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Millions gone in Lagos market fire •120 stalls destroyed


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Newspaper of the Year

News Auxillary’s arrest excites Ajimobi P11 Sports Musa: Eagles can win World Cup P24 Business Govt loses N16b yearly at ports P26

•Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

VOL. 9, NO. 2853 MONDAY, MAY 19, 2014



EKITI 2014 British spy plane joins search for girls


•AND •Ekiti govt flays Fayose over ‘wild allegations MORE PAGE •‘Fayemi’s administration most teacher-friendly’ ON10 •PDP candidate criticises merger of three varsities


SENTINEL reconnaissance aircraft left RAF Waddington yesterday morning bound for the Ghanian capital of Accra, west of Nigeria and close to where Islamist terror group Boko Haram are believed to be holding the Chibok girls. The high-tech surveil-

lance jet will assist US aircraft in attempting to find the schoolgirls, who were abducted in their school on April 15. British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “The kidnap of these girls is a reprehensible act which has drawn international condemnation.

“I am pleased that Britain’s armed forces have been able to support the international search operation and provide the specialist skills which could help the Nigerians locate their missing children.” The plane is fitted with radar which can locate moving targets and provide detailed

pictures of activity on the ground. The jet is operated by a five-man crew and is capable of flying for significant periods of time at high altitude. “The Sentinel with its wide area search capability and long endurance is per-

17 die in explosions Continued on page 2

10 killed as Kano hotel is bombed Blast at jetty kills 7 From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano and Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt


O fewer than 10 people were feared dead last night in an explosion in Sabongari, Kano. The blast occurred at a hotel around 9:30pm when people were relaxing. Many were injured. No group has claimed responsibility for the explosion, which bore the imprint of the Boko Haram insurgents. An eyewitness told The Nation that the incident occurred in a hotel on Gold Coast Road, near Aithen Road, Sabongari, an area populated mainly by non-indigenes. The explosion sent people scampering to


safety during which many were injured. The Joint Task Force (JTF) cordoned off the area shortly after. Also yesterday, there was WHERE ARE THE CHIBOK an explosion near the Port Harcourt refinery. Seven GIRLS KIDNAPPED people were killed and ON APRIL 15? Continued on page 2

•A trader holding his head in anguish as he beholds over what used to be his stall at the Daleko market, Isolo Road, Lagos...yesterday. STORY ON PAGE 53





NEWS 17 die in explosions Continued from page 1

•Students of Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Abaji, near Abuja, during the solidarity visit of the Executive Director, United Nations (UN) women, Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, to the school over the abducted Chibok School Girls…yesterday PHOTO: NAN


500 soldiers to face mutiny probe board

BOUT 500 soldiers may be quizzed by the Board of Inquiry probing last Wednesday’s mutiny in Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri. The Defence Headquarters has sent military police to conduct independent investigation into the incident. Frustrated troops shot sporadically into the air and attacked the former GOC of the Division, Major General Ahmed Mohammmed. The attack left some military escorts of the ex-GOC injured. Some arrests were made. Sources told our correspondent that an internal Board of Inquiry has been set up to look into the alleged mutiny. A military source, who spoke

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

in confidence, said: “So far, the inquiry is an internal matter of the unit where the soldiers misbehaved. “The military hierarchy has mandated the Board of Inquiry to look at the remote and immediate causes of the misconduct of the soldiers, some of who are already in detention. “The Board will interrogate all the soldiers in the battalion in order to be able to detrone those behind it. “We are talking of about 500 to 700 facing the Board of Inquiry. The probe is not limited to the few who fired shots at the car of the former GOC.” Asked why all the soldiers

in the battalion will be quizzed, the source added: “The picture of the incident could be larger than you think. “In the military, we do not take things for granted. We have to sort out all the soldiers in the battalion to get to the root of this professional indiscipline.” Another source alsosaid the Defence Headquarters had directed military police to “conduct independent investigation into the incident”. The source said: “The military will go the extra mile to ascertain the situation of things in the cantonment and have discreet interaction with soldiers to know what really went wrong. “The military police will fill

some gaps which the Board of Inquiry might not be able to cover.” The soldiers were said to have been angry about what they called: •cheap exposure to ambush by Boko Haram insurgents due to uncoordinated information; •needless killing of soldiers as a result of misleading information; •insufficient food(one meal per day); •obsolete equipment, limited arms and ammunition to fight insurgents; •alleged short-payment of accruing allowances; and •Non rotation of troops leading to diminishing returns.



Executive Council and other heads of government agencies, Fashola told reporters that such occurrence as living under the bridge, trading on the streets, selling cattle and related items at roadsides in any part of the State remains unacceptable. He said: “We can’t allow people to live under bridges, so there will be zero tolerance for that; we won’t allow it, we won’t allow people to trade on the streets, we won’t allow people sell cattle or all of those things by the roadside; it is not going

to happen; so, people must know that those kinds of behaviour are unacceptable”. Noting that the work of regeneration and urban renewal is being made more arduous by the spiral increase in the population of the State, the Governor, who assured that his administration was equal to the task of managing the situation added that Government is emboldened by the successes it has recorded in the cleanup of some hitherto degraded areas of the State. “The population is increasing

Continued on page 58

Continued from page 1 unite in order to defeat Boko

fect for this task,” said Rich Barrow, RAF Waddington’s station commander. “UK personnel will help to analyse the information gathered to improve the intelligence picture for the Nigerian authorities.” On Saturday, Foreign Secretary William Hague urged West African countries to


Haram during a crisis meeting in Paris. Mr Hague added that the UK and other nations must do more to support regions where Boko Haram operates. “More will need to be done in the north of Nigeria in terms of clean water, healthcare, education and so on,” he said.

Cameroun: kidnapped Chinese likely in Nigeria

Continued on page 58

“At a point, the First Lady advised women not to join the mass movement. Last week, security agencies tried to stop the movement from holding its sit-out at the Unity Fountain in Abuja.” Security is said to have been strengthened in Chibok to protect the community and the 53 girls who escaped from Boko Haram enclave. A military source said troops had been deployed in the area to prevent any recourse to reprisals from Boko Haram following the global protest against the abduction of the 276 girls. “We are aware that 53 of the girls who escaped have been reunited with their families. This is why we have placed the town under heavy surveillance,” a military source said. The Defence Headquarters yesterday cautioned journalists and visitors from going to

operation areas in the Northeast including Chibok and Sambisa forest. A statement by the Director of Defence Information, Maj.Gen. Chris Olukolade, said: “The Defence Headquarters has noted the presence of a large number of tourists, journalists and adventurers of diverse interests moving about in areas where security operations are currently ongoing especially in Adamawa and Borno states, without the necessary security cover or clearance. “This trend constitutes unnecessary risk to the persons especially the foreigners involved. It is also an undue obstruction to operations. “Much as the military has nothing to hide and believes in the freedom of movement in the country, the need for all persons to recognise the status of certain places as operation-

on a daily basis; migration here really multiplies the enormity of the work here. But this is what we signed for and we are emboldened by the success we have recorded in urban renewal across the State to reclaim this kind of unacceptable conditions and turn them into acceptable and beneficial condition”, he said. The Governor said: “It brings with it mixed feelings. Sometimes people do not understand what it is all about until it is fin-

sonnel don’t want people to enter to certain the real figure,” he said. The Port Harcourt Refinery Executive Director, Services, Mr. Ralph Ugwu, said there was no explosion at the refinery but accepted that an explosion took place at Okrika creek He said: “Our refinery is working; there is nothing like explosion, the only thing that happened is that some people vandalise the pipeline to steal crude oil and in the process, their boat exploded. It was not within the refinery. “I don’t know about the number of people that died, but on our own side, there is no casualty. I cannot speak on what does not concern the NNPC because NNPC did not record any casualty and our operations are going on smoothly.” Police spokesman Ahmad

British spy plane joins search for girls

HE 10 Chinese workers abducted by Boko Haram gunmen in Cameroon have most likely been taken back across the border to the Nigerian Islamist group’s strongholds, a police official said yesterday. “We are almost certain that the 10 Chinese have been kidnapped and transferred to Nigeria. We have no fresh news about them,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. “The search continues (in Cameroon) but apart from small pieces of information I can’t see what could come out of it since the attackers have left the country,” he said. He added that the all the helicopters that might have been used to survey the border area and help with the search were in the capital Yaounde ahead

Lagos won’t tolerate environmental degradation, says Fashola

AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola yesterday said his administration will continue to pursue its zero tolerance for all forms of environmental degradation. Fashola spoke when he inspected the Iganmu, Ijora-Badia under bridge and the immediate environment around the on-going Ijora Housing Estate under the Lagos Home Ownership and Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS). Accompanied on the inspection by some members of the

scores injured. But resultant fire did not affect the refinery before it was put out. The fire was sparked by the activities of illegal bunkerers at a creek near the NNPC jetty in Okrika, Rivers State. Okrika Local Government Tamuno Chairman Williams said the exposition was caused “by the activities of illegal bunkers who were siphoning petrol from NNPC facilities. “For now, I will say seven die, scores injured and they are being treated in hospitals in Rivers State,” Williams said. The security personnel reporters from the scene of the explosion. Mr. Frank Abe, a resident of the area, said the number of the causalities was more than seven, “ Many people died, how can they say it is only seven that died. Security per-

of the 20 May National Day military parade. The celebrations were also the reason the unit of elite Cameroonian troops that usually guards the group of Chinese workers attacked late Friday was not up to its usual strength. According to the local officials, a large group of heavily armed Boko Haram fighters in five vehicles stormed the Chinese encampment and engaged the Cameroonian soldiers. The brazen attack came as the president of Nigeria and counterparts from neighbouring states met in Paris to “declare war” on Boko Haram. The meeting was convened a month after the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls by the Islamist group in northern Nigeria sparked international outrage.

#BringBackOurGirls protesters to march on Villa

RESIDENCY is weighing whether or not to receive #BringBackOurGirls protesters planning a march on the seat of government. Also, security has been strengthened in Chibok where 276 students of the Government Girls Secondary School were abducted. Troops have been deployed to protect the community and the 53 girls who escaped the abduction. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the BringBackOurGirls has written the Presidency of its plans to take its campaign to the Presidential Villa. It was learnt that the request letter was sent to the government early last week. The campaign train may hit the seat of government on Thursday, if it is acceptable to the presidency.

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

It was gathered that the proposed march on Aso Rock was to dismiss the notion that the movement was being used for political purposes by the opposition. The march is also designed to hear from the President what his administration has done to rescue the abducted girls. The decision to march on Aso Rock was taken at the group’s sit-out on Saturday in Abuja. One of the coordinators of the BringBackOurGirls, Hadiza Bala Usman, said: “We are talking of our protest march to Mr. President which we plan do on Thursday. “We have written a letter to Mr. President, we are hopeful he would grant us audience. We intend to go to the Presidential Villa

“”We maintain our issue; we have refused to allow any politics or religious affiliations to come into the group. We have maintained our neutrality.” The presidency is said to be weighing its options - whether or not to allow the team to be at the Villa. “There are arguments for and against the request,” an official said, pleading for anonymity because he is not allowed to talk to the media. According to him, it is thought that since the group had visited National Assembly leaders, there was no point duplicating functions because “the government is one”. The source added: “Also, the government is uncomfortable with the activities of the group, especially the involvement of some Nigerians who have been critical of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.


al area is hereby reiterated. “Anyone violating the existing procedures for coverage or movement in the mission area does so at his or her own peril

Continued on page 58

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UN set to sa

•From left: Registrar, Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), Kudu Sulaiman, Director -General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh and President, NIM, Dr Nelson Uwaga during a Meeting between SEC and NIM in Abuja... at the weekend.

•Managing Director, Citibank Nigeria Limited, Omar Hafeez (middle) and The Nation's Senior Correspondents, Collins Nweze and Deji Ademigbuji (left)at the declaration of the duo as first and second runner-ups at the bank's award on business reporting in Lagos…at the weekend.

•From left: The Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abudl-Ganiyu Salaudeen Ajinase I, Managing Director of Friesland Campina, WAMCO Nigeria Plc, Mr. Peter Eshikena and Chairman, Board of Directors, Mr. Jacobs Ajekigbe at the lauching of Friesland Campina, PHOTO: FEMI ILESANMI WAMCO Nigeria Plc’s Dairy Development Programme at Iseyin... at the weekend.

•Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Morgan State University, Ms Cheryl Hitchook (middle) presenting an award to Senator 'Gbenga Ashafa (right) during the recognition award by the university at the 74th Alumni Awards & Class Reunion Luncheon in Maryland, USA... at the weekend. With them are: (from left) Chairman, Morgan State University(MSU) Board of Regents, Mr Kweisi Mfume, President MSU National Alumni Association, Mrs Jacqueline Lawson and President, Morgan State University, Mr David Wilson.

Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy R. Sherman, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs Mrs Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Ambassadorat-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism Tina Kaidanow briefed reporters on Boko Haram and the abduction of the Chibok girls after the counterterrorism summit in Paris, France on Saturday.


S it true that the Nigerian president first asked the U.S. and then the UK to host this summit before he asked France, and both the U.S. and UK declined? No, not that I'm aware of. There's been a lot of emphasis during this meeting on coordinating information to localise these girls, but there has also been strong criticism of the Nigerian army and the way they handled the situation in Nigeria. Isn't there a contradiction in giving information to an army that one does not trust to be able to carry out a job? So does this mean that if and when these girls are located, there will be Western military involvement alongside the Nigerian army? No decisions have been made yet because first we have to find out where the girls are. And where they are will certainly dictate how, in fact, one can get them home, and there are many ways to do that. This is - if there were to be a rescue operation - there may be other ways to bring them home, but if it were to be a rescue operation, that's a very specific skill set and not every army in the world has that skill set. I know that there are some trainings that have been gone on with units of the military in Nigeria to build those skills, in other words Special Forces' skills. Whether they'd be able to attempt a rescue, I think it would just depend on the circumstances. In the past there have been exchanges of prisoners for hostage. Have you spoken about this topic during your meeting, and what do you think of this attitude? The United States has its own view about ransom, exchanges, things like that, but this is a Nigerian decision. It's not an American decision. Nigeria is a sovereign country and its government will make what choices it thinks it's appropriate. Our views on this are well known. Do you think it's a way to bring back the girl today? Well, it's certainly a way. As I said, there are many ways. The first question I had - it's two questions that are linked. The French have put a great deal of emphasis on Nigeria's new openness to UN sanctions against Boko Haram, but those are months away. One of the - it could be quite a long time, according to -It could be very quick, actually. Could be next week.

•Senator Florence ItaGiwa leading students of Access Schools Calabar, the Cross River State capital to call for the release of the abducted Chibok girls in the weekend.

It could be that quick then? It could be that quick, yes. And those would be - are those envisioned as a way to cut off funds? When you have sanctions at the UN, it does do asset freezes, travel freezes, a variety of things. It depends on how the designation is done. But I imagine this will happen rather quickly. Quite frankly, I can't imagine any country that would not support this designation. Sorry. Are you optimistic? I don't - what I can say is that all of the countries that were at the table today are very focused on coordinating all of their information, all of their intelligence, all of their resources. And there are countries like Canada and Israel who weren't at the meeting today that also are providing assistance. So everybody is focused, and usually when you have that many - you have everybody pulling in the same direction, you can find your way to finding the girls. But I don't think we know yet. Anything you want to add on that, Tina? No, I think that's right. I mean, clearly every asset that we can muster is being mustered, and the obvious imperative is to try and find them. Whether and what time frame we would be successful, it's really hypothetical if we were to speculate. Can you describe all those assets that the U.S. would deploy? And someone question was it has been mentioned by President Hollande that Boko Haram had links to other terrorist organisations. Which terrorist organisation? Can you be a little bit more specific, Shabaab or … So, what I would say on the latter question is Boko Haram is its own terrorist group, and the United States has designated Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation. In this day and age, there is probably no terror group that does not have some links somehow, even if tenuous, to some other organisation. But for the most part, we treat Boko Haram as its own terror organisation. Secondly, in terms of assets, we have a multidisciplinary interagency team that has been deployed to Nigeria. I think you also are aware that we are flying ISR. That's surveillance reconnaissance. And I met with the national security advisor of Nigeria while




to sanction Boko Haram, says U.S.

we're here and I'm confident that all of that is proceeding forward as it should. To follow up on the sanctions issue, you said it's going - it could come as soon as next week. So was there some sort of progress made today in order to accelerate the timetable? And the second question: In the conclusions they mentioned this idea of pooling intelligence. My sense is that that intelligence will be pooled at the regional level. To what extent is the U.S. going to participate in that? My understanding is out of the meeting today, which is the regional countries, that the U.S. will probably, as the other countries, have a presence there, at least in sort of some liaison status. But I think those details are being worked out. Is there something - I think that's where we are. And on the resolution, they were working fast and furiously last week to get the draft in in final. So it has a 10-day waiting period, and once they get it in final I think it'll move very, very, very fast. I don't see it being weeks away. So it's not something that happened today? No, no. It was already in train. Already in train. Hollande can talk about the weapons for Boko Haram coming from Libya, in which there's been a known flight of heavy weaponry. The train-


ing, to an extent, came from Mali when Mali was under attack. And then he said it's still being looked into where the funds are coming from. Does the U.S. have any sense or any particular idea where the funds are coming from? I think some of this information is not information that I would talk about publicly in terms of what we know the connections are, how things get done, where they are today. I think that the arms flow out of Libya is a well-known story. There is nothing secret about that anymore, and if there ever was a secret about the arms flowing out of Libya, and great concern and international attention that's being focused on Libya as well. There was a Quint meeting in London this week that Secretary Kerry participated in talking about a number of items. Libya was one of them. And we have a very focused, coordinated effort going on with close allies and the Libyan Government to try to do whatever we can, and with countries in the region to try to deal with border security, which is a constant concern throughout a great deal of the sub-region. Just to make sure that I understood the answer you gave previously, you were saying that you - at this stage you cannot exclude that there would be a Western and U.S. participation in a military operation to secure the release

of the girls? No, what I - let me be clear. Is that what you were saying? No. What I'm saying is there are many ways to bring this horrific situation to a close. When and if we know where they are, then the Nigerians will have to decide how to proceed. Right now, as our President has said, we are providing intelligence assistance to them. He has said we are not putting boots on the ground. I just wanted to know what would be the next step. Do you expect a new meeting soon? There was, in fact, a discussion about a follow-up meeting happening soon, and my guess is that will be worked out in the next days, just as people coordinate schedules. Probably on the margins of another international meeting that's taking place so it doesn't have to be de novo. But yes, I think there is a commitment to this not be a one-off, that this be an ongoing commitment that the international community is making. Would it be a long time? I don't know. Would it be open to Israel? You could ask the foreign secretary. (Laughter.) Would it be open to Israel or Canada? It's not my decision. This is also really driven by not only the Nigerians but by Benin, Cameroon, Niger, and

Chad. Really, this is African led. This is not Western, U.S., UK, EU, France led. We have the resources that we can bring to bear, and that's our responsibility to do so and to support Africa, but this is African led. Just to connect the dots a bit between my colleague's question here about whether Western military might be involved, it sounds like Obama has ruled that out for now. So seeing as how that's not a possibility, how concerned are you about sharing intelligence with the Nigerian army the moment that the girls are located? We are all working together, so it's not like we're over here and we'd see something and the Nigerians would know at that second and they'd decide what to do. We are working as a team. And so decisions are going to be made in a conscious and thoughtful way with all of - we have laws in our country. We have ways that intelligence can be used when we share intelligence with other countries. We - it has to get used in a way that's consistent with our values and our approach to the use of intelligence. So, I think this will be a very thoughtful process. Is U.S. coordinating the Western groups in Abuja, Western experts? I don't know if we'd say we're coordinating. I think the key words is coordinating or coordinating with. Coordinating with, yes, we're talking to

a number of the other. But do you have a coordinator? We have a coordinator of our team. And we're coordinating very closely with the other teams. And the Nigerians have assigned a senior person who is their point of contact, and they're working very, very closely. Our team is multi-agency, mutli-disciplinary, and so you need a coordinator to bring all that together. And so that's the natural locus. But we're working very well not only with the Nigerians but with the others who are doing that (inaudible). Were there any signs coming out of the meeting today that there won't be any - how do you say? - any commitment on behalf of Cameroon to actually work with Nigeria because these two countries are just not coordinating, speaking to each other, or cooperating in any way? I think if you were there -I was. Then you saw that they were sitting next to each other - next to each other. They were very collegial in the meetings we had. They are both committed to doing what is necessary. And it is - it was quite awful, actually, that Cameroon suffered its own attack on the eve of this meeting. And you heard the Cameroon president say we know this is not just a Nigerian problem, and unfortunately they had very fresh evidence of that fact. And so I think we are going to see ever-improving coordination and work together. I think even President Jonathan has said, and certainly we've heard it from people within the Nigerian military, is there are fears that Boko Haram has infiltrated quite high within the Nigerian leadership, possibly as high as the cabinet. How is the U.S. dealing with intelligence sharing, knowing that that's a concern? As I said, we're very - we have a whole protocol when we share intelligence not only with Nigeria but with any country, and we will follow that protocol. Were you worried when you heard the President Biya saying that his army is most of the time generally sleeping during the night? Oh, when he said that they attack largely between 12 and 1 and -And what do you think about what is your assessment about this army, this local army? Well, I think he was - the point he was making is that they have a pattern of attack that makes it more difficult. I wouldn't - I'm not sure I would take that literally. I'm sure that Cameroon's army is prepared to do whatever it needs to do. During today's meetings, were any sort of contingency plans discussed in terms of how a rescue operation might be conducted? One, no? No. It wouldn't be appropriate for this meeting.

Jonathan can’t resign over Chibok girls, says Anenih

HE Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party( PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, yesterday said President Goodluck Jonathan cannot resign as a result of the abduction of 276 girls by Boko Haram. He said no President could have done better within constitutional limit than Jonathan had done in handling the insurgency in the Northeast. He said there was no way the President could have picked up rifle and go to Sambisa Forest. Anenih, who made his position known in a statement in Abuja, faulted some opposition leaders for demanding Jonathan’s resignation. He urged Nigerians to rally round the President to bring back the girls. The statement said: “ I also understand the anger that has been expressed through the global

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

#BringBackOurGirls movement and wish to state that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are fully committed to ensuring the safe return of our daughters. “I must, however, deplore the situation where some opposition politicians have tried to make political issues out of it by calling for the resignation of President Jonathan over a group that is waging war against the Nigerian state. “Such behaviour is unbecoming of patriotic citizens of a democratic nation like Nigeria. When militants gunmen attacked a shopping mall in Kenya, killing many people and holding many others hostage, the opposition

leader, Rahila Odinga, stood right beside the President, Uhuru Kenyatta, while the latter was addressing Kenyans on the dastardly attack. “We are all witnesses to the fact that when alQaeda attacked the United States of America and the United Kingdom, citizens of those countries, irrespective of political affiliations, closed ranks and supported their respective Governments in their fight against the perpetrators of terror. In these specific cases, political opponents did not ask their President/ Prime minister to resign.” Anenih said no Nigerian President could have done better in addressing Boko Haram within constitutional limits than Jonathan had done. The statement added: “Boko Haram is a threat to Nigeria and to our democracy. Nobody is more aware of this fact than President Jonathan. That is why the President is doing all that is

within his constitutional powers to fight the terrorist group. It is his respect for constitutionalism that has kept him from employing jack-boot methods. “I make bold to say that no president of Nigeria could have done better within the ambits of constitutional powers! “Unfortunately, certain comments I have heard or read in recent times from some Nigerians who ought to know better make me wonder if they expect the President to put on a helmet, pick up a rifle and personally march into Sambisa Forest. I ask: where in the world does a President do that? “I am also amazed that some Nigerians have forgotten so soon that President Jonathan has replaced service chiefs twice since he assumed office in a bid to bolster the operational efficiency of the military.”




•Kogi State Governor Idris Wada (left) greeting the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, at the public presentation of a book titled: "Fasting According to Islamic Law" in Kaduna ...yesterday. With them is Kaduna State Governor Mukhtar Yero. PHOTO: NAN

•Abia State Governor Theodore Orji (middle) inspecting a road project in the weekend. With him is Mr. Obioma, an engineer of NGAMEC Construction company (left) and others.

•Akwa Ibom State former Deputy Governor Nsima Ekere(left); former House of Assembly Speaker Bassey Essien and Senator Helen Esuene, Chairman of Senate Committee on Women Affairs, during the wedding reception of Mr. David Okon John, Esuene's nephew, at Villa Marina Hotel, the weekend

• Founder, Centre For Values In Leadership (CVL), Prof. Pat Utomi, President Campaign for Democracy, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin and Mrs Funke Salako, and others during the Walk The Talk organised by CVL in Lagos... at the weekend. PHOTO: MUYIWA HASSAN

•President-General, Ogoni Democratic Movement (ODM), Godwin Bazari congratulating executive members of Khana Local Government chapter after their inauguration in the weekend

• Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (left) being decorated by the President of Seventh Day Adventist Church in Nigeria, Pastor Oyeleke Owolabi (middle), when the executives of the church visited the Governor's Office, the weekend. With them is former Minister of Power and Steel, Elder Wole Oyelese


•Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Mr. Oyinlomo Danmole (second left) speaking at the 2014 Ministerial press briefing at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Lagos...yesterday. With him are Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Omotayo Olabinjo (left); Permanent Secretary, Information and Strategy, Mrs. Oluranti Odutola (second right) and Director, Press and Public Relations, Mrs. Ronke Osho. PHOTO: MOSES OMOSEHIN

• Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation Mr. Kayode Opeifa (middle) speaking at the 2014 Ministerial press briefing at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja...yesterday. With him are his Information and Strategy counterpart Mr. Lateef Ibirogba (right) and Chiarman, Committee on Transportation Mr. Bisi Yusuf PHOTO: MOSES OMOSEHIN



NEWS 'Swap killers of my son for kidnapped girls'


HE mother of a British hostage, who was murdered by Boko Haram insurgents, has backed a swap deal to free his killers in return for the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls. Laura McManus - whose son, Chris, 28, was shot dead as troops backed by British special forces closed in on his captors - said everything possible must be done to save the over 200 schoolgirls. She said: "Chris is not coming back, but these girls have a chance of coming back. "Anything that can stop them being killed is worth it. We need to get the girls back and argue the politics after." Mrs McManus, 58, from Oldham, added: "When Chris was kidnapped, we had all the support we could need. These girls' parents have been abandoned up until this point. "The girls have been made to feel insignificant but their lives are just as important." Mr McManus was snatched while working as an engineer in Nigeria. He was held for 10 months and paraded on TV by the Muslim hardliners until he was shot in 2012. His killers were caught but are thought to have been earmarked for a hostage swap. British-born suspected Boko Haram leader Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche has been held in Sudan on suspicion of being behind bomb blasts in Nigerian capital Abuja.


APC: Jonathan’s aborted Chibok trip shows govt’s failure on Boko Haram


HE All Progressives Congress (APC) has said President Goodluck Jonathan’s aborted trip to Chibok, Borno State, is symptomatic of his administration’s policy flip-flop in the fight against the Boko Haram sect. The party said it was not surprising to close watchers of the administration when the Presidency said Dr Jonathan never planned to visit the beleaguered town. In a statement yesterday in Lagos by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC said just as the Jonathan administration had bungled the fight against the sect, “it has also exhibited sheer cluelessness in handling the abduction of the school girls”. It added: “With his utterances and actions or inaction, President Jonathan has deepened the pains of the parents and guardians of the girls, and indeed that of the whole nation, when he should have been the consoler-in-chief at such a difficult time for a nation he leads.” APC said to worsen matters, the administration had resorted to lying to Nigerians. The party said the President never planned to visit Chibok in the first instance, even when it had been widely reported in the local and international media that the President’s advance team had landed in Borno State before the presidential volte face. “Pray, do presidential ad-

By Olamilekan Andu

vance teams deploy themselves at will?” APC queried. The party said the President himself made his lying aides to look squeaky clean when he told the global media that he did not go to Chibok because the girls were not being held there and because the trip would not lead to their release. It added: “This statement shows that President Jonathan does not understand the demands of his office, and that in good or bad times, he is to be seen and heard as the lead celebrant/lead consoler for his compatriots. His statement is the most pedestrian justification of a presidential faux pas ever. “As usual, a trip - belated as it were - that could have gone a long way in redeeming the battered global image of the Jonathan administration in the handling of the abduction issue


has turned out to be another albatross for the President. Again, a President, who is demonstrably averse to success, has snatched defeat just when he was on the cusp of victory!” APC said a President, who was so in denial that critical time had lapsed before world attention forced him to act on the abducted girls, has again dropped the ball at another critical moment - just the same way he waffled and wavered on the overall Boko Haram crisis before the terror group gained enough strength to become a runaway monster that could now strike at a time and place of its own choosing, killing 12,000 people and injuring 8,000 others. “A President and Commander-in-Chief who is afraid to visit any part of his country has betrayed the very people who voted him into office. In the case of Chibok, he has shown that the residents of the town should not

expect to be seen as compatriots by their own President, hence they are on their own. “This definitely explains why, increasingly, Nigerians are resorting to self help, why ordinary citizens are taking up cudgels, machetes and dane guns to battle Boko Haram. It is nothing but the clearest indication of state failure and presidential ineffectiveness,” it said. The party said even in the seemingly hopeless situation in which the administration has found itself, it could still make amends “by immediately packaging a presidential visit to Chibok that would only be announced after the President must have gone and come back”, instead of one in which the President’s men leaked the trip to the world in the hope of gaining mileage, only to reap opprobrium when the trip was cancelled.....and then blame everyone but themselves!

