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VOL. 6, NO. 1755 TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
Jonathan names 22-man panel to probe violence THE PANEL
Sheikh Lemu leads ex-Lagos deputy governor, others
HY were the April elections accompanied by so much violence? This is the question the Federal Government is battling to answer. A 22-man committee to lead the search for answers was named yesterday by the President. It is headed by Sheikh Ahmed Lemu (chairman). After President Goodluck Jonathan was pronounced winner of the April 16 election, supporters of the rival Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) went berserk in the North. Nine Youth Corps members were killed. Many other residents were displaced. Homes were torched. But the panel will not limit its job to the post-election violence; it will look into the various crises that occurred before and after the elections, which was widely hailed as free and fair. Specifically, the Lemu Committee will examine the pre-election violence in Akwa Ibom as well as the violence that greeted the
•Sheikh Ahmed Lemu •Justice Samson Uwaifo •Mr. F. F. Ogunshakin •Mrs. Lateefat Okunnu •Ajibola Ogunsola •Father Idowu Feron •Muhammadu Danmadami •M. B. Wali •Mrs. Timiebi A. Koripamo-Agary •Comrade Peter Esele •Muhammed Ibrahim •Prof. Femi Odekunle •Amb. Ralph Uwuche •Bukar Usman •Sheikh Adam Idoko •Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Said •Mr. P.C. Okorie •Mr. Shamsuna Ahmed •Maj.-Gen. L. P. Ngubane •Sani Maikudi •Rear Admiral I. Hotonu •A serving NYSC member
From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
President’s re-election in some states in the North. It will recommend how to stop the flow of weapons into the country. Justice Samson Uwaifo is the committee’s Vice Chairman. Mr. F. F. Ogunshakin is the secretary. Other members include former Deputy Governor of Lagos State Mrs. Lateefat Okunnu, immediate past Chairman of Punch Newspapers Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, Rev. Father Idowu Feron, Alhaji Muhammadu Danmadami, M. B. Wali, Mrs. Timiebi A. Koripamo-Agary, Comrade Peter Esele, Alhaji Muhammed Ibrahim, Prof. Femi Odekunle, Amb. Ralph Uwuche, Alhaji Bukar Usman, Sheikh Adam Idoko, Major General Mohammed Said, Mr. P.C. Okorie, Mr. Shamsuna Ahmed, an architect, Major General L. P. Ngubane, Alhaji Sani Maikudi, Rear Admiral I. Hotonu, and a serving member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
According to a news release signed by Mr. Femi Olayisade, a Permanent Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the panel, which will be inaugurated tomorrow, was also mandated to look into the remote
cause(s) of the pre-election violence in Akwa-Ibom and also the sources of the weapons used during the various election-related crises. The panel is to determine the number of lives lost and
those injured and, above all, investigate the sources of weapons used in the unrest. The President had in his recent address to the nation said he planned to look into the remote cause(s) of the sporadic unrest that envel-
oped some parts of the North, following the presidential election. The panel is to: •ascertain the number of persons who died or got inContinued on page 2
Six arraigned for alleged N12b pension fraud
A •EFCC chair Mrs Waziri
FEDERAL High Court, Abuja has granted bail to six persons charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with a N12 billion pension fraud. They were arraigned alongside 26 companies on a 134-count charge bordering on corruption, abuse of office and advance fee fraud, The court discharged Mohammed Katun Ahmed and a company from the charge. This followed an application by
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
the prosecution counsel, Mr. Godwin Obla, who told Justice Adamu Bello that Ahmed was meant to be a witness. The six accused persons are former Director of the Pensions Department, Office of the Head of Service, Dr. S. T. Shuaibu, his former Deputy, Mrs. Phina Chidi and his personal assistant, Aliyu Bello. Others are: Abdullahi Omeiza, Garba Abdullahi Tahir and
Emmanuel Olanipekun, who allegedly served as conduit for siphoning the cash from the system. They all pleaded not guilty to the charge. Counsel to the accused persons urged the court to grant them bail on liberal terms. They asked the court to consider that the accused persons are civil servants and have not violated the terms of their administrative bail. But Obla told the court that even though he had filed a counter affidavit opposing the applications for bail dated
May 6, he would concede to the applications on certain terms. He urged the court to make an order that will secure the attendance of the accused persons for trial. Besides, the accused persons must be told to appear before EFCC every Monday as investigations are still underway, the lawyer said. Obla also urged the court to validate the power of the anti graft agency to hold on to the international passports Continued on page 2
•MARITIME P17 •SPORTS P23 •PROPERTY P25 •ENERGY P37 •AVIATION P43
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
Our hope dashed, say parents of slain NYSC members
A Rufus Gbenjo, 73, and Madam Sarah Gbenjo, 71, parents of Ebenezer, one of the NYSC members slain in the postelection violence in Bauchi on April 18, say that their hope of better living have been dashed. They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday that they had looked up to Ebenezer as the family’s ‘messiah’. When reporters visited the family home of the late Ebenezer at Isale Obada area in Gbongan, headquarters of Ayedaade Local Government Area of Osun, the parents were still in deep sorrow and in anguish. According to Madam Gbenjo, Ebenezer, the last child of the family and his immediate elder sister, Funmilade, were the two graduates produced by the family. She said: “The two are the promising children among the five children of my union with Pa Rufus Gbenjo, a retired driver from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. “Two of our children are deaf and dumb, while the third one is a photographer and they all depend on us for survival, despite our poor state of living. “Funmilade, who graduated with masters degree since 2006, has no job. “Ebenezer was always consoling us; assuring us that an end would soon come to our poverty; promising to cater for the other siblings, who are handicapped.’’ The parents appealed to the Federal and State Government to assist the family by giving Funmilade a job to enable her cater for the family needs. Ebenezer was a graduate of Economic Education from the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Ogun
State. He was serving in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area in Bauchi State, where he was recruited as one of the electoral officers by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and posted to Giade town where he was during the post-election violence. According to Funmilade, Ebenezer and the other youth corps members met their death at the Giade Police Station where they sought refuge when the violence broke out. They, however, were not protected as they were attacked and killed by the rioters. She wondered why the police, whose primary duty was the protection of lives and properties, could not save the lives of his brother and other slain corpers. Funmilade appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan not to allow the perpetrators of the crime to go unpunished, lamenting that the demise of her brother had added to her burden. “I looked up to Ebenezer as my companion, who would support me in taking care of our aged parents but he has gone; left me to face the task alone without a job,’’she lamented. Meanwhile, Mr Adeniji Adesiyan, the elder brother to the late Jelili Adeniji, the second slain corps member from the area, has urged the security agents to fish out those responsible for the killing of the NYSC members. According to Adeniji, only the prosecution and conviction of the killers will reduce the pain and shock inflicted by Jelili’s death. Jelili, a banking and finance graduate from the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUAA), Ondo State, was killed at the
Corpers’ Lodge in Bauchi by the rioters. The bereaved brother expressed concern over the health of his aged mother, which had deteriorated immediately she heard the news of Jelili’s death. While Ebenezer was buried on May 2, at Saint Peter’s Anglican Church Cemetary, Oke Apata, Gbongan, after a church service, Jelili was buried amidst tears on the following day, according to Muslim rites in his father’s compound at Isale-Oja area of the town, about 500 meters away from Ebenezer’s compound. The presiding priest at St. Peters Church, Rev Oladayo Olaniran, called on the Federal Government to compensate the families of the slain corps members and to ensure that the killers faced justice. The two burial services attracted the state’s Deputy Governor, Mrs Grace LaoyeTomori, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Moshood Adeoti and the Chief of Staff (COS) to the Governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola. The Osun Head of Service, Elder Segun Akinwusi and Mrs Clara Babatunde, NYSC South-West zonal coordinator, who represented the Director-General of NYSC, Brig. Gen Ismaila Tsiga, were among dignitaries who attended the burial services. Mrs. Laoye-Tomori, who spoke on behalf of her boss, Rauf Aregbesola, at the burial of the duo, promised that the state government would assist the families of the slain corps members. She described the late corps members as national heroes, who died in the course of national assignment. She also used the occasion to thank the President for his concern for the bereaved families.
‘PDP not afraid of Buhari’s petition’
HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not afraid of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s Party’s petition against its electoral victory, the party declared yesterday. Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) on Sunday filed a petition against President Goodluck Jonathan’s victory in the April 16 presidential election. The CPC urged the tribunal to nullify the outcome of the election in 20 states where the PDP candidate garnered majority of the votes that gave him victory. National Publicity Secretary of the PDP Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali, who spoke to reporters after the National Working Committee (NWC) meeting in Abuja said since Nigerians and the global community commended the transparent manner the election was conducted; there was no basis for the PDP to be anxious about the petition filed by the CPC. Alkali said: “You all witnessed how the election was conducted. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was commended
From Sanni Ologun, Abuja
by both the Local and International Observers over the transparent manner it was conducted. I don’t know the basis for anyone to be afraid. PDP has no reason to be afraid. “It is the right of anyone who loses election to go to court. If you stop him what will be the basis to do that?” Alkali said the PDP demonstrated a lot of maturity be-
fore, during and after the general election despite the huge losses it suffered in some states. “We lost five states namely Nasarawa, Zamfara, Imo, Oyo and Ogun. This is a sacrifice that is very high for a political party. We also lost several seats in the National Assembly. For us, this is a very huge loss but we also gained Kano state. Continued on page 57
•Minister of State Finance, Hajia Yabawa Lawan Wabi (right), Managing Director, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, Alh. Umaru Ibrahim and Executive Director, Operations NDIC Prince Aghatise Erediauwa during a workshop on Resolution of problem Abuja ... yesterday PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE
Who is who on the panel
HAIRMAN, Dr. Sheikh Ahmed Lemu He is a former grand Khadi, Niger State. He was appointed Chancellor of the Fountain University, Osogbo, Osun State. He has written many books on Islam. He currently heads the Islamic Trust in Minna, Niger State. Vice Chairman Justice Samson Odemwingie Uwaifo He retired as a Justice of the Supreme Court in January 2005 and has since acted as a Legal Consultant, particularly in the area of litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Justice Uwaifo has, for several years acted both in the capacity of Sole Arbitrator and Chairman of various arbitration panels. Justice Uwaifo’s over 40 years experience in the legal profession spanned 10 years at the Bar and 30 years on the higher Bench. He has served on many panels including being chairman of Osun State Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Chief Ajibola Ogunshola He is the immediate past Chairman of Punch and outgoing President of Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN). In 2000, he was a member, Presidential Committee on the Harmonisation of Public Sector and Public Service. Ogunshola was born on July 14, 1944. He attended the University of Ibadan and the Institute of Actuaries, the United Kingdom. Professor Femi Odekunle A graduate of the University of Ibadan in 1968, he bagged his Ph.D. in sociology and social psychiatry from
Jonathan names 22-man panel Continued from page 1
jured during the violence; •identify the spread and extent of loss and damage to means of livelihood and assess the cost of damage to personal and public properties and places of worship and make appropriate recommendations; •investigate the sources of weapons used in the unrest and recommend how to stem the tide of illegal flow of such weapons to the country; and to •examine any other matter incidental or relevant to the unrest and advise the government as appropriate. the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, in the United States in 1974. He taught at the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria, Kaduna State, from 1970 to early 1990. In 1994, he was appointed the Chairman, Advisory Committee to Chief of General Staff (CGS) General Oladipo Diya on Socio-Political and Economic Matters. Lateefat Okunnu Born on December 3, 1939, Mrs. Okunnu graduated in 1972 from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was Deputy Governor, Lagos State between 1990 and 1991, Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) between 1992 and 1993; Chairman, Board of Trustees, the Family Support Trust Fund, Lagos State (1995) and currently President, Federation of Muslim Women’s Organisations. Alhaji Mohammed Danmadami (CON) He retired from the Nigeria Police in 1983 as an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP). He was Chairman, Board of Directors, First Bank of Nigeria Plc. Born in 1936, Alhaji Danmadami attended the Nigerian College of Arts, Sci-
ence and Technology, Zaria between 1955 and 1957; the Southern Police College of Nigeria (1958-59) and the International Police Academy, Washington, the United States in 1970. Dr. Bukar Usman Born on November 11, 1965 in Ngala, Borno State, he attended the School of Basic Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1986 and 87) and later at the University of Maiduguri between 1988 and 1994. He was Chairman, Nigeria Veterinary Medical Association, Borno State chapter (2004-2005), Vice Chiarman, Academic Staff Union, College of Agriculture, Maiduguri; and has been the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Borno State since 2009. Chukwu Ralph Uwechue An indigene of OgwashiUku, Delta State, Uwechue was born in 1935. He attended the University College (now University of Ibadan) between 1956 and 60. He served as an Ambassador to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Mission in Cote d’ Ivoire and later Minister of Health in 1993. He was elected President of Pan-Igbo group, Ohaneze Ndigbo in 2008.
Six arraigned in Abuja Continued from page 1
•The accused/applicants and officials of the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation PHOTO: NAN (OHCSF), coming out of the witness box ... yesterday.
of the accused persons and to consider that some of the offences with which they are charged attract a jail term of 10 years without an option of fine. In granting the accused persons bail, Justice Adamu Bello said he considered the concession made by the prosecution and the adherence of the accused persons to the terms of their administrative bail. He granted them bail in the sum of N10 million with one surety each. The sureties must own landed property worth the bail sum within the
jurisdiction of the court. The title of the property is to be verified by the Court’s Deputy Chief Registrar. The accused persons will also deposit their international passports with the Chief Registrar of the court and must not travel without the court’s permission. They will also report to the EFCC every Monday, until investigations are concluded. The court ordered that they should be remanded in prison custody, if the bail conditions are not met. The case has been adjourned till June 30 for trial.
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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
• Students of College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti protesting the hike in their school fees by the institution..... yesterday. Story on Page 56
Why there was violence in the North, by CPC
HE Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) yesterday explained the cause of violence in some parts of the North after Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared President Goodluck Jonathan winner of the April 16 election. Expressing its “heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the families of those who lost their lives or property”, the party said the violence “was the by product of the determination to win elections by an incumbent by any means which has always characterised such actions by historical antecedence”. The CPC maintained that its members which it described as “responsible and disciplined” could not have in any way subscribed to the perpetration of any evil much less of encouraging any. The party, at a press conference addressed by its National Legal Adviser, Abubakar Malami (SAN) in Abuja also explained why it filed, a petition against the victory of the President who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Malami said the decision to seek redress is not about fighting for leadership but “about establishing and ascertaining the truth for the country”. “To this end, this is a case for the nation and should completely tran-
•Party explains reasons for challenging Jonathan’s victory From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
scend party affiliation and regional considerations. The case should be taken by all Nigerians in the spirit of no victor no vanquished as propagated by the President and as a responsive search for the truth for our country”. Malami said the irregularities that marred the election must not go unchallenged as that has been a major problem threatening the unity and stability of the country. “We cannot, therefore, sit by and allow these electoral misdemeanours rocking the very foundation of our country’s stability, prosperity and unity to continue unchecked forever. Since Independence, the major political problem of our country has been that of elections. Transiting from one government to the other through the ballot box has always been the most difficult aspect of the nation’s democratic experiment,” Malami said. Acknowledging that it has always been difficult to prove electoral malpractices in the past because of lack of cogent evidence, Malami, who is the lead counsel in the case, said CPC would depend mainly on the authentication and verification of the fingerprints on the disputed ballot papers cast; and an electromechanical
optical scan device to prove its case. Justifying the decision of the party to go to the tribunal, he wondered why there was 47 per cent voters turnout at the President’s polling unit while the rest of Bayelsa State recorded 87 per cent voters’ turnout, with a total of 96 per cent voting for the President. “One would have expected that if there was going to be a massive voters’ turnout, no other place would have surpassed the President’s own unit. Because this unit comprises his close and distant relatives – his parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties, cousins, nephews, childhood friends, etc. But surprisingly, not half of these people came out to vote for their own, yet the rest of Bayelsa and the Southsouth turned out over 90 per cent to vote for “their son”. The truth is that the President did not want anything to cause problem in his ballot box which would have embarrassed him politically. So, that box was guarded against any malpractice and so what came out of the box was actually what transpired; but the rest of Bayelsa and others can do as they pleased. This is electoral fraud personified!” Malami said: “Our national history has, however, taught us that the determination to win elections by
incumbents by any means has always given birth to spontaneous reactions in the form of break down of law and order. “We recall the anger of the people of the Western Region in 1965 and the people of Ondo state in 1983 against the use of federal might to dislodge opposition governments in the South west in favour of the ruling parties at the federal level with concocted results. The people spontaneously rose against these barbaric actions of the government. Police stations and houses of prominent NNA and NPN supporters were burnt and many people killed. In the case of Ondo state, the judicial decision that ceded Ondo back to the UPN came within the context of citizens’ determined effort to protect their votes. We are all living witnesses that the nation’s democracy suffered irreparably as a result. To us in the CPC, it is our belief that the break down of law and order that ensued after the declaration of President Goodluck Jonathan as the President-elect on the basis of concocted results was the bye product of the determination to win elections by incumbents by any means which has always characterized such actions by historical antecedence.
EFCC to arraign Akingbola, Adigwe over fresh theft charges today F
ORMER Managing Directors of Intercontinental Bank Plc and Afribank Plc, Dr Erastus Akingbola and Sebastine Adigwe, are to be arraigned at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, today. While Akingbola has been listed for arraignment before Justice Habib Abiru, the judge that will preside over Adigwe’s case was not named. The arraignment of the Former Managing Director of Finbank, Okey Nwosu, is fixed for May 16 before Justice Lateefat Okunnu. However, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which filed all the charges, has informed the court that the date was too long. It filed a motion praying the court to abridge the time. Justice Okunnu will hear the application today and rule on whether Nwosu will be arraigned earlier than next Monday. Last Wednesday EFCC failed to arraign Akingbola as planned. Akingbola was also not arraigned at the Federal High Court, Lagos. It was
By Joseph Jibueze
learnt that the charges were still being filed last week. Akingbola was rearrested by EFCC over fresh N47.15 billion money laundering charges along with Nwosu and Adigwe. Akingbola was to be arraigned on a 29-count charge. Before he was rearrested last Tuesday, he was already facing corrupt and money laundering charges before Justice Charles Archibong of the Federal High Court, Lagos. It was learnt that the prosecution might have decided to try the bank chiefs at the Lagos High Court because much progress was not being made of the cases involving the eight rescued banks at the Federal High Court. The EFCC also filed a 26-count amended charge against Akingbola on December 13, last year. But Akingbola, in a motion filed by his law-
yer, Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN), challenged the validity of the amended charge. Urging the court to dismiss the charge, he said the prosecution was pursuing a piece-meal prosecution to its detriment. According to him an ended, 22-count charge, dated January 26, last year, had been filed by the EFCC. Akingbola, Adigwe and Nwosu, ran three of the eight troubled banks, that got a government bailout through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Also arrested were the former directors. A charge sheet reads: “That you Erastus B.O. Akingbola, whilst being the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Intercontinental Bank Plc sometime in March, 2009, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court stole property of Intercontinental Bank Plc by fraudu-
EFCC chair Mrs. Farida Waziri
lently converting same to your own use. “This is stealing, contrary to Section 390(7) of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 17 Laws of Lagos State 2003.”
PHOTO: TOYIN ANISULOWO
Court rules in Kudirat Abiola murder case May 31 By Eric Ikhilae A LAGOS High Court at Igbosere will on May 31 rule on an application brought by the state in the trial of detained Major Hamza aLMustapha for the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. In the motion, prosecuting Lagos State Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Lawal Pedro (SAN), is seeking to reopen the prosecution’s case. The purpose, Pedro told Justice Mojisola Dada, is to enable Commissioner of Police Fari Yusuf to complete his evidence and be cross-examined by the defence. Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha; Chief Superintendent of Police Rabo Lawal and an aide to the late Mrs Abiola, Lateef Shofolahan, are standing trial on a two-count charge of conspiracy and murder. Moving the application, Pedro argued it was peculiar, adding that the court acted on the request of the defendants when it earlier closed the prosecution’s case despite its efforts to produce witnesses in court. He said the application was not meant to damage the case or introduce new issues, urging the court to allow the witness who had earlier appeared to conclude his evidence. Defence counsel Olalekan Ojo opposed the application, and accusing the prosecution of “prosecutory lethargy” either due to ignorance or sheer mischief. He said that the prosecution’s request could not be granted in line with Section 197 of the Administration of Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2007. Ojo said where the case of a party is closed by an order of court because of failure of the party to produce witness, such an order could not be vacated by the same court. He said what was left for the prosecution was to appeal the court’s decision. Ojo urged the court to dismiss the application, alleging that the the prosecution has been holding the court to ransom for more than four months. Al-Mustapha and others are accused of being involved in the 1996 murder of Mrs. Abiola, whose husband, the lateChief M.K.O Abiola won the annulled June 12 1993, presidential election. Justice Dada closed the prosecution’s case over its failure to produce its witnesses in court.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
PRESENTATION OF CERTIFICATES OF RETURN TO ELECTED OFFICIALS
•Lagos State Governor-elect Babatunde Fashola (right) greeting the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola after receiving his Certificate of Return at the Independent National Electoral (INEC) Office, Yaba... yesterday. With them are National Electoral Commissioner in charge of Lagos, Oyo and Ogun states, Prince Deji Soyebi (middle) and Alahji Yerima Umar, Administrative Secretary
•Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam (right) being assisted by his Kebbi State counterpart Seidu Dakingari to display his certificate in Makurdi... yesterday. With them is Suswam’s Deputy Chief Steven Lawani
•Senator-elect (Lagos Central) Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu taking her turn •Kano State Governor -elect Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso (right) after taking his certificate
•Re-elected Senator Ganiyu Solomon (Lagos West) right, being congratulated By Prince Soyebi after receiving his certificate Re-elected Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda(middle) receiving his certificate.. yesterday
•Soyebi (left) presenting Senator-elect (Lagos East) Gbenga Asafa with his certificate
•Re-elected House of Representatives member Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa receving her certificate
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
Fashola, Tinubu’s wife, get INEC certificates G O V E R N O R B a b a t u n d e Fashola; Senatorelect for Lagos Central Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu and other members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) that won elective positions in Lagos State yesterday received their Certificates of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Receiving the certificate at INEC headquarters in Yaba, Lagos, Fashola praised the commission for ensuring credible polls. He said: “I thank Lagosians for their mandate and praise INEC for the good job. In spite of the challenges, they have delivered an election that has been credible by many standards would benefit this country.
By Miriam Ndikanwu
“The general acceptability of the elections would signal so many other things, including fewer electoral petitions. Those who lost are beginning to congratulate winners and accept defeat. “This is a measure of the transparent process you have put in place. We have all worked together to achieve this success and I hope this spirit of sportsmanship would become embedded in our national life.” Fashola said the successful election would usher in political and economic stability. He urged INEC to register those who turned 18 after
the voter’s registration and delete names of deceased persons before subsequent elections. Fashola thanked the opposition for making the contest worth while. He said: “They challenged us to bring out our best. Without them, there would not have been such an electoral competition, robust debates and exchange of developmental ideas.” Mrs. Tinubu said the certificate was a mark that the elections were over and it is time for those elected to work. She said: “It is time to do the job we were elected for. We are a bunch of people with common goals and vi-
sion. We have seen what the economy is like and the structures on ground; I believe we will all work together for the progress of the state and the country. “It is sad that women are not well represented in governance and the onus lies on those of us that will represent them to set a good standard for others. We are going there as selfless people interested in the good of the people.” Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Prof. Adekunle Ogunmola presented certificates to Fashola, three senators-elect, 24 House of Representatives members-elect and 40 House of Assembly members-elect, who all won on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
Lagos Assembly hears Auditor-General’s Bill By Oziegbe Okoeki
HE Auditor-General’s Bill before the Lagos State House of Assembly will give more power and independence to the Office of the Auditor-General, when it is passed into law. Speaking on behalf of Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade stated this yesterday at the public hearing of the bill. The bill is tagged: “A law to provide for the Office of the Auditor-General of Lagos State and for collected purposes.” It seeks to establish a commission for the office and take it out of the mainstream civil service, thereby giving it power to run its affairs independently. Agunbiade said the bill will strengthen the appropriation, collection and disbursement of government funds. He said: “We are trying to strengthen that institution and ensure that it is more independent, functional and virile to do its job appropriately.” Stakeholders at the hearing, including representatives of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) and professional Accountants, hailed the bill and suggested minor amendments.
Ekiti communities hail Afe Babalola for repairing road
ESIDENTS of Aba Efun and Aba Igbira communities in Ado-Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti State have praised the proprietor of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), for rehabilitating the Polytechnic Road. The school’s management patched bad portions on the road, which residents said was gradually becoming desolate because of its deplorable state. A resident, Mr. Olawale Adeshola, said: “As busy as this road ought to be, commercial vehicles have almost abandoned it. We thank Aare Babalola for coming to our rescue. “We urge relevant government agencies, especially the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), to intervene and fix this road.”
HE Ekiti State Government has assured its citizens participating in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), who were evacuated from Bauchi State during the post election crises, that it would facilitate their redeployment. Deputy Governor Funmi Olayinka gave the assurance yesterday in her office in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, while receiving the corps members, who sought the government’s intervention in their redeployment. Mrs. Olayinka, who was
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS), Mrs. Sade Obioha, thanked God for the lives of corps members who escaped the mayhem. She also commiserated with the families of those who died. Mrs. Olayinka urged the corps members to see the incident as a challenge to
‘Let the NYSC redeploy us to Ekiti or any other state in the Southwest, where we will not experience a recurrence’
strive harder for a progressive nation where true federalism reigns.
Spokesman of the corps members Adenipekun Adeyemi thanked the government for coming to their rescue. He said: “We appeal to our father, Governor Kayode Fayemi, to assist us further by pursuing our redeployment. We want to complete our service year but not in Bauchi State. The horror we went through would not allow us to cope. “Let the NYSC redeploy us to Ekiti or any other state in the Southwest, where we will not experience a recurrence.”
From Toyin Anisulowo, Ado-Ekiti
Another resident, Miss Tayo Owolabi, said: “Farmers coming from the area have increased the prices of farm produce. They said they are now paying more on transportation. We thank ABUAD for making the road manageable.”
Probe Oyo council chiefs, youths urge ICPC, EFCC
•Senate President David Mark (right) celebrates with former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman and senator-elect for Benue Northeast Chief Barnabas Gemade after receiving his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral PHOTO: NAN Commission (INEC) in Makurdi, Benue State…yesterday
Ekiti to facilitate redeployment of corps members T
From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo
HE Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have been urged to probe caretaker chairmen in
the 33 Local Governments in Oyo State. A Youth Forum on Good Governance made the call yesterday in Oyo town. The forum’s spokesman, Akeem Idris, said in spite of huge allocations to local governments, infrastructures are lacking and the standard of living is poor. He said: “The caretaker chairmen have embezzled funds meant for projects, while those executed are sub-standard. These council chairmen continue to swim in an ocean of ill-gotten wealth at the detriment of the suffering masses. “If the EFCC and ICPC are truly committed to good governance, their searchlights must be beamed on local government officials. The youths praised the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, and his team for the peaceful conduct of the last general elections. They urged President Goodluck Jonathan to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians and fight corruption.
Amosun inaugurates Ogun re-building team
GUN State governor– elect Senator Ibikunle Amosun yesterday inaugurated six committees to draw up practical blue prints on how to re- build the state. They committees and their heads are Education, Prof. Sherifdeen Tella; Health, Dr Lawan Odusoga; Agriculture, Rural Development and Industrialisation, Prof. Bola Okunneye; Lands, Housing
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
and Urban Renewal Mr Dipo Onabanjo; O. Solarin Budget and Economic Planning; Security and Judiciary, Dr. Kanyisola Ajayi (SAN). Amosun said they will help his administration develop a holistic and realistic policy document that will “drive rapid development,
reposition the state and empower people.” Addressing the committees and chieftains of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the June 12 Cultural Centre in Abeokuta, the state capital, Amosun said: “Things have gone awry in Ogun State. We grew up with water running and good roads. It is a shame we find ourselves here today. We want to re–
invent those good old days that made Ogun thick.” Amosun, who received his Certificate of Return earlier yesterday from the National Secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Alh. Abdullahi Kaigama, urged other newly elected officers to reflect on how projects can be funded, given the “precarious finances” of the state.
He assured residents that the electoral promises of the ACN, such as affordable qualitative education, efficient healthcare delivery, increased agriculture production, industrialisation, housing, urban renewal, rural development and employment, would be fulfilled. Onabanjo urged Amosun to implement the recommendations of the committees.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
NEWS Free training for residents
Explosion rocks PPMC Warri depot
From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt
•JTF: it was not sabotage
HERE was an exploRIVERS State Government is sion yesterday at the to give free Information and Tanker Loading Bay Communications Technology of the Pipelines and Prod(ICT) training to residents. uct Marketing Company The Special Adviser to the (PPMC), near the Warri Regovernor on ICT, Goodlife finery and Petrochemical Mmekini, made this known in Company, Delta State. Port Harcourt, the state capital, The explosion shook the yesterday. complex and the nearby He said more than 3,600 Ubeji and Ekpan communicivil servants will be trained ties. in another programme. Residents thought an atMmekini said the governtack by militants was on, ment was looking forward to particularly against the partner with the private sector backdrop of last week’s to expand the ICT revolution. threat by the Coalition of “The training is a three Niger Delta Militants to atweek programme and it is tack oil facilities. designed for all residents, The Joint Task Force whether indigene or non(JTF) spokesperson, Lt-Col. indigene, so long as you pay Timothy Antigha, ruled your tax,” he said. out sabotage.
Youths allege violent plot
By Tajudeen Adebanjo
A GROUP, Ibadan Youth Progressive Union, yesterday alerted the Oyo State Police Command on an imminent plot to create chaos in the state. A statement by the union’s spokesman, Fagbemi Odunlade, alleged that the duo of Mukaila Lamidi alias Auxiliary and Abubakar Tawa are planning to make the state ungovernable for the Governor-elect, Senator Abiola Ajimobi. Odunlade said Lamidi and Tawa belonged to the camps of Governor Adebayo AlaoAkala and Senator Rasheed Ladoja. The Chief Press Secretary to Alao-Akala, Prince Dotun Oyelade said he had no comment on the allegation. Ladoja’s media aide Lanre Latinwo said the former governor has nothing to do with any members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
Iwuanyanwu greets Okorocha A MEMBER of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has congratulated Imo State Governor-elect, Chief Rochas Okorocha, on his victory. Iwuanyanwu said in a statement yesterday in Owerri that Okorocha won in spite of the odds against him. “I wish to use this medium to send my hearty congratulations to Owelle Rochas Okorocha on his election as the governor-elect of Imo State. “He fought and won a very heroic battle. He was elected amidst overwhelming odds,” Iwuanyanwu said. There is still a heavy presence of security operatives in the state, few days after the declaration of the governorship election result. Police personnel and soldiers deployed to the state for the supplementary election on Friday were still keeping surveillance within Owerri metropolis and its environs. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters on Port Harcourt Road had been cordoned off by soldiers and armoured personnel carriers were still positioned in the area and other strategic locations.
From Shola O’Neil, Warri
He said the Task Force was on top of the security situation in the Niger Delta. Lt-Col.Antigha advised residents to go about their businesses while security agents ascertained the cause of the explosion. The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the parent company of the PPMC and the Warri Refinery, was yet to make an official statement on the incident last night. It was gathered that the explosion was caused by a petroleum tanker that caught fire while waiting
to load at the facility. Sources said the tanker, which had an electrical problem, was ignited by a spark from a component, when the driver started the truck. The explosion led to panic particularly among other tanker drivers and agents of the various marketers in the vicinity. A source said: “People started running helterskelter because of the explosion and the fire. “People who didn’t know the cause initially thought it was a bomb explosion. “Those who ran away
later came back to evacuate their vehicles and other belongings.” Though there were no reports of any death, it was gathered that some workers around the facility suffered minor injuries during the stampede. A combined fire fighting squad deployed from the Shell Petroleum Development Company, NNPC, and other oil firms were battling to put out the fire at the time of this report. The extent of damage could not be ascertained as PPMC workers refused to comment on the fire. NNPC’s General Manager (Public Affairs) Dr. Levi Ajuonuma could not be reached for comments.
One killed, three injured in Rivers clash
•Imo State Governor-elect Owelle Rochas Okorocha (left) and Anambra State Governor Peter Obi at the Government House, Awka…yesterday.
Delta Judicial workers on indefinite strike
UDICIAL Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) in Delta State yesterday began an indefinite strike. In a circular signed by its Vice-Chair, J. Onanowe and Secretary C. Asogwa, the union said the strike followed the government’s inability to meet workers’ demands. It directed “all judiciary workers in the state, including workers posted to the Election Tribunal, to proceed on an indefinite strike with effect from yesterday (Monday).” The tribunal said it was yet to receive petitions on the April 26 governorship election. But it acknowledged receipt of a petition on the January 6 governorship rerun and nine petitions for the National Assembly election. Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) governorship candidate Great Ogboru is seeking an overturn of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan’s election. Tribunal Secretary Mrs. Deborah Musa said it has received nine petitions on the National Assembly elections. She said the tribunal re-
EADERS in Edo South Senatorial District yesterday demanded for the seat of the Speaker of the House of Assembly, on the basis of their performance during the elections. A statement by the leaders of Bini Renaissance Group said: “This is payback time for those of us who worked hard during the elections to return our senatorial candidate; we also returned our three House of Representative candidates and 10 House of Assembly candidates. “We have by this singular feat demonstrated our support for the Adams Oshiomhole-led administration, his developmental strides and the need to deepen the core values our society yearns for.”
‘We’ll make casual workers permanent’
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
HEAD of the May 21 local government election in Rivers State, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been killed and three others injured in an attack by an armed gang. Sources said the armed men attacked a meeting of PDP members in Elele, Ikwerre Local Government Area. The meeting was at the home of a former Vice-Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government, Chikwere Woke, to strategise on the forthcoming election. It was learnt that the gang went to the house in a Mercedes Benz Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). One of them fired the fatal shots. The deceased was from Elele. The victims are hospitalised. Police spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam confirmed the incident. He said efforts were on to apprehend the gunmen.
•Tribunals sit today From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba and Osagie Otabor, Benin
ceived five petitions on the senatorial election and four on the House of Representatives election. According to her, no petition on the House of Assembly election has been received. Mrs. Musa said litigants have about 20 days to file their petitions. The petitions include the one filed by Solomon Awhinahwi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Austin Ogbaburhon of the DPP for Udu/Ughelli Federal Constituency; Ned Nwoko (DPP) has a petition against Ifeanyi Okowa (PDP), Delta North Senatorial district. There is also Ighoyota Amori (PDP) versus Pius Ewherido of the DPP. Doris Uboh (PDP) filed a petition against the election of Victor Nwokolo (Accord) in Ika Federal Constituency. Temi Harriman (ACN) filed a petition against James Manager (PDP) Delta South Sen-
atorial District The tribunal began sitting yesterday with an inaugural hearing. The three man panel rejected a motion ex-parte for substituted service by Nwoko. In Edo, the tribunal is expected to hold its inaugural session today at 10am in Benin, the state capital. A statement by the Tribunal Secretary, Olagunjun Aderemi, said: “All those who have businesses with the tribunal are hereby required to attend the session, especially parties to the petitions and their sponsors (political parties); members of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA); the Media and security forces, which include Police and State Security Services (SSS).” Also in Osun, the threeman tribunal headed by Justice Yargata Nimpar yesterday held its inaugural sitting. A member of the House of Representatives, Oluwole Oke (PDP), representing Obokun/Oriade Federal
Constituency of Osun State, was the only one with a petition against the declaration of Nathaniel Agunbiade (ACN) as the winner of the National Assembly. Addressing parties at a brief ceremony at the State High Court premises in Osogbo, Justice Nimpar assured all parties of fair hearing. Justice Nimpar said the trial shall be open to the public and assured that the tribunal will not give room for unnecessary adjournments. “No petition shall last beyond six months. This, therefore, places a heavy responsibility on both the tribunal and parties. Actions are limited to a limited number of days and compliance is absolute. So every party must act within the time allowed by law and work professionally to assist us to deliver justice. “We are assuring all the parties, the people and this nation that we shall abide by our oath of office in the handling of this assignment. We shall be fair to all who come before us and maintain judicial ethics and discipline,” the tribunal chairman said.
ELTA State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan yesterday said casual workers will soon be made permanent. He said: “I am an advocate of non-casual workers. It is wicked to subject people for so long to that condition of service.” Uduaghan spoke during a programme at the Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS) in Asaba. He said steps are being taken by his administration to ensure that the workers are converted to permanent staff. The governor attributed the delay in the implementation to the insincerity of some officials who submitted an over bloated list. “With the new Secretary to the State Government (SSG), I think we will solve this issue before the swearing in on May 29th.” He said his second term will be used to consolidate on his administration’s Three Point Agenda as the agenda was a long term project for development.‘ “Whatever developmental plan we have in this state is derived from our ThreePoint Agenda. It is a state agenda as it covers all aspects of development,” he said.
Lawmakers get Certificate of Return From Osagie Otabor, Benin
AWMAKERS elected into the National Assembly and the Edo State House of Assembly were yesterday presented with their Certificates of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The recipients included ;Obende Domingo; Senator Odion Ugbesia; Senator Ehigie Uzamere; Samson Osagie; Rasaq Belo-Osagie; Isaac Osahon; Christopher Ebare; Philip Shuaibu; Friday Itulah; Patraick Ikhariale; Paul Ohonbamu amongst others. Presenting the certificates yesterday in Benin, National Commissioner in charge of Edo,Delta and Bayelsa states Dr. Ishmeal Igbani said INEC delivered as it promised. Igbani urged the elected lawmakers to provide good governance for their people if they want to get re-elected.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
NEWS Yuguda dedicates victory to slain corps members
ASUP accuses Kadpoly management of ‘stealing’ N4b T
•Governor, others get certificates of return
AUCHI Governor Isa Yuguda yesterday dedicated his victory in the April 28 election to the nine National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members killed in the post-election violence in the state. Speaking when he received his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bauchi, Yuguda described the slain corps members as heroes of democracy whose memory must be kept alive. He condoled with their families, saying the suspects arrested in connection with the mayhem would be prosecuted. The governor described their death as “wicked, despicable, beastly, inhuman, ungodly, irreligious and gruesome”. Yuguda said: “The government will not allow their death for the survival of the nation to be in vain. We will ensure that their names are written in gold so that even generations yet unborn will come to know that some innocent youths laid down their precious lives for the survival of democracy in this country.” He said the youths’ parents should be saluted for their courage to accept what happened in good faith, adding that every mortal must die one day.
•Yuguda From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi
The governor said his administration would protect the lives and property of residents, irrespective of their ethno-religious and/or political differences. He said: “As the chief executive of the state, on the last day, when I will face judgment, Allah will ask me to give account of every life that was innocently lost under my care. So, because I don’t want to be found wanting before Almighty God, I am doing everything humanly possible to safeguard lives of the people of the state.” Yuguda said his administration would ensure that the corps members posted to the state have the best of service year, adding: “We have the plans to give any corps members who wish to stay back in the state automatic employment in our drive to check unemployment among the youths, particularly graduates.”
HE Kaduna Polytechnic branch of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) yesterday accused the management of stealing about N4 billion from its coffers and withholding workers’ salaries. Addressing reporters in Kaduna, its Chairman, Alhaji Mustapha Bida, accused the management of failing to remit the taxes deducted from workers’ salary to the government. He condemned the Northern leaders’ silence on the crisis in the school in the past five months. But the management said it would not join issues with the union, adding that it was awaiting an investigation by the Federal Government on the matter. Bida wondered why Northern leaders decided to close their eyes to the alleged corruption. He said: “While Kaduna
•School: we won’t join issues with union From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
Polytechnic rots away, Northern leaders are more embroiled in politics to the detriment of the school that was once the pride of Northern Nigeria.” Bida accused the management of maladministration and lack of managerial competence to run the polytechnic. He said, students seeking admission to the school are not spared in the wasteful spending, adding: “After collecting millions of naira through scratch cards, the institution cannot access applicants’ details on the Internet because those manning the server have not been duly paid.”
He wondered why the management decided to feed the public with “falsehood” about the school’s financial status. Bida said the management claimed that workers’ salaries, which were budgeted and paid by the Federal Government “are short monthsin, months-out”. He said: “Security men and cleaners are not paid for months; our tax deductions are not remitted; voluntary contributions by the workers from their salaries for months (including donations to the institution’s mosques and chapel) are withheld; loan repayment deducted from workers’ salaries is not remitted to the banks.” Bida said some contracts
awarded years ago and paid for were only being executed because of the ongoing strike and the visitation, adding: “We suspect that this is being done with the intent of disapproving the findings of the presidential visitation panel.” He alleged that between 2007 and 2008, the polytechnic generated over N1 billion and about N500,000 in 2009; and about N1billion last year. According to him, each federal polytechnic was given N1.2 billion through the Educational Trust Fund (ETF) to rehabilitate its school last year. Bida said: “With all the money, there is nothing on ground to show for it. We still use outdated books and journals in our library. Our laboratories are bare of tools and materials. The surrounding is without functioning convenences and students use cardboards in place of desks to write.”
Kano tribunal promises fairness From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
HE Chairman of the Kano State Election Petitions Tribunal, Justice Mukhtar Ladipo Abimbola , has promised parties that the tribunal would be fair and firm. The Chairman, who made the promise during the inaugural sitting of the tribunal in Kano yesterday, said Section 285 of the amended 1999 Constitution empowers the tribunal to entertain disputes arising from the National Assembly elections in the state. Justice Abimbola flanked by the two other members, Justices Yusuf Bashir and Teatsea Aorga Kume, the tribunal shall deliver judgment on the various petitions filed within 180 days (six months). He enjoined lawyers to cooperate with the tribunal to make its job easy, pointing out that the bench and the bar are like Siamese twins. “We hereby seek the fullest cooperation from you, learned gentlemen of the bar so as to ensure just, efficient, speedy and expeditious determination and conclusion of these petitions.” “We promise to be fair and firm in the discharge of our noble duty, and we shall sit on a daily basis until all the petitions are expeditiously concluded.” The membership of the Kano State Election Petitions Tribunal is drawn from the State Ministry of Justice, which is offering Solicitor-General, and Director, Civil Litigations, the Kano Command of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Bar Association, Kano Branch.
CPC suspends Sokoto chair, secretary
HE Sokoto State Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has suspended them and five others for one year for allegedly refusing to defend the allegations against them. Their suspension followed a vote of no confidence passed on them. The party said it would not go to court to challenge last month’s election because it lacked the evidence to support its claims. The document necessary for prosecuting the case are with the suspended chairman and secretary, it said. CPC said: “We can’t access the party’s documents
From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto
where our proofs are. And the two suspended officials are still in possession of the documents. Besides, the deadline given expired yesterday. So, there is no way we can beat it.” The suspension of Ainun and Basakkwace followed the report of a committee which investigated allegations of anti-party activities against them. Addressing reporters in Sokoto yesterday, CPC said the duo refused to honour an invitation by the investigating committee, adding that their refusal “is an acceptance of guilt”.
•From left: Co-coordinator, Lagos Region, Mr Okereke Emmanuel; Registrat/CEO, Institute of Debt Recovery, Chris Akintunde Opeodu; and Head, Admin/Human Resources, Mr. Fedrick Ezenwa Ibeako, at a press conference organised by the Institue of PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI Debt Recovery Practioners in Lagos…yesterday.
