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RESH, one half of erstwhile group, KC Presh, has signed a mouthwatering deal worth 20million naira. The diminutive artiste was handed a cheque worth the said amount by the C.E.O of Todak Productions. The funds will come in handy as Presh is about to release three singles while he is also looking at shooting videos for the songs that are about to start receiving rotations on various radio stations across Lagos and beyond. Presh says his solo career has received the needed boost with the deal which will last for a period of 3 years. He added that he is looking forward to making more impact with his songs which will be released soon. The artiste also revealed that he will be getting married before the year runs out. “I want to settle down this year. I am not getting any younger; KC my right hand man is married and I am also thinking in that direction. If it doesn't happen this year, it will happen next •Presh year,” he said.

Matse Uwatse ma mayy quit sspinsterhood pinsterhood

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F news reaching us is anything to go by, then popular on-air personality Matse Uwatse may quit spinsterhood very soon. The Delta state born staff of WAZOBIA 93.9FM will soon walk down the aisle with her heartthrob. It has been gathered that the guy in question has been in a relationship with Matse for a very long time and both lovebirds have been colleagues for years before he finally proposed to her. Though details of the wedding are still sketchy, a date in June 2012 has been picked for the wedding.

•Matse Uwatse

S the April 1 date, scheduled for the grand finale in the Etisalat sponsored Nigerian Idol reality, draws nearer, tension appears to be growing by the day. At this point, decisions by the judges and voting public on who should leave the stage appears more difficult; but only one winner will clinch the coveted prize of N2. 5 million, a Galaxy Tab, a Blackberry, and an iPod. With the eviction of Linda, those now left to battle for the number one position are: Joe Blue, Honey, Mercy, Stephen Onochie and Najite. But because the concept is not a 'winner takes all' show, there exists a considerable position for the first runner-up who will get N1.5 million, a Galaxy Tab, Blackberry and iPod; and the 2nd runner-up who will receive N1 million, a Galaxy Tab, a Blackberry and an iPod. Linda was evicted because she scored the least vote from members of the viewing public. Mercy whose performance is getting better by the day got the highest vote cast by the viewing

public last week, having mesmerized the audience with the beautiful rendition of Tina Turner's What's Love Got to Do With It?. An undaunted Linda said, “it feels bad to be evicted from Nigerian Idol but that notwithstanding, I thank God and Etisalat for giving me the opportunity to take part in the show and I promise to translate what I have learnt into action.” Head, Youth Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Elvis Daniel noted that the growth of the contestants on the show was evident in their performances. “It is obvious that the level of performance has improved from the beginning of the show partly due to the in-house training that the contestants got and also because the competition is entering into its tougher stages,” he said. Daniel urged the contestants to keep raising their game saying that the show isn't their final destination but the world stage where their voices would be heard by millions out there.

Linda sacked from Nigerian Idol

‘Nnena & Friends’ tripartite vacation

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Members of Nnena & Friends fan club

OR members of Nnena & Friends' fan club, it was education mixed with entertainment as they embarked on a tripartite visit to Lekki Conservation resort, Topher boat yard and La Champagne Tropicana, on Saturday March 10, 2012. The tour was part of the excitement and sight-seeing, slated in the first quarter for club members, and the excursion highlighted some of the great natural and cultural endowments of Nigeria. Nnena, the brand icon, said, “this excursion is one of the brand's fun avenues to child education. Nnena & Friends educative tours remain one of the top quality activities of the Nnena & Friends Fan club.”

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RAMMY Award winner Bobby Brown and members of his former group joined 2face Idibia, Banky W, Waje, Omawumi, Duncan mighty and Burna Boy in a memorable concert which took place in Lagos and Port Harcourt last weekend. “This is one of the best concerts we have had, my brothers and I are really excited. We hope to come back soon with New Edition,” said Bobby Brown after an astounding first round performance. Top notch contemporary singers; Waje and Omawumi attested to their critical acclaim. Their vocals were not only captivating, but compelling. Both singers surprised the crowd at the Expo hall of Eko Hotels and Suites when they stepped on stage and belted out renditions of several high pitched songs to the delight of all present. Mode9ine's delivery of freestyle sets from his rich repertoire on Friday and Sunday evening did much to reaffirm his position as one of Africa's greatest

We hope to come back says Bobby Brown rappers of all times. So was R&B heavy weight Banky W who performed songs from his W Experience album, Mr. Capable album and hits from the upcoming R&BW, creating a wonderful atmosphere with his stage act. In Port Harcourt, the audience was treated to an open ground concert at the Polo Ground, GRA. Show openers Duncan Mighty and Burna Boy got the crowd on their feet and cheering; starting off the night on a brilliant note. However, the crowd got super excited when 2face Idibia hit the stage. Idibia reeled out a series of R&B tunes before progressing into a session of pop numbers. Mixing his music with his characteristic

humour, the pop icon kept the fans on their feet till 12 midnight. With an excellent backing band, he called on his former band mate Faze to perform Plantashaun Boiz hits “Say you believe me” and “Don't you know”. In return, the ecstatic crowd showered them with a standing ovation. He ended his performance with “Enter the place” with long time collaborator Sound Sultan joining him on stage. The highest point of the night was BBD and Bobby Brown's performance! The two city New Edition concert was sponsored and produced by R28 Events, in partnership with Cool FM with support from Eko Hotel, LASAA, Delta line, Wazobia FM and Classic FM.


Entertainment

THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

Wild, wild Nigerians set mood for Big Brother craze!

•Dr. May Blossom Brown, and her nephew, Munachinso Ejiofor

…As M-Net stakes N50m on winner

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N its seventh edition, the drama and intrigues that this year's edition of the continental social reality show called Big Brother Africa will showcase, is wielded around the theme its producers call 'Stargame'. Suffice to say that creativity abounds in this show which has enriched three Nigerians; Kevin Pam, Uti Nwachukwu and Karen Igho with a cash prize of USD200, 000 each in the fourth, fifth and sixth editions respectively. The impact of these young Nigerians in the Big Brother Africa House in far away South Africa, the attendant fame and fortune have indeed spurred many like them to aim for all that the reality show has got to offer. When therefore the producers of the show came up with a new concept which requires that contestants come into the House in twos, and without discriminating on the type of partnership that is required, the tempo of the craze for a slot in the show shot up, and thus, same sex partners were seen competing for the ticket with opposite sex lovers. Popular act, Trybson, who played Dagrin in Ghetto Dreams, was at the audition with his manager. There was also a grandmother who finds her traits in her nephew and thus felt they will make a wonderful pair in the House, slugging it out with younger contestants from other countries in Africa. The grandmother who gave her name as Dr. May Blossom Brown, and her nephew, Munachinso Ejiofor, were the cynosure of all eyes at the Protea Leadway Hotel, Ikeja venue of the Lagos auditions. The two were optimistic that they will make it to the finals of the series. “It is my nephew that dragged me out”, says Dr. May, who claimed to be a practising herbalist with a clinic and also runs a restaurant in the Eastern part of the country. With a PhD in Theatre Arts, May says fun for her is not limited to age and that her orientation is such that she enjoys fraternising with the youths. “The youths are vibrant and one needs to be at par with them. They are also courageous. I have seen a lot here today. They are living in their own world and it is beautiful to see people who are courageous, but I don't have any problems relating with them,” she said to journalists at the event. The pair explained that it was a family decision for them to come on the show, even as Ejiofor agreed

Victor Akande Entertainment Editor

there couldn't have been any other person fit to be with him on the show other than Dr. May. “I have known her for 38 years and have had a wonderful relationship with her right from my younger days and we always shared the same ideology,” he said. Away from the chat spot with these two was what could be described as a festival of youthful exuberance; expressed in display of boobs, tattoos, crazy hairdos, bum shorts, and weird dress style, all in the bid to impress the judges, whose criteria for selecting people into the House, the wannabes may never know. The 'Stargame' show starts on Sunday, May 6 when M-Net opens the doors of Big Brother House to selected housemates from the different parts of the continent. Organisers revealed that this year, BBA will be live on DStv exclusively for 91 days and it will be 24/7. That is actually no news to ardent followers who have kept faith with the series for six seasons beginning from 2003, the edition won by Zambian Cherise Makubale. “One of the main reasons for the success of Big Brother, in Africa and beyond the continent, is that it creates its own stars from the minute housemates step into the spotlight,” says M-Net Africa Managing Director, Biola Alabi. “The show is built on the idea that, given the chance, anyone can be a star, anyone can find themselves shot to stardom. So this year, we're honouring this essential element of the show directly in the title, put ting the concept of rising stars and dreams of stardom right at the front of

what is a challenging, fun and dramatic game.” Three major surprises await BBA followers this season. The first: each contestant must enter with a partner your best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, dad, brother, sister, boss, husband, wife, neighbour, hairdresser, anybody! Secondly, two new participating countries (Liberia and SierraLeone) have joined the show. M-Net announced that two previous participating countries, Ethiopia and Mozambique will play new part in this year's edition. Ethiopia, M-Net said, opted out of the show. The reason is not stated. But it can be inferred from the performances of the two housemates Yacob and Hanni who represented the country in the previous three editions that Ethiopia featured in. Many analysts of the show felt these two didn't put up strong performances to clinch the ultimate prize. For Mozambique, MNet said, there will be a new role. What role this is, M-Net didn't state yet. The third and the biggest surprise is that M-Net has increased the prize money from $200,000 to $300,000, an equivalent of N50 million. There were cases of boyfriends or girlfriends who waited in vain for their partners to show up at the venue and while it was becoming clear their partners were not going to show up, hooked up with other jilted but available partners. One began to wonder how all these elements will play out when the show eventually starts. The show prides on participants who are funloving, vocal, creative, original and articulate, socially flexible and tolerant of the views, lifestyle and religion of others. The format is enriched with tasks which consciously put to test Housemates' emotions, attitudes and actions. In playing the game as fairly as they could, housemates set themselves up for series of intrigues, drama, controversies, conspiracies and the likes, having it at the back of their minds that it's just a game. It is only when the show is taken seriously beyond the realm of a game that tension is created and clashes happen. During the 91 days enclosure, especially in this situation where parent figures accompany their nephews, nieces and wards into the house, won't there be restrictions bordering on what the young adults are wont to do? Won't the young people find the elders boring and stifling? How will these people from different generations and with different dreams and realities react to the BBA seclusion? What exactly is the format for the Big Brother Stargame? With twice the number of housemates than in previous seasons, won't there be several potentially combustible situations as a result of close proximity? It's a matter of time!

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‘Mr & Mrs’ out in cinemas

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OR producer of much talked about movie, Mr. and Mrs. it was dream come true as the movie hits the cinemas cross the country last week Friday. Judging by the crowd at one of the cinemas in Lagos, there is no doubt that the movie will attain the height other movies adjudged box office hit attained. The movie which features the fast-rising duo of Joseph Benjamin and Nse ikpe as lead characters has been getting rave reviews since it was screened for the press at the Ozone cinema few weeks back. In the movie, Mrs. Abbah (Nse Etim-Ikpe) is a woman whose primary mandate is to take care of her husband (Joseph Benjamin) at all costs. She is confined to the kitchen and left without a social life, a role she finds tormenting and frustrating. When the pendulum swings, the tormentor becomes the tormented. Produced by Chinwe Egwuagu, and directed by Ikechukwu Onyeka, the film was shot on Canon 5D.

•Joseph Benjamin

Juliet Ibrahim talks cancer

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TAR Actress Juliet Ibrahim launched her foundation on the 26th of December 2011 with the mission to create awareness about kidney cancer and bring relief through donations to people suffering from kidney related diseases. At the launch, she debuted a powerful message driven music video featuring top acts in Ghanaian Music industry. Team JIF led by Juliet Ibrahim is participating at the International Kidney Cancer Coalition Conference. JIF was chosen as the organization to open the conference and debut the above mentioned video to the world. JIF made Ghana proud and represented the cry of Africans suffering from debilitating issue of kidney cancer. JIF's presentation was centered on the need to channel resources to the part of the world that receives less while her foundation will continue to empower the next generation to be more proactive towards a healthier lifestyle.


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Entertainment

THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

JPX drops new Singles

Yoruba actors storm US for stage performance

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•Eniola Badmus

IVE Yoruba thespians are currently on tour of the United States of America, for a stage play titled Esu (Devil). Bankrolled by showbiz promoter, Chief Tai Balofin, the trip parades fast rising comic, Olaniyi Afonja a.k.a Sanyeri , Saheed Balogun, Eniola Badmus a.k.a Gbogbo biz girls, Bimbo Oshin and Murphy Afolabi. The play, being directed by Afolabi, seeks to project the

Day Wande Coal takes Polo Players on MTN ‘Bumper’ ride

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UMPER to Bumper crooner, Wande Coal gave an exceptional performance that took Polo players to the dance floor at the just concluded MTN Lagos international Polo tournament. The two-week long event was a centre of glamour, fashion and musical show at its best, thus, adding spices to the international tourney that witnessed the presence of crème-de-la-crème of the society, among whom were business mogul, Aliko Dangote, popular industrialist and philanthropist, Molade OkoyaThomas, the ex Governor of Ekiti State, Adeniyi Adebayo, the notable Fashion entrepreneur and Erelu of Lagos, Abiola Dosumu,

Managing Director, Oando Plc, Wale Tinubu, Chairman, Standard IBTC, Atedo Peterside, as well as the Former Minister of the Federal Republic, Demola Seriki, at the final event which took place on Sunday March11, 2012. Entertainment was at its best at the event, as the Lagos Polo Club exclusive grounds at Ikoyi, throughout the two weeks that the tourney lasted, played host to top rated entertaining shows, from a magnificent fashion show that featured Jewel by Lisa to the hilarious moment of cracking of ribs by Bovi and friends. Likewise, there was a spectacular display by prominent DJs which included, DJ Yem, DJ Tade, DJ Mystelle,

•Wande Coal thrilling the crowd

amongst others. The prominent member of the award winning music group, Mo 'Hits, did not fail in his billings as he took the classy crowd that thronged the ground at the night to an extraordinary rendition of his songs and rhythms. It was his popular hit track, “Bumper to Bumper” that did the main magic of the night, the good number of the audience which include most of the top rated players could not afford to leave the excitement to go unnoticed as they all 'dig' and 'jibe' to the alluring Music of the entertainer. “The primary aim of MTN sponsoring the tourney was obviously not defeated”, said General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN, Kola Oyeyemi, who added that; “MTN will never relent in its efforts at creating an atmosphere where its subscribers will interact and relate in the most resourceful manner, while leveraging on their passion and touch points such as Polo, MTN will continue to provide platform for its subscribers to live their dreams.”

Sotayo is Arewa Onijogbon

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AYO Sobola, popularly known as Sotayo in the entertainment circle, is adding another feather in her cap as she debuts as a producer with her forthcoming movie, Arewa Onijogbon. A dancer, model, and TV presenter, Sotayo has featured in several music videos for stars like 2face Idibia, Artquake, Jahborne, Danny Young, 2Shotz, Da Natives, Sheyman, Freewindz, and Lord of Ajasa, among others. A graduate of Public Administration from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, the young artiste said she is set to make an impact in Nollywood with her production, Arewa Onijogbon, which has been enjoying massive viewing on YouTube since it was released few days

ago. A contemporary Yoruba movie coming under Sotee Entertainment and directed by Muyideen S. Ayinde, Arewa Onijogbon deals with issues encountered by single parents; especially ones that arise between step-mothers and step-daughters.It portrays the pain of a father (Akin Lewis) who has to choose between his daughter (Tayo Sobola) and his new wife (Racheal Oniga) in a bid to enjoy a peaceful home. Before now, Sotayo had featured in movies like JackiPhillips, Super Woman, Iwowo Abiamo, Ejiworo, Ewu Loko Longe and Ojukoju. The artiste announced that a special media screening and premiere of the film has been scheduled to take place in April.

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pristine culture and traditional beliefs of Yoruba and its relevance in the modern day life. The tour according to organizers will last one month as the artistes are billed to visit a number of states in US. Speaking on phone from US, Afonja described the trip as interesting, adding that he would use the opportunity to shoot part of his next movie before returning home.

•Sobola

Agwu's ‘Laff 4 Christ Sake’ hits London

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AFF 4 Christ Sake, another themed comedy concept from the stable of Julius Agwu's Reel Laif entertainment is set to hit London this Easter. This development is coming 10 years after hosting Crack Ya Ribs, one of the most popular comedy shows in the country. Scheduled for April 8 at the Lighthouse Hall, Camberwell SE5 0DL, organisers say the show which will run between 5pm - 10pm will feature SonnieBadu, FaithChild, Andrew B e l l o , Shabach(Beautiful Sounds),Pastor Gabriel Eziashi, D a n D Humourous, Owen Gee, DJ Mri and m a n y

OSHUA Praiz, alias JPX, is one artiste to watch out for. Currently signed on to Mo'vibez record label, JPX who has been doing his art quietly is set to come out loud. A few weeks back, the young artiste who has enjoyed collaboration with the likes of J Martins and Puffy T, a producer cum singer, released his first two official singles, Tonight and Bojuboju. JPX does not see himself just as an artiste, but as a complete entertainer who dances professionally, and a resourceful producer. He is the leader of a Lagos based band known as Sweet Beatz. The band plays all kinds of music with special interest in Jazz. The young act has also performed at different events which include WATHA (West Africa Tourism and Hospitality Awards) in Ghana in 2010 and 2011. Born into a musical family, JPX's siblings are also very passionate about music.

•JPX

Court favours MCSN over MTN

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HE Court of Appeal, Lagos on Tuesday, 21st February, 2012, struck out two motions filed by MTN Nigeria against the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN). The telecommunication company, an appellant in the case, had filed the motions seeking for leave of court to file additional grounds of appeal, amend the original notice of appeal, and adduce fresh documentary evidence to raise fresh issues. After hearing the arguments of MCSN's Counsel, Mr. T. O. Lawal, and MTN's Counsel, the court presided over by Hon. Justice Saulawa, struck out the Appellant's (MTN's) motions, describing it as “grossly defective and incompetent”. The Appellant was also forced to withdraw its other pending application, seeking for extension of time to file and serve brief of argument and deeming the same as properly filed and served. MTN had filed a notice of appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court affirming MCSN's right to sue for the infringement of its copyrights in musical works by the South African telecommunications company within the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. MTN was contesting the right of the Nigerian organisation (MCSN) to demand for payment for copyright of its musical works within Nigeria, which made MCSN to finally approach the Federal High Court.


Glamour

THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

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Nicki Minaj's true colours

Courtesy: www.vogue.com


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Glamour

OW has it been operating as an architect in Nigeria? We thank God for our clients. Our clients are our prime motivation. We offer bespoke services to a discerning private clientele and they believe in us and it's their delight with our work that motivates us. Every organization we've worked with has its peculiar culture but over the years, I've seen that our core values of diligence, following due process and integrity serve us well in every situation. What is it like working in a male dominated profession? I have always told my team that because they are led by a female principal, we cannot afford to make mistakes. Mistakes that would ordinarily be overlooked in men are counted as evidence of incompetence in women. So, we must work hard and go the extra mile so that the quality of our work exceeds expectations. What is AD Consulting all about? AD stands for Architecture and Design We are a 17-year-old firm uniquely positioned to offer complete architectural services from design through to supervision and also complete interior architecture and design services. I hear of people needing other service providers to finish their buildings after an architect has done his work but that is totally unnecessary with AD. We conceptualize every aspect of the building from inception, from the foundation down to the last light fitting; we know where every piece of furniture and every drape is going right from inception. From the feedback we get, our attention to detail is unparalleled. What major projects has AD Consulting been known for? In all, we have done over 80 buildings, so this is a tough question. Over the years, we have worked on different projects; we did the Guiding Light Assembly in Ikoyi, Lagos, a complex with a 2,500 seater auditorium and an office block, for functionality in spite of its complexity. There's a Governor's and Deputy Governor's lodge that a visiting President and his team said were the most beautiful buildings they had ever been in. We have worked on smaller projects but significant in meaning like the Committee of Wives of Lagos State officials (COWLSO) In Kaduna, there is the Flagship NUB (now First Inland Bank) on Gowon road that really caused a stir because we finished the project in just three months, which was a surprise when people found out that the Architect was a woman. Besides your job at AD Consulting, you also run an NGO called Awesome Treasures Foundation for women, youth and children. What inspired it? I really love people; I believe in people till they prove me wrong. I discovered decades ago that the only thing that gives me lasting joy is when I make someone else happy. I hate wasted potential and want everyone to be the very best they can be. I have been told I have an unusual passion for Nigeria. I can't stand the gap between our potential and our reality. I believe Nigeria's destiny is to be the exemplar for the black race and we are failing not just our country but our race. I hate all the oppression and suffering when something can be done. This is why I decided it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. I should do my own little bit. Apart from being the founder of ATF you have been described by the media as "Nigeria's most prolific female architect " and "The face of Architecture", is there any relationship between your Architecture

THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

g n i t a e r c e I lov t s u j t o n , s thing buildings t as "Nigeria's mos ed ib cr es d en be face of She has chitect " and "The lajumoke ar e al m fe c fi li ro p O t there is more to Architecture. “Bu owo, the Principal Partner, en Olufunmilola Ad an that. She is an th e AD Consulting, ional speaker, wif at iv ot m d an al n inspiratio ares with ADA s and sh e Sh . er h ot m a nce and her career, experie ONYEMA about es other sundry issu

and ATF? There is a definite synergy. AD Consulting actively supports Awesome Treasures Foundation. It still is the sole corporate sponsor. Sponsoring some of ATF outreaches like Voice of Change radio program focused on leadership. AD is not just an architectural firm, it is also a centre for personal development as we are focused on the development of each individual person working with us with an aim to raise leaders. We give young people a chance to show their skills and talents here. Why did you study architecture? From when I was a toddler, my parents took me on trips with them, perhaps because there were no other children to leave me with. But this broadened my mind and exposed me to great architecture at an impressionable age. Architecture is an outlet for my creativity. I like creating things, not just buildings. I also like clothes and furniture. I write songs, poetry, books and love to take photos. How challenging is it to be a wife, mother and an entrepreneur? God's grace makes His will possible. If as women, we can keep our priorities right, things become easier. We can't please everyone anyway, so let's please God, give our family (husband and children) their rightful place and face our God-given assignment. Next, let's nurture meaningful God ordained relationships and everything else comes after, if possible. Are you romantic at heart? I like the way you put that question. I am romantic at heart, but it's just that my schedule forces me to be more pragmatic! How did Mr Adenowo sweep you off your feet, was it love at first sight? It was certainly friendship at first sight. That first day we talked for hours, discussing issues, I noticed that we did not discuss people or events, I mean the mundane stuff, so I knew we could have a lasting connection. He ended up rearranging his programme for the next few days just so he could spend hours with me daily. We met when I was on holiday with our mutual friends. He says he was sure as soon as he

I wonder at what passes for courtship these days, because it looks more like some girls set up an auction and they decide in the end to go with the highest bidder.

met me. Interestingly our backgrounds are similar, so ours was not the Nollywood film courtships of boy takes girl to the shops to win or buy her over with shopping! I had already started my own business when we met and more importantly, I was brought up to be independent so my background won't even allow me collect gifts from men. So, he won me over with his wonderful personality! I wonder at what passes for courtship these days, because it looks more like some girls set up an auction and they decide in the end to go with the highest bidder. We ladies should marry men that respect and love us; we should be content with what we have so we are not forced to marry an obviously wrong man just because he can afford to fund our lifestyles. Learn to be happy with whatever you can provide for yourself. I speak to a lot of young decent men and they are tired of the materialism. The men who play along with the girls' demands disrespect the girls in the end because they know they are for sale. Contentment solves so many problems. Ladies, the choice is ours! Tell us the secret of your youthful looks? Thank you, that's sweet of you! In spite of the indisputable passage of time, I don't feel old most days. Like almost every woman I know, I still feel like a girl inside. Also, I don't carry my age on my forehead; I never feel “why is she talking to me like that? I am older than she is!" I am surrounded by young people. My sons are young and we are friends and most of my staff are under 40. Awesome Treasures Women are of all ages but they are all bright and youthful! I love, respect, listen to and associate with young people and the young at heart. That may be the secret. As a fashionable woman, how do you see style?

I think Style is summed up in the saying "To thy self be true" style is knowing who you are and expressing who you are in a way that's comfortable, elegant and functionally beautiful and inoffensive to any decent person. Let me elaborate. Dysfunctional fashion is not stylish. I have seen ladies in knee length boots in Lagos and no matter how much the boots cost or whoever designed them, a much cheaper functional outfit suited to our weather would be more stylish. Dressing so immodestly that people are embarrassed on your behalf is not stylish and it's certainly not stylish if you are so obviously physically uncomfortable in what you are wearing that it affects your behaviour! Clothes must fit you and not you fit them! If you could bring back one era of fashion, what would that be? I prefer looking forward. I believe with the bright designers we have in Nigeria, the best is yet to come. However, I do like what Coco Chanel did for women through liberating us from the corsets and unreal silhouettes women had to have before her style revolution. Before, Coco women were suffocating and fainting just to look good! How do you like to spend your weekends? I am usually speaking at conferences at weekends, attending ATF and site meetings or visiting our sons in boarding school. My weekends are as busy as weekdays or more. What rules do you live by? My aim is to make the Bible my manual for living. I keep learning daily. What fashion accessory would never be found wanting in your closet? Well, I can't think of any accessory that I find indispensable in my wardrobe. Basics - yes, accessories -No. Style is about expressing your individuality, so there's a certain way one can wear any accessory that will either look good or terrible.


Glamour

THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

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Social KAYODE ALFRED

(E-mail: kayflex2@yahoo.com, Tel: 08035733605, 08099400057)

Nomthi, Pastor Odukoya’s wife returns after baby birth

Otunba Balogun buys Rolls Royce, Cadillac for 78th birthday

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EVEN years after he lost his beloved wife, Bimbo, Head Pastor of Fountain ofLife, Taiwo Odukoya is once more enjoying the bliss of th marriage. On December 8 last year, his new South African-born wife, Nomthi was delivered of a new baby in her home country. The baby boy, christened Oluwajomiloju Odukoya has since made its first entry into Nigeria with its mother. Pastor Nomthi as she is fondly called, cut short her trip for a programme in the church tagged “Discovery for Women”. Looking as delectable as ever, motherhood has, no doubt, been good to Nomthi.

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OUNDER of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Otunba Subomi Balogun is known not to do things in half measures. A very successful man, who equally revels in enjoying the best life can offer, recently marked his 78th birthday. And did he mark it in style! Recall that when the Olori Omo Oba of Ijebuland clocked 60 many years ago, he ordered a customized Rolls Royce worth over half a million pounds as his birthday gift. He did an encore when he acquired another Rolls Royce for his 70th birthday. His 78th birthday celebration was no different. The banker secured for himself a speciallybuilt Cadillac Escalade Ext. The wonder on wheels was reportedly extended by 26inches for the convenience of the m a n o f means. That was not all. SC further gathered t h a t t o cement the celebration, he equally increased the numbers of his much loved automobile, Rolls Royce to three. All of these are happening on the heels of Otunba Balogun's relocation from his old Victoria Island residence to a new palatial mansion in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Baba Abdulrasaq out of circulation

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ABA Rauf Abdulrasaq is one of these dudes who have effortlessly made the social space their oyster. While he reigned supreme, he was the toast of every lady on the social scene. A silver spoon kid of enviable pedigree, Baba is the youngest child of the first Senior Advocate of Nigeria from the North, Chief Folorunsho Abdulrasaq. His one flaw, however, remains his inability to settle down to a married life. Charming, witty and possessing good looks, he has in times past been linked to a number of ladies, but none seems to be able to pin him down in The gist right now is that Baba has gone out of circulation, and no one seems to know his whereabouts.