‘Don’t politicise girls’ abduction’

YOUTH delegate to the National Conference, Comrade Clifford Abur, has urged politicians to avoid politicising the abduction of the over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, Borno State, over a month ago by the Boko Haram sect. The youth leader said politician should cooperate with security agencies to ensure the safe return of the innocent girls. Abur, who is representing the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) at the conference, noted that the inability of the security agencies to rescue the girls, after a month, and the arriv-

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Dele Anofi, Abuja

al of foreign military assistance, meant the situation needed fervent prayers. He said: “What should matter most to all Nigerians at this time is how the girls will be returned unhurt, since terrorists all over the world wage war indiscriminately against anybody. “This is not a time to blame anybody for what he did not do, because terrorists will not ask you your political affiliation or religious belief before they perpetrate their evil acts.

Abia prays for girls’ safe return From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia


HE people of Abia State have prayed for the safe return of the over 200 schoolgirls abducted over two weeks ago from the Government Girls’ Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, by Boko Haram sect members. The prayers, the organisers said, were meant to ask for God’s immediate intervention so that the schoolgirls could be reunited with their families. It was organised by the state government in collaboration with the Office of the Wife of the Governor and held in Umuahia, the state capital. The session was coordinated by the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and attended by several clerics from various parts of the state. The prayer “warriors” begged God to destroy any barrier and human beings holding the girls and to destroy the Boko Haram sect. Abia State CAN Chairman, Bishop Goddy Okafor, noted that despite the military’s efforts and the foreign assistance to rescue the schoolgirls, the nation needed to pray fervently because “if we fail to pray now, the worst will happen”. He said: “From what is happening now, if we fail to pray; if we fail to stand our ground and call on the name of God, nothing will happen. We will lose it and the country and its people will be worse off.”

•Members of the Criterion with Dr. Adebule (second right), Alhaja Oyefeso (third right) and other officials during the prayers in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO

Muslim women pray for abducted girls in Lagos


EMBERS of The Criterion (Association of Muslim Women in Business and Profession) prayed yesterday for the release of the schoolgirls abducted in Chibok, Borno State, over a month ago by the Boko Haram sect. The professional group, led by its National Naibatul Amirah (Vice-President), Alhaja Fatimat Oyefeso, was joined by the Secretary to the Lagos State Government (SSG), Dr Idiat Oluranti Adebule. The three-hour prayer featured recitation of the Holy Qur’an and special prayers for the safe return of the girls. Addressing reporters after the prayers, Alhaja Oyefeso said the hearts of the group’s members, being mothers, bled for the continued captivity of the children. The women’s leader prayed Allah to soften the hearts of the insurgents to release the girls unhurt.

•Flay Jonathan's comment on aborted visit By Tajudeen Adebanjo

She frowned at the inability of President Goodluck Jonathan to visit the villages where the abduction occurred. Dr Jonathan's visit, Alhaja Oyefeso said, would have enlivened the spirit of the girls' parents and given them hope of reuniting with their children. She said: "I believe it is unfortunate for our President to say that his visit would not resolve the crisis in Chibok. He needs to go there and feel the pains of parenthood. It will also afford him the opportunity of seeing the level of devastation and the sorry security situation in the area." Dr Adebule described Boko Haram as Nigeria’s big headache. The insurgents’ activities, she said, were crimes against the

Nigerian state, adding that all hands must be on deck to deal with the problem. She said: "We must collectively create awareness against the operations of Boko Haram. Their operations are clearly against the dictates of Islam. Allah forbids compulsory conversion of people to another religion, not to talk of forcing girls to marry against their will." The SSG urged Nigerians to unite in the fight against insurgency. The Companion National Amir (President), Alhaji Musibau Oyefeso, noted that the extension of the state of emergency in the Northeast would destroy the economy, political activities and social life of the affected states. The Federal Government, he said, had failed Nigerians and

should not use the state of emergency as its face-saving tactics. The Muslim leader said the government should instead think of more practical approach to end insurgency in the land. Lagos District Amir Najeem Jimoh said Nigeria needed to strengthen its security operatives so that there would be no need to seek external help to curb insurgency. He said:"America has its only interest to protect anywhere it goes. It only gets into issues when its interest is at stake. I want to believe there is a genuine intention of America coming to Nigeria. As soon as the insurgents are defeated, let Americans return to their country and not create chaos in our country."

Islamic scholar slams Fed Govt’s inaction on Boko Haram From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin


RENOWNED Islamic scholar, Sheikh Sofyullahi M. K. AlAdabiyy, has condemned the Boko Haram insurgency and Federal Government’s powerlessness to stop mindless killings in the land. Al-Adabiyy, who is also the Grand Mufti of Ilorin (Fadheelat Sheikh), spoke at the weekend in Oro, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, during the 30th coronation anniversary of the Chief Imam of Ijomu Oro, Alhaji Abdulquadri Al-Adabiyy. The grand mufti decried the abandonment of good governance for wealth and power. He said Boko Haram was not killing for Islam. According to him, the Federal Government’s failure to check the activities of the murderous sect is regrettable. Al-Adabiyy said: “There is wanton killing over worldly positions and power. But the government is yet to get Boko Haram despite all its power.” The Islamic scholar, who is the son of the late foremost Islamic scholar and founder of Ansarul Islam Society, Sheikh Kamalddeen El-Adabiyy, traced the nation’s current bloody travails to the abandonment of godliness and good virtues. The grand mufti noted that “from a nation of wealth and prosperity, we have become a nation of debts”. He said the governed should take part of the blame for the nation’s misfortunes, like the leaders. Al-Adabiyy said: “The government is bad; the leaders are bad. But are we, the followers, too good? You get the types of leadership you deserve. If you are good, you get good leaders.” The Islamic scholar noted that the solution to the nation’s crises is for Nigerians should seek God’s forgiveness. “We are paying for too many sins. We must stop the pursuit of worldly things and tread the path of Allah,” he said. The event was attended by several dignitaries, including Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Alhaji Muhammed Aliyu Lade; the Oloro of Oro Kingdom, Oba Abdulrafiu Ajiboye Oyealaran1 and his Oloro-in-Council; the Chairman of Irepodun Local Government Area, Lukman Owolewa; the Special Adviser to the Governor on Communication Strategy and Oloriewe of Oroland, Alhaji Abdulraheem Adedoyin; the Senior Special Assistant on Land Matters, Alhaji Muyideen Abdulkadir and the Imam Agba (Chief Imam) of Oro kingdom, Alhaji Sanusi Taofeeq Abdul-Salam. Others included imams in Oroland, traditional leaders in Ijomu Oro, the Chairman of Kwara Professionals in Lagos, Prince Victor Kolade; its Secretary, Alhaji Wasiu odewale; the former Chairman of Irepodun Local Government Area, Alhaji Tajudeen Bada; the Chairman of Kwara State Mass Literacy Board, Chief Olabode Adekanye; religious and community leaders from parts the state and beyond.



NEWS NAN Editor Omowole elected NAWOJ president


EMBERS of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) have elected Mrs Ifeyinwa Omowole of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as its new president. Omowale, NAN Senior Editor, polled 469 votes to defeat her opponent, Mrs Fatima Abdulkareem, who scored 198 votes in this year's NAWOJ elections in Badagry, Lagos. In an acceptance speech yesterday, Omowole promised to give NAWOJ a responsive leadership that would encourage capacity building of its members to enhance their profession. She said her tenure would have a human face, adding that the new executive would have a website for the association to have global interactions. The NAWOJ president said she would run an inclusive administration that would not only impact on the association but on journalism as a profession. Mrs Omowale also urged members and newly elected officers to cooperate with one another at all times.

SON backs higher grade cement


HE Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has explained why it is restricting the use of low grade cement - the 32.5MPA - and urging manufacturers to begin the production of the high grade 42.5MPA. SON’s Director-General, Dr Joseph Odumodu, spoke during the just concluded public hearing on the product. He said the restriction on the use of low grade cement was to mitigate the problem of building collapse in the country. The House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on the Composition and Pigmentation of Cement, led by its chairman, Yakubu Dogara, conducted the public hearing last week to address building collapse. The SON chief said Nigeria cannot afford to be a pariah state on cement quality, adding that the world’s progressive countries have stopped using the low quality 32.5MPA. He said the agency had restricted the use of 32.5MPA low grade and would enforce its compliance. Odumodu said those who continued to produce 32.5MPA low grade were doing so for profiteering. The SON chief said if the phenomenon of building collapse must be addressed, Nigeria must minimize the use of the low grade cement. The Dangote Cement Plc is the only company producing the high quality grade of 42.5R, while other manufacturers are producing low quality 32.5 grade. It is estimated that between 1974 and 2010, building collapse had killed 297 people. The SON issued a directive that 52.5R be used for bridges, 42.5R for casting of columns, beams, slabs and for moulding blocks, while the low grade 32.5 could only be used for plastering. Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigerian (CMAN) President Joseph Makoju said the 42.5 grade was superior cement over 32.5. He added that Nigeria used to produce and import 42.5 before the coming of 32.5MPA. The Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement Plc, D. V. G. Edwin, told the lawmakers that despite the superior grade of the Dangote Cement, it had not increased its price.

•From Left: Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Muhammed Sidi; Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General for West Africa, Mr Sa'id Djinnit and United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr Daouda Toure, during the visit of the UN team to NEMA office in Abuja. PHOTO: NAN


Amaechi: PDP plans to use police, military to rig 2015 polls

N All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain and Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has said leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) plan to use the police and the military to rig next year's elections. The governor said the plan would not be allowed to see the light of day. He urged women to vote en masse for APC. Amaechi noted that if security personnel and PDP's thugs attacked APC's men, it would be difficult for them to fight the women. The governor, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF), urged women to participate in politics and win elective positions in the forthcoming elections. The NGF chairman spoke at the weekend in Port Harcourt, the state capital, when he received members of the Local Government Elected Executives and Legislators' Forum in Rivers State. The group was accompanied by the governor's wife, Dame Judith Amaechi. He said: We hear the PDP will use the police and military to rig the 2015 elections. But, do you know how to stop them? On the day of the election, let all the women come out. If the police or military want to shoot; if it is the men, they will fight. But as women, dress in your traditional attire and

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

come out for the election and vote. They cannot stop you. "So, the women need to come out and take power. What I am telling you here is that you need to assert your number. Whether you are from Kalabari, Ikwerre, Okirika, Ogu/Bolo, Ogoni or Opobo, you need to establish yourselves, unit by unit. That way, you can tell us, 'I want to run for an election'. If you win your primaries, the party will support you." Amaechi also said there was no law in Nigeria that prohibited women from holding elective positions, when voted for by the electorate. The governor stressed that women qualified to hold elective positions currently being held by men. He said: "I told my wife, if you look at the voting pattern in Nigeria, the actual people who vote are women. So, why can't women take power from men? What you cannot take away from them is that men are your husbands. There is no law in Nigeria prohibiting women from becoming governors or the President. "You have been intimidated and you have to first and foremost liberate yourselves as women who are ready for politics. "There is a woman I have told

to contest for the chairmanship position in her local government area and she said: 'They will not allow me.' I asked her: 'How do you know?' "You have to come out. There is no need asking for help or to say 'please, give us 30 per cent affirmative for women'. Come out on your own. By the time you come out, you will see that you will surely get the 30 per cent you are looking for. "What politicians do is to bring out money, hold meetings and mobilise people, especially women. And, if you do that, you will also get elected." The NGF chairman assured that his administration would give scholarships to Rivers women to study overseas. Amaechi said this would enable them to improve their educational standard. The governor said the process must be transparent with the assurance that it would be for young but poor women. He said: "We want Rivers girls to be educated because it is important that our women are educated so that we stop 'women oyeh'. In a democratic setting, you take power by coming out to campaign and when that is done, you are then sure of the 30 per cent. "This time, it is not for sharing money. Go home, to your local government area; start

mobilising your fellow women from your usual small meetings, in your units and cells. Start mobilising and expanding. "I hear you are doing a project to support women. This administration will support your Women Empowerment Scheme. "Appointive positions are not too important. What are important are elective positions. Mobilise enough women to support you. You need to show the capacity to deliver your local government areas, and once you do that, nobody has the right to ignore you." The Coordinator of the Local Government Elected Executives and Legislators' Forum in Rivers State, Dame Maureen Tamuno, noted that Amaechi supported Rivers women during the 2011 elections. She said this led to the emergence of the 37 women councillors, four women local government vice-chairmen and a local government chairman. Mrs Tamuno, who is also the Chairman of Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area, said: "Today marks another milestone in the political space of Rivers State. We symbolically represent the new Rivers women to renew our bond of friendship, loyalty, commitment and submission to you and our dear party, the APC. “

Sanusi: FRC heads to Appeal Court


HE Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) has prayed the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgment of a Federal High Court which restrained it from inviting the suspended Central Bank of Governor (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to appear before its panel. The FRC, in its appeal, on May 15, faulted the May 12 decision of the Federal High Court, Lagos, for lack of jurisdiction, among others. The appeal also contended that the court erred in law by relying on Exhibit 1 (briefing note), which it (the court) had declared inadmissible. According to the appeal, filed on May 15 by the FRC’s counsel, Bola Ajibola, the court erred by admitting that there was the likelihood of bias against Sanusi by the FRC panel when the panel was not only meant for the suspended CBN governor, but it involved other parties who appeared before it without complaining of bias. The FRC also held that the court ignored the fact that Sanusi did not comply with Section 66 (2) and (3) of the FRC Act before bringing an action against the council in court. The FRC disagreed with the court that Sanusi’s claims were based on fundamental rights and not economic rights. In appealing the decision of the court, the FRC also said it erred by giving judgment against non-parties to the suit.

We’ll prosecute multiple registrants, says INEC


HE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has promised to prosecute any voter who registers more than once. Its National Commissioner in charge of Edo, Delta and Bayelsa states, Mr Ishmael Igbani, said such defaulters would be penalised according to appropriate electoral laws. Igbani spoke at the weekend in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, at a stakeholders’ forum organised by INEC to begin the distribution of permanent voters’ cards (PVCs) and the continuous voter registration. The national commissioner said the commission would give Nigerians a clean national voter register as one of the solutions to electoral fraud. He said INEC had optimised the existing register by expunging 870,000 multiple registrants during the last voter registration. Igbani said: “Some Nigerians, in their zealousness, register more than once. Sometimes, it is not

From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

their faults; sometimes, it is. Some other times, it is the fault of the machine. “INEC frowns at multiple registration. This is a serious offence, and those involved in multiple registration will be prosecuted. “During the last optimisation process, when the register was cleaned, it was discovered that no fewer than 870,000 persons indulged in the act.” The INEC chief urged Nigerians, particularly those who just turned 18, to register. According to him, credible registration is a necessary requirement for credible elections. Igbani stressed that those who do not have their PVCs would not be allowed to vote in 2015. He said: “We need those who did not register in the past to come and register. All those since the last exercise who have turned 18 should register as well as those who do not have PVCs. Continuous registration is al-

lowed in the constitution.” Bayelsa State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Edwin Nwatalari said the commission would begin two important processes ahead of the 2015 general elections. He said: “On Friday, May 23, 2014, the commission will begin the distribution of permanent voters’ cards through a simple process involving the swapping of temporary voters’ cards with PVCs. “For those whose TVCs have been missing for various reasons, the commission will facilitate such persons to collect PVCs by completing the attestation forms with a passport photograph. The exercise is to last three days, ending on May 25. “Eligible to participate are those who registered as voters in the 2010 voter registration and have their names pasted at their respective polling units where distribution will take place.” The national commissioner noted that those who fail to col-

lect their PVCs during the exercise would have to go to the local government office of the commission to get their cards. He said the distribution would be followed by a continuous voter registration, which would last five days, ending on June 1. Nwatalari said Bayelsa State was one of the few states the exercise was billed to take place. The REC said it was apposite to call on indigenes to do the state proud by making the exercise a success. He said claims and objections were expected to be made by desiring individuals during the five days. Nwatalari added: “The CVRE will take place at the ward level, except in those polling stations where, according to our register at the moment, records 50 votes or below. The commission intends to pay adequate attention to these areas, hence registration will be undertaken at the polling unit level. “It is important to stress that


those who have properly registered before, need not partake, as such may amount to multiple registration, which could lead to difficulties for such persons.” Representatives of the armed forces, the para-military agencies, the police, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), among others, attended the forum.




CHIBOK GIRLS’ ABDUCTION Two teenage girls found tied to trees in a clearing in the Nigerian bush. Had been beaten, raped and left to die in sweltering heat by Boko Haram. Found a week after 276 girls were taken from a school in Ba’ale, Chibok. Found by Baba Goni, 15, who was held hostage by the group for two years before escaping. Here, the brave young man tells of Boko Haram’s reign of terror in his village.

Defiled and bloody, tethered to a tree, school uniforms ripped: The moment I rescued two girls from Boko Haram


HEIR faces scratched and bleeding, the pitiful remains of their once-smart school uniforms ripped and filthy, the two teenage girls were tethered to trees, wrists bound with rope and left in a clearing in the Nigerian bush to die by Islamist terror group Boko Haram. Despite having been raped and dragged through the bush, they were alive – but only just – in the sweltering tropical heat and humidity. This grim scene was discovered by 15-year-old Baba Goni. “They were seated on the ground at the base of the trees, their legs stretched out in front of them – they were hardly conscious,” says Baba, who acted as a guide for one of the many vigilante teams searching for the Nigerian schoolgirls abducted from their school last month by Boko Haram – and now at the centre of a concerted international campaign for their freedom. The horrific scene he and his comrades encountered, a week after the kidnap early on April 15, was in thorny scrubland near the village of Ba’ale, an hour’s drive from Chibok, where 276 girls aged 16 to 18 were taken from their boarding school dormitories – with 223 still missing. It was still two weeks before social media campaigns and protests would prick the Western world’s conscience over the abduction. In the days following their disappearance, ragtag groups such as Baba’s, scouring the forests in a convoy of Toyota pick-up trucks, were the girls’ only hope. But hope had already run out for some of the hostages, according to Baba, when his group spoke to the terrified inhabitants of the village where Boko Haram had pitched camp with their captives for three days following the kidnap. The chilling account he received from the villagers, though unconfirmed by official sources, represents the very worst fears of the families of those 223 girls still missing. Four were dead, they told him, shot by their captors for being ‘stubborn and unco-operative’. They had been hastily buried before the brutish kidnappers moved on. “Everyone we spoke to was full of fear,” said Baba. “They didn’t want to come out of their homes. They didn’t want to show us the graves. They just pointed up a track.” The tiny rural village, halfway between Chibok and Damboa in the besieged state of Borno in Nigeria’s north-east, had been helpless to stop the Boko Haram gang as it swept through on trucks loaded with schoolgirls they had taken at gunpoint before torching their school. Venturing further up the track, Baba and his fellow vigilantes found the two girls. Baba, the youngest of the group, stayed back as his friends took charge. “They used my knife to cut through the ropes,” he said. “I heard the girls crying and telling the others that they had been raped, then just left there. They had been with the other girls from Chibok, all taken from the school in the middle of the night by armed men in soldiers’ uniforms. “We couldn’t do much for them. They didn’t want to talk to any men. All we could do was to get them into a vehicle and drive them to the security police at Damboa. They didn’t talk, they just held on to each other and cried.” For Baba, a peasant farmer’s son who has never been out of rural Borno, it was shocking to see young girls defiled and brutalised by the notorious terrorists he knew so well. But his own life has been full of tragedy and he told how he had ‘seen much worse’ than the horror of that day in the forest clearing. A bright-eyed Muslim boy from the Kanuri ethnic group, proud of a tribal facial scar and nicknamed ‘Small’ by all who know him because of his short, slim frame, he described a happy childhood with three brothers and two sisters in Kachalla Burari, a collection of mudhouses not far from Chibok. Without electricity or running water, the children spent their days helping on their father’s subsistence farm, planting maize and beans and millet. Baba and his friends used home-made catapults to shoot birds and in the rainy season fished in the river with bent hooks. But by his tenth birthday, the scourge of the radical Islamist Boko Haram was creeping up on everyone in Borno State. Baba and his siblings attended a local madrassa, or religious school, where they learnt the Koran, but he had no formal teaching and cannot read or

By Barbara Jones

write to this day. By 2009, Boko Haram were becoming active in his area, peddling their message of hatred to Christians, but also turning on Muslims they branded as informers. Nigeria’s chaotic military was incapable of defending itself or its citizens. Baba’s village life came under siege. There were attacks on the Christian population in the region, with bank robberies funding the gang. Disaffected, unemployed youths from local families were recruited and neighbours who once lived in peace now spied on one another. One night as he slept in his family’s mudhouse in the village, the gunmen came door to door, looking for informers. “I heard some noise, I woke up and saw men coming through the door, shooting at my uncle who was in the bed beside mine,” he said. “That was the end of my childhood, the end of everything. I saw his body covered in blood, I backed away, and the men turned their guns on me. They grabbed me roughly and took me outside to a pick-up truck. Baba, telling his story confidently and lucidly, wants to skate over the details of his two hellish years in the Boko Haram camp in Sambisa Forest. Today there are Special Forces soldiers swarming over the vast nature reserve and circling overhead in surveillance aircraft. For this slight boy, there was no such worldwide interest as he scurried back and forth at the command of a ruthless gang dug into woodland far from any help or rescue. He remembers many of them lived with women who had come voluntarily into the camp. He never saw any girls abducted. This latest phenomenon is unknown to him. “There were many abducted boys, but no girls,” he said. “We were all scared to death and had to do whatever we were told – fetch water, fetch firewood, clean the weapons. “We couldn’t make friends – you didn’t know who to trust. I was made to sleep next to the Boko Haram elders, the senior preachers. I had no special boss in the camp, I was ordered around by everybody”. The men prayed five times a day yet would leap on their motorbikes and trucks to carry out killing sprees. “I knew they had started out as holy men but now I saw them as criminals, loaded with weapons and ammunition,” he said. As he got older, he was taught how to use an AK-47, how to strip it down and clean it, and reassemble it. He could never understand what drove the men. They did not use alcohol or hard drugs, though he sometimes saw them smoking marijuana. They were monsters and he felt convinced they were mad. “They were wild, even when they prayed so loudly in groups together, making us join in. They were insane, unpredictable, and always planning their next attack. I never wanted to be one of them. “They slept rough every night, just taking shelter under trees in the rainy season,’ he said. ‘We all wore the same afaraja [the Nigerian long shift and trousers] day and night. We washed them when we could. We slept on mats made of palm leaves, out in the open with the trucks all parked nearby, ready for a hasty move if necessary.” He said the fear, and the endless boredom, were his worst enemies. “They made us work hard so it was easy to sleep. I don’t remember crying through homesickness. I think the night when my uncle was killed in front of me did something to my feelings forever. It seems mindless, but I adapted to my life out there.” Then came the day when he was given a ‘special’ but sickening task. One of the commanders told him he was going on a journey and would be tested for his loyalty to the group. “He brought two of his senior men to stand beside me. He said I would be going with them to my family’s home and I would have to shoot and kill my father.” Baba had no time to plan. He was sandwiched between the two fanatics as they set off on a motorbike for his village home. “I pretended I was willing to do the job. I took the ammunition belt I was handed and clung on as we drove through the rough bush. When we were less than a mile from a nearby village, I threw the ammunition belt to the ground and pretended it had slid out of my hands.

•Baba Goni

“They stopped to let me pick it up. Instead, I ran as fast as I could through the undergrowth. I didn’t care about thorns or snakes or anything. They shot at me and I could hear the bullets flying past and hitting the trees, but I was not going to stop for anything. I made it to the village and some kind people let me hide there. “The shooting would have been heard by local vigilante groups. I think that is why I wasn’t fol-

lowed by the men on the bike.” The next day Baba went home. He saw his grieving parents and siblings for the first time in two years. “But I couldn’t stay,’ he said. “I was bringing danger to their door and we all knew it.” Confirmation of that came when Baba soon heard that vengeful Boko Haram chiefs had put a bounty on his head for his defiance of the equivalent of £12,000 – a fortune in the local economy. “I took a bus to Damboa, to report to the youth vigilante group,” he said. “I wanted to work with them and I knew I was doing the right thing.” His family, terrified, abandoned their home soon afterwards and today live in a remote part of Borno, rarely seeing their eldest son. He lives with a cousin who is also under a Boko Haram death threat. He became a valuable volunteer with the vigilantes. He helps man checkpoints where Baba points out members of Boko Haram to the rest of the team. But he was soon exposed to brutality of a different kind – this time from the government side. He helped to get one of his captors, a man he only knew as Alhaji, arrested and handed to the soldiers. “It felt good at first, but then they shot him dead right in front of me,” he said. Now joining the patrols armed with a shotgun and machete, Baba has been able to give valuable intelligence to the Nigerian authorities about Boko Haram’s way of life in their camps. “By now I have seen this violence many times. It never gets better. It will always be an even worse sight than finding those poor schoolgirls in the forest,” he says. Culled from Daily Mail





Oyo, Osun delegates reject Southern delegates’ pact

YO and Osun states delegates have dissociated themselves from an agreement reached by some pressure groups under the aegis of Southern Nigerian delegates at the National Conference. Delegates from both states said they were not at the meetings where the agreement was reached, adding that it portrayed the Southwest as being against the North’s interest. Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), Prof. AbdulGaniy Raji and former President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Lanre Ogundipe told reporters, at the weekend, that the agreement was capable of creating “permanent discord” among delegates. They said the “prejudiced” position of the agreement on

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Dele Anofi, Abuja

some national issues showed that those who represented the Southwest in the Southern Nigerian Delegates Forum were not in tune with the current realities in the Southwest. Akintola said Southwest delegates did not come to the conference with the mindset of ganging up against any interest, adding: “We are not here to gang up against the North; that is not our mandate. Our mandate is to canvass those things that will be of immense value to the generality of Nigerians and move this country forward. “The negative intention of these ‘Southern’ delegates manifested itself when they came out with two agree-

We are not here to gang up against the North; that is not our mandate. Our mandate is to canvass those things that will be of immense value to the generality of Nigerians and move this country forward.

ments within hours, contradicting themselves on the issue of state creation. We are not part of this Southern Nigerian Delegates meeting nonsense. “The group must have been persuaded by the antics of some delegates from the Southwest, who have no political value back home, but arrogated to themselves powers they lack at the conference.

“For instance, how can the entire Southwest agree to the creation of Ijebu state when we have a state that is twice or three times the size of other states put together in that region? “We challenge them to disclose where and when we agreed to the abrogation of Section 44 of the Constitution. The Southern delegates’ agreement stated that ‘Citizenship rights for

the people of the Southeast shall be guaranteed in any part of Nigeria’. What about people from other parts of the country? So, we were expected to guarantee the rights of the Southeast alone. That is absurd. If those Southwest ‘leaders’ are in tune with what is happening at home, they will not advocate this.” Akintola said the purported agreement would be fought at plenary today, adding: “That agreement is not binding on us. We are going to fight it at plenary. We know the Southern Nigerian Forum started two years ago but we (Oyo and Osun delegates) are not all politicians and we are not ready to be used as a vehicle to launch their political agenda. “We are in touch with our

traditional leaders at home. Gen. Alani Akinrinade (rtd) is not aware of the agreement and that is the leader of the Southwest delegates here. We put it on record that Oyo and Osun delegates are not party to that agreement.” The Southern Nigerian delegates’ common agreement includes the abrogation of Section 44 of the Constitution, which vests the control of all minerals, mineral oils and natural gas on the Federal Government. It seeks the abrogation of the Land Use Act; Oil Mineral Act and Oil Pipeline Act. It advocates the creation of Ijebu state and power rotation among zones. It states that the citizenship rights of Southeast people should be guaranteed in any part of Nigeria and reparation should be paid to the people of the defunct Republic of Biafra.

