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VOL. 6, NO. 1756 WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

N150.00

ACN tells lawmakers to fight for true federalism

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AWMAKERS elected on the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) platform have got their work cut out for them. They are to fight for true federalism, which will lead to a change in the revenue allocation formula, the party leadership said yesterday in Abuja. The party’s thinking, according

•Tinubu ... yesterday

•Party rejects Unity Govt From Yusuf Alli and John Ofikheuna, Abuja

to its National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is that only fiscal federalism can accelerate Nigeria’s development. Tinubu said the Federal Govern-

ment does not need more than 25 to 30 per cent of the nation’s resources, yet it collects 52 per cent. It was all at an interactive session with ACN National Assembly members-elect at the Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.

Tinubu said: “We are the largest opposition party in the country. God bless Nigeria. What we are saying is a controlled mechanism that will ensure a better and more assured free and fair elections. We will have a government and the opposition that is truly the representative of the wishes of the people. Continued on page 2

Families of ‘NYSC 10’ to Jonathan: we want justice N5m for each family of slain Corps members

THE NYSC TEN •Adewumi Paul (Ekiti State) •Okeoma Okechukwu Chibudom (Imo)

From Vincent Ikuomola,

•Ukazeone Amsalem Chukwunonyere (Imo)

Abuja

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HEY looked dejected and hopeless as they walked into the Presidential Villa – the seat of power – in Abuja. Not even the announcement of a N5 million compensation and the declaration of their slain loved ones as national heroes could cheer them up. Only one thing was on their minds: Justice. The families of the 10 slain National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for his kind gesture, but insisted on justice. Mr. Awuchewu Okpokiri, who spoke on behalf of the bereaved families, said the only thing that would comfort them is bringing the perpetrators of the heinous crime to book. He also asked for the review of the NYSC scheme and repositioning of the Police to meet up with its responsibilities. Said Okpokiri: “Mr. President, we thank you for speaking about compensation for the bereaved families but we want to say that no compensation can be meaningful, until the perpetrators of this heinous act are brought to book. “We also want to ask; just like every other Nigerian is asking today, that the NYSC scheme should be reviewed in all its ramifications. “Mr. President, we also observed that a lot of the police stations in most of these areas are nothing to write home about and that means that security for our people, the common man in the area, is not there. And that means anything can happen at any time.” Dr Jonathan had earlier promised to ensure that “those who may have been directly or indirectly responsible for this national tragedy face the full weight of the law”. Okpokiri also complained that the families

•Anyanwu Agnes (Imo) •Okpokiri Obina (Imo) •Olawale Tosin (Kogi) •Akonye Ibrahim Sule (Kogi) •Gbenjo Ebenezer Ayotunde (Osun) •Adeniyi Kehinde Jelili (Osun) •President Jonathan consoling Mrs. Tessy Adewo and her children, members of the family of one of the slain PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members ... yesterday.

•Adohe Elliot (Bayelsa)

Distinguished ladies and gentleMr. President, we thank you for ‘men, ‘ your sons and daughters may speaking about compensation for be gone, but they have not died in vain. You can take some solace in the fact that they are today national heroes of whom every patriotic Nigerian is immensely proud.

the bereaved families but we want to say that no compensation can be meaningful, until the perpetrators of this heinous act are brought to book.

’ ’ •LIFE P29 •MONEY P43 •E-BUSINESS P45 •INSURANCE P49 •FOREIGN P61 Continued on page 2


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

NEWS

•Dr Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo (centre) with family members of slain youth Corps members after a meeting at the State House, Abuja ... yesterday.

PHOTO: AKINOLA OLADOKUN

Families of slain NYSC members to Jonathan: we want justice Continued from page 1

were kept in the dark for a week after the incident. “I speak on behalf of the families of the fallen heroes. Mr. President, permit me to make one or two observations also which I think will play a very important role in case of such situations in future. “The first is that communication during the violence was nothing to write home about,” he said adding: “Most of us families did not know about the death of our dear ones, until about a week after. I don’t think that is very good because I feel that when this kind of thing happens and we approach the authorities, we should have been told of what had happened, but this was not so. “A lot of us did not know about the death of these children, until April 24 for what happened on April 18. “Mr. President, I also want to call your attention to the fact that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Some of us were sponsored by the NYSC to come here while some had to transport themselves. They approached the NYSC in their states and the NYSC didn’t give them any help. They had to come here on their own. I

don’t think that is good enough. “But Mr. President, we want to thank you for your concern and love for us and we pray and believe that whatever sacrifice these our children have made will be the last sacrifice for the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria and for the unity of Nigeria.” From President Jonathan came a soothing balm to the families. At the emotional meeting, the President announced a cash gift of N5million for each of the 10 corps members’ families. He also reiterated the government’s earlier pronouncement that the slain youths would be immortalised “as an enduring source of inspiration to all”. The slain 10 corps members are: Adewumi Paul from (Ekiti State), Okeoma Okechukwu Chibudom (Imo), Ukazeone Amsalem Chukwunonyere (Imo), Anyanwu Agnes (Imo), Okpokiri Obina (Imo), Olawale Tosin (Kogi); Akonye Ibrahim Sule (Kogi), Gbenjo Ebenezer Ayotunde (Osun), Adeniyi Kehinde Jelili (Osun) and Adohe Elliot (Bayelsa)

The injured, the President said would in addition to the government footing their medical bills, be given automatic employment on completion of their national service. These gestures, the President said, are not meant to compensate for the lives lost or disabilities suffered. He said no amount of recognition could adequately compensate for the deep void that their passing had created in the families. To Jonathan, the token is Nigeria’s way of demonstrating its appreciation for the great sacrifice, which the youths made in the national cause. The President vowed that the perpetrators of the violence and the killings would be brought to justice. Jonathan credited the corps members with the success of the elections which received widespread local and international acclaim, saying they showed uncommon patriotism and diligence. He said to the families: “I invited you here this afternoon to afford me the opportunity to directly express the depth of my sadness at the unfortunate loss of your children, wards and relations on national youth service as a

result of the unfortunate violence which erupted in parts of the country following the elections. “My heart, and indeed the hearts of all Nigerians go out to you all as you reconcile yourselves to the reality of the shock and the pain of losing vibrant young men and women of great promise and hopes of a fulfilling future ahead of them. We all share in your grief. “This tragedy is even more sobering, considering that they died carrying out a national assignment that has served to effectively consolidate our democratic process. “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, your sons and daughters may be gone, but they have not died in vain. You can take some solace in the fact that they are today national heroes of whom every patriotic Nigerian is immensely proud. “Our Administration holds them in the highest esteem and we are determined to ensure that their names are permanently immortalised as an enduring source of inspiration to us all. “I appreciate the fact that no amount of recognition can adequately compensate for the deep void that their passing has created in your indi-

vidual families. “However, in demonstration of our gratitude for the supreme sacrifice that they have paid in the service of Nigeria, I have decided that each of the 10 families of these gallant young men and women will receive a token monetary compensation of N5 million. “You may wish to proceed directly from this meeting to the NYSC Secretariat as I have directed the DirectorGeneral to pay out this money immediately. “In addition, each of the families which has an unemployed graduate who is a direct sibling of the deceased could forward the names of such persons to the DirectorGeneral for processing for automatic employment in the Federal Civil Service. “With regards to those who suffered varying degrees of injuries, additional to my earlier directive that the State Governments take charge of their medical bills, the Federal Government hereby guarantees each of them automatic employment on completion of their national service. “As we mourn our fallen young brothers and sisters, I pray that Almighty God imbues us all with the requisite

wisdom and understanding to be driven at all times by the values of loyalty, courage, dedication, and faith in a strong, prosperous and united Nigeria, which is the essence of the NYSC scheme. “At this point in time, we must all ponder the tragic loss of these young Nigerians and resolve to honour their memory by rededicating ourselves to engendering Nigeria’s continued peace, unity, stability, growth and development. “We must eschew any and all divisive tendencies and focus instead on emphasising the strength of our diversity and the renowned resilience and creativity that mark us apart as a uniquely gifted people. “Let me seize this opportunity to state in the clearest terms possible that this Administration is resolved to ensure that all those who may have been directly or indirectly responsible for this national tragedy face the full weight of the law. “The culture of impunity must stop in this country. Tomorrow (today), I will inaugurate the fact-finding committee which will undertake a thorough investigation of the unfortunate incident.”

ACN tells its lawmakers-elect to demand true federalism Continued from page 1 He went on: “In the federal “What should be our principle under the constituagenda? What we stand for is tion, it is the state who ceded what we are saying. And the power and trust to the Fedstability of our country. We eral Government to hold cerhave Federal Republic of Ni- tain aspects in trust on behalf geria and we are running a of the states. Without the federal constitution. Then, states, there is no federal. The we are here to ensure true situation is sad. “So, we have federalism and I hope I am SEE ALSO PAGE 54 not been running an effecclear. Now fistive federal cal federalism is mandatory for us. It is only the legisla- system; it has been unitary ture that can effect the change system and it has to stop. in the revenue sharing for- And we have to work hard on that. mula. “Added to that they “In the last 12 years, I have not heard that the revenue al- brought Revenue Allocation location has been reviewed and Mobilisation and Fiscal Comimplemented. We have a lop- mission. It is clear in the consided revenue sharing formula. stitution, but it has never “Critical to that, you have a been implemented. It has lopsided revenue formula giv- been abused by the same goving the Federal Government 52 ernment since 1999. Obasanjo per cent of the commonwealth was the worst abuser… “Again, back to fiscal federof the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is not acceptable. The alism. Throughout 2005 - 2007, real people are there in the several recommendations were states and local government made to review the revenue allevels. The Federal Govern- location formula. I think the ment should not take more than governors are still struggling on 25-30 per cent of the revenue.” that. I don’t know why.

•Chief Akande speaking ... yesterday. Listening are: (from left) National Secretary Sen. Lawan Shuaib, Deputy National Chairman, Boss Mustapha and Fashola

“Even though PDP might not understand the need for the review and I don’t see why because they even control more states. This must be for the benefit of the states. “The Federal Government should not take more than 2530 per cent of the revenue. Rather than establish industries. Let us look at their man-

date on education; cede power to the states, contribute and release revenue to the states to do this.” “It is good to establish minimum wage, then where is the money? So, they are dictating to the states when you did not hire their employees for them. And you ask them to pay these civil servants and you

didn’t release that of the federal that you are keeping.” Tinubu also faulted the accountability procedure of the Federal Government. He asked: “Where is NNPC? Where is accountability? Why should the same Accountant-General keep the books of this country and the Federal Government?”

“The Accountant-General can’t keep two sets of books. The Accountant General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should look at the commonwealth and keep all monies and be accountable to the legislature. The Accountant-General of the Federal Government should be accountable to it.” The former governor of Lagos State also supported the idea of a Legislative Research Centre proposed by Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora and the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. “International agencies will fund such a resource centre, if well-established. The acquisition of knowledge and things you will acquire from there is yours. So go and think about it,” he told the would-be lawmakers. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola advised the National Assembly members-elect to always attend plenary and committee meetings. Continued on page 4

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

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NEWS

EFCC slams fresh charge against Obasanjo’s ex-aide over Halliburton scam T HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); yesterday filed a fresh charge against an ex-Personal Assistant to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Bodunde Adeyanju. Adeyanju was accused of complicity in the alleged $180 million Halliburton scam. But his counsel, Oluwole Adeyanju has challenged the competence of the charge, saying the accused cannot take his plea until the application is determined by the court. Justice Adamu Bello therefore, adjourned the matter till June 22 to hear the motion on notice oppos-

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

ing the amended charge. The anti-graft body had on October 13, last year, slammed a fivecount charge of money laundering against Adeyanju. Some Nigerian officials were accused in the bribery scandal allegedly received from the United States-based company to boost its chances of getting the Bonny Liquified Natural Gas (BLNG) project. The names of others earlier charged to the court along with Adeyanju, were, however, missing from the fresh charge sheet.

They include: George Mark, Hans George Christ, Henry Josef Stock Hausen, Julius Berger Plc and Bilfinger Berger GMBH. The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), had announced a Federal Government’s decision to withdraw charges against Julius Berger after taking into cognizance, the available evidence and the potential hurdle of the evidentiary burden of proof. Adeyanju was accused of receiving various sums of money from one George Mark, thereby commit-

ting an offence contrary to Sections 1 and 15 (d) and punishable under Section 15(2)(b) of the Money laundering Act, 2004. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. Upon hearing the oral application for bail moved by his lawyer, Mr. Akinyemi Aremu, Justice Bello admitted Bodunde to N1 million bail with one surety in like sum, who must be a responsible citizen. The surety, he added, must depose to an affidavit of means. If the accused failed to perfect his bail condition, the judge ordered that he should be remanded in prison custody.

Jonathan blasts CPC on post-poll violence

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday criticised the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) for trying to justify the sporadic unrest that trailed presidential election in some states in the North. Ten corps members, who participated in the conduct of the April general elections were killed in the process. The President described the attempt by CPC to justify the unfortunate carnage and blood letting as vexatious in the extreme; adding that it amounts to rubbing salt on the raw wounds of families, who lost dear ones and valuable property to the carnage. In a statement by his media aide

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

Ima Niboro, the party (CPC) may well have planned it all, the president said the attempt is unfortunate and condemnable. The CPC had through its legal adviser, Abubakar Malami, Tuesday, described the postelection violence in parts of the North as a reaction to a determination by the President to win the elections by any means. But Niboro said: “This attempt by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) to justify the unfortunate carnage and blood letting is vexatious in the extreme. It amounts to rubbing salt on the raw wounds of families who lost

dear ones, and those who were maimed and lost valuable property to the carnage. It also amounts to an open admission that the party’s supporters were indeed behind the violence and that the party may well have planned it all. “Malami went ahead to insult the sensibilities of Nigerians by drawing rather disingenuous parallels between these obviously orchestrated riots and the Western region crisis of theFirst Republic.” “We recall the anger of of the people of the Western region in 1965 and the people of Ondo State in 1983 against the use of federal might to dislodge opposition governments in the Southwest in favour of the ruling parties at the fed-

•CPC candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari

eral level with concocted results”; Niboro quoted Malam as saying.

Third term: How we rejected N50m bribe from ex-President, by ACN Secretary

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HE National Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Senator Lawal Shuaibu, yesterday confessed that the administration of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo offered a N50 million bribe each to members of the National Assembly to secure third term in office for the former president. He said the largerse was rejected by the lawmakers because a backdoor approach to the amendment of the Constitution in 2006 was not in the interest of the nation. Shuaibu spoke during an interactive session with ACN National Assembly members-elect at the

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja. He said: “When we were at w the National Assembly, nobody could bend us. We decided to go by what was right. “The government of Obasanjo brought money, but we rejected it. We knew the power was in our hands. He did not want Chief Evans Enwerem to leave as Senate President, but we rejected his money and brought in Dr. Chuba Okadigbo. “Unfortunately, the issue of street lighting from the Eagle Square to the National Assembly came up and

Okadigbo had to leave office. “Obasanjo also tested our power during the debate on Third Term. He brought N50 million for everybody and if you proved difficult, he was ready to use the state against you. But we still rejected the offer and did what we considered right. “You should not compromise your position as lawmakers. You are more powerful than the President because there is nothing the President can do without the permission of the National Assembly.” Also corroborating, the Chairman of the House Committee on the Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa

said: “Yes we saw money but we stood by our integrity. We refused to take their money. We have a party that has integrity, that is the pride of the nation. You must sustain this integrity.” Senator James Olagunju Kolawole, added that when he was in the Senate, some people used the platform to make money but said he did not. He said: “People make mistake that there is money in the Senate or National Assembly in general, but not every Senator was given money and not every Senator collected money. Don’t make money-making your focus.”

Rivers may source N250b from bond market From Yusuf Alli and Yomi Odunuga, Abuja. Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, yesterday said the state may source N250 billion from the bond market in the next three years to complete some key projects. He also admitted that although, his first term in office was tough, but it was performance-driven. The governor said his performance, especially the reforms in the education sector, accounted for his overwhelming victory at the poll. Amaechi, who made the disclosure to go to the bond market in an interaction with reporters in Abuja, however, clarified that the state is not broke. He said: “It’s not because we don’t have it; how much is our budget? But it comes in trickles. Today government pays you N11 billion or N15 billion, you pay salary, you now distribute to projects, and by the time you finish, it will take you eight years to complete a project. “But if you go to the bond market and take that money, you focus on a project and complete it. Then as the money comes, you repay. How much is our budget? Sometimes N350-N400 billion, you can actually pay back the bond if you want to pay it between three to four years, even though the people at the bond market say it has to be repaid in 12-15 years. “ I think what the people should worry about is how the money is utilised .Each installment of the loan would be tied to a project. “I have a vision and I want to actualise the vision, and I think I will be able to actualise the vision if I take other people’s money to complete them; then they can take back their money with interest.” Some of the projects to be executed with the bond are: the Port Harcourt Mono rail, the Karibi White Hospital, the new site for the state University of Science and Technology, UTC – Airport Road project. On his second term ticket, Amaechi admitted that “it was tough initiall. But we were performance-driven; we executed many people-oriented projects. ‘The performance, especially in the education sector, appealed to the people of Rivers State and they voted for me. This is a challenge to do more.”

•Pupils of St. Paul’s Township Primary School, Jos, Plateau State at a free eye screening conducted by Corps member, Dr Franisca Ekwuruibe and her colleagues…yesterday.

PHOTO: NAN


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

4

NEWS Mimiko seeks more resources for councils From Damisi Ojo, Akure

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NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko has called for the devolution of resources to local governments to enable them cope with various socio-economic challenges and speed up the country’s development. As the closest government to the people at the grassroots, Mimiko said if more financial resources are devolved to the local governments, more infrastructures would be provided for the people. He spoke yesterday while receiving the national leaders of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), led by its President, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel, in his office. Mimiko said: “Unless we decentralise in this nation, we’ll not be able to fulfill our destiny. All progressive forces, including government and trade unions, must continue to sing the same song. For us to survive and develop rapidly, we must decentralise. “I’ve visited our local governments and seen the quality of jobs executed. They’re worldclass projects, unlike what we had in the past. “The more resources we deploy at that level, the better for this country. I’m sure that devolution of resources is the answer. I believe that is the easiest part to rapid socio-economic development.” Mimiko reassured workers that his administration would pay the 18,000 minimum wage. Khaleel thanked the governor for his commitment to workers’ welfare. Meanwhile, the Ondo State Local Government Creation Committee will next week Thursday begin a tour of the 18 local government areas starting with Akoko North West and Akoko North East. The committee, inaugurated by Mimiko on March 25, is headed by Hon. Ola Ajetunmobi. Addressing reporters at Cocoa Conference Hall, Governor’s Office, Akure, Ajetunmobi said the creation of more local governments would bring development to the grassroots. He said: “The people of this state, having seen the speed and consistency of development in the last two years of this government, have not stopped asking for more frontiers for the delivery of democratic dividends. “This is in line with the aspirations of the people for further development.” A member of the committee and aide to the governor, Mr Eni Akinsola, said the committee would follow the constitution to the letter in carrying out its task.

Navy begins recruitment

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CORES of applicants yesterday besieged the Nigeria Navy School (NNS) Quorra in Lagos, as the Navy began its recruitment for ratings. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that during the two-week exercise, junior personnel would be selected for training in the Batch 20 of the Nigerian Navy Basic Training School (NNBTS). A 19-year -old applicant, who declined her identity, disclosed that she applied with her National Examination Council (NECO) result into the catering department.

16 killed in Bauchi community raid

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O fewer than 16 people were killed by unknown persons during a night raid on some villages in Bogoro Local Government Area of Bauchi State yesterday. More than 20 houses were also razed during the attack, Police Commissioner John Abakasanga said. The commissioner who dropped the hint said: “Unknown gunmen stormed the villages in the night like guerrilla fighters and killed 16 people. “They also burnt over 20 houses and we have commenced investigation into the incident, trusting that we will make arrests. But for now, no arrests yet. However, we are appealing to members of the public to help us with useful information to enable us arrest the attackers. “And we assure the people of Kurum-dodo, Bogoro LGA that the Police are doing everything possible to ensure the security of their lives and properties as we deployed more policemen to the area to maintain law

From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

and order.” The government described the crises in the Bogoro and Tafawa Balewa local governments that have led to lost several of lives and properties as ‘’a major concern and headache for the state government’’. The attack on the residents of Kurum-Dodo on May 5 has brought to six villages that have been destroying the people’s farm produce,personal effects accumulated over the years and no place to sleep in. Condemning the latest attack, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Chairman in Tafawa Balewa Local Government, Rev. Daniel Shermi, said: “A total of not less than 55,000 Sayawa sons and daughters have been killed by the Fulanis who have been invading our two local government areas for an unprovoked reason. ‘’The Muslim Fulani/ Hausa in the area have being ruling over us for long and when we told them that enough was enough,they

turned around and started killing us.this killing began in April 1991 and has continued unchecked. “The reason for these attacks on us is that we Sayawa have refused to be converted into Islam and we want our chiefdom so this is our crime but we shall never give up until we get our right.” Referring to Yuguda’s recent statement in which the governor said he will level Tafawa Balewa Local Government and turn it into a grazing field, a source alleged: ‘’The killing and destruction has official backing. ‘’It is a deliberate way of whipping us into line. You recall the governor’s recent statement on the death of the youth corps members who were deliberatly killed in the state.’’ But, the government in a press statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services in the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Abdu Aliyu Ilella, said: “The present administration is desirous of providing per-

manent peace in the two local governments and has resolved to curb the recurrent problems that have bedeviled the areas. “The violence which for

long has resulted in the great loss of innocent lives and wanton destruction of properties is not in the best interest of any body and it retards progress.”

N2b Bayelsa fraud: EFCC insists money belongs to state

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HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday insisted that the N380 million allegedly laundered through a bureau de change operator, Sanni Habibu Maigari by three Bayelsa officials belongs to the state. EFCC’s counsel Mr. Festus Keyamo made this known at the resumed trial of the three officials who are facing a sixcount charge of unlawful conversion, money laundering and mismanagement of about N2 billion before a Federal High Court, Abuja. The officials are the Director of Treasury in Government House, Abbot T. Clinton, Director of Finance, Ikobho Anthony Howells and Dr Charles Sylva Opuala. Although the counsel to

•Facilitator, Mrs Bisi Yomi-Layinka, presenting a paper at a workshop on Customer Service Delivery Orientation and challenges PHOTO: NAN for Oyo State civil servants in Ibadan…yesterday.

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

first and second accused, Chris Uche (SAN), argued that the said amount was a security vote which usage the commission cannot question, but Keyamo countered him. Uche, in a bid to discredit the Prosecution Witness (PW), Adebayo Adeniyi told the court that there was a contract award letter from Bayelsa State Government to Essien Briema Construction Company. But Adeniyi explained that during the course of investigations there was no instruction from the state government to pay money to any construction firm. He added that the EFCC could not even trace any company that was awarded a contract in which the N380, 000, 000, 00 was paid into. This revelation did not go down well with the defence counsel who demanded the account opening package exhibit. Opposing the move, Keyamo said the procedure being adopted by the defence counsel was strange and did not exist in law, adding that the right procedure was to apply for a Certified True Copy (CTC) from the bank and not for EFCC to produce a document that did not emanate from it. “We cannot be cajoled to bring a document and give it to the defence counsel, they know the procedure of the law,” Keyamo submitted. Justice Donatus Okorowa however adjourned the case till today for continuation of cross examination from prosecution witness one.

ACN tells lawmakers to demand true federalism •Continued from page 2 He said: “One of the things I will recommend is regular and full attendance. As a governor, I have watched the plenary many times and it has not looked too good when you see empty parliament. “We expect to see fullest possible attendance. We have listened to eminent and experienced parliamentarians, but the truth is that you cannot give what you do not have. “You will also do yourself a lot of good to be computer literate. You will get a lot of information about issues from the internet even at short notice. I use internet as part of my research and resource data.” He urged the lawmakerselect to uphold the principle of separation of powers and accept the reality that governance is a shared responsibility between the three arms of government. National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande said the ACN would never take part in a Government of National Unity. He said to do so would

amount to foisting a oneparty state on the country, and warned those using the party’s name to apply for positions under the GNU to desist from doing so. He said: “In Nigeria, to do GNU as a matter of pleasure is to compromise democracy. If we want to maintain a good democracy in this country, we must have a strong opposition. You will be recognised as an alternate voice and democracy will be more robust. “In a civilised society, GNU is always done when a country is at war. When a country is at peace, you allow robust democracy to thrive. “We are going to sit down as a party and take a firm decision on this. When you want to cringe, don’t use our name or our party. And when you are appointed to serve by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), you are on your own.” National Publicity Secretary Lai Mohammed said: “We are running a presidential system of government which makes no provision

for a Government of National Unity (GNU); we also run a constitution without provision for GNU. Section 60 of the 1999 Constitution is very clear: that Mr. President must appoint a Minister from each state of the Federation. So, he can choose whoever he likes; GNU has no basis. “A Government of National Unity breaches a vibrant democracy. Our manifesto is not the same thing as that of the PDP. So, if we join the GNU, we will not be able to deliver on our promises. “This matter (GNU) will be discussed at the next National Executive Council meeting. Our party has banned visits to governors who are not members of our party. “It is the right of any person to associate freely, but such a person interested in GNU has to resign from our party.” Mamora urged the lawmakers-elect to master the rules of the National Assembly. House Minority Leader Gbajabiamila said: “If the

opposition will come under one umbrella and speak with one voice, we will be setting the agenda. “The PDP exploited the crack in the opposition, divided us and pushed their agenda. They said it was in their best interest to divide the opposition. “With almost 80 ACN members in the House and about 150 opposition members and with a post-election accord coming, there is no doubt that we will have a robust National Assembly.” The Chairman of the House Committee on the Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, called for party discipline. A former National Chairman of the ACN, Mr Audu Ogbeh, asked the National Assembly members-elect to have a “second address” by planning for their future. “As legislators, you will make more enemies than friends when you take on Ministers and Heads of MDAs during budget sessions and oversight functions. “Legislative life is tough; it is risky. The experience is not

peculiar to Nigeria; it is the same in India and the UK. Don’t waste this opportunity; remember that one day you will no be legislators. Remember to keep a second address; you will need it when your tenure is over. “Watch the new friends you keep because not all of them will be charitable to you after leaving office. “Be careful of how you are spending. Out of 57 of us in the Benue State House of Assembly between 1979 and 1983, seven of us are alive and only two have cars now.” Ogbeh also assured that the ACN’s “broom revolution” will soon spread across the country. Others at the session are the Deputy Governor of Osun State, Mrs. Laoye-Tomori; the Governor-elect of Ogun State, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun; Senator-elect Dr Chris Ngige; Senator George Akume; the Deputy National Chairman of the party, Mustapha Boss, Dr. Domingo Obende; Senator-elect Babafemi Ojudu; National Legal Adviser Muiz Banire and National Secretary Lawal Shuaibu.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

5

NEWS

Ekiti panel accuses Oni of embezzling N5.4b •Ex-governor: take your evidence to anti-corruption agencies

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HE Contracts/Consultancy Review Committee (CCRC) set up by the Ekiti State Government yesterday indicted ousted Governor Segun Oni of embezzling N5.4 billion. The stolen funds, it said, were in form of overpayments and non-utilisation of funds released for projects. According to the White Paper on the panel’s report, Oni defrauded the state in 11 contracts during his three-and-a-half-year administration. The contracts include dualisation of Ado-Iworoko-Ifaki road; IgedeErio-Iworoko road; cross-boundary roads; construction of five new State Secretariat buildings; new House of Assembly complex; cassava revolution scheme and purchase of 600 cows from South Africa for Ikun Dairy Farm. Others are: the Ado-Ekiti solarpowered street light project; boundary roads with neighbouring states; designs of road and housing projects; Government House water reservoir project; the Deputy Governor’s Office project; among others. The panel, led by Mr. Eben Alade, recommended that the Governor Kayode Fayemi-led administration should use legal means to compel Oni to refund the money. It also recommended that the Economic and Financial Crimes Com-

Government agrees with ‘ We do not have time to bandy ‘the observation of the CCRC words with them, because even on the corrupt and fraudulent disposition of Oni’s administration. ’ From Salaudeen Sulaiman, Ado Ekiti

mission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) should be involved in recovering the money from Oni and his cronies. The committee said: “Oni presided over one of the most corrupt and fraudulent contract administrators in the history of Ekiti State. His administration infracted on due process, leading to unpardonable and alarming waste of scarce resources. “The administration embarked on a contract bazaar by awarding 2,731 contracts within three years, without fiscal discipline and proper consideration for the quantum of money available to government. “Over 90 per cent of the contracts were either badly executed or abandoned, while few are at various stages of completion. Not up to five

a five-year-old child knows where to go if he has evidence of corruption against anyone. ’

projects were commissioned throughout the tenure of the immediate past administration. “The full implementation of over 2,731 capital projects between May 2007 and October 2010 is unrealistic and wasteful. This, in no small measure, affected the quality and timely delivery of the projects.” It urged the government to reevaluate ongoing capital projects with a view to implementing them in phases. The government, under Section 17(3) of the White Paper directed the Ministry of Justice to explore all lawful means to recover the stolen funds. It reads: “Government agrees with the observation of the CCRC on the corrupt and fraudulent disposition of Oni’s administration. “Government notes that the infraction on due process and fiscal discipline were deliberately perpetrated against the common wealth of Ekiti people for personal enrichment, and therefore directs the Ministry of Jus-

tice to recover it from Oni, severally or jointly with others identified in the CCRC report.” Oni, however, debunked the allegations. A statement by his spokesman, Wale Ojo-Lanre, reads: “It is painful that Ekiti State is in the hands of unserious people with saw dust brains, whose understanding of governance does not go beyond the exhibition of thuggery, concoction of lies and smuttiness that their party is noted for. “If not, they won’t be making allegations of fraud against a government they took over from seven months ago. More so that it took them seven months to find their concocted evidence of fraud against a government that was terminated abruptly, with no opportunity for government officials to tidy up their records. “We do not have time to bandy words with them, because even a five-year-old child knows where to

•Oni

go if he has evidence of corruption against anyone. Definitely not the pages of newspapers! “Until they are courageous enough to approach the appropriate anti-corruption agency with their so-called evidence of fraud, we will continue to see their ranting as that of a group of people who have not been able to add a single block to the building of Ekiti since they were foisted on the state seven months ago, and are only out to cover-up their failure. “Besides, when they came out with their N40 billion debt concoction, we challenged them to publish the details. Up till now, they are yet to concoct the details together. “Now, it is another N5.4 billion. This is a shame and we pity Ekiti State for this calamity of governance that has befallen it.”

Agagu, others challenge defeat at tribunal

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HE victory of four candidates in the National Assembly elections has been challenged at the Ondo State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Akure, the state capital. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is challenging the victory of the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Boluwaji Kunlere. He beat ex-Governor Olusegun Agagu in Ondo South Senatorial District by 88, 319 to 80, 794 votes. Two other PDP candidates, Agboola Ajayi and Jones Akinyugha, who are representing Ilaje/Ese-Odo and Idanre/Ifedore federal constituencies, challenged their

•Minister of Finance Olusegun Aganga (middle); Director of Home Finance, Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Binta Bello (left) and Deputy Comptroller, Nigeria Customs Service, Mrs. M. Adegoke at the presentation of the final draft of the Nigeria Customs PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN Service Bill to the minister in Abuja...yesterday

Change has started in Oyo, says Ajimobi

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YO State governorelect Senator Abiola Ajimobi yesterday promised the people positive change under his administration. Ajimobi spoke at the Supreme Management Centre in Bodija, Ibadan, after receiving his Certificate of Return from the National Secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Alhaji Abdulahi Kaugama, along with other newly elected officials. He said the election was one of the most credible in Nigeria’s history. Ajimobi praised Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala and exgovernor Rashidi Ladoja for accepting the verdict of the

•Alao-Akala: I’m leaving no debt From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

people and urged them to support him. A humorous Ajimobi said Alao-Akala would have defeated him if the election was a boxing tournament. He said: “For those who contested with us, there are no losers. We are all winners. Alao-Akala and my brother, Ladoja, have shown good sportsmanship. “I have visited Ladoja and I hope to meet Alao-Akala unofficially soon. I’m also using this opportunity to solicit their support. The onus is on us because to whom much is given, much is expected.

“We promise that we shall be a government of the people and work diligently. May God help us to move the state forward. “Like Winston Churchill said: we don’t know if things will improve if we change, but we must change if things are to improve. Change has started in Oyo State today.” Ajimobi thanked the security agencies; INEC and other stakeholders for the peaceful elections. Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Ayo Adakeja praised the parties and contestants for their sportsmanship. Though he said the elec-

tion was preceded with unfounded rumours and false alarms, Adakeja thanked God for its success. Also yesterday, AlaoAkala said he was not leaving any debt for the incoming administration. He spoke at the inauguration of the new office complex for the Head of Service (HOS). Alao-Akala said his administration did not owe any bank, but added that the state had been servicing a foreign debt he inherited in 2007. He said his administration did not enter into any bond with any organisation, adding that the only project he wasn’t able to accomplish is the proposed Governor’s Office.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

defeats by LP’s Raphael Nomiye and Bakare Moshood. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate in Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency, Mr. Felix Rawa, also challenged Moshood’s victory. All the petitioners are urging the tribunal to nullify the elections and order fresh ones. Kunlere said: “I’m not moved by the petition because I know that I won the election. The people voted for me. Agagu and his party are wasting their time. They will be disgraced at the tribunal.”

Reject North, activist tells corps members From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

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UMAN rights activist Morakinyo Ogele yesterday advised Southern corps members to reject being posted to the North. Ogele urged Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Gen. Maharazu Tsiga to post corps members to their geo-political zones. He also urged Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Hafiz Ringim and other security agencies to apprehend the killers of the slain corps members in the North. Speaking with reporters in Akure, the Ondo State capital, Ogele said: “The killings of corps members by the so-Northern youths have shown the level of illiteracy in the region. These illiterate youths have been threatening the unity of this country with impunity, and nobody has been arrested to face the music. “If the northerners felt cheated in the April general elections, they have the right to seek redress in court, instead of the killings and destruction of property. “They should remember that many governors who sought justice in the 2007 elections, like Olusegun Mimiko; Kayode Fayemi; Adams Oshiomhole; among others, went to court when they discovered that the elections were marred with rigging and violence. Today, they are enjoying their mandate. “The IGP must ensure that the killers and organisers of this murder festival are arrested and prosecuted. Until this is done, the killings and slaughtering will continue to persist.” Ogele prayed that God would comfort the parents of the late corps members.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

NEWS

Aregbesola advocates job creation policy

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OSUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has advocated a national policy on job creation and poverty alleviation through vocational technical education to tackle rising unemployment. In a message to the 11th National Conference of School of Business Studies at the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, yesterday, Aregbesola said the policy would ensure that education places less emphasis on books but focuses more on professional competence. He said after their technical training, graduates of such schools would be backed with a strong support system that would make soft loans available to them to practise their trades. Addressing the conference with the theme, Vocational Technical Education and National Development, Aregbesola said rising unemployment among the teeming graduates required the adoption of technical education to solve the problem. He said the creation of 20,000 jobs by his administration under the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) was one of the ways to solve graduate unemployment. Aregbesola said vocational technical education was a practical education system that equips graduates with tangible job skills, adding that such skills were marketable, if backed up with minimum capital.

Taraba plans low-key inauguration From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

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ARABA State Government has said the inauguration of the governor-elect, Danbaba Suntai, on May 29 will be low-key. It warned the 21-member committee to avoid unnecessary expenses for the ceremony. Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Mr. Jonah Agyu yesterday told reporters that “the government was expecting a moderate costing from the committee”. He said: “There is need to depart from the past practice where huge funds were wasted for such ceremonies. We are expecting a very moderate costing from the committee. We want to change the practice of spending so much money on such ceremonies.” Agyu said the committee was drawn from women’s groups; public service; politicians; community leaders and Taraba indigenes in the Diaspora. The committee, he added, was subdivided into entertainment; publicity; transport; security and accommodation, adding that it was yet to present its report/costing of the ceremony to the government. Agyu said: “They (the Inauguration Committee) are yet to present their report. But it must be very moderate before we endorse it.”

Tension in Ibadan over high price of diesel

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HERE was tension yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, as consumers of diesel (AGO) cried out over the rising prices of the product. They said the price has been hovering between N190 and N230 per litre. Members of Oyo State Tippers Association of Nigeria have begun a warning strike to show their displeasure over the Federal Government’s alleged failure to address the high cost of diesel. The state’s branch of the National Union of Petroleum Energy and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has also shown the signals of a showdown with the Federal Government for its alleged insensitivity to

•NUPENG, tipper drivers, others prepare for showdown From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

the plight of Nigerians. Contacted, NUPENG Chairman, Chief Salimon Oladiti, was said to have travelled to Abuja with some members of the union’s executive council for a meeting with senior officials of the Ministry of Petroleum on the increasing price of diesel. NUPENG members, including those of the Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD), had last week threatened to embark on an indefinite strike. They were said to have shelved the action following

the appeal by top government officials to resolve the matter. But some PTD members, who spoke at the Apata, Ibadan depot of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), blamed the Federal Government for the continued importation of the product at the expense of the masses when the nation’s refineries were said to be working. A PTD official, who spoke in confidence, said: “As you can see, most of the trucks are off the road because of this problem. We know that the government knows the right thing to do and they know the

reason they have refused to do the right thing. Look at the price of diesel today, compared to the official price: is it not shameful? Why should the citizens be made to suffer what God has endowed us with?” A member of Apata Tippers Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Adigun Mufutau, told The Nation that beginning from next Monday, members of the association would protest what he described as “an attempt by a few individuals to deny us our means of livelihood”. He said: “Why would some few individuals in government make life difficult for the people they swore to serve?

In the history of this country, this is the first time we are going to buy AGO for N200 per litre. We have no choice than to go to the streets to appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan to save us before they send all of us to early graves. “How can we buy a litre for N200 and expect to feed ourselves and members of our family? A load of tipper, which used to be between N6,500 and N7,000, has now risen to between N10,000 and N12,000, depending on the distance. After the expenses, we have nothing to take home because diesel has taken all the money. Where do we go from here?”

Yuguda sacks commissioners From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

•From left: Ekiti State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi (right) and Commissioner of Police Mr. Olayinka Balogun decorating the Convoy Commander, Governmnet House, Ekiti State, Mr. Adeyanju Ajayi with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) at the Government House, Ado-Ekiti...yesterday.

LAUTECH workers hold ‘special’ send–off for Akala

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ORKERS of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Osun State, yesterday organised a “special” send-off party for Oyo State Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala. But, it was not to praise the “celebrant”. The workers took turns to recall their harrowing experiences during the four-year tenure of the out-going governor. Alao-Akala has been at loggerheads with his Osun State counterpart over the ownership of the university.

From Soji Adeniyi, Osogbo

He lost last month’s governorship election to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Senator Abiola Ajimobi. Majority of the workers at the ceremony, held at the LAUTECH College of Medicine, Asubiaro, Osogbo, wore white lace materials. They described Alao-Akala as “wicked”, praising God for his loss to Ajimobi, who they said would work harmoniously with Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola to correct the maladministration of the university under the out-going governor. One of the speakers, Baba-

jide Olagunju, said: “Some among us sold out during the struggle against wicked forces rocking our boat. But we should always thank God, for if not for His mercy, our tears would have continued to flow. In a matter of two weeks, some of those who the wicked regime imposed on us to harass and intimidate us will soon be dragged out of office unceremoniously.” The Acting Dean of Faculty of Clinical Science, Dr. Caroline Adeoti, urged the workers to be calm and look forward to a new lease of life. The workers sang praise

choruses to God, dancing, eating and drinking to Alao-Akala’s defeat and Ajimobi’s success. Chairman of Osun State Indigenes’ Forum of the teaching hospital and Deputy Bursar, who was sacked by Alao-Akala, Prince Adeniyi Olagunju, praised Aregbesola for handling the “problems created by Alao-Akala with maturity since he became Osun State governor last November”. An Osun State-based public analyst, Mr. Wale Idowu, saluted the workers’ courage throughout the turbulent period of the hospital.

Academics back Mark for Senate presidency From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

•Mark

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GROUP of academics in Benue State, the League of Idoma Professors, has expressed support

for the retention of Mr. David Mark . Mark’s tenure with the sixth Senate ends on June 2 and the seventh session will be inaugurated on June 7 after the emergency of the Senate Presidency. A statement yesterday by the Coordinator and Secretary of the group, Prof. Owoicho Akpa and Prof. Ediga Agbo, described Mark as the best candidate for the position. The statement reads in part: “Coming with the government is the seventh Senate of the Federal Republic of Nige-

ria. What the Senate and indeed the National Assembly and Nigeria need now is the right kind of leadership to sustain the momentum of progress that has come with the just-concluded elections. “What has fast become the main issue in the political discourse of the National Assembly is: ‘who becomes the next President of the Senate?’ There are numerous arguments for and against several choices of who should or should not be elevated to that position. This debate must also include the current leader. After all, why change a winning team? “To answer that question,

we need to consider the track record of the Senate in the past four years under the leadership of Senator Mark. In the life span of the sixth Senate, Nigerians are well aware that the most distinguished senator has led the Senate with focus, determination and maturity. “His wealth of experience and the handling of the affairs of the Senate earned him the respect and admiration of most senators and a large percentage of the Nigerian people. He was there when Nigeria and the Senate under his leadership needed a doctrine of necessity to stabilize the polity and maintain national unity.