Funke BucknorObruthe unveils ‘bridal handbook

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APPHIRE Events boss, Funke BucknorObruthe has undeniably done well for herself in her calling: packaging classy events for the rich and famous. SC can reveal that the young enterprising woman is up to st something new. Come the 31 of March, Obruthe would be unveiling her new book titled 'The Essential Bridal Handbook' at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. The event planner decided to give back to the society in her own unique way by putting together her wealth of experience based on her many years of event planning.

Moji Paul-Lawal gets another GEM

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HESE are indeed the best of times for Moji Paul-Lawal, the notable jeweler who caters to the fashion needs of Nigeria's high society. The delectable jeweler recently opened another branch of GEM, her jewelry shop at the new Ikeja City Mall, Lagos. The new outlet was declared open in a classy event that attracted the most fashionable and elite pack of Nigeria's high society. The well attended event was an eye opener to many who witnessed the unveiling of classy pieces and fashion accessories. Since its establishment, Lawal's GEM has become a Mecca of sort for the crème-dela-crème of the country's aristocracy. Paul-Lawal unarguably, one of the most successful women in Lagos remarkably remains very modest about it.

Bola Shagaya’s new project

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EW weeks after she was honoured at the Thisday Awards, many people have been wondering about the whereabouts of Hajia Bola Shagaya. While there were unconfirmed reports that Shagaya may have gone abroad for a crash course in order to keep in tune with global business challenges, SC findings revealed that the Ilorin, Kwara State-born businesswoman only traveled abroad for a short rest and has since resumed at her Abuja office. Indications are that she will be going for her doctorate degree in the next few months. She is also said to be pre-occupied with her Bola Shagaya Foundation, which will be launched soon.


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Glamour

THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

The celebrant, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and wife Bola cutting the birthday cake. On the left is First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan

At 75, OBJ still waxing strong

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ITH the presence of the President of Liberia, Mrs. Sirleaf Johnson, Nigeria's First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, two state governors, business moguls and captains of industry, the event could not have been more grand. The occasion th was the 75 birthday of former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, which held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos some days ago. Not known to mark his birthday with fanfare, the former president, on the prompting of friends and associates, however, rolled out the drums to celebrate his 75 years on earth, amidst encomiums from his guests , who thronged the event to identify with him. In company of his wife, Bola, the 'birthday boy' was in a convivial mood as he cut his birthday cake with Dame Patience Jonathan taking charge of proceedings. The star-studded event was graced by personalities like Governors Godswill Akpabio and Liyel Imoke of Akwa Ibom and Cross River states respectively; industrialist, Aliko Dangote; CEO, Access Bank, Aigboje Aig Imoukhuede; Chairman, Forte Oil, Femi Otedola, Hajia Bola Shagaya; Senate President, David Mark, to mention a few.

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L-R: Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio and Cross River State Gov., Liyel Imoke

L-R: Ogun State Governor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun and Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan

Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala

Alhaji Aliko Dangote

L-R: Mr Femi Otedola and Hajia Bola Shagaya

Mr and Mrs Aig Imokhuede

Hajia Titi Atiku

L-R: Otunba Funsho Lawal and Goddie Ibru

L-R: Obi Ezekwesili. Vice President World Bank for Africa and Chief Tajudeen Oladipo

Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo

Mrs Fifi Ejindu

Yeye Bola Dare

Liberia President, Sirleaf Jonson

Timi Alaibe


FROM THE CAMPUS Prof. PAGE 46

THE NATION SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

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O surprises at all at the news of Andres Villas Boas’s sack, we all saw it coming; it was just a question of when. I genuinely feel sorry for the young man and I hope it doesn’t affect his confidence in any way. He is actually a good coach maybe not enough experience and being under the employment of Roman Abramovich does no good to anyone’s confidence anyway. I found it very funny when a few Chelsea fans were complaining about the club and owner and somebody said “if you are not careful, you too will soon be sacked as a fan”. It should now be clear that Roman Abramovich is one of the biggest problems at Chelsea. He had no business letting Mourinho go in the first place. I would have thought AVB would be given a chance to build a new team while trying to figure out a way of letting go of the old legs that have formed a “cabal”, same cabal that ganged up against Phillip Scolari and Carlo Ancellotti. My take is that AVB should not have been sacked just yet. He should have been backed by Roman to build a new team and backed to sack those players who caused him problems (members of the cabal). If you want success, you empower d coach totally. No short cut. In the end looking at the issues he had with his players, you can tell that he is an inexperienced man manager which was his down fall at Chelsea because some of his comments about certain players were uncalled for. By the way, what does Roman know about football? The owners know nothing about football or how teams are managed really. They should only be interested in value creation, business development and the numbers which is what is really keeping Arsene Wenger at Arsenal even though he hasn’t won any trophies in six years, soon to be seven. Do the Glazers concern themselves with football or even American football for that matter? This meddling is what causes eight coaches to pass the baton in nine years. Imagine that! Chelsea’s problem is beyond coaches because after Mourinho left (about five years ago), at least five world class coaches have come and gone and he still reckons it's a coaching problem? No matter what people say about Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson, I have to hand it to United. The management is completely within the powers of SAF. He chooses his squad, punishes

AVB'S SACK: No surprises

transgressors, sells off troublemakers, changes his captain at will, and simply delivers trophies. There are many trophies between Carlo Ancellotti, Jose Mourinho, big Phil (Scolari), and Andres Villas-Boas before and during their stay at Stamford Bridge? We all know that these are some of the world's best proven coaches, but no, Roman wants them to put a gun to Michel Platini’s head and take the champions league trophy to Stamford Bridge it seems. Anyway, any retired coach can take up the Job at Stamford Bridge, at least he is sure to get a hefty severance pay. It is sad to know that Roman Abramovich has spent $798 millio n US doll

ars on players and coaches since 2003. Meanwhile, Manchester United and Arsenal have spent less than $150 and $ 5 0 million dollars within the s a m e t i m e frame. H o w can a

business man like Roman not care about profits? A couple of coaches have been linked with the job. Rafa Benitez has asked for a longterm contract, who can blame him? Mourinho is asking for 12 million pounds a per annum and Cristiano Ronaldo; is he indirectly saying a return to Stamford Bridge is impossible? The funniest of them all is Pep Guardiola. Is he supposed to leave the best club in the world with a very solid structure to a structure less club like Chelsea? Or leave sensible and fantastic players for average and ego hungry players? Though I must applaud care-taker manage

• Andres Villas Boas

r Roberto Di Matteo for his efforts so far. Somehow he has managed to get the players back to their very best like we saw in their comeback against Napoli on Wednesday. I never saw it coming and I must say congratulations to Chelsea for keeping the English flag flying in Europe. They might as well be looking at a place in the semi-final but then one plus one is not always two in football, we shouldnt be quick to write off Benefica's chances of progressing to the semis. It will be fantastic for Di Matteo"s CV if he gets to the final but if i were him, I will not nurse any hopes of becoming the coach of Chelsea, afterall Avram Grant was only one penalty kick away from winning the trophy, yet he was fired.Too soon to write off Benefica. As a Nigerian my main concern in all of this is Mikel Obi. Where does he go from here? Will he continue to be a bench warmer at Chelsea or will he make his way back into the first team? The last time I saw him in action, he came in in the 87th minute. Three minutes of play is what our supposed “superstar” has become. It is so hard to believe he was second best player after Messi at the U-20 World Cup in Holland. He had the potential but ended up in the wrong club in my opinion. Imagine a Mikel Obi at Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson? He was supposed to be Nigeria’s midfield future. There was something about him because you don’t become second best player at a world tournament and cause a tug of war between big c l u b s l i k e Manchester united and Chelsea if you are not a fantastic player. People blame Mourinho for converting him f r o m a n attacking midfielder to a defensive midfielder. Even with the Super Eagles he looks very ordinary and it breaks my heart to watch him play. Somehow, I hope he gets back on track and fulfills his potential. As for Chelsea fans and owner, money doesn’t always buy happiness or trophies as is the case here, once Roman realizes that, the club will progress.

With

Emmanuel Ojeme

ARSENAL FC’S EXIT FROM EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE:

Issues and Challenges

A

RSENAL Football Club has exited the European Champions League, a week ago. This incident, for sure, provokes some critical issues and challenges, concerning the future of the Club, for obvious reasons, some of which I dare to mention here. One, I am an ardent follower of the Club and secondly, I share in the philosophy and values that the club represents, which for me, give sports a lot of meaning within and outside of the football field. I have said it before that if Arsene Wenger were to be FIFA President, there would have been more sanity in global football and most of the iniquities, financial indiscipline so much associated with football would not be there. The focus of this paper is essentially on the elimination of Arsenal from the Champions League. This exit was cooked in the first leg of the round of 16 in Milan, when Arsenal lost by 4 – 0 goal margin to A.C. Milan. I saw the game live and made some observations which can be captured in terms of poor psychological preparation for the game by the visitors. What I saw in the first leg suggest to me that Arsenal players were not in their best frame of mind and lacked enough confidence to confront A.C. Milan in a very athletic encounter. No department of the team functioned very effectively. The consequence was that the club lost all initiatives to the home team who went home smiling with four goals lead. It is equally important to state here that A.C. Milan had the benefit of fielding some older and more experienced players than Arsenal and were more compact, with rampaging psycho-kinetic attributes that gave them the game. In the reverse schedule at the Emirates stadium, Arsenal recovered and came into the second leg with blistering psycho-kinetic attributes, tactical formation and fire that nearly neutralized A.C. Milan’s lead. Arsenal scored three unreplied goals, playing more gallantly and got back its honour, dignity and respect even if they failed to qualify for quarter finals. In the way A.C. Milan played at the Emirates, I venture say that except they are lucky with the draws, I doubt of it can reach the finals. Having narrated the story of the round of 16 encounter between the two clubs, permit me to leave A.C. Milan and focus on Arsenal F.C. as the Club looks forward to its future of potential great achievements. I must observe in this regard that the Coach, Arsene Wenger, knows football very well and is a very good man. He needs some years more at the Emirates to change the fortunes of the Club which is in the advance stage of being brewed. In pushing for this future, however, Arsene Wenger must endeavour to achieve equivalence of personnel performance potential for each position on the field. For example, Van Persie, which took the Coach several years to sculpture is now ripe and manifests a performance level that is absolutely amazing. Some times, he needs rest for muscular, anatomic and physiological stress to heal but, this has not happened. An Arsenal game is never the without same Robin Van Persie. This is a challenge, Arsene Wenger must face squarely as he works to strengthen the club. This is what he needs to do in all critical areas of the game. Secondly, he needs more experienced mentors for the younger players on the field, to give them confidence and leadership in the heat of games. Arsenal needs one or two more potent strikers, central defenders and mid-fielders to assist Alex Song in bringing stability and assurance in the mid-field. I share Arsene Wenger’s developmental philosophy and financial prudence. Some wayward financial practices of some Clubs seems to suggest that there exist the belief that money can buy a trophy. The day this disposition gains preeminence and prevalence, I guess that football will lose its value as a social institution. Arsenal provides a very good and model place for young people to grow up and play their football. I hope its management and indeed others seeking growth and development would find this paper useful. As I wish Arsenal F.C. well, so I wish Nigerian Clubs, hoping that they would learn one or two things from the intellectual sagacity, cultural and philosophical orientation of Arsene Wenger in his sublime management of his Club.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY MHARCH 18, 2012

47

VOL 1 NO. 037

Nigeria, consumer protection & CPC L

ETS some liberty with extravagance in light jokes; Nigeria is a very interesting country. In so many ways, it is unique. There is this claim that Nigerians are some of the happiest people on earth. Connecting that with one of the Late Fela Anikulapo's SUFFERING and SMILING creative contribution to the classification of Nigerians makes it all the more humorous. But it is rather worrisome, talking seriously, that a people can go through the entire difficulties manifest in our society and still remain as happy as we are. One would rather that Nigerians' genetic constituents should be properly scrutinized to help the world into a yet unrevealed character trait that could be better described than patience or resilience. The average Nigerian is capable of living with situations of compromises and abuses that a non-Nigerian is not likely to accept. Most of the foreign airlines flying into Nigerian market consider Nigerian route one of the cheapest (if not the cheapest) cost centers in their entire operation because the average Nigerian flying even the business class will be ready to fly a sixteen hour journey without the standard in-flight entertainment and conveniences due him/her or the status; he/she will understand. I saw a cartoon in one of the daily newspapers some time last week that captures a similar scenario. In it, the cartoon characters (representative of high net-worth individuals, highly mobile and cosmopolitan with global travel disposition) were dialoguing a shared experience on British Airways Lagos-London flight. According to them, their 'recent experience' with the airline is that the air hosts and hostesses or cabin crew staffers deliberately stop serving top-end refreshment items when they get close to where “Nigerians are clustered”. You know, Nigerian passengers will be easily identified by their color, economy class/popular side position and general disposition. The ready answer for the most daring that musters enough courage to ask to be served is “it is finished”, end of story. I once listened to the woes of a friend who had a nasty experience on a South African Lagos-bound flight. Put succinctly, the cabin crew staff was out rightly rude to the Nigerians on board. According to Late President John F. Kennedy, in his address congress on consumer protection, March 15, 1962, “CONSUMERS BY DEFINITION, INCLUDE US ALL. THEY ARE THE LARGEST ECONOMIC GROUP, AFFECTING AND AFFECTED BY ALMOST EVERY PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ECONOMIC DECISION. Yet they are the only important group…whose views are often not heard”. Since 1962 when this wonderful statement was made by J.F Kennedy, nothing significant has been introduced to perhaps add to its robustness. It has endured over time as complete, and truly of global application. So, whether the South African airline's practice is a manifestation of xenophobia or the British Airways thing is one of racial discrimination, it all amount to consumer abuse - it includes us all. World over, consumer have been known to experience abuse in so many ways. It predates President Kennedy's speech to congress. Over a third of countries world over signed up to consumer protection, under the auspices of CONSUMERS INTERNATIONAL, a global body concerned with protection of consumers against abuse. According to global understanding, pioneered by JFK, there are eight basic consumer rights that must be protected, as mentioned below: 1. The right to satisfaction of basic needs 2. The right to safety 3. The right to be informed 4. The right to choose 5. The right to be heard 6. The right to redress 7. The right to consumer education 8. The right to healthy environment All of these rights are held sacred in the constitution of the world consumer protection body known as Consumer International. Following JFK's congressional address of March 15, 1962 (he is the first leader to recognize

and sign up to consumer protection), the world adopted that historic day March 15 as World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD). The calendar of Consumer International, the world body charged with consumer protection against abuse, is drawn in recognition of that day. So on Thursday, March 15, 2012, Nigeria will join the world to celebrate the 29th WORLD CONSUMER RIGHT DAY (it was first held on March 15, 1983. Nigeria Protection Council is one of the four CI members from Nigeria. The last time MC&A DIGEST wrote an article on consumer abuse and protection, so many independent and non-governmental organizations that positioned for the protection of consumers in Nigeria called to ask for recognition and spotlight, for purposes of awareness generation. It turned out very interesting to us, because it heightened our worry in the direction the effectiveness of so many self-acclaimed consumer protectors, in the face of rampant incidences of abuse consumers in Nigeria face daily. Till date, we find it difficult to rationalize the existence of such bodies and organizations, especially the Consumer Protection Council, in the face of prevalent compromises and abuse happening around us. We have so many reasons to suspect that the magnanimity of the Lagos State Government in its effort to protect tenants from abuse in the hands of greedy landlords or property owners in Lagos is being compromised by the die-hards among them. What choice does the prospective tenant has when the property owner fixes exorbitant rent and unfriendly payment terms and conditions? We once talked about it, but we are compelled to revisit DSTV's billing system and subscription rate. In fact, DSTV's trade practice in Nigeria amounts to disrespect to the entire local system and flagrant abuse of the consumers (subscribers). Apart from its high subscription rate, it broadcasts old library programs of very old stock. I can recollect programs that have been repeated so often so long enough to be too familiar. Apart from soccer, religious and news programs, plenty other broadcast are of

old, stale and worn-out standard. It turns out so funny and annoying that one is left wondering what the our communication commission is doing, or could it be the National communication commission do not see the broadcast quality check and control as part of its functions? We recall the experience subscribers went through in the hands of GSM operators before GLO network forced per second billing on competition; who ever thought it were possible to pay lesser than we were subjected to before GLO's intervention? What did our communication commission or Consumer Protection Council do about that? Let us even look at our educational sector, with the private participation in education and their exorbitant fees and shallow academic content. I challenge many of these private primary, secondary and universities to a truly objective and thorough inspection if they will pass for a truly standard quality academic institution. What many of them sell is lifestyle and class consciousness. On the area of true academics, many students and parents are short-changed because their academic curriculum is largely faulty and shallow in content. What will the ministry of education and indeed consumer protection council do about that? Look at our pension fund management, our health management organization and oil and petroleum marketing sector; the consumer is abused from every angle. But here we are, believing that the existence of our CPC amount to anything. The CPC was set up by Act No. 66 of 1992, with the following functions: ? Provide speedy redress to consumers through negotiation, mediation and conciliation ? Seek ways and means of improving or eliminating from the market hazardous products and causing offenders to replace such products with safer and more appropriate alternative ? Publish from time to time, list of products whose consumption and sale have been banned, withdrawn, severally restricted or not approved by the Federal Government or foreign governments ? Cause an offending company, firm, trade, association or trade individual to protect, compensate, provide relief and safeguards to injured consumers or communities from adverse effects of technologies that are inherently harmful, injurious, violent or highly hazardous ? Organize and undertake campaigns and other forms of awareness ? Encourage trade, industry and professional associations to develop and enforce in their various fields quality standards designed to safeguard the interest of consumers ? Issue guidelines to manufacturers, importers, dealers and wholesalers in relation to their obligation under this Decree ? Encourage the formation of voluntary consumer groups or associations for consumers' wellbeing ? Ensure that consumers' interest receive due consideration at appropriate forum and to provide redress to obnoxious practices or the unscrupulous exploitation of consumers by companies, firms, trade association or individual ? Encourage the adoption of appropriate measures to ensure that products are safe for either intended or normally safe use; and ? Perform such other functions as may be imposed on the Council pursuant to this Decree. In all sincerity, with every sense of purpose and responsibility, which of any of the functions stated above can CPC say it has really carried out? Yet it is commonly referred to as the apex consumer protection agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria. We have taken the pain to list the functions/responsibilities of the CPC in the public's interest, but we suggest it is time the Federal Government call the CPC to accountability. As we mark the World Consumer Rights Day on March 15, 2012, let us connect with the passion the Late President John F. Kennedy rose up in defense of consumers worldwide.


48

THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

‘Women should be paid for raising children’


New WOMAN

THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

Social media safety tips

Ways to increase cashflow for women B

EFORE you run for the hills and turn up your noses at the idea, bear in mind that the job market is becoming very competitive and many fathers, husbands or brothers out there are having a hard time keeping a job. Also the subtle economic discrimination against working women might hinder one's career. So if you are married or single, this just might be for you! 1. Baby sitting service If you enjoy working with kids, consider babysitting. Put the word out to your social network and see what happens. If you can make yourself

available outside of normal day care hours and are willing to travel to the client's residence you'll be a precious commodity. 2. Cleaning houses If you belong to the subset of the population that find cleaning distressing, then you may be able to make substantial income cleaning houses. Or, you can take it a step further: build a team and start your own home cleaning business. 3. Writing If you like to write and do not have a lot of money to invest in publishing a book, there are several ways to publicize your content at minimal cost. One of them is blogging. This

WEDDING BLISS

•Mr. and Mrs. Chuks Musei at their wedding at The Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju, Lagos, on March 3, 2012.

is possibly the easiest way to publish content as there is virtually no barrier to entry. You can set up a blog for free in less than 5 minutes and start writing. If you would like to make money from blogging, you should do a little more research and realize that it is a process that will not happen overnight. Also, as the popuplarity of your blog increases, you could generate income from the adverts that would be place by Google and other interested individuals. Try E-books. If you have knowledge or information that you think other people will pay for, consider an e-book. The noise ratio is very high, so make sure your book will stand out. Bounce your idea off of a few trusted friends that will give their honest opinion. Use Traditional publishing. Submit your manuscript and query letter to a publishing house. If they think your manuscript has potential, they will buy the rights and pay you in advance for royalties. Sound like a sweet deal? Get in line! Getting a manuscript accepted by a publishing house is a tedious process. More manuscripts are rejected than accepted. You can always move on to another publisher. 4. Sell crafts Some of great jewelry comes from personal vendors who have found a knack for creating beautiful accessories. There are people who have made a fortune crocheting blankets. Once the word gets out that you are skilled in this area, people will naturally start to order. If you like to work with your hands, check out the internet for online coaching classes on the skill you want to learn. 5. Event planning If you have stellar attention to detail and like social gatherings, you may be able to make side income by planning weddings, parties and other social functions. Event planners need to be resourceful as they are often responsible for outsourcing many entities of an event on a limited budget. They also need to be good communicators to accurately

49

Linda Lowen offers 10 useful tips for keeping yourself safe while using social networking sites

understand and present the desires of their clients. 6. Virtual assistant Get paid to help other people stay organized. There are legitimate Virtual Assistant (VA) positions out there, but there are also many scams so beware. You don't need to use paid directories. Advertize via social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Try to target high profiles individuals in society, they are usually the ones who need this kind of service. 7. Hair and Make-up artistry Braids, twists, and locks are popular hair styles, especially in the Nigerian community. Usually, you will need no startup cash to invest in this business as long as you have a cuttingcomb. You'll need to apply a good amount of creativity and build a clientele, but once this is done you can create a steady stream of income from returning customers and referrals. Also, some styles such as micro-braids require up to 8 hours to complete. Make sure you have the time before taking on such a task. 8. Sell used goods. If you have stuff you don't use, instead of allowing it build to form clutter around your house, sell them! There are plenty of places to sell it. It could be to friends who love some of your items, at a yard sale or on the internet via sites like eBay or Amazon. While this idea isn't particularly weird, if you need money, it's a good place to start. With all the choices out there, it is important that you do your homework before getting involved in any business opportunity so that you do get to make profit at the end of the day. The above list only scratches the surface. Some initiatives, like blogging, require little to no start-up money. Others may require an initial investment to get started. Whatever you decide will take work and commitment so increase your chances of success by selecting something you'll like to do especially if you are looking to create a long term supplemental income stream. •Source: www.onemoneydesign.com

Continued from last week 8.

It's A Family Affair Make it clear to family members that the best way of communicating with you is through private messaging or email -- not posting on your page. Often, relatives who are new to social media don't understand the difference between public and private conversations and how they take place online. Don't hesitate to delete something that is too personal for fear of hurting Grandma's feelings -- just make sure you message her privately to explain your actions, or better yet, call her on the phone. 9. You Play, You Pay...in Loss of Privacy Online games, quizzes, and other entertainment apps are fun, but they often pull information from your page and post it without your knowledge. Make sure that you know the guidelines of any app, game or service and do not allow it unfettered access to your information. Likewise, be cautious about responding to notes shared by friends along the lines of "10 Things You Didn't Know About Me." When you answer these and post them, you're revealing personal details about yourself that may enable others to figure out your address, your workplace, the name of your pet or your mother's maiden name (often used as an online security question), or even your password. Do enough of these over time and someone who is determined to learn all about you can read the answers, cross-reference information obtained through your friends' pages, and glean a surprising amount from these seemingly casual revelations. 10. How Do I Know You? Never accept a friend request from someone you don't know. This may seem like a no-brainer, but even when someone appears as a mutual friend of a friend or several friends, think twice about accepting unless you can concretely identify who they are and how they're connected to you. In many professional circles involving large organizations, all an "outsider" has to do is obtain one friend on the inside and it snowballs from there, with others thinking that a total stranger with no personal connection is an unfamiliar co-worker or occasional business associate. Social media is fun -- that's why half the U.S. adult population participates in online social networking sites. But don't be lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to protecting your personal information. The goal of social networking sites is to generate revenue and even though the service is free, there's the hidden cost of your privacy. It's up to you to keep tabs on what shows up and to limit your exposure and protect yourself. Source: About.com Guide


50

THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

Arts & Life

SUNNY SIDE

Cartoons

By Olubanwo Fagbemi deewalebf@yahoo.com 08060343214 (SMS only)

POLITICKLE

Circa 2015

•A futuristic panorama

CHEEK BY JOWL

OH, LIFE!

THE GReggs

ON A HOT March day one decade and a half after the turn of the 21st century, Luckless Patriot contemplated a risky jaunt into town from the suburb of a commercial Naijeria city. With the country reeling from yet another bout of fuel shortage marked by civil disorder and with national elections due for the next month, there could not have been a more combustible end to the first quarter of the year. Wilting in the heat of the midday sun with an empty gallon in hand, Mr Patriot said to himself: “Hmmn, if I can only get four litres of fuel to power my generating set for the night, I shall be glad indeed.” You see, our man was, in the ways of his neglected people, used to providing social services for himself. Daily, he stretched personal resources to access water via borehole facility, hire guards for private security – he would engage bodyguards to preempt kidnappers if he possessed the means, for decades of ruinous leadership had so compromised public security –, keep his rickety used car on the road, food in the house, the children in school and their overworked mother out of hospital. Four litres of Premium Motor Spirit, aka petrol, would go a long way indeed. But someone else had a different idea. By the road sat the one many loved to slam, Chief Filchin’ Bureaucrat, and as he watched Patriot saunter past, he thought with a smirk on his face: “There walks my excuse for siphoning funds. Although the coffers are not yet empty, I’m getting there as banks and investment companies from Switzerland to Brazil can confirm. At the right moment, I’ll ambush Patriot with an umpteenth fuel subsidy withdrawal and dangle fantastic palliatives in his perplexed face. Oh, resourcefully despicable me!” It didn’t matter that promised palliatives often went up in a smoke once Bureaucrat had his way. Yet another party longed to profit from the situation. With the moniker B.H. standing for a more proper appellation, the terrorist-come-lately surpassed previous militants in irritant value and was fingered as a swift catalyst to dissolution of the modern Naijeria state but for political expediency. Still, B.H. threatened extension of his dreadful trade more than once on the more affluent south. As he lurked in the shadows, it was difficult to gauge which informed his grouse most – economic inequality, religious fundamentalism or criminal tendency. He struggled to master the wish to let fly another I.E.D. (Improvised Explosive Device) just then. Bidding his time though, he thought: “I swear, if that Patriot what’s-his-name keeps going and Bureaucrat deprives him of respite as usual, I shall bomb the latter and possibly maim the former!” Loitering too, despite criticism of his archaic methods, was Hapless Agent at one of his serially banned and unbanned roadblocks. “If Mr Patriot keeps going and Chief Bureaucrat exploits him, that bothersome B.H. will expose himself and I’ll pounce!” he said. Now if you think this a long tale, I guarantee there’s more. From certain quarters soon leaked breakaway plans with some already scheming flags and anthems for proposed nations. In town on some urgent business, a representative of one such entity observed the goings-on and thought the whole affair most opportune. “Wow,” said O. P. Cee Arewaa-Masb to himself, “if Mr Patriot keeps going and Chief Bureaucrat frustrates him, then that troublesome B.H. gives himself away and Agent manages to swoop, it might all just get out of hand and I would pursue my dream.” No one, in circumstances thick with speculation, saw foreign power representative Polize Jankee prepare to set up base ashore. Long suspected a player in the likely spectacle of a Naijeria fallout, he nonetheless preached arbitration. Eventually, Patriot stepped into another fuel conundrum, Bureaucrat pulled the subsidy rug, B.H. hurled the I.E.D, Agent grabbed a couple of the rebels who sang meaningfully and Arewaa-Masb lunged, but found the timing inappropriate. He tried to link the blunder to external influence but recalled that Jankee denied ulterior motive earlier. But here’s the thing: playing dice with someone else’s methods and resources could not be the prerogative of any foreigner, even if he shapes to do so. Nor should the leader of a beleaguered nation so insinuate, for no country can ride on good luck forever; no, the initiative, as ever, lay with Patriot and his disillusioned ilk. Disclaimer: Persons, places and groups in the story are fictitious and bear no resemblance to actual persons, places or groups.