‘Lagos doesn’t usurp councils’ powers’ By Miriam Ekene-Okoro


•Wife of Ekiti state governor Bisi Fayemi, Osun state deputy governor, Titi-laoye Tomori & deputy governor of Ekiti state, Prof. Modupe Adelabu at the wedding of Mr. & Mrs. Adedipe ... at the weekend. PHOTOS: DAVID ADEJO •The couple - Adeleke and the weekend.

Protect your votes, NGO tells Ekiti, Osun residents


NON-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Say No Campaign Hub (SNCH), has urged the electorate in Ekiti and Osun states to protect their votes at the governorship elections. The group urged the people to stay behind after voting so that the votes would be counted in their presence to avoid election fraud. Speaking at the weekend in Akure, the Ondo State capi-

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

tal, after meeting with Southwest representatives of the group, SNCH’s Coconvener Mr. Jaiye Gaskia said Nigerians could no longer tolerate election rigging. Gaskia said the group’s mission is to tackle corruption and nurture youths who will take over the country’s

leadership. The group also fights impunity, poverty, violence, rape, deregulation and election rigging. Gaskia said the group would monitor the Ekiti and Osun polls, adding: “The Ekiti and Osun elections are testing grounds for the two political gladiators in the country, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress

(APC). The elections will decide what may happen in the 2015 general elections. “As a group against impunity and corruption, we will not condone any illegality in the two elections. We are going to have our members monitoring each unit. They will get the result at the unit level but we will not violate the electoral law by announcing the results. We will wait for the Independent National Electoral Commission

‘Why LP failed in Ilaje/Ese-Odo by-election’


N Ondo State Labour Party (LP) chieftain, Mr. Akinwumi Sowore, has blamed Governor Olusegun Mimiko for the party’s “woeful performance” in the Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency by-election, which was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Sowore, a former EseOdo Local Government caretaker chairman, told reporters at the weekend in Akure, the state capital, that the LP lost its base in EseOdo because of the “unjustifiable sack of over 600 EseOdo council workers” by the governor shortly after his election in 2012. He said those sacked and their families vented their anger on the governor by voting against the LP in the by-election. Sowore urged Mimiko to shun the politics of bitterness and reinstate the sacked workers, saying this would help restore the LP’s

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

“lost glory”. He said instead of making amends, the governor had been victimising him for the party’s low performance. Sowore alleged that the governor was planning to indict him through a panel he set up to probe his tenure as chairman. He said the panel was un-

warranted because he was cleared by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) when he left office about a year ago. Sowore alleged that Mimiko instructed members to always support the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in national elections, adding: “The governor has set up a fact-finding committee to probe my tenure. He is

doing this to incriminate me, believing that I worked for the PDP during the byelection. How could he come to such conclusion forgetting that he once told us to always vote for the PDP during national elections.” He urged party leaders to call the governor to order, adding that the LP might become extinct if the issue is not addressed urgently.

‘How social security is funded by Ekiti’


HE Ekiti State government has debunked a rumour that the social security scheme for the elderly is being funded with local governments’ allocations. Commissioner for Labour, Productivity and Human Capital Development Oluwole Ariyo spoke at Erinjiyan-Ekiti at the weekend while monitoring the payment of N5,000 monthly allowance to senior citizens across the 16 local government areas.

He said contrary to the rumour, there is a budgetary allocation for the scheme. Ariyo described another insinuation that the scheme was a Federal Government programme as “laughable”, stressing that the idea originated from Ekiti and some states were emulating it. He assured beneficiaries that the scheme would stand the test of time because it was established by a law.

The commissioner urged the people to re-elect Governor Kayode Fayemi in order to enjoy more dividends of democracy. The beneficiaries prayed for Fayemi’s success in the June 21 poll. Mrs. Rachael Ola from Osan Ekiti said with the monthly stipend, she now feeds herself without having to go begging. Mr. Bolaji Ogunlana (72) from Erijinyan-Ekiti assured the governor of the votes of senior citizens.

(INEC) to do so and if the figures are tampered with, we will expose them. “We will enlighten the people on the need to vote for credible candidates and not political parties. They should vote for people with decent records, people who have not soiled their hands and will put the people’s interests above all things.” Gaskia condemned the exchange of votes for money, saying it has given birth to bad leaders, corruption and impunity.

HE Lagos State government has denied usurping the powers of local government councils. Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Ademorin Kuye told reporters that the powers of local governments and local council development areas are “sacrosanct”. Kuye said the government’s resolve of collecting advertisement charges was to harmonise, create standard and make the payment of the rate uniform and easy. The commissioner said the money was not diverted by the government but shared among the concerned local governments and LCDAs. He said some hoodlums had been extorting money from the public on the pretence of being local government agents, warninf that anyone caught would be dealt with.

‘What has Omisore done in Ife’


HE All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State has told the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore, to name his achievement in his Ile-Ife country home. The party said in his over two decades of active participation in politics, Omisore had done nothing for Ile-Ife to qualify him to contest the August 9 poll. APC said it was necessary for Omisore to tell the people what spectacular thing he has done for Ife, which he plans to replicate across the state, if elected, and which surpasses what Governor Rauf Aregbesola has done in Ile-Ife in 42 months. It said when Aregbesola assumed office, most roads in Ile-Ife were impassable, adding: “It took the governor about two years to, among, others, fix the Lokore-Okesoda, Mbari Mbayo, Lofogido, Agbedegbede, Igboya-Fajuyi

and Mokuro roads. “Besides, the Baptist Elementary School was a dilapidated, sorry sight until Aregbesola made it a spectacle to behold, which, among others, drew comment from the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, that ‘Aregbesola has performed beyond expectations’. There is also a magnificent Middle School. “This is just a tip of the iceberg of what Aregbesola has done and continues to do in Ile-Ife, not to talk of the whole state.” The party urged Omisore to say what verifiable thing he has done or influenced to be done in Ile-Ife that should make Ife people vote for him. It said: “If Omisore can point to one of such projects in his ward, he may qualify to run as a councillor, but unfortunately, there is nothing in his ward to qualify him to run as councillor. “He lost that ward in 2011, so why does Omisore think he can challenge Aregbesola as governor?”




Be dedicated, Aregbesola urges security agencies O

SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has urged security agencies to live up to their oaths of service by sustaining the peace in the state as the August 9 governorship election draws nearer. He spoke at the weekend in Osogbo, the state capital, while hosting the Zone Four Commander of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Oladapo Jacob Amujare.

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Aregbesola urged security agents not to compromise in the discharge of their duties, adding: “The time has come for you to demonstrate your capabilities in identifying black spots and personalities who may be planning to unleash terror to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the poll. “The consequence of a

fraudulent electoral process is grave. So I am appealing to all stakeholders to be vigilant and guarantee a credible, free, fair and transparent election. Democracy will only have meaning if the free choice of the people through a credible electoral process is guaranteed. If this process is corroded, undermined or compromised, democracy loses its meaning.

“I promise to collaborate with you in ensuring that the August 9 poll will be a reference point; one that is transparent and credible.” Aregbesola warned against jungle justice, describing it as “uncivilised, barbaric and reckless”. He urged residents to be vigilant and warned against indiscriminate dumping of refuse. Amujare hailed the governor for sustaining peace in Osun, saying this has engendered progress in the state.

Auxiliary’s arrest excites Ajimobi


YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has hailed the police on the arrest of a factional leader of the National Union of Road Transport Union (NURTW), Mr. Mukaila Lamidi, a.k.a. Auxiliary. He pledged to bring criminals who threaten the state’s peace to book. In a statement by his spokesman, Dr. Festus Adedayo, Ajimobi said: “I swore to protect the people from rampaging criminals. I swore that political affiliations would not colour my judgment. I detest crime and criminals and that is why ours is about the first government to openly disconnect with thugs and violence. We will continue to do this in the interest of the people.” He urged security agencies to step up the search for wanted persons and apprehend their collaborators, no

matter how highly placed they may be in the society. Ajimobi said he was excited by Lamidi’s arrest, saying it was a testimony to the police’s competence to rid the state of violent elements. The police, in June, 2011, placed N500,000 ransom on Lamidi and NURTW Chairman Alhaji Lateef Oloruntoki, a.k.a. Tokyo, in connection with the murder of the National President of the Nigerian Medical Students Association, Bala Usman Shanono, a 500-Level medical student of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Shanono and some other travelers were killed at the Iwo Road motor park in Ibadan during a violent clash by NURTW factions. Lamidi and Oloruntoki were declared wanted for their alleged roles in the clash.

Ajimobi said: “At a moment like this when the whole country is apprehensive of violence and violent individuals, especially the mindless killings of the Boko Haram sect, unauthorised ownership of guns and other criminal weaponry should bother every peace-loving citizen. This is why, as the Chief Security Officer of Oyo State, I am pleased that Auxiliary, who the police said they have evidence linking him to gun-running, has been arrested.” The governor said he was shocked that a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Senator Lekan Balogun, who is the Osi Olubadan, “would descend so low as to be Auxiliary’s spokesman”, adding: “All peace-loving citizens should ask Balogun what the connect is between a holder of the highly exalted office of the Osi Olubadan and a

Group defends Akiolu’s endorsement GROUP, the Protecand that it is the responof Ambode tion; tor of Lagos Legacy sibility of Lagos people to


(PLL), at the weekend, defended Oba Rilwanu Akiolu I of Lagos on his endorsement of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode as a worthy successor to Governor Babatunde Fashola. This is coming on the heels of criticisms by an organisation, “Visioneer for new Lagos”. In a statement, PLL Coordinator Mr. Olatunji Williams described Mr. Bambo Akin-Johnson of the Visioneer for new Lagos as “a non-existent name in Lagos”. It said the “faceless group” lacks respect for the Yoruba culture by “insulting the Oba of Lagos for exercising his constitutional right”. PLL said the Oba of Benin endorsed Governor Adams Oshiomhole for the last gov-

ernorship election in Edo State and nobody insulted him, adding: “In fact, various traditional rulers have been endorsing President Goodluck Jonathan for reelection and nobody has poured such venomous insults on them as this faceless organisation has done. “Oba Akiolu has only exercised his constitutional right as is the case all over the world and should not be made a boot of uncultured vituperation by some faceless people in the name of politics. It is noted that the revered Oba of Lagos, in airing his opinion, said the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties will still follow their party procedures to choose their candidate for the elec-

vote for the candidate of their choice.” PLL challenged those behind the group to come out and address the press, instead of hiding behind a faceless organisation to insult traditional rulers. It said: “Indeed, the endorsement of Ambode by the Oba of Lagos and other traditional rulers in the state has sent jitters down the spine of these political jobbers, as he remains the most outstanding and qualified candidate for the job of building on the legacies of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Fashola and moving Lagos to the next level. Our resolution is that Lagos will continue to move forward and will never be captured by unprogressive forces of darkness.”

Ede Cocoa Industry to bounce back soon


SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has said the moribund Cocoa Product Industry (CPI) in Ede would soon be resuscitated. He said his administration had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese company on the resuscitation of the industry. Aregbesola spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Community Forum, Mr. Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, at the weekend at a sensitisation programme in Ede on the administration’s

policies and programmes. He said: “The resuscitation process of the CPI is almost at the final stage and what this means is that we are bringing the industry back to life fully. When it is back to life, it will boost the economy of Ede, its environs and Osun in general and create jobs for our youths. This development is a departure from the past. This commitment is for real.” Aregbesola said the government would continue to attract investors to Osun through its policies and programmes, urging the people

to sustain the peace in the state. The Timi of Edeland, Oba Munirudeen Adesola Lawal said: “We are fully in support of the administration and are optimistic that more development will come to this state.” The company has been valued at N544.5 million. According to the MoU, the government shall own 30 per cent equity shares and the firm 70 per cent. The CPI’s board of directors shall consist of five directors, with two representing the state and three the Chinese firm.


Soka: Oyo goes tough on abandoned properties

HE Oyo State government has told owners of abandoned landed properties in Ibadan, the state capital, to develop or forfeit them. It said this was to forestall a repeat of the Soka incident, where dying persons and human parts were discovered at an abandoned property. Ibadan Southwest Local Government Caretaker Chairman Tahoeed Bolaji Adeleke told reporters at the weekend that this became imperative in view of rumours that there were more kidnappers’ dens in the city. Adeleke, who is the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ibadan Local Government Properties

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

Company Limited, said the company would no longer tolerate the abandonment of properties. On the achievements of his 33 month-old administration, he said it had moved the council’s headquarters from a rented office on M.K.O. Abiola Way to a permanent site at Alesinloye. Adeleke said his administration fixed nine roads; built two Information Communication and Technology (ICT) centres at Odo-Ona and Oke-Ado; renovated and equipped 25 primary health centres; constructed many blocks of classrooms and donates free exercise books yearly to schools.

Swap the girls now

•Continued from back page


wanted dreaded criminal. Right now, we should put partisan politics aside and let savour the peace we have had in Oyo State in the last three years. Whether we are PDP, APC or Accord, we must all say ‘never again’ to the era of political thuggery, violence and brigandage that was the order of the day in our state before now.”

Even the president said in Paris at the weekend that he does not need to go to Chibok because the abducted girls are not there. When leaders visit fire victims, it is not because they want to hold fire hoses, or flood disaster because they want to clear the water. Can’t he comfort them and reassure them as belonging? Is that not part of his job? The families and citizens have said the government does not value them. Even the president has confirmed that. After the whole world announced his planned visit to Chibok, he waited the next day to refute it, even though his advance party was sighted in Maiduguri. Sources cited security concerns. So if the commander-inchief cannot guarantee his own safety, how can he vouch for the safety of his citizens? When assassins plotted to kill Charles de Gaulle, he said the French president did not cancel any public event, including parades. If the absence of water led to this disaster, let us hope this third phase of leadership absence is the last.




‘Merger of three universities a disservice’ •Ekiti: It’s not correct From Salawudeen Sulaiman, Ado-Ekiti


•The crowd that came to receive the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship flagbearer, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, during a campaign tour of Odo-Ayedun in Ikole Local Government Area.

Ekiti govt flays Fayose over ‘wild allegations’


KITI State Government has described the “unsubstantiated wild allegations” of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate, Ayodele Fayose, as “ordinary vituperations of a desperate politician” whose ambition of returning to the Oke Bareke Government House has turned to a wild goose chase. The Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mr. Tayo Ekundayo, said this while responding to a recent claim by the Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation that the recently awarded N1.4 billion contract for the Turn Around Maintenance of the Ero dam was to fund the re-election of Governor Kayode Fayemi. The commissioner said the people of the state can not be fooled by the antics of the former governor whom they know for his “antecedents of subterfuge and misinformation.” Ekundayo said that contrary to Fayose’s claims that the


contract was a conduit-pipe to fund the governor’s campaigns, it was one of the efforts of government to ensure that the dam, which was constructed way back in 1985, returns to full capacity and able to deliver water to the people of nine of the 16 local government areas in the state. Stressing that the dam has not undergone any Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) since it was constructed about 30 years ago, the government spokesman said that no rational thinking person would imagine that a contract that has just been awarded could be used to fund the campaign which is nearing conclusion. He also added that Fayose is aware of the usual procedure it takes to process even the initial 30 per cent mobilisation to motivate the contractor to site. “Fayose was in government for three and a half years. He didn’t deem it fit to refurbish the dam which was gradually silting up then. Rather, he was more concerned about mundane things like changing the

nomenclature of the Water Corporation than improving actual water production in the state,” the Commissioner stated. Ekundayo noted that it takes a fraudulent mind to conceive the idea of fraud in every genuine initiative, stressing that people in the state know that the likes of Fayose’s poultry project over which he is currently being prosecuted, is not in the character of the Fayemi-led administration. On his reference to the 27.5 per cent TPA, Ekundayo reminded the impeached former governor that the issue was settled about one year ago during which it was agreed between the government and the teachers that 16 per cent would be paid immediately while the remaining 11.5 per cent would be paid as soon as the resources of the state improved. “What the governor recently did was in fulfillment of the promise made which has nothing to do with the oncoming election,” the commissioner emphasised. The state government, Ekun-

dayo noted, “is a listening one which is why the TDNA that the teachers do not support has to be abandoned as we know that in a democracy the wish of the people must be respected.” The commissioner also noted that Fayose, in his characteristic way of telling lies, said that he in 2003 appointed teachers as permanent secretaries and tutors-general. “From available records, Fayose did not appoint teachers as tutors-general until 2006 when his impeachment was pending in the house and that could be considered as panicky measure. Or does Fayose not know that there is a marked difference between teachers and education officers? “ Fayose did not appoint any teacher as permanent secretary during his controversial tenure contrary to his claim that the appointment of teachers to the position of PS was scrapped by successive administrations in the state. “It is on record that the Fayemi administration, since its as-

sumption of office in 2010, has appointed two education officers to the position of permanent secretaries and also appointed three teachers to the rank of tutors-general while 14 teachers were recently promoted to Special Grade Level 17,” Ekundayo stated. He reiterated the determination of the administration to continue promoting its employees to the highest level in the service as shown in the civil service transformation agenda. Also reacting to a statement credited to the Labour Party’s (LP)candidate, Opeyemi Bamidele, on payment of pensions and gratuities to retirees in the state, Ekundayo advised the LP candidate to properly consult with his deputy governorship candidate, Alhaja Mariam Abimbola Ogunlade, who was until recently, a major player of pension administration in the state that should have one or two clarifications on the issue of the pension funds.

‘Fayemi’s govt most teacher-friendly’

KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi’s administration has been described as the most teacherfriendly in the history of the state, owing to its robust welfare package aimed at motivating tutors in the discharge of their duties. These welfare packages, which form part of the education policy of the Fayemi administration, are part of the factors responsible for the rising standard of the state’s educational sector. The Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation, which underscored these facts in a statement in Ado-Ekiti at the weekend, added that the administration turned around the education sector due to foolproof and flexible policies seeped in deep-thinking and careful planning done by Ekiti eggheads brought together at the behest of the Fayemi administration after an education stakeholders’ summit. In a statement signed by its

•NUT, ASUSS predict APC candidate’s re-election spokesperson, Dimeji Daniels, the campaign group said the Fayemi administration in 2011 reversed the scrapping of the Office of Tutor-General carried out by a previous PDP administration in the state by appointing three tutors-general to superintend over the three senatorial districts in the state. The three appointees, the statement claimed, were later promoted to the position of permanent secretaries in 2013. Continuing, Daniels said contrary to claims by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ayodele Fayose, that the Fayemi administration had not been fair to teachers, the administration had done more for teachers than in all the years from 1996 when the state was created till 2010 when the APC governor took over the mantle of leadership. He added that the salary

package of teachers in the state has tripled as against the Fayose-era when there was no increase in salaries for almost four years. Other packages mentioned by Daniels include the 20 per cent rural allowance to serve as incentive to teachers deployed to the areas, 20 per cent core subjects allowance, teachers housing scheme, first-ever loan scheme for primary school teachers, distribution of laptops to teachers, 27.5 per cent Teachers Salary Structure (TSS) and capacity-building training. The group stated that the incentives have helped the state to produce the best teacher in Nigeria consecutively in 2012 and 2013, a feat, it added, was never achieved during the Fayose-era. Meanwhile, teachers in Ekiti State under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and Academic Staff Un-

ion of Secondary Schools (ASUSS), the victory of the state governor, Kayode Fayemi, in the coming governorship election is assured. The teachers, who in two different letters of appreciation to the governor thanked him for giving them a new lease of life, stated that Fayemi’s performance in the state is unparallel and will earn him victory on June 21. In a letter dated May 2, 2014 and co-signed by the State Chairman of ASUSS, Sola Adigun and his secretary, Omolayo Oso, the teachers commended Fayemi for the recent promotion of senior principals who had reached the bar on grade level 16 but had it lifted by the governor so that the principals can also retire on Grade Level 17 as applicable in the civil service. The union, while acknowledging Fayemi as a true pro-

•Dr. Fayemi

gressive and welfare-oriented governor, said “never in the history of Ekiti as a state has any principal reached this enviable grade level”. “The Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (Nigeria) Ekiti State chapter welcomes with much appreciation the recent promotion of senior principals who had been stagnated on Grade Level 16 for long to Grade Level 17. Your Excellency, you have done it again.

HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has reiterated his commitment to the return of the scrapped University of Science and Technology, Ifaki-Ekiti (USTI) and The University of Education Ikere-Ekiti (TUNEDIK). Fayose said the scrapping of the two universities by Governor Kayode Fayemi administration was a disservice to Ekiti people. Speaking through the Director General of Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation (AFCO), Chief Dipo Anisulowo, the governorship candidate said: “Governor Kayode Fayemi denied thousands of Ekiti youths the opportunity of gaining admission into the university by merging the three universities that he met in the State into one.” “For instance, if the National University Commission (NUC) quota for Ekiti indigenes was 40 per cent in each of the three universities and each of the universities is to admit 2,000 students, the population of Ekiti indigenes that will be admitted into the universities will be 2,400 out of 6,000 to be admitted. “But with the merger, only 800 will get admission into Ekiti State University (EKSU) because NUC will not increase the quota because three universities were merged into one”. Anisulowo said by the merger, Ekiti State was being shortchanged in terms of access to funds from Federal Government Education intervention agency like Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund). “Between 2010 and 2014, University of Nigeria, Nsukka alone was able to access N4.3bn from TETFund, and as at the time USTI was scrapped, the university had attracted over N1bn intervention fund from TETFund. “Also, as at the time USTI was scrapped, the university already had an arrangement with Semyung University, Jecheon City, Chungbuk, South Korean to run an exchange programme that will enable the students the opportunity of earning dual certificates. About 36 students of USTI were already billed to travel to South Korea for the programme before the university was scrapped. USTI was scrapped after a summit of experts recommended that the state could not fund more than one university in which quality will be high. In a reaction, the spokesperson of the Kayode Fayemi Caqmpaign Organisation (KFCO), Mr. Dimeji Daniels, expressed worries about a “governorship candidate who cannot learn and know basic information regarding the progress in Ekiti since the current administration assumed office in October 2010”. Daniels recalled that the merger of both TUNEDIK and USTI was the consequence of a recommendation of an all-embracing State Education Summit which recommended the move (merger), alongside others, adding that the merger was not the result of personal unilateral decision of Governor Kayode Fayemi. He said contrary to the claim that the merger had denied the state of access to Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND), it had greatly helped in the release of the backlog of TETFUND to Ekiti State University (EKSU).












We will prepare for all scenarios, says Fayemi In this concluding part of the Kayode Fayemi interview, he insists that the Labour Party candidate Opeyemi Bamidele, is a mere paper weight and a media creation and that Ayo Fayose lost in a senatorial election three years ago. He spoke with Steve Osuji and Femi Macaulay. Excerpts:


UST a quick follow up. The Labour Party candidate reportedly decided to suspend his campaign over allegations of violence. I don’t know whether you have anything to say about that? Was the LP candidate in this race? The LP candidate, with great respect to him, was a media creation. Newspapers created the LP candidate. Don’t forget that the LP candidate was one of us. He was in our party before he left. But it should not only interest the media that the LP candidate left but who left with him? In the APC now, not even a ward chairman left with him. Yet the media created the situation that somebody was going to take at least half of APC to Labour Party. I don’t know of anyone perpetrating violence; and if there is anyone perpetrating violence, it was the LP candidate and his imported backers. For me, I take that statement as a distraction; but I would like him to continue in the race and I wish him well. Could you elaborate on this question of media creation? You know I am also a media person and the LP candidate used to be a commissioner for Information in Lagos State and he is my friend; and I know him even better than most journalists, but I also know that when it comes to ground level operation, you can go out there and ask, LP does not exist in the state. Even when Ayo Fayose used LP in a senatorial race three years ago, as much more on the ground as he touted himself as a grassroots politician, what came out of the senatorial race was that he came out of the contest like a deflated balloon. But one of the lessons I have learnt in politics is not to underrate any one, just to do my own work and leave the electorate to decide. I want to reassure our brother and friend that if he does not perpetrate violence, I

don’t see how violence can be an issue in this election. To say that he is suspending his campaign because of violence appears to me a way of saying, “I am done here. This race has become a two-horse race and I need to go and figure out how I am going to realign myself.” Politics is about interest. Is it possible that there could be realignment of interests; and do you think that you did everything you could to prevent a gap so that the LP candidate did not have to decamp to LP? The truth of the matter is that the LP candidate was just looking for an excuse when he was with us to do what he did. This had been part of his agenda from day one. Don’t forget the prediction that he was going to go to LP came a year before he landed in LP. I don’t know if you recall that as of December 2012, when our leader, former Governor Niyi Adebayo hosted party leaders in his Iyin Ekiti country home. That was where it first filtered out after the endorsement by the party leaders- that they thought the governor should run for a second term. That was even a time I had not pronounced that I was going to do that. He was following them and a week after that particular endorsement his posters went out as a putative LP aspirant. Although what he claimed then was that it was the governor’s people that printed his posters, but eventually one year down the line he moved to LP. Whether it was the governor’s people that printed the posters or it was he himself who decided to unfold his ambition, the truth came out; he went to LP. And not only did I try, those who are even wiser than I am, our leaders- Chief Bisi Akande, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, these were people who I felt any of us would have listened to. They all spoke to him, held meetings with us, but his mind was

already made up and that is why he did what he did. As for what you called “realignment”, of course the door in politics will never be shut; he is a distinguished son of this land. I know he contributed his own quota to politics and development and it is entirely up to him to figure out what he wants to do with himself. All I can say is nobody sent him away; nobody deprived him of being a competitor in the primary. Even as the only aspirant in the state, APC still insisted that I must go through the primary and I went through the primary, so the myth that by endorsing Fayemi, the leaders have sent him away is clearly unfounded and anyone who knows the history of this party will recall that even Chief Awolowo, for all his commitment to Papa Alayande (in Oyo), for all his commitment to his friend J.S Olawoyin (in Kwara), for all his commitment to Michael Ajasin, (in Ondo), there were still primaries in those states. Bola Ige defeated Alayande, C. O. Adebayo defeated J. S. Olawoyin, and these were Awolowo’s buddies with whom he started the Action Group. Ajasin defeated Omoboriowo but there was a primary and it was after Omoboriowo lost that primary that he jumped to NPN. For Opeyemi to say: “Oh! You know they shut the door by saying Fayemi should run for second term.” That is puerile. Anybody can say anything to any candidate to run for any term but if you are a popular candidate, as you claim to be within the party, then you can still defeat the incumbent and it is not unheard of that an incumbent is defeated in a primary, it is not unheard of. Do you anticipate any monkey business or any complicating factor in the coming election?

• Dr. Fayemi

I am a student of strategy, my attitude to anything I’m involved in is not only to plan but to build scenarios and part of the scenarios that we are building in this state is Scenario A: election is free and fair, we win; Scenario B: election is free and fair, we lose; Scenario C: election is rough, discredited, stolen and there is a reaction. Don’t ask me the nature of that reaction but scenarios are being built, we will respond appropriately to how things unfold. So, I don’t want to get into monkey business or no monkey business. All I know is we will prepare for all manner of scenarios. I will describe Ekiti leadership as academic leadership- you have a doctorate and your deputy is a professor. The thinking in certain quarters is that a major opponent who is supposedly more in touch with the grassroots, could be a difficult challenge. Could academic leadership be a disadvantage in this contest? An academic leadership is not an apolitical leadership. Don’t forget I have had the privilege of being involved in elections in this state so I know the psychology of politics in this state very well. My own original election in April 2007; my rerun election in 2009; the senatorial election; the House of Assembly; House of Representatives, the presidential election and the re-run House of Representatives election. I

Ministry: Our stand on UAE police report on Falode’s son’s death


HE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has clarified its stance on a storyheadlined: “FG accepts UAE Police report on Nigeria boy’s death”, which was published by a national newspaper on Friday. In the report, the newspaper was quoted as claiming that in a telephone interview with Nigeria’s envoy to the United Arab Emirates (UAE),Ambassador Ibrahim Auwalu, it obtained explanation to the effect that his

mission had “received the report of Oloruntoba Oluwadamilola Falode’s death”. Falode was a student of SAE Institute, Dubai, UAE. But Director and Spokesman of the ministry, Ogbole Amedu Ode, explained in a statement yesterday that scouring through the story, there was no where the ambassador was quoted as having accepted the contents of the police report and forensic investigations carried out on the re-

mains of the deceased. “What is obvious in the interface with the diplomat is that he (the ambassador) provided highlights and obviously, the conclusion of the host police’s investigations into the alleged murder. “This is in keeping with the letter and spirit of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act. Ode said Nigerians must therefore hasten to say that receiving a report does not amount to

accepting the contents of the report as the caption of the story conveys. Continuing, he added that Auwalu was also reported as saying that “as far as the family is concerned, the matter is ongoing and of course we have to go by the wish of the family. Therefore, for us too, the matter is ongoing. Once the family says that they are not satisfied, we continue because we represent Nigerians and their interest”.