BAUCHI State Governor Isa Yuguda yesterday sacked his political aides, 24 hours after he received his certificate of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Yuguda was elected on April 14, 2007 on the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) ticket, but the defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in July, 2008. He was reelected in the April 28 rescheduled governorship election. The governor has also sacked the chairmen and board members of extraministerial organisations. Those sacked include commissioners; special advisers; senior special assistants; special assistants and personal assistants. A statement by the Permanent Secretary, Political Affairs, Mallam Hasimu Yakubu, on behalf of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), said the sack takes effect from May 16. This is the second time Yuguda has sacked his aides since he came to office on May 29, 2007.

Kwara ACPN intact, says Saraki From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

THE Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) is intact in Kwara State, its Elders’ Forum, headed by Dr Olusola Saraki, has said. The second Republic Senate Leader urged party members and supporters to work as a team to enable the party realise its mission and vision. In a message to a meeting of the forum and ACPN candidates yesterday in Ilorin, the state capital, Alhaji Amasa Jida, who represented the Chairman of Northern Union (NU), said: “Though we were robbed of victory in the recent elections by the desperate administration, we are still proud to remain men of honour and integrity. Now that the elections have come and gone, rest assured that our great party remains intact and shall grow from strength to strength.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

NEWS ‘Amaechi has surpassed expectations’

Edo police parade suspected cultists

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From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

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CHIEFTAIN of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Dele Daniel-Kalio, yesterday said Governor Rotimi Amaechi has surpassed the people’s expectations through his performance. In an interview in Port Harcourt, the capital, Daniel-Kalio said the door-to-door campaign he initiated for Amaechi was effective, thereby contributing to his landslide victory. He said: “The victory of Rotimi Amaechi is the triumph of good governance. What he has done in the last

•Amaechi

three-and-half-years made the people to vote for him. “From October 2007, when he came on board, he has built many primary and secondary schools in the 23 local governments. 152 health centres have been built and more are still coming. Roads are also being constructed, but the key thing is adequate security.”

HE police in Edo State have paraded seven suspected cultists who allegedly killed their leader in what they termed “palace coup” at the University of Benin (UNIBEN). Stephen Obinkwo (29), a 300-level student of Physics , was said to have been killed over the sharing of N1.2million given to the gang to maintain peace in last month’s elections. The suspects are Aigbe Kingsley (27); Kelly Osayande(33); Osadebamwen Ogbodu(26), a 400-level Accounting student, who was an

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

executive member of the group and Philip Irene(29), a second year student of the College of Education, Ekiadolor. Others are: Osazee Eweka (26); Maxwell Bello(28), a UNIBEN drop-out and Victor Odia who was said to be in possession of a locallymade pistol used in killing Obinkwo. Items recovered from them included one double barrel gun, a battle-axe and four live cartridges. The suspects said they de-

cided to effect a change in leadership when their leader did not share the N1.2million among them. They claimed that the revolution was peaceful until one of them killed Obinkwo in his apartment in UNIBEN on April 21. Police spokesman Peter Ogboi said all the suspects but Odia were apprehended in a hotel in Lagos on April 29. Ogboi said the suspects would be charged to court with murder and illegal possession of fire-arms after investigation. Residents in some parts of

Benin have been thrown into darkness for over four weeks after thieves vandalised electricity transformer accessories estimated at over N2.3 million. The residents accused officials of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) of complicity. Contacted, PHCN Public Relations Officer Mrs. Grace Nwobodo said she had not been briefed of the vandalism. She, however, enjoined communities to protect PHCN installations as the company does not have provision for replacing stolen facilities.

Tension over sale of Shell assets From Shola O’Neil, Warri

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HERE is tension in the Ijaw communities of Warri Southwest Local Government of Delta State over the sale of assets of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in the Jones Creek to Conoil Ltd. A section of the host communities has threatened to disrupt the company’s activities, unless it is recognised. A leader of Okerenkoko community, Chief Mike Johnny, who spoke on behalf of Okerenkoko, Kokodiagbene and Egbemu-Akpata, as well as other host communities, said Conoil must stop further operations, including the change of a crude trunk line, pending resolution of issues relating to its acquisition of the facility and interests of the stakeholders. He said: “As a peace-loving people, we do not have anything against the handing over of the flow-station but what we are opposed to is allowing a cabal to hijack the process for their selfish interest. “We, however, make bold to say that these people working as middlemen are on their own as they do not have the mandate to represent the interest of the people in these communities they claim to be representing.” Johnny called on President Goodluck Jonathan to prevail on the management of Conoil to open negotiation with members of the host communities directly to ensure that justice is done.

Two INEC officials remanded

•Minister of Health Dr. Onyebuchi Christian Chukwu showing a card of commitment at the joint press briefing by the ministry and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety at the Radio House in Abuja… yesterday. With him are FRSC Corps Marshal Osita Chidoka and World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN Dr David Okello

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

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WO officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Paul Iroghama and Paul Idehen, are to remain in prison custody till today when ruling will be delivered on the bail application brought by their counsel, Henry Idahagbon. Iroghama and Idehen, who were collations/returning officers at the Ovia federal constituency, were arrested for allegedly falsifying results in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The accused, who pleaded not guilty to the six-count charge, have been in custody since they were arrested last month. Objecting to the bail application at the Iguobazuwa Magistrate Court, INEC legal officer Ayi Obaseki said Iroghama has a burden of 36 months imprisonment. Presiding Magistrate I.U Iyoha deferred ruling on the bail application till today.

Corps members’ bodies recovered

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HE remains of two National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members, who were in a capsized boat, have been recovered in the Nembe Creek in Bayelsa State. Four corps members were in the commercial speedboat plying Nembe to Ogbia waterfront when it capsized. Two of them wore life jackets ; the others didn’t . Eyewitnesses said all efforts

From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

to recover the bodies with the aid of local divers proved abortive until Monday afternoon when the bodies were found on the creek. NYSC spokesman Pius Iyamah confirmed the incident. Police spokesman Egwavon Emokpae said the remains had been deposited at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) mortuary, Yenagoa.

Kerosene scarcity hits Port Harcourt From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

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EROSENE scarcity has hit Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, and its environs. The scarcity, which is causing hardship to consumers, particularly housewives, has also increased the spate of explosions in rural areas. This has caused the price of the commodity to rise. A 20-litre keg now cost N4, 300 against the normal price of N2, 400; a bottle goes for N350 against the former prices of between N100 and N150. Consequently, adulterated kerosene has found its way into the state while consumers have resorted to the use of firewood. At the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mega Station on Lagos Street, Port Harcourt, some frustrated prospective buyers alleged that it was being sold to “known customers”, only for the buyers to inflate the selling amount. Two cases of kerosene explosions, involving a grandmother and a widow, have been reported in Akokwa and Emakalakala Streets of Diobu Community.

Delta accuses Ogboru of threatening the peace •’It’s not true’ T

HE Delta State Government has declared the activities of the governorship candidate of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), Chief Great Ogboru, as a threat to peace. Ogboru scored the second highest vote behind Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, who was the standard-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the April 26 election. In a statement yesterday by Phrank Shuaibu, Uduaghan’s consultant on Public Communication and Strategy, the government asked the Federal Government to call Ogboru to order. It urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Hafiz Ring-

By Joseph Jibueze

im, to investigate Ogboru’s activities. The government alleged that Ogboru plans to make the state ungovernable in addition to crippling economic activities. Part of the plan, according to the statement, is to encourage a militant group to foment trouble in addition to using phony civil society groups to discredit government activities. One of the militant groups, according to the statement, is the Coalition of Niger Delta

Freedom Fighters, which the government said is being allegedly funded by Ogboru. Shuaibu said: “In fact, the spokesman of the Joint Military Task Force on the Niger Delta, Lt Col. Thomas Antigha, only recently issued a statement reacting to the threat by the same Coalition of Niger Delta Freedom Fighters on their plans to blow up oil installations in Delta State because of Uduaghan’s victory. “It is a pity that Ogboru has continued to exhibit unpretentious disdain for both the electoral process, and more importantly, the choice of the peo-

ple. “But more worrisome is his absolute lack of faith in the rule of law and due process. We call on the Federal Government and indeed, the IGP to constitute a high-powered investigation into Ogboru’s clandestine moves to undermine the aspirations of Deltans.” But a spokesman for Ogboru denied the allegations. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, he said: “There is no gainsaying the fact that the PDP people are afraid of their shadows. “Ogboru is a believer in the rule of law and he will retrieve his mandate through the appropriate channel.”

Uduaghan, others get certificates of return

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ELTA State Governor-elect Emmanuel Uduaghan yesterday, along with 40 others, was issued with Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Asaba, the capital. Aside Uduaghan, the Senator-elect for Delta South, James Manager; the nine elected members of the House of Representatives and the 29 elected members of the House of Assembly received theirs. However, the Senator-elect for Delta Central, Pius Ehwerido, was absent. Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Dr. Gabriel Ogbudu-Ada urged losers to accept defeat or seek redress in court. Uduaghan said: “Losers should go to the court to seek

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba and Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

redress. Their supporters should not take the law into their hands. “Please be patient until INEC resolves the problems. Delta belongs to all of us. It does not belong to Uduaghan or Senator James Manager, if you destroy it now, then you will not be able to govern it tomorrow.” Of the 29 seats in the House of Assembly, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won 18; Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) nine; Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) took the Bomadi constituency seat and United Democratic Party (UDP) got the Ughelli North 1 seat.

Of the nine seats in the House of Representatives, Accord Party (AP) won Ika Federal Constituency seat; DPP, Ndokwa/Ukwuani seat and PDP clinching the remaining seven. PDP won two senatorial districts and DPP, one. Also in Akwa Ibom, INEC presented National Assembly members-elect with their Certificates of Return. Presenting the certificates, the National Commissioner in charge of Akwa Ibom/ Cross River and Rivers states, Mrs. Thelma Iremiren, urged the lawmakers to look at certain grey areas in the 2010 Electoral Act as amended to strengthen democracy. She said doing so would reduce the number of litigations over primary elections across

the states. Mrs. Iremiren urged the winners not to see their successes as a personal effort but as a trial for democracy, saying the lessons learnt from the elections would help the commission to plan for the 2015 elections. In all, 13 lawmakers were presented with certificates. Three members-elect are for the upper chamber and 10 members-elect for the lower chamber. Of the lawmakers-elect, the three senators-elect are from PDP. Nine of the 10 House of Representatives memberselect are also from PDP. The ACN has a single representation in the lower chamber.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

NEWS Zuma: Nigeria’s election model for African countries From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

SOUTH African President Jacob Zuma yesterday said the recently concluded general elections in Nigeria have set a standard for other African countries. In a congratulatory message to President Goodluck Jonathan, Zuma noted that the conduct of the polls were transparent. The South African leadera said he looked forward to working with Jonathan to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries, as well as towards the promotion of the interests of the entire continent and the consolidation of what he called ‘African Agenda’. His words: “I would like to commend the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the credible and peaceful manner in which these elections were conducted. “I am confident, Your Excellency, that these elections will serve as a model of political maturity for future elections on the continent.” He also praised the “sterling work” carried out by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and all other institutions and persons, who contributed to the success of the elections. “Your Excellency, I look forward to working with you to further strengthen bilateral ties between our two countries as well as towards the promotion of the interests of our continent and the consolidation of the African Agenda,” President Zuma wrote. He further wished President Jonathan a successful term of office and prosperity for the country.

Sesame Street makes its debut on NTA A NIGERIAN adaptation of the popular series, Sesame Street, the longest street in the world, is set to debut on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). Funded by the United States (US) government, through United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Sesame Square is coproduced by Ileke Media and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organisation behind Sesame Street. Sesame Square premieres Saturday (May 21) at 9:30am and will be on aire every Saturday same time and Sunday at 5:00pm on NTA. The programme’s storylines were developed in collaboration with teams of educational advisers from the Ministries of Education and Health. Season one of Sesame Square consists of 26 half-hour television episodes designed to promote fundamental literacy, numeracy, health and good hygiene habits in settings that foster children’s self-esteem, cultural pride, and respect for differences and diversity. Sesame Square will also emphasise Malaria prevention and HIV/AIDS education.

Tribunal orders INEC to submit Kwara Central materials T

HE Election Petitions Tribunal in Kwara State has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to sumbit all the materials used in the Nataioanl Assembly elections in the Kwara Central Senatorial district on April. The tribunal is expected to begin hearing on all National Assembly-related cases today. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) senatorial candidate in the election, Dr. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, is challenging the election of Gov-

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

ernor Bukola Saraki as the senator-elect for the zone, alleging multiple thumbprinting, inflation of results and violent intimidation of voters and ACN supporters. Oloriegbe also claimed that the votes declared for Saraki exceeded the number of registered voters, that the results entered at the collation cen-

tres exceeded what was declared at polling units and that most of the results recorded for Saraki were written well before the April 9 election, among other allegations. Aside the allegation that the INEC under-represented the votes cast for him, Oloriegbe also claimed that the number of votes entered in several polling units, espe-

cially in Asa Local Government Area, exceeded the number of accredited voters in such units, raising serious questions on the credibility of the results as declared by the commssion. Oloriegbe is urging the tribunal to declare him the true winner of the April 9 senatorial poll and void Saraki’s victory. In a statement, a media aide

EFCC arraigns ex-Finbank MD, directors

Hearing on June 6 in arson charge against six men

•Fails to produce Akingbola

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HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned former Managing Director of Finbank Plc, Mr. Okey Nwosu for allegedly stealing over N10 billion from the bank. He and the bank’s three former Executive Directors – Dayo Famoroti, Danjuma Ocholi and Agnes Ebubedike – were arraigned at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja on 26count charge of stealing. However, the agency could not arraign the former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Mr Erastus Akingbola. It failed to produce him before Justice Habeeb Abiru. The EFCC alleged that Nwosu and the others stole N10, 934,708, 402.17 while presiding as the managing director and executive directors of Finbank between September 2006 and November 2007. All the counts bothered on “stealing, contrary to Section 390 (7) of the Criminal Code Law, Cap C17, Laws of Lagos State 2003”. The agency alleged that the stolen money, property of Finbank Plc, was converted to the use of Springboard Trust and Investment Limited, Omden Oil and Gas Limited, Ferbond Real Estate Limited, Busch Modern Machine Tools Limited, Eureka Global Ventures Limited, Scannel Investment Limited, Coast Lake Nigeria Limited and Tyco Food Processors Limited. Nwosu and Famoroti “objected” to all the charges. Ocholi and Ebubedike pleaded “not guilty”. After the arraignments before Justice Latifat Okunnu, Nwosu’s lawyer, Mr Anthony Idigbe (SAN), told the

From Soji Adeniyi, Osogbo

By Joseph Jibueze

court that they had filed two applications: a notice of preliminary objection and a summon for bail. He urged the court to grant Nwosu bail on the existing terms given to him at the Federal High Court, where he was earlier arraigned on similar offences, pending the reply to the applications by the antigraft agency. “The first defendant had been on bail before he was re-arrested by the EFCC operatives on May 3. We respectfully submit that bail ought to be granted to him on the existing terms without a requirement to produce new sureties,” he told the court. Idigbe said Section 36 of the Constitution guaranteed his client’s right to fair hearing, adding that he had made himself available for trial during the period he was on bail. He said justice was not about punishing an accused person before conviction, adding that the EFCC was embarking on what he called “forum shopping”. But the EFCC’s lead counsel, Dr Kayinsola Ajayi (SAN), objected to an oral bail application. “We vigorously oppose an oral application for bail. We’ll need to reply to their formal application. We apply that they be remanded in prison custody,” he argued. Another EFCC lawyer, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, added: “We need three to four days to respond to the applications. They have chosen a formal bail application, and we have a right to respond.” Justice Okunnu said: “I’ll not accept a one-sided case,” in response to Idigbe’s ar-

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• Nwosu... yesterday

gument that Nwosu be granted bail. She ordered that the four be remanded in prison custody, pending the response of the prosecution to the applications. She adjourned till May 17. Another counsel to EFCC, Godwin Obla apologised to Justice Abiru for the absence of Akingbola and the others. He said the commission was doing everything possible to bring them before the court. “There was a mixup this morning”, he said. But counsel to Akingbola, Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN), wondered why

the commission failed to produce his clients for possible arraignment after many delays. He said the EFCC was not ready to produce the accused. Fagbohungbe said his clients filed an application, objecting to the arraignment. He sought to move the motion, but Obla objected, saying that he had just been served with a copy of the application and that he needed time to respond. Justice Abiru adjourned till May 16 for hearing of the application and to allow the EFCCproduce the defendants.

Gunmen attack Benue ACN chairman

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GUNMEN yesterday attacked the Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Abba Yaro, in his Nyiman Layout residence in Makurdi, the Benue State capital. Conducting reporters round his house, Yaro said the suspected gunmen, numbering over six entered his house by scaling the barbed wire fence through an overhead tank within the compound.

•Demand tribunal documents From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

He said: “They broke through the ceiling, landed in my bedroom and at gunpoint, demanded for all the evidence that the ACN is pleading before the Governorship Election Tribunal against Governor GabrielSuswam. But I told them I don’t know what they are talk-

to Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), the ACNgovernorship candidate in the state, Rafiu Ajakaye, said the tribunal also granted another order, permitting the petitioner to appoint any forensic expert to scan and screen all the ballot papers used to detect any incidence of multiple thumb-printing as alleged by Oloriegbe. The tribunal also granted the ACN candidate the right to inspect all the materials used for the disputed ballot, and an order for a substituted service on the first respondent – Saraki.

ing about.” According him, the gunmen seized his three phones, and two other phones from his wife, whom he said, they manhandled before stealing his N250,000 and an undisclosed amount of foreign currency. Yaro said no amount of intimidation and coercion would make the ACN shy away from using judicious

means to pursue the “stolen mandate” at the tribunal, even as he urged all ACN supporters to remain calm while awaiting the tribunal’s verdict. The party’s governorship candidate in the state, Prof. Tokuma Ugba has approached the tribunal to challenge the result of the election as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) , which returned Suswam as the winner.

EARING of a case of alleged arson and political violence in Ijebu-Ijesa, headquarters of Oriade Local Government Area of Osun State, preferred against six members of state chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was yesterday fixed for June 6. Appearing before an Osogbo Magistrate Court, the suspects, Oluwaseun Fakolade (38), Wasiu Tajudeen (22), Isiaka Saka (20), Onigbogi Segun (24), Ifa Onifade (38) and Kehinde Odunayo (23), were charged to court on a fourcount charge of unlawfully damaging one Mazda 626 car marked AH 217 JJS (OSUN), property of one Chief Olutayo Osewa. It was valued at N900, 000. The police prosecutor, Benjamin Akindoyin, told the court that the accused, along with others now at large, commited the offence on April 8 at about 7p.m. The accused persons were also alleged to have ‘unlawfully caused grievous harm to one Oni Babalola on his right hand thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 335 of the criminal code cap 34 vol. 11 Laws of Osun State. According to the prosecutor, theaccused set ablaze one Mercedes Benz V-Boot car with registration number DB 176 LSR valued N1 million, belonging to one Mr. Oni Adeoye and another one unregistered Suzuki motorcycle thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under section 451 of the criminal code cap 34 Vol 11 Laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2003. Counsel to the accused persons, Mr. Bola Ige, applied for bail for the accused persons on the ground that the allegations leveled against them were yet to be proved but the police prosecutor opposed the application for bail of the suspects. The presiding Magistrate, Emmanuel Aluko, granted the suspects bail in the sum of N100, 000 with one surety per each accused person in the same amount.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

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NEWS ‘Orji’s reelection well deserved’ From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

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OVERNOR Theodore Orji’s victory at the April 26 Governorship and House of Assembly elections is well deserved, the Aba business community has said. Azuka Alagwu, President, Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ACCIMA), an umbrella body of the business community in Aba, said Orji’s reelection was predicated on his people oriented-projects and popularity among Abia residents. Alagwu said: “Your victory at the polls is a clear indication of how dear you are to the people and an opportunity for you to consolidate on the socioeconomic and infrastructural re-engineering of Abia State.” He advised Orji to embrace the opposition in his governmemt. He said: “We want you to be magnanimous in victory by running an all inclusive government and to touch the lives of residents by providing more infrastructure.” The ACCIMA President commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the peaceful conduct of the general elections. He urged aggrieved politicians to seek redress at the Election Petition Tribunals. Also speaking, Amobi Ikeh, president, Abia State Market Traders Association (ASMATA) assured that Orji would transform Aba. Orji contested the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He polled 641,158 votes to defeat 18 other contestants. He was declared the Governor-elect of Abia State by the Resident Electoral Commissioner Prof. Hilary Edeoga.

Funeral for Mrs Kolade MRS Lydia Ibidunni Kolade of Esie, Kwara State is dead. She died on March 26. She was 76. Her remains will be buried on June 24 after a funeral service at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Esie. On June 23, a Christian wake will hold at her home, 67 Stadium Road, Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

•The late Mrs. Kolade

Confusion trails issuance of Certificate of Return in Anambra T HERE was confusion yesterday at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Awka following the absence of the acclaimed winner of Anambra North Senatorial district John Emeka. Emeka contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The incumbent Senator for the district Alphonsus Igbeke has been allegedly

•Ngige, PDP candidate absent

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

given the ticket. Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Senator-elect Chris Ngige for Anambra Central, was also absent. Security was tight at the

INEC office to forestall a breakdown of law and order. Presenting the Certificate of Returns to winners of the election, INEC Supervisory Commissioner in-charge of Imo, Anambra and Enugu States, Dame Glady Nwafor

warned them against violence. Of the three Senators-elect, only Andy Uba of the Peoples Democratic Party for Anambra South was present. All the 11 House of Representatives members were present. Hon. Uche

Ekwunife of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Charles Odedo of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) were also present. Out of the 30 member of theHouse of Assembly present, 16 were elected on the platform of APGA, PDP got seven, ACN got four, whileL labour and Accord parties won one each.

Abia community seeks fair deal By Amidu Arije

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•From left: Kaduna State Commissioner for Water Resources, Mr Asandu Garba; Sole Administrator, State Water Resources, Mr Abdullahi Bamali; and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Alhaji Isa Isma’ila, at a conference on Water Supply and Sanitation Policy in Kaduna...yesterday

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Two students remanded for allegedly stabbing hotelier

WO students were on Tuesday remanded in prison custody by an Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court on a three-count charge of joint act, causing hurt and mischief. The duo, 21-year old Alfred Achado and a minor, were accused of stabbing Ndeibuisi Nnebe, the Proprietor of Jeny Guest Inn, Kurudu, Abuja.

The Police Prosecutor, Cpl. Pascal Njoko, told the court that the complainant was on March 19 brought to the police station with a cut on his left leg. Njoko said the accused, alongside one Nonso who is now at large, jointly beat the

complainant and in the process stabbed him on his left leg. He added that the accused destroyed a table, chair and some crates of minerals, all valued at N8,700. According to the prosecutor, the victim is receiving treatment at the Wuse Gen-

Panel solicits cooperation of lawyers, litigants

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HE Election Petition Tribunal in Katsina State has solicited the cooperation of lawyers and litigants to enable it complete its assignment within the stipulated time. Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice S.A. Akinteye, made the appeal at its inaugural sitting in Katsina on Tuesday. “I crave your support and cooperation so that we will be able to achieve the purpose we are here for,” he said.

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He urged the lawyers to avoid unnecessary delays and ensure that they operated within the provisions of the Electoral Act. Akinteye said the tribunal would sit on Saturdays “as part of efforts to ensure that it finishes the assignment as quickly as possible.” He disclosed that the tribunal had received 15 petitions from aggrieved PDP candidates who contested the April 9 National Assembly election.

He said out of the total number of petitions filed, three were from contestants to the Senate while the remaining 12 were for those for the House of Representatives. Some of the petitioners had congratulated the winners when the election results were announced, it was learnt. The two other members of the tribunal are Justices V.I. Ofesi and H. Saleeman.

Warri refinery shut

RESH fuel scarcity looms in Delta and other states in the Southsouth as the Warri Depot of the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) was yesterday shut down following Monday afternoon’s explosion and fire outbreak at the loading bay. The depot serves as the evacuation port for petroleum produced at the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company as well as product imported through the company’s Jetty in the oil city. It was gathered that at least one person, identified as a motor boy for one of the four tankers razed by the fire, died in the inferno that engulfed

From Shola O’Neil, Warri

the facility. At least one other person is in critical condition resulting from sever burns from the explosion. The Divisional Police Officer, Ekpan Police Station, Mr. Mohammed Mu’Azu confirmed the death but said the identity of the male victim was yet to be confirmed. The Depot Manager, Mr. Sunday Edegbo, announced the closure of the facility when the state Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr. David Ekereokosu, visited the scene yesterday. Edegbo, who narrated his experience, said, “I was in the

office yesterday when we had a large explosion. We evacuated our staff; the whole place was engulfed with fire. We are still investigating the actual cause; we have not been able to establish what caused the fire incident. Committees have been set up and we are trying to get back to operation as soon as possible.” “There are various plans, plans for 48 hours, plans for two weeks and various committees have been set up over the incident. I want to assure the public that there is no need to panic for now because we are working for early resumption of our operations.”

eral Hospital, Abuja, because of the deep cut on his leg He said the offence contravened Sections 79, 245 and 325 of the Penal Code Law. However, when the charge was read to the accused, they denied culpability while the prosecutor objected to their being granted bail since investigation into the matter was still in progress. Senior Magistrate Celestine Odo reserved ruling on bail till May 23 and ordered the two accused to be remanded in prison custody.

HE Nzuko Aro community in Arochukwu kingdom of Abia State has called for fairness in political appointments. President of the community Mazi Udoh spoke yesterday in preparation for the 4th All Aro National Conference scheduled for May 13 in Owerri, Imo State. The theme of the conference: ‘ Aro culture, past and present challenges in the 21st century.’ Udoh urged the government to provide democracy dividends to the people. He commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the successful conduct of the general elections. According to Udoh, the conference will address the cultural and educational challenges of the Arochukwus.

Church holds service

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HE Foursquare Gospel Church, Alamo, Magboro, kilometer 40, Lagos Ibadan Expressway will hold a special service on Friday. The Regional Evangelist of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor J.T. Kalejaiye will minister, according to a statement by pastor Theo Eniola Netufo.

Election Tribunal chair warns against delay From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

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HAIRMAN of the Election Petition Tribunal in Abia State Justice Abiodun Adebara has warned litigants and lawyers against wasting of time. He promised speedy deliberations. Adebara spoke in Umuahia during the inaugural sitting of the Election Petition Panel. He enjoined the litigants and lawyers to be committed and hard working. He said section 285(6) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that the judgement should be delivered in writing within 180 days from the day of filing the petition, “therefore, counsel are reminded to avoid request for unnecessary adjournments, as we may not entertain such.” Adebara said the registry, “has received a total of 13 petitions, five for Senate and eight for House of Representatives. It is expected that very soon House of Assembly election petitions shall be filed.” He said the tribunal is a product of the 1999 Constitution. According to him, the tribunal shall have original jurisdiction to the exclusion of any other court or tribunal, to hear and determine petitions as to whether, “any person has been validly elected as a member of either National Assembly or House of Assembly.” He said the tribunal is the only avenue open to politicians to ventilate their anger, instead of taking laws into their hands. Adebara, however, warned: “This tribunal will be against any attempt to influence its members, as any such attempt will be severely dealt with according to law. There shall be no behind- the- door communication between the litigants and their counsel with the Chairman and members . All communication must be done in the open court”.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

NEWS Ondo legislators-elect get certificates

Women, children major victims of Northern violence, says Minister

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

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INNERS of the National and State Assembly polls in Ondo State got their certificates of returns yesterday from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The commission gave kudos to the people in the Sunshine State for the smooth conduct of the April general elections. At the presentation, twenty four members of the state lawmakers-elect personally appeared to receive the certificates, while all the three senators-elect were also in attendance. In his remark, the National Commissioner of INEC in charge of Ondo, Osun and Lagos states, Mr. Solomon Soyebi, reiterated the commission’s commitment to the conduct of credible elections in the future. Soyebi, who represented the INEC chair, Prof Attahiru Jega at the ceremony, stated that the people of the state deserved commendation for the maturity displayed during the electioneering and the actual elections. He informed that the state got a very high rating from by the Commission after the elections, stating that all the electoral officials deployed to the state for the exercise, enjoyeded the cooperation of the people, when compared with what happened in some other states. While soliciting for more cooperation from the people for the sustenance of the electoral process and for INEC to successfully consolidate on the achievements recorded so far, Soyebi urged them to always come out whenever necessary to further strengthen the electoral process He said: “ The elections we have just concluded is the beginning of the electoral process that will take us to the Nigeria of our dream.” Earlier in his address, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr. Akin Orebiyi, had stated that INEC, under the present leadership, promised Nigerians a free and fair election and it was delivered. He, however urged those aggrieved with the Commission in one way or the other to exercise patience “for there is room for improvement”.

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OMEN Affairs Minister, Mrs. Iyom Josephine Anenih, yesterday identified women and children as the major casualties of the post-election violence in the Northern part of the country. The declaration of President Goodluck Jonathan as the winner of the last presidential election triggered protests in some states in the North. Though, the minister did not give any specific figure of the victims, she, however, assured that the Federal Government would not hesitate

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

to deal with those behind the fracas, after the committee set up to probe the violence might have concluded its job. Mrs. Anenih, who spoke in Abuja at the opening ceremony of a leadership summit, organised by the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), said the last general elections will leave an indelible mark in the memory of women as it spurred the participation of more women in the electoral process. She said that even if only a

few women won elective seats during the elections, the women who contested, have set a template for others to follow. Her words: “Though many have argued that women performed below expectation, with only seven senators and 12 House of Representatives members, I beg to differ. My assessment is that, all the women who participated have set a template for others to follow.” While commending the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for deliv-

ering an acceptable electoral process, she said Nigerians also showed through the ballot box, that they are tired of recycled politicians. She charged Nigerianwomen to look for roles to play, reminding them that not everybody will get the chance to serve in government. Nigerians, she said, can unite to foster national unity. The minister charged the Institute to set up a women business lobby group that will push and advance the status of women in the business sector.

ANPP accuses rulers, INEC of complicity in rigging

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HE Kaduna State chapter of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), yesterday alleged that traditional rulers and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) connived with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the last elections in the state. At a news conference in Kaduna, the party accused the royal fathers of being partisan during the elections, alleging that there were no elections at all in the Southern part of the state during the governorship and House of Assembly elections, which took place across the state on April 28. The party chairman in the state, Alhaji Mohammed Aliyu Lawal, blamed some traditional rulers for being responsible for the poor outing of the party during the election, adding that rather than live up to their responsibilities, the monarchs were busy chasing money from the state government. According to him, the agents of his party were har-

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

assed and induced with money by the ruling party, pointing out that the party was yet to take a decision on whether to challenge the outcome of the elections at the election petitions tribunal, or not. He said: “Traditional rulers in the state have left their basic responsibility of maintenance of peace and harmonious co – existence between their people. In fact, some of them have taken side. So, there is the need for the traditional rulers to have a rethink, to have a review of their activities during the last elections, otherwise, nobody can say what would happen to the institution in future. “You can see children of about eighteen years burning the Emir’s official house. In the past, that was impossible. So, we must find out why these things are happening and it is left for the traditional rulers to do some form of soul-searching so that the society can be a better place to live in.”

Ekiti holds three-day induction retreat for legislators-elect •INEC to give certificates today From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

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EGISLATORS-ELECT in Ekiti are to begin a three-day induction retreat State government will today start a three-day induction retreat at the Royal Palm Hotel, Iloko Ijesa in Osun State, courtesy of the Ekiti State Government. The retreat, which will be anchored by an Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain and an outgoing member of the National Assembly, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora (representing Lagos State, is meant to provide the legislators, most of whom are newly elected, with ground rules of legislative procedures, both at the state and national levels and to prepare them for the tasks ahead. Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state, will today present certificates of return to all elected federal and state lawmakers at the INEC office, on old Iyin road, Ado-Ekiti. The statement, signed on behalf of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Alhaji Hussaini Pai, by the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Ronald Dansu, stated that the presentation will be supervised by the state INEC Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Kaugama. He noted that members of all registered political parties and the general public have been invited to the event.

• From left: Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc Mr. Nicolaas Vervlede, Corporate Affairs Adviser Mr. Yusuf Ageni and Technical Director Mr. Hendrik Wymenga at the company's Pre-Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Sheraton Hotel, PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE Ikeja, Lagos ... yesterday.

Again, trial of Ugbane, Elumelu, Jibo stalled

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RONG numbering of the case file has again stalled the trial of Senator Nicholas Ugbane, Ndudi Elumelu and Muhammed Jibo. Elumelu and Jibo are members of the House of Representatives. The trio have been charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on a 156-count charge, bordering on conspiracy and criminal breach of trust. At the resumed hearing, counsel to the second accused person, Mr Patrick Ikweto (SAN), drew the attention of the judge to the fact that the case file still bore the names of the six civil servants even after the judge had seperated their charges. Ikweto said the case file still

contained names of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Dr Aliyu Abdullahi and the Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Sam Gakpe. The other civil servants in the ministry are: Simon Nanley, Lawrence Orekoya, Abdulsalami Jahun and Kayode Oyedeji, all directors. He told the court: “My Lord, may I draw the attention of the court to the case file before us. I discovered that it still contains the names of the six civil servants who are supposed to be tried differently. “It also bears the same number as the suit my clients are involved in.” Ikweto insisted that the

number on the suit be changed and that the EFCC should prepare fresh charges against the accused persons, so that they could take fresh pleas. He stressed that his clients were eager to see the commencement of the trial so that they could clear their names from the corruption charges levelled against them. But the EFCC counsel, Mr Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), raised an objection to Ikweto’s submission that the prosecution should file fresh charges against the accused persons. He said: “My Lord, the charges are not defective because after the severance of the charges with the civil servants, the positions of the first, second and third accused persons still remained the same.

“They are also being charged with the breach of due process, criminal conspiracy, diversion and misappropriation of public funds totaling more than N5.2 billion.” After listening to submissions of both the prosecution and defence counsel, the presiding judge, Justice Abimbola Banjoko, ordered that the file be returned to the court registry for proper filing of the suit. She adjourned the matter to June 20 for continuation of the trial. Banjoko assured that the court will give accelerated hearing to the suit after it has been properly labelled. She, therefore, set June 20 to June 24 for the prosecution to commence the case.

Oritsejafor: Corps members did not die in vain

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RESIDENT of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, yesterday said the slain youth corps members did not die in vain. Oritsejafor, who spoke through Bishop John Praise at a recognition service held for the corps members in Abuja, cautioned politicians against making inflammatory statements. Nine male corps members were murdered during the post-election violence by some rampaging youths

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

while a female corp member died in the hospital as a result of injuries she sustained from those who attacked her. He lamented that a prominent political party recently attempted to justify the riots, which claimed the lives of the youths and noted that no one has the right to take the life of a fellow human being. Speaking from the second book of Corinthians, chapter 1, verse 4, Oritsejafor called on the families of the slain

youths to seek solace in the Lord. He prayed that the country would not experience such disturbing occurrence again. The Chairman of the association in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Rev. Israel Okonji, who delivered a sermon entitled: “Valuable Trials”, expressed disgust that some Nigerians choose to describe the murders as “an act of God”. He explained that the murders were not a natural evil, but a mortal evil which oc-

curred by the hand of man, and not that of God. The cleric siad: “It is not acceptable when people consciously face another set of people, kill them, and someone regards it as an act of God. An act of God is a tsunami, an earthquake and others which cannot be controlled by man.” He also urged the bereaved families to take solace in the fact that the corps members died for doing “what is right”, contributing towards what has been described as free, fair and credible polls.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 11 , 2011

POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

Ogun State PDP faces a precarious future. Apart from losing power to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), it is beset by protracted internal crises. The refusal of its leaders to close ranks may also become its albatross at the forthcoming local government elections, reports Deputy Political Editor EMMANIUEL OLADESU.