Jokes Humour Tot Wisdom AN EIGHT year old boy is walking down the road one day when a car pulls over next to him. “If you get in the car,” the driver says, “I’ll give you N100 and a bar of chocolate.” The boy refuses and keeps on walking. A few moments later, not to take no for an answer, the man driving the car pulls over again. “How about N200 and two bars of chocolate?” The boy tells the man to leave him alone and keeps on walking. Still further down the road the man pulls over to the side road. “OK,” he says, “this is my final offer. I’ll give you N500 and three bars of chocolate.” The little boy stops, goes to the car and leans in. “Look,” he says to the driver, “you bought the old used car. You’ll have to live with it, dad!” Anonymous Mom AFTER putting her children to bed, a mother changed into old trousers and a loose blouse and proceeded to wash her

hair. As she heard the children getting more and more boisterous, her patience grew thin. At last she threw a towel around her head and with her face covered in soap stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard her three-year-old say with a trembling voice, “Who was that?” Parrot Power DURING an auction of exotic pets, a woman who had placed a winning bid told the auctioneer, “I’m paying a fortune for that parrot. I hope he talks as well as you say he does.” “I guarantee it, madam,” replied the auctioneer. “Who do you think was bidding against you?”

QUOTE A sense of humour is the ability to understand a joke – and that the joke is oneself. —Clifton Paul Fadiman •Culled from the Internet

S

HOW, don’t Writer ’s Fountain tell: If it’s a sermon your reader wants, there up with him. Reader: Yawn! are ways to achieve that. Showing: Mike dropped his cell phone and What does it look like, sound like, feel like, taste like, or smell like? When you leaned against the wall. He heaved a sigh and describe a person or event, your reader is dropped his head into his hands. Hear the reader’s mind working: there with you. When you tell, the reader “What’s with Mike? Oh, I get it; he feels relaxes to the point of mental slumber. Susie let him down.” Not sure of the difference? In nonfiction, details show, generalities or Telling: Mike was sad after Susie broke opinions tell. Peculiar facts – human nature: Telling: Children are out of shape these •Vaccinations contain dead bacteria cells. The days. bacteria cells are inserted into your body so Reader: “I don’t think that’s true. My that it can kill them. Then, your white blood neighbour’s kid plays competitive football.” cells memorise how to kill those certain Showing: Forty percent of 5 to 8-year olds bacteria cells, making it easier for them to heal are obese. you if you get the full disease later. The reader’s mind kicks in: •If you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink “Wow! Children are out of shape these more water. For when a human body is days!” dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off. Use humour when you can: •Your heart beats over 100,000 times a day, the Not everyone cracks jokes all day long. But a heart rate can rise as much as 30% during a light touch from time to time lowers a reader’s yawn and stop when you sneeze. guard and opens her to your ideas. Be careful •Male babies are more fragile and sensitive in that your humour is kind and tasteful, unless the womb and during birth than females. of course you are writing for seven-year-olds, •Fingernails grow faster on the hand you when bodily function humour is high on the favour. list.


THE ARTS

51

THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

Hazardous life of a journalist’s wife Wife of murdered news editor of The Guardian newspaper relives through a book the intricacies of being a journalist’s wife. Evelyn Osagie was at the launch and reports

I

T is an unusual task being the journalist wife. Being the wife of a dead one is a harder one still. Ask Mrs Blessing Ochuko Ohu and she tells you “It’s a mixed bag of thrills and anxiety.” And perhaps even more. Beyond the thrills and frills the profession offers, she also had her share of the bags of risk that go with it. Early that calm Sunday morning, Bayo Ayanlola Ohu, her hubby, was murdered in cold blood in their residence at Egbeda, Lagos, leaving her behind and five children. This was three years ago; September 20, to be precise. Nobody saw it coming…especially not Mrs Ohu. The episode left the young woman mystified and sad. Hence, with deep emotions, she wrote: “Suddenly, Bayo was no more. In the twilight of my life, I was given a bone too difficult for me to chew…My sun was forced to set so suddenly at noon, when I was basking in the warmth of its rays…” The lines have formed part of her book, The Journalist’s wife; written to inspire widows and wives of journalists. While many would sit and weep over their loss, Mrs Ohu decided to pencil down her experience for all to read. This, in her view, forms part of the healing process. The book was launched with the heavy presence of the press in Lagos penultimate Thursday. Everyone had kind words for the widow. To them, Mrs Ohu has achieved great feat by writing the book. Guests took turns to recount memories of Bayo as they praised Mrs Ohu’s courage. And as they spoke, she blinked away tears, looking at the ceiling or sometimes at nothing in particular. No doubt, their words brought back memories…perhaps bitter-sweet ones to her mind. In all, she seemed greatly moved by the motivational words of the Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, who represented Governor Raji Fashola. He said: “Mark Twain once said that there are two forces that carry light across the world – the sun and the media. The lesson there is that, Madam, your sun would never set because your husband belonged to a noble profession. And I want to believe that it would shine from now on. Don’t ever give up.” According to the book reviewer, Pastor Mrs Tinu Odugbemi, whose organisation, Head High International Organisation works with widows,

• Mrs Ohu and the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Ogeah

He said: “Journalists all over the world have become frightened for their lives because of the killings and assassination. When the inevitable happens, the family, especially the woman, is left to face the challenges alone. To the resolute ones like Mrs Ohu, they pick up the pieces of the lives and carry on. I congratulate her for this thoughtprovoking book. I commend the courage and resilience of the author for not only triumphing over the challenges but also writing about it. I congratulate • Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Bello holding a copy of the book

a widow’s life is not an easy one. She praised Mrs Ohu’s courage, saying her case is typical of the saying that when a woman marries a man, she marries his profession and the risks involved in it. “Iyawo onirohin, onirohin ni, that is, the wife of a journalist is a journalist.” She said: “That Bayo’s assassination was traumatic cannot be waived off; that his widow and children have received great psycho-social and financial support is also not in doubt. Mrs Ohu determined to move on. She has poured her heart out in this book to chronicle her thoughts, experiences, memories and fears.” Wives of journalists, Mrs Odugbemi said, can also learn greatly from her experiences and that of other women narrated in the book. Alhaji Nasir Kaka, who represented the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, also commended the author resilience.

her for this thought-provoking book.” Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Chike Ogeah, who represented Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, urged journalists to take precaution to protect themselves. “Journalism is a noble and thankless profession and as such the result is sometimes what happened to Bayo. On the slaying of journalists, I have often asked, ‘why journalists?’ I think it is the way you handle yourself that is how people will handle you. You

must take great care to protect yourselves. Madam, take heart, maybe you will go and replace your husband in The Guardian soon. But this time you would be very careful for your children. Our governor believes in the sanctity of life that is why we would support the book.” Before his death, Bayo Ohu was The Guardian Newspaper’s Assistant News Editor. Staff of the paper were there to facilitate the Mrs Ohu feat, including The Guardian Newspaper’s ManagingDirector, Mr Emeka Izeze. Mr Izeze noted: “We take so many things for granted as journalists. We don’t have time for our families. She was writing for herself but also for wives and families of journalists. She was capturing the pain that they go through. It would help us to know that there’s life after the job.” The Principal Consultant, Edumark Consult, Mrs Yinka Ogunde, who was introduced as Mrs Ohu’s mentor, said: “I am proud of you, Blessing. I am inspired by her courage and passion.” Inspired by her late hubby’s passion for journalism, she is currently studying Mass Communication, it was learnt. Evidently, Mrs Ohu has moved on with life. Thus, she urged widows of slain journalists, saying: “They should be strong and determined. Our sun has not set. Like the commissioner said that if I taught my sun had set while writing the book, now that he has said it, I still have hope. If I can withstand it and write the book, you can do better.” She described the journalist’s wife as “one who is intelligent, self confident, tolerant and most of all patient.”

Kenyan Presidential candidate lauds young Nigerian author

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LUEBUBECHUKWU Sharon James started writing at the age of six. Now, a JSS 2 student of Beulahfield secondary school, Ejigbo, Lagos, she recently launched a new book titled Freedom which attracted Dr. George Luchiri Wajackoyah, a presidential candidate from Kenya. Wajackoyah, who is a lawyer, said he had to jettison his job and political campaigns and come all the way from the United States of America to honour the author. “Í have not come here to campaign about Kenya politics but I am invited here to honour this girl who at her age wrote books,” he said. He however presented the author one hundred dollars to support her. Reviewing the book “Freedom”, a 14-page children literature, Wajackoyah said the book is a book about sociology of life depicting characters in life who do not want others to succeed and reinforces the reward of obedience. The book he said also represents the voice of children who have no hope

By Taiwo Abiodun

“I am imploring others to emulate this young girl for she is a future leader and writer,” Wajackoyah said. The father of the author, Dr Raphael James, said his daughter took after him in writing as he too had about 12 published books to his credit. He said, “I used to tell her bedtime stories and she too used to write those things down and one day she told me she wanted to write a book of which I encouraged her to .When she finished writing it, her mother helped to proofread it and gave it to me for publication. She only changed some names and characters while she reconstructed the stories and called the title of the book Freedom. I am proud to have her as my daughter.”

• The author posing with Dr. Wajackoyah


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Arts/Reviews

Leaders call for unity at book launch I

T was a colourful gathering of tradition, culture and national unity at the public presentation of the book, Ile-Ife: the Source of Yoruba Civilization written by Prince Adelegan Adegbola, at the prestigious Oduduwa Hall, Obafemi Awolowo University,OAU, Ile-Ife last week. The book presentation no doubt gave the Yoruba nation and other nations ample oppourtunity to discuss the unity of Nigeria. The programme opened with panegyrics of kings and localities as over 100 royalties from across Nigeria were present at the book presentation. These praises filled the air with a colourful display of royal panache. The event also witnessed a display of unity and friendship between major Nigerian tribes and dialects, when Oba Okunade Sijuade, the Ooni of Ife, walked in with his entourage. His entourage included Alhaji Sa’d Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ado Bayero, Emir of Kano, Igwe Nnaemaka Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha, His Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse II, the Olu of Warri, represented by Joey Ema Evelukha, (name)The Deji of Akure, Zulu Gambari,The Emir of

• L-R: Igbinedion, Aregbesola, and Adeojo during the presentation

Ilorin, and the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, to mention a few. According to Adegbola, a trained journalist and historian, he found the historical fallacies of both colonial and post-colonial representations disturbing.

According to the reviewer, Professor Abiodun Adedoyin, a professor of History at OAU, the book investigates “the fulcrum of Yorubaland in ancient and modern times.” The Professor of history also claimed that the book takes into consciousness

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the past eight years has been on book writing. I really never paid attention to music, but God who knows us better thatn we understand ourselves pulled a surprise when suddenly I began to get songs while asleep. On several occasions I woke up singing unfamiliar songs. Then it dawned on me that God wants to do something through me. I discussed the strange occurrence with my wife who has more insight musically. She gave me the needed support and we began to pray for God’s directives and connections to faithful music directors. God heard us and linked us with an artiste, Femi Andrew,

Soul King Explained

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J Smith does not have to explain why his big new biography of James Brown is such a showstopper. This book’s sparkle speaks for itself, as does Mr. Smith’s ability to take on his screaming, moaning, kinetically blessed, unbeatably shrewd subject. It takes a nervy authorial voice to describe James Brown with anything better than awe, mimicry or condescension. It takes a prescient writer to look at a picture of 9-year-old James Brown and see the boy who is father to the man: “mouth unsmiling, the head tilted

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who helped refined all the songs I got through inspiration.” Okonta also said the gospel music industry needs more artistes as God seeks those who will worship him in spirit and truth.

Beautiful Nubia- Live in Concert FOLKLORE exponent Beautiful Nubia will have a live performance today at EniObanke Arts Centre, 19 Adekunle Fajuyi Way, Ikeja GRA, Lagos by 4:00pm. Gate Fee: N1000 and 5000 (VIP)

Easy irie sunday

at an angle that sends a message — got something for me?”

The event was also graced by governors of the south-western states, politicians, clergymen and statesmen of note. Some of the personalities present at the event were, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the host governor, …,Ondo State Deputy Governor, Mrs HID Awolowo, represented by Mrs Olatokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu of the Awolowo Foundation, Princess Tejumade Alakija, Former Head of Service of the Old Western Region. Other personalities at the event were, Justice Bola Babalakin, Chief Micheal Adeojo, Chairman Elizade Motors Professor Idowu Omole, The Vice Chancellor, OAU, represented by Prof Adesanya, Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, Tola Ayedun, former Managing Director, Daily Times, Hon. Sikiru Ayedun, Osun State Commisioner for Culture and Tourism, President, Guild of Editors of the Nigerian press, Gbenga Adefaye, Chief Abdulrahman Adedoyin of the Oduduwa University, , Chief Adeyinka Adebayo, the Bobajiro of Ife, Reverend Ayo Ladigbolu, Retired Reverend of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Olu Falae, former presidential candidate amongst others.

Halfway through life

Okonta drops ‘It is well’ album HE Nation newspaper senior reporter Mr Chuks Udo Okonta has released his gospel album entitled It is well. The five-track album, which is marketed and distributed by Dapat Music Company, is presently enjoying air play in many radio stations and has tracks like, It is well, Baba Igwe, Hallelujah, Johovah and You are Lord. Okonta who is also an author said in a media parley he is inspired to draw people close to God through his songs and noted that music remains one of the best channels to connect man to God. He said: “My passion in

the collapse of the rich Yoruba cultural heritage in the 19th century and advocates that the book can be used by organizations, cultural research centres, libraries, and palaces to revitalize the knowledge of the cultural norms of the people.

Adelagun stated that the book also “corrects the impressions of Oduduwa and puts in perspective the realities of the Orisas”, and the Yoruba kings. “The book also traces the source of many of the Kingdoms in South west Nigeria and influences on Kingdoms in West Africa to Ile-Ife”. The Sultan of Sokoto informed the audience that he feels at ease being in the source of Yoruba land. He assured Nigerians that his presence at the book presentation is an indication “of our belief in the unity of the country.” He expressed delight in the publication of the book, noting that “the history of the people represents an important component of their identity.” The Sultan also harped that the teaching of history in secondary schools in the country should be made compulsory and that “it is important to teach our children where we have come from and where we are.” The Obi of Onitsha reiterated the need for unity amongst Nigerians. “There is far more that puts us together than divides us,” he said, advising that Nigerians should focus on our strengths of unity than the issues that divide us as a nation.

Join the in-house band of The Life House at Sinari Daranijo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos today for an evening of mellow live jazz, highlife and reggae this evening. Time is 6:30pm and attendance is free.

HE sight of the cover on my facebook wall was enough motivation to read this book. Not sure about how appealing the content would be, it was when I began flipping through the book’s 154 pages that I realized the topic of discussion was of great interest to me. There is a saying that ‘a fool at forty is a fool forever’, but, in this generation; I beg to disagree by saying ‘a fool at thirty may be a fool forever’. Many people in our world today have failed to realize the essential need of prioritization. Many live the day as it comes forgetting that there are so many achievements to be made. Ayotunde Okunowo, in his book, Thirty Things You Must Do Before You Are Thirty propels some practical principles which largely centers on personal achievement by age thirty. The book highlights different segments of a man’s life and can be divided into various sectors of life - career, health, moral, finance, emotions, marital, spiritual and social. It also contains thirty principles with examples of people who have excelled using these principles. From these, a number of the principles discussed by the author can no doubt be of great impact on youths. For instance, the author states that one must have a stable source of income as a serious minded youth to be financially independent before he attains the age thirty. In addition to this, he advocates severance of parental influence as being important. Also, he harps on the essence of education in today’s evolving world by writing that one must have at least degree. The principles discussed could be of immense value to young adults who have the quest to be responsible people and also be totally independent by the age of thirty. As said by Dr Abib Olamitoye on the blurb of the book, ‘the principles are fundamental, practical and life changing. I heartily recommend it to everyone in search of personal progress.’ The book however has its own short comings. The principle you must have bought a land if not built may not be of priority to many youths. And I strongly believe that this principle may not be an achievement to many youths. The principle you must have read the Holy Book from cover to cover, will have passed if the author did not emphatically in the text refer to the Bible. This may put off many non-Christian readers. I

By Olatunde Folasewa

also believe that I do not need to have attended thirty funerals before I know that life is sacred. There was also no sort of encouragement to those that may have passed the age thirty and are yet to achieve the discussed principles in the book. The use of quotations and wise sayings from series of renowned authors like Robert Greene, Bill Newman, Gbile Akanni and so on shows that the author is well read and may be writing from the wealth of information he has gathered over time. The book is quite a good package as the statutory insight will most likely inspire any serious minded youth. The glossary of words added to the book will help readers navigate conveniently through the book and will help readers refer easily to the nuggets used by the author. The practical style of Okunowo’s writing does not only fascinate me but makes me yearn for a better piece like this in future. Publisher: R&R International, Sagamu, Ogun State


THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

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Living dangerously with filth —PAGE 55

‘My mother forced me to read Medicine’ Professor John Oladapo Obafunwa, the Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU) manages the rare feat of straddling two high profile professions: he is a consultant forensic pathologist and a lawyer. In this interview with Remi Adelowo, he spoke about his plans to reposition LASU and very private life deal with it. Where one had to be firm, one was firm. And I must appreciate the fact that people saw reasons why certain things had to be done and we did achieve g r e a t success. And it was probably no surprise that the various unions

•Obafunwa

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HEN you applied to be the Vice Chancellor, didn’t you nurse any fear that you would be taking up a very difficult job? Honestly, I understood clearly the challenges ahead particularly on the need to reform the place (LASU); challenges relating to infrastructure; challenges relating to academic and non-academic staff; the students, more so at a time when there was a restructuring of the student fees for new intakes. So, I must say that when I finally got the nod to do the job; it really dawned on me that I’ll have to deal with it squarely. What was the state of LASU at the time you came in? The state was such that a lot needed to be done and I had to acknowledge my predecessors in terms of what they had done. I was faced with a situation where one had to try and move the place forward with the assistance of the Governing Council, the Executive and of course the legislative arm of government. It is not for me to

describe it as being bad or what have you because it’s a continuous process. At the end of my tenure, I know I’m going to be judged by whatever I’ve achieved. Your immediate predecessor faced a lot of challenges from various stakeholders in the institution like the students and even staff, how have you been able to deal with these? Let me say that it would be very unfair for me to comment on whatever challenges my immediate predecessor might have encountered with the various groups. But I can say that as Provost of the College of Medicine (LASU) at that time, I enjoyed a lot of support from the various unions whether it’s the students; the academic staff union, nonacademic staff union like NASU, SSANU, we did have differences when I was Provost, but one thing I always did was to put things on the table and everybody saw it. And we would argue back and forth and at the end of the day, we were all able to see the realities and

elected me as one of the representatives of the congregation to serve on the Governing Council of the university. Since I came in as Vice Chancellor, I’ve continued to engage the various unions actively; I’ve had to run things by them. Where I had to insist on certain things, we are able to get along over those issues. But thank God, we’ve had a lot of common ground and for me, the key thing is to be able to put things on the table for everybody to see; no hidden agenda. If there are difficulties, we’ll all see it and if there is a way forward over certain issues, we jointly proceed on how to engage the students in active discussion. Even though, there is a suspension of union activities, we still talk; we engage in so many things and committed to ensuring that the various students’ union leaders achieve set objectives. I know that they have a short time between now and the expiration of their mandate. I’m determined to give them all the support so that they

can actualize whatever they promise their colleagues. So, by and large, I would say that we’ve been able to work together. The key thing is trust. The same way I would trust my superiors, I would also expect them to trust me. And everyday, I pray that I don’t disappoint people who have entrusted so much faith in me. I’ve had occasion when I had to look at them and saw in them people who have so much trust in you that you can deliver certain things and as such, I know I cannot fail. It’s a lot of pressure on me, but with God on our side, we would succeed. Can you layout your plans to reposition the institution in the short, medium and long term? One: is the need for us to try and reverse whatever negative image people might have on the outside about LASU. We are positioned in a situation where we just have to deliver. There is the peculiarity of our being in a mega city; a large population, with the expectations so high, we need to turn so many things around. Our students need to assist us in this by projecting a positive image of the institution and I know that a large proportion of our students would want to see this happen. We don’t want a situation where our students graduate and a potential employer sees the certificate and says ‘Oh LASU, no no?’ I know that LASU students are doing very well in their various endeavours. So, we on the inside have no choice but to provide them with all the support. I know there is the issue of outstanding results, which have been trying to sign out as much as possible. I’ve also talked to my colleagues, the academic staff, whatever they have outstanding, they need to let us have it. We’ve tried to revise things in the exams and records unit, as well as the data processing unit where I’ve positioned the new head with the modified registration system, such that it begins from the level of the department. So, departmental heads should know right from the beginning how many students are registered. By knowing how many are registered, for a particular course, they would know the number to expect from the exams. And we’ve also revised how we are going to mark scripts and make results available within about four weeks of completing our exams. So, one hopes that with these challenges, we would be able to address certain anomalies. We have a lot of anomalies that currently exist in our external system and there, I’ve

positioned a new acting director, who is actively helping me to clear a lot of backlogs and identify some bottlenecks. But having said that, I need to point that you have some students who claim that they have finished or graduated from LASU when, in fact, they have a number of outstanding courses to clear. And as we identify some of these people, we tell them to come back and finish what you have to do. So, with the changes going on, we hope to fully identify this group and let them know beforehand. That is for the students. With regards to the infrastructure, you must have seen the renovation currently going on with regards to the rehabilitation of our roads, and that is just the beginning. When they finish the entire road network, they are going to start on our car park. Hopefully within the next 18 to 24 months, we would have a new central library, which is going to have about four floors. Directly opposite here, I expect them to start clearing the place for a new Senate building, which is a seven-storey building. There is also the rehabilitation work going on in the three-in-one auditorium. It was affected recently by the rainstorm that removed the roof, which was not part of the refurbishment that was to take place. In fact, the whole exercise was supposed to last six months. The state government is funding these so when people talk about the new fees structure for new intakes, the truth is that we don’t have a hike in school fees. But that is not the feeling out there in the public. I have no choice but to seize every opportunity to emphasise that. The existing students we have are not having any increases at all. No! Pick the worst case scenario in the medical school. Somebody who completed his 100 level last semester and is now moving to 200 level this session would still be paying the old rate until 600 level. So, you do not have an increase in fees at all. What you have is a new fees structure for those who are just coming in. It’s like you are selling your goods for a particular price and you come to look at it and realize it’s being underpriced and you now sit down to review the cost of the goods and you say to the buyers, this is the minimum you have to pay for it. But having said that, even that minimum that you have to pay for it. When you put everything together, it’s a miniscule of what you have to expend. The new fees, if you put everything •Continued on Page 54


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Life

‘There is pressure on me to perform’ •Continued from Page 53

together, would not run this university for more than one month. Even if you have to include the old students, everything put together, it would not run this university for more than two months. So, you find out that the state government would still have to pick the bills. What Lagos State Government would be expending this year alone on LASU is about N6 billion. The non-rating of LASU among the best universities in Nigeria has been a source of concern to many, what are you doing about this? I disagree with you! Don’t forget I’m a product of the College of Medicine, and I’m in this country today, you can’t mention the first three to five medical schools without LASUCOM, it’s impossible, because I know what operates. I know to what level we developed the place. I know what obtains within the medical community. I’m a graduate of College of Medicine, Idi Araba (UNILAG) and I recall when I was going in as Provost of LASUCOM, I said LASUCOM would emerge as a medical school that would outpace Idi Araba and I want to humbly submit that we achieved that even though my alma mater is involved. As a whole UNILAG is ahead of us in a number of places, but by the grace of God, at the end of four years, UNILAG would have to reckon with us. Talking about the Faculty of Law, at some point, we were the envy of Law Faculties in other universities, but despite the little bit of setbacks we’ve had, we still have situation where our Law graduates at the Law school came out with First Class. What is your view on the postJAMB examination? I believe in post-JAMB. We are not unaware of situations where people supposedly scored very high marks in JAMB exams and when you come to the post-JAMB, you start seeing things that are questionable. And this is not to cast aspersions on whatever good work JAMB is doing. I see the post-JAMB exams as complementing the JAMB exams. We are all trying towards achieving the same objective. What are the situation and challenges that prepared you for this job? Apart from my natural beliefs, which touches on the aspect of always wanting the best; striving for the best; not wanting to compromise on standard; being conservative as far as education is concerned, those personal qualities, I believe, prepared me. Now, having qualified as a medical doctor and as a pathologist and always striving for the best, I never at any time wanted to see mediocre control events. Once you have a mediocre in a position, the standard will fall. The mediocre would not see anything wrong if you lower the standard and you can imagine the product of that standard. I recall my very first day in Edinburgh. One experience I would never forget, my professor at some point, said, ‘John, I have to say that you are better than some of us.’ I won’t go into specifics. A white man does not have better brain than I do. I worked in an environment where I had to prove a lot of points; I also allowed the environment to have an impact on me. I studied not just books or do the job, but I was able to also appreciate work ethics; the need for you to be punctual, although that has always been part of me even before I left Nigeria. Over there, the average Nigerian would do what he has to do, but the moment that

person lands at Murtala Muhammed Airport, everything changes. Having worked in that kind of environment, I’ve always wondered why Nigerians at home would not do the right thing. Have you found the answer to that poser? The answer lies in the so-called Nigerian factor, which is used to justify their wrong attitude. I was very critical of those things but at some point, I stopped being critical. I said to my self ‘you cannot continue to criticize things if you don’t go in there, get involved and do something. And that was what motivated me to come back home. Along the line, did you face challenges that almost compelled you to return abroad? I’ve had to ask myself sometimes; ‘do you need all these enemies?’ ‘Why do you have to go through all this?’ I worked in an environment where I earned a good salary, though I won’t tell you how much, but I could afford to fly firstclass around the world. And I now got a job where I had to save over four months’ salary to buy an economy ticket to travel. But, I was looking at the wider picture. And when I do this, I would say there are no regrets for me. Who is the real Professor John Obafunwa, beyond your public image as an academic and a VC? John Oladapo Obafunwa is a simple person, down to earth; I have a natural tendency to want to aspire for the best; the highest standards possible. I have a passion to want to do things correctly. That is just me. I have little time to enjoy myself, unfortunately, but if I have a little opportunity every now and then, you’ll discover I’m a free, easygoing person. I’ll seat down and eat local meals with my fingers. I enjoy the good things of life. Why did you study medicine? Oh, ‘big question.’ The truth is I never wanted to be a medical doctor. When I was doing my O’ Levels, I wanted to study Engineering and what interested me at that time was Mechanical Engineering. But, my mother (now late) was a senior nursing officer,and she insisted I study medicine. I’m one of four siblings, the last born and the three ahead of me had moved into different professions and my mother said to me, you are the last born, you have to study medicine. I’m tired of saying yes sir to medical doctors.’ So, she forced me to study medicine. Right in medical school, I said to myself that I was going to study Pathology just to create a niche for myself. And also while in the UK, I also did my LLB. Do I have any regret so far? The answer is no. I may not have money, I have personal satisfaction. And one thing Pathology should teach anybody is humility. There on the autopsy table, there is no difference between the king and a slave; or any difference between the rich and the poor. Did your family support your moving back to work in Nigeria? When I was about to take the

decision to come back home, my family did not support it. And of course while working over there, I enjoyed certain personal comforts. And they asked me, ‘can we trade all these?’ But I said to them I have to come back even if it’s just for one day. I needed to give something back to this system. And I knew if I fail to do this, I won’t be a happy man, so eventually they agreed. Was that a personal decision? It was a personal decision. Even while I was abroad, I was spending so much time at work and that would explain why my two kids said no, we are not going to study medicine, so neither of them studied medicine. I would say I spend so much time with them. When I came home and became the Head of Department of Pathology and F o r e n s i c Medicine in LASUCOM, I was engrossed with work. I must say I took advantage of the fact that I didn’t have my family with me. And when I became Provost, I’ll resume work at 8 a.m and not leave till about 10 pm, and when I complain about some of my colleagues asking ‘where are you?,’ they would say se e mope eyin o ni iyawo nile (you know you don’t have a wife at home), and I would laugh. The only time I spend with them is when I travel out to see them or if they came home occasionally. And even now as VC, I take advantage of the fact that my family are not around so I devote all my time to work. Don’t you feel bad none of your kids will be taking after you? Part of me feels bad in the sense that I look at my various books and other materials and say to myself that nobody will be taking over these things. My son is in Management Information System, while my daughter studied Business Administration. They’re both working now and they intend to go to graduate school. They are quite happy with what they are doing. Why did you study Law? If you consider the fact that I did Forensic Pathology, which is the legal aspect of Pathology, it won’t be too difficult to appreciate why I studied Law. And it’s not uncommon to find some Forensic Pathologists abroad who are also lawyers.