Community health Insurance: ‘NHIS working to cover vulnerable’


HE National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has said it has recorded another milestone in its renewed efforts of providing health cover and financial risk protection for people in the rural communities. This followed the recent official kick-off of the Community Based Social Health Insurance Scheme, promoted by the Emoriko Mutual Health Association in Emoriko, Olamaboro Local Government of Kogi State. In his speech at the ceremony, NHIS Executive Secretary

Dr. ‘Femi Thomas, emphasised that the scheme is working assiduously to address the health challenges of the vulnerable groups in the society. Thomas described the groups as those who do not have the financial ability to contribute to any prepayment plans. He noted that Nigeria has a very huge informal sector, as over 70 per cent of the nation’s population is caught in this bracket, which according to him, necessitates the recent convening of a presidential summit on universal health coverage in Abuja, to develop and

implement strategies for ensuring that all Nigerians enjoy access to effective health care, without the constraints of physical and financial barriers. He however, warned that this can only be achieved if focus and energy are accorded coverage of the informal sector, particularly at the community level. Thomas said this informs the determination of the scheme to scale up community health insurance activities across the country, in tandem with the resolve of the Goodluck Jonath-

an administration to boost human capital development, welfare of the people and economic growth of the nation. He praised the increasing demand for the services of the scheme in recent times, attributing that to new initiatives at NHIS to achieve the primary objectives of the organisation. He appealed to state and local governments to summon the required political will and embrace the formal sector programme of the scheme, thereby building the platform for improving the quality of life of their workforce.

don’t know why people harp on my academic background. I honestly don’t know. I think I am an academic but I am also a politician; but am not an Ivory tower academic. I am on the street. For me, I believe that I am a change agent, my academic background has to be put to some practical use; it’s not just about teaching theories in an environment. It’s about changing lives and that is the difference. What has academic background done for me? I didn’t come into political office and then say “Oh boy, Steve we don win election o, Femi wetin we go do now?” I have a planthat is the academic side of me. As I said to you, I had a 100 days plan, I had a 24 months plan, I had a 36 months plan. I came with clearly defined ideas. When I was campaigning I talked about social security. And I always ask anybody who raises this type of questions to do two things: read my inaugural speech on October 16, 2010 and mark it paragraph by paragraph what I said I was going to do that I have not done in office. That is the academic side of me, because for me public policy is not something you just pull out off the cuff. No, you must plan; have an idea of costing your plan and then implementation in a measurable manner. So, I like to associate myself with that academic self but I am also in the rough and tumble of politics. You cannot get this far in Nigerian politics by just playing poker. So, if you give people false sense of security and hope, it pains me as an academic, that is why I don’t want to lose that image. But I have also proven to people that you can underestimate this guy at your peril. If I could sustain a threeand-a-half-year battle in the law court without losing the case, it’s a tough call. We knew what we went through, some of our leaders were here in those three and a half years and we were fighting an incumbent government and I was on the street in this state urging people we must insist on doing things in the right way. And we successfully kept our team intact. I did not lose one person in the House of Assembly despite all the inducement. As a matter of fact for the three and a half years they were there, we even installed a Speaker for an incumbent government by pulling people from the other side. That cannot be done by a “university person”, who just sits in the university campus.

Umeh urged to obey court order


By Jude Isiguzo

HE Coordinator of the Anambra Youth Solidarity Movement, Mr. John Maduekwe, has decried the disobedience of a Federal High Court order by the erstwhile National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh. In a communiqué after a meeting of the group in Awka, Maduekwe said Umeh, by flouting an order of a court of competent jurisdiction, is contemptuous and only looking for anything to cling to for survival. The group urged Umeh to allow Mazi Okwu continue as the National Chairman so that the party could move forward. Maduekwe said using debasing and derogatory languages on Justice Kafarati for not getting victory in the case was callous and malicious. He noted that APGA’s victory in Anambra State, which resulted in the inauguration of Chief Willie Obiano as the governor, was made possible through the performance of ex-governor, Mr. Peter Obi. Maduekwe said since the majority of APGA members and stakeholders had lost confidence in Umeh to the extent that they could not avail him of the much- needed goodwill and fund to march on, he should refrain from his wild goose chase and leave the scene.

Ultimatum for vehicle owners THE Assistant Inspector General in charge of Zone 2, Onikan and Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command have warned owners of abandoned vehicles parked at Oworoshoki Division Oworo, Zone 2 Command headquarters Onikan and Oloso Police Station Mushin to remove them or lose them to members of the public through auction, two weeks after this publication. The vehicles are Toyota Camry BDG 812AR, M/Benz FH279AAA, Mitsubishi Car 309GGE, Volkwagen Golf unregistered, Nissan Almeira LE421 FOT, Nissan Pathfinder FA251APP, Villager Mercury ND631AAA and Jetta CA684ABJ.



IN THE HIGH COURT OF LAGOS STATE OF NIGERIA PROBATE REGISTRY, IKEJA DIVISION WHEREAS the person whose names are set-out in the first Column under died intestate on the date and place stated in the said Column. AND WHEREAS the person or persons whose names and addresses and relationship (if any) to the deceased are set out in the second Column here have applied to the High Court of Lagos State for a Grant of Letter of Administration of the Real and Personal Properties of the deceased. NOTICE IS HEREBY given that Letters of Administration will be granted to such persons unless a NOTICE TO PROHIBIT THE GRANT is filed in the registry within (14) days from the date hereof. S/N 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75.



Onanuga Remilekun (Otherwise known as Mrs Onanuga Remilekun) late of 8, Akanni Dada Street, Igando, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 26th day of December, 2012 at Somolu General Hospital, Lagos. Sam Momoh (Otherwise known as Momoh Sam and Momoh Samuel) late of 3, Unity Close, Egbeda, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 13th day of December, 2012 at Lasuth, Ikeja. Akinloye Akinyele Omolaoye (Otherwise known as Abdulazeez and Omolaoye Akinloye Akinyele ) late of 8, William Eliotte Estate, New Oko Oba, Agege, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 29th day of May, 2013 at Yola, Adamawa State. Kamoju Amoke Lanlat (Otherwise known as Kamoju Laulat Amoke) late for 18, Kokoro Abu Street, Ikorodu, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 14th day of November, 2011 at Lasuth, Ikeja. Eneanya Sunday late of 9, Oduko Street, Ipaja, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 29th day of November, 2011 at Lagos. Mrs Akinde Olanike (Otherwise known as Mrs Akinde Olanike Flora and Akinde Flora) late of 91, Adeleye Express Road, Ota Itele , Lagos deceased who died intestate on the 7th day of May 2007 at Lasuth, Ikeja. Okoye Jeremiah Anachuna (Otherwise known as Jeremiah Anachuna Okoye) late of 88, Muniru Street, Ilogbo Ajangbadi, Ojo, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 31st day of May, 2007 at Anambra State. Sarah Nkechi Ukachukwu (Otherwise known as Sara N. Ukachukwu and Unachukwu Sarah) late of 2, Olowolayemo Street, Cele Village, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 10th day of September, 2012 at Lasuth, Ikeja. Pius Anusim late of 16, Razak Balogun Street, Surulere, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 28th day of December, 2012 at Lagos. Boluwaji Oyedele (Otherwise known as Boluwaji Jimmy Oyedele) late for 123, Ijesha Road, Itire, Surulere, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 26th day of July, 2013 at 68, Nigeria Army Ref. Hospital, Yaba, Lagos. Whesu Babatunde late of 43, Femi Ogunyeye Street, Ikorodu, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 21st day of April, 2013 at Lagos. Badmus Olasunkanmi Rufai (Otherwise known as Olasunkanmi Rufai Badmus) late for 4, Gboyega Kilo Street, Ojodu Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 25th day of December, 2011 at Ogun State. Dr Michael Price Olufemi Otolorin (Otherwise known as Dr Michael Otolorin ) late of 9, Afolabi Lesi Street, Ilupeju, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 24th day of March, 2007 at Topaz Clinic ,Surulere, Lagos. Onah Ejiofor Donatus (Otherwise known as Ejis Automobile) late of 25, Oregun Road, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 7th day of June, 2013 at Nsukka. Adeyemi Emmanuel Adebola (Otherwise known as Adeyemi E. Adebola) late of 5, Ayinde Giwa Street, Surulere, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 24th day of June, 1979 at Lagos. Banwo Babatunde David (Otherwise known as Banwo Tunde ) late of Plot 3, Bosmide Street, Riverbank Estate, Isheri , Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 19th day of September, 2013 at Nassarawa Mr Kareem Kolawole Rasak (Otherwise known as Kareem Rasaki) late for 91, Onijeru Road, Igboye,Epe , Lagos State deceased who died intestate on the 2nd day of November, 2012 at Lagos. Olaniyan Kolawole (Otherwise known as Kolawole Olaniyan, Kolawole Joseph Olaniyan and Olaniyan Kolawole Joseph) late of 25, Ogunsola Avenue Isheri Oshun, Lagos State , deceased who died intestate on the 10th day of March, 2011 at Lagos. Oyedele Oluwagbemiga (Otherwise known as Gbenga Oyedele) late of 11, Akinbola Street, Ilupeju, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 28th day of October, 2012 at Lagos. Titus Adedayo Ogunsanwo late of 6, Emmanuel Disu Street, Ojodu Berger, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 4th day of June, 2012 at Lagos. Mrs Lateefat Atinuke Kuye late of 3, Oremeji Street, Idi Mangoro, Ikeja, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 24th day of September, 1998 at Sagamu Ogun State. Adefisoye Mercy late of 10, Adegbuyi Close, Meiran, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 20th day of August, 2011 at Lasuth, Ikeja. Oluwabiyi Kehinde (Otherwise known as Oluwabiyi Kehinde Oyeyemi) late of 5, Igboho Street, Off Ajibola Crescent, Alapere, Ketu, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 19th day of December, 2013 at Lagos. Okorigwe Benson (Otherwise known as Benson Edafemega Okorigwe ) late for 9A, Adeponle Street, Amukoko, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 12th day of January, 2014 at General Hospital, Lagos. Sulaimon Magaji (Otherwise known as Suleimon Olawale Mogaji) late of 14, Edet Street, Jakande Ajangbadi, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 17th day of May, 2012 at Isolo General Hospital. Olukola Abiodun Adeniyi-Williams late of 19B, Ajisafe Street, G.R.A. Ikeja, Lagos deceased who died intestate on the 10th day of March, 2014 at Lagos. Michael Oladipupo Adenuga late of 4, Sanusi Street, Shomolu, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 1st day of December, 1980 at Ijebu-Ode. Mr Olufemi Adesina Muraina late of 19, Kosebinu Street, Meiran, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 12th day of January 2008 at Lasuth Ikeja. Mr Habeeb Oladapo Oloko (Otherwise known as Habeeb Oloko) late of 5, Soule Close, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 6th day of January, 2014 at Lagos. Mr Oshinoiki Ashafa Kunle late of 8, Omolanke Street, Onigbongbo Maryland, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 24th day of July, 2010 at Yide Medical Centre, Lagos. Mr Awotula Akinfosile Akingboye (Otherwise known as Awotula Akinfosile) late of 194, Olaniyi Street, Oko-Oba, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 21st day of June 2011 at Luth. Alhaji Hassan Hadejia late of 49, Isa Kaita Road, Kaduna, deceased who died intestate on the 6th day of November, 2012 at Kaduna. Olatunde Samuel Oyewole late of PHCN Quarters, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 5th day of July, 2009 at Sagamu. Kalu Awa Orji (Otherwise known as Mr Awa Orji Kalu) late of 22, Fintan Agbibua Street, Egbe, Lagos State deceased who died intestate on the 9th day of October, 2012 at Lagos. Mudabai Franca (Otherwise known as Mudabi Franca Ogoegbunam Cynthia) late of 22, Rasak Balogun Street, Surulere, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 7th day of June, 2013 at Luth. Nurudeen Tunji Giwa (Otherwise known as Nurudeen T. Giwa and Captain Nurudeen Tunji Giwa) late of 8, Bayo Dejonwo Street, Maryland, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 9th day of October, 1999 at General Hospital Ikeja. Oyetunji Olufolahanmi (Otherwise known as Oyetunji Olufolahanmi Johnson) late of 37, Afariogun Street, Oshodi, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 22nd day of May, 2012 at General Hospital Isolo. Ugochukwu Cletus late of 41, Layinka Street, Ajegunle, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 12th day of October, 2012 at Luth Chief Peter Nnanna Moneke (Otherwise known as Moneke Peter) late of 18, Ayuba Daudu Street, Ilasamaja, Mushin, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 4th day of September, 2005 at Luth, Lagos. Baura Lucas (Otherwise known as Mr Baura Lucas Lola and Luckas Baura ) late of 8, Oyekuna Street, Bariga, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 14th day of September, 2012 at General Hospital Ikorodu. Mr Adegoke Johnson Oluwarotimi (Otherwise known as Adegoke Oluwarotimi Johnson) late of 1, Church Street, Sangotedo Lekki, Lagos State deceased who died intestate on the 3rd day of February, 2014 at UCH Ibadan. Thomas Awai Awai (Otherwise known as Mr Thomas Awai Awai) late of 5th Avenue, I One Close Block 2, Flat 9, Festac Town, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 24th day of August, 1982 at Lagos. Gbolahan Bishopton (Otherwise known as John Bishopton) late of 8, Hassan Street, Ilasamaja, Lagos deceased who died intestate on the 16th day of March, 2012 at Lagos. Mrs Alika Amaechi Loretta (Otherwise known as Alika Amaechi Loretta) late of 24, Oyewole Road, Papa Ashafa Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 9th day of August, 2013. Mrs Pius Vicky (Otherwise known as Victoria Christopher and Vicky Pius ) late of 10, Ipetedo Street, Ibaranga, Ikotun, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 10th day of February, 2013 at Lagos. Akinloye Amos Kolawole (Otherwise known as Chief Amos Kolawole Akinloye ) late of Plot 7, Block 1, Fashola Estate, Ipaja, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 15th day of August, 2010 at Lagos. Akindele Comfort Olabisi Aderemi (Otherwise known as Mrs Comfort Olabisi Aderemi Akindele) late of 512, Road H Close, House 21, Festac Town, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 27th day of January, 2013 at Manchester Isong Nnwanga (Otherwise known as Unwana Isong) late of 22, Freeman Street, Lagos Island, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 22nd day of October, 2011 at Lagos. Coker Abayomi Olatunji late of 22, Isaac John Street, Igbobi Fadeyi Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 8th day of April, 2012 at UCH Ibadan Soloman Aderemi Eyinade (Otherwise known as Mr Eyinade Solomon Aderemi) late for 3, Stella Close, Abekoko Road, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 5th day of February, 2011 at Lagos. Mr Alebiosu Gabriel late of 1, Akpan Close, Silver Estate, Idimu, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 7th day of February, 2013 at Ota, Ogun State. Akpudo Onyenyechi Sophia (Otherwise known as Mrs Onyinye Akpudo) late of 9A, Isashi Road, Ojo, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 25th day of May, 2013 at Lagos. Ibrahim Isah (Otherwise known as Ibrahim Isah Itopa) late of 13, Oredapo Street, Shasha, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 5th day of November, 2013 at Okene. Mr Eko Solomon Mathias (Otherwise known as Mr Solomon Eko Mathias and Mr Eko Mathias and S.E. Mathias) late of 19 Elegba Street, Mushin, Odi-Olowo , Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 21st day of August, 2011 at Abuja. Hilda Chizomam Oparah (Mrs) (Otherwise known as Mrs Oparah Hilda Chizomam and Hilda Chizomam Oparah) late of Plot 4, & 14 Jajo Estate, Block 1, Imowo-Nla Road, Ikorodu, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 15th day of April, 2012 at Lagos. Adele Obasanya Zaccheus (Otherwise known as Zaccheus Obasanya Adele) late of 54, Cardoso Street, Mushin, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 16th day of November, 2006 at Lasuth, Ikeja. Alfred Olukayode Tanimowo (Otherwise known as Tanimowo Olukayode Alfred) late of 63, Olofin Road, Orugbo, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 30th day of April, 2009 at General Hospital Ikorodu. Oyanna Janet late of 4, Adawiatu Dauda Street, Egbeda, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 24th day of March, 2013 at Lagos. Fagbemi Moses Durodola (Otherwise known as Moses Durodola Fagbemi and Fagbemi Durodola Moses ) late of 6, Agbonyin Avenue Surulere, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 13th day of May, 2013 at Lagos. Mrs Omolayo Bola Olufowobi (Otherwise Olufowobi Omolayo) late of 49, Olaleye Street, Gbagada, Lagos deceased who died intestate on the 6th day of October, 2011 at Lasuth, Ikeja. Ogidi Shaibu Israel (Otherwise known as Ogidi Shaibu Christopher) late of 2, Adewatu Street, Egbeda , Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 4th day of June, 2012 at Ekiti State. Austen Gbolahan -Odegbami (Otherwise known as Chief Austin Gbolahan Odegbami) late of 2/8 Iyala Street, Alausa Ikeja, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 14th day of April, 2006 at UBTH Samuel Uzoma Duru (Otherwise known as Duru Samuel) late of New Staff Quarters Barracks Ikeja, Lagos deceased who died intestate 29th day of October, 2006 at Lagos. Mr Henry Eduviere Imoni (Otherwise known as Imoni Henry) late of 3/5, Ige Adubi Street, Igando, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 17th day of August, 2012 at Luth. Musa Peters (Otherwise known as Musa Peter) late of 15, Peter Oduntan Street, Ile -Epo Isale, Oke Odo Lagos deceased who died intestate on the 26th day of December, 2012 at Lagos. Iziogba Sunday (Otherwise known as Sunday Iziogba) late of 4, Church Close, Off Isiba Street, Meiran, lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 27th day of November, 2013 at Edo State. Okafor Celetina Ifeoma (Otherwise known as Okafor Celestina Ifeoma) late of 16B, Probing Close, Ikoyi, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 5th day of August, 2012 at Lagos. Francis Chukwuemeka Eruchalu (Otherwise known as Emeka F. Iruchukwu) late of 16, Virgil Dike Street, Ago Palace Okota, Lagos deceased who died intestate on the 3rd day of December, 2011 at Lagos. Oseni Aliu (Otherwise known as Mr Oseni Aliu) late of 27, Oyekunle Street, Agege, Lagos deceased who died intestate on the 21st day of February, 2010 at Lagos. Adedayo Adewale Adebowale (Otherwise known as Mr Adedayo Adewale) late of 3, Agbelekale Abule Egba, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 2nd day of January, 2011 at Badagry General Hospital. Engr. Nicholas Onodinma Onwumelu (Otherwise known as Nicholas Omodinma Onwumelu) late of 11, Ugochukwu Street, Katan-Gowa Abule Egba, lagos deceased who died intestate on the 9th day of April, 2013 at Lagos. Olayide Lateef Olusegun (Otherwise known as Olayide Latifu Olusegun) late of 33, Adeshiyan Street, Ilupeju, Palmgrove, Mushin, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 3rd day of October, 2013 at General Hospital Isolo. Samuel Olatunji Hassan (Otherwise known as Hassan Olatunji) late of 220, Agege Motor Road, Mushin, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 17th day of October, 2013 at General Hospital Mushin. Mrs Nwabueze C.T. (Otherwise known as Mrs Comfort Tani Nwobueze and Mrs Uwabueze Comfort) late of 6, Tunji Adeloye Close, Akowonjo, Ipaja, Lagos, deceased who died intestate on the 19th day of October, 2011 at General Hospital Lagos. Olayinka Olayemi Deborah (Otherwise known as Komolafe Olayemi Deborah and Olayemi Olayinka) late of No. 40, Alhaji Sekoni Street, Lanre Bus Stop, Igando, Lagos. deceased who died intestate on the 28th day of August, 2013 at Island Maternity Lagos.


1. Onanuga Oluwaseun, Onanuga Oluwasegun, Oluwatobi Adaba and Oluwafemi Adaba all of 8, Akanni Dada Street, Igando, Lagos, four children of the said deceased. 2. Mrs Evelyn Momoh and Paul O. Momoh both of 3, Unity Close, Egbeda, Lagos, widow and brother respectively of the said deceased. 3. Oluwatoyin Omolaoye and Oyeniran Akande Omolaoye both fo 8, Williams Eliotte Estate, New Oko Oba, Agege, Lagos, widow and brother respectively of the said deceased. 4. Abdulrasheed Kamoju of 18, Kokoro Abu Street, Ikorodu, Lagos, only child of the said deceased. 5. Mrs Eneaya Felicia and Master Azuka Emmanuel both of 9, Oduko Street, Ipaja, Lagos, widow and one of the childen respectively of the said deceased. 6. Akinde Kehinde Isaac and Akinde Anuoluwapo both of 91, Adeleye Express Road, Ota Itele Road, Lagos, widower and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 7. Mr Obiora Okoye and Mrs Uzoma Offie both of 88, Muniru Street, Ilogbo Ajangbadi, Ojo, Lagos, two of the children of the said deceased. 8. Mathew Ukachukwu and Kazito Ukachukwu both of No. 2, Olowolayemo Street, Cele Village, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, widower and the only child respectively of the said deceased. 9. Lady Edna Anusim and Chalres Anusim both of 16, Razak Balogun Street, Surulere, Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 10. Funke Machofe Oyedele of 123, Ijesha Road, Itire, Surulere, lagos and Bello S. Edward of 9, Zaccheous Street, Ajegunle, Apapa, Lagos, widow and cousin respectively of the said deceased. 11. Mrs Olubusola Whesu and Mrs Oluwabukola Christiana Ojodu both of 43, Femi Ogunyeye Street, Ikorodu, Lagos widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased 12. Mrs Yetunde Idowu Badmus, Miss Maryam Konyinsola and Mr Gbolahan Gamaliel Badmus all of 1, Adebisi Adenola Street, Animotu Estate, Akute, Ogun State widow and two of the children respectively of the said deceased 13. Prof. Emmanuel Otolorin and Mrs Ibironke Sosina both of 9,Afolabi Lesi Street, Ilupeju, Lagos, two of the children of the said deceased. 14. Mrs Chigozie Onah and Sunday Onah both of 25, Oregun Road, Oregun Ikeja, Lagos, widow and brother respectively of the said deceased. 15. Mrs Olufunmilola Sobowale (Nee Adeyemi) of 1, Aunty Kenny Estate, Ogijo and Miss Adeyemi Abisola A. of 1, Waidi Oluge Close, Ishenolu Estate, two children of the said deceased. 16. Oluwayemisi F. Banwo and Oluwatosin S. Banwo both of Plot 3, Bosmide Street, River Bank Estate, Isheri , Lagos,widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 17. Kareem Temitope of 91, Orijeru Road, Igboye Epe, Lagos State, Kareem Taiwo Ololade and Kareem Kehinde Olawunmi both of 17, Adesanya Street, Ikosi Ketu, Lagos, three children of the said deceased. 18. Mrs Veronica Olaniyan, Mrs Elizabeth Olaniyan , Mr Busayo Olaniyan and Ms Oluwadamilola S. Olaniyan all of 25, Ogunsola Avenue Isheri Oshun, Lagos, two widows and two of the children respectively of the said deceased. 19. Mrs Mary Oyedele and Miss Bukola Oyedele both of 11, Akinbola Street, Ilupeju , Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 20. Mrs Cecelia Bose Ogunsanwo and Mr Anthony Olawale Ogunsanwo both of 6, Emmanuel Disu Street, Ojodu Berger, Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deeceased. 21. Mobolaji Olumide Kuye and Yewande Olubukola Kuye both of 3, Oremeji Street, Ikeja, Lagos, two children of the said deceased. 22. Mrs Omotoyinbo Modupe of 11, Suberu Oje Road, Caaso Bus Stop and Adewole Cecilia of 10, Adegbuyi Close, Meiran, Lagos, two sisters of the said deceased. 23. Olawabiyi Dele Akindoye and Adekoya Taiwo Adeola both of 5, Igboho Street, Off Ajibola Crescent, Alapere Ketu, Lagos, widower and sister respectively of the said deceased. 24. Mrs Justina Okorigwe and Efetomboh Okorigwe both of 9A, Adeponle Street, Amukoko, Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 25. Mrs Aishat Mogaji and Mr Saidi Mogaji both of 4, Opic Estate, Agbara, Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 26. Olukole Rotimi B. Adeniyi-Williams and Adeniyi Oladapo Adeniyi-Williams both of 19B, Ajisafe Street, G.R.A. Ikeja, Lagos, two children of the said deceased. 27. Owolabi Adenuga, Adebayo Adebogun Adenuga, Gbolahan Adenuga and Zacheus Adekunle Dabiri all of 4, Sanusi Street, Shomolu, Lagos, three of the children and brother respectively of the said decased. 28. Mrs Sekinat O. Muraina and Remilekun Muraina both of 19, Kosebinu Street, Meiran, Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 29. Mrs Adebanke O. Oloko and Miss Halima O. Oloko both of 5, Soule Close, Park View Estate, Ikoyi , Lagos , widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 30. Mr Sunday Oshinoiki and Mr Wale Oshinoki both of 8, Omolanke Street, Onigbongbo, Maryland , Lagos, two children of the said deceased. 31. Mrs Awotula Ajike Rebecca and Mr Oluwarotimi Awotula both of No. 194, Olaniyi Street, Oko Oba , Lagos, widow and brother respectively of the said deceased. 32. Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, Hayatu Hassan Hadejia and Mohammed Hassan Hadejia all of 49, Isa Kaita Road, Kaduna , lawful sons of the said deceased. 33. Oyefemi Olatunde , Akinleye Olatunde, Titilope Olatunde and Damilola Olatunde all of Church Street, Hospital Road, Sagamu, Lagos, four of the children of the said deceased. 34. Maryann Kazu and Agulue Ndubuisi both of 22, Fintan Agbibua Street, Lagos, State widow and brother respectively of the said deceased. 35. Mudabai Dominic Chukwuka and Mudabai Jennifer both of 22, Rasak Balogun Street, Surulere, Lagos, two of the children of the said deceased 36. Rita Imade Giwa, Olatunji Mustapha Giwa, Olufemi Abdulrasaq Giwa and Ibikunle Abdulrahman Giwa all of 8, Bayo Dejonwo Street, Maryland, Lagos, four children of the said deceased. 37. Mr Sunday Oyetunji and Mr Kayode Johnson Oyetunji both of 37, Afariogun Street, Oshodi, Lagos, two of the children of the said deceased. 38. Mr Grace Oluchi Ugochukwu of 41, Layinka Street, Ajegunle, Lagos, Mr Fabulous Onyegbulo of 20, Oguntade Street, Alaba-Oro Lagos, widow and brother respectively of the said decased. 39. Chief Sydney Igboanugo Moneke, Barr Christian Chijioke Moneke and Mr Kinsley Iheanacho Moneke all of 18, Ayuba Daudu Street, Ilasamaja, Mushin, Lagos, three of the children of the said deceased. 40. Baura Omotayo Lawrence and Baura Temitope both of 8, Oyekunle Street, Bariga, Lagos State two of the children of the said deceased. 41. Adenike Moriyike Adegoke and Orobola Kikelomo Adegoke both of 1, Church Street, Sangotedo Lekki, Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 42. Mrs Adiaha Thomas Awai and Idongesit Awai both of 5th Avenue I One Close, Block 2, Flat 9, Festac Town, Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 43. Olaoluwa Bishopton and Folashade Bishopton both of 8, Hssan Street, Ilasamaja, Lagos, widow and sister respectively of the said deceased. 44. Alika Ogochukwu of 24, Oyewole Road, Ashafa Lagos, and Dennis Mathias of 19, Oshundairo Street, Araromi Lagos, widow and brother respectively of the said deceased. 45. Pius Jibunor of 10, Ipetedo Street, Ibaranga Ikotun, Lagos and Mr John Christopher of 33, Kareem Oyelade Street, Orile Agege, Lagos, widower and brother respectively of the said decased. 46. Mrs Reginah Akinloye and Yemisi Akinloye both of Plot 7, Block 1, Fashola Estate, Ipaja, Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 47. Olusesan Akindele of 512 Road "H" Close, House 21 Festac Town, Lagos, one of the children of the said deceased. 48. Emmanuel Aniefiok and Mary Isong both of Block 15, Room 27 Obalende Police Barrack Lagos, Nephew and sister respectively of the said deceased. 49. Coker Olatunde Abraham and Coker Modupe Olaitan Sarah both of 22, Isaac John Street, Igbobi Fadeyi Lagos, two children of the said deceased. 50. Florence Omotayo Eyinade of 5, Unity Crescent Iyanro Titun Alagbado, Lagos, and Adedotun Eyinade of 2A, Okuneye Avenue, Palmgrove Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 51. Mrs Alebiosu Adenike Racheal and Alebiosu Taiwo John both of 1, Akpan Close, Idimu, Lagos, widow and brother respectively of the said deceased. 52. Akpudo Chidozie and Cosmas Ozoh Okori both of 9A, Isashi Road, Ojo, Lagos, widow and brother respectively of the said deceased. 53. Isah Sefinatu O. of 13, Oredapo Street, Shasha, Lagos, and Seidu Ibrahim of 3, Oredapo Street, Shasha, Lagos, widow and brother respectively of the said deceased. 54. Mr Solomon David and Mr Solomon Efe both of 19, Elegba Street, Mushin, Odi-Olowo Lagos, two brothers of the said deceased. 55. Oparah Chris O.A. (Engr.) ,Oparah Chijioke Anthony and Ogun Chinonyerem Anne (Mrs) all of Plot 4 and 14 Jajo Estate, Block 1, Imowo Nla, Ikorodu, Lagos, widower and two of the children of the said deceased. 56. Adele Esther Iyabo, Adele Sola Dayo and Adele Dapo Johnson all of 54, Cardoso Street, Mushin, Surulere, Lagos, widow and two of the children respectively of the said deceased. 57. Ebenezer Shanu Tanimowo and Emmanuel Olugbenga Tanimowo both of Olofin Road, Orugbo, Lagos, two of the children of the said deceased. 58. Pastor Oyanna Martins and Oyanna Peter both of 4, Adawiatu Dauda Street, Egbeda, Lagos, widower and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 59. J.Adjibola Fagbemi, Abatou H. Tedjumola and Moriama A. Fagbemi all of 6, Agbonyin (Avenue) Surulere, Lagos, three children of the said deceased. 60. Mr Oladele Olufowobi and Miss Opeyemi Abdulraheem both of 49, Olaleye Street, Gbagada, Lagos, widower and sister respectively of the said deceased. 61. Mr Joseph Ogidi of 106, Okunola Street, Egbeda, Lagos State and Mr Ogidi Friday of 2, Dawuda Egbeda, Lagos, brother and cousin respectively of the said deceased. 62. Mrs Margaret A. Odegbami , Yvonne Olayide Odegbami and Austin Gbolahan Odegbami (Jnr) all of 2/8, Iyala Street, Alausa Ikeja, Lagos, three children of the said deceased. 63. Mrs Esther Duru and Mr Obinna Duru both of Highway Patrol Barracks "B" Block Flat 3 Ikeja, Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 64. Constance Ochuko Imoni, Kingsley Enovwo Imoni and Igho Imoni all of 3/5 Ige Adubi Street, Igando, Lagos, widow and two of the children respectively of the said deceased. 65. Mrs Veronica Musa and Martin Peter both of 15, Peter Oduntan Street, Ile-Epo Isale Oke -Odo, widow and brother respectively of the said deceased. 66. Mrs Comfort Iziogba, Mr Samuel Iziogba and Mr Jeremiah Iziogba all of 4, Church Close, Off Isiba Street, Meiran, Lagos, widow and two of the children respectively of the said deceased. 67. Okafor John and Okafor Maryjane both of 16B, Probing Close, Ikoyi, Lagos, brother and sister respectively of the said deceased. 68. Christopher Obiajulu Eruchalu and Chukwuemeka Morris Eruchalu both of 16, Virgil Dike Street, Ago Palace Okota Lagos, two brothers of the said deceased. 69. Alhaja Fatimo Aliu and Mr Mutiu Aliu both of 27, Oyekunle Street, Agege, Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 70. Mrs Fehinlola Adedayo and Mr Oluwasegun Babatunde Adedayo both of 3, Agbelekale Abule Egba, Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 71. Salome E. Onwumelu, and Ifeoma Juliet Ezechukwu (Nee Onwumelu) both of 11, Ugochukwu Street, Katan-Gowa Abule Egba, Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 72. Yemisi Olayide and Oluwaseun Olayide both of 33, Adeshiyan Street, Ilupeju Palmgrove, Mushin, Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 73. Abosede Hassan of 220, Agege Motor Road, Mushin, Lagos, and Babatunde Hassan of 3, Emoipaire Ilasu Orile Mile 2, Lagos, widow and one of the children respectively of the said deceased. 74. Emmanuel Ale and Beatrice E. Amoje both of Block 13, Flat I, LSDPC Estate, Ogba, Lagos, brother and sister respectively of the said deceased. 75. Olayinka Abolade Oyewumi and Oluwaseyi Opesanwo both of 40, Alhaji Sekoni Street, Lanre Bus Stop, Igando, Lagos, widower and Pastor respectively of the said deceased.






