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VOL. 7, NO. 2127 FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012



2015: North’s governors back Buhari’s warning Forum plans to arrest growing insecurity ‘ T HERE is nothing wrong in Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s warning against rigging of the 2015 general elections, the North’s governors said yesterday. Gen. Buhari, the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 general election, stirred the hornet’s nest when he said violence will greet rigging of the 2015 polls. The Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chided him. But the largest

•Gen. Buhari

Salami rejects retirement offer

Again, certain facts are understood; that if this happens, that would happen... May be those who may be too concerned (about what Gen Buhari said) have not looked at what other eminent Nigerians have been talking about. I saw one that said Nigeria is going to be Somalianised...

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

opposition party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), backed the general whom it said could air his view freely. The CPC also supported the former Head of State’s position, saying PDP should not

intimidate Nigerians. Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu, who is also the chairman of the Northern Nigeria Governors Forum, told reporters in Kaduna yesterday after reading the communiqué of the 19 governors’ meeting

that Gen. Buhari did not err by warning against rigging of elections. He said: “Again, certain facts are understood; that if this happens, that would happen. I think it is a natural thing to do. May be those who may be

too concerned (about what Gen Buhari said) have not looked at what other eminent Nigerians have been talking about. “I saw one that said Nigeria is going to be Somalianised. I saw another one who has been talking like there would be war tomorrow. So, for me, that statement should be taken on its own value. Do not go and do bad election. I think that is the thing I will Continued on page 2


Plot to scandalise PCA uncovered From Yusuf Alli, Abuja


HERE is pressure on suspended Court of Appeal (PCA) President Isa Ayo Salami to retire voluntarily. But the eminent jurist has spurned the offer. Besides, some forces in government are pushing for Justice Salami’s compulsory retirement, The Nation learnt yesterday. A plot by another group to scandalise Justice Salami on account of age and service years has also been uncovered. In the last two months, there has been pressure on Justice Salami to voluntarily retire from service. According to sources, a highly-influential public officer has met with Justice Salami to persuade him to apply for voluntary retirement as part of what is described as a softlanding deal. But Justice Salami reportedly asked the public officer to give him reasons why he should throw in the towel when he did not commit any offence. He said it would amount to “self-indictment”, if he takes such a step, according to source close to the meeting. Instead, Justice Salami offered to abide only by the “final decision” of the National Judicial Council (NJC) on the matter. The susp e n d e d News page 3 PCA also ex-

Aregbesola calls for reinstatement

Continued on page 2

•The scene of an explosion involving a bus carrying arms at Rumuokoro Roundabout in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital…yesterday. Inset: Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi reassuring residents of their safety PHOTO: NAN at the scene. See story on page 59




NEWS Reps seek elected officials in local govts


•From left, Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly, Dr. Adeyeye Ajibayo; Chief of Staff to the governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola; Prince Adedeji Adelowo and former commissioner for Local Government, Lagos State, Prince Rotimi Agunsoye, at the launch of a book in honour of Aregbesola at the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding in Osogbo, the state capital…yesterday

North’s governors back Buhari’s warning Continued from page 1

take from there. “All of us who are involved in elections - political parties, contestants and the voters themselves - must be careful so that whatever we do, the semblance of good will be there. But, again, like I said, certain people are in a position that certain vocabularies they use, they should be careful about. So, both ways let us take it on our own stride and ensure that future elections are seen to be transparent and are seen to be good”. Dr. Aliyu said even though people have various ways of communicating their opinion, the statement made by the former Head of State should be taken in its own value. The governor, however, cautioned eminent Nigerians against making inflammatory statements capable of affecting the nation’s fragile unity and security. He said Nigerians must be concerned about the unity and development of the country in all its ramifications. He noted that the central message of the former Nigerian leader is that stakeholders should strive to ensure that there is free and fair election,

adding that all those involved in conducting elections must be careful in whatever they do so that the outcome will be transparent. With the Niger State governor were other governors. He was silent on Buhari’s threat of bloodbath, if the elections are not free and fair. In the communiqué, the governors expressed concern about the growing insecurity in the region and pledged to intensify efforts at finding a lasting solution to the problems by reaching out to all stakeholders. The governors said they had decided to reposition the forum to be more effective and provide good governance, better understanding and cooperation among members. Speaking at the opening session of the meeting, Aliyu said:”My fellow colleagues, it is very disturbing to note the emerging trend of distractive political activities in the nation, ostensibly to prepare the ground for the actualisation of some people’s political ambition in 2015. “Whereas it is legitimate for anybody to aspire to any leadership position, subject to the provision of our constitution,

we must remember that 2015 or any date for that matter, belongs to Almighty Allah (SWT) who decrees what happens to individuals or society at any given period. We should, therefore, leave 2015 or beyond unto Almighty Allah to do as pleases Him. “We should recognise that the interest of the people is paramount and we must use the political party platform to promote such interest in fulfillment of the campaign pledges made to the people. We need to rededicate ourselves to the service of our people, especially the underprivileged in the society. “This is contingent on the fact that we have the mandate of the people and that Allah will hold us accountable for our actions and inactions. Let us resist the temptation to be drawn into issues that may only cause us to lose focus in serving the people or gaining the everlasting favour of our creator. “If our present opportunity as governors and leaders cannot earn us paradise, it should not send us to hell. Above all, we must do everything possible to ensure that we enter 2015 as a peaceful and united con-

stituent, Nigeria.” Aliyu said it was unfortunate that insecurity had not abated; rather, it is worsening and attaining very alarming dimension, with attendant negative implications for the economic growth, development and image of the nation. Nigeria, he said, is “passing through a very difficult phase in the history of the nation, a period that put our patriotism, nationalism, sincerity and responsibility collectively to test. “This is the period that we have to demonstrate individually and collectively our abiding faith in our nation, when we must confront the common enemies of the nation, those who are sworn to destroying the spirit of nationhood through wanton destruction of lives and property.” Aliyu praised the Federal Government for its readiness to dialogue on security issues with various interest groups, adding: “We should, therefore, encourage any individual or group that can make positive contributions to the peace building process, while at our own level, we should do everything possible to bring peace to reign in our states.”

HE House of Representatives has decried the administration of local governments by caretaker committees. The lawmakers urged governors to ensure that local government councils are administered by democratically elected officials. But the lawmakers rejected a proposal to suspend the monthly allocation to such local governments. The decision of the lawmakers, following a motion by Friday Itulah (PDP, Edo) on ‘illegal constitution of local government caretaker councils’ was not without some drama as the constitutionality of the decisions of the lawmakers was hotly contested by those who felt that the National Assembly was not backed to make decisions for the third tier of government. Itulah listed states which run local governments with caretaker committees. They include: Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi and Nasarawa. Others are: Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Yobe and Zamfara. “This system of government is alien and unknown to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and one is aware that this act by state governments is a breach of Section 7 (1) of the 1999 constitution as amended,” he noted. Samson Osagie (ACN, Edo), Emmanuel Orker-Jev (ACN, Benue), Abiodun Balogun (ACN, Lagos), John Enoh (PDP, Cross Rivers), Simon Arabo (PDP, Kaduna) and others agreed on the illegality of the caretaker committees in the administration of local councils but objected to the suspension of the monthly allocations to such

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

local governments. Arabo said Nigerians are only interested in duly elected persons running their affairs. But he noted that the Constitution was responsible for the confusion generated by the motion as Section 7 and Section 162 were at variance on the administration and funding of LGs. Kamil Akinlabi (ACN, Oyo) led others to oppose the motion, saying caretaker committees were constitutionally backed. He said the affected governors have not acted contrary to the provisions of the constitution, adding, “The caretaker committees were duly constituted by the governors in accordance with the constitution and on the ratification of the Houses of Assembly.“ Emmanuel Ukoete (PDP, Akwa Ibom) said circumstances vary from state to state for the introduction of caretaker committees and that since the House must protect the Constitution, states should rather be encouraged to conduct local government elections in earnest. However, drama set in when some members struggled to remove their states from the list of affcted states. The lawmakers however voted massively for the motion urging the governors to immediately ensure that all local government councils in the federation are administered by democratically elected officials. Mohammed Monguno (ANPP, Borno) among others wanted his states to be delisted, saying, it was the spate of violence in the state that led to it in the state. However drama set in when some speakers struggled to remove their States from the list given the Sponsor of the motion.

Salami rejects voluntary retirement offer Judiciary crisis not political, says Acting PCA

Continued from page 1

pressed confidence that he will be vindicated in the end by the NJC. A source, who confirmed that Justice Salami got such an offer, said: “I think the voluntary retirement plot was to gauge his mood and determine whether he was battle-weary or not. They are planning to rope him in whereas he prefers to stand by his principle as an incorruptible judge. “But Salami has left his fate to God and the NJC, which has vindicated him. It is left to the judicial cartel to search their conscience.” As at press time, it was gathered that some forces in government have ruled out the return of Justice Salami to office. There was anxiety yesterday that President Goodluck Jonathan might buy into the advice of these forces. A source in government said: “I do not think the government is going along the reinstatement line because of certain issues. But consultations will take place after the Presidency has received


HE Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Dalhatu Adamu, yesterday said the crisis rocking the Judiciary is devoid of politics. Justice Adamu, who received the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Youth Leaders in his office urged Nigerians to stop linking the crisis in the system to politics. He said he is ready to vacate his office any time the suspended President, Justice Isa Ayo Salami is reinstated. The NJC has asked Justice Salami to return to his seat, but the President is yet to approve the recommendation. The youth, led by their President, Comrade Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, told the Acting PCA that there is need for everybody to be involved in the fight against corruption. the NJC resolution. “The government may not be disposed to Justice Salami’s reinstatement, going by developments in the last 24 hours. “This means that the President may overrule the decision of the NJC, which comprises eminent jurists, and a Justices Muhammadu Uwais, Alfa Belgore, Idris Kutigi, Mamman Nasir, Mu-

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

Praising the Judiciary for being the last hope of the common man, he said: “Judiciary remains the last hope of everybody, not the common masses alone, because even the people in power, after leaving office, still cry to the judiciary when faced with challenges. “That is why we have to protect the sanctity, integrity and reverence of the judiciary, at all cost. A nation can only survive when her judiciary is protected and respected,” Chukwunyere said He urged all stakeholders in the Judiciary to stand firm and resist the infiltration of corruption into the system. “Nigerian youth have asked me to tell you sir that we are not comfortable with some issues around your predecessor.

stapha Akanbi, and Abdullahi Umar. This is the first time the NJC will have witnessed such absurdity, if it is done.” Four exit options are being considered for Justice Salami. These are: •Reinstatement on paper and immediate commencement of pre-retirement leave by the suspended PCA; •review of the NJC’s resolution of last Thursday for

It is our hope that you have not and you will not allow politicians to infiltrate our judiciary system as things must be done to protect the sanctity of the Judiciary,” he said, adding: “We are using this opportunity to suggest to our lords to restore dignity to the Court of Appeal. We will like to know the situation of things at the Court of Appeal as Nigerians are eagerly watching as events unfold. We want the court to be proactive in responding to current and burning issues as that will go a long way to give hope to the common masses of this nation. Certainly, you will agree with us that justice delayed is justice denied. They also urged the Acting PCA to look into prison congestion to avoid more jail breaks.

Justice Salami’s compulsory retirement; •opportunity of voluntary retirement without any condition after a letter of reinstatement has been sent to him by the NJC. •confirmation of the appointment of the acting PCA, Justice Dalhatu Adamu, to leave Justice Salami perpetually in court to fight for reinstatement. By virtue of Sec-

tion 238(5), Adamu has served as acting PCA three times (three months each) and the President cannot renew his appointment, except he is given a substantive rank. To force Justice Salami to quit, a group is working on what has been described as Plan B - to scandalise him. This group is trying to raise issues about Justice

Salami’s age, the year of call to Bar and having allegedly spent 35 years in service. The plan is to allege that since Justice Salami and the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, were called to the Bar in 1968, Justice Salami ought to have been retired. But pro-Salami forces have faulted the argument of this shadowy group. A Senior Advocate, who spoke in confidence, said: “The fact is that Salami, Katsina-Alu and the present CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, were called to the Bar in 1968. These people should go and check the age bracket of the three jurists when they were called to the Bar. “And they also need to verify the records of service of each of the Justices.” The source added: “For instance, the incoming Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar was called to the Bar in 1967. Are they saying she should have gone on retirement by now? Their plot has been uncovered and it will fail in this respect.”

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NEWS EFCC takes over illegal bunkering vessel with 1m litres oil


•From left: Eldest daughter of the deceased, Mrs. Titilayo Babarinde; Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; and his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, during the Christian Wake for the late Madam Dorcas Aina Fayemi, in Isan-Ekiti... yesterday

HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it has taken possession of a suspected illegal oil bunkering vessel from the Navy. The vessel is said to be bearing one million litres of suspected Automotive Gas Oil. A statement by the commission’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said from preliminary investigations the vehicle had no relevant documents. The statement said: “The vessel, MT Takoradi, bearing one million litres of suspected Automotive Gas Oil, and 11 crew members were handed over to the Commission at a brief ceremony at NNS Beecroft, Apapa, Lagos by the Commanding

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

Officer, Navy Commodore, M. J. O. Njoku. “The vessel and its cargo, together with the crew were received on behalf of the EFCC by the Head, General Investigation and Counter Terrorism section of the Commission’s Lagos zonal office, Mr. Aminu Aliyu. The crew include Captain, Musa Mohammed and the Chief Engineer, Freeborn Otuagoma. “Commodore Njoku explained that the vessel was arrested by men of the Nigerian Navy aboard the NNS Thunder on routine patrol on January 26. Njoku added: “On the 26th of January, 2012, MT TAKORADI was accosted by Nigerian

Aregbesola calls on Jonathan to reinstate Salami


SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to reinstate the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami. He gave the advice at the launch of three books in his honour. The books entitled: The Divine Road to Justice; The Power-Force of Destiny and The Spirit of Mandate were presented in Osogbo yesterday. The governor said by immediately re-instating Justice Salami, President Jonathan will be toeing the path of honour. The governor said after the resolution of the matter by the National Judicial Council

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

(NJC), justice must be done by the President, noting that the suspension of Salami was erroneous and ill-advised. Aregbesola, who said President Jonathan should obey the rule of law by recalling Justice Salami as recommended by the NJC, said any further delay in the reinstatement of the PCA is an indictment on the judiciary. “So, if NJC ordered the suspension of Salami and it has also resolved to recall him, if our President will want to be seen as a man who believes in the rule of law, Justice Ayo salami should be reinstated with-

out further delay,” the governor said. Aregbesola described the books as documented reminiscences of the prevailing tempestuous atmosphere of the happenings in Osun during the 2007 general election and the three and a half years of legal battles to reclaim the stolen mandate. He said the people will remember those brutally murdered and those who suffered unimaginable deprivations and losses before, during and after the 2007 general elections in Osun State. “The four writers have written books that should be patiently chewed and carefully

digested. We will always remember those brutally murdered and those who suffered unimaginable deprivations and losses. Though we have generously forgiven the beastly souls who rabidly sought to destroy us and our mandate, these books will continue to remind us of that mind-bending phase of our history,” the governor said. “I would like to encourage all of us to take reading, especially of good books, as a mental exercise demanding of us due diligence. If as a people we are to make an enviable success of building a great state and country, the spreading national culture of despising

knowledge has to be checked. “We are providing functional education that will enable our students to place a high premium on reading. This education will encourage them to see books as the bottomless fount of enduring knowledge,” Aregbesola noted. “Our administration is committed to the development of infrastructure in public schools, provision of relevant educational materials like textbooks and computer tablets, training and retraining of teachers, provision of free meals to elementary school pupils, among other benefiting programmes,” he said.

Navy ship Thunder on patrol. Investigations revealed that the Vessel was carrying about one million litres of AGO without Nigerian Navy clearance. Consequently, the Vessel was arrested. “In view of the foregoing, I am directed to hand over the vessel, 11 member crew and the cargo about 1 million litres of AG0 to your organisation for investigation and prosecution.” He promised that the Navy would secure the vessel pending the outcome of investigation and probably the release of the Vessel. “From preliminary naval investigations, the arrested vessel lacked relevant documents. The captain of the ship, Musa Mohammed said the vessel belongs to Star Wind Management Company, Trikompi , Greece , and the ship broker is NEPS Nigeria limited, Lagos . He said the vessel was initially manned by Greeks and was handed over to his crew on the 10th of December, 2011 at the Lagos Anchorage. The vessel, he said, sailed on the 21st January,2012 to Pennington at the request of Solution Mark Nigeria limited Which is the owner, ostensibly to rescue a sister barge in distress, MT LORD. However, naval investigation indicated that MT LORD was never in distress. Aliyu assured that the case would be thoroughly investigated by the EFCC and collected samples of the cargo for analysis.




No end to Boko United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Ambassador Johnnie Carson, on Wednesday, held a teleconference with reporters. Carson spoke on Boko Haram, elections in Nigeria, U.S. trade relations with Africa, ECOWAS and so on. Excerpts:

B •President Goodluck Jonathan receiving letters of credence from the Mexican Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador, PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN Marco Antonio Carcia Barco at the Presidential Villa...yesterday

•Chairman, Dangote Plc, Alhaji Aliko Dangote (second right) Director, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Mr. Olakunle Alake (left) , Company Secretary, Mrs. Chioma Madubuko, and the Managing Director, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Abdullahi Sule, during the company’s 6th Annual General Meeting in Lagos...yesterday

OKO Haram menace In respect to Nigeria itself, we continue to see Boko Haram as a serious domestic threat to stability in northern Nigeria, and we have, in fact, been in very close contact with Nigerian officials about this situation. We have offered to the Nigerians a wide variety of training to help them to improve their investigation skills, their ability to collect information on the Boko Haram threat, on forensics, to be able to do investigations on post-blast situations. We have also offered them advice on how they can better defend against car bombs and IEDs, and we have worked with their security services, the police, and the military. But with respect to Boko Haram, we have also said very clearly that we see the solution to this problem as both a security and a socio-economic issue. There has to be a sound security strategy, but there also has to be a sound socio-economic strategy to address the enormous poverty which exists in northern Nigeria. Both have to go hand in hand. And so we are willing and open to help Nigeria in trying to deal with this domestic threat and recognise the seriousness of it, but again, as I say, it requires a security strategy as well as a socio-economic strategy to ultimately resolve it.


•Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Reginald Ihejiani (middle), Executive Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. IK Mbagwu (left) and the bank’s chairman, Mr. Christopher Ezeh during the bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) PHOTO: ADEOLA SOLOMON in Lagos... yesterday.

ECOWAS is one of the stronger and more effective sub-regional organisations. We have a high respect for the organisation itself. We have a high respect for the ECOWAS Secretariat in Abuja and we have enormous respect for the current chairman of ECOWAS, President Ouattara and his foreign minister Duncan. I think they have done a very, very good job in leading ECOWAS. With respect to both Mali and Guinea-Bissau, in the case of Mali in particular, we remain open to seeing precisely what it is that ECOWAS seeks to do militarily in that country. We think that ECOWAS does have a role, but that role should be clearly defined. It should be carefully thought out, and it should be staffed properly before it is undertaken. I think we have been willing to provide logisticians and planners to ECOWAS Secretariat to help with any planning that they are doing, but the mission and the role must be defined before we make any kind of commitment. And we look at the mission as being critical to what we would do to perhaps help. At this juncture we have not, as far as I have been made aware, been asked for any kind of assistance with respect to Guinea-Bissau.

Threat to democracy In Africa

•From right: Vice-Chairman, Bi-courtney Aviation Services Limited, Chief Kola Akinbami, Head, Aeronautical Services, Mr. Raphael Uchegbu and Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Adebisi Awojobi, at the Air Nigeria's pre-inaugural flight briefing at the Press Centre, Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos…on Wednesday.

We are committed to working with African countries on a bilateral basis to help strengthen their democratic institutions, help promote good governance and to strengthen their parliamentary and judicial systems. We are working also with civil society groups to enhance and increase their participation. When we see a breakdown or an

assault on democracy in Africa, as we have seen in Mali and in GuineaBissau recently, we have sought to work with the important sub-regional organizations as they have sought to restore democracy. So in the case of both those countries, we have tried to work very closely with the ECOWAS leadership, both under the leadership of President Alassane Ouattara, but also under the ECOWAS Secretariat in Abuja. I think that ECOWAS has been very clear in both of those cases that they want an end to military rule, that the end of the era for coup d’états is over and that the people of those countries want and deserve democracy. So I think that ECOWAS has stood up and stood clearly in favor of what people want. We have to, as a part of the international community, work with the sub-regional organisation, and we have to be prepared to put pressure, including sanctions, on the states and on the individuals in those countries who perpetrate military interventions or who seek to retain power through unconstitutional means. So in both of those instances, the United States has acted to cut off its assistance, its non-humanitarian assistance to both of those countries and to identify those individuals who are most responsible, and to sanction them with travel and visa bans.

Food shortage in West Africa


RESIDENT Obama will, this Friday (today), on the eve of the G8 conference to be held at Camp David, will be speaking on the issue of food security, agriculture and food self-sufficiency in Africa for the most part. He has invited four African presidents, your own President John Atta Mills, President Yayi from Benin, Prime Minister Meles from Ethiopia, and President Kikwete from Tanzania to this event, which will focus on agriculture. President Obama has instituted a new major initiative called Feed the Future which is designed to create a green agricultural revolution in Africa of the type that occurred in Latin America and in Asia in the 1960s and 70s and which effectively ended widespread hunger in many places in Latin America and Asia and has transformed places like Brazil into economic powerhouses, and which has ended food insufficiencies in places like India. That green agricultural revolution has not yet come to Africa where some 70% of all African households depend primarily or secondarily on agriculture. President Obama, through Feed the Future program and working with the United Nations and with the G8, is determined to put an enormous spotlight on and focus on agriculture. Africa has enormous promise and potential in the agriculture field, and there is absolutely no reason why Africa should be a food deficit country and why there should be food insufficiency in the continent and why it cannot, in fact, be a major agro-producer, not only for the continent, but also for export globally and around the world. It is our focus here to step up our efforts in agriculture, and you will be hearing a






Haram without tackling poverty, says Carson lot more from the President on this issue over the next few days coming out of discussions here, as I mentioned with four African leaders, including AU Chairman Jean Ping on Friday and Saturday and going into early next week. But it is one of the things that this President and this administration regard as a major, major project to work with Africa on.

ECOWAS’s approach Guinea-Bissau

With respect to Boko Haram, we have also said very clearly that we see the solution to this problem as both a security and a socio-economic issue. There has to be a sound security strategy, but there also has to be a sound socioeconomic strategy to address the enormous poverty which exists in northern Nigeria. Both have to go hand in hand



E remain very much con cerned about what is hap pening in Guinea-Bissau. First of all, we remain strongly opposed to military interventionism in the continent. We have expressed our appreciation to ECOWAS for its strong statements and its strong commitment to return GuineaBissau back to democratic rule. We believe that the country should be returned back to democratic rule as quickly as possible following the constitution that exists in that country. We believe that ECOWAS has an important role to play in helping to advance the democratic agenda, to encourage the military to leave, and to help to bring about stability. But equally, we believe that others can in fact play good supporting roles to ECOWAS, including the community of Portuguese speaking states and others in the international community. I think that it is important that the military step aside. They have been a negative force there. They have been, in many instances, associated with narcotrafficking and with the instability that has prevailed there for far too long. Clearly, we need to see the military out of power. We need to see civilian government brought back according to the lines of the constitution.

Progress in Africa In the last three years, we have seen significant progress in Africa toward what people everywhere want and deserve – that is the right to freely elected governments that respond to their needs, and that pursue peace, justice and prosperity. The United States’ role in Africa is intended to support democratic governance, economic development, conflict mitigation, improved health delivery, and combating a range of transnational issues with our African partners. The signs of progress across Africa are clear – another democratic transfer of power in Senegal this year; adherence to constitutional processes in Malawi that allowed a new, second female president for Africa to take the place of the former deceased president, President Muthurika; successful elections in Nigeria and Zambia last year; Cote d’Ivoire’s remarkable growth effort after its return to democracy in 2011; the process underway in Guinea Conakry to establish a full demo-


cratic system; and Niger’s return to democracy in 2010. These are all examples of the wave of democratic progress being led by the people of Africa. Of course challenges remain; however, the progress is unmistakable and inspiring. Even in tough and difficult situations like Somalia – where AMISOM’s recent successes against al-Shabaab must be followed by improved delivery of citizen services – we are seeing progress. And of course the conflict between South Sudan and Sudan remains a very serious concern and we call on the government of Sudan and the government of South Sudan to immediately implement the AU Peace and Security Commission Roadmap and UN Security Council Resolution 2046. Today, I am particularly concerned with the situation in Mali, a glaring exception to the democratic progress we have seen in other parts of Africa. Twenty-one years of democratic governance was swept aside by a few mutinous soldiers who seemed more concerned about their own welfare than that of the people or the nation they were supposed to be serving. Their action has imperiled Mali’s territorial integrity, al-

lowed rebels to take over half of the country, set back the country’s economic development and reduced the government’s capacity to respond to drought conditions in the north. HE strong regional response to the coup in Mali makes clear that this misadventure has no future. The United States fully supports ECOWAS’s mediation efforts to help Mali return to democratic rule. But the path is clear – a short term transitional government that leads directly to free and fair presidential elections so that Mali can move forward with re-establishing its tradition of democratic governance is required. The military must step aside completely. Those who have illegally seized power in Mali have no right to remain in power and no strength to address the serious security and humanitarian issues that Mali faces today. The sooner the transition back fully to democratic governance, the sooner Mali, with the assistance of the regional and international allies, can begin to repair the damage. Similarly, I am deeply concerned about the situation in Guinea-Bissau. We have strongly condemned the military coup and the continued ex-


We continue to see Boko Haram as a serious domestic threat to stability in northern Nigeria, and we have, in fact, been in very close contact with Nigerian officials about this situation. We have offered to the Nigerians a wide variety of training to help them to improve their investigation skills, their ability to collect information on the Boko Haram threat, on forensics, to be able to do investigations on post-blast situations. We have also offered them advice on how they can better defend against car bombs and IEDs

ercise of authority behind the scenes by military leaders in that country. Every effort should be made to restore constitutional order and civilian rule, and the process should follow Guinea-Bissau’s constitution. With ECOWAS in the lead, the states in the region should work with the community of Portuguese language countries and other international partners to restore democracy to that country. In democracies the military has no role to play in governance. I remain absolutely convinced that Africa is at the beginning of an unprecedented period of progress, both politically and economically. Problems such as those that we see in Sudan, Mali, and Guinea-Bissau are no longer the norm across Africa. They are the exception to a much more progressive and promising Africa. Africa’s economic potential is already well known. Perhaps less appreciated, but even more important, is the tremendous intellectual, technical and business capital represented by Africa’s youth, women and entrepreneurs. We will continue to work to be good partners to the people of Africa through our support for the five pillars of President Obama’s policy towards the continent. We will support Africa’s efforts to build strong democracies, to promote sustainable economic growth, to prevent conflicts, to expand access to healthcare and to dramatically improve agriculture, and to address the transnational issues such as food security, climate change, and international crime. It is now time for us to focus on Africa’s potential and promise and not to define the continent solely by its problems.

U.S. trade relations with Africa


DON’T have the figures of U.S. trade in front of me, and I don’t want to guess what the numbers are. But I can say that Africa is a significant provider of petroleum products to the United States. Some

18 to 19% of all of our petroleum requirements are sources from Africa. Nigeria is our largest single African supplier and the largest supplier of low sulfur sweet crude to the United States, and it supplies roughly 8 to 9% of our needs, almost exactly the same amount as we get from Saudi Arabia. We also import a large number of other minerals from Africa. We don’t import very many finished products from the continent, even though we have the AGOA legislation. The African Growth and Opportunities Act has opened up the U.S. market to allow some 5,000 products to enter the U.S. from Africa duty free. Most of the products coming in under the AGOA legislation are textile products, leatherwear, footwear, and we also import from South Africa automobiles as well that are shipped into the United States. The trade could be substantially better and larger. We hope that it will continue to grow. We think that Africa has enormous economic potential. We think that it is the last economic global frontier. We are encouraging American companies to look at Africa as an investment and export destination, and we encouraging African countries not only to look at American products, but also to look at the American market as one that they can benefit from. U.S. exports to Africa tend to be large capital goods items. We sell airplanes, Boeings to Ethiopian Airlines, to Kenya Airways, to South African airlines. We are not their principle supplier as we are to Ethiopia and to Kenya Airways. We are a major supplier of airplanes and airplane parts to Air Morocco. We supply large diesel generators, freight trains, diesel locomotives, sophisticated and hi-tech imaging equipment, mining equipment, all of these things on the high end. We do not sell very many consumer products to the African market. Those are coming in from places in Asia, but we do believe Africa is a significant market and an important market.




Why Fed Govt is building schools for girls, by Wike


INISTER of State for Education Ezenwo Nyesom Wike yesterday said the Federal Government is buidling schools for girls because of the large population of girls out of school. Wike spoke in Kwandara, Nasarawa State after inspecting a girl-child school under construction. He said the Federal Government would empower the girl-child through quality education. The minister, according to a statement by his media aide, Simeon Nwakaudu, said the Goodluck Jonathan administration is determined to ensure that no section of the society is denied access to quality education. He said: “The Federal Government remains determined to ensure that the girl child gets access to quality education. The President has given the approval for the construction of girl-child schools in 16 states of the Federation. “We are monitoring the construction of these schools accross the country to ensure that contractors deliver on time. The issue of funding has been taken care of, hence no contractor has any excuse to give for delayed completion.” Governor Tanko Al-Makura

•Wike (right), Al-Makura (middle) and Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Dr. Ahmed Modibo Mohammed ...yesterday

praised President Goodluck Jonathan for critical interventions in education for the less privileged. The governor appealed to the

Federal Government to intervene in the education of children with disabilities, saying they need special attention.

Speaking in his palace, Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Isa Mustapha Agwai commended Jonathan for taking serious the education of Almajiris

and the girl-child. He said the investments would positively impact on the development of the nation.


Music giant Donna Summer dies at 63

Okoroji, Onwenu mourn music star By Ovwie Medeme

• Songster loses battle to cancer


UEEN of Disco Donna Summer died yesterday at 63 after a battle with lung

cancer. The star passed away in Florida. Sources say she had attempted to keep the extent of her illness from fans and was recently trying to finish up her latest album. Summers, real name LaDonna Gaines, is best known for her string of 70s hits, including I Feel Love, Last Dance and Bad Girls. She was a five-time Grammy Award winner and the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the US Billboard chart. She also charted four number-one singles in the United States within a thirteen-month period. Summers married actor Helmuth Sommer in 1973 before giving birth to the couple’s daughter Mimi later that year. Although the marriage crumbled in 1975, she kept an altered version of her ex’s surname to use as her stage name. She married Brooklyn Dreams musician Bruce Sudano in 1980 and the couple went on to have two daughters, Brooklyn, born in 1981 and Amanda the following year. In 1994, the family moved from Los Angeles to Nashville where Donna took time out from showbusiness to focus on painting but had recently returned to the recording studio. As well as staggering career highs, Summer also endured personal lows. She suffered serious depression in the wake of September 11. ‘I was really freaked out by the horrific experiences of that day,’ Summer, who was at her Manhattan apartment during the attacks, once said. ‘I couldn’t go out, I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I had to keep the blinds down and stay in my bedroom.’ Friends eventually intervened and the born-again Christian also found strength in her faith.

‘I went to church, and light came back into my soul,’ she said in 2008. She had a mezzo-soprano vocal range, and was a five-time Grammy Award winner. Summer was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the US Billboard chart, and she also charted four number-one singles in the United States within a 13-month period. Summer was born on New Year's Eve 1948 in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. She was one of seven children raised by devout Christian parents. Influenced by Mahalia Jackson, Summer began singing in the church at a young age. In her teens, she formed several musical groups including one with her sister and a cousin, imitating Motown girl groups such as The Supremes and Martha and the Vandellas in Boston. In the late 1960s, Summer was influenced by Janis Joplin after listening to her albums as a member of Big Brother and the Holding Company, and dropped out of school convinced that music was her way out of Boston, where she had always felt herself to be an outsider, even among her own family who ridiculed her for her voice and her looks. She joined the psychedelic rock group the Crow as lead singer, but the group was short-lived as they split upon their arrival in New York. In 1968, Summer auditioned for a role in the Broadway musical, Hair, but she lost the part of Sheila to Melba Moore. When the musical moved to Europe, Summer was offered the role. She took it and moved to Germany for several years. While in Germany, where she learned to speak German fluently, she participated in the musicals Ich Bin Ich (the German version of The Me Nobody Knows), Godspell and Show Boat. After settling in Munich, she began performing in several ensembles including the Viennese Folk Opera and also sang as a member of the pop group FamilyTree (created by the German music producer


‘I was really freaked out by the horrific experiences of that day (9/11). I couldn’t go out, I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I had to keep the blinds down and stay in my bedroom’ Guenter "Yogi" Lauke). She joined the group in 1973 and toured with them throughout Europe. She also sang as a studio session singer and in theaters. In 1971, while still using her birth name Donna Gaines, she released her first single, a cover of "Sally Go 'Round the Roses", though it was not a hit. In 1972, she married Austrian actor Helmuth Sommer and gave birth to their daughter Mimi Sommer in 1973. Citing marital problems caused by her affair with German artist (and future live-in boyfriend) Peter Mühldorfer, she divorced

Helmuth but kept his last name, anglicising it to 'Summer'. She also worked on an album with keyboardist/producer Veit Marvos in 1972, providing backing vocals on his Ariola records release Nice To See You (where she was credited under the pseudonym Gayn Pierre). Several single releases over the years have included a young Donna performing with the group, even though she often denied ever singing on any of the Marvos releases. The name 'Gayn Pierre' was also used by Donna whilst performing in 'Godspell' with Helmuth

CHAIRMAN of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Tony Okoroji, yesterday expressed shock at the death of Donna Summer. Okoroji said Summer left indellible footprints. He said: “Anyone who listened to music in the 70s would have rocked the evergreen songs of Donna. My favourite was titled Four Seasons of Love. May her soul rest in peace.” Expressing grief at Summer’s demise, songstress, Onyeka Onwenu said: “It is always sad when an artiste dies. She contributed a lot into the music scene and she will not be forgotten in a hurry. May she find peace in the Lord.” Other artistes that expressed their condolences over her demise include: La Toya Jackson, Niecy Nash, Morgan Fairchild, Melody Thornton, Amber Riley, William Shatner, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Yvette Nicole Brown and a host of others. They described her in glowing terms, saying she leaves behind a legacy of hits and a legion of celebrity fans. Shatner and Brown said Summer would forever be remembered for her contributions to the development of music globally and that she would remain a shinning example for aspiring and young artistes. Sommer during 1972. It was while singing background for the hit-making 1970s trio Three Dog Night that Summer met producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. She eventually signed a deal with the European label Groovy Records and issued her first album, Lady of the Night, in 1974. The album was not released in America, but found some limited European success on the strength of the song "The Hostage", which reached number one in Belgium and number two in the Netherlands.



NEWS Mark hails Navy on national security From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


ENATE President David Mark has hailed the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) for its role in the preservation of national security. Mark spoke at the NAF Expo/Reunion Dinner in Kaduna. In a statement by his media aide, Kola Ologbondiyan, the Senate president said the NAF has provided an enabling environment for national development. He said: “I appreciate the enormous contributions of the Nigerian Air Force in the preservation of national security particularly in these trying times. The importance of the service (NAF) and indeed the Armed Forces in providing an enabling environment that would engender national development cannot be overemphasised. “Your role in the fast and safe movement of election materials through difficult terrains in the general election is also commendable. Our nation and indeed the world are facing new challenges through terrorism and asymmetric war.”

UNIDO, ITF sign MoU on skills acquisition From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja • Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) (second left); Oba of Lagos, Oba Babatunde Akiolu (left) and Sir Kesington Adebukunola Adebutu at the inauguration of the Kessington Adebukunola Adebutu Foundation Vocational Centre in Surulere, Lagos. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES


Fed Govt lobbies National Assembly to criminalise abandoned projects

HE Federal Government has said it will soon criminalise abandoned public projects to end the practice among successive governments. A bill on the matter has been forwarded to the National Assembly and it is getting the attention of the lawmakers. The Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, broke the news in Gombe at the flag-off of the Northeast Zonal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Computation in Nigeria. The minister said a bill, entitled: National Planning and Projects' Continuity, has been sent to the National Assembly by President Goodluck

From Vincent Ekhoragbon, Gombe

Jonathan to ensure continuity of projects among successive governments. He said he has been invited by the National Assembly to further discuss the details of the proposed bill. Usman said there are ongoing surveys by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in collaboration with Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development of Nigerian (SMEDAN), to show that there are at least 7 million small and medium scale enterprises in the country.

According to him, the computation of the GDP at national and state levels will accelerate development, hence the need to embrace the policy. Mr. Ntufan Fidelis Ugbo, the Secretary of the National Planning Commission, said it is the responsibility of the National Bureau of Statistics to compile and publish GDP data. He said the commission would work with states, which would use the data for policy formulation and implementation. Ugbo noted that the event was to sensitise stakeholders how to go about the states' GDP computation as well as high-

light the benefits of the exercise and subsequent publication of the states' GDP for national development. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said the bank, since 2004, has sponsored quarterly production of the GDP report for national growth and development, in collaboration with the NBS. Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo noted that the computation of states' GDP would assist them to formulate and promote investment and economic prosperity.