“Do I have any regret so far? The answer is no. I may not have money,but I have personal satisfaction. And one thing Pathology should teach anybody is humility. There on the autopsy table, there is no difference between the king and a slave; or any difference between the rich and the poor.”

•Obafunwa


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Life

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Living dangerously with filth Tunde Busari takes a look at the way those engaged to keep the city of Lagos clean are themselves exposed to dangers and living in the shadows of death.

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HEY are a common sight on Lagos roads on a daily basis. Day and night they labour to keep the state clean and endeavour to make it live up to its billing as a mega-city. However, most of them do this in total disregard for their own personal safety and hygiene. It is common to see them: Men and women, old and young, hanging dangerously from dilapidated trucks bearing the inscription PSP and carrying out their daily routines under far from healthy conditions. Working in a dangerous terrain They work and carry out their duties in offensively stinking refuse vans with no regard to the use of safety guards such as nose guards, thus exposing themselves to the epidemic they are, in the first place, employed to prevent in the metropolis. In fact, they buy food and drinks and sit on the mountain of garbage in the van eating as if all things around them were normal! Aside from not using nose guards, the workers also carry the waste with bare hands while they also wear all sorts of footwear’s most unsuitable for the job and ultimately unsafe for their health. Other safety guards like boots and gloves in particular look more of luxury than basic tool of operation to them. And going by the words of the chairman, Lagos State chapter of the Association of Radiographers (ARN) Abdul Fatai Bakre, the refuse workers are living a borrowed life as they daily mortgage their wellbeing in attempts to improve the health of others. “Not wearing nose guards and gloves in the course of their operation is the height of ignorance. It is what I will also call a disservice to one self because they inhale different gases concentration of which later result in infection in the system, leading to a serious health challenge,” Bakre said. Incidentally, these workers when probed on why they disregard the use of safety guards dismissed any fears of contamination. Speaking with this reporter recently in Agege, one of the workers clutching a sachet of ‘pure’ water in his filthy hand drank from it intermittently saying. We are not complaining to anybody that we are not okay. We are okay please go and do other things. It looked as if the workers had been warned against talking to the media and none of the officials of the contractors accepted interview requests. Another worker who claimed to have been recruited in April 2011, was, however, a reporter‘s delight with his friendly disposition, resulting in spilling the beans. The 17-year-old pleaded for anonymity for, fear of landing in trouble with his employer, a licensed waste management service provider. He said he was already saving part of his salary to buy a pair of boot having realized the danger of wearing light sandal made of rubber to and from the dumping site where they offload the refuse. No regard for health safety The Ogun-State born said selfhelp was the only panacea for the

labour hazard he contends with, a subtle indictment of his employer’s alleged insensitivity to requests for safety guards. He said his employer had an unenviable history of treating welfare of its workers with contempt. “It is unfortunate I find myself here, we have some others who give their workers all necessary guards to work. But since I don’t have another job now I have to carry on and pray to God because I know how difficult for me to get the job. But it is not fair not to consider our health,” he said. Contractors may have cashed in on the alarming unemployment situation in the country, forcing young desperate Nigerians to pick any job, to turn a blind eye to the need to provide their workers with necessary safety guards. While some of the contractors provide one or two of the safety items for their waste collectors, many flagrantly denied them . Human rights issues Steve Adebimbe, a hu- •Unprotected refuse collectors at work man rights activist, who has on many occasions, watched the collectors as they hung on trucks expressed no surprise at their plights, describing them as victims of greedy employers. He argued that private investors world over are known for their insatiable hunger for maximum profits at the expense of the welfare of their workers, and, therefore, saw no difference in the treatment the waste management coantractors mete out at their workers. “The matter is an evidence of bad governance we always talk about. How can a government watch this type of absurdity without doing anything about it? They should know that exposing the workers to health danger is another way to spread disease. Further findings, show that the waste collectors in the work force of LAWMA fare better with their eyecatching branded apparel complemented with all safety guards. They need little or no introduction even to first time visitors many of whom return to their stations with an impression signifying that Lagos is truly undergoing environmental transformation. According to Head of Public Relations Department of LAWMA, Folashade Kadiri, safety of workers is paramount on the priority list of the agency. She affirmed that the agency we have lectured them on the immaintains a store where all safety portance of wearing those guards, items are kept and made available and they complied. to the workers as at when due. Kadiri “We also have a well-equipped maintained that the safety items are clinic where our workers undergo inexhaustible as the agency keeps a periodic checks and receive neceslarge stock of them in accordance sary drugs to maintain a sound, with the operational principle of the healthy body,” she said. agency to protect its workers on and Given the statutory power of the off duty. agency to approve private investors None of our workers would be found on duty without wearing their for the Private Sector Participants (PSP) arrangement in waste mansafety guards and uniform. Initially some of them complained that nose agement, not a few had expected LAWMA to wield a big stick when guards in particular itched them but

PHOTOS: OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL

the contractors make a slip in discharging their responsibilities not only to their clients but also to their waste evacuators. On the contrary, LAWMA appears to engage in a sort of indulgence which the contractors exploit at the expense of the health of their helpless workers. This has, fuelled speculation in some quarters that the licensed contractors are drawn from the top officials of the agency. Adebimpe argues: “If this is not the case, LAWMA should not be

treating the so-called contractors with kid gloves. If it has shown them it is serious with welfare of workers, the contractors would have provided their workers with adequate work tools. “That LAWMA, being well funded by government, equip its workers alone with that flashy uniform and watching those helpless workers in that terrible condition means double standard. It is dishonesty of the highest order.” Apparently worried by the allegation, LAWMA Public Relationss Officer said the agency has put in place a disciplinary measures against recalcitrant contractors. Even though these measures seem to have only scratched the surface with the daily sight of the unprotected refuse workers on the streets, Kadiri stressed that the agency is relentless in the effort to call the contractors to order. She said any errant contractor is first warned, later queried and finally surcharged, adding that each truck carries a telephone number boldly inscribed for easy access to the public to feed the headquarters with information about the attitude of the workers and their employers. “We are also interested in the public feedback as a device to assess our performance for a better service delivery. What we are doing is serious business which also goes with serious challenges like the one in question. And to achieve our desired goal of cleaning Lagos of backlog of filth, there is no way we will not carry the public along. “We hold series of meetings with communities, market women, even commercial drivers. So, if we are doing all this, you will agree with me that we are making a serious effort to do it right and I am assuring you that we shall get there with the cooperation of all,” she said.


56

Your HEALTH THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

Living to prevent diabetes D

IABETES comes from the word Diabetes mellitus and it is a metabolic disease in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar often leads to symptoms of frequent urination, increase in thirst and increased hunger,” says Dr. Shola Ajayi of Diamond Crest Hospital. This self inflicted disease is on the rise especially in a Nigerian society where the average local delicacy is garnished with large chunks of beef steeped in seasoned oil. However, most cases of diabetes are preventable with healthy lifestyle change and we can improve our health in a big way by making small changes in the way we eat, adding in a little more exercise, and losing even a modest amount of weight. According to Dr. Ajayi, “The biggest risk factor for developing diabetes is being overweight and it is higher in those who tend to carry weight around your abdomen. These people generally gain weight around their tummy and chest areas so they have pot-bellies or spare tires as opposed to those who gain weight on their hips and thighs.” Taking steps to prevent and control diabetes doesn't mean living in deprivation. While eating right is important, you can still enjoy your favorite foods and take pleasure from your meals. You don't have to give up sweets entirely or resign yourself to a lifetime of bland “health food” and carbohydrate counting. But you'll probably need to learn some better eating habits. An anti-diabetes diet is simply a healthy eating plan that is high in nutrients, low in fat, and moderate in calories. It is a healthy diet for anyone! The only difference is that you need to pay more attention to some of your food choicesmost notably the carbohydrates you eat. The following tips are designed to help you make healthy changes in your life without feeling hungry or deprived; Diet tip 1: Choose high-fiber, slowrelease carbohydrates Carbohydrates or carbs as they are popularly known, have a big impact on your blood sugar levelsbut you don't have to avoid them. You just need to be smart about what types of carbs you eat. In general, it's best to limit highly refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and rice, as well as soda, candy, and snack foods. Focus instead on highfiber complex carbohydrates, also known as slow-release carbs. Slow-release carbs help keep blood sugar levels even because they are digested more slowly, thus preventing your body from producing too much insulin. They also provide lasting energy and help you stay full longer. Diet tip 2: Be smart about sweets Eating for diabetes doesn't mean eliminating sugar. If you have diabetes, you can still enjoy a small serving of your favorite dessert now and then. The key is moderation. But maybe you have a sweet tooth and

the thought of cutting back on sweets sounds almost as bad as cutting them out altogether. The good news is that cravings do go away and preferences change. As your eating habits become healthier, foods that you used to love may seem too rich or too sweet, and you may find yourself craving healthier options. Reduce how much soda and juice you drink. If you miss your carbonation kick, try sparkling water either plain or with a little juice mixed in. Proceed with caution when it comes to alcohol. It's easy to underestimate the amount of calories and carbs in alcoholic drinks, including beer and wine. And cocktails mixed with soda and juice can be loaded with sugar. If you're going to drink, do so in moderation, choose calorie-free drink mixers, and drink only with food. If you're already diabetic, always monitor your blood glucose, as alcohol can interfere with diabetes medication and insulin. Smoking is not only associated with the development of diabetes but it also contributes to heart disease and causes lung cancer. Diet tip 3: Choose fats wisely Fats can be either helpful or harmful in your diet. People with diabetes are at higher risk for heart disease, so it is even more important to be smart about fats. Some fats are unhealthy and others have enormous health benefits. But all fats are high in calories, so you should always watch your portion sizes. Unhealthy fats The two most damaging fats are saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats are found mainly in animal products such as red meat, whole milk dairy products, and eggs. Trans fats, also called partially hydrogenated oils, are created by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid and less likely to

spoilwhich is very good for food manufacturers, and very bad for you. Healthy fats The best fats are unsaturated fats, which come from plant and fish sources and are liquid at room temperature. Primary sources include olive oil, canola oil, nuts, and avocados. Also focus on omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and support brain and heart health. Good sources include salmon, tuna, and flaxseeds. Diet tip 4: Eat regularly If you're overweight, you may be encouraged to note that you only have to lose 7% of your body weight to cut your risk of diabetes in half. And you don't have to obsessively count calories or starve yourself to do it. When it comes to successful weight loss, research shows that the two most helpful strategies involve following a regular eating schedule and recording what you eat. Eat at regularly set times. Your body is better able to regulate blood sugar levelsand your weightwhen you maintain a regular meal schedule. Aim for moderate and consistent portion sizes for each meal or snack. Don't skip breakfast. Start your day off with a good breakfast. Eating breakfast every day will help you have energy as well as steady blood sugar levels. Eat regular small mealsup to 6 per day. People tend to eat larger portions when they are overly hungry, so eating regularly will help you keep your portions in check. Keep calorie intake the same. Regulating the amount of calories you eat on a day-to-day basis has an impact on the regularity of your blood sugar levels. Try to eat roughly the same amount of calories every day, rather than overeating one day or at one meal, and then skimping on the next.

Ways to reduce unhealthy fats in meals

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EDUCING fat in your diet doesn't mean you will face a life of tasteless dry meals rather it helps you feast on low-calorie alternatives and provides new, creative ideas for old favorites. When making a food choice, remember to consider vitamins and minerals. Some foods provide most of their calories from sugar and fat but are lacking in vitamins and minerals. Here are some keys to remember when preparing you next health meal; •Cook with olive oil instead of butter or vegetable oil. •Trim any visible fat off the meat before cooking and remove the skin before cooking chicken and turkey. •Instead of chips or crackers, try snacking on nuts or seeds. Add them to your morning cereal or have a little handful for a filling snack. Nut butters are also very satisfying and full of healthy fats. •Instead of frying, choose to grill, broil, bake, or stir-fry. •Serve fish 2 or 3 times week instead of red meat. •Add avocado to your sandwiches instead of cheese. This will keep the creamy texture, but improve the health factor. •When baking, use canola oil or apple-sauce instead of butter. •Rather than using heavy cream, make your soups creamy by adding low-fat milk thickened with flour, pureed potatoes, or reduced-fat sour cream.

Tackling diabetes with exercise W HEN it comes to preventing, controlling, or reversing diabetes, you can't afford to overlook exercise. Exercise can help your weight loss efforts, and is especially important in maintaining weight loss. There is also evidence that regular exercise can improve your insulin sensitivity even if you don't lose weight. Not only will lots of exercise help in preventing diabetes, it also enhances your immune system by getting your lymph system moving, it builds muscle and bones, improves heart and lung efficiency, reduces stress, burns fat, raises your metabolism and generally keeps your body young. Studies have revealed that exercise also lowers blood sugar and keeps it down for several hours after the exercise which also contributes to preventing diabetes.

You don't have to become a gym rat or adopt a grueling fitness regimen. One of the easiest ways is to start walking for 30 minutes five or more times a week. You can also try swimming, biking, or any other moderate-intensity activitiesmeaning you work up a light sweat and start to breathe harder. Even house and yard work counts. Performing 4 hours per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic and resistance exercise physical activity is associated with lower heart disease occurrence compared with lower volumes of activity. In the absence of any ailment people prone to have diabetes should be encouraged to perform rigorous resistance exercise three times a week or 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week including aerobic exercise and weight training, targeting all major muscle of the body.


57

BUSINESS

‘Nigeria should scrap vision 20:2020’

THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

• Sanusi

Will banks meet May deadline to exit universal banking? T

HE financial service sector has witnessed a beehive of activities such as recapitalisation, acquisitions, divestments, mergers, etc. Notable among these mergers and acquisition is the Access Bank/Intercontinental Bank acquisition, Eco Bank/Oceanic Bank acquisition, Diamond Bank divestment from some of its subsidiaries, Skye Bank divestment, Wema Bank divestment among others. This, among others is in fulfillment of the mandate by the Central Bank of Nigeria for banks to exit from universal banking to monocline or holding company. However, ahead of the May 14 deadline announced by the apex bank for banks to exit from noncore banking business, The Nation can authoritatively report that not all the banks have complied with the apex bank’s directive. Some of the banks which took over the nationalised banks are yet to work out exit strategy for their subsisting subsidiaries, it was learnt. Mr. Fola Daniel, Commissioner for Insurance had, in a recent interview, expressed worries that of the less than 10 banks with take in the insurance sector, many of them were yet to work out modalities for their exit. “Many of the bank insurance subsidiaries”, he observed, have not clearly expressed their divestment plans or given actual dates

By May 14 all banks operating in the country are expected to operate a monocline banking or holding company model. But many banks are in a state of flux and are yet to get their act together, reports Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf that they will do it. This means that meeting the May 14 deadline may not be feasible, the NAICOM boss added. Road to universal banking The CBN in December 2000, vide the Universal Banking Guidelines, had authorised banks to engage in non-core banking financial activities, either directly as part of banking operations, or indirectly through designated subsidiaries. But the CBN governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in an October 4, 2010 circular entitled: “Regulation on the Scope of Banking Activities and Ancillary Matters No. 3, 2010” announced plans to discontinue universal banking. He said the policy was informed by the expansion of banks to a range of services which exposed them to higher operating risks as well as increase propensity to put depositors’ money into risky non-banking businesses, as part of the objective of the Basel Accord and

Capital Requirements Directive. The original Basel Accord was agreed in 1988 by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The 1988 Accord, now referred to as Basel I, helped to strengthen the soundness and stability of the international banking system as a result of the higher capital ratios that it required. What is the Basel Accord? The Basel Accord was implemented in the European Union via the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD), which was designed to ensure the financial soundness of credit institutions (banks and building societies) and certain investment firms. The CRD came into force on 1 January 2007, with firms applying the advanced approaches from 1 January 2008. Consequently, the crisis in financial markets over 2008 and 2009 prompted a strengthening of the Basel rules to address the deficiencies exposed in the previous set of rules. The Basel III proposals sought

to strengthen the regulatory regime applying to credit institutions in the following areas. The Basel III proposals are a long-term package of changes that are due to commence on 1 January 2013 and, based on the Commission’s timetable, the transition period is expected to run until 2021. Eager to consolidate and achieve a robust banking industry through reforms, the CBN had hinted that it would engage specialists to drive the implementation of the Basel II and III, as well as other key initiatives aimed at enhancing effective banking supervision. Access Bank plc, which acquired Intercontinental Bank plc, from available information have since taken all the subsisting subsidiaries of the former bank. Intercontinental Registrars limited has notified the NSE of plans to wind up business operations. The company informed the Exchange that in pursuant to the successful merger between Intercontinental Bank Plc (its parent company) and Access Bank Plc, the Intercontinental Registrars Limited consequently became a subsidiary of the enlarged Access Bank plc. As at press time, it was not clear how many of the subsidiaries under Access Bank had been divested in line with the CBN order. While speaking with The Nation over the weekend, Mr. Austin Edoja Peters of the corporate Affairs Department at Access Bank plc said the divestment of the banks many subsidiaries is in progress. While acknowledging the fact that it was the bank’s desire to compile with the directive of the apex bank, he reiterated that: “The divestment plan of Access Bank is in progress.” Some of the top banks it was learnt have put machinery in place to ensure that they meet the deadline set by the apex bank on the new banking model. A source at the First Bank plc, who would not be named, told The Nation over the weekend that the bank had no qualms about complying the CBN order because as far as he is concerned, “it is a given.” First Bank, he said, has attained a status which presupposes that such it leads by example all the time. Probed specifically on the mode of its divestment as it concerns the bank’s subsidiaries, he said that arrangements were in top gear to divest al subsisting subsidiaries of the bank. However, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi, the Head of Corporate Affairs at the CBN, told The Nation that the apex was optimistic that all the banks would meet the deadline. “The deadline is far away. Some of the banks have already compiled while others are working hard to meet it”, he said, adding: “So, CBN has no intention of extending the deadline but one of them (bank) has been given December 31 to comply due to its choice of holding company model.” He declined to name the affected bank.

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Briefs CIPM hosts fair for unemployed, recruiters

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HE Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria [CIPM] is set to host a career and entrepreneurial fair in Lagos as part of effort to address the challenge of worsening unemployment situation in the country as well as provide a platform for employers desirous of recruiting the right talents. The fair which is free for over 1000 expected participants, is scheduled to hold at the Multipurpose Hall of NECA House, Central Business District, Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 and has as a focus: Discovering Entrepreneurial & Job Opportunities. Stating the objective behind the Fair, Registrar/CEO of CIPM, Sunday Adeyemi said, “the fair provides veritable platform for job seekers and potential entrepreneurs interested in self employment; to assess information, resources and opportunities available, even as he added that, “it will also enable recruiters and employers to disseminate information to their target audience about career prospects and opportunities’ in their sectors”. Alluding to the Corporate Social Responsibility of CIPM, Adeyemi, noted that, “this event is part of the initiative of the CIPM in fulfilling her corporate social responsibility, thereby contributing to sustainable national development through: educating the unemployed on job/career opportunities; orientating participants on the alternative means of engagement through self employment and creating awareness of entrepreneurship opportunities in various sectors of the economy.” Career coaches, accomplished business owners and entrepreneurs have been listed as key speakers to address participants comprising the unemployed; fresh graduates and even recruiters. Participants, especially those currently unemployed are encouraged to come to the fair with their CV’s and submit same which would be built into the Institute data base for future job opportunities and placement.

Globacom launches GBAM Hi five tariff

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LOBACOM Limited, Africa’s telecommunication giant, launched a new tariff structure in Port Harcourt called GBAM Hi five tariff at the weekend. The launch occurred during the sponsorship of the UNIPORT Gbam King/ Queen in Uniport. The Divisional Director, South territory for Globacom, Mr. Charles Odiase, while speaking at the event, encouraged youths to get on the platform, as it affords them the opportunity to access face book and get on the net almost for free. The show was organised to create more awareness to the students on the endless possibilities available on the network including talking at a reduced tariff. G-BAM, according to the Globalcom official is a network for friends, where you can call friends at 5kobo per second. Each friend can also register five friends and call them at that low rate. The night was capped up with the crowning of Unýport G BAM Kýng/ Queen Highlights of the event included performances by Flavour, Eedris Abdulkareem and various local acts. Okey Bakassi and Klintmore at the event.


58

THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

Business Intelligence

Firm receives $2m grant to boost e-payment

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•L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Pagatech, Mr. Tayo Ovisu; Executive Director EFIna, Mrs. Modupe Ladipo and Sales Director/Co Founder Pagatech, Mr. Jay Alabraba at the press briefing in Lagos recently

Diamond Bank grooms entrepreneurs At a time that financial institutions are shying away from activities that would deplete their financial base, Diamond Bank, is partnering with the Pan African University to empower entrepreneurs, reports Simeon Ebulu, Deputy Business Editor

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IAMOND BANK, in partnership with the Pan African University (PAU), is opening a vista of hope for emerging entrepreneurs. It is demonstrating this in its current engagement with PAU in a move designed to raise, equip and empower a group of entrepreneurs, selected in a rigorous exercise last year. Already, the initiative is already paying-off, as some of the works of the up and coming business hounds gained visibility as they were showcased during the Arise fashion show in Lagos, a forthnight ago. What bank has done, its Head, Marketing Support, Jude Anele, said, is designed to create a platform and a roadmap for the entrepreneurs to find ways to change their processes, as well as hire the right people. He said: “We at Diamond Bank chose to support the initiative and partner with the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan African University to help provide leading ways and assistance to Micro, Small and Medium

AGATECH, an indigenous mobile money operator has received a $2 million grant from the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) to develop and deliver low cost financial products and services in Nigeria. EFInA is an independent, professional and nonprofit organisation funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID). Pagatech was founded in early 2009 by Tayo Oviosu, Jay Alabraba, and Eric Chijioke. The firm received the money after several months of a competitive process. Explaining the modus operandi of the company,

By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf

Alabraba said: “Our low cost financial offerings delivered via our agents are yet another example of innovation at Paga – a Nigeria home-grown company. Through our banking, insurance and microfinance partners, we will bring savings, loans and insurance to those that need it the most in a manner that is both simple to use and easy to understand.” Expatiating, he said: “Delivering more services at the agent point also improves the viability of the Paga agent network as it means additional revenue streams for our agents. Both EFInA and Paga, believe that to reach the un-banked or underbanked in Nigeria, innovative approaches with multiple

stakeholders in the financial sector is the key to success and long term sustainability.” Executive Director of EFinA, Mrs. Modupe Ladipo while justifying the grant said: “By bringing low cost services to every neighbourhood we believe we can help bring a large number of Nigerians out of poverty and improve living standards. We have chosen Paga for this grant because of the robustness of their plans and strength of their team. We are confident that by working together we can achieve our mutual goal of universal access to financial services for Nigerians.” It would be recalled that recently Paga announced an investment in the company by Tim Draper, a well known Venture Capitalist based in the United States.

MARBLE AND GRANITE CARE Origins and uses •Mr Gile Terna Julian presenting award to Jude Anele, Head, Retail Banking, Diamond Bank Plc during the Building Entrepreneurs Today celebration dinner sponsored by Diamond Bank in conjunction with the Pan African University in Lagos

Scale Enterprises because we see it as a bedrock of the economy. They employ the greatest number of the labour force, and if you’re thinking of empowering Nigerians, the SMEs is where to focus on.” The first outing of the programme was in 2009. The second, which the bank showcased last week, involved a set of 50 emerging entrepreneurs, which commenced in November 2011 and their training lasted four months. Anele, said the programme has proved to be very successful as it has given birth to 50 entrepreneurs that he explained, have been provided with free business education, including business management, financial management and capacity training. The endeavour, he stated, is a package that would result in a grant of aloud, N3 million to a select number of the group. The selection process for the Business Enterprise (BET)

programme, the Deputy Director, EDC, Nneka Okekayo, said was rigorous, as only about three per cent of the applicants were selected. She explained that participants were taken through 13 modules, in the course of the four month training. She stated that the programme is organized in such away that it would eventually throw up the best five entrepreneurs who will eventually be assisted with a grand of three million by Diamond Bank in support of their business. A participant, Oboh O. Bosede, said of the training: “We have been trained on how to run a business. There are so many things I overlooked. With the experience I have got, I should lead and be able to take decisions. For example, if somebody is not doing well, I should be able to fire him, unlike before when sentiments come into play.”

PHOTO SHOP

•L-R: Country Manager, Globe Star Ltd, Mr. Raj Sharma; Managing Director; Bristow Helicopters, Captain Akin Oni, and Mr. Clement Falayi, Commercial Manager,at the Nigeria Oil & Gas Conference, held in Abuja.

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HE word “marble” has been derived from the Greek word “marmaros,” which means “shining stone.” The term marble is loosely applied to any limestone or dolomite that takes a good polish and is otherwise suitable as a building stone or ornamental stone. Marbles range in color from snowwhite to gray and black, many varieties being some shade of red, yellow, pink, green, or buff. The colors, which are caused by the presence of impurities, are frequently arranged in bands or patches and add to the beauty of the stone when it is cut and polished. Marble is used as a material in statues and monuments (e.g. tombstones), as a facing stone in buildings and residences, and for pillars, panelling and floor tiles. Like all limestones, it is corroded by Water and Acid Fumes and is thus ultimately an uneconomical material for use in exposed places and in large cities. The presence of certain impurities decreases its durability. Many of the world’s most famous sculptures are made of the prized white marbles, which are relatively soft and uniform in composition. White marbles, like Carrara, have been prized for sculpture since classical times. This preference has to do with the softness and relative isotropy and homogeneity, and a relative resistance to shattering. Also, the low index of refraction of calcite allows light to penetrate several millimeters into the stone before being scattered out, resulting in the characteristic

“waxy” look which gives “life” to marble sculptures of the human body. Pure white marble is the result of metamorphism of very pure limestones. The characteristic swirls and veins of many colored marble varieties are usually due to various mineral impurities such as clay, silt, sand, iron oxides, or chert which were originally present as grains or layers in the limestone. These various impurities have been mobilized and recrystallized by

the intense pressure and heat of the metamorphism. G r o u n d marble is used in products such as some papers and paints and in toothpaste (listed as calcium carbonate). Marble works beautifully especially in the bath where the veining patterns and colors can create exquisite designs. However, it is sensitive to acidic foods such as vinegar, lemon juice, tomatoes and wine. Therefore, marble is less durable in highly utilized areas e.g. Kitchen tops and bathroom tops. Marble is porous; if untreated, oils will stain it easily. In maintaining Marble surfaces, avoid any acidic or abrasive cleaners that can dull or etch the surface over time. Cleaning should be done with mild soap and water. Marble can also be sealed to help prevent the absorption of stains into the stone. Maldini Marbles is the foremost Marbles and Granite Company in Nigeria and they have offices in major cities all over the country. For more information on Marble/Granite Care, Sales and Delivery contact: Mike Anazodo – info@maldinimarbles.com, 0705 8870 162 Maldini Marble and Granite Company


Business

THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

59

‘Nigeria should scrap vision 20:2020’ Chief Lugard Ehi Aimiuwu, President and Chairman in Council, National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), is a widely acclaimed Transformation Strategist and Planner with a bias in Governance, Management, Marketing with specialization in Emerging Markets. Aimiuwu who is a fellow of several professional bodies both locally and internationally where he has served at different capacities at the highest level, also has over 27 years boardroom experience working in the organised private sector, including Lever Brothers Nigeria and Unilever London, where he rose to the position of the Executive Director. In this interview with Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf and Balogun Alidu, Aimiuwu who is passionate about the Nigerian Project, gives useful suggestions on pressing socio-economic challenges bedeviling the nation. Excerpts:

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HAT was your experience like working at the Lever Brothers? My experience in Unilever

(both Lever Brothers Nigeria, and Unilever London) was most fulfilling in terms of professional development, career progression and self-improvement. As a management oracle, what in your view can managers do to add value to the system whether in the public or organised private sector? I am not a ‘management oracle’, but a bolts and nuts manager who still has a lot to learn. Managers should seek ways to do better what they already do well, invest in self-development, and never give up Nigeria, nor give up on Nigeria. Things work only if we make them work. In other climes, the real sector of the economy is considered the engine of growth; hence it is supported at the highest level. But the irony is that the real sector here has continued to suffer a lot of privations when you talk of poor access to credit, energy, among other incentives. Is there any hope? Leadership myopia has been a bane of Nigeria’s economic development, placing manufacturing on life support, and consigning Nigeria perennially to the bottom quadrant of the UNDP/HDR Human Development Index. There is hope, not just because of the natural resources potential, but because of the increased resourcefulness of our people, including the media, who are increasingly alive to their responsibilities. Nigeria is the only country that offers Nigerians unqualified citizenship. Nigerians do not have to suffer the indignity of all-night queuing and sniffing by dogs to secure a visa. Some multinationals operating in the country have been accused of sundry offences like flouting expatriate quota, guilty of casualisation, encouraging capital flight to mention just a few. To what extent do you think the Local Content Act can help curtail the excesses of these organisations under reference?

