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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

APC is Jonathan’s problem, says Buhari •‘Merger of parties unstoppable’


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Ex-Falcons coach Jossy Lad dies at 71 •Sports community mourns


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VOL. 8, NO. 2481 FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013



Police chief among ambush victims as death toll hits 47 Jonathan cuts short trip IG: enough is enough From Yusuf Alli, Abuja


ORE deaths were recorded yesterday in the ambush of policemen and other security agents at Alakyo, a village near Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital. Their bodies, brought into a hospital in 10 ambulances, were burnt beyond recognition. Family members were confronted with the reality of the death of their loved ones as they thronged the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, to identify the bodies. The death toll in the Tuesday ambush of policemen and State Security Service (SSS) operatives has risen to 47. It was initially put at 23. A BBC report said 17 were declared missing, presumably dead. An Assistant Commissioner of Police is among the dead. Nasarawa Police Commissioner Abayomi Akeremale told reporters that the casualty figure had increased to 30. An on-line news publication, quoting top security sources, gave the name of the Assistant Commissioner of Police as Mohammed Momoh. The Nasarawa police spokesperson could not confirm Mr. Momoh’s death but said he was missing. The Directorate of State Security also said it had deployed a search and rescue team to determine fatalities of its operatives involved Continued on page 2

•The teenagers and children being paraded in Owerri...yesterday

17 teenagers rescued in Imo baby factory


HEY are teenagers, who should be in school. But, for these girls, there is a strange way of earning a living — selling the fruits of their wombs. But the Police in Imo State yesterday announced that the “baby

Boko Haram Panel meets Kabiru Sokoto, others •Witness: sect receives foreign cash


HE Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North has met with some suspected members of the Boko Haram sect. Among them is the suspected mastermind of the Christmas Day bombing in Madalla, Niger State, Kabiru Sokoto, who is at the Kuje Maximum Prison.


From Vincent Ikuomola and Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

Besides, the committee, which is headed by the Minister of Special Duties, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, met with various security agencies. At the prison, members of the committee, who were received by Mr. Nuhu I Zuru, an Assistant Controller of Prisons, spent three hours with some members of the

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

factory” had been smashed — a major breakthrough in their fight against child trafficking. No fewer than 17 expectant teenagers were rescued from an illegal motherless babies home in Umuaka, Njaba Council Area.

The Ahamefula Motherless Babies Home is allegedly owned by a middle aged woman simply identified as “Madam One Thousand”. Also rescued from the home after the police raid were 11 minors, who the police said were appar-

ently waiting for prospective buyers. The girls, who are between the ages of 14 and 17, were said to have been impregnated by a 23year old boy, simply identified as Oyibo. Continued on page 2

•Author of Lest I Forget, Amb. Oladapo Fafowora (second right), his wife Bosede (left), the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran (second left), and Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) DirectorGeneral Prof. Bola Akinterinwa during the public presentation of the book at the NIIA auditorium, Victoria Island, Lagos...yesterday.

Continued on page 2




NEWS Sylva released from EFCC custody

Boko Haram Panel meets Kabiru Sokoto, others Continued from page 1


ORMER Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva was last night released from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s custody. Sylva was arrested from his Abuja house on Wednesday as part of an investigation into an alleged money laundering. A source said last night that the ex-governor was allowed to go home by operatives of the anti-graft agency on self-recognition. During his arrest on Wednesday, documents were taken away from his house by the EFCC operatives. He had been accused of evading arrest, allegedly claiming to be ill. The EFCC also claimed that he failed to appear in court on May 7 as promised by his lawyer

•FOR BOKO HARAM VICTIMS: Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) National President Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor weeps for victims of Boko Haram killings as he is honoured by Christian Elders Forum of Northern States (NOSCEF) in Abuja...yesterday PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE

sect. Turaki, who spoke to reporters on what could be described as the first interactive session with the media, said the interaction was a confidence building mechanism to get information that will be useful to the committee as well as help the government end the crisis. He said: “Let me say with all sense of responsibility that the interaction has been very fruitful. They have been very fair, open, frank and I dare say some of them have shown some sense of patriotism, even while being detained under serious allegations. They have shown that yes they have the love of this country at heart and these are issues this committee will leverage upon and then come up with a modality that will bring about a very frank dialogue. At the end of the day, God willing, we will be able to bring total solution to the security situation in the country. “We have had cause in the pass to members of Jamatul Alhus Sunnah and in doing so to tell them that members of this committee are people of proven integrity, are accomplished Nigerians that have been carefully selected by Mr. President to come and do this national assignment.” He noted that the committee’s man-

date does not include securing amnesty for members of the sect, but ensuring a credible channel of dialogue that would lead to ending the security challenge in the North. On reports of some members of the committee being demoralised, Turaki said nothing could be further from the truth. “Well, look at our faces; you can see that we are smiling. That is on the lighter side. On a serious note, if this was a committee that is demoralised, you won’t see none of us here. You can see some of us are elderstatesmen that ordinarily will work for two, three hours and go and rest. But for all these days we have been working all through and we have been doing this assignment religiously. The issue of anybody getting discouraged or disorientated does not arise, this I can assure you. “Secondly, let me correct one misapprehension that people have. This is not amnesty committee; this is dialogue committee. And there is a world of difference between dialogue and amnesty committee. What we are trying to do is to open credible channel for engaging all sides in useful discussions. We want to dialogue with them, we want to sit with them, hear them, we want to give every side the opportunity security agencies, government, Jama-

Wike dares Amaechi to expose his opponents


HE Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, has dared Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi to expose his opponents – as he threatened to. The minister, who Amaechi’s Chief of Staff and the DirectorGeneral of the Amaechi Campaign Organisation in 2011, spoke yesterday at the Rivers State secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Aba Road, Port Harcourt, during the inauguration of the four committees instituted by the Chief Felix Obuah-led executive of the ruling party. Obuah said it was time to rebuild the PDP, promising to ensure unity and a level-playing field. Wike said: “I hear they say they will expose those who are fighting them. It is too late. You have power to have exposed anybody, yet you did not expose. Since you did not expose, there is nothing that you will do now that will make meaning to anybody. “The reason you want to expose now is because people have stood up to challenge the wrong things you are doing. “As for me, you do not need to go anywhere. I worked there

From Bisi Olaniyi and Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt

as Chief of Staff; the documents are there. The files are there; carry them and do whatever you want to do. You do not need to go and ask from anybody. “It is not just only one man or people that will want to speak; when you finish speaking, other people will speak. “One thing I will advise the chairman of the party, please in the name of God, do not go to church and sing praises of God and you leave the church and begin to do something God does not like. If you know you will do bad things, do not go to church and call the name of God in vain. “Let me say clearly that despite all these things, people are saying I led the court victory that has brought about the change. It was not just me, but all of us that led the victory. This is because without your support, the chairman would have succumbed, when his house was acquired forcefully, because he wanted his mandate. “If not for your moral support, I would not have had the courage to continue. We would have abandoned the case and the vic-

tory would not have come. “When people talk about injustice, autocracy and dictatorship, now that somebody cannot say what he wants to do. If you say it, the next thing they will do is to acquire your house forcefully. That period of intimidation in the state is over. “There is no position that is permanent in life. Every position is tenured. I always tell people, you do not need to bother, I’m happy, people can today be empowered. If they buy car for you, if they give you anything, it is your entitlement. It is not any favour. It is the resources of the state. It is our commonwealth, the resources of our fatherland. Wike told Obuah: “Now you have inaugurated the committees, allow them to do their work with their minds. Then you look at what they have done; even if what they do is not what you want, but because you have given them that responsibility, please allow them to do it. Do not interfere with their jobs. “Let them go and fish out every one that is aggrieved, those who were the founding fathers of this party, who we can no longer see today, but as long as they are still alive, go and bring everybody back on track. The

more, the merrier. PDP is a big umbrella that can accommodate everybody. “You (chairman) cannot run the party alone. Always consult the elders and members. No one man can run a party. By the constitution of the PDP, the governor of the state is the leader of this party, I must tell you that. “Whatever you are doing, you must consult the governor, because he is the leader of the party. If you do not, then you are not being fair and not following the constitution of the party. As you are consulting the governor, consult other members of the party, the elders and leaders at different levels. “The constitution says the governor of a state is the leader of the party. So, I am not the leader of this party, as far as the state is concerned. I am just a minister. The constitution does not allow me to be the leader of the party, but the governor. “You know that the governor ought to be here, but because of his tight schedule, he is not here; but he rest assured that as I leave here, I will communicate to him what you have said. “When you are in a position and suddenly power changes, it

does not affect people at the same time to fall along. The reality is that you do not expect people to be immediately happy with the present situation. There is time for the father to pamper the angry children, feed them well and make them to be loyal to the father. “Note that there are no two PDP, as far as Rivers State is concerned. There is only one PDP and for the secretariat, there is only one party secretariat, as far as I am concerned. Let me tell you, for those who are dreaming, that another person will come and take over from Go Round (PDP chairman), power has changed hand and no man can change it, as far as God is involved.” Obuah said: “Well-weaning Rivers people earnestly desired a change in the level of impunity that was hitherto the order of the day in the state. “PDP members wanted a change that would reflect their collective interest and not the selfish interests of a few foisted on party faithful. When collective interests are jettisoned in favour of selfish interests, often than not, disagreements always set in.”

Continued on page 59

17 teenagers rescued in Imo baby factory Continued from page 1

Looking pale and unkept, the girls are at various stages of pregnancy. They wept profusely during their parade at the Command Headquarters in Owerri, the state capital. Speaking during the parade, the Commissioner of Police, Musa Mohammed Katsina, said that the illegal babies home was raided by the Ambush Squad attached to the Command after a tip-off. He said the suspect, who is now at large, was producing pure water in the compound to deceive the public. The CP said when the police invaded the tightly secured compound, “17 pregnant minors were seen holed up in different rooms in the large compound with some of their kids playing around”. Also paraded by the Police was the security man, Mr. Uzoamaka Okoli (55) from Nempi Amafor in Oru West Council Area and Oyibo, 23, who confessed to being responsible for all the pregnancies.

Police chief among ambush victims as death toll hits 47 IG fumes as Reps condemn killings

Continued from page 1

in the operation. Akeremale told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lafia that nine police patrol vehicles were burnt. He said some officers on the patrol team were still missing. He said no arrests had been made, adding: “But efforts are being made to bring the perpetrators of this dastardly act to book. “We believe that members of the group are still in the bush around the area, and we would do all we can to smoke them out.” Nasarawa State Governor Tanko al-Makura condoled with the families of the slain policemen. He described the killing of security men as “disheartening and disturbing”. A resident, Sani Musa Mairiga, said the cultists were forcing local villagers to swear an oath of allegiance to the group. The state police chief said 17


NSPECTOR General of Police Mohammed Abubakar yesterday gave Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs) in charge of the North Central zone and the Nasarawa State Commissioner of Police the marching orders to arrest the killers of 30 policemen in Nasarawa. Abubakar deplored the unprovoked and brutal killing of the policemen who were on legitimate assignment as provocative and unacceptable. In a statement by Deputy Force Public Relations Officer Mr. Frank Mba, yesterday, Abubakar vowed to bring the perpetrators to book in a record time, saying “enough is enough”. The statement reads: “We consider the attack not just an attack on the Nigeria Police and its officers and men but an attack on the collective will of Nigerians to protect and preserve our dear fatherland.

officers were still missing. A source at the hospital where the bodies were taken told the BBC dozens more policemen were killed in the attack. Akeremale said about 60 police officers came under attack.

From Gbade Ogunwale, Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

This, we have vowed to put an end to. “This disturbing, condemnable and highly distressing incident, coming closely after similar ones in Bayelsa and Borno states, have thrown up new and emerging threat in the delicate task of policing our country. “Consequently, the IGP has directed all its field commanders and Special Units, including Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and Commissioners of Police, to harness all resources available within their domain in ensuring that this reign of terror and lawlessness is brought to an end. “The Nigeria Police Force, working in conjunction with all positive minded Nigerians, will do everything within its pow-

“We decided to send our men to the area to arrest members of Ombatse, including their priest,” he told the AFP news agency. “[They] have been going to churches and mosques initiating people into their cult by

ers to fish out and bring to book all those involved in this and other similar killings of law enforcement agents. “We must put an end to this endless circle of impunity. Enough is enough” The House of Representatives has condemned taking up of arms against policemen on line duty by aggrieved communities. According to the lawmakers, since the primary responsibility of the government is to provide security for the citizens, which it does through security agencies, it would be most criminal to attack the Policemen while trying to restore peace and order in troubled communities. The decision of the lawmakers followed a heated debate of a matter of urgent national importance raised by Jo-

forcibly administering an allegiance oath to unwilling people.” The police were attacked near the shrine to the traditional deity of the Eggon people, in the village of Alakyo, near the state capital, Lafia.

Continued on page 59

The Ombatse, which means “the time has come” in the Eggon language, say they are fighting against social vices such as alcohol and adultery. The manhunt for the suspects yesterday paralysed the Continued on page 59


ADVERT HOTLINES: 08023006969, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678






Is this the N • President Goodluck Jonathan ( right),Vice-Chairman, World Economic Forum (WEF) Josette Sheeran (left) and Chairperson, African Union Commission Mrs. Dlamini Zuma, at the closing plenary of the Grow Africa Investment Forum in Cape Town…yesterday.

Two days ago, a multi-purpose National Identity Card scheme was unfolded by the Federal Government at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa. How will it work? Is this what Nigerians need? JOKE KUJENYA reports.


• From right: Vice-President Namadi Sambo . Director, Solicitors Department, Ministry of Justice, Mrs Olusola Moore (left) and Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngada, at the National Council on Privatisation's meeting in Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

•Board Chairman, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc Mr. Jacobs Moyo Ajekigbe (right) and Managing Director Mr. Peter Eshikena, at the company’s 40th AGM in Lagos.

•The Managing Director, Nestle Food Plc, Mr. Martin Woolnough (left) greeting the company’s new chairman, Mr. David Ifezulike at the company’s 2013 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos… yesterday. With them is the outgoing chairman, Chief Olusegun Oshunkeye. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA

OR many Nigerians, the last National Identity Card project was a drainpipe. So, they were alarmed when the Federal Government announced a new scheme was in the offing. They felt this would turn out to be another waste. On Wednesday, an innovative kind of National Identity Card was announced and the question is: will this mitigate the fraud believed to have been carried out with the last scheme? The Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and MasterCard chose the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa for the roll-out of the 13 million MasterCardbranded National Identity Smart Cards with electronic payment capability as a pilot programme. The National Identity Smart Card (NISC) is the scheme under the recently deployed National Identity Management System (NIMS). “This programme is the largest roll-out of a formal electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion initiative of its kind on the African continent,” a statement said. In its first phase, Nigerians, who are 16 years and above and resident in the country for more than two years, will get the new card, which has 13 applications, including MasterCard’s prepaid payment technology which will provide holders with “the safety, convenience and reliability of electronic payments.” The statement said: “This will have a significant and positive impact on the lives of these Nigerians who have not previously had access to financial services.” Access Bank Plc is also involved in the project as the pilot issuer bank for the cards. Unified Payment Services Limited will serve as the payment processor. Other issuing banks include United Bank for Africa, Union Bank, Zenith, Skye Bank, Unity Bank, Stanbic, and First Bank. Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the scheme was important in moving Nigeria to an electronic platform. She said: “This programme is good practice for us to bring all the citizens on a common platform for interacting with the various government agencies and for transacting electronically. We will implement this initiative in a collaborative manner between the public and private sectors, to achieve its full potential of inclusive citizenship and more effective governance.” President, Middle East and Africa,


MasterCard, Michael Miebach, said: “Today’s announcement is the first phase of an unprecedented project in terms of scale and scope for Nigeria. “MasterCard has been a firm supporter of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) cashless policy as we share a vision of a world beyond cash. From the programme’s inception, we have provided the Federal Government of Nigeria with global insights and best practices on how electronic payments can enable economic growth and create a more financially inclusive economy.” MIMC’s Director General and Chief Executive Chris Onyemenam said: “We have chosen MasterCard to be the payment technology provider for the initial rollout of the National Identity Smart Card project because the company has shown a commitment to furthering financial inclusion through the reduction of cash in the Nigerian economy. “MasterCard has pioneered large scale card schemes that combine biometric functionality with electronic payments and we want to capitalise on their experience in this field to make our program rollout a sustainable success for the country and for the continent.” CEO of Access Bank Aigboje AigImoukhuede said his bank bought into the idea because of the need to expand financial inclusion. He said: “Access Bank’s involvement in this project is testament to our ongoing efforts to expand financial inclusion in Nigeria. The new identity card will revolutionise the economic landscape, breaking down one of the most significant barriers to financial inclusion — proof of identity, while simultaneously providing Nigerians with a world class payment solution”. Managing Director and CEO, Unified Payments, Agada Apochi, said the company would use its expertise to ensure the success of the project. He said: “Unified Payments is the foremost transaction processor and pioneer of EMV processing and acquiring in Nigeria, owned by leading Nigerian banks. We will use our expertise and experience to guarantee the success of the project and ensure that the data of Nigerians are protected. We look forward to working with other partners in delivering value to all stakeholders.” The Nation learnt that the new N ISC will incorporate the unique National Identification Numbers (NIN) of duly registered persons. To get the card, an individual’s demographic data and biometric data (capture of 10 fingerprints, facial picture and digital signature) will be recorded and used to authenticate the cardholder and eliminate fraud and embezzlement. The statement on the project said: “Thanks to the unique and unambigu-





National ID Nigerians need? ‘ It’s about time we stopped this waste in this country. That was way back in 2003. But till date, do your research and you will discover that like me, millions of Nigerians have never had to use the card and I doubt if it has ever been demanded for

‘ The project isn’t a waste, says NIMC DG




Director-General of the National Identity Card Management Commission (NIMC) Chris Onyemenam, in an e-mail interview, sheds light on the new e-Card project.


N recent years, the INEC, telecommunication industries, drivers’ licensing authorities and a few others captured data of millions of Nigerians. Why can’t the NIMC retrieve this from these organisations? First of all, the data gathered by some of the government agencies need to be made available to the commission before NIMC can determine if it can be used or not. Secondly, there will be issues and possible challenges of the data conforming to the NIMC formats and standards for demographic and biometric data capture, storage and use for identity authentication and verification. Compliance with these standards are very important. Based on available information, there were no uniform standards until recently and so, data collection by government agencies was based on each agency’s data requirement. No uniform format and standard was adopted for the collection and storage of the data held by these agencies. Then, in line with the NIMC mandate for the harmonisation and integration of existing databases of government agencies, we set up the Harmonisation and Integration Committee (HIC) in 2008 with membership from stakeholder agencies. The HIC has since developed the biometric data standards, demographic data standards and business process and harmonisation policy documents to help address these issues going forward. How in clear terms would you justify the huge sum for this e-ID project? It is important to stress that the cost of updating the data coupled with the challenges of data cleansing, data conversion and data migration will not significantly reduce the cost of implementation. The final position can only be determined by actually analysing the data for such a process. How in clear terms will Nigerians living abroad be captured?

ous identification of individuals under the NIMS, other identification card schemes like the Driver’s License, Voter Registration, Health Insurance, Tax, SIM and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) will benefit and can all be integrated, using the NIN, into the multi-function Card Scheme of the NIMS. When fully utilising the card as a prepaid payment tool, the cardholder

can deposit funds on the card, receive social benefits, pay for goods and services at any of the 35 million MasterCard acceptance locations globally, withdraw cash from all ATMs that accept MasterCard, or engage in many other financial transactions that are facilitated by electronic payments. All in a secure and convenient environment en-

Now, NIMC’s immediate focus is on capturing citizens living here in Nigeria. Thereafter, we would deploy an appropriate collaborative strategy to enrol Nigerians in the Diaspora. We will certainly not adopt the same strategy as the International Passport issuance process. Many Nigerians are of the view that this e-ID project is another waste of our resources in the making, what steps will you take to forestall this fear? It is important to state that the resources made available for this laudable project are not wasted. In fact, all the money allocated to the Commission is being put to good use to ensure that we have an identity management system that •Onyemenam is operated by Nigerians and managed by Nigerians. For the avoidance of doubt, NIMC has published all annual reports that include its audited accounts since inception. You can check our website to see for yourself:

abled by the EMV Chip and Pin standard. “Upon completion of the National ID registration process, NIMC aims to introduce more than 100 million cards to Nigeria’s 167 million citizens.” A Lagos-based lawyer, Akindele Akinyemi, does not believe in the project.

He said: “What happened to the so-called National ID Card we got in 2003? I was among the hundreds of people in my location who were on a long and winding queue for several hours when I was to get one. After that, I had even forgotten about the card when one day, it was brought to me on a bike by one dispatch rider. And since I got it, I have

never used it in any way. Banks don’t accept it if you tender it for identification purposes. It is only the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) that accepts it in the case of standing as a guarantor for passport applicants. Apart from that, I don’t know where it has been helpful. And now, someone says they want to spend millions on same. It’s about time we stopped this waste in this country. I could still recall all they required from us such as, name, home and work or school, phone number, email and others. Later, our image was captured and then, we stamped our left thumb print. That was way back in 2003. But till date, do your research and you will discover that like me, millions of Nigerians have never had to use the card and I doubt if it has ever been demanded for.”

History of National IDs In 1979, a National Identity Card system was initiated by the then Military Head of State, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo. The then Department of National Civic Registration was established and tasked with the responsibility of issuing National Identity Cards. The exercise hit a brickwall. Then in February 2003, Obasanjo, as president, re-introduced the National ID Card scheme in which everybody over 18 years of age was eligible to participate. Registration for the card was compulsory. Nigerians were required to provide information that includes name, age, sex, address, occupation, state of origin, local government area, height, thumbprint and passport photograph. During the registration between February and March 2004, about 52 million of the 60 million declared eligible to register had participated. Records showed that by 2006, 15 million Nigerians were issued fingerprint-embedded ID cards. According to Alhaji Shuaibu Sabon-Birni, a former director of Civic Registration, Ministry of Internal Affairs, the estimated number of Nigerians between 18 and above was 60 million. Sabon-Birni noted that by 2007, every eligible Nigerian would have been issued an ID card. But as of June 2007, the cards were only distributed in 27 of the 36 states. A major scandal trailed the ID Card project. Millions of aliens were allegedly registered, defeating one of the objectives of the project. The 2003 exercise landed two former Ministers of Internal Affairs, the late Chief Sunday Afolabi and Dr Mohammed Shata, and the then Labour Minister, Alhaji Hussaini Akwanga, in court. They were arraigned in connection with an alleged $214 million fraud.

National ID Cards can curb crimes, says population expert


OOKING at the history of ID card projects in Nigeria since the 1970s, will you say so much money has been wasted? Well, I would say I don’t think that we should throw away the baby with the bath water. As we all know, our institutions, especially political institutions are very corrupt. If you inquire into what sphere of life we Nigerians are at the top in the world, it is in the “corruption index”! However, the issue of identity and identification is very important, not only to demographers and social scientists in their intellectual inquiries but also to administrators, planners and the private sector How would you describe the relevance of such a project in a country that has no reliable tracking system of her citizens?

A population and development consultant and a former professor at the University of Lagos, Prof. Theophilus Fadayomi, spoke with JOKE KUJENYA on how to make the National Identity Card effective. Today, in Nigeria, it has become more urgent to have an ID Card for each adult citizen for several reasons. Top on the list is security. In many quarters where the issue of security is being discussed, there is still a lot of controversy surrounding the nationalities of members of the Boko Haram and some other militant groups. The former has actually created a lot of insecurity to persons and property in Nigeria. Therefore, if authentic Nigerians have and carry ID cards, it will be easy to trace the culprits of recent security lapses that

tend to escape and overwhelm law enforcement. Does a country like Nigeria really need a National ID System? Besides other security-related issues, concern for the identification of authentic Nigerians for access to basic social services e.g. health, education and other social amenities as well as access to legal documents that identify them as bonafide citizens, without an ID, some of these nationally-sensitive services which are resource-constrained may be enjoyed by non-Nigerians rather than

the Nigerians they are meant for. In another instance, when the nation needs to call up its citizens for national services of utmost importance such as, the defence of Nigeria’s territorial integrity; without an ID Card, a nation is likely to recruit among its National Service Corps “saboteurs” whose identities are questionable and whose presence in such sensitive institutions are inimical to the nation’s interests. Which option would you recommend for Nigeria? One major reason for urgency in

the ID card project is the inadequacy of the nation’s vital registration scheme for planning, research and administration in this country. Vital data have been collected piecemeal in the past, mainly in the towns, without total coverage of the entire country. In discussing the way forward, we must admit that what is on ground with respect to the ID card project has been done piecemeal and will be difficult to harmonise effectively in spite of the huge amount of money claimed to have been spent on the project. However, we need to support the positive views expressed by the Minister of Communications Technology in her attempt to have a credible National ID card project.



NEWS Military helicopter crashes at Air Force Base


NIGERIAN Airforce Mi-24B helicopter on a training exercise yesterday crashed at the Airforce Base in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, along the ever-busy Port Harcourt-Aba Expressway. The three persons on board escaped unhurt. Stern-looking Airforce personnel at the main gate of the Special Operations Group (SOG), Nigerian Air Force,prevented reporters from gaining entry into the expansive premises. It was gathered from impeccable sources that the airforce personnel in the ill-fated helicopter were resting at the base, after the crash, since they were not injured. The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall A. S. Badeh, in a statement by Group Captain D. J. Alonge, titled: “Nigeria Airforce aircraft makes emergency landing in Port Harcourt,” disclosed that he had mandated experts to unravel the circumstances that led to the accident. On Monday, an alpha jet fighter, belonging to the Nigerian Army, crashed 37 miles (60 kilometres) West of Niamey, the capital of Niger Republic, killing the two pilots on board. Marshal Badeh said: “A Nigerian Airforce Mi-24B Helicopter on a training exercise made an emergency landing today at the Nigerian Airforce Base, Port Harcourt at about 10:00am. There was no casualty, as all the crew members came out unhurt. “The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall AS Badeh on receipt of the report, immediately constituted a team of experts,

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

to unravel the circumstances that led to the accident. Further details of the crash will be made known as investigation reveals.” A source stated that the helicopter was conveying arms and ammunition to an undisclosed place, where a special operation was ongoing. It was learnt from the source that the crash occurred when the pilots of the helicopter, shortly after takeoff, discovered a mechanical fault, but crashed in a bid to make emergency landing, when the pilot lost control. The source noted that help immediately came for the three persons on board and they were promptly rescued. Chairman, Senate Committee on Airforce, Senator Saidu Ahmed Alkali, the Senate would investigate the crash of Airforce jets in Niger Republic and Port Harcourt. Alkali, in a statement in Abuja, said the leadership of the Senate had mandated its joint committee on Airforce, Navy and Aviation to investigate the causes of the recent air crashes. He stated that the investigations would incorporate the crash of the Alpha Jet involved in the peace keeping operations in Mali. The lawmaker, representing Gombe North Senatorial District commiserated with President Goodluck Jonathan, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh and the Armed Forces on the death of two Airforce pilots in the Niger Republic mishap.

Oritsejafor to Jonathan: amnesty for Boko Haram won’t work P

RESIDENT of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor had a piece of advice for President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday. He urged the President not to dissipate his energies on amnesty for Boko Haram. The efforts, he said, is an exercise in futility. The cleric, who accused the President of pampering members of the Boko Haram sect by trying to grant them amnesty said: “the amnesty programme will not work.” Oritsejafor spoke in Abuja after receiving an award - “A True Servant of God” from the Christian Elders’ Forum of Northern States (NOSCEF). He also pushed for the establishment of cattle ranches for itinerant Fulani helmsmen. Oritsejafor, who wept for victims of Boko Haram insurgency, said the “arrogant and deriding manner with which Boko Haram members dismissed the amnesty deal coupled with the earlier quoted statement by Abu Qaqa have both reinforced

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

our stance that the sect’s only interest is to eliminate Christians and enthrone and Islamic state in Nigeria. “This is why we are again calling on President Goodluck Jonathan not to waste the tax payers’ money on a futile exercise. “He should review the amnesty deal for Boko Haram in view of the bravado by the sect leader, Mallam Ibrahim Shekau. Boko Haram is not only a local terrorist organisation; it has a ring of international connection to it. Do not waste time pampering the sect members because amnesty deal will not work. “Permit me to call on President Jonathan to beware of some Muslim leaders in the North and their very few Christian allies, who always go to him in droves to seek regional concessions with religious biases; people who do not see anything wrong in Boko Haram killing Chris-

tians but want amnesty for the murderous and bloodthirsty sect members. “Amnesty plan is aimed to divert the attention of reasonable Nigerians and the world from the cruelty of Boko Haram to Christians.” According to the CAN President, the President should beware of those who kept mute when Odi and Odioma in Bayelsa State and Zaki Biam in Benue State were destroyed by soldiers but now want Heavens to fall when Baga. Village came under military attack. “He should beware of those who kept mute when Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and other Muslim leaders in the North said the country will be made ungovernable if President Jonathan becomes the president in 2011, but wants him to arrest Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo for repeating what they said earlier. Such hypocrisy should never be tolerated in a secular country like Nigeria.” He disagreed that poverty

was responsible for the Boko Haram insurgency, saying; “if we agree that poverty, injustice and inequality are the causes of the insurgency, a largely Islamic group, the question would be: are Muslims the poorest people, the most deprived? What about Christians? Can the claim of poverty be justified if the weapons and arms being used by the Boko Haram sect are calculated in terms of naira and kobo? He however reiterated that CAN believe in peace and would continue to work for peace because without peace there can be no good governance that would yield the dividends of democracy. Oritsejafor dedicated the award to “the memory of victims of Boko Haram, those injured and are living, their widows, widowers, orphans and those whose businesses have been terminated because of the activities of the sect and indeed, to all persecuted Christians in Nigeria.”

Falana: Okiro not qualified for PSC job


CTIVIST lawyer Femi Falana yesterday gave a reason former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mike Okiro was the wrong man for the chairmanship of the Police Service Commission (PSC). Okiro, the Lagos lawyer said, belongs to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and therefore could not be hired to do the job. Until his sack recently, the former IGP was a Special Adviser to the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur on Security Matters. Falana urged President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately withdraw Okiro’s nomination from the Senate His words: “Having regard to the fact that President Jonathan had in the past removed registered members of the PDP from the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Mr Mike Okiro’s nomination should be withdrawn from the Senate for another competent Nigeria who is not a card carrying member of any of the registered political parties in the country. “President Goodluck Jonathan has just nominated a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Mike Okiro. On account of his experience in the Nigeria Police Force, he is qualified but by virtue of his membership of

the ruling party, he is disqualified to be Chairman of the Police Service Commission. In line with the provisions of the Constitution the nomination has been forwarded to the Senate for confirmation. “While the former Inspector-General of Police might have been qualified for the post “The Police Service Commission is one of the federal executive bodies established under Section 153 of the Constitution, section 156 thereof provides that a member of any of such bodies “shall not be required to belong to a political party. More importantly, section 42 of the Constitution provides that no citizen of Nigeria shall be conferred with any advantage or privilege that is not accorded to citizens of other political opinions. Furthermore, article 13(3) of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Act stipulates that all citizens shall have equal access to the public service of the country without discrimination whatsoever. By the combined effect of the clear provisions of the afore-mentioned a body which is empowered to recruit and discipline all police personnel other the Inspector-General of Police is expected to be constituted by non partisan individuals of unimpeachable integrity.

•Members of the Nancy and Jeniffer Ibe Centre for Public Accountability (NAJICPA) protesting against corruption in the country, converged on the Lagos State House of Assembly, Ikeja, Lagos... yesterday. Their protest was in memory of Mrs Nancy Ibe and her 11-year-old daughter, Jennifer, who died on June 3 in the crash involving Dana Air plane. The protesters blamed the unfortunate crash to corruption and called on Nigerians to rise against the social malaise.

APC is headache for Jonathan, says Buhari


ORMER Head of State Gen. Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said the on-going formation of the All Progressive Congress (APC) is giving sleepless nights to President Goodluck Jonathan and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), have slated the conventions where they will approve their merger with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to form the APC for this weekend in Abuja and Gusau. Gen. Buhari spoke in Abuja at the CPC’s Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting. He said the merger process is unstoppable in spite of PDP’s effort to destabilise the formation. Gen. Buhari, who is also the BOT Chairman of the party, vowed to ensure deal with all those trying to truncate the merger process. His words: “Eventually, the merger process took a

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

life of its own. It caught the nation’s imagination and attention, and has proved unstoppable, and it, no doubt must have given the government sleepless nights. “If you could recall, it was six months ago almost to the day that we had the last BOT meeting, following which we launched our project for repositioning out party and pursuing the issue of merger. Thank God that we are progressing. For this meeting, merger is at the top of the agenda. We are getting there and results will be achieved,” he said. Speaking on the threats by a former CPC National Chairman, Senator Rufai Hanga, to get a court order stopping the National Convention scheduled for tomorrow in Abuja, Buhari said nobody will disturb the convention. Gen. Buhari said: “Hanga took the party to

court and got his case exhausted. When Hanga was the chairman of this party he showed his interest in running for the election in 2010 to become governor of Kano State and you know by law, if you are occupying transitional position in the party and you intend to go for the primary election, you are expected to hand over that political position to another person before going to stand election at the primaries. Hanga formally handed over his post before going to contest election. “Hanga went to contest for our governorship candidate in Kano. I think what the party will do is to go to the court and swear an affidavit and get Hanga to jail. I want to assure you that we going to go with APC to INEC and whatever the commission requires, I am sure we can comply with.” On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Buhari said: “For the PIB, it is up to the

•Gen Buhari

individual State Assemblies to decide whether to accept it and pass it as required by the Constitution. I am very pleased that a number of governors have taken interest and are making their inputs into the review of the PIB.” National Chairman of the CPC, Prince Tony Momoh, also assured that “there is no problem with the merging parties taken up the acronym APC since even the other party that is claiming the same acronym has been disqualified by the commission. They are only joking; government cannot stop the merger process.”




‘Chaotic internal politics leads to chaotic foreign policies’


STORY is told of an old millionaire named Pa Da Rocha, who lived in Lagos during the colonial era. He was said to be so generous that at 1pm every day, he would appear at his balcony and throw two shilling coins at passers-by. But was it really Pa Rocha throwing the coins or his ghost? This was the question on the lips of many because the old man was said to have been long dead. No one was sure. Still, people went after the free money. One of those who scrambled for the coins, along with his fellow pupils of CMS Grammar School, was a man who later became a career diplomat, Dr Oladapo Fafowora. The story of this fabled, kind Lagos millionaire is recounted in a book: Lest We Forget: The Memoirs of a Nigerian Career Diplomat, which was presented in Lagos yesterday. Written by Fafowora, it is published by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA). “It is stuff from magical realism,” renowned essayist Prof Adebayo Williams, who reviewed the book, said of the fable. “It appears that we have had ghosts for a long time in this country, but this one was a good and generous ghost,” he added. Fafowora, who studied History at the University College, Ibadan, obtained a Masters Degree from the University of London in 1966 and a Ph.D from the Trinity College, Oxford University in 1972. He served as Second Secretary, Nigeria High Commission, London, between 1966 and 1968. After also serving as Nigeri-

•Tinubu, others speak at Fafowora’s book launch By Joseph Jibueze

an High Commissioner to Uganda (1973-1975), he was, between April 1981 and 1984, the Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative at the United Nations Office in New York. The government recalled and retired him from the UN job three years after his appointment and 17 years before he attained the retirement age, which Prof Williams described as a diplomatic tragedy. “The ambassador’s career illustrates a classic Nigerian paradox which has continued to haunt the nation till date. “The very system that recognises and rewards talent and excellence is also the same system that recognises and punishes talent and excellence. It is a Janusfaced system that is capable of good and evil in equal measure,” he said. Williams noted that while all human societies are prone to errors of judgment and procedural mishaps, civilised societies build and develop institutional frameworks and safety nets to protect their public service against the frailty of human nature and its tendency to arbitrary tyranny. He said after almost 30 years of Fafowora’s retirement, the Nigerian public service remains “a Homeric killing field” in which the best and the brightest are routinely sacrificed at the altar of “mediocrity and mendacity.” Williams said the book captures Nigeria’s failings as a nation and the concomitant foreign

policy fiasco. His words: “The thesis is simple. In the long run, a nation’s foreign politics is conditioned and determined by its internal politics. “Chaotic internal politics always lead to chaotic foreign policies. The colour and complexion of external affairs are a reflection of the colour and complexion of internal affairs.” The 617-page book, divided into 24 Chapters, is Fafowora’s seventh authored work. He disclosed yesterday that he would soon begin work on his eight book. Williams said of the book: “With its rich anecdotes, its hilarious encounters with saints and sadists of power, its unforgettable and finely crafted cameos of living and dead personages, this memoir is a tour de force of institutional memory. “Only a glutton for punishment would wish to become a victim of the ambassador’s perfectly weighed putdown or his pithy and pitiless summations. A few old heroes are disrobed. Emperors walk naked. Unfortunately, some of them are no longer around to answer to the ambassador’s scathing denunciations. “All in all, this memoir will come in handy for our foreign policy planners plotting a way out of our foreign policy conundrum.” Among the guests were former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who was represented by Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed. Tinubu warned that Niger-

kinds of words on us. We must not allow the ethnic militias to ruin our democracy or untie our unity,” Tinubu said. The former governor said evil only triumphs when good men do nothing. It is therefore incumbent on all acknowledged good men to speak out against those he called ethnic jingoists. Tinubu added: “To the best of my knowledge, President Goodluck Jonathan was elected by Nigerians of different ethnic groups. And no one single ethnic group, whether minority or majority, can single-handedly elect a President. No ethnic warlord or grovelling aide can single-handedly elect a President. “The framers of our constitution apparently had this in mind, when they said that for a candidate to be elected President, he must win not less than one-third of the votes cast at an election in each of at least twothirds of all states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory. “There is strength in our unity. Let us guard it jealously. Let us work hard to keep our country united. Above all, let us NOT take our unity for granted.” Fafowora thanked all those he said stood by him, inspired him, and brought out the best in him. He became emotional – his voice shaking a bit – while specially thanking his wife, Bosede, for her support. In a moving scene, the wife stood, walked towards the husband at the podium, and placed a hand on his shoulders. Then, she opened her purse, brought

Dokubo-Asari vows to cripple oil production if arrested

House of Reps probe of Kuku, Asari discriminatory, says Clark From Shola O’Neil and Polycap Orosevwotu, Warri

•Dares Reps, Northern leaders •’Arrest me and Nigeria will be history’


JAW leader, Chief Edwin Clark has expressed reservation over the House of Representatives’ probe of inflammatory statements credited to Presidential Adviser on Amnesty, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, and Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo. He demanded to know why the House did not react to similar statements made by prominent northern leaders, notably former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) and former Minister and Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Adamu Ciroma, among others. Clark, whose position is contained in an open letter to the Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, yesterday, praised and supported the House’s condemnation of Kuku’s and Dokubo’s statement. He said the statements are “unwarranted, uncalled for and irresponsible if such careless statements were made.” “However, one will like to express strong reservation on the House’s reaction which seems to be one-sided and discriminatory because the House had not condemned similar provocative, seditious and more inflammatory statements made by some Nigerian leaders especially northerners more so when some of the incitement arising from such statements are presently causing serious security problems in Nigeria.” He said only the House satisfactory answer to why it kept silent on similar statements made by Buhari, Ciroma, former Kaduna State Governor, Lawal Kaita and others will place the House above “sectional, tribal and religious influence” in the matter. “It is pertinent for me to add here that these inciting statements by these Northern leaders and politicians were not made in vain, they were matched by actions. The crisis that followed the 2011 election results was devastating. Election violence erupted in some parts of the North.” He advised the House not to restrict its investigation to Asari and Kuku’s statements, adding, “Mr. Speaker, please I urge the House of Representatives to investigate provocative and inflammatory statements made by all Nigerians on this issue because every Nigerian has the right to aspire to be the President of Nigeria, Senate, Speaker of the House and the Chief Justice of Nigeria.” “Today, some people believe when certain people achieve certain positions, others feel they have done a favour for them. I repeat that Nigerians must have to change because it is not the Nigerian of our dream” he added. Consequently, he reiterated call for National Conference before the nation’s centenary celebration in January 2014. He said the conference would help Nigerians decide what they expect and the type of country they want to belong to after 100 years of amalgamation.

ia’s unity must not be taken for granted. This, he said, can be done by avoiding measures or making comments that can threaten the country’s harmony. To him, comments by “selfacclaimed friends and aides of the President” are capable of putting the unity of our country in jeopardy. “One says if President Goodluck Jonathan is not re-elected in 2015, the tenuous peace now being enjoyed in the Niger Delta will not be guaranteed. “Another builds on that, saying – with all the crudity in his being – that not only will there be no peace in the Niger Delta, there will be no peace everywhere across the country. “Let us remember that these two are not the only ones making threatening comments ahead of the 2015 elections. “Earlier, a gregarious presidential aide boasted that he would no longer bear his name if by 2014 the new political platform called the All Progressives Congress (APC) has not vanished into thin air! These are pretty strong words. “And without mincing words, these statements must be seen for what they are: insensitive, inciting and incendiary. One must not forget to say such threats are utterly irresponsible and unjustifiable! “Let us remember what Jodi Picout said: ‘Words are like eggs dropped from great heights; You can no more call them back than ignore the mess they leave when they fall.’ “It is also important for us not to keep quiet when the dead-enders unleash these

out a white handkerchief, and handed it to Fafowora, who dabbed his eyes with it. Fafowora said he found joy and fulfillment in writing, and that a desire to make money never drove him to write. “I find solace in writing,” he said. “Our nation also needs some bluntness and forthrightness now. I am blunt. I am over 70, so I have a duty to say things as they are and not prevaricate. “If I have offended anyone in the memoir, I ask for forgiveness,” he added. Other guests were Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), represented by Secretary to State Government Oluranti Adegbile; Ekiti State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi, who was represented; Oba of Lagos Rilwan Akiolu and the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba (Dr) Adekunle Aromolaran. Foremost Chartered Accountant Pa Akintola Williams, who chaired the event, announced that he would turn 94 on August 9. Also in attendance were former External Affairs Minister Ambassador Oluyemi Adeniyi, former Chief Economic Adviser for former President Olusegun Obasanjo Chief Phillip Asiodu; Alhaji Femi Okunnu (SAN) and Erelu Abiola Dosunmu. Others were President, Metropolitan Club, Chief Olu Akinkugbe, Ambassador Olujimi Jolaosho, Bishop George Bako, elder statesman Jonathan Adio Oloapade, businessman Fola Adeola, professor of medicine Kofi Duncan, NIIA Director-General Prof Bola Akinterinwa. Chief Presenter was Modu Alakija, represented by son Dele Alakija.