Ogun PDP: Facing a perilous future

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HE tragedy that hit the ruling party in the Gate way State was foretold. But it was ignored due to overconfidence. Surprisingly, its leaders were neck-deep in prolonged internal feud, endless personality clashes and protracted bickering that ultimately weakened the party structures. Under that atmosphere of rancour and disunity, cracks appeared on the wall. Between now and 2015, Ogun State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which was deserted by the people at the critical elections, will be licking the wounds inflicted on it by its scattered leaders, who, unlike the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), basked in the imaginary euphoria of an elusive power of incumbency. Apart from the inability of the party’s elected functionaries to impress voters, substitution scandals also rocked the trembling fold, making the edifice to collapse on the false foundation it cunningly erected in 2003, when a curious political earthquake swept across the Southwest, the stronghold of the progressives. Observers contend that the party, which is now at the losing end of the game, will build on its abysmal performance at the post-May 29 local government elections. The reason is that the chapter is unable to move on after its shocking defeat at the general elections. The aggrieved chieftains are trading blames and penciling down themselves for political rustication. Many leaders want the party to also investigate the allegations of substitution of candidates for the elections. Others have ascribed the blame for the tragedy that befell the branch to warring leaders who spearheaded the two factions, which failed to realise that they could not survive at the polls without a united front. Ogun PDP obviously went into the exercise as a divided house, which was destined to fall. The intra-party squabbles created strains and distractions. Two factions; one led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and another led by Governor Gbenga Daniel, flexed muscles. Both submitted parallel list of candidates. However, the Federal High

Court presided over by Abdul Kafarati rejected the list presented by Daniel’s group, pointing out that the faction had ceased to exist following the setting up of the Harmonised State Executive Committee led by Dayo Soremi, a member of Obasanjo’s faction. In reaction, Daniel’s followers were instigated by the governor to dump PDP and encamp in the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), which, ultimately, could not fly during the parliamentary and governorship elections. Both Adetunji Olurin, retired General and Gboyega Isiaka, governorship candidates of PDP and PPN, kissed the dust before the ACN arsenal. The irony could not be lost on the governor. Pushed to the wall, Daniel, who coordinated President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaigns in the Southwest at the nomination stage plotted the downfall of his party in the home state of the President’s godfather and benefactor, General Obasanjo. Criticisms have trailed the activities of the Harmonised Committee before, during and after the elections. For example, some PDP members called for an investigation into the allegations of sales of tickets of candidates on its list. The supporters of the House of Representatives member, David Salako, Abiodun Oni and Adegboyega Salami were more vociferous in this regard. They fingered the hand of a prominent Ijebu-born businessman and hotelier in the act. However, Soremi washed his hands clean of any political vice, saying that his committee was clean. His rebuttal failed to douse the tension as the allegedly affected members refused to be pacified. Salako’s supporters maintained that his name was substituted at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with that of Dipo

. Obasanjo

Adebutu in Remo Federal Constituency. In the same vein, Oni had to give way for Kaode Amusan in Abeokuta North/ Odeda/Obafemi Owode Constituency. In Ijebu Central, Salami lost to Dare Adewale. An aggrieved PDP chieftain, who protested the inexplicable letters of withdrawal to the INEC, said that the party leadership acted in bad faith after winning victory at the court. Like a fighter that he is, Salako brushed aside intimidation and fear. He wrote to INEC and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), complaining about the alleged fraud and injustice. He denied in the March 7 letter that he withdrew from the contest. His followers also said that they were annoyed at the maltreatment, adding that the person who became his replacement had wanted to opt out of the party, claiming that PDP had lost internal democracy. “There is a syndicate in INEC who assisted them in committing the crime”, Salabo fumed, refusing to shed light on his assertion. However, he maintained that INEC’s complicity in the injustice wrecked much havoc on the electoral processes in Ogun State. His grouse was that the commission deliberately ignored his protest letter. Salako said: “INEC did not allow me to see the documents of my purported withdrawal, which they claimed that I signed and which I did know I did not sign”. He said an inquiry into the mess would expose the perpetrators. His counsel, Gani Bello and co, were also furious. In its letter to

• Daniel

the umpire, the lawyers also complained about wrongful and unlawful substitution of Salako, saying that it violated Sections 33 and 35 of the Electoral Act. They threatened to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion in the court. Following the Federal High Court’s verdict, which affirmed Soremi’s Harmonised Committee, the PDP national leadership pronounced salako as its candidate for Remo Constituency. The party also claimed that it did not receive any withdrawal notice from the politician. “Under the extant electoral act, candidates already nominated and published can only be substituted upon a withdrawal by him or upon death. The only authority to effect substitution of nominated candidate is the National Working Committee, through a letter signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary’, it added. Salako claimed that he scored 503 votes at the primaries. He alleged that Adebutu got 173. When he reported the matter to the police, they swung into action. A source said: “The evidence of forgery stared all in the face, but at last, the PDP, the substituted candidate, the victim, and leaders lost all in the election”. It is not only the ghost of substitution scandal that will continue to hunt the party, the pain of collapsed reconciliation will linger, following its colossal defeat. Unlike 2007, more party chieftains would have to compete for fewer federal government appointments. Obasanjo and Daniel have

‘If reconciliation is successfully brokered now in Ogun PDP, it is medicine after death. Indeed, the party is positioned far from tranquility and cohesion as the protracted crises and war of attrition are being repeatedly fueled by vendetta-seeking gladiators locked in battle for ministerial and ambassadorial positions’

also refused to sheath their swords. firing salvos at the governor, the former President said that he was responsible for the woes of the party at the elections. Daniel’s camp, which has congratulated the governor-elect, Ibibunle Amosun of the ACN, has advised the retired General to engage in a thorough soul searching, emphasising that he was the problem. The fear of probe by either the anti-graft bodies or the in-coming administration is enough headache for the out-going government functionaries. Two weeks ago, Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka backed the call for the scrutiny of Ogun State Government financial books and investigation of alleged cases of murder in the state. Worst is the feeling of leaving the corridor of power without a sense of fulfillment. Derided by the voters who issued quit notice to them, some of them may go into political oblivion. Analysts argue that, if reconciliation is successfully brokered now in Ogun PDP, it is medicine after death. Indeed, the party is positioned far from tranquility and cohesion as the protracted crises and war of attrition are being repeatedly fueled by vendetta-seeking gladiators locked in battle for ministerial and ambassadorial positions. With its success at the polls, ACN has bounced back in the state in a bigger form, sending clear signals that it would repeat the electoral miracle at the council poll whenever the exercise is held across the local governments in the state.. A party source said at the weekend: ‘Predictably, many PDP chieftains would not want to be outside power. Unlike AC chieftains who stayed on in their party and fought to bounxce back, some PDP people would defect to ACN to remain relevant. The party may not remain the same again in Ogun State’.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

13

POLITICS

Olivia Agbajoh, 60, retired senior magistrate, two-time commissioner in Delta State and member of the Second Republic House of Representatives, had a rough deal with thugs during last month’s elections in Delta State. She narrated her ordeal to DELE ANOFI. Excerpts:

My ordeal with thugs in Delta, by ex-Rep Y

OU claimed to have had a nasty expe rience at the April 9 National Assem bly elections. What went wrong? I went to my polling unit on that day to exercise my civic responsibility. When I got there, a protocol officer with the state government came to me and warned me that the place was a PDP unit that must be won for PDP. He warned me that no other vote would be entertained there, except PDP’s. I told him that I’m a PDP member and that he could not force me to thumb-print. I insisted that I had the right to vote for a candidate of my choice. So, he left. But before he left, he said to me, ‘when you finish voting, you better go because something is going to happen here later on’. I just ignored him. I got to the poling unit around 9 am and did my accreditation around 10 am. Before 11:30 am, we had finished accreditation. There was no one else. So, we started queuing up around 12:30 and we started voting around 1pm. By 2pm, things started happening. Some people emerged from nowhere and their leader insisted that they must be accredited. I said no, they could not be accredited because we had started voting already. I told them that the INEC rule does not allow for accreditation after the commencement of the voting. After the conclusion of accreditation and that those accredited would queue up, which we did around 12:30 and we were counted. After the last person, security personnel are expected to stand behind him for clearance and not to allow anybody else to join the queue. I said that was what the INEC rule says and you must do things properly. Were you alone in challenging the intruders and what was the reaction of INEC officials and security personnel attached to the unit? There was another Chief there too; both of us went to them and said they could not start another accreditation at 2 pm, warning that it would amount to electoral malpractice. Shockingly, the INEC officials at the unit and the security personnel just pretended as if nothing was wrong. The PDP thugs that were supposed to be agents also ignored us and began accrediting the people. So, I said to myself, “I’m not going to allow this happen. I am protesting. This unit, I’m taking this unit up. I cannot be here as a former magistrate, a lawyer and a retired magistrate as well as former member of Parliament and allow you people perpetrate electoral malpractice.” So, I picked a piece of paper, copied down the names and all the details of the unit. There were two police officers there. One was a woman; she used her cardigan to cover her name. When I demanded to write her name, she shouted at me and snatched the paper. She was the first person that assaulted me. I asked, ‘madam can I have my paper?’ She tore it into shreds. I still got another paper and I took all the details. The other policeman did not cover his name, but

“T

• Agbajoh

I could only get her number. After that, I sat somewhere to observe what would happen next. When the ring leader came, apparently they had told him that I had stood against another accreditation. He therefore, came with another government official with about 20 young boys; they came straight to attack me. The ring leader was busy pointing his fingers at me, asking why I was that audacious. I asked for what I did. He barked at me: “You don vote? Make you dey go o! And I asked: “Go where? I have my right to sit down here.” Then, one tall dark boy came and asked me: “You don vote? Come dey go.” I said “I no dey go.” He then told someone to call one Ama whom I know very well. I don’t know whether they wanted to take permission from him before they beat me up. The next thing was that one thug, short and lightskinned - I know all of them - started to manhandle me; they started to push me right there in the presence of my nephew and my

22-year-old last son. He drove me to the polling station. They both naturally have to come to my rescue. The thugs then descended on my son too and started beating him on the back as he was trying to shield me. When it became clear that it might be dangerous because they wanted to use the knives and other weapons they were carrying on us, I began to shout that I was going, if that was what would prevent them from killing my son. Even when I said I was going, they started pushing me. As I tried to dodge sideways, they gave me knocks; someone held my hand to drag me, even while my children were trying to defend me. My son asked me to run into our car. As I ran to the car, I noticed they were beating him; I had to run back to them. They yelled that they would have to kill me that day. As I was going back to them, my son was shouting: ‘mummy go, mummy go.’ He said he would take care of himself. So, I went inside the car. He was following the car and they started following and beating him. He was equally shouting, telling them he was ready to leave. No one listened. To even open the car and enter, it was a struggle; my nephew had to go through other side of the car to get in. They were banging the car. They even dented the car somewhere before we finally escaped. What was your next step after the escape? When we left, I was very upset. I was crying. I went to the police station - Division 8. I reported the incident. They documented it. They told me to go to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID). I went there and saw a man called Harry. He took my statement. He told me that being on a Saturday, there was nobody on ground to arrest the people that assaulted me and that I should come the following day around 2pm. I went there 2 O’ clock on Sunday and she said before they did anything, they had to take permission from the superior officer and that would be on Monday. By Monday 10am, I went to the police station. What happened at the station then? The officer took me to the superior officer. I told the boss my story and he said the officer should have directed me to the appropriate office, that the case was a CID case; all such cases are handled in Asaba by the

‘When I got there, a protocol officer with the state government came to me and warned me that the place was a PDP unit that must be won for PDP. He warned me that no other vote would be entertained there, except PDP’s. I told him that I’m a PDP member and that he could not force me to thumb-print. I insisted that I had the right to vote for a candidate of my choice. So, he left. But before he left, he said to me, ‘when you finish voting, you better go because something is going to happen here later on’

CID Commissioner of Police. He told me that all those people involved in the act should have been arrested and taken to Asaba. He said I should write a letter to the Commissioner and copy him, the SSS and others. I also wanted to travel on that Monday but he advised I should do that before I travelled. So, I booked the following day for my flight. I wrote the petition and went to the Area Commander whom I gave a copy. He acknowledged its receipt. I went to the Commissioner, wrote a covering letter and sent it to Asaba. I gave one to the SSS man and he endorsed it. I gave one to the DPO; I gave another to the CPO and the superior officer to the police woman, Harry. I wrote my phone number and since then, I have not heard anything. Is that not odd? I believe that they want to sweep the matter under the carpet in Delta State. There was a similar case in which Ambassador Echegile was assaulted. In fact, they used knife on his head. The IG has taken that up and directed those involved to be brought to Abuja. It is necessary to let the world know the level of impunity in this state that should be discouraged. We have to take actions on this matter. I have contacted my lawyer, Barrister Femi Falana. They are pressing for charges. They would be made to pay damages for what they did to me. I am a 60-year-old woman. I cried my blood pressure went up and they tried to kill me. They threatened my life. They tried to kidnap me even when I said I was going, they refused to let me go. And then, I have not been able to go to that village since that National Election Day because I was threatened. By that, they have infringed on my fundamental human right and again, I want the nation to know that if anything happens to me as a person, they should hold the governor of Delta State and their agents responsible. I recognised some of those people to be in the employ of the government. They should hold him responsible if anything happens to me. I have never seen that kind of election before in my life. They chased me away because they wanted to thumbprint and that is what they did in that whole area. I even learnt they went to another area in that unit and did the same thing. My concern is that why should they come and chase me out of my unit because I insisted the right thing must be done. That was my problem with them. Why the police are not acting on my compliant is most baffling thing. I have witnesses who were there. I was harassed by the police, PDP agents and INEC officers. I reported these things and I have not heard anything. Nobody has called me, nobody has arrested those people. We keep getting this kind of thing because there is no punishment for the offenders”.

‘Awolowo days back in Southwest’

HE era when the citizenry had no place in the consideration of the few with their mandate to lead is certainly over, especially in the Southwestern part of this country. With the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the saddle, people will have something to show for their mandate.” The above were the words of Chief Olarotimi Makinde, who in the recent National Assembly elections, was elected into the House of Representatives from Ife Federal Constituency. He ran on the platform of the ACN. Makinde, who spoke the performance of his party in the elections, especially in the Southwest, which is known as the traditional base of the progressives among politicians, right from time immemorial, said: “What the like of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo did to governance in the Southwest is still fresh in our memories. We all know what he stood for with his parties. We all remember the laudable cardinal programmes of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) of those days and how the tradition of purposeful administration came to be permanent among his

By Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor

followers. This is why when people hear of ACN today, it is easily linked with selfless service to the greatest number of the people which politics should naturally be all about.” Describing administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after the 2003 “wonder” elections as a virus that had been uprooted in the April, 2011 polls, Makinde sympathized with the people of the Southwest for what they suffered in the hands of the PDP during the period they were made to eat “political bones instead of meat.” “We thank God that relief has finally come to our region. While its reign lasted, the PDP sent leadership decorum and people-oriented governance in abeyance, putting in their stead, a harrowing regime of deprivations and insecurity. Our people watched helplessly as their exploiters held sway in looting spree of their resources. We can’t but celebrate and appreciate the leadership of ACN for remaining dogged in the fight to unseat and indeed dislodge the interlopers, thereby paving the way for good govern-

ance and peaceful atmosphere,” he said. He did not leave the people out in his gratitude: “The achievement of our party in the last elections is a clear signal of the people’s readiness to say final bye to exploitation by the PDP men who showed ample lack of vision and reliable agenda of service for the welfare of the people. It is laudable that the people, especially in the Southwest, keyed into ACN vision and employed their votes wisely. They (the people) deserve to be praised for using their votes to chart a good course for their future and that of their children’s children.” He admonished the people to keep faith with the ACN, cooperate with all those representing the party in both executive and legislative capacities; pay taxes without reservation and expect to reap the fruits of their sacrifices. Makinde was particularly effusive in profound praises on the governors of Lagos, Osun and Ekiti states for being models of good governance. “The whole world acknowledges what is happening in Lagos under the able leadership of Babatunde Fashola. Come down to Osun to feel and see

• Makinde

what is happening to the people of the state under Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; then go to Ekiti and see the impressive things Dr. Kayode Fayemi is doing with the mandate of Ekiti people. The wind of change is blowing and the people are now singing songs of joy and relief. We are indeed in for the good old days when political leadership did not translate to a licence to loot public treasury.”


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

World Bank grants Nigeria $29m for financial management system From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor)

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HE World Bank has granted Nigeria $29 million (about N4.4 billion) to develop a Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS). The system is to provide better access to information which can be used to improve fiscal operational management by the government. Contract for the GIFMIS was awarded to HewlettPackard Nigeria Limitedand the agreement was signed yesterday in Abuja between the Acting Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Aderemi Ogunsanya and the Managing Director of the firm Mr Ime Umoh. The GIFMIS project is expected to be completed “over a six-year period because it has strict timelines and specific milestones. Ogunsanya said: “Under this contract, the initial phase is expected to be ready for use in preparation of the Federal Government Budget in 2012. It is also planned that GIFMIS will be used for transaction processing effective 1st January 2012.” However before these come to fruition, “specific milestones including the Blue print and acceptance testing will be signed off,” he said. He said the immediate purpose of the project is to enable an executable budget which can be implemented as planned.

I like that combination between creativity and the creative process and the organisation needed to make a business like this successful worldwide. - Bernard Arnault

Banks may shrink to 20, says CBN •To maintain exchange rate •Interest rate may rise again

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HE number of banks (24) in the country may shrink to 21 or 20 after the reforms, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said yesterday. He also admitted that fighting inflation is likely to be a challenge this year, saying it might tighten policy again if the government does little to tackle the country’s public finances. The CBN Governor also said Nigeria’s targeted exchange rate of about N150 to the dollar is sustainable in the short to medium term, “and the CBN will use its foreign reverses to prop up the currency if its weekens.” The country’s reserves declined by 16 per cent to $33.5 billion in twelve months to May 6, according to CBN figures. He admitted: “We drew down reserves to maintain stability of the currency,” Sanusi said. “Its not really a disaster, we’re not in a desperate situation.” Sanusi, however, said growth could hit seven percent this year if power and other reforms are effected.

By Ayodele Aminu,

Group Business Editor

“Seven per cent was always around the (growth) range we had forecast. It’s consistent with historical trend. We do think that if we get power reforms off the ground ...we can go beyond seven percent.” The number of banks is likely to fall to around 20-21 from 24 currently, following the completion of banking reforms, Sanusi told Reuters. Nigeria had recorded a Gross Domestic (GDP) growth of 10.3 per cent, 10.6 per cent, 5.4 per cent, 6.2 per cent, seven per cent, 6 per cent, seven per cent and 7.85 per cent in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The CBN had in 2009 fired the eight bank chief executive officers out of the country’s 24 lenders and used N620billion to bail out the industry. Out of the eight rescued banks currently recapitalising, four Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Afribank Nigeria Plc and Finbank Plc have signed agreements with some institutions, which are expected to either inject capital, merge or ac-

quire them. Union Bank had signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the African Capital Alliance Consortium (ACA Consortium) - a group of institutional investors led by African Capital Alliance (ACA), a leading independent private equity firm investing in West Africa, which is expected to inject $750 million (about N114 billion) to recapitalise the former. Afribank Plc had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a potential core investor, Vine Capital Partners Limited, and Phoenix Acquisition Company Limited. Intercontinental bank also signed a MoU with Access bank Plc to provide safe harbour for Intercontinental Bank’s N670 billion depositors’ funds. Also, Finbank and First City Monument Bank Plc last week announced that both institutions sign ed a MoU. Commenting on the imminent inflationary pressure, Sanusi told Reuters: “Fighting inflation will be a great challenge this year, partly because the subsidies...from petroleum

products are not sustainable. He also said a Lebanese bank had applied to set up a representative office in Nigeria. Sanusi also told Dow Jones Newswires the government must address its public finances because high salaries for government workers are contributing to inflationary pressures. Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 12.8 per cent in March from 11.1 percent in February. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its Regional Economic Outlook for sub- Saharan Africa, had also last week said the CBN and other African central banks’ control over inflation remain threatened as economic growth on the continent recovers and fuel and food prices surge. The CBN had last February raised its benchmark interest rate (Monetary Policy Rate) by 100 basis point, from 6.5 to 7.5 per cent. That was the second time this year and third time in six months that the banking watchdog raised interest rate having earlier last September, jacked it up from six per cent to 6.5 per cent.

-N7.8 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES

Inflation -12.8% Treasury Bills -2.64% Normal lending -24% Prime lending -18% Savings rate -3% 91-day NTB -6.99% Time Deposit - 6% MPR -7.50% Foreign Reserve -$33.5 bn FOREX CFA 0.281 • 222.92 £ 252.9 $ 152.76 ¥ 1.5652 SDR 245.85 RIYAL 39.3

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HE Minister of Com merce and Industry, Senator Jubril MartinsKuye, disclosed that Nigeria’s non-oil export has increased 11 fold from USD 0.2 billion in 2000 to USD 2.3 billion in 2010. He stated this during the presentation of the report of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the comprehensive review of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) by the Chairman of the Committee Dr. Abubakar Mohammad in Abuja. The minister listed the nonoil exports to include cocoa, leather, rubber, cotton, textiles, shrimps, sesame seeds and gum Arabic. He said: “The EEG is a wellcalculated sound and unassailable policy in the area of export-oriented and forex-earning industrialisation. It’s main objective was to compensate export manufacturers for manufacturing cost increases traceable to hash environment thereby enhancing their products’ competitiveness in the export markets.”

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COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$125.2/barrel Cocoa - $2,856/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢78.07.pound Gold -$1,161/troy ounce Rubber - ¢146.37/pound

NSE JSE NYSE LSE

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

‘Ineffective debt recovery policies make banks fail’

DATA STREAM

MARKET CAPITALISATIONS

Non-oil export hits $2.3b, says Minister

•From left: Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Nicolaas A. Vervlede; Corporate Affairs Adviser, Mr Yusuf Ageni; Technical Director, Mr Hendrik Albert Wymenga and Human Resources Director, Mr. Victor Famuyibo at the Company's PrePHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE. Annual General Meeting (AGM), at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos ... yesterday.

NERC: Power generation hits 3,800mw

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HE current power gen eration in the country has risen to 3,800megawatts (mw) from 2,600 megawatts a year ago, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said yesterday. Chairman, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, diclosed this in a congratulatory letter commending President Jonathan on his one year anniversary as President. He said: “When you became President in May 2010, we could only boast of less than 2,600 megawatts. Today, generation has gone to 3,800mw and has

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

never gone below 3,500mw.” The NERC boss attributed the level of stability in electricity supply in the country to Jonathan’s commitment and resolve to pursue “the vision of safe, stable and adequate electricity supply in the country. “ He also said the President‘s one year stay in office has ensured over 1,000 megawatts growth in power generation to the national grid. A statement from the com-

mission that contained this information, said while the chairman commended this feat, he expressed optimism that the President’s victory at the just- concluded election was an indication of better prospects for the electricity industry in the country. It said: “The overwhelming mandate given to you by the Nigerian people is in recognition of the sincerity and courage with which you have managed the reform in the power sector. “By appointing new commis-

sioners into NERC you have resuscitated the power sector reform and have given clear commitment that you will vigorously pursue the vision of safe, stable and adequate electricity for Nigerian homes and businesses.” The Commission also assured the President of its support. It noted that since the President leads the reform of the power sector, it guaranteed him of focused regulations that will boost private sector investment and promote highest quality of service.

EGISTRAR/ Chief Ex ecutive Officer of the In stitute of Debt Recovery Practitioners of Nigeria (IDRPN), Chris Opeodu, has said more banks in the country would fail unless there is strict and professional enforcement of effective debt recovery policies by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He said this yesterday in Lagos at the briefing of the institute’s national summit on debt recovery which would take place in June. According to him, irregularities in the debt collection mechanisms of most banks have had a negative impact on the economy through failure of the banks to recover bad debts. He pointed out that the institute’s mission is to promote professionalism and best practices in debt collection. He said: “Debt is not a crime. It becomes a crime if it turns into a conflict and until the conflict is resolved, the debt will not be paid. The business of debt recovery has to be sanitised in this country. “This is because professionals are not involved in debt recovery. To this end, we have trained our practitioners on effective customer relationship management in recovery of debts. Over N800 billion debt of some banks in Nigeria have still not been recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).”


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

BUSINESS NEWS Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.

LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

noting that it would not work in Nasarawa and Plateau States due to some obvious challenges. He listed these as insecurity in Plateau and poor performance in Nasarawa State. Widmann said the programme, which would run in three phases, was the second biggest SME project the German government had in Africa. He noted that the programme would run for three years, but it would be targeting seven years to round it off for the various states to sustain it. Between 2007 and 2010, the German government worked in three states in north central Nigeria. The states include Nasarawa, Plateau and Niger and most of the projects are on micro-financing, shea butter production, reproductive and health care, HIV/AIDS and entrepreneurship training.

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might even expand it. We will also look for other value chain that can be in the agriculture sector or can be in the none-agriculture sector too.’’ Widmann said the German government also had activities in micro-financing, but that the major focus of the programme would be on the creation of more employment through the various SMEs. He said that Niger State was selected among the states that the projects would be executed due to the commitment of the government from the last project in that state. “Niger State performed best; Nasarawa State performed least and in Plateau, due to the state of insecurity, we are yet to consider if we are going to work there, but they also perform relatively well in the last project,’’ he said. He said the German government had been working across the country, especially in central Nigeria,

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HE German government will invest 20 million euro to boost Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in some northern states in the country. Programme Manager of the German-funded Sustainable Economic Development in Nigeria, Mr Christian Widmann, stated this yesterday in Abuja. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Niger State had already been selected for the programme, while other states were still under consideration. He said the programme would be operated through the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). “The programme has total volume of 20 million euro, but it is technical assistance in the first place for expertise, for trainings and for capacity development. “We will definitely continue with the shea butter exercise, but we

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Germany to invest 20m euro to boost SMEs in Nigeria

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•From left: Chairman, Health Log Consulting Limited, Chief Boniface Nelson; Managing Director, Havana Hospital, Chief Emeka Okeke; and Chief Caroline Ibru, during the inauguration of Health Log Consulting Limited in Lagos.

Committee chides govt for not charging excise tax

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HE committee reviewing the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Act has criticised the Federal Government for not charging excise duties on imported goods. Led by the Director, Home Finance of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Hajiya Binta Bello, members of the committee lamented that they “discovered that most countries of the world operate excise tax on imported goods and that Nigeria does not”. They expressed surprise “that

From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor)

Nigeria, in dire need of diversified revenue base does not operate and excise tax regime on imported goods.” They noted that in several countries, excise tax constitutes a very important component of national revenue and is imposed on a wide range of goods”. Bello, who presented the final draft of the NCS Bill to the Minister of Finance Mr Olusegun Aganga,

noted: ”In some countries excise tax is imposed on some category of locally produced goods, industries as well as their imported equivalents.” She disclosed that the international consultants engaged by the government to help the group with its assignment had “strongly advised that Nigeria should undertake a study of some countries that are very strong on excise tax with a view to adopting what is clearly an international fiscal policy practice”.

More funds coming for agriculture

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ORE funding is coming for agriculture to tackle the chal lenges of food security and climate change. The Senior Adviser, Sustainable Economical Development, KIT Development Policy and Practice, Royal Tropical Institute,The Netherland, Remco Mur, told The Nation that donor assessments on agricultural development in the country is encouraging, adding that the devastation caused by the earthquakes in Japan is not going to shift the attention of donors from supporting development activities in Nigeria. Mur, who is facilitating the Research into Use Nigeria and Royal Tropical Institute workshop, holding in Abuja, noted that foreign funding for agriculture and other development, has

By Daniel Essiet

reduced considerably in the last few years, but quickly added that the situation has changed. He expressed concern that farmers are not using research results, saying, less than two per cent of the results produced by research institutes in Nigeria are being utilised by local farmers. The development expert said there is a disconnect between beneficiaries and research institutes, stating that this was not in the interest of the sector as it has weaken the capacity of the sector to meet the needs of an increasing population for food. To remedy the situation, Mur disclosed that there are attempts by the various players to strengthen collabo-

ration and work in the interest of food production. This, he noted, will help the system to ensure adequate availability and affordability of research results. Mur said the purpose of RIU is to support results-oriented research that delivers real development impact. The research value chain system, he explained, includes not only national universities and research institutes, but also seed companies, extension services, small enterprises, non-governmental organisations, markets and farmers themselves. Enabling the system to deliver real improvements, he noted, requires "joined-up thinking" across the board, with all the components working together to produce a better and more effective results.

North laments lack of infrastructure, investments From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

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ORTHERN elites have la mented the backwardness in infrastructure, industrial investment and agricultural sector, which is Northern Nigeria’s strongest economy. The Chairman of the Conference of Northern States Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (CONSCCIMA), Alhaji Ahmad Rabiu, stated this at the award dinner for excellence in Leadership and Entrepreneurship in Abuja. He noted that the Sahara Desert is moving southwards at a rate of 0.6km yearly, which has resulted in a situation where about 35 per cent of land that was cultivatable 50 years ago is now a desert in 11 of Northern Nigeria. He said: “The cumulative effect of the desert nature of these 11 Northern states is that in the very near future, Northern Nigeria may not be able to compete economically with other parts of the country, which are currently enjoying huge infrastructural and industrial investments. “The double jeopardy that we currently face is that while our agricultural and solid minerals sectors are not receiving the required investments thus compromising our future sources of revenues. We are also not modernising and upgrading our infrastructure including investment in education. “Today, Northern Nigeria also has the inglorious record of having more children out of school than anywhere else in the world including war-thorn areas. In 2006, UME applications statistics from Joint Admission Matriculation Board ( JAMB), Abia State with a population of 2,833,990 has 42,693 applications to Nigeria Universities. “Sokoto State with a population of 3,696,999 had only 2,944 applicants or less than seven per cent of applicants from Abia with a lower population. Similarly, while only 21 candidates from Sokoto State (which is in dire need of revenue and employment from agriculture) applied through JAMB for agriculture-related courses in 2006, 114 applied from Rivers State and 91 from Bayelsa State, both of which are oil rich states which do not have as much land and motivation for agricultural development.

FCTA sets up centre to fight poverty From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

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O alleviate poverty and more create job opportunities for in the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), its Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, has inaugurated a multimillion-naira rehabilitation centre. The Minister, who opened the centre at Sabon-Lugbe, Abuja yesterday revealed that it was conceptualised and actualised because of the genuine concern of the FCT Administration to address the challenges of commercial sex workers in the city. Mohammed noted that there are three major causes of prostitution, which he listed as poverty, unemployment and moral degradation. The minister said his administration has decided to approach the challenges of prostitution through empowerment and re-orientation programmes, which the centre is fully equipped to address with facilities to take care of the young unemployed females in the FCT. He said the centre will offer counselling, re-orientation programmes and vocational training in areas such as hair dressing, fashion design, catering/ baking, computer services, hat and bead making.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY,MAY 11, 2011

19

EDITORIAL/OPINION EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

COMMENT

A Fatah-Hamas Deal

A rude wake-up call •How can Gov Alao-Akala free himself from charge of mischief of traditional council law?

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AS it justice and therefore procedurally sound? Or was it mischief, willfully planted by the outgoing Governor Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, to have his own back at the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi? The Alaafin hardly hid his disdain for the governor’s continuation in office and reportedly leveraged his immense influence to ensure the governor’s party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was routed in the four local governments in Oyo town. But for the suspicious timing and the triumphant glee with which Dotun Oyelade, Governor Alao-Akala’s spokesperson announced the “immediate” coming into effect of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs Amendment Law 2011, those who plead that the outgoing Alao-Akala government followed justice and procedure in the matter could perhaps have been excused. For one, since the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs Law 2001 was not acceptable to all the principal stakeholders, given the permanent boycott of the Council’s meetings by both the Olubadan of Ibadan and Soun of Ogbomoso, because the law gave the permanent chairmanship to the Alaafin, it would have to be amended sooner or later, to change the no-war-no-peace situation in the Council. Given also that the controversial 2001 law was 10 years old, and the tension had gone on for that long, the charge that the law’s timing was suspicious should ordinarily have no basis in logic. Still, the law was passed at an extraordinary session, post-haste by 18 members out of a 32-member House on May …,

(the House last sat on March 22 because of the impending elections). Besides, the governor not only instantly signed the bill into law; he ensured its instant publication in the gazette. These incidents opened the process to a cloud of suspicion. Might the defeated Alao-Akala then be bent on unleashing an Obas’ crisis as parting gift to cripple the incoming governorelect, Abiola Ajimobi? By that same single stroke, could the governor have hoped to split the solid phalanx of Ibadan and Oyo united against his re-election; and at the same time compensate his native Ogbomoso, with the Soun, apart from the Olubadan, benefitting from the new scheme of things? Unfortunately, the balance of evidence suggests such; and Governor Alao-Akala stands condemned for such unsportsmanlike behaviour. He lost the election fair and square. He should not because of that want to create any situation that could cause disaffection or even rupture the peace in a state he would still govern until May 29. Still, condemning or commending Governor Alao-Akala is only dwelling on a symptom. The real disease is the age-long leadership rivalry among leading lights of Yoruba monarchy. In Ibadan, it dated back to the old Oyo State (now Oyo and Osun states), where the Ooni of Ife and the Alaafin of Oyo used to tango. Now, it is a three-cornered fight: Alaafin, Olubadan and Soun. Whether Alao-Akala plays the spoiler or not, the in-coming government would still have to contend with, or preferably solve the problem. What are the options? If history were to

be the determinant, it is the height of absurdity for any traditional ruler in Oyo State to question the supremacy of the Alaafin. Ibadan may never have been vassals of the Alaafin, but even at the height of that garrison town’s imperial glory, it gladly fought under the suzerainty of the Alaafin as ethnic Oyos. But if democratisation is the deciding principle, then it is a new paradigm completely. If that were so, then the rotational policy would have a lot of merit. After all, though the essence of Yoruba traditional chieftaincy is hereditary, the extant basic law on which they operate now is democratic: the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. That is the contradiction that this anti-democratic institution foists on a democratic era. But whichever is the operating principle, all the stakeholders should be persuaded to buy into it. That is the challenge facing Governor-elect Ajimobi; and, in a way, he should thank Governor AlaoAkala for that jolting wake-up call.

‘But whichever is the operating principle, all the stakeholders should be persuaded to buy into it. That is the challenge facing Governor-elect Ajimobi; and, in a way, he should thank Governor Alao-Akala for that jolting wake-up call’

Long overdue •Ekiti govt should take full advantage of its education summit to fix the state T was an education summit with a difference. The theme of the meeting held at Ado-Ekiti on May 4-5 was: “Enhancing Functional and Sustainable Education”. The enthusiasm at the summit, in the ‘Fountain of Knowledge’, supported the fact that, for over a decade, Ekiti State had never had it so bad in all spheres of development, especially in education, the state’s most prominent industry. The summit paraded an excellent array of eminent professors from Nigeria and in the Diaspora. They included Prof. Sam Aluko (the chairman of the occasion), Prof. Akin Oyebode who delivered the keynote address, Dapo Kolawole, vice-chancellor, University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD), Prof. (Mrs) Dupe Adelabu, Prof. (Mrs) Francisca Aladejana and a host of others. There were, of course, other academics like the state governor, Dr.

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‘Perhaps the way to start the repair of all that has been damaged is to ensure that the recommendations at the summit are put to use, to return the state to its past glory. We recommend that the summit be replicated in all states governed by the ACN in particular and indeed other states of the federation. They need such reawakening to move the states, and ultimately the country forward’

Kayode Fayemi and his wife, Bisi. The atmosphere at the summit was electrifying. After Prof. Aluko’s opening remarks and Prof. Oyebode’s keynote address, the governor gave his opening remarks in which he lamented the decaying infrastructure, poor quality teaching, low morale of teachers, lack of effective monitoring and evaluation, inadequate funding, policy changes and other problems which he asked the summit to address. About 13 papers were presented in seven plenary sessions, with rooms for questions and answers. Participants spoke with enthusiasm and anger. Enthusiasm because they got what they had been looking for since the good old days of the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the cherished programme of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and the Alliance for Democracy (AD), before everything crumbled under the rudderless leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration in the state. We agree with many participants who yearned for a return to the good standard in primary and secondary schools of old: tertiary institutions are fed by the products of these schools. We also share the view of the governor’s wife that the girl child deserves protection in the schools. We find these observations and passionate discussions at the summit germane to the improvement of the quality of university education which has lost its glory for over a decade.

We support the participants’ rejection of proliferation of universities. Entities must not be multiplied unnecessarily. We acknowledge that the new University of Science and Technology at Ifaki was established for political reasons, it nonetheless should not be scrapped. Rather, the state may adopt it as an Institute of Science and Technology of the University of Ado-Ekiti. We congratulate Ekiti State for this laudable initiative. Indeed, it has been long overdue. We are particularly happy that the state has returned to the progressive fold where it rightly belongs, after the years of the locust, during which a thing as basic as water and even stoves were used to win the people’s votes. But the present government has a lot to do so as to justify the confidence reposed in it by the people at the polls. The Fayemi administration must avoid the mistakes of the past which made the people to take ‘Greek gifts’ from those who never had the people’s interest at heart, with dire consequences for the Ekiti people these past years. Perhaps the way to start the repair of all that has been damaged is to ensure that the recommendations at the summit are put to use, to return the state to its past glory. We recommend that the summit be replicated in all states governed by the ACN in particular and indeed other states of the federation. They need such reawakening to move the states, and ultimately the country forward.

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LTIMATELY, a successful Palestinian state will need to have all its people, from both the West Bank and Gaza, working together to build a stable and prosperous future. The recent agreement between the two main factions — Fatah, which leads the Palestinian Authority and has committed to peace with Israel, and Hamas, which has committed to Israel’s destruction — is not the answer. We have many concerns about the accord, starting with the fact that Hamas has neither renounced its legacy of violence nor agreed to recognize Israel. The Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, has said he remains in charge of peace efforts and the unity government will be responsible for rebuilding Gaza and organizing elections. Whether that is Hamas’s vision is unclear. Also disconcerting are suggestions that Mr. Abbas may have privately agreed to replace his prime minister, Salam Fayyad, who has done so much to build up the West Bank economy and institutions. The United States has spent millions of dollars helping the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority create a security force that Israel has come to rely on to keep the peace in the West Bank. Whether Hamas, which has terrorized Israel with rockets from Gaza, can ever be integrated into that force, or even work side by side, is a huge question. Israel certainly has many reasons to mistrust this deal. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suspended tax remittances and is pressing Washington hard to cut off aid to the Abbas government. The Obama administration has reacted warily to the new pact but said its assistance will continue for now. Congress is talking tough. It’s too early for a cut-off. The money is Washington’s main leverage on the new government. A cut-off would shift the political balance dangerously toward Hamas. Hamas’s goals are far harder to game, although there are reports of new frictions with Syria and a desire for better ties with Egypt’s new government. In an interview with The Times last week, Khaled Meshal, the Hamas leader, declared himself fully committed to working for a two-state solution. Just a few days earlier Hamas’s (supposedly more moderate) prime minister, Ismail Haniya, was out there celebrating Osama bin Laden as a “Muslim and Arab warrior.” Huge skepticism and vigilance are essential. But more months with no progress on peace talks will only further play into extremists’ hands. So what happens now? The United States and the other members of the quartet — the European Union, Russia and the United Nations — need to put the new government on notice that all support will be carefully scrutinized and that firing Mr. Fayyad would be a big mistake. They need to tell Hamas that if it is serious about coming in from the cold, it must halt all attacks on Israel and recognize its right to exist. At the same time Washington needs to press Mr. Netanyahu back to the peace table. A negotiated settlement is the only way to guarantee Israel’s lasting security. For weeks President Obama and his aides have been debating how to revive the peace process — and how deeply the president should engage. (His peace envoy has not even been in the region for five months.) The answer, to us, is clear. It is time for Mr. Obama, alone or with the quartet, to put a map and deal on the table. If Bin Laden’s death has given the president capital to spend, all the better. The Israelis and Palestinians are not going to break the stalemate on their own. And more drift will only lead to more desperation and more extremism. New York Times

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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11 2011

20

EDITORIAL/OPINION

IR: I read with interest Femi Orebe’s piece “The Yoruba Nation: Which way forward”. The piece broached on the idea of a South-West Development Commission. Regional integration is a desirable ideal. But what should be the goals? And what should be the tactics and strategies of achieving the goals? One would suggest an approach informed by “lean governance”, in order to avoid unnecessary costs. There may be no necessity to set up special bodies, agencies or commissions. The various governments may simply co-ordinate their joint and desired goals using pre-existing structures. To give an example; in the matter of road construction and the much desired Ondo –Ijebu-Ode –EpeLekki road. The various ministries of works in Lagos, Ogun and Ondo states may efficaciously coordinate efforts in the construction of this road through the offices of the respective commissioners for works, without the necessity of entering into any agreements or MOU, even without the setting up of any high powered committee. Any interested state governor would simply construct the requested road within his state and stop at the border. One particular example of the model is the Igbara-

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On South West regional integration Odo to Igbara-Oke road, which links communities in Ondo and Ekiti states. No M.O.U. was executed. The concerned states simply resurfaced the portion within their boundaries. The governors of the states within the several geo-political zones may cooperate on certain

ordinate activities not only on road construction but also in other spheres, such as agriculture(animal husbandry/ranching in north-western Oyo-State, to provide meat, dairy products and other produce for the teeming markets in Lagos State and elsewhere) in like manner.

As Unilorin hosts the Sultan

IR: On May 12, 2010, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, the Most Rev. Dr. John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, presented the Public Lecture of the Department of Religions, University of Ilorin (Unilorin) entitled “Dividends of Religion in Nigeria”. The paper will remain a legacy for religious scholars. It contains streams of privileged information which only someone like the Archbishop could offer, historically and intellectually. What is

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basic projects such as road transportation, which benefits all Nigerians and even resident foreigners. In any case, don’t Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti States share a common Odu’a heritage?” Given the wind of change that swept out all the PDP governors in the South-West, it is possible to co-

In attempting the south-western regional development, it may be pertinent to enquire into the feasibility or otherwise of Odu’a Investments and its many associated or subsidiary companies. How well have they fared over the years? How viable and competitive are these companies? The travails of the defunct National Bank PLC may also be instructive as a guide to progress. Airtel, Glo, Zain, MTN etc have made billions in the telecommunications sector while Odu’atel seems to lag behind the likes of Multi-Links, Starcomms, etc. May the mistakes of the past not be repeated. • Paul Temitope Lagos

more, I have it on good information that the department already obtained the Archbishop’s permission to publish the lecture as a booklet. This year, 2011, the Department of Religions, Unilorin, has succeeded in securing the positive response of another eminent Nigerian, in no less a person than the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Muhammadu Abubakar 111. I have no doubt he would also leave a legacy in Unilorin. His Emi-

nence amazed me when he ascended the throne with only one wife. He said a person is not chosen for the position based on number of wives. Polygamy or monogamy is a personal decision, as the Sultan explained. But, this time around, the subject of the public lecture is: “Religion, State and Society in Nigeria: Issues and Challenges”. That is the matter he would address on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 in the International

Auditorium of Unilorin. I have no doubt that, as in 2010, all roads will lead to that venue, as the lecture begins 10am on that day. On a personal note, I appreciate the Sultan for hiding his personal view on who should be Nigeria’s next president. That way, he was able to play the father figure to all the contestants. I welcome him in advance to Unilorin. • Pius Oyeniran Abioje, Ph. D, University of Ilorin

Task before Oyo State governor-elect

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IR: Attempt to rotate power among the zones in Oyo State through equity and fair play and in accordance with the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the state was bastardized by the activities of the out-going Governor Adebayo Alao Akala of the PDP when he failed to perform and even took the people that matters in the state as enemies. Now, the power has returned to

Ibadan once again through the overwhelming votes of the people, I will seize the opportunity to advise the governor-elect to see himself as the people’s governor and not representing a particular zone as was the case with Adebayo Alao Akala’s administration. It is pertinent to remind the governor-elect that the people will not forget all the promises made during his electioneering

campaigns. Nigerian politicians are fond of making empty promises that they know cannot be fulfilled. But, I know the governor-elect will not renege on his promises, knowing fully well that the state had suffered neglect and had remained undeveloped under Governor Alao Akala. Now, going by the overwhelming support given by the people, what remains when the governor-elect

assumes power on May 29, is a commitment to perform and improve the lots of the downtrodden in the state. The task before him includes the economic development of the state, health, education, agriculture, housing, good roads network - rural and urban; water supply, poverty alleviation and youth empowerment. The state needs to chart a new identity for herself,

create befitting Coat of Arms like Lagos, Ekiti and recently Osun State in line with the new political reawakening that has just swept across the region. As the saying goes, the man suffering from leprosy cannot milk cow because he has no fingers to do so but, mind you, he can throw away the milk already collected. • Prince Adewunmi Agunloye, Satellite Town,


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

EDITORIAL/OPINION

‘Jonathan the Great’ 2011-15; GEJ: Naira- Up or down; Lamido Sanusi’s strategy please!