Brand

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INTERVIEW Multinationals because of their sheer size, materiality, and impact attract attention including earned and undeserved odium. There are some bad eggs, but most operate responsibly. We have laws and no one should be above the law. But therein lies the demon - Corruption. When BP spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, the President of the United States himself took on the battle and wrestled BP to submission. When Saro Wiwa raised alarm about criminal pollution of Ogoniland, now vindicated by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), he was hanged like a dog, by whom? The Government itself! Do you think the Vision 20-2020 target of the Federal Government is achievable given the legion of problems bedeviling the nation at all spheres of the economy? Nigeria deserves better than the statistical ‘Vision 2020’ which, though a strategic bus-stop, is not the Destination a Vision Statement should promise the citizens. It doesn’t enrapture the citizen, because it has no meaning for them. We should scrap it, and integrate elements of it, plus elements of NEEDS, and most importantly President Jonathan’s original dream for Nigeria, and create a new vision. In particular, the new vision must answer the question - Where is President Jonathan taking Nigeria, and Nigerians? The Federal Government announced plans to discontinue the Subsidy Re-Investment Programme (SURE). Is that not a clear case of management by default? SURE is UNSURE Good corporate governance is at the heart of any successful corporate entity whether in the public or organised private sector. With the benefit of insight, do you think the country is doing enough? Even the advanced countries are still pushing for improvements in Corporate

•Aimiuwu

•Aimiuwu Governance, because in the fiercely competitive globalized era, CG has become competition’s new frontier. OECD and other similar groupings are seeking and guiding development of new corporate governance culture. There is a drive for new legislation everywhere to give teeth to the process. Donors want assurance of best behavior and compliance with standards before parting with money. MNCs and TNCs are also now more legally accountable at their home countries for behavior in the farthest shores of the earth. Nigeria’s regulatory bodies, notably SEC, are up scaling and upgrading their performance. Boardrooms are taking their responsibilities more seriously. Professional Institutes are tightening enforcement of professional ethics. Nigeria is progressing, but needs to move faster. The President Good luck Jonathan administration has been accused of abdicating his responsibilities for leaving the running of the country in the hands of several committees currently saddled with one national assignments or the other. From a management point of view, do you think the president has done anything wrong? It is not easy running a kitchen, or a village association. Nigeria is complex, and it is inconceivable how Mr. President can survive for a week, without utilizing committees, including FEC. In fact, the use of committees may also be construed as a good management attribute- Delegation. But the issue is what action/decision types are amenable to use of committees, and which are

not? Also how many committees can you afford to have without having a clutter? Also, how do we manage committees to ensure complementarity with, not duplication of, or conflict with the functioning of MDAs? Most importantly, the President, I reckon, is sufficiently knowledgeable and skilled to know where delegation ends and abdication begins. Labour disputes are common features whether in the public or organised sector. Should managers be proactive or wait until crisis occurs and > proceed to do damage control? Managers and organisations that are proactive generally perform better than more complacent competition. In addition to benefiting from avoidable work disruptions and costs, a more cordial work environment is more supportive of productivity and profitability There are ongoing probe panels questioning the fuel subsidy payments and the pension fund. Given the nation’s past experiences with probe panels, many Nigerians are not particularly sold on the credibility of these panels. Do you share the same sentiments? I believe the panelists should be given a chance. These are unusual times, but i was encouraged by the quality displayed by the panelists in interrogation (on TV). I think the Committee Chair was exceptional, and deserves commendation, not scorn. It is our duty individually and collectively to demand action on recommendations. What affects all should be affected by all. We can create the future we deserve.

Group unveils Asahi brands

N its quest to raise the bar in the nation’s transport industry, top business conglomerates operating in the country have launched a vehicle to pursue their common objective. Tagged: “Asahi Brands”, which has ventured into the transportation industry in NiV a range of world class products that geria will satisfy the needs of all motorists across board, is a joint venture between Kewalram Chanrai Group and Fareast Mercantile Co. Limited. At an event held in Lagos to announce the partnership, the group assured motorists in Nigeria of a total transport solution. According to the Managing Director Asahi Brands, Mr. Ajit Tyagi, the joint ven-

By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf

ture is with a view to forming the largest transport solution company in Sub Sahara Africa. “The Asahi Brands is a total transport solution company to serve first the SubSahara Africa and also spread its tentacles to other regions as the business progresses” Tyagi said. Some of the products on the stable of the Asahi Brands include: Bridgestone, NGK spark plugs, Valvoline, MaxBAT batteries, Firestone tires, among others. Expatiating on the joint venture, Mr. Tyagi, who was in the company of Shoichi Sakuma, President, of Bridgestone Global and Kenji Kano, Director of Sales, said “the Nige-

ria transport market is very big and vibrant. Over 80% of the Nigerian population depends on road transportation. This is a very large portion of the population and we cannot afford to risk their safety. The ranges of transport solutions on the stable of the Asahi Brands have been particularly designed to meet the expectations of motorists and their passengers”. He continued, “For instance, our tires such as Bridgestone and Firestone are produced with the latest technology to endure the peculiar rigours of the Nigerian roads and last longer so one will not need to worry about changing them too often. But most importantly, they are safe while on trip” Tyagi said. For motorists who are concerned about

the life span of their vehicle engines, the Asahi brands have solutions for them. “As earlier stated, it is a total transport solution. For example, Valvoline is world class engine oil reputed for its highly synthetic materials to keep your engine going. So, you do not have to worry about your engine wearing out due to the use of low quality engine oil”, Tyagi stated. On availability of the products, Tyagi assured that the distribution network for the brands are well established across Nigeria and accessible. “Our customers are assured of prompt delivery of our products. Our distribution network across Nigeria are well established and can be easily accessed so no one will find it difficult”, the COO affirmed.


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Business

THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2011

COMPANY NEWS

AfDB annual meeting holds in Tanzania

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HE African Development Bank Group (AfDB) will hold its annual meetings this year in Arusha, Tanzania, from 28 May to 1 June. Tagged: ‘Africa and the emerging global landscape: challenges and opportunities’, the forum will be a gathering of numerous high-level participants from the AfDB’s member countries. Participants will come from both the AfDB’s African regional member countries and its non-regional member countries outside Africa, rep-

Stories by Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf

resenting the worlds of finance, banking, government, economics, donors, the media, civil society, development and academia. This year’s theme gives the opportunity for delegates to debate Africa’s changing role in the world as its economies continue to grow at faster rates than the rest of the world, and the AfDB’s role in promoting this growth and development through its projects,

operations and investments around the continent. Delegates will take part in a wide-ranging series of discussions, high-level seminars and workshops on the future of Africa. Also, the AfDB will be welcoming contributions towards the formulation of its new ten-year Long Term Strategy for 2013 to 2022. The AfDB has already begun consultations both internally and externally on the creation of this Long Term Strategy, which will replace the current five-year Medium Term

Strategy for 2008 to 2012. The AfDB is Africa’s premier development finance institution, established in 1964 to mobilise resources to the economic and social development of its regional countries by promoting sustainable and inclusive growth as well as poverty reduction. The 2012 meetings will mark the 47th meeting of the African Development Bank, and the 38th meeting of the African Development Fund, the Group’s concessional or ‘soft loan’ arm.

Ogun partners NGO on affordable housing

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S part of effort to ensure affordable housing for Ogun citizens, the Senator Ibikunle Amosun administration, through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) office is partnering with a Non Governmental Organisation, Development Association for Renewable Energy (DARE) to equip indigenes to use recycled materials to build affordable, decent housing. According to the Special Adviser on MDGs to the Executive Governor, Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, ‘‘this initiative is to meet the needs of the people of Ogun for decent, affordable housing units.’’ For the pilot project, Ogun is sending six building artisans chosen from six different Local Government Areas to Kaduna, DARE’s operational base, to be trained by German instructors in constructing houses from plastic water bottles. The artisans will also be trained to provide electrical

•L-R, (sitting): Mr. Abdul-Wasiu Popoola, Ms. Kehinde Olateju, Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, Special Adviser to the Governor on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Mr. Segun Olutade. Standing behind: Mr. Atewolara Paul, Mr. Abdullai Tunde, Mr. Muniru Salami, Mrs. Folashayo Anjorin, Mr. Ogunyomi Olanrewaju during the inauguration of artisans selected for the training

installations for domestic lighting and power supply. It would be recalled that the “bottle-brick” technology started nine years ago

in India and in South and Central America as a cost-effective, environmentallyfriendly alternative to conventional building bricks. It

is also more durable, with tests showing that compacted sand inside a bottle (bottlebrick technology) is nearly 20 times stronger than bricks.

Yakowa flags off emergency transport scheme

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S part of effort aimed at strengthening health systems, the Wife of the Kaduna state governor, Mrs. Amina Ibrahim Yakowa recently flagged off the Emergency Transport Scheme in the state. The scheme which is an innovative mechanism, initiated by PATH2, according to Kaduna First Lady is aimed at improving access of pregnant women to emergency obstetric care in the state especially in the rural communities where women and children find it dif-

ficult to access care due to lack of transportation to various health care centers. Mrs. Yakowa noted that with the introduction of the scheme, pregnant women in the state will find easy access to health care within and outside their communities, stressing that the scheme will compliment the efforts of the state government in ensuring that Kaduna state achieve the health related Millennium Development Goals through the provision of free maternal and child health care.

She appeal to drivers who have been trained to carry out the scheme to take the scheme very seriously so as to ensure its success, while promising to personally support the project to ensure its success in the state. Justifying the need for the scheme, the National Programme Director of Partnership for Transforming Health System Phase 11 (PATHS 2), Mike Egboh, said it is aimed at addressing the delay to accessing care during obstetric emergencies such as delay in reaching health facilities due to dis-

•Mrs. Yakowa, cutting the tape to launch the scheme, with her are the National Programme Manager of PATHS2, Egboh (middle) and PATHS2 Kaduna State Team Leader, Dr Gafar Alawode (far left)

tance, poor road condition and lack of means of transportation among others that are known contributors to maternal mortality. The PATH2 boss further emphasised that the drivers involved in the scheme are motivated through volunteers; nonpayment mechanism that ensures that they are able to convey mothers especially at night when the chances of getting commercial transport in hard to reach areas is high. He noted that since its inception, PATHS 2, in collaboration with DFID funded programmes and development partners has worked in close collaboration with the state ministries of health to improve health planning and financial management, building capacity of health workers, ensuring availability of pro-poor health services as well as procurement and distribution of drugs and medical commodities. While allaying fears that the scheme may not achieve its set objective, Egboh said that the scheme is being launched in Kaduna in view of the huge success it has recorded in Jigawa state since it was launched under PATHS 1 in 2003, pointing out that with the collaboration of stakeholders in the scheme, there is no doubt that the scheme will succeed in Kaduna state.

Beyond Talent By Adetayo Okusanya Email: adetayookusanya@hotmail.com

Managing down: How to become the boss everyone looks up to

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AST week I wrote about how I became my boss’ got-to person and the story would not be complete without sharing the things my manager did that made it easy for me to work with him. Over time, my manager and I developed an effective working relationship that enabled us do great work together and deliver outstanding results for our organization. My manager successfully created an environment that was conducive to team work, collaboration, innovation and brought out the best in me. It was not a perfect relationship, we had differences of opinion on some things, but it came close to being perfect. There are two things that are important to me when choosing a job. These are manager capability/chemistry and job content. Manager ca pability/chemistry simply refers to the ability of my manager to lead me in accomplishing personal and organizational goals and his capacity to build a trust-based working relationship with me. Job content refers to the degree of intellectual stimulation, challenge, and development opportunity that a job will provide me. At the time I was working with my manager, I did not think the job content was great but I believed, and said, that my manager’s leadership and management capabilities compensated for what was lacking in job content. Outlined below are the qualities my manager possessed that kept me in his corner, committed, loyal and giving the best of me for three years. Work Ethics: My manager always set a good example for me to follow. He arrived at work earlier than most and left on time, to maintain a good balance between life and work. He did not deliver sub-standard work outputs; neither did he tolerate it from members of his team. Quality and stakeholder satisfaction were important to him and he made it a team priority. He drummed into me the mindset that as a finance business partner, my credibility is established when the financial information I present to business leaders are accurate and irrefutable, and I can speak with insight about the underlying business drivers behind the numbers. Communication: My manager and I developed a great working rapport. He kept me informed of organizational priorities and business changes and ensured that I understood how these impacted our team. Although we had regular formal one-to-one meetings, my manager frequently stopped by my office to “catch up” and “synch”, rather than rely on phone calls or emails only. He also took the time to clearly communicate his expectations of me and provide me with prompt feedback on my performance. I never felt that my manager was hiding information from me and that made me trust in his leadership. Effective Delegation: My manager was great at assigning more responsibility to me and giving me opportunities to stretch my capacity and strengthen my skills. Once I established credibility and a solid track record with him, he gave me autonomy and authority to own and drive my projects. He did not micromanage me, rather he allowed me to innovate and make tactical decisions as I saw fit. Under his leadership I started leading key finance initiatives and transitioned from an individual contributor to a people manager, which was in line with my career plans. Participatory Decision Making : I developed a great deal of respect and appreciation for my manager when he walked into my office one day and asked me if I was interested in performing a task that one of his peers had requested that I work on. I thought about it and said no, providing my rationale. He agreed that it was the right decision and went back to turn down his colleague. I really appreciated the fact that he involved me in decisions that impacted me. It made me feel like we were a team. Recognition: This was a key driver of my motivation and commitment to deliver high quality work for my manager. He always recognized and appreciated the effort I put into my work, and made sure that the management team was also aware. On one occasion, when I was tasked with preparing monthly executive management reports on business performance, I decided to move from a PowerPoint deck format to a newsletter format. When my manager saw the newsletter, he stopped by my office with a smile on his face and told me I had done a great job. I later became a reference standard for excellence in the wider organization. My manager was my brand advocate and while working with him I was promoted, received a performance award, as well as the best rating possible in the company. Becoming a high performance team can be likened to a collaborative sport that requires the combined commitment and dedication of all members of the team. A symbiotic relationship between you and your manager is a critical success driver for you, your manager and your organization. • Okusanya is CEO of ReadinessEdge


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WORLD NEWS THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

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HE contact from Syria called: “Be ready in 30

minutes,” he said. “If you want to go, we have to go now.” From the moment we left our Turkish hotel near the border, my colleague and I travelled on dirt roads used by smugglers and farmers around Syria’s northern frontier. The highways were busy with soldiers and shabbiha, irregular proAssad fighters. Unlike in Libya, where clear frontlines divided rebels from Muammar Gaddafi’s army, in Syria, frontlines cut through villages and criss-cross farmlands in a treacherous maze. One village might be pro-Assad, the president’s picture hanging in every window, the next a solidly rebel-held town, another a mixture of communities where you could not trust your neighbour. In Libya, miles divided the warring parties. In Syria, enemies are yards apart. The war is being fought from house to house. Not knowing the local terrain, we were completely dependent on our rebel guides to keep us alive. As we approached the border, we abandoned the car driven by one guide and took a tractor that was waiting. It had rained. The fields were muddy. Our guide tried to smooth over footprints we left in the churned soil, for fear of leaving traces. We reached a waterway we had to cross. The only way over was to sit, packed tight with all our heavy equipment, in what looked like a metal basin that might be used by peasant women to wash laundry. We worked our way over by pulling on a rope. By the time we reached the far side, it was getting dark. After spending the night with a family, a car came to sneak us into a village near Idlib where we would be based for five days. We heard shelling overnight. We waited. Next morning, they took us to another village. The fighting – presumably including the shelling we had heard – was over when we arrived. But smoke was still rising from some buildings as we entered through back roads. Local people kept approaching us: “Come and see my father, he was killed!” one would say; “Come down this road, there are two bodies!”; “Come and see my house that was destroyed.” The shelling seemed to have been indiscriminate. Houses in different parts of town had been hit. It was as if a blind man had been firing the guns and could not see or did not care where the shells fell. Local people took us to a house where they said a

My journey into U Syria’s nightmare

Uganda PM responds to Kony video

•Syrians inspect the damage at the criminal police headquarters in the Duwar al-Jamarek following two bombings targeting security buildings in the capital Damascus yesterday. At least 27 people were killed, mostly civilians, and almost 100 wounded in two huge bomb blasts in the Syrian capital, the health minister announced on a state television channel. AFP PHOTO By Zohra Bensemra

woman of 70 had died. A shell had hit it. The mirror in her bedroom was spattered in blood, and flesh. It was as if she had exploded. We went to the mosque. Two bodies were there, covered in a green and white mat. One had no head. Knowing no media would publish the most horrific of the images, I later filed only pictures giving a sense of the scene. Victims of the violence had been buried in a garden that had been transformed into a makeshift graveyard. It was too dangerous for people to go to the cemetery. From the moment we had crossed the border from Turkey, the terror was palpable in the faces of our guides, of all the villagers. Yet we did not get a real taste of what it meant to be under attack, to be the target, until the next day when a rebel came to take us to a village near Aleppo where a Turkish truck had been attacked by pro-Assad forces a day earlier. The village was home to both rebels and shabbiha, agents working for the Assad government. We were bundled from safe house to safe house. We could see

snipers across the street. As we left the village, we came across an army patrol. Our guide panicked and reversed the car. It drew attention. A shot rang out. We veered off down a side road. Before we knew it, we were under heavy fire. Rockets whizzed above our heads and assault rifles rattled in our direction. But we drove slowly, afraid to speed up lest we draw more attention. Finally, we stopped in an olive grove, where we lay face down in the mud. We could hear shelling, far away and close by. Dusk was falling and we could make out the red tracer of anti-aircraft fire lighting up the sky. They were firing heavy weaponry at journalists. We were not armed. Nor was our guide. Finally, we got back in the car, hiding all our equipment in the boot for fear it would give away our profession if we were stopped. Our guide drove along dirt tracks, phoning rebels at each turn to find out which roads and which houses were safe. He took us to one house. “I have to get you out of this village tonight,” the guide said. “They know you are here and they will raid houses tonight, looking for journalists. Don’t run. Walk as normal.”

We were so afraid, it was hard to go slow. After a stop at another house, we came to another owned by a man whose sympathies for the rebels he kept secret and who, as a result, was believed to be above suspicion by the authorities. Five minutes after we went inside, we heard vehicles outside, driving down the road, soldiers knocking on doors. My colleague was with the men of the family. I was in a room with two other women, and several children playing on the floor. The women agreed that if the soldiers came in they would tell them I was a deaf-mute, to conceal my North African accent. Our hosts brought me coffee and tried to chat. But all I could think of was what would happen if the army raided this house. That this entire family would be killed because of us. The knock on the door never came. Finally, we heard the patrol pass into another neighborhood. Only 20 minutes had passed but it felt like a lifetime. I have covered so many wars in so many countries. In Iraq, you could always have got unlucky and caught

up in a suicide bombing. In Lebanon, there had been safe areas and risky ones. In Libya, for the most part, it was clearer who was fighting and who was a non-combatant. In Syria, the war that I witnessed was different: It was one fought among civilians, among neighbors. We left Syria by another smugglers’ route, through muddy farmlands. I had not washed nor changed my clothes throughout the fiveday trip. Only once we were in Turkey did we begin to unwind. When we did, our journey into Syria seemed surreal, the fear we had felt under fire, hunted down, like a dream. As we began to make arrangements to fly home, we received an e-mail; the man who had lent us his home for five days in that rebel village had been killed in Idlib, by shabbiha, it said. Conditions for our work had been so tough in Syria, that it had been hard to capture many of the striking, bold images that make for the most arresting photography. This man had risked his life so that we could make at least a simple record of the fear that Syrians, whichever side they are on, are living with every day.

GANDAN Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi launched yesterday an online response to a viral campaign to arrest rebel commander Joseph Kony to counter the “false impression” that the country is in conflict. In a video broadcast on YouTube, and in a flurry of messages posted on Twitter, Mbabazi invited 20 celebrities including Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Rihanna. The video, “Kony 2012”, by US advocacy group Invisible Children, has been viewed by over 80 million people worldwide since it was released online last week, with a string of celebrities tweeting links to the emotional film. Mbabazi, speaking to the camera in the simple broadcast filmed at his office desk, said he wanted to correct the “well intentioned” video, pointing out that “Joseph Kony is not in Uganda,” and that the country is “not in conflict.” Kony’s ruthless rebels were infamous for mutilating civilians and abducting children to use as soldiers and sex-slaves during their twodecade war in northern Uganda. Jason Russell, the 33-yearold co-head of the online campaign to hunt down Kony has been hospitalised after being found semi-naked and masturbating in the street in the southern Californian city of San Diego, police and his boss said on Friday.

N. Korea invites observers to satellite launch

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ORTH Korea said yesterday it would invite foreign experts and journalists to observe a satellite launch which the United States and other countries see as a disguised missile test. The Korean Committee for Space Technology “will invite experienced foreign experts on space science and technology and journalists” to visit the launch site and other places to observe the blast-off next month, the official news agency said. The North announced Friday it would launch a longrange rocket carrying the satellite between April 12-16 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of founding president Kim Il-Sung. It says the programme is part of peaceful space research. The United States and other countries say any launch would be a serious provocation and would violate UN Security Council resolution 1874, which bans the country from carrying out any ballistic missile launches •culled from reuters.com for any purpose.


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World News

Swedish rescuers find wreckage of crashed plane

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ESCUERS have found the wreckage of a Norwegian military plane that crashed with five people on board during an exercise in northern Sweden, officials said yesterday. Parts of the C-130 cargo aircraft were found scattered over a glacier on mount Kebnekaise, rescue spokesman Mathias Hansson told The Associated Press. Four men and one woman — all Norwegians — were on board the plane heading from Evenes, on Norway’s Arctic coast, to the Swedish city of Kiruna when it disappeared from radar screens Thursday over the mountain range. Hansson said the crew had not been found, but “there is nothing that indicates” they had survived the crash. “There are a lot of wreckage parts spread out over a large area. It suggests it was a major impact,” Hansson said. Kebnekaise is Sweden’s highest mountain, more than 2,100 meters (6,680 feet) above sea level. The Norwegian Armed Forces identified the crew as Lt. Col. Truls Oerpen, 46; Capt. Staale Garberg, 42; Capt. Bjoern Yngvar Haug, 40; Capt. Steinar Utne, 35; and Capt. Siw Robertsen, 45.

THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

Mauritania arrests A Gadhafi’s spymaster

Pakistan remands bin Laden family members

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AURITANIA yesterday arrested Muammar Gadhafi’s former intelligence chief, accused of attacking civilians during the uprising in Libya last year and the 1989 bombing of a French airliner. The International Criminal Court, France and Libya all said they want to prosecute Abdullah alSenoussi. Mauritania’s state information agency said in a statement that al-Senoussi was arrested at the airport in the capital Nouakchott upon arrival from the Moroccan city of Casablanca. It said he was carrying a fake Malian passport. A spokesman for Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council, Mohammed al-Hareiz confirmed that the exintelligence chief had been captured by Mauritian officials. As Gadhafi’s regime crumbled in the second half of 2011 after more than four

decades of rule, many of the dictator’s inner circle fled from advancing rebels toward the Sahara, where the regime had long cultivated ties with desert groups both in Libya and in neighbouring countries. A Libyan military official who spoke on condition of anonymity said al-Senoussi, who is also Gadhafi’s brotherin-law, likely fled to Chad just before the opposition captured the capital Tripoli in October and passed through Mali and Morocco before heading to Mauritania. Some Libyan officials reported last year that alSenoussi had been captured and was being held in the southern city of Sabha. Judges at the Netherlandsbased ICC issued an arrest warrant for al-Senoussi last June on two counts of crimes against humanity — murder and persecution — for allegedly masterminding attacks on

civilians in the early days of the uprising that eventually toppled Gadhafi from power. A spokesman for the ICC, Fadi El Abdallah, said the court was seeking official confirmation from Mauritania of his arrest. “We will ask them for their cooperation in order to surrender him (to the court),” he said. El Abdallah said that while Mauritania is not a member of the court, all UN member states have been urged by the Security Council to cooperate in the court’s efforts to prosecute suspects indicted in Libya. France also quickly lobbied to get custody of al-Senoussi. He was one of six Libyans convicted in absentia and sentenced to life in prison in France for the 1989 bombing of a passenger jet over Niger that killed all 170 people on board including 54 French people. The French government asked last

year that he be handed over to France when captured. President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said yesterday that France would be handing over an extradition request for alSenoussi to Mauritanian authorities in the next few hours. The French leader said his arrest was the result of a joint French-Mauritanian effort. Families of victims of the deadly plane bombing said they hoped he would be sent to France to stand trial. “Twenty-two years after the attack, we never lost hope that those responsible for this attack, the most deadly attack to target France, would be judged,” said Guillaume Denoix de Saint Marc, who heads a group of victims’ family members. If al-Senoussi is handed over to the ICC, he would be the first suspect indicted for alleged atrocities in Libya to be taken into their custody.

45 injured in Philippine quake

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N earthquake that struck the southern Philippines left at least 45 people injured, most of them shoppers who panicked and rushed in a stampede for the exits, the civil defence office said yesterday. The 5.9-magnitude earthquake, located off the southern island of Dinagat, shook nearby areas but caused no major damage or deaths when it struck on Friday, the civil defence agency said. “Most of them were injured during the stampede at Gaisano Mall. They panicked and they all ran during the quake,” said Wilmer Fabella, the agency’s administrative officer. Most of those injured suffered mere abrasions and wounds but at least five suffered more serious injuries and had to be hospitalised, he added. About 3,000 people were in the newly-opened Gaisano Mall in Surigao City, a mining city near Dinagat Island, when the quake struck. The Philippines sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire — a belt around the Pacific Ocean dotted by active volcanoes and unstable ocean trenches. One fault line runs directly under Manila, a metropolis of more than 12 million people, and government seismologists have warned the city is unprepared for a major quake.