The Osun example


•The state has proved that there is ‘ability’ in ‘disability’

HE last 40 months of Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration in Osun State have indisputably been the most eventful in its 19-year history – at least in terms of developmental strides. It is now crystal clear from the Osun example that the economic progress and development of any state are largely functions of the vision, will and ingenuity of the leadership. Osun State used to be rated among the backwaters of the Nigerian economy. The belief was that the state was inherently disadvantaged and thus incapable of making any major economic leap forward. For one, Osun is 34th of the 36 states in terms of statutory allocation from the Federation Account. Again, the state’s poor economic profile limits the capacity to generate substantial revenue through taxes. Successive administrations had thus confined their vision and ambition within the limits of the paltry federal al-

‘We urge the state government to borrow a leaf from Lagos and institutionalise the summit as a critical and objective partner in achieving purpose-driven and qualitative governance. Above all, it must ensure that the summit does not end as a talk shop; its recommendations must not gather dust in government shelves as most other summits, they must be utilised for the development of the state’

location and an internally generated revenue of approximately N300 million monthly. It is thus not surprising that the Aregbesola administration inherited a state characterised by rising unemployment, gross decay of public infrastructure and unsustainable debt. However, through the determined and innovative implementation of its Integration Action Plan of banishing poverty, banishing hunger, banishing unemployment, restoring healthy living, promoting functional living and enhancing communal peace and progress, the Aregbesola administration has remarkably turned the Osun story around. For instance, the Osun Youth Employment Scheme (OYES) has created 40,000 jobs and injects N200 million into the local economy monthly. Farmers are being supported to boost food production and enhance food security. The massive road construction undertaken across the state has had a beneficial impact on economic productivity. In the education sector, ingenious policies have led to the establishment of such enterprises as Omoluabi garments to produce school uniforms on a massive scale and O’meal to provide one meal per day for school children. These ventures generate jobs and stimulate economic activity. Consequently, not only has the state’s internally generated revenue risen to N1.6 billion monthly, Osun State has the lowest poverty index in Nigeria, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Against this background, the administration could easily have assumed it had reached the limits of its performance and thus rest on its oars. The organisation of the recent two-day Osun Economic Summit, however, indicates that the Aregbesola government is determined to

raise the benchmark of performance even higher. Tagged ‘OrisunAje’, the theme of the summit was ‘Crux of Osun Economic Developmental Master Plan: Analysing Radical Paradigm Shift’. The summit provided a forum for critical stakeholders in the state – civil society organisations, trade unions, cottage industry owners, community-based organisations and key financial institutions – to appraise the performance of the Aregbesola administration, deliberate on ways of improving current gains as well as identify new potentials and opportunities that could be explored to further uplift the state. It is noteworthy that the summit was initiated and driven by an Osogbo-based Non-Governmental Organisation, the Peoples Welfare League (PWL), thus giving it the requisite independence to objectively assess the performance of the administration as well as identify its strengths and weaknesses. Equally significant in this respect was Aregbesola’s charge to participants in his opening address not to be patronising of his government but to critically and dispassionately analyse its policies and programmes. It is of course obvious that this is the only way that the summit can be useful in adding value to governance in the state as well as justify the resources committed to it. We urge the state government to borrow a leaf from Lagos and institutionalise the summit as a critical and objective partner in achieving purpose-driven and qualitative governance. Above all, it must ensure that the summit does not end as a talk shop; its recommendations must not gather dust in government shelves as most other summits, they must be utilised for the development of the state.

Olmert’s sentencing •Again, another ex-leader sentenced. When will Nigeria punish its own corrupt leaders?


OR desecrating a ‘holy land’, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was on May 14 sentenced to six years in prison. The judge also fined him one million shekels ($289,000; £171,000) and ordered that 560,000 shekels in his assets be seized. Olmert was found guilty by the Tel-Aviv District Court of accepting a 500,000 shekel bribe from developers of a controversial apartment complex known as ‘Holyland’, after which planning and zoning laws were changed, and another 60,000 shekels for another project, and sentenced accordingly. The 68-year-old former prime minister was convicted in March, interestingly not necessarily for a crime he allegedly committed as prime minister, but in connection with the real estate deal that took place while he was Mayor of Jerusalem. The sentencing must have humbled the man who left power in 2009, following a gale of alleged corruption charges. That he is now going to prison for a bribe he took as mayor many years ago is pointer to the fact that there is nothing like just a little sin. It also tells us that no matter how long it takes to be discovered or decided, crimes should always be punished. More significantly, it is pointer to the fact that the law should be no respecter of persons. Olmert’s regrets would have been that he did not have an opportunity of plea bargain or soft-landing, two major concepts that have been widely abused to shield influential Nigerians from punishment for stealing and other corrupt practices. As a matter of fact, President

Goodluck Jonathan, as a judge, could have dismissed his crime as stealing and not corruption. How could accepting a mere 500,000 shekel ($145,000 or 86,000 pound sterling) have amounted to corruption? Unfortunately for Olmert, Israel is not Nigeria. In Israel, there is no academic or legal gymnastic of trying to make any distinction between stealing and corruption; just as there are no safety nets for corrupt individuals, no matter how highly placed. Indeed, Judge David Rozen who was disgusted by Olmert’s crime made profound statements while delivering the judgment; According to him, bribery offences “contaminate the public sector” and “cause the structure of government to collapse”. He added: “People who receive bribes give rise to a feeling of disgust and cause the public to despise the state’s institutions. The taker of bribes is like a traitor who betrays the public trust that was given to him - trust without which a proper public service cannot be maintained.” Yes, the judge acknowledged that Olmert had made a “large contribution to the country”, he nonetheless had no choice than to sentence him because his offences were “noxious” and he was guilty of “moral turpitude”. Under Israeli law, this precludes Olmert from running for public office for seven years after finishing his jail term. His only hope is for his appeal to be upheld. The former prime minister’s comportment in the court was also instructive. He reportedly stood quietly in the courtroom, his head bowed. Nigeria has many lessons to learn from

almost everything about Olmert’s trial and conviction. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who served as Olmert’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister said: “It is a difficult day when a former prime minister is sentenced” adding “I have complete trust in the court and law enforcement officials, and the public should as well.” Here, political, religious or ethnic undertones would have been read into the case and everyone else, excluding the criminal, would have been blamed for the crime. Nigerians look forward to that ‘difficult day’ when one of their former leaders would be shown the way to prison; some of them deserve to be behind bars considering the mind-boggling corruption they perpetrated in office. That they walk about freely and even insult our sensibilities with their insensitive comments and actions make our hearts bleed.

‘Nigerians look forward to that ‘difficult day’ when one of their former leaders would be shown the way to prison; some of them deserve to be behind bars considering the mind-boggling corruption they perpetrated in office. That they walk about freely and even insult our sensibilities with their insensitive comments and actions make our hearts bleed’

A once-a-day pill to prevent AIDS


EDERAL health officials are urging hundreds of thousands of healthy people at high risk of contracting AIDS to take a pill every day to protect themselves from the virus that causes it. The recommendation could help reduce the stubbornly high number of infections, which has held steady at 50,000 new infections a year in the United States. But the pill carries risks that must be addressed as well. The drug, made by Gilead Sciences and known as Truvada, contains two antiviral drugs that have been used for a decade in combination with other drugs to treat people already infected with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS. Two years ago the Food and Drug Administration approved it for a radically different purpose — to prevent disease in people who have not yet been infected. When taken every day, the pill can be extremely effective; it protected 99 percent of the gay men in one study. In guidelines issued Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the pill is recommended for high-risk groups like gay men who have sex with multiple partners, heterosexuals who have sex with high-risk partners such as intravenous drug users, people in sexual relationships with someone known to be infected, prostitutes and anyone who shares needles. The pill is supposed to be used along with condoms and other safe sex practices to provide added protection, but many men could shun condoms knowing that this option is available. The dangers of that behavioral change are worrisome. Unprotected sex could lead to higher rates of syphilis, gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases, as well as unwanted pregnancies. If people fail to take their pill every day, as many will, they will increase the risk of developing and spreading a resistant strain of the virus. Truvada is also expensive — about $13,000 a year — and usage could soar from fewer than 10,000 prescriptions a year to perhaps 500,000 a year. Most insurers and state Medicaid programs already cover the drug so patients should be able to afford it, but the cumulative cost could cause financial strains for public and private programs. Even so, the potential benefits of preventing infections outweigh the risks, especially if steps are taken to minimize the risks. Before starting on Truvada, patients should have an H.I.V. test to make sure they are not already infected, in which case they should be taking three drugs. They should be retested every three months to determine whether they have become infected or have developed side effects or sexually transmitted diseases. The new approach, if carried out with care, could be a big step forward in curbing the toll from AIDS. – New York Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh

• Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Adekunle Ade-Adeleye •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu

•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon

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•Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina

• Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde •General Manager (Abuja Press) Kehinde Olowu •AGM (PH Press) Tunde Olasogba

•IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness

•Deputy Editor (Nation’s Capital) •Press Manager Yomi Odunuga Udensi Chikaodi •Group Political Editor Emmanuel Oladesu •Legal Counsel John Unachukwu •Group Business Editor Simeon Ebulu • Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye •Group Sports Editor Ade Ojeikere •Acting Manager (sales) •Editorial Page Editor Olaribigbe Bello Sanya Oni





IR: The abduction of about 200 Government Girls Secondary School students last month by the Boko Haram insurgents has shown that our problem is not in religion, nor in ethnic leaning but on the leadership and management of this country. There is no part, religious group in this country that is not praying, wishing the return of these young girls to their family members. Many persons, groups, within and outside Nigeria have shown deep concern, organized protests demanding from the Nigerian government and their home countries to do more in the rescue of these little children. Nigerians, the world are worried, disturbed at what could be happening to these girls in the thick forest of Sambisa? Nigerians are very loving, caring and kindhearted people, we are ever patriotic and loyal to Nigeria but our leaders are the biggest problem we have. It was late Chinua Achebe, who put it very succinctly that, ‘the trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership.’ Sometimes, I wonder what, why it is so difficult for our leaders to fix Nigeria. Many have submitted that corruption is the canker worm destroying the fabric called Nigeria while the government would deny such. But, a close look would reveal that truly corruption is it. With all the available resources to the security agencies since 1999 till date, the trainings and re-trainings, equipments requested for, bought and made available, array of senior officers, we still have not tamed the Boko Haram militants. Certainly, gov-


IR: Since First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan’s emotional outburst over the missing girls, Nigerians have been busy posting, downloading and sharing the video, and sniggering all the way. There are even T-Shirts with “There is God o!”. I can understand a nation trying a comic relief to ease tension of the dire security situation in the country, but in constantly making fun of the First Lady it exposes a moral depravity that seems to be creeping into Nigerians. But are these not the same Nigerians who are united in grief, and who want the Jonathan government to bring back the missing girls? Now,



Chibok: As we say Never Again!

ernment is made up of human beings, Nigerians from all nooks and crannies are likely to be aware of the problems bedeviling their communities. One then ponders why our elected representatives would continue to provide us with borehole water and be advertising it as an achievement or dividend of good governance in this 21 st century. In this country, those we elected into government office will buy wrapper, ram, and rice,

ground-nut oil to share amongst citizens and claim they are performing wonderfully in government. The government must use this Chibok girls abduction as an eye opener. It has come to the point our leaders must be firm and resolute in pursuing the transformation of Nigeria. We need to learn from the Singapore experience, leaders who are patriotic and loyal to Nigeria would be dedicated at its genuine

transformation. Our institutions must be allowed to get stronger than individuals for optimum result. Virtually no institution in Nigeria works with its rules and regulations except the few individuals in power at the centre and in the states give orders which in most cases runs contrary to laid down principles. Our leaders can really re-build Nigeria the moment they attach seriousness to governance, remove

4 of 1999 and the Road Traffic Law Cap 135 of Kaduna State 1991 and assented to May 6; by Governor Muktar Ramalan Yero was a good pill wrongly prescribed. The ban which takes effect on May 21, affects the entire Kaduna North and Kaduna South; Kafanchan Metropolis in Jema’a Local government only, parts of Zaria township, parts of Chikun Local Government, Sabon Gari, Lere, Birnin Gwari, Giwa and Igabi Local Government Areas. Contravention attracts aN10,000 fine, or three months imprisonment or both and also empowers all magistrate courts in the affected local government

areas to prosecute violators of the law, including confiscation of their motorcycles. The reasons proffered by government for the ban was built on two standpoints: First was that the ban was aimed at reinforcing security in the state while the second was predicated on the influx of commercial motorcycles into the state following a similar ban on their operations in some neighbouring states. By banning the use of motor cycles, the government has placed the cart before the horse. One cannot see any concrete immediate alternative and visible palliatives in place to cushion

corrupt tendencies and persons. We must say it loud and clear, there is a great lapse on our security at the moment, not because we do not have the men, cannot acquire the facilities to aid our security but, because misappropriation of funds and corruption has made nonsense of its leadership. It is time we depoliticize our police and military to allow them work professionally, no country survives any external aggression while politicizing its security. The world is watching and is interested in seeing how we manage this security crisis at our hands. Yes, we want the girls back and alive but, the process at getting them back, how we curb the often attacks by the insurgents appears very important also. • Uzodinma Nwaogbe Community Defence Law Foundation, Ikeja, Lagos.

Kaduna: Provide alternative before Okada ban


IR: Among the numerous reasons why government exists is to provide security, healthcare, education and job opportunities to its citizenry. Government as well makes favourable laws for the overall benefit and the wellbeing of its people. The lack of these good laws or inabilities of government to meet these obligations has in some glaring instances pitched the people against the authorities on laws viewed to be antithetical to the feelings and well-being of the masses. The executive bill titled “Kaduna State Commercial Motorcycles Prohibition Law”, which replaced the Commercial Motorcycle Law No.

Let Patience Jonathan be! the First Lady is doing her own little part in this mission, and people are turning her to an object of ridicule. We make “informed” choices during election campaigns, and then vote, then turn round to ridicule that choice. Who are we fooling? A nation of “literates” that vote in the “illiterate” to lead them, a nation of “wise” people who vote in “foolish” people, a nation of “smart” people who vote those who they are “smarter” than, a nation of “good” people who vote in “bad” people. We reap what we sow. And today, the tail is wagging the dog. But Dame Jonathan is not new to us. Don’t we already know her and her capabilities? Did we not give her

that chance again when we gave our mandate to her husband? Jonathan may not have a polished accent, or a good diction, she may not be sophisticated but she remains our First Lady. God can elevate anybody. He does not look at intellect, He does not look at grammar. Whether you are a professor of English, or literature, a writer, an author or even a laureate of anything, God has placed Dame Jonathan above you. I myself may not like the First Lady’s style, but I accept her humanity, and its failings, just like everyone else’s. Her love for the nation is not in doubt and her motherliness transcends. We would not act this

way to our wife, mother or sister. We should not do it then to our own First Lady. As a people, we should even hide her mistakes instead of exposing it to the world. What would our foreign friends think of us? Our action to Mrs Jonathan is disrespectful, reprehensible and diminishes us as a nation. This caricature must stop, henceforth! Let Mrs Jonathan be! We should instead continue to pray for the missing girls so that they come back to their families alive. There is too much at stake for Nigerians to worry about than to get distracted by inanities! • Dr Cosmas Odoemena, Lagos

the effect which the ban will create. For instance, are there available Tricycles for about 100,000 commercial motor cycle operators to cash in on? Democracy is defined as government of the people, by the people and for the people. Suffice it to say that every decision and policies of government must carry the imprimatur of the people to make it valid. Were the Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN) and other stakeholders taken into confidence in the making of the law? Apart from government statement brandishing the legal instrument to whip people into the line, what other forms of consultations has government carried out? The imminent suffering before the provision of alternative cannot be quantified. Has government considered how much man-hours will be lost while people wait for means of transportation to their offices and businesses before succor finally comes? We should learn from the bad experiences of other states and avoid the bobby traps they had fallen into in the hasty ban of motor cycles. Kaduna deserves peace and has been peaceful despite intentional provocation by demonic rabble rousers who are bent on fomenting trouble. However, government whose duty it is to provide security should not stoke anger, trouble or both either by its inactions. • Sunday Onyemaechi Eze PHCN Samaru Business Unit, Zaria.





T might indeed be true that Nigeria being the most populous country in Africa has become topmost in economy. But in reality, majority of the populace is in poverty and in pain as peace is being taken away. Instead of the ache being nursed for healing, the hurting has been persistent for a long time – and now becoming more agonizing with terrorism degrading the glory of the land. That Nigeria is being backed up globally today over internal mutiny is an indication of inability to resolve self-afflicted misery that has wasted several thousands of innocent lives. Before the bulk schoolgirls were abducted in Government Girls School, Chibok, Borno State on April 15, Boko Haram’s insurgency has been passed out more as political issue. As a result, security forces failed serially with the government being carefree in keeping pace with the terrorist’s escalating vulnerabilities. Even when the schoolgirls’ abduction scattered the spirit and soul of the parents and relations of the affected, authority at the top was still too slow acclimatizing response to the national burden, perhaps because it was manifesting in the ‘faraway’ North-east. Calls to reform approach to handling the wicked sect were being perceived more as reproach to the number one citizen who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the nation’s armed forces. Perhaps, that was why when the nation was weeping, our president was in Kano rally dancing ‘tongolo’ – with heart ahead of crossing to Maiduguri days after to celebrate political aspiration. After all, we saw on television how his wife, the country’s dame was also crying God and shedding tears in disbelief that the girls were actually snatched. With all these incongruities, that the mass abduction has drawn universal condemnation, inclusive of United Nations, with “#BringBackOurGirls” rally spreading globally and world leaders supporting the retrieval of the stolen girls, sending down video by Boko Haram to disclose portion of the abducted is an indication of the beginning of restoration of lost glory. First, let’s remind ourselves that the conception of Book Haram’s as an Islamic sect is fallacious. This is because it has not only been killing Christians and bombing churches, it has also variously murdered Muslims and destroyed mosques

Yes, bring back this nation’s loss as well. Even as most of the schoolgirls are Christians allegedly being converted to Islam, the Muslims among them are under the same agony of the wicked. Religion is merely being attached to divert attention from the repercussion of the devil upon a nation in captivity. Intention to cause religious conflict was to be used to scatter the country. This is why God describes our spiritual enemy in many different ways, telling us that Satan is a murderer, a liar and a deceiver. The Devil is even pictured as a serpent, a roaring lion and a dragon. Abubakar Shekau’s demand for the release of his arrested evil vessels who are detained as exchange for the release of the schoolgirls cannot be convincing from a thief that has been stealing, killing and destroying. The Scripture is very comprehensible. Book Haram, coming after Maitatsine and Niger-Delta militants that tired out the progress of Nigeria might have been the upshot of unrighteousness in this land. Let this be repeated: We are living in a country where things of value have been stolen over time; statistics suggest we are a nation of abundance in trouble of inadequacies. Yet, in compliance with God on our side, all that have been lost can still be recovered. In 1Samuel 30: 18-19, it is written: “David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that they had taken from them; David recovered all.” Stealing, killing and destruction is the manifesto of Satan. He is a thief. In the story of David, just like Boko Haram, the Amalekites attacked the camp of David and destroyed the whole city with fire, they stole their cattle, and they took all their children and wives including David’s two wives. David was now in serious trouble because his men were very bitter about losing their wives and children, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God. Why am I telling this story? Because the moment came when David and his men chose to get up and go after all that were stolen from him – just like we are experiencing today to be together with the whole world to fight the adversary of the peace of Nigeria. The truth is that Satan has been stealing the peace of this country. Now he has stolen our daughters who are now his captives. But surely, they are in wrong places as captives – being threatened to be sold as slaves of immorality in the enemy’s camp. At this moment, many Nigerians are looking back on their lives and sensitizing that many years of opportunities had been stolen from them through their land that was divinely assigned with grand economy for goodness and greatness of its citizens. Those with the right mind can recount panorama


VEN in the context of constant flux and the implication that everything is perpetually evolving, the latest contribution by Lucky Igbinedion, a former governor of Edo State, to the business of image laundering, or more precisely, reputation laundering, stretches imaginative elasticity to yield point. Ahead of his 57th birthday on May 13, he reportedly declared in an interview with journalists in Abuja, “In the darkest of days when the state was broke and could not pay salaries, I would run to these two people and they would borrow me money. They borrowed the state money.” The lenders in question, excuse Igbinedion’s illiterate usage, were his father and Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, and the Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, Chief Anthony Anenih. In case anyone needed corroboration, Igbinedion said, “Chief Anenih is around the corner here, you can go and ask him whether I borrowed money from him or not.” What about his dad? Shouldn’t he also be asked whether he actually lent money to Edo State through his son? His claims prompt disturbing dimensions, including reflections on the riches of the named individuals, their motives, their possible gains from such deals, especially in economic terms as well as in relation to manipulative influence in the corridors of power. It stands to reason that Igbinedion may have unwittingly provided insights into the phenomenon of “political godfatherism”, long identified as a major drawback of the country’s politics, with negatively weighty implications for socio-economic development. From a more formal perspective, Igbinedion’s revelations, if they are to be believed, hint at illegalities, particularly on account of the implied non-official nature of the process, which is why they have the character of disclosure.

‘His claims prompt disturbing dimensions, including reflections on the riches of the named individuals, their motives, their possible gains from such deals, especially in economic terms as well as in relation to manipulative influence in the corridors of power. It stands to reason that Igbinedion may have unwittingly provided insights into the phenomenon of “political godfatherism”, long identified as a major drawback of the country’s politics, with negatively weighty implications for socio-economic development’

Lucky, laundry manager Apparently, the stated deals were known only to a closed ring of collaborators, outside the view of lawful institutional structures that should otherwise be aware of, if not endorse such course of action. From the look of things, Igbinedion manifested not only social anxiety, but perhaps also a sense of guilt. Seven years after he left office following two four-year terms from 1999 to 2007, he seems to have suddenly awakened to the fact that his track record may need clarification, especially in the light of superlatively superior governmental performance by Adams Oshiomhole, who has governed the state from 2008 and was elected to a second term in 2012. Indeed, Igbinedion’s power years pale into insignificance, except as a model of ineptitude, when compared with Oshiomhole’s tenure, which is widely acclaimed as demonstrative of good governance and an example of competent administration. Moreover, against this background, it is possible that Igbinedion may have a guilty conscience for frittering away his time in power, which is generally perceived as an era of wastefulness and wasted opportunities. Sadly, he cannot turn back the hands of the clock, but the evidence that it may be on his conscience is, at least, something positive about him, even if inconsequential. Igbinedion’s defensiveness mirrored a subconscious burden conveyed by his words. “For you to loot,” he declared, “there must be something. Edo State had no money to loot.” This latter-day logic is contradicted by the fact that in January 2008 he was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) concerning 142 counts of financial fraud. Specifically, he was alleged to have embezzled $24 million (12 million pounds) using front companies, and he gave himself up in the same month.

of leadership errors, self-centeredness, incompetence, besetting transgression, corruption, fraud and untrustworthiness that had outsized administrative impact in many years of the nation’s independence. Only the unrighteous will discount the lost of the glory of this country that once upon a time was being tagged as potentially great. The word lost could mean perishing in the world – in that we are no longer where we ought to be. It is like a destroyed personality which no longer reflects the image of the Creator. Yet, we can still have the victory over the enemy. Romans 8:31 states that if God be for us, than who can be against us. There might be trials and tribulations. But those who know and align with God will become victorious. As a nation, we should have a truly transformed heart for genuine and dedicated service instead of focusing on things of the world and political power that would last forever. Our leaders should not see the 2015 elections as their ultimate destinies and then become desperate. Rather, focus should be what will truly be beneficial to the people and the nation. In these times when we consider the turbulence happening around the world, we can see that the end of times is fast approaching. So, we are surely living in the end times, and nations will go through much persecution in days to come. The wise step to take is to be confident in God who can do all things. Heaven and earth will pass away but the Word of God will always remain. As the Word remains, and since first there was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God, we should put our trust in nothing less than the Word and the Mighty God who will ever remain victorious over agents of terrorism. Assorted tools in the hand of the wicked have robbed us of the glory of this potentially great nation, luring people into unrighteousness, and trying to weaken our empowerment. But the Lord is now saying: “Enough!” And that If we work together in spirit, He is going to give back to Nigeria, not only our abducted daughters, but all that Satan has taken.