Osun awards N17.8b road dualisation contracts Don’t tamper with Excess Crude Account, Osun warns Fed Govt




HE Osun State Government has awarded N17.8 billion contracts for dualisation of three major roads in the state. The Commissioner for Information, Sunday Akere, addressed reporters yesterday in Osogbo, the state capital, after the state executive council (Exco) meeting. He said the roads include Dagbolu to Ikirun (9.2 kilometres); Oshogbo, from Old Garage to Ikirun Junction (20.2 kilometres); and Ikirun to Okuku (16.5 kilometres) up to the border with Kwara State. Akere said works will begin soon on the roads. The Osogbo-Ikirun-Okuku expressways are federal roads in a terrible state of disrepair and utter neglect. The commissioner said the narrow highway has caused a lot of traffic hazards, adding that it was the reason the governor has begun to repair the bad ones and dualise the road linking Osun and Kwara states. He said the contracts were awarded at the executive meeting yesterday, saying works would soon commence on those roads as soon

HE Federal Government yesterday got a From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo yellow card from the Osun State Government not to withdraw $1 billion maintaining that the any attempt to withdraw from the Excess Crude Account for the Sovereign money from the account is unlawful. Osun and 28 other states had dragged the Wealth Fund (SWF). Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Federal Government before a Federal High recently spoke of plans to transfer $1 billion from Court on the latter’s alleged manipulation of the Excess Crude Account to the SWF on behalf the Excess Crude Account and the failure to remit all monies due to the Federation Account. of the 36 states. The states were also demanding that all the But reacting to the minister’s proposal through its Information and Strategy Commissioner entitlements due to the states and local Sunday Akere, the Osun State Government said government areas in the country should be activities on the Crude Account ought to have released from the Excess Crude Account. Akere said: “Former President Umar Yar’Adua been suspended pending the determination of the suit filed against the Federal Government had appealed to the aggrieved states to settle the matter out of court. He had commissioned Dr by 29 states. Akere, who described the withdrawal proposal Goodluck Jonathan, his erstwhile deputy to chair as executive lawlessness, maintained that the the settlement committee. “The Federal Government”, Akere noted, Federal Government should respect the rule of “agreed with the states on eight out of the 10 law. He said all parties to the SWF suit are expected conditions they put forward before the death of to await the determination of the litigation, President Yar’Adua. tive reviewed the street lights ment of some transformers to From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo and planned to make them guarantee regular supply of as possible. functional besides the replaceelectricity. Akere, who said the contract was awarded to Samya Nigeria Limited, added that the government and the contracHE Federal Government was yesterday served with a seventor agreed to a 15 per cent day notice to prevail on its agency – the National Electricity mobilisation fee. Regulatory Commission (NERC) to announce the “The contract was awarded cancellation of the proposed increase in electricity tariff. on a contractor-finance arThe National Conscience Party (NCP), which served the notice, rangement, with the governthreatened to initiate court action against the Federal Government ment paying another 10 per at a Federal High Court. cent when the work is at 50 Counsel to the NCP, Mr. Femi Falana, said that the court action is per cent performance. The to prevent the Commission from implementing a new tariff regime, contract will spread over which he said violated the provisions of Section 59(1) of the thirty months and there is no Constitution and Section 76 (2) of the Power Sector Reform Act variation of contract al2005. lowed,” he said. The notice and threat were contained in a petition entitled: The commissioner said “Illegality of the proposed electricity tariff” written to the chairman other roads would also be of the commission, Dr. Sam Amadi and signed by Falana. considered for repairs because The activist-lawyer described the planned increment illegal as the government has resolved there is no law that empowered the NERC to increase electricity to make the state roads more tariff as being proposed beginning from next month, adding that motorable. the function of the commission is only to regulate prices of tariff. The petition reads: “Your reliance on the provisions of the Electric Akere added that the execu-


HE Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and the United Nation Development Organisation (UNIDO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on skills acquisition to generate indigenous manpower. The two organisations had met in May, last year, to develop a framework and make arrangements for technical cooperation to strengthen the institutional capacity of ITF. ITF’s Director-General Prof Longmas Wapmuk said the pact would provide, promote and encourage the acquisition of skills in industry and commerce with a view to generating a pool of indigenous trained manpower to meet the needs of national economy. Wapmuk spoke at the signing of the MoU with the UNIDO Country Representative, Patrick Kormawa, in Abuja. He said the pact would enable both organisations to identify manpower trends and how they are influenced by training. Wapmuk said: “This will stimulate the adoption of training practices and standards, as identified by the fund, to be appropriate to their needs; provide assistance to individual clients where appropriate; promote provision of such assistance by external bodies or organization, where necessary.

Ajimobi promises agric revolution in Oyo


YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has said his administration will ensure an overhaul of the agricultural sector to enhance food security. The governor spoke in Ibadan, the state capital, when members of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), who were on an accreditation visit to the Oyo State College of Agriculture, Igboora, visited him. Ajimobi, who was represented by his deputy, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo, said agricultural revolution is one of the cardinal programmes of his administration. He described agriculture as one of the largest employers of labour, saying this is why his administration is according the sector the greatest priority. He expressed his administration’s commitment to the full accreditation of the college, adding that it would enhance the development of manpower needed for agricultural development and food sufficiency in the state. The governor said there is need for the training of middlelevel manpower for accelerated socio-economic development. He urged the accreditation team to ensure that technical education is given a pride of place in the scheme of things.

Community leaders, Oyo indigenes condemn attack on perm sec From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo


OMMUNITY leaders and indigenes of Awe, Ilora, Akinmoorin, Fiditi, Jobele and Iware in Afijio Local Government Area of Oyo State have condemned the recent attacks by some youths on the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. Tunji Olaopa. Some youths in Oyo town had accused the permanent secretary of disturbing the public with the use of siren and security escorts whenever he comes to his home town, Awe. But at a media briefing addressed by the Otun of Awe and Asiwaju of Afijio, High Chief Adebowale Omotoso, the communities described the allegation as “nauseating, political persecution and figment of imagination”. Omotoso wondered why members of some faceless groups could serving as the agents of the fifth columnist by engaging in blackmail, shadow-boxing and defamation of character, saying there was no iota of truth in the allegation.

NCP to sue Fed Govt over new electricity tariff, says Falana


By Adebisi Onanuga

Power Sector Reform Act 2005 to justify the proposed increase is totally misleading as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission is only empowered by Section 76(2) of the Act to regulate the prices of tariff to allow “a licensee that operates efficiently to recover the full costs of its business activities, including a reasonable return on the capital invested in the business. “In other words, there is no provision in the law that empowers the commission to increase electricity tariff in anticipation of investment in the electricity sector. To that extent, the proposed increase in electricity tariff is illegal in every material particular.” Acknowledging the concern of the Senate over the new tariff regime, the counsel to the NCP noted that the proposed tariff increment is legally untenable in as long as no bill for the increase has been submitted to the National Assembly for passage into law, as stipulated by Section 59(1)(b) of the Constitution. The section provides that there shall be a money bill “for the imposition of or increase in any tax, duty or fee or any reduction, withdrawal or cancellation thereof”.



CITYBEATS Man jailed eight years for car theft Stories by Precious Welundu and Fisayo Ige

AN Igbosere Magistrate's Court, yesterday, sentenced Lucky Okoyo, 33, to eight years in prison for stealing a N6.3 million Honda car belonging to Mrs. Linda Okomiso. Okoyo was convicted after pleading guilty to a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing, which contravened Sections 516 and 309(9) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos, 2003. The prosecutor, Elizabeth Ekuma, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), told the court Okoyo on May 28, 2009, took Mrs Okomiso's Honda Accord (End of Discussion) car for repairs and absconded with it. The matter was being reported to the police on June 5, 2009 and Okoyo was arrested on September 29, 2009, in Bayelsa State following volunteered by Mrs Okomiso. Okoyo, the prosecutor said, was subsequently transferred to Maroko Police Station in Lagos. ASP Ekuma Okoyo confessed to the crime, stating that he sold the car and used the proceeds to travel to Morocco. The case, she added, was transferred to the State AntiRobbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja for further investigation. Pleading for mercy, Okoyo said he was robbed on his return to Nigeria from Morocco, adding that this led to his relocation to Bayelsa State. Magistrate, O.J. Ope-Agbe sentenced him to four years on each of the two charges.

Man charged with alleged rape A 27-YEAR-OLD man, Suleiman Aliu, has been arraigned before a Lagos Magistrate's Court, Igbosere, for allegedly defiling a 12year old girl. It was alleged that the accused last April 17, at 1am, at 38 Ajeniya Street, Obalende, Lagos, unlawfully had sexual intercourse with the minor, an offence which contravenes Section 137 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos, 2011. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the one count charge and was granted bail N300,000 by Magistrate Awope.

08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:-

Doctors urge National Assembly's intervention in doctors’ strike •Lagos asks new doctors to ignore threats


ESIDENT doctors in Federal Government hospitals have begun an indefinite strike in solidarity with their colleagues sacked in Lagos State. They are seeking a reversal of their colleagues' sack and full implementation of the Consolidated Medical Staff Structure (CONMESS), the bone of contention between them and the Lagos State government. However, Lagos State government yesterday, condemned an alleged threat through Short Message Service (SMS) to the newly employed doctors currently working in the state hospitals. In a statement signed by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, described the development as unlawful and illegal, saying that such actions are capable hitting up the polity. "The government of Lagos State would like to bring to you atten-

By Wale Adepoju and Miriam Ndikanwu

tion of the public the fact that in the past few days, threatening messages of dubious authorship have been received by several doctors who are working in various government hospitals, including both old doctors who have stayed on their jobs and those newly employed ones who have been employed to join them in providing medical services to the people of Lagos," Idris said. He urged them to go about their duties without fear, adding that their personal security is guaranteed by the state government. "We wish to assure both the new and the old doctors who are carrying out their duties in our hospitals that their personal security is guaranteed by government, and nobody can take scurrilous action against them. Anybody who experiences any incident of threatening lan-

It's the miracle of God, says Ajibola


ORMER World Court Judge Bola Ajibola yesterday visited the Lagos home of the baby reportedly born with a copy of the Quran in its hand. He described the birth as the "miracle of God.” Ajibola, who led a delegation from his Islamic Mission for Africa (IMA), was received by the baby's parents in their Mushin, Lagos home. Baby Wahab Irawo was born in a church in Ijeshatedo, Lagos, on May 7, reportedly clutching a sealed copy of the Quaran in his left hand. Ajibola offered Wahab scholarship from crèche to university and gave N1million to his parents for his upkeep, saying: "We have come to witness the miracle and mercy of God through

• Judge Bola Ajibola flanked by Mr and Mrs Irawo (parents of the baby) By Amidu Arije

this baby." He said throughout his career, he never witnessed this kind of

Police detain musician for alleged murder of ex-lover


POPULAR singer and former Glo Ambassador, Ekwe Sample, has been arrested by the police over the alleged murder of his former lover. Sample is being detained at the homicide section of the Lagos State Criminal Investigation Department, (SCID), Yaba. The deceased, Rikiyat Idris, was found dead in her car under a bridge on the Mile 2-Badagry Expressway. Police sources said the deceased appeared to have been strangled. It was learnt that following investigations, Sample, who is also known as Stereoman, was arrested last week is in police custody. Police Public Relations Officer Mr. Joseph Jaiyeoba said the police were waiting for the autopsy result.

guage or behaviour should please call us", Idris assured. But the Resident doctors while briefing reporters at the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Secretariat in Lagos, directed its members in all Federal Government hospitals to go on the solidarity strike because "an injury to one is an injury to all." Chairman, Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH),Dr Adetunji Adenekan, enjoined patients willing to access care at LUTH; Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi and Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta and others, to go elsewhere. Adenekan described the sack of 788 doctors as "uncalled for," adding that the indefinite strike will begin today. He described the doctors' sack as draconian. "The refusal to negotiate is completely a disregard for the

rule of law and the strike will show that these actions were unacceptable and should not be allowed to persist," he said. He said the ARD LUTH and other ARDs, affiliated to NMA, resolved, after an emergency general meeting, to stand with its parent body, NMA to comply with the directive on the strike. He said: "We will therefore, embark on a state-wide solidarity strike action, which will commence by 08:00hours on Friday, 18th of May, 2012." Adenekan said doctors will only attend to in-patients, because they were admitted before the strike began. He added that emergency units of the hospitals will be locked and no new patients admitted. He implored members of ARD in LUTH and other affiliate bodies in Lagos State, to remain steadfast and resolute in the until the matter is resolved. Saying doctors swore to an oath to dedicate themselves to humanity, Adenekan appealed to the public to support them in their attempt to rejuvenate the medical profession. He urged the National Assembly to intervene to prevent further loss of lives.

IMA for the kind gesture. When baby Irawo was born, he was said to have had his placenta wrapped around him.

Lagosians urged to participate in constitution review

By Jude Isiguzo

He said: "The deceased's body was recovered by policemen attached to the Trade Fair Division before it was transferred to the SCID. "The deceased and the suspect had a misunderstanding over their children; one of who died a few years ago; that is why the latter is being held, but we are waiting for the autopsy result to determine the cause of death and investigations are ongoing." An investigator said Sample was only assisting detectives with investigations. "It's just an allegation and the fact that we are detaining him does not mean that he is guilty. I don't want to pre-empt anything but the outcome of our investigation will be made public," he said.

miracle. The father of the baby, Mr Waliyu Abolore Irawo, expressed gratitude to Ajibola and



MEMBER of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Segun Olulade, has urged the public to participate in the planned constitution amendment by the National Assembly. Olulade, Chairman of the House of Committee on Information, Strategy, Security and Publicity, said it is by so doing that they could make the constitution reflect their "true feeling". Olulade was reacting to the committee set up by the House on Tuesday, to draft memoranda for the proposed constitution amendment the National Assembly. The eight-man committee is chaired by the Majority Leader, Hon. Ajibayo Adeyeye. Noting that previous amendments did not address salient is-

LAGOS EMERGENCY LINES STATE AGENCIES 1. Fire and Safety Services Control Room Phone Nos: 01-7944929; 080-33235892; 4. KAI Brigade Phone Nos: 080-33235890; 080-23321770; 080-56374036. 080-23036632; 0805-5284914 Head office Phone Nos: 3. LASTMA Emergency Numbers: 2. Federal Road Safety Corps 01-4703325; 01-7743026 080-75005411; 080-60152462 (FRSC) 5. Rapid Response Squad (RRS) 080-23111742; 080-29728371 Lagos Zonal Command Phone Phone Nos: 070-55350249; 080-23909364; 080-77551000 No:080-33706639; 01-7742771 070-35068242 01-7904983 Sector Commander Phone No: 080-79279349; 080-63299264 080-34346168; 01-2881304

070-55462708; 080-65154338 767 or email: •

6. Health Services – LASAMBUS Ambulance Services Phone Nos: 01-4979844; 01-4979866; 01-4979899; 01-4979888; 01-2637853-4; 080-33057916; 080-33051918-9; 080-29000003-5.

By Oziegbe Okoeki

sues. Olulade enjoined the public to submit memoranda to the committee as soon as they are called upon to do so. The committee, he said, would ensure that all stakeholders and interest groups are consulted to facilitate their participation at the proposed public hearing. He said: ''We urge all interest groups in Lagos State, including the media; labour unions; women groups; human rights and pro-democracy groups; non-governmental organisations (NGOs); professional bodies; political parties; traditional rulers; community leaders; youth associations; students unions; artisans' groups and religious leaders and others, to seize the opportunity and contribute meaningfully to the review to further addressing the socio-economic and political problems confronting us as a nation.'' Olulade, who is a member of the committee, said the proposed public hearing would be "inclusive, very open, transparent and fair to all concerned." The committee intends to present its resolution to all stakeholders to avoid a misrepresentation of the voice of Lagosians in the amendment process.





48TH KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING Today, the Wednesday 16th May, 2012 (25 th Jumada Thani, 1433 AH) the Kano State Executive Council and is in continuation with previous sittings held its forty Eighth sitting during which important policy issues and programs that impact positively on the quality of lives of our citizenry were deliberated upon. It is on record that authentic and indelible records have shown that since inception of its second tenure, the present administration is pursuing tangible projects spanning all sectors putting emphasis on its commitment to fulfilling its campaign promises. The main drive and general resolve is provision of good governance characterized by exemplary leadership in which utilization/ consumption of resources is guided by prudence and transparency. It is delighting to note that the quality and quantity of services provided by Government have improved across all sectors – especially education, agriculture, road construction, health care delivery, water supply, sanitation and refuse disposal, aesthetic upgrading and beautification of urban Kano, among others. It is on record that during the first year of the present administration approved an expenditure of over N47billion in 47 sittings at an average of N1 billion per sitting. Nevertheless, the total sum of N549,106,345.12 was approved for release for the execution of eleven projects by the Council during its most recent 47 th sitting highlighted thus; Main highlights of the 47 th Sitting include: 1. N507,375.00 for payment for advertisements place by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for employment vacancies on personnel required to facilitate effective take-off of the Hospitality and Tourism Institute at its temporary site (Tourist Camp). 2. N30,000,000.00 as funds granted to the State Water Board through the Ministry of Water Resources for the procurement of diesel to power Challawa Water treatment plant. 3. N9,432,500.00 for conducting the annual final year students’ Interim Joint Matriculation Board Examination for 550 Kano State students. 4. N1,200,00.00 as funds to effect payment for sitting allowances for the co-ordinating committee on the establishment of Informatics Institute (July 2011 – February 2012). 5. N19,268,366.60 for the construction of functional Gate House and wall fence at School of Environmental Studies Gwarzo 6. N9,198,108.52 for renovation work at Governor’s Lodge Sultan Road, Kaduna. 7. N10,954,859.00 as funds for the construction of Kurna Link Road phase II. 8. N326,228,280.00 for the settlement of 30% deposit as down payment in respect of 7,482 intending pilgrims accommodation at Makkah, Saudi Arabia for the 2012 pilgrimage. 9. N20,801,760.00 for procurement of required medical equipment for Accident and Emergency Unit of the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano. 10. N44,893,696.00 for purchase of Raw Water pumps spare parts for use at Tamburawa Water treatment plant. 11. N76,621,400.00 for the procurement for 6 Raw Water pumps to replace worn out raw water pumps at Challawa water intakes. Today’s Council sitting was presided over by the Governor, Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso FNSE during which Eleven (11) memoranda submitted by five (5) MDAS covering eleven projects costing N526,654,508.85 were approved for execution by the Council as follows; 1. Office of the Secretary to the State Government Two (2) memoranda on issues under the auspices of the Office of the Secretary to the State Government were deliberation by the Council as follows; a. Request for funds for the procurement of one hundred (100) buses as first phase implementation of the five hundred (500) buses project to be deployed as bus commuter service on hire purchase:Council is fully aware of the administration’s intervention policy on urban mass Transit Program which entails procurement of 1000 fairly used Golf cars and 500 fairly used buses to be deployed as taxis and bus commuter service on hire purchase. First phase of 250 cars have been procured already. Council approved the release of the requested sum of N197,750,000.00 for the purchase and painting of 100 fairly used buses as follows: i. N1,921,00.00 x 100 = N192,100,000.00 plus tax. ii. N56,500.00 x 100 = N5,650,000.00 for painting iii. Total = N197,750,000.00 This administration appreciates the significance of intervening positively on commuting/transiting and general transportation from one point to another for work, business, leisure, contact with relations and friends, etc. Moreso, considering the current crunch imposed by the removal of subsidy on petroleum products, this expenditure would cushion the hardship being faced by commuters. As such, government has continuously been expending money on road construction and rehabilitation in order to ease intra/inter urban movement of vehicles for which Government has to improve the number and quality. Again, access to employment opportunity is provided to the drivers; majority of whom are professionals. Council sees this project as one of its most laudable and is in tune with the “Amana 2012” slogan. b . Request for funds for DFID/State Government Joint Assistance Program:Council is adequately notified of the fact that the State Government and the United Kingdom have been collaborating through Department for International Development (DFID) on the program called JUSTICE SECTOR REFORM, which aims at promoting transparency and efficiency in the administration of justice, and equally assist in immediate disposal of civil/criminal cases by at least 50%. Contents of the referred communication are asking the State Government to approve release of the sum of N10,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Justice to enable it provide the under listed in collaboration with the DFID viz:i. Effect payment of State Briefs for Indigene accused persons. ii. Fuel allowance to prisons for conveying accused persons to court. iii. Transport allowance for witness to attend criminal trials. i v. Enhance technology, safety and security in the sector. v . Fund mediation centres in Bichi, Kabuga and Takai. 2. Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Co-operative and Tourism Four (4) issues were submitted by the Ministry of Commerce for consideration and deliberation by the Council as follows; a. Memorandum on the review of registration fees for Co-operative Societies in Kano State:Council noted and appreciated the contents of the referred communication as proposing a review of the statutory and mandatory registration fees for co-operative societies operating in Kano State. An upward review was submitted for Council’s consideration, deliberation and final approval; Thus;

S/N 1 2 3 4

ASSOCIATIONS Society Registration Union Registration Apex Registration Audit

PRESENT RATE N2,000.00 N10,000.00 N15,000.00 1% - 3%

REVIEWED RATE N10,000.00 N50,000.00 N100,000.00 1.5% - 10%

Council after deliberation approved the review upwards based on the fact that co-operative societies enjoy a lot of benefits through various programmes executed by Government Agencies and International organizations and the upward review will certainly improve the revenue generation of the State. This is in line with the policy of the present administration on revenue generation. a. Memorandum on the need to hold a stakeholders meeting on Expended Domestic Cotton Production under the CTG scheme by the Bank of Industries (BOI) in Kano:The Council noted and appreciated the contents of the referred communication as stating the need to organize a stakeholders forum at the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which will include the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Special Adviser on Economic Affairs, Special Assistant to His Excellency on seedlings, Ministry for Local Governments and all the farmers’ associations, cotton producers and processors. The main aim is to discuss and develop comprehensive strategies for the implementation of the expanding of domestic cotton production under the CTG scheme in Kano. Council noted that the forum is to discuss the proposal on the tripartite arrangement involving private operators, Banks of Industry (BOI) and the State Government. So, Council approved the release of the requested N200,000.00 for logistics, lunch and refreshment for the meeting (forum). b . Request for a motor vehicle for the Kano State Standing Committee on Solid Minerals Development:Council noted the request quoted as asking for the allocation of a Toyota Hilux Van with 2 cabins to the Ministry of Commerce to enable the standing committee on Solid Minerals conduct its routine function of regularly inspecting mining sites and activities across the State. Solid minerals development is welcome by the Council as significant in harnessing an important resource base of the State. Council directed the office of the Secretary to the State Government to allocate one Toyota Hilux vehicle with 2 cabins to the Ministry to enable the Committee on Solid Minerals Development conduct its routine inspection function. c. Request for funds to enable the Ministry of Commerce conduct the 2012 National Co-operatives Data Survey and Agricultural Transformation Action Plan:The Council noted that the Ministry of Commerce received a correspondence from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on the need to conduct a National Co-operative Data Survey in all the States of the Federation with the aim of identifying the number and various types of Co-operative Societies in each State so as to effectively monitor co-operative performance and evaluate the impact they are making on the wellbeing of their members communities and the nation at large. Council equally upheld the United Nations declaration of the year 2012 as an International year of Co-operatives and endorsed their socio-economic significance on the development of communities, regions, nations and the World. As such, the release of the requested sum of N3,625,000.00 was approved by the Council to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Co-operative and Tourism to enable it facilitate the National Co-operative Data Survey. 1. Ministry of Health Two (2) memoranda covering two projects were submitted by the Ministry of Health for deliberation and consideration by Council as follows; a. Request for funds for the procurement of brand new electricity generators for some State owned hospitals:The Council noted the agitation caused by the unreliable and erratic electric power supply from PHCN nationwide especially here in Kano. Council sympathizes with the management of the Health services Management Board and the entire Ministry of Health for having to operate and deliver their vital required medical services under the prevailing situation. Council is also aware of the incessant recurrent expenditure continuously incurred in maintaining the few available obsolete generators. As such Council approved the release of the requested sum of N48,390,177.40 for the procurement, installation and maintenance (one year guarantee period) of six (6No.) generating sets as follows;

Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso S/N DESCRIPTION





Supply of 1NO. 800KVA Perkins Generating set to Murtala Muhd Spec. Hospital (Basic)





Supply of 1No. 100KVA Perkins Generator set (Sound proof) to Waziri Shehu Gidado General Hospital.





Supply of 1No. 100KVA Perkins Generator set (Sound proof) to Rogo General Hospital





Supply of 1No. 100KVA Perkins Generator set (Sound proof) to Gaya General Hospital





Supply of 1No. 100KVA Perkins Generator set (Sound proof) to Gwarzo General Hospital





Supply of 1No. 40KVA SP Generator set (Sound proof) to KMC Zonal Office.

3,242,696.60 339,880.00


The gesture is the intervention endeavour of this administration to rejuvenate the State health sector in order to ensure the resuscitation of its general capacity in healthcare delivery services. The intervention encompasses all aspects of the health sector as manifested by the provision of improved free maternal/child health and DRF programs, health manpower recruitment, rehabilitation of the Emergency Unit at Murtala Muhd Specialist Hospital, relocation and construction of the new Kano State Drugs and Medical Consumables Supply Agency Complex (Phase 1) etc. a.

Request for funds for the construction of wall fence, Gate/guardrooms, equipping and furnishing of the Kwankwaso Cottage Hospital:Council is aware of having awarded a contract with reference number SSCA/CA/EX/13/I/13 dated 9th December, 2011 for the renovation of existing blocks of buildings and construction of additional blocks at the Kwankwaso Primary Health centre at the total cost of N54,358,853.71 as phase 1 of upgrading the PHC to Cottage Hospital. Council noted that this first phase of the project has been satisfactorily executed awaiting the construction of a wall fence, equipping and furnishing. Today, Council approved the release of the requested sum of N57,212,081.45 to the Ministry of Health to enable it execute the second phase of the entire project so as to see it to completion as soon as possible. S/N DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT AMOUNT (N) 1. Construction of Wall Fence & Gate/Guard Rooms 12,290,454.24 2. Supply of Medical Equipment/Instrument & Furniture 44,921,536.21 GRAND TOTAL 57,212,081.45 This administration has recently has approved the transformation of former Bee Zee Bee Hotel into Kano Sate Primary Healthcare Development Agency. This project had been stagnant for the last eight years of the former administration. The project has been salvaged and properly prepared for use as the Headquarters of the State Primary Health Care Development Board. 4. Ministry of Science and Technology Two memoranda were submitted by this Ministry and received the Council’s approval as follows: a. Council approved the sum of N61,600,000.00 being registration/admission fees for the 200No newly admitted students into the Foundation Course of the Kano Informatics Institute. This Institute is amongst the 18 Institutes established by the present administration to train youth on modern technology. This amount is to be paid to Jigawa Institute of Information Technology admission and administrative charges for the students who are to be transported there. b. Also the sum of N30,000,000.00 was considered and approved by the Council for the purchase of additional facilities in the Kano Informatics Institute, Kura to enable the Institutions to cater for the newly admitted Foundation students. 5. Ministry of Water Resources One memorandum was submitted and received by the Council and approval was granted follows: The sum of N117,877,250.00 was approved for the recently procured 600mm diameter ductile pipe to be laid from Watari to Miltara. The Pipes together with the 1000mm meant for laying from Challawa to Goron Dutse which are just arriving Kano from Lagos State after successful landing from People’s Republic of China. No doubt, the people of Kano particularly those in the affected areas would record increased water supply very soon. Progress Report: Council today, in line with its tradition of maintaining track on approvals granted and resolutions reached in respect of various requests received from State Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) during its previous meetings, as well as some other programs conducted by the establishments, with the aim of appraising the level of progress made in executing the projects, programs and policies of Government, so Council appreciates progress achieved as follows:Successful Marriage of 100 divorcees in the State: Council noted with appreciation the successful conduct of 100 Zawarawa marriage program in the State under the auspices of State Hisbah Board as sponsored by the State Government being part of its social responsibility programs in areas of family development which in turn leads to a better society. The grooms have benefited from the compulsory dowry payment among other gifts while the brides were given furniture, N20,000 each as business empowerment funds among others. Distribution of Polio Pluses: As part of the present Administration’s determination to eradicate polio the State Government has distributed enough polio pluses to all its 44 Local Governments Areas in the State. Council notes this gigantic progress and is satisfied that the effort will enable the State achieve its target of eradicating the disease before the end of the year. Distribution of Instructional Materials by the Government : In the same direction, Council noted the distribution of instructional materials to various Secondary and Primary Schools in the State worth over N300million. This gesture would complement numerous projects and programmes executed by the present Administration in reviving education in the State among which are:- the construction of 800No. classrooms and 200 teachers lodge across the 44 Local Government Areas of the State, supply of 37No. High capacity buses for the conveying of girls students to and from schools under Kwankwasiyya Girl Child Initiative and the provision of 4No. inspection vehicles each to KERD, Ministry of Education, KSSSSMB and Science & Technical Schools Board. Plan to Establish New French, Arabic & Chinese Schools in the State: Council while deliberating on the educational progress recorded in the State under the strategic efforts of the present Administration directed the Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Education to contact three embassies of France, Saudi Arabia and China on the possibility of establishing respective languages schools for the benefit of State’s students wishing to learn the languages. The schools when established and run, will serve as an opening for the students to further their studies in the respective countries. Courtesy Visit to the Governor by Non-Indigenes: The Council also was informed of a Courtesy Visit paid to His Excellency, the Governor, by northern minority tribes living in Kano during which the need for embracing peace was discussed and upheld. The Governor assured them that the Government and people of Kano are very tolerant. He also reassured them of government’s tireless effort in ensuring security of all people living in the State. He further re-affirmed the present Administration’s tolerance to all by appointing a Special Adviser on Northern Minorities from among them. In the same vein, Council witnessed the swearing-in of the new Special Adviser on Northern Minority tribe in the person of Hashim Mohammed. Council wishes the new appointee for the best in the discharge of this new assignment and called on him to work in accordance with the oath of office he took. Already, the Governor has appointed Special Advisers on South West (Yoruba), South-South and the South East (Igbo). Launching of Kano State Official Website The Kano State official website which has components of Twitter and Facebook was launched by the Governor, and witnessed by the Council members. The site will serve as an avenue for accessing Government policies and programs as well as platform for the public to communicate directly with the Government. The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Science and Technology further briefed Council on the Ministry’s participation in Council on Communication Technology Policy held last week in Abuja. Council noted that a lot of beneficial policies were discussed during the sitting and the State will soon reap the benefits derivable from the policy. Inspection to Challawa Water Plant: Council was briefed by the Hon. Commissioner of Information on physical visits to various projects by His Excellency, the Deputy Governor being part of events marking the one year anniversary of the present administration among which are the Challawa Water treatment Plant for the inspection of installed 4No. new generating sets at the site, Bebeji road works and Kano ICT Park, Gidan Ado Bayero. Consumer Protection Council Courtesy Visit to the Governor: The Consumer Protection Council paid courtesy visit to the Governor, during which fruitful discussions were held on how the Council will collaborate with the State Consumer Protection Committee in ensuring State consumers are protected against fake and sub-standard products. While noting the aforementioned development, Council acknowledged His Excellency’s the Governor, directive for allocation of office accommodation to the Consumer Protection Council in the State. Kano Road and Traffic Agency Law (KAROTA LAW 2012): Council witnessed the signing of KAROTA LAW 2012 by the Governor after it was passed by the State House of Assembly. The Agency is charged with the responsibility of maintaining law and order on our roads with a view to transforming the road users in the State into being more compliant with the laws and regulations. Presentation of trophy by Kwankwassiya Academicals: The Council noted with appreciation, the giant stride achieved by Kwankwasiyya Academicals Football Club for winning the first position in the West African Youth Tournament held in Niger Republic. The Club having won the first position in the tournament qualifies to represent Nigeria in France come July, this year. The cup, medals and certificate won were presented to His Excellency, for blessing.

Signed: Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture.





Nigeria bond yields rise on inflation worries


IELDS on Nigeria’s bonds and treasury bills rose across all maturities yesterday after a pick up in inflation in the nation’s economy, dealers said, prompting investors to hold positions ahead of next week’s rate decision. The Central Bank would hold its rate setting meetings next Tuesday and analysts expect the apex bank to keep interest rates on hold at 12 per cent, despite an uptick in inflation. Also, bond and treasury bill yields have adjusted upwards, rising between 20 and 100 basis points, dealers said, after April inflation climbed to 12.9 per cent, year on year, from 12.1 per cent in March. Successive hikes in interest rates by the CBN had spurred a sustained rally in bonds, but yesterday’s inflation data reversed some of those gains, traders said. The shortest three-year bond inched up to 15.4 per cent on higher inflation, from 15.1 per cent, while longer tenor 20-year paper was unchanged at 14.39 per cent. Prior to the release of inflation, the five-year bond was yielding 15.05 per cent, but had now gone up to 15.36 per cent, a dealer told Reuters, adding that next week’s rate decision is going to be key for bond yields. “We are waiting to figure out what the CBN would do. Will they react to the trends in the rise in inflation? So far, investors have priced in a hold decision for rates,” he said. Nigeria auctioned 35 billion naira worth of five-year bonds maturing in 2017 on Wednesday at a yield of 15.24 per cent, compared with 15.1 per cent at its last auction in April.

There were different kinds of financial imprudence that were perpetrated at the NSE. These transactions were routed through companies owned by some senior officers of the Exchange. - Mrs Arunma Oteh, Director-General, SEC

Okonjo-Iweala seeks speedy approval for N1.8tr external borrowing plan

Lagos, BoI raise N1b to fund SMEs



HE Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, yesterday in Abuja asked the National Assembly to quickly approve the Federal Government’s external borrowing plan of $7.9b, about N1.8 trillion. Okonjo-Iweala made the request during an oversight visit to her office, by members of the House Committee on Finance. President Goodluck Jonathan had written the Senate and House of Representatives in February seeking approval for the loans to fund key projects in various sectors of the economy. Nigeria is seeking the loan facility from the World Bank, Africa Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Exim Bank of China and India lines of credit. “We have an external borrowing plan that we have put to the National Assembly, as we are required to do and I am really counting on your help to get out the borrowing plan as quickly as possible.” The Minister, said the loan is required to complete some on-going projects captured in

the 2012 budget. She said government will spend the loan on several projects in agriculture, water resources and power. On the monthly meeting of Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), which distributes money to the three-tiers of government, she explained that delay in disbursing funds was not an issue of concern. With regards to government’s revenue, Mrs. Okonlo-Iweala said Nigeria recorded 17 per cent drop in oil out in April 2012 as a result of theft and smuggling, adding that the development is giving government serious concern. She stressed that the government is determined to check the theft and smuggling of oil out of the country thus denying the government of needed funds. She revealed that the federal government is being owed over N100 billion by corporate entities, adding that negotiations were on with the defaulters to resolve the issue. “We also have more than N100 billion that is outstanding. That is why the number of companies is quite sub-

stantial but we are working at this. Government is “not out to just publish names until we have discussed with the companies and use every means to try and persuade them to pay. It is not the arrest that is important but the money that comes in. Our job is not to arrest but to get them to remit the money that they owe.” The minister noted that a lot of things depend on this external borrowing plan “and until the National Assembly gets it out, all those who want to assist us with soft credit will not be able to do so.” Most of the credits in that borrowing plan “are mostly soft credits with very low percentage of interest. Some of them are outright zero interest, but with a commitment charge, from the African Development Bank and the World Bank, the Islamic Bank and the other multilateral donors, including China and India. These are people who want to assist us. These resources are very key for our 2012 budget,” she stressed. The loans when secured will cover a spectrum, mostly

“for very productive investments in agriculture, water resources, power and transport. Earlier, the chairman House Committee on Finance Abdul Mumin Jubrin called the minister of finance to look into the matter of remittances of revenue to government coffers. All agencies he said are supposed to be remitting revenue to the Federation Account as such there should efforts should be redouble to ensure that whatever is due to the government is remitted. On the issue of insurance Jubrin lamented that National Assembly looks “at it year after year we are budgeting lots and lots of money for insurance of government property and assets and it is important for us to go out there and review the value of these assets that are being insured and the amount of money that is being paid as premium and see if procedures are being followed in line with laid down rules and regulations.” He urged the finance minister to conduct “a lot of investigative work in that regard to compliment the efforts of the National Assembly.

RATES Inflation -12.6% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -14.18% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $34.6b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 245 $ 156.4 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 241 RIYAL 40.472

S part of efforts to address the problem of access to credit facilities, the Lagos State Government is partnering with the Bank of Industry (BOI) to raise funds for on-lending to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). Under the arrangement, the state government would contribute N500million, while the Bank of Industry would match the same amount to create LASGSMEs fund, accessible at a single interest rate on convenient repayment terms The Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olushola Oworu, disclosed this at a one day workshop on Business Opportunities and Funding for SMEs which was organised by the National Association of Small and Medium Scale Industrialists (NASSI), in Lagos. She said the ministry in conjunction with the Lagos State Electricity Board, had conducted a power audit of all the four state-owned small and medium scale industrial estates, accommodating a total of 148 factory units to assess their electricity requirements as well as boost their productivity.

Customs seizes goods worth N75m From John Ofikhenua, Abuja


DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$123.6/barrel Cocoa-$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N6.503 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion

By Ambrose Nnaji

•From left: Chief Information Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr John Murray; winner of Range Rover Sport in the Etisalat FC Barcelona Promo Mr Chukwuemeka Ojukwu and Director, Marketing Segment and Strategy, Etisalat Nigeria Mr Oluwole Rawa, during the FC Barcelona Promo prize presentation held in Lagos … yesterday.