Exodus in Maiduguri after renewed violence
HOUSANDS of residents of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, have been leaving the city following renewed bombing and killings by unidentified gunmen. It was gathered that the situation worsened after the outcome of the April 26 governorship election. Business activities in the hitherto bubbling commercial centre have been grounded and schools forced to close early. The leader of a fleeing group who spoke with reporters in Damaturu, the
From Duku Joel, Damaturu
Yobe State capital, Alhaji Mustapha Zanna, said: “Everyone in Maiduguri is living in fear. It is even difficult to address the press in Maiduguri. We are moving out of the state because there is no end in sight to the problem of insecurity in the metropolis. “Many others have moved their families to different locations outside the state following the renewed killings after the elections that some believed were rigged in favour of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) ad-
ministration “The spate of killings in Maiduguri had subsided before the election and residents hoped that the ANPP administration would be voted out. But after the elections, the killings and insecurity resurfaced.” He said he and his family and others were relocating to Kaduna because of the insecurity and near collapse of their businesses. Zanna dded: “Some of us have not opened our business premises for about two weeks and do not know when we will do so. We had
to move out.” According to him, residents had hoped that a change in government would ensure peace and security. “But the alleged rigging has robbed the state of the opportunity for improved security and gunmen have even refused the proposed amnesty by the ANPP governorelect,” Zanna said. He urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to challenge the governorship results in the tribunal to ensure the return of peace.
ACN suspends its Kaduna chairman
HE national secretariat of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has suspended its Kaduna State Chairman, Mr Mohammed Soba, following a vote of no confidence passed on him by the state leadership of the party which accused him of corruption. In a letter to Soba, the National Organising Secretary, Abubakar Kari, said his suspension would subsist until he could defend the allegations against him. The letter reads: “Please, find attached copy of a letter and minutes of the meeting of our State Working Committee in
•‘They are political nonentities’ From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
which a vote of no confidence in your leadership was passed. In line with Sections 9.6 and 9.7 of the ACN constitution, you are, therefore, suspended as state chairman until you are able to defend yourself against these allegations. Kindly let us have your response within 72 hours accordingly.” A statement by the state Publicity Secretary, Comrade Mohammed Buba said the 27member state exco passed a vote of no confidence on Soba.
It accused Soba of failing to account for the money collected from the national secretariat for the party’s operations in the state and for not disclosing some of the money he collected. The statement reads: “Some of the funding from the National Secretariat collected by the Chairman on behalf of the party for the party operations could not be fully accounted for, while some were not even disclosed to the members of the state exco. “To cap it all, theChairman
turned his personal account to party account thereby all money received by the party goes directly into his personal account. Money was withdrawn at will without the consent of the state treasurer, financial secretary or acting state secretary. “From the constitution of the state exco to date, only three meetings were held despite several calls on the chairman to convene more meetings with a view to keeping members abreast of party happenings. Instead, the chairman kept vital information to himself and also kept distancing himself from the rest of the exco.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
NEWS Lorry crushes father, son, three others in Onitsha From Adimike George, Onitsha
SUNDAY was bloody in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State, where a trailer lost control and crushed five persons to death, including a man and his two year old son, to death. The tragedy, which occurred at the Upper Iweka, according to eyewitness, sent many residents, who stormed the scene, weeping. According to eyewitnesses, the man was driving in his car with his wife and two-year-old son, when the incident occurred. He was negotiating a bend when the lorry, marked, XB 404 RNG, hit them from behind. The wife, who was unconscious after the incident, was said to have been knocked off while the husband and the son fell under the lorry which crushed them. It was gathered that in trying to bring the vehicle under control, the lorry killed three other passersby. The man and his family members, according to sources, were on their way to church when the accident occurred. Others involved in the accident were also reported to have died immediately, but the wife of the man, who was unconscious and two others, were rushed to an undisclosed hospital.
Power sharing: Jonathan, Obasanjo, PDP caucus members meet today F ACED with power sharing dilemma, President Goodluck Jonathan will today meet with exPresident Olusegun Obasanjo and other members of the National Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on power sharing formula. Also, the President of the Senate, Chief David Mark on Sunday night held secret talks with the outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that top on the agenda of the caucus meeting is how to share political offices to stabilize the new administration of Jonathan. A Caucus member, who spoke in confidence, said: “We have been notified of a meeting at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday. The main issues border on briefing on the victory of the President, his plans and the power sharing formula.
•Mark, Bankole hold secret talks From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
“We are going to advise the President on his proposals for power sharing in the light of certain indices. At the end, we want offices shared in such a manner that it will ensure fairness to all the six zones. “I can assure you that no matter the grievances and protests from different zones, we will try and resolve these issues amicably. We have serious agitations from the South-East, North-East and the SouthWest. The Caucus will look into the merit of these demands and strike a balance. “We want to avoid crisis as much as possible for the new administration. The
tasks at hand are so enormous that we cannot afford to be divided by craze for offices.” Some of those expected at the meeting are ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Secretary of the Board of Trustees; Vice-President Namadi Sambo; the Senate President and his deputy; the Speaker and his deputy; the PDP National Chairman and National Secretary, three Ministers nominated by the President one of whom shall be the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. Others are: a member of the BOT drawn from each of the six geopolitical zones, the Leader, Deputy Leader, Chief Whip and his deputy in the Senate and House of
Representatives. As at press time, there were indications that Mark and aspirants for the office of the Speaker are already reaching out to opposition parties ahead of June 2 inauguration of the National Assembly. The five aspirants eyeing the office of the Speaker are: Emeka Ihedioha, Bethel Amadi, Eziuche Ubani (Southeast) and Muraina Suabana Ajibola, and Mulikat Akande-Adeola from the Southwest. A principal officer in the National Assembly said: “All the aspirants have started lobbying opposition parties for support. They have also met with some new members of the National Assembly as part of votewooing mission. “The opposition parties
Man hangs self for being HIV positive From Barnabas Manyam, Yola
Man arrested for ‘killing boy for ritual’ From Justina Asishana, Minna
POLICE in Niger State have arrested a middle age man, Haruna Musa and eight others for kidnapping and murdering a 12year-old boy, Shamsudeen Musa, for a ritual purpose. They were arrested by the police following the report by the teenager’s father, Isah Kala, about what transpired between him and Haruna Mohammed. According to the Police Public Relations Office (PPRO), Mr. Richard Oguche, who spoke to reporters in Minna yesterday, said the suspect had confessed that he killied the deceased for ritual purpose. Oguche stated that the suspect had earlier gone to Kala, who happens to be the father of the deceased, requesting for the release of his son to him as a housemaid. But the father turned down the request. He further said that the suspect later enticed the deceased with N100 which made the boy to accompany him without the knowledge of anybody, icluding his father, adding that Shamsudeen was killed without anyone knowing his whereabouts.
have become beautiful brides because they have reasonable representation in the coming 7th National Assembly. But ahead of the caucus meeting, the President of the Senate, Chief David mark on Sunday night met with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole. A source said: “The two leaders discussed a common legislative agenda to be presented before the Caucus meeting. “For instance, the two leaders took a position on the pending 2011 Budget which may come up at the meeting. “Most caucus members are unhappy with the stalemate over 2011 budget and they want the grey areas resolved before the resumption of the new National Assembly. “The Executive has described the Budget un-implementable as passed and the Legislature does not want to concede further.”
• Students of Oke-Odo High School in Alimosho Local Government Area Lagos State at their school after the long Easter PHOTO: RAHMAN SANUSI holiday... yesterday.
Two killed, four arrested in Lagos clash
HE Police in Lagos have arrested four suspects over their alleged involvement in a clash where two people were killed in Ajegule on Saturday night. It was gathered that the warring groups were fighting over who would befriend an unidentified girl in the neighbourhood. Police spokesman, Mr Samuel Jinadu, a Deputy Superintendent (SP), however said only one death was reported to the police. He said the Commissioner of Police have already ordered the transfer of the suspects to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba for discreet investigation. Jinadu explained that the clash was between two rival groups of social miscreants identified as AJ1 and Senior Boys over supremacy and that it broke out at a carnival in the Apapa area of the state.
Conductor arraigned for armed robbery By Joseph Jibueze
24-year-old bus conductor, Victor Offiong was yesterday arraigned before a Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, for alleged armed robbery offences. Offiong, who was arraigned before Justice Olabisi Akinlade, is facing a two-count charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and a substantial charge of armed robbery. The prosecutor, Mrs. Rotimi Odutola alleged that the accused conspired with others at large, to rob one Mr Uwadike John, along Sheraton Link Road in Ikeja last December 31. She alleged that they robbed their victim of a mobile phone worth N80, 000, cash of N150, 000 and a bag containing other personal effects. According to her, the offences contravenes Sections 403 (a) and 402 (2) (a) of the Criminal Code Law Cap C. Vol.2, Laws of Lagos State 2003, but Offiong pleaded not guilty to the charges. Justice Akinlade adjourned the case till June 21 for trial. By Jude Isiguzo
He noted that a member of one of the groups, identified as Sheriff, was killed and that his members regrouped for a reprisal attack on Sunday
night. The hoodlums freely used firearms without any challenge by security agents, who ran into their station in order not to be caught in the
cross fire. According to eyewitnesses, the fight started at the carnival in Apapa where a member of one of the groups was trying to chat with a girl at the event when a member walked up to challenge him. It was gathered that there was an exchange of strong words which later degenerated to a free-for-all where guns, cutlasses, broken bottles and charms were freely used. However, one of the groups, which had more causalities, regrouped on Sunday and attacked the other group in Ajegunle. Jinadu told The Nation that normalcy has returned to the area and that policemen are patrolling the neighbourhood to ensure that trouble makers are kept off the streets. He said all those arrested will be charged to court immediately after conducting thorough investigations.
MAN, aged 29, has hanged himself after being confirmed to be HIV positive. The man, Emmanuel Peter of Unguwan Wona, who lived near the main gate of the Federal University of Technology, Yola, (FUTY), hanged himself on the ceiling of his one-room apartment. His father, Mr. Peter Joseph told The Nation that Emmanuel was recently confirmed to be a carrier of the deadly disease. He said: “I personally took Emmanuel to the Specialist Hospital in Yola for routine medical test after he had been ill for more than two weeks. The doctor we met established after his test that Emmanuel was carrying the disease. Not long after, we went to his room and found him hanging on the ceiling with an electric cable by his throat’’. He said the late Emmanuel used a ladder to climb to the ceiling where he tied some cables in the ceiling and hanged himself. According to him, the deceased was working as a a daily paid labourer, in a firm owned by a woman. He added that the family has been in shock since the incident and that he notified the Girei Local Government Divisional Police Station, which sent some officers, who removed the body and deposited it at the Specialist Hospital Mortuary. He said the action of his son came as a rude shock to every member of the family.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
Tension mounts over declaration of candidates in Anambra •INEC issues certificates of return today
HERE is tension in Anambra State over the purported declaration of winners of wards where elections were inconclusive by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof.Chukwuemeka Onukaogu.. Onitsha South I State constituency was won by Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidateEmeka A n i e b o n a m . The Returning Officer (RO), Steve Ibenta, declared him winner of the election earlier conducted in the area. But the election was declared inconclusive by Onukaogu.
Ibenta, who spoke in Awka yesterday, said he had been vindicated by Aniebonam’s victory. The rerun election scheduled for Ojoto Ward in Idemili South, the strong hold of ACN leader Chris Ngige, could not hold. The REC declared the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) winner in Aguata Constituency,despite the election being declared inconclusive in Uga Ward II, which has over 6, 000 voters. ACN Chairman Amechi Obidike decried the development.
He said the announcement of results in areas where elections were inconclusive was against the Electoral Act. ACN had earlier won the inconclusive House of Assembly election in Onitsha South I; Awka South I and Idemili South. But INEC declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of Aguata Federal Constituency in the supplementary election held on Friday. The party was declared winner amid claim by former Speaker of the House of Assembly,
Eucharia Azodo; the party’s lawyer, Ozonma Elendu; and one- time House member Chike Anyaonuthat they are the candidates to the party’s ticket. The court has not determined the real candidate among them. INEC spokesperson Tonia Nwobi said certificates of return would be issued to winners of the National and House of Assemblygeneral elections today. ACN won four seats in the House of Assembly election; APGA 16; Accord and Labour parties got one each. PDP won the remaining eight
Uwechue backs Southeast for Senate president
HE President of the pan-Igbo cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Ambassador Raph Uwechue, has thrown his weight behind the aspiration of the Southeast to lead the Senate or House of Representatives in the next National Assembly. Uwechue urged President Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to support the Southeast to pro-
From: Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor
duce either the Senate President or Speaker of the House. Speaking in Abuja yesterday, he said the Southeast supported Jonathan and all the PDP candidates in the last elections. He said: “Reward system must be commensurate with the support the party got in the Southeast. “The PDP got total sup-
port from Igbo land. The long and short of it is that we want something commensurate from the National Assembly: It is either Senate president or the Speaker of the House . He said it was only fair that the zone is given commensurate positions now that it is ‘payback” time. According to him, Igbo land must not be excluded from getting deserving positions.
“We want positions that are commensurate with the success of the PDP in the zone. Positions that are fair to the Igbos, to Nigerians and to everybody,” he said. Uwechue said the Southeast demand for “deserving positions” in the incoming federal parliament is legitimate, adding that a major stakeholders forum was in the offing to articulate the zone’s position and how best to actualise it.
Abia PDP chieftain hails Orji’s reelection From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia
EOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Abia State Cyprian Nwankwo has congratulted Governor Theodore Orji on his victory in the Governorship and House of Assembly elections. Nwankwo said Orji’s victory was well deserved. Addressing reporters in Umuahia, Nwankwo urged Orji to provide democracy dividends to the electorate. He extolled Orji’s leadership virtues, “which have endeared him to the people.” He thanked the people of Ukwa/Ngwa for supporting all PDP candidates during the last elections, that their support has cemented the relationship between Abia and Federal Government. Nwankwo said the relationship between the state and Federal Government has improved, resulting in Abia’s reintegration into the political mainstream. He pledged that President Goodluck Jonathan would rehabilitate all federal roads in the state. Commissioner for Information and Strategy Anthony Agbazuere hailed Abians for appreciating Orji’s sacrifice in liberating the state from political bondage. Agbazuere said the people restored full security to Abia, by voting massively for President Goodluck Jonathan; Orji and other PDP candidates.
Voters no longer docile, says PPA chair
ATIONAL Chairman of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) Lisa Olu Akerele has said the electorate is no longer docile. Speaking in Abuja yesterday, he hailed the people for voting out non-performing politicians in the last elections. He said: “The elections have taught us that we can no longer toy with the electorate.” Akinrele urged winners of the elections to deliver democracy dividends to the peo-
ple. According to him, the era of election rigging is over. “Power ultimately resides in the people, whose perception of a performing politician is the provision of developmental projects in their constituencies,” he said. Speaking on the supplementary election in Imo State, Akerele said Governor Ikedi Ohakim was responsible for his electoral failure. He said Ohakim treated his political mentors and citizens of the state with disdain.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
NEWS Jonathan hails al-Makura
US: Corps members true winners of elections
From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has described the emergence of Alhaji Tanko al-Makura as the governorelect of Nasarawa State as a reflection of the confidence of the people of the state in his leadership. In a congratulatory letter, the President expressed the hope of working with the governor-elect to reposition Nigeria towards greatness. The President said: “We can successfully drive our nation’s transformation over the next four years. “It should be seen as a call to service and an opportunity for moral introspection, spiritual re-generation and a resolve to chart a glorious future for the people of Nasarawa State.”
HE United States has condoled with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) over the death of nine corps members in the post-election violence. The condolences was contained in a letter to the Director-General of the NYSC, Brig.-Gen. Maharazu Tsiga by the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Terence P. McCulley, yesterday in Abuja McCulley said: “May I first express our condolences to you, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) community and the concerned families on the tragic deaths of Youth Corps members during postelection violence”. The U.S. Ambassador maintained that despite the attacks, the NYSC remains the winner of the 2011 elections. “Despite these attacks, the NYSC remained steadfast and committed to helping the Independent National Electoral Commission conduct an historic election viewed by international and domestic observers alike as free, fair and credible.
Civil servants eulogise Gombe governor-elect By Innocent Amomoh
THE Nigerian Civil Service Union (NCSU) yesterday attributed the election of Alhassan Damkwabo as the governor-elect of Gombe State to his service to the people. Its chairman, Orisamuyiwa Oladele, spoke when Damkwabo handed over to the Acting AccountantGeneral of the Federation, Mr. Aderemi Babatunde Ogunsanya in Abuja. He said Damkwabo displayed integrity when he was the Accountant General of the Federation. He said: “We hope he will continue his good works to change the life of the people of Gombe when he assumes power from.”
College denies employing casuals By Adeola Ogunlade
AUTHORITY at the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo State has denied reports that the institution has causal workers. In a statement signed by its registrar, Mr. Adewole Olawore, the institution said it was committed to staff welfare. The statement reads: “The College does not have “casual” workers either in the mainstream or the Directorate of Degree and Part-Time Programmes. Those employed to work in the Directorate are “Sandwich Staff” with a Salary Structure labelled Sandwich Salary Structure which has a higher value than what operates in the Civil Service. “Furthermore, the allusion that the State House of Assembly mandated the Provost, Dr. A. O. Alabi to absorb them as regular staff is far from the truth. While acknowledging the intervention of the House of Assembly, the records are there that, the House only made representation on their behalf to the state governor, the response of whom the College is yet to receive. As it is well established in an Institution like ours, the issue of recruitment or absorption is the sole responsibility of the state government, as the proprietor of the Institution.”
•From left: Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Osita Chidoka with World Bank President Robert Zoellick, at the Multilateral development Bank’s Road Safety Initiative, co-hosted by the World Bank at its headquaters in Washington DC,USA.
‘How traditional rulers can help reduce court congestion’
HE Administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice ,Umaru Eri, yesterday called for the use of traditional rulers in settling disputes. He said this would help decongest the courts. Eri spoke at the opening of a workshop on Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for Judges and Khadis organised by the institute with the theme: “Effective use of Arbitration and ADR for Better Justice Delivery.” To him, not many people come back as friends after going to court. He said: “Before the introduction of the present court system in the country, disputes were traditionally resolved by village elders by way of mediation aimed at amicable settlement of such disputes. This system was quick, cheap and did not breed bad blood. “The colonial masters came and tampered with this tradi-
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
tion. Courts were established in Northern Nigeria and the native ones graded ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’. So, it was in other parts of the country. But the colonial masters still retained elders, district heads and traditional rulers of all grades as operators of these courts. Performance was undoubtedly appreciative. “I therefore urge this workshop to have a rethink and come out with a judicial policy for consideration by the authorities. To me, and like minds, Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism is better called the African Dispute Resolution mechanism. The present inherited procedure is the alternative. “Traditional rulers of today can effectively be engaged to assist in sanitising delay in the administration of justice by amending the constitution to give them powers to resolve
minor disputes. Rightly or wrongly, that is my personal view and no more. I hope the National Assembly will give our traditional rulers this role in our constitution.” He added that the nation’s present court system of dispute resolution “has substantially remained the relic of the British colonial rule in Nigeria as in some other Commonwealth countries.” “Bad blood is injected to the extent that bad relationship became inevitable. No one would forgive another easily for the fact of dragging another to the court…Many of us believe that some of our inherited procedural ways of settling disputes must be revisited if we desire quick and affordable administration of justice.”It is interesting that even today, stakeholders in justice administration in more advanced countries are having a rethink of the continued utilisation of litigation as a method of resolving all manners of disputes”, Justice Eri added.
From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
“Through the personal example of thousands of young volunteers – diligently, effectively and with impressive ingenuity, managing all details of registration and voting – the NYSC came away as the true winner of the 2011 elections”. The Ambassador also disclosed that his home country has had working relationship with the NYSC for several years and since then, the NYSC members have enthusiastically carried out the programmes. He noted that during the 2011 Batch “A” Orientation Course, the lecture she delivered on election elicited many “interesting and challenging questions”. He commended the leadership of the scheme for their organisational abilities and hopes that “the Embassy and the NYSC can continue to find ways to work together on behalf of Nigeria’s young people, and through them, to help build Nigeria’s bright future.”
Workers urge Fed Govt to investigate post-election violence
ONSTRUCTION and Civil Engineering Senior Staff Association (CCESSA) yesterday joined other civil society organisations to clamour for the establishment of an investigative panel to expose those behind the post-election violence that rocked parts of the North. The association’s President, Augustine Etafo and the General Secretary, Musa Lawal, said in a joint communiqué after their National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, that such measures would be necessary to forestall a repeat of the violence situation during the next general elections slated for 2015. They also lauded the Federal Government over the approval of the New National Minimum Wage and the Workman Compensation Act, but cautioned that authorities to be proactive in its implementation to enable the benefits trickle down to the workers. The communiqué reads in part: “NEC-in-session commends the Federal Government for allowing a level playing ground for contestants without interference in the elections that have been acclaimed by domestic and
From Sanni Ologun and Abubakar Fatima, Abuja
international observers as free and fair. “However, the violence in most parts of the country calls for an investigative panel so that the perpetrators could be brought to book and punished in accordance with the law and to forestall a repeat at the 2015 polls.” The association, an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), lamented the continued influx of expatriates into the construction industry, despite repeated calls for the establishment of local content policy in the sector. Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu, had at the recent May Day celebration, disclosed the steps taken by his ministry to mitigate hazards of the construction industry. He condemned the transportation of construction workers in vehicles which are not meant for human beings, saying: “It is not just enough to pay the right wages. Health, safety and the environment, in which you work, are considered very important.
Court to rule on Eyiboh’s PDP primary suit May 19
N Abuja Federal High Court Judge Justice Abdul Kafarati, will on May 19 deliver ruling in a suit filed by House of Representatives member Eseme Eyiboh against the result of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary which returned Mr. Bassey Dan- Abia as the candidate for the Eket/ Ibeno/Esit/Onna Federal Constituency, in Akwa Ibom State. Eyiboh, who is the chairman of the House of Representative Committee on Information, said the primary was conducted in Uyo, the capital city of Akwa Ibom in violation of the
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
party’s guideline, which mandated such exercise to be held in the headquarters of the constituency. Joined as defendants are: the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the PDP and Dan-Abia. Justice Kafarati, gave the date after counsel to the parties had argued on all the motions that were earlier consolidated by the court. The applicant’s originating motion, the notice of preliminary objection, application against the mode of commencement and the motion,
seeking transfer of the suit to a Federal High Court, in Akwa Ibom, were all heard yesterday. At the resumed hearing, counsel to Eyiboh, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), asked the court to rule in favour of his client, because the party’s machinery agreed in their defence, to have conducted the re-run election in Uyo. He said: “My Lord, the counsel to PDP in their statement of defence said that the election was conducted in Uyo on the basis of convenience. “The Electoral Act has said that it is mandatory to conduct party primaries to select
candidates to contest National Assembly seats in the headquarters of federal constituents. “My Lord, base on this reckless violation of the Electoral Act, my client is automatically qualify by the provision of the law to assume that seat in the House of Representatives.’’ Olanipekun submitted that the defence and counter affidavit of the counsel to Dan-Abia, Mr Goddy Uche was inconsequential, as according to him, DanAbia was not the person that violated the Electoral Act to conduct the election in a different location.
Olanipekun also opposed the application for transfer on the ground that all the parties in the matter , except Dan- Abia were residing in Abuja. On the motion seeking to quash the suit on the grounds of wrong commencement, Olanipekun further argued that the rule of the court empowered the applicant to approach it with the originating motion. Counsel to Dan-Abia, Uche argued that the suit was not properly brought before the court, adding that his client had already been declared winner in the April general election.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
NEWS Boko Haram rejects Borno amnesty From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri
OKO Haram, led by the late Muhammed Yusuf, has rejected the proposed negotiation with its leaders and an amnesty by the Borno State governor-elect, Alhaji Kasim Shetima. Shetima recently promised amnesty to members of the sect to restore peace in the state. The amnesty, the governor-elect said, would enable them to contribute to the state’s socio-economic development. A Boko Haram’s spokesman on a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa service yesterday said his group would not accept any amnesty with the government, adding that its members would continue their “struggle for justice”. Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Inuwa Bwala, yesterday appealed to the sect to accept the proposed amnesty, saying it was the best way to resolve the dispute.
‘Nigeria yet to attain flawless polls’ From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
HE National Commissioner of the Independent National Commission (INEC), Mr Philip Umeadi has said Nigeria was yet to reach its desired goal on credible elections. Speaking at the presentation of certificates of return to Senate President David Mark, Governor Gabriel Suswam, members of the national and state Assemblies at INEC headquarters in Makurdi, Umeadi said: “Despite the success recorded, it is not yet Uhuru.” He said though last month’s elections were credible, free and fair, there were some cases of electoral malpractices that needed to be sorted out to make the process more credible. Umeadi urged stakeholders to work towards credible elections in the future. He appealed to the winners to offer effective representation that would enable the people to enjoy dividends of decmocray. Benue State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Nasir Ayilara said INEC surmounted the hurdles over the last elections to deliver credible polls. Suswam, represented by Deputy Governor Steven Lawani, called for peace to enable the government deliver on its campaign promises.
•From right: Mr Lawal Muhammed Pedro (SAN), Lagos State Solicitor-General; Hon. Jubril Shasore, Chairman, Ansar-UdDeen Youth Association of Nigeria (ADUA), Lagos branch; and Abdulateef Olaseinde Karimu, National Secretary, Ansar-UdDeen Society of Nigeria, at the third annual leadership seminar organised by ADUA, Lagos branch, at the Nigerian Institute of PHOTOS: RAHMAN SANUSI Management (MIM), Idowu Taylor Street, Victoria Island, Lagos...yesterday.
Kwankwaso, others get certificates
Jonathan, Mark, Tinubu, Saraki, others condole with CJN over wife’s death
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Senate President David Mar, Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam, his Lagos, Edo and Kwara states’ counterparts Babatunde Fashola, Adams Oshiomhole and Bukola Saraki have condoled with the Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN) Justice Katsina-Alu over the death of his wife, Mimi. The president said he was saddened by Mrs. KatsinaAlu’s death at the weekend. In a condolence letter on behalf of his family, the government and people of Nigeria, Dr Jonathan expressed his “heart-felt condolences” to the CJN and other members of his family. A statement by his aide on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ima Niboro, quoted the President as saying: “The suddenness and manner of her passing must understandably be a source of great grief to you. You should, however, find solace in the fact that she lived a richly-fulfilled Christian life of consummate dedication and service to God and community. I am also aware that she was a quintessential wife and partner, providing the needed support for you in the discharge of your onerous responsibilities as the nation’s Number One Judicial Officer.” In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Olakunle Abimbola, Tinubu said though Mrs. Katsina-Alu’s death was shocking, he be-
From Vincent Ikuomola, Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja and Ujah Emmanuel, Makurdi
seeched the CJN to put his trust in God because only Him can console and comfort the jurist. Tinubu said: “The manner of Mrs Katsina-Alu’s death was shocking and very sad, but God knows best. Only God can comfort him. The least all of us can do for the family in their hour of grief is to give them our prayers.” He said it good news that the CJN escaped the freak accident, praying to God to grant him further protection. Tinubu said: “We must thank God for sparing the CJN’s life. We must thank God for sparing our country the pains of a double loss. “May God continue to guide and protect the CJN.” Through a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Paul Mumeh, Mark sympathised with the government and people of Benue State over the death. He said: “The death of Mrs. Katsina-Alu at this time is unfortunate and painful. It was shocking and truly devastating. I share in this pain. It is an irreparable loss. I pray her gentle soul rest in the bossom of the Lord.” Oshiomhole described the late Mrs Katsina-Alu as a devout Christian, wife and devoted mother. He said her death was a painful loss to bear, praying God to console the family. In a statement by his Chief
Press Secretary Peter Okhiria, Oshiomhole said: “I learnt with deep shock and grief the news of the death of your beloved wife, Mrs. Victoria Katsina-Alu, in an unfortunate incident over the weekend. On behalf of the people and Government of Edo State, I offer my profound condolences.” Saraki described Mrs KatsinaAlu’s death as a great loss to the country and the judiciary family. The governor said the deceased lived a life worthy of emulation and contributed immensely to the development of her country home, Alu village and Benue State. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Mas’ud Adebimpe, Saraki said the deceased would not be forgotten in a hurry by the people of Benue State because she died a heroin. He urged Justice Katsina-Alu to regard his wife’s death as the wish of God, who designed the human destiny. Saraki said the important thing about life was not how far but how well it was spent. He prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest and the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. Suswam yesterday led other members of the Benue State Executive Council to commiserate with Justice Katsina-Alu in Tse Alu village, Ushongo Local Government. Suswam described the death as most unfortunate, adding that the deceased was resting with the Lord. He said no man could explain
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
the mystery behind the death, praying God to give the CJN the fortitude to bear the loss. Tse Alu village has turned into a Mecca of a sort with many people from far and near visiting the Katsina-Alu family to commiserate with the CJN over his wife’s death. Among those who visited yesterday were the Chairman, Board of Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) Andrew Ayabam; Project Co-coordinator Hajaig Construction Nigeria Limited, Mr Steven Akange; and Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Joseph Daodu and other executive officers. Fashola said he was shocked and deeply saddened by Mrs Katsina-Alu’s death. In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media Hakeem Bello, to the CJN, Fashola said: “Coming on a day when she had so wonderfully played her role …as a caring mother to all at a niece’s wedding and in such a circumstance, I am indeed at a loss for adequate words to console you over this most unexpected exit from life’s centre stage.” He noted that despite the loss, the CJN “should be comforted by the groundswell of testimonies about her accomplishments as the pillar of support to her husband and everyone else whose life she touched positively as the good Christian life she lived”.
NDLEA seizes 1,197kg of cannabis in Kogi
HE Kogi State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted 1,197.1kilogrammes of cannabis as a suspected drug baron abandoned a black Honda Accord car used in conveying the deadly weeds. The drug were seized in two operations at the weekend during motorised patrol on Auchi-Okene road. A blue Mercedes Benz 914 container truck, with registra-
•Suspected baron abandons car By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor
tion number (Delta) XA 914 KWC, allegedly used for conveying 89 bags of cannabis, which weighed 1000.9kilogrammes, was also seized. The Honda car reportedly contained 299 compressed parcels of dried weeds suspected to be cannabis, weighing 196.2kilogrammes. Three suspects, including
the owner of the truck, Chris Odili (43) of Ogbubor Street, Benin, have been arrested over the seizures. Other suspects are Abraham Obi (29), the driver of the truck at the time of arrest; and Godspower Benson (21), who allegedly accompanied Obi on the trip. Two suspects were first arrested by the patrol team and the owner of the truck was
held in a followup operation in his Benin home. Despite the scanty information about the vehicle particulars, NDLEA officers they were able to trace Chris to his Benin home. The suspects have reportedly provided useful information to investigating officers. NDLEA Commander for Kogi State Alhaji Idris Bello said: “There was no information on the cannabis seizures as they were made during the usual routine stop-and-search opera-
•Alhaja Sherifah Abiola Andu, CEO, Arabel Executive Stores, the guest speaker at the event...yesterday.
tion by the patrol team. The officers became suspicious when one of the truck conductors, who wanted to urinate, ran into the bush. The bags of cannabis were sealed in a false compartment such that when you open the truck from the rear you will think it is an empty vehicle. In the process of search, the false segment was detected and the drugs recovered after it was opened.” He said the occupant of the Honda Accord abandoned it to evade arrest.
HE Kano State Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented certificates of return to Governor-elect Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and his deputy, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, who won the April 26 governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Other recipients were Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya (All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) Kano South Senatorial District); Senators Bello Hayatu Gwarzo and Basheer Lado Mohammed (both of PDP, Kano North and Kano Central Senatorial Districts). INEC also issued Certificates of Return to 24 newly elected members of the House of Representatives, including Faruk Lawan, who is returning to the House for the fourth time. The Supervisory National Commissioner in charge of Northwest, Amb Mohammed Wali, represented the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) National Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega. He said the conduct of the April elections in compliance with Section 75 of the Electoral Act, as amended, had earned INEC goodwill and accolades at home and abroad. Kano State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Danyaya, praised stakeholders for contributing to the success of the polls. He said: “We have gone through rough waters, but today, we have arrived. So, I want to thank all the stakeholders, including the Vice-Chancellor and workers of Ado Bayero University (ABU); the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members; who practically became INEC workers; the security agencies and the media.” Two certificates of return were presented to Kwankwanso; three to senators-elect, 24 to Representatives-elect; and 40 to state Assembly members- elect. Kwankwaso praised the electorate for electing him, pledging to use the state’s limited resources to improve their socioeconomic condition. He said: “I want to use this opportunity to thank the people of Kano for the love and solidarity they have been showing since we indicated interest to run, up to this moment of our victory, and I promise not to disappoint them.”
TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
POLITICS THE NATION
After the first two elections, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) looked set to dislodge the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that had ruled Niger State for 12 years. But Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu turned the table against the party. JIDE ORINTUNSIN chronicles how ‘Hurricane CPC’ was stopped.
How Aliyu neutralised CPC in Niger State T HE dominance of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the North was threatened to its foundation. Like wild harmattan fire, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) came and consumed the political fabric of the region. No state was spared by what came to be known as “Hurricane CPC”. In Niger State, where the ruling PDP had been holding sway since 1999, the “Mai Gasikya; Mai Sallah” slogan of the “Hurricane CPC” took over the political horizon and many started to sing a dirge for the “troubled” PDP. Despite the massive state-wide campaign embarked upon by the ruling PDP, the fortune of the party got weakened, days before the general elections. The kismet of CPC was not visible during the electioneering campaigns except for the two times that its presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (Mai Gasikya), visited. The party’s candidates were not campaigning, but the mere mention of Buhari or CPC gave the ruling party sleepless nights. The fears of the PDP became real when voters went to the polls. The results of the National Assembly elections sent the signal that all was not well with the PDP. At the close of April 9, three of the seven federal constituency seats in the lower chamber of the National Assembly went to CPC. The only senatorial election in the Niger North Senatorial district conducted that day gave victory to CPC’s Ibrahim Musa, a political greenhorn. He sent veteran Senator Nuhu Aliyu to the cleaners. PDP only managed to hold the remaining four seats in the House of Representatives. The victory of CPC sent jitters down the spines of the PDP and political observers in the state. A week to the presidential election, PDP strategists went into action on how to rescue the state from being consumed by the ‘tsunami’ of the CPC. Their efforts failed to deliver the state. Buhari, the standard bearer of the CPC, still carried the day, but the PDP candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan, secured above the mandatory constitutional 25 percent of votes cast. But Buhari’s victory cut across religious lines. Political watchers in the state were however, surprised when supporters of Buhari protested the outcome of the presidential election. Despite the victory their principal recorded in the state, they went berserk. They protested violently in the state against President Jonathan’s victory. They maimed, killed, destroyed and looted the property of innocent people. Their targets were innocent non-indigenes and Christians who voted for Buhari because of his integrity. Defenceless National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members, places of worship and properties belonging to the state and some notable PDP members fell victim. Majority of them even went ahead to burn their voter cards. They vowed not to participate in the governorship and House of Assembly elections. All these eventually turned out to be the albatross of CPC; and the PDP’s gain. When the dust of the violence settled in Minna, the state capital, no fewer than four lives were lost; 17 churches, seven vehicles and two motorcycles were burnt. Many were injured. Governor Aliyu was also a victim. Majority of the CPC supporters, acting on
‘The political terrain became more complex for PDP and the governor, whose re-election, many felt, would have been a walkover in view of the achievements he recorded in the last four years. However, while many PDP supporters were already conceding to the winning streak of the CPC, Aliyu quietly mapped out master-stroke strategies’ religious sentiments, erroneously blamed the governor for the 30 per cent votes Jonathan had in the state and vowed to make him pay dearly for it during the April 26 governorship elections. The political terrain became more complex for PDP and the governor, whose re-election, many felt, would have been a walkover, in view of the achievements he recorded in the last four years. However, while many PDP supporters were already conceding to the winning streak of the CPC, Aliyu quietly mapped out master-stroke strategies that turned the table and warmed the PDP back into the hearts of Niger people. Unlike many, the technocrat-turnedpolitician saw the development as an opportunity. Aliyu, who is fondly called “Chief Servant”, cashed in on the long Easter break before the April 26 poll to embark on massive grassroots mobilisation. As he wooed the people,
he admitted his shortcomings, promising to improve on what he had done. At Agwara in Agwara Local Government Area, the governor displayed a high sense of political maturity and statesmanship when he publicly admitted his inability to meet some of the promises he made to the people 2007. To many in the state, this rare admission cast him in the mould of a humble politician. To further win the hearts of the people, especially those affected by the violent protest, Aliyu set up a committee, headed by a one-time Commissioner for Health , Dr. Jibrin Saba, with some Christian leaders as members, to assess the extent of damage done, with a view to compensating the victims. He visited some of the victims. He was almost in tears when he visited the ruins of the burnt Secretariat of the Nigerian Christian Corpers Fellowship (NCCF) fondly called, the Family House, where over 50 corps members miraculously escaped
being burnt by hoodlums. He pledged to give the fellowship a better and more spacious place to re-build the structure at the expense of the state. Aliyu reached out to the leaders of various faiths in the state, assuring the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) of a conducive environment. At the meeting, he was able to secure the support of the Christian voters in the state. A faithful and committed practising Muslim, Aliyu had little or no stress extracting the support of the Ulamas. Acknowledging the voting strength of the non-indigenes, the Chief Servant reached out to various tribal groups residing in the state. At the meetings, his foot soldiers never forget to remind the people of the efforts by the administration in the last four years to abolish contract staffing system for non-indigenes, and the dual school fees payment regime, which saw children of non-indigenes paying more than the ‘sons of the soil’. They also reminded them of the payment of West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NECO) fees by the government, irrespective of the states of origin of final year senior secondary school students. Aliyu also realized that for him to have victory at the polls, he needed a united home front; a united PDP. He reached out to his predecessor, Engineer Abdulkadir Kure, Alhaji Sheshi Katcha, a former Commissioner for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs and the former state chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Umar Farouk. The PDP also capitalized on its zoning policy to woo and assure the electorate in Niger North Senatorial District(Zone C), the stronghold of CPC, that, by 2015, it will their turn to produce the governor.The CPC had picked its governorship candidate from Niger South Senatorial District (Zone A), an area that produced the immediate past governor, who spent eight years, thereby narrowing the chances of Zone C at having a shot at the exalted seat in 2015. On Tuesday, April 26, all the plans worked in favour of Aliyu. The non-indigenes in the major cities and the rural dwellers voted for him en masse. Even in the stronghold of CPC, Aliyu overwhelmingly won in all but one of the eight local government areas of the zone. He made a near clean sweep of the polls with 543,205 votes, representing 68 per cent of the total votes cast in the state’s governorship elections, while his closest rival in the CPC, Alhaji Ibrahim Bako Shattima polled a distant 244,770 votes, representing 28 per cent of the total votes cast during to place second and other six other candidates shared the remaining four per cent. The victory of Aliyu also robbed on the remaining PDP candidates seeking elections to the National Assembly. The party won the remaining two senatorial seats and the three more seats in the House of Representatives. With the last-minute efforts and strategies of Aliyu, his party secured 24 of the 27 seats in the House of Assembly to reclaim the state from the CPC.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
I won’t miss jumbo pay, says Mamora In less than a month, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora will bow out of the National Assembly after eight years. He recalls his sojourn in the Senate and talks about the National Tobacco Control Bill, which he would like the House of Representatives to pass into law before May 29 for presidential assent. Assistant Editor (News) OLUKOREDE YISHAU met him.
ERY soon, you will bow out after eight years in the Senate. How would you describe your experience? The experience has been worthwhile, coming from the background of my Speakership in Lagos State between 1999 and 2003, and moving to the Senate in 2003. I had some expectations, aspirations and goals, but then, the most important thing for me is that I went with the hope of making a difference. Again, I have always believed in what I call legislative activism; that is, you don’t stay restricted to specific areas. It is like thinking outside the box. So, with all these, I can say that I have tried to make a difference in terms of what I hope to do when I set out. Taking it beyond that too, I was privileged to be a member of the ECOWAS Parliament; so one has taken it beyond the national parliament to regional parliament. What do you think you will miss? I will miss my participation; I told you earlier on that I believe in legislative activism; it goes beyond the ordinary because you push things that others push aside. For example, I was the one who raised the issue of the unconstitutional removal of Rashidi Ladoja as Oyo State governor on the floor of the Senate. And even as a minority senator, it wasn’t popular because of the politics of legislature that was dominated overwhelmingly by the senators of the ruling party. I will miss such issues people don’t even want to raise. Despite the fact that it is an issue of national importance, people will want to shy away for whatever reasons. I raised that issue and I was vindicated at the end of the day; the Supreme Court reversed that decision and reinstated the then Governor Ladoja. Again, you will recall President Obasanjo once withheld the funds of local government in Lagos State; of course, it wasn’t popular among my colleagues but at the end of the day part of that money was released following the Supreme Court pronouncement. I will also miss my colleagues, the fellowship, the friendship and the opportunity to
contribute my own quota to legislative governance and overall development of our country. Won’t you also miss the jumbo pay? I will not miss the issue of jumbo pay. That is why I always say the legislature is one institution that is misunderstood, misrepresented and misconstrued. When people talk of jumbo pay, it’s like giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it. The cost of running government is prohibitively high. But it is not a problem restricted to the legislature or the judiciary or the executive. How many of you have cared to check how much it cost to maintain a minister who is unelected? People find it convenient to check that of the legislature that went through the crucible of party primaries, election and being daily bombarded by constituents who are most of the time making personal demands. What happens essentially is consolidation of the allowances (entitlements) – travel, entertainment, domestic staff, constituency staff and that is what is referred to as jumbo. This is what called jumbo pay. If you juxtapose it with that of the ministers you will find who is really on a jumbo pay. It is actually a misunderstanding of the reality of what a senator faces. So, I won’t miss jumbo pay. I believe that what is being paid is for specific assignments and purposes. So, if I’m not there, I’m not there. How would you assess the National Assembly as a member? It may be a bit difficult for me to assess the National Assembly because the tendency may be for selfglorification which I want to avoid as much as possible. But the truth remains that the Senate has not done badly. For example, if you take it from 1999, this present Senate particularly is the one that has been a little rancour-free; it is the one that has enjoyed stability; between 1999 and 2003, we had three Senate Presidents – from Enwerem to Okadigbo to Anyim. Between 2003 and 2007, we had Nnamani and Wabara. But this Senate, 2007 to 2011, is the first time we have had one man running his tenure and that is David Mark.
So, relatively one can say the Senate has enjoyed stability. In the area of lawmaking, we have tried to do our bit in terms of bills brought before the Senate as a whole. We passed this national minimum wage thing; the reforms in the power sector, the electoral reforms, including the amendment of the constitution which since 1999 we have been unable to get through; even the Freedom of Information Bill which is very dear to the press and to us because we believe that it is something that can enhance good governance, accountability, transparency in governance; we passed this bill in the last Senate but for one reason or the other, President Obasanjo refused to assent to it and we had to start it again in this present era. We have passed it now; it is just the harmonisation of both houses that is now being awaited. Do you think the National Tobacco Control bill will become law in the life of this National Assembly? We are seriously working to ensure that the House of Representatives concurs with the bill as passed by the Senate. We need to see this through in the life of this Senate because tobacco control is an issue of public concern. And the constitution in section 14 says the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. So, that is the whole essence of governance: security and the welfare of the people. There can never be any issue of welfare that can supersede health because the issue of tobacco control bill arose from public health. Even if you are saying you have the right to commit suicide by consuming tobacco uncontrolled, what about those who do not want to commit suicide? Part of the duty of any government is to protect the latter. The government has a right to protect non-smokers who find themselves in the midst of smokers, either in restaurants, cinema, parks or gardens; government has the duty to protect those ones. It has been established that tobacco has toxic and carcinogenic materials. When all these are analysed, they have been traced to not less than 200 diseases,
such as cancers of the lung, airwaves, stomach and so on. Statistics have confirmed that more young people smoke and there is need to protect them. You discover that tobacco manufacturers have introduced gimmicks into the system to depict that you become macho if you smoke. Of course, the young men just fall for it. We cannot allow merchants of death to hawk their merchandise. We have a duty to stop them. We have discovered that because of increasing regulation in the western world, a lot of the tobacco companies are finding it convenient to come to the Third World, where we still have weak institutions and weak regulatory policies. So, they find it convenient to come here and talk of setting up one foundation or the other. These are gimmicks. They tell you they are helping your unemployment situation, but, at what cost? How many people have they put on the job compared to the number of people they have killed or that suffer ill-health as a result of the tobacco products? Tobacco is the only substance that when used as prescribed it will hurt your health. Government must help the people by regulating the use of tobacco. What does the Tobacco Control bill entail? It is a bill that seeks to regulate
the production, sale, sponsorship, and the advertisement of tobacco. Various sanctions have been put in place. In order to have a regulatory body, the bill has established the National Tobacco Control Committee that will regulate a lot of things about the issues raised in the bill. Again, the bill has sanctions for people who bridge certain regulations. For example, if you are the owner of a certain restaurant, you have a duty to ensure that nobody comes in there to smoke and endanger the lives of other people. It also has a provision that as a seller, you cannot sell to under 18. Also, you cannot put tobacco vending machines in these areas that have been prohibited like restaurants, stadiums, parks and other public places. We have also stated that tobacco manufacturers must have pictorials forms of dangers that a smoker is liable to face; and these pictorial illustrations must be on the pack of the tobacco. Since you won’t be returning to the Senate, what is your future plan? I still have a medical practice which I started in 1987. I have always seen that as a fall-back position for me. That is an option. I will still remain in politics and I believe somehow along the line, I might still provide services for this country in whatever capacity I don’t know. The options are still open as long as I remain in politics.