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja



EADER of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, yesterday vowed to halt oil production in the country, if he is arrested. Asari-Dokubo, who spoke at a news conference in Abuja, was adamant and insisted that he stands by his comment for which the security agencies are now being prevailed upon to arrest him. He challenged the House of Representatives to order his arrest, if they could. Asari-Dokubo said:“The last time Obasanjo arrested me,” Asari-Dokubo said, “my arrest reduced Nigeria’s oil production to 700,000 barrels per day, this time, it will reduce it to zero barrel, and we will match violence by violence, intrigues by intrigues, we are ready for them.” He said if some of those calling for his arrest fail to carry out their threats, he will regard them as cowards. The former President of Ijaw

Youth Council (IYC) also vowed that Nigeria would become “history” if he is arrested. He wondered why those now clamouring for his incarceration did not do the same when some northern leaders threatened to make the country ungovernable, “where the dog and baboon will soak in blood” and how there will be no more Nigeria, if a Northerner did not occupy Aso Rock Presidential Villa in 2015. He went on: “I stand by my statement which I made in my earlier press conference; there will be no peace, not only in the Niger Delta, but everywhere, if Goodluck Jonathan is not President by 2015. “I want to add that the Fulanis, who migrated and invaded our lands and continue to show disregard and disrespect to the owners of the country they came into, and people have tolerated them for a very long time, but that will no longer continue. “In 2010, a Fulani, one Lawal Kaita said and I quote: ‘Anything short of a Northern President is tantamount to stealing our Presidency. Jonathan has to go and he will go. Even if he uses the incumbency power to get his nomination on the platform of the PDP, he would be

frustrated out...The North is determined, if that happens, to make the country ungovernable for President Goodluck Jonathan or any other Southerner who finds his way to the seat of power on the platform of the PDP against the principle of the party’s zoning policy.’ “That was what Kaita said in 2010, and today insurgent groups in furtherance to Kaita’s call and from the feudal Fulani occupiers of our land, are wrecking havoc, attacking military barracks and seizing weapons and their foot-solders in the army are planning a coup because at the top they can’t plan a coup. “But Goodluck Jonathan is sitting and watching; but we will not sit and watch. For every action from them, there will be an equal and opposite reaction and it will be disproportionate. “ Kaita made this statement, nobody arrested or call for the arrest of this fellow, today he is walking free.” The Niger Delta activist added: “After Kaita, another Fulani, General Muhammadu Buhari made this statement and I quote: ‘God willing, by 2015, something will happen. They either conduct a free and fair election or they go a very disgraceful way. If what happened in 2011 (alleged rigging) should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the

baboon would all be soaked in blood.’ “Buhari made this statement in 2012, he was never arrested and nobody ever called for his arrest. Reacting specifically to Aliyu’s alleged claims that the Ijaw people of the oil-rich Niger Delta do not have the population to match the North, AsariDokubo said: “This Fulani invader is talking about population, we all know that they don’t have the number they claim to have and we know that we are more populated than them. No figure they bring will be accepted by us. This Fulani invader said this, nobody called for his arrest and he was never arrested.” He added: “Let me tell them, we are not afraid of them, and I am not afraid of arrest, I’ve been arrested before, I was put under SSS underground 10 months and 11 days, I was buried alive and I came out alive, I was detained for 22 months and 10 days, I did not give up the fight, I did not capitulate, so am not afraid of arrest, and they cannot arrest me because if they do, the consequences of my arrest, Nigeria will be history. “I am saying it bold and clear without mincing words, that the consequences of my arrest, Nigeria will be history. “The last time Obasanjo arrested me, my arrest reduced Nigeria oil production to 700,000 barrels per day, this time, it will reduce it to zero barrel, and we will match violence by violence, intrigues by intrigues, we are ready for them.




‘People want performance, not promises’

Southwest PDP to meet with stakeholders


HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southwest will soon meet with stakeholders. The Zonal Organising Secretary, Adedeji Doherty, said the meeting is in furtherance of the Southwest Zonal Caretaker Committee’s reconciliatory efforts and the National Working Committee’s (NWC’s) directive on reconciling aggrieved members. Doherty said: “Towards this end, the Reconciliation Committee chairmen and secretaries in each state have been directed to liaise with their state chairmen to pick 30 stakeholders per state to attend the proposed zonal stakeholders’ meeting. “We believe this joint selection will satisfy all groups and enhance our reconciliatory efforts towards building a vibrant and strong party that will guarantee us victory in the Southwest, especially in next year’s governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states. “We thank our loyal and committed state chairmen for the warm reception accorded our committee members during our reconciliatory visits to various states.” The date and venue of the meeting will be announced.

Tribunal affirms ACN’s victory in Yaba LCDA By Precious Igbonwelundu


HE Lagos State Local Government Election Appeal Tribunal yesterday affirmed the election of Mr. Jide Jimoh of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) as the chairman of Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA). The Local Government Election Petition Tribunal earlier cancelled his election on the grounds that the election was “marred” by irregularities and ordered a fresh election, but the ACN appealed the judgment. The five-man appeal panel, led by Justice Opeyemi Oke, said the proceedings that led to the lower tribunal’s judgment were conducted without jurisdiction. It said the lower tribunal erred when it ordered a fresh election last November 22. The panel said the lower tribunal lacked jurisdiction to conduct proceedings without an application for the extension of time after the stipulated 30 days expired. It said no order was made extending the tribunal’s proceedings beyond 30 days as stipulated in the Tribunal Law. The panel awarded N250,000 cost against the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) candidate, Mr. Adeyemi Moyegun, and nullified the lower tribunal’s ruling.

•Second Executive–Legislative retreat begins in Ikogosi From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

•Dr. Fayemi


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi spoke yesterday on the people’s expectations. They are interested in performance and not mere promises, he told senior government officials. He said gone were the days when government would earmark funds for projects without implementing them. Fayemi said people are tired of hearing what amount was earmarked for projects, adding that they want to see the projects and enjoy them. He said this informed his administration’s insistence on speedy and excellent delivery of projects and services. The governor spoke at the opening of the second Executive-Parliamentary Retreat at the Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort in Ikogosi-Ekiti. The programme is an annual event, where the government’s policies and strategies are evaluated. It is for House of Assembly members, the state’s representatives in the National Assembly and members of the state executive council.

The theme of the four-day retreat is: “Collaboration: looking back, looking forward”. Fayemi said the retreat was to evaluate his administration’s performance and the way forward. He said many of the projects implemented last year were products of the first parley, which was held in Iloko-Ijesa. Fayemi said his administration has delivered 70 per cent of its promises to the people in two-and-a-half years and would do more before its tenure ends. He said: “This parley is expected to give us a sense of where we are and where we are headed. We want to know the things we have done, where the gaps are, how to strengthen the bond between the executive and the legislature and achieve our objective of eradicating poverty and making life abundant. “This is the time to focus on our people. The time for poli-

tics will come, when we will tell them what we have done and allow them to judge us. Our people are only interested in eye-marking; enough of earmarking in Ekiti. What we used to hear in the past was that government had earmarked this and that for water, education and so on. Not anymore! It is only what can be eye-marked that will determine how our people judge us.” Former Governor Niyi Adebayo urged the people to support the governor’s efforts to rebuild Ekiti. Adebayo, who spoke on “Banana peels and Executive-Legislature relations in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic”, said his administration managed the state with a meagre monthly allocation of below N400 million. He said he executed many road, rural electrification and community projects and paid salary promptly. Adebayo said his administration built the Ekiti House in Abuja and Lagos, as well as the present Governor’s Office, which was originally designed

to be a five-star hotel. He said projects executed by his administration are still generating income for the state. Adebayo said the introduction of the biometric payroll system, the e-payment system and the signing of the Freedom of Information Bill into Law showed that the Fayemi administration had zero tolerance for corruption. He said people should not see the collaboration between the executive and legislative as sycophancy, but a proper agreement that would benefit the masses, adding that the legislature should not be seen as hardworking when it is at logger-heads with the executive. House of Assembly Speaker Adewale Omirin said the legislature is an intermediary institution between the executive and the electorate and is the hope of residents against “unpopular government policies”. Omirin said for government to continue to run smoothly, both arms of government must shun confrontation, needless friction and tension.

Violence is history in Oyo, says Ajimobi


YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday said violence and bitter politics have become history in the state. He warned that any individual or group bent on returning the state to the era of violence will be dealt with. Ajimobi spoke at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan, after he was conferred with the title of Aare Asoludero (harbinger of peace) by the State Council of Tradesmen and Artisans. He said one of his administration’s major

achievements was the restoration of peace, adding that any move to truncate this feat will be resisted. The governor said peace and security were crucial for development and good governance. He advised the people to always vote for credible and reputable candidates to keep charlatans out of political offices. Thanking the artisans for the honour, Ajimobi said it showed that traders were looking beyond the momentary pain of his urban renewal programme to its gains.

He urged the politicians that have criticised the programme to look beyond their selfish interests and put the people first. The governor’s wife, Florence, was also honoured with the title of Yeye Asoludero of Oyo State. She promised to buy the artisans a bus and help them complete the council’s secretariat. The President of the Council, Alhaji Talubi Eniola, hailed the Ajimobi administration on infrastructural development, security, education, health and poverty alleviation.

Brutalised lawyer: Police get seven N Oyo State High days to file process Court yesterday gave


the Inspector-General of Police (IGP); Oyo State Commissioner of Police; an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Mrs. Sola Olanrewaju and other respondents seven days to file their process in the N500 million suit filed against them by an Ibadan lawyer, Mr. Joshua Olaniyan. Olaniyan was allegedly brutalised by policemen and officers, led by Mrs. Olanrewaju, at the Kajorepo Police Division, Ibadan, on April 3. The other respondents are the Divisional Police Officer; Crime Officer; an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP),

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

Stephen Owolabi; an Inspector, Etim Ebighe and Egunnusi Dominic, a corporal. Justice Muktar Abimbola gave the directive after the Officer in Charge (O/C) of the Oyo Police Command’s Legal Department, Mr. Promise Akanwa, told the court that his office received the notice on Wednesday and pleaded for time to reply. The claimant, whose legal team was led by Chief Makanjuola Esan (SAN) and Mr. Richard Ogunwole (SAN), did not oppose the plea for adjournment, but said the notice

was served on the defendants on April 30. Justice Abimbola warned the defendants to reply within the stipulated time and adjourned the case till May 23. Members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ibadan branch, were in court to support Olaniyan. Olaniyan is demanding N500 million damages from the police. He is praying the court to declare that the police violated his rights by allegedly beating him up, damaging his clothes, detaining him and vandalising the car that took him to the station.

Ikuforiji hails Ekiti Deputy Governor


AGOS State House of Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji has congratulated Prof. Modupe Adelabu on her swearing-in as Ekiti State Deputy Governor. Ikuforiji prayed that God will grant her wisdom to excel in the office. In a statement by his media aide, Mr. Rotimi Adebayo, Ikuforiji described the choice of Mrs. Adelabu as “an excellent one”. He said: “Governor Kayode Fayemi’s choice of Mrs. Adelabu, an erudite Professor

By Oziegbe Okoeki

of Education from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, as deputy governor is brilliant and commendable. “Mrs. Adelabu has a rich resume. On behalf of my family, my fellow legislators, the management and staff of the Lagos State House of Assembly I congratulate Fayemi, Mrs. Adelabu and the people of Ekiti State on this joyous occasion. “While there is no doubt that Mrs. Adelabu will perform

•Prof. Adelabu

creditably in her new position, it is important for the people to support her with their prayers at all times.”





NEWS Jonathan: new national industrial plan coming

Oyerinde: Activists urge Jonathan to probe IGP, AGF A N Abuja civil society coalition, End Impunity Advocacy Group, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to probe the roles of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) Mohammed Adoke (SAN) in how the police handled the investigation into the killing of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, the Principal Private Secretary to the Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole. The probe led to the arrest and detention of a rights activist, Rev. David Ugolor. In a statement by its Coordinator, Mr. Bernard Onororakpene Oyabevwe, the group said the President needs to investigate the roles of the IGP and the AGF by setting up a committee that will tell Nigerians the truth of the matter. The group said it was not

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

Activist to IGP: prove your innocence in Oyerinde probe THE Executive Director, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Rev. David Ugolor, yesterday challenged InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar to prove that his hands are clean in the investigation of the murder of Olaitan Oyerinde, the Principal Secretary to Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole. Ogolor was arrested over the alleged murder of Oyerinde but has since been released. The activist urged Jonathan to order the probe of the case to ascertain how the Edo State Police Command, under Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) Peter Gana and Deputy Police Commissioner D. C. Ezekiel handled the murder investigation. From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

surprised that the police chief and the AGF did not honour


From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

Gana was the leader of investigation team. Ogolor said: “The earlier the President intervenes in this issue, the better for this country.” Addressing reporters yesterday in Abuja, the activist noted that if there is no justice in a case like this, the perpetrators will continue to kill with impunity. He alleged that the officers, who investigated the case, took his photograph to the suspects in the cell, tortured and shot them in the legs and compelling them to testify that he (Ugolor) was the mastermind of the murder.

the N5million cost an Appeal Court ordered them to pay Ogolor. According to the group, there have always been

inconsistencies in the police investigative report on the killing of Oyerinde. End Impunity wondered why the police arrested and

•The late Oyerinde

detained Ugolor over the killing without proving their case against him. “The Appeal Court ruling against the IGP did not come to us as surprise, given the inconsistencies in the police investigative report on the killing of the governor’s Principal Private Secretary.”

Oil marketer loses bid to stop trial By Adebisi Onanuga


N oil marketer, Emmanuel Morah, with his company, yesterday lost an attempt to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from trying him over alleged N789.6million subsidy fraud. A Lagos High Court, Ikeja, presided over by Justice Lateefat Okunnu dismissed Morah’s application seeking to quash the alleged N789.6 million fuel subsidy fraud charge preferred against him and others by the EFCC. The judge said the oil marketer has a case to answer. Morah and his company, Rocky Energy Limited, had filed the application, dated March 13, through their counsel, Mr Eubena Ahmedu. They are facing an eightcount charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences, forgery and uttering. Charged with Morah are: Adamu Maula, George Ogbonna and Downstream Energy Resources Limited. Justice Okunnu dismissed the oil marketer’s application for lack of merit, adding that the charge against the defendants was competent and properly filed. The judge also held that their claim that no prima facie case had been established against them in the prosecution’s evidence was not sufficient to quash the charges. Justice Okunnu held that the EFCC was right to charge them to court under the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003, which was in force when they allegedly committed the offences. “Section 260(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice, Law of Lagos State 2011, provides that an objection to the sufficiency of the proof of evidence shall not be raised before the closure of the prosecution’s case,” she said. The judge agreed with the submission of the prosecution that the Federal Government was a juristic person and can, therefore, sue or be sued by others. “I can find no merit in this present application. The prayers therein are accordingly refused and the application stands dismissed,” the judge said. Justice Okunnu adjourned the matter till May 10 for trial.

RESIDENT GoodlucK Jonathan has said his administration will soon unveil a new National Industrial Revolution Plan. The plan, he said, is being fine-tuned to further encourage investors and local production. The President according to his media aide, Dr. Reuben Abati, announced the new initiative when he addressed a delegation of Nissan South Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, on Wednesday. It was during his state visit to South Africa. “Nigeria is working on a new Industrial Revolution Plan that will further promote investments in every sector of the Nigerian economy and strengthen areas in which the country has comparative advantage,” Jonathan said. The President explained that the aim of the plan is “to create a win-win situation for investors and Nigerian people”. The Managing director of Nissan South Africa and leader of the delegation Mr. Mike Whitfield said the Nissan Group is interested in investing in the automobile sector in Nigeria, in collaboration with its business partners.

NAFDAC apprehends suspected counterfeiter By Wale Adepoju •From left: Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Public Health, Dr Yewande Adeshina; Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola; Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris and former Health Minister, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, at the start of this year’s Lagos State Council on Health Programme in Lagos... yesterday


2015 : I can’t be neutralised, says Aliyu

IGER State Governor Babangida Aliyu was in his usual element yesterday. He promised to remain outspoken no matter what the powers-that-be do, to silence him. “As for me, no one can neutralise me by the grace of God who created me,” the Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF), said yesterday. He was apparently referring to moves by some top political office holders to gag their perceived political enemies as the 2015 general elections draw near. Addressing some youths yesterday in Minna, the state capital, Aliyu said nobody can stop or frustrate him for as long as he is doing the right thing. The NSGF has been unsparing in his comments on national issues, some of which brought him on collision course with

the Presidency and his ruling party, said no amount of moves could neutralise him. “People will abuse you, people will call you names no matter what you do; and even if they don’t know how to get at you, they will wait when there is a competition (election) to get you down if they can’t get you to their side Aliyu cautioned his colleagues (state governors) and other political office holders to keep their books and records right to avoid the use of such documents against them by their political opponents. His counsel: “Try to do the right thing, keep your records right so that when they come, you can show them the books then no one will be able to hold you.”

Insecurity: Mark seeks global community’s understanding From Onyedi Ojiabor (Assistant Editor), From Bukola Amusan, Abuja and Sanni Onogu, Abuja



ENATE President David Mark yesterday pleaded with the international community to show understanding about the peculiarity of the Nigerian security challenges. He urged the international community to help the country tackle the problem instead of wishing the country away. Mark spoke in Abuja when the Australian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jonathan Richardson, visited him in his office.

The Senate President noted that despite the challenges, Nigerians have resolved to stay together as a united nation. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, the Senate President said: “We admit that we have challenges, especially insecurity. We are making serious efforts to solve them. They are not insurmountable. All we need is the cooperation and understanding of the international community, instead of otherwise. “The National Assembly will do anything, through legislation, to bring the matter under control as quickly as pos-

•’2015 polls threatened’ sible. As you are aware, the government has set up Amnesty Committee, which is working out a blueprint on how to end the crisis.” The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) yesterday warned that insecurity may threaten the 2015 general elections, if drastic measures are not urgently taken. Addressing reporters in Abuja on the state of the nation, the group noted that there is a political dimension to the insecurity threatening the country. It said this has negative effects on the nation’s peace. TMG Chairman, Comrade Ibrahim Zikirullahi, urged the Federal Government to come

up with a holistic strategy that will help to combat insecurity across the land. He said: “If 2015 will become a reality in the Nigeria’s electoral circle, there must be methodological strategies that will bring about lasting solutions to the plethora of insecurity, as witnessed in recent times.” Zikirullahi noted that as Nigeria prepares for the 2015 polls, there is need for an electoral reform, which should be based on the Justice Muhammadu Uwais panel’s recommendations. According to him, the recommendations are now apt for genuine electoral development of Nigeria.

HE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has apprehended Mr Olisaemeka Osefoh for allegedly importing fake products estimated at N106 million from China. NAFDAC’s Director-General Dr Paul Orhii said the suspect has confessed to doing business with a cartel in China. Orhii, who addressed reporters yesterday in Lagos, explained that the suspect was arrested following a tip-off. The NAFDAC chief said the counterfeiter stored the products in a warehouse located at Progressive Traders Market, át the Trade Fair Complex, Lagos/Badagry Expressway. He said when the products were illegally cleared through the Tincan Island Port, Lagos. According to him, the products, which were in a large container, include body creams, neurological ointment, condoms and Iman luxury powder, among others. He said the agency is collaborating with the Chinese Embassy to track down the company who connived with the suspected faker to bring the fake products into the country. Orhii said counterfeiters now operate from markets that deal in other commodities to prevent being identified by the law enforcement agents. He said: “The landlords of warehouses stocked with counterfeit drugs and other sub-standards regulated products would from now be arrested and prosecuted as accomplices.”






NEITI gets 2009-2011 audit report From John Ofikhenua, Abuja


HE Nigerian Extrac tive Industries Trans parency Initiative (NEITI) Board has received the report of outstanding physical and process components of 2009-2011oil and gas audit from Sada Idris &Co. In a statement, NEITI Director, Communication, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, stated that NEITI expanded the scope of the audit in line with the economic reality in the sector. He said the organisation is ready to publish the report as soon as the Board reviews and approves it. According to Orji, NEITI has started the process of getting a World Bank financial assistance for setting up an automated audit system. He said the report submitted by the firm would contain detailed work on the scope of the project, such as collation, validation and analyses of data on petroleum profit tax, royalty, cash calls, and equity crude. He said other important areas in the report include terminal balances and upstream crude oil mass balance,product importation and distribution processes mass balance. According to him, the firm has completed technical assessment and measurement processes as well as examined the processes of Federation equity crude pricing and gas utilisation, among others. Continuing, he said: “In addition, examination of systems and procedures in key covered entities, such as the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation has also been successfully completed and analysed in the report expected today.

At the moment there is an average of about 18 hours per day of constant power supply to different parts of the country. This feat was brought about by the implementation of the integrated power sector reform programme anchored on the power roadmap. - Minister of Information, Labaran Maku

Canada targets $6b trade with Nigeria

Supplementary Budget debate suffers setback in Senate • Reps may shun amendment debate T T

From Yomi Odunuga,

Deputy Editor, Nation’s Capital

HE Senate yesterday de ferred the consideration of the 2013 Supplementary Appropriation Bill indefinitely. Though consideration of the bill was listed in the Order paper, Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, told his colleagues that the lead debate of the bill was not ready. Ndoma-Egba moved that the bill be stood down for another legislative day. He was unanimously supported by his colleagues. President Goodluck Jonathan submitted a bill for an Act to amend the 2013 Appropriation Act to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation a total of N4,987,382,196,690 in March for the consideration and approval of the National Assembly. The amendment sought by Jonathan, observers said, might re-enact a fresh round of bickering between the National Assembly and the Presidency. The President reluctantly signed the 2013 budget in February and shortly after in March, forwarded a memoran-

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Asst. Editor; Sanni Onogu, Abuja; Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

dum to the National Assembly seeking an amendment of the Appropriation Act. Jonathan accused the lawmakers of over reaching their powers by including clauses that might be injurious to the spirit of separation of powers in the budget. He insisted that the affected clauses could hamper the work of the Executive if not expunged. Apart from seeking an amendment of the 2013 Budget, Jonathan also asked the lawmakers to amend the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) budget as passed. His listed three clauses, which, according to him, impinged on the separation of powers and could hamper the work of the Executive. He demanded a cut on the provisions made for personnel

cost across the service and change of some provisions voted for capital projects. Though Jonathan explained that the proposed amendment was the outcome of various consultative meetings with the leadership and committees of the National Assembly following the passage of the budget, the submission of an amendment bill did not go down well with some Senators Jonathan said it became neccesary that certain provisions, including cuts to personnel cost across the service and provisions for some capital projects be changed through an amended budget. The insertions, Jonathan said, included Clause 6(ii) which states: “The Accountant-General of the Federation shall forward to the National Assembly full details of funds released to the government agencies immediately, such funds are released;” while Clause 9 states: “All Accounting Officers of Ministries, Parastatals and Department of Government

who control heads of expenditures shall upon the coming into effect of this Act, furnish the National Assembly on quarterly basis with detailed information on the Internally Generated Revenue of the agency in any form whatsoever. Both clauses run counter to established chain of reporting, Jonathan said. Also there are indications that the House of Representatives may return the 2013 amendment budget sent to it by the President. Though the House has said that it will take a decision on if or not to consider the 2013 amendment budget sent to it by President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday next week, there is the possibility the budget may not be touched at all. Speaking with reporters during a briefing at the National Assembly yesterday, the spokesman of the House, Zakari Mohammed, gave this subtle indication when he said members were on oversight, and some, especially the ANPP and CPC members are preparing for their conventions.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa-$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N10.6 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -9% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $48b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

• Chairman, Nestle Food Plc, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye reading his address during the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Muson Centre, Lagos ... yesterday. With him are Managing Director, Martin Woolnough (left) and Company Secretary, Mr Bode Ayeku. PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA

HE Canadian Govern ment has projected a 100 per cent increase in its trade volume with Nigeria from $3 billion to $6 billion by 2015. The government also said there would be a tremendous inflow of business into the country in all sectors of the economy as a direct impact of the successful meetings between Vice President Namadi Sambo and the Canadian business community during his recent visit to Canada. According to the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Chris Cooter, who dislosed these at a briefing in Abuja yesterday, Sambo’s visit has sparked a wide range of bilateral business interests between both countries, which will, ultimately, lead to an increase in the volume of trade. He expressed satisfaction with the handling of the power contract with Manitoba of Canada, stating that other firms would be willing to invest in the power sector if the cost is reduced. He said: “Presently, the volume of trade is about $3 billion and this is mostly in oil. What is important is that we are diversifying that trade and we have also a government goal to double it to about $6billion in 2015. “It is not just that, but it has to be quality trading with local content; good business in every sense and in areas that would be of mutual values for both countries. On Manitoba, he said the Canadian government has “the full support of the Nigerian government for the contract,”noting that that though the contract is moving on as it should even if it is a “complex project.” “What is important is that there are a lot of Canadian firms offering different solution to tackle the power problem in Nigeria. It is a complex process in the sense that it will take time before Nigeria can really have adequate power. If you are to reduce the cost, then some other firms can come here,” he said.

Oil price fall may kill Excess Crude Account, says IMF


HE International Mon etary Fund (IMF) has warned that Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) could be wiped out in one year if the price of crude oil falls to $80 or $85. Its Senior Resident Representative in Nigeria, Mr. W. Scott Rogers, spoke at a briefing where he presented the Staff Report on the 2012 Article IV Consultation. According to Scott Rogers, “a decline in international oil prices to US$97 per barrel (yearly average) would begin to erode ECA balances, while a fall to US$80-85 would wipe

• ‘External reserves to hit $80b From Nduka Chiejina (Asst. Editor)

out ECA balances within a year.” Declining world oil prices, he said, meant lower oil revenue and even with expenditure restraint on the part of the government, adding: “fiscal deficits are projected to reemerge.” He emphasised that lower world oil price could reduce current account surpluses and a combination of stagnant oil

exports and continued growth in imports could mean smaller current account surpluses. World oil prices, he said, “are projected to decline, but to remain high by historical standards.” However, he painted a bright future for the country, saying that Nigeria’s external reserve will swell to $80 billion in four years. “International reserves will continue to rise, buoyed by relatively high interest rates, at least in short-term,” he said.

Rogers praised the government for rebuilding the country’s external reserves. “International reserves have been rebuilt and now stand at just over US$50 billion,” he said. While also praising the government for rebuilding the country’s fiscal buffers, these buffers, he lamented, “are still well below levels at the time of the 2008 crisis. But with capital inflows and outflows broadly in balance, the current account surpluses would permit a rebuilding of international reserves.” On Nigeria’s developments and outlook, the IMF chief

predicted:“Strong growth will continue in non-oil sectors.” Tighter fiscal and monetary policies, he added, are easing inflationary pressures and that they have also helped to rebuild the ECA, but “balances are well below earlier levels.” Rogers called for a readjustment of “government’s medium-term expenditure framework for substantial fiscal adjustment,” adding: “but its success depends on the use of the ECA/Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) and ability to contain recurrent expenditures.”




Jonathan okays N10b for environment programme


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has approved about N10 billion to implement the Great Green Wall (GGW) Programme. The World Bank and the Federal Government are also supporting the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) with $400 million. The Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Mailafia, made this known at the Ninth National Council on Environment yesterday in Makurdi. Mailafia said: “Mr President has graciously approved the sum of N10 billion for the implementation of the GGW programme over a period of 36 months.

• As World Bank supports NEWMAP project with $400m From Olugbenga Adanikin and Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

“Similarly, the sum of over $400 million have also been set aside for the NEWMAP programme.” The GGW involves the planting of trees covering 1,500 km long and 15 km wide from Dandi Arewa Local Area of Kebbi State to Marte Local Area in Borno State. According to her, the amount will be used to address desert encroachment in the 11 frontline states of the north. Speaking on soil erosion, the Minister said the Federal

Government has started work on flood control infrastructure across the country. She said apart from the NEWMAP, the measure adopted by the Federal Government was to deflood to protect lives and properties. She urged Ministries, De-

partments and Agencies (MDAs) to take cognizance of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act No. 86 when contracts are awarded, adding that automated Flood Early Warning Systems have been installed in flood prone areas.

The move, according to her, is aimed at reducing the impact of flooding in the selected areas. The Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, listed global population growth and industrialisation as causes of environmental problems among nations. He said while desertification ravages the north, flooding and

erosion threaten the survival of the southern population. Suswam, who was represented by his deputy, Steven Lawani, however suggested collective efforts to address the challenges. Wife of the Governor, Dooshima Suswam, urged women to plant trees., ading that this would encourage afforestration.

Lagos IGR hits N20b monthly


HE Lagos State Com missioner for Eco nomic Planning and Budget, Mr Ben Akabueze, yesterday said the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) averages a total of N20billion monthly. He spoke at a ministerial briefing ahead of the Sixth Anniversary of the Governor Babatunde Fashola Administration in the state. He said: “IGR trickles in everyday across different agencies of the state. One month it could be up, the next month it could be down pending on seasonal considerations and all of that. At the end, we will have an aggregate for the year and you could

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

average it out, but as at today, it is about N20billion monthly.” He said the state has a projected IGR of N316.578billion out of its N499.605billion 2013 fiscal budget, saying it is more than the total budget of each of the states in the country, excluding Delta, Rivers and Akwa Ibom. To reach the target, the state is adopting measures, including the expansion of the tax net to cover more taxable persons living and doing business in Lagos, he said. Akabueze also said the state government is not introducing any new tax, but

would leverage on existing ones approved by the law of the federation, to realise the objectives of this year’s budget. According to him, major areas the budget has been addressing since the commencement of its implementation, include security, food sufficiency, law and order; building of critical transportation infrastructure, including the blue/red light rail, continuation of the expansion of the LagosBadagry Expressway, ferry services, health and environment. On the state’s debt profile, Akabueze said the income accruing to state’s coffers

yearly outstrips its debts, and that some of its loans are long-term, which would be due for full repayment in 35 years. He also revealed plans by the state government to establish some critical agencies/commissions as part of measures to further strengthen its economy. These, according to Akabueze, include parks and garden agency, state water regulatory commission, state law enforcement training institute, audit service commission, law reform commission, office of disability affairs and the office of facility management, among others.

‘Mining is underdeveloped’


HE mining sector is not fully developed, the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Raw Material Research and D e v e l o p m e n t Council(RMRDC), Prof. Azikiwe Peter Onwualu, has

From Frank Ikpefan, Abuja

said. Onwualu, who spoke in Abuja during the inauguration of the African Association of Women in Geosciences in Nigeria, said a lot of work

needs to be done in developing the mine, adding that the sector is underdeveloped because of illegal mining. “A larger percentage of mining going on today is by artisans. And artisan mining is done by people who don’t

understand how to mine. They are not trained, they need skills and machinery. We need a lot of investment in this sector so that minerals can be mined scientifically using machines, technology,” he added.




‘Nigeria spends $500m on fish importation yearly’


IGERIA spends about $500 million annually on fish importation, the Federal Director of Agriculture in Abia State, Ebere Oziri, has said. This amount, he said, should have been channelled into other areas of the economy, such as the fish industry. Speaking in Umuahia, the state capital, during the inauguration of the leadership of Catfish Framers Association of Nigeria (CAFAN), Oziri said there was need to boost fish production. He said the government was ready to support local fish production, but that the operators need to belong to registered associations to attract help from the government. Oziri said when farmers come together, the cost of feeds will be reduced as the gov-

Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia

ernment will be ready and willing to sell at a subsidised rate, pointing out that the Federal Government is desirous to reduce the importation of fish. He called on fish farmers to register with the association, stressing that only registered ones will benefit from the subsidized fish feeds. “We are determined to make fish available for all which do not have any health hazard.” In his speech, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof Ike Onyeweaku, said the state government has keyed into the agricultural transformation agenda of the Federal Government, by actively participating in both livestock and produce farming. Onyeweaku said the state would provide

the aquaculture action plan baseline data for farmers, train them along the value chains in aquaculture and also provide them with fish seeds and other needed inputs. The commissioner said the state government is willing to provide land and infrastructure for the establishment of fish market/processing centres in all the 17 local government areas of the state as an avenue for them to evacuate their products. Onyeweaku regretted that the country spends billions of naira yearly on the importation of fish and fish products, adding that local fish production will not only preserve the country’s foreign earnings, “but also provide employment for jobless Nigerians and raise the protein content of local food.”

The Abia State Chairman of CAFAN, Prince George Akomas, said the inauguration of the state chapter of the association will be a bridge that will convey government intentions to the people. Akomas said fish farmers in the state were poised to make fish importation a thing of the past, adding that given the right environment, fish farmers have the potential to do well and help to provide protein at a cheaper rate for Nigerians. Performing the inauguration, the National President of CAFAN, TayoAkingbolagun, said by the inauguration of the association the Abia farmers stand the chance of benefiting like their counterparts in other parts of the country.

Lagos raises agric vote from N50m to N2b


HE Lagos State government has increased its budget for agriculture from N50 million to N2 billion to ravamp the sector, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, has said. Lawal,who spoke through the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, Dr Nuruni Funsho, at the launch of the Lagos Business School(LBS) Agribusiness Management Programme(AgMP), said the hike showed government’s commitment to promoting production in the nontraditional sectors. Lawal said the government voted the amount for agriculture in order to achieve food security . He said there was also enhanced funding for ongoing programmes, such as the World Bank assisted Commercial Agriculture Development Project and the National Fadama 111 development project. The state, he said, focused on food security with agriculture, poultry and fisheries as the core areas. Lawal said there are also plans to cultivate more rice, and expand aquaculture. On the fisheries, he said there were plans to develop large-scale, commercial fish farms and enhance the quality of meat for the domestic market. A senior faculty member at LBS, Prof Chantal Epie, advocated strengthening the capacities of managers of agric businesses to enhance wealth creation potential of the sector. The programme,she said, sought to provide high quality business, management and leadership education to stakeholders. The keynote speaker, Mr Kola Masha, said unemployment would not be eradicated without according priority to agriculture. Masha, Managing Director of Doreo Partners, said with a growing population Lagos should increase volumes of agricultural commodites. Masha said supporting capacities in agri business would lead to improvements in crop yields, adding that significant additional farmland would be needed The Head, AgricFinance, FirstBank, Mr Ndubuishi Ihedigbo, urged entrepreneurs to commit more human and financial resources to food security challenges. He said investment plans, supported by adequate financing would enhance the participation of small farmers in food production. Ihedigbo challenged agro entrepreneurs to ensure the operational effectiveness – and consequently the viability –of agroindustrial micro-enterprises. Director, AfricaRegion, Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (C:AVA), Dr Kola Adebayo said, the sector requires efforts of the government and the private sector to provide




He said credit guarantee schemes and other forms of subsidised financing play a major role in agric financing and compensate for the low level of personal funding sources available to agric business operators. Osa-Afiana said banks still considered the lack of adequate information the most important deterrent to their involvement in agri businesses. Former President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria(ICAN,Mr Emmanuel Ijewere, urged the financial in-

dustry to invest in the agric sector. Ijewere,who is also the Chairman, Agric and Food Security Commission, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, said many farmers were still feeling the economic woes of past years. Finance, he said, was the major constraint of farmers,adding that many farmers were turned down by their banks for loans they needed to keep their farms running. According to him, banks are still giving loans to farmers on high interest rates.

•From left: Adebayo, Ihedigbo and Osa-Afiana By Daniel Essiet

Nigerians with high-value agricultural products . The government, he said, must understand the constraints that traders, agro-businesses and processing firms face and, see how policies can be adjusted to create an enabling environment for growth. A faculty member at LBS, Dr Larry OsaAfiana, said a crucial element in the development of the sector was access to finance, particularly bank loans.

Research institutes urged to be innovative for farmers


XECUTIVE Directors of the Agricultural Research Institutes and Provosts of Colleges of Agriculture in the country have been urged to embrace a more comprehensive research management approach for attaining the organisational change to enhance client-orientation. The National Project Coordinator, West African Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP), Prof. Damian Okey

Chikwendu, made the call at a workshop on Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D), at the Kakanfo-Inn Conference Centre in Ibadan, Oyo State. He urged the participants to develop their IAR4D implementation strategies to enable them to meet up with global paradigm shift in agricultural research for development. Chikwendu described the Integrated Agricultural Research for Development as participatory and capable of promoting natural

research management and market relationship. These, he said, are in conformity with the global paradigm shift in Agricultural Research for Development. He thus charged them and other key stakeholders at the workshop to take a more holistic approach to enable them to address the interactions between natural resources management, production systems, agricultural markets and policies. Such approach, he said, should also enable them to conduct

research for development that squarely addresses the complexity and heterogeneity of farming systems. It should also ensure institutional changes that can forge new partnership as well as involve stakeholders in addressing the problem of food production, agro-industrial raw materials and the maintenance of the resource base of agriculture for the future generation, he added.




‘Let’s not take our unity for granted’ Text of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s speech at the public presentation of Lest I Forget: Memoirs of a Nigerian Career Diplomat, by Ambassador Oladapo Fafowora, at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos, yesterday. Protocols. IRST, I cannot tell you how delighted I am to be here, at this august gathering, in the midst of the leading and guiding lights of our nation, in honour of a most distinguished diplomat, Ambassador Oladapo Fafowora, who is enriching our public discourse with the release of his memoirs. He calls his book, Lest I Forget: Memoirs of a Nigerian Career Diplomat. But I call it a rare enrichment of our essence as Nigerians, with our collective institutional memory, courtesy of a career ambassador that worked very hard to the glory of his country, but that left the service not in the best of circumstances. Despite that however, the ambassador has not ceased being Nigerian – as we all are, and a patriotic one at that, despite the challenges we face as a nation. He has not also ceased working hard to make our country better, as all patriots would do. But more on the author presently. Right now, I would like to salute the fathers of our nation, present or represented here. On that platform proudly stands HE. Gen. Yakubu Gowon, GCFR, former Head of State and Commander-in-Chief; who most appropriately is chairman of this very important event. Make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen: the Nigerian Civil War was unfortunate; and everyone was a victim of that war. For that we should accept the mutual sympathy and apologies of one another. But if there is one personality that history would record to


have tried all efforts to keep Nigeria, our dear country as one, that person would be Gen. Gowon here. I still remember that famous acronym, in the heat of that unfortunate war: Go On With One Nigeria (GOWON). Your Excellency, thank you for guaranteeing that after all the destructive passion of the war years, we all are still gathered here – and proudly so – as Nigerians! Even as a young man in power, Your Excellency, I remember you being quoted that the future belonged to the youth: that you did not fear the people who were older than you – you already knew what they were capable of; that your mates and contemporaries you could take care of: since you knew one another well. But the younger ones? Those were the ones to fear and nurture; for you never would know what they would grow up to become! The toddlers of those times, Your Excellency, have come of age: and rightly so, they dominate the high table as Special Guests. Your Excellency, the chairman, let me crave your indulgence to salute our Special Guests, HE Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Governor of Lagos, our Lagos, the Centre of Excellence, HE. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the man who did his stint as distinguished Works and Infrastructure honourable commissioner in Lagos before proceeding to Osun to continue the gospel of development; and HE Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, a philosopher king as governor as any could possibly be, also contributing his sterling quota to a state in a hurry to develop. Your Excellencies, you are welcome to this august and dis-

tinguished occasion! Let me now turn to another Nigerian patriot and proud son of Africa, HE, Chief Emeka C. Anyaoku, former Commonwealth Secretary General; and first African to hold that post, as well as a former Foreign minister. Thank you, Your Excellency, for the sterling role model you have been to the rest of us, the younger ones. It is also on this note of gratitude for distinguished service to our country that I also welcome the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gbenga Ashiru. If Nigeria still has any respect among the comity of nations – and there is no doubt that she does – it is due to the foundations laid down by our heroes past. It is on that foundation that our honourable minister builds with utmost confidence. He is raising that legacy to yet a higher level. Honourable Minister, I greet you sir. I also great our esteemed Royal Fathers, HRH Oba Rilwan Akiolu , Olowo Eko, Oba of Lagos, who is our royal host. Kabiyesi, may your reign be long, sweet and peaceful! Royal salutations also to HRH, Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba (Dr) Adekunle Aromolaran, a scholarly royal if there was any, whose distinguished kingdom of Ijesaland donated to our dear country the rare pearl that we celebrate today in Ambassador Fafowora. Kabiyesi, “Idobale ni mo wa o!” (I lay prostrate to the king!) To everyone present here, please accept my felicitation and congratulations. I think we are all lucky to be at the special event, at a venue I would call the high shrine of Nigerian foreign policy outside the Min-

•Asiwaju Tinubu

istry of Foreign Affairs itself and a place of history given the number of distinguished Nigerians that have passed through the famous NIIA portals. Now, as I said earlier, His Excellency, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, is one of the heroes of our country’s unity. Because he is here. together with others who believe in this nation and its ability to surmount its problems and take its rightful place in the comity of nations, there is no better platform to issue the warning that I am about to issue: Let us NOT take the unity of our country, Nigeria, for granted! By not taking it for granted, we will avoid taking measures or making comments that can threaten the country’s unity. Unfortunately, that has not been the case in recent times. Self-acclaimed friends as well as aides of the President have been making comments that are capable of putting the unity of our country in jeopardy. One says if President Goodluck Jonathan is not re-elected in 2015, the tenuous peace now being enjoyed in the Niger Delta will not be guaranteed. Another builds on that, saying - with all the crudity in his being - that not only will there be no peace in the Niger Delta, there will be no peace everywhere across the country.