Wikileaks’ Assange plans to run for Australian parliament

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Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, presents a traditional sprig of shamrock to Conmeal, an Irish Wolfhound and regimental mascot of the Irish Guards regiment during a shamrock presntation ceremony to the Irish Guards on he St Patrick’s Day in Aldershot yesterday. AFP PHOTO

Afghan massacre suspect identified, arrives Kansas

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HE U.S. Army identified the soldier implicated in the massacre of 16 villagers in Afghanistan this week as Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, and said he arrived on Friday at a Kansas base where he will be held in a solitary cell. Bales, a four-tour veteran, is suspected of walking off his base in southern Afghanistan

last Sunday and gunning down the 16 civilians, including nine children and three women, in a massacre that sent AmericanAfghan relations into a tailspin. “The Army confirms that Staff Sergeant Robert Bales was transferred to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Bales is being held in pre-trial confinement,” the Army said in

Chavez returns home to Venezuela after surgery

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ENEZUELAN President Hugo Chavez returned home Friday nearly three weeks after undergoing cancer surgery in Cuba, saying he is praying for life and is confident he will survive and triumph in his re-election bid. After stepping off the plane hand in hand with his mother and one of his daughters, Chavez smiled and waved but also spoke soberly about the path ahead in his struggle

Pakistani court yesterday remanded family members of Osama bin Laden including his Yemeni wife in judicial custody for nine days, their lawyer said. Bin Laden’s youngest wife Amal Abdulfattah was with him in a compound in Abbottabad when he was killed in a US Navy SEALs’ operation last year. “The judge sent Abdulfattah along with her five children to judicial remand until March 26 after a preliminary hearing,” Muhammad Aamir, who is going to represent Abdulfattah in the case, told AFP. He said Abdulfattah’s brother, Zakarya Ahmad Abd Al-Fattah had hired him to represent his sister and her children in the case. “I will file a power of attorney on behalf of my client, Abd Al-Fattah in the court on Monday to represent Abdulfattah in the case,” Aamir said. He added that he will also seek access to Abdulfattah, who has been in Pakistani custody since May last year and to the copy of the First Investigation Report filed against her. “I will also pray to the judge to allow Abdulfattah’s brother to see her before the next hearing on March 26". Pakistan was humiliated by the covert American operation that killed the AlQaeda leader in the early hours of May 2, practically on the doorstep of the country’s elite military academy in Abbottabad where he lived for five years.

against cancer. At times, his expression turned serious. “I lift up a prayer... in this battle for life,” Chavez said in a televised speech on the tarmac. “I’m going to live. We’re going to live, and we’re going to keep on overcoming. And in that commitment I will give everything, all the spiritual and physical strength that fits in my heart.” Then, he added: “Or rather, that doesn’t fit. ... It’s a force much

bigger than the Caribbean.” Chavez came home as many Venezuelans are wondering about his longterm prospects and about how his health will evolve ahead of the country’s Oct. 7 presidential election. Chavez has kept secret some details of his illness, such as the type of cancer, spurring speculation about how his cancer might affect the country’s political landscape.

a statement. The 38-year-old soldier, whose military unit is based south of Tacoma, Washington, had been held in Kuwait after he was flown out of Afghanistan on Wednesday. Bales has not yet been charged. “I would assume he’ll be charged pretty fast,” said Jeffrey Lustick, a defense attorney and former Air Force military prosecutor and defense attorney in Bellingham, Washington. Bales is expected to face justice under U.S. military rules, but it is not clear where any trial would take place. Bales’ wife and two young children have been moved to Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Seattle for protection, said Bales’ Seattle-based lawyer, John Henry Browne. The Army said Bales will be held in “special housing in

his own cell” in the Fort Leavenworth detention center, which it described as a “medium/minimum custody facility.” Bales, who completed a two-year associate college degree in 1992, joined the Army in 2001, the Army said. His home of record was listed as Jensen Beach, Florida. His military training included education in sniper skills, military leadership and a course called “combat life savers.” Browne told Reuters that post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, would likely be part of the defense. “It is commonly used in military defense,” he said, calling it a mitigating factor. Browne has said the soldier was unhappy about returning to combat after being wounded twice in Iraq.

HE founder and leader of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, plans to run for a seat in Australia’s upper house of parliament, the antisecrecy group announced on Twitter yesterday. The comments could not be immediately confirmed. Australian-born Assange, 40, is currently under house arrest in Britain and fighting extradition to Sweden for questioning over alleged sex crimes. “We have discovered that it is possible for Julian Assange to run for the Australian Senate while detained. Julian has decided to run,” WikiLeaks tweeted yesterday. The earliest Senate election would not be until late 2013. The group also tweeted that it plans to field a candidate to run against Prime Minister Julia Gillard in her home seat of Lalor in Victoria. The Swedish warrant stems from Assange’s encounters in August 2010 with two women who were then WikiLeaks volunteers. They accuse him of sexual assault. He says they consented. WikiLeaks burst onto the global news agenda in 2010 when it released secret footage and classified U.S. military files and diplomatic cables about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, drawing a furious response from the U.S. government.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

World News

Donald Payne an unsung AfricanAmerican hero takes his leave O

N March 6, America and Africa lost a faithful son. Donald Payne died that day. Congressman Payne was the first black congressman from the State of New Jersey. For years, he served as Chairman or the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health. He had been a bulwark of the Congressional Black Caucus. Yet, the auspicious “firsts” and titles do sparse justice to the man. Bar none, Donald Payne was the most consistent, committed advocate for Africa in the American political establishment. No elected American cared more for Africa and its people than he. Congressman Payne was one of the most progressive Congressmen of this or any era. In my estimation, that makes him an American hero. Most Africans and Africans Americans do not know the measure of what they have lost. Congressman Payne was a rare individual who cared enough to swim against the tide of power. With him gone, there are none left in Congress who will stand for Africa as he did. He was one of a vanishing breed of black politicians fueled by the inequities of the past to seek justice and dignity for those who have yet to experience a real life acquaintance with these fecund concepts. In the main, the present generation of black elected officials would rather act like history does not exist. Payne sought to make things right for those who had been wronged. Today’s crop sees nothing wrong with simply settling down to the business at hand. History be damned and those harmed by its unjust bite be likewise served. Had Payne been a runner attempting to pass the baton, the instrument would have fallen to the ground because there was no one waiting to take it. Payne was elected to Congress in 1989, the beginning of the end of the Cold War. As the Cold War subsided, so did America’s concern for Africa. During the era of superpower competition, America paid attention because it did not want to lose any real estate to Soviet influence. America buttressed vile and ugly despots as long as these leaders professed capitalism and profaned socialism, while practicing something that was neither yet worse than both. The attention America gave Africa was too often the base and cynical offspring of cold geopolitics; yet it was attention nonetheless. As the Cold War ended, the attention waned. Africa became the dark orphan of the international community. This was the backdrop as Congressman Payne walked onto the legislative stage. He possessed the refined courage not to accommodate himself to the temptations of power politics. While two presidential administrations dragged their feet in lethargy, Donald Payne fought tirelessly to increase American and international assistance to end the Liberian bloodletting in the 1990s. Without Payne’s noble importuning, American and international assistance would not have increased to provide the needed complement to Nigeria’s and ECOWAS’s historic

The fate of a visionary is to suffer the laughter of fools

•Donald Payne

By Brian Browne intervention, bringing peace to a nation that, in essence, was an quasi-colonial American outpost since the 19 th century. Payne pushed a disinterested American government in the right direction regarding the crises in Rwanda, Sudan, and the Congo. He was one of the chief architects of legislation freeing billions of dollars for the fight against malaria, HIV/AIDs and tuberculosis. It would have been hard to find a more principled advocate for democracy and economic development for Africa in the U.S. Congress. One thing he wasn’t was a war hawk. He did not believe in forcing democracy down the throat of a nation at the point of a bayonet. As most of his colleagues were wont to fall quickly into the chorus line of warmongers or bang the cymbals of mindless, warrior patriotism, Congress Payne usually was one of the few to challenge convention wisdom that American military power was a universal solvent. Upon his death, politicians from all political persuasions laid accolades at the foot of his casket. This was not the case when the man was alive. To those who held forth in the innermost sancta of government power, Payne was a pain because he spoke with conscience and raised sticky humanitarian issues the brokers of power would rather ignore. He paid the price for his iconoclasm. Had he acted according to the preferred script, he could have climbed faster and farther up the ladder of Congressional and Democratic Party leadership. By championing the cases and causes of Africa, black America, and the oppressed everywhere he placed himself at odds with those who could promote or confound him. At times, he introduced unpopular legislation and made statements knowing that he stood

as a minority within a minority. He was undeterred because he walked by the light of his convictions. Still he was a man of flesh and feeling. This subtle isolation within Congress must have hurt. He knew full well that as he stood to speak, many colleagues would shake their heads in disapproval. As he met fellow Congressmen, they would all smile and slap his back. As he left, they would sneer, snicker and stab the back they had just patted. Many Republicans saw him as some half-crazed black radical socialist who would make Africa the 51st state if given the chance. They privately derided him as a black tribalist when it was the destructive, discriminatory consequences of their racial tribalism that compelled him to be what he was. The mainstream Democratic leadership thought he carried Africa too high and too far but they needed him in their ranks. They could not afford to unduly alienate him yet he was not always embraced in his own party. Instead of seeing him as a gifted visionary, they viewed him as one does that irksome thread in the seam of a garment which troubles the wearer to no end yet he dare not yank the strategically located strand in fear that the apparel might disassemble. We cannot expect his political enemies to give Congressman Payne a fitting send-off or to accurately chronicle his legacy. In the mean privacy of their thoughts, many are happy to see him gone because he stood for what they loathe. One would hope the beneficiaries of his work would duly recognize the man. Alas, this is not to be. Black people the world over are largely ignorant of this man who labored long in the vineyard on their behalf. This reveals a troubling ignorance and superfluity in thought that bodes ill for black people. We seem to ignore and belittle those who try

to do us the most good with the little they have. Meanwhile, we fraternize with those who do almost nothing for us despite the vast power at their disposal. This irony is seen almost every time an African leader visits America. Reflective of the general American population, nearly half of those in senior political positions view black Africans as intrinsically a lesser breed. Another quarter is coldly indifferent. Basically a quarter see Africans as equals. Yet, most African leaders go to America happy to be granted a meeting with someone who probably looks down on them. They would rather spend time trying to befriend the strong arm that detests them instead of plying common ground with those who see value in them. This is why most visits of African leaders to America accomplish little, save if you place high value in being photographed with American leaders. African leaders seem to cherish meetings with senior American officials no matter how inconsequential the session or even if the meeting turns into a rather one-sided tutorial on democracy and corruption. By the time the African delegation is in the elevator, the Washington officials and advisors are likely engaged in a hardy laugh at their expense. By the time the Africans enter their cars to depart, the American officials have already forgotten who they are. It is as if the meeting never happened. When you visit the offices or homes of many African leaders, their photo gallery has a liberal spraying of faces from western nations. Enter the offices of their Western counterparts, finding an African face among them is like spotting a lone fly in a sea of milk. President Clinton took the rare step of placing Madiba’s picture in the White House. His predecessor seized upon the first plausible excuse – Mandela’s opposition to the Iraqi War – to remove the perceived eyesore. It would have been a thing of beauty and astute politics if African leaders had cultivated stronger relations with Payne instead of currying favor with officials who had predetermined to yield no favor. This would have increased Payne’s standing and influence. In turn, he could have wielded this extra political girth to accomplish more. Now, that he is gone, it is hard to identify who can step into the void. President Obama certainly is not a prime candidate. President Obama is more concerned with protecting his flank with conservative voters than in crafting a progressive Africa policy. His African policies are indistinguishable from those of the Bush Administration, except that, with the intervention in Libya and fleet of aerial drones over the Horn of Africa airspace, Obama Administration policies are more strong-armed. Otherwise, Africa is almost a dirty name to President Obama. It is something he rarely says in public, apparently fearing he might remind white America that he is half African. As he does with black America, whenever he does talk about Africa, it is to criticize its shortcomings and not come to its aid. He is politically wary of the color of his skin; thus

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he tries to save his political skin by denigrating those of the same color. He subconsciously appeals to white America by demonstrating that he can use his chocolate face and golden oratory to mollify the black public at home and abroad while pursuing substantive policies against their interests. Thus far, the psychological euphoria of having a black president has been enough to blind blacks even though his policies hold little for them. As it goes for black America, so it goes for black Africa. Unfortunately, the new generation of black elected leaders falls mostly in the Obama mold. The mission they are one is more personal than public. They seek not to elevate black people as much as they seek reelection. The way politics is played today and how electoral districts are drawn, most black politicians must walk a tightrope to get elected. They must forge a coalition between “uptown” votes and “downtown” money. In other words, they need blacks to vote for them but must be friendly to mostly white money in order to finance their political lives. Sorrowfully, one needs money on a constant basis but needs votes only once every four years. After the voting is over, the politician leans in the direction the money blows. This is not true of all black politicians; however, this is the way of life for the majority. Because of this and other reasons, the leadership of black America is at its lowest ebb in a generation. Only a few people like Jesse Jackson continue to stand their ground. They are to be commended. But at this point, Jackson should be giving way to a younger generation instead of continuing to battle in the trenches for lack of able soldiers. Even venerable organizations like the NAACP and Urban League are out of step with the necessities of the times. These organizations are now primarily funded by corporate America. This means something. Those who run these groups are good people who would not sell out. However, they might have been bought off without even realizing it. In the end, Donald Payne kept his ground and refused to yield to the easy and expedient. This feat is even more remarkable given the steady and strong erosion of black leadership over the past two decades. With each passing year, he was increasingly alone as others bent to power. By sticking to his principles, this fine man sacrificed the extra power and prestige he could have enjoyed in order to do what he believed to be right. I did not always agree with Congressman Payne. Like all men, he made his mistakes. Yet, his heart never deviated; he never sold his love of the people for more money or power. We have lost more than we know when we lost Donald Payne. I fear we shall not see the likes of him again for some time. You can always find someone who chases money, covets power, or romances ambition. But where do you find the man who loves those who can’t do anything for him save ask him to continue to help them? One of the great humanitarians of our time has left for the exit and barely a feint applause has been raised. This says less about him and more about the emptiness of our era. We live in a hollow time. Those who know will miss him. Those who don’t know will sense that something is gone but not understand what. So long Donald Payne, you served your nation and mankind well!


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THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

Cover

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OR those in love with high drama and scandal, Tuesday March 20, is a day to look out for. It promises to be another day of excitement at the House of Representatives hearing by the 30member Committee on Capital Market and Other Institutions headed by the youthful lawmaker, Herman Hembe. The venue: Conference Room 0.28 in the New Wing of the Reps building is to play host to the latest version of the hearing which has been making waves across the nation (and on the international scene too). When the hearing began on March 13, there were high expectations that for a change, the malady plaguing the Capital Market will be revealed and the solutions proffered on the way forward. This was in accordance with the mandate given the Committee on Capital Market and Other Institutions by the House, which is to “Identify the manifest causes of the market’s near collapse with a view to finding lasting solutions.” “Roforofo” fight But no sooner had the Hearing began than it became apparent that the proposed two-week hearing would be one of the most exciting ever seen in the House. But even at that, no one had the inkling that it would outshine – albeit negatively- the Farouk Lawanheaded committee on the probe of the oil subsidy saga which unearthed colossal corrupt practices in the Oil and Gas sector. In spite of the presence of other stakeholders at the hearing such as the Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the contest soon degenerated to a face-off between the committee and the Securities and Exchange Commission. On Tuesday 13th, the day the hearing began, the Committee chair, Herman Hembe kicked it off on a dramatic note. He issued a sort of “fatwa” on the Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Oscar Onyema for daring to tell the committee in a letter that it had no “oversight” powers on him. The committee warned Onyema that he risked arrest if he failed to appear before it the next day with his credentials in order to ascertain if he actually merits his present position. Hembe said the reason for the from Page action of•Continued the committee was that24 the NSE DG “on receiving the invitation from the committee to participate in the public hearing, wrote us that we have no power to oversight him.” That set the tone for the hearing. By the second day of the hearing (Wednesday March 14), things began heating up a little as the committee

Abuja dance of shame

As the leadership of the House of Representatives meets to mitigate the damage done to its image by the fallout of the public hearing held by its committee on Capital Market and Other Institutions, Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi examine the issue that led to the face-off and the possible consequences.

•Herman Hembe

upbraided the SEC for failing to do its work during the crash in the Capital Market in 2008 and not doing enough to safe-guard the interests of the Nigerian investors particularly before the nationalization of the three banks -Afribank, Bank PHB and Spring Bank that could not meet the Central Bank of Nigeria stipulated N25 billion recapitalization ceiling. The chairman of the committee further accused the SEC DirectorGeneral of profligacy by staying in a hotel for eight months instead of the statutory 28 days and churning up bills to the tune of millions which he said was from tax payers’ money. According to him, this was in spite of the fact that the SEC DG was already benefitting from the monetization policy of the federal government. Hembe further accused Oteh of bias in the employment of two members of staff in spite of the fact that SEC had competent hands. He accused Oteh of spending a whooping N850, 000 daily on food! The committee said Oteh spent a further N66 million on accommodation and also purchased

Oteh: Victim or villain •Continued from Page 23 she was being made the DG of the commission, The Nation asked? “We raised dust at the time of her appointment but nobody listened to us. But we are now vindicated.” Expatiating, he raised a poser: “Where did she gather experience on the job? I know she worked at the CentrePoint Merchant Bank, at the IT Department. So where did she gather the experience that prepared her for the job?” He was however quick to add that the embattled DG may have been a victim of wrong counsel when she chose to sideline staff of the commission who ordinarily should have been her support base in terms of field experience. “By choosing to work alone when she would have reaped bountifully from the depository of human resources at the commission, she erred greatly”, he stressed. Mazi Okechukwu Unegbu is on

the same page with Okezie. Though Unegbu admitted that Oteh possesses sterling academic qualifications, she may not have put it to best use after all. “I recalled that some operators actually went to court to challenge her appointment but I don’t exactly know what became of the case as I speak to you now”, he said. Despite the protestations, the government of the day had its way, he recalled. Continuing, the erstwhile banker and lawyer said what may have been responsible for Oteh’s lackluster performance thus far was her refusal to maximise the human capital readily at her disposal. “What can you make of a regulator that got itself entangled in activities which at best were diversionary? Imagine, the SEC concerned itself with demutisation when it should have faced more pressing issues of the day?”

four jeeps without due process. By the time Oteh responded, she fired from all cylinders. Perhaps many in the audience would under their breath be humming and remembering Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s lyric that says: “you be tif, ano be tif/you be arm robber, ano be arm robber/argument, argument, argue....” It was revelations were as shocking as they strong. Oteh’s allegations concerning Hembe and the

Committee shook the nation driving the image of the House of Representatives into deep cesspit. Many people who heard or read about the allegations -of the N44 million which was the total amount of cash Oteh alleged Hembe demanded from SEC, and the claim that SEC gave same Hembe cash to travel for a conference which he never went and did not return the money! It no doubt cast aspersions on members of the legislature and eroded their integrity. Fire brigade measures And perhaps this was responsible for the quick response of the leadership that day as the issues degenerated to the level of scandal which touched even on the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha. The leadership had to quickly dispatch the Minority Whip of the House, Isiaka Mohammed Bawa to the venue of the hearing to douse the tension and put the event back in focus. Oteh had questioned the ethical standing of the committee to oversight her properly and fairly as the wife of Ihedioha works in the Abuja office of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and that the former Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange whom she (Oteh) had issues with, is the Deputy Speaker’s aunt. Many of the people who had attended the public hearing with the belief that they will come out with a better brief on how to better the Capital Market were disappointed as the event quickly degenerated to a personality smear. By Thursday, March 15 the news about the House of Representatives Public Hearing fiasco was all over town. This worried the leadership of the House which made it to summon a meeting to find a way out of the

logjam. One of the questions the meeting is to address is if Hembe still has moral justification to continue with the probe as the chairman of the committee. Sources say the House may ask the Deputy Chairman of the committee, Chris Azubogu to stand in for Hembe in order to return credibility to the hearing. However, Hembe has vowed that he must see the hearing to a logical conclusion Some of the members of the House have expressed anger and great disappointment over the allegations saying it has brought them into disrepute in their various constituencies. Others were said to have opined that a full investigation be carried out on the allegation by the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, and that if anyone is found wanting, the appropriate punishment should be meted out. Many of the members were not ready to speak openly on the matter, but a female member who did not want her name in print, said it was a very sad development and that the public should understand that it’s not all members of the House that are bad. “There are still some honest men and women in the House that have integrity and are doing honest work in a bid to move the country forward.” Some people are also questioning the silence from the leadership of the House. There has not been anything said from the office of the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker whose name was mentioned. The issue which is the talk point on many radio and television stations has held the nation enthralled since Wednesday and may continue to do so for some time to come. As the hearing resumes on Tuesday this week, many are wondering if the EFCC and ICPC will take up Hembe’s challenge that he should be investigated. The two commissions had stated at the start of the hearing that they were present at the event as observers. Some members of the House have also vowed to bring the issue up on the floor on Tuesday under breach of privileges.

Oteh’s allegations: Who bells the cat? HE investigation by the House of Representatives of the Nigerian Capital Market took a dramatic twist when Oteh, accused the Chairman, House Committee on Capital Market and other Institutions, Mr. Herman Hembe, of corruption. She alleged that the committee had demanded N39m from SEC to fund the hearing. “In asking the SEC to contribute N39m for this public hearing, don’t you think that you are undermining your capacity to carry out your duties?” She asked the chairman. She also alleged that 24 hours before the hearing started on Wednesday, Hembe had demanded N5m from her. Oteh said, “You also requested that we should provide at least N5m, which was a day before this public hearing started. “I have raised issues regarding the credibility of the chairman, but that has not been addressed. “I will like to say to the Nigerian people that I do not think that I am given a fair hearing.” She claimed to have turned down both requests because she felt that they were not appropriate. The SEC DG said, “I was told upon my appointment that whenever you try to fight corruption, corruption will fight you back. “What I did not know was that this would come from the House committee.” The committee had on Wednesday,

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By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf questioned the capacity of SEC to manage the market in view of evidence that the agency itself conducted some of its internal operations in breach of public service regulations. She alleged that in October last year, Hembe had collected money and a first class ticket from SEC on the excuse of travelling to the Dominican Republic to attend a conference on capital market. She said Hembe didn’t make the journey and failed to return the money. She did not disclose the amount. “Can you tell Nigerians that you returned the money when you did not travel? “Would I now say that because SEC was approached to fund this hearing, that the committee has no competence to do its job, the same way that you questioned my competence as DG?” Oteh asked the chairman. The DG also recalled her longdrawn battle with the former DG of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyuike. She told the panel that the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, is a nephew to OkerekeOnyuike, adding that Ihedioha’s wife worked with the Abuja office of the NSE. The entire session was tensed with Oteh and members of the committee exchanging words again and again. A member of the panel, Mr. Razak BelloOsagie, tried to douse tension when

he reminded her that the hearing was not about personality clashes. However, reacting to the allegations, Hembe said they were “deliberately made to derail the objective of this hearing.” He referred the allegations to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission for investigation. “These are allegations and I invite the EFCC and the ICPC to investigate them. You should be ready to produce the evidence of the requests I made to you, but this hearing must go on,” Hembe said, overruling Oteh. On the allegation of approving “illegal” recruitment in SEC’, Oteh denied endorsing such. The committee later adjourned further sittings till Tuesday next week. But stakeholders have argued that the odds are against Oteh. “Corruption levy against the lawmakers by the DG of SEC are a cloud you cannot easily penetrate because it is her words against theirs”, emphasized Adamu Olumide, a capital market operator. A cross-section of respondents who spoke with The Nation however agreed on the fact that the next honourable thing for the embattled DG to do is to resign. But whether or not Oteh would consider this option remains to be seen. As events unfold, Nigerians are more than anxious to see that justice is not only done but seen to have been done.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2012

EBERE WABARA

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WORDSWORTH 08055001948

ewabara@yahoo.com

Oil block, not bloc

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AILY INDEPENDENT of March 14 offered readers three headline blunders: “Man attempts suicide at (on) court premises, says Atiku owes him N15m” “Cancel oil bloc (block) licenses (licences in Standard British English as opposed to the extracted Americanism), Urhobo youths urge FG” “Police makes (make) another haul of stolen vehicles” THE NATION of March 14 also committed the same goof: “Police admits (admit) increasing crime rate in Lagos” The next two errors are equally from the above edition of THE NATION: “Work on some structures have (has) been completed while….” “Distinguished accountant per (par) excellence….” “Nigerian ship arrested in Ghana over (for) crude oil theft” (Vanguard Front Page Headline, March 13) I received a text message from a reader who sought to know which of my entries is the correct version: the one inside or outside the bracket. Usually, the ones bracketed are the right entries. This, of course, excludes the attributions or other general references that come up occasionally. “…add that to the scores of multifarious of (sic) task forces charged with all manners of activities some of which border on the ludicrous.” (THE NATION OPINION Page, March 13) Policy: all manner of activities. “Never in the country’s judicial history has (have) so many committees been set up over one man.” (THE NATION LAW, March 13) THE GUARDIAN LAW Page of March 13 also contravened one lexical stipulation: “Lawyers converge in (on) Benin for review of election tribunals” “Those at the forefront in ECOWAS should start by doing the little things first before going for the big bang.” ‘Bang’ does not need any amplification as it is already a sudden loud noise. Such an application is the hallmark of illiteracy. “The Igbo cultural war dancers at (on) the occasion” (Vanguard, February 24) “RRS, task force arrest 10 over (for) Lagos

mayhem” (National Mirror Front Page Promo Headline, February 23) “Wade’s tenure extension chicanery is an affront on (to) the Senegalese 2001 Constitution….” (National Mirror Editorial, February 23) “Contrary to what Sanusi may want us to see, critical (a critical) analysis of his activities show (shows) a resourceful….” The next gaffe is from a full page advert by Congress for Good Governance, 97 Tenant Road, Aba, published in THE NATION of February 23: “…enlightened and superior intelligence with regards to public or political questions.” Another form of intellectual violence: with regard to or as regards. “Nigeria, China trade hit (hits) $10b” “Investment into power without right tariff difficult—NERC” (DAILY INDEPENDENT Headline, February 23) Business: investment into (in) power…. “AFN flags-off (flags off) 2012 season with Sagamu all comers” “Lagos on the match again” ‘Match’ for ‘march’? Why not vernacular at once instead of this stark illiteracy! “Civic education advocated for sustainance (sustenance) of democracy” This apparently infinitesimal difference defines the character of writing. “The current curricula were due for renew 11 years ago.” (Daily Trust, March 14) Back to the classroom: renew (verb) andrenewal(noun). “A man seating (sitting) behind a motorbike (on a motor-bike?) had been asked to disperse the feathers of a chicken.” (Leadership, March 15) “The dead doesn’t (don’t) talk” (The Moment, March 15) “…the former Bayelsa State Governor who had come to be part of history was ferried out of the troubled (trouble) spot without any bruises.” (Daily Sun, March 15) “Six months after assuming office they had his body riddled with bullets in a hold up (hold-up) along a narrow street in Lagos Island….” (DAILY CHAMPION, February 13) Remembering Murtala Muhammed: on Lagos Island “And certainly, we must look forward to a final end to soldierly incursions into (upon or on) our political life, whether by

‘invitation’, collusion or whatever” (THE GUARDIAN, March 15) Grumbling from the North: either finality or an end. ‘Final end’ sounds chaotic. “On May 29, we swore into the highest pinnacle of our country a man who has re-kindled a light of hope over the quagmires of our global despair.” (THISDAY, March 15) It is best to rewrite this catastrophe: On May 29, we swore into the pinnacle of our country a man who has rekindled our hope. Let us avoid word-abuse (redundancy)! “For my part, it is clear that primordial attitudes, prejudices, hatreds, arrogant claims of superiority....” My reaction: ‘hatred’ is non-count. (Source: as above) “In fact, since the collapse of Nigeria’s dependent on oil income…” (Vanguard, March 15) Get it right: dependence. “Not helping matters in the search for solution to unemployment problem in the country....” (THE GUARDIAN, March 15) No redundancy: ‘unemployment’ is clearly a problem. “…one sees many a senior military officer, both active and retired, openly congratulating Nigeria for (on) giving elected civilian free services as incentives.” (Daily Sun, March 15) “…the huge colossal damages (damage) the air strikes inflicted on the innocents (sic), especially the Kosovo people.” (THE GUARDIAN, March 15) Also, ‘huge’ and ‘colossal’ cannot function in the same environment. “Governor seeks military solution to armed banditry.” For the last time, there cannot be banditry without violence! Any room for sub-editors’ refresher programmes? Job monotony can diminish literacy and inquisitiveness. Just use ‘banditry’ without qualification. “Thugs fleece corp (corps) members” “Bereaved Nigerian mother lashes Austria over son’s death” Fixed expression: lash out at. “Preliminary probe of Sylva, others begin in Bayelsa” Why the SouthSouth discord? Probe...begins! “South African minister to clampdown on guns” Noun: clampdown; verb: clamp down. “Rediscovering the African idiom at World Music Day” Art and Life: on World Music Day.