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HE Nigerian electorate has cleaned the politics similar to the ‘North African Political Sandstorm RevoluTony tion’. We have our marMarinho tyrs. The past ‘bad governance’ mistakes must not be repeated. Our newly employed politicians must be monitored. They have seen that the electorate is more easily and cheaply ‘bribed’ by good governance than by ‘emergency cash, promises and fake contracts’. The billions used to ‘fix’ the elections would have achieved the goal if it was used for the allocated purposes– the improvement of livelihood of citizens. Jonathan is not President-elect because of the billions ‘allocated’ for the elections but because he was politically smart enough and morally bold enough to abandon a bad ‘systematic rigging machine’ that had worked through brute force, violence and bribery. Instead he embraced the honest path and uncertainty, throwing himself at great personal risk of losing, on the political sagacity of the 40 million active voters he could not bribe except with jingles, words and deeds. But it was the delivery of a largely thug-free and free and fair NASS election, a single deed of uncommon bravery that won Jonathan the hearts and minds of the individual citizens. It is abundantly clear to the PDP, which made every effort to borrow the Jonathan victory as its own, that the PDP is seen differently from Jonathan by Fellow Nigerian citizens. Jonathan must see this and rise above the mud that sticks to him because of his party affiliation. The citizens are Jonathan’s godfather and he owes them everything. His former godfathers who could not even deliver their own political wards or their children back into office should retire. Nigeria has been terrorised by thuggish godfathers for too long. Even now there are godfathers and godfather-hopefuls across political parties who for their own good must immediately back off and be

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N the evening of last Thursday, precisely at about 6pm, I put a call to one of the senior journalists working with a newspaper owned by a prominent son of the eastern part of the country. My friend who had edited one of the titles of a media outfit owned by another prominent easterner several years ago was prompt at the other end. The guy runs a newspaper column where he ventilates his opinion on crucial national issues every week. We got talking, and somewhere along the line, the discussion veered into the supplementary election that was coming up in Imo State the following day, Friday, May 6, 2011. At this point, the discussion had taken on a new life of its own. My friend took several minutes to reel out some of the lessthan-executive showings of Ikedi Ohakim, the outgoing governor of Imo State. I must confess that, for the first few minutes of what could pass for real vitriolic of verbal attack on Ohakim, I could not find my voice to interrupt him. I kept the phone permanently glued to my ears – interchanging at intervals from the left to right – until I broke the jinx. I did this by telling him that I had heard all that he had told me over and over again from many indigenes of Imo State. So, you know his story? He asked, “That man is a ... I pray he doesn’t win this election. Otherwise, there would be riot, especially in Owerri,” he added. That was not my first time of coming across people who had expressed disgust about Ohakim’s administration. On April 27, a day after the governor-

seen to allow the new democracy. If not they too will find that the citizen is king and they will be swept away with the same arrogance and broom they use to sweep others away. Jonathan went above the party to the people. Suddenly it is not fashionable to be or be seen with a godfather. Godfathers must step aside and let development gallop forward carrying Nigeria to the lost greater heights. The age of political independence for political aspirants is now. They must seize this ‘Nigerian Political Tsunami’ to break all party ‘godfather’ political slavery chains. Let Jonathan and others now enjoying the people’s mandate learn the old lesson- do well, be seen to spend the people’s money on the people-all the people without discrimination to PDP states as was arrogantly insinuated by some PDP governors, service the needs of the people. Then in 2015, come to the people with genuine achievements, open hands not closed fists to beat them or holding a bribe. The only ‘bribe’ the people demand is ‘good governance’. They desperately need rescuing from the miserable life under ‘vampire’ governments destroying foundations of family, business, social life and the fabric of society where stolen money is valued above moral achievement and ‘excellence’ is now a dirty word for failed universities and teaching hospitals and also for governors’ failures and mediocre Award Nights for persons of dubious quality paying N150,00-N500,00 for a sponsoring advert. Shame!!! Jonathan has serious policy strategies to refine, adopt and execute to become ‘The Greatest President Nigeria Every Had’-‘Jonathan the Great’. This is an easy task considering the past competition. The poor naira value is an emergency and an economic disgrace! GEJ, your predecessors glorified in the destruction of the naira. Babangida $1:N30, Abacha $1:N88 and Obasanjo $1:N150 have the reputation of ruining our naira, devaluing it at a supersonic rate to today’s shameful $1:154N. If the supersonic devaluation did not kill us, why do economists fight a supersonic revaluation? They claim they like stability but are always happy with devaluation, not ‘up-valuation’ causing our perpetual pov-

erty. GEJ must work to improve the naira, a worthy cause fought currently almost single-handedly against the IMF etc by Lamido Sanusi, Governor of the richest state in Nigeria-the CBN. Revaluation will lift millions of citizenry out of poverty. Their naira will buy more local and foreign goods. In this, Jonathan must confront the mafia of rich Nigerians holding billions abroad, protecting their money and property. For them the weaker the naira the richer they remain. GEJ, special advisers are not gods and will argue that to meet the N18,000 minimum wage a cheaper naira will mean you do not have to allocate more barrels of oil to service salaries, pensions etc. Though true, it is immoral argument as devaluation means N18,000 minimum wage will buy less than the old salary. GEJ, to become ‘Jonathan the Great’, you need a month of brainstorming meetings with CBN and ‘wise’ economic gurus to develop the strategy and 3.9 years to execute it to make the N:$ value improve at just N1 a month. You will become the first ‘President to rebuild the Naira’ back on the rocky road to dollar parity. Remember that not all economic gurus are wise or have Nigeria or the naira at heart and some are lackeys of billionaires and IMF –International Morticians Fund. Lamido Sanusi ‘is your friend’ in this as he appears to have Nigeria and saving the naira at heart.

‘Godfathers must step aside and let development gallop forward carrying Nigeria to the lost greater heights. The age of political independence for political aspirants is now. They must seize this ‘Nigerian Political Tsunami’ to break all party ‘godfather’ political slavery chains’

Ohakim: Good Riddance… ship election nationwide, I had gone to get a haircut at a barber’s shop somewhere in Lagos. Just then the results were being released. The barber and a few of his friends who had visited him that evening had expressed anxiety over the result coming out of Imo State. In fact, one of them had exclaimed: “I am afraid o. I hope these people will not come up to tell us that Ohakim won the election. That will be too bad.” The guys, all from that part of the country, were visibly worried. That prompted me to find out why they would not want him to win. The answer was short and sharp: “That man is a ….man.” And then they went all out to reel out a catalogue of woes which they alleged that Ohakim had wrought on the hapless people. These include the fact that the man goes about saying, “Imo’s money is my money, and I will only give to whomever I wish.” What this implies is that when the allure of power properly consumed him, he could no longer separate Ohakim, the man, from Ohakim, the governor. Perhaps, nothing signposts the shenanigans in this man more than his “oration” on the day Mr. President visited Imo State in March while on the last lap of his nationwide, whistle-stop campaign tour. I was in Abeokuta on that day when I listened to his voice on the radio. I was ashamed that a governor could condescend so low because he wanted to please the President. “We shall

‘Rochas should learn from Ohakim’s “comedy of errors” and hit the ground running. His own report sheet will be waiting for him in 2015.’

deliver 100 percent votes to you in the forthcoming presidential election…. We did it at the presidential primary in Abuja…. My people, this is one man that I can enter his bedroom to see him at anytime … ’’. Who cares if Ohakim visits the President while he is in the toilet? Why will he elevate sycophancy to such a ridiculous pedestal? I believe the relationship between a governor and the President should be largely formal. And even if it becomes casual, for certain reasons, it should not become a campaign issue. Was he trying to tell his listeners that he was the only governor who could see the President anytime, anywhere? If it was so, he must have lied. Thank God this sweet-talker has been caught in the trajectory of the mother of all political defeats in recent times. The road to Ohakim’s disgraceful downfall is littered with delusion and self-immolation. He underrated his opponents. “I am on ground, not in the air” was one of his constant refrains. As he cast his vote in Okohia village 1, Mbaino on April 26, Ohakim bragged: “I will win hands down by landslide…I have the structures everywhere. The people are with me…It is not about dancing in front of television cameras.” As it turned out, his “structures” caved in under the crushing weight of the people’s power to reorder their lives through the ballot. The lesson here is that the ballot box is the biggest killer of a bad politician. You can’t fight it. A few days to the poll, hallucination set in; Ohakim distributed invitation cards in anticipation of victory. He also declared a public holiday on Wednesday, April 27, a day he set aside for the victory

party which was never to be and which will never be. By and large, Ohakim was a governor living in constant denial, an intensely hated politician in his state. He alienated his people and polarized the church. He is a lesson on how not to lead. His legacies include kidnappings that went unabated for three years. If any Imo man is accosted today and requested to write an epitaph on Ohakim’s fiendish ‘reign’ in the state, he is likely to scribble: ‘‘With gratitude to Almighty God for a tenure terribly spent, we regret to announce the sudden monumental disgrace of our own political Maradona…. Chief, Sir, Dr., Ikiri Imo (Ochi ka nwata)…He is survived by Ogwuta Lake, which only exists on billboards; Oak Refinery Ohaji – on billboard; Nworie River Resort – uncompleted; Owerri RingRoad – on billboard; phony 10,000 jobs for Imolites; 300 roads in 30 days – on signboards; Imo International Cargo Airport – TV Advert; Okigwe International Stadium – on billboard; Imo Twin Tower – what a shame…! At any rate, the failure of Ohakim to secure a return ticket to continue to asphyxiate Imo people means that he failed them. He fell short of the people’s expectations from a responsible and responsive leader. That is a lesson for all. However, the tsunami that took place all over the country in the last elections, which saw candidates hitherto thought to be rock solid on the political turf falling like a pack of cards, is an attestation to the fact that Nigerian electorate are getting wiser by every election. No more the gullible electorate who can be easily cajoled

Dele Agekameh to line up behind those who cannot meet their aspirations. True, there were monetary inducements but the people took the money and voted according to the dictates of their conscience and the exigency to free themselves from the predator. It is a good thing that Ohakim quickly congratulated Rochas Okorocha who won the election. That is the new spirit in this year’s election. All over the place, losers are stretching out their hands of fellowship to those who dust them in the race unlike in the past when bedlam was let loose. That is not to say that Okorocha is the long-awaited messiah. The people possibly believed he could be a lesser evil. So he needs to prove himself worthy of the people’s mandate now on his laps. Any politician who wants to succeed should go and critically examine the story of Ohakim in Imo State. Then he will know how to circumvent the pitfalls that have now buried him politically. Rochas should learn from Ohakim’s ‘comedy of errors’ and hit the ground running. His own report sheet will be waiting for him in 2015.


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

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EDITORIAL/OPINION FROM THE CELL PHONE ‘In Kaduna state, one of the brightest academicians of our time Lawrence Dave Owoeye served and took appointment with Leather Research Institute. He was murdered in cold blood by the same mindless murderers who always vent their annoyance on Christians and southerns at the slightest provocation .From Oladipo Ojo, Omuo Ekiti’

•Yuguda For Olatunji Dare Did he say that? The way majority of these Hausa/Fulanis, open their mouth as if they have monopoly of everything even violence, has left much to be desired. I think it is time we go to a round table, and ask ourselves questions. If we still want to live as one country, we need to restructure the country so we can tell ourselves the home truth. You will see their reactions about this Osama bin Ladens death. From Bob, Yenegoa If Yuguda said all this then he is not fit to be a governor. I think the NYSC should be abolished. All governors who refused evacuating their indigenes from the North are not worth that office. Anonymous Sir, your mesage is timely. You are blessed. But the way things are in this country, I do not see a new Nigeria in my lifetime, though with God all things are possible. From Rev. Bayo K Your write-up on Yuguda’s callousness is highly commendable. The governor should bury his head in shame. The corp members there should mobilise and leave Bauchi State en mass to show solidarity with their dead colleagues. Anonymous I bought The Nation of May 3, 2011 not for Osama Bin Laden’s story but the Olatunji Dare’s column on Isa Yuguda. Why would any mentally sound person blame him? Sure, the slain corps members were “destined to be gruesomely murdered” while his is to “rule” as governor or even president. If only he was killed in Ibadan then, today he would have been a governor in his grave. I bet you, look out to this man’s end, the spirits of those slain children of the poor masses that suffered untold hardship to train their children will forever haunt this sadist. From Mensong Emma, Aba. Good article but you forgot to add the infamous amnesty he granted “BokoHaram”suspects detained in Bauchi prisons without even allowing them to be charged to court. Investigate please. From Elder Frank We leave Yuguda for the Almighty God to judge. Does he know what the future still has in stock for him? Please tell government not to post our children to the North again if they want to reap the fruit of their labour. Our eyes are tired of weeping. From Ajasin, Ekiti Ola, God bless you for your write-up against the despot in Bauchi. From Isaac, Jos Yaguda represents the minds of so many of his type who erroneously believe that this country belongs to them. NYSC should be scrapped, the southern law makers in the National Assembly should make sure they accomplish that in their first few months. My children who are yet to graduate will never ever serve or live any where in the North as long as I live. Yuguda must reap what he has sown. From Pharm(Mrs) Zell Igweze The man must be out of his sense because if they had killed his first son, he will not talk like fool. From Olatoye Iroko, Apapa Lagos state The Governor of Bauchi is not a father

at all. He should apologise to the entire nation. Is he a tribalist? Terrorist or Fundamentalist? Anonymous Dare thanks for write on Gov.Yuguda. The killing of NYSCorps in Bauchi State and other states is grievious crime against the nation and its people. As Yuguda, he is devoid of both godliness and humaness. The authorites of NYSC should wihdraw all corp members from the state and the governor compelled to compensate the families of victims plus public apology for his irresponsible comments, plus written undertaking of protecting the lives and property of people under his care especially corp members. Anonymous In addition to all you have said, Yuguda needs urgent psycho test. Am not sure the man is not a quota graduate. Anonymous This has shown that Hausa people don’t value human life. I pray that this will happen to him very soon for him to know how it pains. Anonymous Your write-up on Yuguda, is quite timely. The question is, how did Yuguda even get to power in the first place? No meaningful development in his four years in office. Anonymous Remove personal interest and treat the issues of youth corps, before it creates death of many others. From Fatima, Bauchi Fantastic article! Well done you have spoken our mind. From Kemi Mayaki It is very unfortunate that Gov. Yuguda can make such a comment. He is heartless. He should put himself in the shoes of those families that lost their innocent children. I hate his comment, he should apologise. He’s not a true Nigerian. Anonymous Dr. Dare thank you very much for your thought provoking piece. Sir, I am short of words to use. My only prayer is that Yuguda’s offspring will suffer the same fate those promising stars suffered. Sir you needed to witness the funeral rites for one of those murdered at Yuguda’s backyard and see anguish of a mother. I hope you won’t label me as being callous. From Eftee, Osun State What kind of statement do you need from a terrorist governor? Yuguda has been associated to the ethno-religious crises in Jos. If he were killed in Ibadan in 1979, when he was a corps member, would he have been a governor today? He is a disgrace to humanity and he has the same evil mind with the murderers of those innocent corps members. Even if he apologises, it will not change the evil in him. From Lengshak. L. Lengshak, Jos Your comment today suggests surprise at Gov. Yuguda’s reaction to the slaying of 10 youth corpers in Bauchi State. That murderous gang is a standing (sic) set up by the Northern elite to which Governor Yuguda belongs. This gang just waits for the slightest triger to unleash mayhem. That Allah’s will which they use to excuse their atrocities is the same that will be used to explain the calamities that will befall them and we shall all be witnesses to it. From Okey Aribeana I want to use this oppourtunity to symphatise with families who lost thier loved ones and pray GOD to grant them eternal rest in His kingdom. On the socalled governor, am dissapointed on his comments over our corpers who lost their lives. Imagine his son was involved, is this how he would react? Some times I begin to ask myself whether some of these so-called governors are human beings or devil incarnates? This man is not supposed to be a leader because he does not

have human feelings and compassion. He must apologise for his barbaric comments and compensate the families of future leaders of this great country who lost their lives. Anonymous Since Yuguda assumed office in 2007, his government has killed over 4000 innocent souls, through inability to manage his state. He lacks the fear of God. From Austinmovic Yuguda has revealed himself as a stupid and emotionally shallow man. Maybe we southerners should start killing his people and ascribe it to predestination. Is he educated at all? He seems intellectually deficient. His apology is of no relevance, we can not forget his words and he wil be served with the same plate he served others. From Bola Mr Dare, I just read your exemplary lamentation on Yuguda on his evil and unfortunate comments on the slain corps members. I agree with you in toto, that he should be made to tender a public apology forthwith otherwise parents should rise up with one voice to reject posting of their wards for national service not only to Bauchi but all other states with such records. If Yuguda is not a mistake in that seat, he would have emulated Abubakar Umar then Military Administrator of Kaduna State his fellow muslim, whose comments against similar acts was uneqivocal viz; “I feel ashamed to associate with my fellow muslims who have perpetrated these acts, agents of satan they are, they have pushed me to the wall and I have no alternative than to react.” Dare, you are a worthy journalist and may God keep you. From Barrister Chinedum God bless you for keeping this issue alive. Help tell more to federal government to pay full restitution to all for failing to enact laws that will stop the killings at will. It had always been the poor who bury their dead and loss with pain, until another round. You will see another round if you will not help by talking to the papers. Jonathan should punish the offenders, it is their destiny to receive punishment. From Mary That such callous utterance could emanate from not only a prominent personality of the northern establishment but the chief security of one of the northern states is everything but shocking. Afterall a snake will always be a snake however beautiful and resplendent it may seem. I pity Nigerians who up till this moment interprete the endless violence in the north as holistically political. Yes, politics could be the trigger however the subtle ulterior motives have never and will never be short of religion. Nigerians, please shine your eyes. From Victor, Jos For Gbenga Omotoso Thanks for your write up today it brought me to tears. The irony of it all is that these monsters who kill and bring pains to others, never wish to die themselves. Imagine the anguish of the NYSC families, Bin Laden and his types must be rejected any where they exist in the world; they do nobody good. Anonymous Gbenga, Should I believe America has killed Osama bin Laden? What is difficult in showing the body, if they can show only “head”, like Didimus, who is also the biblical Thomas. Let us see, before we believe. From Prince Ntah You are a prolific writer. Indeed “ Nigeria is no jungle” and I support your view that the killers must be found and justice done. However we must guard against

• Jega

imaturity and clandestine rascallity and ensure good public enlighteenment to ward off illiteracy in our nation. From Idowu Tunde Corper’s death- It is too bad and barbaric at this time and age. Think they deserve a national award, after all some musicians got awards for making money for themselves, talk less of those serving the nation. But Isa Yuguda or whatever he calls himself, should go to jail for his comment on this issue. Anonymous He’s got no excuse, INEC’s safety in Bauchi is his responsibility, the election is a national duty and the state is part of the country. He should accept and apologise. Anonymous Until those who feel they ought to be the ones always in power are brought to book, Nigeria will remain worse than a jungle. This type of experience shows that some people are not ready to be part of this nation because they only want to rule and not to follow. From Iyke Ebin Good Do not stop at this. Join the clarion call for the review of NYSC. From Uche, Owerri Gbenga, the killings did not start today and (bet me) they are not about to stop because these animals walking as urchins are not ready to reform. Forget about getting the killers. Instead go for the sponsors with Isa Yuguda as prime, followed by the NYSC officer whose ID is known through his phone number. From Mike Aiyemo, Abuja Yes, justice for NYSC killers good. Calls for posting corpers to their states of origin bad. Their security should be guaranteed. One Nigeria or let us stop deceiving ourselves. Call national conference and separate. From E .A. Laima I don’t want to believe Yuguda said those disgusting things and is still allowed in the midst of civilised people to parade himself as a governor. I would not believe he has a child assuming he did not mention his first son. This is a clear evidence that the violence was sponsored by evil minded people like him. Anonymous It is not only in the north that we have militia, why is it that other ethnicity always be at the recieving end when ever they start their madness? Anonymous In Kaduna state, one of the brightest accademicians of our time Lawrence Dave Owoeye served and took appointment with Leather Research Institute. He was murdered in cold blood by the same mindless murderers who always vent their annoyance on christians and southerns at the slightest provocation . From Oladipo Ojo, Omuo Ekiti Isa Yuguda says it’s their destiny. Nigeria we hail thee. I still see this contraption called NIGERIA a grave mistake of whoever created it.The differences are clear. Eastern Europe is split basically along ethnic lines. What is still keeping us?- Crude oil. Somebody tell me when the oil will dry up. Anonymous Your article that featured the killing of the NYSC members was very touchy. Good write-up but not enough to show the extent of pain. It should have featured as an all exclusive story on its own and not attached to Bin Laden’s story. From Lekan, Abuja.


WAFU CUP TOURNAMENT

Nigeria U-20 lose ‘We experimented to New Zealand with Eagles’ Pg. 24

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Nation Wednesday, May 11, 2011

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GUINNESS THE MATCH Pg. 41

•Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama in hand shake with Argentina’s Lionel Messi during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa

Siasia plays down ‘Messi, Tevez’

Argentina FA denies team list Emenike leads Super Eagles’ attack again

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NATION SPORT

Fergie puts faith in Man Injury knocks out skipper United's new generation A Okonkwo SIR ALEX Ferguson is confident Manchester United are set for prolonged period of dominance thanks to a conveyor belt of young talent willing and able to pick up the baton from his current squad. The Red Devils stand on the brink of a record 19th Premier League title following their impressive win over nearest rivals Chelsea last weekend, a match which showed a formidable gap in class between United and the rest. A draw at lowly Blackburn on

•Ferguson

Saturday would be enough to take Sir Alex Ferguson's side beyond Liverpool as the country's most successful club ever, and leave the manager himself with 12 titles, one behind Arsenal's own haul. United's success can be put in part down to Ferguson's own appetite for glory, and with the prospect of another 'golden generation' waiting in the wings, it seems likely that 69-year-old will continue for several more years yet. Investing in youth: Javier Hernandez is one of a handful of players under 23 already having an impact in the firstteam 'Over the last decade, we've worked upon bringing young talent into the club, like, Wayne Rooney, Chicharito, Anderson and Nani, and we've brought all these players,' said Ferguson speaking to the Mirror. 'But that doesn't dismiss the fact that we like to produce our own young players and I think there are several players in the present youth team who are doing really well. 'The likes of Ryan Tunnicliffe and Ravel Morrison, you see some of them doing very, very well, so we're always going to put an emphasis on young players coming through from the youth team. That will always be the case. Ferguson's claims about the strength of his youth development system can be proven in the club's recent FA Youth Cup record. Later this month, United go head-to-head with Sheffield United in the final, there third showpiece in eight years.

KAKA’S MUM

We 'll be in London next season preaching the word of God THE mother of Real Madrid playmaker Kaka has fuelled speculation he could be on his way to the Premier League next season. The 29-year-old, who has long been linked with a move to Chelsea, has had mixed fortunes in Spain. Injuries have meant he has only played just 12 of a possible 35 games this term in the league. AS.com reports his mother Simone Leite tweeted a message on Twitter regarding a trip to London for religious reasons. But she did not make clear as to whether Kaka was

actually moving to play there. Nevertheless, it has caused a frenzy of speculation among the Spanish press. "The next season we will be in London preaching the word of God," read one message. "We will be there starting from August." Asked whether Kaka was moving to London permanently, Simone was unable to respond. Madrid take on Getafe tonight. If they fail to win Barcelona will clinch the Liga title.

N ANKLE injury has ruled out Nigeria skipper Chibuzor Okonkwo from the WAFU Nations Cup taking place in Abeokuta. The injury could also keep the defender from next month’s matches against Argentina and Ethiopia as he is expected to be sidelined for at least two weeks. “It is a bad news and very unfortunate that the team captain and motivator, Chibuzor Okonkwo, is out of the tournament. He copped an ankle injury in our 4-0 victory against Niger on Saturday,” coach Samson Siasia told MTNFootball.com. “Chibuzor is a very devoted and disciplined player and we will surely miss him in this tournament. The doctor has not informed us about the duration that Okonkwo would be out, but he is definitely out of this competition. “But the players have vowed to win the cup for him since he is out completely due to this injury.” Siasia further informed that Dolphin goalkeeper Sunday Rotimi, who wore the captain’s armband when injured Okonkwo was stretchered off against Niger, will continue to lead the Eagles ‘B’ team for the rest of the sub-regional competition. Injury has also meant Sharks attacking midfielder Stanley Okoronkwo will not feature in Thursday’s semi-final after he picked up a knock in the opening match against Liberia last week. On Monday, Liberia booked a place in semi-finals of the WAFU Cup by beating hard fighting Niger 2-1. Liberia opened scoring as early as the eighth minute through Murlin Karndu, before Niger drew level in the 13th minute courtesy of Boubakar Amadou. Liberia snatched the winner when Samuel Thompson fired home in the 17th minute to seal the second spot in Nigeria’s group and a chance to meet either Ghana or Togo in Thursday’s semi-final. An elated Liberia coach, Thomas Kojo, disclosed: “We are very happy to be among the best four in the competition for now and we are fired up to get to the final with the current form of my boys. Niger Republic gave us a good fight, it wasn’t an easy game against them. “We were complacent against Nigeria and this cost us and almost the same thing happened when

Niger equalised. But after this we put our house in order and we won the game. “When we lost out in the 2002 Africa Nations Cup, our football collapsed totally and we are just coming back from that problem and we will use this competition to start rebuilding a strong team that would be a force to be reckoned with in Africa. “Our ambition now is to qualify for the final of this competition and take it from there. We have a strong team to have a shot at the trophy because if we can play a pulsating match and lose 1-0 to Nigeria and now beat Niger, I think we have a chance to win this competition.”

in the power of youth. "I am convinced that no group of players will ever make such an impact on the English game as those boys have done and continue to do." Butt, who left United for Newcastle in 2004 and has just returned from a brief spell in Hong Kong, added: "When Gary asked me to play in his game I immediately said yes, especially when I heard that the class of 92 were going to be there too.

•Beckham

goal. But it was the New Zealanders that went 2–1 up through their captain Nick Branch on 60 minutes. The Flying Eagles, however, raced back into a 3–2 lead with two quick goals before New Zealand scored two goals in the last 25 minutes to stun the African champions by 4–3. Nigeria had earlier defeated hosts, South Korea, by one-nil and played a 2–2 draw with South American representatives, Uruguay. The loss to New Zealand means that Nigeria miss out on finishing winners of the tournament.

SuperSport.com now understands that the players and officials of the Flying Eagles will return to Nigeria on Thursday from Suwon in South Korea. The team will take a two-week break before regrouping to prepare for the Fifa Under20 World Cup in Colombia later this year. Nigeria’s Flying Eagles have been drawn in Group D alongside Guatemala, Croatia and Saudi Arabia. The Nigerian side will start their campaign at the Under-20 World Cup against Guatemala on July 31 before facing Croatia and Saudi Arabia on August 3 and 6 respectively.

Siasia plays down Messi, Tevez

S •Argentina's Lionel Messi, top, and Nigeria's Danny Shittu, bottom, challenge for the ball during the 2010 World Cup match in South Africa

UPER EAGLES head coach, Samson Siasia says he would not be deceived by the fake Argentina team list that purportedly omitted World Player of the Year, Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez from the Argentine team that will confront Nigeria in an international friendly match on June 1 at the Abuja National Stadium. The coach disclosed that the match has drawn the attention of the entire African continent and every football follower in the world would want to see how Nigeria will battle the football super power stressing that both countries can’t afford not to player their best players. “Messi and Tevez are not the most important players in Argentina so we are not complacent about their rumoured absence,” Siasia said. “Argentinawillneverraiseasubstandardteam against Nigeria because they too want to maintain their record of the unbeaten runs. We are focused and will give the match all it takes. Argentina is one of the world's most successful football nations. Any team they field will be of world class quality because the depth of talent available to them is second to none. Whether

they are the more well known international players or the phenomenal rising stars coming through, Argentina are amongst the best in the world. ”Nomatterwhocomes,wecanbeabsolutely sure that they will be among the very best in the world and we would underestimate them at our peril. As such, we will be well prepared and fielding our very best team. It will be a match for the history books and we will show what we are made of. Argentina have not lost a match in recent time and that is an indication that that we have to prepare well for the match. They are a strong side and we can’t afford to let our fans down. I can understand that Messi will play in the UEFA Champions League on May 28 while Tevez has been out for a couple of weeks due to injury and Batista will not want to risk using them. After the WAFU Cup, our efforts will be geared toward good preparations to at least revenge all the past defeat from Argentina.” Siasia does not see anything wrong in testing new players in a friendly match insisting that any team from Argentina has the potent

Argentina FA denies team list

T

HE Argentine Football Association (AFA) has denied releasing the team list for the June 1 international friendly match against Nigeria. The purported list has

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home in Jamaica. And sure enough, there were fears he was late with training, or worse, not fully recovered from last year's back injury. "Everything has gone very, very well over the winter," Simms said. "We are looking forward to his first race in Rome" on May 26, the third of the season's Diamond League events. The reason for the belated start to the season is simple. The August 27September 4 world championships in Daegu, South Korea, start almost two weeks later than in Berlin two years ago and Bolt doesn't want to peak early. Also, since the defending champion does not have to qualify for the worlds through the national trials at the end of June, there is no need to peak twice in one season. And with Jamaican sprinting as strong as it is, even Bolt would not be able to make the team by just cruising through qualifying. During the Kingston Jamaica Invitational over the weekend, Bolt's training partner Yohan Blake impressed by clocking 9.80 seconds in the 100 metres. If it wasn't for the slightly excessive 2.2 metres-persecond back wind, it would easily have topped the year's fastest mark.

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IGERIA’s Under-20 team, the Flying Eagles, suffered a surprise 3–4 defeat at the hands of New Zealand’s Junior All Whites at the Suwon U-20 Cup in South Korea early on Tuesday. The Nigerian Under-20s started off well with an 18th minute goal from Enugu Rangers’ striker, Uche Nwofor, before New Zealand pulled back through Cameron Lindsay’s

MMANUEL EMENIKE has another chance to shine for Nigeria against Argentina next month10 May 2011 Turkey-based striker Emmanuel Emenike will be handed a second chance to lead the Super Eagles strike force against Argentina in a friendly next month. Emenike’s much-awaited Eagles debut in February against Sierra Leone was short lived when he was pulled off after less than half an hour following a shin injury. Officials have now informed MTNFootball.com that coach Samson Siasia plans to play the big Karabukspor striker with on-form Osaze Odemwingie against two-time world champions Argentina on June 1 in Abuja. Emenike suffered a rib injury recently but he is expected to be fit in time for the top Eagles games next month. Siasia is equally mulling a strike force of Osaze and Newcastle star Shola Ameobi. “Siasia is working on his attack for the

GUINNESS THE MATCH

Bolt on track for another ‘standout’ Becks ponders return for Neville match THERE was no sign of the world and Olympic champion in the earlyseason DAVID BECKHAM could return to Old and succeed at the highest level is a great season races he usually runs back Trafford to play in his friend Gary Neville's tribute to their talent and this club's belief testimonial when Manchester United face Juventus on May 24. Nicky Butt and Phil Neville are set to play in the match, a repeat of the 1999 Champions League semifinal, as are Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. They, like Beckham and Gary Neville, were all members of United's celebrated 'Class of 92', a youth side that produced players who would later appear in the trophy-winning senior teams put together by United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Former England skipper Beckham, now with the Los Angeles Galaxy, a US Major League Soccer side, has not pulled on a United shirt since leaving the club for Real Madrid in 2003. When Ferguson brought several young players into the first team at once, former Liverpool captain turned television pundit Alan Hansen declared: "You'll never win anything with kids." However, the stars of the 'Class of 92' helped bring six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the 1999 Champions League, which capped a treble-winning season, to Old Trafford. "I have been fortunate to work with many exceptional young players, but the class of 92 was unique," Ferguson said. "For so many of them to stay together

Nigeria U-20 lose to New Zealand

Emenike leads Super Eagles’ attack again E

"He trains with those guys every day. So he sees where they are at, where he's at" Simms said in a telephone interview. "He's happy where he is at the moment."

•Bolt

Why I joined AC Milan –Taiwo

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UPER EAGLES and Olympique Marseille left back, Taiye Ismailia Taiwo has revealed the sole reason why he agreed to join current Serie A champions, AC Milan at the end of the season from French Ligue 1 side, Olympique Marseille. The former Lobi Stars defender told brilafm.net that he accepted to join the Milan based club because of the presence of top stars, likening the team to the likes of Chelsea FC and Manchester United FC of England. “Well I joined Milan simply because the team is good, the players play very good football just like Manchester United and Chelsea in the English Premier League. I am not saying that other teams are not good. I have always wanted to play for a big team as a Super Eagles player so all I can say is that I am very excited with the move since they have good players like (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic, (Alexander) Pato, (Clarence) Seedorf and company”, He declared. Taiwo, 26, who had been linked with other high profile clubs in Europe such as English sides, Liverpool and Tottenham, Portuguese side, Benfica and Spanish giants, Real Madrid before sealing the deal with Milan, also described it as a big opportunity in his life and

a huge step forward. “I must also say that I have seen a big opportunity in my life. My agent did everything possible and right now, I just want to concentrate on my football with Marseille and help them win the league. I do not want any disturbance in my head at the moment, I am still with Marseille”, he stated. Speaking on his side’s chances of winning the league trophy for the second time in a row, he expressed optimism as there are still some games left to play.

excluded Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain and Diego Milito but AFA representative, Hernan Tofoni said that his association is yet to make public the list of players for the match. Hernan said that AFA accepted invitation to be part of the Guinness the Match based on the respect they have for Nigeria and the match is important to their build-up for the COPA America Cup. “Nigeria and Argentina are two great football nations with great people who have great passion for the games,” Hernan said. “We can’t afford to be complacent because we have beaten Nigeria three times in the past. The Eagles are a great team and they are playing at home. Argentina is number five in the world right now so we have to play with our best players. They will be supported by the massive crowd and we don’t want to let our fans down. This is an opportunity for us to continue our dominance over Nigeria.” Organisers of the epic match have also reacted saying that both team lists would be made public 10 days to the match.

WAFU CUP TOURNAMENT

'We experimented with Eagles'

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IGER's Coach Brah Taher has dismissed his team's lacklustre performance on Saturday against the Super Eagles with a wave of the hand. Tahr whose lads were thrashed 4-0 by the Samson Siasia’s boys at the MKO Abiola Stadium said they had brought in the younger side in order to garner experience from the matured Eagles side. He said: "We have decided to take part in this competition because we have a very young team. we wanted the young boys to have competition in their legs.

By Stella Bamawo It is not compulsory for us to beat them in Nigeria. Our objective is to prepare the young ones for competitions. Though in our team, we have some old players but our No.1 objective is to make sure that the young ones start having an idea of what good football is. So that in future they will have a good understanding of football." However, the home-based Super Eagles had once lost to the Nigerien side at the last Africa Nations Championship held in Sudan.

instinct to surprise and shock any team in the world adding that the Super Eagles team list will also have some local and foreign-based stars.

match against Argentina. His two options are either Osaze and Emenike or Osaze and Ameobi. The most productive of these two options will then start against Ethiopia in Addis Ababa,” a top team source told MTNFootball.com. “He also wants to see how Mikel Obi plays alongside Victor Moses in the midfield, besides the preferred combination of Mikel and Joel Obi. “But as the nationality switch of both Ameobi and Moses has yet to come through, Siasia has been pushing for the two players to be available for the Argentina friendly. It will more or less be the same team that will face Ethiopia a few days later.” Deputy general secretary (technical) of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Emmanuel Ikpeme, told MTNFootball.com that everything was being done ensure Ameobi and Moses feature against Argentina. “Honestly, we are not resting on our oars as regards the case. Only recently, the English Football Association wrote back to us asking that the players write personal letters to them (English FA) indicating their wish and interest to change citizenship (to Nigeria). After this, the English FA would now react officially before the next line of action would be taken,” said Ikpeme.

NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL

Lagos targets top spot in competition •1,100 athletes in camp •Commends LBHF boss Edun

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AGOS is set to return to winning ways and stage a comeback to the top spot in sport when the National Sports Festival gets underway in Rivers State come next month, says the board of the State’s Sport Council. The State known for discovering and grooming young talented stars for the country, have in its kitty exactly 1,100 athletes currently in the training camp perfecting strategies for the annual competition. In a chat with NationSport yesterday on behalf of the board, the Chairman, Agboola Dabiri said though the incessant postponement of the competition affected the plans of the state in getting its athletes fully prepared for the games, Lagos is set return to return to reckoning as far as athletics is concerned. “We will be participating fully in 23 sports out of the stipulated 25. Lagos did not qualify for the football event and Hockey. The athletes have been cooperative and the board members have all been assigned to supervise the various associations,” Dabiri said. Asked if there’re specific sports the state is targeting to get their medal haul, Dabiri said: “Every sport is a prime sport as far as we are concerned. Sometimes we clamour for some sports and at the end they are lessmedal winning sports. For instance football which is the tradition sport in Nigeria only carries with it one medal. “But like swimming which have over 60 medals and special sports with about 150 medals, you can now see why every sport is important. Generally, we are preapared for all the sports we will be participating in.” He commended the Chairman of the Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame (LBHF), Olawale Edun for a wonderful initiative that has resulted in the revival of the sports in the state, as he expressed optimism that the boxers are in good shape for the competition based on the competitive mood the Monthly Saturday Boxing Show has provided. Dabiri further revealed that the state will be relying on boxing and table tennis as well to make up for the required medals. He said the state have made conscious efforts to put the athletes in competitive mood all these

Innocent Amomoh while, adding that this will be the edge over other states. “Look at our boxers for instance. They have been competing every month since last year. Competitions of that nature help the athletes to be ready for the challenges ahead. Our boxers will definitely do well, thanks to the Monthly Boxing Show initiated by Mr. Edun;” he declared. Lagos will be attempting to contend with front burners like, Delta, Edo and Ogun states at this year’s festival. They finished seventh in last year’s edition.

•Mancini

Mancini eager to stay with Man City MANCHESTER CITY manager Roberto Mancini has reiterated his desire to remain in charge at Eastlands amid reports of a return to Italy. Mancini has been suggested as a possible candidate to replace Luigi Del Neri at Juventus this summer. But former Inter Milan boss Mancini told Gazzetta dello Sport: "I have not received any offers and in any case my priority is to achieve our stated aims with City in order to stay here and fight for the league title next season. "I have a good team already but we will bring reinforcements." City are in a strong position to finish in the Premier League's top four and take on Stoke on Saturday in the FA Cup final looking to clinch the club's first trophy in 35 years. Mancini, meanwhile, hopes he can persuade Argentina striker Carlos Tevez to stay on at the club. The City captain came close to leaving the club earlier this year but opted to stay. "Carlos told us back in December that he wants to go to Italy," Mancini said. "But if he changes his mind, I would be happy." Mancini insisted fellow strikers Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli would remain at City next season. "Edin will score many goals next year with us while I am certain that Mario will stay," he said.

FIFA members accused in UK hearing F IFA was rocked by new allegations of corruption on Tuesday, with England's 2018 World Cup bid chairman accusing senior officials of demanding cash and honours in return for votes. In explosive testimony before a parliamentary select committee, Lord David Triesman spoke at length on the story behind England's disastrous World Cup campaign, which ended in a humiliating defeat in Zurich last December. Triesman highlighted incidents involving four officials that took place in the years leading to the Zurich vote which had given him cause for concern. He revealed that Jack Warner, the influential head of the North and Central American federation CONCACAF, had demanded to be paid directly around 2.5 million pounds for construction of schools in Trinidad. "He was concerned he had nothing he could regard as his legacy, he had in mind some kind of school of educational establishment," Triesman revealed. Triesman, who had met Warner along with England 2018 deputy chairman Sir Dave Richards, said the request was rejected immediately. "I said immediately the proposition was out of the question. Sir Dave said 'You must be joking Jack. You're probably talking about 2.5 million pounds.'

"Jack nodded at that. He said that the money could be channelled through him and he would guarantee the funds would be appropriately spent." In a second incident involving Warner, Triesman revealed how the Trinidadian offical had contacted him following the devastating Haiti earthquake in January 2010 which claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people. •Sepp Blatter


DESTINATION

Yobe

BID

More teachers for quality education

Four districts up for grabs

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Damaturu relishes new tourism prospects

RECRUITMENT

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Kebbi

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Abuja

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Email: news_extra@yahoo.com

WEDNESDAY MAY 11, 2011

Page 25

Governor-elect inaugurates team

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Umaru Tanko Al-Makura

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COALITION of groups, including civil society organisations and religious bodies, has staged a rally in Calabar, Cross River State capital,aspartofactivitiesmarking this year’s International Day for streetchildren. With the theme: “Louder Together,” it kicked off a new campaign designed to give more visibility to millions of street children all over the world by promoting their rights. It was organised by the Basic Rights CounselInitiative. All countries, except the United

ASARAWA State Governor-elect Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura has set up a 40-man transitional task force aheadofhisswearing-inonMay29. The team’s terms of reference include examining the present structure of government in the state and make appropriate recommendations to help propel the incoming administration towards speedy development. The transitional team is chaired by Ahmed Muhammed while Silas Agaraisitssecretary. At the inauguration, Al-Makura

From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia

urgedthememberstogettotheroot of all matters before them and obtain information necessary to help his administration upon assumptionofoffice. Describing the inauguration of the task force as a milestone in the pursuit of a better life for the people of Nasarawa State, he told them to examine the current financial position of the state with a view to ascertaining its total revenue profile from 2007 to 2011. AlMakura also wanted accurate

information on the state’s monthly mandatory expenditure and its financialliability. The task force team will also ascertain the current personal emoluments of the state, the financial implications of the new N18,000 minimum wage and the imperativesofthe2011budget. Promising not to let the people down, Al-Makura urged the task force to examine current appointments into key public offices and recommend appropriatecriteriaforthem. The Al-Makura team will also

develop a four-year development plan which is expected to pay particular attention to project identification, location, estimated costanddurationofcompletion. He also told them to “examine the current internally generated revenue profile of the state with a view to recommending appropriate measures for improving on it. Even the current structure of local government administration will be closely examined in order to find better waysofrunningthecouncils. Continued on Page 27

Rally for street children

Youths, civil society, religious bodies make case for abandoned kids From Kunle Johnson, Calabar

States and Somalia, have signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child and have a legal obligation to work towards ensuring that

Children and their handlers in the procession

children’s rights are integrated into nationallawandimplemented. The day was celebrated across the globe, especially in Morocco, Uganda, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Tanzania, Ireland, UK and Nigeria.