Let us remember that these two are not the only ones making threatening comments ahead of the 2015 elections. Earlier, a gregarious presidential aide boasted that he would no longer bear his name if by 2014 the new political platform called the All Progressives Congress (APC) has not vanished into thin air! These are pretty strong words. And without mincing words, these statements must be seen for what they are: insensitive, inciting and incendiary. One must not forget to say such threats are utterly irresponsible and unjustifiable! Let us remember what Jodi Picout said: ‘’Words are like eggs dropped from great heights; You can no more call them back than ignore the mess they leave when they fall.’’ It is also important for us not to keep quiet when the dead-enders unleash these kinds of words on us. We must not allow the ethnic militias to ruin our democracy or untie our unity. It is said that evil triumphs when good men do nothing. It is therefore incumbent on all our acknowledged good men to speak out against these ethnic jingoists, or those that the Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka will call lickspittle. To the best of my knowledge, President Goodluck Jonathan was elected by Nigerians of different ethnic groups. And no one single ethnic group, whether minority or majority, can single-handedly elect a President. No ethnic warlord or grovelling aide can singlehandedly elect a President. The framers of our constitution apparently had this in mind,when they said that for a candidate to be elected President, he must win not less than one-third of the votes cast at an election in each of at least two-thirds of all states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory. Your excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen. There is strength in our unity. Let us guard it jealously. Let us work hard to keep our country united. Above all, let us NOT take our unity for granted. I thank you for listening!

Senate makes State of Nation Address mandatory


ENCEFORTH, it is mandatory for President Goodluck Jonathan to address Nigerians annually, following the passage of a Bill entitled: “A Bill for an Act to make provision for the state of the nation address by the President and other matters connected therein 2013.” The Bill also applies to any sitting President after Jonathan. The Bill was fashioned after what obtains in the United States (U.S.) where the sitting President presents a State of the Union Address to the Congress, annually. The State of the Nation Address Bill suffered a setback in the Sixth National Assembly when President Jonathan refused to assent to it. But the lawmakers have vowed to override the President if he fails to assent to the Bill this time around. The Senate adopted the conference report and finally passed the controversial Bill. Senate President David Mark urged Jonathan to assent to the Bill so that its opera-

From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

tion can begin this year. Mark said: “2013 is the first State of the Nation Address by Mr. President and I hope that he will assent to it as quickly as possible.” The final passage of the Bill followed the presentation of the report of the conference committee by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter- Governmental Affairs, Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta. Kuta noted that the Bill was introduced in the Senate in 2008 and in the House of Representatives in 2009. He said: “The Bill seeks to make the President accountable to the Nigerian people as represented by the National Assembly and to render account of his stewardship to the Nation and to allow for input from members of the National Assembly towards the good governance of the federation.” He lamented that although the Bill was passed but was not assented to by the President and “therefore was reintroduced by the 7th Na-

•Mark seeks Jonathan’s assent tional Assembly.” Kuta said: “It was however considered and passed by the House on 20th December 2011 and transmitted to the Senate for concurrence. “It was considered and passed in the Senate on 13th March, 2013.” Some of the provisions of the Bill include: “Without prejudice to the presentation of annual budget by the President, the President shall present annually State of the Nation Address to a joint sitting of the National Assembly. “The State of the Nation Address shall be delivered to a joint sitting of the National Assembly on the first legislative day of July every year. “The President shall address the joint sitting aforesaid on such issues including but not limited to national security, the economy, foreign policy and social justice. “The two chambers of the National Assembly shall each debate the issues raised within 14 legislative days following the presentation of the

State of the Nation Address.” On powers of the National Assembly to summon the President, the Bill provides that “where the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria fails, neglects, or refuses to render account of his stewardship within the time stipulated by Section 1 of this Bill, the National Assembly may by resolution, supported by 2/3 majority votes of members of each House of the National Assembly, summon the President to address the Nation pursuant to the provisions of this Bill.” It added that the “President’s address shall be debated by the National Assembly and the resolution of the National Assembly shall be communicated to the President within sixty (60) days from the date of such address.” The Bill specifically stated that: “The President shall not delegate his responsibilities under this Act to anybody whatsoever except in a situation as provided for in Section 146 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.”

Section 146 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution states that: “The Vice-President shall hold the office of President if the office of the President becomes vacant by reason of death or resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or the removal of the President from office for any other reason in accordance with Section 143 or 144 of this constitution. “Where any vacancy occurs in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) of this section during a period when the office of the VicePresident is also vacant, the President of the Senate shall hold the office of President for a period of not more than three months, during which there shall be an election of a new President, who shall hold office for the unexpired term of office of the last holder of the office.” The Bill further provided that the National Assembly shall have powers to regulate its procedure with respect to the provisions of the Bill, “including the procedure for summoning of the President to address the nation.”

Dispute over Nigercem: Ibeto urges court to restrain Ebonyi From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja


HE dispute between Ebonyi State Government and Ibeto Cement Company Limited over the control of a foremost indigenous cement manufacturing company - Nigerian Cement Company Plc (Nigercem) - has been taken to the Federal High Court, Abuja. In a suit instituted in the name of Nigercem, the court is asked to restrain the state government from obstructing moves by Ibeto to take over the Nigercem located in Nkalagu, Ebonyi State. The company, earlier owned by the five Southeastern states, went moribund in 2001. In 2002, the owner states of Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo sold 60 per cent of their stake in the company to the Eastern Bulkcem Company Limited. Eastern Bulkcem was said to have later sold its 60 per cent majority shares holding to Ibeto, who had made efforts to assume control, but had been allegedly prevented by the company’s host state of Ebonyi. The state is said to have also threatened to cancel the mining licence granted the company. Named with Ebonyi as defendants in the suit, now before Justice A. Abdul-Kafarati, are the Attorney-General of the Federation and Inspector-General of Police. In a supporting affidavit, the plaintiff argued that rather than allow it (the plaintiff) to proceed with the company’s operation, the Ebonyi State, “in a most twisted misapprehension of the operations of the company registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2004 with its 10 per cent share holding, felt that it could take over Nigercem’operations.” The plaintiff, in its originating summons, is among others, praying the court to determine whether it will not amount to a violation of its constitutional right for the defendants to unlawfully interfere with the mining leases duly granted it by the appropriate authority. It also seeks a declaration that the defendants or any of them cannot lawfully or validly interfere with its property right over the mining lease duly granted it by the virtue of Section 1(1) (2)(3) of the Minerals and Mining Act 2007 other than upon a breach by the plaintiff of the rules and regulations embodied in the Act. The plaintiff also wants the court to declare “that by virtue of Section 46(3) of the Mining and Minerals Act 2007, the right created in favour of the plaintiff by virtue of the aforesaid mining lease are not subject to any other regulations and conditions by the defendants. “That the right to revoke the aforesaid mining lease are the exclusive preserve of the appropriate officer, being the Minister responsible for regulating matters relating to mineral resources, acting within the purview of Section 151 of the Mining and Mineral Act, 2007. Justice Abdul-Kafarati however adjourned to May 17 for hearing of the originating summons and the preliminary objection. He ordered the defendants to file their counter affidavits before the next adjourned date.







Okorocha marks second anniversary

Shell to clean up spill sites




FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013


HE Federal Government has started training Southeast women on aquaculture in Enugu State. The training is aimed at reducing unemployment among women in the region. The two-day training exercise, a Millennium Development Goals-assisted programme, was organised by the Gender and Youth Division of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD). Women from the five states of the Southeast and beyond attended the programme.


Page 17


Women learn to fish in Enugu From Chris Orji, Enugu

In his welcome address , Enugu State Director of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), Mr. Charles Ugwuonah, said that the ministry was committed to repositioning the country’s agriculture with a view to putting it on the path of sustainable socio-economic growth, wealth creation and human empowerment. Ugwuonah said: “As part of

The ministry’s intention is to encourage local production, value addition, processing and packaging to facilitate trade development and showcase Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) potential for wealth creation in agricultural enterprises this initiative, the Gender and Youth Division of the ministry organised this fourth series of

training women on agricultural enterprise such as aquaculture in order to reduce the unemploy-

ment rate in the country. “The ministry’s intention is to, among others things, encourage local production, value addition, processing and packaging to facilitate trade development and showcase Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) potential for wealth creation in agricultural enterprises.” •Continued on Page 14


ELP has come for the abandoned and stigmatised children of Goodnews Community International (Gospel Village), an orphanage in Abak, Akwa Ibom State. Construction giant, Julius Berger Plc, donated N1million to the facility. The money will come in handy, as hard-working managers of the home will use it to enhance the well-being of their young charges who number over 2,500. Some of the inmates are only a few months old. Presenting the cheque to the home, the construction firm’s Public Affairs Coordinator, Clement Iloba, said the gesture was part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives aimed at touching the lives of underprivileged members of the society. Iloba further explained that the Annual Charity Golf Tournament is one way the company involves its employees and communities in creating social progress. According to Iloba, the funds raised from last year’s 12th Annual Tournament were donated to two organisations working to help less privileged persons. He stated that a donation of N1million was made to the Nyanya IT Training Centre in Nyanya, Abuja, to help them improve the training available for young adults on IT skills. His words: “An additional N1million was donated to The Good News Humanitarian Foundation, Abak, Akwa Ibom, to give them general support for their facilities. “We are not just coming here to support you. We came here as part of our CSR initiatives. This is just an arm of it. We decided to come here because we have a yearly golf tournament that we normally host in Abuja where we invite our friends and clients to participate on a charity basis. “After the tournament, some money was raised and the com-

•The inmates express their gratitude in a placard shortly after the presentation of a N1m cheque

Succour for needy kids Firm donates N1m to Akwa Ibom orphanage From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

pany decided that part of it should be donated to organisations, especially the orphanage to complement the good work they are doing. I am not sure if you have gotten an alert from

your bank because we have already lodged the cash into your bank account. “We are going across all our hubs. Our hubs are where we have all major jobs to give not just to anybody but to those who are under-privileged, the vulnerable members in the society. The intention is just to affect positively

the lives of members of those communities where we work. “That places on us great responsibilities. We were here in January last year. We were able to give a token of N1million. We decided to repeat same due to your excellent work. We have already paid the money into your account.”


The President, Goodnews Humanitarian Foundation, Bishop Elijah Mboho, said over 2,500 children are residing in the home. Mboho said further that some of the children were tagged witches and wizards by their parents while others were being stigmatised for no just cause, a situation which necessitated their admission into the home. The Bishop told the Julius Berger team that the money would help them take better good care of the children.



Shell to clean up spill sites

Council builds N35m market


HE Ndokwa East Local Government Council in Delta State has embarked on a N35 million modern market project in Ashaka, the commercial town in the area. The chairman of the council, Mr Alex Aniche, told newsmen in Ashaka that the project would be completed in three months. Aniche said that work on the project began in February, this year, and would be completed in May. He said it was expected that the 200-store market with modern facilities, would boost economic activities in the area. “A modern market in Ashaka will enhance commercial activities in this area as all communities will have avenue to sell the garri, plantain and other farm produce cultivated by our people. • NASFAT national President Alhaji Sheriff Yusuf (fourth right) inaugurating the Ojo branch of the association. With him (middle) is the chairman, Ojo Local Govt Area, Prince Yinka Durosinmi and other members of the association.

Aregbesola’s wife tours communities


HE Wife of Osun State Governor, Mrs. Sherifat Aregbesola, has begun a tour of communities in the state to sensitise residents on use of water, sanitation and hygiene. Speaking at the one-day sensitisation meeting at Ejigbo, the headquarters of Ejigbo Local Government Area of Osun State, she said the tour is needed to sustain the commendable achievement of SRIP II Reward programme. Mrs. Aregbesola, who urged the people in the rural areas to stop defecating in the bush, assured that she would visit more communities. She said: “ The meeting is also aimed at encouraging all the communities that have attained Open Defecation Free(ODF) status and equally challenge those who have not done well to be up and doing. “I congratulate the Executive Secretary, Management, staff and the entire indigenes of Ejigbo Local Government for the brilliant performance in the 9th European Develop-

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo.


NDIGENES of Anaocha town union in Lagos State are planning free Igbo Language lessons for children in various schools. The organisers said the programme would help revamp the fading interest of children of Anambra State in the reading and writ-

By Adegunle Olugbamila

ing of Igbo Language who reside in non-Igbo speaking states. The President, Association of Indigenes of Anaocha Town Union (AIALG), Mr Martins

ment Fund (EDF) supported Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme (WSSSRP1) which resulted in the SRIPII reward. “This feat has made you unique in water, sanitation and hygiene programme implementation in the whole of South West zone in Nigeria. By your performance, you are the first to have a Federation of WASHCOM , an umbrella body of WASHCOM for the entire LGA.” Mrs Aregbesloa who was accompanied by the wife of the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaja Kafayat Oyetola, later visited Atepatan village in the council area, where she commissioned a hand pump borehole built by the community. In his opening remarks, Chairman, Ejigbo Local Government, Abiodun Tiamiyu Akinwale, praised Mrs. Aregbesola for her support at all times for the people at the grassroots.


By Tajudeen Adebanjo

programmes aimed at reducing poverty, these programmes were ineffective in tackling the menace of poverty. His words: “There is therefore a need to develop capacity to best utilise the Zakat institution to realise its true role in fighting poverty and bringing social development in the lowest income strata of population. And also put in place appropriate policies and legal infrastructure for the effective collection and distribution of Zakat. Government must ensure that policies that will transform the capacity of the people themselves to be income earners are implemented.” Lagos State Coordinator of the Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO), Mallam Abdullahi Shuaib said that Zakat is a right of have-nots in the wealth of haves which must be given to the poor as their right and not as a favour to them. “Proper implementation of Zakat can totally eradicate poverty. It will help in narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor. Islam prescribed the Zakat institution as one of the tools for reducing poverty in the society,” Shuaib said

•From left: Dr Afolabi; Hon Eweseye, Dominga Odebunmi, Hon Afolabi Oladipo, Supervisory Councillor for Health; representative of BETA Drugs, Margaret Adabanya, and Mrs Tijani from HCO Ramvic Medical, during the Health Awareness Programme in Shitta Community, Surulere. It was organised by Avail Humanitarian Aid Organisation in conjunction with Surulere Local Government Area. Inset: Beneficiaries of the programme.

•Governor Uduaghan

Free Igbo classes coming for schools

Minister advises govt on Zakat OVERNMENT has been advised to take control of Zakat administration to have meaningful impact on the masses. This advice was given by Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Asheikh Maidugu while delivering paper on “The Economic Rights of Nigerian Muslims: Using Zakat to Reduce Poverty” at a conference organised by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in Lagos. According to Maigudu, statistics have shown that Nigeria’s growth is not reflecting on the masses and all poverty alleviation policies have not really solved the problem . “Despite the fact that the economy is growing on the average by six percent in the last four years, the proportion of Nigerians living in poverty is increasing every year,” he said. If Muslims adhere to Qur’anic injunctions on Zakat, he said, poverty will be a thing of the past. “It was recorded in Islamic history that at a point, the rich were looking for people to receive Zakat and cannot find. Muslims were finding it hard to locate poor and hungry to discharge their religious obligations of paying Zakat,” he said. Maigudu noted that though successive governments in Nigeria had implemented various


Delta “And, as you may know, the market is patronised by people in and outside this area, including those who come from Edo State.” Aniche said the council would be thorough in allocating stores in the market to traders, when completed, “to ensure that deserving persons are given, especially those that will appreciate and protect the facilities.” He said the market was a major source of revenue for the council, adding that such would be replicated in other communities in the area. “Market is one avenue that gives us good revenue and this is one of the reasons, as a local government chairman, I am embarking on the project.’’

• Mr Ileme (fourth from right, in black suit) with the newly inaugurated patrons and grand patron of the association.

Foundation announces campaign plans


HE Keera Autism Foundation, (KAF), a non-profit organisation, is set to embark on a massive awareness campaign to enlighten the general public on the plight of children, living with autism as well as help provide succour for both the children and family members. The Executive Director of the foundation, Mrs Helen Mbakwe, said KAF was set up as a result of her family’s personal experience and the desire to help others with the same problem. She said the campaign’s main focus is provision of information on the condition, with the aim of making more Nigerians understand and appreciate the stress the children and their families go through. In most cases, children living with autism and their families are victims of a poorly understood condition. “The Keera Autism Foundation (KAF) is embarking on a journey that will enlighten the populace on certain unknown facts and correct many assumptions. It will open up new vistas through which an average Nigerian will understand the challenges associated with Autism,” she said. KAF is set up in honour of Keera, her 13- year old daughter, who has been living with autism. The Awareness Campaign, which will run in phases throughout the year, will make use of the electronic, print, outdoor and social media. Autism is a developmental disorder characterised by difficulties with communication as well as repetitive behaviour. There is no known cause or cure for autism. However, some children can live normal lives with appropriate management, hence, early detection, behavioural intervention and therapy are important. Strategic parts of the campaign include educational series in newspapers; docu-drama and Documentary on Television; Radio drama; News and features write-ups in the Print. Nigerians love for the Social Media will also be exploited to pass the message along to the

public. “Our goal is to provide relief for affected children and families while creating an enabling social environment in communities through advocacy and awareness,” Mrs. Mbakwe said.

Ileme, said a survey conducted by the union revealed a large number of children living in non-Igbo speaking states, born by Igbo parents, unable to speak or write their native language. He expressed shock that some of these children end up registering Yoruba and Hausa languages in their Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), neglecting their mother’s tongue. At the Rockview Hotels, Festac Town, venue of the event which also featured the inauguration of the patrons and honouring of senior citizens, Ileme described the loss of interest in Igbo Language in most schools as appalling, attributing the development to incompetent teachers and the policy of some private schools that restrict students to only one local language. Some of the honorees at the event include the Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Liason Matters, Lady Ucheoma Chukwudum, while the Chief Executive Officer of The Young Transport Company, Chief Vincent Obianodo, was officially installed as the grand patron of the association. Other patrons installed include: Chief Cosmas Obiedelu, Dim E.E Nwosu, Mr John Afam Iloka, Chief Okechukwu Obiora, Chief Jospeh Chukwuka, Ichie Innocent Ilozumba, Chief I.K Okafor, Dr Davis Obikili, Chief C.N.C Nweke, Chief Pius Nnoli and Chief Cosmas Okafor. He said the union, which consist of 10 towns in Anaocha Local Government, would continue to promote programmes that would encourage the younger ones to appreciate the richness of Igbo language and culture. He said the New Yam festival would also be introduced in Lagos by the town unions to celebrate the cultural heritage of Anambra people and educate their children further on the historical values of their home state.

‘Govt should provide more jobs for youths’


HE Primate of the Africa Church and the President of Conference of the Church, Reverend Emmanuel Udofia has challenged the Federal Government to address the high level of youth unemployment in the country. He said unemployment is pushing youths into all manner of crimes such as robbery, prostitution, kidnapping and other social vices. Udofia urged government at all levels to see youths as the future of the nation. The primate, who spoke in Lagos during a press conference organised as part of the 112th annual conference of the church,equally frowned at the healthcare system. He admonished the Federal Government to establish a social healthcare system that will care for all citizens rather than travelling abroad for medical attention. According to him: “I challenge all those in government to address the issue of unemployment which is put at about 42 million Nigerian youths, who are supposed to be in charge of the buoyant resources of the nation. Please save our youths from becoming the devil’s workshop. Engage their idle hands. Provide job opportunities for them. They are the future of this nation. “I also wish to challenge government at all levels to be more focused in the provision of healthcare service for the citizens. Some of our senior citizens rely on being flown abroad for their treatment of ailments to be kept alive when we don’t have standard equipment in


By Jeremiah Oke

Nigeria. “I understand our doctors rank among the best in the world but are handicapped by poor facilities and equipment. Government is challenged to do more in this direction because every citizen has the right to enjoy good healthcare. Reacting to the amnesty proposed by the Federal Government to the members of the Boko Haram sect, the primate said that government has taken a good step to ensure the sect come out to apologise for what it had done wrong and the sect needs to accept it so as to make peace reign in Nigeria. He, therefore,urged those directly and indirectly involved in the Boko Haram insurgency to turn a new leaf and allow peace to return to the Northern part of the country. “I admonish all people directly and indirectly involved in the Boko Haram activities to sheath the swords. Let no one deceive you, you cannot fight the Lord’s battle based on your mortal knowledge. Fighting against any human being is condemned by God. “The innocent lives lost in the Kano Motor Park attack, 185 souls terminated in the Baga attack in Borno State where our brothers and sisters, presumed innocent and sent to their untimely grave for no offence of their own. Nigeria belong to us all and let us live a peaceful and violence free environment”.

HE Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has said it would clean up the oil spill sites in Ikarama area of Yenagoa. A statement signed by the SPDC Spokesman, Mr Precious Okolobo, in Yenagoa confirmed that a joint investigation visit of the site was conducted on April 30. The statement said that the preliminary findings indicate that the spill was caused by activities of oil thieves, and had contaminated the Taylor Creek in Bayelsa. “A Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) was executed on April 30 and the initial reports indicate that the pipeline was sabotaged by a 20 cm long hacksaw cut. “SPDC is committed to cleaning up all spills from its facilities as fast as possible regardless of cause. Majority of the spills in the Niger Delta are the result of third party interference,” it said. The statement said that the sabotage include theft of equipment or leaks caused by crude oil thieves drilling into pipelines to steal oil. “On the average, third party interference

Bayelsa accounts for around 73 per cent of all oil spill incidents. “Also, around 76 per cent of all oil volume spilled from SPDC facilities in the Niger Delta over the last five years (2008-2012) are as a result of oil theft,” it said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the residents along the Biseni/JK4 Road of yenagoa, said that they had sighted three different spill points within the area. Oil spill response workers from Shell were seen with a vacuum truck near the well 2 in Biseni sucking up the oil from the waterways. It will be recalled that Agip was compelled to shut down its onshore crude production facilities in Bayelsa due to the high levels of oil theft. Mr Morris Alagoa, an environmental rights activist, urged SPDC to ensure international best practises in the clean-up of the spill sites. Alagoa is also the Head of Bayelsa Office of Environmental Rights Action, an NGO.

NDE trains 3,961 in Edo


HE National Directorate of Employment (NDE), in Edo State,said no fewer than 3,961 persons benefited from its training and employment programmes in the state in the first quarter of 2013. The directorate’s coordinator in the state, Ms Ayo Edegbai, disclosed this to journalists in Benin. She said the Job Counselling Unit had also registered and counselled 3,195 persons for various programmes of the directorate during the same period. Edeghai said that 591 persons had completed


their training programmes within the period while training and employment programmes for 3,370 persons were ongoing. “Eighty-five persons benefited from the Rural Agricultural Development Scheme, 300 persons benefited from the NDE/MDGs collaboration, while 75 persons graduated from the School–On-Wheel programme. “Also trained during the first quarter were 31 Master Trainers who participated in the training of the Trainer Workshop and 50 persons who were given basic business training to enable them start their own businesses.”

Institute holds fitness walk

HE 2013 Fitness Walk of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) will take place in Lagos tomorrow . The institute’s Head, Corporate Affairs, Joseph Obah, said the fitness walk is also expected to take place at the institute’s branches nationwide. The walk has become an annual event with vast opportunities for insurance awareness hence it is also tagged the Insurance Industry road show. This year’s edition will begin at the National Stadium, Surulere, to terminate at the Niger insurance premises along the busy Ikorodu Road. No fewer than 2000 insurance practitioners are expected to participate in the walk wearing the colours of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria. The participants are also expected to display the banners of their respective companies while also distributing handbills containing information on their companies and their offerings. Director General of CIIN, Mr. Adegboyega Adepegba said it is an event no insurance company will like to miss, stating that it remains a veritable platform for reaching out to members of the insuring public in a most unique way. Adepegba also said that the Fitness Walk provides ample opportunities for physical fitness, especially for executives who spend lot of time with business schedules. The CIIN President, Dr. Wole Adetimehin, has also called on insurance executives to participate in the walk, stating that it is always a worthwhile experience. Adetimehin said that the walk

By Uyoatta Eshiet

cannot be ignored for whatever excuses except for unavoidable reasons. Attractive prizes await exceptional participants at the destination while the carnival like party offers immense attraction as usual.

•Governor Dickson

Church seeks support THE Christ Glorious End-time Evangelical Church has sought public support in the launch of its N100 million church building project on May 18. Speaking at a press conference at the church auditorium, 5 Olaniyi Street, Off Babs Ladipo Street, Abule-Egba, Lagos, the General Overseer Pastor Lai Bamidele, said the present situation begs for expansion and the desire to impart knowledge remains germane but the church is constrained by space. According to him,the amount realised will be spent on the children’s church presently located in a member’s residence, accommodate Pastors s and build school and delivery room. A better accommodation, between two and three plots of land will be appreciated. Speaking further, Pastor Bamidele challenged leaders to embark on programmes that will impact knowledge on the youth, thereby reducing the crime rate and insecurity in the society. Bamidele advised spiritual leaders to be above board and speak the truth even at the point of death. He said the church intends to have a prayer city along Ikorodu Road where millions can gather for prayers.

12 -year- old wins competition


TWELVE-YEAR-OLD pupil of LekkiBritish International High School, Georgia Oboh, has won the Smile for Golf competition in Lagos. The event was organised by the Smile 360 Dental Specialists. The programme which was keenly contested among women of all ages from within and outside the country, saw little Georgia coming first at the end. Georgia ascribed her success to the early exposure and training she received from her parents. “When I was small, I used to follow my parents to golf course; from there I have to start taking lessons and became very interested in the game,” she said. Georgia will be representing Nigeria in the Junior Golf Competition in Scotland in this month. She was picked by the Ikoyi Club to represent the country in Scotland. She stated that representing Nigeria in the golf competition in Scotland is the best thing to do, knowing that Nigeria is her father land.

By Amidu Arije

“To represent Nigeria is one of the most interesting things to do, because it is my father land,” she said. The money to travel abroad for golf competitions is her only challenge. She advised young ones like her to engage in sport for it will give them good health and excitement. “Get into sport, it is one of the most energetic and exciting health activities that bring joy in this world,” The competition, according to the Principal Officer of the Smile 360 Dental Specialist, Dr Amy Traore-Shumbusho, is meant to encourage sports and promote golf in the country. Dr Traore-Shumbusho stated further that the essence of organising the smile for golf competition is her company’s corporate Social Responsibility to the people of Lagos. “We are here for our corporate social responsibility initiative support for charity for that support the disabled kids in improving their oral health; we are there to tell people that we want to support the handicapped kids through our smile kids initiative we want to create more awareness for the disabled kids to have support to improve their oral health,” she stated.

Edo College Class of ‘83 lauded HE Edo State Commissioner for Education (Secondary, Technical and Tertiary), Mr Ekpenisi Omorotionmwan has praised the Class of “83 Edo College, Benin-City for supporting the efforts of the Adams Oshiomhole administration in uplifting the standard of education in the state. Omorotionwan made the commendation in a letter to the Edo College Class of “83 following donations made by the class to their alma mater as part of the 30th anniversary of the graduation of the set. Among the donations presented to the school were 31 magnetic whiteboards and 10 fans.


•From left: Chairman,Abeokuta South Local Government,Engr.Lanre Edun;Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development,Mrs Elizabeth Sonubi and representative of the Speaker,Ogun State House of Assembly,Hon.Yinka Mafe at the inauguration of the first set of the cuncil’s Children's Parliament at the council secretariat, Ake, Abeokuta .





A more transparent battle with bird flu

This JAMB •The board has repeatedly failed to live up to expectations; let varsities conduct their exams


HE release of the 2013 results of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has once again provided cause for much soul-searching by parents, candidates and JAMB itself. In spite of the efforts of the board’s officials to gloss over the challenges of this year’s UTME, there can be no doubt that there were simply too many problems for candidates to contend with. The registration process was fraught with difficulty, as many candidates complained of the inability to easily submit their forms online. Examination centres for many candidates were found to be in areas that were relatively distant from their own homes, and led to a lot of inconvenience. The UTME examination itself was characterised by delays, last-minute changes and other break-downs in established procedure. Many candidates arrived at designated venues only to find that they had been relocated to other venues without their knowledge. The biometric verification formalities were often inefficient or not working at all, causing delays and frustration. The resultant confusion provided ample opportunity for examination malpractice. Given such poor omens, it is perhaps not surprising that the UTME results were not particularly encouraging. Only 10 out of about 1.64 million candidates were able to score more than 300 marks in the examination; 628 candidates scored between 270 and 299 marks. About 50 per cent of those who sat the examination scored less than 200 marks. Some might attribute this poor performance to the falling standard of education in the country; it might well be; but

JAMB is not helping matters with its incompetence. Meanwhile about 12,000 results were withheld, while another 68,000 are still being scrutinised. This has led to protests by some candidates in Kano State who are demanding the immediate release of their results. Even the results are in question: some candidates are claiming to have received scores in subjects that they did not register for; others say they have multiple results for the same subjects. For an organisation which has been in the business of conducting matriculation examinations since 1978, this cannot be good news. Despite modern improvements in technology, logistics and administrative practices, candidates find it more difficult to register, less easy to locate their centres, experienced increased delays during examinations, and display greater uncertainty about the validity of their performance. Added to this is the still-unsolved problem of inadequate places for those seeking university admission: only about 520,000 spaces are available for the 1.6 million hopefuls who sat for the UTME. JAMB has failed to live up to its central mission of acting as an efficient clearinghouse designed to facilitate the university admissions process. The anomalies it was set up to prevent have been replaced by even greater disjunctions which continue to undermine it at every turn. The board appears to be losing credibility almost on an annual basis, as parents and candidates become increasingly frustrated with an organisation which seems to be bent on making an-already difficult situation even worse. It is time for a new paradigm. Individual universities must be permitted to conduct

their own entrance examinations and send the results to JAMB, whose clearing-house function would now be restricted to that of ensuring equity, geographical spread and inclusivity in admissions. The advantages are self-evident. Candidates will no longer have to endure sleepless nights in front of computers in their efforts to register; any university that makes the registration or examination process unduly difficult will be dropped in favour of those that do not. The double jeopardy of sitting for UTME and post-UTME will be eliminated. Universities will be under greater pressure to ensure that they are good enough to attract the best students. In essence, the decentralisation of tertiary matriculations examinations is almost certain to make it more efficient and more equitable.

‘The anomalies it was set up to prevent have been replaced by even greater disjunctions which continue to undermine it at every turn. The board appears to be losing credibility almost on an annual basis, as parents and candidates become increasingly frustrated with an organisation which seems to be bent on making an-already difficult situation even worse’

Adieu, Pini Jason •Ace columnist and social activist passes on at 65


INI, as he was fondly called by all meant so many things to different people, but one thing all are unanimous about is that he was an exquisitely brilliant and wise fellow. Imbued with the gift of the gab, he had a strong sense of history and recollection of events and was quick to regale friends and associates with a repertoire of important happenings, not only in Nigeria but around the world. His tales are so juicy and fresh that you wonder whether they happened just yesterday. Such was the strong mental acuity of Pini that he seemed like a walking book of records. It may not be altogether surprising for a man of the word, a journalist and one of the longest-standing columnists in Ni-

‘Pini continued to keep faith not only with journalism but with his country through his weekly offerings in his column. He was one of the most read columnists in Nigeria, being very incisive, fresh and objective. Initially quite acerbic and no-holdsbarred, Pini could be said to have mellowed with age, proffering deeper insights and masterly interventions in national affairs’

geria until his death in Lagos on May 4. Pini kept a column in the national newspaper, Vanguard, since the ‘80s and, apart from his brief period of political appointment in Imo State (2007 - 2011), he kept faith with his readers with his last instalment coming on April 30, just four days before his demise. Pini who hailed from Aboh Mbaise local government of Imo State had a lifetime devotion to writing and journalism. He started out as a Customs officer but ironically, had to leave what is considered the most ‘lucrative’ job in Nigeria today, which many would pay a huge sum to get. By his admission in his last article for Vanguard, the lure of the word, instead of lucre, drove him to write columns under the pen name, Pini Jason for Daily Times, Nigeria’s foremost national daily at the time, even while in public service. He had earlier worked with Lagos Weekend and was an editor with the African Guardian, a weekly magazine under the stable of The Guardian Newspapers in the early ‘90s. He later founded The Examiner in the late ‘90s, which became defunct shortly after due to inadequate financial planning. Pini continued to keep faith not only with journalism but with his country through his weekly offerings in his column. He was one of the most read columnists in Nigeria, being very incisive, fresh and objective. Initially quite acerbic and noholds- barred, Pini could be said to have mellowed with age, proffering deeper insights and masterly interventions in national affairs. His last piece in his column symbolises his current disposition and benign approach. Titled “A Letter to

Yushua Shuaib,” he literally took Mr. Shuaib (who had drawn the ire of a serving minister with an article) aside like a great uncle and lectured him on public service rules and norms. Pini wrote: “this letter is not about whatever you wrote about the Honourable Minister of Finance. After reading your syndicated explanation, I asked myself whether it was an answer to a query, an apology to your establishment, NEMA, an apology to Dr. Okonjo-Iweala or just a deliberate enlistment of the community of public affairs analysts. After going through it over and over, I concluded you were simply a victim of a society that has lost its institutional memory. This loss of institutional memory has contributed to the rot we are in today. We have forgotten the proper way of doing things. We have destroyed every known ethos. Those who are custodians of the fine ethics that served us in the past are either ignorant themselves or too preoccupied with other interests to care.” This is vintage Pini at his best, matured like fine wine – subtle, detached, yet alluring. Those who knew Pini attest to his rigour, his commitment to duty and his high-mindedness. In a tribute, the former governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim who appointed Pini a special adviser described him as his debating partner and a man who had sound opinion on nearly all issues. Indeed, if there was a man who could be described as full of wisdom, Pini Jason Onyegbadue was one.


N A STRANGE TWIST of evolution, the influenza virus seems to have endless capability to reinvent itself, infecting waterfowl, swine and humans over and over again with great power and destructive force. A periodic reassortment of its genes gives rise to new variants that have not been seen before. Each time, the new variant poses a potential threat to both man and animal. Another shuffle of the deck has just occurred, leading to a new outbreak of bird flu in China, where people and fowl are often in close contact. This variant, known as H7N9, has not reached U.S. shores, but it is a reminder of the unpredictable nature of influenza. It might cause a pandemic, or settle into a slow burn for years, or simply die out. At this stage, no one knows. The uncertainty ought to remind us of past lessons about infectious disease and globalization, which remain as urgent as ever. One of those lessons is the vital role of rapid communication about an emerging outbreak. A decade ago, a virus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, took hold in China. The Communist government, which keeps a tight grip on information, responded poorly to the threat and failed to report early cases as the virus spread. It was a vivid example of the dangers of a closed society. As Mikhail Gorbachev found out after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, there are some events — spreading radiation or a virus — that just can’t be hidden from the rest of the world. This time, China has reacted differently. The authorities announced the early cases, reported details to the World Health Organization, deposited genetic sequences of the virus in an open database and shared isolates of the live virus with scientists. While China’s rulers still impose a dark curtain of censorship over much other news, the authorities deserve credit for recognizing the global demand for openness about the new bird flu virus. So far, infections have been confirmed in 129 people, of whom 31 have died. The critical tripwire that could lead to a pandemic would be sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus. Until now, there have been small clusters of people infected but not sustained transmission. Still, China is not out of the woods. Early indications suggest that this variant of influenza can infect birds without them showing obvious signs and symptoms, meaning it could spread in flocks and not be visible, endangering humans who come into contact with the birds. China may need to cull millions of birds, a challenge it has not yet faced. It is natural for people to grow fatigued about warnings of pandemic. If it hasn’t happened, why worry? Here’s why: Germs do not stop at passport control. What happens in China today could happen here tomorrow. Bird flu is everyone’s problem, and we can only hope that China continues to fight it effectively and with transparency. – Washington Post

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IR: I am appalled by the avalanche of misplaced sentiments, in the media and especially on the internet, being directed at the convicted thief, Kelvin Ighodalo, jailed for 10 years for stealing Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s phone. A particular newspaper led its readers on this false path and the false echo has since been picked up by the mischievous Osun State PDP and the concocted horde of its wannabe aspirants. The allegation is made, in the fashion of what Herbert London called ‘avatars of moral equivalence’ in which a crime, no matter how heinous, becomes insignificant and irrelevant, considering other circumstances of the convict. In this case, the victim of the robbery, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, happens to be a big man, a state governor. So when has it become that a big man should not get justice because of its status? The mischief actually began with headlines that sensationally amplified the sentence – ‘Man bags 45 years for stealing Aregbesola’s phone’. The truth is that he was convicted on a six-count charge totalling 45 years but which will run concurrently, meaning that he would actually spend a maximum of 10 years in jail. Indeed, the law had prescribed a minimum of eight years and maximum of 20 years for each of the first three counts and he was lucky to get just 10 years – slightly above the minimum. A detailed look at the thief’s antecedent will reveal that the sentiment showered on him is highly


Phone thief and misplaced sentiment misplaced. Ighodalo was a police officer dismissed from service for armed robbery and was cooling his heels at Kirikiri Maximum prison when Governor Aregbesola’s phone was snatched. However, the phone got to him from his associates who were the pickpockets and he started calling the governor’s friends, including traditional rulers, soliciting for money. At the last count, he had fraudulently collected more than N20 million from

different people. When the governor heard, he informed the service provider and the SIM card was locked. When Ighodalo was released from prison on bail, he penetrated the service provider through corruption and retrieved the SIM card again and started calling the governor’s friends and associates. He was however arrested in a bank in Benin while trying to cash his booty from a victim. He was again de-

tained in a police station in Lagos where in connivance with the DPO, he escaped to continue to dupe people in the governor’s name. Now, this man operates a syndicate involving several police officers, a prison warden and his brother, many of whom are either on the run or facing criminal charges. It is interesting that when he was charged, he pleaded guilty and was given slightly above minimum

Jonathan wobbles as Somalia beckons


IR: Nigeria needs more of strategic urgent socio-political manoeuverings if the current bull in the China shop will not only destroy the shop’s wares but collapse the whole edifice. No head of state has shown total lack of grasp and managerial incompetence, cluelessness and paralysis on almost every aspect of national life as the current occupant of the highest office in Nigeria. This obvious administrative skill deficit is amplified by the ordinariness that the symbol of authority in Nigeria has assumed. The jejune and pedestrian analysis of policies and the cavaliar attitudes of the emperor towards fundamental issues

of state such as insecurity, corruption, the economy and a host of others have sharpened and widened the faultlines of the country. As emperor Nero fiddled and Rome burnt, the Nigerian emperor is antagonizing every critical sector and geo-political zone with the annoying ethnocentric grandstanding of the ethnic Ijaw jingoists and supremacists even in the Niger Delta region. The Ijaw with highest concetration in Bayelsa and other few enclaves in some coastal communities have converted the current presidency to an ethnic instrument of victimization and ascendancy to the exclusion of

other minority groups in the south not to talk about the alienation of others in the appropriation of state power and resources. It is appalling that these people do not give consideration to the post-Ijaw presidency by their actions and relations with others in Nigeria’s highly combustible powerhouse. Under President Jonanathan, Nigeria has become a huge slaughter slab, a haven of kidnappings, a redoubt of terrorists and a centre of communal skirmishes with blood flowing like the water of River Niger. Yet the government believes that the system will continue to wobble and fumble, till 2015 when another abra-

Religious leaders should follow Kukah’s example


IR: The contemporary history of our dear country will never be written without the mention of Father Hassan Kukah. While his peers seek to metamorphose into owners of private jet and lucrative business empires in the name of God, Father Kukah seeks to advance the course of good governance and responsible leadership in Nigeria. It is on record that most of our religious leaders flood government events in search for the lucre and as such they become blind to the numerous challenges rocking our dear country. At times, they deliberately feign indifference because they have turned them-

punishment in light of his uproarious antecedent. I am gutted with the sentiment given to this thief and fraudster who had brought untold anguish to many people. I daresay that the people complaining about the harshness of this sentence would wish that a criminal is released to freely ply his evil trade on innocent people. This misplaced sentiment has unwittingly turned the villain into victim and the victim, this time, Aregbesola, into villain. There is a way still in which the judgement is incomplete. What happens to all the money he had collected? How will the victims collect their money back? The judgement is silent on this. Will he return from prison to start enjoying the gains of crime? Should he and must he? • Mike Adeyinka, Osogbo, Osun State

selves into favour seekers and government contractors. Like praise singers, they hijack the altar and other prayer grounds to shower unprecedented blessings on government that deserve irredeemable ‘curse’ and conspicuous criticism. But from the pulpit and public forum, Father Kukah thunders the undeniable point that leadership in Nigeria ought to accentuate the powerful mantra of George Bush that “for we are given power not to advance our own purpose, not to make a great show in the world nor a name, there is but one use of power and it is to serve“ Kukah, as Bishop of the Sokoto

Diocese has used every given opportunity to vehemently criticize government for policies that negates public interest. He has always admonished our leaders to toe the path of service delivery, just as he has demonstrated uncommon courage and fearless audacity to speak truth to power. Sincerely, among religious Leaders in Nigeria, Father Kukah has distinguished himself as the light of our nation. No doubt he epitomises the moral consciousness of our nation. While America and South Africa have the likes of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bishop Desmond Tutu to boast with re-

spectively, we have Father Kukah to boast of too. I wish to appeal to religious leaders never to forget the laconic but powerful magnus opus of Haile Selassie which holds that “throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who could have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it matters most that has made it possible for evil to triumph”. May God grant Kukah longevity, joie de vivre and undying determination to carry on. • Ehi G.O. Benin City

cadabra called election will take place without concrete effort and strong political will to arrest this drift. The increasing autocratization of our democracy through the gradual assault on the core tenets and ethos of democratic institutions, federalism, rule of law and constitutionalism through both subtle and crude subversion of institutions and agencies of the state is worrisome. All of the above coupled with the erosion of state authority in most part of the country with many arm-bearing groups such as Boko Haram, MEND, MASSOB, OPC, etc challenging the monopoly and monopolization of the instrument and apparatus of coercion and violence and holding sway in different parts of the country with the apparent inability of the present weak government in containing and curtailing it and if this is to be added to the worsening unemployment situation and grinding poverty in the land, then Somalia beckons. With the weakening and decapitation of the state by a wobbling emperor through his self-serving and subversive policies, implosion is imminent and the prediction of the U. S research think-tank would have been accelerated. It would be a complete somaliazation of Nigeria. I strongly pray against it but would the power that be listen. A stitch in time can still save nine. • Akinrolabu T. Omonitan, Ikeji-Ile Ijesa, Oriade LGA., Osun State.