‘PDP has no good legacy in Osun’ Hon. Taiwo Fatiregun is a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State. In this interview with EMANNUEL OLADESU, he explains why the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost out totally in the state during the April polls and why ACN would continue to thrive in the Southwest.
HAT is your assessment of the recently held elec tions in Nigeria? The election was a litmus test for our democratic system. It showed that we are gradually transforming our democratic system from
the old fraudulent practice. Democracy is a government of representation, whereby people are given the opportunity to elect their representatives without fear or threat. This was exactly what happened in the state. As a Local Government Chief, I monitored the election in and discovered that the people genuinely cast their votes for people of their choice. It was very clear that the people were tired of the PDP in the state. The PDP was in power for about seven years with nothing to show for it. But the arrival of Governor Rauf Aregbesola has brought a change to the state. He has transformed the system in the state. Government’s money is being spent on what it is meant for. It is not spent on frivolities. Poverty
has really eaten deep into the lives of the people and the governor has realised that the best thing to do for the people is to give them succour by providing employment for them and other social amenities that will make life bearable for them. Do you mean that the past government in the state did not do anything for the people? What I know is that the people of Osun State were subjected to abject poverty. They were denied of their basic socio-economic rights; the government’s impacts were not fully felt. Although, the past government averred that it did its best, the people of the state believed that they were under-served; this actu-
ally reflected in the way they cast their votes in the elections. If the government really served the people, PDP would not have lost in all the elections in the state. In short, PDP lost in Osun State because people wanted a change, I mean a change in their agricultural system, educational activities, social infrastructure, security and political culture. That was why our party, the ACN swept the PDP out of the state. How have you been able to affect the lives of your people positively since your assumption of office in line with Governor Aregbesola’s policy? I thank God that I have not derailed from the guideline of the party and that of Governor Aregbesola’s political philosophy
which he imbibed from the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. I mean the philosophy of selfless service to the people. This is done by provision of basic social amenities to the people of Oriade Council area where I govern. I am happy to tell you that since my assumption of office three months ago, I have been able to improve the lives of the people by providing motorable roads for some towns in the council area. We have graded some intra-township and intertownship roads in many towns, while about 500-meter drainages have been constructed in various areas since I was appointed the Acting Chairman of Oriade Local Government Area of the state some few weeks ago.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
BUSINESS THE NATION
Naira eases after $300m forex sale By Collins Nweze
HE naira eased against the United States dollar on the interbank market yesterday after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold dollars at a higher rate than last week at its bi-weekly Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS). The CBN sold $300 million at 153.18 to the dollar at WDAS, short of the $352.54 million demanded and compared to $350 million sold at 153.02 a dollar at the previous auction last Wednesday. The naira closed at 155.85 to the dollar on the interbank market compared to 155.15 at Friday's close, although the sale of $400 million by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) helped prevent it from slipping further. "We have NNPC funds in the market, about $400 million, but those who received the dollars are not selling, possibly covering their short positions with the funds," one dealer said. Traders saidsome of the banks were holding onto the funds because of the gap between the Central Bank's official rate and the interbank rate. A one per cent commission charged at the forex auction meant dollars effectively cost 154.71, narrowing the gap with the interbank rate. NNPC is the largest supplier of foreign exchange to the interbank market with its large monthly dollar sales usually providing support for the local currency. Some analysts said continued weakness in foreign reserves compared to year ago levels were continuing to put pressure on the naira. Nigeria's foreign exchange reserves fell to $32.66 billion by May 5 from $34.55 billion a month earlier and remain significantly lower than a year ago.
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$125.2/barrel Cocoa - $2,856/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢78.07.pound Gold -$1,161/troy ounce Rubber - ¢146.37/pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE
-N7.8 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion
RATES Inflation -12.8% Treasury Bills -2.64% Normal lending -24% Prime lending -18% Savings rate -3% 91-day NTB -6.99% Time Deposit - 6% MPR -7.50% Foreign Reserve -$33.5 bn FOREX CFA 0.281 • 222.92 £ 252.9 $ 152.76 ¥ 1.5652 SDR 245.85 RIYAL 39.3
I like that combination between creativity and the creative process and the organisation needed to make a business like this successful worldwide. - Bernard Arnault
No more foreign loans for Nigeria, says DMO N
IGERIA will not con sider taking any for eign loan unless it is necessary, the Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr Abraham Nwankwo, has said. This is because the country has reached its conservative external borrowing ratio of 25 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP ), Nwankwo disclosed yesterday while declaring open a one week Debt Sustainability Analysis workshop in Abuja. Worldwide, the standard debt to GDP ratio is 40 per cent - meaning that Nigeria’s total debt stock put at $5.227 billion (external) and N4.869 trillion (domestic) as at March this year, is more than sustainable. Nwankwo said Nigeria has conservatively put its debts to
From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor)
GDP ratio at 25 per cent to avoid accumulating unnecessary debts for itself. As at December last year, the DMO boss said Nigeria’s total external loan stood at $4.5billion (which translates to about 18 per cent of the GDP), while the domestic debt was N2 trillion. Of great concern to the DMO Nwankwo said was how to manage the ever growing guarantees for bonds by government agencies such as Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and for planned infrastructure bonds by the private sector. The DMO chief, noting that there was still an infrastructure gap and thus needed enor-
mous resources to bridge, said the government was considering a situation where private funds would be used to fund public projects under a special Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. However, he said the Federal Government would keep to its part of the bargain by guaranteeing foreign loans taken by the private sector for infrastructural development. Nwankwo said it was the responsibility of stakeholders to relate the debt sustainability figure to the reality of the economy and analyse it with the resources available, stressing that the debt sustainability analysis was not just a technical exercise. In view of the PPP arrangement now place, Nwankwo
admonished the workshop participants to fashion ways that would reflect the current realities. In a good will message, the representative of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Alhaji Baba Musa, commended the DMO management for keeping faith with the annual debt sustainability workshop and expressed confidence that the relationship between the two organisations on debt sustainability would continue grow. He praised the DMO for its good corporate governance, stressing that the DMO had created a record for a country that makes available its debt sustainability figure to the world.
Shell appeals against court ruling on Bonny oil terminal
OYAL Dutch Shell Plc’s Nigerian subsidiary has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court challenging a ruling voiding its ownership of the land where its Bonny oil export terminal is located. The Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt last Thursday upheld a 2008 judgment that Shell must forfeit the Bonny terminal and its land to the island’s native people after illegally obtaining the title to the property. “We believe the judgment is wrong,” Shell said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “We are also filing to suspend enforcement of the judgment pending the determination of the appeal.” The Bonny terminal is the largest crude export terminal in Africa, with a capacity to process and export 1.25 million barrels of oil daily, according to Shell’s website. The Bonny community contends that a 1958 agreement it signed with Shell made it a tenant, nullifying a 1999 title to the land the company obtained from the government.
NEPC laments poor trading between Nigeria, Sweden From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
•From left: Intercontinental Bank’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr Mahmoud Lai Alabi receiving the Excellent Leadership and Entrepreneurship Award plaque for the Banking Sector from Alhaji Abdulahi Ibrahim (SAN), former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, supported by Alhaji Ahmad Rabiu, Chairman, CONSCCIMA the during the Northern States Chamber Of Industry, Mines And Agriculture (CONSCCIMA) Awards Night at Abuja.
NDIC starts final payment to microfinance banks’ depositors T
HE Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has started the final payment of about N2.177 billion to the remaining 393,000 depositors of Microfinance banks (MFBs). This was disclosed yesterday at the workshop on Resolution of Problem Banks: Purchase and Assumption Option, organised by the Africa regional Committee of the International Association of Deposit money Insurers (IADI) in Abuja. The NDIC, according to a document made available to journalists in Abuja, noted that it was also about disposing of the assets of the affected MFBs for the payment of the remaining uninsured deposits. This means that depositors with balances in excess of the insured limit of
From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor)
N200,000 will be paid liquidation dividends based on the volume of proceeds realised from the assets. The corporation said the amount of liquidation dividends paid to shareholders of 35banks-in-liquidation stood at N1.3 billion as at December last year. Earlier in her address, the Minister of State for Finance, Hajiya Yabawa Wabi, said as at December 31, 2010, Purchase and Assumption (P&A) arrangements, had been concluded for 11 out of the 13 banks closed in 2006. The 11 banks are those which the NDIC had obtained winding-
up orders from the court. The private sector depositors and some of the assets of the closed banks were acquired by various healthy banks. The P&A, she said, is a resolution option beset with many challenges, which include litigations by the former shareholders/directors of some of the failed banks. The minister reiterated that the key issue raised by NDIC’s experience is the need for the legal system to be supportive of timely and effective resolution of bank failures. She, however, said she was happy that the new NDIC Act 200 has enhanced the legal framework for failure resolution in the
country. She also noted that another major challenge, which emerged from the recent bank consolidation, was the disposal of risk assets of failed banks. She maintained that under the P&A strategy adopted for the resolution of the failed banks, the prospective acquiring banks have shown interest mainly in the deposit liabilities and the branch network of the failed banks with a disposition to avoid their risk assets. Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, said the cumulative dividend paid to uninsured depositors of banks under the P&A arrangement as at December last year was N63.529 billion.
HE Executive Director/ Chief Executive Of ficer, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), David Adulugba, has decried that in the past three years, the level of trade between Nigeria and Sweden stagnated at $700million in both oil and non-oil exports. Adulugba, who was represented by the Director, Multilateral and Bilateral department Mr Levi Ako, disclosed this during a visit by the Swedish Head of Mission, Mr Markus Lungren in Abuja, on the proposed seminar for export to Sweden in partnership with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He said: “It was observed that the level of trade between the two countries is low, so the seminar is set to educate Nigerian exporters on regulation of trade with the European Union and to also highlight Nigerian products to other EU countries. “Currently only cashew nuts and rubber are being exported to Sweden. The Swedish governments are fully ready to trade with Nigerians and so the doors are wide open for small and medium scale businesses to penetrate Sweden.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.
LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15
LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10
ney-General of Akwa Ibom State and Attorney-General of the Federation in suit No SC/27/2010 on Friday, March 18, 2011, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, wrote to the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to “advise relevant agencies” to comply with the judgment. As a follow-up to the Supreme Court’s judgment on the case, the Commission set up an Inter-Agency Technical Committee to examine the implications of the judgment in its ramifications and collate the data required to implement the judgment, Onyebuchi, explained. The required data, she indicated, would include the crude oil and gas production data for the affected oil wells from April 2009 to March 2011; the prevailing commercial interest
rates for the period and the details of the 13 per cent Derivation Fund Disbursement to oil producing States for April 2009 to March 2011. She said the committee would be required to compute the amount to be paid to Rivers State by Akwa Ibom State as ordered by the Court; recommend the modalities for the payment of the amount due to Rivers State, adding the Committee has two weeks to complete its assignment from the date of its inauguration. The Inter-Agency Committee is made up of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), National Boundary Commission (NBC), Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation (OSGF), Attorney-General of the Federation/Ministry of Justice (AGF/MOJ), Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and Accountant General of the Federation (AGF).
09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20
08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40
1. 2. 3. 4.
Arik Aero Arik Aero
LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55
09.15 12.50 12.55 15.55
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15
08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55
LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30
08.30 15.10 17.40
LAGOS – UYO 10.35
LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 08.00 18.00
LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30
Oceanic Bank won’t mind selling stake to new investors
CEANIC International Bank Plc, one of the banks bailed out by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has said it will consider selling a stake to “a strategic investor” after talks with FirstBank of Nigeria Plc for a deal fell through. “We are currently exploring other recapitalisation options, including a sale to a credible, strategic investor,” Chief Financial Officer Oyinkan Adewale, said yesterday in an emailed response to questions. Oceanic Bank didn’t come to an agreement with FirstBank, because the offer didn’t “reflect the intrinsic value of Oceanic Bank,” she said. The CBN fired eight chief executives of Nigeria’s 24 banks after a debt crisis in 2008 and 2009 threatened the country’s banking industry with collapse. The regulator bailed out the industry with N620 billion ($4 billion), with Oceanic Bank as one of the beneficiaries. The government subsequently set up the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), to buy up the bank’ bad debts. Oceanic returned to profit in the year through December, reporting net income of N28.9 billion, compared with a loss of N88.62 billion a year earlier, it said. Its performance was aided by the receipt of N200 billion from the sale of its bad debts to AMCON, said Adewale. The bank also saved N30 billion by reducing its operating expenses toN 65 billion naira in 2010 from N95 billion a year earlier, she said.
South Africa risks over 4,000 job losses from Wal-Mart’s $2.3b deal
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LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30
From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor)
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LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 Arik 16.30
HE Revenue Mobilisation Al location and Fiscal Commis sion (RMAFC) has said the amount due to Akwa Ibom and Rivers states for February this year from the disputed areas in which the 172 oil wells are located be paid into an Escrow Account until the Inter-Agency Technical Committee on the Implementation of the Supreme Court's Judgment completes its assignment. In a statement, the agency’s Public Relations Officer, Theodora C. Onyebuchi, said the decision was taken during the 53rd Plenary Session of the Commission held last week. This decision by the RMAFC, is “to ensure equity, fairness and justice in the implementation of the judgment,” she added. Part of the statement reads: “Following the Supreme Court’s Judgment in the case of Attorney-General of Rivers State Versus Attor-
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LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30
1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik
‘Pay proceeds of disputed oil wells to Escrow Account’
•From left: Ologbosere Osagie, Commercial Manager, Leventis Food; Goddy Nogwero, winner of Kia Rio Car and Emil Lambrinds, Business Unit Manager, Leventis Food Abuja, during presentation of gifts to major distributors of Meaty in Abuja.
West Africa plans regional stock exchange market
ARING any change of plans, West African countries may soon have a common stock exchange market. The Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, disclosed this at the opening of the Financial and Economic Reporting workshop organised by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Udoma said with advancement of technology, West Africa may have one stock exchange. To actualise this, he said Nigeria and Ghana has discussed the possibility, and that deliberations are on-going concerning the plans. “We are collaborating. Last year, a workshop was organised for the sector’s regulators in Ghana and Nigeria and the United States SEC came. We are doing many things together,” he
By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu
said. Udoma, while delivering his keynote address on Nigeria and the capital markets, also said if power and transport infrastructure challeges could be addressed, the country’s economy would grow. He suggested ways of addressing challenges facing the capital market. They include privatisation of the Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange, a review of the Land Use Act and empowerment of SEC towards prosecuting cases with comparable dispatch to what obtains in other jurisdiction. Udoma, who also spoke on the Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) free trade zone, said because of the obstacles
encountered by investors means that the free trade policy is dead. He, therefore, appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that eradication of multiple checkpoints on the ECOWAS trade routes. Udoma, who is also a director of Unilever, lamented that the company, which produces goods both in Nigeria and Ghana, always have problems moving its products from one country to the other. He said the cost of moving goods from Accra to Lagos is high because of the multiple checkpoints on the route. Udoma, however, said the Nigerian economy is poised for takeoff with the stability being provided by the last elections, which he said, has been adjudged as free and fair.
AL-MART’S acquisition of South Africa’s Massmart could lead to thousands of job losses and worsening labour conditions, the South African government will argue at a hearing. According to a study commissioned by South Africa’s economic development and agricultural departments, if Massmart shifts one per cent of its sales to imports from domestic suppliers, about 4,000 jobs could be lost. The report, available on the website of South Africa’s Competition Tribunal, is one of several statements to be delivered to the tribunal this week as part of a government hearing on Wal-Mart’s $2.3 billion bid for 51 per cent of the South African retailer. Wal-Mart’s entry into South Africa could also mean worsening working conditions at Massmart, according to the report.Wal-Mart has said it will honour Massmart’s existing contracts with workers. Competition authorities are the final hurdle for the deal, after shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of it.
Stakeholders decry increasing cost of cement
TAKEHOLDERS in construction have expressed concern over the increasing cost of cement across the country in the last four months. Recently, professionals in the built environment in a parley with media men called for a policy reversal by the government to check the rising price of the product. They wondered how a nation blessed with over 90 per cent of the materials used in cement manufacturing would pay so much for it. They warned of the
By Okwy Iroegbu Asst. Editor
consequences of its scarcity in relation to structural stability and incessant building collapse. While some attributed the scarcity to problems of inadequate supply, others attribute it logistics problems of high transportation and energy cost and policy somersault. A survey conducted across the country showed that prices of the different brands
of cement have gone up by an average of 44 per cent in the past four months. A bag of cement, which was sold for an average of N1, 500 in December last year is now hovers around N2, 500. The rising price of cement have become sensitive like those of petroleum products and food items. The major brands of cement in the country are Ashaka, Ibeto, Burham, Bua, Elephant and Dangote and are manufactured in different areas of
the country. A civil servant in Kano, Alhaji Abdulkadir Ibrahim, described the rising prices of cement as “painful and incredible’’. “I am just building a corner shop near my house and it is taking me years to actualise it because of high prices of cement. “I used to buy a bag of cement for N1, 800 just four months ago, but now it costs N2, 350. Government must do something about this,” Ibrahim said.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
Not yet a budget •Five months into the year, govt, legislators ‘ deadlock persists
HEN the media reported on March 16 that the Appropriation Bill for the current year had been passed by the National Assembly, not a few Nigerians thought the foot-dragging, and dilly-dally between the executive and the legislators over the passage into law of the budget had become a thing of the past. However, five months into the year, negotiations are still on between the Federal Government and the National Assembly on the need to reduce the deficit level of the budget. Apparently, Nigerians commended the National Assembly rather too early; from all indications, the budget was passed into law in March in a hurry. Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Dr Bright Okogu, at the launch of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Sub-Saharan Africa Regional
‘Budget deficit is not necessarily a bad thing in itself; but, as a ‘fiscal control tool’, the objectives for which it is deployed matter ... The goal of budgeting is nullified when governments run in spite of it; it is only in Nigeria that such anomaly is allowed without any qualm’
Economic Outlook, premised the current delay in the implementation of the budget on the Federal Government’s concern on its ‘deficit and borrowing’ profile, which is considered very high. The Federal Government contended that the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007 stipulates that budget deficit level must not exceed two percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For whatever it is worth, the executive arm of government is right to refer to the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007 to push its case; the only curious thing is that this is done only when it is convenient. For example, one major attribute of the 2009 national budget was its ‘crippling deficit’ permutation. Back then, the budget deficit figure stood at N1.9 trillion, and although the Federal Government had no obvious or workable funding plan at hand, it did not show any eagerness, or concern for the stipulates of the fiscal responsibility act either, then. In the same vein, the Federal Government has always pledged its avowed commitment to improvement in fiscal management, in particular the implementation of an oil price based fiscal rule (OPFR) since 2004. This rule is designed to link government spending to a notion of a long-run oil price, thereby de-linking government spending from current oil revenues. It is therefore disturbing that the National Assembly would make laws without due consideration for ex-
tant laws, especially the ones passed on the same floor of the parliament. The Federal Government refused to implement the budget because the legislators had hiked the total budget figure by a whopping sum of N745 billion without a clue for adequate funding except the ‘anticipated rise in oil price’ which though, represents more revenue for the federation, but remains volatile and unpredictable. Budget deficit is not necessarily a bad thing in itself; but, as a ‘fiscal control tool’, the objectives for which it is deployed matter. The problem in the Nigeria case is that the current but‘re-current’ deficit profile of the national budget is neither purposive, nor targeted towards achieving a pre-set goal; it came as a result of the failure of the country’s leadership to plan, and the somewhat ‘criminal acquiescence’ to the grand delusion of a better tomorrow without necessarily working towards it. The goal of budgeting is nullified when governments run in spite of it; it is only in Nigeria that such anomaly is allowed without any qualm. Also, budgeting is beyond crude oil price benchmark speculation. It requires a lot of hard work, rigorous thinking, and patriotism, above all things. The in-coming lawmakers must note and be willing to chart a new path of honour, dedication, and commitment to the total emancipation of the country from the present sociopolitical morass it has found herself.
No to ‘photo finish’ Brouhaha over bin Laden’s death picture is unnecessary
HE American authorities are surely facing a Herculean task trying to convince doubting Thomases around the globe that Osama bin Laden, the self-confessed Al-Qaeda mastermind of the 9/11 attack on America is certainly dead. This reaffirmation is amplified by speculations that bin Laden may not have been the one killed in a 40minute operation code-named ‘Geronimo’ carried out by the American special Navy, SEALs commando. Sceptics have mounted pressure on President Barack Obama’s administration to release the shots of his body, if only to prove that the man was indeed killed. The call is assuming a political dimension, as former presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, recorded her disapproval on Twitter, calling on the president to “show photo as warning to others seeking America’s destruction. No pussyfooting around, no politicking, no drama; its part of the mission.” President Obama was forced to make clarification regarding the call in an interview conducted by Steve Kroft, to wit: “It is important to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool.” He further stated: “We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies…keep in mind that we are absolutely certain that this was him. We’ve done DNA sampling and testing. And so there is no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden…the fact of
the matter is, you will not see bin Laden walking on this earth again.” Despite his illumination, the calls for the release of the pictures are getting more intense, making us wonder whether the reason behind the clamour is altruistic, when there is no evidence to the fact that bin Laden still lives. We are aware of reports that rather than an aerial bombardment, the American soldiers went straight into the compound where bin Laden was hiding, just to obtain indisputable proof of his death. The description of what transpired inside the house was horrific. Bin Laden was reportedly shot twice at close range, once in the chest and once in the head, right above his left eye while bullet opened his skull, exposing the brain, and it also blew out his eye. This kind of gory picture, if released to the public is capable of galvanizing negative attitude against America and even reprisal attacks against Americans and their supporters in the volatile Middle East. Once this happens, we are not in doubt that reverberations of this avoidable trouble will get to several other countries, with dire consequences. The call for the release of pictures of the gruesome death of bin Laden by some critics is quite emotive and if allowed to stand can lead to violence of uncontrollable dimension. President Obama has insisted that doing so is not in the national security interest of his
country. We add that such pictures can also be antithetical to the security interest of the world where the influence of Al Qaedai/religious terrorism is fast spreading. We call for caution and understanding from proponents of public release of bin Laden’s death pictures. They should think more of the negative global implication of their demand. At any rate, AlQaeda itself has acknowledged that bin Laden is dead. What further proof do we need? President Obama has earned the credit of seeing the ultimate demise of the biggest threat to peace in America, nay the globe. Non-release of the gory pictures of bin Laden will not diminish this fact, as countries are hereby called upon to continue the fight against global religious terrorism.
‘We call for caution and understanding from proponents of public release of bin Laden’s death pictures. They should think more of the negative global implication of their demand. At any rate, Al-Qaeda itself has acknowledged that bin Laden is dead. What further proof do we need?’
No more blame game on teachers
HIS IS NATIONAL Teachers Appreciation Week. According to the leaders of the nation’s teachers unions, it’s come none
too soon. In their telling, teachers are being unfairly faulted as never before — even demonized — for the problems in today’s schools. We agree that teachers should be applauded and that society often doesn’t reward them sufficiently. But much of the buzz about demonization is coming from the unions themselves, which confuse criticism of union policies with criticism of teachers. We worry that they’re setting up a straw man that distracts attention from discussion about what’s needed to improve learning. A radio ad timed to this week’s celebration, featuring National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel, laments how teachers are being scapegoated. Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, penned a column for the Wall Street Journal last week that hailed how other countries “revere and respect their teachers; they don’t demonize them.” To be sure, there has been criticism of unions and a reexamination of collective bargaining agreements seen as overly generous; Wisconsin and Ohio were engulfed by debate over labor rights featuring some overheated and unfortunate rhetoric. But most people — including harsh critics of public schools — recognize the importance of teaching and the hard work done each day in countless classrooms. What the unions seem to see as blaming teachers is the suggestion that teachers should be retained or not, promoted or not, rewarded more or less, based in part on whether their students learn. The NEA has bitterly fought performance pay tied to student test scores, and Ms. Weingarten, generally more supportive of new ideas about teacher compensation, seemed to be sounding a bit of a retreat in her Journal column, citing a study that shows “rewarding teachers with bonus pay does not raise student test scores.” Ms. Weingarten disputed to us any suggestion that she’s backtracking on reforms, explaining that she is guided by empirical data on what works. Union leaders are right that many factors go into successful learning. There is a need for more and better-quality preschool programs; a better job must be done in recruiting and retaining top college students as teachers; and the poverty that afflicts many of America’s children cannot be ignored. It’s also true that everyone in a school — music teachers, custodians, principals — plays a role, and reading and math tests alone can’t provide a full picture of that. But if some fourth-grade teachers consistently help their students advance in math and reading more than other teachers, why wouldn’t we want to reward the successful ones and encourage them to stay in the profession? The current lock-step system of pay provides little incentive to the brightest and most creative people who might be thinking of entering or staying in the profession. Teacher evaluations should be fair and transparent, conditions that have not always been present in past systems. But if anyone is demonizing teachers, it’s those who won’t treat them as professionals — who believe all teachers should earn the same pay, and get the same raise, no matter how much harder they work or how much more some of them accomplish. We think teachers deserve a different sort of appreciation and respect. Washington Post
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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
“Here comes the ‘GRAND COMMANDER of the FEDERAL REPUBLIC’...(GCFR).”
IR: I read with utmost disgust the article written by Sufuyan Ojiefo published in some newspapers recently. In the article, he besieged us with praises of Chief Tony Anenih’s magical feat in Esanland in the last general elections. His claims are short of substance as typified in his sense of understanding and judgment of his mentor Tony Anenih and the achievements of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. His judgment on the last election results conveys an impression of a political landscape in Edo State being redrawn along the lines of personal contest between Anenih and Oshiomhole. He must understand the bitter and sweet reality of the permanent domination of Edo polity by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), instead of reverting to roles driven by the urge to make his master relevant having lost his grip of the polity. Maybe when compared to his partner in perfidy, President Olusegun Obasanjo who could not deliver his unit, he is a hero of sort. Let his relevance accord him a voice in Abuja and not Edo State. While the erstwhile General Overseer of Esan politics who was a big fish in the Ocean has gradually been driven out to rub shoulders with smaller fishes in the pond, today he is like a king who had lost most part of his kingdom but still glory within the walls of his palace
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Re: Between Oshiomhole and hedonism with his summarize subjects. His influence over the State Assembly has been cut off. Governor Oshiomhole has delivered by refusing to implement the PDP strategies of incumbency rigging of elections to fortify their walls of resistance to opposition. Ojiefo and his likes have been caught up in the rapture of Anenih’s
smooth and deadly approach to politics. His claim that Oshiomhole has demonized ACN is most certainly absurd. What has Anenih and PDP’s governments done to Edo State? He would rather praise his boss’ resistance to progress than embrace those who are passionate about moving forward. If he is sure of his judgments, he should
organize a public debate for the general public to scrutinize Anenih and Oshiomhole’s record. For the record, the only visible development in Esanland since the days of Samuel Ogbemudia and Ambrose Alli are projects carried out by Local Government Administrations under the supervision of the present Ministry
That Olabisi Onabanjo University may rise again
IR: In the build up to the last general elections in Ogun state, one concern that the three leading gubernatorial candidates addressed was the plethora of crises that have retarded both human and capital development of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye. The candidates identified the unaffordable tuition, the case of unjustly sacked staff, and, the general lack of adequate infrastructures as chief of the concerns. It was expected that whoever won the election would make these issues
a major concern among several other pressing issues. As the governor-elect Ibikunle Amosun is waiting to assume office, I hope he will make good his promise in this respect. The governor-elect should be sincerely concerned about OOU because that was a legacy jointly bequeathed the state by Chiefs Awolowo and Onabanjo who saw the need and pursued the vision vigorously such that the university was given a solid foundation. The foundation however was not
built upon by successive governments hence the rot that has befallen OOU. The rot got worse during the regime of Professor Olatunji Oyeneye whose administration ended in a mixed grill. In fairness to him, he wanted the best for the university by moving into the permanent site. His zeal to develop infrastructure at the permanent site however snowballed into a cash and carry situation in which people of good will were invited to put structures in place. Many of
IR: Since his emergence as the governor of Bauchi State in 2007, Isa Yuguda has always made the headlines for the wrong reasons. He was elected on the platform of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), but later defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) after marrying the daughter of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. He ensured that his deputy who did not defect with him was impeached. Unfortunately for him, that impeachment was voided by the courts. As if the botched impeachment of his deputy and the marriage of a girl young enough to be his daughter were not enough reasons for him to tread cautiously, Yuguda ignited more spite from the public during the late president’s health dilemma. While the imbroglio lasted, Yuguda, in a desperate bid by the
of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs headed by Hon. Victor Enoghama. The newly anointed vuvuzela of Tony Anenih had better advise his master that at this moment in his life, he should be seen as a father to all by leading by example. He should teach his followers to imbibe the spirit of love and fair play instead of hatred and manipulations. The best compliment I can pay Ojiefo is that he sounds like a senior slave who would rather remain a slave to enjoy his control over his co-slaves than be freed from slavery. • Smart Osazuwa Osagiede Edo State
president’s yes-men to retain power was tipped as VicePresident in waiting. He would tell a lie with a straight face by assuring the nation that a sick president was hale and hearty. Yuguda made the headlines for the wrong reason again last week with his comment on the post elections violence that erupted in his state and some other northern states. While the families of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members who were killed in the crises mourned, the governor added salt to their injuries by saying “it was their destiny to die”. He did not stop there. He went on to recount his own experience as a corps member in Ibadan and how his first son escaped been lynched by the mob who destroyed properties worth millions of naira belonging to him.
It was indeed a big gaffe from a sitting governor. If it was the destiny of the corpers to die, was it their destiny to die such a gruesome death in the hands of a blood-thirsty mob? Was it also the destiny of the families of the late corps members to lose their children in their prime? How about those who killed them, was killing innocent people their own destiny too? Yuguda did not think of the monumental loss the deaths meant to the nation. He did not reason that among those who died there could have been doctors who can rescue our hospitals that have become death chambers, or professors who can restore our educational system and prevent the brain drain that threatens our schools. As a state executive, Yuguda did not think of organizing a public
memorial for those young lads who died serving their father-land neither did he think of commiserating with their families as his counterparts in other states have done. Instead he spat on their graves by saying it was their destiny to die. What destiny if I may ask? Would the governor have said the same thing if his own son after spending four, five or six years in the university was posted to Bauchi state only to be killed by some irate youths protesting the result of an election that was freely contested and won? Yuguda as once again proved that he is not a leader to be emulated. A leader who cannot empathize with people at a time like this should not be there in the first place. May the souls of the fallen corps members rest in peace. • Vincent Nzemeke Lagos
the children of these donors were offered admissions and job opportunities in appreciation of their parents’ gestures even when they were not even qualified. That was the defining moment at OOU that saw a remarkable surge in students’ intake. The surge led to emergence of different cult groups who were patronised by the management at will. The 1996 ASUU strike during which over a hundred lecturers were sacked for their failure to sign back to work also changed the landscape of OOU because many unqualified teachers in neighbouring town were recruited. The present principal officers of OOU and members of governing council continued the military style tradition of the Oyeneye regime of ensuring that critics were either sidelined or sent packing. Many of OOU’s best teachers were sacked and made redundant because of their criticism of Otunba Gbenga Daniel’s government. Those who were not sacked have gone on self exile. There is a need for an independent panel of inquiry to carry out a fact finding assessment of the university with a view to repositioning it for service delivery. The governor-elect should rescue OOU from the grips of retrogressive elements who are serving the interest of some individuals as against the interest of the good people of Ogun State. Adewole Babatunde, Asero, Abeokuta. Ogun State.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
ILLIAM Golding was right and J.M. Ballantyne was wrong. The globe teems with savages, no matter the posturing about different levels of civilisation. Since Golding’s grim creative verdict in Lord of the Flies (1954), the human race has proved to the hilt its immense capacity for savagery! Olakunle In 1857, the Scot, Ballantyne, had Abimbola written The Coral Island, the firstname.lastname@example.org, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) ous story of three British teenage boys. The boys survived a ship wreck but were marooned on an uninhabited Polynesian island. But despite the absence of the prying eyes of adults, the three boys (the oldest was only 18, the ness to boot, since it is no Anglo-Saxon sounding name, ordinarother two being 15 and 14) coped admirably, even interven- ily expected to hold the reins of the world’s most powerful couning among the warring savage tribes to defeat the invader; try. But Obama could also be the most hated name in the world, and finally sailed back home to Britain in triumph. especially in the proverbial “Arab street” and allied catchment But 97 years later, after the evil of two World Wars, William areas of Africa, where Osama remains a near-deity, if fundamenGolding in 1954 stormed back in Lord of the Flies, with a con- talist Islam – or more correctly, the abuse of it – would allow. trary and much more pessimistic (some people insist, realis- Osama, on the other hand, is the world’s most notorious name, tic) vision of the world and the humans therein. since the heinous crime of 11 September 2001, when Osama’s Al Just as the Ballantyne glorious trio, a group of British school Qaeda terrorist network crashed two hijacked commercial aircraft boys found themselves stranded on another island, though into the twin-towers of the World Trade Centre in New York; and this time not from a shipwreck but after their aircraft, on an despatched no less than 3, 000 souls in unprecedented blood and emergency war evacuation sortie, had crash landed; and left gore. But he could also be some others’ undisputed hero. them without the all-important imposed order of the adults. So, both Obama and Osama can be popular and notorious, The boys from the best of British public schools were sup- depending on which side of the divide is making the judgeposed to take charge and admirably live happily ever after. ment. Besides, the phonetic affinity between Obama and But alas! Instead, the savage milieu rolled them over and Osama also hints at some grim symbolism that, for good or turned them, in record time, into savages. for ill, races of the world are closer than many think, both in So on May 1, Golding and his Lord of the Flies, the novel that their capacity for good and for evil. won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983, leapt to mind; Of course, the symbolic hint might just be tenuous, for it after the killing of Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born terrorist would not have arisen had a Bush, or a Clinton or a Reagan, but scourge of the United States and its trumpeted “modern” been president of the United States, and not an Obama. But it civilisation, hit the airwaves. is some uncanny coincidence that when Osama met his The killing of Osama has had its own grim rimes. “Obama waterloo, Obama was America’s commander-in-chief. ti p’Osama o!” [Yoruba for “Obama has killed Osama!], someTo be sure, Osama’s demise was well deserved. The world one whooped in grim finality, spiked with mischief; sending is better off without a crackpot hiding behind some religious everyone around into a guffaw. orthodoxy to despatch misguided friends (suicide bombers) Obama, of course, is the United States president, Barrack Obama, and innocent foes (terror victims) into early grave; while nesperhaps the most famous name in the world, with some quaint- tling with his own kith-and-kin in a million-dollar mansion, in some posh military neighbourhood in Pakistan. On the surface, Osama and his misguided Al-Qaeda cells ‘The grim truth is that the world needs look the more hateful and antediluvian. An abiding image of healing; and both America, the top dog; the September 11 American attack, aside from Osama himself and Al-Qaeda, the vengeful underdog, with his eternal Kalashnikov (the archetypal man that lives the sword and dies by the sword), was the one-eyed Mullah have absolutely no clue how to bring by Mohammed Omar, the leader of the Taliban, the Stone Age about that healing, being only two Afghan hosts, that gave Osama refuge. The one-eyed Omar struck the grim image of a bitter one sides of a savage global coin.’ who had lost an eye, and did not particularly care if others
lost both eyes! The pre-historic regime that the Taliban harshly imposed on Afghanistan, before they overreached themselves by sheltering Osama prelude to launching the September 11 attack on America, symbolised a collective but lunatic fringe, disgruntled with a Western-led world order; and did not particularly care to crash it upon everyone, hiding behind Islamic fundamentalism. But is America, the undisputed leader of the so-called Western civilisation, any better? Remove the perfumery of showy Western affectations, the cultural imperialism of the likes of CNN as it remakes the globe in its own image and the sweet poison of the western “good life”, powered by technology and served with the fixed formula of violence and sex, and America itself might well be the Biblical white sepulchre, glittering without but rotten within, if the subject is superior moral essence. Though America prides itself a secular place free to every faith and creed, it is no secret that the American state has closer affinity with the Christian turn-the-other-cheek doctrine than the Mosaic eye-for-an-eye Judaism, on which the Jewish state of Israel is founded. Still, there was no question as to the glee, triumphalism and sheer national pride with which the Osama demise was received. On the other hand, the so-called “Arab street” and allied catchment areas worldwide that now foam in the mouth and rage against Osama’s elimination, straight-faced rationalised his evil, even as they shamelessly cheered Al-Qaeda’s lunatic creed of mass slaughter of innocent souls. Since the Prussian Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) unleashed his audacious philosophy of the will-to-conquer and the madness-of-power-and-glory, the world, even after two World Wars, has kidded itself it is less nihilistic than Nietzsche so brazenly propounded. That has ensured that savagery is assured: savagery built Rome; savagery built the Ottoman Empire; savagery built the British Empire; and savagery has not been absent in the current American Empire, though the Americans often console themselves their own imperialism has been more of ideas than of territories. But can they in all conscience claim their power journey has been less savage? Strictly on figurative terms, Obama has killed Osama today. Tomorrow, Osama might well kill Obama. Empires, after all, rise and empires fall! But the grim truth is that the world needs healing; and both America, the top dog; and Al-Qaeda, the vengeful underdog, have absolutely no clue how to bring about that healing, being only two sides of a savage global coin. Concerned citizens of the world had better give this grim situation the serious thought it deserves. Otherwise, Ballantyne’s vision of man as basically good would be gone forever; and even with the despatch of Osama, the globe would continue to be a dangerous place.
ered worth the pain of the engulfing darkness. Now we know better: the NIPP bazaar reportedly cost the treasury between $13 to $16 billion; yet it left no flickers of light at the end of the long dark tunnel. Yet again, the nation was forced to re-learn the lesson on how not to throw money at problems. The clear winners of course were the hierarchs of the OBJ administration who gleefully celebrated their global prize in the number of turbine ordered for that year – 2006, I believe it was – while setting the nation’s eyes on 10,000 MW – supposedly planned to be up and running in no more than 24 months. Their gain would later turn to our pain. The promises not only turned a hoax, the nation has spent the better part of the last four years figuring out what to do with the poorly conceived power projects described as the NIPP. Meanwhile, the goals of liberalisation, supposedly the main driver of the reforms, have remained elusive. With the PSR Act 2005 and the roadmap, and two powerful committees – the Presidential Action Committee on Power (PACP) and the Presidential Task Force on Power, the job at hand requires more than hopping from one NIPP site to another. It requires dedication, greater commitment and discipline at the highest levels to drive the reform process through. Surely, you do not need the VP hopping from one project site to another to drive contractors to deliver projects on schedule. It is an abuse of executive time. When a country requires an outlay of $10 billion annually for the next 10 years to deliver an incremental 30,000MW, the spectacle of guided tours by the Number Two citizen to 30MW projects should be seen as truly frightening.
Salute to global savagery
URELY, all has not been entirely quiet on the energy front lately. Anyone in need of convincing only needs to check out the itinerary of Vice President Namadi Sambo in the past week alone. In the space of seven days, the Vice President was in Kaduna State to inspect the Gurara Dam project which on completion is expected to deliver 30 MW. Next stop was the Sapele Power Plant, Delta State from where the train moved to Olorunsogo, Ogun State where the VP also inspected the second phase of the Olorunsogo Power plant. It was the week to echo the usual sound bites. The signal is hard to miss: the Goodluck Jonathan administration has its hands on the levers as far as meeting the current challenges of the power sector go. It is of course doubtful that anyone took the presidential assurances as anything more than the familiar fables of progress by high ranking officials – that is if they paid any attention to the tours at all. Nigerians know a thing or two about taking the outcomes of such glitzy outings outside of the photo-op which they were packaged to be. As for its timing, that is also understandable. August - that is three months from now, marks the first anniversary of the Jonathan administration’s signature initiative: the power sector roadmap. For an administration which has come to acquire a reputation for making a song of its commitment to turning around the power sector, it was expected that it would seek to use the opportunity to showcase the progress made in the last 12 months. I suspect that the countdown to that first anniversary may well have begun. Measuring “progress” has of course remained problematic; after years of failed delivery targets, and unrealisable dreams, it remains a matter of who is measuring the “progress” and the indices of the measurement. Be that as it may, there are gains that can no longer be denied. We now have the Power Sector Reform Act 2005, an important legislation on which the on-going reforms is inextricably anchored. Beyond that, the sector has recorded, and continues to record unparalleled inflow of investment even if these have not necessarily translated into more power delivered to homes and manufacturing companies. Not forgetting also the Jonathan administration’s extraordinary step of producing the power sector roadmap. In spite of all these, the verdict is that the sector remains an embarrassment – a scandal. The power utility firm remains inept as ever with no signs of the promised liberalisation on the horizon. Indeed, the developments, set in the overall context of the reforms would render any claims of achievements debatable. Let us start with the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act 2005 – a law passed six years ago with the stated goal of
Policy Sanya Oni email@example.com 08051101841
What’s new from the power sector? transforming the sector from state-run entities into commercially viable, liberalised industry. The current sorry state of the legislation is perhaps an apt illustration of the saying that the hood does not necessarily a monk make, any more than a beautiful legislation is the be-all to a problem. Put together with the beautifully couched Electric Power Policy document of 2001, we should, at this point, be talking of herding our high officials before some disciplinary panels for transgressing our statutes – not celebrating non-achievements! But Nigerians already know the story of how plain incompetence and outright kleptomania have led to the situation in which a country of 150 million people has come to be permanently hooked on generators. In 1999, the trouble with the sector was dissected as mismanagement and corruption as if this is not our national staple; it took nearly four years to acknowledge the other leg of the problem as the years of neglect and under-investment which translated into the hobbling of the capacity of the sector to renew itself. By 2003, the problem had become well known enough to persuade on the inevitability of reforms. What the nation could not have bargained for was the detour to the usual route of selective application of therapy in the aftermath of the power sector reform law. It seems like yesterday, in 2006, when former President Olusegun Obasanjo opened the floodgates to the importation of power turbines under the National Integrated Power Projects. Sure, there was money from the piggy bank – the excess crude account – to be spent without the strictures of parliamentary scrutiny. The fiscal expediency was consid-
‘You do not need the VP hopping from one project site to another to drive contractors to deliver projects on schedule. It is an abuse of executive time. When a country requires an outlay of $10 billion annually for the next 10 years to deliver an incremental 30,000MW, the spectacle of guided tours by the Number Two citizen to 30MW projects should be seen as truly frightening’
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
UDGING from the results of the 2011 general elections, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd) and his Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) came out badly bruised against all reasonable expectations. And the party and it’s leadership have reacted in characteristic manner blaming all but self for the routing in the hands of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), especially in the April 16 presidential election. And for the umpteenth time Buhari and his party have gone to the tribunal to challenge the result of a presidential election that once again gave victory to the PDP, the beneficiary this time being Dr Goodluck Jonathan who polled about 22million votes to Buhari’s 12million. The bookmakers, favourite to win the election from the outset had always been Jonathan but with a slim margin paving the way for a possible run off with Buhari whose party was widely expected to give PDP a run for it’s money. But by the time the result came, it was everything but a close contest and Buhari characteristically is crying foul, alleging massive rigging, manipulation, multiple voting among others, by the PDP in the Southeast, South-south and some parts of South west, especially Lagos State. His party has gone to the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which is sitting as the tribunal for petitions arising from the presidential election, asking for results in 20 states where it is alleging irregularities, to be cancelled and INEC ordered by the tribunal to conduct a re-run between President Goodluck Jonathan and Gen. Buhari. The president’s camp in a move some see as an admission of insinuation that the April elections were not free, fair and credible as the world was made to believe, has also declared its intention to challenge Buhari’s 12million votes especially in his northern strong hold where it is alleging under age voting. It hope to knock off about six million votes from Buhari’s total. Both camps have put together crack teams of lawyers and would be relying on video evidence and forensic examination of voting materials to prove their cases at the tribunal. It is interesting to note that save for Lagos where Jonathan polled about .....votes to Buhari’s .... the CPC is not contesting the result
IR, My decision to communicate with you through this medium is anchored on my faith in your leadership and your ability to listen. The recurrent spate of violence in the North and the consequent murder of some of my colleagues is what has driven me to write. I guess I have the solution to the crisis. Your excellency will agree with me that the youths of this nation contributed their quota to giving Nigeria a free, fair and credible election. Many of them were hunted and slaughtered for attempting to disrupt the old order. Reports had it that 50 youth corps members were forcibly locked up in a building in Yola and the house set ablaze. Nine others were slaughtered in their prime and scores of the ladies were ravished by hoodlums and unfortunately a randy monarch joined the ignominious fray. The cause of their wrath is evident in the moving stories of the casualties of the April 16 presidential election. Seun Adewunmi was the only graduate in his family and he had promised to take care of his aged mother, a retired cleaner of Judicial Service Commission, Lagos State. He was butchered by rioters. His labour and struggle to survive and be a respectable Nigerian was wasted by a blood-thirsty mob in Bauchi. Ukeoma Ikechukwu’s story is more touching. He had proudly written on his facebook page after he heroically fought election fraud in his duty-post the following: “These CPC supporters would have killed me yesterday, no
‘There is therefore the urgent need to salvage our security system. The armed forces will need to have proper education on their roles to safeguard the lives of citizens. Actually what we need is not a strong and coercive leader as many erroneously believe, what we need are strong institutions’
Why CPC failed in the other states in the South west where it failed woefully, although the Buhari group is said to be blaming the mainly Yoruba south west for the loss of their principal, on the strength of what they say was a betrayal by the zone of the CPC candidate. They were expecting the zone to back Buhari’s presidential bid even when there was nothing on ground to suggest this was going to happen. The same erroneous impression the Southeast had in the mid-60’s when the Biafra project began. I was of the opinion that the Southwest would be key to whoever was going to win the April 16 presidential poll and I think to a large extent it was. I had suspected that the leading candidates would maximize their strength in their areas and this was exactly what happened. While the PDP returned some incredible figures for Jonathan in the Southeast and South-south, Buhari’s CPC secured for him northern votes in large numbers, especially in the North west. But while Jonathan was still able to make inroads in the north, due to the support of some PDP governors, Buhari failed woefully in the president’s backyard and I think this was where he lost the plot. And he did his ambition no good by his failure to secure solid backing from the South west, while the president was able to get and even surpassed what he needed from the zone. Why was this zone so crucial and why did Buhari fail there? These are not easy questions to answer but with a voting population of about 15 million and none of its own in the presidential race, I mean serious candidates, the Yoruba votes were up for grab but only to the one that best embodies their kind of politics.