Basic Rights Counsel Initiative the organisers of the programme is a non-governmental organisation and is committed to the protection and promotion of the rights of vulnerable people in the society especially children and indigent

persons. The event which kicked off with a rally, had several street children including kids in attendance. Other participants included civil society organisations, religious bodies, the media, school children, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) membersandthegeneralpublic. Continued on Page 26


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

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•A cross section of school pupils at the event •Continued from Page 25

The rally started from the Zoo Garden park, through Mary Slessor Avenue to Barracks Road, and proceeded to Eyo Eta and to DOC Event Hall where the event held. There were presentations from a number of participants, including Pastor Ekong Oton, and Dr. Onoyom Ita, among others.

Rally for street children Master David E. Essien, a street child, also spoke, earning a standing ovation with his eloquence. He called on the government to come to their aid and protect them from harm. The occasion which was very interac-

tive and featured four Spanish nationals from the Destiny Child Centre who urged government to implement the Child Rights Law in the interest of peace, security and development There was also drama presentation by

corps members, an action song from the children from Society for Youth Development and Rescue Initiative (SYDRI) and a poem recitation by Ukeme Ekong. Six street children including David E. Essien, Solomon B. Eta, Dominic E. John, Ndifreke E. Eyo, Ndifreke Jacob and Daniel Monday were adopted by Dr. Onoyom Ita, founder of Society for Youth Development and Rescue Initiative (SYDRI), a home for abandoned children.

Damaturu relishes new tourism prospects

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HE inauguration of a modern hotel in Damaturu, Yobe State capital, attracted a large number of residents, signposting a yearning for improved tourism profile. The event attracted dignitaries. Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, who was billed to attend, sent a representative. Named Great Attention, Awesome Testimonies, or GAAT Hotel, the facility has become the ultimate destination for visitors to the state capital due to its state-of-the-art equipment and top of the bill service. Its emergence has changed the face of the hospitality industry in the state. In the recent past, getting a good hotel in Damaturu used to be a bitter experience especially if there was a huge influx of dignitaries. Now, the story is changing with the emergence of GAAT Hotel. Designed for all classes of people, the hotel has 41 rooms that are affordable to both the high and low income earners, with the least room going for N4,000 while the highest goes for N25,000. The hotel also has a 300-capacity auditorium named after the late Governor Mamman Ali who was a close friend of the proprietor, Senator Ikechukwu Abbana. The young and old have found GAAT Hotel a suitable place to unwind, especially at the weekend. Mr John Gana, a banker in Damaturu, in a chat with Newsextra, said he cools off at the swimming pool where he is now perfecting his swimming skills. Some election observers who lodged at the hotel during the general election also attested to the awesome treatment at GAAT. In his remarks at the commissioning ceremony, Governor Gaidam who spoke through his representative, Ligali Maaji, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, said the emergence of the hotel is a great joy for the people of the state. Gaidam maintained that the state government will open its doors to foreign investors to come into the state, while commending the proprietor for choosing Damaturu for such an investment. The state government, he explained, will

From Duku Joel, Damaturu

provide the desired enabling environment for all businesses and investors to explore the potentials of the state, adding that GAAT Hotels has set the pace for others to follow. The governor, however, urged individuals and corporate organisations to invest in the state, stressing that government alone cannot do everything. In his address, the Managing Director of the hotel, Senator Abbana explained that he set up the facility in Damaturu to immortalise his late friend Mamman Ali and also to tap into the business opportunity that abounds in the state. He said: “After the death of my bosom friend Mamman Ali, it is difficult for me to forget him and his state so I decided to build this hotel in his memory so that I will forever be close to his home state; then comes the issue of investment and business.”

•GAAT Hotels

•Ligali Maaji, representative of Governor Gaidam with Senator Abbana cutting the tape


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

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Lawmaker-elect assures constituency

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HE National Assembly member-elect representing Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency, Hon. Peter Akujah has assured the people who voted him in that he will transform the constituency and restore the needed peace which has long eluded the area. The former transition committee member of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State said: “I am very happy. I thank God

From Marie-Therese Peter, Jos

and the people of my constituency for the support given to me during the election. I will appreciate this support with effective representation. This is the beginning of the transformation of Jos North/Bassa constituency. “I commend Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the success

The paramount target I have as I move to the National Assembly is the return of permanent peace, love and unity in my constituency. This is the heartbeat of Plateau State, and(violence) is not a good story for the future of a state that is known to be the home of peace and tourism

Governor-elect inaugurates team •Continued from Page 25 The incoming governor told his team “to examine the current role of traditional rulers and make appropriate recommendations, look at the current procurement policy of the state with a view to recommending an appropriate (one) and to look at the status of ongoing special projects and financial commitments.” He equally wanted the task force to “examine the state’s relationship with multi-lateral organisations, international financial

institutions and donor institutions with a view to maximising benefits from the relationships and to also study the current relationship with trade unions in the state with a view to enthroning a crisis free era and to examine current outstanding issues of conflict with them”. Team members will equally recommend ways of boosting the image of the new administration especially in the first 100 days in office, and compile a list of campaign promises in various communities the party visited during its campaigns with a view to executing same.

of the election in the country. The conduct of the election was impressive. I commend Prof. (Attahiru) Jega and the corps members used during the exercise. God will bless them. I have learnt a lot from my people and know their problems in one aspect or the other and I will always be ready to serve them better even as I have been given the mandate to the National Assembly. In JosNorth, the crisis by the Grace of God is over. “The paramount target I have as I move to the National Assembly is the return of permanent peace, love and unity in my constituency. This is the heartbeat of Plateau State, and(violence) is not a good story for the future of a state that is known to be the home of peace and tourism. This is one of the things that would be addressed at the National Assembly. A critical look at the JosNorth, especially Rukuba Road, Gada Biu, Jenta areas, to mention but a few, reveals that we have the problem of potable water. I weep day in day out, and I have promised during my campaign that I will solve these problems. This is an issue I want to face personally, even if it is the only thing I can achieve. It will also be on record but I know I will do more than that.” He continued: “The issue of unity rests on peace; it is not very easy to achieve this. The citizens are not united. Our Hausa brothers could not trust the Christians and vice versa, and in some Hausa areas, the Christians are not allowed to go there but when permanent peace is established within the two major religions, there will be unity”. Akujah said that he will also engage in youth and women empowerment, and creating job opportunities. “If you empower the youth and women, poverty will be eradicated in the society, and the rate of crime will be reduced or wiped out,” he said. “By the year 2015, Jos-North/

•Jega Bassa will be transformed and be better than this; the constituency will be setting the pace for others to follow. My people will feel the real impact of the federal might. When we talk of road construction, as the state governor Jonah David Jang embarked upon, this is his project and I will lobby to make sure all road projects within my constituency become a reality, by the grace of God. I will not disappoint my people”. Akujah also called on those who contested with him not to distance themselves, but rather come with positive suggestions and contributions which will help in advancing the constituency as well as improve the lot of the entire state.

Taraba’s first women senator celebrates victory

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•Mrs. Aisha Alhassan

ENATOR-ELECT Hajiya Aisha Alhassan, represenitng Taraba North Senatorial District, has celebrated her victory at the polls, saying she will ensure that more women play a role in government. She said she will help secure 35 per cent affirmative action for women. But she also savoured her victory which she got at the expense of a former governor of the state, Jolly Nyame. Mrs. Alhassan was Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice in Taraba. She also served as registrar of the Federal Capital Territory Judiciary. She contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), beating a former senator, Dr. Anthony Manzo at the primaries. In the general election, she

From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

crushed former governor Jolly Nyame of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to become the first woman senator from the state. “I really feel great beating Nyame,” she said. “It is wonderful but natural, especially beating someone politicians in Taraba thought was unchallengeable.” Alhassan said she has packaged womenoriented programme that will increase the participation of women in politics, and will ensure that women in the state attain 35 per cent affirmative action. “I want to secure it for women,” she said. “In Taraba, there are three senatorial seats and if truly the people want to give us the 35 per cent, they should give one of the seats

•From left: Mr. Ganiyu Abiodun Johnson, Special Adviser on Works and Infrastucture, Mr. Bangbose Martins, Permanent Secretary and Mr. Gbenga Akinola, Executive Chairman, Public Works Corporation at the commemoration of the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola fourth year anniversary

exclusively to women. That is not saying that women should be unopposed candidates, but qualified women should be made to contest among themselves. That way, the 35 per cent for women would be guaranteed. But when you say you are giving women 35 per cent and you give them free forms to encourage them, and you still make them contest against people like Nyame, as I did, the 35 per cent cannot be guaranteed. If not for my guts, even men dare not contest against candidates that Nyame sponsors. But he is a human being like me and I came out to contest against him and people realized that it is not name and clout that count, but what you can offer”. Alhassan’ promises to offer good representation. “With God and concentration, much could be achieved with ease,” she said. She is a business woman and her philanthropy has brought hope to women. She studied Law at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.

Alhassan said she has packaged programmes that will increase the participation of women in politics, and will ensure that women in the state attain 35 per cent affirmative action


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

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Kebbi to recruit teachers

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Monarch urges youths to engage in community development

Kebbi

According to the commissioner, emphasis will be accorded to teachers who are trained on methodology of teaching. He said that in the last four years, 100 additional secondary schools had been constructed to promote education and encourage rural dwellers to enroll their HE Kebbi State government has children. concluded arrangements to recruit 1,200 Rukubalo said that recommendations of the additional teachers for its senior and junior secondary schools, the Commissioner for state committee on promotion of education led by Prof. Attahiru Jega, two years ago, Education, Alhaji Sani Rukubalo, has said. Rukubalo, told reporters in Birnin Kebbi that had been implemented. He also said that teachers would be science teachers would, however, be accorded sponsored for further training, and that the priority. He said preference would be accorded holders recruitment of the new teachers would of the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) commence next month and would be strictly and university graduates, adding that a on merit. It would be recalled that about 1,500 committee that would interview the applicants teachers were employed in the last four years had already been inaugurated. in the state.

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HE Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, has advised the youth to engage in community development projects as part of efforts to facilitate the nation’s socio-economic develovepment. He told reporters in Bida that youths, as leaders of tomorrow, needed to participate in community development programmes for the nation to move forward. “Youths can only be relevant in national development by contributing their quota at the grassroots,” he said. The monarch also advised them to come together to develop their respective

T •Governor Dakingari

JNI sets up committee on victims of Kaduna crisis A N Islamic organisation, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), has set up a four-member committee on the post-election crisis that engulfed Kaduna State. Its National Secretary General, Dr Abubakar Khalid, said in Kaduna that the President General of JNI and Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III of Sokoto approved the constitution of the committee. He said the committee would take inventory of affected persons, determine loss of lives and property as well as provide relief materials to the victims at their various refugee camps. “The committee is also meant to complement government efforts at assisting the victims and establishing the truth behind the crisis.” Kahlid said the commitee would be headed by Hajiya A’ishatu Aliko Mohammed to be assited by three males, including the National Publicity Secretary of the organisation,

Kaduna Malam Umar Zaria. It would be recalled that violence erupted in parts of the state following the outcome of the April 16 presidential election, leaving scores of people dead, thousands rendered homeless and property worth millions of naira destroyed. Consequently, the Red Cross Society of Nigeria and the National Emergency Management Agency stablished nine refugee camps across the state and recorded 5,000 victims as displaced persons. Both the Federal and Kaduna State governments have established similar committees aimed at bringing succour to the victms and getting to the root of the matter.

Suntai warned against sycophants

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R Bobboi Kaigama, the Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Taraba, has urged Gov. Danbaba Suntai to be wary of sycophants as he prepares to form a new government. Kaigama said in an interview with reporters the in Jalingo that sycophancy had been a major problem to most administrations in the country. “TUC joins other good people of Taraba in congratulating Suntai on his resounding victory at the governorship poll. “We urge him to be wary of sycophants as he plans to put a vibrant team in place to help him take the state to the next level of physical, material and human development,” he said.

•Caretaker Chairman, Oye Local Government Area, Ekiti State, Hon. Akindele Ogungbuyi (left) presenting spray-pumps to farmers in the council

Shehu of Borno advises Jonathan on youth unemployment

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HE Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar ibn Garbai, has appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to keep his promise of creating jobs for thousands of unemployed youths. He made the plea in an interview with reporters, saying “I am appealing to the

Minister moves against influx of substandard medicine

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HE Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Prof. Sheihk Ahmed Abdullah, has suggested that appropriate measures be put in place to regulate the inflow of substandard medicinal products into the country. He stated this at a workshop entitled: Research, Development and Regulation of Medicinal Plants; A Potential Non-Oil Resource for Nigeria,” by the Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria (IPAN) in Lagos. He added that whereas over 400,000 medicinal plants exist, only about 60,000 have been identified. Describing the training as timely and auspicious, he urged participants to make useful contributions. President, IPAN, Ganiyu Sanni, said herbs play a significant role in medical service delivery, noting that 80 per cent of rural Nigerians depend on them for healing. “That is why there is the need to focus on this area of medical services by scientists through the development, analysis and regulation of the products,” he said.

Also, the Registrar of the institute, Prof. David Oluleye, stated the reasons for preference of herbs over orthodox medicine by Nigerians at the moment. He said: “The global meltdown, which has robbed many families of their sources of income and/or decreased their purchasing power, is the major cause of the inability to procure synthetic drugs by a large part of the society. ‘’The consequences are increasing resort to herbs and traditional medicine practitioners in the rural areas of the Third World. Therefore, our aim is to ensure that the machinery are set in motion, patients are given good attention and focus on the medicinal products to ensure that the products manufactured for the unsuspecting patients are of good quality and standard.” He noted that many laboratories in the country were operated by non-members of IPAN on freelance. While warning that this was wrong, he said soon they would be shut down until they comply with the law.

Challenges of SME identified

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•From left: Navy Commodore Eddie Anjorin Akingbemila, Immediate Past Vice Chairman; Olu of Mushin, Oba Fatai Ayinla Aileru II, Club Patron; Engr Gbenga Shoyebi, Chairman and Mr Olabode Ariyibi, General Secreaty at the 2011 Annual General Meeting of the Primus Club of Nigeria held the Maridom Palace Hotel, Ota, Ogun State

President-elect to please fulfil his promise of generating employment for the teeming Nigerian youth who are roaming the streets doing nothing.” Garbai blamed the recent post-election violence in the country on youth unemployment, noting that “most of the violence was perpetrated by unemployed youths who are willing tools for politicians. “I believe that creating employment for these youths will go a long way in preventing violence and youth restiveness.” The monarch also called on the states and local government councils to create job opportunities for unemployed youths in their areas to prevent restiveness. “States and local government councils must make effort to complement Federal Government’s efforts by creating employment opportunities for the youth. “This is the only way we can keep them busy and prevent them from falling into the temptation of getting used by politicians to cause violence.” Garbai further advised the newly elected Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, to be fair to all segments of the society on assumption of office. He gave the advice while receiving Shettima, who paid him a courtesy visit in his palace in Maiduguri.

Plateau funds for agriculture.. She said that soon, the committee would engage leaders of relevant groups to examine how to deal with their operational challenges, pointing out that the crisis in the state posed a challenge to the stability and survival of businesses. Bentu said that the committee had engaged the government to ensure that an enabling environment prevailed in the state for SMEs to thrive and contribute to the growth of the state’s economy. Mr Chizoba Nnabugwu, a member of the committee, said that many business people in the state lacked business skills and the knowledge to run businesses effectively. “From our findings, we observed that some of the business people here lack the basic skill of business and the knowledge on how to grow their businesses. “We have educated them and trained them through various kinds of seminars, we hope to do more in times to come,’’ he said.

communities and promote the transformation of the rural areas. Developing the rural communities, he noted, would discourage rural-urban migration, stressing that by so doing, some of the facilities the youth wanted in the urban centres would be available in the rural areas. Abubakar said any meaningful efforts put into developing the various communities by the youth would never be in vain since such achievements would always be on record for posterity. He also advised them to be creative and selfreliant as well as look inwards in advancing their aspirations.

•Governor Aliyu Babangida He said one of the ways the youth could develop themselves was by going into selfemployment.

Kano

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HE fuel scarcity in Kano metropolis in the past two weeks has kept many tailors out of business, it has been reported It was observed that the industrial machines in many tailoring centres visited were silent due to the lack of fuel to power the generating sets to make them functional. Similarly, many tailors were seen either sleeping or sitting idle in their shops just as others were engaged in heated arguments with their customers for failing to get their clothes ready for collection. Muhammad Sanusi, a tailor at Mama Fashion located at Zoo Road, complained that the situation worsened by the day as they could hardly purchase diesel from road side sellers due to its scarcity. Ahmad Saminu, a Senegalese tailor at Gandun Albasa, said that his major problem was that his customers failed to appreciate his challenge and instead, accused him of not wanting to spend extra money. He said he had never experienced such a situation since he started tailoring business in Kano about 10 years ago.

•From left: Rotarian Hunwi S.S. President Rotary Club of Ajara, Dr Mathias Deinde Shoga, District Governor, IPDC, Tayo Alabi, and Rotarian Dr. I. Tijani at the presentation/inauguration of two borehole projects in Ajara Isalu and Ajara Agamathan by Rotary District 9110

Health insurance scheme for communities soon

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ATIONAL Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS ) has confirmed it will soon introduce a Community Social Health Insurance Scheme,that will cover those in rural communities. Dr.Kabir Mustapha Deputy General Manger in charge of enforcement of the scheme disclosed this at the workshop organised for the stakeholders of NHIS in the Northeast on functions and enforcement of the scheme. He noted the scheme has become imperative due to the growing acceptability of NHIS among the people. NHIS has registered over six millions

BRIEFS

• Vegetable market at Kwadon in Gombe State

HE Secretary General of Business Enabling Environment Committee (BEEC),Ms Dorcas Bentu, has identified poor access to credit and multiple taxation as major challenges for small business entrepreneurs in Plateau State. Bentu made the statement when a delegation of the German Government on review of its projects in Jos paid a courtesy visit on the leadership of BEEC in Jos. BEEC was formed under the GTZ programme, a German Government Developmental project, to address the challenges of SMEs. “One of the major challenges the SMEs face in this state is the issue of poor access to credit to boost their businesses. “The other is the issue of multiple taxation, poor power supply and water as the case of those who do business that depend mostly on water,’’ she said. Bentu said that the committee had carried out advocacy programmes to enlighten small business people on how to access funds to grow their businesses, including

Borno

Fuel scarcity keeps tailors out of business

Niger

From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

Bauchi Nigerians, who have since been accessing good healthcare services and promotion of their health welfare. Mustapha noted that the introduction of the scheme by Federal Government has contributed immensely in reducing the civil servants’ pains of funding healthcare services in the country. According to him “reports from across the nation indicate that implementation of the scheme has so far been successful’’ ,adding that ‘’many states across the country are yearning to embrace the health insurance scheme for the

overall benefit of their citizens” It was learnt that the Act establishing the scheme would soon be amended by the National Assembly to address loopholes observed in implementing the scheme that should normally reach out to all the segments of the society The Deputy Director also to those that enrolled to always have the courage to report shortcomings from health providers (HMO )to NHIS for necessary action and improved service delivery. The Northeast Zonal Coordinator of the scheme, Abdullsalam Bala, had earlier in his speech,charged states that are yet to join the scheme to do so for the benefit of their citizens.

Customs seeks cooperation of religious leaders ALHAJI Hussaini Abdulkarim, the Area Comptroller of the Nigeria Custom Service for Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, has appealed to religious leaders to join forces with the service to curb smuggling in the area. “The religious leaders can educate the people on the menace of smuggling in the border communities and there is a need to assist us with vital information on the activities of suspected smugglers,” Abdulkarim told reporters in Sokoto recently.

He said the area command would do all it could to check smuggling, but noted that “our primary target is the imams (clerics) in the border communities as they can preach on the negative effects of smuggling on our nation’s economy. “We have deployed competent officers with brand new vehicles to border areas to arrest and prosecute smugglers.” The area comptroller said further that the officers had since embarked on constant patrol, trailing smugglers.

THE NORTHERN elite is lamenting the backwardness in infrastructure, industrial investment and the agricultural sector which is Northern Nigeria’s strongest economy. The Chairman of the Conferenece of Northen States Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (CONSCCIMA), Alhaji Ahmad Rabiu, made this remark at the award dinner for excellence in Leadership and Entrepreneurship in Abuja, stating that the Sahara Desert is moving southwards at a rate of 0.6KM yearly, which has resulted in a situation where about 35percent of land that was cultivatable 50 years ago is now desert in 11 of Northern states.

He said, “the cumulative effect of the desert nature of these 11 Northern states is that in the very near future, Northern Nigeria may not be able to compete economically with other parts of the country which are currently enjoying huge infrastructural and industrial investments. “The double jeopardy that we currently face is that while our agricultural and solid minerals sectors are not receiving the required investments thereby compromising our future sources of revenues, we are also not modernising and upgrading our infrastructure including investment in education.

Northern elite lament backwardness

• Participants at the flag-off of a six-day pre-retirement training for deputy directors and assistant directors of the federal civil service at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) Topo, Badagry PHOTO: ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA


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Text only: 08023058761

Romance of book, music –Page 32

Home where music heals –Page 33

•Dele Jegede

Fruitful fiction for children –Page 35

‘Go back to the President’ – SEE PAGE 30


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Eighteen years after he left for greener pastures abroad, Prof Dele Jegede has come home for an exhibition. He relocated to the US in the heat of the June 12, 1993 political impasse. Jegede, who teaches Art at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, is in the country for his first solo art exhibition, Peregrinations, holding at the Nike Art Gallery, Lekki, Lagos. He spoke with Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME on why Nigerian artists must return to the President on pending fundamental issues affecting the arts; his 18 years self-exile and the need to produce works that must go beyond the cosmetic.

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IGHTEEN years after you relocated abroad, you are holding your first solo art exhibition in Nigeria. How much of your experiences will be reflected in the show? I would have satisfied my conscience that as a creative artist, I have given expression to the fullest of my ability to the issues that have continually made me uncomfortable regarding the Nigerian nation. But I am not unique, indeed, in this feeling that the Nigeria that I had anticipated, unfortunately, is an aborted country. It has not grown to the extent one has anticipated. And I don’t know what the solution is in one specific term. But I know that I will be deluding myself if I, think that my art will suddenly ginger them into doing the right thing. I also think that if I in my capacity as an artist can voice my concern just as other million Nigerians can do, then we will get to a crescendo. It would have sickened me to sit down and do nothing knowing well that I have the capability to express these feelings in this medium. I am not deceived into thinking that there is a new Nigeria because Dele Jegede held an exhibition that talks about issues of national interest. What are your expectations of the Nigeria project? We have stumbled hopefully on the right path. Given the issues we have just gone through historically in the last few weeks particularly the elections, I can say emphatically that what we have witnessed in the performance of INEC deserves commendation because the leadership of INEC has proven that it is doable. If everybody who is saddled with a responsibility of shepherding this country in his or her own little way would take it to the extent to what Prof. Attahiru Jega has done, I think collectively we will begin to mend our ways. I am not disappointed in some leadership of political parties that had the opportunity to let people know that is not a do-or-die affair or political parties that initially said they are not going to contest whatever the outcome is and yet on the way of abrogating that ideals. And then, the post election violence that was unleashed on people is condemnable. When political leaders say if you rig, you are going to pay with your blood, of course the blood they are referring to is not their blood or that of their children. It is the blood of the poor people. What trend can you identify among Nigerian artists during the 18 years of self-exile? Is there significant growth in terms of quality? I cannot say emphatically yes or no because the much I have been familiar with are through the reports of art writers such as you. Agreed I have been in and out of the country attending events such as ARESUVA, Grillo Pavilion festival, I hope my colleagues, especially the younger generation will begin to see art as a very potential area that can be used to consciencetise the nation to issues that are of concerned to them. I do not necessarily expect people to have the same kind of approach. But I hope we will have among us a group of artists who will be concern enough about issues that go beyond cosmetisation of presentation of art. Is there any strong link between your cartoon series in the defunct Daily Tines and this

•State of Anomie

‘Go back to the President’ VISUAL ART solo art exhibition content wise? I hesitate to say yes, but indeed, I know it is. That link is me. If I will look at my cartoons you can find that kind of link between it and

my paintings, especially for this show. They are issue-based and I feel very passionate of them. But for this show, the issues are divided into three main thematic areas: Africanism, political environment in Nigeria and Abuja series. It sickening to find that people sell their property to pursue their political agenda and

‘We have stumbled hopefully on the right path. Given the issues we have just gone through historically in the last few weeks particularly the elections, I can say emphatically that what we have witnessed in the performance of INEC deserves commendation because the leadership of INEC has proven that it is doable’

such people will come to say they are serving the nation? And yet we cannot claim that there are no examples of those who have laid down their lives and contributed intellectually to the growth of this nation in the days when it was customary for people in authority to derive pleasure from having programmes that contribute to the upliftment of the society. I am sure you remember the likes of the late Chief Simeon Adebo of the old Federal Civil Service in the 70s. Unfortunately, today, Nigerian politicians eat the bones around their necks. Nigerians have not done enough in exerting pressure for social change as it is happening in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and the whole Arab world. In fact, the lesson from the uprising is that power •Continued on page 31


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•Members of the band posing by their prize of a brand new mini-van

B.E.A.T. Band wins Star Quest 2011

I •Niger Delta: Shell-shocked

‘Go back to the President’ •Continued from page 30 belongs to the people. What is your impression of the quality of art being produced by Nigerian artists in recent time? Well quality is relative. I will go more in line with the concept or ideas of art. If I could I will favour art that is powerful at the conceptual level, which is not illustrative and representational. We should figure out ways of producing art that elevates. UK-based Nigerian artist, Yinka Shonibare said in a lecture recently in Lagos that he is not concerned about representation in his works, but more on about the politics of representation. What is your take on that? Unfortunately, I was not at the lecture and have not read the report in papers. However, we are speaking along the same line. Yinka has expressed himself in a particular medium we are familiar with. But it took a while for him to get there. But it is unrealistic to expect every Nigerian artist to do same. If you look at the US for example, the percentage of artists who are successful is really negligible compared to the number of artists that graduate from art colleges every semester and not yearly. In the US, it is not unusual to find an art graduate who still pumps gas to make a living. I hope we will get to a point where it is not the quantity of art that an artist produces but rather we should be looking at the power of the idea of art and the content, which does not have anything to do with whether it is reality or abstract. Importantly too, the National Endowment for the Art should be a sine qua non for progress regardless of how limited it will be made on the Nigerian art. And this is the time for everybody to get together and go back to the President in a transparent manner on the need to start a fundamental restructuring of the sector. We should be thinking of leaving a legacy, and that deals will putting in place structures that will facilitate growth and development of the art. You were at the maiden edition of ARESUVA

•Jegede

at Abuja and it is currently undergoing review for some reasons. How can it be re-engineered to compete favourably with other global art events? What you are having as ARESUVA has unfortunately been infected by the usual malaria that are parasitic and sometimes very deadly. There is so much that goes on in the civil service that I am still surprised is referred to as civil. It is not civil. Everything hangs around the budget, the budget… there is this absence of quality ideas. From my stand point, the first ARESUVA was very successful. Although, when I was contacted three months before the event, I felt it was not proper. I came in with that kind of skepticism despite my conviction that it was a good idea. I learnt it is going to be biennial in subsequent editions. But I will take it when I see it. And it is not impossible for this thing to happen without hanging on to budget. In fact, people depend so much on the government and unfortunately, government business is nobody’s business. Again, there is the culture of impunity, culture of lack of respect for other peoples’ right, and it is me, me syndrome even in government. The average man on the road also manifests this syndrome. It is a national tragedy.

T was a night of sweet victory for B.E.A.T. band, when it displaced its archrivals to emerge the winner of this year’s edition of Star Quest during the grand finale of the music talent hunt show sponsored by Star premium lager. B.E.A.T band was adjudged the most popular band during the final showdown of the competitions which took place at Eko Hotel and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos State. The gender-balanced music group of three males and three females amassed largest votes from its fans within and outside Nigeria to comfortably beat two other finalists; Harmonics and Storm Bands to clinch the coveted title and recognition of ‘Star Quest Band 2011’. All three bands that made it as finalists after the eviction of Bliss, Golden Flames and D’Xtreme bands had to rely solely on text messages sent in by their supporters to win, unlike during the audition stages when appointed judges had the final say. B.E.A.T band secured for themselves, a delightful reward package consisting of N3.6 million cash prize, a recording contract worth N7.5 million, a mini-van and one year free accommodation in Lagos. Topping up the list of goodies is the guaranteed performances that the winning band will get at all Star-sponsored events, including Star Trek and Star Mega Jam. Sales Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Hubert Eze who represented the Marketing Director of the company, Mr. Jacco Van der Linden, presented a dummy cheque and the key to a mini-van to the winning group, while congratulating them and also using the opportunity to thank all that participated in the event. During the grand finale, a large audience

that included music celebrities was entertained with performances from the three finalists. B.E.A.T, Harmonics and Storm bands each gave two performances; the first being another original composition, while the other was a reproduction of an international hit. First to perform was the Harmonics band who did a fresh track carrying the chorus “Na you be the only one I want, baby”. The talented group then went on to thrill the audience with a repeat performance of ‘I’m coming home’ by renowned international artiste, Diddy Dirty Money when called on stage for a second performance. Storm band, who went on stage next, also gave a rendition of its newly composed song titled ‘I’m your number one’. Members of the group then went on to get an excited audience singing along to Cher’s ‘Do you believe’ during a second time on stage. Their rendition of the classic song from the world- acclaimed female musician got all applauding at its end. When it got to the turn of B.E.A.T band, shouts and screams of admiration reited the air as the group performed a new song titled ‘Been in the rain’. They later went back on stage to give a repeat performance of Celine Dion’s ‘I’m your angel’ and their effort yielded much encouragement from a very animated crowd. The evening of spectacular music performances became even more exciting when all three finalists chorused “We are the light across the world” in a song that saw them singing together on stage for the first time since the contest began. B.E.A.T Band, whose members threw themselves to the floor and shed tears of joy after being announced as the winning band, said they were overjoyed by their victory.

POETRY

Limit of power (Elegy for Laurent Gbagbo) He held the reins like an emperor of old, In his people’s hearts his name was gold. He relished power like a kid does candy In Gbagbo’s head Paradise was handy. Wherever he spoke the people clapped, In illusion did Gbagbo have them clasped. The awe and favour got in his head, He wanted to be boss till all was dead. Gbagbo perceived Ivorians as small monkeys He rode on their affection like little donkeys. He misread the message in their countenances; He spurned the omens in their mean nuances. The poll tolled for him the reckoning time, But his refractory ears were dead to the chime;

The poll results ousted him with candour But for might did Gbagbo display dour ardour. For weeks he killed across the nation, Thousands fell to gratify his aberration. Gbagbo ignored the world’s counseling For he had become the Devil’s quisling. When his hideous past caught up with him, Gbagbo knew his chances were really slim. His steely command on stolen power Slackened into oblivion within an hour. Gbagbo got to office in sartorial elegance; He left in singlet due to official arrogance. His fall into disgrace is a potent lesson For leaders with the sense to reason. – Olamilekan Andu


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‘The fusion of book and music is meant to show that the bookstore is not only where books are sold, but it should be part of everyday life style, and, the larger community. And in the community there is need for networking. So, ultimately, it is hoped that guests would be able to network and then, of course, buy a book or two as they leave’ •Williams and Valet from Paris

Romance of book, music With its bright blend of music and book, Debonair Bookstore has set in motion an exciting tradition that may help revive the reading culture of many Nigerians. EVELYN OSAGIE reports.

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HE performance of the lady-drummer Irawo set the stage for a beautiful evening of open-mic musical performances amid books. She drummed her way into the hearts of guests. They were impressed with her dexterity at playing the Talking Drum. Hers was one of the thrilling performances at the Music and Book party organised by Debonair Bookstore. It was not your conventional party with the blasts of music, musical instrument and noise. It was a refreshing blend of book and music; and an exciting experience for guests at the party. They were treated to the rousing live musical performances by Deji Williams from Paris, J’odie, Christine, Ese Peters, Delcity and William, Trex, Smooth, among others. The artistes performed their new and popular songs. Williams was the special feature at the party. The way he mimed Tracie Chapman’s Revolution Song in the accompaniment of his guitar was quite moving. The audience was so moved by it that they just could not but sing along. Home, his second performance, was equally thrilling. The song, he said, was written by him. “I performed Home because it is good to be home. Even though the microphone seemed bent on frustrating Williams’s performances, by its constant fluctuation, he handled the stage and the audience well. This may not be unconnected to his experience as an international artiste, whose song New Dawn is airing on France national TV. His songs are currently on air in Nigerian radio stations. The videos would be out soon. J’odie’s performances were equally enchanting. She performed the popular Kuchi Kuchi song that is enjoying massive airplay alongside a not too popular one. The audience mimed along Oh baby part of the song. “It was a pleasant experience free-styling and having the audience join in the song: even though I was initially shy,” she said. Trex rap performance was highly poetic. He

MUSIC added spice by making it an audience-response one; while Tims Obomanu a.k.a Muk gave him accompanying rhythm with his mouth. When asked how he was able to master the mouthdrumming, Muk said: “I started from when I was small.” He already has a single out entitled: No dullin, which is on the internet. Fans can check the song out on www.facebook/ Donaldtim. The blend of music and book is the first of its kind by the bookstore. The CEO of bookstore, Mr Adebola Omololu said it is a fresh but strategic move to perk up the book culture in the hearts of Nigerians. He said it was also meant to create a forum for networking. “The fusion of book and music is meant to show that the bookstore is not only where books are sold, but it should be part of everyday life style, and, a larger community. And in the community there is the need for networking. So, ultimately it is hoped that guests would be able to network; and then, of course, buy a book or two as they leave.” As guests watched the artistes perform, they also took time out to shop for books. Aside the fun the evening promised, some such as Jennifer, an estate surveyor, said, they came to buy a couple of books for their library. Jennifer said: “I enjoyed myself. It was truly exciting.” But for fluctuation of the microphone and the heat, guests said they enjoyed themselves. It was observed that for more successful outing, subsequently, the organisers of the music and book show may have to improve on the quality of its microphones and the number of fans in the hall. Guests included performing poet, S.A.G.E, Celine Valet from Paris, Smooth, among others. The event, Mr Omololu said, would be held quarterly. The bookstore deal on essentially product books, music and would soon be branching into the sale of customised devices. It currently has three million titles in its online bookstore.

•Trex and Muk

•J’odie and her fans.

PHOTOS: EVELYN OSAGIE


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•Mrs Akerele and her wards having fun.

•Lady Atinuke Oyindamola Memorial Home

PHOTOS: EVELYN OSAGIE

As you arrive at the Lady Atinuke Oyindamola Memorial Home in Badagry, Lagos, you are ushered into an atmosphere of love inspiring ability out of disability. You will also find persons with special needs fighting their challenges through education, arts and craft, sport and music. EVELYN OSAGIE reports on the centre where music is therapy.

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OR some few minutes, children at the Lady Atinuke Oyindamola Memorial Home, Lagos, a rehab centre that caters for the physically challenged, forgot all about their health challenges. They seemed enchanted by the music as they danced their hearts away. The music was the main feature at the centre’s end-of-term party. They were dressed in a purple-coloured Ankara material. They looked very pretty as the oldest of the lot each played a musical instrument while the younger ones danced. But for the drumming of David Akerele, a talented 20-year-old, who has Down Syndrome (DS), and Iyanu Agemo, their music teacher, the music would not have had the right rhythm to move your feet. However, beyond the dance, it had a certain soothing effect on those at the centre. It was the first time the reporter would see them in such a pleasant and calm mood that weekend. The children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), known simply as Autism, who usually appear somewhat restive, were no longer repeating a particular movement such as flapping their hands. Those with epilepsy and Cerebral Palsy were equally affected. They danced with so much vigour while making all kinds of funny movements that presented a comic relief for the visitor. What could be the secret? Mrs Elsie Rose Akerele, founder of the centre, said: “With my years of experience I have found that without love and the right treatments it can be very difficult handling special children. However, I have also found that music has a major therapeutic effect on them, particularly those whose challenge is related to neurological disorder such as Autism, Epilepsy. I discovered that since I bought the musical instruments, their crisis and restlessness have reduced drastically. And they are responding very well to sound and rhythm. I started giving them music lessons, which, of course, has become their favourite. It is the best way to send the children home at the end of the term.” Agemo said music is their favourite subject. He said: “I find that the children really enjoy it, more than Mathematics and English Language. It appeals to them in a certain way that calms them.” The rehab centre, housed in a four-room bungalow, runs a boarding house and academic system different from conventional schools. While other children are about resuming, the school has only recently closed for the term. According to the founder, it specialises in special education that includes reading and writing, vocational training, attitude training, sporting activities music, medical attention and guidance and counselling for parents. Part of the attitude training, Mrs Akerele said, is meant to build selfconfidence in the children. She has with her a team of three staff and one volunteer to

Home where music heals THERAPY cater for the eight children the centre has. It was observed that the place is understaffed, which could not be unconnected to the distance and, perhaps, the challenges involved in caring for such special children. On a journey to the place, you are bound to have jetlag. To this, Mrs Akerele said: “The distance has been our greatest challenge. But it is also our blessing. It is a challenge because volunteers are easily put off by the traffic they would have to face before getting here. As you can see, we need more staff. Many times I have had to put out announcement for the vacancies we have, but not many are gifted at handling special children. I have also gone to the Lagos State College of Education (LACOED) to seek out teachers there, but without any luck. Many people would rather prefer not teaching special children because of the challenges involved. Also, on the children’s clinical days, we spend so much chartering vehicles, since we do not have a car yet. However, it is a serene environment that has a therapeutic effect in itself. The mainland is so noisy. It would even confuse the children the more.” Teaching and catering for the children at the rehab centre is no small task, it was learnt. Mrs Akerele and her team often have to work round the clock to keep up with the children. Agemo, who resides near the centre, teaches the children Mathematics and Fine Arts. Music, he said, is an aside. He often has to teach a topic for two weeks before the students can fully get a grasp of it. Although it may seem a Herculean task, he said: “I enjoy it. Although teaching them is like teaching children in kindergarten. They are coping well. It can take about two weeks for them to fully understand a topic. And

because I like them to understand what I am teaching them, I like being patience with them. Some are good in Mathematic and English but some, like Ify Nwali, are good in arts and craft. They may not all be educated, but they can be encouraged to discover and improve on their talents. And that is what the centre strives to achieve. But parents can do more by showing them love, encouragement and taking them to centres such as this where they would be helped to make something out of their lives.” Mrs Akerele also lamented: “Most parents would usually abandon the child, rather than absorbing them into the system of things at home. This is heartlessness. It also makes our work difficult when parents are not co-operating. They need to be socially integrated into the home and society at large. One way to do so is to take them to parties and play music for them.” There is never a dull moment in the place. A visitor would find the children a handful. There is always something to make you laugh, cry and shout about. You would find in the place an undiluted affection shown by the team. Things are usually calm during the night when the team puts the children to sleep. But Mrs Akerele and her team still have to wake up at intervals during the night to see to it that the children are not having any crisis. That may not sound like fun, but it inspires love in the team. Coping with the children, Isaiah Etteh (29) said, has been challenging, but fun. “Every new intake has his/her own peculiar problem. But they are fun to be with. You can’t but love them when come close to them. They would force you to be creative. It is hard to hold their attention for long. So, you have to think of how to keep them busy. But they are making tremendous progress. That in itself is the challenge but we are coping.”