Useful idiots (2)


UMBED with perfection, moss-idle, bluster-lit, the Nigerian youth becomes a fleeting fracture of the immensity he ought to represent. More worrisomely, many of the nation’s youth seem to develop mental arteriosclerosis 40 years before they get the physical kind from chain smoking, binge drinking, gluttony and mental indolence. Who cares though? It’s every man for himself; the ruling class and Nigeria’s senior citizenry will not bat an eyelid even if our youth is wasted beyond redemption, as long as their children inherit their stash of the country’s looted wealth. The ordinary youth however, continues to perpetuate that sly, sharp instinct for self-preservation that passes as “wisdom” among the rich but arrant foolishness of the masses. Hence the successful doctor, banker, journalist, engineer, accountant to mention a few, amongst us, do not care about anything and anybody else. Yet we pine for positive social change and environment in which we could thrive. The few that claim to be intellectually endowed and progressive in thought amongst us seek to acquire knowledge and skills necessary to actualize their dreams of bliss. But even this few have no taste at all for the vagaries

of honest industry. We live and thrive on a perversion hence when we cry for a historic revolution and youth-friendly society, our thoughts pander to a more permissive and corrupt society that will aid our mad, desperate dash for unearned wealth or what we deem our share of the Nigerian dream. This is our Nigerian dream: a lush, breathtaking future that deemphasizes honest toil and accords our vanities a caressing glance. We dream of strings of bank accounts at home and abroad; we hope to drive the best cars, live in palatial mansions in highbrow areas and enjoy the most lucrative contracts and job offers even when we do too little to deserve these. Our lust for the fleeting banishes reality. And this depravity is pervasive. Decades ago, it manifested as worrisome and inordinate selflove; today, we re-establish it as the language of the socially inspired and politically correct. Hence the frenzy with which we seek out and worship industry titans, political messiahs, entertainment superstars and other celebrity icons. It’s all part of our desperate ploy to substantiate our vanities by seeking ourselves in those we worship and establishing a false intimacy with them.

If modern gospel of prosperity and motivational literature won’t make us celebrities, then celebrity idols, reality television and sheer violence will. We impatiently wait for our cue to walk on stage inside our theatre of the absurd to be admired, feared or envied. Our vanities cramp the growth of our human spirit: they restrict the resuscitation and positive engagement of our productive faculties. Thus we find it hard to subscribe to such faith, simple decencies, honesty and values that demand that we enthusiastically dedicate ourselves to progressive personal growth and realistic rejuvenation of the Nigerian enterprise. That is why we have youth threatening to destroy Nigeria and perpetuate ethnic genocide if President Goodluck Jonathan retains his seat or is booted from office come 2015. It is unforgivable idiocy and utter insanity for any youth to lend himself to such pitiful causes despite glaring political and socio-economic constraints that the incumbent administration foist upon us. This is not to absolve preceding governments of culpability but it is simply too repulsive in thought and action for the contemporary Nigerian youth to root for leadership that has done too little to improve standard of living in the country even as it gorges on resources meant for the sustenance of the collective. A societal madness has begun to occur: bigoted, unemployed youth and bigoted employed youth; lost souls wandering the streets of Nigeria’s major cities, day and night,

‘A prevalent crisis of confidence has occurred in reaction to the social turmoil. More youths are feeling empty and without purpose yet we continue to moot revolution like the next best thing we could orchestrate after our last follies have fallen silent. We forget, still, that there is a time to speak and time to act; time to scream and silently orchestrate the inestimable violence of uprightness’


LTHOUGH the entire nation weeps over the most unexpected death of the late Dr. Aloysious Aguwa and the late Pini Jason Onyegbadue, not many Nigerians know that the two late icons were kinsmen who hailed from the great Mbaise clan in Imo state. Not many Nigerians also know that between 2007 and 2011, the two were members of the Imo state executive council in which, by the grace of God Almighty, I was privileged to serve as governor. While, the death of the two gentlemen at the same time (within a space of four days) is doubtlessly devastating, I am certain that it brings fond memories of that era which every well meaning Imolite acknowledges as one in which the state saw the biggest manifestation of its potentials. Needless to say, the involvement of Aloysious Aguwa, Ph.D., an academic and environmentalist of international repute and Pini Jason Onyegbadue, ace journalist and easily one of the most brilliant newspaper columnists Nigeria has ever produced, in that administration drew the attention of many, both within and outside Nigeria, to Imo. To be sure, that administration boasted of other very brilliant men and women who had distinguished themselves in various fields of endeavour, but I can say without any fear of contradiction that I count myself particularly fortunate to have been able to bring those two fellows, not only to be part of it, but to have remained with us throughout the period. As a public affairs commentator, Pini Jason had established a reputation as a fearless, bold and courageous fellow who would render his views no matter whose ox is gored. To be quite candid, I initially had to contend with a few friends who expressed some anxieties over the fact that I invited such a fiery critic, indeed, a radical, to serve with me. But I had no difficulty with that because my idea of governance was, and still is, that the people being governed should be given the benefit of having inputs from their best brains and hands, irrespective of the personal idiosyncrasies of the fellow who calls the shots as chief executive. Given his background, the late Pini Jason came in mostly as a member of my media team but his designation was that of Special Adviser on Special Projects. To be quite candid, I merely hid under that appellation to tap from his very fecund mind, after I had discovered that Pini was very vast on several other issues outside core media related matters. There was no topic the late Pini Jason would not give a sound opinion on (which you may disagree with) based on a thorough analytical expose. From politics to economics, from religion to culture, from diplomacy to folklores, Pini would treat you to fine details of both historical and contemporary perspectives that, if you had the patience to listen, you would wonder why you never knew all that before. Perhaps his most significant input in our administration was

like loose molecules in an unstable social fluid have begun to ignite. Thus our cities have become covens of immense cruelty where youth, fired by angst, a lingering sense of hurt and revolt, take alarming steps from threatening violence to perpetrating it. Traditional neglect of the youth as negligible integers of growth has evolved to dangerous generalizations and the demonization of peaceful majorities. Today, economic forces create an overriding sense of disenchantment and futility among the youth. Additionally, the tyranny and insensitivity of the ruling class accentuates reactionary attitude and selfaggrandizing pursuits amongst the youth. The prominence of social justice and equality movements has dissipated as we become more concerned with identity politics than the greater good. Ironically, the ruling class, their close associates and scions are the only beneficiaries from this splintering of Nigeria into racist and more selfish associations. A prevalent crisis of confidence has occurred in reaction to the social turmoil. More youths are feeling empty and without purpose yet we continue to moot revolution like the next best thing we could orchestrate after our last follies have fallen silent. We forget, still, that there is a time to speak and time to act; time to scream and silently orchestrate the inestimable violence of uprightness. Our much vaunted “Occupy Nigeria” movement failed because the Nigerian youth is innately lacking in grit, honesty and ideal; that is why we remain perpetually exploitable – victims of what George Bernard Shaw, terms “the stupid system of violence and robbery which we call Law and Industry.” Despite our romanticized wish to abolish the status quo as the protests dragged, the eventual result was as usual, an opportunistic contract between the exploiters (the

government) and a part of the exploited (labour leadership), at the expense of the rest of the exploited (you, me and everyone) – something Noel Ignatin would call “the original sweetheart agreement.” Eventually, the Nigerian youth is written off and our grievances dismissed as the crazed rant of a pathetic mass of revolutionary impostors. President Jonathan and company couldn’t be wrong for eventually dismissing us as essentially hopeless and misdirected, I reiterate. Here, then, is the crucial temptation facing us; either we acquire at least a provisional and concrete ideology and the ability to commit ourselves to more progressive enterprise, or we expose ourselves to greater exploitation and disillusionment. More often than not, we are tempted to give up and retreat, in search of some comfortable, greener pasture where we can luxuriate and “survive” according to the idiosyncrasies and social conditioning our host nation deem worthy of us; this is always the resort of cowards and the feeble-minded. The alternative is to drastically overhaul our values to become more progressively inclined and concerned with the political, the economic and social; to acquire the competencies and the skills necessary for the tasking work that must be done if the social structure of Nigeria is to be even slightly modified. Solutions can never be discovered without profound understanding of law, governance methods and the economics and social organization of humane statehood. It’s about time we cultivated practicable goals and norms; without these, we will continue to flounder in the sea of well-meaning but ineffective good intentions. These are dark days for the Nigerian youth. We are going through a particularly unpleasant form of hell but it’s a hell that we have made for ourselves by our ghastly greed, laziness and inarticulateness. But we’ve still got youth on our side.

Pini Jason, Aloy Aguwa: Tributes By Ikedi Ohakim his insistence that we must accommodate criticism while, of course, abhorring the use of thugs. Looking back, I greatly appreciate that because that singular attitude shaped the character of our administration, an aspect that is being today remembered with nostalgia by the great people of Imo state who have since seen the difference. While we were in Owerri, even casual observers noticed that the late Chief Pini Jason Onyegbadue was one of the closest appointees to me. It was not for nothing. He shuttled between his office and mine several times and in most cases, he would return after close of work and together we looked at issues far into the night. When we completed the new Governor’s Office Complex, Pini got an office directly opposite mine. In fact, he was the only Special Adviser who shared the third floor with me. And unknown to many, the late Chief Pini Jason Onyegbadue until his death shared the same office complex with me in Abuja. I was with him when the news of the death of Dr. Aguwa came. We were both very shocked but he managed the devastation that arose from losing such a young and illustrious kinsman of his; to be able to continually tell me: “Take it easy”. Pini took off to Lagos to take advantage of the May Day public holiday to be with his family. Before he left for the airport, he passed through my place to see how I was faring. I bade him farewell but little did I know that that was the last time I would see him. Even before he suddenly took ill in Lagos, he had called and the major discussion was on the late Aguwa. Aguwa was of late in constant touch with me. We spoke almost every day especially in connection with the new book he was about to release on the environmental protection programmes of our administration. The late Aguwa was the Commissioner for Petroleum and Environment and had come up with a very fine account of what we did to make Imo state a model as far as cleanliness is concerned. The late Aguwa it was who presided over our programme that earned Owerri the sobriquet of the cleanest state capital in Nigeria. Once, I was elected governor, one of the first things I did was to begin to ask for the best Imo brains on environmental issues wherever they might reside. The search took us to Michigan in the United States of America where the late Aguwa was presiding over an organization known as Altech Environmental Services Inc. U.S.A. It took weeks of persuasion from well meaning citizens of the state, especially members of the highly respected

Aguwa clan, for Alloy to accept to return home to serve the country. It is unfortunate that the nation is losing him at a time his wealth of experience and expertise is mostly needed. But in spite of the tragedy, part of my consolation is that it pleased God to let us come close to one fellow that combined intellect with a mien that almost set him aside as an enigma. Could a fellow of such academic standing and professional exposure be as humble as the late Aguwa? That must have been the question most of his colleagues were asking. If Aloy Aguwa were to be alive and I lost two members of my cabinet at a go, it is to him I would have run to for comfort and wise counsel. Just as Pini Jason kept on telling me when the news of his (Aguwa’s) death reached both of us: “What can we do?” Indeed what can we do? The demise of these two great men reminds all of us of the futility of life. In fact, the late Pini Jason preached that we should do things today as if there will be no opportunity to do them tomorrow. That was why he was himself a stickler to excellence. He believed that you should leave no stone unturned today. Did Pini Jason have a premonition of death? I have been asking myself this question because in death, Pini achieved what he would himself: Have his wife, to whom he was very close, watch him die. And that was precisely what happened. Was it destiny that took him back to Lagos where his family resides? Pini was so proud of his family and would seize every opportunity to tell you: “God gave me a wonderful family”. Was his manner of death a wish that came true? Why did it happen that way, so fast? Why did it please God to take away these two great fellows the same time? Adieu great ones. • Ohakim is ex-governor of Imo State

‘The demise of these two great men reminds all of us of the futility of life. In fact, the late Pini Jason preached that we should do things today as if there will be no opportunity to do them tomorrow. That was why he was himself a stickler to excellence. He believed that you should leave no stone unturned today’



COMMENTS ‘Act well your part, there all the honour lies’Alexander Pope


MBASSADOR Dapo Fafowora belongs to the golden era of the country’s Foreign Service. He was nurtured in the best of British civil service traditions of that epoch. His 549-page biography entitled: ‘Lest I forget: Memoirs of a Nigerian Career Diplomat’ was formally launched yesterday at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos. Though yours sincerely is yet to settle down with the book, Kunle Abimbola of our Editorial Board, in his earlier column in the week, gave a good adumbration of the book. He described it as ‘rich in anecdotes and even richer in sound knowledge of modern history.’ The book, ostensibly, reveals Fafowora’s betrayal by notable figures in Nigeria’s public firmament, including General Joe Garba and Professor Ibrahim Gambari, both foreign ministers under Murtala-Obasanjo and Buhari/Idiagbon military administrations respectively, and of course, Lawal Rafindadi, the demised Director-General of defunct Nigerian Security Organisation (NSO). The ‘treacherous’ acts of the trio according to Fafowora’s memoirs, led to his early retirement by the Buhari-Idiagbon regime. While Garba and Rafindadi were no more living to defend themselves, Gambari is very much alive to give his riposte to allegations of backstabbing and ethnic jingoism levelled against him by Fafowora. No doubt, the enlightened public, especially the media will feast on this for some time to come - not with the rigorously scathing review accorded the book by our luminous Professor Adebayo Williams. The best part that appealed to me in the book is where Fafowora gleefully declares that he has never in his glorious public service life ‘given or received’ bribe. He effusively stated in the book: ‘I have never in my entire public career, spanning nearly 50 years now, either given or received bribes, or any other form of gratification. I find doing so repugnant and personally demeaning.’ In a country where corruption has been elevated to the status of national ethos; where if possible, inhabitants are ready to bribe God, it is heart warming to know that someone of notable standing can still publicly make this kind of statement. Of course, to make such avowal means that the Ambassador is very sure of himself. Perhaps, few


GREW up with the notion that the chewing of gum was such an irresponsible act. In fact my Mama and some of my early school teachers were sure it was the pastime of scarlet ladies and motor-park boys. So it was an abomination both at school and at home (Aside: it is also outlawed in my house today). But Sir Alex Ferguson, the wizard of Old Trafford proved my Mama and teachers wrong on this matter of chewing gum. Ferguson (you must know him of course unless you are one of those who think football is the grand folly of 22 grown men chasing one round leather object all over the field for 90 minutes in which case you should not read this piece), probably the most loved man on earth today after Mandela of course, reigned at the Manchester United Football Club (MUFC) for 26 years. He retires this month at the age of 71. Fergie as he is called, is always beamed to the entire world (yes, that is almost not an exaggeration, almost the whole world view Man. U matches) chewing furiously at his gum as if that is the talisman to win matches. The more intense the game, the more furious his jaws hammer at the gum and the redder his face gets. If you consider that this rather iconic image must have been seen by viewers nearly 1500 times, the number of matches he handled at MUFC, then you would understand why this singular quirk of his character caught my interest. So if Fergie, one of the greatest men alive today chewed gum for the whole world to see then what was Mama and my teachers talking about, chewing gum must be cool. Riding on Fergie’s validation, I found myself chewing gum especially on long drives and dreary office days (never at home yet). And I have found that it is an extremely jawhurting exercise. In just few minutes my jaws would ache and the impulse to spit out the damn thing would be stronger than any joy derived from chewing it. Even as I write this, I am chewing Wrigley’s Extra Long Lasting Flavour SPEARMINT and all I wish is to spit it out. If I had Fergie to interview that would be my first question: How do you manage sir, chewing hard for 90 minutes; is it that you have a metal jaw or you have a specially customized soft chewing gum (come to think of


Fafowora’s memoir and Nigeria’s moral abyss

•Dapo Fafowora

‘countable number’ of Nigerians can stand tall in the podium of public arena to make such. Fafowora has done that and till now, nobody has come out to controvert it. The public is watching! The declaration of Ambassador Fafowora reminds me of the truism in the aphorism of Italian diplomat Niccolò Machiavelli that is fondly remembered for writing ‘The Prince’, a handbook for ruthless public officials to wit: “It is not titles that honour men, but men that honour titles.” In this era of dearth of impeachable men in the nation’s Foreign Service, it is good to still note that a man like Ambassador Fafowora once passed through that path and still exist to give honour to that title of an ambassador that has now been widely bastardised.

It is not only in the Foreign Service that the nation needs moral/ethical revival. In Law, Engineering, Medicine, Architecture, Banking and Finance, Public Administration, Political Science, Mass Communication, Sociology, the artisans, and even history all witnessed a situation where experts unabashedly distort facts - unfortunately, experts without honour that see what others are but forget what they are. How many of today’s experts in the country are able to conquer that hunger of the flesh which has become a terror that incarcerates men. Most men’s inability to conquer the flesh has created a society where it is very difficult to live above board. Those that are custodians of honour are the most dishonourable in public and private enterprises. Most men, especially those in the corridors of power in our society have no deference for honour of the mind- they are conscienceless human beings. They see no sense in the words of that renowned English essayist, Joseph Addison, where he said it is ‘better to die ten thousand deaths’ than for a man to ‘wound his honour.’ For as long as their flesh are appeased, to hell with honour and integrity. That is why the few men of integrity in the country today, like Ambassador Fafowora, have hard-to-believe tales of injustice to tell in the course of their service to fatherland. He, like others in his shoes, sustained wounds for the sake of conscience. In a society facing dearth of honourable men, Fafowora must be ready to forgive the un-


SMS O8181624757,

G’bye Sir Alex, the man who made chewing gum cool it, why haven’t the Chinese given us Fergie Gum?)? I am not a Man U fan, in fact I will first watch an Arsenal match before any of Man U’s but his gum chewing kind of won me his admiration and I wager that it says something about his personality, character and confounding success in the round leather game called football. The genius of Sir Alex Ferguson can be said to have thrived on his hardy singlemindedness , that rare knack to drive oneself remorselessly to the peak of one’s performance each time and every time one has a task at hand and achieve the result one needed; the ability to absorb pain without wavering, the discipline of a great marathoner and the eye for sighting great football talent from miles away. There is also the fitness factor, each time I see Fergie on tv lately, I often wonder how this 71-year-old still carries on with coaching in this very physical game of football. Though he started slowly at MUFC when he arrived in 1986, in less than five years, he perfected his techniques; he soon mastered the game, conquered his club and ruled over the football world. He retires today sitting atop a footballing empire that has 659 million followers worldwide and was worth $2.3 billion upon its listing at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) recently. It is a mark of Fergie’s strong personality that over 26 years, he groomed some of the biggest football star of our time yet he suf-

fered no significant star trouble. Eric Cantona, Andy Cole, Roy Keane, David Beckham, Ruud Van Nestlerooy, Edwin Van Der Sar, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and many more, were his protégés at some point in his long Man. U life. He is at once a coach, a father and a taskmaster to the boys. He is said to love them as much as he would lay it thick on them bringing up the fabled ‘Fergie freeze’. He was in charge and would brook no messing around from any player, especially a ‘swollen-headed’ type. He is said to cold-bloodedly freeze out any player who begins to get too big for his boots whereupon the player would choose to either shape up or ship out. A certain Van Nestlerooy was a goal machine for MUFC with a glorious career ahead of him. He was said to have got big-headed and Fergie froze him up leading to his premature exit from Old Trafford and unfortunately, a less than illustrious career. While the big European clubs changed coaches like undies (7 big clubs changed 116 coaches in 26 years), Fergie sat put at MUFC garnering silverware with the appetite of a glutton. Apart from his fabled love for choice red wines, which some would consider a ‘good’ vice, Fergie is clearly a straight guy, and a family man who stuck to his wife of over 40 years, Cathy, whom he said was the key figure throughout his career “providing a bedrock of both stability and encourage-

justifiably blows of forceful retirement at an unripe age of 43 that a thankless country like ours inflicted on him. I hope ambassador as we fondly call him on the Editorial Board of The Nation takes solace in that 18th-century English poet, Alexander Pope, best known for his epic poem, ‘The Rape of the Lock’, and his translation of Homer’s Iliad when he said: ‘Act well your part, there all the honour lies.’ Ambassador has really done well. Congrats sir!

Airtel/NCC and ruse of SIM card registration? Does the SIM card registration work? This question becomes pertinent in view of my experience this week with my new Airtel mobile network line. Sometime last month, I requested a special line from Airtel and was initially allotted one that was embargoed, presumably on the orders of a top notch after I had paid the charged fees and collected receipt at its Ikorodu outlet. After I threatened to sue the company, I was offered another special number (07011117777) which I reluctantly accepted in order to save the job of the employee that duly issued the payment receipt after complying with requirements for award of special numbers. Sometime this week, a text from Airtel requested me to answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to an inquiry regarding whether or not I had problem with my line. Once I answered yes, the Airtel network service immediately disappeared from my Nokia handset that Tuesday afternoon. By Wednesday afternoon when l went to lodge my complaints at the Airtel office on Oba Akran Road, Ikeja, I was surprisingly informed that my SIM card had been swapped and the thousands of naira on it transferred. Now, the questions: How can an Airtel SIM card duly registered with my thumb prints duly taken be re-registered by another person so effortlessly in less than 24 hours? Were my details no longer in NCC/Airtel information banks? Could such criminal act have been done without the connivance of an insider? Is someone that is not pleased with the number acting funny? Of what essence is the entire SIM card registration, including thumb prints that gulped not less than six billion naira of tax payers’ money - if this kind of fraud could go unchecked? I demand answers to these questions from the network and NCC, otherwise, the need for judicial recourse might become inevitable soon. ment”. Apart from his legendary mind games before big matches, he never sought undue publicity. I do not remember any scandal, ill report or unprofessional conduct about him. He seems such a stable and principled character. So much to say about Fergie and I am sure books have been written about him. His untrammeled successes never got to him, in fact he seemed to live far above his trophies untouched, unperturbed to the point that he became the ultimate trophy of MUFC. And I want to close by saying that apart from making chewing gum cool, he made football cool, he made success cool, indeed, he is such a cool fellow. That is the ultimate lesson we must learn from Sir Alex Ferguson. LAST MUG: Adieu Pini Jason: Anyone who loves good, well-written, well-reasoned public commentary would know Pini Jason and would love his writings. Pini, as we all called him who probably kept one of the longest running columns in the Vanguard newspaper passed on last Saturday. Apart from being one of the long-standing fans of his page our paths crossed from 2007 to 2011 while we were on a call of duty to Imo State. He was Special Adviser on Special Duties while I was Chief Press Secretary to the then Governor Ikedi Ohakim. Ogam, as I called him, we worked quite closely in a number of committees and on projects and just as he showcased in his writings, he was a man of high convictions. He was forthright and had clear opinion on any matter; extremely brilliant, he didn’t suffer fools gladly. Nigeria journalism has lost a master. Gaa nke oma, Ogam.

‘He seemed to live far above his trophies untouched, unperturbed to the point that he became the ultimate trophy of MUFC. And I want to close by saying that apart from making chewing gum cool, he made football cool, he made success cool, indeed, he is such a cool fellow. That is the ultimate lesson we must learn from Sir Alex Ferguson





The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Diocese of Lagos West, has celebrated the enthronement of Rt Revd James Olusola Odedeji as Bishop of Diocese. OLATUNDE ODEBIYI writes.


•Bishop Odedeji flanked by wife Olukemi (right) and Chief Judge of Lagos Justice Ayotunde Phillips


T was fun at the Archbishop Vinning Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja GRA, Lagos, when Rt Revd James Olusola Odedeji was enthroned as the Bishop of The Diocese of Lagos West, The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). The cathedral was filled to capacity; people also sat outside. The celebrator was dressed in a cassock. His wife, Olukemi, wore a blue suit and gold hat; she looked smart and gorgeous. About 59 bishops across the Anglican Communion were at the event. The service began with the procession which was led by the choir, following which the new bishop was led into the church. The enthronement of Bishop Odedeji was done by Rt Revd Bishop Awelewa Adebiyi, the Retired bishop of the Diocese. The Archbishop of Lagos, Revd Dada

A call to serve Akinade handed over the Pastoral Staff of Office to Odedeji. Revd Akinade urged Bishop Odedeji to watch over the flock, encourage the faithful, restore the lost and build up the body of Christ. After receiving the pastoral staff of office, the celebrator was led to his throne by the Canon Residentiary, Abraham Olumuyiwa. Deputy Governors Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire (Lagos State) and Otunba Titi Laoye-Tomori (Osun) presented him gifts. Representatives of the cathedral, the laity and the clergy and The See City of Lagos West also gave him gifts.

Reception followed shortly after at The Haven. The hall was decorated in gold and white. There was plenty to eat and drink. Guests were entertained by the choir. Kunle Bamtefa (an actor) was the Master of ceremony. Mrs Orelope-Adefulire described Bishop Odedeji as a man of God with a heart to serve. “He has the spirit of God and he is well loved by the people. He is young, responsible and I am sure he will lead us right,” she said.

Otunba Laoye-Tomori urged the people to support Bishop Odedeji. The Bishop’s wife, Olukemi said: “The enthronement is a work of God and God will definitely see him through it; God will help us. We made it, not by our works of righteousness, or for what we have done, but by His mercy. If He brought us in, He will take us through”. Bishop Adebiyi wished Bishop Odedeji well, praying God to bless him and his family as he carries the mantle. The celebrator promised to work for God and humanity. In attendance were Lagos State Head of Service, Segun Ogunlewe and former Commissioner for Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Allevation, Chief Kemi Nelson among others. •More pictures on page 26




•Rt. Revd. Peter Adebiyi and wife Caroline

•Otunba Laoye -Tomori (left) and Mrs Orelope-Adefilure

•Former Obafemi Awolowo Univesity Vice- Chancelor Prof. Wale Omole and his wife, Sade PHOTOS: ADEJO DAVID

•Chief Nelson (left) and Mrs Olufunke Otebgeye-Osadare

Twenty-five soldiers have been joined in holy matrimony with their lovebirds at the Military Cantonment, Onitsha, Anambra State. ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU reports

•Col Gagariga flanked by military clergymen and the newly wedded soldiers


T was the first time such a wedding would be held in an army barracks. Twenty-five soldiers getting married at the same time and on the same day. It all happened at the Military Cantonment in Onitsha, the commercial hub of Anambra State. The men and officers were in their ceremonial uniforms, their brides wore gowns. It was a day to remember. Their friends and well wishers chorused amen when the officiating minister joined them. And when they sealed the union with kisses, the congregation hooted in joy. The mass wedding attracted the couples’ relatives, friends and well-wishers. Culture and tradition were on display at the event. The special mass wedding was held at the St. Peters’ Military Anglican Church,

25 soldiers in mass wedding Onitsha. The 25 soldiers and their brides filed out as early as 10am to take the marital vow. The Commander, 302 Artillery Regiment of the Nigerian Army, Onitsha, Col Taritimaya Gagariga urged the couples to live up to expectation. “It is a thing of joy for me to see 25 soldiers getting wedded at the same time. I am overwhelmed with joy that soldiers under my command would want to live responsible family lives,’’ he said. Col. Gagariga urged the couples be alive to their responsibiliies in order to create a better society. He described the occasion as unique be-

ing the first time in the history of the Army that such mass wedding would be held. At the church service, the Vicar and officiating Minister, Capt. (Rev) B.G Newton urged the couples to always put God first in whatever they do. He reminded the 25 couples of their responsibilities to the society, adding that since the family is the first society, they need to train their children in the fear of God and in accordance to societal rules. In his homily, Rev (Sgt) Daniel Danlami urged the couples to put God first in whatever they do. Sgt Danlami, whose sermon was entitled: Building a strong marriage, said: “Every suc-

cessful marriage is a reflection of a family’s closeness to God since it is only God that can grant perfect love in marriages and families. It is certain that marriage is not a bed of roses; at times there might be trials and challenges. But the family that has foundation in the deep knowledge of God would surely overcome in the time of adversity.’’ A couple who spoke on behalf of others, Sgt and Mrs. Chindo Larai, thanked God for giving them the opportunity to be united in love through wedding. A groom, Mr Ossai Abu (49) thanked the commander and other top officers who supported them to wed in the church.



SOCIETY The Olusin of Isanlu-Isin, Oba Solomon Olugbenga Oloyede clocked 50 last Saturday. He celebrated his attainment of the golden age with a N200million fund raiser for the rehabilitation of the palace. ADEKUNLE JIMOH reports.

A monarch at 50


HE atmosphere was conducive. Vehicles moved slowly down the slopy Isanlu-Isin in Isin Local Government Area of Kwara State, last Saturday. The town celebrated the 50th birthday of its monarch, Oba Solomon Olugbenga Oloyede and also held a N200million fund raiser for the rehabilitation of his palace. The mighty and the lowly and traditional rulers from different parts of the state came to share in the joy of the day with the Olusin of Isanlu-Isin. The agrarian community also hosted Juju maestro King Sunny Ade. The ageless musician enlivened the event with his sonorous voice, danceable lyrics and beats. Indigenes at home and in the diaspora with their friends came out in large number to felicitate with the birthday ‘boy.’ Twenty persons were conferred with honorary chieftaincy titles, including Governor AbdulFatai Ahmed at the event held at the Baptist Primary School, Isanlu-Isin. The governor was conferred with Akinrogun of Isin land. Oba Oloyede said he celebrated his 50th birthday in style to raise N200 million for the construction of a befitting modern palace for the community. He said: “I want to have a befitting palace that will be an architectural masterpiece so that when we are talking about palaces in Yorubaland, it will be one of those to behold”, he said. Funds were raised among the dignitaries, those conferred with honorary traditional titles and wealthy individuals. Governor Ahmed, represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Demola Banu, said traditional rulers would continue to be a link between the government and the people. “So, I appeal to our royal fathers to always strive to maintain peace, harmony and good relationship within and outside their community. I urge you to always settle all disputes peacefully, especially those regarding chieftaincy and boundary matters. “I see this as a further challenge to redouble our efforts towards bringing prosperity, peace and progress to the generality of the people of Kwara State. It is heartwarming to state that Isin people’s reputation for peace, progress and enterprise is worthy of emulation by all,” he said. Chairman, Isanlu-Isin Development Association Dr Emmanuel Ibiloye congratulated the monarch, Governor Ahmed and the other awardees. Chairman of the planning Committee, Elder E.F Abodunrin said the celebrator chose to mark the birthday because of his affection for his community. He said: “It is good to let you know that celebrating this particular birthday in this manner, is a result of the love his royal highness has for Isanlu-Isin community; all

•Oba Oloyede (second left) presenting a certificate to Mr Banu who stood in for Governor Ahmed. With them is Oba Gbadamosi

•Oloreke of Oreke, Oba Sunday Adefila and his Olori

•Cross section of the new chiefs

•Oba Sanni and Mrs Basirat Mohammed

•Chief Joel Ogundeji and Mrs Felicia Oyeleye

his life, he has always strived to make Isanlu-Isin relevant in the scheme of things. Before ascending the throne of his forefathers, everyone knew him as a great philanthropist who has been touching the lives of the less privileged in the society. “He intends to channel the proceeds of this birthday to the upliftment of our palace to a modern day one. Therefore, the most priced honour you can give him today is to contribute your quota to this project and our Kabiyesi and

the entire Isanlu-Isin community will forever remain grateful to you as you do that.” Among those in attendance were immediate past Deputy Governor Joel Ogundeji; a member of the House of Assembly, Mrs Felicia Ojeleye; Commissioner for Planning Chief Tunde Adeoti. Traditional rulers at the event included the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi; Olupo of Ajase-Ipo, Oba Sikiru Sanni and Olomu of Omu-Aran, Oba Charles Ibitoye.

•Kwara Sate Commissioner for Planning Chief Tunde Adeoti

•CEO of Ayancity Chief Ezekiel Ayanda



SOCIETY Delta State Deputy Governor Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN), gave out his daughter, Oghenefejiro, in marriage to Edwin Smooth, son of Chief Tunde Smooth. The traditional marriage was held at OtuJeremi Local Government Area of Delta State on May 2 and the wedding at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Warri, last Saturday. The solemnisation was officiated by the Archbishop of Benin Archdiocese, Rev Augustine Akubeze •From right: Bride’s mother Dr Nelly Utuama, her husband and Delta State Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN); groom’s father Chief Tunde Smooth and his wife, Doris

•First Civilian Governor of Delta State, Chief Felix Ibru (left) and Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Real Admiral John Jonah

•The couple Edwin and Oghenefejiro Smooth

•Wife of Delta State Governor, Mrs Roli Uduaghan and Delta State Chairman of PDP, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi

•Chief Edwin Clark (right) and former Bayelsa State Governor Diepreye Alamiyesigha

•Edo State Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Odubu (left) and Secretary to Delta State Government, Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay

•Senior Special Adviser to Delta State Governor on Foreign Relations, Mr Oma Djebah (left) and Political Adviser to the Governor, Chief Fred Majemite

•President of the Christain Association of Nigeria (CAN) Pastor Ayo Oristejafor

•Mrs Endurance Odubu




NB unveils Gulder campaign


IGERIAN Breweries Plc’s, Gulder Lager, has unveiled a new television commercial tagged: The Ultimate Arrival. The commercial spans over four minutes. Gulder’s new TVC was unveiled to a selected pool of reporters; for the first time. Later, it was unveiled on select television stations for the first time. A 360 degree teaser campaign’ involving social media, radio and print adverts preceded the formal unveiling of the TVC; and it kept Nigerians guessing for several weeks as to what The Ultimate Arrival entailed. Mr Yusuf Ageni, the Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc., represented by Mr Edem Vindah, Corporate Media and Brand PR Manager, praised the novelty of The Ultimate Arrival TVC. He described the commercial as: “The first of its kind television commercial, a different kind of advertising which highlights a different way of doing beer advertising in Nigeria.” He added that it would be the main component of the Gulder brand campaign for the rest of the year. Ageni pointed out that Gulder was not in the process of re-branding. He said: “Please note that this is not rebranding but a continuation of a brand story built on the values of Gulder as reflected in our current Out-Of-Home advertising. The new campaign has the theme:

Stories by Raji Rotimi Solomon

“The Ultimate Arrival” which reinforces the brand’s proposition. The advertising is designed to reflect the brand positioning while pinpointing the credential attributes of the brand.” The campaign script of the TVC was written by Insight Communications and produced by RedDot while the music sound track ‘Fever’ was performed by Elvis Presley. Landmark shots, such as the National Arts Theatre and the Sea Port, both in Lagos, were showcased; while the Lagos traffic also depicted that the Gulder Man is an inhabitant of the earth. The Corporate Affairs Adviser also highlighted the aspiration of the Gulder brand. He noted: “Let me re-emphasise that the ambition of the Gulder brand is to remain the number one national premium beer, driving top line growth through innovation and playing a significant role in the life of its consumers. We constantly conduct research on the Gulder brand, consumer perception and the expectation of our current and potential consumers and we are delighted that we have done and are always doing the right things.” Fielding the question on whether there was a deviation from the brand values of Gulder adventure, confidence, valour and bravery, in the new TVC, Mr Emmanuel Agu,

Marketing Manager, Gulder, Legend and Life, Nigerian Breweries Plc., asserted that the view was incorrect. He explained that The Ultimate Arrival TVC showcases of the Gulder Man’s lifestyle and relationship does not take away the brand essence and values of Gulder. Mr Agu added that Gulder is being repositioned as a national premium brand to meet the needs of male and female consumers that yearn and aspire for success and achievements. Mr Onyeka Okoli, the Senior Brand Manager, Gulder Nigerian Breweries Plc., also shed more light on the assertion that the commercial was elitist and lengthy, given its four-minute length. He explained that The Ultimate Arrival would still be broken into minute-long commercials with different themes; but the full length would be aired only once. The Senior Brand Manager also added: “The Ultimate Arrival commercial showcases achievement and success, and our goal as brand handlers is to position Gulder as a national premium brand that can be enjoyed by all that aspire to attain great feats and record accomplishments.” Mr Sam Osunoko, Account Management Director, Insight Communications Ltd., described Gulder as a mature brand that appeals to young adults who aspire for greatness.

Star rewards consumers LEADING beer brand, Star Lager beer, from the stables of Nigeria Breweries Plc, has started a reward programme where participants would receive N500 recharge cards each to appreciate them for playing in the league. This cuts across the major networks in the country. Over 7,000 participants have had their lines credited and 28,000 will be credited through this process of rewards that Star promises will continue till the end of the promo. As it heats up, Lagos is maintaining its lead on the league table, with other states recording increasing participation.” Star League – ‘Text & Play’ is an exciting avenue for consumers to display their creativity as they en-

joy their favorite Star lager beer. The challenge has been garnering accolades and excitement from consumers, who in the process have opportunity of winning fantastic prizes. Billed to run from April 2 to May 31, 2013, the Star League-Text & Play is generating huge interest and following as evidenced by the large number of participants on the league table. To participate, consumers are expected to look under the crown cork of their Star beer bottle for a unique code and SMS the code under with their full name, age and state of residence to a short code 30383. The consumer will instantly receive a feedback message stating the number of points the consumer has earned.

CAP launches Dulux paints campaign CHEMICAL and Allied Products (CAP) Plc, a subsidiary of UAC of Nigeria Plc (UAC) and the technological licensee of AkzoNobel, world’s largest paints and coatings company and manufacturers of Dulux premium brand of paint, has unveiled an experiential campaign tagged: Dulux mobile room make-over activation. The show was activated by the Executive Director Corporate Services of UAC, Mr. Joe Dada, with a call to Dulux customers to take advantage of the campaign to add both colour and value to their lives. The campaign, which was launched in Ikeja, Lagos with the unveiling of the activation Rig, was attended by the company’s key stakeholders, including senior managers of the UACN Group, trade partners and customers. Speaking on the occasion, the Managing Director of CAP Plc, Mrs.

Omolara Elemide, said that the Dulux Make-Over Activation is aimed at creating visual experience on how consumers can enhance the ambience of their homes (living room, bedrooms, children’s room, kitchens etc.) and offices using the right blend of colours either working with interior decoration experts or using the Do-It- Yourself (DIY) approach. Mrs Elemide said the Dulux Mobile Room Make-Over Activation campaign is another innovative initiative from Dulux to reinforce its global leadership position in paint. “With over 12,000 colours, Dulux is established as the custodian of knowledge in the area of colours with the objective of helping customers realise their well-being. The brand has consistently and innovatively introduced different colours to its customers worldwide over the years,” she added.

La Casera fetes ‘trade partners’

• From left: Chairman, Ifako Ijaiye LGA, Oloruntoba Oke; Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olufemi Olugbile and Chairman, Primary Healthcare Board, Lagos State, Dr. Babatunde Sagoe, at the World Malaria Day in Ifako Ijaye, Lagos.

Unilever storms Oke-Arin market


NILEVER, producers of Knorr and Royco season ing, has stormed Oke-Arin market to reward loyal retailers. Shouts of victory rent the air as retailers were given their prizes ranging from deep freezers, refrigerators, and the grand prize of a car which was presented that same day in the market. The visibility challenge ran in 42 markets across regions Nigeria for four weeks. To participate in the competition, retailers had to have a minimum of 10 cases of any Unilever seasoning product, and they were awarded points for the creative display of these products within their shops. One of the winners couldn’t contain her joy as she kept running around the market in joy. Known

as Mama Aliya, she said: “I didn’t really believe in the contest initially because lots of companies come with the same offer and afterall they don’t redeem their promises so I wasn’t so interested, but on the other hand, I saw it as a win-win game for me because I constantly buy and display Knorr and Royco seasoning so I decided to put-in for it. As you can see now that am a proud owner of a brand new deep freezer thanks to unilever”. Similar testimony was shared as the presentation continued. The last gift to be given was the grand prize of a car, which was presented to Mrs. Kehinde Ganiyat Abari of Kenny Stores. The market agreed that she deserved the prize. Speaking at the event, Mr Kwaku

Boateng, the Sales Director for Unilever, said: “This contest was organised to appreciate and reward loyal retailers who over the years has stayed true to the brand. We would continue to support and say thank you to them” The winner of the grand prize also expressed her gratitude amid tears and laughter, she was obviously beyond herself as she recount her story. She said: “For me, it is not a matter of contest rather habit, because come rain come shine, you would find me displaying these products in my shop. So ordinarily, I beat even the expected duration and finally, this is the reward. I wasn’t expecting a car, I would have been contented with any other prize though, so I must tell you am more than happy and more than grateful.”