NERC offers free metres to electricity consumers


IGERIAN Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said with the take-off of the new tariff regime next month, metres would be supplied free to consumers. NERC Commissioner in charge of Government and Consumer Affairs, Dr Abba Ibrahim, who spoke yesterday in Ilorin, at the power consumer assembly for the North Central zone, said electricity metres belong to the Power Holding Com-

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

pany of Nigeria (PHCN). He explained that the beauty of the new electricity tariff order is the segregation of consumers into several classes, adding that the commission has a target of 18 months for every electricity consumer to be provided with a metre. He advised consumers to opt for the pre-paid metre, saying the metre would not

run and they would not have to pay anything when there is no service. He said another aspect of the new tariff order is the abolishment of metre maintenance fee by the commission, adding that maintenance would be done free of charge. The NERC boss, said President Goodluck Jonathan has approved a subsidy of N50 billion to be applied specifically for the low income cadre, as well as for certain category of artisans , includ-

ing welders and hairdressers, among others, stating that the rich and industries would cross-subsidise the low income earners. He also said 80 per cent of Nigerians as residential consumers, would also benefit from the subsidy and crosssubsidy, adding that they would not see a significant rise in their tariff. He assured that every consumer would be ‘metred’ within a maximum period of 18 months from June 1, 2012.

FFORTS to strengthen the anti smuggling operations of Niger / Kwara/ Kogi Customs Commands have culminated in a total of 21 assorted seizures with a duty paid value of N75 million. The Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Service, Joseph Attah made this disclosure in a statement, yesterday. He said the Comptroller-General’s trade facilitation policy of removing highway checkpoints have yielded tremendous results. He said the leader of the squad sent to strengthen the operations, a Chief Superintendent of Customs, Ibrahim Mohammed, said their efforts have yielded a total of 21 assorted seizures with a duty paid value of N75 million. He noted that the seizures which are deposited in government warehouses in Kwara, Kaduna and Minna include two trailer load of second hand clothes and 11 second hand vehicles. Others, according to the statement, include, 1820 cartons of assorted foreign soaps, 390 cartons of Tamarin can drinks, 99 cartons of imported spaghetti,73 jerry cans of 25kg vegetable oil, Ladies shoes and bags and Cartons of assorted fake drugs.




•Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan (left) presenting a gift to the World Bank’s Director, Finance and Private Sector Development, African Region, Mr Gaiv Tata, who led the bank’s team on a visit to the Governor, at Government House, Asaba ... last week

Ex-Senator, Rep quarrel over $3b proposed Chevron compensation


N interactive session between the Uche Lillian Ekwunife-headed House of Representatives Committee on Environment, Chevron Oil Company and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), almost ended in fisticuffs yesterday. The session was meant to address the explosion on Chevron’s drilling rig, K.S Endeavour and the subsequent fire outbreak in Funiwa Exploration Field in Sangana, Bayelsa State on January 16th, 2012 and determine the culpability or otherwise of Chevron in the incident as well as address environmental issues. A former Senator, Gbenga Aluko, who is now the Director of Governmental Affairs for Chevron and a member of the committee, Robinson Uwa, engaged each other in a shouting match at the end of the session. It took the intervention of the Chairman of the committee to separate the irate duo. While Aluko felt that Uwa had not been fair to Chevron during the session, particularly through his line of questioning and opinions on the issue, he approached him at the end of the session to explain some aspects, but apparently not well received, what would have been a handshake almost turned nasty. “You are very disrespectful,” the Senator told Uwa who had made a comment he did not find complimentary. “I am not your mate and I have been a senior member of this National Assembly.” Uwa’s response that he could not be intimidated further infuriated Aluko. The drama began with the presentation of the Director-General/Chief Executive of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA}, Peter Idabor, who insisted that Chevron must pay an administrative fine of $3 billion to the Federal Government for the environmental disaster that took place due to the gas explosion.

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

Idabor told the committee that there was loss of hunting and fishing grounds particularly in Koluama a nearby settlement and other neighbouring communities. “The gas that erupted from the subsurface sustained the fire that raged for days,” he said. According to him, the fire raged for 46 days. “The Agency has investigated the incident; the fire was caused by equipment failure. Chevron is to take responsibility for the millions of cubic feet of gas blown into the air. He said due to the nature of the gaseous substance, it was really difficult to assess the level of damage because the terrain was in constant flux. “Our perspective is that the environment is in a state of flux and impacted on the people and they had to travel far to catch fish. “The $3bn administrative fine will go to the federal government and the federal government will determine how to distribute it to rehabilitate the affected communities. We’re tired of oil companies polluting our environment.” Idabor said such a similar occurrence in Brazil cost the affected oil company $11bn in fines. But the Senator Aluko objected to the $3bn dollar proposed fine insisting that that Chevron is willing and able to pay compensation, but that it must be only on scientific basis. “If you talk about compensation, we are ready, we have already spent over a N100 million on providing food and drugs for the affected communities, but whatever we pay must be based on scientific findings and not a figure plucked from the air.” The General Manager, Health Safety and Environmental Department, Charles Makoju while speaking before the committee said 154 people were on the rig at the time of the disaster but that 152 were rescued and the remaining two presumed dead.

We’ve invested over N1tr in networks, say GSM operators


HE four Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operators-MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat-have said they have invested more than N1trillion in building and enhancing mobile networks since commencing telecoms operations in the country. The operators made the disclosure in a statement jointly by them, adding they are investing a further N400billion this year to enhance infrastructure across their networks. Following the recent fine slammed on the operators by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over poor service, the operators assured subscribers of improved service quality within the next twelve months; calling for ‘understanding’ in the face of the harsh operating environment. The NCC, last week fined the four operators for “failure to meet Quality of Service standards.” While MTN and Etisalat were fined

By Adline Atili

N360million each, Globacom and Airtel were fined N180million and N270million respectively. The Telcos appealed to subscribers over poor service, pledging improved services with the next 12 months through aggressive roll out of requisite infrastructure. They, however, fingered the operating environment as a major hindrance to achieving the pre-determined benchmark set by the NCC. They described the environment as frustrating and volatile, urging the NCC and stakeholders to encourage rather than condemn them. The operators added that it was unfair to expect the same standards of delivery in Nigeria as obtained in advanced countries where the environment is conducive to good service delivery and national backbone infrastructure are available.










Firm introduces more eggs producing hens B ENA Farms Limited has hatched whitefeathered hens that can produce over 300 eggs monthly. Its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Olajuwon Okubena, said this was an improvement on the brown or black hens that usually produce 200 eggs monthly in Nigeria. According to him, the achievement came after a successful pilot programme in 2007 showed that whitefeathered layers can produce brown eggs like their counterparts in Pakistan and Central and South American countries. He said farmers, who were using the white-feathered breed to produce eggs, attested to its preference than the black and brown bird. The farm has, since December 2009, been producing on the average over 5,000 whitefeathered pullets weekly in response to demands by indigenous farmers, adding that poultry farmers were also eager to increase their stock of the breed. Identifying the cause of low production of eggs, he said, farmers have been using the wrong type of commercial laying birds as one of the causes in Nigeria’s poor egg production, saying the birds are unsuitable for hot and humid climatic conditions. South Africa, he said, discovered that neither the brown nor the black commercial hens can support profitable commercial egg

By Wale Adepoju

production, adding that it switched to white feathered commercial layers over 20 years ago. This decision, he noted, has transformed the poultry industry in South Africa. “The commercial white layers in South Africa are producing brown eggs, which for aesthetic reasons, are more acceptable in the developing countries such as Nigeria, adding that the white eggs are profitable in countries such as India, Germany and the United States. The defunct Commercial Egg Producers ’Association (CEPAN), he said, had collated data to compare the performance of white feathered layers with brown ones. The document is still relevant for our information and it’s reproduced, he said. “The white feathered laying birds are better suited for the hot tropical climate of the world including Nigeria where they are able to perform optimally than the brown or black feathered laying birds. In South Africa, not less than 95 per cent of their birds are white feathered.The white breeds give you more marketable eggs and that is what the egg production business is all about, he added. This dependable perfor-

mance characteristic of the white breeds is being demonstrated on egg production farms all over the world , especially in hot climatic zones. The average number of eggs laid by white layers is usually about 320 while brown or black breed is usually about 250 in the hot tropical climate. The egg industry, he said, was losing, as a result of using black or brown layers for egg production. On their feeding, he said, feeds consumed by white breed to produce eggs is much lower than that of brown or black breed, adding that it will not deter the white breed from laying more eggs in hot climate as its white feathers reflect away heat from the bird unlike the black or brown-feath-

•Crate of eggs

ered which absorb heat. This increases the heat load and stress of the black or brown birds making them to produce fewer eggs, he added. Comparing white and brown/ black breeds, he said, the former are smaller, resist diseases and usually return quickly to their normal performance after recovery from infections or stress conditions but the latter don’t have these qualities. “The white layers in India, Israel and other hot climatic zones in Asia, Middle East and South America produce white eggs that are not acceptable by consumers in Nigeria,” he said. Okubena said through the farm’s hybrid technology, its white feathered layers have been producing brown eggs, adding that it was possible to produce more marketable eggs on increased profit.

Akwa Ibom fishermen groan under fuel scarcity


ISHERMEN in Akwa Ibom State have decried the fuel scarcity in the state and its negative impact on their occupation. The high cost of petroleum products is caused by the tanker drivers’strike. The problem has pushed the prices of petrol and kerosene to N200 per litre. Akwa Ibom chapter Chairman of Artisanal Fishermen Association of Nigeria (ARFAN), Rev. Samuel Ayadi, said in Eket: “Fuel is the most important input to fishing because the outboard engines we use to go into the sea consume a lot of fuel and affordable petrol translates to cheap fish and other sea foods. “One fishing boat will take at least a drum of fuel, that is 200 litres and that is approximately N40, 000 at the rate of N200 per litre as against the recommended price of N97. “We have found it extremely difficult to survive but could not because we simply cannot recover the fuel cost with what we make from the fishing trip so we have no option than to suspend fishing.” He said the scarcity of fish in the market was because of the problem. He appealed to the Federal Government to direct the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to establish a floating mega station in Ibeno to meet the needs of fishermen in the area. He said this would discourage fishermen from patronising adulterated petrol sellers.


Enugu: Agric investors’ destination NUGU State has a rich agric land. This is as a result of its location. The state has tropical forests and is situated within the savannah belt. That is why almost every tropical crop thrives in the state. Over 60 per cent of its people are farmers. They grow food crops such as rice, cassava, maize, yams, banana and various fruits and vegetables. Cash crops such as palm produce and cashew are also produced in the state. The government pursues a vigorous mechanised agric policy aimed at maximising the potential for food production. Agric on the plateau is based on the extensive cultivation of the conventional staples of yam, cassava, maize, sweet potato, grain legumes, pawpaw, banana, plantain and vegetables. Floodplain agriculture is practised in parts of the Niger, Anambra plains, especially at Adani and Ornor. It is based on a large scale cultivation of rice and yam, and also, fish farming. An increasing number of migrant farmers from the densely settled slow growing and land hungry rural areas of Awka, Orlu, Owerri, Okigwe, eastern Onitsha and Udi in Imo, Anambra and Enugu states, and others from Abak, Ikot Ekpene and Uyo areas in Akwa lbom State, have moved into the plains. They joined in exploiting the vast agric potential of the flood lands, which are beyond the capability of the local people. Many agric enterprises have been established in the state. They include the Adarice Production (Nigeria) Ltd. and the Enugu State River Project, which are public production projects located at Adani in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area. Others are the United Palm Produce Ltd. at IbiteOlo, Ugwuoba and lnyi, and the Premier Cashew Industry Ltd at Oghe. There is also a Palm Development Agency for tapping the resources of the natural palm and developing the oil palm sector. There are livestock and poultry facilities at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Campus. For example, the Ekenedili Chukwu, Chidi Ebere and Urneano rice, maize and cassava farms in Adani area are very large scale agric enterprises. There are also large private fish ponds in the area. On the whole, the agric lands of Enugu State are beyond the capability of the agric population, using available


•Gov. Chime Sullivan

technology, to fully exploit it. Agro-based industries such as Anambra/Enugu Vegetable Oil Products Ltd are located at Nachi in Udi Local Government Area. Premier Cashew Industries Ltd. is located at Oghe in Ezeagu Local government Area while Sunrise Flour Mill Ltd. is located at Emene Industrial Estate. There is also the Volunteer Service Agency (VSA) Livestock Feedmill, at the Ninth Mile Corner, Ngwo, on the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway. Agro food is a largest segment of the state’s industrial sector. Bakery products are part the agribusiness sector. The are confectionery products. The other main sub-segments include meat and fish processing, fruit and vegetable processing, vegetable and animal oil and fats, dairy products, grain mill products, and mineral water. The northern region represents the main destination for many of the state‘s agro foods. The sector is undergoing restructuring aimed at consolidating and adding value to the nation’s agric produce. The sector is undergoing reforms aimed at improving infrastructure and moving produce up the value chain. Investors have the opportunity to invest in the state’s agric sector, especially in the production and processing of cash crops, such as oil palm, cocoa and rubber, as well as food crops such as cassava and rice. There are opportunities for both local and international investors to engage in largescale production of tree crops such as oil palm, cocoa, rubber, coconut and African pear. Raw materials abound for processing into industrial raw materials such as fronds and seed oils, starch, rubber crumbs, cocoa beans, among others. Investors have the opportunity to establish an oil palm processing facilities. Oil palms are grown for their clusters of fruits, which can weigh up to 50 kg. Upon harvest, the drupe, pericarp and seeds are used for the production of soap and edible vegetable oil. Different grades of oil quality are obtained from the pericarp and the kernel, with the pericarp oil used mainly for cooking oil and the kernel oil used in processed foods. The state government is looking for local and foreign investors to invest in oil palm processing factories.Local communities can support such ventures by planting and supplying the raw palm nuts. The government is seeking investors to expand the livestock sector. It wants production of poultry and pigs for the meat market, processing and packaging of meat, especially pork for export, conversion of slaughterhouse raw materials such as bone, blood, ingesta into commercial products. The government is extending some incentives to serious investors. These include the provision of land and infrastructure and tax holidays.




Council chief to complete projects

Foundation to develop youths

Group boosts health sector




FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012




Page 17


‘HIV/AIDS fight is slowing down’


•Governor Akpabio

MEMBER of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, Friday Iwok has raised the alarm that the fight against HIV/AIDS is losing steam in the state in spite of the fact that the prevalence of the scourge is high. The state has the second highest cases, surpassed only Benue State. The lawmaker said development partners and external donor agencies do not support the state Action Committee on AIDS (AKSACA) enough, a development which, he said, slows down the effectiveness of the committee.

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

Speaking during a one-day public hearing on the bill for the establishment of Akwa Ibom State HIV/ AIDS Control Agency, in Uyo, the state capital, Iwok said some of the donor agencies have threatened to withdraw their financial assistance to AKSACA if it is not established as an agency within a given period of time. His words: “It is pertinent to inform this distinguished assemblage that AKSACA as is presently

constituted does not enjoy the confidence of development partners (IPs) and external donors working in the state. “Some have even threatened to withdraw their support if AKSACA is not transformed within the shortest possible time as evidenced in The Guardian report of April 19.” Calling on stakeholders to make useful contributions to the proposed, the legislator expressed the hope that with a legal backing to the committee, the confidence of the donor agencies will be restored in

the state. He also urged the state government to consider giving adequate and full support to the agency when established, reasoning that global economic recession has caused international donor organizations to reduce their contributions to states in this regard. By making AKSACA an agency, Iwok said role conflict and differentiation would be extinct thus encouraging the rising incidence of HIV/AIDS threatening the population and socioeconomic potentials of the state to be tackled.


HE wife of Abia State Governor, Mrs. Mercy Odochi Orji has brought a smile to the face of a widow in the state, Madam Oluchi Abraham. How? Mrs Orji built her a four-bedroom bungalow. The gesture has given the woman a huge lift. Her profile at Okwuta Ibeku, in Umuahia North Local Government Area of the state has changed. But Madam Abraham is not the only beneficiary of Mrs Orji’s benevolence. She has also provided shelter for two blind people in the state, one a woman, the other a man. Several other widows have also been sheltered, courtesy of the governor’s wife. Mrs Orji said the gesture is part of her complementary obligations to her husband’s administration in improving the quality of life for people of the state and to ensure that people of diverse needs in the society are touched. Speaking while inaugurating the house, the governor’s wife said her service to the lessprivileged and all classes of people in the state were borne out of her covenant with God to use her position and resources to help and reduce the burdens of the downtrodden. Mrs. Orji said that the commissioning, the fifth in the series of houses so far built by her for an indigent woman, a blind man and woman and two other indigent widows were part of the her selfless commitment in the service of the people. She said that through her selfless and numerous succor and soothing programmes, “Which are part of Governor Theodore Orji’s government avowed commitment and policy of positively touching the lives of the people through delivering of an enduring democracy dividends”. The wife of the governor said that the government of the state ably led by her husband is de-

•Wife of Abia State Governor, Mrs Mercy Orji (third right) with Madam Oluchi Abraham and her children in front of the four-bedroom bungalow

Orji’s wife shelters the needy Indigent widow moves into bungalow From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia

termined to leave legacies that would outlive the administration to all classes of people in the state irrespective of their social status. Mrs. Orji poured encomiums on her husband the governor for his support in her numerous programmes that have affected and touched the lives of the indigents men, women, widows, youths, physically challenged and all vulnerable groups in the

state and restated her commitment not to relent in her efforts to touch lives in the society. She maintained that the beneficiaries of the housing projects were not selected by process of applications hence nobody is expected to apply, “but through inspiration and directions from God, people can attest to high level of indigence of those that have so far benefited while the projects were not handled through contract but direct labour”.

Mrs. Orji also commended some public spirited individuals that have been assisting her in executing some of her programmes, and urged the well to do in the society not to relent in assisting government in improving the welfare of the downtrodden. The Abia first Lady expressed the hope that by the commissioning of the house, that it is belived that it would help in bringing the desired new lease of life, succor and help strengthened and elon-

gate the life span of the beneficiaries. Earlier in his speech, the chairman of the occasion, Dan Egbeogu described the event as epoch-making and commended the wife of the governor for her numerous programmes that have touched one of their wives and community in general. Egbeogu assured the Abia first lady that the people of the community would continue to support the governor and his wife in their quest to touch the lives of people in the state throughout their tenure.



Community gets water plant

T •From left: Dean, Lagos Business School, Enase Okonedo, Executive Chairman, Sankofa, Sylvester T. John and Director Learning and Development Ericsson Sub- Saharan Africa, Tade Oyinlola, during Association of African Business School (AABS) Annual Meeting and Roundtable Symposium at the Pan African University, Ajah, Lagos.

Commissioner empowers 250 people


HE Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello has empowered over 250 people in Yaba area of Lagos with about N5m. The empowerment programme was held at the Banilux Hall Yaba, Lagos. Speaking on behalf of the commissioner, the chairman, Mainland Independent Group (MIG) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) stalwart, Mr Kayode Aransiola, said that over N5m has been expended to empower the people. “Over N5m have been expended through cash gifts. We have also purchased materials that can be useful to them like the grinding machine, hair drier, sewing machines and drinks,” he said. “Apart from these, there is also a training programme that we have for the people on recharge cards business and people have been benefiting from this” he added. Aransiola stated further that: “Over 250 people benefited across board from this empowerment programme, 200 benefited from cash donations.”

By Amidu Arije

HE Obaofumeli community in Okah North Local Government Area of Anambra State has a reason to smile. It now has access to clean water. With the help of Guinness Nigeria Plc, the Meckow Aquapur water treatment system was installed to meet their need for potable water. The Managing Director of BGV Ltd, the distributors, Mrs Iyadunmi Gbadebo, urged governments at all levels to adopt the new water treatment system as a way of providing safe drinking water to communities. She said doing so would go a long way in achieving the goal of providing safe drinking water for all Nigerians. The Meckow Aquapur water treatment

Anambra By Nneka Nwaneri

system which was designed and developed by Dr. Leighton James, a research scientist, is used for the treatment of non saline water from surface sources such as ponds, lakes and reservoirs as well as ground sources like wells, boreholes and spring. BGV’s Business Development Manager, Mr Omatshola Maleghemi, said the company has introduced the Adopt-A-Community Initiative to enable more communities acquire the system. The idea is for government and corporate organisations to buy or partner with BVG to provide the water treatment device to various communities. Maleghemi urged them to take advantage of the new innovation to provide potable water for rural communities where thousands die annually due to water borne diseases, as part of their corporate social responsibility. Gbadebo added: “Meckow Aquapor requires no electricity for its filtration process but uses gravitational force to push the water through the filtration system. “It is capable of preventing and removing bacteria and parasites from sourced water and produces a constant supply of safe drinking water

He said the essence of the empowerment scheme is to pay back the people of the constituency for their support during the various elections conducted in the past. “What informed the poverty alleviation programme is the need to help thousands of people who have been helpful for the enthronement of our party in the various elections held in the state. It is always good to reciprocrate this type of gesture going by the saying one good turn deserves another. So we consider it necessary to compensate them for whatever assistance we have gotten from them,” he said. Aransiola stated that the commissioner took the action to assist the people cushion the effect of the harsh economy on their businesses. “We need to assist them to cushion the effect on their businesses by giving them little cash and materials that will be necessary for their various trades and occupation,” he said.

‘Give more funds to councils’


ITH the provision of more funds from both the state and the Federal Government, I have every belief that local governments all over the country can deliver quality dividends of democracy to the people of Nigeria”. This was the submission of the Chairman of Mushin Local Government Area,in Lagos State, Hon.Olatunde Adepitan during the inspection of the reconstructed St. Phillip Primary School in Amu, Mushin. Adepitan said when he undertook the tour of primary schools on assumption of office some months ago, he was shocked that a school within Mushin Local Government could be insuch a deplorable state. He, therefore,directed the officers in the education department to put every machinery in place to ensure that the pupils, and teachers operate under a conducive atmosphere. According to Adepitan, “many elected officials in the country at one point or the other travel abroad and see how things are done in another climes, it is a pity that we find it difficult to replicate the same thing in our country. Primary school is the foundation for good education, if the foundation is faulty, there is every tendency that the entire system will be affected. As a former teacher, my attention will

naturally be drawn to education and how best to improve the lots of our teachers and pupils. Very soon, this school project will be completed for the use of our people. We solicited for more funds from the people in terms of rates and taxes. This government is not a wasteful one. Please have total confidence in us to deliver. “Prompt payment of rates will be of great assistance to us”. St. Phillip Primary School is one of the 49 public primary schools in Mushin Local Government. As more schools need the urgent attention of government,the council chief promised not to disappoint the people .

Police warn vehicle owners THE Lagos Police Command have warned owners of vehicles parked at Ketu Division to remove them immediately or forfeit same to auction. They are: 1. Nissan Bluebird- HK 524KJA 2. Vanagon bus -DCG480GCE

•Hon Adepitan inspecting construct work at St. Phillips Primary School, Amu, Mushin, Lagos.

for the community. “The water filtration system is built with materials with a working life cycle of 25 years. It is easily transported, installed, and requires minimal training to operate and its consumable items can be sourced for locally. “It produces clean drinking water at a rate of 1,000 liters per hour. This means that if the unit runs for only 12 hours a day, it will produce 12,000 liters daily, 84,000 liters weekly and slightly less than 4.4 million liters annually. This amount of water is enough to meet the need of a community of up to 1,000 people. “The importance of clean accessible water in this country cannot be over-emphasized and this is a great challenge faced by Nigerians of all classes. To the lower class, options do not exist and to the middle class the reoccurring cost of getting clean safe water is just unsustainable. “Access to clean safe water should not be a luxury but a fundamental right.”



Foundation to develop youths


HE T.Y. Danjuma Foundation (TYDF) is determined to develop the capacity of Nigerian youths, Mr James Gala, the Communication Officer of the organisation, has said in a statement in Abuja “TYDF through its Income Generating Programme is committed to providing grants to young people and youth organisations that are ready to contribute to vital aspect of our national development. “We need to build the capacity of the youths to sustain themselves and become self employed, “ the statement said. It said the foundation had concluded arrangements to equip more than 1,000 youths with skills on career success and business development. “The foundation will provide the youths with life building skills and an opportunity to interact with their mentors who will train them, “ the statement said. It pointed out that youths were a strong force

‘Oil spills cause depletion of undersea weeds’

ISHERMEN operating along the Atlantic Coastline have described the floating weeds observed on the surface of the ocean as a consequence of the various oil spills. They newsmen in Eket, Akwa Ibom State that the development had hampered fishing in the state in the past week. Fishermen who spoke on the incident said that the massive depletion of the sea weeds on the ocean floor was caused by toxic chemical dispersants used by oil firms to clean up spills. Mr Inyang Ekong, Secretary of Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State chapter, said that the massive depletion of sea weeds would lead to fish scarcity. “What we see is a direct consequence of the toxic chemicals used by oil firms operating in this region to clean up oil spills. “During the Bonga oil spill of last year, Shell deployed large quantities of dispersants to sink the oil to the ocean floor. “Now the chemicals have wiped out the marine life, including the weed that fish feed on; this has damaged the food chain and

•From right: Chairman,, Ikosi-Ejirin Local Development Area, Prince Segun Adetola; Oba Joseph Odumeru, the Abowa of Agbowa and Proprietress of God’s Home Orphanage, Agbowa donating some food items to the lss privileged.

Honour for council chair


HE Chairman of Surulere Local Government Area in Lagos State, Hon Tajudeen Ajide has been honoured for his commitment to community development. His achievement in the last six months in touching lives at the grassroots did not go without notice as a non-governmental organisation, the LEAD, recognised his contributions and honoured with an Award of Excellence. LEAD organisation promotes and honour leading enterprisies, institutions and individuals who have made great impact and contributed immensely towards economic development in Nigeria and Africa in general. The coordinator of the NGO, Mr Ayotunde Ojo, congratulated the chairman as one of the great heroes of Lagos State to be bestowed with a special recognition award for excellent performance in governance due to his many of his people - oriented projects for the development of Surulere Local Government Area and its environs. The objectives of the NGO are to position corporate Nigeria as the economic pillar of the African state, proferring solutions to enterprise challenges and business growth in Africa, skyrocketting the achievements of enterprises and institutions in Nigeria into being the leading economic pillar inAfrica. The award ceremony took place at the council secretariat on Tuesday, May 15 amidst state and council dignitaries. Replying, the council chair expressed appreciation to the council executive for standing by him during the period of his achievements. He dedicated the award to the entire staff of the local government council and people of Surulere. He said: “Without their help nothing

By Duro Babayemi

could be done. They voted me into power and they have been giving the required support. I can say confidently that this is just the tip of the iceberg. I am prepared much more than before to make residents of this cuoncil happy”. The greatest challenge faced by his administration was the absence of roads to link communities within the council . In the first three months, he provided roads to ensure for free flow of vehicles and reduce traffic gridlock. The council chief assured that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has great programmes that can guarantee better life for the residents of the council. •Ajide

Church holds programme CHRIST Prophetic Assembly (a.k.a.) Altar of Praise will hold a day deliverance programme tomorrow from 7am to 10a.m. at the church auditorium along 1,Ota-Ore Street, Beside Ola Ore House, Ola-Ore Bus Stop, Agbado Crossing, Ogun State. The theme is: My Cup Runs Over. In a statement, the chief host, Propeht ECA Adebowale assured every guest of a pleasant experience, saying they will never be the same again. The programme comes up the third Saturday of every month.


in the development process and as such the longterm investment of any responsible society. “If their future is mismanaged, then we as a nation may be missing out on an important aspect of future,’’ the statement said. The organisation urged youths “to take the bull by the horn and attempt becoming employers themselves as well as be determined to discover the geniuses in them. “We have to take the bull by the horn and start to chart our own course; Facebook and Microsoft were started by young persons “That is the challenge for the youths today because Nigeria is not a country of beggars but of initiators. “ The organisation observed that 46 per cent of the 67 million youths in Nigeria were unemployed, adding that about 80 per cent of the number did not have more than the First School Leaving Certificate. The foundation has invested in programmes aimed at ensuring that youths become self-reliant by supporting projects targeted at building the

• Senator Bala Mohammed capacity of youths at the grassroots. The foundation also has an internship programme through which youths are trained to be agents of positive change.

Akwa Ibom getting fish will become more difficult,” Ekong said. He further said that the decomposed sea weeds covered the ocean surface and contaminated their nets, as well as forced fish to migrate deeper into the ocean. Mr Irvin Obot, Zonal Director of National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) told journalists that the agency had received a report of the incident. Obot said that the massive depletion of the sea weeds from the ocean floor could be a sign of ‘upset’ in the marine environment, which required scientific investigation. “We have visited the coastline in Ibeno and taken note of the development, but it is difficult to say the cause without a scientific investigation,” he said.

Council chief to complete projects ONDUCIVE atmosphere coupled with good environment is the panacea for excellent learning.” These were the words of the the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State, Hon.Abiola Ambali while flagging off the construction of three blocks of four class rooms each in different locations in council area. The schools were St. Mattiah Primary School, Oke-ona Primary School, Ajibode, Islamic Primary School Ojoo and Community Primary School Moniya, all in Akiyele Local Government Area of Ibadan Oyo State. At the ceremony, the chairman disclosed that work has begun in other four schools and promised that eight more schools will be constructed soon. Ambali said that the only way to move the country forward is by investing in the education sector because the children are the future of the country and if any nation fails in education sector, it has indirectly destroyed the future of its people. He pledged to pay attention to other sectors to ensure that residents of the council enjoy the maximum dividends of democracy. Ambali promised to complement the and the


By Jeremiah Oke

efforts of the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi in his transformation agenda by taking democracy to the door steps of the people. Speaking on some of the completed and ongoing projects in the council , the council chair said he will ensure completion of projects in the next three months. Hon Ambali also said about 400 kilometres of roads have been graded across the local government; eight boreholes sunk while work is ongoing on another 12 boreholes in the council government in order to satisfy the need of the people. •Ambail

•From left: Vice-President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Mr Doyin Owolabi; Council member, Otunba Femi Deru and Alhaji Rasak Jaiyeola, council member at the third induction ceremony of the forensic training programme of the Audit, Investigation and Forensic Accounting Faculty, at ICAN Annex, Ebute-Metta, Lagos.

Group seeks collaboration on health


EARLINE International Ltd, a pioneer health maintenance organisation, has stressed the importance of consisitent stakeholders dialogue as a panacea to engender growth for the healthcare industry.The dialogue sessions, the group said, will go a long way in evaluating the Health Insurance Scheme for improvement. The Managing Director of the group, Dr Segun Ogundimu, stated this during the health providers meeting with his group in Benin City, Edo State. He said that colloborative efforts between Clearline and healthcare providers are aimed at deepening the penetration of the health insurance scheme to reach the nooks and crannies of the country. He added that the forum was designed to be a continuing education platform to keep healthcare providers abreast of current trends in healthcare practice and maintenance.It is also a veritable avenue to obtain feedback and seek inputs of healthcare providers in order to enhance qualitative healthcare service for all

Nigerians. Ogundimu equally stated at the Lagos Health Providers Forum organised by Clearline HMO that the role of providers is critical to the overall success of the scheme. He emphasised the need for a continuous and consistent platform to engage health providers in order to appraise the scheme. The Health Providers Forum, according to him, is a quarterly one-on-one session by Clearline across the geographical locations in the country. The forum is one of the several measures put in place to facilitate affordable and accessible healthcare for all Nigerians. Ogundimu who was represented by Dr bright Oniovokukor, the Regional Head for Clearline HMO stated that community-based approach to helath insurance remains a critical tool to facilitate the development of the healthcare sector.He said there is the urgent need to mobilise the grassroots involvement for the National Health Insurance Scheme(NHIS) to make it result-oriented.

Corps member donates exercise books, MEMBER of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Osun State, Ayokunle sandals to pupils Ilesanmi, has donated 5000 exercise


books and 500 sandals to indigent pupils in some public schools in the state. Speaking during the presentation of the items, Ayokunle noted that the gesture was to encourage the pupils and support the mass literacy agenda of the state governor, Engr Rauf Aregbesola who made promotion of functional education among citizenry part of his cardinal programmes. The project tagged: I Had No Shoe cut across secondary and primary schools in Ife-East Local Government Area. According toAyokunle, the exercise books were distributed in line with his vision to support the education sector. Ayokunle, who is a graduate of Computer Science from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, also organised a maiden inter-tertiary debate against corruption that had about 19 Universities in attendance recently. Speaking on the occasion, the Local

From Oyegbade Hammeed

Government Inspector of the NYSC in Ife-East, Mr. Adesan, said the project is a sign that corps members are great asset to the country. Also speaking, the founder of Eradicate Illiteracy International, Mr. Egbeleke Aderopo, described the project as a welcome development to the community. He noted that it is a strong indication that NYSC is one of the best schemes the Federal Government has initiated to touch lives of the citizenry. Beneficiaries of the exercise books include Ife Anglican Grammar School, St Philip Grammar School, Salvation Army High School, Day Spring College and Osun State School of Science while those of the sandals were Olori Morisola Model Primary School ‘A’, St Davids Primary Schools, St John Primary School, and Olori Morisola Model Primary School ‘B’. The ceremony was witnessed by dignitaries in the state .

• From left: Miss Igunbor Leah,Nursing Officer;Dr Bright Oniovokukor, Clearline Regional Head,Daniel Omoruyi, St Luke Hospital Ekpoma,Blessing Omoruyi and Millicent Ehi from Clearline Benin Office at the event





25 years after Awo • What the Yoruba need now is conceptual and ideational unity, not necessarily political unity


HEN an elephant is felled, all sorts of knives emerge, goes a Yoruba saying. When a great soul like Chief Obafemi Awolowo (6 March 1909 - 9 May 1987) is remembered, even after 25 years, all sorts of ideas sprout. One of such ideas was the call by the cleric, Dr. Peter Awelewa Adebiyi, Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos West, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), for Yoruba “unity”; and calling on two politicians of radically different ideological spectrums, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to politically unite, to give Yoruba leadership. While the bishop may mean well, the unity he called for was simply impossible; or if possible, would have completely negated the whole essence of Awo. Obasanjo and his mainstream political philosophy (which, by the way, after eight years of federal power, left Yorubaland and the rest of the country in the bog of underdevelopment) was exactly what Awo fought, all through his illustrious political life. Indeed, it is on record that Obasanjo resents Awo’s greatness, while pushing himself forward as a “national leader”, if sentiments from his book, Not My Will are anything to judge by. Tinubu, on the other hand, leads an opposition movement, fashioned after Awo’s lifelong philosophy of democratic political pluralism, and federalist development principles, hinged on cooperating local or regional blocs developing at their own pace, instead of the mainstreamers’ near-total dependence on central pork, that often turns everyone a beggar. Now, how can these two contradicting strands cohabit to “unite” the Yoruba with-

out disastrous consequences – and for a people whose initial head start in a federal Nigeria had been so violently rolled back by Obasanjo’s mainstreamers? Indeed, the Yoruba were at no time politically “united”, though they had always been proud of their cultural unity. Awo himself, using his Action Group (AG) in the preindependence years, moved against institutionalised feudalism, with radical development programmes like the Free Primary Education that launched the Western Region, and vaulted the Yoruba above other parts of the country in mass education. Then in post-independence times, Awo fought a titanic battle for the inalienable rights of different component units of federal Nigeria not to be forcibly yoked into a homogeneous political entity, under the ruling federal powers. This titanic battle, which the Yoruba mainstream political elite who call themselves Awoists had always embraced, always elicited labels of “opposition politics” from federal satraps, at their wits’ end, at the mass appeal of the Awo philosophy of regional self-help. Though Awo went to jail for this cause, had his AG smashed by federal power players, and had his prime ministerial and presidential dreams aborted on this score, the see-saw between federal backed conservative elements and Awo-inspired progressive cadre is not about abating in the South West. That explains the rise and fall of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), the decline of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and now the ascendancy of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) as the ruling elite in the South West; and irreverent opposition to the federal ruling party, all in a spade of 13 years since the birth of the Fourth Republic.

If 25 years after the passage of Awo the Yoruba appear in the doldrums, what is needed is not political unity of light and darkness. It is rather conceptual and ideational unity, based on Awo’s winning ideas of true and development-structured federalism, political pluralism, visionary and disciplined leadership and a highly educated mass of followers, easy to govern but quick to call their government into account. Twenty-five years after his passage, these principles are what Nigeria needs to develop. As for Yoruba “unity” and leadership, let every political strand in Yorubaland subject themselves to these cherished principles of Awoism. Whoever wins at the polls, after convincing the teeming masses, let them be the political lords of the manor. That is the ideational unity the Yoruba need, to regain the lost glory of the Awo years.