‘I have found that without love and the right treatments it can be very difficult handling special children. However, I have also found that music has a major therapeutic effect on them. I discovered that since I bought the musical instruments, their crisis and restlessness have reduced drastically. And they are responding very well to sound and rhythm’

The children’s eating habits are no simpler. The team’s creativity is also being tasked over their eating habits. In fact, the children can eat twice the meal size of an average adult all at once, the founder said. It was learnt that the centre spends over N50, 000 on food monthly. which is enough to feed children four times its size. Mrs Akerele said: “Food is another challenge. Because of the drugs they take, they eat heavily. Sometimes they eat more than four times a day. And you have to feed them because hunger makes them very restive and you would see them dragging you to the kitchen. We spend about N60, 000 each month on feeding. It is, in fact, more expensive than their treatments, which cost between N40, 000 to N50, 0000 each month. And one has to be patience with them because you often have to spoon-feed them.” So, how is the centre financed? she was asked. “My children are my chief sponsors. They believe in my dream. Although some of them think I should be resting now after raising them, but they know it’s my passion which did not just start today. Aside that, I maximise my knowledge of production. Since I am a business woman, I use my proceeds to finance the place. Although parents are asked to pay a token fee for their children’s up keep, many cannot afford to pay it. So, largely, it is borne out of charity. I will not send children away when a parent cannot pay. Still, we are open to partnerships and donations. The drugs and treatments are very expensive; not to talk of the educative materials.” Seeing her sacrifice, one wonders what inspires 58-year-old Mrs Akerele. She said her experiences are her inspiration. According to her, she was born with Sickle Cell Anaemia, but was cured after getting married. After overcoming that, circumstances forced on her an epileptic child. And as if that was not enough, she gave birth to another with DS. You say that is too much for one person to bear. Well, Mrs Akerele said: “Aside being a professional teacher, my life and that of my children became the medical university that I attended. And their success story became my testimony. With my encouragement, my children were able to live normal lives. My daughter finished secondary school at 17; got admission at 18; graduated; got married at 24 and had two kids and worked with Tell Magazine before her death. She died at child birth and not of epilepsy. She was already cured by the time she was 23. My David is also a success story. He is going to be a professional drummer. He is studying at Peter King College of Music. They inspired the founding of the centre. And so, I decided to set it up in memory of my late daughter, Atinuke.” The centre is in dire need of donations, it was learnt. “For a laudable idea to have continued impact, it would need the support of well-meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies,” Etteh added.


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• Lagos the beautiful series

Alimi to showcase Sublime at Quintessence

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FTER a successful debut solo, African Ancient Mysteries Rhythm and Hues in 2005, Adewale Alimi will return to the same venue for his second outing Sublime, at the Quintessence Gallery, Falomo Shopping Complex, Ikoyi Lagos on May 14. Alimi is a professional artist, who started his career under the tutelage of a master portraiturist, Kamoru Sarumi, who is now based in the Cayman Island, West Indies. The artist will showcase 25 paintings in oil and acrylic, that will include Modest woman, A mother’s love, and The other side of the divide as well as some miniatures. The exhibition is his attempt on the sublime, a journey of aesthetics, art of balance, of purity and serenity that calm and soothes the mind in this chaotic world. Little wonder his colour scheme

Stories by Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

EXHIBITION is subdued to the extent that the hues remain mild and soothing. He renders his forms in near abstract while sustaining the sublime nature of the colours. In his paintings, he deemphasises forms and expresses his works in subtle yet brilliant flowing colours, giving the viewer some aesthetic satisfaction. His style was well received and that was the spark he needed to urge him on. But nine years on, his painting has evolved into his own

unique signature drawing a lot of inspiration from the ancient drawings and paintings. Alimi is concerned about the impact of colours on people and he has successfully conveyed it through the expression of minimalist paintings. He said: “African art is exaggerated in nature but I was able to understand the simplified form of African art, which involves extreme simplification that exhumes strength with focus on hues and less emphasis on forms.” He was in Paris, France, recently and this has opened him up to new ideas and new approaches to his work. Sublime has themes mostly rendered in abstracts and stylised human forms capturing our daily existence. This approach of Alimi’s stylised paintings has endeared him to many art lovers and collectors.

Ford offers $1m for transparency

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HE Ford Foundation has selected Development Initiatives Network (DIN), to manage the application process for its jubilee transparency awards. DIN is a development-support organisation working on public interest issues in the country. Ford Foundation’s Representative for West Africa, Dr. Adhiambo Odaga disclosed that Rev. Fr. Mathew Hassan Kukah will chair the eight-man National Awards Committee that will work with DIN and oversee the selection of up to 10 awardees. Other members of the committee are former Supreme Court Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte, Bilikisu Yusuf, T. Y. Bello, Chude Jideonwo, Nurudeen Lemu and Mrs. Victoria Aiyeyemi. The awards, which were announced last October to mark the 50th anniversary of the Ford Foundation’s presence in West Africa, will recognise and reward outstanding initiatives that promote transparency, good governance, and integrity at the community level in the country. The Foundation believes that strong democracies everywhere rely on transparency, citizen engagement, and good governance at all levels, and has long supported initiatives in Nigeria to promote these values. Dr. Odaga said Ford Foundation has a special relationship with Nigeria dating back to the country’s independence and that the recent elections as well as the spread of democratic values and accelerated social change across the sub-region, signaled the potential for a new era of democratic growth for West Africa. “We envision a future in which West African and their governments leverage the region’s extraordinary human and natural resources for the common good. That future in

•From left: Odaga, Fajemirokun and Rev Fr Kukah.

AWARD which all people have both the right and the opportunity to achieve their potential, begins with citizen involvement and good governance,” she said adding that the convergence of the Ford Foundation’s golden jubilee in West Africa and Nigeria’s 50th independence anniversary gives the awards special relevance. The awards have two objectives: to recognise innovative

PHOTO: OZOLUA UHAKHEME

projects and programmes that promote transparent, effective and accountable governance at the community level in Nigeria and to showcase the impact of these projects as models for deepening democracy, good governance and anti-corruption across the country. DIN Executive Director, Dr. Bola Fajemirokun, will be the Awards Secretary while Mr Kayode Samuel, will serve as consultant to the awards committee. The public is expected to pick nomination forms online at www.fordfoundaion.org/ regions/west-africa.


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Fruitful fiction for African children

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HE Anna Hibiscus series is a beautifully crafted and illustrated child-fiction series that readers will find appealing, whether young or old. The heroine is a child named Anna Hibiscus who, going by her adventures, is presumably not more than two years old. The series has about five books that feature a unique adventure of Anna Hibicus with 111 pages each. The adventures of the Anna Hibiscus series include Hooray for Anna Hibiscus; Good Luck, Anna Hibiscus! Have Fun, Anna Hibiscus; among others. The stories are a medley of traditional folklore and contemporary urban life. The child-fiction series celebrates Africa as it is seen by a typical African child who is surrounded by a loving family and relations. One is taken into her world and adventures through vivid descriptions and elaborate illustrations. As one reads through the adventures of Anna, he realises that the book is not just written for the African child alone, but, particularly those in the Diaspora. And through the author’s narrative style and use of language, even the older folks can identify with. She writes as if she were a child herself; in the language that children can understand and identify with. The series is written by a UK-based Nigerian who is simply known as Atinuke. It was gathered, that, although she is the daughter of a former Nigerian Foreign Minister, Atinuke seeks her own identity as a writer of repute and does not want her father’s name in print. However, the Nigerian is representing the nation well abroad. Her series is currently making waves in the UK and US. Julia Eccleshare of The Guardian describes it thus: “Delightful and vivid…captures how it feels to be any little girl anywhere.” The author works as an international storyteller in schools and in theatres, telling traditional African tales and reading from her books about Anna Hibiscus. Going by the adventures in the series, one is of the opinion that they are written with a somewhat nostalgia. Set in the Africa of the author’s childhood, Atinuke literally eulogises the scenery, the cultures and norms and every day living. Even, certain phenomena such as power and poverty are painted in a way stylish way, while satirising such situations. So, as a reader, you would find that each book in series begins by eulogising Africa and, then, there is the introduction of the protagonist, which is done with merely a few differences, with lines that read: “Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa.” Then the reader is also introduced to Anna family with these lines: “She lives with her mother and her father, her grandmother, her grandfather, her aunties, her uncles, her cousins, little medium and big; and her twin baby brothers, Double and Trouble. They all live in a big house.” This introduction allows the reader to meet the protagonist first hand. However, the author captures the essence of being an African child. The books highlights the beautiful world of Africa; and the way a child would perceive and appreciates the simple things of life; such as a child’s first day at school; being forced to plait her hair; a child’s jealousy, relationship with other siblings both young and old, etc. Children would find these interesting as they can quickly identify with and follow their protagonist. And so, no matter which book you pick in the series, one gets to meet Anna Hibiscus straight-up. In addition, each book comprises short

BOOK REVIEW

TITLE: Anna Hibiscus Series AUTHOR:

Atinuke

REVIEWER: Evelyn Osagie PUBLISHER: Walker Books Ltd stories, which are smaller adventures of Anna. Through the eyes of the heroine, the reader enjoys her adventures that are hilarious, yet soul searching. The stories literally tell leave the reader with underlining lessons. The author cleverly weaves those simple things of childhood into adventures so much so that the child reader and the old are taken on a journey of early childhood. Using simple language, she also raises emotions in her reader by building up several conflicts around her heroine. In one of the adventures, Anna is chosen to sing for her school in front of

a visiting president and as she climbs the podium, she seems to forget her lines. She is however rescued by her twin brothers, Double and Trouble. Atinuke describes it thus: “Anna stood alone on the stage… A sea of faces rose in front of her but the light shone in her eyes... and one of those people, Anna knew, was a president from a strange and faraway country. Anna forgot her song... Her throat was a dry riverbed. Her bones turned to stone.” Although one is not told one can deduce from the setting and the adventures that it is set in the highbrow area of Lagos, Nigeria: and Anna Hibiscus are child from a wealthy home. An adventure in Hooray for Anna Hibiscus, which is second in the series, is however striking. In the adventure, entitled: The other side of the city, Anna would come face-to-face a slum, for the first time in her life, when she is goes with her uncle and aunt to give used clothes to a motherless babies home in the area. Touched by the level of poverty in the place, the little girl, who did not have money, ends up giving out the clothes and shoes she wore to the place; and went home naked. Each story in the series is illustrated by Lauren Tobia, a graduate of Illustration at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Atinuke lives with her husband and two young sons in Wales. The series is published by Walker Books Ltd, London. Although the series is not yet available in Nigeria, the book would make a good read for children. However, observers have opined that publishers could work with the author to have the book available in Africa, especially Nigeria.

Jazzman Ready 2 Go

LIFE LINE

Stop this bloodshed, says ANA

ALBUM

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FRO Hip-Hop crooner, Jazzman Olofin is working on a musical video as follow-up to the release of his first single, Erekere with the title track of his latest effort Ready 2 Go featuring Rapper MI. The artiste’s management team has confirmed that venues are officially being surveyed for the shoot of the video Ready 2 go; a track which was produced by OJB Jezreel. Since the unofficial release of his album on January 18, Jazzman Olofin’s Ready 2 Go has enjoyed massive appeal among the fans; with airplay across radio stations while the video for the first single Erekere featuring Late Rapper Da Grin has been aired on local and international TV networks in the country. “Music has changed over the years, and Nigerian music has managed to keep up with the pace. We can now boast of real international acclaim for our colleagues. Even then, we never should forget where we are coming from, the Felas, the Sonny Okosuns, the Mandators, the Onyeka Onwenus of our music industry original flavoured Nigerian music. The ‘Ready 2 Go” project is as such, “original flavoured Nigerian Hip Hop’with a sound that borrows from yesterday and focuses on today in terms of delivery, content and sound. Our focus for the video Ready to go is going to be as original as possible, infusing what we know as hip hop today featuring prolific rapper MI who is a massive influence on the youth, and the original sound of Jazzman Olofin – a

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• Jazzman sound I believe has stood the test of time and music,” Olofin said.

RITERS under the auspices of the Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA) have added their voice to the ongoing protests against the recent wave of violence across the country. In a statement signed by the ANA National General Secretary, Hyncinth Obunseh, the group said the killings are uncalled for. It called for the prosecution of perpetrators to serve as a warning to others. He said: “ANA has condemned these bloodsheds in the strongest of terms and called on the Federal Government to set up a Judicial Panel of Enquiry to look into the most recent ones and come up with a White Paper that will be made public and the guilty, no matter how highly placed, adequately punished. ‘’Some people have in public and private continued to encourage and try to justify these blood sheds. These people must be told to look inwards; their conscience, and tell the world what their feelings will be if it were their own child or ward. No more Nigerian blood must be shed on the altar of religion or politics. It is not worth It is not worth it and there can never be any justification for it.”


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

No sweat

3RD ANNUAL VISUAL ART FIESTA, 2011 PHOTO: GEORGE ESIRI

•Students protesting in Ekiti State ... on Monday


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ABUJA REVIEW

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WENTY-ONE companies have submitted proposals for the opening and development of four districts in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). This followed the decision of the Federal Capital Territory Administration to bring in private sector for rapid develop-

21 companies bid for four districts From Oyin Kadiri

ment of the city. The Administration expects 40 per cent accelerated development of four districts

The project is a sensitive one and therefore needs due process to be followed without any form of bias…Primary infrastructures are the main basis of the project in the stated districts and this would be actualised within three to five years

in the FCT from the Public Private Partnership and Mass Housing Department while the FCTA will undertake the remaining 60 per cent. The Coordinator, Abuja Infrastructure and Investment Centre, Farouk Sanni disclosed that the four districts to be developed are Durumi, Kado, Mabushi and Gwarinpa. Receiving qualification documents from 21 companies out of the 53 that applied for the pre-qualification documents at the bid opening in Abuja, Sanni stated that the project is to promote integrity and to

FCTA unveils new transportation policy

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N order to cater for the daily influx of people into Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is unveiling a scheme for public transport services in the FCT. The scheme when in force, will grant operating licenses to about five mass transit operators who will ply designated routes in the capital city with high capacity buses. Newsextra recalls that the FCT Administration, earlier this year, issued licences to five companies namely Messrs Shaanxi Auto Limited, ATCS Limited, City-Cab Limited, Print Field Enterprises Limited and Corporate Drivers Nigeria Limited to offer transportation services to Abuja residents. The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed who spoke on the policy in Abuja also revealed that the administration has licensed some taxi cab operators with security gadgets for monitoring and evaluation to ply the routes where the high ca-

From Bukola Amusan

pacity buses would have difficulty plying due to wide turning radius. He added that the mass transit scheme will be subsidised which will be borne by the FCTA and the area councils. Those that will soon begin to enjoy the new scheme are commuters on such routes as Eagle Square-AYA-Nyanya-MararabaMasaka, Eagle Square-Park Way (Sani Abacha Way)-Mabushi Flyover-Berger Junction-Jabi-Karimo-Deidei-Kubwa, Area 1 Flyover-Area 10-Herbert Macaulay Way-Berger Junction-Jabi-Karimo-DeideiKubwa Expressway and Eagle SquareLugbe-Airport Junction-Gwagwalada/ Kuje-Zuba-Suleja. Other routes that will also benefit from the services include Gudu Market-Apo Quarters-Ahmadu Bello Way-Federal Secretariat-Bannex Plaza-Gwarinpa, Eagle Square-Shehu Shagari Way-Maitama Avenue-Lungi Barracks-Kubwa-Zuba-

The scheme is designed to usher in improved transport services to enable commuters to get to their destinations safely and in good time, as well as to encourage feeder route transportation so as to enhance less traffic along high capacity bus routes

•Abuja car hire park

Suleja and Area 1-CBN Junction-Lungi Barracks-Mpape Junction-Nnamdi Azikiwe Way-Berger Junction-Area 1 (Circular Route). Under this improved condition, the old transport companies that currently ply these routes in the FCT will be recapitalised and where possible they will turn in their old vehicles in exchange for new ones. The scheme is designed to usher in improved transport services to enable commuters to get to their destinations safely and in good time, as well as to encourage feeder route transportation so as to enhance less traffic along high capacity bus routes. It also aims at direct/redirect traffic to derive the best benefit of the array of good roads in Abuja. The scheme has taken care of all the nitty-gritty to ensure success. “It will also organise taxi services for coordinated security of passengers, better stratified obedience to traffic rules and regulations,” he added. Following this development, the days of unlicensed transporters operating in the territory would soon be over as only licensed companies would be allowed to operate taxi, hire, mini-bus and high capacity bus services in Abuja. Operationally, while the mini-bus services will be area-based, operating within districts, estates and satellite towns as they serve feeder routes of high capacity bus routes, the high capacity bus services will operate seven bus routes. On regulation of this scheme, the Secre-

involve stakeholders in the development of the country. He said the FCT Administration cannot do the work alone, hence the need to collaborate with the private sectors in public development. He observed that the project is a sensitive one, and therefore needs due process to be followed without any form of bias. “Primary infrastructures are the main basis of the project in the stated districts and this would be actualised within three to five years,” he added. tary of Transportation Secretariat, Mr. Jonathan Achara Ivoke revealed that defaulters of traffic regulations would face appropriate prosecution through mobile courts. Such traffic offences like excessive loading, over-speeding, use of defective vehicles, driving without safety materials and causing damage to public presence among several others attract commensurate penalties, ranging from impounding of vehicle through dislodgement to clean up of road or repair of damage caused by any offender. With this scheme, Abuja residents would soon heave a sigh of relief having experienced unpleasant situations due to the near-total collapse of the six-year-old mass transit programme introduced by former FCT Minister, Mallam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai. Mr Ivoke assured that the present arrangement would have a long-lasting effect, adding that FCTA was putting finishing touches to ensure a hitch-free launch and operation of the new FCT Operator’s Licensed Scheme. To ensure a hitch-free operation of this transport scheme in some parts of the territory where there is heavy traffic congestion, contracts have been awarded by the FCT Administration for road diversions that will take off the pressure on the ever busy Keffi/ Nyanya/Abuja Road. The diversion will see another axis being opened all the way from Keffi area passing through Karshi and then cutting close to Jikwoyi and moving direct to Kuje. It’s going to be a diversion that will see vehicles coming from that axis having a by-pass over Abuja.


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ABUJA REVIEW

‘Why Abuja needs another university’

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HE Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Muhammed has explained why the territory needs another federal university. He spoke while receiving reports and vital academic documents on the establishment of the proposed Abuja University of Technology (AUTA) from its steering and implementation committee. Mohammed said: “The University when established will ensure that the graduates

From Bukola Amusan

of FCT secondary schools stand a better chance of getting good quality university education.” The Minister expressed the commitment of the FCT Administration to use the new university as a base for producing qualified and highly skilled technical manpower for the development of not only the nation’s capital but the entire country.

The University when established will ensure that the graduates of FCT secondary schools stand a better chance of getting good quality university education… Education for our people is one of the greatest legacies any government can bequeath to the populace; and a society populated by ignorant and uneducated people cannot compete in a very dynamic global system but constitute danger unto itself •Muhammed

Farmer arraigned for assault Stories from Hannah Omah

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25-YEAR-OLD farmer, Abubakar Musa has been arraigned before an Abuja Magistrate’s Court sitting at Wuse zone II for allegedly inflicting a deep cut on the leg of one Ali Sani. The accused, who is a resident of Ruga Fulani, Aso Estate allegedly, committed the offence punishable under Section 247 of the Penal Code Law. The police prosecutor informed the court that on April 11, 2011, Sani came to Lugbe Police Station to report the accused. He informed the court that after Musa gained entry into the complainant’s room, he inflicted a deep cut on his left leg with a cutlass. The accused pleaded not guilty to the one-count charge and sought for bail. Raising objection to the bail, the prosecutor said there was the likelihood of the accused committing the same offence or similar offence, urging the court to take cognisance of the offence which attracts a seven-year imprisonment, if convicted. Replying, counsel to the accused, Cornelius Ogedegbe argued that his client is innocent until proven otherwise, even as he lamented that he had been languishing in custody for over 23 days. Ruling, Magistrate Aliyu Shaffa granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000.

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HE Sokoto State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has challenged religious and political leaders to urgently seek ways of educating and enlightening the Nigerian citizenry on the benefits of peaceful coexistence. The union also condemned the postelections violence in parts of the country, calling on the Federal Government to speed up investigation on the matter and punish the perpetrators irrespective of their status. In a communiqué issued at the weekend during the end of the union’s 2011 maiden congress which was attended by the state Commissioner for Information, Mallam

He further said: “Education for our people is one of the greatest legacies any government can bequeath to the populace; and a society populated by ignorant and uneducated people cannot compete in a very dynamic global system but constitute danger unto itself.” Senator Mohammed noted that he was excited because President Goodluck Jonathan who is a distinguished academic, has made the development of education a priority; saying that his re-election portends good omen for the nation’s educational system. Speaking earlier, the Acting Chairman of the Steering/Implementation Committee on AUTA, Prof. Buba Bajoga said that the reports and three strategic documents being submitted are very vital steps toward the materialisation of the desires as well as aspirations of the FCT residents for a university of their own. Prof. Bajoga recalled that Senator Mohammed inaugurated these committees on October 22, 2010 with a passionate request to develop a world-class university of technology. He thanked the Minister for the confidence reposed in them.

‘Leaders should educate citizenry on peaceful coexistence’ From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

Dahiru Maishanu, Special Assistant to Governor Wamakko on Press Affairs, Mallam Muhammadu Abubakar Dangusau and General Managers of the state-owned media organisations as well as Zonal Director of the Sokoto NTA Network Centre, the chapter called on Nigerians to continue to tolerate and live in peace with one another irrespective of

Peaceful co-existence is the sure way to development and socio-economic growth of a nation. We need to strengthen the bond of unity and peace among us for prosperity and proper integration

their differences. “Peaceful co-existence is the sure way to development and socio-economic growth of a nation. We need to strengthen the bond of unity and peace among us for prosperity and proper integration,’’ it said. It further said that it has concluded arrangements to meet the Sokoto State government to finalise talks on a new salary structure for working journalists in the state-owned media organisations. It also resolved to embark on strategic approach towards educating members of the union in the state on the Health Insurance Scheme for journalists in the country. The communiqué, jointly signed by the council’s chairman and secretary, Labaran Lumo Dundaye and Bashir Rabe Mani also appealed for harmonious working relationship between working journalists and security agencies in the state. However, the union, while commending the existing cordial relationship between the state government and journalists urged for its sustenance.

Man jailed for stealing cement

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CHIEF Magistrate’s Court has sentenced one Jude Mkar to eight weeks imprisonment for stealing four bags of cement. The offence contravened Section 288 of the Penal Code Law. The complainant, Mr Aver Cletus reported the accused at Lugbe Police Station on April 30, 2011, that the accused hired a taxi and went to his construction site opposite Aso Estate, along Airport Road where he stole four (4) bags of cement and was caught in the process. When the one –count charge was read to him, he pleaded guilty and begged the court to temper justice with mercy. The Magistrate, Ashafa Aliyu sentenced the accused to eight weeks imprisonment with an option of fine of N2, 000.

•From left: Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu launching the safe-feeding campaign for infants born by HIV positive mothers. With him are the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Linus Awute and guest lecturer, Prof. Babatunde Oguntona at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN


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Health Minister said that the Ministry with support from the Global Fund is set to provide about 60 million doses of Artemisimin Combination Therapy (ACT) at selected public and private facilities

Minister leads anti-malaria rally

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HE Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu has led a procession meant to raise awareness on malaria and how to control it. The anti-malaria march was staged in the Federal Capital Territory, with Health Ministry officials and other stakeholders participating. It was part of activities marking this year’s World Malaria Day. The minister sought for more collaboration and support from the media to checkmate the scourge. The day also witnessed the distribution of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Treated Nets (LLINs) at Bwari Area Council of the FCT. Chukwu applauded the partnership and collaboration the Ministry has enjoyed over the years with the Media, saying that more concerted efforts should be made to help the Ministry in better propagating the malaria control message. The Minister who was represented by the Director of Public Health, Dr. Kabir Mansur said in order to create awareness, the Ministry placed adverts on LLINs and instructions on its use both on television and radio across Nigeria. He added that training on malaria for Journalists is ongoing, adding that about 30 journalists from the Southwest zone have been trained on effective reporting of malaria control activities. He said the Ministry is in collaboration with Nigeria Inter-Faith Action Association (NIFAA) to mobilise religious leaders to support behavioural change in the people. NIFAA, he said, is co-chaired by the Sultan of Sokoto and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). Prof. Chukwu said that as part of government intervention to checkmate the scourge of malaria in the country, a total

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IFE of the Kwara State Governor-elect Mrs. Omoworare Ahmed will not attribute the emergence of her husband, Alhaji AbdulFatah Ahmed as governor to any man. She ascribed the feat to God. In Ilorin, the state capital, she went to a Pentecostal church named Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) for thanksgiving. As soon as she got hold of the microphone, songs of praise began to tumble out of her mouth. “ I just want to appreciate God because He is faithful, for let no man glory in himself; it is a doing of God and it is marvelous in our sight,” she said. She continued: “I am not a politician so I cannot make any promises but I stand as a daughter of Zion. I appreciate firstly the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, for how He tackled it I cannot explain it. “God has spoken, and I don’t know how He made my husband the governor. But I am here to sing, I just want to sing and dance. I didn’t even know today was going to be a praise (worship) day as I said, I just want to dance; the spirit kept saying COZA, COZA! So as I came and saw the way people dressed I knew I was in the right place and immediately Pastor started talking. “I discovered God has raised me as the Esther of my generation, as we all want Kwara to progress so was Esther sent to Mordecai to tell

•Mr. Linus Awute, leading the World Malaria Day rally in Abuja By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

of 35.6 million Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets(LLINs) have been distributed in 22 states. He added that LLINs distribution was concluded in Ebonyi, Zamfara, Kwara, Enugu and Borno states between January and April 2011. He said that the Ministry with support from the Global Fund is set to provide about 60 million doses of Artemisimin Combination Therapy (ACT) at selected public and private facilities. Another intervention by the government to stem the tide of malaria was the launch of the Affordable Medicine Facility for Malaria (AMFm), a cost-saving mechanism by Global Fund to make ACTs cheap and

available at a cost equal or less than the cost of Chloroquine and SulphdoxinePyremethamine. He added that at the moment, about 20 million doses of the ACTs have arrived in the country and are presently being distributed. The FCT Net Ambassador, His Royal Highness Alhaji Idris Musa, Sarkin Juwa called on all and sundry to play their part in the fight against malaria, stressing that it should not be left to government alone. He implored Nigerians to always keep their environment clean, adding that it will keep mosquitoes at bay and also help in controlling the malaria scourge. He also called on the Federal Government to enact a law to discourage the indiscriminate discarding of polythene bags

in the country, a development which helps in providing breeding grounds for mosquitoes. He added that the enforcement should be closely monitored to ensure compliance by the public. Also speaking, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed who was represented by Dr.(Mrs.) Folashade Momoh said that malaria remains a public health concern in the country and a big setback in the drive to achieve the MDGs in the health-related areas. He assured the FCT residents that the FCT administration will continue to play its part to ensure that the onslaught of malaria is reversed through the use of nets to be provided in every home.

‘I don’t know how God made my husband governor’

•Mrs Fatah Ahmed and her entourage at COZA, Ilorin From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

the people of Israel to join her in prayer. I also tell you people of God to join me in prayer and support for there is a purpose (for which) God has appointed me. For He who has called His faithful to do

and accomplish that which He has said.” In a sermon entitled “Dominating in finance, the Resident Pastor of COZA, Oyewole Soetan said “the heart of gratitude gives birth to greater reasons to be grateful. Learn to be grateful always, even

in your trials.” Soetan quoting from Proverbs 22:1, said “Bind your life with integrity if you really want financial dominion. Choose a good reputation over great riches. You must stand for something so you don’t fall for anything. Integrity ema-

nates from integral and this comes from the integer. In Mathematics we were taught that integers are whole numbers. Integrity means being whole, not being divisive as a person. “Be faithful in finance. He who is unfaithful in unrighteous mammon, who will give him true riches? This month God is bringing great financial miracle your way. The way to receive it is by being faithful, having your integrity in place. Once you can be faithful with money you can be faithful with any other thing. “When we look into the mirror we see our image, and whatever moves or gesticulations we make the image also does the same. We have been created in the image of God, and so whatever God does, we can do the same too. We have the ability to heal the sick, part the Red Sea (obstacle), heal the brokenhearted, set the captives free, feed the multitudes, and lots more.” “God gave man authority in three capacities: in the sea, in the air, and over the earth. We are to dominate in all aspects of life for He has given us authority over the earth. By the mention of the name of Jesus, all knees must bow. Everything that exists in life has been put under our control. This month is our month of dominating in finance!


SLIDING TACKLE

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

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OLYMPIC GAMES QUALIFIERS

Don’t joke with Tanzania, Ikande warns teammates

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ITH days just left to the second- roundfirst-leg Olympic Games Qualifier between the Dream Team V and Junior Taifa Stars of Tanzania in Daressalam, Estremadora of Spain midfielder and Nigerian Under-23 International, Harmony Ikande has urged his teammates to take the threat posed by the East African seriously, if the country does not wish to go the way of cameroon which was eliminated in the first- round. Tanzania was regarded as an underdog against the 2000 Olympic Games Champions but Cameroonians had to pay the price of complacency as the seemingly minnow Tanzania defeated the illustrious Paul Biya’s men to set a date with Nigeria, another former Olympic winners. Ikande who is on loan from AC Milan of Italy hinted NationSport from Spain shortly after his club 3-1 triumph that gone were the days when certain countries were taking with kids glove while tasking his colleagues to see the Costa Rica friendly on the 30th of this month as a dress rehearsal to the titanic battle in Daressalam. “I am ready for our upcoming matches especially the ones against Costa Rica and Tanzania and I will soon hit the country. These two matches are very important and we should take them as such. Costa Rica is a fitting way of preparing for Tanzania. “We should not expect a tea

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri party against Tanzania because having qualified for this stage of the qualifier they deserve some respect. For the fact that they defeated Cameroun should give us a good picture of what to expect when we get to Tanzania for the first-leg in June. We need to be at our best and to take the match very seriously if we do not want to

suffer Cameroon’s fate. But come what may, I think we shall fly based on the caliber of players and the quality of the technical crew we have in Coach Austin Eguavoen and his Assistants.”Ikande enthused Ikande warned against complacency in the build-up for the Tanzanian fixture urging his mates to speed up their

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Omodiagbe predicts tough match against Wolves • Faults WAFU Cup tourney WARRI Wolves FC defensive midfielder, Emmanuel Omodiagbe has predicted a close contest between his club and visiting Kaduna United in today’s Week 20 NPL match billed for the Warri Township Stadium. Omodiagbe who moved over from Heartland of Owerri at the start of the season in a chat from Warri on Tuesday disclosed that all the members of the Wolves team were battle ready for the duel with the Nigerian representatives in the CAF Confederations Cup admitting that the Maurice Cooreman led team have technical in-depth but that his club would prevail owing to the Delta State unprecedented support and motivation to the team. “We are very prepared for the match. I see the match as a very tough one but at the end of the day we will emerge victorious. The management of Warri Wolves have been doing very fine and I believe we are the one that are still owing them. The whole players are battle ready for the match.”

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri He expressed. On the ongoing WAFU Cup Tourney at Abeokuta Ogun State, the Deltan born player enthused that based on his first stanza performance in the NPL where he emerged consecutive times in the Star performers for some weeks he ought to be in the squad but noted he would rather wait for his time than crying over spilt milk. He advised national teams’ selectors to beam their searchlight more into the NPL so that those that merited invitation were not in any way deprived of such for selfish reasons. “It was based on the first round outing; I think I deserved a place in the WAFU team. Sometimes I ask myself the criteria used in the selection of players for national team assignment. But I am not perturbed at all I believe my own time will come soon and no one can stop that from happening.” Omodiagbe stated reassuringly.

Gabros FC lifts Anambra FA 2011 trophy •All 2012 matches to be played at Neros stadium

• Ehiosun

Falcons jet out to Accra on Friday

HE Super Falcons of Nigeria will depart for Ghana on Friday to honour the make or break second-leg of the All African Games Qualifier with the Black Princesses of Ghana which holds on Sunday in Accra. The head coach of the senior female national team, Uche Eucharia made this known to NationSport exclusively on Tuesday while answering questions on the build-up to the highly charged second-leg match. “ I think it should be by weekend since the match holds by Sunday. We are looking at the prospect of either travelling on Thursday or Friday. We are battle ready and hoping for the best to turn the tide in the second-leg after the setback in Abuja. The Falcons handler confirmed that foreign-based players have told her that they would be present for the match but couldn’t stick out her neck on those that have confirmed their coming stating that they all know the importance of the return-leg their resolve to unitedly pip Ghana to the All African Games’ sole ticket. “Though I mention names as of now but all the foreign based players have all told me they would be around for

preparation toward the first-leg while asserting that a good result in Daressalam will open the door for a flourish finish in Benin City and Nigeria when the return leg is decided. The holding midfielder got his first-cap for the Dream Team V in the 6-1 annihilation of Liberia when he came on in the secondhalf at about 20 minutes from time and assisted in the last goal when his crucial pass to Nosa Igiebor led to the lad’s impressive long range scorcher to found the bottom corner of the net for the Lillestrom of Norway player’s second goal of the match. He was a member of the Flying Eagles of Nigeria whose wings were clipped in the second round of the FIFA Under 20 World Cup in Egypt in 2009 by Germany.

“Argentina will never raise a substandard team against Nigeria because they too want to maintain their record of the unbeaten runs. We are focused and will give the match all it takes. Argentina is one of the world's most successful football nations. Any team they field will be of world class quality because the depth of talent available to them is second to none.” Super Eagles’ coach, Samson Siasia acknowledging the quality of Argentina team for the forthcoming Guiness The Match friendly to be played in Abuja, Nigeria.

From Tunde Liadi, Owerrri the match. Every hand is on deck to ensure we qualify. I am assuring Nigerians that I will do my best to pull through at the expense of Ghana. It is a big task but

we can make ourselves a story by doing so.” Nigeria drew with Ghana in the first-leg at Abuja with a Ghanaian Desire Oparanozie early second half lead.

We’ll defeat JUTH—Ogbu

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A N G E R S International of Enugu highest goal poacher in the current league season with five goals, Brendan Ogbu has told NationSport that the prospect of lining out against James Amankwei inspired JUTH FC in today’s Week 20 NPL clash would be mouth-watering. Ogbu in a phone chat from Enugu ahead of today’s second round fixture between both teams at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium says that his prime target is to overtake season leading scorer, Sunshine Stars of Akure’s Ajani Ibrahim to emerge as the highest goal at the end of the season. He told NationSport that though JUTH has a formidable striker in James Amankwei, but noted that the Flying Antelopes would have maximum points at their expense by the conclusion of

From Tunde Liadi, Owerri the match in Enugu today. “Well, we have prepared for JUTH’s test and by God’s grace we shall beat them. I know they have James Amankwei and it will be a big fight between both of us in the match based on the fact that we have both netted five goals. I hope I will make the difference against them because it is payback time for them having beaten us 2-0 in Jos. “My target for the season is to overtake the leading goals scorer and emerge as the highest goals scorer. It is a tall dream but I know it is achievable. “ Ogbu hinted NationSport in a chat. The striker however appealed to the State government to dole out cash to Rangers so as to enable the players have a facelift from their present financial predicament.

Barnabas targets golden boot award

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NYIMBA forward Victor Barnabas has revealed that his target in the CAF Champions League is to become the highest goal scorer this season. The forward who scored the penalty that earned the former African champions a place in the group stage after 70 minutes told SuperSport.com that he intends to perfect his goal-scoring skills as the competition progresses. “I've scored three goals now but I want to do more to enhance my quest for the highest goal scorer award. I’m enjoying myself at Enyimba because of the presence of great players around,” Barnabas said to SuperSport.com. The Enyimba star told SuperSport.com that he was under pressure shortly before converting the penalty kick that qualified his team. “It wasn’t an easy assignment, but I it’s something I know how to do very well. I had to face it with confidence and I didn’t disappoint my colleagues and the fans,” he said.

GABROS football club of Nnewi has emerged the champions of Anambra State Football Association (FA) competition for 2011 by defeating hard fighting Izuchukwu Joshua Football Academy by a lone goal. The match was played at the weekend at the popular Gabros Stadium in Nnewi with fine football skills exhibited by the two club sides but were shy at the goal. Gabros scored the decider in the second-half through, its play maker, Nnanna Sunday who has been described as the new Mutiu Adepoju for the country. Before the match, the third place had been decided at the same ground earlier with Philimas football club Ekwulobia outscoring Morning Stars of Onitsha by two goals to one. The competition was sponsored by Chief Paully Emenike, the Chief Executive of NEROS Pharmaceuticals Limited. However, the competition for the 2012 would be hosted

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka at the NEROS multi-million naira ultra modern stadium in Nanka being built by Emenike. Though, the sponsor of the FA was not around but his representative, Hon. Okeke Ogene told reporters that the competition was taken over by Emenike when he saw that football was dying in the state. He said that the man has been eager to produce the likes of Nwankwo Kanu’s, Austine Okocha’s, Emmanuel Amunike’s, Rashidi Yekini’s, and Samson Siasia’s among others, adding that the budding talents in the country should not be allowed to waste any longer. According to him, “Anambra State is known for sports, we had the Emmanuel Okala’s Ogidi Ibeabuchi’s, Alloysius Atuegbu’s, Sylvanus Okpala’s, Innocent Egbunike’s, Mary Onyali’s among others but where is the state today in sports development, nowhere.”

KFA stuns Kwara in final HIGH-flying Kwara Football Academy (KFA) entered the history books last Saturday after defeating Premier League side, Kwara United in the finals of the Kwara State Federation Cup. The youngsters defeated Kwara United 5-4 on penalties after the match had ended 1-1 in regulation time. The Premier League side paraded two graduates of the academy; Monday Samuel and Barnabas Imenger, who are on loan, while former KFA captain,

Gbenga Arokoyo missed the finals because he is away with the Flying Eagles in South Korea. KFA Administrator, Kumbi Titiloye was delighted with the team’s victory, “Its double honours for us this year. We won the state league this year and now we have won the state Federation Cup for the first time in the history of the academy. The youngsters have proved they can play against any team.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

43

MONEY

Recapitalisation: Shareholders allege T exclusion from talks

HERE are growing fears among shareholders of the eight rescued banks that their interests may not be protected in the ongoing talks between their management and the new core investors. This is because of the secrecy that characterised the details of the premerger Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) and Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signed by Intercontinental Bank, Afribank, FinBank and Union Bank in recent months, The Nation has learnt. National President, Concerned Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria, Olusegun Owolabi, said although the Managing Director of FinBank, Susan Iroche, last week called shareholders and other stakeholders to a discussion on the bank’s merger plans with First City Monument Bank (FCMB), she was unable to give them full details of the MoU. He said minority shareholders and other stakeholders have no say in the merger plans of the banks, sending a signal that their interests may be jeopardised in the merger plans. “Shareholders must be carried long adequately in the unfolding mergers, acquisitions and capital injections in the rescued banks.

Stories by Collins Nweze We must be involved. We should be able to identify and know some of the contents of the MoU and also make input,” he said. For him, even though the agreements are flexible as they can be amended with time, there is need for the shareholders to be carried along. He explained that issues relating to share restructuring are too risky to be left in the hands of the banks because it involves the entire life savings of a good number of the investors. Owolabi regretted that the banks should have discussed with majority and minority shareholders and pensioners prior to making the proposed deals public. “The processes adopted by the banks in these transactions are not consultative. The banks should have made smooth the rough edges before going ahead with the capital injection and merger plans,” he said. President, Union Bank of Nigeria Pensioners Association, Justus Osokoya, also said it would have been proper for Union Bank management to inform pensioners

about the proposed investment of $750 million by the African Capital Alliance Consortium (ACA Consortium) before it became public knowledge. “The pensioners should be involved and given the first choice to know. The bank can’t just sit down, and decide to get a core investor without involving us,” he said. A few months ago, Union Bank organised a forum for retirees where the issue of recapitalisation was discussed. Co-ordinator, Nigerian Renaissance Shareholders Association, Olufemi Timothy, said the transactions should go on, but at the appropriate time, shareholders will act. “The banks should continue with the transaction processes, but at the appropriate time, we will decide if the transaction will continue or not,” he said. But the managements of the rescued banks have risen up to defend why such MoU’s cannot be made public at the initial stage, saying that the confidentiality agreement signed by both parties precludes them talking about the transactions

until an agreement is reached. Some shareholders of Intercontinental Bank Plc have asked a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, to nullify the MoU between Access Bank and Intercontinental Bank. The shareholders had challenged the propriety of the planned sale of the bank to Access Bank and prayed the court to nullify or/and set aside in its entirety, all steps and/or action taken by Intercontinental Bank, its Managing Director, Mr. Mahmoud Lai Alabi and management of the two banks in “purportedly signing and/or cause to be signed an MoU between the two banks for allegedly purpose of business combination of both institutions.” Union Bank has signed an agreement with African Capital Alliance Consortium (ACA Consortium) where the later is expected to invest $750 million into the former. This was followed with the signing of MoU between Access Bank and Intercontinental Bank in April. Afribank Nigeria has also signed an MoU with a potential core investor – Vine Capital Partners Limited and Phoenix Acquisition Company Limited. It is an emerging markets private equity firm with an interest in banking and financial services in sub-Saharan Africa. Afribank said the MoU provides a framework for the pro-

cess by which it will be recapitalised. FinBank and First City Monument Bank last week also signed the MoU authorising them to exist as one business entity. The MoU is a major boost that will help FinBank achieve its recapitalisation bid. The bank said in a statement that the exercise follows a transparent and competitive process under the supervision of the Board of Directors of FinBank with a commitment to reposition the bank. It said:“The signing of the MoU follows a transparent and competitive process under the direction and guidance of the directors of FinBank, which remains committed to the long-term future of the bank.” The merger of both institutions, it was learnt, will provide significant protection for their shareholders and other stakeholders as well as promote franchise value. The bank said the exercise would boost its existence as a going concern, and reposition it as a leader in the industry. “The business combination of the two institutions will create a strong financial institution which will be a major player in the Nigerian financial services industry,” the bank said. In all the cases, the exercises have to be approved by the banks’ shareholders, Central Bank of Nigeria, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Federal High Court.