THE La Casera Company Plc, makers of La Casera, one of the leading brands in the Carbonated Soft Drink (CSD) market, has dazzled its trade partners by rewarding them with over 500 prizes worth several millions of Naira for their performance in 2012. Tagged: Soaring higher, the occasion was graced by more than 500 trade partners from the four business regions; the West, East, North and South who converged on Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos. The high point of the event was the announcement and presentation of several prizes ranging from recharge cards, generator sets, plasma television, luxury cars and a grand cash prize of N7 million to the top winners. The ecstatic Trade Partners could not hide their happiness. They applauded winners as they came out to receive their gifts in what was

the biggest reward scheme ever from The La Casera Company Plc. In his welcome address, the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer of The La Casera Company Plc., Mr Dileeban Ponniah, expressed the company’s appreciation to the partners for their continued loyalty over the years. Mr Ponniah noted that last year was a very positive year for the Company and the Brands La Casera, Latina and Nirvana which was evident in the overall performance of the company as they grew in volume, reached more consumers across the country and beat industry growth rates in a year which saw tough trading conditions. He charged the partners to aspire to do even more and improve on the performance. He said the partners must be ready to take all brands of the company up.

Martell Milan Fashion Week in Lagos FRENCH Cognac house Martell, one of the best cognac brands in the world, officially launched its prestige range in Lagos, Nigeria with a spectacular event. They proudly captivated fashion lovers in Lagos by sponsoring its ubber exclusive and stylish fashion show tagged: Milan Fashion Week. This Featured Kinabuti’s 2013 Collection: “Vlisco Carnival in the Desert”. The event was graciously hosted by the Consular General of Italy in Nigeria, the Honourable Stefano De Leo. The night, which was delightfully packed with top diplomatic functionaries from different embassies, celebrities such as Stefanie Okereke Idahosa, Uti Nwachukwu, Dare Art Alade, Sasha P; elite socialites and true fashion lovers, gave guests the opportunity to view the Martell prestige range which cost as much as N1 Million for the L’Or de Jean Martell.

Guests were treated to tasty Martell cocktails and Italian food as house minimalistic music played in the background with the impressive photo of the Milan DUOMO Cathedral as one of the backdrops. Parked stylishly at the corner, was a red Martell branded Ferrari to greet guests as they mingled on the red carpet prior to moving into the house of the Italian Consular General for the show. The Collection was deeply inspired by the desert regions such as the Blue desert of Egypt, Arizona desert, Piscinas of Italy, Sahara desert in Africa and Rajasthan in India. The entire collection showed off the Kinabuti personalised Silk printed fabric; printed for the first time strictly for Kinabuti making its debut on the runway and also had, Vlisco African prints, Lots of Leather and leather fringes.





• From left: Head of Marketing, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Manpreet Sing; PR/Event Manager Mr Tope Ashiwaju; Managing Director, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Deepak Singhal and MD, BD Consult, Mr Tola Bademosi, during the briefing on the 6th edition of Indomie Independence Day Heroes Award in Lagos.

• Nigerian Idol Season 3 winner Moses Obi-Adigwe (2nd left) flanked by his sister, Rhoda (1st left); Director, PMO & Operational Strategy, Etisalat Nigeria, Ndidi Okpaluba (2nd right) and his brother, Prince at a cocktail after Moses was declared the winner. Etisalat sponsored the Nigerian Idol Season 3 held in Lagos.

Police PRO Frank Mba, Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) President & CEO, Red Ribbon Ltd, Tunde Shofowora; President of the African Public Relations Association (APRA) Peter Mutie; Past ACAMB President & CEO, Prospers Strategy Ltd, Lanre Alabi and the Secretary General of APRA & CEO of CMC Connect Ltd, Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, at the 1st All Africa PR & Strategic Communication Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

• From left: Member of Jury, Mrs. Nkechi Alli–Balogun; 2nd runner-up Reporter of The Year Golden Pen award, Mr Wale Alabi of The Nation newspaper and Editor–In-Chief of the Vanguard newspaper who is also a member of the panel, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, during the 5th Golden Pen Award 2013 orgarnised by Nigerian Breweries Plc in Lagos. PHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN

Brands sans borders

T cools you. It refreshes you. It energizes you. It leaves you with that feeling that is quite hard to place a finger on, a taste that is distinctly different, different in a way other brands in its genre can only watch in awe. It is not the colour. It is not the contour. It is the bottle. It is the cola. It is the cola inside the contour bottle. Guess, that is why it is loved by children and adults alike. Its dark, chilled flowing river must have soothed your throat at a time in school, after a hard job, at a party. Haa, deeply satisfying taste... Unlike the Chairman, you do not need to close your eyes before you drink it. In Nigeria, every family has a member who is an ardent fan of this brand. It has transcends borders, breaking traditions, pulling down walls and expanding its marketing frontiers. It is dreaming of the day when a Chinese would up the consumption of this brand from average of six bottles a year to an average of 376 bottles a year like his American counterpart. Or has it changed? However, Coca Cola’s homegrown offering has diversified into bottled water, juices and iced tea, and there is still space for more offerings. The company has for many years marketed canned tea drinks in Japan, in response to a clear local market need. In Nigeria it has ventured into bottled water and contested with a local brand, La Casera, for a share of space in the Lagos traffic. That is because multinational branded owners have massive spending power and highly developed management structures. No wonder they seem invincible?But in Nigeria the war is not over yet, or is it? McDonald’s is another brand that is broadening its tentacles. It has cornered some local brands that are strategic to its growth and take them under its wings. It has purchased different restaurant brands. In UK, it is in love with Aroma’s aroma that it could not let go. It won Aroma’s heart over. It has also sandwiched UK’s sandwich chain, Prêt à Manger. In its home country, McDonald’s has turned Chipotle Mexican Grill, Donatos Pizza and Boston Market into bigger burgers and ate them. Don’t look on with pitying concern. After all, this is not a tragedy. It is a strategy. It is also about home-made value and a big corporate machine at work. Now look at this. Suddenly, Prêt has spread its branches across the UK. Like all successful brands, it is now preaching the sermon from McDonald’s quality and consistency Bible. Do you know the difference? Prêt sells a different product. However, some local brands have ambitions to be global brands. They have started small. They are nimble. They are quicker on their feet. They also have their sights on international expansion. Zinox, Omatek, Brian and Beta computers are like that. In 2006, International Data Corporation (IDC) rated Zinox as the second best selling computer in Nigeria, within the four years of operation. HP was the first. Aside, local original equipment manufacturers (OEM) like Zinox et al have proved their mettle in the local IT sector. They have deliv-

ered when it mattered most. They have performed when you least expected. Perhaps because of this, and to encourage patronage of Madein-Nigeria products, the Federal Government has imposed sweeping ban on foreign computers and technology products in public institutions and schools. This would foster growth in the local ICT industry. Several PC schemes put up by the government to ensure PC penetration in Nigeria are weaved around these brands. The influx of fairly-used PC, especially with duty waiver, has helped many homes to own the computer; but it has not deterred the OEMs. Now, this may become a thing of the past with the federal government pronouncement. However, the main threats to the local brands are the global brands. The global brands are brands sans borders. These are brands that would most likely compete ferociously with the local brands. Who says, therefore that an HP, a Dell or IBM cannot swallow Zinox? Who says Omatek cannot become an appendage of HP through some boardroom maneuverings? Who can tell if Omatek and Brian would not merge to confront their common enemy? Like they say in local parlance, anything can happen. Globally, massive brands are coming together. Large corporations are been swallowed up by even larger corporations. Brickand-mortal walls are coming down. Digital curtains are coming up. The world is now a global community. Who can vouch if such cannot happen here? In Nigeria, in Africa? Who can tell? You can? If such happens, the local brands would totally eclipse. In their stead would emerge a stronger ‘glocal’ brand. For some, that would be very, very sad indeed. For, it would mean the loss of local cultures, identities and traditions. But, mind you, it would also usher in a new culture, new identity, and new philosophy. Glocal is the marriage of global and local brands. The two needs each other, don’t they? A local brand comes with cheap labour. Foreign brand brings expertise. The two meets at the production floor. The market is better for it. The shareholders’ fund would not be depleted. It would soar. Local brand wins. Foreign brand wins. Everybody wins. In the end, consumers want both global and local brands – brands that make them feel part of wider international community and brands that root them in their home culture. Therefore, local consumers of PC would be able to afford a Dell with the price of Zinox or Omatek. IBM or HP would produce at a cheaper rate and sell more to the emerging markets. Sorry, production may not happen here as power generation in Nigeria has not been too encouraging or has it improved? Anyway, if such happens here, together, the new brand will become a stronger brand, a brand sans borders, without frontiers, without shackles. Like Coca-Cola, such a brand would break traditions. It would collapse its marketing walls. Nigeria needs such brands so that PC penetration can increase astronomically. When that happens, it would be refreshingly cool.

*Editor - Wale Alabi *Consulting Editors - Rarzack Olaegbe, Sola Fanawopo * Correspondent-Jimi David * Business Development - Kenny Hussain * Legal Adviser - Olasupo Osewa & Co Brandweek is powered by Brandz Republic Consulting and published every Friday in THE NATION newspaper. All correspondence to the editor - 0808.247.7806, 0805.618.0040, e-mail: © All rights reserved.




FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013



• Some retail shops

Strategies for surviving hard times Big department stores slash prices and increase advertising budgets whenever sales are low. But many small retailers without the same financial muscle are stepping up efforts within the limit of their resources to attract customers. TONIA ‘DIYAN writes •STORY ON PAGE 32

Park ‘n’ Shop rewards customers Page 33

Our fears, by traders

Page 33




Strategies for surviving hard times


HE major goal of production and distribution is to enhance consumption. Wholesalers and retailers appreciate that profit can be made by satisfying consumers, hence shoppers are treated as king. However, these are not the best of times for retail shop owners as it is the season of low sales. But they are not taking things lying low. They are daily evolving strategies to be on top of things. Analysts have maintained that the existence of the informal retail sector would not be threatened by market circumstance, but rather, operators would bring in innovations to retain their market share. They have also presumed a situation where the small shops will sustain their dominance with the ability to offer lower prices than the big shops who have invested much to achieve international standard. And these are already playing out. The Delightsome Gifts Concepts, which sells gifts items, is a small retailer in Gbagada, Lagos. Its owner, Mrs Modupe Shopeju, said she had relied on her ability to quickly gather intelligence information about what customers want and then order such products immediately. Chief Mrs Simidele Fadayomi, the ÏyaOloja of Odu’a Model market in Ojota, Lagos, recently held a two-week discount in her lace shop, strictly through her private email. Almost 1,000 shoppers, she said, responded and sales sky rocketed. “It was the best day we’ve ever had,” she said. Small retailers are also using marketing tactics like the usual extra emphasis on customer service and sales promotions. But their most important step may be that they are trying to make the most of their inherent advantages over larger competitors. “Small retailers are finding a variety of creative ways to play up the benefits of their size,” said Ivan Friedman, an expert on retail practices. The ability of small stores to react quickly and directly to customers may be one of the most effective weapons they have said, Friedman, adding: “They can easily determine what is selling, and then place orders without wading through a cumbersome bureaucracy. They don’t have to go to the corporate office, wait for their request to be analyzed and then shipped to them.” Miss Grace Chinemerem- Israel, who is a beauty consultant, said she was spending a lot of time calling wholesalers directly when popular items sell out, sometimes she said, “on a daily basis.” “To speed up the process even more, I pay extra for parcel service to deliver my products.” Similarly, Mrs Deborah Faleyimu , owner of Cake Treat, a cake shop at Omole in Lagos, said she was also watching sales more attentively than usual. “After the weekend, we’ll figure out some items we do not have on Sunday night, and then make them available the next morning,” she said. In addition, small store owners say they often hear directly from their customers about new products and then quickly see how the items sell. A year ago, Mrs Modupe Shopeju said customers began telling her how much they liked an egg shape flower vase called the Arewa vase so she started stocking it. A week later, she sold all out. She re-ordered, and it sold out again in a week. Now, she said, she keeps a steady supply of the vase “You’ve got to pay attention to the feedback,” she said. Small retailers also have an advantage over bigger competitors in other areas, particularly customer services, said Mrs Folashade Akinremi, a home management consultant “Stores are upping the ante with more personalised customer service, particularly if they’ve depended on that for sales in the past.” Mr Kenneth Okeiyi, the General Manager of Green Mount Global Limited, situated in Lagos Island, said he makes sure his staff has a list of recommendations they can offer to panicky shoppers. He also offers free gift wrapping. Taking advantage of those more personalised relationships, some retailers are also doing more direct marketing, especially through e-mail messages. Ms. Joan Philips of Corner Cafe is mailing special promotions to the people on her email list. “I prob-

• A retail shop

ably wouldn’t be doing so much direct email marketing if I were expecting a different shopping climate,” she said. At Delightsome Books & Coffee shop, Ilupeju, an exhibition on gifts for employees and clients was held to promote sales in the shop. According to the owner of the place, Mrs Juliet Morgan, the promotion could add about five per cent to the revenue of the business. Another crucial area for retailers of any size is smart use of the Internet. Consumers are now expected to do 30 per cent of their shopping over the Web, according to the National Retail Federation. “If you don’t have a web site in this business, you’re at a competitive disadvantage,” Mrs Folashade Akinremi said. In some cases, shoppers are making their purchases in the store, but using the Web for comparison shopping, checking out prices and ensuring that products are in stock before making the trip, she said. Small retailers are taking tips from the big stores, thereby, increasing their advertising spending, though to a smaller extent. Many of them now cater to more affluent customers; and stores that sell to that market will most likely do better.

• Retail shops at Mushin

There is need to stress the fact that “small shops” and “big shops” are rather indistinct and that the classification of a unit of business as big or small is different in different places and has changed significantly with the passing of time. Big retailers suffer from high operational costs. However, the illegality of the operations of the small shops puts modern grocery retailers at a distinct disadvantage. Modern retailers have higher fixed costs; they cannot easily evade taxes because of their visibility and they have to source their supplies from legitimate channels. The big shops, which are usually known for groceries, are also fast expanding to nongrocery items such as house hold items, clothing, furniture and appliances/electronics to expand their share in the country’s retail market which is dominated by the informal retailers. A survey of the small and big shops revealed that prices vary according to commodities; some items are sold cheaper in the smaller stores than the big shops and vice versa. A shopper, Mrs Chinaka Azuka confirmed that over time she has discovered that some items cost lower in small and traditional

open markets than the big modern shops. For instance, she buys serviette tissue paper between N50 and N100 in a small shop in her environ, goes for N350 in Mega Plaza. “It’s not everything that I buy from the big shops, you find out that the other smaller shops and open market still sell cheaper. I patronise them mostly because of the convenience and fun they provide to shopping experience,” Chinaka said. For Mary Ukah, she cannot buy items like children’s toys in the big shops which she alleged were inferior products imported and sold very costly to naive Nigerian consumers. “Shopping in the big retail shops is very convenient; I can afford to dash in from the office and pick some items without sweating unlike when I go to the open markets. But there are things I cannot buy there because they are very expensive and sometimes inferior; I usually make out time on weekends to go to the market where I can get enough variety and at cheaper rates. People actually go to these big stores or the open markets to purchase items because of their relatively low prices while others prefer them for a quality shopping experience.





• Transformer Cufflin

•The mall under construction

Mall for Abuja residents The construction of a new shopping mall is underway in Abuja. OZOHUA UHAKHEME writes on the benefits this will bring residents.


NEW retail centre is under construction for people living in the Federal Capital Territory. It is called the Jabi Lake Mall and the construction is expected to commence in June, pending receipt of the necessary government approvals. An experienced private equity real estate investor, Actis in partnership with Duval Properties has confirmed the development. The mall will offer 30,000 square metres of grade-A shopping space from a prestigious location on the shores of Jabi Lake. It is expected to be anchored by Shoprite and Game, providing a one-stop leisure, restaurant and retail destination just 10 minutes from the city’s business centre. The Mall follows the success of other Actis malls in Nigeria, namely The Palms and Ikeja City Mall in Lagos. “Actis is delighted to partner with Duval Properties and to move closer to delivering a top quality shopping experience to the

citizens of Abuja,” said Actis Head of Real Estate, David Morley. He said “The Nigerian capital boasts strong population growth fundamentals, a robust infrastructure, and a thriving consumer class; drawing on our extensive track record in West Africa, we feel optimistic about what we can achieve here.” Hakeem Belo Osagie, Chairman of Duval Properties, said Duval’s vision for Jabi Lake is to create a vibrant, mixed-use waterfont community that is Abuja’s best place to live, work and relax. “Our partnership with Actis to build a waterfront mall is an exciting first step toward achieving this vision.” Charles Russell (UK) and F.O. Akinrele & Co. (Nigeria) acted as legal advisors to Actis. Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie (Nigeria) and SNR Denton (UK) acted as legal advisors and McCabe & Partners (Mauritius) served as financial advisor to Duval.

• Novelty Cufflin

Make the best choice of cufflinks


OR over a century, cufflinks have been a fashionable way through which well dressed men have kept their cuffs together. Besides rings and wrist watches, cufflinks are one of the few jewelry accessories a man wears. It is one of the few ways a man expresses himself. Today, cufflinks can be found in various shapes and styles. Over the years cufflinks continues to develop and has become a much more sophisticated detail of a man’s wardrobe, especially when wearing a tuxedo or formal attire. With so many varieties of precious metals, gem stones, fabrics, styles and designs to choose from, the cufflinks become

By Tonia ‘Diyan

the new, well dressed man’s statement of elegance. Cufflinks can say a lot about you. It has grown into a very popular fashion statement for men and women today. If you are wearing a watch, match the colour and tone of the cufflinks to that of the watch-band. A silver band will match a silver cufflink. With a black or brown watch-band, you can wear silver or gold cufflinks.There has been a growing trend to wear cufflinks without suits. When your shirt is ironed, you look good with your own unique cufflinks. Enjoy it; wear it on your sleeves.

The Lekki branch of Park ‘n’ Shop SPAR has given a car to a loyal shopper who won the star prize in a promo. WALE AJETUNMOBI reports.

Park ‘n’ Shop rewards customers


HOPPERS who visited the Lekki Park ‘n’ Shop last week were stunned when a brand new Kia Rio car was presented to Mr Friday Adamu, who emerged winner during a draw. To qualify, shoppers were expected to buy goods worth N2, 500. The promo was organised to commemorate the silver jubilee of the mall’s operation in Nigeria. The winner of the car, Mr Friday Adamu, he screamed in excitement as he asked the mall official who made the call to him conveying the good news to repeat himself to ascertain that he was not calling a wrong number. “Could you please repeat what you just said?” According to the supermarket’s Human Resources and Corporate Affairs Manager, Alhaji Kunle Hamzat, Adamu was rewarded for his loyalty to the mall. Park ‘n’ Shop SPAR, owned by Artee Group, started as a single store operation in Lagos, primarily catering for the grocery needs of shoppers. Over the years, it grows to operate in hyper market format, which has in stock a variety of products in electronics, furniture, lightings, grocery, bakery, butchery, pharmacy and all kinds of domestic goods. The supermarket has stores across Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Warri, which offer goods at discounted prices to consumers. Tagged 25th anniversary shopping festival, the promo commenced on March 21 as zonal “shop and win” contest, which was held across Park ‘n’ Shop SPAR branches. The Lagos zone was held with the national promo. Raffle tickets were brought from all zones to enter for the national sweepstakes. The raffle draw was supervised by an offi-

• Shoppers at the raffle draw cial of the National Lottery Commission, Mr Fidelis Ajibogun and Senior Legal Officer, Consumer Protection Council, Mr Emeka Odom. Tickets were mixed and shuffled in a spacious cardboard container. Afterwards, independent shoppers were called upon to pick winners. In the Lagos zone raffle draw, 51 customers won various items including Kenwood blenders, Kenwood steel kettles, Akai stabilizers, Samsung fridges, Haier Thermocool washing machines, Acer and HP

Compaq laptops among others. Mr Issam Gbedu, a customer, who came to buy bread, picked the ticket that won the grand prize. Hamzat said the promo was to appreciate the customers for keeping the group in business for 25 years. He said the supermarket would continue to offer quality and affordable products to its customers. On insinuation that the prices may be increased after the promo, Hamzat said: “We

will not increase our prices because of this promo; our prices still remain what they were before the promo. After the promo, our customers will still buy our products the same prices they are buying but the difference will be that tickets will not be given to any customer for prizes to be won. So it is not true that we will jack up our prices after the promo.” He thanked the customers for their consistency and loyalty to the supermarket.





EEING the result of hard work in your home can be satisfying. Your budget will go farther and you will feel a great sense of accomplishment, thus when shopping to mix high and low design home décor, pick a few pieces from various décor stores instead of outfitting an entire apartment with one look. A space needs to have balance and harmony for it to work, therefore, having a less expensive item next to a more expensive similar one is very important to be avoided, this is because too many similarities invite comparism which could make the more expensive things look cheap. For instance, a nice grouping of African mask can add lots of texture and colour and can be found inexpensive in shops and markets. What makes your home is the effort and thoughtfulness that you put into making it look special and personal. Decorating your house with accessories, such as lamps, area rugs or vases, gives features to a plain and boring look. Simple things like colour stones in a transparent glass jar can be very eye catching too. Tall lampshades though may look outdated, but it has an elegant figure and most importantly, it takes up less space while adding to the look of the apartment. The table lamp is a great option of style which comes in various colours. The Tiffany lamps, wrought iron lamps, mica lamps and wood lamps are the very popular. They come in very decorative and sophisticated designs such as paper, silk, metal and beads; they all have their own charm. Glass jars, which are of different sizes with colour pebbles, can sit beautifully on shelves and tables. A designer bookshelf is beautiful for the living room and useful if you have books lying around and no study room. It adds beauty to the living room. Large vases filled with artificial flowers can give an apartment an instant facelift. It could be a clay or brass pot, they both appeal to the eyes. Some flower vases are branded and affordable. Scented candles are very romantic and can be placed anywhere in the home, they add beauty to the dining table, centre rugs and consoles. They give the feeling of paradise and they are used to welcome a new season with passion. The decorative mirrors can be used as living room decorative accessory as well as

Accessories to suit the home Decorating your home with accessories to suit your style can be time consuming, yet less expensive. A successful interior is not determined by its cost, but by the time spent to make an apartment look rich and expensive, writes OLAJUMOKE ASSAN

• Accessories bathroom decorative accessory. In bathrooms they are hanged up or above, but in the living room they can be hanged anywhere there is space on the wall, but other decors should be considered. They also make the home or rooms look bigger. Centre rugs will not only add to your home, but will make it much more comfortable and warm. Its compliments the home décor. There are people who are looking for ways to instantly improve the look and feel of their homes. Since civilization, mankind has been exhibiting its love for aesthetics through wall paintings and other elements to display their liking for creating a better and colourful en-

vironment to live in. Home owners wish to decorate their homes always, because your home speaks for you and tells who exactly you are. There is nothing like living in a well decorated home and to make your house a home, home décor is a must. The home decor stores are overflowing with many unique decorating accessories. The trick lies in using these items in an appropriate way to give that lavish look to your home. You can use them in your own way to decorate your house with your own unique ideas. It will get easier to incorporate long loved vintage items into a contemporary style for an apartment to take one back in time and

into the future simultaneously. This may very well be the beautiful paradox that makes modern home decor so popular today. Designs that are lavishing and overdone have no place in today’s modern home décor, so you can decorate any place without spending much. The great part is that it gives you a chance to show your creativity in a small way and in turn it enhances the appearance of the house Decorating your home with accessories can be time consuming but fun. You have so much to choose from, therefore decorate it to suit your style.

According to them, they expected the government to build small shops on the land but were shocked to see storey buildings. Mrs. Sherifat Aremu, a trader in the market, said the government promised to build stalls for them initially, but now they are building story buildings. “Is it inside this mighty building that I will be selling my okro, palm oil, grand nut oil, salt and other petty things? How many customers will climb the stairs to patronise me? We are pleading with the government to please build the normal stalls we are used to so that our customers can continue to patronize us.” Mrs. Kemi Atanda said Oyingbo market has existed for many decades and it has been

associated with the masses. For this reason, the government should let the ‘common people’ pay for the shops instalmentally. “ we learnt it is going to be on the high side, but I think it shouldn’t be”. According to one of the contractors working on the site, the state government has not decided on how much it will let out the property to traders. “We have not reached the level of putting monetary value to the shops. What we are doing at the moment is building the shops to standard. I assure you that the state government will be considerate in allocating the shops. The renovation exercise was carried out in the interest of the traders in the first place; therefore, the state government will not heap burden on their necks.

Our fears, by traders As work on the Oyingbo Market nears completion, many traders are apprehensive that they may not be able to afford the rent. TAIBAT IDOWU writes.


RADUALLY, the pouplar Oyingbo market in Lagos Mainland is beginning to wear a new look. The construction of shops in the market started about five years ago in fulfilment of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s plan to stop street trading. But the traders are afraid that they may not be able to afford the rent for the shop. According to some of them, the rent will be for people who are in the millionaire’s club. A petty trader, Mrs. Risikat Kudiri, said: “We are poor but our prayer is that we should have money so that we can also benefit from the work of the state government. We are appealing to the government to consider those of us who are petty traders when the market is ready.” Similarly, the fears of Mrs. Badejo Kudirat, another trader is that the shops are not designed to accommodate people like her. She said the government should also consider those who do not have money. “It is not meant for everybody, it is for those that have money and I don’t have the kind of money the government will be asking for. I heard they are going to give the shops out for rent at N1 million. I pray God should provide another place for me to do my business,” she said. Mrs. Idiat Lawal, who is also a trader in the market, lamented that the government will give the shops to those who have the

• Oyingbo market under construction millions, adding that petty traders like her are not in the thinking of the government. “We are told the rent for a shop will be N1million each. Is it me that is selling onions, cray fish and okro that will rent a shop for N1 million? I don’t think I am one of the people that the government is targeting. It is a polite way of asking us to go back to our villages,” she said. While some traders are still waiting to see which direction the pendulum swings, others have started showing interest in the new shops. For some other market women, it is not only the fear of rent they have to contend with but the fact they have to be climbing up and down the stairs which they are not used to.



With ekpoita / 08138168825

Words & their Origin Malaria n. Infectious disease characterised by chills and fever and caused by the bite of an infected anopheles mosquito. This word comes from the mediaeval Italian mal (=bad) and aria (=air), describing the miasma from the swamps around Rome. This ‘bad air’ was believed to be the cause of the fever that often developed in those who spent time around the swamps. In fact the illness, now known as malaria, was due to certain protozoans present in the mosquitos that bred around these swamps, and which caused recurring feverish symptoms in those they bit.




1. Finalised (9) 7. Employ (3) 8. Tear (3) 9. Succeeded (3) 10. Consumed (3) 12. per Unit (4) 13. Bird (4) 14. Beer (3) 16. Imitate (3) 18. Bed (3) 19. Resort (3) 21. Justly (9)

SHOWbitzz Brown, Rihanna Rekindle Romance

For the first time, Chris Brown acknowledged his rekindled romance with Rihanna, and expressed regret for the infamous 2009 assault on his pop star girlfriend.“Sometimes you row, you fight, with the one you love and things get said, stuff spirals,” he said. “That night was the deepest regret of my life, the biggest mistake. But she loves me - what can I say? I’m forgiven … but, yes, I worked hard for it.”Standing by her man, Rihanna recently told Rolling Stone magazine that her relationship with Brown is “different now. We don’t have those types of arguments anymore.”Speaking at Elton John’s Aids Foundation Oscars after-party Sunday night, Brown told the Mirror that he has “grown up” and has since learned how to deal with the unrelenting criticism and backlash he has received.“I was very young and I took a lot of stuff, fame, for granted,” he said. “I didn’t understand it. The support from those who do know me and the fans, who are incredible, got me through.”Brown also dismissed Oscars host Seth MacFarlane’s joke during the ceremony, in which MacFarlane referred to “unspeakably violent” film “Django Unchained” as a date night for Brown and Rihanna.“People attack me and criticize me,” he said. “It happens all the time. But they don’t know me, and they don’t know us. It doesn’t bother me anymore.”Since the assault, the general public has been firm in calling out Brown’s behavior and outbursts of violence, including his destroying of a “Good Morning America” dressing room, his nightclub spat with rapper Drake, and most recently - a reported parking lot brawl with singer Frank Ocean.“He’s not the monster everyone thinks.” Rihanna said to Rolling Stone. “He’s a good person. He’s giving and loving. He’s fun to be around and he has a fantastic heart.”

Pep Pep Talk Talk


The first known inhabitants of present-day Kenya were Cushitic-speaking tribes that migrated to the northwest region from Ethiopa around 2000 B.C.E. In the 900s. Kenya has a fairly large Indian population, mostly those who came to East Africa in the early twentieth century to work on the railroad. Kenya has a fairly large Indian population, mostly those who came to East Africa in the early twentieth century to work on the railroad. Many Indians later became merchants and storeowners. About 70 percent of the population is rural, although this percentage has been decreasing as more Kenyans migrate to the cities in search of work. Corn (or maize) is the staple food of Kenyans. It is ground into flour and prepared as a porridge called posho, which is sometimes mixed with mashed beans, potatoes, and vegetables, to make a dish called irio. Among herders such as the Masai, wealth is measured in the number of cattle one owns. Having many children is also a sign of wealth. In urban areas, most people dress in Western-style clothing. Among some ethnic groups, such as the Rendille, a woman’s hairstyle indicates her marital status and whether or not she has children. A man’s stage of life is revealed by specific headdresses or jewelry. Despite the disproportionate amount of work that women do, men usually control the money and property in a family. Wife beating is common, and women have little legal recourse. Another women’s issue is clitoridectomy, or female genital mutilation, which leaves many women in continual pain and vulnerable to infection. Polygamy is traditional, and in the past it was not uncommon for men to have five or six wives. Kenyans are generally friendly and hospitable. At death, Kenyans believe that one enters the spirit world, which has great influence in the world of the living. Many Kenyans believe in reincarnation, and children are thought to be the embodiment of the souls of a family’s ancestors. Kenya has a strong oral tradition. Many folktales concern animals or the intervention of the spirits in everyday life; others are war stories detailing soldiers’ bravery. Ngugi wa Thiong’o, a Kikuyu, is Kenya’s most prominent writer. His first novels, including Weep Not, Child (1964) and Petals of Blood (1977) were written in English.

1. Correspond (9) 2. Pinch (3) 3. Sexual Desire (4) 4. Ourselves (2) 5. Moisture (3) 6. Discourage (4) 10. Expression of Surprise (3) 11. Get with Difficulty (3) 15. Enumerate (4) 17. Bird (3) 18. Taxi (4) 20. Father (2)

SUDOKU Sudoku is simply a game of logic and needs no mathematical skills to play. All you are required to do is to fill in the blank spaces in the grid to ensure that every row, column and 3 by 3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9.

WORDWHEEL Form as many words as you can with the letters in the wheel below.Proper nouns and 2-letter words are not allowed. Every word must use the letter ‘E’.There is a 9-letter word with an ‘orbicular’ meaning hidden in the grid. This is the star word.

Success in the affairs of life often serves to hide one’s abilities, whereas adversity frequently gives one an opportunity to discover them



With / 08138168825 TRAVEL & LEISURE The financial crisis slammed global banking hubs around the world. Were it not for government bailouts, Wall Street, The City and other banking hubs may never have recovered. The traditional financial powerhouses stand weakened, and others, long hungry to steal their business, are taking advantage.


Dubai — a desert financial dream Dubai spent healvily in recent years to position itself as a regional financial center and a player in international finance. But its debt-fueled, spendthrift ways finally caught up with the UAE member in late 2009; Dubai was forced to take a $10 billion bailout from Abu Dhabi and remains in serious financial trouble

Sao Paulo — it’s just more fun As Brazil emerges as Latin America’s leading economy, investors are increasingly looking to Sao Paulo to play the country and the region. Brazil’s banking sector is relatively underdeveloped and security remains a concern in Sao Paulo, but there’s lots of upside.

Luxembourg — safe and exotic Luxembourg is growing as a financial center because of its Swiss-like secrecy rules, but that could be its downfall. There’s plenty to find attractive. Luxembourg’s marketing materials claim “it’s the second largest investment fund centre in the world after the United States, the premier captive reinsurance market in the European Union and the premier private banking centre in the Eurozone.” It’s also the second-



Dizzy Gillespie

largest mutual fund market after the U.S.

Johannesburg infrastructure

Sophisticated financial

Johannesburg is poised to be the financial hub of a continent which represents more than 900 million consumers and one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

John Birks Gillespie was born October 21, 1917, in Cheraw, South Carolina, to John and Lottie Gillespie. The last of nine children, Gillespie’s father was abusive and unusually strict and the youngest Gillespie grew up hard and strong. When Gillespie was ten, his father died and left the family in terrible financial trouble. Around this time Gillespie’s English teacher introduced him to music, and he soon joined the school band. At first he played the trombone, but switched to the trumpet after borrowing a neighbor’s and immediately falling in love with the instrument. Over the next several years Gillespie played with local bands—to both black and white audiences— until his family moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Gillespie was influenced by Roy Eldridge and played with the big bands of Cab Calloway, Earl Hines, and Billy Eckstine before leading small groups in the mid-1940s. When Gillespie was in the Frankie Fairfax band in Philadelphia he carried his new trumpet in a paper bag, an act that inspired fellow musicians like Bill Doggett to call him “Dizzy.” In 1989, the year he turned seventytwo, Dizzy Gillespie received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences’ Grammy Award ceremonies. The honor—one of many awarded to the trumpet virtuoso—recognized nearly fifty years of pioneering jazz performances. That same year he received the National Medal of Arts from President George Bush (1924–). Not letting age slow him down, in 1989 Gillespie gave three hundred performances in twenty-seven countries, appeared in one hundred U.S. cities in thirty-one states and the District of Columbia, headlined three television specials, performed with two symphonies, and recorded four albums. The next year, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts ceremonies celebrating the centennial of American jazz, Gillespie received the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers’ Duke Award for fifty years of achievement. Although Gillespie’s failing health was due to pancreatic (having to do with the organ that helps digestion) cancer, Gillespie continued to play the music that he loved late into his life. His last public appearance was in Seattle in February of 1992. Gillespie passed away quietly in his sleep on October 6, 1993, at the age of seventy-five.

Pep Talk




1. Correspond (9) 2. Pinch (3) 3. Sexual Desire (4) 4. Ourselves (2) 5. Moisture (3) 6. Discourage (4) 10. Expression of Surprise (3) 11. Get with Difficulty (3) 15. Enumerate (4) 17. Bird (3) 18. Taxi (4) First Bank of Nigeria has taken a further step in consolidating its position 20. Father (2) as the leading bank in Nigeria by taking its outdoor branding outside the shores of the country. SUDOKU Sudoku is simply a game of logic and needs no The banking giant has its beautifully designed billboard displayed at mathematical skills to play. All you are required terminal 5 of the London Heathrow airport in what might be a move to to do is to fill in the blank spaces in the grid to position itself to take advantage of the Federal Government’s vista of ensure that every row, column and 3 by 3 box new investment incentives for potential foreign investors in the country. contains the numbers 1 to 9. The novel branding move which may well be regarded as country branding, drawing attention not just to the bank but also the country is has the propensity of triggering a new trend with advertising in corporate Nigeria. Companies all over the world are looking to expand their businesses into foreign markets. With the dropping of trade barriers and improvements in communication, many firms aspire to go global. With increasing globalization, MNCs are becoming stateless players, detached from individual nation states. However, the consumer’s brand evaluation process is a complex one with a number of variables. One key, albeit often ignored, factor is the Country of Origin (COO) of the brand. COO has been an important factor in consumer purchasing decision making. The FBNbillboard is strategic, given the fact that Nigeria has become the focus for Direct Foreign Investment.

1. Finalised (9) 7. Employ (3) 8. Tear (3) 9. Succeeded (3) 10. Consumed (3) 12. per Unit (4) 13. Bird (4) 14. Beer (3) 16. Imitate (3) 18. Bed (3) 19. Resort (3) 21. Justly (9)

Our ideas like orange plants, spread out in proportion to the size of the box which imprisons the roots. – Edward Bulwer Lytton



SOCIETY General Overseer of Restoration Bible Church Reverend Tunde Bolanta and his wife Pastor Tina have marked their 25th wedding anniversary at the Restoration International Conference Centre, Angwan Romi, Kaduna. TONY AKOWE was there.

Renewing their marital vow


ENERAL Overseer (GO) of Restoration Bible Church Reverend Tunde Bolanta and his wife, Pastor Tina, marked their 25th wedding anniversary on April 28. Friends and family gathered at the Restoration International Conference Centre, Angwan Romi, Kaduna to celebrate with them. Their marital journey started by a chance meeting inside a bus from a friend’s birthday. But for Tina, Tunde had caught her attention before the meeting. She already knew that they were destined to be together. “It was sometimes in May 1987. I was invited to a youth programme that was held at the social centre and he was one of the speakers. When I saw him, I said to myself, what a handsome young man. After that, I did not give it any thought because I was busy serving. That event was my first encounter with Pentecostal life. When I got home and was praying, I heard a voice say to me “that young man will be your husband and you will be a support to him in ministry. So, when we met again inside the bus, I had to start asking him what the ministry meant and other questions. Unknown to me, our parents knew each other before we even met,” she said. Revd Bolanta corroborated the story at a dinner organised for the lovebirds. “… Inside that bus, she began to ask me questions about my ministry. The bus dropped us in the town where I boarded another bus to Barnawa. Somehow I discovered that she was also going to Barnawa and we continued the discussion until I dropped.” Who paid the fare? asked by one

•From left: Mrs Bajoga; Rev Bolanta and his wife, Pastor Tina

of the guests. “I can’t remember now, but I have always been a gentleman and so, I guess I paid. Later that night, while I was praying, the Lord said to me that the young women sitting beside me and talking to me inside the bus is my wife. I went to the Danish woman who was our neighbour and my spiritual mother and told her that I have found my wife and she told me that we needed to create a forum for them to meet so that she can assess her.” T he couple got married at a quiet ceremony in Denmark. “Our host in Denmark bought everything and we didn’t have to spend a single kobo. It was on our return that we did the rest back home,” Revd. Bolanta said. Members of their church and friends showered encomiums on them. The couple renewed their marriage vows with Rev. Adeyeye officiating vows. It was the first time they were doing so in Nigeria having tied the knot 25 years ago in Denmark with only foreigners as witnesses. After renewing their vow, they once again exchanged rings. Rev. Bolanta presented a gold ring to Tina to the admiration of guests. Even though shouts of ‘you may kiss the bride” rent the air, Rev Bolanta preferred to give her a hug. Wife of Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Mrs Nuhu Bajoga and wife of former Deputy Governor, Mrs Charity Shekari supervised the cutting of the cake. Members of the church stayed late into the afternoon to honour their GO even though the church was supposed



THANKSGIVING and remembrance service for the late Dr Eustace Akipomiemie Mario Young will take place tomorrow at Saint Ambrose Catholic Church, Ekpan Delta State. Entertainment of guests follows immediately at KM6, Refinery Road Ekpan, Delta State. •The late Mrs Oyeyemi



FUNERAL in memory of the late Prophetess Alice Iyabode Ayoola Oyeyemi will be held tomorrow at Oke Odo Senior High School, Lagos. Prophetess Oyeyemi until her death was a devout Christian and community leader. She was 107 years old.



HE Island Club annual general meeting will take place today at the club’s premises. Further deliberations on the progress of the club will continue tomorrow at same venue.


•Mrs Shekari

•Rev Adeyeye and his wife

to have closed at The dinner party, which they organised for a few friends at their residence was not different from the one at the church. The main attraction at the dinner was the couple’s dance which the people insisted on even though they were not too disposed to it. At the request of the guests, they took to the dance floor and were late joined by the guests as the church band belted out melodious gospel songs. Mary, the first child, admitted said the Mercy Home Orphanage owned by the Bolantas, said she was only seven years old and without any hope when she came into

the home. “I was only seven years old and have never seen the four walls of a school when I came into Mercy Home Orphanage. But today, I am a candidate for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) exams. Daddy has been very good to us and has never given us any cause to feel the absence of our biological parents. If I have to say all that I want to say, we will spend the whole day here,” she said. Mrs. Shekari, a long time friend of the family, testified to the humility of Mrs Bolanta who she described as a great pillar of support to her husband.

Joseph Ataguba of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) said the couple stood by his family in their time of need. Mr Ugo Ugorji, a family friend of the couple said: “I first met this couple in the early 90s when they were driving a 1986 model of Honda accord and living a very humble life. People used to say then that when they arrive, their life style will change and today, prosperity is no longer part of their prayer point and they are still as humble as they were in 1995. Today, God has built a home for them and they are still as humble as they were when they were living in one room”.




ROF F.S Idachaba’s books “The Agricultural Economist as Preacher: Essay in Policy Advocacy on Nigerian Agriculture, Rural Development And Food Security” volumes 1 and 2 and “No Easy Harvest: An autobiography” will be presented to the public tomorrow at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. Expected as special guest on the occasion is the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology Akure, Prof .A. G Daramola; Vice Chancellor University of Ibadan Prof. I.F Adewole, is the Chief Host; Prof N.O Adedipe is chairman and presenter


EMAINS of Mrs Moji Adeyemi will be interned today at the RCCG House of Glory, Ikeja, Lagos State, Interment at Vaults and Garden, Ikoyi Lagos. Reception follows at the Grandeur events centre Ikeja, Lagos.


•Prof Daramola

on the occasion, while Profs J.C Umeh and J.I Omada will review the books.


IKKAH (marriage solemnisation) between Hafsoh Adepeju Balogun and Abdul Rasaq Damilare Odusina, children of Sikirullahi Balogun and Alhaji Y.O Solate will hold tomorrow at Iyana Ilogbo, Sango, Ogun State.