•A building on the verge of falling into River Niger.

Agonies of a community ravaged by River Niger

F

OR the Ogwu-Ikpele people in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, living by the bank of River Niger portends no evil. Rather it affords the people a means of livelihood that is supported by aquatic splendor and resources. To them there is no other way of life aside from the one surrounded by mass of water. These people have been living, farming and fishing along the bank of the River Niger for ages until recently when the serenity of the coastal community was broken by the surging river that has submerged half of the community, leaving behind its trail, tears, pains and irreparable losses. When the administration of late president Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, announced the dredging of the lower Niger, it was greeted with enthusiasm, given the inherent benefit of the project, but like everything about life, the ugly side of the project, which is the resultant rise in the river’s current has reduced a once bubbling OgwuIkpele community in ruins. At the last count, about 600 buildings including schools and health centers have been submerged with over 1000 hectares of farmland and cash crops washed away. Although the ocean surge has begun about a decade ago, the residents through self help were able to contain it by putting up palliative measures but obviously the measures could not stand the increased current as a result of the dredging project and the river over flowed its bank. Conducting newsmen round the community which shares a common boundary with Ndoni in River State, one of the residents, Mr. Alphonsus Emordi, said that the situation which has started about ten years ago became worse since the commencement of the dredging of the lower Niger. He disclosed that the community through various media had complained to relevant authorities to tackle the issue by constructing concrete embankment along the river bank like what was done in neighboring River State, lamenting that even schools and the only health center in the community have all been washed away.

From Okodili Ndidi, Onitsha Emordi who lamented that it may appear foolhardy to continue to remain in the community given the level of the threat, said that the people cannot just wake up and park out of their ancestral home, where they have lived all their lives and abandon their life investments. He said: "Our ordeal is not isolated from what people in other riverine areas suffer especially in the Niger Delta but due to the oil deposits in those areas, governments have risen to the challenge and the menace has been successfully tackled. We have large deposits of oil as revealed by geophysical studies, all we are appealing is that the government should come to our aid as it promised before the commencement of the dredging of the Niger.” Also troubled, the community head, Okpala Ambrose Onwuma, described the development as a terrible disaster that is threatening the entire community. "This has been going unabated for the last 10 years. We have lost billions of naira to the ravaging tide our farm lands and cash crops have been washed away." Onwuma, a retired school teacher, disclosed that the palliative measures taken by the residents to check the disaster have not been sufficient or effective, adding that the community through self efforts had spent hundreds of millions of naira to no avail. He called on the Federal Government to help them safe guard their ancestral home. Another resident, Ogechi Azubuike, who recounted her ordeal when her building collapsed into the river, said that they are now living like refugees in their own land. She stated: "The governments, both the state and the central, seem to have forgotten us, but we cannot run away from our place of birth. Our appeal is that the FG should help us safe guard our lives and investments like in Ndoni and other riverine communities along the bank of the River Niger.” Today, the situation in Ogwu-Ikpele is such that when compared to the various flood disasters that have befallen some major cities in the coun-

try, one would be excused to say that it should be declared a national emergency. Most of the displaced residents who have lost all their belongings and investments have resolved to continue to put up whatever resistance they can muster to resist the ugly reality of abandoning their ancestral home as a result of a controllable threat While commiserating with the victims, the Anambra State chairman of the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Dauda Ajagu lamented that negligence on the part of government resulted in the gruesome lost. The Moslem cleric disclosed that as an agrarian and fishing community, Ogwu-Ikpele contributes over 70 percent of the daily food need of Anambra and other neighboring states especially yam and fish. Ajagu stated that if the river bank is reinforced with steel embankment, it will prevent the river from over flowing its bank and thus put an end to the current scenario that has brought untold hardship to the coastal community. He appealed to the Federal Government and other relevant authorities to quickly intervene and forestall further loss of lives and hard earned properties of the Ogwu-Ikpele people. Another indigene who is resident in the commercial city of Onitsha , Paul Ikenna, said that half of the community now sits in the middle of the river with over 300 buildings abandoned for fear of sudden collapse. Ikenna who has not visited the community for the last two years for fear of the current which he claimed has resulted in boat mishap, hinted that the indigenes through various organisations had raised and spent over two billion naira in their effort to control the surge, adding that if government had responded to the earlier call the situation would have been averted. Some school children who were seen playing along the river bank said that due to the collapse of their school buildings, they now ferry across the river to Atani to go to school. They appealed to the government to do all that is necessary to put an end to the destructive encroachment.


THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

66 CHANGE OF NAME

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IYUN

SANGOYOMI

OLOFIN

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OLAGOKE

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AKINTUNDE

CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Okani Chinonso Anita and Okani Chinonso Agatha are one and same person. now wish to be known and addressed as Okani Chinonso Anita. All documents bearing the above names remain valid. General public should take note.

CONFIRMATION OF NAME This is to confirm that Etekpe Victoria Ebinemi are my full names, that my middle name Victoria was omitted in my NECO certificate. General public should take note.

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EZENWANKWO

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NNADI

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OKON

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NDUBISI-IGWILO

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ADEBOWALE

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TARINYO

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UKWUIJEO

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EKESON

I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Juliet Chinasa Ekeson, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Juliet Chinasa Anaetoh. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.

HENRY

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Mercy Okon Henry, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs Mercy Nworah. All former documents remains valid. SPDC and general public should take note.

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AGBADAOLA I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Bukola Agbadaola, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs Oluwabukola Monica Ogunsola. All former documents remains valid. Ekiti State Environment Protection Agency and general public should take note.

IBRAHIM I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Aishat Ibrahim, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs Aishat Yusuf. All former documents remains valid. Police Organization and general public should take note.

AWOGBEMI

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ZARKARIYAU

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OGUNBIYI

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogunbiyi Olayinka Olabisi, now wish to be known and be addressed as Oluwole Oke Olayinka Olabisi. All former documents remains valid. Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti and general public should take note.

ADEBAYO I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Adebayo Adefunke Oluwatumininu, now wish to be known and be addressed as Egbinrin Adefunke Oluwatumininu. All former documents remains valid. Ekiti State Judiciary, Ado-Ekiti and general public should take note.

ICHIE I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ichie Mercy Nwanyinnaya now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Arukwe Mercy Nwanyinnaya. All former documents remain valid. Umuahia North LGA, UNN and general public should take note.

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Olagoke Taiwo Deborah, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Olorunjuwon Taiwo Deborah. All former documents remains valid. Ekiti South West Local govt, Ilawe Ekiti, Local govt. Service Commission, Ado-Ekiti and general public should take note.

OWOEYE I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Owoeye Celinah Tolulope, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Aribisala Celinah Tolulope. All former documents remains valid. National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABADA) and general public should take note.

OMOTOSO

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Omotoso Adebisi Comfort, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ali Adebisi Comfort. All former documents remains valid. Nigeria Police Force and general public should take note.

FOLORUNSO I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Folorunso Victoria Omowumi, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Falade Victoria Omowumi. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

GBUYIRO

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AGBATO

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IBRAHIM

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Adesola Stella Ibrahim, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs Adesola Stella Ogunkoya. All former documents remains valid. TESCOM and general public should take note.

OLABANJO

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ADENUGA

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Abosede Oluwasesan Adenuga, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Abosede Oluwasesan Alo-Williams. All former documents remains valid. University of Lagos and general public should take note.

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I,formerly known and addressed as Mrs. Fingesi, Okwo Obeten(nee Ibiang, Okwo Obeten), now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Obeten, Okwo Mee. All former documents remains valid. Federal Road Safety and general public should take note.

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EZENWA

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CHANGE OF NAME AZEEZ

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ADEGOKE

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Adegoke Modupe Kunbi, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Akanji Modupe Florence. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Miss Kayode Kehinde Comfort, is the same and one person as now as Miss Sulaiman Kehinde Comfort. All documents bearing the above names remains valid. GTBank Plc. and general public should take note.

AKANLE

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Akanle Racheal Funmilayo, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Akinluyi Racheal Funmilayo. All former documents remains valid. Ekiti State Teaching Service Commission and general public should take note.

OJO

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ojo Rosemary Funmilayo, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Adebayo Adeyemi Rosemary Folukemi. All former documents remains valid. Teaching Service Commission AdoEkiti and general public should take note. INADAGBO I, formerly known and addressed as Mrs. Fadeke Inadagbo, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Fadeke Rufus Ayodeji Adeniyi. All former documents remains valid. State Universal Education Board, Ekiti State and general public should take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Olaifa Adebola, is the same and one person as Olaifa Bola. All documents bearing the above names remains valid. UNN and general public should take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Mrs. Muji Adefiola Oyebode and Mrs. Racheal Adefiola Oyebade are one and same person. now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Muji Adefiola Oyebade. All documents bearing the above names remain valid. General public should take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Paulinus Amama and Mrs. Paulinus Amama Onwudede are one and same person. now wish to be known and addressed as Paulinus Amama. All documents bearing the above names remain valid. General public should take note.

EHIJIMETOR I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ehijimetor Faith, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs Faith Digu. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

AWALA I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Vivian Unuakpo Awala, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs Vivian Unuakpo Olawoye. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

AREMU

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Aremu Racheal Omolara, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs Abidoye Racheal Omolara. All former documents remains valid. Orolu LGA, Civil Service Commission and general public should take note.

SULEIMAN

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THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

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CHANGE OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME

AHMED

FASINU

UTOJIUBA

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ahmed Fatima Binta, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs Abdulrahman Ahmed Fatima. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

ADERANTI

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Aderanti Aderonke Banke, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs Aderonke Banke Makanjuola. All former documents remains valid. Egbedore Local govt., Awo and general public should take note.

ADETOYINBO

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Adetoyinbo Adeola Mary, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs Olaiya Adeola Mary. All former documents remains valid. Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital and general public should take note.

ADEFILA

I,formerly known and addressed as Adefila Oluwasina Temitope, now wish to be known and be addressed as David Oluwasina Temitope. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

JOSEPH

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Princess Sarah Senami Fasinu, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Princess Siyanbola Sarah Senami. All former documents remains valid. TESCOM and general public should take note.

OSOKO

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Osoko Titilayo Abiodun, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ayeni Titilayo Abiodun. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

OLABANJI

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Olabanji Omowunmi Modinat, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Showale Omowunmi Modinat. All former documents remains valid. NeuroPsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta and general public should take note.

UCHEGBU

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Patience Nkasi Uchegbu, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Patience Nkasi Nwabueze Emuchay. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

AJAO

AKOMOLAFE

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Oluwagbemisola Adeola Ajao, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Oluwagbemisola Adeola Olasheni-Lawal. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

EJIOFOR

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ayebatari Boma Jumbo, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ayebatari Boma Ahiamadu. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

I,formerly known and addressed as Joseph Chukwuemeka Egwim, now wish to be known and be addressed as Vitalis Iwuoha Anii. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note. I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Akomolafe Ramotu Ayodele, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Akomolafe Racheal Ayodele. All former documents remains valid. Atakumosa East LG, Iperindo and general public should take note. I,formerly known and addressed as Ejiofor Ikechi Augustina, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mbakwem Ikech Kelly Augustina. All former documents remains valid. Atakumosa East LG, Iperindo and general public should take note.

OYEBANJI

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Oyebanji Rasheedat Omolara, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ogundare Rasheedat Omolara. All former documents remains valid. Finance Dept., Ifedayo Local govt, Oke-Ila Orangun, Osun State and general public should take note.

AMUDA

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Amuda Funmilayo Alaba, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Akanmu Funmilayo Alaba. All former documents remains valid. Ede North Local govt, Osun State and general public should take note.

OLANIYI

JUMBO

OLUWALAANU

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Oluwalaanu Odunayo Eunice, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Olofinjana Odunayo Eunice. All former documents remains valid. Federal University of Technology, Akure and general public should take note.

KOROLO

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Korolo Elizabeth Olayemi Bosede, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Adeyemo Elizabeth Olayemi Bosede. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

OLANITIRI

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Olanitori Oyindamola Ayoola, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Oyetunde Oyindamola Ayoola. All former documents remains valid. International Embassies and general public should take note.

OLORUNDA

I,formerly known and addressed as Olasinde Olaniyi Abiola, now wish to be known and be addressed as Olasinde Adeniyi Abiola. All former documents remains valid. Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and general public should take note.

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Olorunda StellaBolanle, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Apata Stella Bolanle. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

OGBEBOR

BUKOLA

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Chidinma Juliet Achonu, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Chidinma Juliet Onyeakaza. All former documents remains valid. Federal Polytechnic, Nekede and general public should take note.

ADEKOYA

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Esther Olufunke Tijani, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Esther Olufunke Adeniji. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogbebor Oghomwan, now wish to be known and be addressed as Aisagbohi Oghomwan. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note. I,formerly known and addressed as Mrs. Bukola Shakirat, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Bukola Shakirat Alli. All former documents remains valid. First Bank Plc. and general public should take note. I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Adekoya Mary Olayinka, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Oyewumi Mary Olayinka. All former documents remains valid. Lagos State government and general public should take note.

EYINADE

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Eyinade Olubusayo Adenike, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Whesin Olubusayo Adenike. All former documents remains valid. NYSC and general public should take note.

LADIPO

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ladipo Habibat Olatundun, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Bakare Habibat Olatundun. All former documents remains valid. NYSC and general public should take note.

ADEYEFA

I,formerly known and addressed as Mr. Oluwakayode Adeniji Adeyefa, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mr. Oluwakayode Adeniji Adeyeoluwa. All former documents remains valid. FAAN and general public should take note.

ANIEROBI

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Anierobi Amauche Violet, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Giwa Anierobi Amauche Violet. All former documents remains valid. NYSC and general public should take note.

ACHONU

TIJANI

BAKRE

I,formerly known and addressed as Bakre Agbeke Olaitan, now wish to be known and be addressed as Surakat Agbeke Olaitan. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

OLORUNMOLA I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Olorunmola Florence Modupe, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Olufunmi Florence Modupe. All former documents remains valid. Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko and general public should take note.

ODIOR

I formerly known and addressed as Miss Odior Ikpeesi Mercy, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Amomoh Ikpeesi Mercy. All former documents remain valid. Presidency, University of Uyo and general public take note.

AFOLABI

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Afolabi Bidemi Kafayat, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Abiola Bidemi Esther. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

OGUNYEMI

I formerly known and addressed as Ogunyemi Olamide Fatimat, now wish to be called and known as Ojurayo Olamide Fatimat. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Utojiuba Vera Amaka, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Elemo Vera Amaka. All former documents remains valid. NYSC and general public should take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Mrs Sule Blessing Aneru is the same and one person as Miss Momodu Mamunatu Otse and Miss Momodu Munet Blessing refers to one and the same person. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

ORIZU

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Orizu Chekwubechukwu Omuruzua, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Okenwa Chekwubechukwu Omuruzua. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

CHANGE OF NAME ANENE

I formerly known and addressed as Miss Anene Juliet Avwerosuoghene, now wish to be called and known as Mrs Ukpeowe Juliet Avwerosuoghene. All former documents remain valid. Nigeria Police and general public take note.

GWA

I formerly Miss Gwa Mwuese Agatha, now wish to be known and called MRS.Uja Mwuese Agatha. All former ducuments remained valid.Uinveristy of Agriculture {UAM} Makurdi and general public take note.

HECTOR

I formerly known and addressed as Miss Victoria Bevina Didi Hector, now wish to be known as Mrs.Victoria Ombu Sunday. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

IDEMUDIA

OGUNMEFUN

I formerly known and addressed as Miss. Idemudia Elizabeth now wish to be known as Mrs.Kanayo .A. Elizabeth. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

SADIQ

I formerly known and addressed as Miss Elisbeth Oranyelu, now wish to be known as Mrs. Elisbeth Bob Worlu. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogunmefun Adedoyin Oyenike, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Okoro Adedoyin Oyenike. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note. I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Sadiq Ronke Fatiat, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Omodehin Ronke Fatiat. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

BALOGUN

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Balogun Oluwamodupe Ndidiamaka, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Ogunbanjo Oluwamodupe Ndidiamaka. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

TAIWO

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Taiwo Olaroyeke Florence, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Oladipo Olaroyeke Florence. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

MOROUNFOLU

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Opeyemi Adetutu Morounfolu, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Opeyemi Adetutu Oke. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

PADONU

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Padonu Funmilayo Seide, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Avoseh Funmilayo Seide. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

OFFOR

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Offor Laeticia Chinyere, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Orji Laeticia Chinyere. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, Eduneju Kelly and Edun Kelly are one and same person. Now wish to be known and be addressed as Eduneju Kelly. All former documents remains valid. General public should take note.

OGEDENGBE

I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogedengbe Esther Oluronke, now wish to be known and be addressed as Mrs. Bolarinwa Esther Oluronke. All former documents remains valid. Osun State College of Health, Ilesa, Osun State and general public should take note.

BAMIKUNLE

I, formerly known , called and addressed as Miss BAMIKUNLE Kuburat Abisola, won wish to be know , called and addressed as Mrs. SALVADOR Kuburat Eniola. All for document remain valid. general public should please take note.

NSEYO

I, formerly known , called and addressed as Miss NSEYO O. Obot , won wish to be know , called and addressed as Mrs. ONUH O. Obot. All for document remain valid. YABATECH, UBA and general public should please take note.

ADELUSI

I, formerly known , called and addressed as Mr ADELUSI SEHINDE JOHN , won wish to be know , called and addressed as MR OGUNBUSOLA SEHINDE JOHN. All for document remain valid. S&M Construction Company Abuja and general public should please take note.

IHUMAN

I, formerly known and addressed as MISS JUSTINA YADOO IHUMAN, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS JUSTINA ABULU. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.

ADIGUN

I, formerly known and addressed as MISS OLUWATOYIN JANET ADIGUN, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS OLUWATOYIN JANET OLASEKUN. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.

ORANYELU

ONAH

I, formerly known and addressed as MISS ONAH KELECHI PATRICIA now wish to be known and addressed as MRS OCHIAGHA KELECHI PATRICIA. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

NKANYI

I, formerly known and addressed as MISS NKANYI SCHOLASTICA IFEOMA, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS UDEH SCHOLASTICA IFEOMA. All former documents remain valid. IMT, NYSC and general public take note.

OFFOR

I, formerly known and addressed as MISS OFFOR ANTHONIA TOCHUKWU OFFOR, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS EZEIGWE ANTHONIA TOCHUKWU. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

JAIKPONNAH

I, formerly known and addressed as MISS.AKUCHINYERE NNEOMA JIAKPONNAH,now wish to be known and addressed as MRS.AKUCHINYERE NNEOMA NDUBUISI NWACHUKWU.. All former documents remain valid. Abia State University Uturu and general public take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME This comfirms that Comfort Onyeje Ukaegbu, Comfort O. Ukaegbu and Comfort Ukaegbu refers to person all documents or certificate bearing these names belongs to me and remains valid. General public please take note. CONFIRMATION OF NAME I, OGHANI ANWULI VERONICA and OGHANI VERA ANWULI are one and same person. Now wish to be known and addressed as OGHANI VERA ANWULI. All documents bearing the above names remain valid. General public should take note.

ODIBA

I formerly known and addressed as Miss Odiba Patience Ajuma, now wish to be called and known as Mrs Patience Ajuma Ojiah. All former documents remain valid. WAEC, NECO, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria National Merit Award, Maitama, Abuja and general public take note.

OKORO

I formerly known and addressed as Paul Emeka Okoro, now wish to be called and known as Paul Chukwuemeka. All former documents remain valid. Medical Laboratory Council of Nig., Actseminary & Graduate Schools and general public take note.

OGUNSEMOWO

I formerly known and addressed as Sherifat Olabisi Ogunsemowo, now wish to be called and known as Sherifat Olabisi Afinni. All former documents remain valid. Lagos State government,IBTC Pension and general public take note.

KESHINRO

I formerly known and addressed as Miss Keshinro Sarah Oluwakemi now wish to be called and known as Mrs Openiyi Sarah Oluwakemi. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.

AIYELOJA

I formerly known and addressed as Miss AIYELOJA EUNICE IKEOLU now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs AGBOLADE EUNICE IKEOLU.Allformer documents remain valid.Tescom Osogbo and General public should take note. CHANGE OF NAME IS (N4,500 effective from 20th of March) The payment can be made through FIRST BANK of Nigeria Plc. Account number - 1892030011219 Account Name - VINTAGE PRESS LIMITED Scan the details of your advert and teller to -gbengaodejide@yahoo.com or thenation_advert@yahoo.com

67

BRIEFS ‘Nobody was stopped from contesting against Oshiomhole'

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EADERS of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Edo State yesterday denied stopping any member from contesting against Governor Adams Oshiomhole for the party's gubernatorial ticket. They said the governorship nomination forms were available but only Oshiomhole bought and submitted one. A former Senatorial aspirant under ACN and now Publicity Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Matthew Urhoghide alleged in a statement that ACN leaders in the state coerced members from buying nomination forms. The ACN leaders spoke in an interview during the party's governorship primaries held across the 192 wards in the state. They include Speaker of

From Osagie Otabor, Benin Edo State House of Assembly Uyigue Igbe; Woman Leader Modino Emovon; Commissioner for Transport Victor Enoghama; Hon Patrick Osayimwen and ward Chairmen. Igbe said, "Everybody is in total support of Oshiomhole's return. We are behind him and there was no need to remove a winning team." For Enoghama, "That is not true. Nobody indicated interest to contest the primaries against Oshiomhole. ''The opportunity was there and the members know that it was not just to spend money but the question is the capacity to win". Osayimwen said the election was not about tribal sentiment but somebody who will perform according to the party's manifesto.

Uncertainty over PDP's senatorial candidate

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•New REC takes over

HERE is confusion in Anambra State over the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) authentic candidate for Anambra South Senatorial election. It is unclear if Senator Andy Uba or Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu will fly the party's ticket for the re-run election slated for Tuesday. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deployed Mr. Mike Igini fromCross River State to replace Prof. Chukwuemeka

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka Onukaogu as the Resident Electoral Commission (REC). Igini arrived Awka last Friday around 5pm. He quickly summoned a meeting of senior staff of the Commission perhaps to address some of those gray areas. However, Uba and Ukachukwu have been campaigning vigorously in the senatorial district, claiming to be the chosen candidates.

Kano Police nab 215

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HE Kano State Police Command has arrested 215 armed robbery suspects terrorising residents. Its spokesman ASP Magaji Musa Majia told reporters in Kano yesterday that the arrest of the hoodlums followed an aggressive raid by police on black spots and hideouts. The raid, Majia said, led to the arrest of 215 suspects, 40 of whom were screened while another 170 have

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

been charged to court. Majia explained that the raids were part of efforts of the Command to combat crime and criminal activities in the state. Items recovered, according to him, included one locally made pistol, rounds of ammunition, two Dane guns, seven knives and cutlasses as well as large quantities of dry leaves suspected to be Indian Hemp.

Jonathan's man is new PDP chair

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DARK horse, Col. Sam Inokoba (Rtd) yesterday emerged chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State. Inokoba was elected unopposed after nomination with other members of the new executive. Inokoba's emergence was considered the handiwork of President Goodluck Jonathan. Sources said the President was bent on compensating Inokoba who he considers a long -time loyalist of the party. The new chairman was a Special Adviser under

From Isaac Ombe, Yenogoa Jonathan in Bayelsa State. His maturity and elderly disposition, party sources said, also worked in his favour. Shortly after the elections, Jonathan congratulated Inokoba. He promised not to interfere in the running of the affairs of Bayelsa State, saying Governor Seriake Dickson is more than capable. "I am not going to interfere with the running of the affairs of the state. I have enormous responsibilities to manage the country in Abuja," the President said.


68

THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012


WORSHIP

69

THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

NEWS

Atheists to outnumber Christians in England-Report Stories by Sunday Oguntola with agency report

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HRISTIANITY is waning in England and could be outnumbered by nonbelievers in the next 20 years, according to a new study. The study conducted by the British Parliament showed there were 41 million Christians in Britain, down nearly 8 percent since 2004. Meanwhile, the number of nonbelievers stood at 13.4 million, up 49 percent over the same period. Researchers at the House of Commons Library concluded that Christianity had declined to 69 percent of the population while those with no religion increased to 22 percent. “If these populations continue to shrink and grow by the same number of people each year,” the study said, “the number of people with no religion will overtake the number of Christians in Great Britain in 20 years.” The research was based on the government Office for National Statistics’ annual labor force survey, considered authoritative because it examines a sample size of 50,000 people. The “Religion in Great Britain” survey also found that from 2004-2010, the number of Muslims in Britain grew by 37 percent to 2.6 million. England’s Hindu population rose by 43 percent to 790,000 and Buddhists by 74 percent to 340,000. The numbers of Jews and Sikhs were reported down slightly at 270,000 and 340,000 respectively.

Makinde condemns incessant attacks on Christians By Sunday Oguntola

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RELATE of Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Dr Ola Makinde, has condemned the continued attacks on Christians especially in Northern parts of the country by the notorious terrorist organisation, Boko Haram. In a release made available by the Church’s Media and Public Relations Officer, Rev Oladapo Daramola, Makinde said Christians are bonafide citizens of the country deserving of government’s maximum protection. According to him, “ The events of the last few months which have seen Christians and Churches become targets of coordinated attacks by Boko Haram have again brought to the fore the continued neglect of the fundamental rights of Christians to gather, assemble and worship as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. ‘’These attacks have now become a Sunday-Sunday occurrence which corroborates the fact that they are no mere coincidence. ‘’The lives of innocent citizens are being jeopardised and it doesn’t seem like help is coming from anywhere.’’ He urged government to be decisive and unmask sponsors and perpetrators of these acts of terrorism. Makinde said, ‘’This is clearly the approach required for the lives of innocent Nigerians which is being wasted to be preserved. “We prayed and worked so hard to see that Nigeria was delisted from countries that sponsor terrorist organisations or have any links with such evil groups. ‘’Here we are walking that path again going by the continued activities of this group which has remained unchecked. Something drastic must be done urgently.”