‘If 25 years after the passage of Awo the Yoruba appear in the doldrums, what is needed is not political unity of light and darkness. It is rather conceptual and ideational unity, based on Awo’s winning ideas of true and development-structured federalism, political pluralism, visionary and disciplined leadership and a highlyeducatedmassoffollowers, easy to govern but quick to call their government into account’

Sweet victory, sweet football • Manchester City Football Club has won the English football trophy in a most spectacular fashion


T was five minutes that kept the entire footballing world (and that is a large chunk) on the edge of their seats and held them spellbound for every second of it. Last Sunday’s endgames of the English Premier League football season would be remembered for a very long time for the tension, the suspense, the drama and the overwhelming thrills. It was not only that the season went to the wire with pundits unable to predict the clear winner, even the last two deciding matches did not produce a winner up until the last five minutes. The rivalry between the two Manchester-based teams – United and City, saw the two teams running neck-to-neck till their last games last Sunday. Manchester United were the defending champions and the preeminent side with rich history, a crowded shelf of trophies and a beknighted Englishman- manager by the name of Sir Alex Ferguson. While the one are quintessentially an English legacy, the other- Manchester City are never-do-well upstarts now living on new Arab money. Derided up until last Sunday as ‘the noisy neighbours’, City had struggled for about 44 years without winning the English football diadem while the other guys hauled in the silverware as if they had the franchise to it. Now buoyed by Arab dollars (an Abu Dhabi family has invested over $1 billion in the last four years), City first climbed up to become one of the super four on the English Premiership football table and last Sunday, they lifted the trophy, beating United to second place. Apart from highlighting the role of money in today’s football, City’s victory is also a testimony to tenacity, good

organisation, quality coaching and a determination to succeed. In the deciding match last Sunday against Queens Park Rangers (QPR), they needed an outright win to lift the trophy and at the blast of the fulltime whistle, they were down by a goal to two. It was in the extra time that they played as if possessed and pulled back two goals and got the world, the footballing world, on its feet cheering and chanting. They simply reenacted that truism that it is not over until it is finally over. Their victory was enchanting as well as refreshing and may mark the beginning of a new era in English Premiership football, arguably the most popular and the most followed football league in the world. The higher import of last Sunday’s spectacle is that the British have by sheer organisational acumen, transformed a football tournament which was lackluster and seedy just 20 years ago into the biggest show on earth today. The English Premier League (EPL) is today the most lucrative, the most exciting and an epitome of public private enterprise. It attracts the best players from all over the world and of course, the biggest corporate sponsorship and buy-ins. Businesses from all over the world queue up to partner with top English clubs in multi-million pounds deals. From Arab Sheikhs to Russian tycoons and American corporate moguls – they have all bought stakes into the EPL. Where they are not buying up entire teams, they are building massive stadia or signing huge shirt sponsorship and advertising deals. With the rate of growth of English soccer, some have even wagered that in a few years’ time, football will do more for Britain’s economy than finance. The vicarious benefits cannot be quantified but suffice it to mention that it provides huge

opportunities for engaging the youths both as professionals and fans. If 25 years after the passage of Awo the Yoruba appear in the doldrums, what is needed is not political unity of light and darkness. It is rather conceptual and ideational unity, based on Awo’s winning ideas of true and development-structured federalism, political pluralism, visionary and disciplined leadership and a highly educated mass of followers, easy to govern but quick to call their government into account. We urge them to take another look at last Sunday’s EPL award ceremony. They should take a particular note of the dark suited grey-hair men running the EPL; perhaps they will begin to understand that football is no longer a game, it is big, serious business. Is anyone listening?

‘If 25 years after the passage of Awo the Yoruba appear in the doldrums, what is needed is not political unity of light and darkness. It is rather conceptual and ideational unity, based on Awo’s winning ideas of true and development-structured federalism, political pluralism, visionary and disciplined leadership and a highly educated mass of followers, easy to govern but quick to call their government into account. We urge them to take another look at last Sunday’s EPL award ceremony’

London calling


OR the next few months, at least, the British capital will be centre of the world. This summer, with the Olympic Games

coming fast on the heels of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, the eyes of the world will be on London – a state of affairs that Londoners will find neither unwarranted, nor particularly unusual. This week, The Times will be taking an extended look at the city with a decent claim to be the centre of the world and which, for the next few months, will certainly feel like it (see page 18). Less driven than New York, less chic than Paris and altogether less Chinese than Beijing, London defies easy categorization. Other global cities carry established narratives which however wrong, are still a good place to start. London has none. No single narrative can unite 8 million people with 300 language between them; any film, novel or, indeed newspaper article that tries will leave millions shaking their heads and saying, “No, quite wrong, it’s not like that at all”. From the affluent suburbs to the urban grime, from the packed temples and mosques to the empty churches that tower above them, London is a city of fifth-generation market stalls beside sky-scrappers, multimillion-pound townhouses beside council estates and world-famous theatres backing on to streets you don’t want to walk down without sensible shoes. A place where it is easy to be rich and difficult if you aren’t, it is full of parks and you can’t ever park. Its most famous map doesn’t resemble it at all. A wise man once said that a man tired of London was tired of life, but everybody is tired of hearing about that. These Olympic Games will be the first to be held in a city that hosts existing communities from every competing nation. Yet London is poorly understood only as a city of immigrants. People elsewhere in Britain may periodically bristle at the capital’s overweening dominance of the national conversation, but Britishness is core to London’s identity and appeal. There are reasons why the world’s super-rich seek a berth in the capital, and they are not all to do with tax. If they were, they’d be in Geneva. London has a streak of diffidence, which is not always appealing. Safe behind their stuccoed West London walls, oligarchs know that they will be left alone, perhaps more than they should be. Last summer’s riots were echoed in other parts of the country, but in London, perhaps more than elsewhere, they seemed the product of a dislocation between people and place, a failure of the city to belong to its own. The city has a small-scale but apparently chronic case of the disease of knife crime. Neighbour knowing neighbor is the exception, not the rule. Yet there is a communal spirit, perhaps espoused best in recent years by Ken Livingstone – who well understands what London represents, much as he sometimes fails to live up to it – after the July 2005 bombings on board Tube trains and a bus. “In the days that follow”, he said, in a trembling voice, “look at our airports, look at our sea ports and look at our railway stations and, even after your cowardly attack, you will see that people from the rest of Britain, people from around the world will arrive in London to become Londoners and to fulfill their dreams and achieve their potential”. In its flaws, London is like any city. In its strengths, it stands unique. Those who have not visited it dream of doing so. This will be London’s summer, even if it rains. – The Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu

•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon

•Advert Manager Robinson Osirike

•Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina •Group Political Editor Bolade Omonijo •Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu •Abuja Bureau Chief Yomi Odunuga •Sport Editor Ade Ojeikere •Editorial Page Editor Sanya Oni

• Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde •Chief Internal Auditor Toke Folorunsho •Senior Manager (sales) Akeem Shoge

•IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness •Press Manager Udensi Chikaodi •Manager, Corporate Marketing Hameed Odejayi • Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye





IR: Someone says, “I will kill you if you steal my money”. The person so threatened now calls on the Police to come and arrest the person that threatened him. Does that make any sense; and will any reasonable Police effect the arrest? I would expect the Police to tell the caller: “Just don’t steal any money”. General Muhammadu Buhari merely warned that there would be violent revolution if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) perpetrates its policy of “Voting or no voting PDP will win” in 2015. The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has similarly warned that the PDP must shelve its desperation to take the South-west by all means in 2015. In 2010, both Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole similarly warned the PDP that there would be fire and brimstone or even Armageddon if the PDP should perpetrate electoral fraud as usual. Why is everybody made to misunderstand Buhari? Like all mortals, Buhari no doubt has his shortcomings, but he is much better than the current rulers who are materialistic, self-aggrandizing, and self-seeking. I don’t know who has ruled Nigeria better than Buhari/Idiagbon. Is PDP not the biggest Boko Haram? Time was when too many Nigerians didn’t know the true meaning of the words; we were wrongly told that Boko Haram meant Western education is evil. Now we know it means the abuse of Western education. The Hausa words refer to how literate persons use their book (Boko) knowledge to commit haram (corruption, cheating, injustice, etc.). Are those not what the PDP represent, politically, electorally, and financially? Like the Police referred-to


Boko Haram: Between the PDP and Buhari above, Nigerians should tell PDP, “Just stop electoral fraud, and the best way to do it is to get the National Assembly that is controlled by your party to amend the part of the constitution that empowers a partisan President to choose the electoral umpires.” The PDP has committed another Haram, shouting on Buhari for warning against electoral fraud. That is an attempt to

confuse Nigerians rather than doing what will restore electoral confidence in Nigerians. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan dismissed the recommendation of the Justice Muhammed Uwais Electoral Reform Committee to allow the National Judicial Council choose the electoral umpires as a mere recommendation. After the presidential election, the political Boko

Haram started bombing Jack and Harry. How is the government not the mother of Boko Haram or if you like, the biggest Boko Haram? Likewise the government refused to implement the recommendations of the Sheikh Lemu Committee that investigated the post-election crisis. That has aggravated the activities of Boko Haram. Well-meaning Nigerians and even America

NYSC, where is our allowee?


IR: It is high time the Federal Government looked into the unbearable delay in the payment of corps members’ monthly allowance. This trend is assuming a very dangerous proportion and corps members are not happy with it. Many are already threatening fire and brimstone. If the Federal Government is not aware, corps members across the federation under the auspices of National Association of Aggrieved Youth Corpers are planning to embark on strike actions which they termed ‘No Pay, No work’. It is unfortunate and shameful things have degenerated to this nauseating stage that corps members now think of strike. We have never had it so bad. The rumour is rife that there are people diverting the money into private accounts on fixed deposit. We want to know the truth. Corps members in the country certainly deserve better treatment

going by the pain many of us go through. Our uniform gives many of the people in our host communities the false impression we are living large. Some of them surcharge us for every small item we buy because we are government ‘pikin’ and yet, we are as hungry and angry as some of them are. I want to appeal to the Director General of the NYSC, Brigadier Okorie-Affa to please use his good offices to urgently look into the matter. There was tension in the country sometime ago when the salary of the nation’s servicemen was delayed by just few days prompting the government to issue circular to calm frayed nerves. I wonder if we are not important too or our selfless national service is not valued for us to be treated with such shoddiness. And yet, we are not on salary, all we collect is allowance. We depend on this stipend not only for our upkeeps, as there are some of us

who are also saddled with responsibilities from home. I don’t want to believe the statement credited to coordinating minister of the economy Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala recently on Sahara Reporters has anything to do with this. The coordinating minister was quoted as saying Nigeria is cash strapped and can’t pay monthly allocations including NYSC allowance. That must be a big joke. The take home package of our senators and reps makes it a joke. The allocation for the President’s feeding allowances makes it a big joke. The billions of money being bandied with reckless abandon at the investigative committees set up to probe the various scandals make it a big joke. But we are not laughing at this cruel, wicked, sardonic, lugubrious joke. Only action, quick urgent action will save corps members from declaring “to thy tents oh Israel”. • Folarin Samson NYSC Ebonyi State

have severally told President Jonathan to dialogue with Boko Haram for peace and he has refused. So, who is thirsty for blood? President Jonathan not Buhari is Nigeria’s albatross. • Pius Oyeniran Abioje, Ph. D, University of Ilorin.

The CBN Governor must hear this


IR: The so-called cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria has started biting people very hard and this writer is equally a victim. It began on May 4, when I paid for an ARIK on-line ticket (Abuja- Port Harcourt) which was not able to process. Yet I was billed on my GTBank naira MasterCard and the account has not been credited with the fund that was mistakenly taken till date. I have been to ARIK office at Transcorp Hilton hotel got the refund form filled twice and nothing has happened. To transfer fund from one account to other is a big headache and almost impossible; to get a cheque clear takes whopping seven working days. The network problem in the newly sold banks is a norm which hitherto was not a case when those banks were managed by the founders. I was made to buy another ticket at an exorbitant rate. Assuming I did not have any other money and it was imperative and unavoidable journey, what could have happened? It is high time this draconian policy is deferred until the financial services sector is fully ready in terms of technology and expertise for implementation. I hope Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is listening. • Adebayo Kayode, Abuja,




Reality Bites D

Letter to Iya Legun...(A rehash)

Olatunji Ololade

EAR Great – Grandma, Forgive me for thrashing the bucket you bought without pricing, the earthenware you dusted free of cobwebs and the excesses you obliged me. Another year has passed but I hope it’s not too late to find my voice in the folds of your silence and among other things, acknowledge the gift of the weaning years. I remember the two great gourds from which I nourished like a sot. It was in those days when papa was a god and mama was an angel; when heaven was, sneaking to your eko and gbure while Alhaja kept the flies away from our rice. I remember Christmas in Itoku when Iya Onigaari could still see us. Those were the better days. Now our lives are very complicated. We have grown from kids with bright future to people who should be living their future and making the best of it. We get angry when we think we are not and we get scared when we think we are. And while we fret, we do not worry about what we have done with the world you left us nor are we bothered about what state we would be leaving it for our children. You counted your destiny in moons and seasons, we measure our lives against mishaps in passing seconds: our roads are still death-traps and the roof still crashes on our children during lessons, in the districts where the trodden kids are learning with tears. Today, more lives are extinguished in split seconds, on the watch of Mr.

Goodluck Jonathan, the ‘meek’ and ‘timid’ President that perverted our luck. It is the season of the holocaust. The drizzle at dawn has harvested the unripe cobs and mother earth writhes in painful throes of a belated abortion. Daylight jostles with the darksome splendour of our might and Nigeria capitulates in obeisance to the demonic stance. Little wonder we got terrorist attacks, religious and racial profiling et al. Its part of our new awakening...but you spoke of knowledge in glowing terms. You said for wisdom, it is alright to be a connoisseur although you said we should drink from the brightest springs. We have drunk water from an unnamed stream and our lives have become tragicomedies in process. Guess you see us as we feed our inner demons from other people’s demons. Your fables, folklores and colourful tales on moonlit nights are passions lost on us. The new dawn you extolled as our brighter future is radiant with moonshine. Some of us labour daily to turn it into the triumph you swore it would become but a great deal more struggle to turn it into an everlasting fantasy. Now everyone lives in the world we watch on TV. In any case, you won’t understand the thrills and frills, toll and flicker of ravenous klieglights nor would you understand our ‘Reality Shows’ and the price we have to pay for glamour. The price of living has become


HE loss of integrity occasioned by the variants of examination malpractices engaged in by students and their teachers during public examinations across the country has generally been a source of national embarrassment. Critics of the way the public examinations were hitherto run have had a field day tearing the public examination structure of the nation. Every possible angle on why the nation’s public examinations structure lagged behind international standard had been x-rayed and in many instances, the public examination bodies operating in the country scored below average in the rating of these ‘examiners’. In the last 10 months, however, most people, especially critics of the public examination structure have not been in the media discussing the lapses of these agencies with the intensity that they did in the past. Even though some harsh criticisms are still out in the public space, they are far and in between, with some of them based mainly on data that are no longer operational. In the last 10 months, the Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike with

‘Nigerians must understand that these public examination bodies are meant for quality assurance. They are not expected to groom the students, but to provide generally acceptable tests for them at the end of their studies on the basis of existing syllabi made known to the students. This understanding will guide whatever comments people make about the operations of these agencies’

very steep. Very few of us can afford three square meals and our mores of morality are accommodating greater excesses by the day. I remember the harmattan of 1984 when your favourite grandson bought a new Volkswagen Beetle car. It cost just N3, 000 and we all pranced and danced about it in joy, stealing for the fleeting second when we could cop a feel of the dazzling piece of steel. You said it was a gift from God. Today, no one prays for such heavenly gift. Everyone wishes to drive the big man’s car. We all want to live the big man’s life. And we are prepared to do so even if we have to sell our souls at the crossroads of vanity, to the devil. So I hope you understand even if many of us do not; why the congressman obtains the commoner’s vote with a dazzling smile only to bargain his fate away with a toothy grin in fits of greed and conceit in the legislative chamber. I am sure you understand even though it befuddles us still, why the orphan is always left to his own devices and the widow’s cry is forever smothered in the raucous din of greedy kin. Like heat-maddened summer flies, we swarm towards annihilation armed with lust, gluttony and a yearning for the good life. I guess you have heard of the human parts dealer, the street prostitute, the corrupt policeman and the duplicitous journalist. Guess you’ve heard of the scheming evangelist, the unrepentant Reality Show Contestant, the disillusioned student and the starving, idle graduate patiently biding his time for the nanosecond when his fortune will change and he would become the devil’s chosen one in the workshop for the idle. Whenever you spoke of your childhood, even us listeners; children of ‘enlightenment’ felt with

you the nostalgia. We ached with you as you remembered the ‘good old days’ before the coming of those whose hands are white and their hearts, black. It’s true, all that you said; the white man’s civilisation is a double – edged sword. It cuts both ways. We have survived the curiosity and covetousness that made your generation barter our youth, our pride and future for the novelty of looking glasses and silver chronometers into the century that spliced the genes, separated the atom, probed the psyche and cloned a sheep. We have risen from the ashes of our misadventures in military dictatorship, civil war, aviation, space technology, democracy and nuclear warheads into a new millennium. Now we sit faithless at bare tables cursing our motherland, cursing the times; while we wonder hopelessly if our children would have better lives. We wonder if the future of our dreams will ever come. I hope it does. And if it doesn’t, for comfort, I hope to remember your wise cracks from dawn till dusk; your sudden heaviness at every sunset and the weight of your silence as we swallowed your maize morsels. I would live for those moments when you sat on goatskin to mutter heartfelt prayers and our mothers rejected the part where you wished that their husbands married a second wife. Even Abewo does not want me to take a second wife, many decades after your heartfelt prayer. I seek to understand your silences so that I can speak them. If I could do so perhaps I would understand my deepest scruples and rediscover the essence in your definition of humaneness and life. In my confusion, I hasten to your

Restoring integrity to public examinations By Simeon Nwakaudu supervisory responsibility on the two examination bodies in the country, the West African Examination Council, WAEC and the National Examination Council, NECO, has been able to instill a renewed process that has reduced the cases of malpractices in the examinations conducted by these two agencies. To begin with, the two agencies have conducted three senior secondary certificate examinations between July (2011) and now. One common fact that is similar for the three examinations is that non of the question papers leaked. This is a rare feat in view of where the nation is coming from as regards the conduct of public examinations in recent past. During a press conference to mark WAEC 60th anniversary in Lagos, a journalist had sought to know what measures were taken to ensure that question papers used during the last November/December WAEC Private Senior Secondary Examinations did not leak to students. The minister had embargoed the question declaring that though it was a compliment, it negatively affected the operations of the council. Wike working with other stakeholders to fight examination malpractice visited the headquarters of NECO in Minna where he alongside the management of the council strengthened the quality assurance process of the agency. The positive results of these steps are now manifesting. In March, under the supervision of the minister, NECO management engaged the generation and development of quality test items to improve the standard of its examination in line with international standards. For NECO, other critical success points since July 2011 have been the early release of results for students to make optimal use of

them, accreditation and re-accreditation of schools for participation in public examinations and the development of new syllabi in September 2011 with a focus to improving the entrepreneurial skills of Nigerian children. With the approval of the minister, NECO undertook the sponsorship of staff to attend seminars, workshops and conferences with a view to enhancing their competences in the conduct of examinations. Protecting the integrity of the examinations conducted by NECO in the last 10 months have been given the priority that it deserves, with operatives of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps directly involved in examination security. Lecturers of tertiary institutions have also been used to fight against the examination malpractices with their participation in recent examinations by NECO. This strategy had actually reduced, to a reasonable extent, the significant incidences of examination malpractice thereby enhancing the quality of NECO certificates as well as providing a more valid picture of students’ performance at the secondary education level. This is a major area that the council had contributed immensely towards the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government considering that such valid descriptions of students’ performance had provoked discourse for urgent reforms in the education sector. For Wike, the restoration of the integrity of the certificates awarded to Nigerian students upon the completion of their public examinations is paramount. In the course of this period for instance, there has been greater voluntary acceptance of the certificates awarded by NECO, the more recent of the two examination bodies under his su-

bedside seeking the eloquence of your headrest. I reach for the balustrade that cushioned your deadly falls as you stubbornly made your way to and fro our neighbourhood bath. There is no life so pure it can thrive without its incarnations. Papa is still a god, mama is still an angel. But will memories of yesterday comfort the reality of today? Still, you refuse to rise from your slumber; Iya Onigaari has stopped groping in the dark; she finally discovered the path that leads to yonder. And those of us left behind grovel in the ruddy radiance of a tyrant eternity. I long for your “good old days.” I would like to know you once again over your chipped plates steaming with wheat.

‘I remember the harmattan of 1984 when your favourite grandson bought a new Volkswagen Beetle car. It cost just N3, 000 and we all pranced and danced about it in joy, stealing for the fleeting second when we could cop a feel of the dazzling piece of steel. You said it was a gift from God. Today, no one prays for such heavenly gift’ SMS only 08038551123 (

pervision. Moving forward, Wike believes that further steps should be taken by the government to discourage examination malpractice and develop a future generation of Nigerians who would not seek corrupt means to attain educational qualification. He is in concert with the managements of WAEC and NECO working out strategies and methods to consolidate on the successes that have been recorded by the two agencies in the coming years. Fundamentally, Nigerians must understand that these public examination bodies are meant for quality assurance. They are not expected to groom the students, but to provide generally acceptable tests for them at the end of their studies on the basis of existing syllabi made known to the students. This understanding will guide whatever comments people make about the operations of these agencies. Clearly, there has been a departure from the gloomy past and this should be appreciated. • Nwakaudu is the Special Assistant (Media) to Minister of State for Education.

‘Protecting the integrity of the examinations conducted by NECO in the last 10 months have been given the priority that it deserves, with operatives of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps directly involved in examination security. Lecturers of tertiary institutions have also been used to fight against the examination malpractices with their participation in recent examinations by NECO’



EDITORIAL/OPINION ‘A people that value its privileges above its principles soon lose both.’ ———Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 - 1969) Former United States President.


E love our kings and the institution that they represent. The Yoruba call them Oba while the Hausa call them Emir. The Igbo call them Obi. Thousands of other tribes in various parts of Africa and the world have names for their traditional monarchs. These primeval ancestral stools are filled through rotation among ruling houses in every tribe. Irrespective of whatever names they might be called under the various ethnic groups, they remain the bastion of everything that their people stand for ancient-wise. An Oba from time immemorial is the custodian of the cultures and traditions of his people. An Oba is evidently supposed to be the repository of the value system upon which his people evolved and built its structure. Sadly, the traditional institution that was nearly invincible at a point in history is now mostly being ridiculed because of the different shades of people that become Obas nowadays. The degree of reverence accorded that institution has waned because most literate members of the society now see occupiers as mostly promoters of selfish rather than societal or communal interests. An affirmation of this reality is something that has been recurring in the country in recent time. Not too long ago, an Oba in Ondo state was deposed under the current Governor Segun Mimiko’s administration for fighting with his wife in public. The ugly incident was so intense to an extent that the estranged wife of the deposed Oba was hospitalised for a long period of time. One might be wondering the stuff an Oba that fights his wife dirty in public was made off. Also, what kind of lesson is such shameless Oba teaching not only his subjects, especially the youths that look up to him for the path to toe in life? Was he trying to teach them in public that wife beating is a good thing that they must emulate? Should a hooligan be made a king simply because of his high level of influence and contact? The answer is NO! We thank God that the chapter of that disgraceful era was finally closed in the history of traditional institution of Ondo state and that of Nigeria. From Ondo state, the story has shifted to Osun state where some months ago, the news-


AY I start by expressing my sincere apologies to the numerous readers of EXPRESSO, especially those who sent text messages and called wondering why the column did not feature last week, with some berating yours truly of denying them their Friday-Friday tonic. Please pardon me, but I tell you that it was not due to that peculiar devil that seem to hound only printers, no; Just one of those glitches in the flow and tide of work. Let’s see how we can make up for lost ground. Things happen in such rapid spin around us that it is almost impossible to focus on one item; so I serve you this loaded potpourri. Manchester City: spellbinding victory How can one begin to describe the endgames of the English Premier League (EPL) tournament last Sunday? Deleterious climax? Orgasm without intercourse? Football, the world game, seemed to have come to a most exciting end in the City of Manchester, England when the nearly one year long great English season was decided only in the last five minutes of a game. The season did not only go to the wire, the deciding goals had to come in the crazy last two minutes. Thus the excitement went to the wire; the suspense went to the wire, and even the prestigious English football league trophy hung by the wire. Manchester City, the ‘noisy’ neighbours of the imperial Manchester United, won it for the first time after 44 years. City which was taken over four years ago by some Abu Dhabi billionaires have spent nearly $1 billion over this period. But the story for us is not the vicarious enjoyment we derive from the best football going on in far away England. The story is actually the lessons we can pick up from this spectacle. While football, the universal game is perhaps the biggest thing happening to the British economy, the game is practically dead in Nigeria; like most other things. Congratulations to Manchester City, all hail English football. No stadium for our national team; National Theatre in ruins After watching the exhilarating spectacle of English football and waking up to the ugly reality that our national team cannot find a stadium to play international matches, you

Harbinger of immorality

•Aregbesola papers were agog with the news that a monarch, the Alowa of Ilowa, Oba Adebukola Alli, allegedly raped a lady youth corps member serving around there. However, since the matter is subjudice, it is better to leave the rest on the Oba for now for the court to decide even though the matter is of utmost public interest because of the importance of traditional institution to our society in this part of the world. What concerns yours sincerely today is the widely reported distasteful story during the week that 34 pupils of the Ifelodun Grammar School, Kiloru, Osun State, have been suspended indefinitely by the government for participating in a protest allegedly sponsored by Oba Adebukola Alli that is on trial for the alleged rape of that former National Youth

Service Scheme (NYSC) member. The alleged protest by the pupils said to be mainly from Ilowa in Obokun Local Government area of the state reportedly took place at the premises of the State High Court, Osogbo, during school hours. According to the report, officials of the Osun State Ministry of Women Affairs are in possession of alleged photographs of the protesting pupils. If this is true, then pictures don’t lie and as expected, necessary punitive action by the school authorities will not be out of order. Moreover, the school’s head teacher, one Amos Adedeji reportedly said that those pupils from Ilowa did not come to school (reportedly sited in Kiloru, a neighbouring community to Ilowa) on the day of the protest. One may quickly ask for curiosity sake too whether those pupils were in their school uniforms on that day. Since the pupils denied their involvement even in the face of photographs that captured their alleged participation in the illicit protest, the school authorities reportedly told them to stay at home on ‘suspension’ not ‘expulsion’ until they are ready to tell the truth. The school was reportedly founded by six communities- Ilowa, Idoka, Iregun, Ibala, Idominasi and Kiloru. The reported alleged action of the pupils of Ilowa through the protest bothers on the misplaced reverence they have for their Oba under such immoral circumstances. But if indeed they participated in such protest which by its communal selective modus is very likely, then, that is an abuse of the limit of reverence for a traditional ruler that is standing trial for a rape offence. That abuse through the pupils’ alleged participation in


SMS O8181624757,

Pot pourri: From Manchester City to Ekweremadu would almost bust into tears for dear country. Yes, it is a fact that our Super Eagles are right now plagued by a lack of a decent stadium to play her next matches. The fairly new Abuja stadium has fallen under disrepair while the National Stadium in Lagos has long gone to seed. For over a decade, this sporting showpiece have largely been abandoned and one can only put this down ineptitude and leadership inertia. It will only take a few weeks to concession these stadia to reputable firms that will run them profitably and keep them in good condition for games. It can never be heard that the Wembly stadium in England is in disuse. What is Bolaji Abdullahi, the sports minister doing now? These are the kind of things we criticized for so many years as journalists in Thisday. Keeping a stadium running cannot be rocket science or is it? It is the same story of ruination and decay for our arts and cultural edifice, the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. What is the minister doing? And let someone not give us that stupid excuse about lack of funds. It is not about money, it is about focus, honesty of purpose, initiative and drive. Who will upgrade these monuments of shame around us? Jonathan’s new electricity tariff One year of substantive Goodluck Jonathan administration and the buzz out on the street

is less than palatable. For a man for whom the people rose almost as one to vote to power, it has been a rather blighted first year in office. The electorate are reaping whirlwind, they are being scorched at every turn with scorpions even as locusts invade the land and strip it bare. Instead of an all encompassing, salutary and fundamental constitutional change we were greeted with term elongation debate; then fanthom subsidy removal and most currently, electricity tariff hike in a time of benumbing darkness over the land. It is as if Nigerians committed a crime in voting in President Jonathan. Why is the 1st lady going about shutting down our cities? Arising from the tenuous security situation in the country, this is surely not the best time for the wife of the president to shuttle across the country. We are going through a tense moment of serial violence and bloodbath. Why then is Dame Patience Jonathan shuffling across the country partying with some bored dowagers and shutting down entire cities and towns in the process? It started with Lagos, then Makurdi and now Warri. If the times were more clement, it may never have mattered but because we are in a tense and dangerous season, security goons have to practically shutdown the entire town anywhere she goes in order to ensure ‘security’.

the protest has passed the boundary of morality. It smacks of odium for pupils to be allowed by their parents to come out publicly to condemn the state for arraigning a rape suspect-whatever the status of the person involved. Can such pupils ever see anything wrong in rape in their dealing with the opposite sex in future? This is another clear case of monarchical abuse by a people that have been entrapped by their love for the traditional institution to an extent where they read political motive to anything affecting that institution. One United States journalist/critic, H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956), once wrote that ‘What men value in this world are not rights but privileges.’ But it is pertinent to make it very clear at this juncture that it is an abuse of valued privilege for anybody to have canal knowledge of another without her consent. It is also an abuse of privilege to see underaged pupils poke their noses in matters that infract on the felicity of the society. Such puerile protest should be condemned by everybody, most especially the media, for it unduly exposes under-aged to be dancing naked in the dangerous arena of debauchery. Those that may be out to politicise the protest of these under-aged children using the media to unduly sensationalise it must take a queue from the words of former US General and President, Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 1969) in his inaugural address in Washington, DC when he said ‘A people that value its privileges above its principles soon lose both.’ These people must not allow the state of ‘Omoluabi’ called Osun under the high flying Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as governor and even Nigeria lose both privileges and principles because of blinded love for monarchism. Let me in unequivocal terms say no to traditionalism or use of under-aged pupils as harbinger of immorality in our communities.

‘These people must not allow the state of ‘Omoluabi’ called Osun under the high flying Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as governor and even Nigeria lose both privileges and principles because of blinded love for monarchism.’ The question then is that to what end is the First Lady’s so-called goodwill visit if it ends up generating more bad blood. Is this the right time for this kind of large entourage visits? Like that eternal question, why would the chicken cross the road? Buhari again! It is utterly insensitive and unstatesman-like for General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to make yet more inflammatory statements about violence, revolt and mayhem. The remarks he and some of his aides made before the presidential election last year is still reverberating. At a time Nigerians are caught up in senseless slaughter especially in the North, one expects him to show more restraint and to empathise with the grieving families and not whip up more angst. The next election in 2015 is still far off, only God the creator knows tomorrow. Let Buhari embark on a sustained campaign to improve the electoral system so that our votes can truly count instead of threatening us with violence all the time. Fashola versus Lagos doctors From the ages past, dissent has remained the sauce with which democracy is brewed and where there is no dissent and protestations, there really is no true democracy. It is on this note that this column insists that Governor BR Fashola must tread softly in the matter of the striking doctors. Yes the doctors have been errant in their methods yet outright sack is still no smart solution. If we are seeking solution and not victory, then independent third party mediation may help. Let not throw out the baby and the bath water. Great golden birthday to Ike Ekweremadu The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu just turned 50. This column wishes him well on this land mark occasion if only for the reason that he has remained a stabilizing influence in his Enugu State and the Southeast. He has exhibited remarkable maturity over the past few years. By virtue of his exalted position in Abuja, some other people we used to know would charter truckloads of mobile policemen at every turn to destabilise their homestead. While we expect a far-reaching report from his states creation and constitution review committees, we wish him event greater years ahead.







NFF charts way forward on football development


By Stella Bamawo

Mikel: I can’t wait to play

BLASTS EAGLES despite 2-0 win over MFM


Amosun charges



•As Ogun assures athletes of continuous exposure

Medics assure on


Yobo’s injury

wants Russian Passport!


IGERIA international Emmanuel Emenike was a guest of Russian television station Russia 2 on Wednesday. Interviewed by the anchor of the programme, Emenike revealed his desire to own a Russian Passport. ''Why not?" the Spartak Moscow attacker was quoted as saying by Emenike, who finished as top goalscorer for the red and white despite his arrival in August, also revealed that

Cameroonian super star Samuel Eto'o is his role model. He said: ''The gesture, which I showed in the match with Zenith St Petersburg, I really learned from Eto'o. I follow Eto'o because he is my favorite African footballer. I try to imitate him in everything.'' Despite his open affection for Samuel Eto'o, the Spartak Moscow forward says he is not interested in moving to Anzhi Makhachkala should they table a bid for him in the summer.




Heartland cries foul over loss •Supporters beaten

•Edwin Okon

Okagbare clinches silver in Daegu







Their joy knew no bound. Yet they could not hide their feelings as they declared: “We will miss her as she leaves us for her husband.” With those words, Mr and Mrs Olorunfemi Shittu betrayed the closeness between them and Olayemi, their daughter, who got married to Olagoke, son of Mr and Mrs Lanre Phillips in Lagos. NNEKA NWANERI was there.


OR the couple, it was a dream come true. It was the same for their parents. But the parents of Olayemi Shittu, in giving her out in marriage to Olagoke Phillips, noted that they would miss her after leaving home. Goke is the son of Mr and Mrs Lanre Philips. The mom, Mrs Teju Phillips, is a former Commissioner of Special Duties in Lagos State. Olayemi's parents Mr and Mrs Olorunfemi Shittu said they would miss their daughter, because she is so close to them. The mom, Mrs Adetokunbo Shittu, said she would miss their "usual gists." She said: "Although, I will miss her because she's my baby, it is the pride of every mother to witness the wedding of her child. I will miss her gist. We gist a lot. I will have to start getting used to that. I pray that one day she will do same for child.” The dad, Mr Olorunfemi Shittu, spoke in the same vein. "Though she is not my first or only daughter we were just too close. My friends have been taunting me and running a countdown to her departure from my house. Now the day has come, I have mixed feelings of joy and sadness," he said. It was a society wedding. On Thursday, the engagement was held at Grandeur Events Centre, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos. The setting of the hall showcased the rich culture of the Ijebu and Abeokuta, where both families hail from. From the hall’s decoration and the attires of the bride’s friends and ushers, it looked as if it was an Indian wedding, but it was not. When two large fish were brought in a calabash, the bride was reminded to always cook fish for her husband. to sustain his love. The usual traditional rites were performed and they were sealed with the bride wearing the groom a cap. When King Sunny Ade and his band took over, the hall went wild with dancing. It was a unique wedding as the couple were joined together in the Christian and Islamic manner. The church wedding followed the Nikkah, which was held at the Army Officers’ Mess, Marina, Lagos. After the Nikkah, guests headed to the Cathedral Church of Christ for the Christian leg of the wedding. The officiating minister, Rev Charles Alabi, said since God is the initiator of marriage, he should be preeminent in the couple’s lives. “It is in seeing the positive and negative sides of each other that you will know the strength of love. Marriage is not for boys and girls but a life-long

thing and you must abide by the rules. When the chips are down, have a working relationship with your creator and be grounded in God’s word. Goke, show her Christian love to assure her that she has not made a mistake. Yemi, learn to practise submission on a daily basis as marriage has an eternal consequence.” He prayed God to give them the grace to surmount their challenges. The couple met at the University of England and courted for seven years. Mrs Philips said: “Today is one of the happiest days I can ever think of. It’s an event everyone wishes to partake in their lives and I thank God for this day.” She described her daughter-in-law as a good wife. “She loves my son and I find her adequate and capable of taking care of him.” The reception took place at the Harbour Point in Victoria Island.There was a touch of class in everything, right from the gates of the hall. Many exotic cars dotted the large arena, with men and women of substance stepping out of them. In attendance were Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun; wife of Lagos State governor Dame Abimbola Fashola; Deputy Governor Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Chief Segun Osoba; Commissioner for Environment Tunji Bello; Bimbo Ashiru; Senator Ganiyu Solomon; Hon Abike Dabiri- Erewa; Hon Lola Akande; Mrs Kemi Nelson; Mr Wale Babalakin (SAN); Senator Florence Ita-Giwa; Mrs Remi Agbowu; renowned essayist Prof Adebayo Williams; Erelu Abiola Dosunmu and Abba Folawiyo. The women dressed in iro and buba and the men wore agbada. The young girls wore English dresses. There was a uniform colour for the day: wine: Parents of the couple were clad in the same attire, differentiating them from guests. The groom wore an ash colour suit, the bride shone in her flowerpatterned white flowing gown. The couple danced all the way to the podium, to the cheers of guests. The hall was filled; lit in green. The tables were well-decorated with flowers, reflecting the glamour of the day. A white statue of a peacock stood on the stage, close to the seven layer white cake. Baba Eto of Ibadanland and former legal adviser of Savannah Bank, Chief Gboju Akinola chaired the event. He prayed God to be the couple’s guide and guard as he welcomed them into the marriage club. The Suga band staged a performance; female DJ Estelle entertained. The nuptial dance was slow. Alone, the couple danced to Celine Dion’s The First Time I saw you. Younger brother to the groom Derin proposed the toast. Expressing joy that his brother found a caring partner, he thanked him for bringing a girl like Yemi home.