‘As a nation, we should have a truly transformed heart for genuine and dedicated service... Our leaders should not see the 2015 elections as their ultimate destinies and then become desperate’ Furthermore, in December 2008 he was convicted by the Federal High Court, Enugu, on corruption-related charges. He was actually fined N3.5million after pleading guilty to a one-count charge of neglecting to make a declaration of his interest in Account No. 4124013983110 in a new generation bank in his declaration of assets form. Astoundingly, Igbinedion said, “If anything, it is the state that owes me money and not me owing them.” If the borrowing and lending were open only to him and collaborators, as the picture he painted suggests, it is intriguing that he has an obviously misplaced sense of the state government’s financial indebtedness to him. It is unclear whether he implied that he also lent money to the state, which he did not recover before his exit, a suggestion that is perhaps intended to incorrectly portray him as having a social conscience. He should have been sincere enough, if the quality is not beyond him, to detail the inflow of funds allegedly borrowed from clandestine sources as well as the outflow of payments to the same for public information. This character took hyperbole to new heights with his claim that somewhere along the line he got tired of the office of governor and desired to quit before the end of his tenure, which would have been unprecedented in the country’s political history and earned him a place in the pantheon of frustrated patriots, if he could be dignified by such description. According to his tale, “Between you and I, if not for family pressure, I contemplated resigning, especially during my second tenure. I just asked myself why I was going through all these troubles.” Igbinedion must have scant regard for public intelligence, if he actually believes that the people can be fooled by such sob story. Then he somersaulted, uttering words that expressed absolute nonsense. “First and foremost,” he began, “you do not have the money to do some of the projects you want to do even though there was no way I would have completed the projects with the whole money in the whole world.” Tragically, this declaration unveiled his unpreparedness for helmsmanship as well as fundamental visionlessness. Without intending to do so, he also betrayed the fact that he ran a government of uncompleted projects, meaning that he left a legacy, if it could be so called, of inchoateness, which amounts to nothing. He was delusional, a condition he is entitled to in his private space, but which is unacceptable in the public sphere and especially when it is about the serious business of governance. He chose to grade himself, an exercise that is prone to selective perception at best, and total misperception at worst. In Igbinedion’s case, he couldn’t have been more off-track. His self-assessment: “In terms of performance, I am glad history is beginning to reveal itself. I performed credibly well. The perception and expectations are two different things.” The truth is that most times dirty laundry isn’t a matter of subjectivity and there are times when washing them clean enough could be problematic. This is Igbinedion’s challenge.





T is getting clearer that there are entrenched interests within bent on stall-

ing the development and overall progress of this country. Even with intense national consensus on the need for fresh bearing out of the multifarious socio-economic and political problems of the country, the actions and utterances of some interest groups and persons constantly come into conflict with this new understanding. When it is convenient, they pontificate on nationalism; the indivisibility, unity and secularity of the country and related idealistic concepts. Surprisingly, as soon as there are national discussions on how to get these pristine ideals on, what you find are positions that cast serious slur on the commitment of this people to our national survival. It is either they are in very stiff opposition against the processes that will harbinger these desired changes, equivocating or they are seen exuding conducts unbecoming of those desiring national stability and co-habitation. The on-going National Conference intended to fashion out a stable and equitable federation and stave off the disruptive influences of the subsisting volatile order may soon become a victim of this vicious disposition. The conference has been making progress in some of the issues before its committees. And our expectations are that those for which there was consensus at that level will receive the dispassionate consideration of the plenary. But we have suddenly begun to see signals of clear attempts by the same vested interests to incapacitate the delegates from arriving at decisions that will move this country forward. The target is to feed some delegates with those falsehoods and biases that have been the undoing of this country such that 53 years after independence, primordial tendencies and ethnic bigotry have been on their highest ascendancy. One of such retrogressive moves was aptly demonstrated by a memo from the Arewa Consultative Forum ACF to northern delegates in which it directed them to oppose the recommendation of one of the committees for an additional state for the south-east zone. In that memo, the forum canvassed the issues of population and landmass as the basis on which the envisaged state should be shut down by northern delegates. It went at length to bandy its version of the land-

Emeka OMEIHE 08112662675 email:

Arewa Forum, others mass and population of the zones and argued that based on these, many more states should be created in other zones of the country instead. Yet, the forum is not unaware that some of the bandied figures had long been discredited because of their inadequacies. Even then, landmass such as that occupied by the dreaded Sambisa forest in Borno state may count for little in discussions on the desirability or otherwise of a state for the south-east to make for fairness and balance. In the past, population and landmass never formed part of the calculations of the military while creating states. To invent these questionable parameters now just to scuttle the additional state is nothing but another attempt to perpetuate a fading status quo. The forum is within its rights to express its views on sundry national issues. But to author a memo to northern delegates solely for the purpose of opposing the creation of an additional state for the south-east has with it all the trappings of the same self-serving ethnic agenda that has stultified the progress of this country. It is very sad coming from such a body. Even then, there were northerners in the committee when the consensus for an additional state was reached. Those who voted for the new state are progressive minded people genuinely concerned with the necessary concessions that will guarantee a common sense of belonging and move the nation forward. Such patriotic Nigerians do not need the prodding of a sectional pressure group on whose doorsteps most of the problems plaguing their zones can be traced. When the concession of an additional state was arrived at during the National Political


HESE days, many people seem to have lost touch with the natural truism that the quality of our lives as human beings is substantially a reflection of the quality of the environment we inhabit. Most often, many still seem not to comprehend that the environment which we live in, is, simply put, life in itself because it is whatever we give to the environment that it gives back to us. Most cities of the world experience environmental abuse as a result of the ignorance of the people when it comes to issues to their environment. It is from this perspective that one really takes exception to various habits and activities of some Lagos residents that portend great danger to the environment. How, for instance, does one explain such despicable attitudes as defecating or urinating in public places, indiscriminate refuse dumping, drainage blockage, construction on waterways, throwing of refuse into canals, urinating on flowers and turning of garden and parks into arena for environmentally unfriendly activities? In an age, when the Lagos State government and its private sector partners are providing public and mobile toilets at strategic locations, when almost all filling stations, banks, eateries, supermarkets, markets and public buildings in the city have conveniences for their customers and the public, it is absolutely ridiculous and quite inexplicable that anyone would defecate or urinate in open places, under any circumstances and for whatever reasons. As a people, we need to really come to terms with the significance of an improved environmental habit. When we deliberately choose to act in manners that could endanger the environment, we are the ones that would certainly bear the consequences

‘Environmental abuse is not justifiable in a state where the government is doing so much on environmental sanitation. It is, therefore, important that Lagosians support this government’s initiative by respecting trees, parks, garden, lawns and railings put in place across the state for our common use’

Reforms Conference of the Obasanjo era, northern delegates were overwhelmingly part of that process. Why goad them now into opposing a decision they had taken in good faith if not to sabotage our quest for national stability? The forum has also been working hard to ensure that all the observed imperfections of our federal order for which restructuring has become inevitable subsist. What can be more unpatriotic and uncharitable as this? And if one may ask, for whom is the forum working given this negative posturing? This poser is further reinforced when the position of the forum in such other issues as the current insecurity in the northeast zone and others that affect the north is put in perspective. Even this concept of a monolithic north has been seriously ruffled by a combination of events of the recent past. Ironically, those behind the forum have at another level been canvassing for the establishment of grazing routes and zones in the six geo-political areas of the country. They see this as a solution to the clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in many states especially in the same north. They want the ancestral lands of these indigenous people to be forcefully acquired by the federal government and allocated to the herdsmen for their private commercial cattle rearing endeavors. This has been so even when evidence has shown such a practice to be at variance with modern methods of animal husbandry. Why are we finding it hard to embrace modern practices? Why do we prefer solutions that will open up old prejudices if it is not to keep this nation

continually in crisis? Incidentally, these cattle are to be sold at their market value with the herdsmen smiling to the banks with huge profit. The question then is: why should the farmers forfeit their ancestral farm lands to Fulani herdsmen who are propelled by profit motive? How different is their business from those of other sections of the country that buy land in the same north in order to further their businesses? Why has it not been possible to acquire vast areas of land and allocate same free to southerners who do business in the north? That is the incongruity in the case for grazing routes and zones said to have passed through the second reading at the House of Representatives. Even then, the possibility of such zones forming the base for the herdsmen to confront and attack their hosts given their highly volatile and pugnacious antecedents is one sore point against this ill-motivated and stale piece of legislation. The same suspicious tendencies can be gleaned from the posturing of some northern elite on the war against terrorism. Even when Boko Haram insurgents have made it clear that their target is to institute a theocratic state, you find the same apologists inventing spurious reasons to point to the contrary. They will point to the killing of Moslems and destruction of mosques to dispute this point as if they are on image laundering for the insurgents. But they must have been shamed by the forced conversion of abducted Christian school girls from Chibok into Islam. These negative and sectional promptings have also been very evident in the utterances of some leaders of that zone among them serving governors. The same predilection accounts for the avowal of northern senators to oppose further state of emergency in that part of the country despite the precarious stage of the battle against Boko Haram now. Unless such people and interest groups part ways with old prejudices and place national interest above all considerations, this country may never know peace.

Why do we prefer solutions that will open up old prejudices if it is not to keep this nation continually in crisis?

Tackling environment abuse in Lagos

By Lateef Ibirogba

of such actions. Hence, we need to realize that the need to ensure a clean environment should be everybody’s responsibility. Research has shown that people who reside in filthy places are more prone to contracting terrible diseases and as such easily vulnerable to avoidable deaths. It is in realisation of the need to protect the environment that the Fashola administration has made environmental regeneration a cardinal programme. Today, Lagos highways and streets are cleaner . Flowers and trees now adorn hitherto neglected and rejected spots. Cynics who had initially thought that this government initiative will not stand the test of time are beginning to have a second thought. Incorporated into the beautification project is the greening programme which in itself includes the planting and maintenance of trees and flowers. This is seen as a major way of tackling the challenge of global warming and climate change which is becoming a major threat to the world. So the greening programme is a partial response to the challenge posed by the global warming, as well as beautifying in order to improve the aesthetics of the environment. There are over 150 trucks that patrol the highways to collect bags of refuse that are collected all over Lagos. In order to inculcate the culture of environment cleanliness into the young ones, the state government has begun a school advocacy programme that is geared towards this direction. Today, there is no public school in the state that incinerates or burns refuses as they have all been supplied waste bins . Equally, over 500 waste sorting bins have been bought by the state government to teach the students how to sort their wastes. Through this, they are able to know what sort of waste goes into the different bins so that by the time they get home they will be able to impart positively on their environment. In order words, the main essence of the school advocacy programme is to bring about attitudinal change. One can go on listing many other achievements in the area of flood control with creation of such agencies like

Emergency Abatement Gang (EFAG), Drain ducks, Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) and the concerted effort on climate change control through which major stakeholders are being carried along by the state government. With the aforementioned work, one is not deluded that everything has been achieved. Still it appears that a lot still needs to be done especially in terms of enforcement and enlightenment. This is due to the fact that behavioral change communication is a continuous thing. What is required to maintain sane and friendly environment is not just about what the government is doing but also about the people’s attitude. Environmental abuse is not justifiable in a state where the government is doing so much on environmental sanitation. It is, therefore, important that Lagosians support this government’s initiative by respecting trees, parks, garden, lawns and railings put in place across the state for our common use. They should not be abused. Parks should not be turned into market places, toilets, refuse dumps or places where animals graze. Failure to control animals or allowing their defecation or engaging in an unhygienic use of fountains, pools or water in the parks, gardens and open spaces would be counterproductive and as such must be discouraged. People must, as a matter of policy, decide not to engage in attitudes as defecating in open places or urinating in public, as these are very demeaning and debase our human nature. With natural disasters occurring across the world, as a result of the abuse of the environment, this is the time for everyone to have a rethink about our attitude to the environment. That we have not experienced monumental environmental tragedy should not be taken for granted as being immune from such. Thus, we must take our destiny into our hands and do all the needful to ward off avoidable natural calamities. Hence, the need for everyone to support the state government in protecting the environment. • Ibirogba is Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos State








Sharing IT platform to survive - P. 37 News Briefing Fed Govt loses N16b to ports’ congestion THE Federal Government loses $16 billion yearly in the maritime sector as a result of unfriendly policies which hinder the smooth clearance of cargo from the ports, a maritime expert has said. –Page 26

Rules for settlement banks reviewed

MAY & Baker Nigeria Plc is considering all options to raise new equity funds and recapitalize its balance sheet as the healthcare company seeks to optimize the gains of its recent huge investments and defray short-term finances that have been encumbering its bottom-line. –Page 29

Firms pay N308m fines, penalties MORE than N308 million fines and penalties imposed on some insurance firms in 2012 by the regulatory authority, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), have been paid, The Nation has learnt. –Page 34

We want a SONCAP programme that would serve its purpose; a programme that would be dynamic, where all the identified loopholes would be effectively plugged thereby making it difficult for the plaque of substandard products to continue to dominate the Nigerian business space. -Dr Joseph Odumodu, DG, SON

PIB passage crucial to economic transformation - P. 27

AGF protests splitting of office T HE Office of the Ac countant-General of the Federation (OAGF) has protested plans to split its office into two. Its opposition is contianed in a memo it sent to the National Conference. The Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Jonah Otunla, warned in the memo that splitting would defeat the government’s efforts at cutting costs. He said: “If the call for the splitting of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation is upheld, the good intention of the government to reduce overhead costs in favour of capital cost will be defeated. “This will also lead to unnecessary polarisation of the agencies of government. “Already, the government is grappling with how to cut down on over bloated size and numbers of government agencies. The government’s overhead cost is not

From Nduka Chiejina, (Asst. Editor) and Faith Yahaya, Abuja

sustainable in view of the urgent need for capital development.” He urged the National Conference Committee to note: “The concerns and fears that may inform the calls for the creation of two offices of Accountants-General at the centre have been addressed by checks and balances, control mechanisms and institutional regulatory frameworks, which are already in place through establishment of institutional frameworks. “Creating two Offices of Accountant-General at the centre will obviously lead to unnecessary duplication of functions with the consequences of increasing overhead costs, creating conflicts and confusion in the administration and management of financial resources. “The creation of two sepa-

rate offices will be at variance with international best practice which is against duplication of treasury activities.” According to him, the government integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) is fully operational and it is geared towards greater accountability and transparency in the management of the treasury and other financial institutions at the centre. He added that there are clearly defined allocation principles and formulae approved by the National Assembly for distribution of revenue among the three tiers of government with clear indices and parameters for sharing revenues horizontally among states and local governments. Otunla said: “The establishment of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federal Government would create precedence for eventual

demands for the creation of such other offices in the country and this will further increase the cost of governance. “Approve the strengthening of the current single structure of the Office of AccountantGeneral of the Federation to ensure better efficiency and cost effectiveness by formally recognising the office and its roles in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “The Office of the Accountant-General of the states should equally be strengthening and recognised in the Constitution. For emphasis, Otunla stated that “the adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and other Public Financial Management Reforms by Nigeria has made the country to conform to International best practices in Public Financial Management. The IPSAS Board emphasises the centralisation of treasury activities in all member countries”.




-$2,686.35/metric ton


- ¢132.70/pound


- ¢95.17pound

Gold Sugar

-$1,396.9/troy -$163/lb MARKET


-N11.4 trillion




-$10.84 trillion


-£61.67 trillion RATES



Treasury Bills -10.58%(91d) Maximum lending -30% Prime lending


Savings rate


91-day NTB


Time Deposit




Foreign Reserve
















• Group Managing Director/CEO Designate, Skye Bank Plc, Timothy Oguntayo (right); award winner, Olayide Evarie and Executive Director, Southeast, Edo/Delta Treasury and International Funding Group, Skye Bank, Amaka Onwughalu, during the bank’s award for Domiciliary Account Mobilisation for Staff at its head office in Lagos.

Electricity workers insist on labour policy By Akinola Ajibade


ESPITE the inaugura tion of a Technical Working Group (TWG) by the Federal Government to provide common operational guidelines for employees in the power and labour sectors, the electricity workers unions would continue to use industrial relations practice to address problems facing their members, the General Secretary, Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), Abiodun Ogunsegha, has said. He said the guidelines could not serve as a substitute for the normal industrial relation practice which states that each sector should handle issues bordering on the welfare of its workers independently. He said: ‘’While appreciating the government’s efforts to provide common guidelines for labour and electricity workers in the country, we cannot accept as a substitute for the existing industrial relations practice because of the problems facing the power sector. We will still be dialoguing with each of the 15 new power investors to solve our members’ problems. ‘’ While we are awaiting the group to submit its report in July as directed by the Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo and his counterpart in Labour Ministry, Chief Emeka Worgu, we would continue to address issues affecting our members in line with the industrial relations policy that mandate each sector to tackle employees issues or problems independently first.’’ He noted that there was no cordial relationship between the management of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and its workers on one hand, and PHCN and the communities on the other.

Telcos boosts GDP with N400b, says Airtel CEO


INCE the telecoms sec tor was liberalised over a decade ago, carriers have grown the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to N400 billion, the Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, has said. According to him, taxes and regulatory levies are the most significant sources for direct contribution from the telcos, accounting for about 55 per cent of direct contributions. Ogunsanya, who spoke in an interview in the telcos Lagos office, said by estimation, operators paid N60 bil-

By Lucas Ajanaku

lion in taxes yearly with another N55billion paid in various forms of levies. He said: “The direct contribution of telecoms operators to the country’s GDP is estimated at around N400billion in 2012. Taxes and regulatory levies are the most important source of direct contribution from network operators in Nigeria, accounting for about 55 per cent of the direct contribution. By our estimates, network operators pay close to N160bilion in taxes annually, with another N55billion paid in various forms of regulatory

levies. “In addition, Nigerian operators have paid close to $4billon (N640billion) in license and spectrum fees since 2001. Further, between three per cent and five per cent of Nigerian telecoms services revenues are paid out in wages and benefits for some of the highest skilled jobs in the economy. Other contributions to the economy include payments to contractors, corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes and dividends to shareholders. CSR programmes have been of particular significance, with many operators investing a material

portion of their revenue on such programmes despite not breaking even on their investments.” Ogunsanya said operators also contribute to the economy through the wider ecosystem of the telecoms industry which includes the entire industry value chain, from contractors for base transmission station (BTS) deployments and system integrators to resellers of devices. He said the third channel of contribution comes through multiplier effects and productivity gains from the society at large using telecoms services.

He said: “The telecoms sector is a major contributor to foreign direct investment in Nigeria, along with the banking and oil and gas sectors. “Cumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) in Nigeria over the 2001-2011 period has been around $45billion; the telecoms sector has accounted for around 35 per cent of that amount, with operators using capital to acquire licences, acquire or prop up local operations, and expanding their networks. During some individual years (such as 2009), the telecoms sector rose to provide more than half of the country’s FDI.”




Flight Schedule

Oando attains 1m man-hours safety record

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

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

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

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

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

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40 08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 Arik 16.30

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35


1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik 1. Dana

LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30

08.00 18.00

LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30


• From left: Director, Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, Mr. Thanassis Mazarakis; Coumantaros; Gbededo; Head, Group Marketing, Martin Anyanwu and Head of Sales, Frosinos Dimitris during the firm’s Customers’ Forum in Lagos.

Fed Govt loses N16b yearly to ports’ congestion T HE Federal Government loses $16 billion yearly in the mari time sector as a result of unfriendly policies which hinder the smooth clearance of cargo from the ports, a maritime expert has said. A consultant with Trident Plc, Mr. Michael Ivenso, said the high level of physical inspection of goods at the ports has led to huge revenue losses to the Federal Government. He lamented that the dependence on trucks to move goods out of the ports should be addressed. He spoke at an event titled: “48 hour cargo clearance target at Nigerian Ports” organised by the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) in Lagos. He said: “If you don’t fix the transport system, the port will continue to remain a storage area. Nigeria loses $16billion annually for not doing what it ought to do at the port.” Ivenso identified some of the

By Oluwakemi Dauda

challenges to include shuffling of papers back and forth by Customs, the manual handling of documents and lack of infrastructures to attract the kind of investors the government desires. The Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa, said maritime traffic constitutes the biggest headache for the state. “Congestion in Lagos alone costs $1billion every year. Out of this, maritime traffic causes over 70 percent. “Tin Can Port alone is 1.65 TEU container units, while at Lekki corridor, we have got 2.7TEU, which will be a challenge eventually.” Opeifa said the state govern-

ment has resolved to look for an alternative means of transportation which is the rail and water According to him, the government is developing an alternative route for the movement of people and cargo within the state. The use of badges, he said, would play an important role in the system. Opeifa said: “How many trailers will evacuate a shipload and how many badges will evacuate a shipload? What will be the cost and benefit to the economy? “We have put all these in consideration and seriously speaking, we can do it. If there are countries that clear goods within six hours, why can’t we do it in 48 hours? I enjoin all concerned to kindly allow this to happen.” According to him, cargoes are being diverted to Benin Republic as a result of the waiting time of vessels in Nigeria.

Lagos farmers seek N50m to set up microfinance bank


ADAMA III farmers in Lagos are raising N50million to establish a microfinance bank, President, Lagos State Apex Fadama Community Association, Alhaji Mufutau Abiodun Oyelekan, has said. The state government is expected to support the farmers with N25 million. Oyelekan made this known at a workshop on the proposed bank in Lagos. According to him, the measure is aimed at sustaining the Fadama III project after it is rounded off in the state. With the bank, he said Fadama farmers would get soft loans cheap interest rates.

By Daniel Essiet

He said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Lagos Government were expected to give them the nod to operate the microfinance bank. He expressed optimism that the bank will commence operation within the next six months as necessary arrangements had almost been concluded. The Permanent Secretary,Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Dr. Olajide Bashorun, lauded the initiative, adding that it would fill the vacuum, which will be created as a result of the Fadama project coming to and end.

Speaking through the Director, Agric Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya, Bashorun said the effect of the development would be adequate financial empowerment of the farmers to improve and increase food production. State Project Coordinator of Fadama 111, Foluso Ajijola, said the bank will provide affordable financial services to farmers. Like commercial banks, he said the microfinance institutions will be independent and provide loans to small entrepreneurs. He said the directors would be chosen from the association.

Senate urges power firms’owners to prosecute cable will synergise to enact a law HE Senate Committee on Pri vandals, others bly on electric power offences in the vatisation has directed new


owners of the successor companies unbundled from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), to take advantage of laws in the various states to prosecute vandals of electric installations and those who obstruct electricity personnel from performing their duties in the interim. Its Chair, Senator Olugbenga Obadara, gave the directive while reacting to a request by the Managing Director of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), Mr. Jon Abbas, for the National Assembly to quickly enact a law to prosecute electricity installations’ vandals and allied offences. The members of the committee were on oversight visit to privatised enterprises in Rivers State.

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

Head, Public Communication, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Chigbo Anichebe, in a statement quoted Obadara as saying the power companies could do that by collaborating with the judiciary in the states to constitute mobile courts to handle all cases relating to electric power infractions. He said: “We advise you to take advantage of existing laws in all the states of the federation to prosecute electricity installations’ vandals and allied offences. You could collaborate with the Judiciary in all the states to constitute mobile courts to try these offenders. On our part, both chambers of the National Assem-

future.” He reiterated the committee’s resolve to assist the power companies to overcome their challenges to give Nigerians efficient and uninterrupted power supply, adding: “We will not hesitate to wield the big stick when we find you wanting.” At Afam Power Station, the Managing Director, Mr. Leo Ofurum, said the plant managed by Nigerian engineers generates 65 megawatts (Mw) as against the installed 75Mw. He noted that the plant makes N100million monthly for the government. Obadara commended the engineers for their ingenuity and urged them to cooperate with Talevares Group, the preferred bidder for the plant, to turn it around.

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

ANDO Gas & Power Limited (OGP), a subsidiary of Oando Plc, has achieved a milestone in safety by attaining a million man-hours zero Lost Time Incident (LTI) or fatality in all projects and operations, spanning a period of two years and three months. Its Head, Corporate Communication, Ainojie Alex Irune, explained that LTI is a measure of injury sustained on the job that is capable of preventing a worker from performing or continuing with a task or resulting in downtime in the operation. It is an oil and gas industry benchmark that evaluates adherence to safety and environmental requirements in the course of operations. As a result, LTI is a critical Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for Oando’s conformity with the best practices in the oil and gas industry. Its Executive Officer, Mr. Bolaji Osunsanya, said: “Our managerial and operational teams, along with our partners and sub-contractors, have done tremendously well to achieve 1,001,708 LTI Free Man hours within our power projects and expanding gas pipeline grid. This is a prime example of our commitment towards ensuring safety and high quality work performance on all our installations. The health and wellbeing of our employees and those visiting our workplace are important at all Oando locations, and we are truly pleased with this safety milestone.” It will recalled that OGP provides gas and power solutions to the Akute independent power generation plant which supplies electricity to the Lagos State Water Corporation, thereby increasing the supply of water to Lagos residents.

Flour Mills rewards distributors


LOUR Mills of Nigeria Plc, makers of Golden Penny Prod ucts has rewarded its distributors at its Golden Penny Customers Forum at Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos. The theme of the event was: Driving growth. Its Chairman, Mr. John Coumantaros, said the forum was aimed at appreciating the distributors for their loyalty and commitment to Golden Penny Products, thereby making it the number one in the industry. Its Group Managing Director, Mr. Paul Gbededo, thanked the distributors for their loyalty, promising that the firm would continue to show appreciation to them. He urged them to strive to sell more of its products. He added that the firm in the last two years entered the snack market with Marios Cheese balls and Noodies Snacks in recognition of the need to provide quality, nutritious and hygienically prepared ready-to eat snacks for the mobile consumer. He informed the distributors that more snack products with flavours would be launched soon, to meet the desire of its consumers. The plan is to make Golden Penny brands the first choice for consumers. Gbedebo said: “As one of the largest agro-allied initiatives in Nigeria, Flour Mills has invested over N220 billion in our agro-allied businesses which extend to large scale cultivation of soybean, maize, palm, rice, and cassava. From cultivation, we are also processing these raw materials into animal and fish feed, edible oils, rice, sugar and high quality cassava flour in different parts of the country.”



THE CEO The executive and legislative arms of government have been trading blames over undue delays in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). This has slowed the pace of development in the oil and gas sector. The DirectorGeneral, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Benjamin Dikki, says its passage will address the issue of multiplicity of regulatory agencies in the industry and restore investor confidence. He speaks on these and more in an interview with Group Business Editor SIMEON EBULU and JOHN OFIKHENUA. Excerpts.