HE Parresia Foundation for Arts and Literature will be launched tomorrow at the Freedom Park, Lagos. Comedian, Hafis Oyetoro (aka SAKA); I.K Osakioduwa, Toolz Oniru, Omalich, Toni Payne, Victor Olaotan and OC Ukeje will feature on the occasion as guest readers. •COMPILED BY BUKUNMI OGUNDARE AND OLUWATOSIN DOPEMU



SOCIETY Former Miss Olaide Oluseyi Olawoye, a medical doctor and her beau, Babafemi Ayobami Odumosu, who works at Larfage Wapco Concrete Mix in Ewekoro, Ogun State, got married at the St James Anglican Church, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. YINKA ADERIBIGBE was there.

‘We were destined for each other’


HIRTEEN years ago while in secondary school, their paths crossed through a mutual friend. Penultimate Saturday that journey ended on a happy note as Olaide and Babafemi got married before their parents, friends, associates and the clergy. This is the love story of Olaide Oluseyi Olawoye, a medical doctor observing her housemanship at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State and her beau, Babafemi Ayobami Odumosu, who works at the Ewekoro plant of Larfage Wapco Concrete Mix. Guests had a foretaste of what was ahead a day earlier when the Olawoyes hosted the groom’s family to a lavish traditional wedding at their expansive courtyard. The bride’s father, Olusola Olawoye, his wife Temilade and the bride’s godmother Chief Olabisi Oyediji led others in receiving the Odumosu family into their home. As grand as the traditional engagement was, the wedding was a show stopper. As early as 9am, the church was filled to capacity, with many who came late standing outside. The groom, decked in a black suit with red flowered waist coat, red bowler hat, and black shoe, was ushered into the church a few minutes before 10am by a retinue of groom’s men all in black suit and hats, dancing . As he took his seat, the bride in a shimmering white gown and headpiece accompanied by the bridal train danced in. Holding on to her father’s hand, they gyrated to the melodious tunes supplied by the choir as they made for the altar. He walked her to her seat before returning to take his seat behind the couple. The clerics led by witty Canon Charles Ayeoribe proclaimed them husband and wife after the father publicly handed her over to the groom’s mother, Mrs Titilayo

•From left: Groom’s father Mr Adewale Odumosu; bride’s mother Temilade Olawoye; the couple Babafemi and Olaide; groom’s mother Mrs Odumosu and bride’s father Olusola Olawoye

Odumosu, calling the church to bear witness. Moments later, the couple exchanged rings and they led other family representatives to sign the wedding certificate. In his sermon, Revd Shola Ogunniran urged the couple to always walk with God, and ensure they make Him the bedrock of their marriage. “Many marriages that were sealed in church today are crumbling because the parties refused to make God their foundation,” Revd Ogunniran said. Revd Ogunniran enjoined the couple to respect each other and share each other’s burden and joy. He beseeched them to pursue peace at all times and not be too far away from the Bible as soon as they begin to raise a family. Members of the Mothers Union of the church filed out to formally induct the bride into their fold. After-

wards, they presented her with a Bible, urging her to make it her daily companion. The couple alongside friends and family members moved to Abal Event Centre, Akobo, Ibadan for a lavish reception. The venue was tastefully decorated with a touch of gold and wine. A ‘castle’ decorated in shimmering white lights was reserved for the couple. The hall erupted in joy following their arrival and they were ushered into the hall with the classic Oruka ti dowo na, African Queen, by Tu Face, Azonto, and other hip hop love tunes by the energetic band. It was an opportunity for ‘Femi and ‘Laide to showcase their dancing prowess. As Femi engaged in the hip hop style, Laide engaged the Azonto dance steps to the admiration of all who urged her on as she sweated it out on the dancing floor.


Speaking at the event, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State Prof E.O. Lagoke, enjoined the couple to make their marriage work, adding that it is the only institution where certificates were issued before graduation and where partners must always learn to subsume their individuality under one umbrella. He enjoined the couple to take their challenges to God in prayer and refrain from listening to outsiders. “In your marriage you must consider even your parents as outsiders and refrain from soliciting advice from any other quarter but from God. When you have absolute inner reliance on God you are never alone and the cross and challenges become easier to bear,” he said. He supervised the cutting of the cake, assisted by the designer, who

took time to explain the symbolism of the colours of the three- layered cake and prayed for the fruitfulness of the marriage. Asked about her husband, Laide said: “I see Femi as a true and kind man. He is honest and down to earth. He taught me love in a good way and brought out the best in me. I know he would be a wonderful friend, husband and father and I pray God Almighty continue to bless him for me.” Femi was not also lacking in compliments for his wife. He described Olaide as a beautiful woman. “We met 13 years ago. Laide is a peaceful, gentle, caring and straight forward woman. Her definition of love is to ‘give everything without any expectation of any return.’ She has been there through the thick and thin of my life. I’m so honoured and privileged to call her my wife,” he said.


•Mr Eghosa Orowere and his wife Alonge cutting their wedding cake in Lagos PHOTO: OYEYEMI GBENGAMUSTAPHA

•Former Miss Olubunmi Oyeladun Aluke and her beau Adebowale Odunlayo Benson cutting their wedding cake at the reception held in National Institute for Sports, Gymnasium Complex National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos




Informative speech


•Apostle Enoch (left) and the newly ordained Evang Stephen

Amidst joy and exaltations, the corporate headquarters of the Apostolic Church (Mount of Zion), was inaugurated in Maryland, Lagos. IBRAHIM APEKHADE YUSUF reports

Fanfare as Apostolic dedicate church


WEET, good memories! That described the lasting impression in the minds of those who witnessed the ordination service as well as the inauguration of the corporate headquarters of the Apostolic Church (Mount of Zion), Maryland, Lagos. The twin event, which drew crowds from far and near, was the first of its kind in the annals of the church. A cursory look at the auditorium, decorated in turquoise blue and laced with white apparels, complemented by the galaxy of faces including church officials and guests decked in all-white attires. They gyrated to the melodious hymns churned out by the choir. The cool ambience added a touch of panache to the occasion as evident in the way and manner the audience in the auditorium chattered about with no care in the world, albeit, in joyous ecstasy! The officiating minister, Apostle Isaac Enoch, who set the tone for the celebration, expressed gratitude to God for crowning the efforts of his congregation with success thus far. Going down memory lane, an up-

beat Apostle Enoch said there was every cause for the congregation to bring out the drums and cymbals to celebrate the successes because the journey has been anything but smooth. “This whole thing started nearly over 23 years ago. This church you see standing magnificent here today can be described as a child of circumstance. When majority of us, mainly indigenes from Akwa Ibom, Cross River states, came to Lagos, we wanted a place of worship, where our kits and kin could have a sense of belonging,” he recalled. “We faced a lot of persecution from different quarters as our members became the butt of derisive jokes, violent attacks among other untoward sufferings. But our faith remained unshaken. From a humble congregation of only three, we soon rose to tens of thousands. Today what the Lord has done is marvelous in our eyes and we shall rejoice and be glad in it. From our experience, you can see that it is good to serve the Lord in truth.” While buttressing the sermon, Pastor Ekomobong Umosoh said, it behoves Christians to imbibe the teachings of the

GRADUATION •From right: National Chairman, Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Chief Sam Nkire, his daughter Queentte and wife Fidelia during Queenette’s MBA graduation at the University of Wales, Cardiff UK

holy book, adding, “This is the only way we can become models to the rest of the world.” Echoing similar sentiments, other ministers took turns to give exhortations, even as they urged the congregation to remain steadfast to rededicate themselves to God. The cutting of the tape to formally declare the church open was conducted by the presiding bishop, assisted by other elders in the church. The highpoint of the occasion was the ordination of some members including: Evangelist Imoh Stephen, Pastor Gabriel Ufot, Savior Ufot, Aniekan Akpan, Samuel Akpan, and Ekomobong Umosoh respectively. Speaking on behalf of the ordained pastors, Evang Stephen, a former journalist with the now rested Newswatch and The Nigerian Economist, said the elevation of some members to positions of responsibility in the church was a wake-up call for them to rededicate their lives to the service of God, adding that as ministers of God, they would do everything to justify the trust reposed on them by the church.

AVE you ever listened to someone speak and at the end of it you learnt something new? Have you ever heard someone provide a deeper insight into something you have always known and you thought in your heart, “Wow! I never saw it like that before”? If you have, then you have come in contact with informative speech. So, what exAMODU LANRE OLAOLU actly in informative speech? An (Ph.D) informative speech is one that 07034737394 is directed at enlightening the listeners. It is designed in such a way that valuable information is passed across to the audience either for the first time or to provide a fresh perspective. If we look around us, we will discover that we are constantly exposed to so many types of informative speeches. For instance, if you are a student, all the lessons or lectures you take in school are informative in nature. This is because they teach you something new that you will need for your future career. One of the ways to know that school lectures are informative in nature is that you are given tests and examinations to evaluate your level of understanding. Also, there are several empowerment seminars these days. Some of them are on entrepreneurship, career development, skill acquisition, internet business, forex trading and computer training to mention a few. All of these are informative speeches. Their sole aim is to impact knowledge on the listener. Some people are of the opinion that informative speech is different from demonstrative speech because one involves only information while the other takes it to the next level of demonstration. I am of the opinion that they are the same. Demonstration is an element of speech that does not necessarily need to stand alone. All the types of speeches mentioned above can be demonstrative depending on the preference of the speaker. Nevertheless, we shall examine this dimension later still under this topic. There are some basic requirements of an informative speech and they are the following: •The Speaker Must be Knowledgeable: if it is true that an informative speech must contain fresh information or a different perspective to existing ones, then it goes without saying that the speaker must be knowledgeable. Can you imagine yourself paying a huge sum of money to learn forex trading from an instructor who just learnt it last week and is yet to execute his first trade? Can you employ an English teacher to teach your children Further Mathematics? How about you as an Art student being invited to a conference of computer professionals to deliver a lecture on Bioinformatics? You cannot give what you don’t have. As far as informative speech is concerned, the knowledge base of the speaker will go a long in determining the success of the speech. •It Must be Systematic: this simply means that the presentation of the speech must follow a given pattern. It must be according to predetermined procedure. You have to plan your speech in such a way that the information will be effectively passed across to the audience. There are different approaches to this. On one hand, you may begin with what your audience is familiar with and then gradually move on to new facts until you “download” your entire information. On the other hand, however, you introduce the fresh fact directly in such a way that it interests them and makes them want to find out more. Whichever way, be systematic. •Audience’s Knowledge Must Equal Speaker’s Knowledge: at the end of your informative speech, your audience must know exactly what you knew at the beginning. This is how it worksyou had an idea you want to pass across to your audience. In your mind, the idea is complete. Then you begin the process of imparting that idea into your audience. At the end of your effort, the audience must not have a passing idea of what you talked about, they must not understand a part of it, but they must have the perfect picture that you had in your mind before you started. This is the only indication that you have communicated effectively. To achieve all that we have talked about, it is important to understand the techniques for delivering an informative speech. We will explore some of those strategies next week, look forward to it. Thanks for following me through our topic for today. I hope you have derived as much pleasure and inspiration as I have. Join me again next week as we explore another important topic on public speaking. Please write to share your experiences and ideas through: You can also ask questions about our topic for today or any other one and I will be glad to make it a topic for discussion. Have a blessed week. Dr. Amodu teaches at the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State.



SOCIETY The ancient city of Awka, Anambra State capital last weekend buried one of their own, Reginald Nwokoye, an octogenerian.

•Deputy Rector, Dr. Don Muo, Polytechnic Librarian Fred Obodoeze and the Registrar Tony Nwaokolobia

•Mr Onuchukwu and wife Uju

Encomiums as Awka buries octogenarian F OR residents of Ziks Avenue, Awka, Anambra State capital, the day was not just like any other one as the people trooped out to bid farewell to one of their own, Elder Reginald Nwokoye, an octogenarian. The activities marking the burial started with a Christian wake at his residence and ended with a church outing service at the Cathedral of St. Faith, Awka. Though it was supposed to be a sober period, the funeral turned out to be fanfare as people who came said it was worth celebrating, especially these days that people die at their prime. At the wake, it was like a carnival as various dance groups tried to outdo one another in a bid to receive the highest attention. But the atmosphere on the following day changed when the siren of the hearse was heard as wailings of relations and friends rented the air. The wailing by women and muffled sobs from elderly men showed the kind of man that he was.

His remains were laid in state until the Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese Rt. Rev Alex Ibezim, covered the casket and commenced the funeral service. The bishop urged the people to always face the challenges of life’s greater expectation of having victory through good life. He described the late Nwokoye a.k.a Idejuogwugwu as a great father who had affected many lives around him positively and urged his children to ensure that they uphold the legacies he left behind. The prelate urged the people never to rest their hopes and aspirations on worldly things and occultic powers, admonishing that such act can disappoint and eventually lead to destruction. He placed emphasis on the need for people to place their trust on God, which he said does not disappoint and urged the people to live diligently in this world and have love for humanity. After the late Idejuogwugwu was committed to mother earth, members of his kin-

•Mrs Agbata

•Rt. Rev Ibezim

dred commenced the traditional rites with songs. The deceased’s son, Ekene said the counsel of his father will remain indelible in his mind, describing his late father as honest and fair in all his dealings with everybody and had always advocated peace and tolerance in any dispute. He said people who had come in contact with his late dad will surely miss his generosity and kindness adding that wickedness and hatred was alien to the late dad. In his tribute to late Nwokoye, the son-in-law, Mr Obini Onuchukwu, the Public Relations Officer of the Federal Polytechnic Oko, said God

used the life of late Nwokoye to change history. Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi who was represented by his Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Henrietta Agbata, described the death of the octogenarian as painful but “we take consolation in the fact that he had the good fortune to live up to 87 years.” Obi said: “There is no doubt that a vacuum has been created with his exit. However since we neither choose the time of our birth nor that of our death, but only live our lives to the glory of God, let us be consoled by His promise of eternity which His mercy admits us”.

The nikkah between Muqadas and Mariam, children of the late Alhaji AbdulRasaq Ajadi Paramole and Alhaji Rasaq Qazeem, has been held at the Surulere Local Government Secretariat in Lagos. AMIDU ARIJE was there.

When love wins M

UQADAS Oladimeji and Mariam Omotayo attended the Lagos State University (LASU) where they met nine years ago. While there, the groom studied Economics and the bride, Political Science. They first met at the library where they became friends. The frienship blossomed into a love affair. Since then, it has been one good song the other. They are now man and wife having got married at the Surulere Local Government Secretariat in Lagos. The venue brimmed with activities and the canopies were filed with friends and well wishers. The National Missioner of the Jejewiyat Muslim Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Mustapha Araromi, presided over the ceremony. In his sermon, Alhaji Araromi told the couple to love each other. “Love yourselves; overlook each other’s mistakes and value your union; be patient with yourself and always pray together,” he admonished. The exchange of marital vows was officiated by the Deputy National Missioner of the society, Alhaji AbdulGaniy Thanni, after which the couple exchanged rings. Chairman, Bomarah Foundation, Hajia Bola Muse, presented the certificate to the couple. Soon after the nikkah, a reception followed immediately at the same venue. The couple, in their native attires, danced to tunes from Sunny Glory band as they moved to their seat. The occasion was chaired by Mr Tokunbo Fashola.

Fashola urged the couple to renew their love and always help one another. “Renew your love, live together, the family that lives together prays together,” he said. Also advising the couple, Special Adviser to the Governor on Chieftaincy Affairs Mr Kunle Odufuwa said they should not allow a third party in their affairs. The cutting of the cake was supervised by the master of ceremony, Bakare Deji (Jnr). The elated groom, Muqadas, said: “It is a thing of joy; it is a stage one needs to pass through. I thank God for making today a reality; it is my joyous day. She is caring and has been there for me in my high and low times. “We met at LASU; we have been together from year one. We met in the library; we started as friends but later love came in; and today we are celebrating our love,” he said. The bride, Mariam, described the day as wonderful and marvelous. “It is a wonderful and marvelous day and I am very happy,” she said. “He has everything that I think a man should have,” Hajia Lara Paramole-Oshikoya advised the couple to love one another and pray together in their home. “They should love one another, pray together and communicate and they must also settle disputes amicably within themselves without inviting third party,” she said. The groom’s mother, Alhaja Sekinat Ayoka Paramole, urged the couple to live by the teachings of the Quran and be prayerful, saying it is the only way to a blissful family. The bride’s mother Alhaja Aderonke

•The couple Muqadas and Mariam

Qazim, enjoined the couple to love one another and live by the teachings of the Quran. Alhaji Isimoila Paramole, who represented the groom’s father, advised the couple to be prayerful and love one another. Guests included Alhaja Falilat Sanusi – Paramole; Senior Lecturer LASU, Dr Kabiru Paramole; Secretary, Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Kamaldeen Sanusi; member House of Representatives,

Hon Hakeem Muniru; Ejigbo Local Council Development Area Council Manager, Mr Babatunde Olaide Mesewaku; wife of the Chairman, Ejigbo LCDA, Mrs Fatimah Bamigbetan; Permanent Secretary, Local Government Service Commission, Otunba Nurudeen Ojora-Adejiyan; Supervisor for Agric, Rural and Social Development, Ejigbo LCDA, Mrs Oluwyemisi Alashe; Information Officer, Ejigbo LCDA, Mr Rabiu Hassan and Mr Kolawole Oloko among others.



FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013




• From left: Governor Ajimobi, Fayemi, Mrs Okorocha, Owelle Okorocha, Oshiomhole, Amosun, Fashola and Aregbesola at the rally.

All Progressives Congress (APC) governors have stormed Owerri, the Imo State capital, to solidarise with with their colleague, Governor Rochas Okorocha. Correspondent OKODILI NDIDI captures the mood of the people who witnessed the second year anniversay.

Day APC governors stormed Imo T

HE crowd that welcomed them to Owerri, the Imo State capital, was huge. They cheered them from one end of the metropolis to another. Some waved brooms. Others waved their hands. For the eight All Progressives Congress (APC) governors, it was a popularity ride to the ‘Heartland State.’ The host governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, was excited at the warm reception. He told the people that the progressives governors had a mission to rescue the country from under-development. As he intoduced them- Babatunde Fashola (Lagos State),Adams Oshiomole (Edo), Rauf Aregbosola (Osun), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti State), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Ibrahim Shetima (Bornu) and Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa)-the crowd jubilated. It was an awareness and sensitisation rally. It was also a solidarity visit to Okorocha by the men of goodwill. The implication was not lost on the observers. APC, they believed, has enlarged its coast to the Southeast geo-political zone. As from 7 am, the city was bubbling with festivities. The supporters of the governor thronged the Heroes’ Square, the venue of the rally. Politicians, statesmen, top government officials, women groups, youths and students were in one accord. They defied the scorching sun to honour the governors and the visitors. Exuding confidence, Okorocha formally informed the people that APC is the answer. Announcing his intention to join the proposed party, he said only the progressives can build a better society. The ceremony, which was also part of the activities for the ‘Imo Freedom Day’, marked his defection from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to the APC. He urged the people to embrace the new light and bid farewell to darkness.

‘INEC must not toy with merger’ By Musa Odoshimokhe


LL Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) chief tain Senator Annie Okonkwo has enjoined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to toy with the merger of the opposition political parties. He warned that any attempt to deny the All Progressives Congress (APC) of registration would be resisted. He told The Nation that the APC was a property of the merging political parties-the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress of Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigerian People Party (ANPP) and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). He clarified that the proposed platform is for all Nigeria. Okonkwo warned against toying with the collective decision of the people, who now clamour for change through the mega party. “APC belong to us and we will not concede to any cheap blackmail to get our party registered”, he said. The politician said that the APGA rally held in Owerri to mark the second year anniversary of the Okorocha Administration was a testimony that the Southeast was fully behind APC. He stressed:“You saw the crowd that came to the rally and our resolve to support APC. We are not looking back because this is the only party where the Igbos will actualise their dreams.” “Today, all the APC members are happy that Nigerians, who thought that these political parties will not come together, are rattled. APC is finally becoming a reality. What has happened is a full demonstration that APC has come to stay.” “The party that controls the Southwest states has held its convention, where they adopted the APC as a The governor clarified that the APGA is not part of the merger plan. Hoever, he described the coming together of like-minded parties, individuals and groups as the best step in the right direction. “It is a matter of time; the APC will take over the affairs of the country. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has failed the people of the Southeast in the 12 years of democracy. The entire Ndigbo are for APC”, he said. Okorocha allluded to the APC’s

new political platform. I think Nigerians should be celebrating this particular milestone that had been achieved by the ACN” Okonkwo explained that the conventions of the other merging parties would not be counter-productive, assuring that the proposed APC will save Nigerians from years of exploitation and manipulation. He called on his friends, who are members of the other parties that believe in survival of Nigeria, to join hands with the APC, maintaining that the party is the last hope for the people. He added: “The country needs a change. We need to get back our country. People need to get employed and the problem of insecurity must be addressed. All these are caused by the ruling party. I believe that this time around, things are going to change. We thank God for the leadership of the APC that had decided to relinquish whatever ambition they have in order to save this country. “I don’t need to mention it to anybody and all my friends that are in the People Democratic Party (PDP), who embrace our ideas, to join us to build this country. The leaders of the APC have announced that the party is a home for the common man who are oppressed and desired a bright future. “I believe that this time around, our party is embarking on a rescue mission. So, those of my friends who believe in the philosophy of the APC should embrace the party to get country back on its feet. “The truth of the matter is that a lot of people are still suffering under PDP and are scared to move away. I think we have provided them the platform and we are giving them the courage to move into APC. At least they will be able to contribute to the survival of this country,” he said.

selling point. He pointed out that the APC governors are achivers in their state, adding that he was not in a bad company. “These my brothers have transformed their states and are doing more; that is what the new party stands for. It means freedom to the people, the poor masses and the indigent widows, who have been victims of the PDP’s misrule”, he added. The governors decried the PDP’s style of leadership, assuring that the APC would offer a better leadership.

Fashola, who drew a resounding ovation from the ecstatic crowd, described the APC as a great train of change. “We have set about a course that is irrevocably committed to giving power back to the people. We believe that Nigeria needs a change and APC will bring about that change”. Ajimobi noted that the PDP has gone from bad to worse, stressing that the only option left to salvage the nation is the APC. Shetima, said the exceptional performance of the APC governors is a

pointer to their readiness to salvage Nigeria, urging the people to embrace the new party. “APC is on a rescue mission”, he added, enjoining the people of Imo State to support Okorocha. Amosun expressed delight at the huge turnout. Hailing Okorocha, he said that the people have not voted for him in vain. “This is what we want and this is what APC represents. The battle has just begun. APC must succeed for the benefit of Nigerians because there is no better platform”, he added. Al-Makura said the performance of Okorocha was just the beginning of what the people will witness, in terms of development, adding that it was worth celebrating. He urged the people to support the governor, especially now that the right party has emerged. “You cannot salvage the country with people who are fake; people who are pseudo-democrats,” he said. Fayemi said: “A time like this calls for visionary leaders as seen in all the states where the APC is holding sway. No amount of intimidation will deter us from working together to salvage the country. “No one is happy with what is going on. That is why we have embarked on this rescue mission; that is why we have embarked on the freedom journey”. Aregbesola, who held the surging crowd spell bound with his songs and dancing steps, described APC as a bulldozer that will crush everything on its path. He called on the people to reject unemployment, poverty, and hunger, which he said, PDP has unleashed on Nigerians. Oshiomole recalled that, when he led the workers’ protest to Imo State as a labour leader, he met a state with filthy streets, dilapidated infrastructure. “But now, everything in Imo State has changed”, he said. The governor called on the people to support Okorocha so that they can savour more dividends of democracy.



POLITICS KWARA POLITICS The Chairman of the Kwara State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Kayode Olawepo, believes that the proposed All Progressives Congress (APC) will dislodge the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the next general elections. But the PDP chairman, Alhaji Ishola Balogun-Fulani, holds a contrary opinion. Both spoke with ADEKUNLE JIMOH on partisan issues.

‘APC can’t dislodge PDP’

APC will restore Kwara’s glory, says ACN chair


HY do you think the AbdulFatah Ahmed’s government is a continuation of Bukola Saraki in office? The reason is simple. It has been an appendage of the previous administration. Ordinarily, the buck should stop on the table of the governor. He is held responsible for every failure, just as he takes credit for every success. If truth must be told, this state has been in coma since the inception of this administration. How do you mean? In terms of infrastructural development, the state is zero. Talk of road development in rural areas, talk of sensitive areas of development like schools, talk of equipping hospitals with drugs, they are zero. Pension and gratuity very low, promotion not forthcoming; there is no landmark development that one can point to since the inception of this administration compared with other states. If you get to Imo, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti states you will see landmark developments. If two babies are born on the same day and one is already running and the other is yet to start crawling, then something is wrong with the one that is yet to crawl. This means there is a fundamental problem; the mantra of shared prosperity is actually shared acute poverty. Looking at the average Kwaran on the road, you can see acute poverty written all over his face. This is because the civil service, which is the engine room of the state, does not have the wherewithal to put smiles on peoples’ faces. Most of the contractors we have here do not reside here. As a result of that, there is heavy capital flight from the state. ractor is based. Considering the fact that the state is one of the least in the ladder of the monthly federal allocation, can you really blame the government? That is the popular alibi. But then, we all know that there is ecological fund; we all know that there is the excess crude, which if taken together are more in billions than the regular allocation. Nobody can say that this state is being run by only the regular allocation. In some other states where they take their people seriously, part of the security vote is used for development. The ecological fund can be used for infrastructural development like roads. What is the money from the excess crude account used for?I think the claim that the regular monthly allocation is meagre is untenable. Somebody must have to explain what the ecological fund is being used for because anytime there is a rainstorm about N30 million worth of materials would be bought and we know that ecological fund that comes into the state coffers runs into billions. Whatever project being executed ecologically in terms of drainages are largely sponsored by the federal government. The Asa Dam channelisation project is one of such projects. Nobody can explain how the money donated by the federal government to flood ravaged state was utilised in krawa. We in the opposition do not know. So blaming government’s failure or none performance on irregular allocation is just an inexcusable explanation. How do you see the efforts by the state government on pipelines reticulation to ensure free flow of tap water? Since the inception of the current democracy, almost 60 percent of

Kwara’s budgets are said to have been spent on water reticulation. Given the billions of naira that has been spent on water in this state, it is expected that every home and public place should have water taps and there are no public taps in Kwara. In fact, the project has become a huge drainpipe of whatever money we have in Kwara State. Are you saying the PDP government is a complete failure? Yes. But let me assure you that there will be a change if the opposition takes over because you cannot perform better than the material you are using. You cannot expect better performance because the same set of people that have been there since 1999 are still at the corridors of power today. So there has not been any change of system, no change of personnel. It is a familycum friend affairs in Kwara State. Do you think the people of Kwara South will be able to forge the unity to get the governorship in 2015? The perceived lack of unity among the people of Kwara South can be said to be sponsored. I say this because, other things being equal, the people know that only one candidate should come from the district. But if some people allowed themselves to be sponsored, that does not mean the people of the district are not united. It means some people are playing commercial politics; politics of the pocket to ensure the status quo remains and the evidence of that is the disappearance of such people immediately after the election. They resurface again when their masters need their services. For instance, the sustenance of the opposition in this state is only by one person with faithful loyalists, but during electioneering many of them will feign to be in opposition. Where are they now? Our people are now wiser. We have cautioned ourselves to ignore sponsored candidates that make Kwara Southerners look as if they are not united. What future awaits the proposed All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state? Yes, the only visible opposition in the state is the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), but we know that in the last election the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) presented a governorship candidate, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) presented a governorship candidate. When ANPP candidate decamped the chairman of the party did not join him in decamping. So in Kwara north and central the CPC is well on the ground. The ACN is making waves because the leader of the party in the state is a renowned leader in the whole country and the impact of his effectiveness at the national level radiates to the state. And he has been up and doing in making sure that the ACN is doing well in the state with able, highly dedicated and sincere supporters. The CPC, too, is a virile party but their level of organization may be different. Since the discussion on this merger commenced at the national level we have been relating and we know that some decisions cannot be taken until the national merger give the go ahead order. They are meeting openly at the national level and we are meeting surreptitiously at the state level preparing us for the time the announcement would be made. By the time the announcement is


• Olawepo

• Belgore

made, we are not going to be new to each other. If there are states that need the merger, other than at the federal level, it is Kwara state and the reasons are obvious. It is, therefore, indubitable that Kwara will embrace the merger more than any other state. It is a prayer answered if the merger is successful. If succeeds at the national level, definitely, it will be successful in Kwara State. Can APC dislodge the PDP in Kwara State? Definitely, yes. I know the materials that are in CPC and there are some people that will come out when the merger comes to fruition. One unfortunate appellation that ACN is a south-western party would be gone. So, everybody who believes he is a northerner can now be fully accommodated. People that would not have openly identify with a Southwest party can now say APC is their party. So, we expect serious in-flow of highly placed Kwarans into the party.

OW would you describe politics in Kwara State after the demise of Dr Olusola Saraki? Politics in Kwara State after the late Dr Olusala Saraki has been stable. We can attribute this to the fact that he laid a very sound foundation for politics in the state before his death. He bequeathed the state’s party politics to our great leader, which is his son, Dr Bukola Saraki. He instructed all his followers, who were in other parties to go back to PDP. I am happy to tell you that all followers of the late political icon have automatically become followers of his son and he has not failed us. Everybody is happy with him from Kwara South through Central to Kwara North. As a result, more and more people are flocking to our party. We are very grateful to God for making Dr Bukola Saraki follow the foot steps of his father. Do you think that with the death of baba Oloye, the opposition will make more impact than before? The recent judgment at the local government election petition tribunal, nullifying the January 2011 council election in Offa local government area seals the hope of opposition parties in the state. We know that most people who claim to be in opposition in the state are seasonal politicians. They come when the elections are around the corner. They are visiting opposition in the state, to be frank, there is no viable opposition in Kwara State. The PDP is crisis-ridden throughout the country. Don’t you think this will affect the fortune of the party in future elections? This is not the first time PDP will be enmeshed in one crisis or another. It goes to show how big the party is. You can’t rule out some differences here and there and at the end of the resolution PDP will emerge stronger. In any big party, there must be disagreement before agreement; then you forge ahead. To me, the crisis will not affect the chances of the party, both at the state and national levels. PDP is one family. Is the emergence of All Progressives Congress (APC) not a threat to the PDP? We in PDP are very happy for the emergence of such an opposition. It goes to tell you the intimidating stature of PDP, thus making all parties determined to fight it. We in PDP want formidable opposition so that at the end of the day, PDP will also trounce them. I can tell the APC will not stand test of time as it is an amalgam of strange bed fellow politicians. APC is a composition of position seeking politicians. If not because of that I wonder why a party that is controlling five states to condescend so low by bungling such goodwill and credentials by embracing a party with one governor or a party with two governors. I can liken the situation to devil dinning with the devil with long spoon. Most of them that claim to have fused with the new party will still come back to PDP after the APC has crumbled. What is your ssessment of the PDP government in the state? Kwara PDP is the pacesetter. It is the first state that practices what is called continuity. With that continuity, there is no abandoned project in the state. After the projects that were brought forward have been completed we are now starting another ones, i.e in building schools, provision of water, electricity, roads and many other. That why will have peace which the best rock of development in Kwara state.

• Gov. Ahmed

• Balogun-Fulani

• Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (second left), State Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Chief Akin Oke, (left), Oyo State Market Advisory Council Chairman Alhaji Dauda Ladapo, (right) and President, Tradesmen and Artisan, Alhaji Talubi Eniola,s , (second right) at an award-giving ceremony held in Ibadan, yesterday.



Lawmaker cheers up Delta flood victims


HERE is a lift in the spirits of residents of Ndokwa-East Local Government Area of Delta State whose homes and farmlands were washed out by floods last year. The lawmaker representing them at the state House of Assembly, Hon. Friday Ossai Osanebi has rallied to their needs, presenting them with various jobs tools, among other things. Before his election in 2011, Comrade Osanebi had declared, “I am ready to serve my people”. After his election, he has also proved he is ready to complement Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s vision of developing Delta State beyond oil and gas, by delivering constituency projects and empowering more women, youths and the needy in his constituency. Hon. Osanebi believes that education is the bedrock for the future growth and development of the country, and therefore decided to undertake the construction of new primary and secondary school buildings across Ndokwa East Local Government Area. This aimed at providing environment conducive to teaching and learning for the teachers and pupils. At Oloa-Ossissa, the lawmaker has completed an ultra-modern five classroom block with offices and store at the permanent site of Oloa Secondary School. Also provided for the comfort of

By Oyibosochukwu Nwabueze

the students and teachers are toilet facilities and hand-pump boreholes which also serve the mainly farming community. The residents of Oloa-Ossissa community were full of praises for Hon. Osanebi. In Beneku, one of the communities adversely affected by the flood, Hon. Osanebi also constructed another five classroom block with six offices for Ndam Secondary School. The Beneku ultra-modern classroom block now completed, was submerged by the flood which delayed its early completion as finishing touches like terrazzo floor had to wait until the flood receded, while the hand pump provided to supply water to the school, had to be rehabilitated in order to provide water for students and staff of the school. A teacher, Mrs. Faith Odigwe lamented the loss of books and records to the flood and expressed appreciation even as the students look forward to the inauguration of the new block of classrooms. Dr. Ebo Otuya, an indigene of Beneku, in appreciating Hon. Osanebi’s gesture, however lamented that oil companies operating in the area need to do something more tangible by way of developing their host communities to complement government’s efforts.

•Hon. Osanebi hands over motorcycles to women At Akarai Etiti, Mr. George Eseagu, a teacher at Etiti Primary School, likened the new block of three classrooms being constructed as constituency project by Hon. Osanebi to a governor’s lodge because of the quality. He said the structures were so solid even as the Headmaster of the school, Mr. Christopher Ukpabi could not believe that government would remember the sleepy community. Mr. Ukpabi said Etiti Primary

School, built in 1941, had suffered neglect until Hon. Osanebi stepped in during his election campaign and provided school desks which were destroyed by the flood. On their part, the pupils who spoke through Ifeakam Odili were full of praises for Hon. Osanebi’s efforts. Similarly, construction work is currently ongoing at Onuaboh Primary School being rehabilitated by the lawmaker. The Onuaboh project was part of Osanebi’s campaign promises. For a man who has done so much and ready to do more for his constituents, the larger Ndokwa East community regards Hon. Osanebi as the hope of the masses and this is demonstrated by the stakeholders who visit the law-

maker regularly to brief him. Playing host to a delegation of Oloa-Ossissa Community, the PDP executive members in Ndokwa East Local Government Area and the ten wards chairmen of the party, Hon. Osanebi had pledged to fulfill all his promises. Also speaking, chairman of the party in Ndokwa East Local Government Area Hon. Kingsley Ashibogwu, praised the lawmaker for executing the constituency projects in Oloa, Beneku and Akarai and for initiating new projects in Asaba-Ase, Ibedeni and Ashaka. Hon. Osanebi said he has great love for Ndokwa East to uplift the area from poverty and underdevel•Continued on Page 15

Fed Govt teaches women to fish •Continued from Page 13

•Governor Okorocha, his wife Nkechi and deputy, Prince Eze Madumere during the second anniversary church service at Maria Assumpta Cathedral, Owerri

Okorocha marks second anniversary with prayers T

HE Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha has attributed the success of his administration within two years in office to the unrelenting prayers by Imo citizens. Governor Okorocha, who disclosed this during his thanksgiving Mass to mark his two years in office and Imo Freedom Day at Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri, urged the people not to relent in their prayers, stressing that with prayers, all things are possible. He assured that his administration was committed to transforming the state with massive infrastructural development such as road construction, construction of 305 primary schools, 27 general hospitals, Imo Conference Centre, Ikemba Ojukwu Centre and many others.

In his sermon earlier, the Cathedral Administrator, Rev. Fr. Andrew Nkwocha, urged Christians to always pray for their leaders and those in authority to enable God to direct their footsteps aright, even as he stressed the need for leaders to see themselves as servants and not masters. Fr. Nkwocha commended the state government for the massive developmental projects in the state and appealed to government to create job for Imo youths in order to reduce crime rate and unemployment in the state. He also urged detractors to the government to retrace their steps from their dubious acts so as not to truncate the development move-

ment in the state. High point of the occasion was the award of Grand Patron of the Catholic Men Organization (CMO) Assumpta parish to Owelle Rochas Okorocha and some of his cabinet members. Dignitaries present at the church service include, the wife of Imo state Governor Her Excellency, Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha, the deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, the Chief of Staff to the governor, Sir Jude Ejiogu, the Secretary to the Government of the state, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, the chairman of Ndi Eze, HRH, Eze Samuel Ohiri, the Deputy Speaker, Imo state House of Assembly, Pharm. Donatus Ozoemene, Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and other top government functionaries.

Ugwuonah also said that the initiative would expose non-oil products and services for export with a view to promoting competitiveness and recognition in the global market. He disclosed that the ministry was committed to developing and collaborating with the private sector and civil society groups in skill development and training that would directly improve the socio-economic indices of the Nigerian women. In her opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary of FMARD, Mrs. Ibukun Abimbola, noted that under the President Goodluck Jonathan transformation agenda, issues of unemployment, wealth creation and food security have been amplified, with emphasis on women empowerment. Mrs. Abimbola, who was represented at the training by the Regional Director Southeast of

FMARD, Dr Uche Nwafor, said that there was need for government at all levels to convert its human resources into actionable programmes and have them implemented to make meaningful impacts on the economy. “It has, therefore, become necessary to set up a deliberate drive for the training and empowerment of our women nation-wide on different agricultural enterprises along the value chains. This group of trainees will essentially function on their own rights as organised aquaculturists that can have links with their counterparts all over the world in terms of marketing and sharing ideas,” she said. She further disclosed that, at the end of the training, each trainee would be supported with a token of fish feed as juveniles to start the business of fisheries that would enable them to thrive in the enterprise of aquaculture. Over 50 women from the Southeast and beyond attended the training.



‘Emotional counselling vital to assisted reproduction conception success’


RS Yinka Fatade (not real names) is 47 years old and a business woman, who has had 16 rounds of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) at various fertility hospitals before coming to Nordica Fertility Centre. At the fourth attempt, the sperm and egg were able to unite; the embryo did not have any difficulty implanting and sustaining itself in the uterus. She conceived. Why didn't she back out and what was her impetus?. To Mrs Ranti Ajayi, Clinic Manager, Nordica Fertility Centre, Mrs Fatade is just one of the several cases she had attended to. She is able to deplore her experiences, garnered over her everyday interactions with clients, into the skill with which she is able to convince clients to try "one more time". According to the Clinic Manager, it is not easy convincing clients, especially those whose husbands are not cooperative, but, "You should know that many people are in a

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

similar position. It is normal to feel overwhelmed, uncertain, or stressed. Although you may feel a bit embarrassed or nervous talking about the subject, talking to a fertility specialist is an important first step in conception effort. "If you want to conceive, it's important to overcome the emotional hurdles and the sooner you see a health care provider, the sooner a problem may be diagnosed and treated. Often, the reason you are not getting pregnant is treatable. Problems in conceiving may be due to a single cause or a combination of factors that may prevent a pregnancy from occurring or continuing. It is a fertility specialist that may be able to determine what the cause is," she stated. According to her, "The first obstacle to surmount is determining when to see a fertility specialist. If you are under 35 years and have been having

‘If you want to conceive, it’s important to overcome the emotional hurdles and the sooner you see a health care provider, the sooner a problem may be diagnosed and treated. Often, the reason you are not getting pregnant is treatable. Problems in conceiving may be due to a single cause or a combination of factors that may prevent a pregnancy from occurring or continuing’

•Continued from Page 14 opment. His pain however, lies in the unfortunate upsurge of violent crime like kidnapping and assassination, the reason, he believe that all hands must be on deck to tackle the issue of security. Hon. Osanebi calls on all communities not to shield criminals but expose them by giving adequate and reliable information to security agencies and support to the state commissioner of police. Calling on all Ndokwa East indigenes to give maximum support to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Hon. Osanebi enjoins the people to

one year of regular, unprotected sex, or you're a woman of 35 years and above and you still aren't pregnant after six months, it may mean you are infertile, since this is generally how infertility is defined. It's time to see your family doctor. Women over 37 do not need to wait six months before seeing a doctor, because waiting too long to seek help could harm their chances of conceiving." She said knowing what to ask your fertility specialist ahead of time will help ensure you get the most out of your first visit. "It helps a lot if you write everything down in advance. That includes medical histories and questions you want answered. I'm sure we've all left a doctor's office only to remember a question we meant to ask but forgot. It is good to get the most out of your appointment "Many people are shy about asking questions, but you shouldn't be. Your doctors want to make sure you understand your diagnosis and treatment options too. And if you don't understand the answers, don't hesitate to ask your counsellor to repeat them. "On top of dealing with the emotional issues that may arise with infertility, you now find yourself confronting a new and sometimes scary world of treatment options. Bringing this list of questions to your first visit may help you to keep track of your thoughts and increase your comfort level. Never forget to ask for the fertility clinic statistics for success rates. Understanding that keeps hope alive," explained Mrs Ajayi.