‘Marriage is not for boys and girls but a life-long thing and you must abide by the rules’ •More pictures on page 26

‘She’s the apple of our eyes’ •The •The couple, couple, Goke Goke and and Yemi Yemi



SOCIETY •Continued on page 26

•Groom’s mom Mrs Phillips and bride’s dad Mr Shittu

•Bride’s mom Mrs Shittu and groom’s dad Mr Phillips

•Dame Fashola flanked by Aremo Osoba and his wife, Derinsola

•Governor Amosun flanked by Senator Ita-Giwa and Mrs Folawiyo

•Erelu Dosunmu (left) and Mrs Lande Dekalu

•Mr Bello and Mrs Adejoke-Adefulire

•Hon Dabiri-Erewa (left) and Chief Akande •Mrs Remi Agbowu

• Mrs Nelson


• More pictures on page 39




Her wedding fell on her birthday. So, in one day, she cut two cakes to mark both events. This is the story of Zeenat, daughter of Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture Oyinlomo Danmole, who got married on May 5. ABIKE ADEGBULEHIN AND DAMILOLA BAMIDELE were there. HE couple were the cynosure of all eyes as they walked in. The guests craned their necks to see them. Photographers too struggled to get good shots of them. It was the wedding of Zeenat, daughter of Lagos State Commissioner for the Home Affairs and Culture Mr Oyinlomo Danmole and Azeez Ajiboye. The wedding took place at the Lagos State Secretariat Central Mosque on May 5 and the rain did not stop guests from attending. The engagement was held the previous week at the Eko Club, Surulere. Flashy cars dotted the Nikkah ground. The hall was aesthetically decorated. It was adorned in yellow and brown, the colour of the day. Soft music from the Disc Jockey(DJ) greeted guests who turned out in the same attire. Azeez recounted how he met Zeenat. “We met while in school, at the Lagos State University(LASU).” He also thanked God

Her day of double joy


that despite the ups and downs, they still have a reason to look back and smile. The couple were ushered into the Yard 158 Events Centre Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos by friends and the confetti girls, with Psquare’s song Chop my Money. The bride was dressed in a white gown; the groom wore a black suit, white shirt. Hon Kamal Bayewu said the opening prayer. Two Masters of Ceremonies - Deji Balogun and Shola Sampson - anchored the event . The King of juju music, King Sunny Ade and his band, entertained till late into the night. In attendance were the Secretary to the

Lagos State Government, Mrs Oluranti Adebule; Commissioner for Education Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye; Commissioner for Mineral Resources and Energy Mr Taofeeq Tijani; Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Mrs Olushola Oworu; wife of the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs Mayowa Ikuforiji; former InspectorGeneral of Police Alhaji Musliu Smith; Commissioner for Establishment Mrs Florence Oguntuase; Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Education Otunba Fatai Olukoga; Commissioner for Special Duties Dr Wale Ahmed among others. Chairman of the occasion Mr Mutiu Gbajumo, advised the couple to respect each other. He prayed that the union be

blessed and fruitful. Gbajumo also supervised the cutting of the cake. The day coincided with the bride’s birthday. So, another cake was brought to the table which she cut. As guests chanted in excitement, the bride, kneeling down fed her husband with cake and a cup of wine. The groom also reiterated same action. After a long kiss, the bouquet was thrown and it was caught by Kehinde Oridedi, a lawyer, who works with the bride’s father. The mother of the bride, Mrs Danmole, described her child as a good child. Omo dadaa ni, oni iwa to da, mo gba dura wipe ki ohun ati oko e jo pe fun ara won, she said.

•Hon Danmole and his wife Alhaja Omobola

•The couple, Azeez and Zeenat

•Mrs Oladunjoye (left) and Mrs Adebule

•Alhaji Smith

•Mrs Ikuforiji

•Groom’s father Alhaji Ajiboye

•Groom’s mother Alhaja Ajiboye PHOTOS: DAVID ADEJO



SOCIETY On Tuesday, Champion Newspapers honoured Edo State Governor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for his achievements in the state at Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos. NNEKA NWANERI was there.

A well deserved honour F

OR his dedication and selfless service to the people of Edo State, the management and staff of the Champion Newspapers Limited have honoured the governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. The event scheduled to begin at 5pm didn’t start till 7pm, yet, guests waited in anticipation. Many support groups were there to show solidarity. The women danced and sang the praises of the governor. Among the guests were the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola; former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, who chaired the occasion; former governor of Ogun State Aremo Segun Osoba; former Foreign Affairs Minister Chief Tom Ikimi. Oshiomhole did not come alone. He was accompanied by a very large entourage led by the Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly Uyi Igbe and other members of the state Executive Council; Chairman, Silverbird Group, Ben Murray Bruce; Chirman, Editorial Board of The Nation Newspapers Mr Sam Omatseye; Dr Ausbeth Ajagu; royal fathers and others. Nollywood actors and musicians were there to add pep to the event. Comedian AY was the anchor of the occasion. He also crack rib cracking jokes to the delight of guests. There was the breaking of the kola nut, which was presented to the host governor. Fasola declined, saying kolanuts do not understand the English language. The remark attracted a sounding ovation as the governor presented the kola nut to one of the Bini chiefs, saying: “It understands Bini”. The kola was broken and prayed for in the Bini local language. Anyaoku said he was most impressed that the chief did not chip in a single word of English while he broke the kola nut. But he was not happy with the delay in starting the event. He said: “The Europeans have the clock and we Africans have the time”. The former Secretary-General expressed delight to be at the ‘eminently deserved award’, thanking the newspaper for giving the award to an ‘eminently deserving awardee’. He also went down memory lane of when he met Oshiomhole when they both served the nation. “It was then that I confirmed that he made his name as a charismatic and patriotic Nigerian who reminds him of his friend and Australia’s Prime Minister Bob Hock, who shares same style of speaking and relating with those they govern. “It is a true sign of leadership. Little wonder, he got elected and he has been making great impacts in the lives of the people,” he added. Anyaoku commended Champion Newspapers for its wise decision to honour him. To the people of Edo, he said in Ibo: “Jidekwo ki iji’ meaning: “Hold on to what you have, and Oshiomole, continue as you are doing”. The Chairman of Champion Newspapers, Chief Emmanuel Anyanwu was not present. He was represented by Prince Henry Odukomaya. He said the administration of Comrade Oshiomhole has impacted on the lives of the people of Edo State despite being a marginal

•Chief Osoba (right) congratulating Comrade Oshiomhole after receiving his award. With them are Chief Anyaoku (left) and Governor Fashola

•Hon Igbe (left) and Senator Ehigie Uzamere

•Chief Ikimi (left) and Ambassador George Obiozor

•From right: Ben Bruce; Ausbeth Ajagu and his wife Anuli

•Prince Malik Afegbua (left) and Eze Nwabueze Ohazulike

oil producing state with limited resources. He said: “As a man of focus and vision, Oshiomhole has made governance relevant to the people in employment generation, poverty alleviation, road network, education and health and as well as development of public infrastructure erosion control and agriculture”. The evening wasn’t entertainment alonejk5. The President, Trade Union Congress, Comrade Peter Esele, was guest speaker. He gave the guests something to ponder on. His

talk was entitled: Leadership and Better Society. Describing Oshiomole as a selfless leader, he assessed the situation of the state before and after his administration, saying: “he has followed where there is no path but he has made a trail.” Governor Fashola ascribed his Edo state counterpart as his ‘digitally compliant brother’. Noting that some are deserving of honour but not honoured, others are honoured but not deserving. But for the recipient, his was well deserved and honoured, that for hid to pur-

sued and succeeded in his mandate. He commended the guest speaker. To Fashola, the evening brought back memories of the 80’s during his escapades at the Univeristy of Benin. He also did his compulsory National Youth Service in Edo. “Edo was sweet o!” he acclaimed. The hall burst into laughter. Governor Oshiomhole’s citation was read by one of the best Masters of Ceremony Mr Chido Obidego. It attracted an ovation. Chief Anyaoku presented him Oshiomhole his award.

In response, Oshiomhole acknowledged the choice of words of the chairman of Champion, one with ‘minimum words and maximum wisdom. Thanking Chief Anyaoku for providing leadership for the evening, he encouraged the elderly ones to serve as a role model to the younger generation. The governor said the appreciation and award have served as an incentive and marching order for him to do more for the development of the nation. •More pictures on page

29 FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012

Vol 4. No. 172

Legend Mega Promo excites consumers Barely two weeks after the Legend Mega Promotion was flagged off, winners have started emerging. Early this week, prizes were presented to some of the winners. JIMI DAVID, who was at the presentation, reports


NE of the desires of Mrs. Eyinade Olushola was to purchase a big generator. Though she already had a small capacity generator, popularly known as I better pass my neighbour”, it was still inadequate for her needs. A food vendor, who also caters for outdoor events, a bigger generator is surely a necessity and not a luxury. She got her heart’s desire when she spotted a Legend crown cork. Ever the curious woman, Mrs.Olushola checked under the crown cork and found what had eluded her for long – a generator. She won the prize courtesy of the Legend Real Deal Mega Promo. Though she had heard about it earlier, she did not believe that it was real. But her joy knew no bounds when she was presented with a brand new generator at the premises of Nigerian Breweries Plc, manufacturers of Legend Extra stout. Reacting to her prize, she said: “I’m very happy about my brand new generator, I did not expect it. It has been on my mind to buy a generator this year, but just like that my prayer has been answered. Even though I had a generator, it was this small one; you know, the ‘I better pass my neighbour’ generator. Speaking on how she won the prize, she said: “They sell beer near my shop. I had heard about this Legend Real Deal Promo, but I did not believe it was real. I was just walking on the street and I found the crown cork on the floor. Something told me to pick it up and I did. The next thing, I looked under the crown cork and I found out that I had won a generator, I was so happy,” he said. Mrs.Olushola added that the generator will boost her business. “I will use it at home and for my business. I sell food and I also cater for events. Now I can carry the generator everywhere and my family is so happy,” she said. Mr Umeokeke Bonaventure’s story is not much different. When he decided to quench his thirst with a bottle of Legend Extra Stout, he was reluctant to open the crown cork. He recalled previous occasions when he tried his luck, but nothing happened. This time, something did happen! Bonaventure opened the crown cork and found that he had won a generator. He screamed in joy. “You don’t need to ask me how I feel. Of course I feel great and cannot describe how I feel in words,” he replied, when asked to express his feelings. He added: “It was the first bottle of Legend Extra Stout that I took and I didn’t even want to open the crown cork. You know when most companies introduce these promotions, nothing often happens. I have tried several times, but I was not lucky so I didn’t even believe in the promo. I didn’t believe it was real.When I saw I had won a generator, I didn’t even know when I started screaming for joy.” he recalled. Before luck shone on him, he had sold the previous generator because it developed several faults and he got tired of repairing it. Mr Bonaventure, who recommends hotels to potential clients and acts as a middleman for those interested in the purchase of heavy machinery equipment, disclosed that the biggest beneficiary of the generator would be his wife. He noted: “She’s very happy. These days when electricity is not stable, women are not really encouraged to cook much. But unlike before, my wife is happy that she can cook and preserve the food in the refrigerator. Speaking on the promo, Mr FunsoAyeni, Senior Brand Manager, Legend, Nigerian Breweries Plc, said: “Part of the reasons for embarking on this promo is to say thank you to our customers. Legend Extra Stout is today Nigeria’s fastest growing stout brand and we achieved this enviable status because

•Mrs.Olushola being presented her prize

of their support.” He added: “This promo is very transparent and it is crown cork based. Simply buy your favourite bottle of Legend Extra Stout and what you see is what you win. Lucky consumers should simply go to the nearest redemption centre to claim their prizes. We have 1,200 redemption centres nationwide and they can claim their prizes from any one of these.” Mr Ayeni revealed that winners of the generating sets and 32-inch TV screens have the option of having their prizes delivered to their homes if they

‘You don’t need to ask me how I feel. Of course I feel great and cannot describe how I feel in words...It was the first bottle of Legend Extra Stout that I took and I didn’t even want to open the crown cork. You know when most companies introduce these promotions, nothing often happens. I have tried several times, but I was not lucky so I didn’t even believe in the promo. I didn’t believe it was real.When I saw I had won a generator, I didn’t even know when I started screaming for joy’

so desired. Speaking on the initiative, he stated: “We want to make our consumers as comfortable as possible, hence the option of having the 32-inch TV sets and generators delivered to their homes, at the expense of Nigerian Breweries Plc.” The Legend Extra Stout Real Deal National Consumer Promotion, which kicked off on May 1, will end on June 30. Lucky consumers of the product will have the opportunity of smiling home with other prizes including 720 Blackberry phones, 24,500 Tshirts, 24,500 fez caps, GSM airtime for 200, 000 people and 2.5 million free drinks. Two thousand, one hundred people will also win cash prizes worth N5,000 each. In a novel move, however, the cash will not exchange hands. Lucky cash prize winners will be handed ATM cards, already pre-loaded with N5,000. Mr Ayeni stated that the brand resolved to explore the cashless route to enable consumers to claim their money with ease. He said: “We put the safety of the consumers as well as proprietors of our designated redemption centres into consideration, hence the decision to use the cards. So, the redemption centres do not need to keep cash in stock, except what they use for their businesses. This will dissuade incidents such as armed robbery. Legend is a responsible brand. Lucky consumers need only exchange their crown corks for ATM cards and they can claim their cash winnings easily.” Ayeni added that the lucky cash winners can only withdraw the money thrice using the ATM terminals. “You will agree with me that the cashless option is easier, more convenient and safer. It certainly beats the former way of doing business and that is why we are supporting it by adopting it in the promo,” he added.




Umoja: FirstBank leverages on sponsorship


OR going international in its sponsorship drive, by bringing the South African dancing troupe, Umoja to Nigeria, FirstBank, the nation’s number one financial power house, has secured a prime place on the global market. When the bank staged Umoja at Eko Hotel, Lagos, analysts described the move as a good step that is capable of positioning the brand as a favourite of both local and international banking audience.

At the stage dance, stakeholders and patrons of the bank saw the platform as another opportunity to celebrate the brand. The first show - Martinee Performance - was staged in the afternoon, and it was watched by hundreds of arts and entertainment lovers. The ultimate show - Command Performance - later held in the evening and it also drew a mammoth crowd of guests. The one-day performance, which is aimed at celebrating arts, and, ultimately, restoring the culture of

theatre, arts and stage performance in Nigeria, attracted high net worth individuals in private and public sectors, corporate organisations and the diplomatic community. Like other successful brands that have used sponsorship to consolidate on relationship with patrons, FirstBank has since November 2009, when it threw its weight behind the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria, glued with the trend. The following year, the bank made another bold step through a partnership with Lagos State, to

make an impressive cultural statement for the country in London during the 2010 Nothinghill Carnival. Locally, it has identified with carnivals in Lagos and Calabar. The choice of the dance group, according to the bank’s Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications, FolakeAni-Mumuney, was predicated on the shared values between the bank and the group in contributing to the economic and social development of the people. “While Umoja is committed to the empowerment of underprivileged

South African Children, FirstBank, a leading financial institution is committed to deploying its financial expertise to provide quality, accessible and expertise affordable financial services to the populace to enhance the standard of living of Nigerians,” she said. With the Umoja, which in Zulu language means ‘’the spirit of togetherness, the bank seems to be telling its patrons, wherever they may be and regardless of their status and age that FirstBank identifies with them.

Cannes Lions: Twitter creator is Media Person of the Year


HAIRMAN, Twitter Inc. Jack Dorsey has won the Media Person of the Year Award by Cannes Lions. Originally from St. Louis, Jack’s early fascination for mass-transit and how cities function led him to Manhattan and programming real-time messaging systems for couriers, taxis, and emergency vehicles. Throughout this work, Jack witnessed thousands of workers in the field updating where they were and what they were doing. Jack came up with the idea for a site that would combine the broad reach of dispatch software with the ease of instant messaging. Within a short space of time, he had built a simple site, Twitter, where users could post short messages of 140 characters or less, known as “Tweets.” On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey posted the world’s first Tweet: “just setting up my twttr.” In the ensuing time, Twitter has become a communication platform that instantly connects people everywhere to what’s most meaningful to them. Twitter is accessible to anyone, via the web, on smartphones and on the simplest of feature phones. And, with 340 million Tweets per day and more than 140 million active monthly users, there is something for everyone on Twitter, no matter what you’re interested in or where you are in the world. As part of Jack’s continued devotion to simplifying the complex and making technology accessible to everyone, everywhere, Jack co-founded Square

in 2009. Square enables anyone to accept credit card payments on their mobile device and has empowered hundreds of thousands of individuals and businesses to start and grow a business. Jack was recognised as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people and was named an “outstanding innovator under the age of 35” by MIT’s Technology Review. Philip Thomas, chief executive officer, Cannes Lions, said: “Since inventing Twitter in 2006, Jack Dorsey has, in an incredibly short space of time, brought to the world an entirely new way for people to communicate, share ideas, and learn new things. It has become, in the meantime, a powerful social and political force, and is now part of the everyday global media language. The power and simplicity of what he has created has made Twitter a social phenomenon, and we are delighted to honour Jack with this award.” Jack Dorsey said: “Brands have always used Twitter in creative ways to engage directly with customers. This award celebrates those brands and customers alike.” Dorsey will be honoured during the Press, Design, Radio and Cyber Lions awards on Wednesday, June 20 in the Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France. Cannes Lions delegates will have the opportunity to attend the Twitter seminar entitled: Harnessing the power of realtime connections, presented by Dick Costolo, chief executive officer, Twitter, on Wednesday, June 22 .

•From right: Managing Director, BD Consult, Mr Tola Bademosi; Chief Operating Officer, The La Casera Company Limited, Mr PrahladGangadharan; General Manager, Marketing, Mr Dave van Rensburg, during a boat cruise to launch the firm’s campaign in Lagos.

Babcock Varsity painters get training


AINTERS of the Babcock University, Ogun State have been trained in painting and architectural beautification. The event, which held at the D.C Hall of the University, AgoIwoye, Ogun State, was sponsored by paints giant, DN Meyer. The training, which was divided into three sections, was attended by top administrative staff of the University, including the Human Resources Assistant Director, Mr Agbanyim Nwabueze; Acting Director, Facility Management, Mrs.

P&G okays Supermom TV show


ROCTER and Gamble (P&G) Nigeria is partnering with ‘The Supermom,’ a reality TV show, to host the third edition of the show entitled: The celebrity edition. The third edition, which was unveiled last Sunday at Grandeur Events Centre, Lagos showcased the stories of the mothers of major two celebrities as the contestants on the show. Speaking on the partnership, Miss Ngozi Coker Brand PR Manager, Procter & Gamble, stated that P&G is using the platform to thank all mothers for the dedication and support they have given their children. “P&G recognises the fact that mothers play very important roles

in the family,” Coker said. The Supermom TV Series is a reality show that berthed two years ago and is aimed at celebrating African mothers of different background for their unending love and uncompromising care for their children. The celebrity edition will feature notable personalities in the entertainment industry such as Chico Ejiro, Binta Ayo Mogaji, Cobhams Asuquo, Julius Agwu, Foluke Daramola, Kenny Saint Best, Obesere, Kefee, Olu Maintain, Flavour, Jaywon and Seyilaw. Mr Sola Fajobi, the managing director, Digital Interactive Media, producers of the Supermom, said the company initiated the special reality TV show to celebrate Afri-

can mothers of socio-economic class for the unflinching love and uncompromising care for their children. He said since the show made its debut, it has been supported and sponsored by Procter and Gamble. “Our mothers are the source of joy and the most essential gift of nature to mankind. They are the prominent things in our lives and key role players in the development of child. They are the firm rock of the society,” Fajobi said. P&G is also a worldwide partner of the London Olympic Games and is in the business of helping moms, with brands that make everyday life a little easier. P&G is the Proud Sponsor of Moms.

Oyinloye Abidemi and the university painters. The firm’s Managing Director, Mr Adeola Omosebi, noted that the training was in keeping with DN Meyer’s objective of creating a platform for capacity building and skill acquisition to help organisations actualise their vision. “At DN Meyer, we inspire creativity with colours. We are committed to raising industry standards in Nigeria to global level. What is required are both the technical skills and an attitude of excellence. The university provides a good platform to pass on these skills and value system. Our background of Sigma international has ranked us a multi product company that offers top of the range quality and services. This training is just a part of the plan to enable university painters to attain proficiency on their jobs,” he stated. He explained that DN Meyer is partnering with the tertiary institutions, to highlight painting as indispensable and synonymous with lasting and durable architectural designs. “Every edifice, structure, building, house and road needs painting, either internally or externally. The dividends of any good government are often tied to structures – schools, hospitals, roads, offices, residential houses, etc, – consequently making painting a skill to be desired and acquired.” The General Manager, Sales

and Marketing,Mrs.Anthonia Akinkugbe, disclosed that the training was aimed at empowering the university painters with high-tech skills so that they perform better. She explained that painting transcends beautification of colours. It exhibits six key functions including decoration, protection, communication, fixation, environmental properties and modification of surface properties, she said. “Paint protects a surface against an external environment which may be physically and chemically damaging. For instance, corrosion is a steel object. It rusts in a wet oxygenated environment, but paint provides a useful degree of protection. Softwoods used for joinery are protected against dirt and moisture when covered with a clear layer of paint,” she added. Mrs. Akinkugbe further said paints are determined by the type of substrates or its functions. Pre-painting/surface preparation is the most important part of any painting job. “It is all the activities involved in making the substrate ready for paint application to achieve the desired perfect finish. This includes resurfacing, degreasing and the proper cleaning of the substrate,”she further said. The Assistant Director, Human Resources of Babcock University Mr Nwabueze commended DN Meyer for the training and partnership.




FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012


e-mail: 08033349992 sms only


More home owners are opting for PVC-U plastic profile.Whether for a new edifice or renovation of an old one, many use PVC-U doors and windows as a mark of style, quality and durability, writes JANICE NKOLI IFEME.


VC-U doors and windows are the toast of many classy structures around the country. They originated from Germany over 50 years ago and have gained popularity all over the world. They are common in the United States and Europe. Before now, Nigerians have been using them for their buildings. Some who travelled abroad for greener pastures, on their return, built gigantic edifice in their home villages or towns to show their affluence. Such houses were constructed with PVCs. Mr Ikechukwu Afam, who hails from Anambra State, said: “It is the in-thing now. That is what everyone uses these days. It is classy and durable. The only concrete thing with which you can show for your hard work abroad is a classy structure that all eyes can see”. It has also gained access into the market and now a viable business investment for both nationals and foreigners. A Chinese investor, Han Louis Abdul, said: “Nigerians are homely. They never forget their roots and no matter how long they have stayed abroad, they like to go home and build big structures in their villages. They have to show something for their long years abroad.” He laughed, adding: “That was how we knew that Nigerians need it. Nigeria is a huge market with vast potential. There is a lot of construction and estate movement going on. Those who live abroad know about the efficacy and comfort of the PVC-U and always order it to build when they get into the country.” According to him, the main stay of the PVC is its durability, air tightness, energy

• PVC sliding windows

PVC-U plastic profile, toast of style builders saving, rust free and cost efficiency. “It is a mature industry; a highly advanced technology, tasted and trusted. A weather as hot as Nigeria needs it because of its stability against heat. “When there is heat, it cools you and when there is cold, it gives you warmth”, he said. They can be used to hospitals, schools, homes, offices and hotels for maximum protection. He noted: “It is the best precaution against

malaria. The retractable and foldable sliding fly screen will secure your home against malaria. Besides, it is rust free and has free maintenance. In addition, the isolation of noise on it is 30 metres, thereby making it noise free. It is appreciated in every environment. It is a policy in China for a green economy and environment friendly products.” UPVC doors and windows are weatherproof and can withstand extremely high hu-

A makeover for your wardrobe

midity and dryness. They can go through years of extreme weather without rotting or warping. They are highly water resistant. The fabrication of each unit is made so that there are no gaps or cracks where water can seep through. It is the preferred material in any environment that needs waterproof mate-

• Continued on page 32

Do you use mosquito nets? Getting the best out of your juicer

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A makeover for your wardrobe I

T is not enough to buy clothes. They should be properly taken care of and well- arranged in the closet. Set a regular time to clear your closet. Ideally, this should be a task that you do regularly, not just once in a blue moon. The changing of the seasons is a good time to choose, as it also signifies a time you would need to dig out thinner or thicker clothes and as they come around regularly, it could serve as a reminder to act. Before you make any new purchase, discover how you can give your wardrobe a much-deserved makeover.

People buy new clothes to look good. But what about their wardrobes? They easily become loaded, with too many clothes piled into large space, shelves bursting with jumpers or accessories and shoes littering the floor. It’s time to give your wardrobe a makeover, writes JANICE NKOLI IFEME. wardrobe.

Get some storage boxes

Tidy up any other accessories or knickknacks littering your wardrobe, such as hats, scarves, gloves or belts. Invest in some pretty storage boxes and transfer the items into them. Not only will it keep everything organised and together, so that you would know where to find them in an instant, but it will also make your wardrobe look tidy. Giving your wardrobe a makeover need not take too much time and can really improve the look and feel of your clothes. Plus, when you come to open it in the morning or evening, you need not feel depressed or down at the sight, as everything will be smelling nice, looking great and ready to wear.

The clothing reality check

It is easy to hang onto some clothes for sentimental reasons, cling to the idea that they may one day come back into fashion again or in the desperate hope that you may one day manage to fit back into it, but sometimes, you need to take a reality check. Sort through your clothes and ask yourself, honestly, if you are ever going to wear that again. If you are in any doubt, ask yourself when last you wore that item and, if it is a year or over, then ditch it. It is hard to part with favourite clothes, but there is no point in keeping things endlessly.

Buy fabrics that are durable

Sort the shelves

If your wardrobe has shelves, then sort these out too. Items that are folded, such as jumpers, tops or trousers, can easily become jumbled, crumpled and out of sorts, so take everything out and carefully re-fold them. Not only will it help your appearance look better, it will also have a positive impact on how your clothes look when you wear them.

Store seasonal clothes separately

If your wardrobe is bulging at the sides, consider storing seasonal clothing separately, and out of your main wardrobe. This way, all your clothes stand a far better chance of hanging nicely and getting less creased or wrinkled. Invest in a few good clothing boxes or zipped bags, wash and iron all the clothes you are putting away, and then fold them up carefully into the boxes or bags.

Clear the floor

The floor of wardrobes can notoriously become cluttered and piled up with shoes or handbags and could become dusty. Take time

• Closet

to remove the contents of the floor and sort through it. Again, put yourself to the reality check when it comes to excess shoes or handbags. Do you really need them all? Use a duster to thoroughly clean out the floor of your wardrobe and make sure there are no unwanted stains lurking on it.

Re-organise your hanging clothes

Improve the appearance of the inside of your wardrobe by re-organising your hanging items. Try categorising them according to item, with all your jackets, skirts and trousers hanging together and any shirts, tops or

jumpers together. You could also put tops on one side of the wardrobe and bottoms on the other. That way, everything should be easy to find, especially if you are in a hurry.

Improve the scent

The smell of freshly laundered clothes is appealing, but after they have been hanging in your closet for a while, the aroma could fade. You can practically tackle this by adding some scent to your wardrobe, either through specially scented products hanging from your hangers or through putting packaged scented soaps or pot pourri in your

If you have a choice, buy fabrics that are durable and require very little care. Some fabrics are more durable than others. A cotton/polyester blend is easier to care for and tends to last longer than pure cotton fabrics. Rayon/polyester is more durable than pure rayon. Acrylics, silk, acetate and suede require more detailed care or dry cleaning. Materials that are difficult to care for often get neglected, especially when you are very busy. Whether you prefer dazzling sequence, leather and suede or soft cotton and polyester, how you care for your garments will affect the life length of your clothes tremendously. You can also save money on future clothing purchases by taking measures to care for your clothes. Failure to follow the instructions on clothing is the number one reason an item gets ruined in the wash. These instructions are included by the manufacturer for a reason. Here are some of the most common wash and dry instructions and how to apply them to your garment.

PVC-U plastic profile, toast of style builders • Continued from Page 31

rials. It can be used in both temperate and tropical zones without losing its reliability. It provides significantly greater insulation than wood. Windows are mostly double-pane and that in itself is a design to keep the heat in and cold out or vice versa. The insulation quotient is enough for a comfortable and cosy atmosphere.

A choice for many home owners

It is very crucial for home owners who are building or renovating their houses to make sure that all the materials being installed are of high quality. There are a lot of individuals who fail to pay attention to the kind of windows that they use for their house, but if given the right consideration, the right kind of windows can bring a lot of benefits to the house and its owner. PVC windows are very common nowadays, being made of a high quality plastic, which is a popular material used for buildings. It is also a very popular material used for many types of conservatories. Mr Chris Coxo, a writer for Eurocell, an innovative building goods supplier in Britain, stated why many homeowners choose PVC materials for their windows. According to him, windows that are made up of PVC frames are very strong, durable and of high quality. These are usually fitted with laminated or toughened glass that will not break easily or that is very difficult to cut into or bend. They are flexible enough to accommodate various options for installation of locks, so the owner can select the ones that promote utmost security. They give a better feeling of security because the structure of their windows is more likely to withstand any intruders attempting to break into the house. This is a very good reason why many people have started to invest in them over the past few years. Aside from providing good insulation for the house, they prevent outside noise from sneaking into the house. This is a useful fea-

ture for people who live in an area where a lot of cars pass by, a community near the airport or if they have noisy neighbours. The windows can be sealed tightly, because of how the PVC windows are manufactured. PVC windows are energy efficient because they can be shut tightly to make sure that cold or heat will not easily seep in to the house, reducing the need for heaters or coolers to work extra hard. The encasement and the windows are built together, making it a tightly sealed structure that can effectively reduce the heating bills of the household. This would definitely raise the value of the house while also improving its appearance.


Very little maintenance is needed for PVC installations. They can be wiped from time to time; repainting and weather-proofing is not necessary. Do not use abrasive cleaning solutions or sponges, so as not to take off or scratch the first layer of shiny finish. Use the cleaning solution meant for PVC to clean it. There are also gloss products to apply to bring back the original shine. Insight from Lazy Susan, an outfit that specialises in cast aluminum and metal garden furniture, reveals that there are other methods that have been applied successfully, such as mixing one part vinegar to four parts hot water, pour the mixture into a sprayer and spray it on the UPVC. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes and then wipe with a clean and smooth cloth. Also, some have used baby wipes or their powder laundry detergent without any problems. Other things you could apply are: follow the drying instructions on your PVC shine product. Wipe away any excess that has transferred to the windows with a damp paper towel before it dries. Close windows, clean them down with a glass cleaner and wipe dry with paper towels.

elements of salt and petroleum; these ingredients are essentially resistant to various weather conditions and chemicals. It has been developed with the addition of a modifier (for strength) and stabiliser (for green) and makes such materials into compounds that are optimal for the material window and door frames.

PVC-U or Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride is a kind of thermoplastic derived from

UPVC windows and doors possess a protection against fire, the profile of materials

Environmentally friendly

• PVC plastic profile.

Protection against fire.

that are specially made to inhibit the spread of fire.


Unlike wood, UPVC windows and doors are made from the materials and components that are resistant to termite attack

Dual locking system

It is equipped with a double locking system (multi-point locking) to ensure the security and may not be opened by force from the outside.




Getting the best out of your juicer Choosing a juicer is like choosing a dress to wear. Choosing the right one guarantees maximum benefit. JANICE NKOLI IFEME writes.

• Juicers


HERE are many juicers in the market. Almost every one of them is good. The most important thing is making maximum use of them to achieve the desired results. For instance, the three in one juicer mixer has two speeds. Speed one is recommended for use with softer fruits for maximum juice extraction, such as black currants, soft peaches, mango, vegetables and pineapples. Speed two is more suitable for harder produce such as pears and apples. When produce is exceptionally soft, it is preferable to insert them slowly to obtain the maximum quantity of juice. Wherever possible, drink or use the juice obtained immediately so as not to lose its valuable vitamin content. If it is necessary to store the juice for a few hours, place it in the refrigerator and add a few drops of lemon juice to help preservation. Apricots, bananas, peaches, pears, melons, pineapple, pawpaw and strawberries are soft textured fruits. The juice extracted from these fruits is very thick and is known as nectar. It is best to alternate the processing of these juices with thinner juices, such as carrots and apples. Process soft-textured fruits first, followed by firmer fruits and vegetables, to ensure maximum removal of thick juice. One pound of raw juice yields one cup (250ml) of juice. Add a few teaspoons of lemon juice or ascorbic acid powder to your juice container before juicing to keep juices from discolouring. Serve juices immediately, since the vitamin content decreases when juices are stored. If it is

• Blender food processor and juicer

necessary juice fruits and vegetables sometime before serving, cover container tightly and refrigerate. Do not store more than 48 hours, unless canning or freezing. The flavour, colour and consistency of canned juices will be different from freshly juiced foods. Substitute fruit or vegetable juices for stock or water in cooking. Some pulp remaining in juice is normal. It increases its flavour and nutritional value. Potato juice can be used in place of corn starch, cocoyam or flour in thickening. Vegetable juice mixed with carrot juice will produce a sweeter vegetable flavour. Should you wish to prepare large quantities of fruits and vegetables, be sure to check pump container and juice bowl after processing 1kg of food. For best results, empty pulp container when it is filled near the top. For those who wish for clear juice, filter through layers of cheesecloth. Cheesecloth is also helpful to remove any juice clinging to the pulp of moist foods, just squeeze out additional juice. Centrifugal juicers The centrifugal juicer design is one of the oldest juicer designs. This juicer uses a grater or shredder disc and a strainer basket with straight sides to hold the pulp in the machine.The shredder disk is at the bottom of the basket, which revolves at a high speed (3600 rpm). The produce is put into the top of the machine, pressed through a chute, hits the spinning shredder disc. While the produce is being shred, juice is released. The basket spins at a high speed, much like a washing machine spinning cycle and force pushes the juice through the strainer basket and comes out of the front of the machine, and the pulp stays inside the machine. Generally this style juicer can make one to two quarts before the juicer is stopped, and the pulp must be removed before further juicing can take place.This is not a continuous juicing appliance. The Jaipan brand two in one juicer, mixer and grinder is good for juicing most fruits and vegetables. It is also easy to use, clean and fast. If you are interested in juicing both fruits and vegetables with equal quality, this is the juicer for you.

Shopping Right with

Shopping trends


ANY regard shopping as women affair. How wrong they are. It is a primary exercise which everyone does, whether as an exclusive event or an impulsive one. As long as there is life and needs arise, the exercise cannot seize. Even with austerity measure everywhere, people will continue to shop. Actually, the winning retailer is one who easily adapts to the needs of shoppers, irrespective of economic meltdown. There might be economic melt down, but shopping increases. There may be hike in fuel price but that would not halt the demand for it. Actually, people stock the product more than ever. Why? It is a necessity and so are many other things. And we know that human want is insatiable. So, in as much as there is a need, there must be a demand and of course, a supply. You need to eat, feed, cloth, maintain yourself and live somewhere. So, as I always say, shopping continues. JANICE NKOLI IFEME That is why many retailers are repositioning to meet the needs of proactive consumers. With it through its Galaxy tablet. cashless banking already effective, stores are How about home telephone service? It will adjusting to the trend. Soon, those who do not probably take a while, but home landlines could have the PoS (Point of Sale) will begin to apbecome as archaic as the 090. Remember? The pear outdated. That also means that the sale of last decade ushered in the GSM which has revothe cash register will gain momentum. Not only lutionised the phone system. It was so funny then, stores are acquiring it but almost every estabwhen a governor’s wife held unto her 090 which lishment where monetary transactions take she had been using to suppress people. After a place. while, she realised that she also had to use the As time goes on, consumers should expect to GSM, just like all those she looked down on. see more revolutionary products supplanting Ditching your home phone is easier now than old mainstays. So watch out; there are some it was in past, as cell phone companies compete things you may not bother acquiring, because for greater market share and alternatives to the for all you know, they may home landline continue soon be obsolete. growing. 70 per cent transJust as various parts of the ‘As time goes on, consumers action is done via the mobile world have been affected with should expect to see more phone. Have you ever revolution in shopping, techtraveled far to look for somenology is also on the increase. revolutionary products sup- body, only for you to get In big-ticket items, the push planting old mainstays. So there and be told ‘why not for energy efficiency will watch out; there are some call him’? So, if you have to continue to influence con- things you may not bother ac- call him despite having sumer decisions on cars and quiring, because for all you reached there, won’t you home appliances. rather lie in your bed and do Ten years ago, most homes know, they may soon be ob- the transaction? Many peorelied on dial-up connections solete. Just as various parts ple these days have mobile to access the internet and of the world have been af- office which happens to be iPods. fected with revolution in their phone. Today, homes which do not And for energy-inefficient have access to the internet shopping, technology is also homes and appliances? Sevon the increase’ have the privilege of using it eral years ago, shopping for at the cyber café or other conhome upgrades involved venient places. Smartphones looking at a product’s functionality and aesthetic. have even made it easier. Soon, many will not Now, there is another component: energy effihave the need to visit cyber cafes anymore beciency. Today, the products most touted by manucause their phones will do virtually everything facturers and retailers are those that are energy for them. star certified and those that meet new federal Within the last decade, as we were beginning environmental standards, most of which have to realise that flat screen TVs were replacing the higher price tags than their counterparts but help bulky ones, more sophisticated technology as to lower heating and cooling bills. the plasma and LCD came on. But soon after, Looking ahead, DVD purchases could turn cold, LED TV followed. We should expect more of as well. With influx of cable TVs like DSTV and such innovations. MYTV, purchase of DVDs as well as video rentals Just as audio CDs came up to dominate the may reduce. stereo and deck, the home theater is currently Consumers who keep their computers for years reigning supreme. So if care is not taken, CDs and upload thousands of songs, videos, movies may faze out. So is the case for the VCD. and photos may need to get more space at some Gone are the days when the computer was for point. the big men’s children alone. Now, more peoExternal hard drives are one option, but an upple are having access to it. I could remember the and-coming alternative might be simpler and apprehensive look of people as to whether the save you another transition down the road. computer would be Y2K compliant. I recall that Online backup services, like or many banks and companies were recopying their, allow users to back up data over the data. Did they imagine that the computer was Internet. going to faze out? Today, we know much more How about cars? More people are realising about the wizard. the importance of using new cars devoid of comLaptop was not this popular some years ago. plicated repairs. Opportunities should be creNow, it is the companion of many. Tablets have ated for people to be able to purchase brand been added to the pack, diversifying communinew cars. Also, more people will go for brand cation modes. There is fierce competition as one new electronics rather than the fairly used. technology company tries to outdo the other in In all, shoppers will continue to look out for the bid to get market share. For instance, while improved products that will meet their insatiaApple continues to come up with improved inble needs while manufacturers will keep innonovations on its iPad, Samsung is also rivaling vating to sustain their market.