PIB passage crucial to economic transformation


HAT did you meet on ground when you took over as Director General (DG) of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), and how far have you moved forward? I am not new in BPE. I had served as a director from 2004 to the point where I was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan to become DG. Since taking over, we have concluded the single biggest privatisation transaction in the world; It is by all records the biggest single privatisation transaction in the world in terms of size and number of companies sold. This we also did maintaining high standard of transparency, which has been acknowledged the world over. Mr. President has received accolades from different fora at the World Bank level and other meetings of Heads of States. Nigeria was commended for conducting one of the most transparent and credible privatisation transactions in the world. This has done a lot of good for the nation in terms of engendering international confidence -the confidence of international investors in the Nigerian economy. We have also got the reform bills to the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and they are now before the Federal Executive Council for consideration before transmission to the National Assembly. These are the Railway Bill, the Port and Habour Bill, the Inland Waterways Bill, the Roads Bill, and the Road Fund Bill, along with the Consumer Protection and the Postal Sector Bill. These bills we reviewed with the relevant ministers and ministries. We went through them clause by clause with the ministers providing the leadership. We concluded the review of these bills, presented them to the NCP, which okayed them. Let me emphasise that five of these bills are transport sector bills. After power, the transport sector is one of the major sectors of the economy that we need to tinker with because it is contributing a lot to the cost of doing business in the country. We appeal to the National Assembly to expeditiously pass these bills so that we can begin to see investment coming in to reduce the cost of doing business, increase Nigeria’s competitiveness, and allow us compete with international competitors in terms of products and services. Why did it take so long for the system to reform itself or to be reformed? You see, reforms change the status quo and people are resistant to change for a number of reasons. One: there are those who are benefiting from the status quo. If you change the status quo, you cut them off from their income base. There are those who are philosophically opposed to private sector doing anything. They believe that government must continue to nurture its citizens: providing telecoms, health, and education. They ask you what the role of government is if not to fend for its people. So, there are those who are philosophically opposed to it based on their ideology. The reform is not by accident. It was based on empirical evidences. In the 60s and the 70s, for instance, government was into banking, insurance, cement manufacturing, petroleum, railway, education, health. Government was in every sector and Nigeria had then at the federal level over 600 stateowned enterprises. They were supposed to do business and return profit to government, but not only did they not make profit and return dividends to government, they were also taking from the treasury. So government looked at it and reviewed it and said no, every businessman that makes investment in business is expecting dividends. But here we are; we are not getting dividends, we are losing tax revenue because those enterprises that are government owned didn’t pay tax. So that brought in the reforms. Government now started privatising. If you remember First Bank, UBA, Afribank, and Union Bank when they were government owned and now, you can see the wide difference. In those days, those banks operated only in Nigeria; there was hardly any of them having any branch abroad. But today, because they are under private sector, most of the banks have branches in Africa, in UK, China and so on because they are driven by private sector capital and private sector entrepreneurial spirit. The problem with government owned enter-

• Dikki

prises is that there is no entrepreneurial spirit driving them. So, government now realised like I said that even if I invest so much, I will not get anything in return. Then let’s stop the losses. Then privatisation started. Companies have been privatised and after the privatisation, the reforms started. And they started with the telecoms sector and we see the impact. Remember in those days when it was NITEL (Nigerian Telecommunications Limited), if you wanted to make an international call, you have to go to a business centre and wait for hours. In those days when government was controlling the telecoms sector, we had only 450,000 lines. Today, with the private sector investments we have over 120 million GSM lines and the companies have invested cumulatively over $40 billion in the sector. And they are still investing. That is the beauty of reforms once you create a conducive atmosphere for the private sector to thrive and you create an enabling environment for them to invest, you make the sector bankable. Each time you want to privatize NITEL, the National Assembly will say don’t proceed. Why are there so many problems in that NITEL?


With the reforms and with the liberalisation of the sector, nobody remembers that there was NITEL. We are not missing NITEL because the sector has been liberalised and competition has been introduced and there are players in the sector. Two, the issue of mode of privatisation of NITEL is purely a legal matter. NITEL owes over N400 million in debts. If this company is to be run by government as some people have suggested, it means that government has to cough out money to resolve those liabilities. N400 billion in healths, in education can do Nigeria a lot of good. Why should we put such money for government to revive NITEL when it is no longer a critical infrastructure in the Nigerian economy? If NITEL doesn’t come up again at all, Nigerians will still survive in terms of access to telecommunications. So, NITEL has ceased to be a critical asset. BPE was to commence discussions with union leaders in the oil and gas sector on the privatisation of the nation’s refineries. Have the meetings commenced? When government announced that we were considering the privatisation of the refineries, the National Union of Petroleum and

‘I believe if we have the PIB passed and create a regulator that has all the power of regulating the industry concentrated in one place, that regulatory agency will now conduct an industry study and set cost reflective prices for gas and for other oil related products which will now provide clarity for investors to invest’

Natural Gas (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) threatened to shut down the refineries. We met with them. They told us that they were not averse to government looking at options and business model for handling the privatisation and we said okay to them. After that, we have received some conflicting statements by branches of the same NUPENG and PENGASSAN to the effect that they are opposed to privatisation. And government is now conscious that if we don’t have a unified voice between NUPENG and PENGASSAN about the privatisation, then there is a risk. This is because they can shut down the economy and no responsible President will want to create pains for his people by a policy that can be avoided, delayed, or you look at other options. But let me categorically say this: PENGASSAN and NUPENG have all agreed that there is need to privatise. They have realised and they have told us that the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) is not sufficient, that we should bring the refineries back on stream. Then there are other investments that need to be in place, and they recognise that government is not in a position to make such investments, or rather it is not its priority to raise those kinds of monies that will completely revamp the refineries. So, the labour unions have realised also that privatisation is eminent. What they are craving for is that we should have the LNG model, which is to say that government should still have a stake; labour should still have a stake in the refineries. And we are not opposed to it. We have told them that it has •Continued on page 28




PIB passage crucial to economic transformation •Continued from page 27

been a longstanding policy of the NCP that labour unions should have shares in the companies they privatised. So refineries will only be privatised when government and labour are 100 per cent on the same page. If that happens today, we will commence the process today. If labour comes out today and tells government that we are not against the privatisation of the refineries we will cooperate, government will take up the privatisation of the refineries. But I want to emphasise that in this oil and gas industry we have locked up a lot of potential that Nigeria’s economy has. There are more than 10 industries that can spring up using the by-products of the refineries. We are not utilising these things. Most of those things are imported. Once we get the refineries working, there will be other spinoff industries that will come up from there. It will create jobs, create products that Nigeria will sell locally and internationally and grow the Nigerian economy. And related to that, we also need to expeditiously, aggressively handle the issue of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). The PIB is critical because presently, the regulatory powers are dispersed; Ministry of Petroleum Resources has regulatory powers, the Department of Petroleum Resources has regulatory powers, the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has regulatory powers, NNPC has regulatory powers and that is why all these years, many investors have collected licenses for refineries but none of them has set up except two. Now, all this while, why haven’t they made investments in all these refineries? It is because the regulatory environment is not clear and the major challenge for Nigeria now is the issue of gas. I believe if we have the PIB passed and create a regulator that has all the power of regulating the industry concentrated in one place, that regulatory agency will now conduct an industry study and set cost reflective prices for gas and for other oil related products which will now provide clarity for investors to invest. So, I want to appeal to the National Assembly and to all the stakeholders to come together and quickly pass the PIB. Let us remove those controversial clauses that have stalled the passage of the bill. Nigerians stand to gain more from the passage of that bill than we stand to lose. Anytime government wants to introduce any policy, there is always opposition for fear of something that labour, for instance, wish should not happen. What is this fear? You see, every policy you introduce brings changes. The labour leaders have a duty to their unions to get the best deal for their unions and staff. So, it is not unexpected that labour agitates and show resistance until you show them what they are going to take from it. Labour resisted the power sector reforms because they thought it will short-change their members who are workers of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). Government engaged them at the highest level, they set up a committee. First of all, they set up a negotiation committee. The former President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) was one of them, and then the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) was the chairman of the discussions with Labour. Government realised the fears of labour and took the necessary steps to work on the fears. So, government went into an agreement with labour in the power sector and government has fulfilled all those terms. I want to assure all those in the oil and gas sector also that if they come to table with government, table all their issues, government will discuss with them and government come up with an agreement with the unions and government has shown a track record of keeping to the terms of its agreement and will do so not just for the oil and gas sector, but other sectors that reforms are going to be midwifed. Which of the privatised companies are you mostly proud of? It will not be fair for me to start marking the investors individually. The danger of doing that is that if I say this one is doing well and the other is not, I will, in the process, scare their financiers away. But suffice to say that we have a solid monitoring mechanism in place. You will recall that each of these successor companies signed a share sales agreement, which had a technical proposal embedded in it. The technical proposal outlined what each investors will do over a five year period in terms of investment to im-

prove the company. Whether it is generation; it will improve generation in terms of initially maintaining and refurbishing the plant and then subsequently in terms of making new investments to increase generating capacity, there is a plan. The DISCOs (Distribution Companies) also gave us a plan on how they intend to reduce the technical, commercial and collection losses over a five year period. We are going to use those submissions to monitor their performance and see whether they are doing well. Additionally, they also come under the regulatory purview of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), who issues them licenses to operate and each licence has conditions. NERC issues distribution licences to distribution companies with certain conditions and if those conditions are not met, NERC can withdraw the licence. So, the monitoring obligation falls on both the regulatory commission and BPE and what we are working on is to develop a template where we can conduct this monitoring jointly so that BPE does not come today and NERC comes tomorrow and thereby inducing a monetary fatigue in the companies. So, we are going to do this jointly and I want to assure Nigerians that we are taking this thing very seriously. What do you want to achieve with the commercialisation of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and others? Every government requires a mouthpiece, an organ to disseminate information to its citizenry and so, NTA, News Agency of Nigeria, and FRCN must essentially remain government owned because government must have a mouthpiece. These agencies have laws setting them up that restrict their operations. If I remember correctly, under the NTA Act, the highest borrowing power is N500,000. N500,000 was big money 30 years ago, but today it is nothing. It cannot even buy you one sophisticated camera. So, what we are trying to do is to abrogate those laws and set up a new bill that will, for example, be for radio or television, permit NTA to collect TV licence and broaden its revenue base so that it can survive without depending on government revenue. So, the whole essence of commercialising these media enterprises is to open up their source of revenue inflow and allow them to operate like private business entities but under 100 per cent government ownership but zero dependence on government revenue. That is the essence of the reforms we want to do in the media sector and we are already in advanced discussion with the Minister of Information who is the chairman of the steering committee that is looking at the reform of the media sector. The end result will be a policy document and a bill that will regulate that sector and that will liberalise it and allow it to have powers to operate like business entities. Privatisation process requires fund. Is government going to provide fund when power companies need it? Let me make this very clear, government has no financing obligation to the successor companies whether DISCOS or GENCOS. Government has no obligation to raise finance for them. They have taken over the companies 60 per cent and in some places 70 per cent and others 100 per cent. Will government raise money for UAC or Unilever? No, but government realised also that the power sector in private hands is a novel occurrence. Government also realises that power is critical to the growth of the economy. Government also realises that huge amount of capital needs to be raised in order to promote the growth of the power sector and achieve the level of power generation necessary to drive economic growth. So, what government did was to facilitate and organise an investors’ conference, which was presided over by the Vice President. We invited all international donor agencies, World Bank, IMF, private eq-

• Dikki

uity fund, Fund Managers all over the world for them to meet with the investors in the power sector and a lot of them have advanced that contact to serious negotiations. Now, what people are insinuating so far is that many of the purchasers borrowed short term and at high interest rate and so there is need for them to refinance for longer term and lower interest rate facility and that is what government tried to do by facilitating that conference where they will meet fund managers who lend 10, 20, 30 years, international financing agencies that lend for a long term and facilitate them. Other than facilitating the move, government has no business in providing funds to the investors, they will have to go and look for their money. Have you completed the payment of the PHCN staff? We have completed payment for all those who have come forward and were verified and we did a biometric capture of it. We were given a list of 47,913 PHCN workers. So we have paid 45,000 who we have verified, who we have done biometrics capture for. When we got the list, we said no problem, whoever is a bona-fide staff has to come physically for us to see him, for us to verify him and do biometric capture of him before we pay. Labour union members gave us representatives to work in this verification committee and after all due process out of the 47,913, we have verified 45,306 and those 45,306 we have paid every one of them severance benefit, which was credited to their current accounts and the pension component which was passed first of all to the pension custodian and then after PENCOM verified, because PENCOM insisted that they also must verify that each one of those staff is a bonafide (Retirement Savings Account) RSA holder. When they finished their verification, the RSA components were also credited to all the individuals’ RSA accounts. So we have paid 45,000 who we have verified, who we have done biometrics capture for. The about 1,800 that we have not paid, we have not received any information on, they have not come physically with their documents to show us that they are bona-fide staff of PHCN and no amount of blackmail will make us pay ghost workers.

‘We have completed payment for all those who have come forward and were verified and we did a biometric capture of it. We were given a list of 47,913 PHCN workers. So we have paid 45,000 who we have verified, who we have done biometrics capture for. The about 1,800 that we have not paid, we have not received any information on, they have not come physically with their documents to show us that they are bona-fide staff of PHCN and no amount of blackmail will make us pay ghost workers’

What is BPE’s focus now? I had earlier on mentioned the Transport Bills, that is one of our major areas of focus, get those bills passed, get the regulatory agencies set up, begin to do concessions and relieve government of the investments in roads, railways, inland waterways. Another area of focus is housing. Right now the housing sector is not regulated, people just wake up and build houses and because there is nobody enforcing standards, everybody builds what he wants and in the process, you are killing the market for real estate developers. So we are looking at the policies and the laws governing the housing sector to see how we can tinker with them to encourage private sector investment. What we intend to do for the housing sector is to look at the issues holistically. There are many industries that feed the housing sector; furniture, marble, cement, ceramics, electrical, plumbing. Presently, it is probably only cement and sand that we produce locally, almost all other components of the building value chain, we import. We import marble, we import ceramics, now if we continue to do that we will only be creating jobs for outsiders. If we are to build 18million houses that are in deficit, it means we are creating jobs for other countries and impoverishing this country. Do you have a time-frame? I won’t tie myself to a time frame. But like I said, the documents are at an advanced stage of completion. By the next few weeks, we should be able to present it to the steering committee for review before it goes to the NCP. What challenges have you had to contend with? The major challenge we have is usually getting stakeholders to be on the same page with you. Now, let me give you an example of the power sector. When we were doing the power sector, we needed to get about 13 different agreements signed. The TCN, the gas aggregator, there are about 10 or 15 agencies involved, getting those agencies to meet in one place is a big challenge. The other challenges we have are those who are ideologically opposed to these reforms. They will continue to write in newspapers, they will continue to canvass their own opinion, they will continue to raise issues, and they will continue to paint government black. But the Hausas say that the ultimate aim of playing draft is for you to win, how you win is a different matter. You can use skills, tactics or even intimidation, whatever tactics you use, the most important thing is that the President and Vice President have remained committed and that has helped us to overcome the major obstacles that would have been a hindrance to our achieving our tactics. So for reforms to succeed we must have support at the highest level.




CBN reviews clearing rules for settlement banks


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reviewed clearing rules for settlement banks. The new rules stipulate that a settlement bank should provide the clearing collateral of not less than N15 billion worth of treasury bills. This was contained in the CBN’s Monetary, Credit, Foreign Trade and Exchange Policy Guidelines for Fiscal Years 2014/2015, which also said a Settlement Bank needed to develop and implement a RiskBased Pricing Model. It must also have the ability to offer agency facilities to other banks and to settle on their behalf, nationwide and also have branch network in all the CBN locations. “Banks that meet the specified criteria shall continue to be designated as “Settlement Banks.” Consequently, non-settlement banks, called “Clearing Banks” shall continue to carry out clearing operations through the settlement banks under agency arrangement. The terms of agency arrangements shall be mutually agreed between the Settlement Banks and the Clearing Banks,” the CBN said. The CBN said it would continue to adopt the risk-based supervision (RBS) approach in the supervision of institutions under its regulatory purview. “The objective of the RBS approach is to provide an effective process to assess the safety and soundness of banks and other financial institutions. This is achieved by evaluating their risk profile, financial condition, risk management practices and compliance with applicable laws and regulations,” it said. It enjoined banks to pursue profitability in their business models through efficient operations adding that they should charge competitive

By Collins Nweze

rather than excessive rates of interest in the course of their transactions. The lenders are also to disclose their prime and maximum lending rates as fixed spreads over the Monetary Policy Rate. According to the CBN, Open Market Operations (OMO) auctions will continue as the major tool for liquidity management. OMO is and activity of the CBN that entails buying and selling of government securities in the open market to expand or contract the amount of money in the

(MMDs) comprised commercial and merchant banks, noninterest financial institutions and discount hAlso, based on market liquidity conditions and the subsisting Monetary Policy Rate, OMO will be complemented by repurchase agreements (repo/reverse repo), at the applicable rates. The CBN said commercial and merchant banks should continue to maintain a minimum Liquidity Ratio (LR) of 30 and 20 per cent. Discount houses should continue to invest at least 60 per cent of

banking system. The CBN said the conduct of OMO would be discretionary and would involve the sale or purchase of Treasury Bills and CBN Bills through appropriate market mechanisms that would include auctions and twoway quote trading. It said the securities would be of specified tenor and volume, linked to assessed liquidity conditions in the banking system. Participants at OMO auctions would be the authorised Money Market Dealers

Unity Bank gets payment card re-certification


NITY Bank Plc has been recertified for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Certification, the global information security standard to prevent frauds. Unity Bank was PCI DSS was recertified because of its sustained commitment to secured banking on the standardised ICT technological platforms and solutions for the safety of its customers giving the

Assistant Editor, Abuja

growing use of card transactions in the country. The PCIDSS is a worldwide information security standard defined by the International Payment Industry Security Standards Council to prevent card-related frauds through increased controls around data and its exposure to compromise. Receiving the certificate on behalf

Diamond Bank, Moneygram partner on money transfer


IAMOND Bank Plc is partnering with MoneyGram International, for the provision of money transfer services. At the partnership signing ceremony, the bank’s Executive Director, Retail Banking, Uzoma Dozie, said the partnership would help in providing secure and accessible money transfer services to meet the needs of the bank’s customers. ”When we began money transfer services, the initial focus was to provide efficient transfer services to our


Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year

35m 35m

11.039 12.23

19-05-2014 18-05-2016

customers trading across Nigeria so we spent about sixty percent of our equity in building a convenient and accessible platform. Today, we are taking it to a different dimension and widening the platform to embrace Nigerians in the Diaspora,” he said. Executive Vice President, United States and Canada, Peter Ohser, who led the team from MoneyGram International, noted that the partnership was a great

DATA BANK WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 400m 400m 400m 400m 400m 400m

Price Loss 2754.67


Amount 30m 46.7m

Rate % 10.96 9.62

Date 28-04-2012 “


O/PRICE 12.64 0.60 2.20 1.24 0.84 4.86 4.19 2.36 25.00 2.50

C/PRICE 13.30 0.63 2.31 1.30 0.88 5.00 4.30 2.42 25.60 2.55


Year Start Offer

Current Before

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












EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency


CHANGE 5.22 5.00 5.00 4.84 4.76 2.88 2.63 2.54 2.40 2.00


July ’11

July ’12





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00%



O/PRICE 2.72 1.23 3.29 4.20 0.52 0.84 0.57 0.59 0.65 9.85

C/PRICE 2.56 1.17 3.13 4.00 0.50 0.81 0.81 0.55 0.63 9.55

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917

Amount Sold ($) 399.9m 399.9m 399.9m

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

Exchange Rate (N) 155.75 155.8 155.7

Date 2-5-14 2-3-14 1-29-14





% Change

CAP Index

N13.07tr 40,766.16

N6.617tr 20,903.16

-1.44% -1.44%


Offer Price Bid Price 155.90 156.93 9.17 9.08 1.06 1.05 1.17 1.17 0.72 0.71 1.39 1.33 1,646.05 1,634.24 1,646.05 1,643.24 1,081.88 1,081.39 116.74 115.95 1,087.30 1,087.00 1.67 1.62 1.05 1.03


CHANGE -5.88 -4.48 -4.86 -4.76 -3.85 -3.85 -3.57 -3.51 -3.08 -3.05

money transfer needs even to the remotest parts of the country.” Divisional Head, Transaction and eBanking, Diamond Bank, Mr. Daniel Akumabor, said the bank has a track record of being the fastest growing bank on similar platforms it had partnered previously. He assured the MoneyGram team of significant growth from its deal with the bank. He said the choice of MoneyGram was because the brand resonated well with the bank’s target customers.

occasion for Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora. He said: “Nigeria is a big market and records from the World Bank show that about 20 billion naira comes into the country annually. Most of this money is required to meet important needs such as healthcare, school fees and other challenges. Customers from all over the world want to send money to Nigeria and MoneyGram considers it a privilege to enter into this partnership with Diamond Bank Plc to help Nigerians meet their

By Collins Nweze

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33

OBB Rate

He said: ”We are committed to ensuring the highest level of compliance with global best practices to protect our customers from hazards of banking services. As a bank with strong focus on retail banking, card payment and other forms of e-payment we are constantly working to raise the bar of our service delivery standards at all times, even without the prompting of the regulatory authorities.”

of the bank’s Managing Director, NetHost Legislation Limited, a PCI certification consultancy, in Abuja, the Executive Director, Corporate and Commercial Banking, Alhaji Abubakar Abba Bello, said the recertification of Unity Bank’s PCI DSS for the second year running has demonstrated “the bank’s uncompromising commitment to ensuring security for all its customers’ funds and transactions at all times”.

From Nduka Chiejina



their total borrowings in government securities while the ratio of individual bank loans to deposits, is retained at 80 per cent. It said the discount window at the CBN would remain available to give authorised dealers access to effective management of their temporary liquidity shortages or surpluses. Thus, standing facilities would continue to be opened overnight in line with the guidelines. The facilities would be in form of Standing Lending Facility (SLF).




0.78 1,944.64 12.72 1.07

0.76 1,936.31 12.40 1.05

1.2655 1.3132 0.9270 1.1597

1.2543 1.3132 0.9098 1.1597



Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012











May & Baker plans to raise new equity funds •Shareholders express supports for recapitalization M AY & Baker Nigeria Plc is considering all options to raise new equity funds and recapitalize its balance sheet as the healthcare company seeks to optimize the gains of its recent huge investments and defray short-term finances that have been encumbering its bottom-line. Management of May & Baker at the weekend outlined plan to enhance the performance of the company to shareholders and financial journalists during a facility tour of the company’s manufacturing complex in Ota, Ogun State. Managing director, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okafor, said the company needs new equity funds to support the long-term growth of its business and reduce the high cost of fund, which has been constraining its profit in recent years. According to him, while the fundamentals of the company have shown appreciable improvements as reflected by rising sales and improving cash flow, the company would need additional equity funds to further strengthen its operations and ensure returns from recent investments get to the shareholders. He said the company looks towards raising between N2 billion and N3 billion but the board of the

Tiger Brands writes off $82m inDangote Flour Mills


IGER Brands Limited, South Africa’s largest food company, will write off about half of its investment in Dangote Flour Mills Plc, less than two years after buying a majority stake in the Nigeriabased producer. Tiger, which makes Jungle Oats and All Gold tomato sauce, will impair Dangote Flour’s value by 849 million rand, about $82 million, because of “underperformance” and “excess milling capacity that continues to increase in the Nigerian flour market,” the Johannesburgbased company said yesterday. The company bought a 63.5 per cent stake Dangote Flour Mills from Dangote Industries Limited in September 2012 for about $190 million, its third purchase in Nigeria. Tiger targeted acquisitions in Africa’s largest economy as it saw limited opportunities in its home market. The food producer sees earnings per share for the six months ended March 31 falling as much as 55 percent from a year earlier because of the write-off, it said in a statement. Excluding the impairment, profit from continuing operations will improve 6 percent to 10 percent, Tiger said. Bloomberg reported that Tiger Brands’ share price rose by 3.9 per cent, the most since May 31, to 287.67 rand by the close of trading in Johannesburg.

Stories by Taofik Salako Capital Market Editor

company would decide on the appropriate means to raise the funds and the exact amount to be raised, subject to the approval of relevant regulatory authorities. “We believe that this company needs new equity capital because the cost of funding is quite high,” Okafor said. He outlined that the company has a bright future as it has been able to build strong institutions and brands that will ensure sustainable growth irrespective of changes in management and operating environment. He noted that with the expected certification of the company’s products and processes by the World Health Organization (WHO), the company is set to become the first in Nigeria to be certified by the global health organisation, with immense potential for greater global opportunities and increased earnings. He said the company has been receiving several enquiries from prospective clients who want to use its world-class pharmaceutical manufacturing centre for their drug manufacturing adding that the im-

pending certification of the General Manufacturing Practice (GMP) at the centre would encourage more customers. He pointed out that the WHO certification would highlight the leading position of May & Baker in the healthcare industry having recorded several milestones including being the first pharmaceutical company in Nigeria, the first anti malaria manufacturing drug company in Nigeria, first company to manufacture anti retroviral drug in Nigeria, first Pharmaceutical company to diversify to other sectors and first to commence distribution of vaccines in Nigeria among others. “We want to build a company that is strong, stable and globally relevant by setting up strong institutions and strong brands. We have launched May & Baker on the path of sustainable and profitable diversification,” Okafor said. Shareholders commended the company for its foresight at establishing the multi-billion naira Ota manufacturing complex and promised to support the recapitalization of the company. National coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of

Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, said shareholders would do everything possible to support the company. According to him, availability of amenable capital is a prerequisite to corporate growth and May & Baker is not an exception. “We must do everything possible to ensure the growth of this investment; it belongs to all of us. Without money, investment will not be able to grow. We need to support the management in recapitalizing the company. Shareholders should also be patronizing the products of all quoted companies because in that way, they will be able to grow and deliver better dividends and more jobs,” Nwosu said. Vice President, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA), Mr. Matthew Akinlade, said the company has intrinsic po-

Forte Oil, ETI make MSCI Frontier Markets 100 Index


ORTE Oil Plc and EcoBank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) have been included in the MSCI Frontier Market Index 100, a global index for the 100 of the largest and most liquid stocks in some 26 countries generally classified as frontier markets. The changes were effected following inclusion of 13 securities into the MSCI Frontier Markets Index, while 30 were deleted from the index. MSCI Frontier Markets 100 Index were dominated by Kuwait, 30 per cent from 20 per cent, and Nigeria, 20 per cent from 13 per cent while Pakistan, Oman, Argentina, Kenya and Morocco are now in the range of five to seven per cent, from three to four per cent. Analysts said the Forte Oil and ETI in the index would lead to greater inflow of investments, with potential for more than $200 million investments in the Nigerian market. The MSCI Frontier Markets 100 Index is designed as the representative and more easily replicable alternative

Unity Bank’s N19.22b rights issue opens U NITY Bank Plc at the weekend opened application list for a rights issue of 38.447 billion ordinary shares, starting the first part of a two-part new capital issue that is expected to inject more than N39 billion into the bank. The opening of application list followed approvals of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and Central Bank of Nigeria. Unity Bank plans would be raising N19.22 billion through a rights issue of 38.447 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to existing shareholders at a price of 50 kobo each. The rights have been pre-allotted to shareholders on the register of the bank as at December 16, 2013 on the basis of one new share for one share held as at the closure date. The rights issue will close in late June. The bank will also be undertaking a private placement of 40 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at 50 kobo each to bring in additional N20 billion in new equity funds next month. The net proceeds of the new capital issues would be used for new branch development, upgrade of information and communication technology, human resource development, working capital and products and channel upgrade among others.

Chairman, Unity Bank Plc, Alhaji Lamis Dikko urged shareholders of the bank to pick up their rights noting that the bank’s valuation can only get better. “It is a penny stock and it can only get better. The bank focus is being reinvented considering the background of where we came from, it is been very challenging from the post consolidation period but at least now we have overcome these issues. The bank is set for turnaround,” Dikko said. Managing director, Unity Bank, Mr. Henry Semenitari said the new issues would foster the current repositioning of the bank aimed at entrenching better service delivery and profitability. According to him, the net proceeds would be judiciously utilized to improve the bank’s processes, procedure and people and strengthen its overall framework to achieve impressive growth. “Our journey is very precise as an institution. There were two challenges to driving our growth strategy, one was capital and other was the right size and mixed of man power. On the issue of human capital, as you can see, that has been address. We have a new set of management with new executive directors and non-executive direc-

tential for discerning investors noting that he had increased his shareholdings in the company. “When the President commissioned the PharmaCentre, I was here and I discovered the opportunities in the company, this informed my decision to mandate my stockbroker to buy more shares of the company for me. I bought more of the shares because I saw the potentials in this company,” Akinlade said. National President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mallam Shehu Mikhail, said May & Baker is well-positioned to be the best in Africa given its huge investments in the PharmaCentre. According to him, the company needs to leverage on the opportunities provided by its leading position to increase its market share, visibility of its products as well as establish outlets in nooks and crannies of the country.

tors in place. On the aspect of capital, it has brought us this far, the importance of capital in business, beyond being regulatory as per capital adequacy, cannot be overemphasized; it is needed to drive the business. As you have seen in the prospectus, the utilisation of the proceeds clearly expressed what we are going to do with the funds,” Semenitari said. According to him, the bank is optimistic that it will raise all the funds and there could be over-subscription as some shareholders have started making deposits to take their rights. “The offer will be used judiciously to drive our business and we are going to be more prudent. It is a new dawn in Unity Bank. You can see this in our first quarter result. With the network in excess of 245 branches, our retail banking is on track. To be the retail banking of choice in five years, we are working along three parameter-small and medium enterprises (SMEs), agriculture and rural economy. Within SMEs, it involves personal banking and our growth strategy in term of deposit by the year 2016 is that 40 per cent of our deposit base will be in the hands of individuals, which is very sustainable deposit in our book coming from a public sector background. We can assure you that this is a reawakening as a bank,” Semenitari said.

to its broader parent index, the MSCI Frontier Markets Index. With the May 2014 semi-annual review, frontier markets countries now include Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Vietnam. The MSCI Frontier Markets 100 Index was launched on Apr 11, 2012 and placed strong emphasis on tradability through three main features of a minimum liquidity level and proportion of shares still available to foreign investors relative to maximum allowed. The 100 largest securities are selected from the eligible universe and ranked by float adjusted market capitalization. About $8 trillion is benchmarked to MSCI indexes. The emerging markets index MSCIEF is up 2.9 percent so far this year, while the all world index has risen 2.1 percent. Forte Oil had achieved strong fundamental and technical performances in 2013, a trend it has sustained in the new business year. Its share price had risen by 1164.55 per cent to emerge the best-performing stock, by share price appreciation, at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 2013. It has recorded a year-to-date growth of more than 70 per cent so far this year. Forte Oil was also the first quoted company to submit its audited report for the 2013 business year and distributed N4.32 billion as cash dividends to shareholders. Breakdown of the dividend indicated that shareholders received a dividend per share of N4. Key extracts of the audited report and accounts for the year ended December 31, 2013 showed that turnover rose from N90.98 billion in 2012 to N128.03 billion in 2013. Profit after tax also leapt from N1.01 billion in 2012 to N5.0 billion in 2013. In the frits quarter of this year, Forte Oil continued in its strides with significant growths in sales and profitability. Key extracts of the unaudited report and accounts of Forte Oil for the three-month period ended March 31, 2014 showed that turnover grew by 30.74 per cent while pre and post tax profits rose by 100.6 per cent and 107.8 per cent respectively. The report showed that turnover rose to N34.78 billion in the first quarter of 2014 as against N26.6 billion recorded in comparable period of 2013. Gross profit rose by 72.4 per cent from N2.68 billion to N4.63 billion. Profit before tax doubled from N633.07 million to N1.27 billion. After taxes, net profit stood at N1.10 billion by March 2014 as against N530.60 million recorded in corresponding period of 2013. Basic earnings per share rose from 49 kobo to 75 kobo.