A closer observation of the politics of the Yoruba would indicate that the people have a preference for social democrats and that explains why politicians of left of centre leanings have always had the day in the region, the Obasanjo/ PDP interregnum of 2003-2007 notwithstanding. Second, Yoruba abhor dictatorship and right through their history dictators and tyrants, if and when they found their way into power or position of authority have often been dealt with decisively. Allied to this is their own concept of leadership. Their leader must listen to them; not a Mr Know All. He must feel what they feel and must be one and part of them. Third, religion in Yoruba land is a personal issue, it’s like a buffet, go in there and pick your own but make sure in the process you don’t disturb the other person. It is live and let live, no room for religious zealotry. You may choose not to belong to any faith, that is your own problem as far as the people are concerned. But above all the people believe in fairness, and if you believe in all or most of what the people hold dear to themselves, the chances are high that you would get their votes irrespective of where you come from. They don’t even care if the better candidate is not one of their own, as long as you believe in what they believe in you get their votes. Recall that in the colonial era, the people of Lagos voted for an Ernest Ikoli against an Akinsanya in an election into the city council. That is the nature of the people here, and to a large extent, they have remained faithful to that. You have to sweat for whatever you get from them; you must convince them you can do it, and there is no room for ethnic or
Letter to Mr. President By Folarin Samson see threat ooo. Even after forcing under-age voters on me, they wanted me to give them the remaining ballot papers to thumb print. Thank God for the police and I’m happy I could stand for God and my nation. To all corps members who stood despite these threats especially in the North, bravo! Nigeria our change has come”. About 249 youths have formed a group to demand justice for his murder. Kehinde Adeniyi was said to have been identified by one of his pupils in the school he taught and subsequently hacked to death. Obinna Okpokiri left UK for Nigeria to serve his fatherland. He had perfected plans to have his post-graduate studies in a British school before he walked into the chilly hands of death in Bauchi. He was beaten to death and burnt. Anslem Sylvester Nkwazema, few days to his death, had become friends with Ukeoma Ikechukwu on facebook. He had written on his page ‘if you cant thank God for what you received, thank God for what you escaped. I may pray to fly like an angel, but don’t know what tomorrow may turn out to be’ He was one of the corps members chased into a police station before being sent back into the bloody hands of the rioters because a stone reportedly hit the DPO’s head. Sir, these incidents are not new. Over the years many of our promising corps members have died under reprehensible circumstances. The ladies have not been spared either, as they are subjected to inhuman treatment and sexual harassment. In 2008, the media reported that militants ravished 28 female corps members in Abonnema, Rivers state after invading their residence and rounding up the ladies on primary assignment in the area. But the truth is that these are the snippets that filter out to the media. For every reported case of rape, 10 must have gone undisclosed for fear of stigmatization. I could have gone to serve in one of these states too. But my school had a delay in the submission of our names. I had criticized the authority and questioned the competence of the administrative staff. After I heard the gruesome murder of these youths, I was sober. If my school had out of despera-
tion succeeded in smuggling our names for service in February, it could have been any of us, I thought. For how long will this continue? How do we stop this bloodbath? I have listened and read the reactions of parents and intending corps members who were shocked by the development. While some have called for secession, others have opined that the best solution is to scrap NYSC because it has outlived its usefulness. After all, it was created in 1973 in the wake of Nigeria’s survival of the 1967 civil war. Few others said that Nigerian youths can still serve in the geo-political zone of their states instead of risking their lives among strangers. Sir, I have put myself in your shoe (although it’s too big for me). Certainly the first option is not good enough. If Yakubu Gowon could fight for Nigeria’s unity, you will not want the country to disintegrate in your era. That will be a bad legacy for you. The second option also comes with its burden of breeding disaffection, fostering primordial sentiments on national issues and bringing about disconnection among the over 250 ethnic groups in the country. The last option is just a recasting of the former. It defeats the essence of NYSC which is to make Nigerian youths mix with people of other tribes, social and family backgrounds for cross-fertilization of culture and ideas. But here is my thought. Nigeria has a big problem which underlines this entire avoidable carnage. Just last year in Jos, over 500 were reportedly slaughtered; indigenes and non-indigenes fell victims. It was the same in Bauchi, Maiduguri, Borno, et al where hundreds of poor Nigerians fell to the brutality of their countrymen. The slain corps members were just victims of our carnivorous system. Insecurity looms large at us. The booms of bombs and bullets that marred this election in which many lives were lost merely exposed the age long cracks in our security and intelligence gathering system. The callous DPO who left those helpless corps members at the mercy of their assail-
religious sentiment. Yoruba’s highly revered son and leader, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo did confirm this when he said his people are highly fastidious and would only support you based on what you can do and not where you come from. The sage himself went through a lot before he won the acceptance of his people, even at that this was not total, as there were still pockets of opposition to him and his political ideology even in death. But once the majority believe in you, it is total, you can do no wrong as far as they are concerned. However you must remain faithful to them. Now between Buhari and Jonathan, who do you think would always get the majority votes in Yoruba land even if the election was repeated a thousand times with the same set of candidates? Knowing this about the Yoruba and where he stands on all the issues dear to them, was Buhari not asking for too much from the South west when he asked for their votes to be Nigeria’s president? Even in asking for their support, the man never really made any serious efforts to convince the people why they needed to vote for him. His campaigns in the region were nothing to write home about. And to compound his situation, he chose a political nobody in Yoruba land, Pastor Tunde Bakare as his running mate simply to appease the christians, which to an average Yoruba man is not an issue. Even the agreement he was working on with the ACN leadership in South west to have a joint platform to fight PDP couldn’t have worked out because in the eyes of the people so to speak, he was not just the right person to lead Nigeria out of the woods. I am sure the ACN leadership would have had a hectic time convincing their people to vote for Buhari even if the alliance had succeeded. The killings in the north by elements believed to be supporting Buhari, after Jonathan was declared winner have not just confirmed the peoples’ fear about him but have further damaged him before the people and if as CPC is asking the tribunal to do, a re-run is ordered in these 20 states, especially Lagos, it could be a tsunami of votes against the former Head of State. The CPC should be careful with what it is asking for, lest it comes to past. Let’s wait for the tribunal to decide. This could be the mother of all legal battles over elections in Nigeria.
ants might have wondered why he should die for them. He must have been overpowered and in a bid to save himself felt he had to sacrifice these youths who had ran to him for protection. However, he cannot be totally absolved of culpability since it was his duty to protect them even at the expense of his own life. But if he had died who would mourn him? Who would pay his children’s school fees when he’s gone? A demeaning hush envelops the rest of the story. There is therefore the urgent need to salvage our security system. The armed forces will need to have proper education on their roles to safeguard the lives of citizens. Actually what we need is not a strong and coercive leader as many erroneously believe, what we need are strong institutions. Sir, I recommend that these fallen ones be accorded national burial and their families impressively compensated. They died in the course of their service to the nation. They were valiant heroes who gave their lives for the resurrection of true democracy. The killings should not be swept under the carpet in the name of political expediency. If the prosecution is dragging, you could invite the help of the International Criminal Court (ICC) which mediated in a similar event in Kenya, making six politicians, ex-head of police, a radio DJ and government ministers to face the full wrath of the law for inciting violence in the Kenyan 2007 election. Honestly, I think the survivors deserve to be appreciated and rewarded. It will be very unfair if the federal government allows these change agents to fizzle out and join the teeming number of unemployed youths roaming the streets and waiting to be tools in the hands of opportunistic sadists in the society. Finally, an adage says you cannot cure a splitting headache by chopping off the head. NYSC is good intentioned. Those who are instruments of violence in the north are either illiterate or religiously deluded and perverted. In fact, the North has the highest number of poorly educated youths. The NYSC members have however been helpful in educating many of the students in the North and if this is intensified, there could be a re-orientation and a possible paradigm shift in the future. •Samson is awaiting call-up into the NYSC programme
Howard: Anichebe needs to stay motivated Pg. 41
Nigeria/Egypt friendly cancelled Pg. 41
Nation Tuesday, May 10, 2011
WAFU Cup, my priority —Siasia
‘Enyimba’s woes, over soon’
TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
Guardiola hails Man Essien returns to Utd over league victory Ghana national team BARCELONA boss Pep Guardiola called Manchester United "extraordinary" as the plaudits rained in on Sir Alex Ferguson's team after they moved within a point of a historic 19th title.
Sunday's 2-1 win Premier League victory over Chelsea took United to within a point of the milestone, which will see them overhaul Liverpool's record. And Guardiola, whose side face United in the Champions League final on 28 May, said: "They have a great squad. "A great team, extraordinary players." Man Utd won through to that Champions League final meeting with Barcelona with a 6-1 aggregate victory against Schalke 04 in the semifinal, a win sealed by a 4-1 win at Old Trafford with a team consisting largely of fringe players. Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs, Park Jisung, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez were all given the nightoff as United eased through the semifinal, second-leg clash.
Bale set to miss rest of season TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR star Gareth Bale is set to miss the rest of the season, manager Harry Redknapp said on Monday. The Wales star had to be carried off on a stretcher following a challenge by Charlie Adam during Spurs' 1-1 draw with Blackpool on Saturday. Bale, arguably Tottenham's best player this term, was due to have a scan on his left leg on Monday amid fears he'd damaged ankle ligaments. Redknapp said Bale would miss Tuesday's Premier League match against Manchester City, a game that will have a key bearing on the race for the fourth Champions League place on offer to English clubs. And he added Bale was likely to miss Spurs' remaining games, against
HANA MIDFIELDER Michael Essien has returned to the Black Stars squad after a one-year self-imposed exile. The Chelsea enforcer put his Black Stars career on hold after suffering two serious injuries to help him fully regain his form. After playnig a key role in Chelsea's late revival this season, Essien says he is available for selection for Ghana's next game. "I am fully ready to return to the Black Stars for our next Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo in June," Essien told BBC Sport. "After the two serious injuries I suffered while playing for my country, I asked permission from the Ghana FA to excuse me from Black Stars duties to allow me to fully recover. "They understood my situation and granted my request because of the injuries I had. "I really want to help my country to
qualify for the next year's Africa Cup of Nations so I am ready to join my colleagues to help the country to qualify." Essien's absence from the national team has been the subject of intense debate amongst football fans in Ghana. Some even speculated that he was contemplating retiring from the Black Stars but the Chelsea ace says it never crossed his mind. "I still have a lot to offer my country and it never crossed my mind to retire from the national team," Essien said. "I have never ever said anything like that before. I love my country and I have a lot to give back." The injury forced him out of the 2010 African Nations Cup in Angola and then the World Cup in South Africa. Essien has not played for Ghana since a forty-five minute appearance at the 2010 Nations Cup. The Black Stars will play Congo on 6 June in Group I of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Liverpool and Birmingham. Spurs are six points behind fourthplaced City and so need to win their three remaining matches if they are to overhaul Roberto Mancini's expensively assembled side. "It looks like he has done his ankle ligaments," Redknapp told reporters on Monday. "I don't see him playing again this season." "It's badly swollen, his ankle. We will just have to wait and see how bad the damage is," Redknapp added. Bale, 21, alerted the whole of Europe to his ability with two barnstorming displays against Inter Milan in the group phase of this season's Champions League and his form saw the winger named player of the year by England's Professional Footballers' Association.
interpret social situations and boundaries," he said. "You display a predatory and manipulative lifestyle and try to deliberately mislead interviewers." The court heard that Ibru, who like Ferdinand hails from Peckham in south London, had made a 400-mile (650kilometre) round trip to the centre-half's home south of Manchester on three occasions last year. Ferdinand, 32, had told the trial he was upset by the visits from Ibru, whom he had never met.
WAFU Cup, my E priority –Siasia •Plays down Argentina friendly
UPER EAGLES Coach Samson Siasia has shelved all issues relating to the FIFA-accredited friendly match against Argentina on June 1st at the Abuja National Stadium. Siasia who is presently leading the home-based Eagles squad at the on-going WAFU Cup tournament, holding in Abeokuta declared: “ I can’t say anything now on the Argentina match. Let’s finish with the WAFU Cup first , I can’t jump over to the next one, we have to finish this one first and see those that perform up to expectations, ” Siasia told NationSport. However, the Eagles gaffer is more concerned on the team’s form as he said: “Work is still in progress, we cannot just start jubilating because we scored
BACARY SAGNA has accused his Arsenal teammates of being "too nice" and urged them to toughen up in pursuit of silverware. The Gunners are set for a sixth successive season without a trophy after a 3-1 defeat away to Stoke on Sunday ended their already fading Premier League title hopes. Arsenal's weakness at defending set pieces was exposed again when an unmarked Kenwyne Jones bundled in Stoke's opening goal and Sagna said such errors would have to be eliminated if the north London club , who beat champions-elect Manchester United 1-0 last time out, were to win the title next season. "We are too nice. We have to
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Klitschko promises Haye Knock out WLADIMIR Klitschko has insisted that he will make David Haye his 50th knock-out when the two meet in a unification bout on July 2 in Hamburg. The IBF, IBO and WBO champion also claimed he agreed to give Haye equal terms to make sure the fight went ahead. "Forty-nine fighters have been knocked out in the last 15 years and David Haye has completely disrespected them," he told Sky Sports News. "I will show him that he is just going to be another like the 49 before, he will be number 50 on July 2 and that is the way it is going to be." The 34-year-old Ukrainian added: "He has to have 50% which I dont think he deserves, so I gave in and gave 50% otherwise it wouldn't have happened." Haye spent the majority of the press conference questioning the ability of his opponent, but Klitschko has moved to praise Haye's prowess in the ring. He said: "I want to show respect to him, which may surprise you but he has certain qualities.
"He has heavy hands and great speed as well as being motivated and this time the steam came out of his ears because suddenly he has this anger and I think I will be challenged in the ring."
By Stella Bamawo four goals, we still have a long way to go, we have to be very professional, we don’t know the next opponent that will be given to us, so we have to play tactically on the field of play. We need to create a lot of chances and score the goals, I always tell the strikers that for you to score goals, you have to go all out for it, and stay in the middle that is the mark of a striker. “I don’t care how many dribbles you make, it is always about how many goals you score. These are the things you have to tell the players. It is not just about talking to them, and allowing them respond to attack. Whatever happens we will wait for our next opponent and play a good game that day.” Argentina have played Nigeria’s Super Eagles three times and won on all occasions.
In the same vein, the Nigerians Football Association had ordered Siasia to focus on the sub-regional West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Cup tournament reserved for home based players which ends May 15.
VERTON goalkeeper, Tim Howard says Victor Anichebe needs to stay motivated and that if he does, he can continue to turn in performances like on Saturday. The Nigerian international has suffered a distinct lack of form over the past two seasons, but for an hour against Manchester City looked capable of playing in the Premier League, and Howard wants that to continue. “We say it all the time, the belief that the coaching staff and the players have in Victor is unreal,” said Howard. “He’s a tough ask for anybody and if we continue to motivate him and if he continues to motivate himself on the
Sagna: Arsenal must toughen up for silverware
Ferdinand stalker jailed A WOMAN found guilty of stalking Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand was jailed for 10 weeks on Monday. Susanne Ibru, 38, was also put on a restraining order for 10 years after last month being convicted of harassing the England defender. At Crewe Magistrates' Court in northwest England, district judge Nicholas Sanders said he was "concerned" by Ibru's behaviour since she had been in custody. "The pre-sentence report describes you as living in a fantasy world, unable to
Howard: Anichebe needs to stay motivated
Woods drops to Djokovic defeats King of Clay Nadal THAT’s it. We all knew that one eighth in the world SO to win Madrid of the record holders had to lose in PAUL CASEY has become the latest European to overtake Tiger Woods on the world rankings, pushing the 14-time major winner down to eighth despite missing the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina. Woods sat out the event with knee and Achilles injuries but has entered this week’s Players Championship in Florida. Europe now has six of the top seven players in the world, with only Phil Mickelson in fourth spot breaking their stranglehold. Lee Westwood’s decision not to play at Sawgrass this week — sixth-ranked Rory McIlroy is also skipping golf’s richest event — means he could lose top spot to Martin Kaymer, Luke Donald or Mickelson. Kaymer would need to finish first or second on Sunday, while Donald and Mickelson — neither of whom has ever led the rankings — would have to win what is often referred to as the sport’s unofficial fifth major. Not that Westwood or McIlroy view it that way. Woods has now fallen so far that even if he was to record his first victory anywhere since November 2009 he could climb only as high as fourth.
the finale and that one would crown himself the winner of the Mutua Madrid Open 2011. Rafael Nadal has 37 matches unbeaten on clay and hasn’t lost since 2009 before facing unbeatable Novak Djokovic who now holds 32 victories in a row. Djokovic surpassed Bjorn Borg’s 1980 record of 31-0. Only John McEnroe’s record of 42-0 remains. The biggest surprise is that Djokovic
defeated Nadal in straight sets, 75 6-4. “Probably it’s right at the top,” Djokovic said about beating Nadal on clay on Spanish soil. “Under the circumstances I was playing an unbelievable match. … I stepped onto the court today believing I could win. I needed to be aggressive and it was a great match.” “I came up against a great player obviously—he’s having a monster year,” Nadal said. “He was better, you have to accept that.” It’s Djokovic first win on clay versus Nadal and earlier this year Djokovic defeated Nadal at the Sony Ericsson Open and Indian Wells tournament. “If I want to reach No. 1 I will have to play consistently well because that’s what Rafa and the other players will do,” he said. “Probably because of my winning streak and being in the shape of a lifetime—I’m playing the best tennis of my career—I’m probably one of the favorites (at Roland Garros).”
fight a bit more. We have to push them as much as they push us and be a bit more killer," full-back Sagna told Arsenal TV Online. "We are not defending as well as we have to and against big players like Stoke have, it is very difficult. "We have to put in performances week after week and fight even more. "We didn't give enough. We didn't play as we can and that is what happens when you don't give the maximum - you get beaten everywhere." Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been urged to abandon his usual policy and make big-money signings in the close season in order to bolster the Gunners' shaky defence. But Sagna insisted said the current squad could provide the necessary improvement. "It can be put right on the training ground because it is in our mind," the 28-year-old France international said. "We know we are very good players, but sometimes we have to fight a bit more."
training pitch and he’s able to put in performances like that.”
'Enyimba’s woes, over soon'
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri HE Deputy Governor of Abia State, Dr. Eric Achor Nwakanma has assured Enyimba International FC players that all the complaints noted by their skipper, Chidozie Johnson would soon be looked into. Dr Nwakanma made this known in a chat with journalists after the 3rd Round One legged CAF Champions League match played at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba on Sunday against Al Ittihad. He noted that the Abia Government was well aware of the problems bedeviling the Peoples Elephant and that concerted effort would soon be made toward arresting the trend for optimum result. “He (Chidozie Johnson) has made it known to us Abia Government and even before the match started I went to see them to give them some pep talk. I have told the Chairman of the club (Felix Anyansi) to come to my office to let me know their problems to enable us know how to go about them.” Dr Nwakanma stressed. The second citizen of Abia however added that he was expecting a goal feast based on the intimidating antecedents of Enyimba at the Enyimba Stadium but was happy the lone goal made the difference and subsequently booked the club’s passage to the group stage. Earlier during a thank you session with the Deputy Governor of the state, Dr Eric Achor Nwakanma, the skipper of Enyimba International, Chidozie Johnson, beckoned on the state government to see to the two years arrears of their sign on fees and other outstanding emoluments. He noted that the players have vowed to continue to play despite the money owed them, a further lukewarm attention to it may start affecting their output on the field of play.
Nigeria/Egypt friendly cancelled
PROPOSED friendly later this month against African champions Egypt to celebrate the re-election of Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has been called off, officials have informed MTNFootball.com The high profile friendly between the Super Eagles and Argentina on June 1 will now therefore be used to mark Jonathan’s return to office. MTNFootball.com scooped that the inauguration match was put off after
Egypt turned down a chance to tackle the Eagles in an inauguration match on May 28 in Abuja. "Egypt rejected our proposal and now the government has settled on using the Argentina match in Abuja to celebrate the President's reelection," a top Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) official disclosed to MTNFootball.com "The match sponsors are very much aware of the added significance the game has now taken."
Wenger: I know what needs to be done ARSENAL MANAGER Arsene Wenger maintains he knows what must be done over the summer to turn the Gunners into champions next season. It has been seven years since Patrick Vieira's Invincibles lifted the Premier League trophy, with any slim title hopes extinguished in brutal fashion with a 3-1 defeat at Stoke on Sunday. Arsenal's defensive frailties were exposed again at the Britannia Stadium - most notably when an unmarked Kenwyne Jones bundled home Stoke's opener and also for the third goal following an awful clearance from Johan Djourou which fell straight to Jon Walters, the blunder coming moments after Robin van Persie scored his 20th goal of the season to give the visitors brief hope. Wenger has been urged to bring in experienced heads during the summer, most notably to help shore up the defence, with the likes of Blackburn's Chris Samba and Bolton's Gary Cahill both reported targets. However, the Arsenal manager insisted now was not the time to talk
about what is missing as his team regroup for next weekend's clash with Aston Villa looking to stay ahead of Manchester City in the race for automatic Champions League qualification. "We have our plans and we know what we will do," said Wenger. "It is not the best moment to analyse after a disappointing game, but if you analyse all competitions and how we have done, the number of games we have played, then we have done well.
The organisers of the Argentina friendly have assured the South American giants will parade a fullstrength squad complete with World Footballer of the Year, Lionel Messi. Nigeria and Argentina have clashed thrice at the World Cup with the South Americans winning all the games in 1994, 2002 and 2010. Two-time world champions Argentina are using this match to prepare for the Copa America, which they will stage in the summer.
Terry can't explain Chelsea woes JOHN TERRY had no answer to Chelsea's miserable first-half performance during a defeat by Manchester United that all but ended the Blues' Premier League title hopes. United's 2-1 victory on Sunday left Sir Alex Ferguson's side six points clear of second-placed title-holders Chelsea, with two games of the season left, and needing just one more point to be crowned champions. Chelsea were fortunate not to be more than two goals down at the break and their opening 45 minutes was in stark contrast to the work the London club had done over the previous two months to reduce a 15point deficit. Indeed they were a goal behind after a mere 36 seconds at Old Trafford and Chelsea captain Terry was unable to explain why his team were overwhelmed early on in such a crunch match.
Messi eyes beating Ronaldo to top scorer title BARCELONA coach Joseph Guardiola on Sunday backed magical Lionel Messi to beat Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo to the Spanish League top scorer's prize. Ronaldo grabbed four in the 6-2 demolition of Sevilla on Saturday to take his season's tally to 33, two more than Messi with two games left. "Messi is always looking to score because he is a born striker and it's in his blood," said Guardiola, whose Argentine superstar failed to hit the target in Sunday's 2-0 win over local rivals Espanyol. "In the first half he was fantastic. It was one of his best performances this season where he created a number of goal scoring chances. He is here to win titles and is clearly our most dangerous player."
AFTERMATH OF UEFA BAN
Mourinho silent after first game REAL MADRID coach Jose Mourinho kept his promise and did not speak to the media following his team's 6-2 win at Sevilla. Assistant coach Aitor Karanka spoke on Mourinho's behalf on on Saturday after Madrid's first game following the fivegame ban for the Portuguese for his statements that Uefa referees had assisted Barcelona in recent years. Karanka says "when things calm down and are clarified then I imagine that he
Ancelotti waits to hear about future at Chelsea
CARLO ANCELOTTI is hopeful of seeing out the final year of his contract as Chelsea coach but has conceded the decision is out of his hands. Ancelotti guided the Blues to a Premier League and FA Cup double last year. However, the Italian is set to end this campaign trophyless following Sunday's 2-1 league defeat at Manchester United. "I have another year on my contract and I would like to stay but it is the
decision of the club," he said. "We have two more games, we wait and see." Chelsea went to Old Trafford needing to win to keep alive any realistic hopes of retaining the title. However, Javier Hernandez struck for United after only 36 seconds and their captain Nemanja Vidic headed a second midway through the first half to set up a victory that virtually assured a record 19th top-flight title.
will speak to the press again." Madrid's win denied Barcelona a chance of clinching its third straight Spanish league title on Sunday. Barcelona eliminated Madrid from the Champions League semi-finals earlier this week. •Mourinho
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
* The Environment * Mortgage * Apartments * Security * Homes *Real Estate
Thirty-three years after its promulgation, the Land Use Act keeps drawing criticisms. Last week in Lagos, experts and professionals urged the government to take another look at the law to liberalise land ownership and, of course, ensure enhanced housing. Will the abolition of the Act bridge the 16 million housing gap? Experts think it will, writes OKWY IROEGBU.
•From left: Femi Olomona, Bello Issa, Afolabi Solesi and Adeleke Adesina at the event.
PHOTO: OKWY IROEGBU
Why Land Use Act must go, by experts I
F the Land Use Act is not removed from the Constitution and reviewed, the Federal Government’s plan to facilitate land acquisition may not be realised, experts have said. They spoke at the 11th Lagos Housing Fair held at the Lagos Television ground, last week. They also rapped the government on the law that says nobody should be entitled to more than half hectare, wondering how the huge housing gap of 16 million can ever be bridged if developers and individuals interested in housing development cannot have access to land. The Chairman, Nigeria Institution of Surveyors (NIS), Lagos chapter, Mr Afolabi Solesi, spoke on the need for the Land Use Act to be expunged from the Constitution. He said: “Section 1 of the Act, which made the Governor trustee over land in the state, should be expunged. “This provision is based on the very wrong assumption that the Governor will act in the best interest of the people. Experience has shown that in Nigeria this is not possible as the governor does whatever he wants without any legal restraint.” Solesi, represented by his vice, Mr Adeleke Adesina, noted the strong link between land and poverty. He said access to land and land-related benefits were an important factor in reducing pov-
‘Insecurity of rights, lengthy and expensive land transactions coupled with absence of serviced lands, increases the cost of construction, which in turn makes housing affordability difficult’ erty. He maintained that enhanced economic growth could only be possible by a good land tenure law and proper implementation, stressing that it is only then that the Vision 20:2020 target of affordable housing to the majority of the population can be achieved. The Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Executive Director, Estate Services, Bello Issa, laid the challenges of efficient housing provision on the process of land acquisition. He said: “Land, which is the primary ingredient in any housing development, is currently difficult to access. “Insecurity of rights, lengthy and expensive land transactions coupled with the lack of serviced lands, increase the cost of con-
struction, which in turn makes affordable housing difficult.” He also called for a review of the Land Use Act as a way of introducing flexibility in land acquisition and administration. Issa stressed the need for benchmarking with countries that have succeeded in land reforms and liberalisation. He said: “As applicable in other southern and northern African countries, a major breakthrough in housing development and delivery will require the federal and state land authorities to relax the conditions for land acquisition and an amendment to the FHA’s enabling laws to give it powers to acquire land from communities and, based on agreements reached, little or no compensation may be required to pay; design the layout and bring in private devel-
•Enugu-Onitsha Expressway •Surveyors Board moves rehabilitation suffers setback against quacks - PAGE 26
- PAGE 27
opers to do the infrastructure.” He suggested that a part of the serviced land may then be sold and part of the proceeds used to pay the developers while the serviced plots will be developed and given to the community according to affordability arrangement. The FHA Executive Director also cited the absence of the right technology in mass housing delivery as another hindrance to effective housing delivery. He said lack of an enabling environment for construction materials industries to thrive has resulted in mass importation of building materials, which affects the cost of housing delivery and affordability. President, Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), Mr. Segun Ajanleko, called for not only land reforms but also a re-orientation in our design and architectural designs. He harped on the need for the government to embark on the building of one million houses every year till the next 20 years to bridge the housing gap. He canvassed a dramatic paradigm shift in housing. “We must reform land by dealing decisively with issues relating to Land Use Act, ensure easy access to title documentation and adequate financial instrument must also be guaranteed for efficient housing delivery,” he said.
•TUC insists on local content policy for construction industry - PAGE 28
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
Planners seek metropolitan planning for integrated cities
RESIDENT, Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr Kabir Mohammed Yari, has called on state governments to adopt a metropolitan plan for strategic development and even distribution of infrastructure in their various cities. He stated this in an interview with The Nation in Lagos. While commending some states for their developmental strides, he regretted that their attempts at development are not based on statistics. The NITP president said he is advocating metropolitan planning for states to help correct the perceived imbalance in infrastructure provision in major cities of the federation. According to him, there is evident lopsidedness in infrastructure development and provision as the government is not guided by any scientific proof on what a particular area needs in terms of infrastructure, but rather it is guided by what is perceived as the need in a particular area. He argued that it is only a metropolitan plan that can identify specific needs and accommodate it in planning and that it is supposed to lead to development. On other benefits inherent in metropolitan plan, he said: “Metropolitan plan will help correct any imbalance because if you tell the government to build houses for the people, they may select an area that is real need - it may not be housing but it may be schools or hospitals.
Stories by Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor
He said ‘’They may even venture to a locality and start constructing houses due to the abundance of land, but that place may be very far from the centre and people may not move in there and this may create problems in terms of development in the whole state. ‘’Our position as planners is for the government to look at the city for development imbalance, which is the whole essence of a metropolitan plan.” He called for a rapid response in terms of making more lands available to the people in a planned way by the provision of site and scheme. It cited as an example of a locality in India where the government embarked on land re-adjustment by
‘Town planning law states that planning resides with the state government, but we know that in Nigeria, we need the Federal Government to give policy directions’
taking land from its owners, doing its lay-outs and handing it back to its owners, adding that this has led to orderly living and economic empowerment of the land owners. But he regretted that what is happening in the country is the reverse where people take up land in an unplanned locations, making development haphazard and also leading to slumisation. He revealed that town planners are pushing that planning be put in the concurrent list by the National Assembly while reviewing the constitution. He said this will enable the Federal, state and local governments to tackle planning adequately. He also called on the Federal Government to make the Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and lands efficient, though his institute he said he would have preferred the ministry not to be burdened with so many responsibilities as it may not reach its optimal efficiency level as it stands today. He said: “Town planning law states that planning resides with the state government, but we know that in Nigeria we need the Federal Government to give policy directions . Indeed, what planners are asking for is for the government to set policy agenda, priorities and coordinate the states in terms of regional planning. ‘’We are insisting on this because as a professional group, we desire to see some aspects of decentralisation in planning, noting that this would will aid in the nation’s quest
for properly managed and cities as entities on their own. “Underscoring the need for integrated approach, he noted that if a particular local government is, for instance, desirous of having a drainage, the next local government near it may be flooded if there is no in-
tegrated plan that covers the city to know where facilities are located or in refuse disposal and management, where a local government may have land fill site that serves the others though it generates less waste. He said all municipal services can only work in well-planned cities, where there is effective planning.
Enugu-Onitsha Expressway rehabilitation suffers setback
EHABILITATION has stopped on the EnuguOnitsha Expressway, subjecting travellers to untold hardship on the road. In 2008, the Federal Government awarded contracts to CCC Limited for the rehabilitation of the road, and the project has been captured in successive budgetary allocations, but no meaningful work has been done on the road. It was gathered that contractors stopped work on the road since last January. Following the cordoning off of one of the lanes by the contractors, motorists now engage in one-way driving and this has consequently subjected travellers to difficulty and danger as far as road accidents are concerned. A source at the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) said the state of the road has increased the incidence of road accidents along the expressway, adding that several lives had been lost as a result of the bad road. A commercial bus driver, Okoro Ahamefula, who plies the road daily between Enugu and Onitsha, expressed worry over the abandonment of the road, noting that it has made journeys that ought to have been short, long and tortuous. Ahamefula said: "Travelling from Enugu to Onitsha, should not take up to one hour if the road is good.
"But you can see that it now takes about three hours to make the journey because of the bad road. The contractors made things worse by closing one lane and we now use only one lane, for both those going to Enugu and those going to Onitsha. Under the prevailing circumstance, the risk of accidents is higher." He, therefore, called on the Federal Government and its relevant agencies, to do everything possible to ensure that repairs were concluded quickly on the road to ease the difficulties of the travellers and save them from danger. A concerned indigene of the Southeast, Okechukwu Okeke, decried the abandonment of the road, regretting that the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP)-led Federal Government has not done enough to reciprocate the support it has received from the South-East. Okeke said: "The more the people of Southeast vote PDP, the worse their roads become", adding that the self-serving attitude of the Southeast governors to governance, has not really helped matters in the zone. He accused Federal lawmakers from the Southeast of going to National Assembly to serve themselves rather than pursue the cause of their people who have suffered neglect more than any other geopolitical zone of the country.
•Enugu-Onitsha Expressway under rehabilitation.
NCF canvasses legislation on wildlife conservation
HE Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF) has called on the federal and state governments to establish laws for the conservation of wildlife in the country. Regional Co-ordinator of the Foundation in Cross River, Mr Ibrahim Enahoro, made the call in Calabar. Enahoro said the law on wild-
life would go a long way in creating consciousness among Nigerians on the need to ensure sustenance of plants and animals. ‘’The government at all levels should evolve environmentallyfriendly laws that will regulate the conservation of wildlife in Nigeria,’’ he said. He revealed that the NCF influenced the promulgation of Decree
11 of 1985 on wildlife, adding that offenders under the law could only be prosecuted at the Federal High Court. Enahoro, however, lamented that ``the procedure is so tedious that offenders cannot be prosecuted in the states.'' ``This situation has made it necessary now that states should enact their own laws that can easily
be enforced by them,'' he added. He said decentralisation of the laws on conservation would enhance the preservation of wildlife around the country. All levels of governments, he said, must adequately equip agencies set up to implement conservation policies. Enahoro also called for intensive public enlightenment on con-
servation, stressing that this should be the obligation of all stakeholders and not government alone. ``When we continue to increase the awareness on conservation of wildlife, the citizenry will appreciate the necessity. It is not only government’s problem but that of everybody,'' he said.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
Surveyors Board moves against quacks •.Registered members are 2,679
STATE Surveyors & Valu ers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVABON), have put necessary machinery in motion in collaboration with the relevant law enforcement agencies to check the spread of pseudo practice and bring to book culprits found guilty of the offence. The Chairman of the board, Mr Ayodele Sangosanya, stated this at the 28th induction of newly registered estate surveyors and valuers in Lagos. He revealed that the Board is currently in court with some quacks, who have infiltrated the practice without the requisite skill and training and used the opportunity to reveal of their readiness to sanitise the practice of the profession in the country. He, however, noted that one of the draw backs of sanitising the practice is that the total registered surveyors of 2,679 in the country pales in a national population of 140 million people in terms of reach and coverage. Sangosanya, said: “To achieve adequate coverage of the citizenry, in conjuction with the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, we have set up a committee to work out modalities of accelerating the registration of estate surveyors and valuers in Nigeria.” He advised the inductees to know that the stamps, seals and certificates awarded to them remain the properties of the Board and that it reserves the right to withdraw these items at any time if abused.” He warned: “The rules and regulations of the board should be the guide of any estate surveyor and valuer and their violation will not be tolerated. Therefore, the ethics and ethos of the profession should be carefully guarded by all and sundry. May l emphasise at this juncture that integrity is the hallmark of success of every professional, so it should be consciously protected with the fear of God”. In his charge, a plant and ma-
•From left: Ven Ladapo Eso, past Chairman, Mr Gbadebo Sangosanya, Chairman ESVARBON and Mr Bode Adediji, NIESV President. Stories by Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor
chinery Valuation expert and a senior member of the institution, Mr Musibau Adebayo Bello, advised that the fundamental function of the institution is to ensure that by self discipline of its members, the members will command the confidence of the public. He said: “Our reputation as individuals is not enough to assure the public and sustain their demand for our services. It is the task of all of us as an institution to subsidise our individual reputation by collective corporate reputation. In this regard, all of us as an institution must assume a public duty and strive to safeguard the interest of the public in relation to our professional activities. We all collectively
tice in the country by ensuring that your role as an estate agent of a property flows naturally from your other functions as the estate surveyor in charge of the property. If you fully understand what you are as estate surveyors, you will have no reason to concentrate on estate agency.” He also charged them to strive at all times to take care of their clients assets in an way that their value is preserved, more valueadded and maximum utility derived from them. You will need to invest a lot of money and time in gathering and storing data for your valuation assignment. In these days of ever changing technology, you may need to spend a fortune keeping up with new products and their prices. Fortunately, they are now available
‘You must keep a dignified distance from the shambles of estate agency practice in the country by ensuring that your role as an estate agent of a property flows naturally from your other functions as the estate surveyor in charge of the property. If you fully understand what you are as estate surveyors, you will have no reason to concentrate on estate agency’
NEMA moves to stem road accidents HE Federal Government has expressed fear over the fre quent occurrence of road accidents, resulting to loss of lives and material resources. Alhaji Muhammad Sidi-Sani, the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency stated this (NEMA), stated this at a sensitisation workshop, held for stakeholders in Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) management in Ibadan. Sidi-Sani, who was represented by the Southwest Zonal Coordinator of the NEMA, Mr Iyiola Akande, said the agency had decided to organise the workshop for about 150 participants to reduce loss of lives. “Hardly a day passes without one unsavoury news of Road Transport Accident (RTA) or another, ranging from minor, to major and sometimes catastrophic accidents with attendant loss of valuable property and more valuable lives of our people on a daily basis. “Some of these accidents are avoidable, if only our people, es-
have a duty to inform and educate the public with regard to our capabilities”. He warned the inductees on integrity in handling client’s funds. He said: “A lot of clients’ funds will come under your care either as income from their properties or funds for their property development . It is sacrilegious and an abomination to mishandle any of them.” Advising them on the need to lay emphasis on professionalism and high ethical standards, Bello observed that the unregulated practice of estate agency in the country allows too much scope for the unscrupulous to striver. He advised: “ You must keep a dignified distance from the shambles of Estate Agency prac-
pecially the road users, can be more mindful of the three elements that contribute to road traffic accidents. “Experts have showed us that these are the men, who are behind the steering of the vehicle, the machine itself and the environment which comprises other road users and the road on which they are driving. “Of all these factors, man is the most culpable since he can control the remaining two elements. “This is what calls for this workshop. That is to say, to build the capacity of stakeholders and sensitise them on effective ways of preventing and handling RTAs on Nigerian roads.” According to him, statistics pre-
pared by various institutions through 10 years of study on road carnages are disturbing, showing gory realities on the seriousness of the situation on which the FRSC, the Police and other stakeholders have up-to-date information. Quoting some of the studies, the director said over 30,000 accidents occurred yearly on highways, claiming or injuring 35,000 lives. “Over 90 persons are killed or injured daily through traffic accidents and over four persons are killed or injured every hour on highways. “These are not just statistics, but realities, that are frightening, hardly a day passes without major newspapers in the country reporting one or more such incidents. ``This is enough reason for the concern of all stakeholders,” Akande said.
in the country. This is in addition to your ensuring that you follow trend in assets valuation outside the country and in this regard, publications by the International valuation Standards Committee (IVSC), which is drawn from reputable and well known valuation institutions all over the world, to regulate the valuation of all assets including plant and machinery. Earlier, in his remarks, President, Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers (NIESV), Mr Bode Adediji, observed the gap in the nation’s housing provision with an estimated 16 million deficit leading to an unacceptable upsurge of slum dwellings which he said is one of the core competencies of a surveyor. He regretted that the income level of the majority of the people cannot support the cost of renting a flat not to talk of buying a bungalow or a duplex in any decent neigbourhood. He said: “Though housing scarcity and quality of housing, unfortunately, affects all classes of Nigerians, the worst affected understandably remains the poor who constitute the majority of the population. Adediji lamented that the ‘rent seeking mentality’ exemplified by quackery operations contribute in no small measures in exacerbating the gap between the rich and the poor. He warned the fresh surveyors not to concentrate their mind and life to estate agency in the crude form of it as practised by quacks as it will contribute to housing crisis in the country. He urged them to function as full-fledged consultants, embracing areas of core competences for the profession such as development, construction, project management, valuation, investment studies and facility management. He further advised them to take issues such as international finance, project packaging, subscription to and engagement in international best practices and global partnership in order to make a success of the profession and the practice.