I should add as well that, "The majority of infertility cases, 85 per cent to 90 per cent are treated with conventional therapies, such as drug treatment or surgical repair of reproductive organs. "Fewer than five per cent of infertile couples in treatment actually use in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), even though it produces the best results, because it is often perceived as too 'high-tech' and too 'costly'. I attempt to demystify assisted conception, especially IVF, and also disabuse other misconceptions. "I prepare client's mind on why the doctor might perform tests to look for blockages within the uterus, fallopian tubes, or pelvis. One of these tests is an X-ray procedure called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) that allows the health care provider to assess the contour of the inside of the uterus and determine whether or not the fallopian tubes are open. The doctor may also conduct tests that look for polyps or fibroids. Surgical procedures may help overcome these conditions." "At the fertility clinic here", the Clinic Manager said, "I present the different treatment options suitable for your condition. There are many safe and effective therapies that can help you become pregnant. When women of past generations were trying to get pregnant, fertility conversations, if they happened at all, were confined to the family doctor. There was no proper fertility care available to those in need. Now there are modern fertility clinics. "That is basically what Nordica Fertility Clinic is all about. As fertil-

•Mrs Ajayi ity specialists, we can address your particular concerns about fertility, provide information on fertility, and advise you on the next steps, including treatment options, on your journey to becoming pregnant." Though, "Nordica is ten years, I have managed sundry cases for six years including clients crying on me, giving them loads of hugs and having to assure them that they have not make any mistake in visiting the clinic. The success stories are the hope of others." Mrs Ajayi summed up that, "While at the clinic, ask as many questions as you like. It may be helpful to request fact sheets or literature about each of the options discussed so you can review them later. Remember, everyone at the fertility clinic is there to help you, so take advantage of our knowledge, experience, and expertise, you're not in this alone. After testing and diagnosis, you will have a variety of treatments to choose from depending on the results and particular situation."

Lawmaker cheers up Delta flood victims be patient as he delivers the dividends of democracy while renewing his determination to do his best as the representative of the people in the Delta State House of Assembly. In line with the human capital initiative of the Uduaghan administration the member representing Ndokwa East constituency in the State House of Assembly Honourable Friday Osanebi has therefore called on leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in the area to remain committed to the party and

carry members along in the scheme of things in order to enhance the fortunes of the party in any election. Honourable Osanebi made the call recently at Ashaka, Ndokwa East Local Government Area while presenting cars and motorcycles to some party leaders and members for their commitment to the PDP in the area. Presenting the empowerment items made up of one Nissan Pathfinder Jeep, one Toyota Siena

Space Bus and two Toyota Camry Cars, as well as 10 Skygo ladies motorcycles, Hon. Osanebi said the empowerment was for party leaders in the local government area. The lawmaker also presented two cheques of N500,000 and N1m to two party leaders in the area. Honourable Osanebi said those who did not benefit from the gesture should be patient as there were

NSCDC intercepts crude-laden EN of the Edo State comtanker in Edo mand of the Nigeria Secu-


rity and Civil Defence Corps have intercepted a tanker laden with suspected stolen crude oil. The tanker, whose registration number is XC 386 EZA, was intercepted at Esan Central Local Government Area of the state. Executive Director of the state Petroleum and Gas Monitoring Task Force, Chris Okaeben who paraded the tanker, called on both the state and the Federal Government to institute stringent measures against pipeline vandals. He said: “This tanker is loaded with suspected stolen crude oil from one of the vandalised oil pipelines in Edo Central. It was intercepted by men of the Nigeria Security and Civil

•From left: Chairman of the occassion, Dr. Ken Sanni Nwosu; Chairman, Facts and Potential magazine, Omooba Akintola Falade, award recipient and Chairman, Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, Hon Idris BolajiMuse Ariyoh and his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gbenga Fatodu when the chairman was honoured with the Outstanding Chairman on Environment award

more empowerment programmes from him to the people. The chairman, Ndokwa East Transition Committee, Hon. Alex Aniche commended Hon. Osanebi for the empowerment programme to party leaders adding that it would add value to the lives of the beneficiaries. •Nwabueze, a journalist, sent this piece from Asaba

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

Defence Corps and was brought to my office this afternoon. “It is very unfortunate that, in this state, criminals still indulge in acts of vandalising petroleum pipelines. They are frustrating government’s efforts at improving the economy.” Okaeben called for collaboration with security agencies to tackle crude oil theft and adulteration of petroleum products. He also inspected sales of petroleum products at some filling stations at Ikpoba-Okha and Oredo where he warned the owners not to sell fuel above approved pump price of N97 per litre.







N article published in this column in 2011 was entitled ‘A VOICE FROM HARVARD’. It contained a brief analysis and excerpts from the lecture delivered by His Eminence, Dr. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto at Harvard University in the United States of America on October 3, 2011. The title of the lecture was ‘ISLAM AND PEACE BUILDING IN WEST AFRICA’. It is recalled here because of its relevant to this time in Nigeria. Here it goes: “....Many people (outside our country) consider Nigeria as a theatre of absurd conflicts and interminable crises. They may be justified in holding this view; with the Jos crises festering for years, with post-election violence and suicide – bombings, it is difficult to think otherwise. When we consider Nigeria’s population of 150 million, half the population of West Africa, its over 250 ethnic and language groups, its regional and geo-political configurations, its landmass and its diversity in religion and culture, we may be constrained to reach a different conclusion. Nigeria may, after all, be a paragon of stability which, as God Almighty has willed, shall undergo all the trials allotted it early enough in its national history. But in all fairness, systemic ethno-political and religious crises, like the ones we have witnessed in recent years, do not have a long history in Nigeria. They all began in the late 1980s, following the intense competition for power and influence especially among the western educated elite; the Kafanchan crisis of 1987, in Southern Kaduna, was quickly followed by the Zangon Kataf and other crises; all in the same vicinity. The democratic dispensation, which began in 1999 also came with its set of problems, the most visible being the Shari’ah Crisis and the First Jos Crisis which led to the declaration of state of emergency in Plateau State. But these crises, varied as they were, reveal the multi-dimensional nature of Nigeria as a political entity. We witness the primacy of politics in almost all these conflicts. In the struggle for power and political supremacy, politicians exercise no restraint in aggravating the socio-religious and ethnic cleavages, which characterize the geo-politics of the Nigerian state. It should not be forgotten that the Second Jos Crisis of November 2008 was also ignited by a botched Chairmanship election in Jos North Local Government. The second dimension to these crises, especially in Kaduna and Plateau States, is the indigene/settler dichotomy, which is yet to be addressed properly by the Nigerian State. Many ethnic groups in these conflict areas see the other ethnic groups as foreigners who should not enjoy the full rights of bona fide residents. Most of these disenfranchised Nigerians also happen to be Muslims. However, those who oppose this dichotomy argue that these so-called settlers had spent more than two hundred years in the areas they reside. Moreover, as Nigerian Citizens, they have the full right to reside wherever they wish and pursue their legitimate business without let or hindrance. After all, they cannot be settlers in their own country. The third dimension of Nigeria’s ethnoreligious crises is their potential to become a systematic national crisis. When a person is killed in any of the areas of conflict, his co-religionists, especially in the cities react violently and begin to kill anyone they think is related to him. This often triggers further reprisals from other parts of the country where victims come from. It took a lot of effort by the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council [NIREC] which I co-chair, and other state authorities, to treat each crisis independently and reduce the risk of systemic reprisals. The fourth dimension of Nigeria’s crises is poor leadership and the bad governance usually associated with its management. Many of those charged with authority in the states where these conflicts occur are also parties to the crises. They make feeble efforts to control the violence and do so only when much of the damage has been done... “....The issue of poor leadership and bad governance also explains how the Boko Haram movement has been able to transform itself from a small Hijrah group in Yobe State, escaping from the uncertainties and contradictions of the Nigerian

FEMI ABBAS ON 08122697498

Challenges to peace-building ‘The fight against extremist groups should never be perverted to become a fight against Islam and its doctrines. We should all remember that in the final analysis, it is not what the perpetrators of violence do that really counts. It is the actions we take, individually and collectively, that would shape the fate of humanity....’ •Sultan Abubakar

State, to a militant movement able to wreak havoc and destruction once provoked. Those in authority were prepared to court the leaders of this group when it suited them and to trample on them like flies when they were no longer useful...However, the recent bombing of the United Nations Office in Abuja has introduced an international dimension to terrorist’s activities, a development, which is hitherto entirely new to Nigeria. THE PROMISE OF DIALOGUE “....When I became the Sultan of Sokoto in November 2006, some of the major problems I found on ground were the after-effects of the Riots, especially in Kaduna, Jos and some parts of the North East as well as a disturbing atmosphere of mistrust, fear and hostility, especially between the leaderships of Nigeria’s two major religions: Islam and Christianity. To resolve these knotty issues we chose the path of positive engagement, which we thought would engender meaningful discourse, improve communication and understanding and change the dynamics of our operating environment to that of trust and confidence... “....The Nigeria Inter-Religious Council [NIREC] provided the right platform for this engagement. The Council, itself a product of Nigeria’s ethno-religious crises, was composed of 25 members each from the two religions and co-chaired by myself, in my capacity as the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria [CAN]. The approach of NIREC was simple and practical. Firstly, we affirmed the sanctity of human life, Muslim and Christian, and insisted that anybody who takes the law into his hands, regardless of the circumstances, must bear the full legal consequences of his action. You cannot believe it, but despite the frequency of these disturbances, only a few people have ever been punished for perpetrating any act of violence. The masterminds go scot-free. Secondly, while appreciating the fact that we are required to look after the interest of our co-religionists, we must pay attention to the other dimensions of our conflicts. As many were preparing to declare a religious war in Jos, for example, we laboured hard to draw attention

to the other dimensions of the crisis. It was a conflict between Muslims and Christians quite alright, but it was not a conflict between Islam and Christianity. When Nigeria’s President called for a parley among stakeholders, we made bold to declare the Jos crisis a political crisis. Thirdly, we adopted a tactical approach to conflict resolution. Whenever, there is a break-out of violence, we work together to restore law and order and ask the quarrelsome questions later. We take this approach to minimize loss of life and to ensure that the crisis is contained in the primary area it occurred. Also, we devised a quarterly meeting schedule that took us to all parts of the country. It was heartening to many to see us working together and preaching peaceful co-existence and religious harmony even in areas, which never registered an ethno-religious conflict. I must point out that it was also our view that inter-faith action should transcend conflict resolution. For it to be effective, it must affect the life of the common man. NIREC floated the Nigeria Inter-Faith Action Association [NIFAA] to take up this challenge and NIFAA has been very active in the control of the dreaded tropical disease: Malaria. We also find that we must act together to address issues related to electoral reform, good governance and anti-corruption. I am also glad to state that the goodwill and understanding which these activities were able to generate, have given impetus to the development of inter-faith dialogue to a new level. I always remember, with happiness, the seminar organized by the Christian Association of Nigeria [CAN] in April 2010, on ‘Knowing Your Muslim Neighbour’, where I presented a paper on the topic. The Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs [NSCIA] gracefully reciprocated by inviting CAN members to its formal meeting in Kaduna, where the CAN representative gave a lecture on Islam in the Eyes of a Christian and both Muslim and Christian scholars, gave inspiring responses on the scriptural basis of mutual co-existence. Despite serious setbacks in recent months, many of us remain committed to this positive engagement and to the promise that dialogue offers the resolution to Niger-

ia’s ethno-religious crises. LOOKING AHEAD ‘’...Understanding the multifarious nature of Nigeria’s ethno-religious crises should strengthen our resolve and determination to deploy all the energies and resources at our disposal to see to their resolution. Our inability and reluctance to take meaningful action go to challenge not only our common humanity but also our self-worth. It is, therefore, important for us to appreciate, first and foremost, the importance of consensus building within the polity, with a view to ameliorating the current state of political polarization in it. The Nigerian political class must be able to speak and understand one another as well as to develop a minimum national agenda to chart the way forward. The political class must also be able to open dialogue on a variety of national issues, including the perennial problem of power rotation and willingly enter into agreements that they can honour with dignity.... “....Also, governance, at all levels, must translate into tangible benefits for all Nigerians, regardless of their ethnic and religious affiliation. Nigeria has the resources to make life more pleasant for its people. It is equally imperative to address the poverty problem as well as the needs of the youth population both in all the geo-political areas of the country. In a situation where over 50% of our population is jobless at less than 19 years of age, we are definitely sitting on a time bomb much deadlier than that of Boko Haram unless we take urgent action to defuse it.... “....Furthermore, there should be renewed determination to address both the Jos and Boko Haram sectarian crises. The Federal Government must take seriously its security responsibilities and effectively contain these crises. But beyond that, a genuine dialogue must be initiated, to begin healing festering wounds and to bring genuine understanding and reconciliation amongst the entire people of Plateau State and beyond. The social dimension of the Boko Haram cannot also be resolved by the mere use of force. This is the reason why I have consistently suggested dialogue and education to counteract its message, especially those aspects dealing with modern education. Millions of Muslim pupils are already outside the school system. Millions more will definitely follow if urgent intervention is not undertaken to enlighten the younger generations. And the question I have always asked is What kind of society can we build in the 21st century when our youth turn their back on Science and Technology and are unable to produce the next generation of doctors, engineers and other specializations necessary for sustaining the socio-economic development of the society?.... “....Finally, we should not neglect the impact of the International environment on Nigeria’s ethno-religious crises. Happenings in the US, Iraq, Afghanistan, Norway, Netherlands, the UK and France are as current and relevant as events in Jos, Maiduguri and Abuja. We must preach international tolerance and moderation. The fight against extremist groups should never be perverted to become a fight against Islam and its doctrines. We should all remember that in the final analysis, it is not what the perpetrators of violence do that really counts. It is the actions we take, individually and collectively, that would shape the fate of humanity....”



HE Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) rekindled history positively last Tuesday by appointing new national officers with the aim of reforming the Council. The new appointees are Alhaji Abdul Azeez Arisekola Alao who became the Deputy President-General; Prof Ishaq Olanrewaju Oloyede who succeeded the late Dr. Lateef Adegbite as Secretary General through an electoral college (Majlisu Shura); Prof Tijani El-Miskeen and Sheikh Adam Abdullahi Idoko who were also appointed as Deputy Secretaries General (North and South) respectively. They are all men of service and integrity. The Message felicitates with them and the Ummah wishing them successful tenures.










•Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (middle); flanked by his wife, Bisi (right) and Deputy Governor Modupe Adelabu. With them are members of the House of Assembly at the Second Executive/Legislative Parley at the Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort...yesterday.

‘Why we delayed Lagos light rail project’


AGOS State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure Obafemi Hamzat yesterday said the Lagos Light Rail Project was delayed for six months to enable commercial motorcyclists acquire the skills required to be part of the project. Hamzat spoke in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, while delivering the Second Distinguished Lecture Series, tagged: “Think Oyo”. The commissioner, who spoke on: Infrastructure: A Critical Ingredient for National Development, said the government suspended the project when it discovered that the contractors planned to import thousands of skilled artisans from Togo, due to shortage of skilled artisans in Lagos. He said the government insisted that Nigerians must be engaged in the project because a major advantage of

•Infrastructure is vital for growth From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

investing in infrastructure is job creation. Hamzat said the government set up five skill acquisition centres, where thousands of commercial motorcyclists and unemployed youths were trained for the project. He said: “It is clear that infrastructure, where well implemented, is directly correlated with the development of any community, state or country. “Experience has shown that people, especially in developing countries, make this sole demand of their government. It is the true test of their support.” Classifying infrastructure into social and economic, Hamzat said studies have shown that infrastructure de-

‘It is clear that infrastructure, where well implemented, is directly correlated with the development of any community, state or country’ velopment is a major determinant of economic growth and lack of it hinders sustainable growth. The commissioner cited the example of how the United States (US) developed its infrastructure and the consequent economic stimulation. He also referred to Brazil,

which spent the last two decades building its infrastructure through borrowing and private sector financing. Hamzat said Brazil ranks among the top eight economies in the world today. He said Lagos State is focusing on power, agriculture, transportation and housing (PATH) to boost its economy. Hamzat said the government was working on a blueprint that will give the state leverage on its geographical, economic and demographic strengths. He said the state’s PATH projects include the widening of the Mile 2- Badagry Road, the construction of the Lekki-Epe road, the Fourth Mainland Bridge, the light rail project, construction of bridges, roads and others that will connect the state with other countries in West African.

Osun awards N29.2b contract for road, bridge


HE Osun State Government has awarded a N29.2 billion contract for the dualisation of the GbonganAkoda road and the construction of a bridge at Gbongan Junction in Ayedade Local Government Area. The bridge is to be named after former Governor Bisi Akande. The contract was awarded to Ratcon Construction Nigeria Limited. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Transport, Oladepo Amudah, signed the contract on behalf of the state government in his office in Osogbo, the state capital. He said the contractor and the government have agreed on a 36-month repayment plan. Amudah said the government will mobilise the contractor with 15 per cent of the contract sum.

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

He said the projects will be completed in 18 months. Amudah said the Bisi Akande Trumpet Bridge will have four pedestrian crossing facilities. The Gbongan-Akoda road will have “two layers of asphaltic surface with 60mm and 40mm thickness, street lighting, reinforced concrete side drain, culverts, ditches, landscaping and road marking signs”. He said the projects, when completed, will last for more than 30 years. Amudah urged the contractor to execute the project according to specification and complete it on schedule. Mr. Dany Michael and Mr. Alao Bashiru, who represented the company, promised to do a good job.

Sacked workers’ll be reabsorbed, says Akeredolu


HE candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in last October’s governorship election in Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), yesterday assured sacked workers that they will get their jobs back after the final determination of the election dispute. Some workers were sacked recently at the Adekunle Ajasin University (AAU), AkungbaAkoko; Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo and in some local government councils.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

Akeredolu, who spoke during a current affairs programme on a private radio station (Adaba FM), was optimistic that the Appeal Court will reverse the ruling of the Justice Andova Kaka’nled tribunal, which upheld the re-election of Governor Olusegun Mimiko. The former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) described the verdict as “a miscarriage of justice”, adding that the Appellate

Court will do justice to it. Akeredolu wondered why the lower tribunal shunned the ACN’s expert’s analysis and admitted that the injection of imaginary names into the voter’s register was a preelection matter. He said if it was in England or America, the judiciary would have compared the 2011 and 2012 voter’s registers to verify whether fake names were injected or not. Akeredolu said: “My confidence in the judiciary is intact. I know the truth will

Ekiti votes N6.6b for roads From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti


HE Ekiti State Government has earmarked N6.6 billion for road projects. Speaking with reporters yesterday, the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mr. Tayo Ekundayo, said the roads will be completed in 15 months. The roads to be built are in Ikere-Ekiti (Ekiti South), Ijero-Ekiti (Ekiti Central) and Ikole-Ekiti (Ekiti North). They include the Isan-Ayegunle road; the Ilupeju-Ire-IgbemoIja road; the Iropora-Epe-Araromi-Ijero road and the AyetoroEwu-Iye-Ekiti road. Ekundayo said N192 million will be spent on erosion control on the Funmilayo Olayinka Drive and N197 million on the OldGarage–Ojumose road. He said the Governor Kayode Fayemi administration has built 630 kilometres of roads in 30 months. Ekundayo said 550 kilometres were built by the state government and 80 kilometres by local government councils.

Ekiti West Anglican Diocese holds Fifth Synod May 17


HE Second Session of the Fifth Synod of the Diocese of Ekiti West Anglican Communion will hold at Our Saviour’s Anglican Church, Ipoti-Ekiti, on May


It will be opened by Governor Kayode Fayemi. The theme of this year’s Synod, “Remove not the ancient landmark (Prov. 22:28)”, will be discussed by the Bishop of the diocese, Rev. Samuel Oke. Minister of Police Affairs Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd), who is a native of Ipoti-Ekiti, the host town, will launch the Bishop’s Charge. The Chairman of Ijero Local Government Chairman is expected at the Synod. The Diocesan Communicator, Prince Sola Adetule (FCIA), said delegates to the Synod are to arrive Ipoti-Ekiti on May 16 for a church service and registration. Also expected at the Synod are the Chairman of the State Council of Obas, Oba Gbadebo Adedeji, who is also the Owa Ooye of Okemesi-Ekiti; the Chancellor of the Diocese, Justice Omotunde and the Registrar of the Diocese, Mr. Gbolaga,. Others are former House of Representatives’ member Mr. Kehinde Odebunmi; Pastor Dele Aluko; Ekiti State House of Assembly Speaker Adewale Omirin; Mr. Dele Olugbemi; Mrs. Omowumi Ogunlola; Commissioner for Budget Biodun Oyebanji; Chief Akin Fasae; Commissioner for Finance Dapo Kolawole; Mr. Oladapo Karonwi; Otunba Ade Ajayi (MFR); Mr. Gbenga Odebunmi; Mr. Kayode Fasakin and the Caretaker Chairman of Ekiti West Local Government, Pastor Ropo Famubode. The rest are the Ajero of Ijero, Oba Adewole Adebayo; the Alaaye of Efon Alaye, Oba Adesanya Aladejare; the Alara of Aramoko, Oba Olu Adeyemi (MNI); the Regent of Ipoti; the Olukoro of Ikoro; the Olowa of Odoowa; the Oluloro of Iloro; the Elepe of Epe; the Obas of Okeoro and Erijiyan-Ekiti, among others.

Goodnews fellowship today



prevail at the end of the day.” He urged the people to keep hope alive, adding that better days will come soon.

HE GoodNews Baptist Association will today begin its second quarter fellowship at the Shalom Baptist Church, Oreptal bus stop, Isheri, Lagos. The programme ends tomorrow. The theme of the fellowship is: “Your health and Christian service”. The moderator of the association, Rev. Titi Ajadi, said members would be educated on stress management and the symptoms of many ailments. The fellowship will also deliberate on evangelism and “church planting”.




Nestle’s Osunkeye retires



ONG-serving Chair man of Nestle Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye conducted his last Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the food and beverages multinational yesterday amid encomiums and standing ovation from the shareholders. He retired after the AGM and another Chairman, Mr. David Ifezulike assumes office today. Osukeye’s retirement was announced on a day May & Baker Nigeria Plc grew sales by 17 per cent to about N6 billion in 2012. He served on the board of Nestle Nigeria continuously for 40 years, 14 of which he steered the company as chairman of the board. The landmark accomplishment of Nestle Nigeria as Nigeria’s highest-priced and most cherished stock was all through his tenure. When Osunkeye joined Nestle Nigeria in 1972, turnover and profit before tax for the year ended 1973 were N13 million and N0.3 million respectively. But he left yesterday with turnover and profit before tax of N117 billion and N25 billion respectively for the year ended December 31, 2012. The underlying value creation for investors was visible in the growth in dividend payout from N200,000 in 1973 to N25.02 billion approved for distribution yesterday. The new chairman, Ifezulike has been in the company, both in Nigeria and outside, for 22 years and on the board for more than 10 years. Shareholders at the meeting commended the dividend payout of N20 per share, praising the board and management for the high corporate governance and performance of the company. President, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA), Chief Timothy Adesiyan, said that the company was operating on a transparent platform, noting that Nestle Nigeria has through its employment opportunities and products helped in reducing poverty

•May & Baker grosses N6b sales By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

in the country. Another shareholder, Mr Oguntoye noted that Nestle’s dividend is the highest in the history of the company and the history of quoted companies on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). He commended the diligence, friendliness and transparency of the chairman to the shareholders, pointing out that the dividend policy of giving interim and final dividends is highly commendable. In his address, a visibly emotional Osunkeye said he was retiring with the satisfaction that Nestle Nigeria has attained lofty heights with sustainable excellence. “We continued to outperform competition despite the difficult economic environment of 2012 and the deteriorating security situation in the country, particularly in the northern region. We are pleased to maintain the momentum on our path towards long term sustainable, profitable and capital efficient growth,” Osunkeye said. He expressed his appreciation to all that have played important roles in the evolution of the company. According to the audited report of May & Baker Nigeria released yesterday, key extracts of the audited report and accounts for the year ended December 31, 2012, which was prepared and approved in compliance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), showed that turnover closed 2012 at N5.7 billion as against N4.8 billion recorded in 2011. Gross profit also increased from N1.9 billion in 2011 to N2.1 billion in 2012. Profit for the year stood at N75.9 million in 2012. Managing director, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okafor, said the company has shown resilience against the difficult operating environment and is now poised to harness the opportunities created by its huge capital investments to secure future growth. He said the company would

achieve better results in 2013 based on increased output from its new multi-billion naira world-class pharmaceutical manufacturing plan and ongoing business restructuring efforts. According to him, expected improvement in the business environment that could result from positive developments in the resolution of the country’s security challenges, would give the company unhindered nationwide access to market her products and consolidate its performance. He added that the company also expects to reduce finance costs as a result of a recent access to soft loan provided by the chairman of the board of directors, which is expected to significantly raise the profitability of the company in 2013. Mr. Okafor pointed out that its world-class new plant, otherwise known as The PharmaCentre, has raised May & Baker’s production capacity by over 60 per cent, noting that it was a landmark investment in the pharmaceutical sector targeted at making Nigeria one of the leading producers of quality medicines in the world. “The PharmaCentre is currently undergoing the process for World Health Organisation (WHO) prequalification, which will make her products to be internationally accepted, a situation no Nigerian pharmaceutical company currently enjoys. The WHO prequalification will help Nigeria become self-sufficient in the manufacture of essential medicines and invariably have multiplier effects on the economy notable among which will be job creation and increased foreign exchange earnings,” Okafor noted. Meanwhile, Nestle Nigeria led the bullish rally at the NSE yesterday, gaining N6 to close at N921 per share. Aggregate market value of all equities on the NSE rose from N11.346 trillion to N11.440 trillion. The main index at the NSE, the All Share Index (ASI), improved from 35,486.44 points to 35,782.09 points. Investors staked N4.56 billion on a total of N392.16 million shares in 5,948 deals. Banking subgroup accounted for 178.12 million shares worth N1.81 billion in 2,276 deals.





Lending: CBN urges banks to consider environmental, social issues

Ecobank boss may delay Nedbank option to focus on Africa


•Develops reporting template for lenders


ANKS have been urged by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to consider environmental and social policies in their decision-making and lending processes. The apex bank also has developed a reporting template for banks in filling their reports on loans to firms whose operations have negative impact on the environment. This is in line with the Sustainable Banking Practice being promoted by the banking watchdog. The CBN in a statement said Sustainable Banking is aimed at minimising or mitigating the negative impacts of financial institutions’ operations on the environment and local communities in which they operate especially on agric, power and the oil and gas sectors. According to the regulator, for the successful implementation of the principles, the institutions would be required to develop a management approach that balances the environments and social (E&S) risks identified with the opportunities to be exploited

Stories by Collins Nweze

through their business activities. “The adoption of the principles will not only help banks in mitigating the E & S risks associated with their business operation and those of their clients, but also help them to achieve greater efficiencies and better position them to take advantage of opportunities in the global market place where environmental and social issues are becoming increasingly important. “They will also enjoy higher productivity, higher staff morale, lower turnover and absenteeism due to strong employee relations and workplace practices. The CBN would need to provide the structural mechanism to encourage consistent and widespread implementation of the principles and develop its institutional capacity to support the banks in their implementation of the principles,” it added. While noting that the process of developing the sustainable banking principles and guidelines has so far

• CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido

been driven by the banks, the apex bank assured that it will create the enabling environment for banks to succeed in their implementation of the principles. The CBN has also recently set new rules for lending to the agricultural sector of the economy. This resolution stemmed from the reports from banks and discount house, which indicated that lending to the subsector, remains a high-risk, which should be followed with caution.

CIBN holds AGM May 18


HE Chartered Institute of Bank ers of Nigeria (CIBN) will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday, May 18 in Lagos. In a statement, the institute said participants will consider its Annual Reports and Accounts of 2012 operational performance and other critical issues affecting the banking industry and the welfare of members. This year’s AGM is expected to kick off the institute’s 50th Anniversary celebration during which a world press conference will also hold to discuss initiatives taken so far by the institute and agenda for its anniversary.

FBN seeks opportunities in 11 African countries


BN Holdings Plc (FBNH), owner of FirstBank of Nigeria Plc, the country’s third-largest bank by market value, is looking for opportunities to enter 11 other countries in Africa, its Chief Executive Officer Bisi Onasanya has said. “Essentially, we’re looking at West Africa, Francophone and Anglophone countries,” Onasanya said in an interview with Bloomberg yesterday at the World Economic Forum in Cape

Town. “We will never do green fields and it has to be in line with our retail banking strategy,” he said, declining to name the countries. First Bank won’t undertake any expansion that hurts its plan to “dominate” in its home market, Onasanya said. The 119-year-old lender, which has more than 700 branches in Africa and seven million customers, said Wednesday that it plans to sell a $500 million euro

bond this year to fund loans and help the bank expand. “A listing elsewhere is part of the medium-term to long-term strategy,” Onasanya said, adding that he met with representatives of Johannesburg’s stock exchange Wednesday. FBN Holdings has gained 27 per cent this year in Lagos trading, beating the 22 per cent increase in the Nigerian SE Banking Index, which tracks the country’s 10 biggest banks.


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($)



OBB Rate Call Rate

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012




1.70 6.82 0.51 4.38 1.15 1.26 1.48 4.80 0.64 0.92

1.87 7.50 0.56 4.80 1.26 1.38 1.62 5.25 0.70 1.00

CHANGE 0.17 0.68 0.05 0.42 0.11 0.12 0.14 0.45 0.06 0.08


O/PRICE 1.80 0.60 2.17 0.96 1.82 0.65 0.81 0.88 1.33 2.88

C/PRICE 1.62 0.54 1.96 0.87 1.65 0.60 0.75 0.82 1.26 2.80

Exchange Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %




























27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37

28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16


Bureau de Change 152.0000 Parallel Market



July ’11

July ’12





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

% Change -1.44% -1.44%



LOSERS AS AT 09-05-13


Amount Sold ($)



GAINERS AS AT 09-05-13


The meeting, according to the statement, will be chaired by its President/Chairman of Council, Mr ‘Segun Aina. Also to attend are chairmen and chief executives of banks, past presidents of the institute, presidents of other professional bodies, top government functionaries, fellows, honorary senior members, associates and other relevant stakeholders. Aina advised members of the institute to turn-out en-mass and participate actively in the exercise in the interest of the banking profession.



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

to cut funding costs by refinancing debt, issuing bonds or attracting new investors. Nedbank, which is controlled by Old Mutual Plc (OML), loaned Ecobank $285 million at the end of 2011. Both lenders have the right to take a stake of as much as 20 per cent in the other from the end of 2013. Nedbank, South Africa’s fourth-biggest bank, has said it intends to use the option to gain access to the continent’s most geographically diverse lender. “There’s no expiration date” on Ecobank’s option to take a stake in Nedbank, Tanoh said. Forging partnerships with insurers in Africa and building an investment banking team are also part of the Ecobank’s plans, said Tanoh. The lender is also looking for ways to enter Mozambique and Angola, he said. Ecobank shares have climbed 35 per cent this year in Lagos trading compared with a 26 per cent gain for the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index.

COBANK Transnational Inc. (ETI) may shelve plans to buy a stake this year in South Africa’s Nedbank Group Ltd. (NED) to focus on its business in 33 other African countries, said its Chief Executive Officer Thierry Tanoh. “We can capture African growth and increase efficiency at the same time and when that’s done, there’s the option with Nedbank — it’s not the time to talk about it now,” Tanoh, who became CEO in January, said in an interview with Bloomberg at the World Economic Forum in Cape Town. Ecobank Chairman Kolapo Lawson said last year that the Lome, Togo-based lender wanted to exercise an option to buy a stake in Johannesburg-based Nedbank at the end of 2013. Tanoh wants to focus on increasing profitability elsewhere in the continent after firstquarter earnings climbed 26 percent. “First-quarter figures are a snapshot of where we could go,” said Tanoh, adding that Ecobank plans

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 140.91 150.53 0.80 1.15 1.08 100.00 1,000.00 1,819.09 14.91 1.39 1.87 11,416.86

9.08 1.00 140.41 149.64 0.78 1.15 1.07 100.00 1,000.00 1,811.97 14.18 1.33 1.80 11,077.91


CHANGE 0.18 0.06 0.21 0.09 0.17 0.05 0.06 0.06 0.07 0.08


NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%




04 July, 2012

07, Aug, 2012











HE police yesterday came under fire for allegedly failing to investigate thoroughly, the allegation that a couple, Mr Soyibo Adenuga, bought a set of twins for N1.8 million. The police paraded the couple last week for the alleged offence which is still being investigated. In a petition sent to the Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, Lagos, and copied the Inspector-General of Police, the couple's lawyer, Mr Muyiwa Ogunkolade, described his clients' parade as malicious, unlawful and embarrassing. The lawyer said his clients neither bought the babies, nor attempted to smuggle them to the United States (US) as alleged by the police. In the petition entitled: "Malicious and unlawful persecution of Mr. Soyibo and Mrs. Elizabeth Adenuga by the police," Ogunkolade said: "Our clients' brief reveals that they are the biological parents of a set of twins referred to in the various media reports. Trouble started when our clients wanted to travel to the US with their children and they were requested to submit their blood samples, including those of the kids for DNA test. Eventually, when the result of the DNA came out, it was alleged that that of the children did not match our clients. "Our clients were then arrested and interrogated during which they provided the police with the requisite information on the birth of the kids. Consequently, our clients were detained at the SFU for about five days without much investigation and were later released after being made to part with N300, 000.00. "Again, our clients were invited by the police for further interrogation on May 6, 2013, but to their surprise, the police called a press conference where they were vilified and condemned as kidnappers without hearing. Our clients are the undisputed parents of the lovely set of twins. "Again, as our clients have always maintained since your organisation invited and detained them unlawfully based on the alleged DNA Report and petition sent to the SFU by the US Consulate, Mrs. Elizabeth Adenuga became pregnant after the consummation of her marriage with her husband, Mr. Adenuga and gave birth to the lovely set of twins following months of treatment, albeit, through herbal medicines administered to them by Divine Favour Maternity Clinic, Port-Harcourt, owned by Mrs. Helen Okoro. "Even though the purchase of herbal medicine has nothing to do with DNA, and even though our clients are not bound to prove their innocence, the police still collected N250, 000.00 from our clients to travel to Port Harcourt where they only went on a wild goose chase, made merry and came back with cock and bull stories without any result." The petition added: "Although it is not the duty of our clients to disprove your allegations that the children do not belong to them, however, in order to save their children from this kind of

CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

Chinese Mayor, Fashola for Fair By Tajudeen Adebanjo

LAGOS State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola will today lead dignitaries to declare the 8th edition of the Lagos Motor Fair open. The Fair which holds at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, will parade over 70 companies from Nigeria and abroad. It is organised by BKG Exhibitions Limited, Nigeria and SENEXPO International Fairs Inc, Istanbul, Turkey. Deputy Mayor of Changchun Municipal People's Government; Jilin Province of the People's Republic of China, Mr Gui Guangli, will lead a trade delegation from the Province to the week-long event. Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Agwu, the Managing Director of BKG Exhibitions Limited, who chairs the Fair's Organising Committee said the governor's acceptance to open the event underscores the seriousness of the state government in encouraging efforts towards developing automotive industry in Nigeria. He said Guangli's visit is facilitated by one of the new entrants into the fair - First Automobile Works (FAW) of China through its Nigerian office.

• Mrs Adenuga with one of the babies

• Mr Adenuga ... with the other

Soyibos and twins: Persecution unlawful, says couple's lawyer By Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor

embarrassment and ridicule, our clients agreed to sponsor your men with the sum of N250, 000.00 as requested by your organisation to enable your men travel to Port-Harcourt to conduct investigation into the matter with a view to confirming the truth already told your organisation by our clients. This is apart from the sum of N300,000.00 earlier taken by your men from our clients before releasing them on bail and the further demand for the sum of N2 million. Our clients are of the strong view that the instant publications are not unconnected with the resistance of our clients to be exploited by your men. "Surprisingly, when your men got to Port-Harcourt, rather than carry out a proper and thorough investigation, your men merely enjoyed themselves and came back with nothing. Despite this misadventure embarked upon by your men, our clients were taken aback when media organisations published that our clients were arrested for trying to "smuggle" and "buys" a set of

twins. "Curiously, in the said publications, your humble self admitted that investigation is yet to be concluded. One now wonders the motive behind the invitation of the press and the sponsored publications. With due respect, we see this as a clear attempt to defame the persons of our clients and cover police inadequacies. It is nothing but a charade trial and conviction of our clients by the SFU in the court of public opinion. "Worse still is the further attempt by your organisation to speculate and assume in the various publications that there is only one Mrs. Okoro in the entire Rivers State by trying to link the Imo State case of one Patience Aibangbe to our clients' case which cases are poles apart from each other. Instead of the SFU to conduct further test as suggested by our clients, it has resorted to the present media trial for the sole purpose of embarrassing our clients." Saying that the publications were not in the best interest of the couple's children in line with the Child's Right Act, C50, LFN 2004, the lawyer demanded a retraction of the stories by

the police in two national newspapers in addition to a letter of apology to Mr & Mrs Soyibo. He also wants the police to "stop any further publication of cooked up stories that may further prejudice our clients or their children's interest pending the conclusion of investigation by SFU or any other credible organisation and/or pending the determination of the matter by a competent court of law. "We also demand that Mr. Adenuga's US citizenship passport and other travelling documents seized by your organisation be released to him through us immediately. This is considering the fact that the said documents belong to the United States of America, whose citizen Mr. Adenuga is and which the Nigerian government or any of its agencies does not have the powers to withhold.” "Should your organisation fail, refuse and/or neglect to meet up with these innocuous demands of our clients within 48 hours from the receipt of this letter,” the petition added, “we have the instructions of our clients to take further legal actions against you and your organisation."

FRSC, Academy move to save pedestrians


S part of activities marking the second United Nations Global Road Safety Week worldwide, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Ojota Unit Command, Lagos State, visited Caleb British Academy, Lagos yesterday. The visit was aimed at enlightening students on pedestrian safety. The theme for this year's edition is Pedestrian Safety and it is targeted at saving five million lives in line with the Decade of Action for Road Safety, 2011-2020. During an interactive forum at the Academy, FRSC’s Unit Commander LeyeAdegboyega said because of lack of attention to pedestrians' needs and the tendency to favour private motorised transports, many pedestrians risk death, injury and disability. He added: "Many of those killed are children and older people. Majority of fatali-

By Dada Aladelokun

ties occur in low and middle-income countries, where rapid motorisation poses additional challenges. Pedestrian safety remains a concern in countries worldwide." The Unit Commander, who noted that much was still needed to make the world friendlier by providing safe, reliable and accessible facilities for all pedestrians, posited that there is no single measure to adequately address the range of risks to pedestrians across various settings. The most effective measures, he said, include managing vehicle speeds, separating pedestrians from other traffic by sidewalks and crosswalks; increasing the visibility of pedestrians, and ensuring the responsible behaviour of all road users. He added that enacting appropriate laws around such measures, enhanc-

ing enforcement and ensuring links with other modes of transport can save lives. Adegboyega noted that the safety of pedestrians will encourage walking which improves health, reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, dementia, depression and obesity. "In Nigeria, almost 80 per cent of road traffic crashes involving pedestrians are caused by impaired walking, poor visibility and unsafe road crossing. The fact that poor education in this regard is mainly responsible for the non-compliance by pedestrians, accounts for this campaign to create awareness on the issues surrounding pedestrian safety in Nigeria," he explained. A safe pedestrian, he said, would always use pedestrian crossings; never assume that an approaching vehi-

• Guangli

Women’s body states mission By Joseph Eshanokpe

A group, Women in Oil (WIO), has denied an insinuation that it is fraudulent, saying it is an organisation dedicated to assisting Nigerians to benefit from the dividends of democracy. The WIO chair, Mr Charles Dukwe, highlighted the objective of the body, saying: “WIO is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and aims to ensure that the N300 billion per day that is generated from the Nigeria oil and gas industry to improve the life of the average, forsaken, unknown and neglected woman through empathy-driven partnerships that we are establishing with high-level technical partners in Canada, with the view to operating in 10 sectors of the oil and gas industry. “This is the true representation of President Goodluck Jonathan’s desire in enacting the 35 per cent and calling for private sector response because much more than political appointments and contracts, this initiative will bring the benefits of the policy to the majority and the true stakeholders in what the President terms as our common wealth."

Lagos Prince clocks 80

• Adegboyega

cle can stop for him/her; instead, waits until all vehicles have stopped before he/she crosses; at intersections, check for turning vehicles before leaving the kerb, and avoid crossing between parked cars; wear bright clothing in poor visibility conditions; avoid using a mobile phone or portable media player (so he/she can hear vehicles and concentrate).

PRINCE Olayeni Ayinde Ajose, head of the Ogunyemi Ologunkutere Royal Family and Lanseran Ruling House of the Suenu Chieftaincy Family of Lagos, yesterday clocked 80. He was born into the royal family by the late Prince Emmanuel Eshugbayi Ajose and late Janet Bolajoko Ajose (nee Oluwa). He was a successful importer of electrical equipment in the 1960s. Prince Ajose was the Councilor of Ward E1 of the Lagos Island Local Government from 1975 to 1978. He is a Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in War E3, Lagos Island. He is also the younger brother of the late Professor Oladele Ajose, the first Black African Professor, South of the Sahara, an International authority on Preventive and Social Medicine, and the first Vice Chancellor of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).






One injured in NSCDC, Task Force clash


NE person has been injured in a clash between officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the National Task Force in Asaba, Delta State. The National Task Force was set up by the Federal Government to combat illegal importation of goods, small arms, ammunition, light weapons as well as monitoring of oil pipeline vandalisation. It was gathered that trouble started when operatives of the Task Force were escorting an impounded truck loaded with 22,000 litres of petroleum products and three suspects to its station. The operatives had earlier paraded the suspects. It was gathered that the operatives allegedly clashed with officials of the NSCDC at the popular Koka junction on the Benin-Onitsha expressway.