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Essentials of an office gift


T is thoughtful of a boss to appreciate an employee in an office for a job well done. Such motivation could be in form of a mug, but what is most important is the motif and continuity. This could motivate the employee to perform better next time and strengthen both companies’ business relationships. According to a corporate sales gift surveyor, many employees believe their employers spend minimal time and effort selecting their gifts. Among the most thoughtless gifts received are a ruler, a lottery ticket, a face towel, and eraser, among others. “As a boss, the right office gift shows that your employees are valuable assets to you”, said Mrs Moraya Ayuba, a consultant and an author. Mrs Tochukwu Okoli, a marketing manager with one of the firms at Marina, Lagos, said: “as a boss, giving gifts to my subordinates is an opportunity to show how I feel about them and assess the work they are doing. It is important for managers to take opportunities to retain employees in an employeedriven market.” Most office workers only have time to shop during the holiday season for their families, but most times, they do not remember their colleagues or employees at work. The Chief Executive Officer, Delightsome Gifts Concepts, Gbagada, Lagos, Mrs Modupe Shopeju, noted: “In the absence of well-defined gift-giving attitude in offices, workers are left to muddle through holidays, birthdays and a host of other gift-giving occasions”. However, with the vast selection of gift ideas, comes an array of choices such as cards, calendars, company branded items, fruit basket, flowers, plants, wine/liquor and hand written cards for a more

You could buy a good office gift without over shooting your budget. But you may avoid lower quality gifts that can impair your image. Any office gift sent to other companies or given to an individual in an establishment reflects on the image of either the company or the individual who gives out the gift. TONIA ‘DIYAN writes. lasting expression of thought. Availability of many retail shops has made buying perfect office gifts easier. Essentials of buying office gifts include; checking with colleagues what kind of gifts they require. To have a great idea of what to buy, ask your colleagues what their hobbies are because on a personal level, it is difficult to know yourselves. Therefore, knowing what gift to buy is a difficult challenge. Since cultural differences vary, rules should be respected when buying office gifts. For instance, in China, white symbolises death, therefore should not be used to wrap any kind of gift. Packaging of the gift is as important as choosing the right gift to reflect your values on business relationships. Use the many giftwrapping services available from retailers; spend time and money on wrapping. A personally delivered gift will keep you at the top-of-the-mind of your clients and colleagues. This is an opportunity to connect with clients, boss, colleagues, business partners, associates, employees, employer and customers to strengthen ties. Adopting an attitude of giving will make the act of office gift buying less stressful. This practice should be operational in all offices; business own-

ers should show appreciation to hard-working employees and loyal customers from time to time. There are many gifts choices available in retail shops today and because of that, it is sometimes easier to go with simple choices like themed gift baskets. Trends evolve every year and gift ideas for companies are rising and are becoming very popular. Office gifts may be addressed to single person or could be sent to a group, department or a company. Snack basket is a great idea for several people in an office. It might include the following delights: chocolates, coffee or tea gourmet, candies, seasonal fruits and other edible treats that can delight their tastes while at work. Therefore, being the giver, you should understand the needs for your gifts. However, it is more appreciated if what you are giving is a real gift of appreciation, not a generic business gift such as pens, notebooks and cheap writing pads. They are the type that are boring and can tell that you did not put any thought into them. Personalising is a great way to include the thought that you want to show to the person or company and can be a good way to show respect too. With the trend of giving office gift on the increase, newer and expensive items are inspired

as well. These elegant gifts may be presented during the company’s annual Christmas Party, Recognition Day and Anniversaries. Also, a common gift during holidays is having a holiday party or dinner to celebrate and to say thank you for the hard work all through the year. When giving corporate gifts, think of something that can relate to the personality of professionals. This is a sure way to score with business executives. Choices are leather desk accessories, glass desk set accessories, imprinted gifts, office thank you gifts and other elegant business items that professionals could use in or out of the office. Also consider personalising them for an effect that your receiver would surely appreciate. Buying for the boss is also acceptable but do your research before proceeding. Appropriate gifts for bosses include; calendars, organisers, pen sets, food baskets, stationery, tea, coffee, or something along the line of relaxation squeeze balls. Your decision is most important if you want to buy office gifts. But it has to do with a personal decision that you should make. In fact, it is very much similar to shopping for gifts for family members. There are so many gifts that you can give; such as life gifts, oriental pillows or rugs, personalised pen and desk

accessories like photo frames, day planners and filing cabinet. Custom office gifts are also offered by many stores wherein the company logo or business name is printed on items like clock, pen, shirts, or cap. You should be aware that not all stores offer this option. You have to pick a reputed company that can cater to your needs. In some places, there are restrictions when it comes to giving gifts to employees. You have to make sure that you are not violating any law or regulation, so try to give appropriate gift items. Shop around retail stores to get some ideas of what gift items can be customised. Ordering in bulk will allow you to save money. Some stores offer special discounts during the holiday season. Take advantage of these special deals. When giving gifts, do not just handpick them. There are special considerations that you should look into so that your intentions would not be misunderstood. Some employees prefer a cash bonus rather than receiving a custom gift from their employers. In recent years, the economic crunch has affected the lives of many people and because of this, most employees need extra cash. A plan should be devised in advance. This will give you more time to prepare and decide on the best gifts too. To generate goodwill, you can organise a meeting and consult your employees about their preferences. You have to encourage them to share their thoughts and suggestions. Through diplomatic means, you can come up with a solution that will benefit everyone. Quality should not be sacrificed for a cheaper price. As mentioned earlier, you can get the gifts at a lower price if you buy in large orders.

Do you use mosquito nets? Mosquito nets offer protection against mosquitoes, flies and other insects, thereby preventing diseases, such as malaria,dengue fever, yellow fever and more. But some people do not like to use them, writes OMOLARA MOFESOLA OMONIYI.


ALARIA is a deadly infection caused by mosquitoes. To avoid the parasites, they should be prevented. This prompted the need for the insecticide treated mosquito net, which is good enough to exclude mosquitoes without impeding visibility or the flow of air. The net being treated with a mosquito repellent would not only prevent the mosquito from getting in contact with your skin, but also kills it. The use of a mosquito net has been proved to be a very effective method of mosquito prevention. But to enjoy its full benefit, it should be re-treated every six months and due care must be ensured, especially when fixing the net, to avoid it being torn. Ms Toyin Olaseni, who lives in Ogun State, said: “We use mosquito nets in my family. Even before I was born, my family had been using them, so I was born to like them. The permanent use of mosquito net, in my family has been more reason we hardly fall sick. “But, the net could cause more heat to the users, especially in this hot part of the world,” a businessman in Port Harcourt, Mr Adegoke Iluku-Ayoola said. “I know that the net could be of great benefit to me. But I cannot stand the heat it generates. The poor condition of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria is enough heat, how then will I compound my problem by covering the little breeze that manages to gain access to my room?” he added.

• A baby inside a treated net.

Different people hold different views about the use of the mosquito net. It has been discovered that most people do not use it, even when most of these non- users know the benefit derivable from it. A mosquito net seller, Mr Rasheed Bello, who described the business as non- moving, said: “most people only buy nets for their babies, but do not use it themselves. They wait until organisations, especially nongovernmental ones give them free-ofcharge. The point is that most Nigerians do not like nets.”

Malaria remains a major public health problem in Nigeria. An estimated 300,000 children under five years die of malaria each year, and up to 11 per cent of maternal mortality is caused by the disease—translating into one in every four deaths of children and one in 10 deaths of pregnant women. To reduce the burden of malaria, the government has embarked on the roll back malaria programme, whereby free insecticide treated mosquito nets are distributed to people, especially pregnant women and children under five years.

The Chief Executive Officer of EuroAfric Index Health and Safety Supplies Ltd, makers of the whopes brand, Mr Pat Obiefule, said: “Our goal is for all Nigerians to have long-lasting insecticide treated nets. We are going to make them available and affordable. I have seen people die of malaria, I have lost loved ones to malaria. As a Nigerian, I have experienced mosquito bites myself, that moved me to do something. I am fortunate to come in contact with partners who has gotten approval to manufacture and distribute mosquito nets.”




IFC inaugurates bond for Africa


FC, a member of the World Bank Group and Standard Chartered, has launched a bond-issuance programme that will increase the availability of local-currency financing for private sector development in Africa. The IFC Pan-African Debt Medium-Term Note Programme will initially focus on Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia. Over the next several months, IFC will work with the respective authorities in these countries to obtain their consent to be part of the programme. Standard Chartered is appointed as the sole arranger for the program. Standard Chartered will also be the lead manager for many of the inaugural bond transactions under the program. Other financial institutions may co-lead individual bond issues. Bonds issued through the program will raise funds that IFC will use to provide long-term, localcurrency finance for African businesses, protecting them from foreign-exchange risks. A vibrant, local-currency capital market is essential for any country to achieve its full economic potential,” said IFC Executive Vice-President and Chief Execitive Officer Lars Thunell. “Ensuring the devel-

opment of such markets is a cornerstone of IFC’s strategy. By expanding long-term currency finance, we help businesses mitigate currency risks when they borrow capital to grow and create jobs.” Standard Chartered Chief Executive Officer Peter Sands said: “Standard Chartered shares IFC’s commitment to supporting the development of local capital markets in Africa, which has been a core part of our business for nearly 150 years. We are delighted to put our capital markets expertise, extensive Africa presence and knowledge of local markets to work in partnership with IFC on this landmark initiative. IFC builds partnerships with regulators and local authorities to establish and strengthen local capital markets. In Africa, IFC has previously worked with Ghana, Zambia, and eight members of the West African Monetary Union to establish local-currency bond programs. IFC has also obtained approvals to issue local currency bonds in Nigeria and Kenya. In 2006 and 2009, IFC issued bonds denominated in CFA francs. IFC’s aim in sub-Saharan Africa is to improve the investment climate, promote the growth of small and medium enterprises.

Clinton to address delegates


O celebrate the 10th anniversary of the foundation of Grupo ABC, the largest communications group in Latin America, Former American President, Bill Clinton will address delegates at the 59th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Taking to the stage in the Palais des Festivals in Cannes on Thursday evening 21 June, President Clinton will deliver a keynote speech at the event titled How Advertising Can Help Build a Better World. President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote healthier childhoods, and protect the environment by fostering partnerships among governments, businesses, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), and private citizens to turn good intentions into

measurable results. Grupo ABC, which uses social activism as one of its strongest pillars of action, has sponsored the Clinton Global Initiative, which convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, since 2009. NizanGuanaes, Chairman of Grupo ABC, comments, “President Clinton and his Foundation show how we can all act in a thorough and efficient way to improve our lives on the planet. He has a very clear view on how new communication tools are essential to provide well-being and fight the greatest deficiencies in the world today. I’m sure that his address at such a fundamental forum as the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will help provide numerous new ideas and social actions.” Terry Savage, Chairman of Cannes Lions, said.

•From left: Chairman, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) Mr Lolu Akinwunmi; President, Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Mr Charles Chijide; Chairman, Board of Trustees High Chief Jas Kolawole Oyekan and APCON Registrar Alhaji Bello Kankarofi, at the OAAN’s 27 th Annual General Meeting at Golden Tulip, Lagos.

DN Meyer holds dealers forum


N Meyer Plc has hosted its customers in the country to its yearly’s Dealers Forum in Lagos. The highly interactive session, which witnessed a large turnout, provided both DN Meyer and its customers an opportunity for honest feedback and discussions on ways to improve their already great business relationships. Chairman of the company, Sir Remi Omotoso, who was represented by the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Mr Adeola Omosebi, said: “The ‘forum was an opportunity for us to intimate the dealers with the progress we have made so far; the policies of the company, the focus of the company this year and the outcome of the various researches being carried out by the company on new products ‘ ”.

Chairman, Strategy, Finance, & General Purpose Committee of the Board of DN Meyer Plc, Prof. Wale Omole, said: “We are committed and poised more than before to meet the yearning and aspirations of our stakeholders, especially our customers. “This is the basis for this forum so that we can brainstorm and cross-fertilise ideas on how to grow. “ He assured the dealers of the high quality standard of the products of DN Meyer. He said: “This year, we are more than configured to manufacture products of high quality. “For the records, four of our products were awarded the prestigious NIS Quality Awards of Excellence (Gold Category) by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) for

conforming to the requirements of the NIS.” Omole revealed that the firm has continued to carry out various research on new product development. “Outcomes of this effort are the birth of a new product called “Gladiator”, which is about to be introduced to the market. “Similarly, one of the existing products Beautify Nigeria Paint (BENP), which is an Economic Value Paint has been repackaged to support people’s drive towards affordability and maintenance of new and existing projects.” Speaking at the forum, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, DN Meyer Plc, Mr Adeola Omosebi, disclosed that the company was moving from being customer-focused to being customerled.

Two Nigerians for Diageo Africa Awards


IAGEO has announced the finalists for its Africa Business Reporting

Awards. Two Nigerian reporters, EllaMarcelle Olamiju of National Mirror and Adedayo Oketola of Saturday Punch are among those

who made the shortlist. The winners of the 10 categories will be announced during the awards in June. The awards, which were launched in 2004, recognise the fact that excellent business journalism plays an important role in

•From left: Mr Bob Nwojo, Head, eChannels Services, FirstBank; Mr Wale Williams, Manager, e-Business Support, GTBank; Mr. Mike Ogbalu, Head, Cards and e-Product, Ecobank; Mr Chuks Iku, Group Head, e-Channels, Skye Bank and Mr Gbenga Osofisan, Cards, Mobile & Internet Banking, First Bank, displaying the awards for outstanding achievements conferred on them by ACI Worldwide.

promoting Africa as a destination for investment and supporting enterprise development. Moreover, the firm believes that better and more accurate reporting helps to create a fair and responsible environment in which to do business. Hundreds of entries were received from a record 27 countries across Africa and the rest of the world. A panel of eminent judges will now select the winners of each category. The winners will be announced at a gala night, which will be held in London on Thursday, June 28. On this year’s awards, Nick Blazquez, President, Diageo Africa, said: “This year’s finalists represent the strength and diversity of African business journalism. This decade is rightly being recognised as Africa’s as investors and other observers understand in greater detail the risks and opportunities of doing business in the continent. ‘’ With entries received from a record-breaking 27 countries, we are pleased to see that investigative journalism on African business issues continues to develop and that some outlets and reporters are covering the continent from a business perspective. Our finalists represent the best of business journalism on Africa and we look forward to celebrating their achievements at the ceremony in June,” Blazquez said.



Brands sans borders

As La Casera celebrates 10th anniversary


T sneaked into the market 10 years ago with neither dazzling, razmatazz nor bright klieg lights. With neither print nor electronic advertisements heralding its advent, it became a hit. But it is a unique product, packaged for men and women; boys and girls on the move. It’s a brand in traffic. Its name is La Casera. The first apple juice drink to be packaged in a pet bottle in Nigeria. As beverage giants such as Coca-Cola, 7Up, Nigerian Breweries and Guinness were snoozing, gradually but steadily, La Casera, which was then regarded as an underdog and a small player in the soft drink market segment, successfully wormed itself into the hearts of the consumers by playing the niche game. It was acclaimed as the first Nigerian made soft drink in a pet bottle. By owning this position in the prospects’ minds, La Casera became the first in the pet bottle drink category. Although a few years later, the big players such as Coca-Cola and 7UP came down from their high horses and a few other fringe players in the market joined the fray, La Casera was already the clear leader. The La Casera classic marketing game is in tandem with the law of positioning as propounded by Al Ries and Jack Trout in their globally acclaimed book of the same title. For brand owners and custodians, the enduring lesson of the La Casera entry is: Never underrate or underestimate the capacity or the capability of a new competition. Recently, in affirmation of the popular axiom that life itself is a collection of stories, La Casera Apple Flavour carbonated soft drink is set to further thrill and engage its teeming consumers with the introduction of its new‘Apple Story’ thematic campaign in continuation of its year-long 10th Anniversary celebration. Asking the consumers a simple rhetorical question: What’s your Apple Story? The new thematic campaign is designed to engender interaction with the target audience and encourages them to participate in the conversation. Flagging off the campaign, The La CaseraCompany Limited organised an unconventional media parley where select journalists were treated to an exciting Boat cruise on the Lekki coast of the Lagos Lagoon last Saturday. Welcoming reporters on the voyage, the Chief Operating Officer of the company, Mr PrahladGangadharan explained that the La Casera® ‘Apple Story’ campaign is aimed at bringing about a better connection between the brand and the target consumers. Prahlad noted that the campaign, which is

to further the year-long celebration of La Casera®’s 10th Anniversary, which is pivoted on excitement, energy and fun, the three major intrinsic brand offerings of La Casera® Apple Drink. Also speaking at the event, the General Manager Marketing, Mr Dave van Rensburg, described the campaign as an exciting platform that will build an emotional connection with onsumers by encouraging them to participate through sharing personal and exciting stories for a chance to win prizes. According to him, consumers will have the chance to participate in special radio hypes on the La Casera®‘Apple Story’ during select popular radio phone-in programmes on leading radio stations in key cities in Nigeria for four weeks. Consumers are expected to call into the programmes to share their Apple Stories and also log on to the company’s website at www.thelacaseracompan.comto read exciting Apple stories. Van Rensburg added that a prize will be given out daily on each radio station to the consumer with the most exciting story while the three overall most interesting stories will be selected for grand prizes at the end of the hypes. The La Casera® Company Limited pioneered the Apple flavoured drink category in Nigeria in 2001 and it has since grown to become a household name. With the launch of the new ‘Apple Story’ campaign, La Casera has proven to be a consumer-centric brand that values the relationship with its esteemed consumers by being the first in the CSD category to engage consumers with such a campaign.

‘As beverage giants such as Coca-Cola, 7Up, Nigerian Breweries and Guinness were snoozing, gradually but steadily, La Casera, which was then regarded as an underdog and a small player in the soft drink market segment, successfully wormed itself into the hearts of the consumers by playing the niche game. It was acclaimed as the first Nigerian made soft drink in a pet bottle.’


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

Brandwise with Bob Gas

Unlocking your potential


• Gas

OU may have several different gifts, but you must discover your core gift and build your life around it. David sensed that he was more than a shepherd; he was a king-in-the-making. Killing Goliath just gave him a chance to demonstrate it. Had he failed to realize that, he’d have gone back to tending sheep. What blinds us to our core gift? 1) Focusing on our flaws. Instead of focusing on our strengths we listen to our critics and rehearse the qualities that discourage us most. Be careful; the company you keep will either lift you or lower you. That’s especially true of those who resent your success, because it reminds them of their own lack of it. 2) Envying the gift of others. It’s okay to appreciate other as long as you don’t try to duplicate them. Instead

of living in somebody’s shadows, stand on their shoulder s and glean from their wisdom. Be an Elisha; ask God for twice as much as your mentor. Uncommon people are just common people who recognize their core gift and put it to work. Paul speaks of seven different gifts: ‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach, if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully’ (w. 6-8 NIV). What’s your core gift? Discover it, develop it, and then dedicate it to God’s highest service!

However, some local brands have ambitions to be global brands. They have started small. They are nimble. They are quicker on their feet. They also have their sights on international expansion. Zinox, Omatek, Brian and Beta computers are like that. In 2006, International Data Corporation (IDC) rated Zinox as the second best selling computer in Nigeria, within the four years of operation. HP was the first. Aside, local original equipment manufacturers (OEM) like Zinox et al have proved their mettle in the local IT sector. They have delivered when it mattered most. They have performed when you least expected. Perhaps because of this, and to encourage patronage of made-in-Nigeria products, the federal government has imposed sweeping ban on foreign computers and technology products in public institutions and schools. This would foster growth in the local ICT industry. Several PC schemes put up by the government to ensure PC penetration in Nigeria are weaved around these brands. The influx of fairly-used PC, especially with duty waiver, has helped many homes to own the computer; but it has not deterred the OEMs. Now, this may become a thing of the past with the federal government pronouncement. However, the main threats to the local brands are the global brands. The global brands are brands sans borders. These are brands that would most likely compete ferociously with the local brands. Who says, therefore that an HP, a Dell or IBM cannot swallow Zinox? Who says Omatek cannot become an appendage of HP through some boardroom maneuverings? Who can tell if Omatek and Brian would not merge to confront their common enemy? Like they say in local parlance, anything can happen. Globally, massive brands are coming together. Large corporations are been swallowed up by even larger corporations. Brick-and-mortal walls are coming down. Digital curtains are coming up. The world is now a global community. Who can vouch if such cannot happen here? In Nigeria, in Africa? Who can tell? You can? If such happens, the local brands would totally eclipse. In their stead would emerge a stronger “glocal” brand. For some, that would be very, very sad indeed. For, it would mean the loss of local cultures, identities and traditions. But, mind you, it would also usher in a new culture, new identity, and new philosophy. Glocal is the marriage of global and local brands. The two needs each other, don’t they? A local brand comes with cheap labour. Foreign brand brings expertise. The two meets at the production floor. The market is better for it. The shareholders’ fund would not be depleted. It would soar. Local brand wins. Foreign brand wins. Everybody wins. In the end, consumers want both global and local brands – brands that make them feel part of wider international community and brands that root them in their home culture. So, local consumers of PC would be able to afford a Dell with the price of Zinox or Omatek. IBM or HP would produce at a cheaper rate and sell more to the emerging markets. Sorry, production may not happen here as power generation in Nigeria has not been too encouraging or has it improved? Anyway, if such happens here, together, the new brand will become a stronger brand, a brand sans borders, without frontiers, without shackles. Like Coca-cola, such a brand would break traditions. It would collapse its marketing walls. Nigeria needs such brands so that PC penetration can increase astronomically. When that happens, it would be refreshingly cool like Coca Cola.

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



SOCIETY •Continued from page 28

•Senator Obande Domingo (left) and Chief David Edebiri

•Guy Bruce (right) and Jesse Combs

•Uche Iheakanwa and wife Nwadiuto

•Prince Henry Odukomaya

•Mr Esele



•From left: Alhaja Abimbola Jakande; Bolaji Adeyemi (Son); Managing Director (LAWMA) Mr Ola Oresanya; Dolapo Adeyemi (son) and Chief Mukaila Kolawole Lawal, Oluwa of Lagos at the burial of Chief Adedayo Olaolu Adeyemi in Ode-Remo, Ogun State



SOCIETY At 80, Pa Omorodion Solomon Uwaifo is still at his creative best. When he marked his birthday on May 5, he launched two books to boot, reports PAUL OLUWAKOYA.

Still creative at 80 T

HEFoxhole in Maryland, Lagos was where to be on May 5 when Pa Omorodion Solomon Uwaifo, an engineer and poet, clocked 80. He gathered friends from the cultural and political worlds to celebrate with him. They not only celebrated with him but also praised him for sustaining Edo culture. The two-pronged event began with the presentation of his books, Echoes of a Restive Empire and Uloko of Ages (Edo genealogy) on Saturday. The award ceremony followed on Monday. The books are the latest historical works on Edo written by the celebrator. They were presented by former Edo State, governor Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and Chief Aimiuwu. According to the Oba of Benin represented by the Eribo of Benin, High Chief Anofi Guobadia, Uwaifo’s achievements and his literary cum cultural exploits are enough to earn him a national recognition. He said: “Uwaifo has beaten all imagination and has made the entire Benin Kingdom continually proud of him. These two books are written not just in English language but in Edo. The stories trace Edo lineages and they are also in audio for those who cannot read. Uwaifo has been among the leading activists who want the Edo language included in West African School Certificate Examinations (WASC). “This is a rare effort that posterity will bless. Yes! It is his birthday, but the launching of his books has motivated us to make it a date to celebrate this great author.” Chief Odigie-Oyegun commended Uwaifo’s effort in writing what he called highly historic books.” He said: “Uwaifo is not a writer that laments on what we have lost; but rather he attempts to reposition and reclaim what we have lost. And the starting point is to have our descendants acquainted with our origin. The objective of Uwaifo is in line with my conviction that if our heritage must be preserved, our children must not only be able to read and write in the Bini language, but also be told our etymologies. I think Uwaifo has performed a feat, that has won the support of every well-meaning Edo and Bini person.” Chief Lugard Aimiwu described Uwaifo as an electrical engineer, novelist, social commentator and the founder Benin Moat Foundation. “Uwaifo was an engineer with the Electric Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) that transformed into the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). It is, however, sad that the Nigerian system has failed the dreams and aspirations of the people. That is why Uwaifo is very critical of the country in his literary collection, and he has no apology for his political poems,” he said. On Monday, the audio of Echoes of a Restive Empire was played to Bini audience. A highpoint of the event was the presentation of awards to 10 eminent personalities. Some of the awardees were the Benin monarch Ob Erediuwa; BrigGen Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia; former Governor, Mid-West State; Frank Akomi Ogbemi; former Assistant General Manager, Operations (NEPA) and former Head of Generation Department, ECN; Mr Olu Fadaka; the late Permanent Secre-

•Chief Odigie-Oyegun displaying the book

•The celebrator Uwaifo (left) and Mr Lawrence Amu

•Mr Eddy Okoye and Mr Muzamil Abdul-Karim

•Mrs Omobola Onajide and Chief Mbanefo

•Chief Anofi Guobadia (left) and Chief Eribo

•Prof Edebiri (left) and Obong Victor Attah

• Group Capt John Obakpolor (left) and Air Vice-Marshal Joe Ehigie

•Miss Osagie during her performance. With her is the son of the celebrator Osahen Uwaifo PHOTOS: DAYO ADEWUNMI

tary, Federal Ministry of Budget; Chief H. Omo-Osagie; the late Iyase of Benin and former Junior Minister in the First Republic Chief Joshua Ekomwenrenren Alonge; the late Director, Mandilas Karaberis; the late Justice Gabriel Osarenren Okangbowa. Uwaifo said the awardees contributed significantly to his career, the nation and Benin Kingdom. Uwaifo said: “My heroes, the cel-

ebration today is from the bottom of my heart. May I plead with my audience to await my memoirs for fuller details of their heroism! However, I hope the snippets I shall give will show why they all truly deserve to be honoured.” He thanked the monrach for his kind regards and for saving him from a chief bent on exploiting his friendship with him. The event was spiced up by the

electrifying duet rendition of Uwaifo’s 41-line poem entitled: Celebration of Humanity. It was performed by Evelyn Osagie, an Arts writer with The Nation. Complementing Osagie’s Edo traditional attire of a crown of scarlet beads, red wool wrapper and two white handkerchiefs was ace poet cum journalist Akeem Lasisi. He was dressedin Buba and Sokoto with Aso Oke around his neck. They

caught the attention of the audience who were consumed by their rendition and costumes. Osagie’s costume was eye-catching. Their thrilling performance earned them a standing ovation. Aside performing Uwaifo’s poem, they both also honoured him with a special rhyme, depicting his remarkable contributions to the literary world. While Osagie eulogised Uwaifo in her poem Salute to a worthy fellow in the academy of the pen, Lasisi’s praised his creative zest.



SOCIETY •Continued from page 26

•Prof Williams (left) and Dr Babalakin (SAN)

•Chief and Mrs Akinola


•Mrs Amosun carrying a baby during a visit to the motherless baby home

•Mrs Funsho Amosun and her husband Governor Ibikunle

•Mrs Amosun acknowledging prayers from elderly women


IFE of the Governor of Ogun State, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun recently marked her 46th birthday anniversary in a grand style. She used the occasion to celebrate with the less privileged. The First Lady also spent a lot of her time with children at the Stella Obassanjo Children’s Home, Ibara, Juvenile Remand Home, Asero and those at Lepers Colony in Iberekodo. The celebration was capped with a gathering of over 200 widows from across 20 local government areas of Ogun State under the aegis of “Uplifting Widows”. The gathering was at the Valley View Auditorium in Oke-Igbein. At Progress Hall in Oke-Mosan, more than 100 aged people under the canopy of “Uplifting the Aged” also

spent time with Mrs Amosun. In the build-up of activities to mark the celebration of her birthday, a vocational training workshop was organised for about 1,200 unemployed graduates. Dubbed ‘Uplifting Unemployed Graduates,’Mrs Amosun reaffirmed her position that graduates should be encouraged to acquire a vocational skill regardless of their different courses studied at the higher institutions. This, for the first lady, will go a long way in giving a better opportunity for the youth to contribute their quota to the development of the society; put food on their tables and make the society safer. Indeed, it was a unique birthday celebration empowering the less privileged.

•Mrs Amosun feting with children at Lepers Colony, Iberekodo, Ogun State



SOCIETY The 40th day fidau prayer has been held for the late Alhaja Sariat Otunoiki (aka) Mama Eleja in Isiwo, Ogun State. AMIDU ARIJE reports.

Bouquet for a departed mother

Book presentation


ODAY, former Commissioner of Justice and Attorney-General of Lagos State Olasupo Shashore will lead guests to the public presentation of a book Commercial Arbitration Law and International Practice in Nigeria at the City Hall Catholic Church Mission Street Lagos. Lagos State Governor Mr Babtunde Fashola (SAN) is expected as special guest of honour on the occasion. Former justice of the Supreme Court Justice Kayode Esho is also expected on the occasion.


LL roads led to Isiwo in Ogun State last Saturday for the 40th day fidau prayer for the late Alhaja Sariat Otunoiki (aka) Mama Eleja. People came from far and wide for the ceremony. The seat of the Lagos State Central Mosque virtually moved to Isiwo. The Alfa Agba of Lagos, Sheikh Tijani Gbajabiamila, officiated at the fidau. The event took off with the recitation of the Quran. Prayers were offered for the deceased, and a short sermon was delivered by Imam Rajee Sulaimon. The cleric reminded the gathering that life is ephemeral. There was pin-drop silence as the people listened to the lecture in rapt attention. “Life is vanity upon vanity, try to live a righteous life, on the day of judgement, every soul shall be called to account for his deeds, where will you be on this day?,” he asked. Sulaimon urged the deceased’s children to learn from their mother’s life. The deceased’s daughter, Mrs Aishat Adenowo, described her mother as a loving and caring person. “My mother was truly a mother. She is loving and caring. She stood by us - my


•Governor Fashola



OMORROW, Oluwadamilola Abosede and Abiodun Adeleke children of Elder Olatunji Ayo and Alhaji M.O. Ajadi will be joined in the solemnisation of holy matrimony at the Ikeja Local Government Marriage Registry, Lagos. Guests will be hosted to a reception at the Scorpio Hall, All Seasons Conference Centre, Agidingbi, Ikeja Lagos.

• Alhaji Adenowo and his wife Aishat



ODAY, Mrs Theresa Ekpeluchi Chime mother of the Enugu State Governor, Sulivan Chime will be buried.

The will be lying-in-state service will be hold at her family compound Ekenene Udi, Enugu State. The funeral service and interment will hold tomorrow at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Udi and the outing and thanksgiving service will come up on Sunday at the same church.

Birthday •From left: Prof Tajudeen Gbadamosi; his wife Alhaja Toyyibat (right) and Alhaji Shakiru Giwa

husband and me - during our trying period. She is a mother in a million, Oh

Mummy! May Allah grant you paradise,” she prayed. The deceased’s son

Olorunjeda told The Nation he would miss his mother’s counsel.


ODAY the 90th birthday of Alhaji Bashir Olarenwaju Yusuf comes up with a thanksgiving prayer at his Odo Egbo, Ijebu-Ode residence. Reception will take place tomorrow at the De-prime hall, 125/131 Molips road, Ijebu-Ode.


Alumni Golf Cup

T •Former Miss Opeoluwa Felicia and her beau Babatunde Emmanuel after their wedding at RCCG Kingdom Area Abundant Ikeja, Lagos

HE Alumni Golf Resort will start its ALUMNI GOLF 2012 CUP at the Ikeja Golf Club, today, at GRA Ikeja, Lagos. This event will include other side attractions like the practice section, welcome cocktail, live jazz music. Other activities marking the tournament include lunch, barbecue and live music. A dinner night will hold on Sunday at the club’s house, Ikeja.



ODAY, the funeral service of the late Mrs. Ijeoma Edith Ibenegbu will hold at St. Anthony Church Enugwu Ukwu, Anambra state. Her interment follows immediately at her residence Ibenegbu compound. On Sunday, her outing and thanksgiving service will be held at St. Anthony’s Anglican Church, Anambra State.



KITI State Governor’s mother Madam Dorcas Aina Fayemi remains will be interred today at the St Martin’s Catholic Church, Isan Ekiti.

The funeral Mass will hold same day early in the morning at the same church. The interment will be followed with a reception at Eyitayo Grounds, Isan Ekiti. Thanksgiving service will hold in her honour on Sunday at the St Martin’s Catholic Church, Isan Ekiti.

•Compiled by Abike Adegbulehin and Damilola Bamidele







FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012




Thrice he took a shot at the presidency through the ballot; thrice he failed. But for 70-year-old Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), the battle is not over yet. The former Head of State is oiling his political machinery ahead of 2015, reports TONY AKOWE.

Ripples over Buhari’s 2015 ambition H

E had told the world that he was through with presidential aspiration after the 2011 general elections. At the grand finale of his nationwide campaign, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, a former military Head of State and presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), shed tears. The presidential election was his final shot at the office he exited in August 1985. Many took him for his word. But when the battle for the exalted seat shifted to the court room, the retired Army General promised to take a decision on his political future after the Supreme Court ruling. Many waited patiently for the verdict. But when the apex court affirmed the victory of President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Daura, Katsina State-born General kept Nigerians guessing. But barely a year into the Jonathan administration, Buhari has served a notice to make one more attempt - his fourth through the ballot box - at the presidency. He said media reports on his decision not to contest again was a misrepresentation. According to him, at 70 plus, he is not too old to seek election. Already, he has promised to reorganise his political platform, after which he would decide whether to contest or not the 2015 presidential election. Buhari, while dropping the curtain on his presidential campaign for the 2011 election, said “unlike the previous two “2003 and 2007, our victory is assured as evidenced by the unprecedented turnout by people and spontaneous popular acclaim all over the country.” “This campaign is the third and last one for me since after it I will not present myself again for election into the office of the president”. While hosting members of his party from Niger State at his Kaduna residence recently, Buhari said: “God willing, something will happen in 2015.” He urged the electoral umpire to ensure a free and fair conduct of the 2015 elections so that Nigeria can move forward. He warned: “If what happens in 2011 should again happen in

2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood.” But Murtala Abubakar, President of the Arewa Defence League, told The Nation that the retired general was playing to the gallery and allowing some people to ride on his goodwill to achieve personal gains. He noted: “I wish that Buhari never made that statement not to contest any election in the country again. Even though he said he will always remain in politics, I want to say that being in politics is not all about contesting election. “He told the whole world that he will not contest election again. I am surprise that he is coming up now to say that he may contest the elections in 2015. “Let me say that I am one of those who believe that Buhari should not contest the election. Some people want to take advantage of the goodwill of Buhari to achieve their selfish goals. “Experience has shown that Buhari is a man of integrity, but he is not a good leader. Look at the imposition of candidates that characterised the last election. I believe like several other Nigerians that Buhari has personal integrity and that is not in doubt. “But Buhari as a politician and a candidate still has a problem. When he came up with his political party, the CPC, there was this euphoria about the party and the belief that with Buhari, we are going to see principles in our politics. But look at what is happening. I am disappointed that he has allowed some people to manipulate him for their own selfish interest. “These same people have been around him since 2003 and he seems to believe so much in them and it is only what they tell him that he will do. These people are not interested

•Buhari at the rally campaign.

in what is good for the country and as a leader; he should be able to distance himself from them. But that has not happened and it is not good for him.” Murtala said that rather than contest in 2015, Buhari should concentrate on being a statesman and giving direction to his party members to become a formidable opposition. The Christian Health Awareness Initiative of Nigeria (CHAN) said Buhari’s latest posture could trigger violence during the 2015 general elections. It urged the government to call him to order. The group said in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Pastor Caleb Ma’aji, said Nigerians cannot suffer because of the ambition of one man, who they said truncated the nation’s democratic process in 1983 when he overthrew the Shagari regime. The Christian body said: “We have noted with dismay the unstatemanly conduct of Muhammadu Buhari who threatened the nation with bloodshed should the 2015 election not be free and fair. “We understand that since he would only accept that the election is free and fair on the condition that he wins the election, we note that in reality Buhari is really saying that there would be bloodshed in 2015 if he does not win the 2015 elections. “Knowing what we suffered after Buhari’s 2011 statement calling for the lynching of certain persons and the bloodshed which followed his statement and which mostly claimed the

lives of Christians and members of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) of both the Islamic and Christian faiths. “We are alarmed at this bloodshed foretold and we call on the Federal Government and indeed the international community to rein the former military leader. We wish to remind the international community that observers from the Commonwealth of Nations including the European Union and the Democratic Institute all adjudged that the 2011 elections were free and fair. “We ask, where has Muhammadu Buhari been when it was time to condemn the various dastardly killings of innocent Nigerians by Boko Haram? Did he ever condemn the call by Lawal Kaita on the October 15 of 2010 that the North is determined to make Nigeria ungovernable for President Goodluck Jonathan should he win the 2011 election? “A man who cannot condemn Boko Haram but remains silent while the evil sect continues to take the blood of innocent Nigerians now wants to condemn and accuse the Federal Government of being Boko Haram. On which side is Buhari in the war on terror? Is he on the side of Nigeria or on the side of Boko Haram? Has Buhari, who is a Northerner, ever gone on a condolence visit to any of the states where Boko Haram has struck? “How can a nation continue to suffer because of the inordinate ambition of one man? This man truncated our match to democracy in 1983 when he overthrew

‘While hosting members of his party from Niger State at his Kaduna residence recently, Buhari said God willing, something will happen in 2015. The electoral umpire must ensure a free and fair conduct of the 2015 elections so that the country can move forward’

a democratically elected government to satisfy his own lust for power. “A man who trampled on the rights of Nigerians when he headed a military junta and who called for Muslims to vote only Muslim candidates is now wanting to pretend to be a democrat. “Furthermore, Buhari should not turn the current war on terror to a North versus South affair. When he says that since the leaders now don’t listen to anybody but do whatever they wish, there is nothing the North can do. “We believe in one Nigeria and we do not believe in sitting idly and doing nothing while our fellow countrymen are being slaughtered in order to prove a point. “We wish to advice Buhari that evil will not over Christians but we will overcome evil with good. The planned bloodshed of dog and baboon will not come to pass.” The question on the minds of Nigerians is whether Gen. Buhari will go back on his word not to contest election again, but to remain in politics and provide guidance and leadership for his party, which is facing a credibility problem following multiple candidates in most states where it was expected to win in 2011. Although he said his party is undergoing repositioning, will the CPC be able to make an inroad into most Southern states, especially in the Southwest where the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has its foothold in the Southsouth, where the PDP is in firm control? To become a national party and wrest power from the ruling PDP, observers believe the CPC must move away from being a regional party and take a national outlook. The party could market what it has in stock for Nigerians by using Nasarawa State, which is under its control as a model. From a one-party state in 2003, the ACN used Lagos as its benchmark to win in five other states in 2011.




FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012

Governor Obi says his administration is determined to give Anambra people ultra-modern health institutions they will be proud of, assuring them that he will do everything possible to make the institutions functional


NAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi’s passionate plea for developmental partnership has started yielding fruit. Responses are coming in, one of which from Agbani Partners made up of such oil firms as Famfa, Statoil, Chevron and Petrobras. The group has built and handed over a state-of-the art chest clinic to the state government. Handing over the clinic which comprised the building and state-of-the art equipment to the state, the representative of the group, Mr. Shola Adebalu said that credit must be given to Governor Obi who, through the goodwill he enjoys, attracted the project to Anambra State. He further said that the gestures was part of their corporate social responsibilities and was intended to add value to the lives of the people. He thanked the governor for his interest and support to make the project a reality. Receiving the key to the clinic, Obi thanked the group for their support. He said the complex, located within the new teaching hospital complex which recently secured accreditation, would be handed over to the teaching hospital for proper management and for the people to derive maximum value from it. In line with his promise to make mission hospitals partners in health matters in the state , the governor also handed over cheques of over N80m as grant-in-aid to 40 missionary hospitals some of which are: Red Cross, Faith Hospital, Awka; Niger Diocesan Hospital, St. Mary the Virgin Hospital; East Niger Hospital, Ogbaru, among others. The governor, who promised that his administration would not relent in its efforts to improve the health sector, said that arrangement had been concluded to build a cardiac centre at St. Joseph Hospital, Adazi-Nnukwu in honour of Dr. Joe Nwiloh, an internationally recognised heart surgeon, who is also from Adazi-Nnukwu. The Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Linus Amobi Ilika said that Anambra people should be very grateful to Governor Obi for his commitment to improve all sectors, including health. He further said that the state would upgrade public health laboratory to a comprehensive and integrated centre to serve the Southeast and become a centre of research. Prof. Ilika also said the idea behind the grant-in-aid to the missionary churches stemmed from the fact that they are collaborators and not into competition with the government. Chief Anthony Agidigbo

•Governor Obi (right) inspects the clinic

Oil firms build clinic for Anambra From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

Oguejiofor, a community leader, described the recent accreditation of health institutions in the state as ‘historic and unprecedented,’ as the institutions were distressed at the beginning of the present administration. Prof. Ilika said the present administration was committed to addressing inequality in the state which was the reason development was being taken to remote areas that never witnessed it before. The governor donated a brand new 18-seater van and 10 desktop computers to Austin Memorial Secondary School Nanka and Holy Family Col-

lege, Isuofia. He advised the students to be serious with their studies which, according to him, were the basic currency they need to conquer the future. He also urged the students to be of strong moral character. Responding, the Principal Rev. Fr (Dr) Cosmas Ebebe thanked Obi for introducing civilised order into governance in Anambra State. He also praised him for the support for missionary institutions, especially in the recent handover of schools to them and grant of N6b for rehabilitating the schools. However, Governor Obi said government is committed to achieving all the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, including healthcare deliv-

ery which he described as critical in the life of a people. He stated this while presenting three brand new vehicles to the Anambra State Teaching Hospital Amaku, Awka and the College of Medicine of the State University at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia. The vehicles included one 18-seater bus and an ambulance for the teaching hospital and one 18-seater bus for the Department of Community Medicine and Primary Healthcare of the state university. Presenting the vehicles, Governor Obi said they were in fulfilment of the requirements for accreditation of the teaching hospital and the college of medicine. Besides, he continued, the state government had provided other necessary facilities required for accreditation including putting up over 16 giant ultra-modern structures hous-

ing the college of medicine, laboratory, pathology, accident and emergency wards, pediatrics, female, male and special wards as well as consultant clinics, warehouses and hospital equipment. Governor Obi further explained that his administration was determined to complete and deliver ultra-modern health institutions the people will be proud of, even as he assured that he will do everything possible to make them functional. Professor Ilika said that besides building a teaching hospital for the state, the governor had also rebuilt 16 general hospitals across the state. The commissioner explained that the Governor recently gave the sum of N3b to health institutions owned by voluntary agencies because when these institutions deliver, the state’s heath sector is working.

Terrorism: Navy strengthens security on waterways


•Tricycles distributed to members of a riders’ association in Bauchi

HE Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command Rear Admiral Babalola Ogunjimi has said Nigerian Navy would confront any security challenge on the nation’s territorial waters. Ogunjimi, who was on a familiarisation visit to NNS Jubilee in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, said the Navy would not relent in pursuing vigorously the aims and objectives of protecting the nation’s territorial waters. He thanked the state governor Godswill Akpabio for his assistance and support which has enhanced the accelerated development of the base. Ogunjimi also lauded the commander of NNS Jubilee Cmdr. Moses Lekwot and his team for maintaining a high level of professionalism and dis-

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

cipline. While urging them to continue their good work, Admiral Ogunjimi harped on the need to relate well with their host communities in the area of crime prevention. In his remark, the commander of NNS Jubilee Cmdr. Lekwot expressed gratitude to Admiral Ogujimi for visiting the base. The visit, he noted, would go a long way in motivating and boosting the morale of officers and men of the base for greater productivity. He disclosed that the base since its establishment has achieved a lot especially in the areas of crime prevention such as bunkering and piracy.





NDERSTANDABLY, most readers of this column will, today, expect to read something about the news of a baby boy allegedly born with a copy of the Qur’an in his hand at Mushin, Lagos last week. The wild brouhaha that greeted that incident alone which can be best described as nonesuch is enough to warrant the attention of this column because of the currency with which ‘THE MESSAGE’ is well known. But it is not the character of ‘THE MESSAGE’ to rush into publishing anything based on hearsay without thorough research. An understanding Muslim must not just believe anything without evidence. Islam is a religion of evidence and whatever will be attributed to it must be evidential. Islam or any divine religion for that matter is not and cannot be based on miracle. The use of miracle is only an expediency meant to prove a genuine case. No Prophet came into the world for the purpose of performing miracle. It was only when it became necessary that the Almighty Allah gave the concerned Prophet a momentary power to perform miracle. And, such miracle is neither transferable nor inheritable. The modern day religious charlatans who claim and live on sham miracle only do so for the purpose of bread and butter. If ‘THE MESSAGE’ will write anything at all on the so-called ‘miracle boy’ it will be based on reason and logic which can only be attained through research. Be that as it may, it has been severally repeated in this column that the problem of a columnist is not a dearth of ideas but a deluge of them. While a columnist is busy ruminating over a variety of ideas and weighing some against others, many other unexpected ideas do come up throwing themselves aggressively and competitively at the same columnist in a revolving manner. Thus, the time a columnist spends in deciding on the subject of his writing is much more than the time he actually spends in writing the column. And that is the situation every week with any worthy weekly columnist. Column writing is like a pregnancy in the womb of a woman. The carrier feels the ache either in the leg today or on the back tomorrow. Until she delivers the baby and becomes relieved, there is never a moment of comfort either for a pregnant woman or her care takers. That is the same situation in which a newspaper columnist of worth finds himself. The planned subject of today’s article in this column was a symposium held in Abuja last week Thursday which drew an array of well-meaning Nigerian men and women from all walks of life and across tribes and religions including the VicePresident, Namadi Sambo GCON, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), the Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Ayo Ortsejafor who was ably represented. Also present or represented were a galaxy of Emirs, Obas, Obis and Federal and State officials, Senators, Legislators as well as Nigerian and foreign professionals who see themselves as stake holders in Nigerian peaceful co-existence. The symposium was initiated by Nasrullahi-l-Fatih Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) under the notion: ‘MUSLIM FOR PEACE’. The motive of the notion was to disabuse the minds of those who blame Islam for the misconduct of certain irritants who claim to be Muslims. In this instance, blaming the message for any misdemeanour of the messenger in the religious sphere is like blaming the Nigerian constitution for the misbehaviour of some Nigerians abroad who are found guilty of misconduct and either deported, jailed or hanged. Just as Nigerian constitution cannot be held responsible for such deviants so can Islam not be blamed for the nefarious activities of some rascals who claim to be Muslims. After all, there is no religion or culture or even convention anywhere in the world without deviant adherents. It is only shallow-thinking people who will blame the misconduct of such deviants on the concerned religion or culture or convention. Let those who pretend not to know that not every bad child comes from a bad home cast the first stone. The symposium was jointly organised by the initiator (NASFAT), Osun State

FEMI ABBAS ON 08122697498

NASFAT’s national symposium

• Sultan Abubakar Government and the American Embassy in Nigeria. The theme was: ‘ISLAM AND PEACFUL CO-EXISTENCE IN A CONTEMPORARY MULTI RELIGIOUS SOCIETY’ and the venue was Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Conference Centre, Abuja. Of course, as usual, yours sincerely was there. In his welcome address, the National President of NASFAT, Alhaji Sheriff Yussuf said: “.....NASFAT feels compelled to stage this symposium in view of prevailing security challenges in Nigeria threatening our lives with the emergence of militant organisations camouflaging under ethnocentric and religious façade to destroy, kill, maim and ultimately instil fear and terror into the minds of all citizens. Just as NASFAT responded in 2005 with a National Discourse on corruption when our collective image as a people was being soiled by the scourge, this platform today, is intended to cleanse the seeming public mindset that the orchestrated scheme of terrors had been a campaign being perpetrated by Muslims to impose Islam or as a mark of hatred against people of other faiths”. “We hope to use this symposium, in sha’Allah to free the minds of multitudes that have been misinformed, from this rather simplistic hollow concept of religious colouration to the spate of attacks on innocent citizens who are of various religious beliefs. It should thereafter become easier for us to garner meaningful and effective ideas as means of bringing to an end this plague of intolerance and violent killings which has not only tainted our timeless traditional and religious values but has potential for destroying our existence as one nation, one people”. “While it is true that the war on corruption has not been won yet since our effort in year 2005, the fact that both the government and the governed have since kept the issue in focus and are not relenting in seeking solutions thereto makes the effort not only worthwhile but rewarding. We believe the endeavour of today’s symposium will achieve even more impacting resonance, such as will redirect the flow of thoughts, behaviours and ultimately better social harmony and friendships between people of various religious persuasions in our country......” In his own contribution, the Executive Secretary of the Muslim Ummah of Southwest Nigeria (MUSWEN), Professor D.O.S Noibi (OMB) said in the preamble to his speech: “Every Nigerian ought to be interested in the peaceful co-existence of the

various ethnic and religious groups in the country. There is no doubt about the fact that ethnic and religious disharmony and conflicts are destructive and would render real development a virtually unattainable dream. Therefore, the fact that the everincreasing security challenges that we encounter in Nigeria today assume a religious dimension should be source of great concern for every Nigerian. But it is more so for Nigerian Muslims because those believed to be behind the recent attacks and killings are supposed Muslims who are claiming to be doing it all on behalf of Islam. We know that many Nigerian Muslim leaders have firmly condemned the actions of the group as being entirely opposed to the true teachings of Islam”. “....Contrary to general misconceptions, JIHAD is primarily not about war or violence. The term is a derivative of the Arabic verb ‘jaahada’ which means “to strive”,” to exert oneself” towards doing what is right or refraining from doing what is wrong. The context in which the word is used in many passages of the Qur’an –such as 29:6, 8 and 69- do not at all admit its interpretation as fighting..... The Muslims never took up arms even in selfdefence until they were permitted to do so.......Even where war became inevitable in self-defence the Prophet demonstrated a rare sense of magnanimity. He laid down rules of engagement so that noncombatants, women and children were to be spared and never to be attacked. Even the animals of the pagan enemies must be spared except those needed for food. He refused to execute the prisoners of war from Makkah who had waged an aggressive war against the Muslims at Badr. Neither did he pressurise them to accept Islam in return for freedom. Interestingly, what he asked them to do as ransom was for each of the literate ones among those captives to teach ten Muslim children in Madinah how to read and write. Similarly, he granted total amnesty to his adversaries in Makkah on the occasion when Allah delivered the city to him. He did not ask them to declare conversion to Islam in return for freedom”. It is clear from the clarification made above regarding the true meaning of jihad that it does not in any way adversely affect the right of non-Muslim. The positive, non-violent connotation of the term for a Muslim is something that a nonMuslim can relate to quite comfortably....Religious leaders owe the nation the responsibility of watching their utterances, as unguarded statements can surely worsen an already bad situation. They also owe it as a duty to advise and check the youth among their followers ....” My brothers and sisters, our distinguished guests, the search for peace and mutual co-existence remains one of the greatest challenges that beset our society today. Impunity has become the order of the day. The values of tolerance and moderation which had provided the bedrock of our religious and collective existence are being trampled on, without let or hindrance. Much worse, the disregard for human life has not only become rampant but increasingly glamorised. These unfortunate events are not only confined to our society but extend to the industrialised world which usually preaches equality and the rule of law. The recent happenings in Norway, the Netherlands, Den-

mark and other European countries give one much to worry about. It is for this reason that our gathering here today takes an added significance, not only to explore the relationship between Islam and Peaceful Co-existence but also to proffer cogent and realistic solutions which would help the Ummah to overcome its current challenges and to assist in the realization of its developmental goals and objectives. Your Excellencies, Our Distinguished Guests, it also with this in mind that I wish to share few of my thoughts on the subject matter. Firstly, the task of peace-building and of making peace among our people is an imperative which has been imposed upon the Ummah. As Allah [SWT] states in Surat ul – Nisa, verse 144, “There is no good in most of their secret counsels save in him who orders charity [Sadaqa] or Goodness [ma‘ruf] or conciliation between mankind.” And in the Chairman’s remark on the occasion, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) said: “The promotion of understanding and conciliation is a noble task which Allah [SWT] Himself has placed on us. We must therefore strive as an Ummah to discharge this onerous responsibility seriously and effectively. We must promote moderation and toleration in our society. We must equally open effective channels of dialogue with all segments of the society, including those who hold contrary opinions to that of our own. Our distinguished brothers and sisters, the second point I wish to raise is that the Muslim Ummah is necessarily a knowledge society. The pride of the Ummah has always been and remains the cultivation of knowledge in all its ramifications. Islamic civilisation, both here and elsewhere, had been predicated on the promotion of learning not only in the religious sciences but also in General Science and Technology. The conflict between Faith and Science did not originate in the Muslim world. Muslim Civilisation bequeathed to the world the Study of Science and Technology. The time has come for Muslims to strive harder to reclaim this golden legacy. The third point I wish to raise is that peace cannot be fully established without an unflinching commitment to equity and justice. We must strive to promote these pivotal values in our society. Injustice and Inequity invariably lead to corruption which in turn breeds poverty and dissension. No society can thrive and prosper when afflicted with these deadly vices. It is undoubtedly for this reason that Shehu Uthman Ibn Fodio, of blessed memory, had to admonish leaders in the following words: “Seeing to the welfare of the people is more effective than the use of force. It has been said that the crown of a leader is his integrity, his stronghold is his impartiality and his wealth is [the welfare of] his people.” Fourthly, I must also point out that for the purposes of peace –building in our society, leaders on all sides of the religious divide, must act responsibly, and exercise utmost caution in both their actions and their utterances. We must endeavor to resist the urge for exhibitionism and brinkmanship. We must as a nation develop a collective consciousness where the pain of any member of our society, regardless of creed and ethnic origin, shall be the collective pain of all of us. And we must all work together to ensure that we remove the cause of this point….” The summary of all these are as follows: 1. That as far as Islam is concerned there is no compulsion in religion. No man can force another to accept his faith and no Muslim should try any religious imposition by force. It is against the norm of Islam. 2. Leaders in all spheres of human endeavour should just in their actions through the maintenance of equity. They should also show concern about the welfare of the people at all times. 3. All Nigerians, irrespective of creed and ethnic origin must develop collective consciousness in a manner that the pain of any member of the society should be the pain of all. And those who are privileged to be religious leaders should exhibit sense of responsibility in their actions and utterances. God save Nigeria! NOTE: Other presented papers at the symposium will be brought up in this column from time to time.




Dangote Sugar Refinery assures on improved returns •To acquire Savannah Sugar Company


ANGOTE Sugar Refinery (DSR) Plc has assured shareholders of improved returns in the years ahead as shareholders yesterday approved the acquisition of Savannah Sugar Company (SSC) to enable the company realise its backward integration objective. Speaking at the annual general meeting in Lagos, chairman, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Alhaji Aliko Dangote assured shareholders that the company had used the immediate past business year to position its business for stable growth. According to him, the challenges faced in 2011 helped the company to set logical steps that would guarantee an improved and better performance not only in the current business year, but also in the future. According to him, with the appointment of a new chief executive, many new internal management initiatives and sales and marketing strategies taken during the year would continue to impact on the performance of the company. “We restructured the executive management team, appointed a new managing director to lead the company into the future. We further realigned our marketing and sales strategies to position us strate-

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

gically with a view to drive performance, improve efficiency and output,” Dangote said. Shareholders approved distribution of a gross dividend of N3.6 billion, representing dividend per share of 30 kobo. Dangote Sugar recorded net profit after tax of N7.111 billion on a turnover of N106.511 billion in 2011. Dangote explained that Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), which now owns 95 per cent of SSC, acquired SSC from the Federal Government in 2002 during the privatisation exercise as part of efforts by DIL to reduce the company’s dependence on imported raw sugar. According to him, Dangote Sugar’s raw sugar importation and refining business has experienced declining profitability margin due to volatile raw sugar prices in the global market and increasing competition in the local market. He outlined that as part of strategies to retain its market leadership, and dominant position, the company had been working on a number of backward integration strategies into domestic sugar production and milling business.

“The new strategy is in support of the Federal Government transformation agenda and is ahead of the proposed sugar policy with the thrust of encouraging local production of sugar. The strategy will significantly reduce the company’s cost structure while ensuring that it remains competitive and delivers improved profitability and enhanced shareholder value,” Dangote said. DSR is the market leader in the Nigerian sugar industry with about 70 per cent market share and the largest sugar refinery in Sub-Sahara Africa with installed sugar refining capacity of 1.44million metric tonnes per annum. Meanwhile, the Nigerian stock market witnessed a slight contraction yesterday as the market struggled with profit-taking transactions. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities slipped from N7.183 trillion to N7.181 trillion while the All Share Index dropped marginally from 22,524.67 points to 22,517.66 points. Turnover stood at 563.80 million shares valued at N2.76 billion in 3,738 deals. IHS Plc witnessed major cross deals with a turnover of 347.34 million shares worth N778.23 million in five deals. Banking subgroup accounted for 141.03 million shares worth N1.19 billion in 1,865 deals. Insurance subsector recorded a turnover of 21.41 million shares valued at N12.42 million in 81 deals.





Audit Committee: ICAN advocates 80% appointment slot for shareholders T

HE Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has called for a review of the quota system in the appointment of audit committees that will give shareholders of quoted companies 80 per cent vote in appointment of committees. Speaking at the inaugural national conference on audit quality assurance organized by the Institute of Audit Committee in Lagos, ICAN President, Francis Ojaide said the efficiency of Audit Committees in Nigeria companies has been compromised based on skewed processes followed in their appointment. He said the composition is skewed in favour of management, thereby reducing the independence of the body and com-

Stories by Collins Nweze

promising their quality of work. “Audit Committees should be expanded with stakeholders having more representation. The power of the board to appoint 50 per cent of the membership of the committee should be circumscribed. The board should appoint only 20 per cent while shareholders appoint 80 per cent inclusive of chairman,” he said. Ojaide said audit committees should have a special role in appointing and reviewing the performance of chief executive officer and ensuring that internal control procedures are satisfactory. They should be well placed to act as a focal point for internal

ence as well as the resources which needs to do so and full access to information. It should be able to obtain outside professional advice and if necessary invite outsiders with relevant experience to attend meetings. He said that with the right membership, written terms of reference and adequate resources, the audit committees will be able to deliver on their mandate. “They are to assist external auditors in obtaining information they require in resolving difficulties experienced by them in pursuing their independent examinations. They are also to deal with any material reservations of the external auditors regarding the company’s management, its records and its final accounts, including the manner in which significant items are presented,” he said. Chairman, Audit Committee In-

whistleblowers rather than senior management dealing with the issues. He said that for audit committees to be effective, they must be composed of well informed members. Also, the effectiveness depends on strong independent chairman who has the confidence of the board and of the external auditors. The ICAN boss recommended that chairman of audit committee should not be a director in the same company. Also, members must be properly constituted with written terms of reference which deal adequately with their membership, authority and duties. The committees are also expected to have explicit authority to investigate any matters within the terms of refer-

Fidelity Bank shareholders approve N4b dividend


HAREHOLDERS of Fidelity Bank Plc have approved the sum of N4.05 billion as total dividend payout which translated to 14 kobo per share for the financial year ended December 31, 2011. The shareholders, who were at the bank’s 24th annual general meeting held yesterday in Lagos, also commended the management for the performance in the year under review. Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, also assured the shareholders that bank will continue to expand its retail business. He said that in 2011, the bank established a total of 18 new branches at target locations, in line with the ex-

pansion strategy. He added: “Nigeria’s population size and natural resources combine to present varied opportunities for economic growth and demand for banking services across various population categories. Our branch expansion category reflects these opportunity clusters. Our total branch network increased from 172 in 2010 to 185 as at December 2011,” he said. According to him: “This measured growth in distribution points increased our capacity to distribute appropriate branded products and services as well as strengthen the linkage effects with our existing business office which has huge implication for non interest base income.”

He said that the bank will continue to strengthen and increase its share of corporate business through several initiatives, adding that the bank was able to enlarge its general business and loan portfolio by funding the telecommunications, power and infrastructure, oil and gas, processed food and agric sectors last year. He added: “We have maintained our stand on the financing of pioneer power and infrastructure projects through the completion of N2.45 billion 10 megawatts power plant in Marina, Lagos, for Island Power Limited and the syndicated N20.8 billion 128 kilometre natural gas pipeline project for East Horizon Gas Limited.

Euro falls to 4-month low


HE euro fell to a four-month low as Spain’s borrowing costs rose at an auction, stoking concern that the region’s financial crisis is spreading from Greece. Europe’s shared currency declined against most of its major counterparts as the European Central Bank said it will temporarily stop lending to some Greek banks with President Mario Draghi indicating it won’t compromise to keep Greece in the euro area. Likewise, the yen extended its gain against the dollar after data


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 150m 150m 138m 138m



Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011




1.00 10.80 9.00 15.04 6.62 15.70 2.69 1.27 0.64 0.52


1.05 11.34 9.45 15.79 6.95 16.48 2.82 1.33 0.67 0.54


NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market

Current Before

O/PRICE 34.20 5.00 5.63 4.52 3.51 6.50 6.30 1.17 0.97 6.55

C/PRICE 32.49 4.75 5.35 4.30 3.34 6.19 6.00 1.12 0.93 6.29

CHANGE 1.71 0.25 0.28 0.22 0.17 0.31 0.30 0.05 0.04 0.26

29-2-12 27-2-12




C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51















Feb. ’11

July ’11

Dec ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 12.6%

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 123.90 105.44 0.75 1.08 0.89 1,710.94 9.42 1.39 1.87 7,883.04 193.00 1.67

9.08 1.00 123.77 104.82 0.72 1.08 0.88 1,703.76 8.96 1.33 1.80 7,672.11 191.08 1.62



7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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




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


LOSERS AS AT 16-5-12


Exchange Rate (N) 155.8 155.8



0.05 0.54 0.45 0.75 0.33 0.78 0.13 0.06 0.03 0.02


Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency


showed the United States jobless claims for unemployment benefits were unchanged last week and another report showed Philadelphiaarea manufacturing decreased in May. “There’s a lot of uncertainty about where Europe is headed on the political front, and markets are trading the uncertainty, which means that risky asset prices will fall,” Aroop Chatterjee, a currency strategist at Barclays Plc’s Barclays Capital unit in New York told Bloomberg.



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

stitute Nigeria, Christian Ekeigwe said the quality of audit carried out in an organization should be effectively monitored by regulators. According to him, there is need for intelligent regulatory efforts aimed at entrenching high quality audits, which will serve the market better. This, he said, should include issuing audit quality guidelines and inspection of audit quality in auditing firms as well as internal audit department of companies. “Also, smart incentives and vigorous enforcement regime will assist in getting the work done. But above all, given the developmental stage of our society, the first step should be educating the market participants’ auditors, regulators, investors, accounting scholars and audit professionals in audit quality,” he said.

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


OPEN BUY BACK Previous 04 July, 2011

Current 07, Aug, 2011













PDP, Jonathan’s controversy with Buhari diversionary, says David-West

Jonathan receives four new ambassadors

•PDP has failed governance

FOUR new ambassadors to Nigeria yesterday presented their letters of credence to President Goodluck Jonathan at State House. They are Mr. Saeed Koozechi, (Iran); Mr. Marco Antonio Garcia Barco, (Mexico); Mrs. Toure Maman, (Cote d’Ivoire); and Mr. Vyacheslav Beskosty, (Belarus). Jonathan urged them to take advantage of the warm and cordial relations between Nigeria and their countries to further develop economic activities for the mutual benefit of the citizens. He said his administration would cooperate with them to attract investments into the country, adding that Nigeria is “a good market with over 167m people”. Koozechi said Iran sympathised with Nigeria over the terrorist attacks, promising his country’s assistance to curb the menace. Barco said he wanted to build on the long history of cooperation between his country and Nigeria. Mrs. Maman expressed her country’s appreciation for Nigeria’s role in resolving the recent crises in that country. Beskosty said he was in Nigeria to promote economic and educational cooperation between both countries.

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan



ORMER Petroleum Resources Minister Prof. Tam David-West yesterday decried the controversy over former Head of State Gen. Mohammadu Buhari’s warning against rigging the 2015 elections. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Presidency have condemned Gen. Buhari for making the statement. But David-West yesterday pitched his tent with the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). According to him, those calling for Buhari to be crucified are diverting the attention of Nigerians from the failure of the PDP to offer good governance. In an exclusive interview with The Nation in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the former minister noted that neither Jonathan nor the PDP has the right to arrest Buhari for saying an attempt to rig the 2015 elections would lead to violence.

Fed Govt appoints directors for agric programme

He said: “I consider the controversy sparked off by the PDP over Gen. Buhari’s statement on election rigging as not only unnecessary but also diversionary of the PDP’s failed governance. The PDP should give us good governance and stop reacting stupidly to statements it has not put under intellectual scrutiny. “I know there are good intellectuals in the PDP, who I respect; some of them are my friends. But a number of things have come out of the PDP that are intellectually fraudulent and stupid. “The first example was when Gen. Buhari wept openly on the last day of his election campaign last year. The PDP and advisers to President Jonathan said ‘Gen. Buhari was shedding crocodile tears’. Yet, they said he was a serial loser of elections. Crocodile tears are only shed by victors, not vanquished. So, the statement was just intellectually flawed and stupid. The allusion to crocodile tears is that when crocodiles catch their preys, they shed tears. So, such tears are shed by victors. “The second stupidity from the PDP and Jonathan’s advisers was when Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, during the campaign, said those who make peaceful transition impossible will make

violence inevitable. Jonathan himself said he was going to arrest Atiku for the statement, calling it treason. Now, the stupidity of such a reaction is that the statement is 500 years old by Machiavelli and, of recent times, by former President John F. Kennedy of the United States (USA). It shows the reaction was flawed. Atiku only repeated what had been said several years earlier.” The academic punctured the threat by the Federal Government to arrest Buhari, saying it confirmed that the PDP is a rigging party. “The caveat in Buhari’s statement was that ‘if’ the 2015 election is rigged, there will be bloodshed. The reaction of the PDP is stupid because of the following reasons. “Like the caveat, ‘if’ means do not rig the elections to avoid violence. I completely support him. Any right-thinking person will. In other words, by PDP’s reaction, it is indicting itself that it will rig the elections in 2015. “PDP cannot arrest Buhari for the statement. It has no intellectual or moral basis to arrest him because he said ‘if’. PDP should use that statement to purge itself of election impunity.” Also, for branding Buhari a serial loser of elections, David-West said the PDP should burry its head in shame

•Party serial poll rigger for calling Buhari a serial loser of elections. According to him, historical facts show that the party has been a serial rigger of elections. “They are used to calling Buhari a serial loser of elections. If Buhari is a serial loser of elections, it is because PDP is a serial rigger of elections. The PDP itself admitted that when former Vice President Atiku was fighting former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He said in a national daily: ‘We rigged the elections’. The late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua accepted that his election was flawed. President Jonathan also accepted that his election was not perfect. “Another evidence to show PDP’s rigging of elections was the Supreme Court judgment that affirmed Yar’Adua’s election in 2007. The six justices were split into two equal number in support and against the election. The Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN) had to vote in favour of Yar’Adua to resolve the 3/3 tie. If a sitting President can have his election nullified by three Supreme Court justices, it means the election was really flawed. “Now, the latest was the 2011 election. All ballot papers must be serialised according to the INEC law. In 2011 it was established that a lot of the ballot papers were not serialised.

Justice Isa Salami has already ruled that INEC should allow CPC to subject ballot papers to forensic test. That ruling was subsisting when the removed Justice Salami. And it was the beginning of Salami’s problems because they knew he would uphold forensic results. They removed him and his successor said that INEC does not have to do that. “Nigeria is bigger than anyone or any party. PDP cannot be toying with Nigeria. They can’t subject Nigeria to the folly of party nonsense because Nigeria is bigger than all the parties. “They have been hunting Buhari because they are afraid of him just because he is the only Nigerian leader to whom no stain of corruption has been established. Even when Ibrahim Babangida detained him for 40 months, and in the process his mother dies and he was disallowed to go and bury his mother. When he was released, he challenged IBB to tell the world about his corruption. “Again, Obasanjo set up a probe of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) but he suppressed the conclusion of the probe. Buhari challenged Obasanjo to publish the report. I am saying all these because I have all the facts. They are afraid of him because they are a bunch of corrupt people.

Minister advocates review of juvenile laws From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

From Olugbenga Adanikin and Adeola Adeyoye, Abuja


O ensure maximum implementation of the Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA), the Federal Government has appointed regional and state directors to supervise the programme in the regions and states. It has bought 500 project vehicles to assist state and regional directors to effectively discharge their duties. Addressing the directors yesterday in Abuja, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Bukar Tijani, said they would be held responsible for the implementation of the agenda in their states and regions. The minister said some of their tasks include working with the value chain leaders, providing monthly reports to the ministers and permanent secretaries, value chain leaders, departments and agencies. Some of their responsibilities, he added, are seeing what comparative advantages are in their states and sensitising the people on the agenda. To enable them perform their work effectively, he said the government has provided them with 500 project vehicles, computers and offices. Noting that the directors have no reason to fail, Tijani said they would be asked to sign performance agreement to ensure that they are held accountable for their activities. He urged the state directors to always report to the regional directors, saying under no circumstance should they undermine the activities of the state governments.

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

• Hembe (second left) being led by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) when he appeared at the High Court in Abuja...yesterday.

SEC probe: EFCC fails to arraign Hembe, Azubuogu


HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) could not arraign the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Institutions, Herman Hembe and Emeka Azubuogu, yesterday. The arraignment was stalled byAzubuogu’s absence. The Abuja High Court had fixed yesterday for their arraignment after granting leave to the anti-graft agency. Both lawmakers are facing a two-count charge of diversion of public funds, following allegations by the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh. This led to their replacement.

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

Counsel to Azubuogu, Mr. Emeka Etiaba, told the court that his client travelled to Nnewi, Anambra State, following the kidnap of a member of his family. He has filed a preliminary objection, challenging the leave granted to the anti-graft agency by the court upon which the lawmakers were to be arraigned. According to him, there is no proof that a crime was committed by his client. The lawyer wondered why the court granted the order. He averred that the money given to his client for the conference was an estacode, which

is legal and non-retireable. Etiaba said Azubuogu was never requested to refund the money, which failure would have made an allegation of crime against him legally valid. Hembe’s lawyer, Jibrin Kutepa (SAN), told the court that he had an application brought under 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, challenging the jurisdiction of the court. Criticising the EFCC for allegedly trying the lawmaker in the media, Okutepa argued that the proof filed alongside the charge showed that Hembe travelled to Dominican Republic though he did not make it to the conference. Although the counsel to EFCC, Onjefu Obe, urged the court to remand Hembe, Jus-

tice Sadiq Umar ordered that he should continue to enjoy his administrative bail. Justice Umar berated Azubuogu for disrespecting the court through his non-appearance for the proceedings despite being served with the charge and aware of the case. He adjourned till May 28 to hear the objections. The two suspects allegedly converted to their $4,095 each (about N600,000) given to them by the SEC as traveling allowance to a conference in Dominican Republic in October, last year. The offence is contrary to section 308 of the Penal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

THE Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, yesterday said there is need to review the laws, policies, programmes and institutions on juvenile offenders in Nigeria. The minister spoke in Abuja at the opening ceremony of a consultative meeting of stakeholders on a survey of remand homes, approved schools and Borstal institutions. She noted that juvenile justice administration in Nigeria suffers so many inadequacies, such as legal, policy, planning, implementation, training and research, among others. Maina noted that there are no distinct institutions and clear programmes for dealing with juvenile offenders as well as preventing juvenile delinquency in the country. The minister said existing legislation and institutional frameworks were inherited from the colonial government, adding that the laws predated the evolution of contemporary international standard.

School to award scholarship THE National College, Gbagada, Lagos, will hold its 2012/2013 entrance examination on Saturday (May 19), June 23 and July 21 at the school’s premises, 9-11, Sunday Ogunyale Street, Gbagada, Lagos, at 11am. Its Managing Proprietor Alfred Aina said the best candidate in the examinations would get a scholarship.












Gunmen bomb schools in Kano

Boko Haram: Our mortuaries are overstretched, says commissioner


ORNO State Government yesterday lamented that the facilities at its hospitals, especially the mortuaries, have been overstretched as a result of the lingering Boko Haram crisis. Commissioner for Health Dr. Salma Anas Kolo, made the revelation while fielding questions from reporters during a ministerial briefing. She said the stench emanating from the mortuary has taken over the biggest hospital state governmentowned Specialist Hospital, Maiduguri. Dr. Kolo said the hospital is overburdened and that the government is doing everything possible to expand its facilities to meet up with the

From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri

demands, noting that currently, a 33KV line has been connected to the facilities at the hospital. The commissioner said: “Though we are praying that the situation improves, we are currently working on expanding the mortuary.” She said despite problem, her ministry has achieved a lot in the first year of the Governor Kashim Shettima administration. Dr. Kolo listed the achievements of the ministry to include the constructing of six health facilities in Briyel, Askira, Kalabalge, Chibok and Gudumbali areas of the state. The facilities, she said, have been fully equipped.

St Flairs set to fly


IGERIA’S foremost awards company, Saint Flairs Awards Limited is set to take its products to the next level. Synonymous with the production and marketing of motivational materials such as plaques, trophies, medals, corporate materials and gift items, the company has remained a remarkable brand in awards and promotional materials for over two decades. The company inducted has its new purpose driven and self-motivated personnel charged with the responsibility of providing quality service to the local and international Markets.