Lagos declares estate agency fee illegal
HE Lagos State Government has declared as illegal the payment of agency fees to landlords and estate agents by prospective tenants. In a statement by the Commissioner for Justice, Mr Supo Shasore, the government said the scarcity of accommodation should not be a justification for estate agents or landlords to charge agency fees. The statement signed by Mr Biola Fagunwa, spokesperson for the ministry, said the Tenancy Bill, which is in its third reading, would hopefully address the issue when passed into law. The statement also decried the
payment of more than six months’ rent in advance before the provision of accommodation. Shasore said the government had embarked on the training of its law officers on the use of forensic analysis as evidence in prosecution. He explained that the training, being done in partnership with the University of Nebraska, Canada, would educate the law officers in forensic pathology which is a critical aspect of criminal justice. He added that eight law officers from the ministry were participating in the training that would lead to the award of master’s degree.
FCTA, Aso Savings plan mortgage scheme for staff
HE FCT Administration (FCTA) has stepped up its staff welfare scheme by its decision to negotiate with Aso Savings and Loans to fashion out a mortgage scheme that will be af-
fordable to its staff. FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, said his administration has mapped out sizeable hectares of land at Karshi for the scheme. He reiterated that his administra-
tion has always placed high premium on its relationship with workers in the employment of FCTA/FCDA, those in other MDAs and relevant stakeholders. He said his administration has di-
rected that some plots of land be allocated to some pioneer staff who has spent up to 30 years in service under the FCTA/FCDA to enable them to build their own houses in FCT.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT Building Issues
Factors to consider before buying a house
•Dove Court, Abuja
TUC insists on local content policy for construction industry
RADE Union Congress of Ni geria (TUC) has called on the Federal Government to formulate and implement local content policy in the construction industry to check the expatriate quota abuse as it did for the oil and gas industry. President-General of TUC, Comrade Peter Esele, who made this call in Abuja, decried the rate at which employers in the construction industry have continued to flout the country's laws, especially in the area of expatriate quota. Esele lamented that the practice by employers has contributed largely to the increasing rate of unemployment in the country. According to him, most construction companies bring in expatriates to take over jobs meant for Nigerians with all benefits that accrue to the position while Nigerians who are better qualified for the job are denied the opportunity to work. He warned that the country's vi-
Stories by Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor
sion of being among the 20 most developed nations in the world may not be achieved if government does not urgently address the situation. "TUC notes with regrets and condemns unequivocally the continuous and flagrant abuse of the laws of Nigeria by building, construction and civil engineering, dredging and Pipe laying companies in the area of expatriate quota abuse and demands the formulation and implementation of local content policy in the construction industry, as it is done in the oil and gas sector. "Only recently, over 60,000 construction workers were sacked due to non payment of over N60 billion debt owed construction companies by the Federal Government and its agencies. Also, the banking sector is at present laying off thousands of workers. In a nutshell there is no sec-
tor that is not negatively impacted by this anti-growth exercise. TUC's take on this is that development and, indeed, the Vision 20:2020 will be hard to achieve if this trend continues," Esele stated. Speaking further, the TUC chief charged the government to expedite action on the ongoing rehabilitation of the country's railway lines and ensure that contracts award are implemented without further delay. Esele, who faulted government's recent liberalisation policy, said the action will kill the local industries and further weaken the nation's domestic capacity. "A nation that does not deliberately set out to develop its domestic capacity does not have a future. Today, the nation's seaports are thus congested because we have opened our borders to all manner of imports from all parts of the world and we will not be surprised if that will include Fiji. This is not the time to open up our borders to all manner of import', he said.
Expert tasks ECOWAS on e-waste management
N Environmentalist, Prof. Lanre Fagbohun, has urged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to evolve effective e-waste management measures in the region. Fagbohun canvassed this at a forum in Lagos on the need for ECOWAS member-countries to strengthen local manufacturers as a strategy to guard against importation of “grey products”. “West African countries are today adorned with heaps of dead or nearend-of-life imported electrical and electronic products that need to be tackled collectively. “ECOWAS, therefore, needs to urgently have a committee in place to tackle the challenges posed to lives and environment by such products,’’ he said. Fagbohun, who the Executive Director, Environmental Law Research Institute (ELRI), regretted
‘We must have an effective plan of developing local manpower to latch on to programmes to recycle our waste’ that many products imported into the region were from unknown origins, thereby making collection for recycling abroad difficult. He said reduction of dumping of e-waste in West Africa, as well as adequate management of the waste, would require active involvement
of ECOWAS member-states. Fagbohun advised the memberstates to increase inspection at their borders to turn smuggled e-waste. “We should have a centrally binding policy for collection, recycling and management of end-of-life products which should be implemented by the member-states. “We must have an effective plan of developing local manpower to latch on to programmes to recycle our waste,’’ he said. The professor of Environmental Law urged ECOWAS memberstates not to politicise e-waste dumping. He advised the member-countries to embark on massive public enlightenment on the dangers of improper management of e-waste. Fagbohun said ELRI already had a working agreement with the European Union in integrated waste management in West Africa.
‘...Waste can be turned to good resource’
HE Environmental Health Of ficers Registration Council says waste can be turned into resources if properly managed and recycled. The Registrar, Mr Augustine Ebisike, stated this in Abuja in an interview, while drawing attention to the failure of proper waste disposal systems in some parts of the FCT. “Our expectation is that wastes that are generated in this country are collected as resources and they can be used to manufacture organic fertiliser,
recycled plastics, recycled metals and so many other things that come from the waste because waste, globally, has ceased to be waste. They are now resources. It’s happening in other countries and we have the capacity to do it here.’’ Ebisike said minor things such as lead from used and dumped batteries could be recycled, and resold to companies while husks from corn could be used for organic fertiliser. He said: “You may not need battery, but I may need the lead inside
that battery, so if you can recycle, get out the lead, and give to me, I will buy because I need it. “Also, people will eat throw away the husk of fresh corn. They don’t need it. “But somebody somewhere may be needing that to produce fertiliser for next year’s cultivation because it is biodegradable; it is organic fertiliser which is good for our soil.’’ Ebisike said waste was a win-win situation which offered employment opportunities in its chain of collection.
By Okwy Iroegbu, ULE number one: Don't let Asst Editor your emotions cloud your judgment. Owning a house, socialise that way. People who bethey say, is one of the most impor- have that way are building a comtant decisions a person can make. It munity. is close to the choice of a life partner They’re going to look out for your and getting married. kids; they’re going to look out for The house may seem like every- your house. It’s a nice, safe way to thing you’ve ever wanted, but before celebrate something.” you make an offer, take some time You may also need to ask deep questo consider a few things beyond the tions from the sellers to get some size, style and price. vital information such as the probWhen buying a home, it’s easy to lems they are aware of concerning let emotions get in the way of real- the house in the past – even if they’ve ity, or get sudden amnesia about fac- been fixed? A flood that happened in tors that may make a difference. Ikorodu or Isheri North last year in Sometimes we want something so Lagos by the release of water from badly, we’re not willing to ask all the dam may help a prospective the questions we should. buyer to make up his mind either For instance, you may see what way. looks like a play ground or what looks Get a home inspection. Virtually like a football pitch and you may be all houses have defects, according to tempted to think that the statistics. Some will be obvious and neighborhood is great for kids. But a most will be curable. closer inspection may show that it is But knowing what needs fixing can probably disused and hasn’t seen a help you negotiate a lower price – or ball in a decade. at least prepare you for costs you’re To get a good bargain in buying a soon to incur. house you may Strongly consider need to visit at vari‘Even if you getting inspections, ous times of day to too, for lead paint, and find and confirm don’t plan to atwood-eating pests. things for yourself. tend, the fact that Get detailed records In your personal inspection of the they’re having a on past improvements though this is house you may disgathering says not always possible if cover that the winyou can see the cost of they care about dows that let in so was bought for much light during their community, what the improvement the day may be a that they want to you will then know if peeping Tom’s used standard or dream at night. get to know each they substandard materiThat seemingly other, that they’re als for it . This will also quiet residential you to make up street may be a willing to social- help your mind. noisy, highwayise that way. PeoYou’ll be forefeeder street during warned that cheaper morning or ple who behave materials were used evening rush hour; that way are and that you may be or it may be near looking at repainting building a comimpossible to get sooner than you from your quiet munity’ thought. street across traffic Don’t just assume and onto the feeder
street in the morning. The adjacent school may seem like a nice perk if you’re buying during the vacation, but during the school year, daily playground noise and extra traffic may be more than you bargained for. Rule two is to ensure that you’re getting information on what you can’t see. Perhaps there is no functional water works and you may need to argument with a personal arrangement like providing yourself a borehole or any other arrangement to get steady water supply in the house. You can also check with the council authority to see if there are any proposed projects that can ease everyday life such as a modern shopping centre, clinic etc. There is need for you to talk to your prospective neighbours. In doing that you will be able to find out, how many people in the neighbourhood who own their homes? Sometimes it’s hard to tell at first if you’re choosing a neighbourhood that’s primarily rental houses. Ask if the neighbourhood has an association. How often does the neighbourhood get together? Do they have a Christmas party every year?” “Even if you don’t plan to attend, the fact that they’re having a gathering says they care about their community, that they want to get to know each other, that they’re willing to
remodeling will be easy.If you voice your ideas to the sellers, you may be able to glean valuable insights. For instance, perhaps that shower is in an odd location because, when remodeling 10 years ago, the previous owners discovered a costly structural impediment to putting a shower where it would seem more appropriate. Reconsider some things in the house and make up your mind if you can live with it. For instance, you will need to ask and answer some questions yourself such as, am I sure that l can live with a one-car garage, or a detached garage, or on-street parking? The pool may be a nice bonus, but can you afford the upkeep? There is the need to be realistic here and to also tell yourself the truth. Finally, explore the surrounding area If you’re not just making a crosstown move, you may not know that only three blocks away, this pretty neighbourhood leads to a bust market, or motor spare parts market, so you need to get your facts right. If the home is near an airport, fire station, police station, hospital or railroad track, expect to hear trains, planes or ambulances throughout the day and night. Make sure you’re not too close to an agricultural area that may generate odours or kick up dust or other airborne problems.
‘If the home is near an airport, fire station, police station, hospital or railroad track, expect to hear trains, planes or ambulances throughout the day and night’ •Contributions, questions? e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
FMBN to raise N14b mortgage backed bonds
ANAGING Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr Gimba Ya’u Kumo, says the bank will raise N14 billion MortgageBacked Bond (MBB) from the capital market in July this year. Ya’u Kumo revealed this while speaking on Opportunities for Low and Middle Income Earners in National Housing Fund, at the just-concluded 11th Lagos Housing Fair. He said the amount would be raised from some mortgage loan originators, “Currently, a pool of mortgages of about N14 billion from mortgage loan originators is being processed for the second tranche of the MBB. “We are looking forward to be in the capital market in July and this amount will bring the cumulative beneficiaries under the MBB programme to 16, 108 home buyers,” he said
Stories by Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor
FMBN had successfully floated N26 billion in the first tranche of the N100 billion MBB, The fund was used to refinance the civil servants' acquisition of 9,525 Federal Government residential houses sold in the FCT, Ya’u Kumo, who was represented by Mr Bola Ogunsola, an Executive Director in the bank, said the investors in the first tranche had been getting their coupons payment every May and November of each year, adding that the payment had been up to date. The Managing Director said the mortgage loans originators were seven in number. He named some of them as United Banks for Africa, Oceanic Bank, Abbey Building Society and Aso Savings and Loans,
amongst others. On the success of the National Housing Fund, (NHF), he reiterated that many housing estates across the country have been funded through it. According to him, about 53,518 houses have been developed through the Primary Mortgage Institutions and Estate Development Loans. In a related development, Director of Engineering Services, Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory, Mr Akindele Apata, has advised prospective home owners to conduct tests on materials they intended to use for their houses. Apata gave this advice while speaking on the topic Material Testing as Option for Facilitating Quality Housing Production in Lagos. He said testing of soil texture, cement, blocks, sand, gravel, gran-
ite and steel were necessary to guarantee long life span of buildings. According to him, the proportion of each material, adequate measurement and mixture were necessary to ensure that buildings lived up to expected life spans. “Most home owners just acquire land and start building without considering the after effects of their building blindly. “It is necessary to subject the soil and materials to use for the construction to laboratory tests. “This step will guarantee that the building will not suffer thematic failure and mapped out for demolition. “This has been the bane of the incessant collapse of building we have witnessed over time,” he said. Apata said conducting tests would ensure that the money spent
in constructing a building was not wasted eventually. According to him, the average life span of buildings is 50 years but this can be shortened when inappropriate materials are used during construction. A Building engineer, Dr Chris Ezeifedi, said there was the need to consider sustainability of buildings from environmental point of view while considering housing delivery. He said some ancient buildings in Egypt, London and Europe that were built more than 2,000 years ago, were still standing because they were built with the local materials. Ezeifedi regretted that local raw materials in Nigeria were being neglected and had not been well researched into.
Lagos develops new sites
HE Lagos State New Town De velopment Authority (NTDA) says it has developed new sites and service schemes aimed at decongesting the Central Business District (CBD) in Lagos. NTDA spokesman Quadri Owolabi, said the new sites were necessary because of plans to decongest the CBD. “Besides, the activities of the NTDA are imperative if Lagos State is to join the league of United Nations (UN) recognised megacities by the year 2015,” Owolabi said. According to him, the schemes are located in Ikeja, Ikorodu, Lagos, Epe and Badagry “There are also several new sites and schemes coming up within all our divisions and we urge aspiring property owners to get involved in this laudable project by applying for plots within the
schemes. “Our schemes are between 11 and 1, 421 hectares and can occupy several blocks of flats, detached housing units and each can take a population of between 2, 500 and 110, 000. “Our schemes provide roads, streetlights, drainage, service ducts, electricity and water at reasonable and competitive prices, depending on the location,” he said. Owolabi urged interested members of the public to visit NTDA office for more information, saying that NTDA was at the housing fair to create awareness about the schemes. “This is necessary because we need more people to buy plots within the schemes to create a proper living environment and decongest the cities,” he said.
Conference seeks increased funding for Climate Change
FORUM on Climate Change has called on countries and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to increase funding of activities related to Climate Change and sustainable development in Africa. The Second Joint International Conference of the University of Ilorin and the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of its seminar in Ilorin. The conference had as its theme: Climate Change and Sustainable Development. The communiqué was jointly signed by the conference LOC Chairman, Prof. Kolade Ayorinde, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede and Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Prof. Jane OpokuAgyemang. The communiqué stressed the need for educating the public on appropriate attitudes and competencies to deal with climate change through films, books and Theatre for Development (TfD). It urged the public to undertake activities to mitigate climate change such as tree planting and cleaning of the environment. The conference noted that climate change had assumed a global concern and was occupying a focal point of discourse. `` It is affecting social order, environmental cohesion and economic growth. `` It is, therefore, affecting sustainable development,’’ it added. The conference also called for the implementation of policies to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. It urged research institutes and
universities to develop rigorous research profiles on concerns about climate change and collating data for policy-making and influencing policy makers. The conference further called for the re-orientation of the school curricula to include issues on climate change and sustainable development. Pedagogical approaches that would inculcate habits rather than mere cognition should be used, it added. It recommended the establishment of a joint Centre on Sustainable Development, saying universities should establish units for research into climate change and sustainable development. The conference, which was attended by more than 200 participants, had Prof. Akin Mabogunje as chairman of the opening ceremony while Prof. Alfred OtengYeboah delivered the keynote address.
•First Ilorin Bridge
MBAN seeks support for developers
HE responsibility of bridg ing the estimated 16 million housing gap in the country rests largely on the developers, then Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), Fortune Ebie, said. Ebie said this while speaking on Estate Development Loan scheme: Goals, Expectations and Impact on Real Estate Development, at a workshop organised by Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria. He said the major role of the government is to ensure the creation of ecology in which housing de-
velopment should be private sector oriented; private sector dependent; private sector driven in a free and competitive market economy. “To encourage the private sector (developers) to effectively participate in the provision of housing, government should grant capital allowances on residential and provide tax exemptions on mortgage loans; encourage non-profit making organisations by facilitating easy access to land and provide matching grants to building for the unemployed school leavers, stu-
dents etc,” he said. Ebie added that the government should also exempt investment by estate developers on low-income houses for sale from tax for the first five years, and also ensure the rent control measures are introduced as they mitigate housing delivery. According to him, “Mass housing is achievable by managing in a collective and co-operative way the entrepreneurial spirit and skill developers. A developer is not necessarily a contractor or someone with qualifications in the professions more commonly associated
with the construction industry and built environment.” He said developers participate in the development of estates containing houses for sale or rent, adding that the activities of developers should guarantee that mortgageable products are available to PMIs. “The position is that unless real estate developers produce houses in mass, the housing deficit cannot be met and Nigerians will remain ‘unhoused’. The role of developers is immensely overwhelming,” he said.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT BUILDING MATERIALS PRICES
•FHA hydroform house, Lugbe, Abuja
Yobe workers celebrate 65% housing largesse
IVIL servants in Yobe State are celebrating the 65 per cent subsidy on housing granted them by the state government. Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State announced the package on the 500 housing units that the government sold to the workers on owner/occupier basis. The governor, who announced the subsidy last week, said the gesture was aimed at empowering the workers on home ownership. Gaidam directed that the beneficiaries pay 35 per cent of the prices of the houses. Those allocated government quarters between 2006 and 2010 and were initially offered 50 per cent subsidy would also pay 35 per cent instead. Agency reports have it that most of the beneficiaries, who packed into their houses did it with merriment and much celebration. ``Gov. Gaidam has
Stories by Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor
changed the status of civil servants in the state,’’ Alhaji Saad Musa, a beneficiary of a house at Gashua Road Bypass housing estate, said. He noted that most of the civil servants ``usually retire without owning houses and are left at the mercy of shylock landlords” Usman Dapchi said the government gesture would help in minimising corruption in the state service. He said: ``One of the reasons civil servants engage in corruption is to ensure that they own a house to avoid humiliation by landlords after service. ``It is gratifying that this has been adequately taken care of by the governor and this has brought succour to many families. ``The governor just stopped short of saying the houses were given out free
to us because he has offered 65 per cent subsidy while the 35 per cent will be deducted from salaries at reasonable rate for the beneficiaries not to feel the impact.’’ Ali Galadima, a member of staff of the Ministry of Education, said he had every reason to rededicate himself to work, be loyal and committed to government. ``This is a welfare-oriented administration because it has been paying salaries as at when due and providing housing to over half of the working population and granting us loans,” he said. Meanwhile, traders have appealed to the governor to grant them soft loans to boost their businesses. Shuaibu Mai Yadi, a textile trader, appealed to the governor to extend the gesture to self- employed persons to enhance their trade and boost the economy of the state.
Financial leaders call for investor-friendly forest-carbon market
EADING financial insti tutions upped the ante on their future role in mitigating climate change as they called for more effective forest-carbon regulations during a United Nations report launch in London last week Friday, just months ahead of an international climate change meeting to be held in South Africa. Banking, insurance and investment representatives at the event welcomed the findings of the new study, REDDy - Set Grow: Opportunities and roles of financial institutions in forest-carbon markets, which stresses that the financial sector must step up its engagement in the emerging green market, and makes the case for its improved regulation to facilitate this. Offers of co-operation by financial representatives at the event to work with their national and international regulators mark a turning point in efforts to get the forest carbon market off the ground, only months ahead of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) climate change talks that will
possibly lead to a new mechanism to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, known as REDD+. "The market for forestry carbon has significant potential but will require concerted efforts in the design phase by policy-makers to ensure that it attracts flows of private capital. Because of the ability for sustainable forestry projects to deliver not just carbon but also biodiversity and community benefits, financial institutions stand ready to work with governments to help ensure the full potential is realised," said Managing Director and Global Head of Carbon Markets at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Abyd Karmali, during the press conference, which was held at the banks' European headquarters in London. Governments successfully agreed in Cancun last December to making REDD+ a core component of the next global regime on climate change. To date, this has been carried forward by UNEP, the UN Development Programme and the Food and Agricultural Organisation, with parallel and
‘The market for forestry carbon has significant potential but will require concerted efforts in the design phase by policy makers to ensure that it attracts flows of private capital’ supportive work by the World Bank. However, the question of how this global mechanism will be implemented and financed remains unresolved, and will be a critical subject of future UN climate convention negotiations - including upcoming talks in Durban, South Africa. The commitment of the private sector and financial institutions toward the implementation of REDD+ is crucial, the UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) study says, since the overall investment needed for implementation of REDD+ activities appears to exceed public capabilities and will thus largely hinge on action from the private sector.
Blocks 9x9 6x6 Cement per bag Cement per tone (20) Doors 33x81 Malzonia 33x81 Teak 33x81 Omo 33x81 Unpolished Omo 33x81 Maliana Polished 33x81 Maoghany Earthwork wash gravel (5tons) Unwashed gravel (5tons) Granite per lorry load(30 tons) Sharp sand per lorry (5tons) Sharp sand per lorry (10 tons) Laterite filling sand per lorry (15 tons) Hardcore per lorry load (30 tons) Electrical cables 1mm 2 single core per roll 1.5mm 2 single core per roll 2.5mm 2 single core per roll 4mm 2 single core per roll 1mm 2 twin cable per roll 1.5mm 2 twin cable per roll 1.5mm 2 three core per roll 2.5mm 2 three core cable 4mm 2 three core cable per roll Galvanised Mild Steel/Electrical Conduct Pipes 20mm diameter pipe 3.60m length (dignity) 25mm diameter pipe 3.6m length (dignity) Glass 6x24 plain 5mm 6x36 plain 5mm Louvre carrier UNIC 8 blade carrier UNIC 6 blade carrier Nails 1" Ordinary per bag 11/2 Ordinary per bag 2" Ordinary per bag 4" Ordinary per bag 5" ordinary per bag 1" UK per bag 2"UK per bag 3" UK per bag 5" UK per bag Plywood ¼ white imported plywood ½ white imported plywood ¾ white imported plywood ¼ Mahogany veneer plywood ½ Mahogany veneer plywood ¾ Mahogany veneer plywood ¼ particle board ½ particle board ¾ particle board PVC Electrical Conduct pipes 20mm diameter pipe per 3m length 25mm diameter pipe per 3m length Reinforcement 25mm full standard Ukraine hit imported rod per ton 20mm full standard Ukraine hit imported rod per ton 16mm full standard Ukraine hit imported rod per ton 12mm full standard Ukraine hit imported rod per ton 10mm full standard Ukraine hit imported rod per ton Roofing and ceiling sheet Super light weight 31/2x8feet Super light weight 31/2x6feet Super light weight 21/2x6feet 31/2x8 feet s.t. 31/2x6 feet s.t. Tiles 20x30 Viaeny wall tiles 20X30 wall tiles (carton)
N 150 130 2,350 32,000 15,000 4,000 7,000 5,000 7,000 12,000 27,000 25,000 165,000 17,000 26,000 25,000 200,000 2,000 1,900 2,800 4,800 2,000 4,000 6,000 7,500 18,000
K 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
150 160 90 140 600 450
00 00 00 00 00 00
6,000 6,000 4,600 5,000 5,500 6,000 4,600 4,600 5,500 1,200 2,300 3,400 1,700 2,700 3,750 700 1,500 1,900
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
165,000 155,000 150,000 145,000 145,000
00 00 00 00 00
1,200 1,500 800 2,000 1,600
00 00 00 00 00
TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
Mrs. Catherine Dupe Atoki is a Commissioner at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Last week, the commission rose from its 49th Ordinary Session in Banjul, The Gambia. In this interview with JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU ,Mrs. Atoki speaks on a commissioner’s role, the awakening of human rights consciousness in Africa and sundry issues.
‘North Africa’s revolution may happen anywhere there is oppression’ T
HE African Commission considered, approved and granted observer status to a Nigeria-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) among other applicants for the status. Do you think granting such status to more organisations will promote
and protect human rights in Africa? The grant of observer status to Rights Information Initiative, an Abuja-based organisation and several other NGOs by the commission at it’s 49th Ordinary Session in The Gambia is an indication of the col-
Killing of Bin Laden: a redefinition of justice
laborative efforts that the African Commission makes in engaging civil society organisations (CSOs) in its work. We know that the African Commission is made up of 11 commissioners, which makes it impossible for the commission to reach
Customer challenges Airtel’s power to organise lottery
every nook and cranny of Africa, so the NGOs are the eyes and ears of the commission. They have the requisite networks and are, therefore, able to assist in promoting the •Continued on page 33
Fidelity Bank, customer bicker over debt claims
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
Killing of Bin Laden: a redefinition of justice T HE world’s most wanted man, Osama Bin Laden, is dead, courtesy of a pre dawn raid by the American Navy SEALS at his high walled compound in Abbottabad, near Islambad, Pakistan. Reacting to the death of Bin Laden, President Barrack Obama of the United States of America declared that justice has been done by the killing of the master of the art of terror. This invariably raises some legal issues such as the nature of this justice from international law perspective. Could it be natural justice, political justice, moral justice, legal justice, jungle justice or extra judicial killing as the case may be. It also raises a question on the effect of this development on the sovereignty of Pakistan on whose soil Mr. Bin Laden was eventually killed. The Nation sought the views of experts on this. The former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Plateau State, Prof. Clement Dakas said: ‘’ In normal times, the killing of Osama bin Laden by American Navy Seals, on the orders of President Barack Obama, would constitute extra-judicial killing, however, these are not normal times. And bin Laden is not an ordinary person, neither is the heinous terrorist crime he is alleged to have ordered, facilitated or perpetrated on 9/11. That is not to say, however, that every abnormal time justifies recourse to extra-judicial killings, but very case must be contextualised and treated on its own merits. ‘’From the perspective of International Law, legal justification for the killing of bin Laden could be anchored on self defence. Mr. bin Laden, through his words and actions, constituted a clear and present danger to the United States in particular and the world at large, so does Al Qaeda. “It would, therefore, be puerile to construe self defence in a manner that is not consistent with this reality. Furthermore and in the specific context of the laws of war, it is important to keep in mind that traditional warfare, in which states are the primary actors has, in large measure, given way to a new generation warfare in which non-State actors (including “lone wolf” terrorists) without the attributes of a traditional army unleash acts of terror on States, their citizens and residents. “Accordingly, traditional conceptions of the laws of warfare need to be interrogated in light of the realities of modern warfare. To argue, for instance, that the place where Mr. bin Laden was killed does not constitute a combat zone is, having regard to the circumstances, preposterous. It is sheer absurdity! So is the Pakistani claim of breach of its territorial sovereignty anchored, as it is, on old fashioned conceptions of sovereignty devoid of responsibility.’ Dakas continued; ‘’In the broader context of the challenges posed by global terrorism, it is imperative to underscore the fact that the best insurance against terrorism is not military might. “It is much more than that, It is, more importantly, the need to address the root causes of terrorism, such as poverty, injustice, the
• Bin-Laden By John Austin Unachukwu
manipulation of religion and its transformation into a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD), etc; failing which, God forbid, the world will remain a breeding ground for more bin Ladens.’’ A political scientist, Prof. Alaba Ogunsanwo said: ‘’ In any society, whether domestic, municipal, municipal or international, the law is an instrument of politics. What the law is at any point in time is subject to the political power configuration of those who make decisions. At one point, I refer to the issue of littoral states, countries that have borders with the sea. “Some of them, like Britain, for reasons best known to them argued for as narrow a limit as possible because they were sea going nation, they would like their ships to go as much as possible, therefore they would say well, three miles, that’s alright. Some countries latter began to talk of six miles or so, but not all the time was that position acceptable. It was acceptable for a long time because they had the political and the military might, and were able to make that part of customary international law. “It was a controversial issue until other countries began to raise issues. In 1946 the United States of America began to talk of it’s continental shelf and was talking about 200 nautical miles and from that angle, Latin American countries raised up the issue, now we know, after decades of negotiation at Montego Bay in 1982 in Jamaica. the United Nations Law of the Seas Convention (UNCLOS) which now brought the thing out the document was signed and we now know that it is no longer so. “You can now claim up to 200 nautical miles as part of your exclusive economic zone, all of these concepts are now recognised. So,
• Prof Dakas
• President Obama
law with respect to that part has changed. On the domestic part, i give you the example of Nigeria where at one point you could do whatever you like in respect of drug trafficking and they would take you and put you in jail for few years. But when Buhari Idiagbon regime came on board, they introduced death penalty as punishment for it. “So for you to get justice on it according to law, the law has changed because the political forces determining what the law was has changed.So it was now death penalty and there was a lot of outcry then when one of those convicted was executed on the basis of that law even though the offence was committed before the law was changed and so it was heavily criticised. “On the question of Bin Laden, you can look at it from various angles, take the question of piracy for example, you know as well as i do that for centuries, the question of piracy has been taken as a crime that you commit against the whole world. Whoever apprehends you on that has the right to take you up and deal with you without recourse to your nationality or citizenship. “Secondly, with respect to Bin Laden, what he accepted doing, what he claimed and what i saw on tape with respect to taking criminal responsibility with the killing of about three thousand people in the twin tower, innocent people of various religions, races,nationalities, citizens of various countries which he accepted responsibility for killing them. And even in his country of origin, Saudi Arabia, he was also working to overthrow the government there and a lot of people have been killed as a result of bombs, that has also ocurred in many parts of the world such as Kenya, in Tanzania and so on. In fact, Nigerian embassy was neighbour to the house of the American High Commissioner there and was affected by the bomb
explosion which Bin Laden was responsible for. He now took a position that he is going to do this, he recruited youths, indoctrinated them and sent them to different parts of the world persuading them, convincing them that they would go straight to heaven when they killed themselves and kill ordinary innocent people. He would claim responsibility and those people would go straight to heaven, he was not ready to go to heaven. You could see where he was hiding and the extent to which he was doing that. So when they say that justice has been done with his killing, think of the parents, the relations of the 3,000 people that he killed at the Twin Towers alone, not to talk of those who died in Kenya, Tanzania and other places. From that point of view, not enough justice has been done, they would have wanted him to be skinned alive. So, as far as the parents and relations of those people are concerned, justice has been done. On the question of the inversion of the sovereignty of Pakistan by the United States (US), Ogunsanwo said: ‘’Of course, Pakistan had said that Bin Laden was not their country, they have been saying it over the years, that he was not there, the Pakistani government is aware of what the US government has said, that it will declare war on any country that harbours terrorists . And having told the world that US will declare war on those who habour those that take it deliberately as their responsibility to go and kill US citizens on their own land. “If the government of those countries where those people go and hide is unwilling , unable, or for religious or political reasons are not able to do anything, we will not sit idly bye, so to that extent, justice was done irrespective of the fact that in theory,Pakistani sovereignty was violated. ‘’
Judges, others praise law report, one year after re-launch
HE Nigerian Monthly Law Reports (NMLR), first published in 1964, has continued to receive praises from users. The new series, beginning with judgments delivered in 2009, was presented last May 13, with a formal handing over to the new editorial board by the founding editors. The board has reiterated its commitment to assist in the realm of research by bringing to the fore the most recent cases on principles of law considered by the courts. Members of the board include Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN), who chairs it; Olawale Akoni (SAN), Mr Chuka Agbu, Dr Bayo Adaralegbe, Mr Mobolaji Kuti (Managing Editor) and Mr ‘Tola Oshobi. Since the public presentation, the NMLR has to its credit the complete set of 2009 editions which contain all the decisions of the Supreme Court delivered that year. They also contain selected decisions of the Court of Appeal, Federal High Court and state High Courts, as well as editions beginning from judgments delivered in January. On what sets it apart from others, its editors said: “The NMLR set out to correct the incongruities which characterise the process of law
reporting in Nigeria by means of concise editing of judgments delivered without compromising relevancy of necessary facts of the judgments for its concise nature. “Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of the NMLR from other law reports is the advanced and extensive research that goes into its editorial content couched as the “Editor’s Note” in each edition. “The editors go to great lengths to highlight inconsistencies or errors of law in the decisions of the court; thereby, aiding counsel and students in research and guiding the Honourable Justices to be alert in reaching their decision since judgments are public documents and form an indispensable source of law. “In addition to this, each hard-back, leatherbound volume comes with a free read-only CD.” At present, there are about 2,000 subscribers to NMLR, and it has continued to receive accolades. Justice Hussein Mukhtar of the Court of Appeal said: “The NMLR is a well organised, enriched annotated and an orthodox Law reporting that is user friendly and one of the
best resource avenues for legal authority in Nigeria that has achieved the highest international standards” Justice Olu Ariwoola, also of the Court of Appeal said:” I am glad to say that the reporting, printing and binding of the NMLR are fantastic. The effort is commendable. I hereby recommend the Law Reports to all, in particular, practitioners of law, both at the bar and on the bench at all levels. The benefits derivable from the use of the NMLR are unimaginable. However, I believe there is room for improvement” Former Federal Attorney-General, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN), said: “The new NMLR published in the past one year has met the highest standard of law reporting in the English speaking world. NMLR is indispensible to any one in our profession who values competence. If you ensure that the NMLR is available in the bookshops and libraries of all the English speaking world, then the sky will not be the limit for the NMLR.” The Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Prof. Oluyemisi Bamgbose, said: “The Law Report has enriched the legal resources for research, case law for legal practitioners and study guide for law students. The lucid
•Mr Kuti, MD,Optimum Publishers manner in which the law report is presented, makes it an important and very good legal material for the law students. It is a rich resource that has benefited legal practitioners, lecturers and law students.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
LAW COVER CONT’D
‘North Africa’s revolution may happen anywhere there is oppression’ •Continued from page 31
rights that enunciated in the African Charter. So, it is the usual practice to grant observer status to NGOs that meet the criteria. This in essence gives them the right to partake in the sessions of the commission and, not only that, it also enables them to speak on the platform at the sessions on issues that concern human rights in their various areas. We witnessed a robust dialogue, allegations and counter-allegations between state parties and the NGOs from their countries. How does this affect the mandate of the commission? For me, I want to look at it from the perspective of the important roles NGOs play in supporting and complementing the work of the commission. NGOs and state parties are able to dialogue, to discuss and if you therte are any allegations of human rights abuses made by the NGOs, this is a platform for the states to respond. There is a constructive dialogue and so, it is a positive move which is usual during the sessions of the African Commission and it is reflective of the understanding of the complementary roles of the states and the NGOs in the promotion of human rights on the continent. Would you attribute the recent waves of protests and revolutions a cross the continent to the awakening of the citizens to their individual and political rights? I think that the awakening of the rights of individuals cannot be better exhibited than the situation in North Africa. It clearly shows that no matter how long people are repressed, time will come when their voice will have to speak. For me, I think that the situation in North Africa is a warning to all other African countries that there is a wave of great knowledge of the rights of individual across board and leaders should take a cue and begin to put in place good governance, adherence to the rule of law because, sooner or later, the populace will shift to the streets and what has hap-
•Executive Secretary, NHRC, Roland Ewubare
pened in Egypt, Tunisia and part of Algeria where leaders who have been in power for so long have had to leave office in ignominy will happen. See what is unfortunately happening in Libya, where the leader still thinks that he holds the power but, at the end of the day, we know that the people will prevail. This may also happen in any African country where the rights of the people are being repressed. How does one become a commissioner in the African Commission for Human and people’s Rights? A commissioner is usually nominated by his or her country to be presented as a candidate before the African Union (AU) Summit of Heads of States wherever it is holding. So, what happens after the election? After an election is concluded, a candidate succeeds and is elected a commissioner, he/ she does not represent his/her country. In other words, such a person goes to the commission to protect the interest of Africa. For instance, when a case is being considered by the commission against a particular country, the commissioner from that country is expected to excuse himself or herself from that deliberation so that there can be an impartial and transparent consideration of that case, to enable the commission decide whether that country is in violation of the Charter or not. Now as a Nigerian commissioner, what is your foremost duty there? As a Nigerian in that commission, my foremost duty as contained in Article 45 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights is to promote and protect human
rights across Africa. I am not obliged to lean or look out for the interest of Nigeria alone in the course of my activities. What were you doing before your election into the commission? I was in private practice for over 30 years in Nigeria and, in the course of that, I had carried out several consultancy jobs for the African Union in legal drafting. I had also participated in the African Union mission to several countries in the course of various elections, some of which took place in Ghana, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and I was also a commissioner with the Nigerian Human Rights Commission before coming to the African Commission. My duty also includes the promotion of human rights activities in Nigeria, just like I do for several other countries in Africa. When were you elected a commissioner and what is your tenure? I was elected in November 2007 for a sixyear tenure which is renewable. Back home, we just conducted elections. President Goodluck Jonathan was reelected for a four-year term. What advice do you have for him to improve our human rights records? First, democracy is a reflection of the voice of the people. So, if the recently-concluded elections are a reflection of the voice of the people, then the government needs not to go far to satisfy the people. The needs of the people are plain, good governance will bring good education, it will bring good health facilities, protection of human rights and development.
How do we get the dividends of democracy? Each government should put in place structures that will make the indices of good governance available to the people and there will be calm because a happy people are a contented people. Therefore, it is in the interest of the leaders to ensure that the judiciary is well funded, that the various organs of government are properly funded. As a Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Places of Detention, what reforms would you like to see in our prisons? The issue of prisons is of great concern to me. As you have mentioned, I am a Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Places of Detention. This is one area that needs to be adequately addressed. The challenge of our population, of the prisons, is another area that causes concern internationally and nationally. It should be a prime project for the government to address all the factors that attend to prison – over population; the justice system needs to be reviewed, adequate funding should be given to prisons. There should be various training for prison officers, judges and magistrates to understand the parameters of detention. Above all, we need to ensure that the government begins to develop alternate to sentences, alternate to imprisonment, so that it is not every time that you land someone in jail. When you have community service which I highly commend Lagos for, this will decrease prison population and I encourage other states to help in decongesting the prison system. What is your appraisal of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and its contributions to the promotion and protection of human Rights? Since my entry into the African Commission, I have observed with keen interest the participation of the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and I wish that its participation was more visible in terms of contribution during debates as it concerns human rights commissions across the continent. Nonetheless, I am glad that the National Human Rights Bill has been passed into law, which gives the commission a stronger footing to promote and protect the rights of Nigerians. I will urge the government to constitute the board of the commission and to give it the proper funding to enable it perform its job. Human rights commissions are important organs in the promotion of human rights; they also complement the work of the African Commission because they are nationally based with wider ambits to deal with human rights issues within their countries. I would wish that effort is put in place to ensure that NHRC assumes its role as the watchdog for the ordinary man on the street.
Customer challenges Airtel’s power to organise lottery
O Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operators possess the right to engage in lottery without first seeking the permission of the regulatory agency, the National Lotteries Regulations Commission (NLRC)? This is one of the questions to be resolved by the Federal High Court, Lagos, as hearing opens in a suit brought against Airtel Nigeria Limited by an aggrieved customer, Benjamin Owiadolor, who claimed to have lost huge sums of money in a lottery allegedly organised by the company. He averred in a statement of claim that sometime in April 2009, the defendant (Airtel) embarked on a promo , tagged : “Wake up a millionaire promo,” wherein it solicited and encouraged subscribers to make telephone calls to other subscribers on the Airtel network and enjoy free one-minute call for every one- minute call. The plaintiff contended that the promotion amounted to a lottery as it consisted of the three elements of lottery and, by nature, falls under the definition of lottery as contained in the NLRC Act. He argued that a promo should ordinarily be ancillary to the actual business of the organiser and, irrespective of winning a prize or otherwise, the customer must get value for the product or service for which the consideration is offered. Owiadolor said the N100 per SMS charged by Airtel while the promotion lasted, was not credited to his account for the purposes of enjoying free telecom service, but instead, the money was deducted by Airtel only for
By Eric Ikhilae
the purpose of participating in a draw in which the prize could be awarded contrary to the essence and meaning of promo. The plaintiff further averred that on April 25, 2009, he had very important commercial transactions with business associates and friends which required lengthy telephone conversations and, at about 12 noon, he made a number of telephone calls which were all truncated at exactly 1.01 minutes. He added that Airtel’s continued truncation of his calls occasioned deep frustration to him and made him record losses running into millions of naira. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant deliberately programmed its system to truncate calls at the commencement of the subsequent minute to ensure that customers would not enjoy the free one-minute call that should ordinarily follow the initial one-minute paid for by the subscriber. Owiadolor alleged that, despite his letter to Airtel, urging the company to stop sending him unsolicited text messages, the company persisted in sending him “the inciting, inducing and nerve-racking promotional text messages which some were received at very odd hours.” He claimed to have incurred huge costs in participating in the promo, and that he had also suffered untold psychological and physical hardship from the repeated bombardment of inducing and nerve-racking promotional text messages forwarded to him by the defendant contrary to his demand not to be sent promotional messages relating to the pur-
ported promo. He urged the court to, among others, direct the NCC to revoke the operating licence granted Airtel for allegedly operating an illegal lottery. Owiadolor also wants the court to mandate Airtel to refund all sums expended by subscribers who participated in the competition known as “wake up a millionaire promo” by way of credit, which should be done under the supervision of the NCC. The plaintiff further urged the court to declare that the promo organised by Airtel, without first obtaining the requisite licence from the NLRC is illegal and a contravention of the provisions of the NLRC Act and Lotteries and Pools Betting Laws of Lagos State. He prayed the court to hold that Airtel’s decision to engage in lottery breached the conditions of the telecoms licence granted it by the NCC in accordance with the NCC Act. He wants the court to award N1 million in both special and general damages against Airtel for the loss he purportedly suffered. Airtel, in its statement of defence, insisted that the promotion was not illegally organised as necessary regulatory approvals were secured from the NLRC before it embarked on the competition. It added that the promo was not intended to mislead, defraud or rip-off the plaintiff or any other participant. Airtel challenged the competence of the suit, describing it as “vexatious, frivolous, gold-digging and an abuse of court process”. It denied the plaintiff’s allegation that his
• Rajan Swaroop, Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria Ltd
calls were deliberately truncated. Airtel claimed that its network experienced limited connectivity between its subscribers and connectivity with other networks in some areas and locations on the day referred to by the plaintiff. The company said it makes more money with calls made without hitches. It prayed the court to dismiss it with substantial cost.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
FROM THE COURT
Fidelity Bank, customer bicker over debt claims
FEDERAL High Court in Lagos has been invited to resolve the dispute between Fidelity Bank Plc and its customer, Nakem Oil and Gas Company Limited in which the feuding parties are trading words over indebtedness among sundry allegations. The invitation is contained in a suit by Nakem Oil, to which the bank has filed a counter-claim. The oil firm accused the bank of manipulating its account to the extent of over debiting it to the tune of N14.5 million. The bank alleged that the firm owed it about N53 million. Nakem Oil stated, in a writ of summons, that the dispute arose between them sometimes in early 2009 when it sought to know the position of its account with the bank. It alleged that the bank initially delayed in responding to its request for a statement of account, but eventually responded by issuing a “concocted and fictitious” statement, claiming it (the oil firm) owed it (the bank) N 53, 029,302.29. The plaintiff averred that in its effort to disproof the bank’s claim, it engaged the services of a private accounting firm, Corimol Consulting, who upon scrutinising its transactions with the bank, found out that the bank allegedly operated its account without due care and diligence by ascribing to it interests and charges contrary to those prescribed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Nakem, who denied being indebted to the bank, admitted securing a N268, 094,250 loan from the bank in
LAW AND PUBLIC POWER
Stories by Eric Ikhilae
April 2007. It claimed to have repaid the said loan and pledged to furnish the court with all the necessary deposit slips at the trial of the case. It accused the bank of allegedly resorting to blackmail, intimidation and harassment by purportedly procuring the services of men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) who have on several occasions arrested and detained its officials. The plaintiff, who also named the Inspector- General of Police and the Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit, Moses Saba as defendants, alleged that the police have consistently acted in a manner aimed at crippling its further operations. It prayed the court to among others, declare that it is not indebted to the bank; that the action of the police as it relates to intimidating and harassing its staff is illegal and order Fidelity bank to render a true and accurate account of the position of its account. Nakem Oil further prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further intimidating and harassing its staff in relation to the said account. It also claimed damages against the defendants for the loss it had suffered owing to their (defendants’) alleged unlawful conducts. On its part, the bank denied any wrongdoing, insisting that the oil firm was indebted to it. The bank averred that the firm applied for and was granted the said N268 million loan. It accused to firm of reneging
with gabriel AMALU email:email@example.com
• Acting Chief Judge FHC, Justice Ibrahim Auta in the repayment agreement between parties, despite that Nakem’s Managing Director, Mrs. Kemi Alebe issued a personal guarantee to secure the loan. The bank denied violating CBN’s guidelines and regulations as alleged by the plaintiff, stating that the rate at which interest was charged on the said loan was based on the pricing rate contained in the offer letter and which the plaintiff accepted. Fidelity Bank, while denying knowledge of any report by the accountant engaged by Nakem, urged the court to dismiss the suit for lacking merit. In its counter-claim, the bank prayed the court for among others, an order directing Nakem to liquidate the said debt of over N53 million. It also asked for an interest of 18 per cent on the said sum pending final liquidation of the debt.