Five killed in battle of cultists


IVE people have been killed in clashes between two rival cult groups in Obudu Local Government of Cross River State. Police spokesman John Imoh, who confirmed the cult war, said only one person was officially recorded dead. Several others, he said, were injured. The fracas started at the beginning of the week, it was gathered. Umoh said the clash, between the Vikings Confraternity and the KKK, was believed to be a battle of supremacy. Areas affected were said to include Ogoja From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

But the Secretary of the Task Force, Paul Robertson, said there was no clash between his men and NSCDC officials. He alleged that the Task Force operatives were ambushed by NSCDC officials. His words: “At about 8pm, we decided to move the suspects to our unit station beside Oshimili South Local

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

Road, Obudu Clinic axis, Ukwot Street and Ranch Road where the cultists forced some residents to relocate to nearby villages. There were speculations that the clash was as a result of political rivalry in the area over the September 21 local government elections. Another version has it that the dispute was over a woman. Umoh appealed to residents to remain calm, as the police were on top of the situation.

Government Secretariat. “On getting to Koka Junction, we were ambushed by NSCDC operatives. They came armed and started attacking our men with guns, knives and other weapons. “I had to restrain my men from confronting them because we don’t want any casualty. “Although we were under strict instruction from our Director-General, Dr. Osita Okereke, not to release the

truck and the suspect to anybody, the NSCDC reinforced and overpowered our men and took away the truck and the suspects to an unknown destination.” A NSCDC official said he was not aware that there was a clash between the two groups. He said it was only the NSCDC that was empowered by law to prosecute any suspected pipeline vandal.

Ngige to Obi: I’m not afraid of debate


ORMER Anambra State Governor and senator representing Anambra Central Chris Ngige has said he is not afraid of a debate with Governor Peter Obi. In a statement by his Media Assistant, Igboeli Arinze, Ngige described the call for debate as laughable, saying facts speak for themselves.. He said: “The governor’s Special Adviser on Media, Val Obienyem, said Ngige built roads only in Idemili Local Government, this is not true. “Roads such as IsuochiOwerri, Ezukala-Ogbunka

Umunze, Umunze to Igboukwu, dualisation of Zik Avenue, Modebe Avenue in Onitsha, Amawbia Agulu, Abba-Abagana, Nnewi to Neni and other notable township roads were built by the Ngige administration. “The Obi administration claimed that it has built more roads, having spent eight years in power, but we believe that it should have done more than what it claimed. “What is important is the quality of these roads built by the Obi administration, which at best can be said to have a lifespan of two years. “Does it make sense to

build roads with such enormous resources only for successive governments to revisit these roads with resources that would have gone to other areas, such as healthcare, education and security? “Ask Ndi Anambra to compare the roads done by Ngige with those done by the Obi administration. “On the issue of the senator attending Alor Boys, it is on record that Senator Ngige attended St John’s Alor and not Alor Boys as wrongly stated by Obienyem. “Also it was wrong of the Obi administration to accuse


Abuja, showing my picture and that of Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shema for Presidency 2015. “For the avoidance of doubt, I dissociate myself from the printing and circulation of these posters, which is clearly the handiwork of mischief makers, who are bent on heating up the polity for no reason whatsoever. “I state emphatically that

Godswill Akpabio is not interested in the Presidency in 2015 and has not mandated anybody to campaign for him. “My focus is on the completion of the Uncommon Transformation Agenda, which has changed the face of Akwa Ibom State for good. “Based on the pressure from the people of Akwa


From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

the group came to “arrest” him for allegedly sending mock coffins to the offices of the executives of Igbo-Ukwu Development Union. It was gathered that after the shooting, policemen, who arrived at the scene, rushed the victim to a hospital. The trigger-happy vigilance member was allegedly

not arrested. The origin of the crisis was said to have been caused by the refusal of the government to inaugurate the executives of the town union. The traditional ruler, Igwe Martin Ezeh, said he had sworn in the president-general, Arc Ike and wondered why the government has refused to inaugurate the executive but preferred to allow a caretaker committee to pi-


Ngige of neglecting his alma mater, since he has contributed to the renovation of buildings, provided solar lighting and donated a functional computer centre to the school.”

Ibom North West (Ikot Ekpene) Senatorial District, I wish to represent them at the Senate in 2015. “I urge the public to completely ignore this mischief engineered by political jobbers and will continue to support President Goodluck Jonathan in the arduous task of transforming this nation.”

lot the union’s affairs. The chairman of the caretaker committee, Christian Udeafor, denied recruiting vigilance members to assault residents. “I am a peaceful man. I know detractors only want the vigilance group disbanded so that insecurity will return to Igbo-Ukwu. “I know the people who are causing this trouble. They should give peace a chance,” Udeafor said.

INEC recognises Umeh as APGA chairman



HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday acknowledged Victor Umeh as the authentic National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). A letter dated May 8 and signed by INEC Secretary Abdullahi Kaugama reads: “The commission notes the ruling of the Court of Appeal which stayed execution of the order of the Enugu High Court that restrained Victor Umeh from parading himself as National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).



Vigilance group shoots man in Anambra MAN, Onyedika Azike, has been shot by members of a vigilance group in Igbo-Ukwu community, Aguata Local Government of Anambra State. Police spokesman Emeka Chukwuemeka told The Nation yesterday that the command was not aware of the incident. Sources said the victim was shot when members of

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

OME facts emerged yesterday on why Edo State Commissioner for Secondary and Tertiary Education Ekpenisi Omorotiomwan was sacked two months after his reappointment. It was gathered that Omorotiomwan, at a meeting with Governor Adams Oshiomhole, denied knowledge of how some funds kept in an account was spent by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB). A source said the governor was peeved that the ex-commissioner refused to accept responsibility even when others involved in spending the money had owned up. The source said: “The governor repeatedly asked the commissioner about the money but the commissioner insisted that he was not aware and the governor told him, ‘you are supposed to be my eyes in SUBEB.’ It was after the meeting that the governor fired the commissioner.” It is not clear whether the fund was meant for the payment of salaries of some teachers who were sacked six months ago but sources said the governor was surprised that the four months salaries of the recalled teachers could not be paid. The money was said to have been spent on building schools. The governor forgave the sacked teachers during the May Day celebration and directed that four months salaries be paid out of the six months they were out of work. The SUBEB board, headed by Joseph Emoabino, was also dissolved over the missing fund. Ekpehisi said he was happy to have served under Oshiomhole and that he was not aware of the reasons for his removal. He said he was not aware of any missing fund in SUBEB which he said was not under his supervision. A member of the now dissolved SUBEB said the fund was misappropriated and not missing.

Monarch’s son held for ‘rape’

Akpabio: I ‘ve no interest in 2015 presidency KWA IBOM State Governor Godswill Akpabio has denied any interest in the 2015 presidency. In a statement yesterday, the governor said whatever interest he has in 2015 is in the Senate. The statement reads: “My attention has been drawn to the sudden emergence of posters in some parts of

‘Why Oshiomhole sacked commissioner’

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

“Consequently, the commission will continue to relate with Victor Umeh as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). “Please accept the assurance of the commission’s highest regards.” The letter was made available to reporters by Umeh. Umeh asked those parading themselves as APGA factional leaders to desist or face the law.

HE son of the Oyah of Osi-Aiyegunle in Akoko-Edo Local Government of Edo State, Paul, has been arrested for allegedly raping a student of the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi. It was gathered yesterday that the victim hails from Owo in Ondo State. The victim was said to have visited her elder brother, who runs a school in Igarra, when she was lured by the suspect, who offered her a ride to Auchi on his motor cycle. Paul allegedly diverted to a bush between Igarra and

From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

Uneme Nekhua, near Aiyetoro, where he and another person, who is currently on the run, forcefully had carnal knowledge of the victim. The victim was said to have been rescued when she shouted for help; the suspects reportedly escaped. The victim was apprehended by members of the vigilance group; he has been handed over to the police. A police source confirmed the incident.

Police parade 17 kidnap suspects


EVENTEEN suspects, including a 28-yearold man who threatened to kidnap a bishop in Benin City, were yesterday paraded by the police in Edo State. Among them were Emmanuel Okosun (aka Fedeko), who admitted to have been involved in several kidnap cases. Okosun said he was arrested on April 16, two days after a kidnap operation fetched him N700,000, which was displayed with him. He said though he was not involved in ransom negotiation and collection, his gang members told him that their victim paid N5 million. The police said the bishop complained of receiving calls and messages from a strange number, threatening to kidnap him. Prompt investigation led to the arrest of Roland Joshua Ejomafunwe Aregbo last Friday.

Aregbo said: “I sent a threat message to Bishop Peter Imasuen, demanding N5 million, I was later arrested and brought here to the police headquarters.” On why he sent the message, the suspect said: “I don’t know when I even sent the message my brother e get as e bi.” Also paraded were Kelvin Igbinosa(27), Segun Omonigho(28), Eseiwi Osakwe (26), Meshack Adolor(23) and James Ogaga(29). Others include Ikechukwu Omenogor, Frank Owobu, Kelly Albert, Elvis Omoko, Osayande Asemota, Denis Adekun(25), Frank Echie(31), Okhifoh Felix(21), Otako John(22) and Ibrahim Mohammed, who allegedly impersonated a soldier. The Commissioner of Police, Foluso Adebanjo, said some of the suspects would be charged to court upon completion of investigation.

Shell refutes community’s claim From Shola O’Neil, Warri


HE management of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has described as “false and misleading” allegations of neglect made against the company by 25 leaders of Amazor community in Ekeremor Local Government of Bayelsa State. The reaction followed a quit notice from the Ijaw community, which asked Shell to uproot its 24" Trans Ramos pipeline from the community. Shell’s spokesman Tony Okonedo said: “Amazor is a neighbouring community and not a Shell JV host community as alleged. “Nevertheless Amazor continues to benefit from the JVs social responsibility initiatives. For example, the community is part of the Kou cluster where Shell JV spent about N500million in a Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), which expired in 2011.



NEWS Police chief among ambush victims as death toll hits 47 Continued from page 2

Akwanga Lafia – Makurdi highway. Security agents combed the area for suspects. Also yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan aborted his state visit to Namibia, following security challenges in Borno, Nasarawa and Benue states. The President will meet with security chiefs on his return to Abuja tonight. There was tension on the Akwanga-Lafia-Makurdi highway as security agents combed Nasarawa Eggon for members of the Ombatse cult group. There were fears that the cult group might have killed scores of policemen and security agents who went to raid the shrine in Alakyo, a village, which is about 10 kilometres to Lafia, Nasarawa State capital. A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on

Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said: “In view of recent developments at home in Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan has cut short his visit to South Africa and aborted his state visit to Namibia which was due to start today. “The President is returning to Abuja immediately to personally oversee efforts by national security agencies to contain the fresh challenges to national security which have emerged this week in Borno, Plateau and Nassarawa states. “President Jonathan will on arrival, meet with the Chief of Defence Staff, the Service Chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police and heads of national security services on arrival to review the security situation in the country.” After a five-hour siege along the highway, thousands of commuters heading to Makurdi, Cross River State, Ebonyi, and many places in the South-

south were stranded. A source, who was caught in the blockade, said: “I am on my way to Makurdi, but I have been stranded along with thousands of commuters in Akwanga for about five hours now(3pm). “Security agencies have advised us against proceeding with the journey to Lafia, Benue, Southsouth and Southeast because they have moved in to curtail the Ombatse militia. “The militia group has a base in Nasarawa Eggon where we will all pass through to get to Lafia and other destinations in Benue, Southsouth and the Southeast. The source added: “We are suspecting a gun duel between the militia and security agencies. We can not move an inch outside Akwanga.” Another source said the death toll in Tuesday’s ambush of police and other security agents many have been under-

stated. The source added: “Many decapitated bodies of policemen, security agents and locals were still being mopped up on Thursday in Alakyo village. “The Everyone is living in fear in all parts of the state, especially Lafia which the militia could overrun with their mystical powers. “The head of the militia, Baba Alakyo, is reputed to have mysterious powers which could make him vanish into thin air within seconds.” Another source said: “The countdown to 2015 might have aggravated the clash with the militia. They are demanding that power should shift to Nasarawa Eggon in 2015 following fears that Al-Makura may want to seek re-election. “This is why it is necessary for the Federal Government to ensure a full-scale investigation into the militia crisis in Nasarawa.”

IGP gives marching orders as Reps condemn killings Continued from page 2

seph Kigbu (CPC, Nasarawa) who implored his colleagues to plead and prevail on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar to forgive youths of Ombatse, in Nasarawa State that attacked and killed 30 policemen in the community. According to Kigbu, the youths that also lost 10 members, attacked and exchanged fire with the policemen, killing 30 in the process after learning that the policemen were on their way to arrest the

Spiritual leader of the community. “If the Federal government does not assist Nasarawa State government to maintain security and amicably resolve heir communal differences, this may lead to a further breakdown of peace and order,” he said. He spoke on the need to prevail on the police to forgive the community saying, what the nation witnessed in Baga, Odi and other places may reoccur. Yakub Balogun (ACN, Lagos) said it was condemnable for the youths to have taken up

arms against security agents sent to restore normalcy by the government. According to him, the degenerating security situation across the country had made it imperative for the Federal government to find means of mopping up fire arms across the country to forestall people attacking Securty agents that were carrying out their constitutional responsibilities. Farouk Lawan (PDP. Kano) and Leo Ogor (PDP, Delta) also condemned the regrettable trend saying that massive enlightenment is required for Ni-

gerians to know that it is wrong to take up arms against security agents. In their resolution, the lawmakers urged the Federal government to adequately compensate the families of the police victims, in addition to joining Nasarawa State in reconciling the different warring groups in the path of peace rather than use of force. The National Emergency Mnagement Agency (NEMA) was urged to immediately provide relief materials to victims of communal clashes since January 2013 in Nasarawa State.

Boko Haram Panel meets Kabiru Sokoto, others Continued from page 2

tu people, and every other who are either directly or indirectly connected with this thing. If in the cause of having interactions, reference is made to any other interest group, we will talk to them. A Federal High Court in Abuja heard yesterday that activities of the killer group, Boko haram was funded by foreign bodies. A witness at the resumption of the trial of Kabiru Umar (aka Kabiru Sokoto), the alleged mastermind of the of the 2011 Christmas Day bombing of St Theresa’s Catholic church in Madalla, Niger State. The witness, whose identity was kept secret, and made to wear a mask told the court that Umar told his interrogators that he was a member of the. Boko Haram and that the group receive foreign funding. The witness, a police officer attached to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Special Task Force on terrorism, was simply identified as XYZ. He also told the court how Umar was arrested last January at the Borno State government lodge in Asokoro, Abuja. “He told us that they received funding from a group in Algeria known as Musulmi Yamma and that the money created a division within the sect.” The witness told the court that Umar willingly gave the statement, in which he also said was not only a member the Boko Haram sect, but the

governor of the sect in Sokoto State. Move by prosecution lawyer, Mrs Chioma Onuegbu, to tender the statement in evidence was objected by defense lawyer, Adamu Ibrahim, on the grounds that his client did not volunteer the statement. Ibrahim’s objection moved the court to conduct a trialwithin-trial to enable it ascertain whether or not the statement was given voluntarily. At the trial within trial, a second prosecution witness was called. He was identified as ABC. He told the court that Umar requested that someone should help him write his statement while being interrogated because he was not in the right state of mind to do so himself. The witness insisted that the statement was not obtained under duress as claimed by Ibrahim but under the supervision of a superior officer he identified as Biu, and in the presence of other members of the investigating team. When called to testify, Umar, who said he was tortured while in police custody, denied giving any statement at the police headquarters. He spoke through an interpreter. Justice Adeniyi Ademola adjourned to today for ruling on the trial within trial and continuation of the substantive trial.



NEWS Kwara ACN gets new caretaker committee From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin


•Members of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria protesting the closure of Kaduna Textile Limited in Kaduna...yesterday.

Jonathan appoints Ciroma’s wife as MD of NIWA •Names heads of NBC, CPC, SMEDAN, NFC, others


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday appointed the former National Woman Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hajiya Inna Maryam Ciroma, as the Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA). Other Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of some Federal Government parastatals appointed by Jonathan, according to a statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, include: the Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency ( SMEDAN), Mr. Bature Masadi. Anyim also announced the appointment of Mrs. Dukpe C.

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

Atoki as the Director–General of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and Mr. Danjuma Dabo as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Jos, the Plateau State capital. Mr. Emeka Nkem Mba was named the Director-General,

Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) while Prof Eli Jidere is now the Director-General of the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN). The President also named Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, as an Executive Director with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC). In the statement entitled: Appointment of Chief Executive Officers of some Federal Government Parastatals, the SGF said Dr. Jonathan has approved the appointments. He added: “All the appointees are expected to resume duties immediately.”

Criminal justice: Lamorde begs NBA to check corrupt lawyers

Aliyu decries food importation


IGER State Governor Babangida Aliyu yesterday decried the nation’s dependence on food importation to feed its teeming population, despite the abundant human and natural resources across the land. He said it is abnormal for a nation with 70 per cent of its population being farmers to still import foodstuffs. Speaking at the beginning of the training of 300 youths and women in modern livestock and fish farming in Minna, the state capital, Aliyu stressed the need to improve the agricultural sector across the country. He noted that Nigeria can only produce a million metric tonnes of rice instead of the 7 million metric tonnes needed for the nation’s consumption. Aliyu said: “In America, less than two per cent of the population is made up of farmers. Yet, they are exporting food. But in Nigeria, 70 per cent of our population is made up farmers. Yet, we are still importing food. “Nigeria needs 7million metric tonnes of rice but we can only produce 1 million metric tonnes; 98 per cent of the milk we consume in this country is imported. Whatever we are doing is a disappointment. We have the cows but our way of raising them does not allow us to have good milk and meat.” The governor explained that rice-producing states, especially Niger, have the capacity to produce the needed metric tonnes for the country, if things are properly done and adequate facilities are provided. He maintained that the nation’s dreams cannot be actualised until Nigerians learn to protect what they have. “Let’s try to build Nigeria so that we will all be proud to be called Nigerians and be described as Nigerians,” Aliyu said.

HE Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, yesterday urged the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to check corrupt lawyers impeding the nation’s criminal justice system. He appealed to lawyers to support the fight against corruption. Lamorde spoke in Abuja when he received members of the Anti-Corruption Comission of the NBA in his office. A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said the EFCC chairman hailed the NBA for the “vision and courage in setting up the Anti-

From: Yusuf Alli, Abuja

Corruption Commission.” The statement reads: “Lamorde bemoaned the role of some lawyers in the criminal justice system in Nigeria. He stated that most of the corruption and financial crime cases filed by the commission are still at their plea stages, many years after, owing to the activities of some lawyers.” The statement quoted Lamorde as saying: “We are ready and willing to cooperate with the commission. Your commission has come at the right time because of the people’s perception about the role of lawyers in the course of administration

of criminal justice in Nigeria. Most of the problems that people have in the course of criminal justice in Nigeria are caused by lawyers. And I think the NBA should look at them and see how these things can be addressed.” The statement added: “The EFCC chairman also expressed his happiness over the activities of the Disciplinary Committee of the NBA, which is working assiduously to discipline erring lawyers. “He lamented that the EFCC had charged several lawyers to court and that some of them have been convicted, which does not portray the NBA in good light.”

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna



Lamorde acknowledged the contributions of lawyers to the achievements so far recorded by the EFCC in the fight against corruption. He said: “Whatever the commission has achieved so far could not have been possible without the support and cooperation of the NBA.”

Reps summon JAMB chief over mass failure


OINT Admission and Matriculation Examination (JAMB) Registrar Prof. Dibu Ojerinde is to appear before the House of Representatives over mass failure of candidates in the last Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). He is to tell the House what accounted for the woeful performance of candidates at the examination. Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Aminu Suleiman (PDP, Kano) said Ojerinde’s invitation came as a result of the barrage of complaints that flooded the Committee from

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

across the country. He said: “We heard that JAMB authorities had formally explained some reasons for the mass failure, this is not enough if the content of the complaints of Nigerians is anything to go by. “One of the complaints was that concerning the usage of computer for the exam that most of them have never had contact with computer before or that they only learnt the theory without the practical usage of computers. “It can be recalled that the

House passed a resolution asking JAMB not to use computer for the 2013 exams and they said they would make it optional; but there were still complaints by Nigerians that some students filled the manual or paper option only to find themselves being asked to write the exams using computers”. Suleiman, who said the introduction of computers for the examinations may have accounted for the mass failure, noted that most students, especially those in the rural areas, are not computer-literate enough. “The Committee has no op-

Wada seeks Assembly’s approval for loans


OGI State Governor Idris Wada yesterday sent a bill to the House of Assembly to enable him borrow money for the issuance and management of bonds. The governor has been invited to deliver a paper at the World Economic Forum in South Africa. He left the country yesterday for South Africa through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, to attend the meeting. Among the two executive bills Wada sent to the Assembly for consideration and passage is a Bill for a law to make provision for the administration collection of revenue. Reading the two bills on the floor of the Assem-

From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja

bly, Speaker Momoh Jimoh Lawal urged other members to speedily consider and pass the bills because of their importance to the state. One of the bills states that the state does not have an enabling legal and regulatory framework for bond issuance and public private partnership (PPP). It says the existence of a bond law would make the state attractive to credible private partnership and investors.

tion than to act accordingly to work towards finding lasting solutions to the perennial failures of Nigerian students,” he said.

Alexis Gallery holds Encased Sunday


NCASED, a solo art exhibition of paintings by one of Nigeria’s contemporary artists, Duke Asidere will open on Sunday at the Alexis Gallery, on Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. The tenth solo show will feature the artist’s current paintings that are commentaries on the sociopolitical developments in the country. Among the paintings for display include the Black series, the lesson in painting series as well as those that depict issues of emotion. According to the artist, the exhibition is expected to show between 20 and 25 paintings that dwell on the state of the nation at this trying period when social vices such as violence and kidnapping have become norms.

HE Kwara State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) now has a new seven-member Caretaker Committee. It is headed by Ondo State ACN Leader, Mr Sola Iji. With the committee in place, the Kayode Olawepoled committee, which came into existence before the 2011 governorship election, ceases to exist. Other members of the new committee are: Prince Shuaibu Olarewaju, Alhaji Abdulraheem Akorede, Alhaji Samari Abdullahi, Issa Umar, Dr Sa’ad Omoiya and Rev. Bunmi Olusona. In a letter by its the National Secretary, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, ACN said the decision for dissolving the former committee was taken by the National Working Committee (NWC) of “our party on April 15”. He added: “Your assignment is to ensure that you organise the party in such a way that any sort of factionalisation is eliminated before you set up all necessary organs that will assist you in running the party, and ensure a seamless transition into the merger process with other merging parties in the state. “This assignment is as important as it is tasking and, therefore, requires your extreme dedication and determination to execute; it is with immediate effect please. “The former State Caretaker Committee (CTC) members have since been informed of their dissolution through their chairman, Mr. Kayode Olawepo. However, you should not hesitate to solicit the cooperation of the state elders in the course of carrying out the assignment, but not that you are only answerable to the national secretariat of the party.”

Akume mourns ex-deputy Ajene


ENATE Minority leader George Akume yesterday expresed deept sorrow over the death of Prince Ogiri Ajene, former Deputy Governor of Benue State. Ajene, was Akume’s deputy as Benue State governor In a statement yesterday, Akume said: “On behalf of my family and the good people of Benue North-West Senatorial District I acknowledge with deep sorrow the loss of my dear friend, His Excellency, late Prince Ogiri Ajene who succumbed to the overpowering fangs of death on Saturday, April 20, 2013 in a London hospital. “I accordingly commiserate with the Benue people, the Igede nation and the Ajene Okpabi Royal family. “Lat Ogiri who was a colleague and deputy to me during the two terms I served as the Governor of Benue state was an epitome of simplicity, humility and openness. While I find it difficult to come to terms with his demise, I recall with fondness his exploits as a dogged fighter against oppression and above all his rewarding friendship with all and sundry. “I bid him farewell with a heavy heart, lamenting the void his death has created.



FOREIGN NEWS Ex-Pakistan PM’s son abducted

Accused Cleveland kidnapper held on $8m bond A

FORMER school bus driver accused of kidnapping three young women and raping them during a decade of captivity in his house was yesterday ordered held on $8 million bond in a Cleveland court, his head bowed and his face turned away from spectators. It was the first time the dark-haired, balding Ariel Castro, 52, had been seen in public since his arrest on Monday following the escape of three women and a child from his house in a low-income neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. In Cleveland Municipal Court, Castro was expressionless, his hands in cuffs before Judge Lauren Moore, who set his bond at $2 mil-

lion for each of the women and the child who was born in captivity. Castro’s home “was a prison to these three women and the child,” Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brian Murphy told the judge. “Today the situation is turned on him,” Murphy said. “Mr. Castro stands before you a captive, in captivity, a prisoner.” Castro had been formally charged on Wednesday with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape. He neither spoke nor entered a plea during his initial court appearance. Castro kept his face

turned away from the gallery that was crowded with media and spectators. “He did not want to be on camera,” his court-appointed lawyer, Kathleen DeMetz, said after the hearing. She said Castro would need $800,000 cash to get out of jail. “The man doesn’t have any money,” she said. “He clearly doesn’t have that.” DeMetz told the court that Castro was unemployed. Castro was fired from his job driving school buses last November. Now he is on a suicide watch in jail and is expected to be held in isolation, the lawyer said.

The $8 million bond set by the judge was higher than the $5 million requested by the prosecutor during the proceeding. The judge also ordered Castro to have no contact with the victims or their families. Officials said the three women were at times bound in chains or rope and endured starvation, beatings, sexual assaults and in the case of one of them, several miscarriages deliberately induced by their captor. The imprisonment of the women and small child came to an end on Monday after neighbors, drawn to the house by cries for help, broke through a door to rescue Amanda Berry, whose disappearance in 2003 the


•Castro in court ... yesterday day before her 17th birthday was widely publicized in the local media.

Another factory fire kills 8 in Bangladesh


IGHT people were killed when a fire swept through a clothing factory in Bangladesh, police and an industry association official said yesterday, as the death toll from the collapse of another factory building two weeks ago climbed above 900. The fire, in an industrial district of Dhaka, comes

Burkina Faso minister passes out at briefing


HE foreign minister of Burkina Faso yesterday briefly passed out during a live televised news conference with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara, forcing him to delay a planned trip to Paris the next day. State media reported that he spoke of being tired and taking flu medication, while a doctor said he had low blood sugar. Djibril Yipene Bassole, 55, leaned toward the lectern in front of him before knocking it over and collapsing on the raised platform. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was among the first to notice that he was passing out and rushed to help him. The lectern also hit both men in the legs as it fell. Several officials helped lift Bassole up and sat him down on a chair. He later walked away with Davutoglu’s help and was taken to a nearby hospital for a checkup. Davutoglu told reporters outside the hospital that Bassole was doing well but would be kept in the medical facility for a few hours for tests. He said the minister was due to travel to Paris on Friday but that the trip would be delayed.

amid global attention on safety standards in Bangladesh’s booming garment industry following the catastrophic collapse of Rana Plaza, on the outskirts of the city, in the world’s deadliest industrial accident since the Bhopal disaster in India in 1984. On Wednesday the Bangladesh government said it had shut down 18 garment factories for safety reasons following the April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza, which housed five garment factories making clothes for Western brands. Six were cleared to re-open on Thursday after inspectors issued safety certificates.


Afghan president says US wants to keep nine bases

HE U.S. wants to keep nine bases in Afghanistan after U.S. combat troops withdraw in 2014 which is fine as long as America makes “security and economic guarantees” in exchange, President Hamid Karzai said yesterday in his first public overture in what have been private talks on a future pact between the uneasy allies. The United States has not formally announced how many American troops might remain in Afghanistan after the end of 2014 when the international military coalition ends its combat mission. U.S. officials have said as many as 12,000 American and coalition forces could stay to train and advise Afghan security forces and continue counterterrorism operations against al-Qaida and other extremists. The Afghan government would have to approve any such decision, but months of negotiations over a bilateral security agreement have been

Ugandan General questions Museveni succession plan


•Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II sits with Prince Philip as she delivers her speech in the House of Lords yesterday. The State Opening of Parliament marks the formal start of the parliamentary year, the Queen’s speech sets out the government’s agenda for the coming year. PHOTO: AP

REAKING ranks with the military high command, a general is accusing President Yoweri Museveni of trying to ensure his son replaces him, the first top official to raise concerns about the purported succession plan. David Sejusa, one of only six generals in the Ugandan military and a member of its high command, said in a recent letter to the head of the internal security service that he wants an investigation into allegations that those opposed to Museveni’s son as a future leader could be targeted for assassination. The allegations by a military official believed to be near the center of power have shocked many in Uganda. The army’s top commander ruled Sejusa “out of order” and accused him of subverting the country’s military laws.

troubled with disagreements about the handover of detainees and anger over alleged misbehavior by American troops. Yet a U.S. defense official in Washington said he had not heard the number nine mentioned. Speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media about the negotiations, the official said the general concept is that the Bilateral Security Agreement would set terms under which the U.S. military would have temporary access to bases in Afghanistan for certain defined purposes, as opposed to the U.S. having permanent bases in the country. Karzai has made many statements about issues involved in the negotiations, but his com-

ments at a ceremony at Kabul University offered the first confirmation of how many bases the U.S. was seeking to keep in the country. “We are giving the bases, nine bases they want from Afghanistan — in all of Afghanistan,” he said. In return, Afghanistan wants a U.S. commitment to boost Afghan security, strengthen its armed forces and provide long-term economic development assistance. “It is our condition that they bring security and bring it quickly and strengthen the Afghan forces and the economy,” he said. “When they (the Americans) do this, we are ready to sign” a partnership agreement. The negotiations over a secu-

rity agreement have been protracted and at times acrimonious, reflecting Washington’s relationship with Karzai, who often has strong words of criticism for Washington. In March, when it appeared that the agreement was about to be signed, Karzai suggested that the U.S. and the Taliban were benefiting each other — and even in collusion — to keep U.S. troops in the country, though the U.S. has been fighting Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan for more than a decade. As a result, the U.S. put the agreement on hold.

UNMEN kidnapped the son of a former Pakistani prime minister yesterday Thursday as a letter from the leader of the Pakistani Taliban revealed plans for suicide bomb attacks on election day, Saturday. Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, in a message to the group’s spokesman, outlined plans for the attacks, including suicide blasts, in all four of the country’s provinces on polling day. “We don’t accept the system of infidels which is called democracy,” Mehsud said in the letter, dated May 1, and obtained by Reuters on Thursday. Since April, the al Qaeda-linked Pakistani Taliban have killed more than 100 people in attacks on election candidates and rallies, particularly those of secular-leaning parties, in a bid to undermine elections they regard as un-Islamic. The polls, already Pakistan’s most violent, will mark the first time a civilian government has completed a full term and handed over to another administration. The attacks have prevented candidates from the three main parties in the ruling coalition from holding big rallies. Instead, they have relied on door-to-door campaigning or small meetings in homes or on street corners. Gunmen kidnapped the son of Yusuf Raza Gilani, former prime minister and stalwart of the outgoing Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), as he headed for a small political gathering in the central city of Multan, police said. Ali Haider Gilani’s secretary and guard were shot dead in the attack. Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan denied responsibility in a telephone call to Reuters.

PUBLIC NOTICE We, messrs legal X-Ray Solicitors and Advocates, on behalf of our client Mrs.Wosilatu Abeke Kadiri, hereby make a re-joinder, and by this notice Object and urge the General Public to discountenance the public Notice, by messrs Kolapo Sogbetun & co (Barrister and Solicitor) on behalf Mr. Adesegun Ibiwoye – oba,Publishd in The Nation Tuesday July 21 2009 and Daily champion of July 29, 2009, wherein it was asserted that the property at No 31, Norman Williams street, south-west Ikoyi, Lagos State with land certificate No. LO4903 has been sold and that the said Land Certificate together with other transferred title documents have been missing since 14th February 2004.We hereby object and state that the said property was never sold to anybody or body of persons and that the original title document are still in the custody of our client. The registrar of Title, Land Registry Alausa, Ikeja Lagos and the general public are hereby advice not to have anything to do with Mr. Adesegun Ibiwoye-oba in respect of the said property which is currently the subject of litigation LD/532/2011. Barrister Nweke Andy Ojo Legal X-Ray Solicitor & Advocate 12, Simpson Street,(Last Floor) Lagos Island, Lagos Tel; 08033958229, 08056607492 Email:





TODAY IN THE NATION ‘A prevalent crisis of confidence has occurred in reaction to the social turmoil. More youths are feeling empty and without purpose yet we continue to moot revolution like the next best thing we could orchestrate after our last follies have fallen silent’

FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013



INCE the announcement of the mega merger to form the All Progressives Congress (APC), there has been a new art of scaremongering and there is something paradoxical about it. Let me substantiate. Various spokesmen of the ruling party have gone from demonising the leaders of the proposed merger to scaring one segment of the electorate, especially in the Southwest, that APC is their death knell as a people. In series of press briefings and statements right after the announcement of the merger, Presidential spokesperson Doyin Okupe had some harsh words for the party and its prospects. On the one hand, Okupe asserted that the merger will crumble within a year on the ground that “it is a weak association.” The basis of this assessment is unclear given the widespread nature of the membership of the merging parties and the levers of power they presently control. But Okupe is so sure of his position that he chose to stake his future identity on the veracity of his prediction. On the other hand, however, in an effort to paint ACN as a regional party, Okupe ended up disparaging the Yoruba as diehard regionalists. In his thinking, the only attachment that the Yoruba have with ACN is its identity as a regional party. This translates to the view that the Yoruba are not worried about the programmes that are beneficial to them, nor are they concerned about the ideological orientation of a political party. “The party’s only relevance in the Nigerian politics is that it is the outfit with which the Yoruba politics stands out. So when they have lose (sic) that garb, they are gone,” Okupe predicted. Recall that this has always been the tragic resort of opponents of both the Action Group and the UPN. Okupe indeed referenced these parties as examples of his meaning. Recall also that one of the campaign slogans of PDP in 2003 was the need for the Yoruba to go into the mainstream of Nigerian politics. Now, the leadership of ACN is making the move via a different route and the scaremongers are at work. From another angle in the same art of scaremongering, the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF) Alhaji Mujadid Asari Dokubo declared in an interview with Saturday Sun that the “emerging merger of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) with the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and a faction of the All Peoples Grand Alliance (APGA) will spell doom for Yoruba people.” In Dokubo’s chauvinistic assessment, “it is political suicide for the Southwest to align with the North in the power equation.” The reasoning is so far out that it is hardly worth examining from a rational perspective. First, if the issue is about experience, isn’t it true that the Southsouth in general, and the Niger Delta in particular have always aligned with the North in federal elec-


Forget it, we lost our VISION to SHORT-SIGHTEDNESS

VOL.8 NO.2,481



Scaremonger and APC



tions since at least the second republic? Dokubo asserted that “nobody calling himself progressive would go and align with feudalists.” This is a valid point; but it begs a question: Do we identify feudalism with ethnic nationalities or with mindsets and practices? Do we dismiss offhand the prospect of progressive policies coming out of particular groups and individuals just because of their ethnic origin? This appears to be Dokubo’s challenge and the challenge of all of us having been so caught up in ethnic politics and name calling that are detrimental to whatever aspirations we have as a nation. Recently, I came across a YouTube video on the visit of the late Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa to the John F. Kennedy White House in 1963 and I was pleasantly surprised. I never heard Alhaji Balewa speak during his lifetime, and watching that video sparked in me a pride in the founding fathers of this country that I found myself giving a standing ovation at the end of the video. Balewa spoke

with class. He was articulate and confident. His speeches were brief, casual and off-thecuff, yet profound. Of course, we could disagree about the policies of his party but we should now learn that name calling is a game beneath our collective dignity as a nation. After all, no one has a monopoly over such practices. The second question is this: in what sense is the proposed merger of four parties into APC an alliance with any particular zonal establishment? The parties are spread all over the country. While ACN has control of state houses across the Southwest, it also draws membership and National Assembly members from other zones. The leaders of the merging parties have consistently declared their intention to uphold the principle of internal democracy within the party and in particular in the matter of the choice of flag bearers at all levels. Yet the scaremongers cannot wait for the party to emerge and demonstrate its commitment to democratic principles. They want to cause so much stress for the pregnancy so that their desire for a miscarriage would be realised. In whose interest is this? Here then is the paradox. The leaders of the proposed APC have been so methodical and deliberative in their choices that opponents are so scared about the possibilities and potentialities of the party that they would rather not have it come to life. The deliberativeness is not just about the months of dialogue and negotiations; it is not just about the choice of ideologies and manifesto. It is also about symbolism. When they chose the name of the proposed party, they came up with an acronym that carries so much symbolism that it scares the hell out of the opposition: if you have a headache, APC is the answer. In case you are molested by kidnap-



ORNO State governor, Kashim Shettima, is a very worried man. As governor of the state worst affected by the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency, he has had cause to repeatedly issue shrill warnings on the mindless killings going on in the Northeast. On Wednesday, while receiving the 32member Senate Joint Committee on the April 16 Massacre in Baga, he once again made an impassioned plea to the federal government to re-examine its strategies for combating terrorism. The plea comes against the background of the horrendous waste of lives in Baga and Bama in Borno State, and in Alakyo Village, Nasarawa State, where about 30 policemen were reportedly ambushed and murdered by a cult militia group called the Ombatse Militia. Hundreds of lives were lost in Baga, and some 47, according to official estimates, were lost in Bama. The killings took place in the space of about three weeks, and they show no sign of letting up. Governor Shettima does not believe the root cause of the mayhem is being addressed. He thinks a revolutionary ferment is being engendered, with terrible consequences for the country. His prognosis is quite worrying. According to him, “Underneath the mayhem of Boko Haram, beneath the madness lies the underlying cause which is extreme poverty and destitution which have permeated all spectrums of our society.” He adds apocalyptically: “Only and until we address some of these issues, believe me, the future is very bleak for all of us as the current crisis is just an appetizer of things to come. Very soon the youths of this country will be chasing us away…The most important thing in Nigeria is all about the last election and the


pers and armed robbers, we are the Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC). In a political universe where symbols are sometimes much more effective than substance, it is not uncommon for the sensibilities of the electorate to be attracted to such eyecatching symbol as the broom and the promising chorus of “change” that comes with APC. There is a third question: if the reasoning of the NDPVF leader is valid, why can’t the Northern zones be apprehensive of an alliance with the Southwest since indeed, the ACN can boast of its strength and the widespread nature of its mandate? It seems that the thinking here is that what makes an alliance with CPC so scary is that the North can consume its partners. Yet in the same breath Dokubo suggested that former President Obasanjo, a Yoruba, “changed the political landscape” because he made “a conscious effort to create a balance in the patronage distribution in Nigeria.” But it was very clear to all in 1999 that the North wanted Obasanjo as president and voted overwhelmingly for the PDP. Was that not an alliance with the Northern establishment? The bottom line is this. APC is becoming a reality and there is palpable fear concerning its impact in the political scene in 2015 and beyond. Whatever side one takes—for APC, PDP or against both—the one benefit that the nation as a whole stands to gain from the emergence of a strong APC is the deepening of democratic norms and practices. Two strong parties vying for acceptance by the electorate at the center is the best thing that would happen to the country since the aborted third republic. What makes this approach better than the Babangida initiative of a two-party system is that it would have evolved from the practice of democracy itself. Having learned the importance of numbers, and having benefitted from the frustration of the people with the ruling party and the lackluster leadership at the centre, political sense dictates the rationality of splinter parties coming together under one umbrella for a common cause. Of course, the new party must have to show that it is different, not just in terms of symbols but more importantly in terms of the substance of its programs encapsulated and effectively articulated in its manifesto. •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Gov Shettima’s apocalyptic warning next election, that is the only thing that is agitating our minds. How we can perpetuate ourselves in power, how much we can steal, how many mansions we can buy in Florida, Dubai and London, these are the things agitating the minds of the elite of this country, including you and I.” Given the anomie in the Northeast, which is almost spiralling out of control, and both the unconvincing response from the presidency and the intensification of the insurgency by Boko Haram extremists, it is clear the governor is not being hysterical. The country, it seems, has reached a point where the extremists are not deterred by security agents’ heavy-handedness or reprisal attacks, nor, sadly, ready to yield to well-meaning appeals to lay down their weapons and enter into dialogue with the government. It is of course worrisome that for now the sect is simply not eager to negotiate or embrace amnesty. It is also true that it harbours in its ranks malcontents from neighbouring countries. And it is also probably true that the sect is motivated by a mixed cocktail of economic and sectarian causes, thereby complicating the crisis. But the real nightmare is that Nigeria has become eerily and retrogressively like Afghanistan. Nigeria is no longer dealing with a fairly discernible gang of misguided religious extremists like the Maitatsine sect, which banded together in enclaves and was susceptible to effective conventional and counterinsurgency warfare tactics. It is also not dealing with fighters who are squeamish about sacrificing their lives,

or who have lofty views, any sensible view at all, of country and its democratic principles. Nigeria is in fact now dealing with bitter, vengeful and relentless fighters completely devoted to their causes, no matter how misguided the rest of the country think those causes are. The sect’s impenetrable stoicism and their absolute inurement to pain and death have made it harder to find a solution. Unfortunately, the administrative effort to tackle the restiveness in the Northeast, though it is frenzied, has not been matched by appreciable brilliance or deep thinking. This was what prompted Governor Shettima to make his apocalyptic predictions about the prospect of ending the conflict quickly. Yet, the longer the conflict continues, the more the danger of a revolution, as the governor warned. There is not much hope the amnesty panel will make clear headway, and there is little on the ground to indicate the government’s counterinsurgency tactics will yield fruit soon. The most practical option the government should consider is how to reorganise the security forces to make them both more effective and capable of regaining the confidence and respect of the local populace who find themselves between the devil and the blue sea. And to cap the rejuvenation and reorganisation of the security agencies, Nigeria’s political leaders, especially President Goodluck Jonathan, must imbibe the right attitude to the crisis and make the right utterances in order to rally the country behind them and behind the new initiatives required to deal with a menace threatening to consume everyone.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790. WEBSITE: E-mail: Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation May 10, 2013  

The Nation May 10, 2013

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