VLBC sets Abeokuta agog

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EADING preachers will converge in Abeokuta, capital of Ogun State, from April1-8 for the 2012 edition of the Holy Convocation of the Victory Life Bible Church (VLBC). The theme of the conference which is expected to attract thousands from within and outside the country is beyond the natural. Ministers expected in- •Achudume clude Pastors Ayo Oritsejafor, Sam Adeyemi, Mathew Asimolowo as well as Bishops Felix Adejumo and Bishop Jide Orire. Others include Rev Dr Kunle Adesina, Dr Felix Omobude, Rev Dr Lawrence Tetteh and hosts, Apostle Lawrence Achudume. A statement from Achudume said, ‘’the conference is packaged to bring divine interventions in the affairs of men as well as position Christians for supernatural exploits’’. Achudume said there will be free transportation for the conference holding by 9am and 4pm daily at Life cathedral KM 9, Olabisi Onabanjo way, Opp OGTV, Abeokuta.

INTERVIEW

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HY did you choose Akure of all places as your base? Mine is specifically in response to divine instruction. I knew I had an assignment from God and when I asked Him where I should go, he specifically said Akure. This was in 1983 even though I could not move until 1987. God revealed that Akure is my place of primary assignment and that is why I came here. I am from Osun State but I was living in Ibadan when God told me to come over here. Then, Ondo State was backward economically. If one was looking for money, it was not a place to come. But God sent me to fish for souls and not money. I was preoccupied with affecting lives and I am grateful I came. The Ondo State you are seeing now is not what it used to be then. We have seen transformations and God has become more entrenched here. Akure must be very backward then in the world of Charismatic Pentecostalism Yes, it was. It was made worse by the fact that we were introducing something new in a traditional environment. So, it was initially tough and opposed. But people started embracing it when the understanding came. It was rough. We started fellowship in 1987 but the church arm started in 1988. So, you don’t feel shortchanged operating from here unlike your contemporaries in bigger cities? I don’t feel like that at all. I am blessing God to have come here. Though I am not from Ondo State, two of my children were born here. I have lived here for about 25 years now and I feel like an indigene already. So, what makes this church unique? Everything makes it unique. Agape was born out of an encounter I had while on the campus of the University of Ibadan. I was already a Christian and saw a group of believers praying on campus. I thought they were Pharisees and not Christianly enough. In the course of trying to condemn them, the Lord spoke to me and I can never forget it. He said they were His own people and were heavenbound. He added I was the one bound for hell for condemning His people. So, I parked the car and repented. From there, God showed me about genuine love. So, when we wanted the church, God reminded me about the encounter and we called it Agape. Because of that, God has given me the grace to love people the way they are. I can work with people without disparities or discriminations. I have a caring heart for people and the ministry reflects that. We take care of widows, elderly one, indigent students and almost everyone. We live it, preach it and demonstrate it. Our mode of worship is not really different but we are a people of love. It seems you are hiding or how come you are hardly in the news despite your stature and impact? Well, I am a quiet person naturally. I am not a media freak. I shy away as much as possible. I try to do things in such a way that people will not

‘Blame the church for corruption in Nigeria’ Bishop Felix Adejumo is easy to miss in a crowd. Yet, he is a spiritual giant with many big-time protégés. The general overseer of Agape Christian Ministries Inc., Akure, spoke to Sunday Oguntola on why he is always operating at the background and sundry issues

• Adejumo

notice me. I only concentrate energies on feeding my sheep. Wherever you find my sheep is where you will find me. This is why people don’t see me. I take my assignments so seriously that I don’t have time for anything else except when I go out to preach. And I just started going out recently. When the ministry started, for years I was always here. I never travelled or ministered elsewhere. I was building the foundation and nobody could do that for me. Even now, I seldom travel and return before you can even recognise it. So, I am not a publicity or media person. I just like to do my things quietly. I do things never to impress anybody but God. I like being at the background and allowing people take the credit. You have the largest Pentecostal church in Akure, and possibly the whole of Ondo State. Several young ministers across the country look up to you. Many of them are popular but you seem to be confined to the backside. Why is this? Jesus Christ is my pattern and Calvary has worked on me. I am a broken mould and I don’t have a life of my own. I saw that despite all Jesus did, it was still difficult to recognise him. This is what inspires me to keep things in perspectives. I have nothing of myself. I see myself as a receiver and not an achiever. Everything that you see around me is from God, including the clothes I have on. I remind myself that if not for God, I won’t be here. Nothing can enter my head. There is no room for pride here because I am not the doer. I am only a receiver. If He uses other people, I must give them the credit. But for me no credits at all because I did not do any-

thing. You don’t preach materialism yet you are blessed. How come? I know God blesses me not because of what I do or not. I don’t look for money, money looks for me. I sow and when I do, I expect harvest. I don’t beg. Here in Akure, no government can claim I have once asked for any favour or anything. Yet, I don’t lack because God is my provider. And I farm too because it is my hobby. I have a poultry that fetches me money. I have farmlands and I supply fertilisers. I do all of that not because I have a need but there are needy people that I am responsible to around me. Your wife is more popular. Does that bother you? It doesn’t at all. Right from the beginning, I told her that she has a ministry to the world. That she must earn her own honour and must not die under my shadow. God sent her to the world. I actually released her because it would be a crime to womanhood not to. I released her deliberately. If I didn’t her generation will miss a lot. I am not bothered that she is everywhere while I am here in Akure. I am so grateful to God and contented with my place. My ministry is to the church while as a teacher and evangelist, she has a ministry to the body of Christ. How do you stay in touch since she is hardly around? Thank God for technology. We make calls and do our morning devotion online no matter where we are in the world. We spend nothing less than an hour on it daily. It costs money but we stay in touch. And with Skype, it is far easier. It is what we do not miss any day.

How do you feel as a Nigerian now? I feel great because God did not make a mistake by making me a Nigerian. Nigerians are the most blessed among the black race. I don’t know if it would happen in my own time or not but Nigeria shall be great again. It is just a matter of time. We will still be proud to be Nigerians. I have options to be an American or Canadian but I have chosen to remain a Nigerian. I don’t want to be anything else. Are you happy with the state of the Nigeria church? To be honest with you, I am not at all. The problems in the church were created by our pastors or leaders. Everything rises and falls with leaders. We see a lot of corruption in the nation, which reflects what happens in the church. Most of our leaders are chasing political leaders for personal riches and contracts. They are selling their birthrights. Pastors are involved in all sorts of shady acts that paint the church bad. Not many pastors can condemn politicians or government officials openly. Many church members win elections and become billionaires overnights. We do not correct or rebuke them. Instead, we give them seats in the front rows in our churches. We are endorsing corruption and everyone is involved. All religious organisations in this country are corrupt. What are you doing to redress this? I am making myself an example of righteousness. I am also teaching against it in church, raising a new breed of leaders across board. I have some church leaders who look up to me. They come around me and I teach this to them too. They know I stand for the truth and listen. In 24 years, you don’t have just few branches. Don’t you feel too slow? Well, we have about 34 churches with physical structures across the country. But I don’t feel too slow. Jesus gives different people different gifts and abilities. I am contented with what He gave me and don’t feel pressured to be like others. I don’t compare myself with anybody at all. I want to be sure whatever church we have is strong and established. You know my definition of ministerial success is simply faithfulness. I don’t care how much branches we have but how faithful we are to the commission.


70

Worship

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HE nation of Israel went through several periods of spiritual backsliding which necessitated the birth of spiritual reformations that took place at several times in history. A particular case of study is the Revival that came through Prophet Samuel. This was during the period of the Judges. Eli was the priest that manned the spiritual position in Israel at this particular time. To bring about this spiritual reformation, God needed a human vessel as He has always done in all history. (God uses men to accomplish His divine will on the earth). Samuel was the instrument that God used for this spiritual change. You would remember that Hannah, the mother of Samuel was barren for many years. She prayed to God at Shiloh and vowed to give to God the son that God would give her. As soon as Hannah received Samuel, she gave him to the Lord [1Sam 10:11, 24-28] .The Bible says that the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. At this point, the word of God had become rare. The Bible says there was no widespread revelation [1Sam 3: 1]. God began calling the young man Samuel. I believe that young men and women need listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit as God is calling in these end times. God wants to use the young ones to affect this generation. Samuel was young, yet God called out to him. God called Samuel three times and he went to Eli on each occasion. At the third time, Eli realized that the Lord called the young man and told him to go lie down, “and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant hears [1 Sam 3:9] Samuel went and lay himself down and the Lord God came calling. This time around,

THE NATION ON SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

It’s time for revival

Bishop Abraham Olaleye

REVIVAL HOUR Samuel remained where he was and told God, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant hears’. God told Samuel what He wanted to do in the land of Israel. He told Samuel about the judgement He was bringing upon Eli for his failure to restrain his sons that did evil before the Lord. The most exciting statement made by God was “Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. [1 Sam 3:11 NKJV] I can hear God speaking in the nations in these end times about the mighty and awesome things He wants to do. I tell you that they are going to be what Isaiah termed ‘awesome things’. King James version of the bible puts it as ‘terrible things’. The Psalmist calls it terrible things in righteousness. [Isa. 64:3 & Psalm 65:5] They would be things that would drive men to the Lord. God told Habakkuk, ”Look among the nations and watch be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days, which you would not believe, though it were told you’’ (Habakkuk 1:5). God Has laid the burden of this message on my heart to share with you. My earnest prayer is that you would capture the mood of the

Spirit. As God spoke in the times past, He is speaking now! Brothers and Sisters, this is true, whatever He says; there is only one thing to do, obey! If you would yield yourself to Him, the Holy Spirit will use you to do what he used men and women of old to do. David We wouldBy see again the manifestation of the early church. God the Holy Spirit will use you to do great and awesome things for the Kingdom. God does not only want to raise the dry bones that the Church has become, but He wants to make the church a prophetic agent of raising dry bones in families, communities and the nations of the world. I see Ezekiel’s prophecy of the River of Life coming to pass in individual lives and ministries. God will raise the people that have been reared at the threshold of the temple; people who have experienced not just the ankle, the knee or the waist deep level of the Holy Spirit, but those who are yearning for the mighty River experience. The church has suffered mishaps today because of those that men and not God Has raised. God has personally taken over the responsibility of raising men and women. Gideon’s thirty-two thousand have gotten the Church to where she is. The good news is that God is now raising his own three hundred that have lapped water like the dogs. Men and women that have been certified fit for the master’s use. My earnest prayer is that you would be an instrument in the hand of the Holy Spirit. Olaleye is General Overseer The Pentecostal Congregation (TCP) 11, Ilupeju Bye Pass Lagos. Email: bishop@aemrevival.com

NEWS

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N academy to nurture Christian footballers will soon open in Badagry, Lagos. CEO of Soccer Fest, organisers of Believers Champions League, Pastor Adeolu Adeyemo disclosed this last week at the 4th edition of the nation’s only Christian soccer award. When completed, he said the academy will not only raise footballers but imbue them with Christian values to change the soccer industry. General Overseer of Trinity House, Lekki, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo applauded the concept. He said: ‘’Soccer is a strong vehicle for evangelism and talent develop-

Christian soccer academy to open in Badagry •Teams, individuals bag awards By Nneka Nwaneri

ment. The event is good as it engages our youth by keeping them busy.” Ighodalo reaffirmed that the academy will provide world- class training for good footballers. The event witnessed presentation of awards to deserving teams and individuals for their performances in 2011. The Best Coach for 2011 season went to Solomon Pe-

ter of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). Tosin Olotu of RCCG bagged the best goalkeeper award. 9ja football.com went home with the award for Best Media partner. Goodluck Maduba emerged the highest goal scorer while Mountain of Fire and Miracles (MFM) was the best supporting church.

Cleric charges public office holders

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HE Vicar of The African Church, Shomolu Lagos Rev Gboyega Bamidele has charged public office holders to exhibit fair play and fear of God in the discharge of their duties. Bamidele made the charge at the First Sunday of the Lenten prayer

By Adeola Ogunlade

programme last week in Lagos. He said, “Nigeria today is grappling with the problem of corruption, terrorism, kidnapping, poverty because public office holders have lost grip of governance due to greed, selfish-

ness, sit tight syndrome and non existence of reverence to God”. Bamidele noted that there is hope if leaders tread the path of righteousness and godly living. He cited the scriptures noting that “righteousness exalts a nation and sin is a reproach to any people’’.

Love fever (2) Pastor Taiwo Odubiyi

CHRISTIAN ROMANCE

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ONI called Ufuoma, “Stop what you are doing and follow me.” She ordered, still wearing the frown. Ufuoma was washing plates. “Okay Aunty. Let me quickly finish these ones -” “No, drop them and follow me right now.” Moni said. The girl quickly rinsed her hands and followed her. Moni stopped in the living room to carry her daughter Peace before going in the direction of the master bedroom, with Ufuoma following. She entered the master bedroom but Ufuoma stood by the entrance. “Enter.” Ufuoma obeyed, closing the door gently behind her. She remained standing, and looked round the big white room. It was well furnished. The color of the curtains matched the color of the gray carpet. The windows were wide opened. Fitted wardrobes with four doors lined the entire left side of the room. A 20’TV stood on a stand. She liked what she saw. Moni’s first child, five and a half year old David slept on the king size bed, surrounded by two pillows on each side. Moni put Peace down on the carpet and sat on the big bed beside her son. Peace began to play with dolls on the floor. Moni indicated the dressing stool for Ufuoma to sit on. She did. Moni relaxed her face a little as she looked at Ufuoma. “Now, when your mother called me yesterday, she said some things happened to you where you were staying last year.” Ufuoma’s face dropped and she kept her eyes on the floor, wringing her hands. Moni was looking at her. “What exactly happened? How did it happen?” As she talked, she listened to sounds in the living room. She expected her husband Fred to come in soon, looking for Ufuoma. The light complexioned girl breathed in and out heavily without talking. “Ufuoma?” Moni called her gently. “You can talk to me, hmm?” Ufuoma shifted her weight on the stool and was about to talk when the door of the room opened to Fred. When he saw Ufuoma, he looked surprised. He opened the door wider, still looking at Ufuoma who sat comfortably in the room he shared with Moni. No house help had entered the room since five years when they married. He looked from Ufuoma to Moni. Moni didn’t meet his eyes. She kept her eyes on Ufuoma as if she didn’t know her husband was around. Fred’s unsmiling eyes went back to Ufuoma. “Please come.”

Ufuoma stood up immediately. Moni expected this and she was prepared to confront Fred. “She’s busy now, what do you want her to do for you?” She demanded. Fred looked at his wife to explain what he wanted but changed his mind when he saw the ready-to fight look on her face. The expression on his face changed to anger. He was the husband and the head of this home! Whatever Ufuoma was doing for Moni would have to wait. He looked at Ufuoma. She didn’t seem to be doing anything, anyway. “Ufuoma, come.” He said with annoyance. Ufuoma moved to follow him. Moni raised her right hand up to stop her. “Wait!” Ufuoma looked from wife to husband in confusion. Moni asked him, “What do you want her to do for you?” Fred’s mouth parted in both surprise and anger. His wife had started again. Moni continued, “There are soft drinks and bottles of juice in the refrigerator that you can give Paseda. I don’t want Ufuoma to buy any alcoholic drink. You and your friends can do whatever you like outside, but please, not in this house, because of the children especially.” She said decisively. She would put an end to some of these things Fred was doing. This was to be a Christian family and they should not use alcohol. Her husband had stopped drinking since a year before their wedding. If he wasn’t drinking, then he should not buy it for even his friends, otherwise; he might start to drink again. Fred pointed a finger at her. “Moni, this has nothing to do with you and you can’t dictate to me what I should or should not give my friends.” Fred told Moni and then looked back at Ufuoma and repeated. “Please come.” Moni stood up, her expression - defiant. “Ufuoma, stay.” She would not allow it. Enough was enough. If he didn’t know what he was doing, she knew. Didn’t he realize that their marriage was having problems? And his bad friends, coupled with his own bad behavior were some of the causes of the problems. He lived a carefree life, as if he was not married, with no regard for her or her opinion. Deep in her heart, she knew that countering Fred’s order in the presence of Ufuoma was wrong but ... what do I do – she asked herself. She knew that as a Christian wife, she was supposed to respect her husband and trust God for necessary changes in his life. But that style didn’t seem to be working in her marriage. She had been using the respect and prayer style since they married but Fred seemed to be getting worse, behaving as he liked and taking her for granted. This was not what she expected in her marriage, this was not what he promised her when she agreed to marry him against her family’s wish. He had promised to love her and go with her to her church when she’d insisted. He’d fulfilled his promise for some months into the marriage but soon, she’d begun to notice changes

in him. He became very impatient and shouted at her a lot. But she was no fool. She had recently decided that she would have to do more than respect and trust God for changes. Fred was not the soft and easy type. He was hard and strong. It was the same qualities that drew her to him initially but now, she seemed to have had enough of the qualities. They now irritated her. She would have to be as hard as him to handle him. Surely, God would forgive her. Besides, the things the wives were being taught in the church didn’t seem to be working in her case, what was she expected to do – fold her arms and allow Fred to continue to behave as he liked? That way, the marriage would collapse completely. She would not allow it. Ufuoma looked worried and perplexed. She glanced at Moni, appealing to her to let her go with Fred. Fred almost couldn’t believe what Moni had just said. “Ufuoma, come,” he repeatedly firmly, daring Moni. “Ufuoma, stay!” Moni said, equally firmly. She was ready for him. Amoke the maid that left last month was always buying the drinks for Fred’s friends. And now, he was calling Ufuoma to start doing the same. For how long would they continue like that? She would not allow Ufuoma to go. A thought came to her mind. What would your Pastor’s wife do in this case? She frowned as she thought of it. Then it occurred to her – her pastor’s wife was married to a pastor, so she didn’t have this kind of problem. Who knows what the pastor’s wife would do given the same situation, anyway? Fred was surprised at what he was hearing from his wife. “Moni, are you out of your mind? How can I be asking Ufuoma to come and you’re telling her to stay?” he asked, his eyes blazing. “I’m not out of my mind. You are the one who doesn’t know what you are doing. You don’t seem to know what is right from what is wrong again.” Ufuoma was still looking at them with that troubled expression, her perplexity greatly increased. She was shocked at this hot exchange of words between husband and wife. She hoped she was not leaving the frying pan for fire by coming to live with this family. She would have to tell her mother. She hoped she would see her in the church tomorrow. Moni spoke again, “And I’ve told you, I don’t want to be seeing that man in this house. Let him keep away.” She told Fred, lowering her voice so that Paseda would not hear in the living room. To be continued. This story is from the novel – Tears On My Pillow. Written by Pastor Taiwo I. Odubiyi of The Still Waters Church Int. For this novel and other books by the same author, Contact: 0802-3000773, 18741229 E - m a i l : pastor@pastortaiwoodubiyi.org W e b s i t e : www.pastortaiwoodubiyi.org


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QUOTABLE “The driving force of my administration is to ensure all state capitals are treated equally in terms of public facilities and viable infrastructures.”

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL. 6, NO. 2068

—President Goodluck Jonathan, while laying the foundation stone of the federal government secretariat complex at Yenagoa, Bayelsa, on Friday

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan may look innocent and even innocuous, a visage he honed into practiced weaponry in Bayelsa State under the rotund Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and has now made dangerously beguiling, but he is certainly no pushover when it comes to realpolitik. He may not like to hear it, and his prickly and sometimes surly aides detest their boss being so qualified, yet I think it is a measure of the superiority he has achieved over his opponents that every time they encountered him in bruising political battles he always worsted them. The innocuous president showed his mettle when he battled the camorra that hid, toyed with, and manipulated the ailing former president Umaru Yar’Adua, finally taking power on the crest of popular, civil-society anchored campaign for constitutionalism. Then, with unexampled adroitness, Mr innocuous added to his mettle when he cashed in on Gen Muhammadu Buhari’s serial and egregious political blunders by riding dashingly into power on countrywide popular acceptance as the lesser of two evils. But as I have said in this place many times to the chagrin of many Jonathan aides, the president’s gentle and beguiling exterior masks a dangerous and steely interior, an interior composed of a cocktail of seething stratagems against his opponents and enemies. Jonathan’s opponents are all probably now appreciating that the man they are contending with is capable of fighting on many fronts, capable of multitasking even though he seems gently naïve and narrow-minded, and capable of talking shop calmly and interchangeably on democracy and dictatorship, both of which he is at once indifferent and amenable to. It is not surprising that this innocuous president managed during the 2011 electioneering, and by an extraordinary feat of psychological and political fecundity, to give the impression he was uninterested in a fresh term once he secured our mandate for the 2011-2015 presidency. I am not sure where that wholly misleading impression came from: whether from his beguiling visage or from our boisterous inattention to details. Perhaps we had it in mind that given the acrimonious background of his election, whereby he upstaged the North which was clamouring to complete the late Yar’Adua’s tenure, Jonathan would be too glad to secure a fouryear mandate than to attempt a potentially fatal repeat in 2015. Notwithstanding where we got the impression, everything seems to suggest we were grossly mistaken. An impatient and testy North, for reasons I cannot quite fathom, has blurted out through self-appointed spokesmen that Jonathan should perish his interest in third

Jonathan, second term, third term and the politics of grammar

•Goodluck Jonathan

•Junaid Mohammed

term. Third term? So, where did they put second term? Did they by some quaint arithmetic imagine that by completing Yar’Adua’s first term, Jonathan had somehow used up his own first term? That logic may not be universal in the North, but the region is still chafing that it lost power in 2009 to think rationally about when first term started and second term began, not to talk of third term. It was not until presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, responded to the Coalition of Northern Leaders’ allegation of ‘sinister third term agenda’ that I knew we had moved beyond the grammar of politics to the politics of grammar. After their meeting in Abuja on Thursday, the northern coalition convened by fiery ideologue, Dr Junaid Mohammed, alleged that the Jonathan government was surreptitiously working for a third term agenda or, failing that, tenure extension through the Justice Alfa Belgore constitutional amendment committee. According to the coalition, “The (North) noted with concern and regret the goings-on in the constitutional amendment committee set up by the federal government under a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore, where it has become clear that both the Villa and the

chairman are relentlessly pursuing a sinister third term agenda/renewed tenure elongation for the president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.” Replying, however, Abati suggested it was strange that any group of people could claim the president was after third term. “Every intelligent man in this country,” thundered Abati with undisguised sarcasm, “knows that President Jonathan is in his first term in office. So, how have they suddenly jumped from first term to third term? From the point of view of arithmetic, even their claim cannot stand.” If anyone was in doubt that Jonathan had second term ambition, Abati’s arithmetical profundity should disabuse the doubter’s mind. You can now consider it official that Jonathan, notwithstanding the gravity of his situation, his hesitant approach to grave security challenges, his uncertain understanding of deep economic issues, and his obvious lack of gravitas in responding to the dynamics of power, will almost certainly throw his hat into the ring for 2015. The northern coalition was seduced by unfounded arithmetical presumption to accuse the president of third term ambition. The coalition assumed an unrealistic and impracticable sense of moderation in the

Kogi State and brilliant piece of juridical jousting

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T is not often that mere advertorials in newspapers generate as much passion as the ones pertaining to the fierce contest for the Kogi State governorship. Drawing first blood in December last year were two groups of interested parties, namely Kogi Youth Liberation Movement, and Kogi Re-birth. They stirred controversy over the mental balance of Captain Idris Ichalla Wada, a former pilot who lately won the governorship seat of Kogi State. The controversy centred on the treatment allegedly received by Wada for schizophrenia at the University College Hospital (UCH) in the mid-1970s. The insinuation is that a mentally incompetent person could not run for the governorship, let alone win and govern with the moderation and balance required by the constitution. (A schizophrenic is emotionally unstable and detached from reality, moody and withdrawn). It is presumed that after many weeks of investigation, the UCH authorities fi-

nally found out that the allegation that Wada received treatment at the hospital was unfounded. They, therefore, issued a disclaimer signed by Professor Temitope Alonge, the medical director, tersely suggesting that the “alleged medical records has no ROOT as the Medical Archives and Records at the disposal of the hospital does not have or contain such documents.” Please, ignore their lexical quaintness; it is permitted. The hospital then advised the public to disregard the publications by the interested Kogi groups, even as it dissociated itself from the records relied on in the advertorials. Soon after, however, the ordinary case of publication and refutation assumed a curious dimension. In a letter addressed to Professor Alonge, the legal firm of Bola Aidi & Co. insisted that it had sighted the disputed medical records and even gone further to make photocopies. It named names of doctors who supervised the Wada case and cited dates of referrals. Thereafter the

fireworks began. The law firm read meaning to Alonge’s refutation by insinuating that the medical records were probably destroyed or tampered with. If that was done, the lawyers ominously reminded UCH’s medical director, it would be a crime. The law firm then switched on to high gear by asking UCH to retract its publication denying the existence of Wada’s medical records. If it failed to do so within 48 hours starting from last Friday, the lawyers warned, they would sue. For effect, they then attached photocopies of the presumed inexistent records with the letter to the medical director so that he “would be properly advised before putting (his) career on the line for ulterior motives.” If this threat is not potent enough to shut the medical director up, expect his lawyers to fire back with incendiary language of their own. Even as I wish the contending groups more power to their elbows as they engage in juridic jousting, I intend to book the state box near the ring.

president, and guessed he would play the gentleman and visionary in relinquishing power so as to reduce or eliminate political tension in the country. But both the coalition’s presumption and expectation conveniently omitted the simple fact that stares everybody in the face, to wit, that both legally and even in the ordinary sense, the president is still within his rights to aspire to a second term, for there is no conceivable legal gymnastics to transmute his completion of Yar’Adua’s term into his first term. If Jonathan gets re-elected in 2015, Yar’Adua’s uncompleted tenure will be considered as nothing but an extra gift – a political bonus. It is an exaggeration of illusion to talk of a Jonathan third term ambition. There is nothing third term about the president’s fancy manoeuvres. But he will probably aspire to a second term because he often experiences dreadful unease matching his occluded vision with his disproportionately grandiose ambition. He may have done nothing to earn respect within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but like many other African presidents, most of them intellectual and idiosyncratic misfits in power, Jonathan will assume, and be convinced, that he merits a second term. He will probably approach 2015 with that exaggerated appreciation of his output, of his competence, and of the growth and development of the country under his watch. Under a curious amnesiac regimen, he will edit out the tragedies occasioned by his inexpert handling of the economy and the acute dithering that has exacerbated the security nightmare engendered by terrorism. The first herculean task Jonathan will face is how to convince his party to give him the opportunity to be the standardbearer in 2015. But as far as precedents go, which make an incumbent always difficult to beat for the party ticket, Jonathan, the modern Nigerian exponent of brinkmanship, may yet pick the flag. If he does, however, he is likely to discover that his party will fracture badly as a result. Much worse, his ambition may even circumscribe his party’s capacity to successfully fight the coming polls. I do not think the president can halt the festering problem of terrorism, nor, judging from the foreign economic panaceas he is frolicking with, and which are pauperising his people, is he likely to achieve the kind of economic turnaround required to make his race for the plum job worth running. Jonathan’s decision to run for the presidency last year severely tested the fragile unity of the PDP. The party surmounted that test only because the pecuniary ties that bound its leading apparatchiks and jobholders together proved barely sufficient to make the party hold together by the most tenuous of threads. That unity will again be tested much more severely in 2015 if Jonathan runs. This time around, there will be enough ingredients in the broth to make the party sunder irreparably, thereby handing over the reins of power to a more realistically ambitious party. There is nothing on the ground to dissuade the president from running; not any age limit, for he is still strong, young and healthy; nor term limit, for he is constitutionally permitted to enter the race; and he seems able and even likely to crush dissent within the party. But that will be as far as he can get. The battle is of course not yet joined, and there seems to be still some more time for the equation and the balance to tilt one way or the other. However, if the sentiments in many parts of the country are factored into the race, not least the overwhelming discontent pervading the polity, I think the president has few friends left, having alienated key elements that made his ascension to power first in 2009 and then in 2011 possible. When the time comes, they will ask for their pound of flesh, and it will not matter whether the retribution is sanguinary or not.

Published by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025, Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor - 08033510610, Marketing: 4520939, Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Telephone: 07028105302 E-mail: sunday@thenationonlineng.net Editor: FESTUS ERIYE


The Nation March 18, 2012