Kastina-Alu, Otteh, others for firm’s annual lecture
HE Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu and the DirectorGeneral, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mrs. Arunma Otteh, are among dignitaries expected at this year’s edition of an annual lecture by a Lagos-based law firm, Punuka Attorneys and Solicitors. The CJN and SEC’s helmsman are expected to feature as special guests of honour and the chairperson at the event scheduled for May 18 at the Metropolitan Club, Victoria Island, Lagos at 10.00am. The firm’s Managing Partner, Anthony Idigbe (SAN), said the annual event is part of his firm’s contribu-
tion to nation building by bringing together key industry players and stakeholders to examine developments in the areas of law, economy, finance, good governance among others. He said invitation has also been extended to a consultant in European Financial and Corporate Law at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, United Kingdom, Jane Welch who is billed to lead discussion on the topic: The challenges of securities regulation in an increasingly changing world. He said the lecture seeks to provide an answer to how regulation could be adapted to deal with the threats peculiar to securities and capi-
Good governance, not good luck
• Katsina-Alu tal markets as an important sector of the economy in a rapidly changing world.
LEGAL DIARY NBA President’s media chat The President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Joseph Bodurin Daudu (SAN), will hold the monthly media chat tomorrow Venue: NBA Secretariat, 5, Medical Guild Close, Off Bode George Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. Time: Noon.
WABA holds conference The West African Bar Association (WABA) holds her 2011 Conference. Theme: Promoting the use of Public Interest Litigation as a tool for Democratisation and establishment of the rule of law. Date: Thursday, May 12 to13 Venue: New Chelsea Hotel, Abuja. Time: 9 am daily
NBA Lagos Summit The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lagos branch will hold the 2011 Law Summit. Theme: Governance and Accountability – The Role of Lawyers. Date: May 16 to 20 Venue: Grand Ball Room, Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Time: 9 am daily.
Institute holds roundtable The Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) will hold a one-day roundtable. Theme: Emigration, an Emerging Syndrome Date: May 17 Venue: Ayo Ajomo Auditorium, NIALS, UNILAG, Akoka Campus, Lagos.
PARAPHRASED the title of this piece from a campaign billboard of the vice presidential candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Fola Adeola, in the just-concluded presidential election, which President Goodluck Jonathan won. As l drove past the street where the billboard was aloft a building, it immediately struck me as a good title for this week’s piece, especially as the newly elected public officials prepare to take on their responsibilities. Last week, my editor repeated an article published few weeks back as I was unable to return to Lagos in time to write my piece, after attending my niece, Obianuju Amalu’s traditional wedding in my village. The sheer opportunism of subsequently having a session with two royalties, Igwe Tom Inyiama of my community, Ogwofia Owa, and Igwe Eze Ozobu of Umuagba Owa (the retired Chief Justice of Enugu State), was too tempting to miss. So, I stayed back to drink from the double fountain of wisdom and l think l am the better for it. Now to the present. There is no doubt that Fola Adeola’s campaign slogan was meant to strike a chord that governance is serious business, more so with the pedigree of the advertiser. President Jonathan, the subject matter, had rolled for too long on a good luck coaster; and now that he has won, that pre election punch is even more applicable. Mr. President must realise that the success or failure of his tenure as a President cannot be predicated on sheer good luck. It can only be a result of clear thinking and astute planning to give Nigerians a well deserved good governance. In making his choice of ministers and special advisers for instance, President Jonathan could borrow from President Obama’s sagacity in choosing Hilary Clinton, a fellow competitor in the presidential race as his secretary of state. Also President Obama’s decision to retain Robert Gates as Defense Secretary, though he was originally appointed by former President George Bush who is from a different political party. The message from President Obama l believe was to show the American electorate, that while partisan politics is the road to participation in governance, governance itself is a far more serious business to be left to only partisan interests. The ruling party at the centre, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while enjoying their victory, must allow the President to run a bipartisan government in the interest of Nigeria. While not asking for an all comers affair, the search for capable hands to run key offices must not be restricted to only the members of the party. To pressure the President to do otherwise would likely thrust him with only party members who would be more interested in sharing largess to their compatriots than helping the President make the needed improvement in providing services to Nigerians. If President Jonathan is able to make a difference he would be in a better position to influence the governors at the states. Many Nigerians would readily agree that governance has been very poor in many states. The same is replicated in many of the local governments, since it is the governors that usually hand pick their choices and foist them on the people. With the kind of elections usually conducted by the various state electoral commissions, one can safely say there is little or no democracy at the local levels. But all that may change if the electorate is prepared to show the same enthusiasm during the local elections as they have exhibited at the recent general elections. The National Assembly that will emerge after May 29 must realize that it would be suicidal for the country, if they replicate the current assembly’s self indulgence. While a sizeable number of the old legislators will be in the new assembly, they would need to change their perception of public service. There is no doubt that the cost of running government in Nigeria is too high, and the parliament shares the major blame for that. If they allow the cost of government overhead to take more than 75 per cent of the budget as is currently the position, then they should be prepared for mass discontentment. The state assemblies on their part are also usually populated by spineless ‘yes members’. The result is that many incompetent governors are allowed to ride rough shod on their states, with the impetuous pomposity and false regalia of a pretender to monarchy. Where governance is reduced to merely sharing the monthly allocation from Abuja, such governors remain an embarrassment to the position they purportedly occupy. Something akin to a ghost worker, who takes salaries, when the job is never done? My hope as l earnestly believe most Nigerians do also, is that President Jonathan would lead by example in the quest for a new Nigeria. I also hope that the likes of Governor Babatunde Fashola would multiply and increase across the states. The civil societies must also be ready to help build a new Nigeria. Our country’s potentials are quite enormous, and the way to go is to empower Nigerians through sound economic programmes. President Jonathan and the governors must seek to make a difference in the first 100 days after May 29, handover. If the power sector reform is boosted within the year as promised during the elections by President Jonathan, then our teeming youths may find a better past time than the elixir of watching Big Brother Africa and the premiership. Our country cannot develop with the kind of mass unemployment that stares us in the face. No doubt the stakes are quite high, and only good governance not share good luck will make a difference.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
LAW & SOCIETY GUESTS AT RECEPTION FOR NEW LIFE BENCHERS AT THE LAGOS HIGH COURT IGBOSERE
•Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch, Mr Chijioke Okoli and Mr Obi Okwusogu (SAN)
•Former NBA President, Mrs Priscilia Kuye and Pa Tunji Gomez
•Chief Phillip Asiodu and wife Jumoke
•From left: Senator Onyeabo Obi, Mrs Boma Ozobia and Chief Babatunde Benson (SAN)
•Chief Frank Agbedo (left) and Chuma Ezeala
•Mrs Evelyn Onyeabo Obi and Mr Willy Nzewi
•Chief Torah Taire and Mrs Adunola Benson
•NBA Lagos executive and newly appointed Life Benchers cutting a cake
•From left: Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN), Chief George Uwechue (SAN) and Chief Guy Ikoku PHOTOS: RAHMAN SANUSI
TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
ENERGY THE NATION
Kerosine: Can govt sustain availability at regulated price? The continual recurrence of kerosine scarcity has become a thing of concern to many stakeholders. Since kerosine is widely used in many homes for cooking and lighting, the government’s ability to guarantee its uninterrupted supply has become an issue, reports EMEKA UGWUANYI Assistant Editor (Energy).
N the last 10 months, the price of kerosine has risen between 50 and 100 per cent depending on which part of the country the commodity is purchased. The inability of the government to check the trend has become a worrisome development to many Nigerians as the commodity is a major source of energy to over 80 per cent of low income earners, especially those living in the rural areas. Following the inability of the government to ensure adequate supply of the commodity, marketers have cashed in on the scarcity to hike the price from between 50 and 100 per cent over the regulated price of N50 for a litre. Besides, the regulated price of kerosine at N50 per litre only obtains in the cities especially Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Delta State . In other states, especially in the Southeast the product hardly sells at that price. Even in the cities, the government has not recorded unbroken sufficient supply for six months in the last four years, thereby, creating opportunity for marketers to make undue profits by exploiting consumers. The price of kerosine is regulated and government subsidises it to enable the marketers sell at N50 per litre and at a margin. However, unlike Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), which marketers are given licences to import; only the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) supplies kerosine. Because the national consumption level is well less than 10 million litres and the fact that the refineries produce at very sub-optimal levels, what the NNPC does is to import to compliment the little quantity produced in-country. To stem the recurrent scarcity of kerosine, government had a few years ago entered into a partner-
ship with African Petroleum Plc to market the product at regulated price, however, the partnership didn’t last and supply to the company stopped. Investigation also reveals that the marketers sometimes, sell their allocations from the NNPC to retailers and independents that have their retail outlets in the rural areas, who sell to consumers at exorbitant prices. Currently, few of the filling stations that have stock sell a litre from N70. Some of the major oil marketers, who spoke in confidence , said the business of kerosine has been highly politicised by those mandated to carry out the activities in collaboration with government officials. “The supply of kerosine has become a booming business for them and their cronies,” one of the marketers said, adding that the only sustainable way out of the mess is to fix the refineries and ensure optimal production or let the government deregulate the price of kerosine just like automated gas oil (diesel). “If the refineries are fixed, production of kerosine will be more than enough to go round,” the source added. “The issue of kerosine will continue to be a booming business for those involved in it at the top level because it currently operates as a cartel,” the source added. According to information obtained from the website of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), the open market price of kerosine as at February 1 this year was N143.48 per litre. The landing cost was N130.28 with addition distribution margins of N13.20 shared as follows: retailers N4.60, transporters N2.75, dealers N1.75, bridging fund and marine transport average (MTA) N3.95 and administration charge N0.15
reflecting a subsidy of N93.48 per litre. The Deputy President of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Mr. Dayo Adesina, had also told our correspondent that kerosine is not supposed to have any place in the country considering the quantity of gas reserves in place. He said instead of government encouraging the use of kerosine, it should be doing otherwise and embark on extensive awareness campaign to encourage Nigerians use liquefied petroleum gas (cooking gas) because it is
cleaner, safer, environmentally friendly and readily available. He said what the government needs is to create the right environment and support the operators to deepen the market and consumption level. The spokesman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, said: “I want to assure consumers of household kerosine across the country that the NNPC has injected more than enough of the product into the market and they should desist from panic buying
adding that about 1,446 trucks of kerosine has been transported to the market and this surpasses the national daily consumption figure of between 8 to10 million litres.” He said with the re-streaming of the Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries, the purported scarcity of the product will soon be a thing of the past. Ajuonuma observed that the corporation maintains zero tolerance of scarcity of all petroleum products and advised consumers of kerosine not to resort on panic buying.
•From left: Austen Oniwon, Group Managing Director, NNPC; Dr. David Ige, Group Executive Director, NNPC, and Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources, during her inspection of Nigerian exhibitors at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas.
‘Nigerian Content Act boosts govt’s gas revolution initiative’
HE Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke, has said the Nigerian Content Act, which came into effect last year has started helping in the achievement of the Federal Government’s aspiration in boosting domestic gas usage. She said this while delivering a paper on investment opportunities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry at a forum organised by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) at the just concluded 2011 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas. The Minister said the progress being recorded in the implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010, will ensure the successful execution of President Goodluck Jonathan’s gas industrial revolution. While describing the passage and signing of the Nigerian Content Bill into law as one of the most important achievements of Goodluck’s administration, the minister assured that the implementation of the Act would result in the execution of major aspects of the projects envisaged under the gas revolution in
From Emeka Ugwuanyi, in Houston, Texas
Nigeria noting that it will create thousands of jobs in in-country facilities and yards. She explained that the Act mandates a significant retention of the planned capital investments in-country, in a non-disruptive manner, adding that the capacity required incountry to support the planned projects is huge and thus created a major investment opportunity for stakeholders. The Minister stressed that the gas industrialisation revolution launched by President Jonathan is focused on an industrial rebirth of Nigeria through the stimulation of gas based industries such as fertilizer, methanol and petrochemicals. Projects launched by President Jonathan under the gas revolution include the development of Africa’s largest petrochemical complex by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its partner, the Saudi Arabian conglomerate – Xenel. This will cost about $6 billion and is planned to be in operation by 2015.
Others include two fertiliser plants to be built in partnership with the Indian conglomerate – Nagarjuna. This will consist of two 1.3 million tonnes per annum fertiliser plants complemented by five discrete blending plants to be located across the country, which is estimated to cost about $4 billion. Another major project is the development of one billion cubic feet per day gas central processing facility, which is expected to be built by a consortium led by Agip in partnership with NNPC and Oando. The facility will cost about $2 billion and will provide the feedstock for the fertilizer and petrochemical plants, in addition to supplies to the power plants. She stated that government is in the process of setting up liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distribution network that would distribute LPG to various part of the country. LPG supplies to the network will be drawn from three gas processing facilities to be developed. The Minister, who also is the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, also restated that the Nigerian Content Act is not
intended to indigenise the industry or nationalise assets of investors in the Nigerian economy. She said the Act rather would set out provisions that would guarantee that investments in facilities within the country would be fully utilised and protect the rights of every investor under the law. Mrs Alison-Madueke further explained that the targets set out in the Act present substantial opportunities to establish new facilities in Nigeria, upgrade existing yards and develop human capital to take advantage of the imminent expansion of the industry, following the expected passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill. She said the implementation of the Act in the past one year has provided immense inspiration and the confidence to adopt the various pilot schemes which are already making positive and measurable impacts. “The testimonies presented at the first anniversary celebrations of the Nigerian Content Act by the major operators, showed that multinational and local service providers have achieved major milestones and the appetite for compliance is now high
across the industry,”she added. The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Ernest Nwapa, noted that the anxieties expressed by some stakeholders after the signing of the Nigerian Content Act into law is turning into genuine interest on how to comply. He attributed the success recorded in the implementation of the Act in the first year to the unflinching support of President Jonathan, the commitment of the Minister and the collaborative approach adopted by the Board in its relationship with the industry. He stated that the recent laying of first ever set of made-in-Nigeria oil and gas grade pipes at the ExxonMobil’s Edop-Idoho Offshore field had unlocked opportunities for utilisation of locally made pipes. Shell, Agip and Chevron have since placed orders for about 100 kilometres of line pipes in the SCC plant located in Abuja, a move that will sustain the employment of over 200 Nigerians in the facility. He further explained that with job creation now a priority of President Goodluck’s administration, Nigerian Content implementation has pledged to create 300,000 direct and indirect jobs.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
‘Why Nigeria’s rig count is still low’ If reserves were a function of what a country’s rig count is,as it should be, Nigeria has no reason not to lead the pack in Africa. Its reserves are so massive compared to that of other African oil producers. But its rig count is still very low. Apart from Angola, which comes behind Nigeria, other countries in sub-Saharan Africa are ahead of Nigeria. BIDEMI BAKARE examines what is responsible for the development.
CCORDING to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC’s) rig count by target, Nigeria’s rig count increased to 14 as at February 2011 from 12 in 2010. But for the increase in rig count of gas, it would have been impossible to have this marginal increase as the rig count of oil plunged from 12 to 11 during the same period. Compared to other oil producers in Africa, Nigeria needs a lot of catching up to do. Algeria, for instance, has the highest rig count at 30 followed by Libya at 15 while Angola is the lowest at 9.Many have attributed the development to the militancy and unrest in the Niger Delta while others put the blame on technical issues. The Managing Director, Subsurface Consultants, Jasper Nwachukwu, disagreed that militancy cum unrest is solely responsible for the low rig count stating that if militancy alone was the cause then the situation should have changed since calm has been restored to the Niger Delta through the amnesty offered to exmilitants. He said: “Militancy in the Niger delta was only one of the several factors that militated against project execution by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and Nigerian Oil Companies (NOCs).But by far the greatest hindrance to the rig count phenomenon was the inability of the IOCs to continue to invest in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry. This resulted from the nonpassage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).The bill has brought together all laws governing the Exploration and Production of oil and gas since crude oil was discovered in Oloibiri in 1956. The IOCs are hedgy over investing in a sector whose fiscal conditions were not yet known. On the part of the NOCs, their foreign investors are not willing to close any deals on account of the PIB uncertainties.From the foregoing and since rigs are major CAPEX items, it is not surprising that the rig counts have been at abysmal levels for about two years now. So, we all have a duty to play by canvassing and pressurising the current National Assembly to pass the PIB before the end of its tenure.” Disclosing that the low rig count should be of grave concern to the economy of Nigeria, the retired Shell Director demanded for high sense of responsibility from the government for the country to earn more from increasing her rig count. “Of course, the rig count is a major concern that requires the attention of the government. We may appear to have lost time in the past by not increasing our rig count. However, it must be said that oil in the ground is not lost as it can still earn revenue whenever it is produced. Besides, we are fortunate that the oil price has been on the rise and that ensures that, even though production targets might be suffering the revenue could still be achieved with lower number of barrels produced,” he said. In effect, rig counts will only increase when oil companies, both local and foreign make adequate investments in their exploration and production activities. These investments can only be possible upon the
passage of the PIB before the National Assembly. In addition, the oil companies should be prevailed upon to add as much new reserves as they are producing because the current scenario where the nation produces far more than is being discovered is not healthy for the future economic well being of the country. Ideally, and because oil is a diminishing resource effort must be made to discover at least the number of barrels being sold daily. Doing this means more exploration work (seismic, drilling and completion activities) than is the case right now. Dr Lola Amao, Principal Consultant, Lonadek Oil and Gas consultants, in a separate view, believes the low rig count is due to the shortfall of foreign direct investment for oil business and operations in the country. This she attributed to the new business climate and the non passage of the PIB. “A lot is bound to happen as regards drilling activities considering the new investment climate in the country. The independent joint venture, for instance is going to be a new kind of business that would enable people seeking for funding on the international market .NAPIMS as we are told is not going to pay 60 per cent of anything that is thrown at the table of NNPC. Quite honestly too with all the new tax and fiscal regime that is included in the PIB it is enough food for thought for any foreign investor. So, for foreign direct investment to come into Nigeria which would translate into rig count the fiscal terms of doing business in Nigeria must be defined. “The investment climate in Nigeria must be favourable and that is not clear for now. No one would put his money in Nigeria until the PIB is passed and it is not clear to the investor what returns on investment he stands to gain by bringing his money to Nigeria .So, for now the rig count is just the way it has to be. This is because the fiscal terms of doing business needs to be ascertained before the rig count can increase, she said.” She said the problem with Nigeria even goes beyond the low rig count as the oil that is in fact being produced is not well traded for maximum profit. She said: “Far beyond the problem of low rig count for us as a country is the problem of poor trading of our finished oil products. It is unfortunate that a country such as Nigeria does not trade its own crude on the spot market because it goes through some contractors or third parties which I think is very unfortunate. “So, I am praying for a season of transparency and accountability where the Nigerian government or NNPC can actually trade its own crude resources or finished products on the spot market at the true market value so that the return on investment to the Nigerian citizen is maximised. It is shameful that Angola even with a lower rig count trades internationally while Nigeria that should be a leader is still crawling or sucking its feeding bottle in the area of trading of its resources. So, I think while we are making frantic effort to scale up our rig count, we must also bear in mind that rig count would not count a bit if we are being shortchanged in the trading of the products of such drilling activities.”
•From left: Felix Awolaja, Director, Felpet (Nigeria) Limited; Dr. Kingsley Ojo, General Manager Total E&P Nigeria; Charles Ngoka, Deputy Managing Director, Deepwater Total E&P Nigeria and Yomi Orenuga, General Manager, Venture Management and Nigeria Content, Total E&P Nigeria Limited, at the just-concluded Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas.
‘How we are revolutionising economy through oil, gas projects’
HE Akwa Ibom State government has said the major oil, gas and power projects being executed by it are meant to help in changing the economic fortunes of the state. Through the private public partnership (PPP) initiative, the government said it is prepared to harness the oil and gas potentials of the state for the good of its people. Speaking at the press briefing on its upcoming oil and gas summit with the theme Harnessing the Oil and Gas Potential of Akwa Ibom StateOpportunities and Challenges, the state Commissioner for Information and Social Re-orientation, Aniekan Umana, said the state is doing all it can to position itself for opportunities that are capable of making it one of the most developed states. Umana said this is reflective in the quantum of projects which are either on course or have been executed already by the government. He said: ”First and foremost, owing to our huge gas resources the government has decided to work with a private energy company, Septa through the PPP initiative to build the first gas processing plant. The government is also laying pipelines of 59km length so that the gas can be harness from the plant all the way to Ibom power plant. You need to also know that the state has built a power plant with generation capacity of 191MW .It has however put about 49MW out of this capacity into the na-
By Bidemi Bakare
tional grid and has strated receiving payment from PHCN.Last December we received a little over NI00 million for what was released to the grid. Quite painfully we have not been able to domicile the power completely because of some issues bordering on distribution and transmission .We believed this is within the exclusive list of the Federal Government. ”Besides, we are also investing in oil and gas maritime related services because we think they are huge areas that government can participate. And that is why government is making significant investment by working with the private sector towards the development of the maritime enclave called Ibaka industrial city within where you have the Ibaka seaport project.Infact apart from the Lagos ports I think the Ibaka seaport when commisioned is surely going to be the best seaport anywhere in the country.Right now the state has set up the Ibaka industrial city development project committee to work with international consultants on the project.The state is also going on an international road show to attract investors to come in and work with the government towards realising this initiative.It is hoped that when the seaport is completely developed, the gas processing plant also in place and with the level of infrastructural development taking place it would be possible to adjudge
the state as one of the best industrial cities in the world.” On the importance of the proposed oil and gas summit to the participants, Umana stated that the summit is very important and crucial at this time for the state to begin the process of sensitising people. “We must begin the process of preparing the mindset of the people for the economic revolution that is about to take place in Akwa Ibom.That is why we need this summit. The summit should be of interest to whoever desires the development of our state. They need to know what is happening in our area. So we ask all stakeholders to stop by at the summit to see what is happening, participate in all the activities going on there Hopefully go with the stories and help tell the world how we are faring,. Lastly try look at the resources we have within the oil and gas sector and other sectors that could aid the development of the industry in Nigeria .” The Akwa Ibom Oil and Gas stakeholders’ summit which comes up on May 12 to 13, at the Ibom Le Meridien hotel and Golf Resort in Akwa Ibom affords oil companies representatives, oil service consultants and contractors, chambers of commerce and industry, small scale manufacturers, entrepreneurs, academics, NGOs, Community Based Organisations (CBOs), government officials and opinion leaders to interface with each other on how to get the best from and for Akwa Ibom.
Lekoil chief, investors to parley at Rencap conference
HE Chief Executive Officer of Lekoil Nigeria Limited, Mr. Lekan Akinyanmi, will host one-on-one meetings with investors at this year’s Africa conference organised by Renaissance Capital (a member of the Renaissance Group). The event, which will hold at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos on May 18 to 20, will bring together international investment professionals as well as investment companies of global repute to explore the development of African capital markets and highlight the performance and potential of key corporate organisations.
According to the organisers, Lekoil is an important stakeholder in encouraging capital inflow into Africa. Lekoil was part of a consortium which recently bid for one of the largest assets in Shell Nigeria’s ongoing divestment programme. Akinyanmi is a seasoned oil and gas management professional who was until recently, the International Energy Sector Head at Alliance Bernstein, (one of the largest global institutional fund managers) based in New York. He worked with Schlumberger where he held various engineering and operational roles in Nigeria, Egypt, Pakistan, Oman and Scotland.
Renaissance Capital said the Africa conference will among others promote investment opportunities in Africa and particularly Nigeria. It will also be a platform to showcase successful African corporate entities Renaissance Capital has been in Nigeria since 2007 and operates a fully-fledged investment banking, research, sales and trading business with 30 professionals based in its office in Lagos, Nigeria. Lekoil is an oil and gas exploration and production company. Recently, it partnered with other players to bid for some of the oil blocks offered for sale by the Shell joint venture.
“These people are enemies of progress and (are part of a) disgruntled set up. That is what they are noted for, so it didn’t surprise me a bit. I thank God I was not wounded.”
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
WAFU NATIONS CUP SEMI-FINAL
Eagles know foes today E
AGLES ‘B’ team will have to wait till after today’s group rematch between Ghana and Togo to know their opponent in the semi-final of the sub-regional
WAFU Nations Cup. Nigeria’s home-based stars defeated Niger 4-0 on Saturday to qualify for Thursday’s semi-final match. It was also a sweet revenge
for the Nigerians, stopped from qualifying for 2011 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) by their northwest neighbours. In Group B, Ghana, who are
•Eagles Ikechukwu Ibenegbu goes past a Liberian player during the first game of the WAFU Cup
NYIMBA’s coach Okey Emordi has attributed his team’s slim 1-0 win over Libyan champions, AlIttihad in Sunday’s CAF Champions League clash to lack of match practice. Victor Barnabas’ penaltykick at the 74th minute helped the Aba Elephants secure a passage to the money spinning group stage of the 2011 African Elite Club Competition. CAF had early taken a decision to make Enyimba/ Al-Ittihad encounter a one-leg game due to the civil unrest in the North African state. Emordi who praised the Libyans for stretching the twotime African champions to the limit told SuperSport.com that they were happy to have overcome their opponents admitting that his wards did not play to the best of their ability. “We were match rusty because the premier league has been on break for some time now and it did not help our
represented by the Olympic team, stopped Togo 2-1 in their first clash and will do battle again today to determine who will top the group as the two other teams due for this competition failed to turn up. Nigerian coach, Samson Siasia, commended his players and singled out Batholomew Ibenegbu as the best player on parade against Niger Republic. “Congratulations to the boys. I want to commend ‘Mosquito’ (Ibenegbu) for scoring a brace as well as propelling the attack. My boys played to instructions and we were technically better,” he offered. “Having now trained thrice the boys were subjected to drills and are now nearing full match fitness which really showed. We looked at the video tapes of our first match against Liberia and worked on our lapses. I am happy.” Niger coach, Brah Taher, would acknowledge the Eagles superiority in this clash. “We are not really disappointed to lose to a big team like Nigeria. We are actually rebuilding our team for the future. So, this kind of competition will enable our boys to be better exposed,” said Taher. The Eagles opened scoring in the third minute through Batholomew Ibenegbu, who fired from a close range, before he doubled his tally in the 37th minute after receiving a fine pullout from striker Ekigho Ehiosun. Skipper Chibuzor Okoronkwo was stretched out towards the end of first-half due to injury and was promptly replaced in the 46th minute by former schoolboy international Agwuocha White. However, the defending champions continued from where they stopped in the first-half and scored the third goal in the 53rd minute through a header by Ehiosun, while substitute White put the icing on the performance by scoring the fourth goal in the 64th minute. Ibenegbu, Ehiosun and Tunisia-based Ghana forward Saddick Adams are the leading scorers of the tournament with two goals apiece.
Technical Adviser of Dolphins of Port Harcourt, Stanley Eguma reflecting on his assault in Port Harcourt by unknown assailants after his team won the 2011 Rivers State FA Cup on Saturday.
AFTERMATH OF ASSAULT
My attackers hate progress, HE Technical Adviser of says Eguma Dolphins of Port
Harcourt, Stanley Eguma, who was assaulted after the 2011 Rivers FA Cup final, has lambasted the pepertrators of the violence as being against the advancement of football in Rivers State as well as the Federation. Eguma, who has guided the Port Harcourt-based club to the leadership of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) after the first round to a record 43 points from 19 matches, wondered why he was subjected to such public ridicule despite his contributions to Rivers State football. “I wouldn’t know what warranted that (the attack) but I have put it behind me and I am focusing my attention on the two tasks ahead of me. “These people are enemies of progress and (are part of a) disgruntled set up. That is what
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri they are noted for so it didn’t surprise me a bit. I thank God I was not wounded,” Eguma stressed. The Assistant Coach of the Nigeria Under 23 team nonetheless disclosed that nothing would deter him from continuing his task of ensuring that Dolphins emerge victorious at the end of the league season while adding that another diadem in the mould of the Federation Cup would make his joy whole at the end of the season. Eguma was assaulted by persons disguised as fans after the Rivers FA Cup final which his team defeated holders, Sharks FC 9-8 on penalties after two goals apiece from the duo of Derek Amadi for Dolphins and Gomo Onduku in the colours of Sharks FC ensured the match ended stalemated.
CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Anyansi expects tough draw
HEAD of the draws for the CAF Champions League group stage which will be made by the Confederations of African Football (CAF) soon, the Chairman of the Nigeria flag bearer in the club competition, Enyimba’s Felix Anyansi Agwu says there won’t be any easy draw and has warned his players to prepare to play against the continent’s finest. Reacting after the 3rd Round one-legged CAF Champions League match played at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba on Sunday against Al Ittihad of Libya, Anyansi disclosed that it would be foolhardy for Enyimba to think that there was going to be any easy group owing to the significant growth of football on the
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri continent. The Vice Chairman of the Technical Department of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) averred that Enyimba would approach the group stage with seriousness while hoping that that would draw the People’s Elephant to their third African club title in seven years. “There is nothing like lucky draw the ideal is facing all oppositions as they come. We don’t think there will be anything of that sort so it is better we put our house in order and prepare for every match as if it is a cup final, and with that, I believe we can get closer to another shot at the title even though it is still very early to promise such,” Anyansi noted.
We were match rusty —Emordi
preparations. We only had a few friendly matches which were not enough, but we thank God we won despite the shortcomings. It was a tough match and the match could have gone either way.”
Emordi promised better performances in the group stages saying they have set their sights on becoming African champion once again. “There are lots of mitigating factors hindering the team’s
performances like injuries and preparations but our aspiration remains to re-create the feats of 2003 and 2004. We are working exceedingly hard to ensure that we capture the title again.”
LSTTA organises one-day tourney for Fashola
HE Lagos State Table Tennis Association (LSTTA), has concluded arrangements to organise a day championship scheduled to commence today at the Mobolaji Johnson Indoor sportshall, Rowe Park, Yaba. The competition according to the Association is to honour Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola and his Deputy, Adejoke Orelope Adefulure. Chairman of LSTTA, Olumuyiwa Noah, said the competition tagged "Victory Cup 2011" was open to all Nigerian ping pongers as the
By Innocent Amomoh
Association is expecting a chart of 64 table tennis players. This will be the first major national table tennis championship despite the National Table Tennis Federation, yet to stage a tourney as the trend has a negative impact in the developmental table tennis programmes, unlike other African countries that have started virile developmental programmes. The tourney according to LSTTA would serve as an avenue to assess ping pongers
that would feature at this year's National Sports Festival. According to him, the association's open camping preparatory to the National Sports Festival, in Rivers State, in June, 2011, had started since first of this month with 35 ping pongers just as the number would reduced to twenty- two. To Noah, the best 11 table tennis players of six male and five female would make the final list to the Games as plans are in top gear to surpass the association's past records in the last Sports Festival in Kaduna State.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
Unions set agenda for industry A
VIATION unions have called on President Goodluck Jonathan to establish a national carrier for the country. They’ve also asked him to resolve the problems arising from airport concessions. They said there is need to inject fresh blood into some of the agencies. Members of the National Union of Air Transport Employees ( NUATE), and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria ( ATSSSAN), who spoke through Peter Ogaba and Chukwu Emmanuel respectively, urged Jonathan to as a matter of urgency look into the issue of decaying infrastructure, power supply around the airport, as well as review of the Open Skies Agreement between Nigeria and the United States of America, which is lopsided in favour of America as only a few Nigerian carriers operate into the United States. Ogaba, Deputy General Secretary, NUATE, explained that it is incumbent on Jonathan to fulfill his electoral promises by setting up a committee that will see to the establishment of a new national carrier, to fill the void created with the demise of Nigeria Airways Limited, which was liquidated in 2003. He explained that since Nigeria Airways was liquidated, the exist-
Stories by Kelvin Osa-Okunbor Aviation Correspondent
ing private sector carrier lacks the capacity that a national carrier requires in the area of operational capacity as well as being able to give the mega European carrier enough competition. The NUATE official also called on Jonathan to appoint an aviation professional as Minister of Aviation so as to afford the industry the benefit, experience and knowledge of an expert, who will offer useful leadership on how to take the industry out of the woods. On his part, the ATSSSAN, Deputy National President, Emmanuel urged Jonathan to look into the vexed issue of airport concessions, which he said should be transparent, and accountable, affirming that the present practice in the industry falls short of the globally accepted standard. He said if Jonathan would handle the issue of stable power supply and revive the industrial sector, issues of job creation could be taken care of. Emmanuel explained that the president should as a matter of seriousness look into the challenge of decaying airport and air navigation and equipment at airports saying the president has begun to fix the issue of modern airport terminals, which will make Nigerian
airports align with others across the world. The National Deputy President of ATSSSAN, Sarah Rimdans, urged the President to look into how concessionaires are diverting the funds meant for the growth and development of aviation agencies, affirming that failure to address this will indicate that the industry is far from redemption. Ogaba said: “Jonathan must put a square peg in a square hole, not the other way round, the practice of bringing non aviation practitioners should ba a thing of the past, as he begins a new term in office. He should appoint an aviation professional as minister in charge of the industry, not politicians but, experts with knowledge of the industry. “The problem we are having in the aviation sector could be better handled if we have experts in charge of the aviation agencies. Our desire is for the president to appoint a professional as minister. “The president should take a sound look at the open skies policy, so that we could protect the domestic airlines. That is one of the reasons, we are calling for the setting up of a national carrier, to address the need to redevelop the aviation sector, by putting behind all the stories about Nigeria Airways. We need a national carrier.“
The ATSSSAN deputy national president said: “Jonathan should address the issue of power supply, he has to arrest that, create employment for aviation workers, as many airlines have high attrition rate. In the aviation industry, the president must improve infrastructural investments at airports across the country, as the gateway to the country, the president must improve airports terminals to meet up with international standards. He must reconstruct four international airports and consider human capital development for aviation workers. This happened a long time ago, in the days of Nigeria Airways. Concessioning in the aviation industry has not lived up to expectation, the president should see that this is carried out transparently and honestly. From what, we have seen in the industry, there has been no transparency, if government must privatise, it must be done transparently, so that the economy could work.” The union members were unanimous in they call for the president to as a matter of seriousness re- examine the bilateral air servicrs agreement for the industry which will position Nigerian carriers in a vantage position as opposed to the multiple entry policy of the
government which gives access to many mega carriers to come into Nigeria beyond one point. While British Airways flies into Lagos and Abuja, Air France flies into Lagos and Port Hrcourt, Emirates flies into Lagos and Abuja, but the only domestic airline that flies out of Nigeria: Arik Air, only operates into one point: Heathrow in London and New York, in the United States of America. Failure on the part of government to review this policy will increase capital flight out of Nigeria. The NUATE deputy scribe said: “We want Jonathan to set aside some special fund, as he inaugurates his new cabinent to consider the setting up of another national carrier, such that the airline could match the volume of operations that mega carriers are carrying out in Nigeria, because the existing domestic airlines do not have the capacity to compete with such airlines.” Among the issues that stakeholders in the aviation industry want Jonathan to examine is the inconsistency in policy and its administration, as it affects the aviation industry, even as players in the sector continue to call for the creation of a level playing field to enable domestic airlines operate optimally, as the multiple charge regime in the industry is suffocating for operators.
Germania: Berlin-based Airline starts fleet-renewal
ERLIN-BASED German carrier Germania, has taken delivery of its first of five directly purchased A319s. The order is part of the airline’s fleet rollover to eco-efficient Airbus A319s, which is planned to be completed by the end of 2013. The carrier will fly the A319s to their 30 destinations in Germany, Europe, around the Mediterranean region and the Middle East. “We are delighted to be taking delivery of our first brand-new Airbus A319 here in Hamburg. This delivery starts a new era in our fleet planning. The A319 is one of the most popular short-to medium-haul aircraft, and it will enable us to operate a large number of different routes in a particularly economic and flexible way — both for charter flights and scheduled flights. The fuel-efficient A319 makes an important contribution to environmental protection, and reflects ‘Germania green’ in the truest sense of the word,” said Axel
Trampnau, Chief Executive Officer of Germania. The airline has chosen a spacious single class cabin layout for 150 passengers, offering even more comfort and more space for their passengers. The cabin will be equipped with a state-of-the-art entertainment system, containing video screens and in-seat audio channels. Germania’s A319s will be powered by CFM engines. “We look forward to assisting Germania with their fleet renewal as they introduce the comfortable, eco efficient A319,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer – Customers. “This truly is a solid base for a successful, long-term partnership.” Airbus aircraft share a unique cockpit and operational commonality, allowing airlines to use the same pool of pilots, cabin crews and maintenance engineers, bringing operational flexibility and resulting in significant cost savings.
Expert blames airlines woes on equipment
RESIDENT of Aviation Roundtable, Captain Dele Ore, has said the failure by airlines to utilise the right equipment is the reason why many domestic airline operate at a loss. He said: “Nigerian airlines have been operating for a while with huge debt portfolio, while the banks are no longer eager to release funds. As a result, the business is no longer profitable. “It is a shame that sooner or later, only one or two airlines will remain in Nigeria as domestic carriers. The rest would die a natural death. The reason for this is that the airlines have refused to do so many things that are normally supposed to be internationally accepted. Captain Ore told The Nation that the concept everywhere is that they should consolidate. They should get into mergers. But they have
refused to do that. It is now all based on the Nigerian way of doing business based on ego. People want to be the owner, chairman, chief executive. Nobody wants to team up with other people to form a viable organisation. Government policy is also not helpful, in that the policies appear to be there to strangulate domestic carriers. Because an ideal policy should be to disallow multiple entry points by foreign carriers. Now, you allow one foreign carrier to come into Kano, and another day it goes into PortHarcourt and the next day to Lagos. And some also have a free day into Abuja. So that the domestic carriers that used to do the shuttle to connect into all these airports have been cut off. Secondly, the amount of money the local carriers have to put down for fuel is the highest in the whole
world. Then, there is the issue of spare parts for aircraft. Because of government policy import duty must be paid on even spare parts. Besides, you find that to maintain the aircraft, there is no maintenance base in Nigeria. They have to fly these aircraft outside Nigeria. And the charges which could be cheaper are still very high. “ Wrong route and aircraft selection as well as escalating costs of operations including the escalating price of aviation fuel are major reasons why domestic airlines flying the Nigerian airspace are not profitable, investigations have revealed. Out of the about 20 airlines that dominated the Nigerian skies a few years ago, including Albarka Air Services, Skyline Airlines, ADC, Bellview Airlines, DASAB. Spaceworld Airlines, Sosoliso, NICON Airways, Capital Air-
lines, Trans Sahara Airlines, Chrome Air, Slok Airlines, Fresh Air, only about eight are in operation. As a remedy, the former Managing Director of NAMA, Captain Roland Iyayi, said airlines should restructure and base their operating according to aircraft size and passenger capacity. The Classification of airlines according to him should include schedule, (domestic, regional, international) and non-schedule (air taxi, charter and cargo). The three tier licensing structure for carriers has become imperative to ensure airlines will be rated according to their operational competence amid other variables. The three tier airline licensing structure will categorize airlines along: commuter/air taxi, regional; and major carriers
lines.Airlines that operate aircraft with 30 seats capacity on so-called unviable airports, such as LagosAkure, Ilorin, Katsina, Minna, Makurdi, Ibadan, Sokoto, should constitute the commuter or air taxi category. Other carriers which use aircraft with seating capacity from 31-100 seats should constitute the regional category, while the bigger players fly into trunk national, regional and intercontinental routes. According to Iyayi, route selection is key among the variables many airlines must consider before rushing into operations. The right use of equipment will significantly reduce crew operating costs, fuel costs, which price is ever oscillating. The use of the right equipment has helped IRS, Associated Aviation to survive operations on many routes for many years, he stated.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
AVIATION Briefs Delta Airlines to raise fares PASSENGERS should expect higher fares and fewer seats in the coming months as Delta Airlines has said it would take steps to deal with higher fuel costs. The airline reported smaller-than-expected losses last week and its share prices rose up to 11 per cent, even as some analysts questioned how much longer consumers, paying more for fuel and food, would tolerate higher air fares. “We must fully recapture our costs on every flight every day to maintain and improve our earnings performance,” Delta Chief Executive Officer, Richard Anderson told analysts, adding that high fuel was “the new norm.” “Where we cannot get the necessary revenue increases to offset the increased cost of operating the flights, we will remove capacity, particularly in our post Labour Day schedule,” he said. High fuel costs are plaguing the airline industry as the price of crude oil remains above $100 a barrel. US crude was off 23 cents at $112.05 a barrel last week. “As you see fuel rise over the course of the next few months, you can expect ticket prices to increase,” Delta President Edward Bastian said. But Morningstar equity analyst Basili Alukos questioned the practicality of Delta’s goal to recover the full cost of fuel on each flight. “It’s very aggressive, if you ask me,” he said. “The only way for that to occur is if the legacy carriers abandon the leisure passenger and focus exclusively on the premium passengers.”
ICAO audit: NCAA may shut some airports, says Demuren A
HEAD of the visit of experts from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for this year’s safety audit of the Nigerian aviation industry, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has threatened to shut down airports if their operational personnel and infrastructure falls short of the international standards. Director General of NCAA, Dr Harold Demuren made this disclosure, while affirming the readiness of Nigeria and its agencies for the safety audit, which is to be executed by the International body. The NCAA boss spoke against the background of the air traffic controller that was suspended in the United States for sleeping while on duty. Demuren explained that such ugly development could not happen in Nigeria, as the NCAA is working with the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), by ensuring that the current air traffic controllers in its employ are not over worked. He explained that it was for this reason that NCAA is working hard to ensure that the challenge of ageing work force and infrastructure
Stories by Kelvin OsaOkunbor Aviation Correspondent
is fixed. Demuren affirmed that there is the need for the government to make available the bilateral air services agreement used for training, which he said is key. He explained that when the ICAO audit team visits, issues on the quality of personnel and the level of training they are given will constitute the agenda. Demuren said: “ICAO will ask how many personnel we have trained, then if it is sufficient, there will be no issue of fatigue arising concerning either air traffic controllers or engineers or aircraft pilots. After all, not all the airports in Nigeria run 24 hours operations, except airports in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. He said: “NCAA will insist that these airports and their towers are manned by adequate air traffic controllers and other professionals otherwise; the NCAA will shut it down. If the personnel are inadequate, and the accompanying infrastructure is not adequate to run the airport, then we will have no choice but to close the airport.”
He said the NCAA has embarked on reviewing the manning levels, at the control towers, a development he said will reduce fatigue among air traffic controllers. Demuren said: “The solution to reducing the fatigue level among personnel is continuous training for pilots, aircraft and other cadre of engineers, air traffic controllers.” A few months ago, anxiety gripped aviation agencies including the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET), as well as the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), over their inability to implement the corrective action plans identified in the 2006 technical safety audit carried ICAO. The tension in the industry was a fall out of another visit by ICAO to Nigeria to carry out another safety audit, which will bring about the certification of some airports out of the 22 in Nigeria. Out of the 22 airports in Nigeria none is certified because they fall short of the prescribed requirements en-
dorsed by the global aviation regulator, ICAO. Key among of the requirements prescribed by ICAO is adequate fire cover for the airport, proper facilitation, perimeter fencing as well as an emergency response plan. Many airports in Nigeria lack perimeter fencing, making the airports vulnerable for invasion by both straying animals, and unauthorised persons, which constitute grave consequences for civil aviation. Sequel to the visit of the ICAO team in May, series of meetings and collaboration have been on going among the agencies, all in a bid to meet up with the requirements set by the global body, as Nigeria could not afford to have a sloppy outing for the audit after it secured category one for its civil aviation from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a safety endorsement that has put Nigeria in the premier league of global players. Category one is not a guarantee for improved airport facilities, but merely a documentation procedure that will unify the procedure for aviation practice as well as improved regulatory framework.