Standard Chartered gets regional CEO

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• L-R: General Secretary, Kingdom Wealth Imperial Initiative, Mr. Olusanjo Shodimu; President, Mr. Victor Akintunde and Projects Consultant, Mr. Tade Adekunle, at a briefing to announce the forthcoming Eagles’ Gathering 2011 training in Lagos.

TANDARD Chartered has named Diana Layfield Regional Chief Executive Officer, Africa, with effect from next month. Diana, according to a statement succeeds Mike Hart, who becomes Vice Chairman for the bank’s operations in Africa. Layfield will be responsible for driving the bank’s business and brand across Africa. Currently Group Head of Strategy and Corporate Development, she has held senior management roles in the bank as chief operating officer for Wholesale Banking and Group Head, Global Corporates. Hart has led Standard Chartered’s franchise in Africa since 2006, delivering record results while growing its business. He has also been an active proponent of the bank’s

‘Cleared cheques drop by 18% A T to N1.1tr’ HE total value of cheques cleared by the 24 banks have dropped by 18 per cent from N1.34 trillion in March to N1.10 trillion last month. Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Limited, Bismark Rewane, made this known during the Lagos Business School (LBS) Executive Breakfast. He said the decline could be linked to lull in businesses activities over April elections but was confident the figure could turn positive this month. Besides, in April the statutory revenue declined by N124 million to N358 billion against that of February; external reserves have increased marginally from $33.2 billion to $33.6 billion; forex demand decreased by 23 per cent from $3.6 billion in March to $2.7 billion in April. Also, the Nigeria Uniform Bank Account Number (NUBAN) codes

and validation test pass issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria to banks will make clearing transactions easier. Banks can only be allowed access into the automated clearing system when they comply with the new code assigned to them by the apex bank. The CBN said the account numbers and NUBAN codes would co-exist in the electronic payment and cheque clearing systems till June 2011, after which customers in all the 24 deposit money banks (DMBs) are expected to be integrated into the new system. The apex bank had, in August last year, issued guidelines on the NUBAN scheme designed to achieve a uniform customer bank account numbering structure in the

country, as part of efforts to help resolve the myriad of problems observed with the current electronic payment system by commercial banks, particularly those relating to specification of wrong beneficiary account numbers. Similarly, it directed banks to provide the relevant information to their customers in-clearing systems to enable them distinguish NUBAN codes from old account numbers while processing inward cheque items and electronic payment instruments during this transition period. “The deadline for full NUBAN compliance is June 2011. Therefore, only instruments (paper and electronic) that carry NUBAN codes and pass the NUBAN validation test (that is, instruments with correct check digit) would be allowed in the automated clearing system as from this date,” the CBN stated.

community programmes across Africa. Mike has held numerous senior positions in the bank, including Group Head of Audit and Group Head of Operations. He will continue to work very closely with the bank’s franchise in Africa in his new non-executive role. V. Shankar, CEO, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Americas, said: “Layfield and Hart’s appointments will ensure Standard Chartered continues to be Africa’s leading international bank, strengthening still further our 150-year-old commitment to the continent. This is a hugely exciting time for our fast growing business in Africa. Diana and Mike will ensure we are well placed to take advantage of the many opportunities we see, including from deepening economic and trade relationships with Asia.”

Africa’s $24b Japanese trade suffers setback

FRICA should brace itself for a decline in aid and trade flows with Japan following the devastating earthquake in which over 16,000 people died in the Asian country. Standard Chartered Bank said Japan’s total value of bilateral trade with Africa in 2010 stood at $24 billion, a 30 per cent improvement on 2009 record. The earthquake and resulting tsunami has so far left about 400,000 more people homeless. The negative economic spill-over effects are expected to further add to the already sluggish global economy. The report, written by the Standard Bank’s research analysts, Simon Freemantle and Jeremy Stevens, warned that this will have a material impact on African markets and economies because of the considerable linkages between Japan and Africa. “Quite clearly, African countries must prepare for an inevitable de-

crease in trade and aid volumes with Japan in the near and perhaps even medium-term,” they said. Besides, the linkages between Japan and Africa, both direct and indirect, are certainly substantial. Therefore, any renewed bout of risk aversion, dent in external demand, shelving of investment, swings in terms of trade, and fall in aid commitments will be harmful. Fremantle and Stevens further noted that the net effect in the short term will be harmful for those economies most linked to Japan, with countries like South Africa expected to be most affected from a trade perspective. In terms of overseas development assistance, countries such as Tanzania and Sudan may feel the pinch, while from an investment perspective, Africa’s larger economies, particularly South Africa and perhaps Nigeria will experience “marginal compression.”


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

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MONEY

NESG plans performance indicators for legislators

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HE newly appointed Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Foluso Phillips, has said the group is planning a performance indicator for the National Assembly members to monitor their achievements based on set goals. Speaking during the NESG Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos at the weekend, Foluso said doing that will entrench accountability and transparency in the way public officers conduct themselves in carrying out official responsibilities. He said the performance of the President can equally be determined based on the number of jobs created, health, educational facilities provided or other infrastructure built. “The elected officers should be able to fulfill their campaign promises, especially regarding the economy, power, sound institutions, infrastructure, health and education. These are the key areas they have to address for the country to move forward,” he said. For him, a public officer should be able to say in simple terms, what he achieved during his service to the people. “There is also ongoing plan for

Stories by Collins Nweze the body to look at budgetary management with the aim of curtailing how much is spent on governance. “It has become extremely expensive running government. We want to put a scheme in place to make the national legislators accountable,” Foluso, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Phillips Consulting, said. But being accountable and adhering to corporate governance principles will require certain sacrifices. Accountability and transparency can also mean adherence to corporate governance principles, when addressing business owners and top executives of government parastatals. Therefore, to achieve sustainable success, business owners including managers in public parastatals should apply corporate governance principles. This will bring forth identifiable value through the productive management of their assets and resources. The ‘value’ objective is central to the needs and expectations of the organisation’s stakeholders. The firm must aim for the equitable management of disparate interests by holding them in balance, the NESG said in a statement.

Corporate governance is known to assist organisations carry out their works in accordance with ethical principles and standards of business. The NESG said all stakeholders, as participants in corporate governance, make certain input, and also have interests, for the fulfillment of which they became stakeholders in the first place. “A core principle of corporate governance is that the organisation or public servant should offer fair returns for the input responsibilities reposed on him. “The positive effect of good corporate governance on different stakeholders is a strengthened economy, and hence, good corporate governance is a tool for socio-economic-development.” “The agency highlighted recent corporate failures, which suggest weaknesses in corporate governance practice. This include, decisions taken without adequate transparency as seen in the banking sector where some bank direc-

tors presented misleading signs of imminent crises and denied such crises when they actually occurred. “We need to accept the fact that the ‘bottom line’ is positive and secure only when all participants in corporate governance are faithful to its principles and disciplines,” it said. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has also insisted that the basis of the current banking reforms is to improve on corporate governance and risks management in the financial services sector. Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Kingsley Maghalu, said the reform is projected to enhance the quality of the banks, to ensure financial stabilisation through the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), to encourage sound evolution of the financial system, and to connect the financial sector to the real economy. The apex bank insists that most of the banks in the country did not really understand how important

corporate governance is to their business continuity. Besides, many banks took this for granted because “a lot of the banks were essentially one-man shows.” “When you do not have a sound corporate governance frame work, the reliance on the judgment or the views of one person or a small group of persons becomes a very fundamental risk exposure for the bank’s survival. Analysts say risk management is important in practice. It is a matter of life and death. Risk management is not just an exoteric thing. It is the conscious management of risk, reward, and business processes to prevent untoward events that could disrupt the business. “We found a situation where a lot of banks went into business without proper risk analysis, just because other banks are doing it or because they felt the need to grow big. Their ambitions led to a misalignment in risk capacity and tolerance,” Moghalu said during a debt conference in Lagos.

AfDB okays urban devt plan

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HE Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved the bank’s urban development strategy. The strategy, anchored on infrastructure delivery, governance and private sector development, according to the AfDB report, is designed to transform African cities and towns into engines of economic growth and social development. Going forward, the bank group will use infrastructure development as a major strategic vehicle for supporting urban development. Emphasis will be on delivery and expansion of basic infrastructure services and building capacity for maintenance of public infrastructure assets. It will also assist regional member countries and urban communities’ efforts to improve water supply, sanitation, drainage and solid waste management services; improve urban mobility through the development of mass transit systems and support energy projects and in particular, public lighting projects. In governance, the bank‘s strategy according to the AfDB, will strengthen corporate governance and managerial capacity of city authorities by promoting a culture of transparency, strengthen anti-corruption safeguards and build the capacity for urban planning. It will support reforms such as fiscal decentralisation by helping municipalities to improve financial and administrative management systems. In the area of private sector development, the bank AfDB said, will strive to support private enterprises across the business spectrum from small enterprises to mega entities. Assistance will be focused on creating conducive environments for private sector investment, including promoting and strengthening local financial markets. Other priority areas will include: promoting viable public private partnerships (PPPs); developing legal and regulatory frameworks aimed at reducing transaction costs for business development; and providing long-term financing to governments, municipal authorities, and private investors in support of investment programmes for cities. The AfDB said it will support crosscutting issues including knowledge generation, regional integration, environmental protection and adaptation and resilience to climate

change, gender equality, and the empowerment of vulnerable segments of society, as well as strengthen urban-rural linkages. In the past 50 years, Africa‘s centers of economic activity have shifted markedly from the agrarian countryside to urban areas. Today urban areas account for the bulk of domestic economic activity and more than a third of the population live in cities or towns. While African countries see functioning urban sectors as important for national economic and social welfare, as they account for about 55 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product on average, urban sector growth has been haphazard in many cases, spanned by rural economic decline and poverty, civil conflict and civil war. “Urban development will continue to pose immense challenges for policymakers, including in the areas of planning, infrastructure, employment, social services, security and the environment,” AfDB said.

• L-R: Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Far East & Australasia, Richard Jewsbury, presenting General Manager of Shanghai International Airport Co. Limited, Jia Ruijun, with a model of the Emirates A380 to mark the arrival of the first scheduled Airbus A380 service to Shanghai China.

Foreign reserves drop to $33b amid rising oil price

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ESPITE the continuous rise in oil price for the past one week, Nigeria’s foreign reserve has remained unchanged at $33 billion. The price of oil, which as at April 29 stood at $129 per barrel, has been on the rise since the crises in Libya and other Arab countries. The depletion of the reserves has been blamed on the huge cost of conducting April elections. However, the foreign exchange market has remained relatively stable. The CBN has reaffirmed its conviction that a stable exchange rate regime is critical to maintaining price stability but noted that in the absence of complementary policies, the regime is only sustainable at the cost of significant attrition in foreign reserves. The bank said it will continue to emphasise that the solution to reserve depletion lies in the implementation of appropriate reforms with regard to industrial and trade policies aimed at reducing import dependence, which are beyond the scope of monetary policy. Substantial foreign exchange is expended annually on international oil firms’ cash calls and importation of petroleum products due to the de-

lay in implementing much needed reforms in the oil sector. This is in addition to the huge amounts spent on petroleum subsidies, which are likely to increase with higher oil prices, Finance Minister, Olusegun Aganga, said. Besides, the country is also expending foreign exchange on import of food items such as rice whereas what is needed is the implementation of policies that will lead to food security and total self sufficiency. It is expected that implementation of these reforms along with the improved outlook for oil price and output should go a long way in reversing the negative trend in the for-

eign reserves position. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had at the blast Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, said Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves dropped slightly to $33.12 billion by the end of January from $33.53 billion two weeks earlier and remain down more than a quarter from a year ago. The nation’s foreign reserves had declined over the past 12 months despite rising oil prices and production, raising concerns about government spending in the run-up to April elections. They are now 27 per cent below year-ago levels. The government has said the de-

cline was partly due to spending to maintain a stable naira currency in the face of higher dollar demand, as well as spending on the power sector and seed capital for a planned sovereign wealth fund. Foreign-currency reserves in Nigeria rose to the highest in five months as crude prices surged, signaling the likelihood that the country’s central bank may meet banks’ demand for international exchange. “An increase in foreign reserve will significantly reduce the pressure on the central bank to meet Nigeria’s foreign currency demands,” Victor Olusegun of Lagosbased Rockvie Investments said.

Emerging market firms raise FDI to $1.3tr

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OMPANIES from emerging and developing economies have raised their global direct investment abroad to $1.3 trillion. The Director of the Investment division at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), James Zhan, said the fund is an increase of 13 per cent to the beneficiary countries namely: Brazil, Russia, India and China

(BRICS). The UNCTAD underlined a shift in the pattern of investment abroad with a more dynamic economic recovery in Asia and Latin America than in developed Western economies and a strong Russian corporate presence abroad. “Outward FDI from developing and transition economies has reached a record high both in absolute terms and as a share of the

global total,” Zhan said. But it is obvious that risks are increasing, threatening the rebound in FDI, UNCTAD said. Risk factors include ‘unpredictable global governance’ amid financial reforms, sovereign debt crises, rising energy prices, inflation risks, and currency volatility, it said. “So all these factors may derail the current fragile FDI recovery,” said Zhan.


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INSURANCE

Insurers set agenda for Jonathan, others I

NSURANCE operators have called on President Goodluck Jonathan and other politicians to boost insurance business through good governance. The President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Broker (NCRIB), Mr Teslim Sanusi, told The Nation that the elected officers should reciprocate the confidence reposed in them by the electorate tailoring their programmes to meet the people’s need. Insurance, he said could only thrive when elected officers do what the public expects of them, adding that government policies would determine the level of success the industry can achieve. He said: “I want to use this medium to congratulate all Nigerians for the successful conduct of the general elections, which to all intents and purposes, represent a quantum leap in our democratic

Stories by Chuks Udo Okonta

process. The elections, which had been acclaimed as free and fair would contribute significantly to the economic stability of the country as it would create a convivial environment to do business. “Good governance is really essential for business growth. I would call on the elected officers to put in place necessary structures that would engender growth in the insurance industry. If there is peace and harmony, security, constant power and provision of other basic infrastructure, businesses will thrive. The first thing the government should consider is the entrenchment of good government.” Managing Director, Guinea Insurance Plc, Mr Soji Eniola, said the elected officers should im-

prove on the existing structure in the industry, adding that efforts of past governments to reposition the industry should be sustained. He called on them to ensure good budgetary allocation for the industry, noting that efforts should be made to enforce the laws enacted for the industry’s growth. “I think past governments have tried to put the industry in the right direction, the elected officers should ensure there is sustainability of the efforts made to keep the industry afoot. “Initiatives such as the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) should be im-

plemented duly to meet the set targets,” he added. The President, Lagos Area Committee of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Mr Tunde Oguntade, called on the elected officers to see insurance as a tool of modern development, adding that insurance is the best instrument for poverty alleviation. “It is on record that the government is the biggest player in the insurance market. The Nigerian economy is public sector driven. We have seen the budget and observed that what is budgeted for insurance is less than previous budgets. That is an eye opener.

And we also know that whatsoever that is budgeted for insurance may not be paid as insurance premium, but used for other things. “It is only in places such as Lagos and Ondo where we have visionary leaders that insurance is enjoying patronage. Apart for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), you do not find any government agency where premium is paid. Politicians should see insurance as a tool for economic development. I just pray that the people that are coming to power would see insurance as a tool for modern development,” he said.

CIIN to hold education conference

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OW to tackle challenges militating against insurance growth will be the major focus of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) international education conference and exhibition billed for next month in Lagos. Its President, Mr Sunny Adeda, said the forum would provide opportunities for operators to deliberate on how to tackle challenges such as dwindling factors of production and political instability, which are affecting their operations. He said: “The globe is facing increasing challenges in terms of emergent threats to sustainable energy supply, dwindling factors of production, skills shortfall in business productivity as well as uncertainties engendered by both political instability and inclement environmental incidents. “Richard Branson recently analysed the haunting images of Japan’s damaged nuclear stations and examined the abiding fears about how the world will power itself in a sustainable, safe way in the future and how entrepreneurs

can develop solutions. In Nigeria, today, there is no convincing roadmap towards achieving a sustainable power supply, with telling effects on all ramifications of the nation’s economy, and the quality of life of the insured citizenry. The state of infrastructure remains a major challenge to sustainable growth and development, creating palpable problems for both entrepreneurs and the average Nigerian.” He said the insurance industry and the entire financial services sector of the Nigerian economy and, indeed, the wider West African Subregion, cannot boast of sustainable business growth and development in the face of abiding challenges resulting from multifarious factors. “Some of these factors command dimensions, which may be above and beyond the control of industry operators but could be mitigated through predictive planning, while others could be contained within the ambit of prudential practices, skills development and realignment as well as concomitant regulatory mandates.”

Sovereign Trust adopts risk management framework

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OVEREIGN Trust Insurance Plc has adopted the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Framework in line with the directive of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM). Its Head, Risk Management and Control Department, Mr Sanni Oladimeji, said the firm is committed to the implementation of the ERM framework. He said the firm’s management would not leave any stone unturned in actualising the workability of the process, which is new to the insurance industry in the country. He said: “We have taken this exercise as important as any other aspect of our business process and we will not relent in ensuring that the business principle of the company is guided by the ERM Framework henceforth.” “It is interesting to note that the Board of Directors of STI Plc has approved the ERM framework for the company as put together by one of the country’s leading management consultants. The implementation of same has started in the organisation.” He said all insurance companies have been mandated by NAICOM to adopt the framework before the end of this year, adding that NAICOM has set in place an ERM

machinery as a way of ensuring that the business of insurance in the country is professionally anchored on the tenets of international best practice and in alignment with the code of good corporate governance. He noted that the ERM framework for the insurance industry in Nigeria is meant to be an all-involving process, which trickles down from the Board of Directors to the Management and other operatives in the organisation and that the framework is designed to permeate the entire operational process of the insurance business. “The underlying premise of ERM is that every entity in the business component exists to provide value for its stakeholders. “All entities face uncertainty and the challenge for management is to determine the level of uncertainty that can be accepted as it strives to grow stakeholders’ value. Uncertainty presents both risk and opportunity, with the potential to erode or enhance value,” he added The Global Credit Rating, (GCR), recently rated STI Plc A for 2010. In its report, the agency acknowledged that STI had proactively put in place an ERM framework in line with the directive of the NAICOM.

• Mr Dikko (2nd left) and others at the forum.

Premium Pension pays N18.3b to retirees

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REMIUM Pension Limited has paid over N18.3billion to retirees in four years, its Managing Director, Mr Aliyu Dikko, has said. Dikko, who spoke at a retirees forum in Lagos, said the amount was paid to over 7,000 retirees as retirement and death benefits, adding that the company pays its retirees their pensions before the 25th of every month. The company, he said, has authorised share capital of N300million, which was later increased to N1.3billion with N600million fully paid up, noting that to reach out to customers, it has instituted an interactive programme called ‘’Premium Pension Limited (PPL) Retiree Forum”. He said: “We are pleased to state

that from July 2007 to March 31 2011, we have paid over N18.3billion to over 7000 retirees in form of retirement and death benefits and we ensure that our retirees receive their monthly pensions on or before 25th of every month. “As part of our pension advisory service, we have instituted an interactive programme called PPL Retiree Forum, whereby our officials interact with client in different locations of the country. The objective of the programme is to create awareness about the process and procedures in accessing retirement benefits under the new contributory pension scheme as well as provide a forum for direct interface with the clients and prospective client to address the challenges they face

on pensions. So far, we have held eight editions of the forum in different locations across the country. “We observed that majority of our clients in Firstbank of Nigeria Plc, especially those who have retired have experienced some difficulties or challenges in accessing their pension. After analysing most of the complaints, we noted that they were mostly as a result of lack of sufficient interactions on the workings and procedures in accessing benefits under the new pension. “Consequently, we decided to hold this special edition of Retiree Forum in view of the importance we attach to our special relationship with the FBN Group, its employees and especially retirees.”

• From left: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Lagos State, Dr Olajide Bashorun and his Information and Strategy counterpart, Mrs Ranti Odutola, at the Ministerial Press briefing in Lagos.


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THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

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BUSINESS COMMUNICATION with

Understanding the stock market BOOK REVIEW Author: Moses Onyebuchi Publisher: Compugrafik Concepts Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi

GOKE ILESANMI

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LMOST everybody wants to make money in the stock market. But lack of knowledge of what it takes to be successful in stock investing has discouraged many people from fulfilling their investment and financial aspiration. It is, therefore, imperative to X-ray this text to offer necessary guide to such people. It is written by Moses Onyebuchi, a stock market analyst and inspirational speaker who has the vision of teaching people success principles that will guarantee enduring achievement in life. Onyebuchi is a graduate of Economics from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and offers financial and investment advisory services. According to Onyebuchi, this book has been written to liberate investors from financial bondage. He says it is important in stock investing that investors have a clear understanding of what they are doing with their money. It is those investors that really do their homework that succeed, educates Onyebuchi. He advises that for you to gain an edge over other investors, you must read stock investing books, including this one. The author stresses that you do not have to wait until you have a lot of money or the market is bullish before you read about the stock market. Onyebuchi says sometimes the best time to study the market is

when no one else is interested. The book has 12 chapters. Chapter one is christened “Overview of the Nigerian stock market”. According to Onyebuchi, the Nigerian stock market is a specialised market where shares are bought and sold; a market where longterm funds are sourced through equities and debt instruments. He says these instruments are subsequently traded openly in the stock market and they include shares, bonds, industrial loans, derivatives, etc. This author educates that the Nigerian capital market is divided into primary and secondary markets. The primary market, according to Onyebuchi, is that which secures funds for the initial issuers of shares. That is, the market provides an avenue for companies seeking fresh funds to raise such with the aid of an application form issued by the issuing house on behalf of the issuers the companies. Onyebuchi explains that the secondary market is that for trading of shares listed on the stock exchange. He says this market is the hub of the capital market because it is the one in which members of the market, that is, the stockbrokers buy and sell stocks and shares of companies or government. The presence of the secondary market for trading shares makes investment via primary market beautiful since shares bought in the primary market can be sold in the secondary market easily, discloses this author. No investor is allowed to transact business on the floor without going through a stockbroker, educates Onyebuchi. Chapter two is based on the subject matter of the operations of the

Nigerian stock market and its operators. According to the author, the Stock Exchange provides the trading floor for equities in the capital market. In his words, “The Stock Exchange regulates the activities of market operators by ensuring orderliness and sanity in the market and also ensures that quoted companies comply with post-listing requirements.” Chapter three is entitled “Guide to investing in the capital market”. According to the author, there are many reasons one would invest in the capital market. He adds that the intention may vary from one investor to another, stressing that the investment objectives would determine the kind of stocks to either buy or sell, the quantity to be held and for how long. The author says before investing in the capital market whether as a prospective or existing investor, you need to consider your investment philosophy. First, create a written set of rules; know your risk tolerance; trade with confidence and be patient. On the company you want to invest in, Onyebuchi advises that you need to consider its superior earning growth; excellent management; value creation; accrued benefits and performance indicators. In chapters four to eight, Onyebuchi analytically X-rays concepts such as understanding stock market vocabulary; key ways to be successful in the stock market; ways to lose money in the stock market; how to read and understand the stock table; and designing a diversified portfolio. Chapter nine is based on the subject matter of weighty points investors need to note. Here, the author says an investor depositing his or her share certificate with the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) for the first time is expected to fill the shareholder’s particulars form. He adds that with this, two numbers are assigned, the clearing house number and the investor’s account number with the

stockbroking firm. Onyebuchi explains that the latter ties the investor to the stockbroking firm while the former ties the investor to the CSCS. In chapters 10 to 12, Onyebuchi beams his intellectual searchlight on concepts such as fraud in the stock market; causes, effects and repositioning of the stock market crash; and frequently-asked questions by investors. Stylistically, this text is a success. In spite of the technicality of the subject matter, the language is still simple, especially that technical words are contextually explained. Onyebuchi uses graphical embroidery to visually enhance readers’ understanding. The outer front cover design is communicative of the overall subject matter. The layout of the book is eye-friendly,

with emphatic messages boxed for visual distinction. To fulfill academic or intellectual obligation of source disclosure for the purpose of credibility, bibliography is included at the end of the book. Major points of every chapter are summarised at the beginning to ensure easy study. However, some errors are noticed. One of these is “Acknowledgement” (page vii), instead of “Acknowledgements”; “To enable you secure….” (page vi) instead of “To enable you to secure….”, etc. Generally, this text is a treasury of stock investing knowledge. It is a must-have and must-read for anybody that is set to achieve tremendous success investing in stocks in Nigeria. It is intellectually irresistible.

Other aspects of effective persuasive discourse

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ESEARCH shows that the big mistakes in major persuasion projects are: attempting to make your case with an up front hard sale; resisting compromise; thinking the secret of persuasion lies in presenting great arguments and assuming persuasion is a onetime effort. At this juncture, we will examine these concepts one after the other. Making your case with an up-front hard sale Setting out a strong position at the outset actually gives potential opponents something to grab on to and to fight against. It is far better not to give opponents a clear target at the start. Resisting compromise According to Kim Harrison, a recognised authority on public relations, too many people see compromise as surrender, but compromise is essential to constructive persuasion. Before people buy into a proposal they want to see that the persuader is flexible enough to respond to their concerns. Compromises can often lead to better, more sustainable, shared solutions. However, in the words of Dr. Rhoberta Shaler, an integration catalyst helping businesses prosper and people flourish, “Compromise is over-rated. It means that both

By Goke Ilesanmi people had to give up something that they really wanted. Sure, there are incidents where this is appropriate. You may do it because the other person is so important to you that you want them to have what they most want. You take the loss magnanimously. Usually, though, it is because you do not know how to negotiate.” Mistaking persuasion for arguments Great arguments matter, but they are only one component. Other factors matter just as much, such as the persuader’s credibility and his or her ability to create a mutually beneficial position for him- or herself and the audience (win:win), to connect on the right emotional level and to communicate through vivid language that makes arguments come alive. Assuming persuasion is a onetime effort Persuasion is a process, not an event. Shared solutions are rarely reached on the first try. More often than not, persuasion involves listening to people, testing a position, developing a new position that reflects input from the group, more testing incorporating compromises, and then trying again. If this

sounds like a slow and difficult process, that is because it is. But the results are worth the effort. Persuasive communication in business Given that almost all of us need to convince others of something, and need to do it often, let us explore simple, easy-to-use ideas for increasing our persuasiveness. First, because persuasive communication focuses on the other person, we need to have that other person firmly in our sight when we write or speak. In other words, communication will be most convincing when we build the message around the other person, rather than ourselves. So, if you want to persuade me to do something, your communication should focus on me and my response. And to get a response from me, you will have to address the issues in my terms, not yours. In sales, this idea is quite well developed. Copywriters and others know their chances of getting the sale go up dramatically when they communicate benefits. That is, they point out how the reader or listener will come out ahead by buying or using their products, e.g., “Buy this body cream and you will be (more) beautiful”.

Another idea The second idea is to use persuasive words. Once we have focused on the recipient of our communication, and consciously set out to address his or her issues, then we move on to the aspect of writing our document or speech. In your writing, you will find it helpful to have a list of persuasive words you can weave into your material. Make an attempt in all your writing, whether you are writing a speech or document, to get the second person singular and plural pronoun “You” into every paragraph, and see what it does to make your words more persuasive. Third strategy The third strategy is to watch out for, and eliminate barriers to persuasion. In email communication for instance, many spammers mangle the language in their subject lines. Spelling mistakes, misplaced or missing punctuation marks, and case confusion are just a few of their writing sins. We are all apt to make mistakes from time to time, but if you want to persuade someone to do something, please do not forget to use your spellchecker and proofread a hard copy of your document. Then run the spellchecker again.

When we make mistakes, and especially mistakes in the subject line of email messages, we distract our readers, and that reduces our power of persuasion. In a nutshell, the three techniques for increasing your persuasiveness are: focusing on the people receiving your message; using persuasive words, especially “You”; and eliminating barriers to persuasive communication, like spelling mistakes. Any one of these techniques will help you be more persuasive. NOTE: The duration of the public speaking seminar has been greatly reduced as requested, in addition to other adjustments. You will find the programme on the right side at the upper part of my website. Click on the text and see details. I appreciate your suggestions and requests.

•GOKE ILESANMI, Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is a Certified Public Speaker/Emcee, Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker, Career Management Coach, Renowned Book Reviewer, Corporate Leadership Expert and Editorial Consultant.. Tel: 08055068773; 08187499425 Email: info@gokeilesanmi.com Website: www.gokeilesanmi.com


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PRESENTATION OF CERTIFICATES OF RETURN TO ELECTED OFFICIALS THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

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NEWS

ACN’S INTERACTIVE SESSION WITH WOULD-BE LEGISLATORS IN ABUJA

•Ogun State Governor-elect Ibikunle Amosun(left) in a handshake with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Watching is Osun State Deputy Governor Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori

•Reps member-elect James Abiodun Faleke (left) Senator-elect Babajide Omoworare and Repelect Aliu Babs Kazeem

•From left: Hon. Rafeequat Onabamiro; Hon Abiodun Balogun; Hon Ojo Oyekunle and Senator Ganiyu Solomon

•Sentors Elect Tony Adeniyi (left) and Chris Ngige

•Reps-elect Gafar Akintayo(left) and Ajibola Famurewa

•ACN National Legal Adviser Dr. Muiz Banire (left) and National Publicity •Senator George Akume Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed

•House of Reps members Abike Dabiri Erewa (left) and •Senator-elect Akin Odunsi (left) and Rep-elect Mathew Jumoke Okoya-Thomas Omegara

•Rep-elect Opeyemi Bamidele (left) and Senator-elect PHOTOS : ABAYOMI FAYESE Olubunmi Adetunmbi


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

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NEWS PRESENTATION OF CERTIFICATES OF RETURN TO ELECTED OFFICIALS

•Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu, (right) receiving his certificate of Return from INEC officials

•Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan

•Jigawa State Governor-elect Sule Lamido (right) with his certificate, being congratulated by an INEC official

•Prof. Robert Ajayi Boroffice Senator-elect representing Ondo North

•Gombe State Governor-elect Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo (left), receiving his certificate of return from INEC National Commissioner, Dr. Nuhu Yakubu in Gombe yesterday

•Oyo State Governor-elect Abiola Ajimobi

•Oyo state Deputy Governor-elect Hon Moses Alake Adeyemo collecting his certificate of return PHOTOS: NAN from INEC’s Alhaji Abdullai Kaigama

‘Borno ANPP will defend its victory at tribunal’

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HE All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in Borno State will defend its victory in last month’s polls, if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) takes it to the elections petition tribunal. Addressing reporters in Maiduguri, the Commissioner for Information, Mr.

From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri

Imwa Bwala, said the factors that influenced the outcome of last month’s elections were well known. He said the victory margin was overwhelming, adding that ANPP had

never lost any election in the state since 1999. Bwala said despite being the ruling party, ANPP allowed a level playing ground during the campaigns. He said: “We have always resisted the temptation of retaliating the violence visited on our peo-

ple. “It is a fact that we won at the polls in the midst of intimidation, harassment, killing and maiming of our supporters by PDP agents. We won in the court of public opinion because of the popularity of our candidates and we shall win at the tribunal if the chal-

lenge against the results ever comes up because we are on the path of the truth.” Bwala said ANPP had extended its hand of fellowship to other parties, in order to work for the progress and development of the state. He expressed the party’s

appreciation to the electorate for voting for the party’s candidates during the polls. Bwala said the governorelect, Alhaji Kashim Shetima, would continue the good work of the out-going governor, Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff through people-oriented projects.


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NEWS

Jonathan challenges elected officials on tolerance

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday advised those elected to be tolerant, vowing to work with them irrespective of their party affliation. On his Facebook page with the caption: ‘Enhancing our oneness’, the President said: “The elections are over and as I said, everybody won so there is no need for despair. Yes, there is a need for celebration by all in Nigeria but this must come with a closing of the ranks. And how do we close ranks? Well for one; do not think that you performed your sole democratic responsibility when you voted. No. That was only the first step in the process of democracy. “We have to be conscious that democracy is not a zero sum game. Democracy

‘Democracy means that the majority enthrones a leadership that must still work with the cooperation of that majority to take care of everybody’s interest and move the country forward. In Nigeria under my leadership, no voter shall be left behind irrespective of how he/she voted.’ From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

means that the majority enthrones a leadership that must still work with the co-

operation of that majority to take care of everybody’s interest and move the country forward. In Nigeria under my leadership, no voter shall be left behind irrespective of how he/she voted. “So, what do we do now? It is now up to us to willingly work together to enhance our oneness until there are none amongst us who do not see themselves as part of that one and the only way this can be achieved is by the practice of tolerance which inevitably means that we must not just preach ‘no winner, no loser’ but must also practice what we preach and I give my word that that practice will begin with me and I urge all elected leaders and all those who voted during last month’s elections to also toe this line.”

Court orders funeral home to exhume body

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YABA Magistrate’s Court yesterday asked the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and the TOS Funeral Services Limited to exhume the body of a mechanic, Waheed Saka for proper burial by his family. Saka was allegedly shot dead by a policeman on December 23, in Makoko, a slum in Yaba. The incident happened about 10am when the Lagos State Environment and Special Offences Enforcement Unit Task Force was enforcing an order that the residents should leave the area. Findings revealed that during the demolition of houses, one of the residents alerted the police.

By Titilayo Banjoko

When the police arrived at the scene, the people thought it was in response to their distress call . The police, according to an eye witness, started shooting indiscriminately, Saka was hit by a stray bullet. The family of Saka claimed they were not informed when he was buried. After unsuccessful attempts to get the police to issue a report in respect of the incident, the Social and Economic Rights Action Centre (SERAC), filed a suit and also petitioned the Lagos State Government on January 17. The Chief Coroner of Lagos State ordered an inquest into Saka’s

death. On March 25, the Coroner issued an order compelling the police to make available all necessary documents to enable LASUTH conduct an autopsy on the body. The police complied and a SERAC official went to the hospital with the Coroner Report, only to be told that the Saka’s body had disappeared from the morgue. The head of Pathology of LASUTH, Prof. James Obafunwa, said: “We do not have space for dead bodies; we only carry out autopsy examinations on bodies. It is TOS Funerals Services Limited that keep records of dead bodies”.

INEC sets up committee as ad hoc staff protest non-payment of allowances

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HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) i n Benue State yesterday has set up a committee to address the issue of unpaid allowances of its ad hoc staff. Mr Jacob Ayanda, the INEC Assistant Director, Public Affairs, announced the setting up of the committee when the ad hoc staff protested the nonpayment of their allowances for election duty. The protesters, mainly male students of higher in-

stitutions within and outside the state, participated in last month’s elections as presiding officers. They alleged that the female presiding officers were paid, while their male counterparts were left out. One of the protesters, Mr Terver Tiorshi, told reporters that their polling assistants had been paid adding that INEC kept telling them (presiding officers) that their remuneration was with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). “INEC should have made

it clear to us that all presiding officers must be corps members before employing us to work for them. “They told us that the whole money has been sent to the NYSC Headquarters, but we do not believe them. “They just have to do something about it soon to avoid trouble with us.’’ However, Ayanda assured them that the committee set up by INEC would meet with the NYSC to find a solution to the problem.

NEMA, WFP mobilise against disaster

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HE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the World Food Programme (WFP) in partnership with the international community are mobilising stakeholders against disasters. In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to NEMA’s Director-General Mohammed Sani Sidi, Yushau Shuiab, the organisations are mobilizing resources against impending flooding. They are developing integrated risk management tools to help manage the risk to flood and food security posed by climate hazards as well as helping to build the resilience and coping capac-

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

ity of vulnerable people. According Shuaibu, the Representative of WFP, Emilia Casella made this known in Geneva, Switzerland, during a Conference on the Third Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. She said natural disasters were the leading cause of hunger. Casella said: “This affects all dimensions of food security including economic and physical access to food availability and stability of supplies and nutrition. In Africa alone, 650 million people are dependent on rain fed agriculture in an environ-

ment that is affected by water scarcity and land degradation.” Sidi said about 500,000 Nigerians were displaced due to the devastating floods while their properties and means of livelihood were washed away. “Communities like Sokoto, Jigawa, Kebbi, Nassarwa, Lagos, Ogun, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Niger and Kwara states were seriously affected. This year the agency has already sent early warning signal to some of the states to ensure that they sensitize their people on the potential risk and how to avoid the repeat of the past disasters due to the flood.”


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NEWS

FRSC promises ‘global standard’ driver’s licence By Bidemi Bakare

HE new driver’s licence will conform with international standard, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said yesterday. The licence will be out on June 1, the Head, Administration and Human Resources, Lagos Sector Command, Mr Augustine Baiyegunhi, said. He spoke when he led a delegation from the Lagos State Road Safety Coalition (SCN) to the Matori, Lagos Corporate Headquarters of Vintage Press Ltd., publishers of The Nation. The team was received on behalf of the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr Victor Ifijeh, by the Editor of The Nation on Sunday, Mr Lekan Otufodunrin. Baiyegunhi said the old Nigeria Drivers Licence (NDL) would give way to the new Customised Nigeria Drivers Licence (CNDL) with features for easy identification. He said the commission was putting in place other measures to reduce the alarming rate of road accidents. No fewer than 3000 die in road accidents yearly worldwide, with Nigeria accounting for 100 of the casualties. He said:”We are instituting a coalition group called SCN comprising different safety units to handle safety matters. However, for our efforts to be fruitful, we need the collaboration of the media for prompt and regular reportage of activities of the commission. By this action, we believe we will be able to educate and enlighten the public on the need to be safety conscious.”