Audu kicks as Kogi Tribunal upholds Wada’s election From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja


OGI State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lokoja, yesterday affirmed the victory of Idris Wada at the December 3, 2011 governorship election. But the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, who described the judgment as lacking conscience, said he would appeal. Audu had petitioned the tribunal, alleging that the poll was a charade. He asked the tribunal to give him the mandate as he was the winner of the election. Justice Sulaiman Ambursa, in his two and a half hours judgment, said the petitioner had failed to substantiate his allegation that the election was rigged. According to him, the oral and documentary evidence brought before the tribunal were not substantiated. While stressing that the witnesses brought by the petitioner were not convincing, Ambursa held that the testimonies were either incredible or suspicious. The tribunal chair said: “The petitioner has failed to prove the allegation of election malpractices as the document and witnesses brought before the tribunal were in conflict. “Four matters or grounds were whether the first respondent was qualified to contest the poll, and whether the election complied with the guidelines as stipulated by the electoral act. “The others are whether the petitioner obtained the highest votes cast and whether the allegations raised on the conduct of the poll generally affected its outcome.” He said the onus was on the petitioners to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. “However, these allegations could not be substantiated,” Ambursa added. He said the allegations of multiple voting, electoral violence, rigging and inducement of voters by the petitioners could not be proved, as the testimonies of the witnesses were contradictory. “Whether by oral or documentary, the petitioners have failed woefully to prove their allegations.” He therefore ruled in favour of the respondents.


NKNOWN gunmen on Wednesday attacked two schools Ja’en Primary School and Farawa Islamiyya School, both in Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano State. An eyewitness told the

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the incident happened at about 10.30pm. He said the gunmen went to Ja’en Primary School and ordered the security guards to leave, before they planting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). “The blast affected about 10

vehicles parked in the school and two houses in the area,” the eyewitness said. NAN learnt that the police were able to defuse the bomb planted at Farawa Islamiyya School. The Joint Task Force (JTF) spokesman, Lt. Ikedichi Iweha, confirmed the inci-

dent, but declined further comments. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Magaji Majiya, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) also confirmed the incident, adding that the police bomb disposal unit had recovered one IED at Ja’en Primary School.

18 dead in Borno road accident


IGHTEEN passengers were reportedly killed yesterday on the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway in Borno State, when a commercial bus collided with a commercial Volkswagen Golf . Six people, including the two drivers sustained injuries. The accident occurred at Jakana, about 40 kilometres

From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri

from Maiduguri. The accident, according to an eyewitness, occurred at 2:35pm, when the two vehicles collided at a bend near the community. He said one of the vehicles rammed into the other one. The eyewitness said before the arrival of the Fed-

eral Road Safety Commission (FRSC) rescue team at the scene, 18 persons had died, while those rescued were bleeding from their limbs with fractures sustained in their arms, legs and thighs. Confirming the incident in a telephone, a source in the FRSC who pleaded for anonimity told reporters yesterday: “The auto crash

occurred on the MaiduguriKano Road, near a village, 40 kilometres from the Maiduguri metropolis.” The source, who could not reveal the number of casualties, said: “What I am certain of is that some people died in the accident. Our rescue team has already taken the injured to the Specialists Hospital in Maiduguri.”

Ekiti PDP accuses Oni of imposing stooge


FACTION of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated the Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southwest, Mr Segun Oni, for plotting to impose his stooge on the party. The Otogee Gbafoloun Consultative Forum, urged Oni to desist from the alleged illegal activities and shortcuts to establish his control over the party machinery. He said: “Your bid to harmonise the present State Working Committee (SWC) of the party in Ekiti is for the purpose of imposing your supporters on that EXCO.” In a letter by the group to the party’s Vice Chairman, Southwest, Chief Olowoloba Otogee, urged Oni to adopt the attitude of a gallant loser and good sportsman in party affairs. He said: “We are of the

By Precious Welundu

view that you should, instead, direct your energy towards reclaiming your seat as national vice chairman of the PDP in the Southwest geopolitical zone from which you were sacked by the court a fortnight ago. “You need not be told that your choices are limited to either appealing against that decision of the court or moving for a fresh Southwest zonal congress in which you and others would have the opportunity of seeking and securing the votes of delegates to the congress. “That would be a better preoccupation for you than your present campaign of calumny and running from pillar to post for harmonisation of the state

exco. “Already, the National Working Committee (NWC) has affirmed the Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe-led exco as the authentic SWC in the state. Your demand for the review of this decision only places a moral burden on the NWC, whose distinguished members cannot lay aside their integrity and honour to accede to your unnecessary and treacherous demands. “You need to be told also that the Ogundipe exco has come to stay. However the machinations of you and your group have made us in Ekiti PDP resolve to resist with all our strength any move by any outsider or group of outsiders to impose unelected persons on our exco in the name of harmonisation.” “Those PDP leaders seeking to collaborate with you in this venture should first put in order the PDP chapter in their various states. Your


resolve to either rule or ruin the PDP in Ekiti accounts for recent legal misadventures. “The loss by you and your group in elections into the state exco is not the end of the world. With the right attitude, your group could do better in future,” the group said.



NEWS Edo students back Oshiomhole


RESIDENTS of Students’ Union Government (SUG) of tertiary institutions in Edo State have endorsed the second term bid of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. The students, who made the endorsement at the Government House, Benin, said they will mobilise their colleagues to vote for the governor. Presenting a communiqué at the end of their meeting, Comrade John Oguns said: “We are behind you. We will ensure that our students vote for you. “We believe in your administration, that is why we have come from our various institutions to endorse you for second term.” They condemned the activities of some persons parading themselves as students, accusing them of trying to cause disaffection amongst the students. Oshiomhole hailed the students for their organisation. “Our most important asset is our human asset. Our decision to abolish all forms of school fees in the state is to ensure that every house hold benefit from the withdrawal of subsidy,” he said.

JTF kills two in Delta •18 suspected bunkerers arrested From Okungbowa Aiweirie, Asaba and Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa


HE Joint Task Force (JTF) yesterday killed two robbery suspects in Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, following a gun battle. JTF Commander Capt Ubachukuwu Agbo, who is in charge of Boji-Boji command, said his men acting on a tip-off, swooped on a nineman robbery gang in Ozanogogo and Alifekede. Agbo said two suspects were killed and five escaped with bullet wounds. Capt Agbo said a woman gang member, who claimed to be a student of OgwashiUku Polytechnic, and a man were arrested. He added that the two suspects are helping the command with useful information. The police have rescued Mrs Anwuli Ossai, a worker at Oshimili South Local Government. She was kidnapped on Tuesday near her house. Police spokesman Charles Muka said the victim was kidnapped based on mistaken identity. In Bayelsa State, the JTF arrested 18 suspected bunkerers and impounded several items used for the operations. JTF’s Media CoordinatorLt. Col Nwanchukwu Onyema said the patrol team arrested 26 suspects on board two vessels, MT ANE and MT OXO”. He said about 218 illegal refineries and 151 surface tanks and oil dumps were destroyed in Oporoza, Escravos in Delta State, Alakiri waterside and the adjoining creeks of Sombreiro river at Abonema, Rivers State.

One dead in Port Harcourt explosion


BUS exploded yesterday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, killing one person, Edet Akpan, and injuring another. The 18-seat Toyota Hiace bus, painted in the state’s official blue and white colour, was destroyed. The explosion occurred at 10 am at the Rumuokoro Roundabout on the East-West Road in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area. Two suspects allegedly behind the explosion escaped before the bus exploded. The bus’number plates, according to witnesses, were removed by policemen. Residents, who came from Rukpokwu, about 10 kilometres from the scene, said they heard the “loud noise” in their community. The area was condoned off by security operatives. This caused a heavy traffic jam. Businesses were closed with people trooping to the area to catch a glimpse of the vehicle. It was learnt that the bus, fully-loaded with passengers, developed a mechnical fault near Rumuokoro Roundabout, prompting passengers to disembark. The driver and his conductor pleaded with some passers-by to assist them in pushing the bus towards Rumuodara.

Amaechi visits scene From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt


IVERS State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has visited the scene of the incident. The governor allayed fears that the explosion could have been a terror attack. “All of you can act as eyewitnesses that what you have here is not a bomb explosion, what you have here is an attempt by three men to go and rob; we don’t know where they were heading to, where they were going to rob, but in their vehicle, they had an explosive device, a dynamite. “We suspect they must be smoking to have ignited the dynamite and the Commissioner of Police confirmed that. “There was a lady selling by the side of the road and the lady was not even affected; no building was affected. “There is no crater here to show that there was a bomb device; no damage on the road, just the bus.” Amaechi added: “Because of the bulletproof doors you have in banks, some robbers carry dynamites if they want to rob banks. “So obviously, you can see that it is not a bomb device, it was just a mere explosive.” “That is why I have to come here myself to confirm to the world and confirm to the people that the security system in Rivers is working; we will not allow any terrorist action in our state”. Items recovered from the scene included four AK47 rifles and AK47 ammunition which were destroyed in the explosion.

•ACN calls for full investigation From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

Akpan was at the back and the other victim by the side of the bus. Eyewitnesses said as the bus was being pushed, the driver and his conductor disappeared, with the explo-

sion occurring almost immediately. It was learnt that Akpan reportedly called for help but passersby were scared of moving close to the bus, which went up in flames immediately. Commissioner of Police Mohammed Indabawa said:

“You can see four nozzles of rifles at the scene. I do not know where the occupants of the bus were going to or coming from. A comprehensive report will indicate. “It is not a terrorist attack. Not a bomb. Otherwise, all the nearby buildings would have been affected. Maybe there are other things, like dynamite, in the vehicle. “They may be robbers going for an operation and something went wrong. “People should be vigilant and report suspicious characters to the police. “Immediately bomb disposal men are through, the cordon will be removed.” Governor Rotimi Amaechi later visited the scene. The state chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) condemned the “devastating” explosion, calling for a full investigation. Its Publicity Secretary, Jerry Needam, described the “ugly” incident as “unfortunate and condemnable” . The opposition party said: “By this action, nobody is safe, despite huge sums of money voted for security. “The issue is not whether the explosive was a dynamite in the hands of robbers or a bomb but the ability of the hoodlums to beat all security networks around major checkpoints in Port Harcourt.”

Rape child: Man refuses to pay for DNA


HE furore over the paternity of a child produced from an alleged rape is yet to settle. The suspect’s father, Iziudu Idaighe, is said to have refused to pay for a DNA test. Iziudu promised to pay for the test last month to prove that his son was not the father of the child. He earlier opted for blood group and genotype test because of the high cost of DNA but his request was refused by the police authorities. The victim, 15-year-old Vivian Ogbeide, alleged that she was raped in January, last year by Sunday Iziudu. Vivian, who is visually impaired, said she was a primary five pupil of Idinebo Primary School, Uzea, Esan South East Local Government, when the

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

incident took place. She said: “My parents are in the village. They are farmers. I was raped in January 2011. Sunday held me in the bush and raped me. When I became pregnant, he denied it. “They told his parents and we went to the village heads where he agreed that we should go for a paternity test but he did not give me any money until I gave birth.” Vivian said Sunday abandoned her and that her brothers had been responsible for her upkeep. The victim’s brother, Godday Ogbeide, said the suspect’s father refused to pay for the DNA as agreed by both parties in March. Godday said they had been to the Juvenile section of Esigie Police Station in


From Osagie Otabor, Benin

AN Ogun State lawmaker, Remmy Hassan, yesterday told the Truth Commission sitting in Abeokuta, the state capital, that it was providence and wits that made it possible for members of the G-15 lawmakers to have escaped death, kidnap or harm during their turbulent times under former Governor Gbenga Daniel. G-15, headed by the former Speaker Samson Tunji Egbetokun, was a group of lawmakers opposed to the alleged dictatorship and reign of impunity by the former governor. Hassan told the commission during cross-examination by Mr Gbenga Ojekunle, counsel to the G9, a group of lawmakers loyal to Daniel, that every member of G-15 is alive today. The former Deputy Speaker, who is a serving lawmaker on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), was asked to present an oral evidence on a petition he filed before the commission against Mr Soyemi Coker and seven other members of the G-9 lawmakers. The petition reads: “The desecration of the hallowed chambers of the Ogun State House of Assembly and unconstitutional sitting of eight members of the House on September 6, 2010, which precipitated an constitutional crisis, mayhem and maladministration in Ogun State”.

From Damisi Ojo,Akure

•Vivian and her baby

Benin City, where the matter was referred to, but Iziudu never showed up. The suspect denied hav-

•Police investigating driver’s death the University of Benin and Ring Road. He said his brother had a collision with a car belonging to a lieutenant on Tuesday night. “The soldiers dragged him to S&T, where he was allegedly beaten to a coma before he was taken to the hospital.” Matthew said his younger brother died yesterday afternoon at the hospital. He said the family has reported the incident to the

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

Ondo govt is not working, says PDP

ing canal knowledge of Vivian. The baby is yet to be given a name.

Driver dies after encounter with soldiers in Edo COMMERCIAL bus driver, Isaac Onaiwu, has been allegedly beaten to death by soldiers from the Nigeria Army School of Supply and Transport (S&T), Ugbowo in Edo State. The late Onaiwu, 48, died at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, where he was taken to. Sources at the hospital said the deceased was brought in by soldiers and died few hours later. His elder brother, Matthew, said his late brother was an operator of a campus shuttle bus between

‘Providence saved us from death under Daniel’

Ugbowo Police Station, Benin. When contacted, the Administrative Officer of S&T, Capt. Uche, said: “Why are you calling me? Who gave you my number? There is no such story here. Go back to UBTH.” In another development, the police are investigating the murder of Wilfred Agbowabi, a member of the State Drivers’ Welfare Union. Agbowabi was killed during a fracas between

factional groups of the drivers’union. It was gathered that six persons who were arrested in connection with the killing were released after questioning by the police. Police spokesman Etim Bassey said several people had been invited for questioning over the killing. The deceased’s father, Ezekiel, said the late Wilfred was his only child. He urged the police to fish out his killers. Chairman of the drivers’ union Adeyan Ukpomwon led a condolence visit to the family.

THE Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said all is not well in the state. The party was reacting to Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s statement that the state is working. In a statement by its Publicity Director, Mr. Ayo Fadaka, PDP said the statement is not only misleading, but “it was calculated to assault the psyche of the citizenry.” The party said: “For an administration to be considered as working effectively, it must have made meaningful impact in the life of its people. But since this administration came on board, no such impact has been made. “While we readily concede that ephemeral projects, like the water fountain, street flower planting and the painting of public buildings in the colors of Labour Party (LP), abound, we urge the governor not to misconstrue these micro feats as solid achievements. “Governments must count their achievements in terms of the essence of their projects on the life of the people. What is the benefit of a water fountain to people, who lack potable water? Does the painting of public buildings translate to food for the generality of our people?”



NEWS Why I want to be governor, by Abraham


GOVERNORSHIP aspirant of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Abraham, yesterday said the seat carries an equal amount of rewards and curses. He spoke in Bolorunduro, headquarters of Ondo East Local Government Area. Abraham, who was received by a large crowd, said: “My only reason for going into this race is to serve by using the human and material resources of the state for its development. “There is nothing in this council that you people can proudly say your government did for you. There is no potable water; youths have no jobs; the schools are dilapidated and you do not even have a clinic here, yet he is talking about mega schools and mega hospitals where you cannot afford to go. “What a lot of aspirants do not know is that the governorship position carries an equal amount of rewards and curses. When a child cannot be educated and becomes a maid or gardener to the child of a wealthy man, it is a curse on the governor of that time. “When a child dies because of lack of health care, it is the governor that killed that child and that puts a curse on him. When a family dies in an accident because the roads are bad, it is also a curse on him.

“My prayer and covenant with my God is to use the people’s money for the people’s development and not steal a kobo of public funds when I become the governor.” Abraham prayed that God should not allow him to win the ACN primary, if he would steal, asking the people to say amen, which they did after some hesitation. A woman leader, Mrs. Arowolo, said: “The Mimiko government built market stalls for women and collected two years rent. But when we decided that it was not performing and started supporting the ACN, the government locked up the stalls without returning our money. It is punishing us and our families, even though the stalls were built with our money.” A socio-political group in Ore, the People’s Development Forum (PDF), also supported Abraham’s aspiration. In a statement, the group described the aspirant as “an unrivalled philanthropist”. It said: “Over the years, we have restrained from partisan politics, but when Abraham declared his interest to contest the election, we had to speak out. “We have no fear that Abraham would develop our state with all our resources, because he is already a self-made man. He has made a lot of money in the private sector.”

Ibadan road crash: One pupil dead


NE of the 16 pupils involved in Wednesday’s road accident in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Raheedat Olasunkanmi, is dead. The 12-year-old pupil of Merit Secondary School, Olunde, died on Wednesday evening at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan. The bus was conveying the pupils to school about 7:30am, when its brake failed. The conductor died immediately. The pupils and the driver were taken to St. Mary Catholic Hospital, Eleta, and other private hospitals around.

•Assembly orders inspection of school buses From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

The co-ordinator of the catholic hospital, Fr. Clement Enerua, said the late Rasheedat was referred to UCH because she was bleeding internally. UCH spokesman Mr. Ayodeji Bobade confirmed her death. He said: “She died five minutes after she was rushed to the hospital. She suffered severe head injury and was in a very bad shape.” The Chairman of Oluyole Local Government, Mr.

Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, in whose domain the accident occurred, commiserated with the parents of the deceased. He urged drivers to always ensure that their vehicles are in good condition. The bus driver, Mr. Saheed Dauda, 26, who is still in the hospital, said: “I loaded at Olunde. When I got to Prison Junction, I discovered that the brake was not working. As I ascended the hilly part of the bridge, I saw a tipper heading towards me and swerved towards a ditch, but

the bus just jumped over it and went into a shop. That is the last thing I can remember. I was surprised when I woke up and found myself here.” The House of Assembly has directed the Ministry of Education to set up a committee to inspect school buses. It summoned the head of Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) to appear before it next Thursday to explain measures taken to ensure that only road worthy vehicles ply the roads.

Fayemi’s mum for burial today


HE remains of Madam Dorcas Fayemi, the mother of Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, will be interred today in Isan Ekiti. The funeral activities began on Wednesday with a Service of Songs at the Government House Ground, Ado Ekiti. In his sermon, the VicarGeneral of the Ekiti Catholic Diocese, Rev. Fr. Felix Odesanmi, described the deceased as “a devout Christian”. He said she raised godly children, who also took good care of her. Fr. Odesanmi said it was gratifying that the late Madam Fayemi was never a

From Sulaiman Salawudeen , Ado-Ekiti

burden to her children in her old age. He said her demise was not painful because she has gone to rest with the Lord. Fr. Odesanmi said the quality of human life is better assessed by whether or not a person believes in God, adding that the deceased would be remembered for her faith in God. The governor read the first reading from the book of Wisdom, 3:1-19. His siblings took the other readings. In attendance were Deputy Governor Funmi Olayinka; her husband, Mr. Lanre Olayinka; House of Assem-

bly Speaker Adewale Omirin; and former Ekiti State Military Administrator Navy Captain Atanda Yussuf (rtd). Others are thrActing Ekiti Chief Judge, Justice Ayodeji Daramola; Secretary to the State Government Ganiyu Owolabi; founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) Dr. Fredrick Fasehun; top government officials and civil servants. The Christian wake held yesterday at the deceased’s home in Isan Ekiti. Commissioner of Police Ibrahim Maishanu has assured the people of security today. He said the police and men of the State Security Service

•The late madam Fayemi

(SSS); Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; State Traffic Management Agency (EKSTMA) and other paramilitary organisations would work together to ensure a hitchfree event.



NEWS Bombings: Court orders Azazi to accept documents for AGF, DIA

Fed Govt protests Egypt’s deportation of three Nigerians •Seeks redress for deportees


HE Federal Government yesterday protested last week’s deportation of three Nigerians by the Egyptian authorities. In a statement, Foreign Affairs, Minister Ambassador Ashiru demanded that Nigerians wherever they are in the world should be given at least the minimum international standard. The minister denied reports that claimed six Nigerians were deported, saying it was three. He pointed out that two of the victims were deported based on errors by the Egyptian Embassy while processing their visas in Nigeria. He said that the Nigerian authorities have not only petitioned the Egyptian government but also seeking redress for the deportees. The statement reads: “The Minister of Foreign Affairs therefore reiterates that Nigeria citizens, wherever they are must be treated with dignity in accordance with the minimum international standard. Thus assuming the Egyptian embassy in Nigeria made an error while processing the applications of Sekinat Abiola and Shola Sinota, the two should not be vicariously reliable for the mistake of the Egyptian authorities in Nigeria. “Consequently, the matter has been taken up immediately with the Egyptian authorities with the view of lodging Nigeria’s strong protest and seeking redress for our compatriots.” Giving details of the deportees, the Ministry said: “The Minister of Foreign Affairs has received with concern the denial of entry into Egypt of three Nigerian travellers that arrived in the country by Egyptian authorities at the Cairo Airport on May 7th, 2012. The three Nigerians are: Kelvin Gbenga holder of passport number A2377469,

Ogun PDP raises alarm over threat to peace


HE Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm over what it called an attempt to cause a breakdown of law and order. It urged its members to disregard rumours of plans to conduct a fresh congresses in the state. Besides, It said some dissidents within the party and some national officers are planning to disrupt the peace in the state with their plans to conduct fresh congresses, despite subsisting orders and judgement against such an act. The party urged the Presidency and other security agencies to wade into the matter and forestall a breakdown of law and order–in line with the rule of law mantra of the current administration. In a statement yesterday by its Chairman, Mr. Bayo Dayo, an engineer, the party said it was of the firm belief that PDP, as a creation of the law, would not wilfully flout the party’s constitution and the nation’s Constitution. “It is even more so when the party itself has acknowledged the supremacy of the Constitution, ” the party said.

By Eric Ikhilae

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

Sekinat Abiola holder of passport number A361999 and Shola Sinota holder of passport number A3144243. Criticising earlier media reports on the number of the victims, it said: “It is imperative to state that contrary to media reports, the number of Nigerians deported by Egyptian authorities is three and not six. “The reasons adopted by the Egyptian authorities for the deportations are as follows: (a) Kevin Gbenga was found with a fake Egyptian visa and a forged Egyptian stamp on his passport. (b) Sekinat Abiola and Shola Sinota were not: 1, Able to give convincing reasons for their visits to Egypt, 2. Did not have enough money on them (Though Abiola claimed to have $3000 which he refused to show) and 3. both had neither hotel reservations nor any contact/residential address in Egypt. “(c ) Kelvin Gbenga, who was in the company of Abiola and Sinota made Egyptian immigration officials suspicious, following which on the spot interview was conducted leading to consequential refusal to clear them for entry into Egypt. “While Kevin Gbenga found in possession of fake travel documents could have been imprisoned, if found guilty, the other two Nigerians after successfully going through the visa formalities at the Egyptian mission in Nigeria, should not have been denied entry let alone deported,” It stated

•Gen. Azazi


USTICE Fatimat Nyako of the Federal High Court, Lagos has ordered the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), to accept service on behalf of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Andrew Azazi, of court documents in respect of a suit pending before

the court. The suit is, among others, seeking the arrest of former military president Gen. Ibrahim Babangida over the spate of bombings being witnessed in the country, a trend the plaintiff claimed was initiated while he was in government. The judge also yesterday, granted a similar order, asking Adoke to accept the service of court processes on behalf of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), named as defendants with Adoke, Azazi , President Goodluck Jonathan; Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Larmode, State Security Service, the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar and Head, Special Anti-Bomb Squad of the Police. The suit was instituted by Mohammed Fawehinmi, son of

the late human rights lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi. The court has fixed July 4 for the hearing. Fawehinmi is seeking the arrest of Gen Babangida in connection with the killing of the renowned journalist, Dele Giwa, by a parcel bomb on October 19, 1986. He identified 16 issues for the court’s determination. They include whether Babangida can be absolved of any “wrongdoing or involvement in the coordination of the recent bombings that had occurred since October 1, 2010,” in spite of unresolved killing of Giwa, by a parcel bomb during his regime. He also urged the court to determine if Babangida ordered an investigation into Giwa’s death. The plaintiff also urged the court to determine whether Nigeria can be described as safe, and if Jonathan can be said to have performed his duties as

prescribed in certain provisions of the Constitution, despite the incessant bombing in various parts of the country. Fawehinmi, who also seeks the arrest of former Minister of Defence Adetokunbo Kayode, pleaded with the court to determine if he and his predecessor, Bello Haliru, had competently performed their duty as prescribed in the Constitution. He is also asking the court’s nod to compel the replacement of Haliru with “a young, vibrant retired senior military officer.” Fawehinmi, who expressed doubts whether the various heads of the government agencies had performed their duties as prescribed in the Constitution and other law books, urged the court to order the EFCC, the Police and the SSS to submit their intelligence report prior to the Independence Day bombing in 2010 to the court.

Environmentalists seek picture warnings on cigarette packs


HE Environmental Rights Action (ERA) has urged the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, to ensure pictorial warnings on packs of cigarettes meant for sale in Nigeria. In a statement in Lagos yesterday, the group said it was making the call against the background that five of the world’s eight largest countries have commenced implementation of pictorial warnings on cigarette packs.

Bafyau’s remains for burial in Adamawa, says family


HE remains of former Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Pascal Bafyau will be buried in Adamawa State, a family member said yesterday. Bafyau, 65, died on Tuesday in Abuja of a heart-related problem. Mr. Heron Tiki, a cousin of the deceased, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the home of the ex-labour leader that the family was still consulting to determine the burial date. He said it was the family’s tradition to bury their “heroes” in a square in their state, noting that Bafyau was one of such heroes and would be accorded the honour.

Tbaaz Creation MD is 50 today


LHAJA Fehintola Adiat Adio, the Managing Director of Tbaaz Creations, a Lagos fashion designing company, clocks 50 today. Married to Prince Abdulazeez Inaolaji Adio, founder of Alhaji Rabiu Adio Islamic Foundation, she was instrumental to the various successes of the foundation established in memory of her late father in-law. Her support for her husband made it possible for the foundation to contribute to the social and economic development of Iwo community in Oyo State and to assist the less privileged. The foundation has sunk boreholes in many parts of the town, awarded scholarships to indigent students, distributed wheel chairs to the physically challenged, food distribution , built a mosque and secretariat and is planning to build a college of education.

We are a leading steel pipe and pipe fitting Chinese manufacturer. Diamension from DN10mm to DN4000mm of seamless pipe, welding pipe fitting with alloy, stainless and carbon steel materials are our main products used for petroleum, chemical, gas power, steel, convey engineering and industry etc.

Office Add: Room 1704, Huixing Building, No. 85 North Tongjiang Road, Jiangyin, Jiangsu, China. Tell: 0086-510-86118518 ext. 8010 Fax: 0086-510-86100516 E-mail:,, Professionalism Makes Perfect:

Of the world’s eight largest populations, India, United States, Brazil,Pakistan and Russia have finalised requirements for picture warnings. Nigeria and China, with huge population, are yet to initiative legislations to require pictorial warnings while Indonesia is expected to finalise its legislations requiring pictorials soon. ERA /FoEN Director, Corporate Accountability Campaigns, Akinbode

Oluwafemi said: “Pictorial warnings have been proven as one of the most effective tools to tackle the glamourization of tobacco products; effectively communicate the health impacts of smoking and help to reduce consumption and its associated hazards. “We believe strongly that the Health Minister should commence all processes that would lead to the enforcement of pictorial warnings on cigarette packs. The first step is

for the Minister to work for the presidential assent of the National Tobacco Control Bill”. According to the group, several African countries have begun the enforcement of pictorial warnings while others are at the final stages of completing such regulations. The tobacco bill currently awaiting presidential assent prescribes picture warnings covering 50 per cent of the cigarette pack’s display areas.




Ajose finally gets world title chance


IGERIAN world title hopeful Olusegun Ajose is a whisker from getting his longawaited shot at world title after the number one lightwelterweight contender revealed that a purse bid is to be held on Friday for his ordered world title shot

against champion Danny Garcia. Ajose, 32, defeated Ali Chebah in September to make himself the mandatory WBC challenger. He has been patiently awaiting the nod from the World Boxing Council and is hoping that all will be settled by the end

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of the week. He said:“I am getting nearer to getting the shot at the title because the WBC has ordered a purse bid for the fight which is to be held in Mexico city this Friday so in that aspect, yes I'm closer to my goal of becoming world champion,” Olusegun told World Boxing News. The boxing world is looking to a potential three-belt unification clash between Gracia and Amir Khan , but may not hold, with Ajose not ready to pass up this chance following a long wait. “Garcia and Golden Boy Promotions have been doing their best to avoid defending against me by trying to unify the title against Amir khan with the assumption that WBA will reinstate Khan as champion following Peterson's drug test failure and that I will be willing to step aside,” explained the British-based African. “I can tell you categorically that I have no intention whatsoever to step aside and I am glad that the WBC has been honourable in sticking with their words that I'll fight for the title. “Whether that will be against Garcia or the next available contender is a matter for the WBC as Garcia may be stripped for refusing to defend against me. “Once again, I’m not ready to step aside. All I want is my deserved fair shot at the title. I have waited long enough,” he added.




’Today, we wallow in the ocean of un-kept promises. We are FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

the victims of a pernicious governance system that places little value on human dignity which is at the heart of every successful democratic experiment.’ YOMI ODUNUGA

VOL. 7 NO.2129



S the last child in the Fayemi household, my arrival was heralded with song and dance. Although my birth elicited genuine excitement on the part of my siblings, it was for my mother a cautious welcome. My mother’s caution was understandable having lost a boy and two girls in quick succession before my arrival. While I was generally called Olukayode (the one who has brought joy), mum privately called me Folorunso (we give this one to God to protect) because, as she once told me, it wasn’t until I turned five that she became more confident that I wasn’t going to disappear like my siblings did. Given the above context, I grew up knowing my mother as a strong, proud, beautiful, elegant, industrious, hardworking and a consistently optimistic woman – the unseen backbone of our family. Unlike my father who was deliberate, self-effacing, almost withdrawn in his detached mien, Mum was spontaneous - her effervescence and generosity of spirit was bewitchingly infectious. Yet the myth then was that being a special child and the last born, my mother would spare the rod and pamper me silly. I cannot recall enjoying any such status. Instead, she was equally generous and spontaneous with her punishments. Mother reached for the closest instrument she could hit you with from her pounded yam pestle to her giant soup spoon, not minding the injury sustained at that point even if she would be back to nurse the wounds. Even at that, my sisters said she had mellowed by the time I came. She always told me that she missed out on school because she was pampered by her grandmother (with whom she stayed) – who removed her from school to escape the harsh treatment of the teachers – and promised herself that no child of hers would have the same experience. So, you dared not inform my Mum that you were flogged in school as this almost always certainly elicited a repeat treatment. An unconscious feminist who refused to be dependent on anyone, not even her husband, Mum trained me in exactly the same fashion she trained my sisters. She trained me to be independent in all ways. With the exit of my four sisters from home by the time I entered secondary school, I became the cook, the driver, her shop steward and the general journeyman. Mum worked hard and she expected all around her to work hard. I could not recall any time my Mum did not have to go out and work. Anytime I was on school break, it was all work – and my escape route was often my sisters’ various homes. Although I also left home early and lived away from her for a considerable length of time, Mum had already taught me a lot about life. While she often taught the same lessons as Dad about character, compassion, hard-work, community service, persever-



My mother, my mentor

•The late Madam Fayemi

ance, her style was remarkably different, uncodified and refreshing. She was direct, precise, demanding and often in your face. Mum was extremely protective of her family, loyal to her friends and her milk of compassion to outsiders was legendary as she was always ready to share the little she had with the needy from far and near. She complemented her husband who was reserved, self-effacing and inscrutable fittingly and this helped his public image which would have suffered greatly. My mum was the best wife any man could pray for and I certainly can confirm that my late Dad was very lucky. She was fun to be with and could easily laugh at herself in a self-deprecating manner. I guess I must have subconsciously searched for a woman like my Mum for wife and must have taken her teachings to heart with my marriage to a very conscious feminist, family protector and public relations agent, and I often marvelled at the remarkable similarities between my Mum and my wife. My return to Nigeria after the exit of the military brought much relief to my Mum. My eventual decision to become politically



•Fayemi is Ekiti State Governor. Today is his mother’s funeral

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Policewomen should pardon our ignorance



active in Ekiti even brought greater relief because it meant my constant presence in Ekiti, something my Mum had missed since I left Christ’s School, Ado Ekiti. Mum had craved for my presence for a long time - even if she was not that enamoured of partisan politics per se. For her, anything to bring me closer home was more than welcome. We grew much closer during this period that tested the mettle of many friends and family members. My Mum bore the brunt of the period with extra-ordinary grace and equanimity. She witnessed several betrayals in the course of my political work. She endured many indignities from known and unknown quarters. But the period also showed clearly my Mum’s strength of character. Even when many had become disillusioned by the ‘door-die’ politics of our state and urged withdrawal privately, Mum was consistently optimistic. Her single-minded determination and steely resolve often surprised me because I’d mistakenly thought age would have mellowed her. She never at any point urged me to throw in the towel. She told me she always knew the journey would be tough and rough but also consistently reassured me of the light she could see at the end of the dark tunnel. She urged me to be bold, courageous and not betray Ekiti people. She hated my dismissive, sceptical mien and impatience with religiosity. A devout catholic who carried her rosary everywhere, she could suffer fools gladly and still entertained various hare-brained schemes by the emergency evangelists and fake medicine men that saw her as a conduit to her recalcitrant son – even if she didn’t believe them. One even had the temerity to tell her she was the source of her son’s problems and she must go back to where she got her son from and beg for forgiveness, whatever that meant. That was just one of the several indignities she had to endure. Since I was hardly at home during this period, many of my supporters looking for me in the village ended at her doorsteps and her house was the refuge for many political exiles and supporters from neighbouring communities. She never got tired of taking care of people. I am convinced I got my self-

less service genes from her as much as from my Dad. The egregious rigging of the 2009 governorship re-run election, coming in quick succession after the loss of her husband and companion of sixty years took its toll and I believe she never really recovered from the shock of her husband’s loss and the stress she experienced from my political struggle. It however did not dim her optimism. When victory finally came in October 2010, she was extremely proud of me but I never stopped being her little boy. Her house became a Mecca of sorts for politicians and all those in search of favours. Her own pile of CVs was more than what I had in my own office. Consistently, she would pull my ear and said I must give somebody a job because he contributed hugely to the struggle through prayers and fasting. And at every opportunity, particularly when she felt I was not paying adequate attention to her numerous and unrelenting requests for jobs for the political jobbers always in her house, she would reprimand me openly that I should not come to her house to ‘do Governor because she is the Governor in her husband’s house.’ When I got fed up with the way she was bombarded by opportunists of various hue and moved her to Government House, she protested loudly. She said I had no right to remove her from her house. For her, the greatest security was the people who pestered her with all manner of requests, not the ‘prison’ where I’d placed her in Government House without the freedom to welcome her unsolicited guests. Two weeks to her demise, her paternal community in Omu-Ekiti honoured me as the son of their princess. It was the first time of knowing that my Mum had any drop of blue blood in her. But then she acted it all through her life. She was regal in her steps, highly fashionable and always liked to dress up. Beyond the fad and fashion though, she had a more compelling urge to always look after people around her, the way a service oriented royalty behaved – always ready to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, clothe the needy, provide shelter for the homeless and share the little she had with all. When death finally came, I was sadly not at her bedside – but Bisi and my siblings were. Mine was largely an unspoken, impenetrable bond with Mum. I thank God for my Mum’s life of service to all who had the opportunity to come across her. My mother, my mentor, thank you for showering me with love without expecting anything in return and for the joy of bringing me to this world. I know that what you would really like most is for me to continue to live a life of service to our people in Ekiti and humanity at large. I promise not to disappoint you. Sun re o! Omo Oriyemusola… Olukayode ‘Folorunso’ Fayemi

HANKS to a Federal High Court judge, the police regulation prohibiting a policewoman from marrying a man of her choice without the permission of the Commissioner of Police in the command where she is serving has been declared illegal and unconstitutional. It is incredible that such a provision existed at all, and worse, that it lasted for so long, surviving three democratic republics and many supposedly reformist presidents. Much more baffling is that when the Women Empowerment and Legal Aid Initiative (WELA) took the matter to court, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) found it fit and proper to waste taxpayers’ money to defend the abnormality. This columnist is not certain when the provision entered the Police Act, but it is strange that we found no police Inspector General (IGP) reformist enough to denounce the requirement and kick-start the process of amending it. In short, the

ludicrous provision survived many heads of state, presidents, IGPs, AGFs, and of course many generations of Nigerians, of which Hardball is culpably a member, and would have continued to ensconce itself in our laws to our collective shame and humiliation had a group not found the courage and wisdom to fight it. And having survived for so long, the Act also found an unquestioning federal justice department with ample time and resources in its hands to defend the kind of nonsense no modern society should ever countenance. We owe WELA a debt of gratitude for bringing the matter into the open, and we thank the trial judge, Justice Steven Adah, for ignoring the fatuous but obviously perfunctory explanation offered by the AGF suggesting that the regulation was necessary to protect female cops from falling into the hands of criminal husbands. Were male cops not also susceptible to marrying female criminals? And after marrying a supposedly

clean husband, could the said husband not thereafter, and for reasons perfectly explicable, take to crime? No regulation offended sociology as deeply as suggesting that a woman had poorer judgement than a man. And no law offended common sense as flagrantly as suggesting that institutions and the state were needed to vet the private and emotional affairs of citizens. The regulation was sexist, offensive, misbegotten, and it stayed far too long in the Police Act before it was rightly and sensibly declared illegal. The state must waste no further resources in defending it in higher courts, and the police themselves must openly heave a great sigh of relief that that strange albatross has been finally lifted off their strained necks and burdened shoulders. We ask policewomen who worked under that unfair and discriminatory regulation for many years to please pardon our ignorance and inurement to the pains they had endured for so long.

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The Nation May 18, 2012  
The Nation May 18, 2012  

The Nation May 18, 2012