AFRAA responds to EU ban on Mozambican airlines
HE African Airlines Association (AFRAA), the umbrella body of carriers in the continent, has described as ‘disturbing the banning of Mozambican Airlines by the European Commission from the airspace of Europe.’ AFRAA spokesperson Maureen Kahonge said there was no reason for the European Commission to blacklist some airlines in Africa without justification. The AFRAA spokesman said: “It is with great disappointment and concern that the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) received the disturbing news that the
European Commission has included the Republic of Mozambique and all its airlines in the infamous EU list of banned airlines – the blacklist. Mozambique is the 14th African state to be included in the list and this brings to 26 per cent, the number of African states now on the banned list. The number reaches 15 when counting Madagascar, whose national airline, Air Madagascar, is slapped with a partial ban. LAM Mozambique Airlines’ safety record is impeccable. Since the company was established in 1980, it has not had a single major
accident. And since 1989 there have been no accidents of any kind involving LAM Mozambique Airlines aircraft. Major European airlines can make no such claim. For example, according to the Flight Safety Foundation, Air France has had 23 major accidents (involving substantial damage to aircraft, serious or fatal injuries) since 1990, three of them with fatalities, and a total of 348 deaths.” She explained that LAM Mozambique Airlines has worked hard and invested significant resources to attain industry best practices
on safety which enabled it attain the IATA Safety Audit Certification in 2007 which was renewed in 2009. “However, the airline’s impeccable safety record, and dual achievement of the internationally reputed International Operations Safety Audit Certification and International Standard Organisation 9,000 Certification, has not spared it from the EU blanket banning. AFRAA fails to see how such blanket banning contributes to encourage African carriers which strive to achieve industry best practices in safety standards.”
NAMA inaugurates safety review board THE Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has inaugurated a Safety Review Board (SRB). Members of the Board are the Managing Director, Alhaji Ibrahim Auyo, who also doubles as the chairman of the Board; the Director of Operations; the Director of Electronics and Engineering Services; Director of Finance/Administration and the Company Secretary/Legal Adviser while the General Manager, Safety Management System(SMS), will serve as the Secretary. The functions of the SRB include: • Monitoring the agency’s Operational Safety Performance against the operational safety programme; • Monitoring that any necessary corrective action is being taken in a timely manner; • Monitoring the effectiveness of the agency’s safety management processes, which give effect to the declared corporate priority of business management for operational safety; • Monitoring the effectiveness of the corporate oversight processes, which independently validate the agency’ safety performance; • Ensuring that appropriate resources are allocated to meet agreed actions, which enhance safety performance beyond that required by regulatory compliance alone; • Monitoring the effectiveness of safety oversight of subcontracted operations carried out on behalf of the agency; and • Giving strategic direction to the agency’s Safety Action Group. Speaking after the inauguration, the Chief Executive Officer of NAMA, Alhaji Auyo, noted that the development was in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) SMS set standard, adding: “Its another milestone in the life of the agency in promoting seamless air traffic management and upholding very high safety standard.”
ILFC firms up order for 100 A320neo Family aircraft INTERNATIONAL Leasing Finance Corporation (ILFC) has signed a firm contract for the purchase of 100 A320neo Family aircraft. This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the deal which was announced on March 8th, 2011. ILFC confirms its selection of Pratt & Whitney engines for powering at least 60 of the aircraft. The agreement between Airbus and ILFC provides for model flexibility which initially includes both A320neo and A321neo types. The A320neo is offered as an option for the A320 Family and incorporates new more efficient engines and large “Sharklet” wing tip devices, which together will deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings. This will represent some 3,600 tonnes less CO2 per aircraft per year. In addition, the A320neo will provide a double-digit reduction in NOx emissions and reduced engine noise, thus being a good neighbour at any airport where airlines will operate the aircraft. “The new A320neo aircraft will allow ILFC to offer a single-aisle aircraft that provides significant reduction in fuel consumption,” ILFC Chief Executive Officer Henri Courpron stated. “We have already seen significant market interest and are looking forward to seeing the aircraft enter service with our first customers from 2015.” “We are fully committed to providing our customers with the latest in fuel saving technologies as soon as they become available,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “ILFC is the first major lessor to order the A320neo and these early delivery positions will help secure its leading position in a very competitive single-aisle market.”
48 THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
NAFDAC boss makes case for international laws against drug counterfeiting
HEAD of the forth coming World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting in Geneva, the Director General of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii, has called on all member nations to put in place an international convention and treaty that will serve as a legal framework for the global fight against drug counterfeiting. Speaking at the sixth Global Forum on Pharmaceutical Anti-counterfeiting in London, Orhii identied drug counterfeiting as a serious public health issue that should be confronted by strong legislation and signing of international treaties. He maintained that drug counterfeiting was no longer the peculiar problem of developing countries, but a global challenge with a thriving market estimated $200 annually by the World Custom Service. According to him, the recent global offensive against illicit narcotic trade, being led by the United States (U.S.A), Nigeria and Mexico has resulted in drug barons diverting their resources into the less risky and more lucrative drug counterfeiting business. Drug counterfeiters, he explained, often target medicines that are used in high volume and for managing diseases of public health in-
â€˜The porous land borders and the big pharmaceutical market have made the country a target for drug counterfeiters and dumping ground for spurious productsâ€™ terest. The NAFDAC boss regretted that the use of sophisticated printing technology made visual detection of counterfeit drugs with naked eyes almost impossible. Orhii noted that the vast geographical spread of the country with several porous land borders, huge population
of over 150 million and thinly spread NAFDAC regulatory personnel made the introduction of anti-counterfeiting technology a very compulsory and significant milestone in the fight against drug faking in the country. He said the porous land borders and the big pharmaceutical market have made the country a target for drug counterfeiters and dumping ground for spurious products. His presentation on the successes recorded by Nigeria in the use of cutting-edge technology as a solution to drug counterfeiting was commended by over 500 participants at the conference, attended by Heads of Drug Regulatory Agencies, Policy makers, World Bank officials, anticounterfeiting technology suppliers and other pharmaceutical stakeholders from various countries.
Ex-director dies in auto-crash
RONTLINE statistician, Pa M.D. Olayinka, yesterday passed on, following injuries sustained in an auto-crash on the LagosIbadan Expressway. He was 85. He was returning from Efon-Alaaye, Ekiti State, where he had gone to attend the funeral of his sister, the late Mrs. Ajike Oladesu. According to an eye witness account, the tyre of his car burst at Ogere, Ogun State. He and his wife, who
also sustained injuries, were rushed to the nearby hospital, but he gave up few hours later. Olayinka, who retired as an Assistant Director in the Federal Civil Service, was, until his death, a leader of Efon Alaaye Development League, Lagos branch. The secretary of the association, Mr Emmanuel Ajewole, described his death as a great loss to the Efon Kingdom and prayed for the repose of his soul.
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Military pensioners protest rocks Ibadan
ETIRED military men in the Southwest yesterday in Ibadan, protested the non-payment of their benefits and the nonimplementation of the monetisation policy. The pensioners gave the Federal Government a 40-day ultimatum to meet their demands. The retirees, under the aegis of the Military Pensioners Pressure Group of Nigeria, Southwest Zone, blocked major roads in Dugbe, the central business district of the Oyo State capital. Led by the Southwest Chairman, Col. Dauda Ajao (rtd.), and his Southsouth counterpart, Mr. Gabriel Oaikhene, the pensioners gathered in front of the Co-
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
coa House as early as 8:30 am, barricading DugbeMolete and Dugbe-Mokola roads. They displayed placards with various inscriptions. Many of them had one deformity or the other, such as amputated limbs and blindness. Ajao said they were demanding 12.5 per cent arrears, implementation of the Federal Government’s monetisation policy, among other requests. He said: “Many of us cannot feed our family; our children are being sent out of schools, because our present allowance is too small. “We were short paid con-
cerning the 12.5 per cent arrears. It is supposed to be sixand-a-half years with effect from October 2003 till date. Only God knows how they reduced it to one year and three months. We want the balance paid. “Now that the payment of another 53 per cent has been granted since July 2010 till date, the money has not been paid to us. “President Goodluck Jonathan should act now and direct that the 53 per cent increase is paid to us immediately.” The intervention of policemen, who appealed to them to remove the barricades, did not yield any result. The protest lasted for about three hours.
•Former South African President Thabo Mbeki (L) discussing with Amb. Emmanuel Otiotio, Special Adviser to the governor of Bayelsa State on political matters (m) and Nigeria’s Acting High Commissioner in South Africa Mr. Bassey Archibong at Mbeki’s residence in Johannesburg …yesterday
•Delta State Deputy Governor Prof Amos Utuama (SAN) (centre), Chairman of Aniocha North Local Government Area, Jaunty Okwudi (left) and Commissioner for Special Duties, Antonia Ashiedu, during the inauguration of a water scheme built by the Aniocha North Local Government Area in Issele-Uku.
•From left: Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Kaduna Chapter, Mr Mustapha Yahaya, Vice Chairman, Mr Jerry Ocheme, and the Public Relations Officer, Mr Idris Mohammed, at a news conference on their strike in Kaduna…yesterday
Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko (middle) presenting the key of one of the recently inaugurated 100 government assisted mass transit buses in Akure to the Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Chief Oladutele Obayoriade...yesterday
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
From left: Managing Director, Defence Health Maintenance Limited, CMDR. Bola Sanni (rtd); Commander, 95 workshop, 82 division, Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Samuel Adesogan; and Commander, 54 Div. Signal, Nigerian Army, Col. Peter Ibeawuchi, at a National Health Insurance scheme sensitisation visit to Military Formations in Enugu... yesterday
From left to right: Lagos lawyer and activist Femi Falana, Hon. Bart Staes, member of the European Parliament and Mr. Dotun Oloko, a UK based Nigerian activist at a joint press conference at the European Parliament Building, Brussels, Belgium on the alleged involvement of European Financial Institutions in promoting corruption in Nigeria...at the weekend
From left: Members elect, Enugu State House of Assembly, Nkechi Omeje-ogbu and Cecilia Ezeilo, with the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria Women Leader, Enugu State chapter, Dr. Nkiru Azike, during a prayer session by women in Enugu... yesterday
From left: Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Secretary, Health and Human Services, Mrs Precious Gbeneol, Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mr Lanus Awute at the 54th National Council on Health meeting in Abuja... yesterday
From left: Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Establishment and Training, Ms Olaitan Gbenle, Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Poverty Alleviation, Mr Jeleel Agboola and the Director, Ivory Management Consultancy, Mrs Bisi Fasuyi, at a workshop on customer service delivery orientation and challenges on public service management for Oyo State civil servants in Ibadan... yesterday
â€˘ Members of the Pan African Parliament at the opening of the fourth ordinary session of the Second Parliament in Midrand, South Africa...yesterday
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
NEWS Let corps members serve in their regions, says YCE
HE Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) yesterday advised that graduates should be allowed to serve within their geo-political regions. The call followed last month’s post-election violence in the North which led to the death of 10 corps members serving there. In a four-point communiqué by its Action National Chairman, Chief Dejo Raimi, after its monthly National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the YCE said: “Instead of having to entertain perpetual fears by parents and forcing state governments to evacuate their National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) wards out of senseless danger, spreading sentiments and dashing hopes at very costly extremes, the deployment of corps members for their patriotic services should be intra-geo-political zones henceforth.” The YCE praised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) National Chairman Prof Attahiru Jega and other Nigerians for their role in the success of the elections. It, however, condemned what it called “cruel persecution of the Corps mem-
Court orders AGF, EFCC to release detained Akingbola, Atuche’s wife
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
bers” by some people. YCE said: “The patriotic intentions of the founding fathers of the NYSC programme, as manifested in the electoral processes, have been turned into martyrdom and cruel persecution. “The YCE abhors this ugly situation; we also condemn in no small measures Nigerians who, by their actions and utterances, turned their states into slaughter slabs with innocent corps members, particularly from the South, as the sacrificial lambs. “Too many expectant families from the South, who have nurtured and trained their children and wards through thick and thin for decades and have patriotically allowed their children to be of immense help to the needy, the backward and the conservatives are disappointed and thrown into abysmal grief by slaughtering these bright future leaders of Nigeria like they slaughter fowls and goats on the altar of folly, ignorance and bloody wickedness. “YCE says enough is enough. The blood of the young being spilled all the time in the region must stop.”
EDERAL High Court in Lagos has ordered EFCC to Akingbola, his wife Elizabeth, and of his Platinum Habib Bank (BankPHB) counterpart, Francis Atuche, being held in the commission’s custody. Justices Charles Achibong and Fatimat Nyako gave the orders while ruling on separate ex-parte applications by Akingbola and Mrs. Atuche. Nyako, however, refused a similar application by Mr. Atuche, but ordered him to put the EFCC on notice by serving the copies on the commission. She adjourned the matter till tomorrow for hearing. Ruling on Mrs. Atuche’s application yesterday, specifically ordered the EFCC and the Attorney-General
•Fixes hearing of ex-BankPHB boss’ application for Wednesday By Eric Ikhilae
of the Federation (AGF), to either release her or produce her before the court tomorrow. Justice Achibong, whose order in respect of Akingbola was given last Friday, had directed the EFCC to release him, pending the determination of his motion for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights. He directed that the order should operate as a stay of all actions, including his planned re-arraignment by the EFCC pending the determination of the said motion. He adjourned further hearing to May 18.
In his application, Atuche wants the court to among others, make an order of interlocutory injunction, restraining the EFCC and other agents of the government form further arresting, inviting and interrogating him in respect of issues relating to the case for which he was already being tried before the court. He is also seeks a similar order restraining the EFCC and other agents of government from re-arraigning, charging or prosecuting him for matters relating to allegations contained in charge number FHC/L/ 369C/2010 on which he is being tried before the court. Atuche also wants the
court to restraining the Federal Government through any of its agencies, particularly the EFCC, from taking any steps that will render his pending appeal in respect of charge number FHC/L/369/2009 nugatory. It was averred in a supporting affidavit to the application, that the threat by the EFCC to re-arrest him, having earlier arrested his wife, was targeted at breaching his right to liberty and freedom of movement as earlier upheld by the court in a ruling. Atuche, who insisted that the arrest and interrogation of his wife was in connection with the pending case against him, urged the court to grant his application.
Certificate of return is call to duty, says Jega From Jide Babalola, Assistant Editor, Abuja
HE presentation of certificates return to newly elected public office holders should be seen as the beginning of their responsibilities to fulfil election promises to the electorate, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, has said. Speaking yesterday through the INEC National Commissioner in charge of Kogi, Plateau and Nasarawa states, Dr Abdulkadir Oniyangi, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, Jega told the newly elected Nasarawa State Governor Tanko Al-Makura and other elected officials that they have an onerous task to fulfil voters’ expectations. Al-Makura was the first governor to collect the certificate from INEC headquarters. INEC National Commissioner, Prince Solomon Adedeji Soyebi, told The Nation that he was in the Southwest to coordinate the presentation of the certificates of return to newly elected governors, state and federal legislators. INEC officials at the headquarters said similar exercise began under the supervision of its officials in other parts of the country yesterday. INEC’s Deputy Director of Public Affairs, Mr Nick Dazang, said the arrangement to present certificates to Nassarawa State officials in Abuja was because of “logistics necessity”. He added that Oniyangi, who was standing in for Jega, was also scheduled to visit other states today. Those with Al-Makura to collect their certificates of return included the deputy governor-elect, five incoming members of the House of Representatives and 24 incoming members of the House of Assembly. INEC officials and the newly elected politicians agreed that it was not a day for speech making as brief prayers were made and the certificates presented to the newly elected politicians.
‘PDP not afraid of Buhari’s petition’ Continued from page 2
“We as a party demonstrated a lot of maturity, we did not instigate violence; rather we were victims of violence.” He hailed President Jonathan for “keeping faith with his promise to provide a level-playing field for a credible election.” He also commiserated with
Nigerians who lost their relations and property during the post-election violence. On zoning of principal positions in the National Assembly, Alkali said the PDP would soon make its position known. According to him, yesterday’s NWC meeting, the first since the general election, addressed the post-election issues.
•Re-elected house member Jumoke Okoya-Thomas representing Lagos Island, displaying her Certificate of return at INEC PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES office, Yaba…yesterday. Congratulating her is INEC Commissioner Adedeji Soyebi (left)
Sambo to launch decade of action on road safety From Sanni Ologun, Abuja
ICE-PRESIDENT Namadi Sambo will tomorrow launch the United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety in Nigeria in Abuja. In a statement in Abuja, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said this was “part of efforts to effectively align with the United Nations’ goal to stabilise and then reduce the forecast level of road traffic fatalities across the globe
through increased investment, participation, consciousness and promotion of road safety activities at national, regional and global level”. The statement noted that the “decade of action on road safety was triggered off by the World Health Organisation (WHO) report, which estimates that out of over 1.3 million annual deaths and 50 million injured persons across the globe, over 80 per cent of this figure occurs in the developing countries with Africa having the highest fatality rate”. It added: “Furthermore, this report predicts that the tide of death by road traffic crashes would overtake malaria and tuberculosis between 2015-2020 with a 60% increase thus the need for urgent and decisive steps to combat this immi-
nent challenge. “Specifically, the tone for the decade of action was set in November, 2009 at the first global Ministerial conference in Moscow, Russia with the theme “ Time for Action”. The conference sought the need for new commitments on road safety within global circle with special attention on low and middle income nations including Nigeria by building capacities in the field of road safety and providing financial and technical support from international donor agencies and financial institutions through appropriate legislations, policies and infrastructure to ensure safer road use and reduction of traffic fatalities within the region. “The formal launch by the Vice President which is slated for 11 May, 2011 at the THIS DAY DOME in Abuja will be preceded with a joint press briefing
by the Federal Ministry of Health and Federal Road Safety Corps, a road show/ motorized rally, choral and drama presentation by school children and youth and performance by select Nollywood actors/actresses who are celebrity special marshal members to further attract increased public consciousness on road safety. “In Nigeria the FRSC activated its plans for the Decade of Action through the hosting of a stakeholders forum on the 19th April 2010, bringing together all stakeholders, Civil Society, NGOs, Private Sector, Media and the Academia to look at the challenges facing road safety in Nigeria and draw a plan of action which will lead the Country on the ten year journey which should end with the actualisation of the UN mandate of 50% reduction of fatalities through RTCs.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
The media and Road Safety Commission THE other day I was driving at about 11 pm on Funsho Wiiliams Avenue in Lagos, and I had in front of me a truck that virtually foot dragged. That was not a sin. A truck can plod along. It is not in the temperament and machine of a truck to compete with a race car. But this one was old, and it had no business being in front of my Toyota. More importantly, it was an environmental drag. All around it was black, and in the dark of 11pm it was dark enough to pass for a harbinger of death. It was belching smoke as if inside it was a pit of hell. It was climbing a bridge slow and steady. I was afraid. I knew it was a truck but I did not see it. I only saw the big vitality of the smoke. It was like a big black cloud in motion. It was only an act of faith that I believed it was a truck. Or could it be someone else, some sort of dark spirit of the night? It was not in my character to indulge in such ominous humour. If I wanted to overtake it, I had to tackle an existential question. Where did the smoke end and where did the vehicle begin. Well, eventually I had to navigate my way through the side road under the bridge where my eyes did not have to work hard. For me, I had my road safety moment. That drama told the story of road safety in Nigeria. How worthy was the vehicle? How old should a vehicle abide on our roads? What kind of driver could be driving such an ancient device and what was it doing at 11pm, such an inauspicious time? Where was law enforcement to penalise the owner? There is also the question of decency. How could a vehicle like that carry smoke and expect others to be safe on the road? Again, what of the matter of speed limit? Was such a tardy truck supposed to ride side by side with my nimble Toyota? Road safety has fascinated me for a while. It fascinated me since the Babangida era when Professor Wole Soyinka took charge of the FRSC. There was a lot of enthusiasm on the road. If you were on the highway and tried to violate traffic rules, the FRSC men came after you. Nigerians had a consciousness about safety. The media had a love-hate relationship with the FRSC then. Was it properly equipped, was it after road safety or was it a sort of punitive institution? But let us examine some of the drawbacks of road safety and what challenges they posed for the media First is road. We have to have roads before we can start any discussion of road safety. In fact, the matter is almost trite. I want to ask myself, how many good roads do we have in this country? I live in Lagos, and I know what has been done in the past decade to improve road infrastructure in Nigeria. Yet we are not even near where we can shout hallelujah. That is why it is a huge burden on government to get the right capacity and the resources for all the roads. How can we get all the graders, the money and the men to do the roads first. Now we are speaking of Lagos. Now we have thirty six states in
By Sam Omatseye
the federation, and in many places we see dirt roads. Where there are tarred roads, they are full of craters, gullies, sudden dips and highs. Reporters and editors have obsessed over this in the few years. We have seen newspapers devote full pages to pictorial illustrations of this national nightmare. We can recall two important incidents in recent memory. First of all, a former minister of works who visited the famous Benin-Ore Road and made a drama of public tears over the eyesore. We thought for a moment that something had been done about it, or something was going to be done about it. It was no more than a Nigerian theatre of the absurd. Not much progress attended the road. It has led to tragedies and more tragedies. The same road attracted the media when the Oba of Benin drove a son of the soil who was minister of roads out of his palace, and complained over the Benin-Ore Road. It was a public disgrace. The news organisations have not tired. The television networks have time after time focused their cameras on the roads across the country. Not much has been done in terms of roads across the country. Some state governments have worked on roads, but as safety goes the huge burden has been on the Federal Government. All over the country, the federal roads are in bad shape. In the Southeast of the country, journey is a challenge. The roads linking states and major cities are bad. How can we begin to speak of road safety without good roads. The media, while trying to tell the story of bad roads, has often drawn the correlation of good roads and safety. But in the concept of the FRSC the media tends not to look at the good roads and FRSC in the the same breath. The FRSC wants to maintain its institutional integrity, so it has not gone out of it’s way to mount an exerted campaign for good roads. That I think is the duty of the media to harp on the need for the FRSC to see its first job as pressuring government to get us the good roads first. Road architecture is also important. Do we have the pedestrian bridges in appropriate places? Do we have sidewalks, bicycle paths? What of environmental challenges? How many people in Nigeria understand that weather and climate play a role in road safety
issues? The media has often reported the accident on the roads. We have always guessed the number of accidents and fatalities on our roads. In a nation without any reliable data base, I don’t want to venture into meaningless data or guesstimates about how many people die on our roads. We understand though that bad roads bring other things on the roads. Bad roads are good for armed robbers. We have had so many of those in the last decades that it is worthless for me to delve into that arena. We can also concentrate on the kind of vehicles on our roads. There are standards in our statute books. But we don’t adhere to them. Corruption, a big bane of our daily existence, makes us to register cars that should be dinosaurs. We have no such controls here. It is a real drag. What of those who drive? Licences are issued out without even a rigorous system of testing and certification. If you want a driver’s licence, all you need is to exchange cash and you can become worthy of your place behind the wheel. Not many journalists are even aware of how to make the linkages between all the various parts of our daily existence with road safety. How many journalists have that training? In Abuja, I observed that drivers move around basically on instincts. There are hardly any signs at intersections. You are just expected to know how to drive. We also have cultural issues. For instance, big men and top government officials always clog our roads. Some officials have as many as 15 vehicles and the officials act with impunity. They are not interested in other commuters. They force others out of the road and they move like a gale or string wind. There have been a number of accidents associated with this. We have recorded fatalities and serious injuries over the years. But our top government officials will not reduce the fleet. The issue of inebriety or drunkenness does not get as much play as it should as a matter for the media to dwell on in its assessment and investigation of the role of the FRSC. We do not use this high-wire technologies required to avert and also punish those who risk their own lives and the lives of others on the highway. Nigerians are reputed to be one of the top consumers of alcohol in the world. And with the preponderance of the
The journey to road safety is still a long one. But the existence of the FRSC is a pointer that we have started to think along that line. But like other institutions in the country, we don’t pay enough attention to it. The road is one of the most important parts of human existence. We need the roads to eat, to love, to fight, to get healthy
Owambe parties, the marriages that last late in the night and the liberality of the provision of such dangerous beverages, we ought to have strict adherence to alcohol consumption on the highway. We should have breathalysers with which policemen should test and punish those who have exceeded the alcohol intake limits. We do not have a good mechanism for that yet. The journey to road safety is still a long one. But the existence of the FRSC is a pointer that we have started to think along that line. But like other institutions in the country, we don’t pay enough attention to it. The road is one of the most important parts of human existence. We need the roads to eat, to love, to fight, to get healthy. In Soyinka’s plays, the road comes as a strong centre of human activities, and he even dedicated a play to it. Helmets and superstition have associated with road accidents. The egoism of owning cars in a poor economy instead of concentrating on safe public transport system The problem of road safety is the story of the nation upturning its priorities. We need to get the infrastructure right first before the superstructure of safety. The media will do well to pay more attention on the following: • Frequent reporting of infrastructure and linking them with road safety • Health issues • Advertising • Tips of safety often • Local understanding of terrain to be analysed often • Human angle stories should be highlighted to tell the terrors and improvements in the system • The use of media by FRSC on every important move of the organisation.
Students’ protest grounds Ikere-Ekiti
KERE-EKITI, a sleepy community in Ekiti State, yesterday had its peace disrupted when the students of the College of Education came out in their hundreds to stage a peaceful protest over an alleged hike in school fees. The students, who marched through major streets, mounted barricades and made bonfires with used vehicle tyres. They sang ‘aluta’ songs and carried placards with various inscriptions that condemned the institution’s Acting Provost, Dr. Titilayo Ogunmola, among others. The rowdy atmosphere created by the protest forced security agencies,
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
including the policemen, to release teargas to prevent the students from advancing into the town. The teargas sent the students scampering, thus heightening apprehension about security. A detachment of soldiers travelling to Akure, Ondo State, in a convoy of five trucks, told reporters that they suddenly ran into the protest and decided to wait to prevent the protest from degenerating into a confrontation because there were mobile policemen around. Lukman Adejumo, a
•School shut Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), led some mobile policemen to the town to ensure that the protest did not create chaos. President of the students, who simply identified himself as John, said the students were asking the government to reduce their school fees. He said one of them was allegedly hit by a commercial bus during the protest, adding that the bus and its driver were at a Police station in the town. John said: “I want to appeal to the governor to assist us the students. What
is our crime that the Acting Provost will turn the school into a business centre? We are children of peasant farmers. Those who do not have sponsors are sponsoring themselves by engaging in all sorts of menial jobs; ladies turn to prostitution. “The lecturers are harassing the students. They demand sex and money; at the end of the day, they still fail the ladies. They make us pay all manner of illegitimate fees without any option. It is barefaced extortion we experience in the institution.”
A spokesperson for the students’ body, Obinna Maduabum, said the students were seeking government intervention for fee reduction, adding that the fees ranged from N40,000 to N60,000 instead of the initial N20,000 to N30,000. He said: “We are here to exercise our right, to express our minds, on the insufferable condition of the students in the school. The Acting Provost is imposing a lot of illegitimate fees on us and now we are paying so much. We want the governor to come to our aid. “We are also complaining about the condition under which we receive lectures, as we do not have
lecture rooms. Imagine a whole Faculty of Education, with over 3,000 students, having just two classes. We want to say that there will be no examination in the school unless the fees are reversed.” Reacting, Dr. Ogunmola said the students had been asked to proceed on mid-semester break to forestall a breakdown of order. She said: “I want to categorically deny ever extorting the students overtly or covertly. I don’t impose illegal fees and my official doors are always open to accommodate complaints from them any time.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
Mothers during the Assemblies of God Women Ministries Mothers’ Day celebration in Enugu... on sunday
Reps Speaker: Obi to lead Southeast governors to Jonathan
•Mr. John Maduike, chairman of the occasion (left), Archdeacon of Iba Archdeaconry of the Anglican Communion, Lagos Ven. Idowu Ajayi, his wife, Roseline and the Secretary of the Anniversary committee, Revd. Sunday Okundalaye after the Thanksgiving Service of Rev Ajayi’s second pastorate...at the weekend
From left: Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Mr Wasiu Olokunola; Director of Press, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr Segun Adedokun, and Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mr Ganiyu Johnson, at a briefing on the activities of the ministry in Lagos
HAIRMAN, Southeast Governors Forum, Mr. Peter Obi of Anambra State has said that he would lead governors of the zone to Abuja to meet President Goodluck Jonathan over the quest of the South-east to produce the next Speaker of the House of Representatives. This was part of the resolution of the meeting Obi held with representatives of the members of the House of Representatives from the five states in the zone. The delegation was led by the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Hon Emeka Ihedioha to the Government House, Awka,
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor
at the weekend. The lawmakers at the meeting were said to have told the governor that the zone massively voted for President Jonathan during the election and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the general election and deserves to be compensated with either the position of Speaker or President of the Senate. A source at the meeting said Obi assured that he would rally his brother governors from the zone to meet with President Jonathan immediately he returns from his official trip to Uganda.
Vice Chancellor, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Prof Sidi Osho(middle) adressing a press conference in Ado-Ekiti...yesterday. With her is Deputy VC Prof M Ajisafe(left) and an official of the institution
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
World Press Freedom Day: UN, stakeholders remember slain journalists S
TAKEHOLDERS gathered in Lagos last Tuesday to observe the International World Press Freedom Day. They viewed the emergence of the new media and its impact on the traditional media. They also rose for a minute in remembrance of journalists who have been killed for their reporting. The observance of the day was at the instance of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council in conjunction with the United States Consulate General’s office. The United Nations Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki Moon, called for the remembrance of the journalists and other media professionals who have been killed in line of duty. “On World Press Freedom Day, let us remember the journalists, editors and other media professionals who have been killed for their reporting. And let us honour their memory by pursuing justice. The impunity that often follows such murders suggests a disturbing lack of official concern for the protection of journalists, outright contempt for the vital role they play. Many other journalists languish in jail simply for doing their jobs.” He also noted in his message that the theme for this year’s observance, “New Frontiers, New Barriers,” highlights dramatic changes in global media landscape. Moon also noted the impact of mobile phones and internet in news gathering. “New media and tools such as cell phones continue to empower individuals, enrich news gathering and illuminate once-largely-hidden workings of government, business and industry.” Moon recalled the ongoing revolution in North Africa and the Middle East in which people are mobilising for their democratic rights and freedom. He said they are making progress because of their “heavy and creative reliance on the internet and social media to help spur change in their societies.” He did not leave out the challenges being faced by the new media which, according to him, include imposition of barriers by the states. These, according to him, include cyber surveillance, digital harassment and censorship on the internet. “According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least six journalists who worked primarily online were killed in 2010. And, in 2008, for the first time, more “online reporters” were in jail than those working in traditional media.
• From left: Kolawole; Uthman and Oba at the interactive session. Stories by Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu
Moon traced the origin of the World Press Freedom Day as having its roots in the African journalists who, in the wake of the fall of the Berlin wall and the crumbling of media restrictions in Eastern Europe, sought similar advances on their continent. “They worked with UNESCO to organise the 1991 seminar in Namibia that produced that landmark Windhoek Declaration on free and independent media, which in turn inspired the UN General Assembly two years later to proclaim this observance.” In his welcome remarks, Lagos NUJ Chairman, Alhaji Wahab Alabi Oba said the Nigeria Union of Journalists dissociates itself from the Aljazeera report that indicted Nigerian journalists as being corrupt. He urged President Goodluck Jonathan to give priority to the signing into law of the Freedom of Information Bill. He also appealed to media owners to pay more attention to their employees as many of them (media owners) are owing six and eight months salaries. Besides regular payment of salaries and allow-
ances, Oba urged the media employers to be paying living wages as journalists in the country are poorly remunerated. He said only about six media organisations pay regular salaries to their workers. Oba also enjoined the media owners and their managements to be training journalists to enable them pull their weights in the face of any job challenges. Meanwhile, he charged journalists to be more productive and also endeavour to train themselves. Director-General, Bureau for Records and Archives, Mr Bolaji Uthman said journalists while reporting should take cognisance of national interest and social cohesion because “corporate existence of this country is our collective responsibility.” Uthman, who was the chairman of the interactive session, said capacity building is very essential, adding that journalists should prepare themselves for future challenges. Delivering his paper, Mr Simon Kolawole, Editor, This Day, said journalists should train and retrain themselves towards meeting the challenges of the
new media. He, however, added that the newspapers will not die, and that they can only be shrinking. Elizabeth Bryant, a Paris-based American print/radio journalist held an interactive session with participants on how to be more productive, in the new media era. She explained how to source for news materials with phones and through the internet. She also spoke on the social media, network like Facebook Tweeter and Yahoo. Mr Samuel Eyitayo, IRC Director, Whitney M. Young Information Resource Centre, Public Affairs Section, U.S. Consulate General said the traditional media should be thought of as a one-way street restricted to very few, while Social Media on the other hand, is a two-way street where anyone is free to move and communicate freely. Talking about the differences between the SM and TM, Eyitayo said TM is owned by very few people while SM is accessible to all. Also, readers must wait for TM to break the news but all are empowered to break the news in the case of Social Media.
Minister advocates conducive work conditions
HE Labour and Productivity Minister, Chief Chukwuemeka Wogu, has called for improvement in employment conditions. In a speech delivered in Abuja, during the last May Day celebration at Eagle Square, the minister said the ministry considers conducive work conditions important to workers’ health. He said it was not enough for employers to pay the right wages, but that the health, safety and the environment in which workers work are important. Wogu criticised the practice of conveying construction workers in vehicles which are not meant for human beings, saying the method constituted a health hazard. He promised to eradicate such treatment by putting in place worker-friendly policies. “My ministry is working on policies to eradicate such inhuman treatment by making continued use of such mode of transportation illegal.” The minister said the government was anxious about compliance with the Employees Compensation Act. “The issue of compensation to injured workers and rehabilitation of workers who become incapacitated one way or the other through workplace accidents, is an issue which has engaged my attention as the Minister of Labour and Productivity. I am happy
to inform you that the Employees Compensation Act recently signed into law by Mr. president, has addressed these issues in the interest of the toiling workers of this nation who we owe every responsibility to ensure that they do not lose life or limbs, and that if such unfortunate incidents occur, the worker is not left on his own to suffer. “ Consequently, in addition to compensation for physical injury, there is now provision for compensation for mental stress, occupational disease, hearing impairment, vocational rehabilitation, as well as health care and disability support, where necessary. “The Act also provides for an open and fair system of guaranteed and adequate compensation for all employees in the public and private sectors of the economy and establishes a solvent compensation fund managed in the interest of employees and employers for adequate compensation to employees or their dependants for any death, injury, disability or disease arising out of or in the course of employment.” Wogu also touched on issues that border on the sustenance of industrial peace and harmony. He said that a productive workforce is the pride of any nation, while a peaceful industrial relation atmosphere is a catalyst for higher productivity. He
stressed that there is no substitute for industrial peace and harmony as a major prerequisite for growth and development “Engendering and maintaining industrial peace, I admit is a task for both Government, employers and the Unions. In realization of our responsibility in that regard, Government will continue to come up with policies that would facilitate and strengthen enduring mutual trust, understanding and co-operation among all the social partners as essential instruments for industrial peace and economic growth. “We shall also continue to come up with policies to encourage and promote social dialogue, as well as the establishment of a viable collective bargaining machinery in both the public and private sectors of the economy as a means of strengthening voluntary labour /Management negotiations.” He commended workers’ “patience” during the discussions and debates on the N18,000 national minimum wage and its subsequent signing into law by President Goodluck Jonathan. He thanked the unions “for the support and rare show of solidarity you extended to me in the past one year in my capacity as Minister through effective dialogue and quick resolution of trade union disputes whenever they arose.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 9-05-11 2ND-TIER SECURITIES Company Name ADSWITCH PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 2 2
Quantity Traded 1,000 1,000
Value of Shares (N) 1,710.00 1,710.00
Quantity Traded 235,000 50,000 90,500 375,500
Value of Shares (N) 117,500.00 25,000.00 652,778.50 795,278.50
Quantity Traded 12,010 756,842 768,852
Value of Shares (N) 25,060.80 6,979,913.57 7,004,974.37
Quantity Traded 524,862 524,862
Value of Shares (N) 1,356,925.64 1,356,925.64
Quotation(N) 8.50 1.91 7.08 4.09 7.60 2.63 13.26 0.79 16.06 9.60 1.39 2.05 1.30 8.28 1.19 2.30 7.09 3.25 1.15 1.23 15.33
Quantity Traded 7,675,499 2,264,030 8,762,443 1,185,298 9,148,350 3,464,730 12,037,703 20,297,631 10,387,735 811,407 3,295,769 11,001,042 1,870,301 5,560,636 3,620 5,033,285 39,387,140 1,782,569 6,130,900 2,337,161 43,089,341 195,526,590
Value of Shares (N) 64,172,222.34 4,258,950.68 63,986,038.97 4,943,563.41 69,527,075.00 9,061,615.54 159,619,941.78 16,032,822.91 167,810,499.71 7,842,203.02 4,726,255.06 22,552,136.10 2,431,391.30 45,556,480.72 4,126.80 11,588,649.03 278,933,059.55 5,748,228.25 7,134,958.92 2,986,587.98 660,463,491.48 1,609,380,298.55
Quantity Traded 121,675 500,299 2,695,967 3,317,941
Value of Shares (N) 26,188,818.31 2,729,403.51 235,148,473.41 264,066,695.23
Quantity Traded 535,907 892,503 27,266 10,000 31,727 1,497,403
Value of Shares (N) 14,151,383.81 10,943,147.76 3,440,487.78 82,600.00 1,269,080.00 29,886,699.35
Quantity Traded 137,931 21,333 159,264
Value of Shares (N) 1,699,236.13 469,965.99 2,169,202.12
Quantity Traded 1,000,000 0 29,650 1,029,650
Value of Shares (N) 500,000.00 0.00 86,290.50 586,290.50
Quantity Traded 4,000 216,918 625 16,682,319 299,375 220,513 17,423,750
Value of Shares (N) 8,640.00 7,100,008.76 4,443.75 20,475,205.37 11,722,326.58 6,000,988.65 45,311,613.11
AGRICULTURE/AGRO-ALLIED Company Name FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC PRESCO PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 6 2 14 22
Quotation(N) 0.50 0.50 7.01
AIR SERVICES Company Name No of Deals AIRLINE SERVICES AND LOGISTICS PLC 2 NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COMPANY PLC 67 Sector Totals 69
Quotation(N) 2.08 9.13
AUTOMOBILE & TYRE Company Name R. T. BRISCOE (NIGERIA) PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 25 25
Company Name ACCESS BANK PLC AFRIBANK NIGERIA PLC DIAMOND BANK PLC ECOBANK NIGERIA PLC FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK PLC FIDELITY BANK PLC FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC FINBANK PLC GTBANK PLC STANBIC IBTC BANK PLC INTERCONTINENTAL BANK PLC. OCEANIC BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC BANK PHB PLC SKYE BANK PLC. SPRING BANK PLC STERLING BANK PLC UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC. UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC UNITYBANK PLC WEMA BANK PLC ZENITH BANK PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 226 32 67 66 64 55 381 98 499 59 68 54 36 146 3 77 489 89 50 64 317 2,940
Company Name GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 57 23 165 245
Company Name ASHAKA CEMENT PLC CEMENT CO. OF NORTHERN NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE CEMENT PLC NIGERIAN ROPES PLC. LAFARGE WAPCO PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 59 39 22 1 14 135
Company Name BERGER PAINTS NIGERIA PLC CHEMICAL AND ALLIED PRODUCTS PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 17 5 22
BREWERIES Quotation(N) 205.00 5.49 87.25
BUILDING MATERIALS Quotation(N) 26.50 12.00 121.26 8.69 40.00
CHEMICAL & PAINTS Quotation(N) 12.48 20.99
NSE marks down more firms for dividend, bonus ·•Market indicators down by 0.2%
No of Deals 1 0 7 8
Quotation(N) 0.50 1.28 2.85
CONGLOMERATES Company Name No of Deals A. G. LEVENTIS (NIGERIA) PLC 2 PZ CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC 39 SCOA NIGERIA PLC 6 TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC 126 UAC OF NIGERIA PLC 60 UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC 42 Sector Totals 275
Quotation(N) 2.16 32.45 7.48 1.23 39.00 28.00
CONSTRUCTION Company Name COSTAIN (WA) PLC JULIUS BERGER NIGERIA PLC MULTIVERSE PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 3 17 3 23
Quotation(N) 5.50 52.00 0.50
Quantity Traded 15,000 506,730 110,000 631,730
Value of Shares (N) 78,450.00 26,354,211.51 55,000.00 26,487,661.51
Quantity Traded 166,916 200,000 366,916
Value of Shares (N) 337,586.20 100,000.00 437,586.20
Quantity Traded 16,779 869,277 3,816,353 984,101 368,754 582,233 709,078 43,001 40,099 750,069 222,674 8,402,418
Value of Shares (N) 764,911.84 19,118,067.11 73,888,736.91 13,252,376.72 31,434,346.21 2,645,301.16 3,847,674.70 1,629,671.27 15,875,226.51 383,792.09 135,831.14 162,975,935.66
Quantity Traded 217,160 890,029 17,405 60,493 391,899 1,576,986
Value of Shares (N) 276,064.20 1,900,486.96 429,753.50 252,428.85 672,313.46 3,531,046.97
Quantity Traded 10,000 492,314 502,314
Value of Shares (N) 29,700.00 739,438.72 769,138.72
Quantity Traded 1,100 175,000 12,750 188,850
Value of Shares (N) 10,120.00 972,719.15 38,632.50 1,021,471.65
ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY Company Name CUTIX PLC NIGERIAN WIRE AND CABLE PLC. Sector Totals
No of Deals 11 1 12
Quotation(N) 2.09 0.50
FOOD/BEVERAGES & TOBACCO Company Name 7-UP BOTTLING CO. PLC CADBURY NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC FLOUR MILLS NIGERIA PLC HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC NATIONAL SALT COMPANY NIGERIA PLC NIGERIAN BOTTLING COMPANY PLC NESTLE NIGERIA PLC TANTALIZERS PLC UTC NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 17 38 156 92 59 21 42 14 53 15 5 512
Quotation(N) 45.50 22.00 19.40 13.51 85.30 4.53 5.40 36.99 395.00 0.51 0.61
HEALTHCARE Company Name No of Deals EVANS MEDICALPLC. 7 FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC 21 GLAXOSMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC 11 MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. 22 NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC 11 Sector Totals 72
Quotation(N) 1.28 2.12 24.70 4.18 1.75
HOTEL & TOURISM Company Name CAPITAL HOTEL PLC IKEJA HOTEL PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 2 14 16
Quotation(N) 3.12 1.51
lion, while the All-Share-Index dropped 37.96 points to close at 25,262.50 points. Looking at the price movement tables, investors activities resulted in a total of 54 quoted companies closing changes on their opening values. Thirty-three stocks featured on the gainers table with only one stock recording an accurate price increase of five per cent. This was followed by ten others with price increases of between 4.00 and 4.97 per cent each. UAC-Property lead with the highest appreciation of 5.00 per cent, adding N0.80 to close at N16.81, followed by International Breweries with a gain of N0.26 to close at N5.49. Others were Afribank, UBA, Bank PHB, Neimeth, Oceanic Bank, RT Briscoe, Transcorp, Evans Medical and Royal Exchange. On the losers table, the numbers of losers were not as much as the gainers; they were 21 with the lead having a price drop of 4.97 per cent. The top eight losers ranged from 4.17 to 4.97 per
DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 9-05-11 PRESTIGE ASSURANCE PLC. SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC STACO INSURANCE PLC STANDARD ALLIANCE INSURANCE PLC UNITY KAPITAL ASSURANCE PLC UNIVERSAL INSURANCE COMPANY PLC INTERCONTINENTAL WAPIC INSURANCE PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 23 13 1 37
Quotation(N) 8.84 5.70 3.18
No of Deals 2 49 51
Quotation(N) 0.50 0.75
Quantity Traded 29,700 69,569,717 69,599,417
Value of Shares (N) 14,850.00 50,674,198.80 50,689,048.80
INSURANCE Company Name No of Deals AIICO INSURANCE PLC. 41 CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC 13 CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED INSURANCE PLC 16 EQUITY ASSURANCE PLC 5 GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC 5 GUARANTY TRUST ASSURANCE PLC 23 CONSOLIDATED HALLMARK INSURANCE PLC 3 INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INSURANCE COMPANY PLC 7 LASACO ASSURANCE PLC. 4 LINKAGE ASSURANCE PLC 1 MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC 1 N.E.M. INSURANCE CO. (NIG.) PLC. 27 NIGER INSURANCE CO. PLC. 6
Quotation(N) 0.90 1.05 3.22 0.50 0.50 1.53 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.53 0.68
2.24 0.52 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.51
10,800 540,000 330,000 5,000 3,600 2,556,000 182,700 33,653,799
23,004.00 277,800.00 165,000.00 2,500.00 1,800.00 1,278,000.00 93,234.00 19,661,082.27
Quantity Traded 528,618 528,618
Value of Shares (N) 683,843.22 683,843.22
Quantity Traded 1,440,261 1,440,261
Value of Shares (N) 1,901,144.52 1,901,144.52
Quotation(N) 0.51 0.50
Quantity Traded 500 43,000 43,500
Value of Shares (N) 265.00 21,500.00 21,765.00
Quantity Traded 0 9,767,000 996,574 10,763,574
Value of Shares (N) 0.00 4,883,500.00 707,594.05 5,591,094.05
Quantity Traded 75,000 20,000 153,876 248,876
Value of Shares (N) 151,500.00 25,400.00 79,326.84 256,226.84
Quantity Traded 641,535 10,000 100 651,635
Value of Shares (N) 1,598,254.50 14,600.00 62.00 1,612,916.50
Quantity Traded 104,395 370,328 1,016,686 4,711 136,724 11,813 1,510,282 185,129 3,340,068
Value of Shares (N) 2,099,278.09 185,164.00 65,387,637.76 153,531.49 665,814.36 1,720,388.98 81,556,170.85 36,192,719.50 187,960,705.03
Quantity Traded 1,000 16,600 17,600
Value of Shares (N) 3,500.00 84,328.00 87,828.00
Quantity Traded 479,909 479,909
Value of Shares (N) 8,066,170.29 8,066,170.29
Quantity Traded 229,472 229,472
Value of Shares (N) 130,411.04 130,411.04
Quantity Traded 9,100 9,100
Value of Shares (N) 5,915.00 5,915.00
Quantity Traded 18,214,315 18,214,315
Value of Shares (N) 279,643,264.50 279,643,264.50
LEASING No of Deals 16 16
Company Name JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 37 37
Company Name AFROMEDIA PLC DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 1 6 7
MORTGAGE COMPANIES Company Name ASO SAVINGS AND LOAND PLC RESORT SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC UNION HOMES SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 0 27 22 49
Quotation(N) 0.50 0.50 0.73
OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS Company Name No of Deals DEAP CAPITAL MANAGEMENT AND TRUST PLC 1 NPF MICROFINANCE BANK PLC 1 ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC 5 Sector Totals 7
Quotation(N) 2.02 1.27 0.52
PACKAGING Company Name No of Deals NIGERIAN BAG MANUFACTURING COMPANY PLC 44 POLY PRODUCTS (NIGERIA) PLC. 1 WEST AFRICAN GLASS INDUSTRIES PLC. 1 Sector Totals 46
Quotation(N) 2.50 1.46 0.63
PETROLEUM(MARKETING) Company Name AFRICAN PETROLEUM PLC. BECO PETROLEUM PRODUCT PLC MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC CONOIL PLC ETERNA OIL & GAS PLC. MOBIL OIL NIGERIA PLC. OANDO PLC TOTAL NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 39 9 42 11 17 20 179 10 327
Quotation(N) 20.02 0.50 69.00 34.30 4.89 148.20 54.00 195.50
PRINTING & PUBLISHING
INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY Company Name CHAMS PLC STARCOMMS PLC Sector Totals
2 3 1 1 1 5 6 171
Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals
INDUSTRIAL/DOMESTIC PRODUCTS Company Name B. O. C. GASES NIGERIA PLC VITAFOAM NIGERIA PLC VONO PRODUCTS PLC Sector Totals
cent drop. Diamond Bank led the table with a price drop of N0.37 to close at N7.08. Also on the losers table were Fidson, UTC, Honey Flour, Stanbic IBTC, CI Leasing, Japaul and Unity Bank. In all, investors traded 371.514 million shares worth N2.712 billion in 5,212 deals. The banking stocks contributed the highest volume of 195.527 million shares followed by Information & Communication Technology (69.599 million shares), Insurance (33.654 million shares), The Foreign Listings (N18.214 million shares), Conglomerates (17.424 million shares) and Mortgage companies (10.764 million shares) respectively. Commenting on the performances, analysts attributed the drop in the indicators to profiteering. According to GTI stockbrokers, the early hours of trade revealed moderate activities savoured with investors willingness to consolidate positions on some handful of fundamental stocks. Selling pressure emerged toward the closing hours pushing indicators down.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE
COMMERCIAL/SERVICES Company Name COURTVILLE INVESTMENTS PLC Secure Electronic Technology PLC RED STAR EXPRESS PLC Sector Totals
By Tonia Osundolire
HE Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday opened the week by marking down the prices of more quoted companies. These include AG Leventis Plc for a dividend of 12 kobo, Total Plc for a dividend of N6.00, First Bank Plc for a dividend of 60 kobo and Lafarge WAPCO Plc, for a dividend of 25 kobo as recommended by their board of directors. This move is to allow a level playing ground for investors who did not partake in the dividend recommended by the various companies to be at par with those that are benefiting. However, on the floor of the exchange, the reaction that greeted the list of corporate results presented to the NSE at the weekend was short lived as the major key indicators on Monday closed with a drop of 0.2 per cent each. According to market operators, the market opened on a brighter note with transactions tailing towards further appreciation by the index and capitalisation. Market capitalisation reduced marginally by N12 billion to close at N8.072 tril-
Quantity Traded 1,209,415 1,323,000 242,422 20,218,300 1,678,000 822,000 101,640 374,612 150,000 34,100 10,000 3,737,210 125,000
Value of Shares (N) 1,055,322.56 1,375,260.00 779,820.62 10,109,150.00 839,000.00 1,253,233.59 50,820.00 187,306.00 75,000.00 17,050.00 5,000.00 1,987,781.50 85,000.00
Company Name ACADEMY PRESS PLC. UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 1 4 5
Company Name UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 20 20
Quotation(N) 3.68 4.84
REAL ESTATE Quotation(N) 16.81
ROAD TRANSPORTATION Company Name ASSOCIATED BUS COMPANY PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 7 7
Company Name UNITED NIGERIA TEXTILES PLC Sector Totals
No of Deals 1 1
THE FOREIGN LISTINGS Company Name No of Deals ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED 53 Sector Totals 53 Overall Totals
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
FOREIGN NEWS UN warns against standoff in oil-rich Sudan region
IOLENCE in the disputed oil-rich region of Abyei will jeopardize relations between north and South Sudan governments as the two sides gear up for a permanent separation in July, the United Nations said. Northern Sudan’s army clashed with southern forces in the region this week, killing at least 14, the United Nations said Friday. United Nations SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon said he “is deeply concerned by the continued tension” in the area. “The military standoff is unacceptable,” Ban said in a statement. South Sudan in January voted to split from the north, and is expected to officially become an independent nation in July. However, the fate of the oil-rich Abyei region remains a flashpoint. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said last month
that his government would not recognize the new state of South Sudan if it claims Abyei. “Abyei is a part of the north and will remain a part of the north,” the president said in a speech broadcast on state television. Al-Bashir’s declaration reneged on an earlier promise to honor the results. On Friday, Ban urged the two sides to avoid claiming ownership of the area to avoid undermining a peaceful resolution. “The parties must refrain from provoking each other or engaging in any military confrontation in Abyei as this could result in further loss of life and significantly affect the future relationship between North and South,” he said. Leaders of the north and the South have a range of issues to address as their separation nears, including Abyei.