T

•Assistant Corps Commander Augustine Bayegunhi representing Jonas Agwu (Cors Commander) and Patrick Adenusi CEO PHOTO SOLOMON ADEOLA Safety Beyond Boarders at The Nation...yesterday


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EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 10-05-11 2ND-TIER SECURITIES Company Name FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC PRESCO PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 3 1 9 13

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.50 88,650 44,325.00 0.50 35,000 17,500.00 7.36 92,470 680,579.20 216,120 742,404.20

AIR SERVICES Company Name AIRLINE SERVICES AND LOGISTICS PLC NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COMPANY PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 2 265 267

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2.08 100,000 208,000.00 9.14 985,949 9,012,251.07 1,085,949 9,220,251.07

AUTOMOBILE & TYRE Company Name DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC R. T. BRISCOE (NIGERIA) PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 15 14 29

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.50 872,485 436,242.50 2.66 85,139 227,775.28 957,624 664,017.78

BANKING Company Name ACCESS BANK PLC AFRIBANK NIGERIA PLC DIAMOND BANK PLC ECOBANK NIGERIA PLC FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK PLC FIDELITY BANK PLC FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC FINBANK PLC GTBANK PLC STANBIC IBTC BANK PLC INTERCONTINENTAL BANK PLC. OCEANIC BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC BANK PHB PLC SKYE BANK PLC. STERLING BANK PLC UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC. UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC UNITYBANK PLC WEMA BANK PLC ZENITH BANK PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 161 71 105 23 83 160 720 125 507 32 86 176 55 167 37 645 85 47 31 389 3,705

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 8.69 2,890,809 24,834,205.51 1.82 3,786,176 7,322,812.85 7.08 7,034,523 49,029,687.63 4.09 489,453 2,000,346.00 7.74 12,478,655 95,509,588.24 2.74 10,433,380 27,636,726.69 13.92 23,588,497 328,003,987.84 0.82 22,791,181 18,457,236.04 16.10 15,755,953 253,934,366.04 9.60 224,900 2,218,200.68 1.45 11,920,123 17,156,794.98 2.10 8,788,016 18,492,281.38 1.36 2,517,864 3,281,885.20 8.60 6,101,041 51,618,639.94 2.23 3,175,047 7,221,259.33 7.10 24,144,646 171,622,073.17 3.09 1,833,442 5,720,590.74 1.15 7,047,507 7,863,845.97 1.26 1,760,920 2,130,732.01 15.60 51,742,431 793,569,041.95 218,504,564 1,887,624,302.19

BREWERIES Company Name GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 49 24 172 245

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 205.00 62,420 13,428,630.78 5.76 226,990 1,278,727.30 87.70 1,152,687 100,873,988.19 1,442,097 115,581,346.27

BUILDING MATERIALS Company Name ASHAKA CEMENT PLC CEMENT CO. OF NORTHERN NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE CEMENT PLC LAFARGE WAPCO PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 70 40 21 32 163

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 26.50 464,264 12,574,994.59 12.60 679,762 8,252,051.10 121.26 39,578 4,929,112.40 41.99 330,558 13,818,498.94 1,514,162 39,574,657.03

CHEMICAL & PAINTS Company Name BERGER PAINTS NIGERIA PLC CHEMICAL AND ALLIED PRODUCTS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 8 13 21

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 12.48 12,441 149,934.05 20.99 116,778 2,572,619.34 129,219 2,722,553.39

NB: Acquisition will increase market share, says MD

N

IGERIAN Breweries Plc said the planned purchase of two local brewers is aimed at adding market share in Nigeria while avoiding the cost of constructing new plants. Speaking at the pre-annual general meeting of the company in Lagos yesterday, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Nicolaas Vervelde said the company will need the approval of the shareholders at the annual general meeting to empower the board to acquire the companies. He said in the alternative, it would cost the company another 24 months to construct a new brewery, which they are avoiding. This invariably might affect the shareholders in terms of dividend payment as it was during the construction of the Ama Brewery. His word: “The acquisition will strengthen our market coverage, market share and efficiency. If we don’t make the acquisition, we might be forced to build a new brewery,” he said. Shareholders of Lagosbased Nigerian Breweries,

No of Deals 16 1 17

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2.99 637,400 1,889,334.60 5.78 2,000 11,000.00 639,400 1,900,334.60

CONGLOMERATES Company Name A. G. LEVENTIS (NIGERIA) PLC PZ CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC UAC OF NIGERIA PLC UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 2 48 240 72 59 421

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2.16 8,000 16,480.00 32.45 237,648 7,775,470.86 1.17 32,317,368 38,690,807.54 40.95 816,953 32,973,784.78 27.00 609,088 16,473,845.71 33,989,057 95,930,388.89

CONSTRUCTION Company Name COSTAIN (WA) PLC JULIUS BERGER NIGERIA PLC MULTIVERSE PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 4 28 1 33

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 5.23 100,000 523,000.00 52.00 64,050 3,365,005.34 0.50 2,000 1,000.00 166,050 3,889,005.34

By Tonia Osundolire

which is controlled by Dutch beer maker Heineken NV, are scheduled at the annual meeting later this month to vote onthe option of buying Sona Systems Associates Business Management Limited and Life Breweries Limited. The acquisitions will give Nigerian Breweries five additional beer making plants across the country. He said the purchase will offer spare capacity, adding that the company is not ruling out further purchases. “If another opportunity calls for acquisition, we will

‘The acquisition will strengthen our market coverage, market share and efficiency. If we don’t make the acquisition, we might be forced to build a new brewery’

DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 10-05-11 INTERCONTINENTAL WAPIC INSURANCE PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 16 33 164 63 105 13 1 27 18 64 4 10 5 523

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 45.50 25,996 1,183,475.84 22.00 308,258 6,781,499.31 18.75 3,022,957 57,025,998.00 13.60 1,332,497 18,129,959.39 87.00 3,306,565 287,878,635.82 4.31 273,750 1,179,862.50 1.96 3,000 5,610.00 5.45 369,828 1,999,765.17 36.99 78,102 2,890,231.97 395.00 86,594 34,566,245.44 32.34 17,356 535,550.75 0.51 840,000 429,432.00 0.61 60,000 36,915.00 9,724,903 412,643,181.19

HEALTHCARE Company Name EVANS MEDICALPLC. FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC GLAXOSMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 3 11 9 55 10 88

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1.28 19,750 24,987.50 2.12 201,462 438,139.32 24.70 16,600 408,165.00 4.18 155,203 656,756.80 1.82 419,750 758,807.50 812,765 2,286,856.12

HOTEL & TOURISM Company Name IKEJA HOTEL PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 12 12

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1.51 340,700 501,700.00 340,700 501,700.00

INDUSTRIAL/DOMESTIC PRODUCTS Company Name VITAFOAM NIGERIA PLC VONO PRODUCTS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 5 2 7

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 5.70 22,135 121,828.50 3.18 1,580 4,787.40 23,715 126,615.90

INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY Company Name CHAMS PLC IHS NIGERIA PLC MASS TELECOM INNOVATION NIGERIA PLC STARCOMMS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 8 2 1 25 36

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.50 2,000,000 1,000,000.00 2.81 2,000 5,340.00 0.50 1,111 555.50 0.73 1,753,300 1,292,211.50 3,756,411 2,298,107.00

No of Deals 1 37 6 1 5 3 6 6 5 2 4 7 21 1 6 9 1

0.51

57,755 5,185,035

29,455.05 3,979,709.64

LEASING No of Deals 6 6

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1.29 330,000 425,840.00 330,000 425,840.00

MARITIME Company Name JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 166 166

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1.26 14,985,367 19,005,150.09 14,985,367 19,005,150.09

MEDIA Company Name DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.50 20,000 10,000.00 20,000 10,000.00

MORTGAGE COMPANIES Company Name ASO SAVINGS AND LOAND PLC RESORT SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC UNION HOMES SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 2 1 14 17

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.50 465,000 232,500.00 0.50 1,000 500.00 0.71 3,314,753 2,321,797.92 3,780,753 2,554,797.92

OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS Company Name CRUSADER NIGERIA PLC. DEAP CAPITAL MANAGEMENT AND TRUST PLC ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 2 1 9 12

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.50 56,450 28,225.00 2.02 25,000 50,500.00 0.50 272,718 137,387.14 354,168 216,112.14

PACKAGING Company Name NIGERIAN BAG MANUFACTURING COMPANY PLC NAMPAK NIGERIA PLC POLY PRODUCTS (NIGERIA) PLC. Sector Totals

No of Deals 70 1 1 72

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2.42 665,791 1,637,725.25 3.60 4,200 14,700.00 1.46 2,400 3,336.00 672,391 1,655,761.25

PETROLEUM(MARKETING) Company Name AFRICAN PETROLEUM PLC. BECO PETROLEUM PRODUCT PLC MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC CONOIL PLC ETERNA OIL & GAS PLC. MOBIL OIL NIGERIA PLC. OANDO PLC TOTAL NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 60 3 26 36 26 16 175 16 358

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 20.02 164,567 3,293,865.02 0.50 36,000 18,000.00 72.00 1,015,209 73,051,590.00 34.30 27,897 921,061.73 5.12 259,066 1,294,148.11 148.20 6,597 988,651.79 54.30 5,076,724 275,007,013.12 195.50 10,846 2,163,481.00 6,596,906 356,737,810.77

PRINTING & PUBLISHING Company Name LONGMAN NIGERIA PLC UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 11 12

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 6.84 1,000 6,500.00 4.91 119,440 586,841.50 120,440 593,341.50

REAL ESTATE Company Name UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. PLC Sector Totals

INSURANCE Company Name AFRICAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE PLC AIICO INSURANCE PLC. CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC CORNERSTONE INSURANCE CO. PLC. CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED INSURANCE PLC EQUITY ASSURANCE PLC GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC GUARANTY TRUST ASSURANCE PLC GUINEA INSURANCE PLC. INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INSURANCE COMPANY PLC LASACO ASSURANCE PLC. LAW UNION AND ROCK INSURANCE PLC. N.E.M. INSURANCE CO. (NIG.) PLC. OASIS INSURANCE PLC PRESTIGE ASSURANCE PLC. SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC UNITY KAPITAL ASSURANCE PLC

1 122

Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals

FOOD/BEVERAGES & TOBACCO Company Name 7-UP BOTTLING CO. PLC CADBURY NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC FLOUR MILLS NIGERIA PLC HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC MULTI-TREX INTEGRATED FOODS PLC NATIONAL SALT COMPANY NIGERIA PLC NIGERIAN BOTTLING COMPANY PLC NESTLE NIGERIA PLC NORTHERN NIGERIA FLOUR MILLS PLC TANTALIZERS PLC UTC NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals

look at it, and if it will add returns to shareholders, we’ll take advantage of it,” he said. Meanwhile on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), key indicators pulled through with an increase of 0.7 per cent each. Market capitalisation added N54 billion to close at N8.126 trillion while the All-Share-Index improved by 170.43 points to close at 25,432.93 points. Also, on the price movement tables, investors’ activities translated to 51 stocks recording price change with 32 appreciating while the remaining 19 reduced in value. This list compared to the performances in recent time, indicate that there were more position taking by investors. In all, investors traded 307.836 million shares worth N2.989 billion across 6,440 deals. the banking stocks recorded the largest volume with 218.505 million shares, followed by conglomerates and maritime with 33.989 million shares and 14.985 million shares.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE

COMMERCIAL/SERVICES Company Name RED STAR EXPRESS PLC TRANS NATIONWIDE EXPRESS PLC Sector Totals

•Key indicatorS up by 0.7%

No of Deals 31 31

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 17.50 629,589 10,947,219.75 629,589 10,947,219.75

ROAD TRANSPORTATION Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.50 100,000 50,000.00 0.86 863,631 743,579.18 1.03 650,000 665,000.00 0.50 51,267 25,633.50 3.22 38,700 122,370.00 0.50 160,600 80,300.00 0.50 65,580 32,790.00 1.55 452,850 701,926.00 0.50 109,093 54,546.50 0.50 43,889 21,944.50 0.50 168,390 84,195.00 0.53 229,928 122,860.40 0.52 636,617 336,759.66 0.50 100,000 50,000.00 2.24 71,250 151,762.50 0.51 1,384,485 706,087.35 0.50 1,000 500.00

Company Name ASSOCIATED BUS COMPANY PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 12 12

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.57 463,120 266,178.40 463,120 266,178.40

TEXTILES Company Name UNITED NIGERIA TEXTILES PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 6 6

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.65 345,647 224,670.55 345,647 224,670.55

THE FOREIGN LISTINGS Company Name ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED Sector Totals Overall Totals

No of Deals 45 45

Quotation(N)Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 16.00 1,049,975 16,724,871.88 1,049,975 16,724,871.88 6,440

307,836,127

2,989,047,184.86


61

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

FOREIGN NEWS

Chad’s President Idris Deby re-elected

C

HAD’S President Idriss Deby has been reelected for a fourth term, provisional official results show. Deby secured 89% of the 25 April vote, which was boycotted by the main opposition after their demands for electoral reforms had not been met. Voter turnout was 64%, electoral officials said. Deby, who has faced two attempted coups since the last polls, has recently mended relations with Sudan,

where rebel fighters were based. He has been in power for more than 20 years after seizing power in a military coup, and changed the constitution in 2004 to scrap the two-term presidential limit. The main opposition parties accused Mr Deby’s Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) of rigging February’s parliamentary elections and pulled out of the presidential poll. They said they would refuse to recognise the re-

•Deby

sults. One of the three boycotting opposition figures, Abdelkader Wadal Kamougue, died aged 72 after a long illness hours before the results were announced. Chad became an oil-producing nation in 2003, but remains one of Africa’s poorest countries.

Niger drops charges against Tandja

N

IGER’S Appeal Court has dropped all corruption charges against ousted President Mamadou Tandja and ordered his release from jail. It said that under the country’s law it was not possible to try a Head of state after he had left office. Soldiers led the coup in February 2010 - angered that after 10 years in power, he was seeking a third term in office. Last month, the junta officially handed power to opposition leader Mahamadou Issoufou, who won an elec-

tion in March. “All proceedings against Mamadou Tandja have been cancelled. He has been wholly exempted from the accusations against him,” one of his lawyers, Souley Oumarou, told the AFP news agency. Mr Tandja was accused of embezzling state funds worth $1m (£670,000). He was also linked to a corrupt fertilizer deal worth between $9m and $10m. The court said it would have able to hear the case if the charges had been filed while the former president was still in power.

The BBC’s Idy Baraou in Niger says the law was framed in this way to stop politically motivated cases from being brought against deposed leaders. Mr Tandja was under house arrest until January when he was moved to prison, ahead of the first round of elections. A former army officer, he was first voted into office in 1999 and was returned to power in an election in 2004. He was widely criticised for changing the constitution in 2009 to allow him to stand for a third term.

Egypt’s ex-Tourism Minister ‘jailed’

E

GYPT’S former Tourism Minister Zuhair Garranah has been jailed for five years on charges of corruption, an Egyptian judicial source has said. Garranah had handed out tourism licences illegally, the source said. Last week, ex-Interior Minister Habib al-Adly was jailed for 12 years for money-laundering and profiteering. A number of former officials are being investigated in Egypt following the popular uprising that ousted Presi-

dent Hosni Mubarak in February. Mr Mubarak, 82, who is under investigation on suspicion of involvement in the killings of protesters, had his detention extended by 15 days yesterday, the state prosecutor’s office said. Garranah, who was sentenced along with two businessmen, was charged with wasting public funds worth $51m (£31m) after authorising the sale of state-owned land for well below the market price, the AFP news agency

reports. More than 20 Mubarak-era ministers and businessmen linked to the regime have been detained since Mr Mubarak’s departure. The trial of corrupt officials, including Mr Mubarak, was a key demand of protesters. Mr Mubarak - who was ousted on 11 February - remains in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, despite a directive from the new government that he too should be moved to prison.

80 killed in Southern Sudan violence

M

ORE than 80 people were killed when rebels attacked cattle herders in Southern Sudan, officials said yesterday, while hundreds marched in the southern capital to protest the unresolved status of a volatile border hotspot. The governor of Warrap state said rebels loyal to a high-ranking commander who defected from the southern army in March attacked a village of cattle herders in the remote southern state on Sunday. Warrap state governor Nyandeng Malek said militia forces loyal to rebel leader Peter Gadet raided the village of Apuk with the aim of stealing cattle. “They didn’t manage to take away cattle,” she said. Like many parts of vast, underdeveloped Southern Sudan, Warrap state is populated by well-armed but impoverished cattle herders, who kept their AK-47s from decades of civil war to protect themselves. The fighting, which continued on Monday, killed more than 80 rebels and villagers, southern army spokesman Col. Philip

Aguer told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Gadet’s rebel group, one of at least seven movements swho have declared their intent to overthrow the Jubabased southern government, also claimed responsibility for deadly attacks in oil-rich Unity state last month, where rebels burned huts and looted property. The southern army’s attempts to defeat the array of rebel forces operating across

the nearly Texas-sized south have not been successful to date. The Sudan People’s Liberation Army’s counterinsurgency efforts against a rebel commander in Jonglei state in February left hundreds dead, most of them civilians. This violence has cast a shadow over the optimism that followed the south’s January independence vote, when southerners voted overwhelmingly to form their own nation.

Somali govt prevents legislators from travelling

S

OMALI security forces prevented more than 40 parliamentarians, including United States citizens, from leaving the country in the latest altercation between the country’s president and parliament, officials said yesterday. The US expressed concerns over the move and said several parliamentarians were threatened with weapons and that at least three were physically assaulted. The U.S. said the Mogadishu government, known as the Transitional Federal Government, is stifling peaceful political discussions and silencing critics. “This action follows other efforts by the TFG in recent weeks to stifle peaceful political discussion and to silence its critics,” the U.S. statement said. “The United States reminds the TFG of the commitment it made to the United Nations Security Council to enhance reconciliation and complete the transitional tasks which include completing the constitutional process that will end the transitional period and bring sovereignty and legitimacy back to Somalia.”


62

THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

FOREIGN NEWS

NATO steps up bombing in Libya N

ATO increased its bombing operations against Tripoli yesterday, carrying out the largest attacks in weeks as rebels appeared to make advances in their efforts to break the siege of the key western city of Misurata. The attacks on Tripoli occurred in the early hours of yesterday morning. Jets could be heard booming over the city. Several large explosions followed, and NATO said its warplanes hit three “command-and-control” targets in the capital. NATO said its airstrikes also hit targets in Mizdah, a town 114 miles south of Tripoli; Sirte, a stronghold of Moammar Gaddafi on the Gulf of Sidra; and Misurata, a port 131 miles east of Tripoli and the only rebel-held city in the

Pakistan not charging bin Laden wives with crimes

T

•Rebels make gains western part of the country. The Libyan government took journalists to a hospital in central Tripoli that was next door to a government office building apparently hit by the attacks. Residents and workers there said the building was either a communications or intelligence center, although a government minder said it was currently used by the Agriculture Ministry. “We are diminishing Gaddafi’s capacity to issue orders, to field troops and to fly regime jets,” Italian Brig. Gen. Claudio Gabellini, the chief operations officer of the NATO campaign, said in a news conference in Naples yesterday.

The hospital also sustained damage, with some blown-out windows and damaged light fixtures. Government minders said one child was cut by broken glass, but they would not allow journalists to see the child, saying that he was in intensive care. Elsewhere in Tripoli, NATO apparently hit a library and school site that workers said was the World Center for Study and Research of the Green Book, Gaddafi’s eccentric founding document for the country. The colonial-era building had apparently sustained a direct hit, and clouds of concrete dust billowed above the remains of what work-

•Gaddafi

ers said had been the library. “This is not a military place,” said Hosin Bangarza, a worker there. The building is about 30 yards from a large communications tower, which was not hit in the raid, and is part of the same complex as the Libyan parliament, government workers said. The same building was hit just over a week ago.

UN seeks pause to Libya fighting

U

NITED Nations aid chief Valerie Amos has called for a pause in hostilities in Libya to help ease the humanitarian crisis. Baroness Amos told the UN Security Council that Misrata, the only rebel-held city in western Libya, was in a dire state and short of food and water. Three-quarters of a million people have fled Libya since an uprising began against Col Muammar Gaddafi’s rule. Meanwhile Nato has carried out raids on the capital Tripoli, the heaviest bombardment there for weeks. Reports say four build-

ings were targeted, including Col Gaddafi’s family complex, the military intelligence agency and state TV headquarters. The government said the country’s high commission for children had been hit, and four children were injured by flying glass. It is impossible to verify the reports. In Misrata, rebels say they have pushed government troops back from its outskirts. Baroness Amos says the UN is looking into ‘conflicting’ reports about the plight of refugee ships leaving Libya The city has been under

siege from forces loyal to Col Gaddafi for two months. Baroness Amos said the disruption caused by a combination of the conflict and sanctions was paralysing the country. She called on the Security Council to ensure that all parties respected international law and she said the use of cluster bombs, sea and land mines, as well as aerial bombing showed a callous disregard for civilians. The conflict and disrupted supply lines had delayed the arrival of commercial goods, she said. An official from Libya’s rebel administration a volunteer like so many in this DIY revolution - has been trying, with a biro, to explain the chain of command that is, or should be, emerging from the chaos “ “Widespread shortages are paralysing the country in ways which will impact

gravely on the general population in the months ahead, particularly for the poorest and the most vulnerable,” she added. There was only enough food left for a few months, she said. She renewed calls for money, saying an appeal for $144m (£88m) had only been half met, and more than that would be needed. A Red Cross ship successfully docked in Misrata on Monday, bringing medical equipment, baby food and spare parts for electrical and water systems. The port has become a lifeline for the city, allowing refugees to leave and supplies to be brought in, but has come under repeated attack from pro-Gaddafi forces. Medical sources say at least 300 people have been killed by the weeks of fighting in Misrata.

HE three Osama bin Laden wives left behind are still awaiting questioning by United States intelligence officials. While Pakistan has granted the US access to the widows, there have been no reported interviews as yet.CBS News correspondent reports that Pakistani intelligence sources have said they are being held in the city next to Islamabad, Rawalpindi. They have not been nor will they be charged with a crime. One the youngest Yemeni wife is receiving treatment for a wound after having been shot in the leg by a SEAL, but is not in a hospital. Although there is some public equivocation among Pakistanis intelligence types about CIA access, CBS News has learned that the ISI has agreed to allow the CIA di-

rect access to question the wives, as opposed to submitting written questions, as soon as they were ready. The New York Times reports that the wives have been identified as Um Hamza, or Mother of Hamza, whose real name is Khairiah Sabar, and is from Jidda in Saudi Arabia; Um Khalid, or Mother of Khalid, whose name is Siham, and is from Medina in Saudi Arabia; and the youngest, a Yemeni, Amal al-Saddah, 29. Along with the widows, there were 13 children, 8 of them related to Bin Laden, living in the compound, the Times reports. Despite its professed desire to interview the women, Fox News is reporting that the U.S. government has yet to make a “formal request” for interviews.

Jonathan, others to attend Musevini’s swearing-i n

T

HIRTEEN African Heads of state have confirmed that they will attend the swearing-in ceremony for President Yoweri Museveni tomorrow at Kololo Independence Ground. Countries that have confirmed in writing that their presidents will attend include; Kenya (Mwai Kibaki), Tanzania (Jakaya Kikwete), Djibouti, (Ismail Omar Guelleh), Nigeria (Goodluck Jonathan) and Zimbabwe (Robert Mugabe). Kenya’s former president Daniel arap Moi has also confirmed his attendance. Others who gave verbal confirmation are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and South-

ern Sudan. Prime ministers expected to attend are that of Egypt, Malawi, Algeria and Namibia. The Government yesterday declared Thursday a public holiday. Third deputy Prime Minister and public service minister Henry Kajura made the announcement at the Media Centre in Kampala. The public holiday is to enable Ugandans to participate in and observe the swearingin and inauguration ceremonies of Museveni. The function will cost sh3b. The money, according to presidency minister Beatrice Wabudeya, will be used to hire transportation for invited guests, security and refreshments among others.

Pro-Gbagbo militia in Ivory Coast kill 200 civilians

S

OME 200 people, mostly civilians, have been killed by retreating militiamen and Liberian mercenaries loyal to ousted Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo, officials say. The killings happened last week in coastal communities as the fighters headed for the Liberian border, the defence department said. The claim has not been independently verified. Gbagbo was last week

questioned over alleged human rights abuses. He was arrested a month ago, after refusing to accept defeat in the November 2010 elections. President Alassane Ouattara was sworn in as president last week and is trying to restore normal life after the four-month dispute, during which an estimated 3,000 people were killed. Cocoa exports resumed from the world largest producer over the weekend, officials say.

PUBLIC NOTICE AKWA/CROSS

Formerly Akwa-Ibom/Cross River State Central Union (Akwa Cross), Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, now Akwa Ibom State Community (AKISCOM) Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. Former documents remain valid. General public should take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE This is to inform members of the public that the original Certificate of Occupancy registered in the name of GEORGE OLUKAYODE AKINSANYA as No. 66, page 66 in Volume 1982DA at the Land Registry, Alausa, Ikeja has been reported missing. Members of the public should please take note. If found please contact: ENITAN ASSOCIATES LEGAL PRACTITIONERS (AMPAK PLAZA) PLOT 3, OTUNBA JOBI FELE WAY, ALAUSA CBD, IKEJA, LAGOS STATE.

MAC 61


THE NATION WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011

63

NATION SPORT

WAFU NATIONS CUP

Nigeria battles Ghana in semi-final

•Togo faces Liberia

N

IGERIA’s Super Eagles will rekindle their age-long rivalry with the Black Stars of Ghana

By Olusoji Olukayode when both teams clash in the semi-final of the ongoing

Onigbinde praises CAF campaigners

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ORMER Super Eagles coach, Adegboye Onigbinde is full of praise for the three Nigerian clubs still in the running for silverware in the CAF Champions League and the Confederation Cup. Enyimba progressed to the group stages of the Champions League following a 1-0 victory over Libyan club, Al Itthihad while Kaduna United and Sunshine Stars progressed at the expense of Tunisia’s Etiole du Sahel and Burkina Faso’s USFA respectively. Onigbinde, a CAF and FIFA instructor said the progression of the three sides for the next stages of the respective competition represents ‘progress’ for Nigerian football. “It is progress and a plus for Nigerian football and I hope they build on the successes and go on to win the cups in the

two competitions,’ he said. The ‘Chief’, widely respected for his meticulous approach to technical matters of football said he would not hold back on assisting any of the clubs who seek to tap from his rich reservoir of knowledge. “I am close to all Coaches in this country and if they need my help, why not, I would do it as a Nigerian. Our chances in both competitions are good but we should not be carried away with away. I am never satisfied with minimal levels of success and I believe more can always be achieved. If our clubs achieve this mindset, they will do well,” he said. Sunshine Stars and Kaduna United are well placed in the standings of the 2010/2011 (2nd and 3rd) Nigeria Premier League (NPL) season while the champions, Enyimba are currently in mid table(10th).

WAFU Nations Cup in Abeokuta, Ogun State. The defending champions tutored by former Eagles striker, Samson Siasia will go head to head with Ghana on Thursday for a place in the final. The Nigerian team consists only of home-based players and has been impressive thus far in the competition, scoring five goals in two games against Liberia and Niger. The Eagles won their two games at the preliminary stage to top their group but Ghana fell to

Jonathan lights National Sports Festival torch

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has called for the promotion of sport in the country. The president said sport has become the main promoter of unity in the country. The president therefore stressed the need to promote anything that forges common interest and unity of the country. President Jonathan spoke during the lighting of the National festival torch at the Presidential villa. The occassion was to officially flag off the National Sports Festival which will hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers State

•President Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and minister of youth develolpment Sen. Akinlabi Olasunkanmi during the presentation of festival torch for the hosting of the National Sports Festival in River State at the presidential villa Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

Kwara Football Academy begins Talent Hunt

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HE hunt for talented footballers between the age rages of 10 to19 has begun by Kwara football academy. The Technical Director of the Academy, Mr. Paul Ashworth said that the academy has decided to launch the trial along with a raffle draw that would benefit the public to win different prices with one thousand naira raffle ticket. The academy is noted for its strong promotion of football over the past five years and is committed to ensuring that qualitative players are

continuously produced from the academy. Reacting on the achievement of the academy, he said the academy has produced number of player plying their trade both locally and internationally. Gbenga Arokoyo, a member of the Under-20 Africa youth championship, Tony Oghuo and Uchenna Ume both plying their trade in FK Ekrans, Latvia League among others. Reacting to questions from the reporters, the secretary to the Board of Trustees (BOT), Mr. Charles Idowu, said, they have put in place formidable logistics

second place behind Togo after the Hawks triumphed on penalties over the Black Stars in their group decider yesterday in Abeokuta. In the other semi-final pairing it will be the Hawks of Togo taking to the field against the Lone Stars of Liberia which came second in Nigeria’s group. Nigeria won the competition last year after defeating Senegal in the final under the tutelage of Daniel Amokachi and will be hoping to repeat the feat this term.

to ensure that the football trail is successful. He also said that, the academy currently has 70 boys in the academy and the management of the academy is in full responsibility. Mr. Ashworth further revealed that the trail is meant to be held in six different location of the country i.e Calabar, Benin, Ilorin, Abuja Lagos and . The Managing Director of the Information Technology, Core Technology handling the project also opined that the forms can be bought from intercontinental and zenith bank nationwide.

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja in July this year. The brief ceremony saw the torch of unity being handed over to the Federal Capital Territory for the start of the journey round the 36 states of the federation with Rivers State as the final destination. Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State, the host of the last National Sports Festival kicked off the ceremony as he handed over the touch of unity to the Minister of Sports, Taoheed Adedoja who in turn handed it over to Jonathan who handed it over to Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi who then handed it over to the Federal Capital Territory. Jonathan in short remark said sporting events bonds youths together irrespective of differences in tribe, religion or other persuasions. He therefore stressed the need for it to be strengthened so that it can engender peaceful co-existence among our youths. He also noted that it was one of the purposes of establishing unity schools across the country so that there would be common interests and bonds of friendship across tribes and interests. “Sports brings unity to both young and old. To camp our young ones together will bring that spirit of unity especially after the election. It is like the unity schools that united Nigerians together because each person bonded with the classmates and by the time they leave school, they have friends across the states and sections of the country. “The country belongs to us and unless we are together as one, the nation cannot go far and that is what sports does, it unifies us. This is a proof that Nigeria is one and we must remain united. This flag of unity must continue to fly and the unity torch must continue to burn”,Jonathan said. He further acknowledged that Nigeria is noted with sports and can be easily remembered by all countries around the world especially on the issue of football and asked that all be put in place to sustain the reputation of the country.

Babayaro wants Eagles’ action

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O L P H I N S midfielder, Victor Babayaro says the time is ripe for Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia to give him a look in as regards the national team. Babayaro who returned to his central midfield role for Dolphins this season says he is good enough for the national team and it will only take one invitation for him to sequester a place in the team. “I have played for Nigeria at U16, U20 and U23 levels and I do not know why it is difficult for the selectors to invite me to the national team whether team A, B or C. “I have played as full back at Dolphins for five seasons but since they moved me back to my position in central midfield, my play has improved tremendously and I need to go one step further,” Babayaro said. In the Rivers State FA Cup final against Sharks last Saturday, Babayaro was at the top of his game, commanding play from the midfield and dictating the pace of the game, a factor that

saw Dolphins grab two goals early in the game through Derrick Amadi. “There is a lot of freedom in my game these days. I have been given licence to rove and I know my team will benefit immensely from it. I’m just hoping the national team realises that they can benefit from my services too,” Babayaro said.

•Babayaro

3rd Channels Kids Cup hots up

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HE official draws ceremony for the 3rd edition of the Channels Kids Cup football competition will hold on Thursday, May 19, 2011 at the office of the organisers, Channels Television in Maryland, Lagos, South-West Nigeria. The annual football tournament which brings together pupils from public and private primary schools in Lagos and its environs has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception in 2009 .The number of participants have also increased with the inclusion of schools from neighbouring states like Ogun, Oyo and Kwara. According to the Chairman/CEO of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh (OON), This year’s edition comes with loads of excitement and motivation as

corporate organisations have shown profound interest in partnering with the catch them young football fiesta. “We are fulfilling part of the our corporate social responsibility culture of ensuring Nigeria which is abound with talents is rated among the top football playing nations in the world. The tournament serves to correct the agelong notion that Nigeria cannot present players with their true ages in youth competitions” Momoh said. Ladi Lak primary school,Bariga defeated Dr. Soyemi memorial primary school,Festac Town 4-0 to emerge champions of the 2010 edition decided at the magnificient Campos square pitch in Lagos Island. The campos square will also stage the finals of the 2011 event on Friday, May 27,2011 which is the Children’s day.

WellManned set for 2nd Sagamu Open THE second edition of WellManned Amateur golf tournament has been scheduled to tee off at the Blue Elephant Cement club in Sagamu between Friday 13 and Sunday the 15th of May 2011. The competition which is already generating lot of interest within the golf community will feature invited professional golfers, amateurs, lady golfers and guests. Managing Director of WellManned, the tournament sponsoring outfits, Mr Uwem Udoh has maintained his promise to support the development of golf as part of their corporate contribution to the wider Nigerian community with the bankrolling of the tournament. Udoh said apart from the sponsorship of the game, WellManned also shares the values for which golf is noted for. “Golf is a wonderful sport. It promotes health always. A healthy walk over 5km help improves metabolism and golf has no age restriction. As long

as you can move your body and can swing, you can play it, Udoh said, adding that, “the sport also reveals and improves character". The 36-hole tournament to be played over two days is expected to attract golfers from across the country and will also see notable names like Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Olusola Adekanola and other veterans playing in the competition. Over 300 players and guests played at the tournament last year with very happy memories, said club Captain, Segun Onabolu in a chat with the media. He informed further that all necessary arrangement at ensuring that the event goes as planned has been put in place. The event will be preceded by a welcoming cocktail on Friday before action commence on Saturday and Sunday. This year edition of the will also be used as a forum to support the WellManned Group Foundation - educational scholarship and the AMA Imevbore Foundation vocational training and skills development.


http://www.thenationonlineng.net

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

VOL. 6 NO.1756

Tomorrow in THE NATION ‘The problem has not always been with our political parties or their private owners. It has always been those who do not have equity in private concerns but want to dictate to investors on how to share dividends. They want to eat their cakes and have it’ JIDE OLUWAJUYITAN

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

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S has since become its tradition, The Economist’s end of the year double edition for last year (December 18-31) carried several special essays on a variety of subjects, one of which was public relations. Entitled “Rise of the image men”, the three page article gave a history of how historically Public Relations seem to have trumped journalism in the business of communications. What, in the opinion of the writer, has helped the PR Man “conquer” the world was the fact that in this day and age image has come to matter more than substance. “Verisimilitude (the appearance of being true or real),” said the self-styled ‘newspaper’ with characteristic precision, “matters more than veracity.” The article could as well have been in anticipation of our April elections; from virtually all the reviews of the election by the local and international observers and monitors as well as by the local commentariat, it is obvious that most of us have been taken in by the appearance that the elections were free, fair and credible. The truth, as I said several weeks ago on these pages, is that they were anything but. True, INEC under the leadership of the wellregarded Professor Attahiru Jega did its best to create the conditions for a free, fair and credible election. And in fairness to President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Assembly, they gave Jega virtually all the wherewithal for creating those conditions. Behind that facade, however, was the apparent inability of especially the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to kick its habit of rigging elections. You could hardly put this phenomenon of PDP’s addiction to power better than Professor Wole Soyinka did in his essay, “Nigeria’s Death by Democracy,” which was the cover story of the April 11 edition of America’s Newsweek magazine. “Normal avenues for rigging,” he said, “have been blocked...How do the exposed beneficiaries guarantee their survival? Only through pre-election intimidation, thuggery, assassinations and the like. The opposing side, its morale boosted by the new electoral controls, has equally primed itself for robust resistance. The results are easily predictable.” I cannot find better words to describe how the PDP hid behind the facade provided by Jega’s INEC to perpetrate its propensity for rigging than those of Sam Nda-Isaiah, the publisher and ace-columnist of Leadership, in his column last Monday. And no one can accuse Sam, a Nupe like me and a Christian, of being anti-Jonathan on account of the president being a minority and a Christian. On the contrary Sam is well known to have been positively disposed to the president. “The elections,” he said in his column, “were credible only at the polling units. By the time

People and Politics By

MOHAMMED HARUNA ndajika@yahoo.com

This unhelpful demonisation of theNorth...

•Dr. Jonathan

the results left many of the collation centres, either by an act of magic or witchcraft, they transmuted. It was obvious at this point that Jega had not built anything into the system to stop people from changing the figures.” Sam said this in reference to the National Assembly elections, the first and clearly the most credible of the series of three elections. They became worse with each subsequent one, with the presidential turning up incredulous figures of voter turnout in PDP strongholds. By the time INEC conducted the last, the governorship and State House of Assembly elections, the party had dropped all pretences of allowing for a free, fair and credible election. Hiding under the guise of quelling the inexcusable but understandable violence across the North which followed the declaration of President Jonathan as the winner of the presidential election, the authorities put much of the country under soldiers’ boots and made it impossible for the opposition to monitor

RIPPLES HOW JONATHAN CAN SUCCEED -Niger Delta Forum

Give us LIGHT...END OF DISCUSSION

the collation of the votes. Right across the country there were reports of security forces conniving with PDP agents to chase away opposition agents, a time even from polling units. As The Economist would probably say of our elections last month, the verisimilitude of its being credible has come to matter more than its veracity. Predictably, this verisimilitude has provided an excuse for every one with an axe to grind with the Muslim North, with good reason or not, to climb the popular pastime of demonizing the region and its leaders. “The carnage,” said Soyinka for one, “is unacceptable to me because it involved human beings.” (The Nation, April 11). No sensible person would disagree with the Literature Nobel Laureate on this. But then he went on to charge that they “were planned well ahead,” implying that there was nothing spontaneous about them as Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, the main opposition contender said when he condemned the violence. Soyinka did not say by whom and did not say why he apparently believed it was planned. However, this position, to me at least, seems to have contradicted his Newsweek essay which clearly suggested that a bigger violence than those that had presaged the elections was inevitable. However, in condemning the violence across the North, especially the unfortunate killings of nearly a dozen members of the National Youth Service Corps, the Nobel Laureate avoided abusive language. Not so the myriads of columnists who seemed to have been in a competition for the use of the foulest language against not only the thugs who went on the indiscriminate rampage but also their imaginary leaders who presumably put them on to it. They were, said these pundits, cannibals, bullies, cowards and worse. Of all these abuses, the one that really took

HARDBALL

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E shot into national prominence as deputy governor in a blaze of treason, and he is leaving as governor with all the thespian flourish he can muster. That, in summary, is the history of Adebayo AlaoAkala, outgoing governor of Oyo State. When his time shall come to be translated into glory, that summary can also very well serve as his epitaph. One of his comrades in usurpation, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun State, left office with unspoken sullenness, unable to fathom the moral dilemma his subversion of democratic tenets created. Another comrade, Mr Segun Oni of Ekiti State, enacted the perfect burlesque of Awoism ever. He also left office, not with the wisdom that comes from political experience, but with the burden of litigiousness that comes to Nigerian politicians naturally. Among his comrades, however, Alao-Akala stands out. If his other former governor friends in the Southwest brought gravity to government, it was his distinguished honour to bring levity. Throughout his years in office, whether when he was planning treason against the constitution with the late strongman of Ibadan politics, Chief Lamidi Adedibu, or when he was affecting to govern, he was always having a ball. He served his pleasures in equal measure as he served his

A theatrical end in Oyo religious conscience – with fun and jovial abandon. He dressed well, partied hard, and Oyo State, particularly Ibadan, went slam-bang down the hill. Alas, now in his closing days in power, AlaoAkala has suddenly received a most remarkable shot in the arm, and his government has come alive with a flurry of late rallies, as they say in boxing. First was the law he engineered to rotate the leadership of the Oyo Council of Obas. The chiefs used to have the Alafin of Oyo as permanent chairman; but now the position, according to the new law hurriedly passed by the outgoing House of Assembly, will be rotated among the Alafin, Olubadan of Ibadanland and Soun of Ogbomoso. When Alao-Akala first pushed for rotation, the Alaafin took him to court. The case was still in court when the governor got the legislature to pass the law. Of course he did it to punish the Alaafin who openly campaigned against him during the governorship election. He also passed the law to sow a seed of discord between Ibadan and Oyo.

the cake must be the phrase from my younger friend, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, the short lived Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria who left the bank as a result of his disagreement with his boss, Professor Charles Soludo. In an article which dripped of so much hatred for everything “Hausa/Fulani,” Obed, as I call him, said, among other harsh words, the time has come for these “bloodsucking cowardly desert rats who can only come and kill women and children at dawn” to be dealt a decisive blow. Reading Obed and other like-minded pundits, you will be forgiven the thought that evil is the preserve of only one section of the country. This, of course, is complete nonsense. And my all time favourite quotation against such nonsense is a great piece entitled “Yorubaland as a riddle” by Professor Femi Osofisan in The Comet, since rested, of December 17, 2000. “The Yoruba,” he said in that article, “are really no better nor worse in their virtues and vices than any other ethnic group. Just as they give birth to cowards so do they father intrepid men. Like others they have their heroes as they nurture villains. “And the question as to which of these conflicting sides truly represent the Yoruba people, the answer can only be – both! However much we may like to glorify our differences, each tribe is in the end essentially the same as the other in its blending of good and evil men.” We seem to have such short memories. Otherwise we would not have forgotten so soon how many times the Odua Peoples Congress went on killing sprees against socalled Hausas mostly in the name of “June 12.” On those occasions hundreds of innocent Northerners were killed and maimed and their properties destroyed. I don’t remember reading the sort of outrage that has been expressed in our media against last month’s post election violence. On the contrary, I distinctly remember an Afenifere chieftain, the Chief Solanke Onasanya, then at 82 the second oldest member of the umbrella Yoruba cultural association, saying in an interview in The Comet of October 29, 2000 that the Yorubas have no apology to offer to anyone for the deadliest attack against Northerners in Lagos which took place for four days running from October 15, because it was, he said, “the Hausa people that are collecting N2 million in the place, and our land, and they are harassing our people.” The violence that occurred last month in the wake of the presidential election was as terrible as it was unacceptable. But demonising one section of the country because of it obviously cannot be the anti-dote to future re-occurrences. •For comments, send SMS to 08054502909

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above Still giddy with last minute policy revelry, Alao-Akala also confounded his friends and enemies alike by announcing his decision to begin paying the new minimum wage from May 1. It will be recalled that during electioneering in March he promised he would pay the new wage. But because he had a history of fighting teachers and civil servants over pay, many thought his promise was a political gimmick. Now on his way out of office, he has passed on the nuisance the new wage law is bound to become nationwide to the man who undid him at the polls. Common sense dictates that the contentious matter be left for the new governor, but Alao-Akala, snickering behind closed doors, had to make sure his successor would not have a moment’s respite. This unmitigated ill will is unexampled anywhere. Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the incoming governor, will have his hands full once he is inaugurated. Not only will Alao-Akala be leaving a state in near collapse, he will also pass on chiefs, politicians and bureaucrats nursing venomous rage against one another. And to think everyone expected the state would have peace and progress after the timely departure of Adedibu. Well, apparently, no one reckoned with AlaoAkala’s malevolence.

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The Nation - May 11, 2011