Israel celebrates 63rd Independence Day
SRAEL’s somber Memorial Day for fallen soldiers gave way to Independence Day celebrations at nightfall yesterday in a sudden, stark annual transition ceremony. At Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, Israel’s national cemetery, Israelis kindled 12 huge torches to signify the start of the holiday marking Israel’s 63rd birthday. Soldiers marched in formation, and fireworks lit up skies across the nation on a mild spring evening. Speaking at the ceremony, Israeli Parliament Speaker Reuven Rivlin said Israelis are concerned that revolutions in the Middle East might lead to radical regimes, but noted that Israelis admire the “courage of those protesters who are taking their lives in their hands for liberation and freedom of speech.” Cities and towns set up outdoor stages for singers and dance troupes to provide entertainment late into the night. In contrast to Memorial Day, when Israelis visit to cemeteries and share tales of survivors and sad recollections of wartime losses, Independence Day is a joyful celebration when people flock to picnics, parties and hikes in natural reserves. Fair, comfortable weather was forecast for Tuesday. Military bases were opening for visits, and the Israeli air force planned flybys over much of the country as part of the festivities. The country uses the occasion to award the Israel Prize, a prestigious recognition to top minds in the fields of entertainment and academia. Among this year’s winners is Shimon Mizrahi, the legendary chairman of the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team, which lost in the European championship’s final game on Sunday. Israel also holds its annual Bible Quiz, in which young Jewish scholars from around the world compete in the presence of the prime minister.
Ivory Coast resumes cocoa exports
ORT officials said yesterday they have loaded Ivory Coast’s first shipment of beans in several months as the world’s largest cocoa producer resumed exportation now that the democratically elected president finally has taken office. Cocoa exports came to a halt in mid-January when internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara called for an export ban to starve his rival financially, causing cocoa prices to skyrocket. Longtime leader Laurent Gbagbo had refused to cede power after losing the election, and the battle for the presidency left hundreds dead and nearly pushed the country back to civil war. Ouattara finally took the oath of office on Friday, a month after Gbagbo was ultimately forced from the presidential residence by pro-Ouattara fighters backed by French and U.N. forces. “Traffic has indeed resumed,” port official Idrissa
Dosso said yesterday, adding that the ship with 1,700 tons of beans was going to the country’s main cocoa port of San Pedro to load more beans next. Most major exporters, including American firms Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, as well as Swiss firm Barry Callebaut, complied with Ouattara’s cocoa ban because the European Union had put sanctions against Ivory Coast’s ports, effectively preventing any exports from leaving the country. “It was a shock and international prices hit the highest they had been in more than three decades,” said Gary Mead, editor of World Crops, which tracks agricultural commodities including cocoa. About 500,000 tons were held up during the conflict, roughly a third of the country’s projected crop of 1.4 million tons. But because Ivory Coast had a far larger crop this year then last, the world supply is on track to return to normal now that exports have resumed Mead said.
•Pakistanis protesting the killing of Bin Laden by US Special Forces…yesterday
Pakistani PM insists failure to locate bin Laden not incompetence
AKISTANI Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani yesterday dismissed allegations that his country’s failure to locate Osama bin Laden in a military garrison town amounted to incompetence or complicity, calling them “absurd” in an address to the nation’s parliament. “Yes, there has been an intelligence failure,” Gillani said. But, he said, “It is not only ours but all of the intelligence agencies in the world. The al-Qaeda chief, along with other al-Qaeda operatives had managed to elude global intelligence agencies for a long time.” Gillani is the highest-level official in Pakistan’s weak, United States-backed civilian government to have spoken publicly on bin Laden’s killing a week ago. He largely reiterated comments made previously by other government and military officials: that Pakistan’s chief spy agency had shared intelligence that led the US commando team to bin Laden’s lair, that Paki-
stan is committed to fighting terrorism and that it viewed the American helicopter raid as a violation of its sovereignty. Officials in both countries have said the US did not inform Pakistan about the raid in advance, and US officials have indicated that is because they feared the operation might be compromised if they did. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate has long-standing ties to militant organizations in the region, and the discovery of bin Laden so close to major military installations has deepened suspicions in Washington that Pakistani spies helped shelter him. Gillani called that accusation “disingenuous,” and he said bin Laden may have relied on the “asymmetrical” tactic of “hiding in plain sight.” In the past week, many Pakistanis have suggested bin Laden chose lodgings near the nation’s premiere military academy – in a city far from the rugged borderlands where US officials long said he was
likely living — because he believed no one would look for him there. He said an army lieutenant general had been appointed to lead an investigation into bin Laden’s presence in the city of Abbottabad and the security lapses that allowed US helicopters to enter Pakistani airspace undetected. Gillani’s speech came as Pakistan’s unpopular civilian government faced rising domestic criticism about its leadership following the US operation to kill bin Laden, an event that is widely viewed here as a humiliation. Anger was initially focused on the failures of the powerful military and intelligence services – which are widely believed to control foreign and security policy — but opposition politicians and the media have in recent days begun to fault the government for what they have deemed its “silence” over the matter. The shift appears to be, at least in part, the result of a
concerted effort by Pakistan’s military to transfer the blame for an incident that has cast it in an extremely negative light among the public. Last week, at a meeting with a group of Pakistani journalists, army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and ISI director Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha complained that the civilian government had shown little interest in counterterrorism, according to local media reports. Yesterday, Kayani released a statement saying a parliament should craft and articulate a “national response” to security issues, such as the war on terror. Security and foreign policy issues are widely viewed here as controlled by the military, though Gillani insisted in his address that there was no divide between “state institutions.” “It is believed that people of Pakistan need to be taken into confidence through their honorable elected representatives,” Kayani said in the statement.
Prosecutors demand life jail for radical Indonesia cleric
ROSECUTORS in Indonesia demanded a life sentence yesterday for radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir for a series of terror-related charges, including planning, attempting, funding and inciting terrorism. Some of the charges carry a maximum penalty of death. It’s the third trial of the fiery Bashir, who was most recently detained in August for suspected links to a militant training camp that was raided by authorities in Aceh in early 2010. Police have said Bashir and his organization, the Jamaat Tawhid Anshoru or JAT, were involved in setting up the camp, and authorities have said militants were preparing to launch assassination attempts on Indonesian government officials.
Authorities also accuse Bashir of plotting attacks like the 2008 Mumbai, India, assault on hotels and a train station that left hundreds dead in a siege lasting several days. He denies the charges, and has often said there is a U.S.led conspiracy to put him behind bars. One of Bashir’s lawyers, Adnan Wirawan, said Monday the call for life in prison is “too harsh for something that the prosecution failed to prove in court. They’re aiming too high and I think it’s unreasonable and I think the court will be of the same opinion.” In the past, authorities have tried but failed to directly link Bashir to major terror attacks in Indonesia. In the first two trials, pros-
•Abu Bakar Bashir (centre) face terror charges
ecutors tried to directly link him to the 2002 bombings in Bali and the 2003 J.W. Marriott bomb attack in Jakarta. The courts found him guilty of relatively minor charges. He was released in June 2006, after serving 25 months in jail. Known for his inflammatory rhetoric, Bashir was ac-
cused of being the spiritual leader of Indonesia’s homegrown terror network, Jemaah Islamiyah, who inspired many of those involved in the bombings. Bashir’s lawyers will begin their closing statement May 25. A ruling is expected within weeks of the conclusion of arguments.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
600 Libyan migrants feared dead in boat mishap
EVERAl hundred people are feared to have drowned off Libya, after a boat carrying some 600 refugees trying to reach Europe broke up at sea on Friday. The United Nation’s refugee agency said 16 bodies, including two babies, had been found. UNCHR has said all ships using the Mediterranean should be ready to assist such vessels, as thousands continue to flee North Africa in inadequate boats. Nato has denied claims that its naval units left dozens of migrants to die aboard another boat in distress. It said it was unaware of the plight of the boat, which reportedly was adrift for more than two weeks. The Guardian newspaper said 61 of the 72 people on board the boat died of hunger or thirst, despite being spotted by a military helicopter and Nato ship. UNHCR’s said migrants arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa had reported
seeing the boat carrying some 600 people foundering shortly after leaving the port at Tripoli on Friday. If confirmed, this would be one of the largest accidents so far involving the thousands of often unseaworthy boats trying to reach Europe following unrest in North Africa. Many of the witnesses were relatives of people on board, spokeswoman Sybella Wilkes told the BBC, adding: “There were a lot of distressed people on the quayside.” Ms Wilkes said it appeared that hundreds of people were
LOST OF DOCUMENTS I, NAVY CAPTAIN MARK OLUSOLA BAKARE (Rtd) of Block 47 Flat 1, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi - Lagos the only surviving and rightful beneficiary of property known as Block 47, Flat 1, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi belonging to JONATHAN ONI (Late) died on the 14th day of June, 2010 in Lagos. That the documents of the said flat have been mis-placed and all efforts to locate them proved abortive. Anybody with useful information should please return them to the above named person or to the nearest Police Station.
missing - bodies were seen floating in the sea and those of 16 people, including two babies, have been washed ashore. She said it was unclear whether anyone was looking for the missing people, but that Nato was not involved in the operation. The nationalities of the passengers were also not known, but many of those waiting in Lampedusa were Somali, she said. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said it had spoken to one Somali
woman who had been on board the ship with her fourmonth-old baby. The baby died and the mother swam to shore, where she boarded another boat heading to Europe. Ms Wilkes said “hundreds if not more than a thousand people” have now died making the “treacherous journey”. The agency has said all ships should be prepared to offer immediate help to such boats. “We are calling on all ships in the Mediterranean - whether commercial, military or
LOSS OF DOCUMENT I, OTUNBA ADESHINA SHONIBARE of 24, Aina Atoloye Street, Ikorodu, Lagos State,one of the beneficiaries of Late MADAM ASHABI ONILE-ERE’s Estate who died on the 17th day of August, 2008. That the original documents of the property situated at 58, Enitan Street, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos, registered as No. 13/13/ 1710 at the Lands Registry, Alausa-Ikeja, Lagos have been mis-placed and all efforts to locate them proved abortive. Other beneficiaries are Olori Kudirat Ajayi and Alhaja Saratu Alaran Bakare. Anybody with useful information should please return them to the above named person or to the nearest Police Station.
otherwise - to be extra vigilant and consider on sight that these boats are in distress and needing rescue,” said the spokeswoman. The Guardian reported on Monday that a small boat had left Tripoli on 25 March, hoping to make it to Italy but ran out of fuel and started drifting. Migrants and police in Lampedusa, Italy (4 April 2011) Italy has asked for international help to deal with the huge influx of refugees Eventually food and water ran out, too.
“Every morning we would wake up and find more bodies, which we would leave for 24 hours and then throw overboard,” one passengers, Abu Kurke, told the paper. On 26 March, the passengers made contact with a priest in Italy, Father Mussie Zerai, who often plays a key role assisting migrants who hit trouble. He confirmed to the BBC that he had alerted Italian coastguards, who said they would take action. But he lost contact with the boat when its phone battery went dead.
PUBLIC NOTICE FOUNDATIONFORTHECHALLENGED This is to inform the general public that the above named Foundation has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE 1. Ajoke Ahubelem (Mrs.) 2. Dr. Ahubelem Chidinma Jumoke 3. Mr. Ahubelem Nnabugo Stephen 4. Mr. Ahubelem Azubuike Akinsowon 5. Mr. Ahubelem Chukwuemeka Oluwatosin
Chairperson Treasurer Secretary Fin. Secretary P. R . O
AIMS & OBJECTIVES 1. To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 2. To encourage people living with ASD that Jesus can enable them to be useful to God and mankind. 3. To organize seminars, workshops, vocational centers with the aim of empowering people living with ASD. 4. To encourage parents, relatives not to stigmatize people living with ASD. 5. To encourage people living with ASD to learn a vocation and be independent of others. Any objection to this application should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 565, Ndola Square, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja within twenty-eight days of this publication.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
FOREIGN NEWS 20 workers buried in China landslide
LANDSLIDE buried more than 20 workers in a makeshift dormitory at a quarry yesterday in southern China where heavy rain fell over the weekend, state media reported. There was no immediate word on deaths or injuries resulting from the disaster in the village of Luojiang near the resort city of Guilin. Police and rescuers equipped with a pair of excavators were searching for survivors, the Xinhua News Agency said. Local officials reached by telephone said they had no information about progress in the rescue work. The landslide hit the quarry at around 1:30 p.m. (0530 GMT), burying the dormitory in a pile of sludge the length of a football field, Xinhua said. That followed heavy rains over the weekend across the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region where the village is located, roughly 1,080 miles south of Beijing amid steep hills and thick jungle bordering Vietnam. Torrential rain that began falling on Saturday night forced the evacuation of 70 residents from a nearby village and stranded scores of travelers, Xinhua said. Rain had stopped by Monday, although roads were flooded and hillsides were saturated, Xinhua said
EU imposes arms embargo on Syria
HE European Union has decided to impose an arms embargo on President Assad’s regime in Syria. The decision follows Syria’s military crackdown on the anti-government protests that it is trying to stamp out. Troops backed by tanks have been rounding up hundreds in the coastal city of Banias, according to rights activists. According to activists hundreds of woman took to the streets to demand the release of those who had been arrested. Tanks were reported on the corniche in Banias overnight on Saturday. There was gunfire in two districts in the city too, according to residents there. Shooting was also heard in a Damascus suburb on Monday according to anti regime activists. None of these claims is possible to verify while the Syrian regime continues its draconian blockade on journalists entering the country and it harassment of journalists within its borders. But a lot of amateur video is continuing to be posted on
the internet. One clip claims to show Hizbollah fighters abusing bound Syrians and threatening to kill them. It is impossible to know whether the armed men actually do belong to the Lebanese Shia military organisation that is closely allied to Syria’s Assad regime, though they seem to speak with Lebanese accents. Rights groups say more than 600 people have been killed and 8,000 jailed or gone missing in the eight-week crackdown on protesters. The Syrian government disputes those figures and says it is fighting armed gangs who are operating as part of a Zionist and salafist conspiracy. The United States has warned it would take “additional steps” against Syria if it continues its deadly crackdown while the European Union decided on Friday to impose sanctions on 13 Syrian officials. The international community has failed to reach unanimity on Syria and extend its actions beyond verbal condemnation and limited sanctions.
Christians in Cairo protest sectarian violence
UNDREDS of Egyptians, many of them Coptic Christians, demonstrated yesterday in Cairo to protest Muslim-Christian clashes that left 12 dead and a church burned. Demonstrators, who numbered about 1,000 by midday, said they feared that muslims in Egypt seek to create an Islamic state that would marginalize the Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s nearly 80 million population. Most are Coptic Christians.Some of the protesters gathered outside the building that is headquarters for state-run TV criticized the army’s handling of the weekend clashes and demanded that the military ruler step down. Some stones were thrown toward the building, but the protest was largely peaceful. “We don’t want to bury our heads in the sand,” said Rami Kamel, a Coptic protester. “The issue is bigger than rebuilding a church or arresting the culprits. This is Egypt’s fate. Is Egypt becoming a religious state or can we change course and opt for a civil state?” The demonstration came as authorities yesterday detained 23 Egyptians, including two blamed for sparking the riots starting late Saturday that marked a new low in Muslim-Christian relations. Egypt’s military rulers are hard-pressed to deal with the sectarian tensions which have emerged as one of the major challenges in the post-revolution transition following the February ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Some of the Christian protesters camping outside the state TV building have demanded that measures be taken to control an increasingly assertive ultraconservative movement of Muslims known as the Salafis, which they say orchestrated the weekend riots in the neighborhood of Imbaba. Last month, tens of thousands of Egyptians led by Islamists believed to be affiliated with the Salafis demonstrated to protest the appointment of a Coptic Christian governor in southern Egypt. The latest riots, sparked by a rumor that a Muslim convert was abducted by the local church, lasted for hours Saturday night and into Sunday morning. Muslim mobs attacked two churches, burning one; 12 people died, and more than 200 were injured.
Iranian President linked to black magic
RAN’s powerful clerics have accused associates of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of witchcraft, including summoning genies, amid an increasingly bitter rift between Ahmadinejad and the country’s supreme religious leader. In recent days, some 25 confidants of Ahmadinejad and his controversial but loyal chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei have been arrested and charged with being “magicians.” One aide, Abbas Ghaffari, was described by conservative Iranian newspaper Ayandeh as “a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with unknown worlds.” Ghaffari has reportedly been accused of summoning a genie, who caused his interrogator to have a heart attack. The arrests are the latest window into the growing rift between Ahmadinejad, Iran’s elected secular president, and Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, the country’s
appointed religious supreme leader. They also offer a view on how dynamic religious practice is inside the Islamic Republic. If the clerics hope to smear their opponents with supernatural claims, their plan might backfire, said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. As clerical dogma loses traction, traditional beliefs that incorporate ideas about a coming messiah, the end of the world, and traditiona l magic motifs like djinns, or genies, are becoming increasingly popular especially with Ahmadinejad’s base. The president himself has made supernatural claims, telling followers in 2005 that he was surrounded by a halo of light during a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, in which the foreign leaders in the hall were transfixed, unable to blink for a half hour. The religious establish-
ment has long had its eye on Mashaei, the man behind much of Ahmadinejad’s political and religious thinking, because he practices an alternative Messianic —though no less fundamentalist — version of Islam that includes aspects of the occult and a more limited role for clerics. Mashei, is Ahmadeinjad’s chief of staff and closest advisor. It is widely believed that Ahmadinejad wants Mashaei to succeed him as president. “Iran has a system with two centers of power, a civilian president and a clerical leader,” Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The religious establishment has command of the civilian establishment, but there has always been tension between the poles. Some of that tension is coming out into the open.” Two weeks ago Ahmadinejad fired Abdulhas-
san Banisadr, accusing the intelligence minister of being a different sort of spy, a mole in his government who fed information to the supreme leader about Mashaei. Khamenei reinstated the intelligence minister last month, publicly undermining Ahmadinejad and causing the president to sulk for days in his office, avoiding the public and cabinet meetings — effectively not running the country — for nearly two weeks. “What is interesting about the rift is that it’s not really about Ahmadinejad, but who will be Ahmadinejad’s successor,” said Alterman. “Ahmadinejad is trying to position Mashaei as his successor,” he said. “But a significant part of the religious establishment is afraid of Mashaei.” Mashaei is a threat to the clerics for several reasons, said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
Osaze honoured to join elite club O
SAZE Peter Odemwingie today honoured his teammates as he joined illustrious company by becoming only the sixth-ever player to win two Barclays Player-of-theMonth awards in a season. The Baggies striker warmed up for Sunday's Black Country derby with Wolves (ko noon) by scooping the April gong after picking up September's prize. Only Thierry Henry, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo have achieved the same feat. "This is not just for me, it is also for my team-mates, who give me the confidence to do what I do," said Odemwingie "I'm happy to pick up the award for the second time this year and it is the result of good team performances. "When I won it in September we were excellent. We had a good away win at the Emirates
and beat Blues in a derby. "Overall the team performance was great last month, my team-mates made it easier for me and I am doing well. "There are many reasons why I am happy here, on and off the pitch. "Things are going well, I'm motivated, I really like the league and I'm playing at a good club, where I'm being looked after well. "Our supporters are really nice to me and there are no problems in the dressing room. "All these things make a big difference." The Nigeria striker insists his only interest in Sunday's Molineux showdown is adding to 11th-placed Albion's points tally in a bid to keep their grip on their current status as the top club in the West Midlands. "The reason we are going there is not to send Wolves down it is to get as many points
as we can for our cause," he added. "It is a big derby and both teams want to win. "It would be a great achievement to come up and finish as the top Midlands club. "We would walk with our
heads held high. "I'm sure our supporters would be pleased with that and we'll be looking to finish the season strongly. "The higher we finish in the table the more pleased we will be with our work."
JUNE 1 ABUJA INT’L FRIENDLY
Angeleri out of Nigeria /Argentina tie
By Taofeek Babalola ian national team, so we decided it would be better for him to go and speak to him in his native language. "He has got a problem with his knee and as I said, I don't think he has been right since the start of the season against Benfica. That was the start of the situation we find ourselves in. He has never really got up to scratch with it and got up to pace with it and in my opinion, he is injured." However, the defender, who has made just three appearances since his £1.5million summer move from Estudiantes, is not expected to return to Wearside next season, although Sunderland have denied claims that the Argentina international has had his contract cancelled. Nigeria is expected to play Argentina without Lionel Messi and other prominent stars in Abuja on the first of June.
AHEAD CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP STAGE
Enyimba’ll fortify squad—Emordi
HE Technical Adviser of Enyimba International, Okey Emordi says the Peoples Elephant will be fortified ahead of the round robin stage of the CAF Champions League slated to start soon. The 2004 Champions League winner in an exclusive interview with NationSport shortly after the 3rd Round one legged encounter between his team and Libyan champions, Al Ittihad at the Enyimba International Stadium in Aba opined that the Aba Millionaires made some grave errors that must be corrected before the Group Stage commences to avoid a calamity. He stressed that the technical crew would continue to
From Tunde Liadi, Owerri work on its tactics toward getting the formular that would land Nigeria her third success at the African foremost club competition. “We will definitely strengthen our squad in line with the provisions form CAF. We will go home to look at our weak areas and make the necessary adjustments ahead of subsequent matches. We will continue to work on our tactics until we get the desired results.” Emordi said. It would be recalled that Enyimba zoomed to the group stage of the CAF Champions League courtesy of a nail biting 1-0 home win over hapless Al Ittihad.
EMMANUEL Olisadebe (32 years) has ended his adventure with Henan Construction China. Now, the free agent is thinking of making a sensational return to the Greek Championship. He is also considering offers from Russia, Turkey and Cyprus. ‘’I wanted to stay in China longer. But the new coach of my club - Henan Zhengzhou decided he does not want any foreigners in the team.,” Olisadebe explained. “I have thought of the future; it’s highly likely it would be in Greece, but I cannot count on earnings of 200 - 300 thousand euros. However, money is not everything, but I do not rule out performances in Russia, Cyprus and Turkey,‘ he told futbolnews.pl. The Warri, Delta State-born player regards his move to England and then Greece as unfortunate. ‘’One of my biggest mistakes was the transition from Panathinaikos to Portsmouth. I did not like manager Harry Redknapp. I played only twice in the league.
“Later I came to Skoda Xanthi and it was the biggest mistake in my career. The coach never gave me a chance, it was written in the newspapers that I had health problems. Then came the adventure of Cypriot football, which I fondly remember.’’ Olisadebe, who played for Poland in the 2002 World Cup, spent three seasons in China.
Sign Sneijder, Mourinho advises Man United
• Sunderland ace injured RESH fact emerged yesterday that one of the Argentina players picked by the team’s coach, Sergio Batista for the June 1 international friendly against Nigeria slated for Abuja National Stadium, has been out of action since the start of the season. Marcos Angeleri was one of the seven defenders selected in a 22-man squad released last week to face the Super Eagles, but his coach at Sunderland, Steve Bruce confirmed on Monday that the 28-year-old has been plagued with a knee injury for most of the season. Angeleri was said to have returned home to consult a specialist in Argentina over the injury which has wrecked his first season in English football. Bruce said: "Marcos Angeleri has not been fit since the Benfica game in pre-season, which is a shame. He went back to Argentina to see the specialist about his knee. His surgeon is involved with the Argentin-
Olisadebe may return to Greece
Iwuala congratulates Okorocha, sets agenda for sports in Imo State
Sports Management Consultant and former Sponsorship Manager at Globacom Limited, Mr. Harry Iwuala has congratulated the Governorelect of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha on his election and urged him to design a youth empowerment program anchored on sports to create viable employment opportunities for the teeming youths in the state. The people of Imo State also received his commendation for their peaceful conduct throughout the period of uncertainty that followed the gubernatorial polls of April 26, 2011. In a statement Iwuala, who is now the Chief Operating Officer of YOUDEES Limited, a Sports Marketing, Talent Management and Public Relations consultancy agency, noted that the election of Okorocha holds a lot of promise for the youths in the state who championed his campaign for government house. greater good for sports in the state that has in the past produced such great athletes as Chioma Ajunwa, Nwankwo Kanu and Patrick Ekeji to name a few. Iwuala, a former Vice Chairman of Imo State Football Association, also advised the newly elected governor to set up a sports thinktank that will review the policies of the out-going governor with a view to continuing with those that were beneficial to the state and fashioning out new ones that will create greater opportunities for the millions of talented youths in the state noted for nurturing athletes like Chioma Ajunwa, Nwankwo Kanu, Patrick
Ekeji and a host of other stars that has made Nigeria proud. The Lagos-based Sports consultant also canvassed that “the sanity now in place at the Dan Anyiam Stadium is commendable and should be maintained as the spaces at the stadium could be transformed into better revenue generating schemes for government. Today, Heartland FC has become the first Nigeria Premier League Club with a well appointed office and we are aware that there is serious restructuring at the club under the management of illustrious Sports Journalist, Chief Fan Ndubuoke” A former Sports Editor, Iwuala urged the Governor to ensure that the Sports Commissioner in the new dispensation will be a trained administrator with sound education and huge passion for sports. “It is our hope that the Governor will this time scan the sports industry when appointing the new Sports Commissioner so we can have someone with good academic background and rich pedigree in sports administration”. The former member of the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations Organizing Committee further urged the Governor to spread sports development to all the 27 councils of the state by setting up sports centers for the identification and training of budding talents which will reduce youth unemployment. “Sport is a tool for youth empowerment and by taking sports development nearer to the people, talents will be developed and opportunities provided for wealth creation through these youths”.
THE Special One has been in regular contact with Sir Alex Ferguson over the past week as the Scot tries to plot a Champions League master plan to thwart Barcelona at
Wembley. But according to Italian sources the Real Madrid boss has been offering Fergie a bit more than tactical advice, and suggested that he swoop for Sneijder, who was with him at Inter. The Dutchman has been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford anyway, but now it seems Mourinho has given Ferguson a glowing endorsement of the midfielder which may quicken the process. Sneijder was a massive influence of Mourinho’s treblewinning side at Inter, and was rumoured to be keen on a move last season when the Portuguese coach left for Real. But having been convinced to stay, Sneijder’s form has dipped and he’s been criticized in the Italian media for lacking appetite, so Inter may be tempted to sell should United stump up a reasonable offer.
Weylandt dies after crash BELGIAN cyclist Wouter Weylandt has died after crashing during Monday’s third stage of the Giro d’Italia. The Leopard-Trek rider fell at high speed during a descent about 20km (12.4 miles) from the finish of the stage from Reggio Emilia to Rapallo. The 26-year-old lay motionless on the roadside as paramedics tried to resuscitate him. “Despite immediate treatment there was nothing we could do,” doctor Giovanni Tredici told Italian television. The crash left Weylandt bloodied and unconscious and requiring cardiac massage. He received emergency medical treatment by race doctors and was scheduled to be airlifted to hospital but had to wait as an emergency helicopter looked for a suitable landing spot. Weylandt moved to the
Leopard-Trek team earlier this year after turning professional with Quick Step in 2006. He was the first rider killed in a crash in one of cycling’s three main tours since Italian rider Fabio Casartelli in the 1995 Tour de France.
Tomorrow in THE NATION
TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
Godfathers must step aside and let development gallop forward carrying Nigeria to the lost greater heights. The age of political independence for political aspirants is now. TONY MARINHO
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
OR many of those we have been conditioned to regard as persons of consequence, departure time from the cushy perches they have inhabited in Abuja and elsewhere for the past four years or longer is here. Counting only those who will not be returning to the National Assembly and the executive mansions in several state capitals, the list is formidably long. When one takes into account the personnel changes that will result from President Goodluck Jonathan reconstituting the cabinet and the flotilla of advisers and assistants, just keeping up with the numbers is well nigh impossible. A good many of them will be back in one guise or disguise through that giant revolving door of patronage and nepotism that the term “Abuja” conjures. Some of them may even win back their positions through the courts, including those who had conceded after the election but are now challenging the results. Still, regardless of future developments, some imminent departures are worth remarking. I am thinking of Patricia Ette, one-time Speaker of the House of Representatives, and in that capacity the fourth most powerful person, and without question the most powerful woman in all of Nigeria according to the official organogram. Having been forced to resign as Speaker just when she was beginning to master the task and get used to its rewards, Ette must be departing with bitter-sweet memories. She is entitled to be bitter at the way her colleagues – male chauvinists for the most part – took her down. On the other hand, she can rejoice that she no longer has to play host to so many “strangers” from all over the world. She can now romance anyone she fancies without courting the voyeuristic intrusion of United States Embassy officials. Just imagine their impudence. Whose body is it anyway? Where were these keyhole diplomats when an ordinary intern was romancing the daylights out of their president right there in the Oval Office? Nor does Ette need worry about ever falling on hard times. She will certainly feel more fulfilled by returning to her former occupation as a cosmetologist – not hair dresser, you hear, all you detractors. I am sure the high and the mighty will pay just about anything to have those dainty hands massage their faces with moisturising ointments. Next door to her beauty studio – let us call it Salon Excelsior — her colleague Dino Melaye, who took on all-comers on the floor of the House in a chivalrous but futile bid to help her keep her job, can set up his Executive Kickboxing Academy. Touts and area-boys and ragamuffins need not apply. It is exclusively for members of the executive class in general, and legislators in particular. Given the frequency with which fist fights break out in the National Assembly, at rallies and during constituency meet-
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Departures and transitions ‘Nor does Ette need worry about ever falling on hard times. She will certainly feel more fulfilled by returning to her former occupation as a cosmetologist – not hair dresser, you hear, all you detractors’ •Ette
ings, it is self-evident that kickboxing is a skill worth acquiring. And who better to impart it than a seasoned practitioner? Departing Senator Iyabo Obasanjo would make an excellent adjunct professor at the Academy. Remember how she outran, out-jumped, out-climbed and out-smarted EFCC officials hard on her heels? Too bad Dame Eme Ufot Ekaette’s Nudity Bill did not pass muster in the Senate. Now that she will not be returning to that body, she is free to carry her campaign on a much larger canvas. She and her amiable spouse Obong Ufot Ekaette, one-time Secretary to the Government of the Federation and most recently Minister for the Niger Delta, may wish to give something back to a society that has given them so much by launching a nationwide scheme to procure clothing for young women forced into near-nudity by poverty. They should also consider spearheading a complementary campaign to re-orient toward healthier and nobler pursuits all those concupiscent dirty old men who are forever ogling young women who choose to flaunt their assets.
RIPPLES New eelctricity tariff coming next month– News
...to says THANKS to Nigerians for voting this GOVERNMENT?
Dimeji Bankole, soon to be Speaker emeritus, should have no difficulty making a good living as a speaking coach for members of the National Assembly and indeed executives who need to polish up their elocution. Which legislator would not want to be shown on national television speaking English the way Bankole and indeed Queen Elizabeth speak it? In televised sessions of the Senate, Dr Chimaraoke Nnamani always came across as someone with his mind on other things, perhaps how to retain the huge chunk of Enugu State he is alleged by the EFCC to have cornered when he was governor of the state. The distraction of being senator is about to end, and he can face more important business. Senator Yerima Ahmed Sani has known no peace since he brought home from Egypt a child-bride, said to be the daughter of the fellow who chauffeurs him around whenever he is in Cairo. Now that he won’t be returning to the Senate, he can add to his homestead the pubescent daughter of his steward in Dubai, and there would be nary a stir. Gbenga Daniel, who made a hash of things
HE killing in Pakistan last week of Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda terror mastermind, is a reflection of how societies become vulnerable to decay and failure. There is of course no direct correlation between the killing of bin Laden by United States Special Forces and the spectre of Pakistan’s failure. However, the killing is a worrisome pointer to the danger constituted by sectarian, political and military fault lines undermining the country. By the time he was killed last week Monday, bin Laden had been living in Pakistan for possibly up to seven years, a huge chunk out of the 10 years he had been on the run. The bin Laden affair predictably raises many embarrassing questions for Pakistan. And all the questions touch on the pride of the country and its ability to survive future threats almost certain to shake the country to its foundation. First is the embarrassment of the country’s failure to detect the US Special Forces operation. The killing of bin Laden questioned the country’s military readiness
Pakistan’s tormented soul and capability, and left its generals and intelligence officers chafing at the ease with which America conducted the operation. Second is the embarrassment of being considered by the rest of the world as a supporter of terrorism. The world argues that it was impossible for the al-Qaeda leader to hide in Pakistan for so long without a network of support from highly placed Pakistanis. India is the leading exponent of this thesis, a position the US seems to be gradually converting to. But whether in its failure to detect the American operation or its failure to find out where bin Laden was hiding, Pakistan’s image has taken a huge bashing. In order not to be cast as supporters of terrorism, Pakistani leaders will likely
in Ogun, has a good chance not only to redeem but to immortalise himself if he heeds the call of the Muse. I can already see a trilogy on the art and science of governing under his name. The first volume, which might be titled ‘Government by Billboards: the Ogun Example,” is sure to be authoritative contribution to political communication. The second, with the working title “Government by Fetish: An Inquiry into a Neglected Element in Governance,” should fill the yawning gap in the literature on the political sociology of Africa. The third and concluding volume, “Farewell to a Democratic Orthodoxy: Governing without Checks and Balances,” is guaranteed to set the world of political theory atwitter. From the royalties, he should be able, finally, to embark on the state-of-the-art Trauma and Diagnostic Centre he told Gani Fawehimi’s family he was going to build in Ogun to honour the late legal legend and activist. At first blush, Governor Adebayo AlaoAkala in neighbouring Oyo looks like a cartoon character too far gone in his frippery and buffoonery to settle down to the serious business of writing. But a volume under his name expounding the Oyato philosophy, or Oyatoism, an authentic African answer to American exceptionalism, is sure to change that perception and establish him as an intellectual of the first rank. This column has already taken nostalgic notice of the imminent departure of Himself the Igodomigodo, Patrick Obahiagbon, from the legislative scene. Following that comment, a correspondent has asked me to furnish a good example of hyperpolysyllabicsesqiupedalianism, the excessive use of big words, of which Obahiagbon is an exemplar. Here is the best one I know of, the winning entry in a Columbia Encyclopaedia competition back in the 1970s to render a common aphorism consisting of six words in “federal prose,” the way Washington officials write. “ A detached fragment of the terrestrial lithosphere, whether of igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic origin, and whether acquiring its approximation of sphericity through hydraulic action or other attrition, when continuously maintained in motion about its temporary axis and with its velocity accelerated by an increase in the angle declivity, is, because of abrasive action produced by the incessant but irregular contact between its periphery and the contiguous terrain, effectively prevented from accumulating on its external surface an appreciable amount of the cryptogamous vegetation normally propagated in umbrageous situations under optimum conditions of undeviating atmospheric humidity, quiescence, and comparative sequestration from corrosive-erosive agents.” Translation: A rolling stone gathers no moss. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above continue to deny they had knowledge of bin Laden’s whereabouts before he was killed. But few will believe them. More damningly, by using long-standing misunderstanding with India as excuse to condone and support militants, Pakistan’s power elite show a reckless disregard for moral standards below which no society should fall. Pakistan’s appalling rationalisation of militancy, particularly its relationship with the Taliban of Afghanistan, probably accounted for its romance with al-Qaeda. Unfortunately, militants whose ideology is sectarian and hate-filled see nuclear-armed Pakistan as the ultimate prize and trump card required for the prosecution of their conflicts. Pakistani elite may wake up too late to the dangers their romance with militants portend for their country. The bin Laden affair merely brought all these contradictions in Pakistan to the surface; and increasingly the country is being destabilised by the very groups it hopes to use as pawns in the complex political smorgasbord of Asia.
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