Firms pay N308m fines, penalties to NAICOM M

ORE than N308 million fines and penalties imposed on some insurance firms in 2012 by the regulatory authority, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), have been paid, The Nation has learnt. The payment represents a 280.24 per cent increase over the N81.3 million paid by erring firms in 2011, going NAICOM’s Financial Statement for the year ended December 31, 2012. This increase in fines and penalties, however indicated that the firms have continued to flout the rules and regulations guiding the operations of insurance business as stated in the NAICOM Insurance Acts, 1997. NAICOM also received N1.8 billion insurance levies from the firms in the year under review. According to the Act, NAICOM is entitled to charge one per cent insurance levy on every insurance institution. It charges an insurer or a

•Commission receives N1.8b levies Stories by Omobola Tolu-Kusimo

reinsurer, one per cent based on its gross premium income, an insurance broker based on its gross commission and a loss adjuster, based on its gross fees. The Acts further provides that every sum payable by any insurer, reinsurer, insurance broker or loss adjuster under this Decree, shall be payable on or before September 30 of each year. Meanwhile, there has been a decrease in the Commisssion’s Board and Executive Emolument in the year under review as against the figures obtained in the preceding.

They received N61 million in salaries and allowances in 2012 lower than the N82 million in 2011. They also received sitting, travel and other expenses of about N17 million as against the N26 million it spent in 2011. But staff salaries and allowances increased in 2012 to N53 million and N746 million respectively, as against the N44 million and N590 million recorded in 2011. On administrative expenses, NAICOM spent N5.6 million in 2012 on rent and rates as against N13.8 million spent in 2011; local travelling and hotel expenses gulped N61 million

in 2012, against N47.4 previously. NAICOM spent N1.2 million on overseas travelling in 2012, while N7.8million was spent in 2011. N18.4 million went for bank charges in 2012, as against N2 million in 2011. Also N17.9 million was spent in 2012 on security and other expenses, as against N15.2million in 2011. It also spent N10.4 million in 2012 against N4.5 million in 2011 on entertainment, while N27.4 million went for software amortisation among others, N6.9 million was spent the previous year. Also, NAICOM said it would sanction market offenders. The Commissioner for Insurance, Fola Daniel, said it is the regulator’s wish not to impose any sanctions if there is compliance but if people will break rules or laws, then they should be ready to bear the consequences. He said they will not be excused from their offences and appropriate


•From left: NCRIB Deputy President, Shola Tinubu; Shoderu in a handshake with Hunt. With them is Vice President, NCRIB, Kayode Okunoren, at the Conference in Manchester, UK.

BIBA admits NCRIB as affiliate


HE British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) has admitted the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), as an affiliate of BIBA, the world leading umbrella body of insurance intermediaries. Conveying the admission after a special session with Nigerian delegation to the 2014 BIBA Conference held in Manchester, United Kingdom, the Chairman of BIBA, Lord Hunt said through the synergy, the two professional bodies could now latch on each other’s strength to grow insurance broking in their different jurisdictions. Hunt, a former UK Science Min-

ister, said the contemporary challenge of technology and global business had placed insurance business at the centre stage in the scheme of things, necessitating the dire need for strong international synergies across insurance professionals in the world. He noted that the world of insurance and pensions have become highly complicated thereby making insurance brokers and similar intermediaries more relevant than they had ever been. Hunt said that the market basis between UK and Nigeria was similar in so many ways; hence the two climes must look unto each other for continuous guidance.

NCRIB President, Ayodapo Shoderu, said the need to grow the Nigerian insurance broking practice across international borders informed his administration’s focus on global synergies, noting that the new BIBA affiliation will provide a leeway for insurance brokers under the aegis of the Council to develop greater capacity. He appreciated BIBA for acceding to the request for affiliation which was made during his recent visit to the association. He said the development would place NCRIB and its members in a better pedestal in terms of professionalism and market exposure.

Leadway donates to charities in memory of founder


N commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of the death its founder, Sir Olusola Hassan Odukale, Leadway Assurance Company Limited, has donated medication, foodstuff and equipment worth thousands of naira to four homes in Lagos State. The homes are Modupe Cole Memorial Child Care and Treatment Home School, Akoka; Ile Aanu Olu Preschool, Surulere; Nigeria Society for the Blind and Wesley Schools for Hearing Impaired Children. A statement from the underwriting firm stated that the donations were made following the May 3 anniversary date in furtherance of the ideals of the late founder who was well-known for his philanthropy, integrity and

sound professional/business ethics within the industry. Using the platform of the Leadway movie club, the company also hosted about 180 children from less privileged homes to a kiddie movie at the Silverbird Galleria, Ahmadu Bello, Victoria Island, Lagos. The children from Modupe Cole Memorial Child Care and Treatment Home School, Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria, the Slum to School Project along with their caregivers, were treated to popcorn and drinks and were excited to visit the renowned cinema house. Speaking at the event, Amaka Obidi of the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria, lauded the company’s initia-

tive in providing the platform as an alternate means of educating the children. Born in March 1926, Sir Odukale started his business life as the general goods store owner of Hassan Stores. He established Leadway Assurance Company Limited in 1970 to fill the gap of an indigenous insurance company that would compete favourably with the foreign companies at the time and was its founding Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer. He was the company’s chairman from 1993 till 1999 when he passed away. Sir Odukale was a devout Christian and philanthropist. He was blessed with children and died May 3, 1999. He was 73.


sanctions will be imposed on any insurance operator who runs afoul of any rule or regulation put in place for the smooth operations of the insurance industry.

STI partners centre on leadership

O fulfill its commitment towards the advancement of the Nigerian Society through Corporate Social Responsibility, Sovereign Trust Insurance (STI) Plc has collaborated with the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), in hosting the maiden edition of the Centre’s Road Show tagged ‘Walk The Talk”. The event is geared at entrenching good leadership and promoting positive values in the society. It brought together distinguished Nigerians, such as Prof Pat Utomi, Managing Director, STI, Mr. Wale Onaolapo, Joke Silva, and Kate Henshaw. The ‘Walk-the Talk’ campaign, which means ‘practice what you preach’ is a change movement initiated to preach CVL’s leadership values while reaching out to correct some social, economic and political challenges in our society. The objective of the movement is to equip generations of young Nigerians with values and leadership skills which will make them become effective and value-

driven leaders in future. The event co-coordinator, Miss Stephanie Etokeren, lauded the management of STI for its continued commitment in identifying with laudable CSR initiatives in the Nigerian Society over the years. Managing Director, STI, Onaolapo, said the company is committed to the development of the Nigerian Society in every regard, and he equally opined that a great deal of work still need to be done in getting to the desirable state that every Nigerian would be proud of. He identified the company’s vision of being the leading brand as the pivotal force responsible for most of the initiatives embarked upon by the company. He said the firm is proud to be associated with the Centre and what it represents in the larger society. and would not rest on its oars in embarking on CSR initiatives that would further enhance and advance the quality of the human capital resources in the country both at the local and national level.

‘Global insurance rates decline in Q1’


LOBAL insurance rates declined in the first quarter of the year, mainly driven by softening property rates, Marsh said in its Global Insurance Market Quarterly Briefing. Rates tracked by the Marsh Risk Management Global Insurance Index declined for the fourth consecutive quarter and it is now at its lowest level since the third quarter of 2012, the firm reported. Strong competition, ample capacity and a lack of major events contributed to the property insurance rate decline across all major regions during Q1, Marsh said. The United States and United Kingdom had their largest quarterly decline in more than two and a half years (2.5 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively) while in AsiaPacific, rate reductions of up to 20 per cent were widespread for commercial business, in some cases nearing 25 per cent, depending on the size of the risk, Marsh said. Latin America recorded the largest average property renewal rate

reduction among major global regions, at 7.6 per cent, according to Marsh. Casualty rates were generally stable during Q1, with decreases experienced in Latin America, Asia-Pacific and the United Kingdom, while the United States and Europe saw a slight increase, Marsh noted. “The first quarter saw marked evidence of additional capacity flowing into the global market, primarily from existing players looking to increase their market share in particular lines of business or growing territories,” David Batchelor, president of Marsh’s International Division said in a press release. “And continuing competitiveness in the reinsurance market also added fuel to pricing reductions in primary markets,” he added. For professional liability, rates were stable in general, and flat or declining by up to 10 per cent in Australia, France, Germany, India, and Korea, depending on the quality of the risk, Marsh said.





PAN starts assembly of vehicles next month

AN Nigeria Limited Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Alhaji Ibrahim Boyi, said the assembly of Peugeot in the country will begin next month. Boyi made this known at the just concluded Auto fair in Lagos. According to him, PAN has all it takes to compete with other companies in assembling cheaper but quality products in the country. The company, he said, will start with the assemblage of 301, followed by 508 and 408 within the next 16 months. Boyi said the only way to gain market share is to offer something different and worthwhile. He promised that the new PAN management would do all it could to return the company to its glorious past when it churned out 90,000 vehicles daily. PAN, he said, is giving the new auto policy top priority. “By 2015, we will start full CKD assembly, and this will generate the most local content. So, it is a great opportunity for people that want to ride on the back of this policy. PAN is already working with the association of auto component manufacturers to create clusters and the Minister of Transport has been informed that we are ready to work with auto component manufacturers that show enough seriousness in our cluster in Kaduna,” he said. He reiterated that the objective of the new auto policy is to encourage local production; local development of skill and manpower; for employment and create local opportunity. “We are fully in support of the policy and we want to assure everybody, including those who may not like the policy, that the policy will only do one thing, naturally

•From left: Boyi; Managing Director, BKG Exhibitions Limited, Mr Ifeanyi Agwu; Technical Assistant to MD PAN Nigeria, Mr Bawo Omagbitse and PSA Regional Director, Mr Eric Maydieu during the company’s day at thefair. Stories by Tajudeen Adebanjo

help improve the Nigerian people. Despite all the opposition and the fear that the policy will generate, we will be able to create more opportunities for our people and all will translate into better and cheaper products,” he said. Boyi lamented the increasing pro-

liferation of fake spare parts in the market. According to him, there are about 70 to 80 per cent fake spares in the market. “The chance of you buying original spare parts is only 20 or 30 per cent. We are concerned that those customers, who buy PAN vehicles, get full value from the vehicles.

Strategically as an organisation, we are concerned about the provision of spares. A lot of companies suffer this problem. Cost of ownership of vehicles has been so much mainly because of the incidences of fake

US fines General Motors $35m in safety case


•From left: AA Rescue Nigeria Limited Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Otoyen Efebo; Mr Hudson; Chairman Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State Mr Oludele Soluade and Mr Ashekeme at the event.

Lafarge introduces speed limit trucks


O control over speeding by its drivers, Lafarge has introduced trucks with particular speed limit to its haulage contractors. Lafarge WAPCO General Manager (SC) Olufemi Ransome-Kuti made this known at the launch of the Lafarge Drivers’ Academy at Lafarge Estate in Arigbajo, Ogun State. Ransome-Kuti said 80 per cent of the violations recorded are linked to over speeding, hence the need to procure trucks that would not drive beyond a particular speed limit. The event featured presentation of certificates to 30 drivers that graduated from the academy. “This set is just for the take-off, 1,500 drivers are expected to be trained by the academy. This is one of the measures taken by Lafarge

to reduce accidents on the roads. We also control what they do outside, with monitoring functionality of the engine while driving through in-built device. Drivers tend to loose their mind and join peer group used to over speeding, so, we are trying to be one step ahead of them,” he said. Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer Lafarge WAPCO Mr Joe Hudson said the company’s road safety performance is the best in the country. Having achieved this, Hudson said the company is looking forward to beat the international standard. The academy, he said, is critical to achieving the best for Lafarge drivers. Minister of Transport, Senator

Idris Umar, called on other organisations that are into haulage to emulate Lafarge or partner with the company to reduce accidents on the roads. Represented by Olusegun Asekhamen, Senator Umar said the need for sanity on the roads is topmost priority of the ministry. He said efforts are being made to reduce pressure on the roads by modernising the railway sector that would cater for bulk cargoes. He described Lafarge initiative as laudable, saying the need for proper training of the drivers can never be over emphasised. “Most accidents on our roads are the direct results of carelessness, bad habit, and poor judgments on the part of our drivers which have resulted in colossal loss of lives of our people…” he said

spare part in the market. We want to ensure the integrity of after sales, because Peugeot brand is known as vehicles that anyone everywhere can maintain. We will like to bring that back into our system,” he stated.

NITED States safety regulators fined General Motors (GM) $35 million last Friday for taking a decade to disclose defects with ignition switches in small cars that are now linked to at least 13 deaths. It is the maximum penalty that the government can impose. But the amount is less than a day’s revenue for GM, based on the $37.4 billion it took in during the first quarter, and safety advocates were quick to question its effectiveness. As part of an agreement announced by the Transportation Department and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), GM also has agreed to government oversight on safety issues, and to report safety problems much faster than in the past. NHTSA has been investigating GM’s delayed recall of 2.6 million older small cars with defective ignition switches. GM has acknowledged knowing that the switches had problems as early as 2001, but it didn’t start recalling the cars until February this year. The department said in a statement that GM agreed that it was slow to report the problems. The company says at least 13 people have died in crashes linked to the problem, but trial lawyers suing the company say the death toll is at least 53. Ignition switches on Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions


can slip out of the ‘‘run’’ position and shut off the engine. That cuts off the power steering and brakes, potentially causing drivers to lose control. It also disables the car’s air bags. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, at a morning news conference in Washington, said the government will not accept a company failing to notify regulators about safety defects. ‘‘Literally silence can kill,’’ he said. ‘‘GM did not act and did not alert us in a timely manner. What GM did was break the law.’’ Acting NHTSA Administrator David Friedman said that a previously undisclosed 2009 memo from a parts supplier to GM clearly stated that the ignition switch problem could disable the small cars’ air bags, which clearly is a safety problem. ‘‘This is information that General Motors had from their supplier that General Motors never shared with us,’’ he said. Had the government possessed this information, it would have sought a recall at that time, Friedman said. The safety agency has been criticised for not requiring GM to recall the small cars despite numerous complaints from owners. Automakers are required to report safety defects within five days of discovering them.

ABC Transport wins award

ABC Transport has received the Most Innovative and Impactful Transport and Logistics Company in Nigeria award at this year’s Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Award held at MUSON Centre, Lagos. The award was in recognition of ABC’s outstanding services in land transportation. ABC Transport Head, Customer Service (western region), Mrs Ijeoma Onyekwuo, thanked the organisers for recognition of key industry players. “We accept this award as a strong vote of confidence from our customers who have remained ever loyal. We are very grateful to them and like to reassure them that we will intensify efforts to consistently surpass their myriad of needs and strive to build a world class road transport company in the West African sub-region,” she said. The company has opened a new office in Ikorodu, Lagos with plans to commence operations from Ikorodu to the ast and South-south. Customers of ABC transport who reside within the Lekki/Ajah/Epe axis can now access ABC Sprinter to Owerri and Port Harcourt routes.





Benefits of 24th WEFA to Nigeria

HE 24th World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, which took place from May 7 – 9 in Abuja, under the theme, ‘Forging inclusive growth, creating jobs’ has been described as the most successful. The Forum brought together leaders from politics, business and civil society to debate ways to tackle Africa’s biggest challenge, namely creating a continent of increased prosperity and strong communities; of strong governments delivering quality services and leaving no one behind. It was the first time the global event took place in West Africa since the African edition was convened in Switzerland in 1990. It is instructive to note that from its nascence in January 1971, when a group of European business leaders met under the patronage of the European Commission and European industrial associations in Davos, Switzerland, the vision was not for a global institution. Rather, it was to introduce European firms to American management practices, which places premium on employees and the social communities within a firm’s environment. The maiden gathering, chaired by the German-born Klaus Schwab, then Professor of Business Policy at the University of Geneva, was subsequently incorporated as a notfor-profit Foundation under the name, ‘The European Management Forum.’ Steadily, the Forum expanded its focus from management to economic and social issues, and political leaders were invited for the first time to Davos in January 1974. In 1987, the Forum changed its

By Chinedu Moghalu

name to the World Economic Forum to reflect its expanding scope and transformation from a European to truly global organisation. Since its establishment, the WEF meetings are distinguished by the active participation of government, business and civil society figures, both the most experienced and the most promising, all working together in the collaborative and collegial spirit of Davos. The quest for Nigeria’s hosting of the event began at the 22nd WEFA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2012; it was galvanised in Cape Town, South Africa in May, last year, when President Goodluck Jonathan, led a high-powered government and private sector delegation to the 23rd edition of the forum. When Nigeria’s slot for hosting the event was fully stamped in Davos, Switzerland in January this year, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said the august event was coming at a time Nigeria is becoming more integrated into global capital markets and when the country’s aspirations to attract foreign investment into non-mineral sectors is becoming increasingly viable. In a statement before the meetings, Philipp Rösler, the Managing Director and Member of the Managing Board of the World Economic Forum indicated that his organisation was not in Nigeria for political endorsement or political point-scoring, but because the country has a great role to play in building a better, more equitable Africa. According to him, “Nigeria is a country that not only

embodies the hopes and challenges of a whole continent, but could actually determine them.” Rösler further stated that although Nigeria has done very well within the period under review, the country’s biggest mistake has been its failure to communicate its successes. To him, the country should be held accountable where necessary, but also praised when its actions serve as a role model for other African countries. Statistics show that in the 1990s, Nigeria’s economy was shrinking and on the verge of collapse with a growth rate of about 2.5 per cent between 2003 and 2006. However, over the past decade, Nigeria has seen a turnaround of vast significance with an average growth of seven per cent per year, which has enabled the creation of 1.6 million new jobs per year. Although there is still not enough to offer work to the 1.8 million young people that enter the labour market yearly, it suffices to bring the target within reach. Veritably, the WEFA Abuja provided a platform for Nigeria to take the conversation further on how to build more credible institutions for a social protection programme, an expansion of healthcare and a longoverdue overhaul of the education system. President Jonathan stated in his opening address, alongside the Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Li Keqiang, that the fact that more than 1,000 people from over 70 countries turned up for the meetings despite all the issues, media reports and facts was a sign of the confidence we all have in this great country. He declared that as a people and an international community, we cannot allow terrorism to

dictate our agenda. Most importantly, Mr. President said for Africa to remain relevant, we need to adequately educate our people, as it is through education that we can unlock the potential of our youth to enable Africa to compete globally and create jobs in the new knowledge economy. In his closing remarks, Rösler said Nigeria and, indeed, Africa should be proud of the outcome of the meeting as it was the most successful so far comparing only to the Davos edition. According to him, the meetings fully achieved the WEF mission towards the commitment to the growth of the world through creation of community of interest, community of purpose and community of exchange. Complimenting the organisers, Ms. Elzie Kanza, the Director and Head of Africa WEF indicated that in global media reach, the WEFA Abuja generated an unprecedented 48, 000 articles in its three days, which was three times more than what the 23rd WEFA in Cape Town, South Africa last year generated. It also attracted more than 1000 participants – far above the average of 700 participants for the regional meetings and received 50,000 social media hits that translated to a total reach of over 2.1 billion, which is about 30 per cent of world population. In tangible terms, the WEFA attracted over $68 billion (about N12.9 trillion) in investment to the African continent in the form of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) as well as private and public investments targeted at projects that would foster the agriculture sector, improve infrastruc-

• Moghalu

ture such as roads, railways, hospitals, education, skill development and ICT across African countries. Remarkably, the meeting birthed an institutionalised response to the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, with the creation of a $20billion ‘Safe School Initiative Fund’ by the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Mr. Gordon Brown, to develop and enhance education in the terrorism-ravaged areas of Nigeria. The Federal Government has committed $10billion to this Fund while the balance comes from the UN. In conclusion, the immediate outcome of the 24th WEF, beyond just money, brought opportunities for Africa, which the WEF was set up to unlock for the improvement of the states of Africa. It has proved also that there is a strong commitment between the private and the public sector to collaborate regionally and globally in the fight against poverty, social exclusion, and terror in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. • Moghalu is Head, Corporate Communication Department, Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM).


Sterling Bank promotes 386 staff


N line with its commitment to rewarding excellence, hardwork and dedication, and boosting productivity among staff, Sterling Bank Plc has announced the promotion of 386 staff across all cadres following the conclusion of its full year 2013 appraisal exercise. The Bank in a statement noted that the promotion exercise was based on merit using a transparent and robust performance management system in line with global practice. Out of this, 368 staff were promoted in the Junior and Middle Management cadre while 18 Senior Management staff were elevated. According to the break-

down of figures made available to our correspondent by the Bank, 14 Managers were promoted to Senior Managers, 15 from Deputy Managers to Managers, 26 from Assistant Managers to Deputy Managers, while 80 Banking Officers were promoted to Senior Banking Officers. In addition, 128 Senior Executives were promoted to Banking Officers while 69 staff moved from the Executive Trainee grade to the Senior Executive grade. In the Senior Management cadre, two Deputy General Managers, Mojisola Bakare and Mr. Adegun Adegboyega Adelani of the Corporate Banking Groups 1 and 2, were elevated from Deputy General

Managers to General Managers, while Mrs. Kikelomo Adefolahan Kuponiyi of Retail Loans, Mrs. Isioma Ada Ubosi, Regional Business Executive, Lagos Island I, Mrs. Adebimpe Olambiwonnu, Group Head, Finance& Performance Management, Mrs. Obe Eniola, Regional Business Executive, Lagos Mainland 3 and Mr. Segun Anako of the Information Technology Group, were elevated from Assistant General Managers to the Deputy General Manager position. The new Assistant General Managers promoted from the Senior Manager level include Mr. Abiodun Muniru Oladipupo, Regional Business

Executive, Lagos Mainland 5; Mr. John Akingbade, Group Head Treasury & Financial Institutions; Mr. Richard Oshungboye, E-Business; Mrs. Titilayo Adewonuola Ogundipe, Group Head, Customer Care and Mr. Ademola Adeyemi, Regional Business Head, Southwest 2, Others include Mr. Lateef Aliu, Channels Operations; Mr. Adekunle Adewole, Group Head, Recovery; Mr. Tsunuku Kingaba, Business Manager, Abuja and Mr. Olabisi Ogunwoye, Group Head, Human Resources Management. These appointments have been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and taken effect.

years, this performance ranking will necessitate the kind of change we anticipate for stimulating developmental progress and increased private sector collaboration within the Nigerian economy. “The critical look at slum living within the Lekki Peninsula, in Lagos, in the report will also serve as a vital tool towards promoting collaborative efforts in pushing for more sustainable housing and living conditions within the metropolis.” Masade explained that these performance indices supplied in the report were totally unbiased and ranking criteria was well structured and thought-out. She also reiterated that summaries of all the 117 organisations included in the report

were free and more organisations not included in the present edition were welcome to send their information for next year’s publication. The publication sees an increase in interested organ i s at i o n s w il l i ng t o show financial support. Due to these generous contributions from organisations such as: GTBank, Nigerian Bottling Company, Pan Ocean Nigeria, Forte Oil and Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC, this publication will be disseminated to a diversity of stakeholders across sectors both locally and internationally, including United Nations entities, embassies, state governments, fellow private sector practitioners, universities and lots more, she added.

GTBank, others back Collective Social Investment Report


HE Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank, other financial institutions and corporate bodies have supported the launch of the Collective Social Investment Report, an annual publication on social investment initiatives in Nigeria, published by CSR-in-Action. The launch, which is billed to hold in Lagos, is the second in the series. The report highlights organisations committed to promoting sustainable initiatives in Nigeria. It noted that as against last year’s report, 23 more organisations within the private sector have been included to showcase increased collaborative commitment in promoting social change and development. Other new additions to

By Emeka Ugwuanyi the publication include special messages and interviews from CSR professionals, thought leaders and instrumental actors within the educational sector both in Nigeria and abroad. Speaking at a press conference to announce the launch of the report, Bekeme Masade, Executive Director, CSR-in-Action and Editorin-Chief, revealed more features added to the report. She said: “In order to stimulate organisations to step up their game with respect to CSR and social investment initiatives, we coordinated a ranking that indexes organisations’ performance in respect to their social investment initiatives. “We hope that in coming

Car built by Nigerian passes international standard


HEERING news came from Rotterdam, Netherlands on Friday, as Tuke-Tuke, a car produced by students of the University of Benin, passed international technical evaluation, making it possible for it to be qualified to race at the 2014 Eco Marathon with cars from 25 countries, mostly advanced countries, Media Manager at Shell Nigeria, Precious Okolobo, broke the news at a briefing in Lagos. He said cars built by Nigerians are competing with other international counterpart technical qualifications for 2014 Eco Marathon He said: “The marathon, which started on Friday May 16, 2014 with an opening ceremony in Rotterdam, Netherlands, would give opportunity for the cars to race for the winning price today Saturday May 17. 2014”. According to Okolobo, the car built by students from the


University of Lagos was still undergoing thorough technical evaluation and its own results would be announced today (Friday). In a new development, twenty four hours after Tuke Tuke, a car produced by students of the University of Benin passed all the required technical evaluations, another car manufactured by students of the University of Lagos also scaled through technical qualifications. Both cars have now qualified for the race with 200 other cars from 26 other countries at the Shell Eco-Marathon 2014. Okolobo emphasised that the Nigerian cars would to battle for ultra energy efficiency on the road. The technical inspection will qualify cars that will perform the actual race, where students are competing to produce of the future, one wish hopefully can raise for thousands Kilo Meters ( KM) on one litre of fuel.

Mali cash delayed over questionable jet purchase

HE International Mon etary Fund (IMF) says it will delay the disbursement of $6 million in aid to Mali pending a clarification from the government on the purchase of a $40 million presidential jet, its spokesman said. The controversy over the jet, and a separate loan for military supplies, risks undermining confidence in Mali’s donor-backed recovery from twin crises in 2012. These involved the military ouster the president and the occupation

of its vast northern desert regions by al Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters. The IMF spokesman said the organisation questions the rationale of and procedures that led to Mali buying the jet, given the country’s pledges to fight poverty. The IMF has also flagged concerns about a separate 100 billion CFA franc ($209.02 million) state guarantee issued for a loan secured by a private company with a Malian bank to provide supplies for the army.





• Microfinance banks’ staff at a workshop.

Sharing IT platform to survive For information and technology (IT) experts, it is a concept that best suits a workplace and they are not shy to introduce it. Their belief is that a shared platform will boost a company’s growth. Under the concept, firms allow their IT infrastructure to be shared by various departments/workers to reduce operational costs. The method will improve work and foster growth, writes AKINOLA AJIBADE.


HARED platform is a concept that is gaining acceptance among companies globally. The idea ensures that an information and technology (IT) platform is shared by various departments and workers in a company. The aim is to reduce the cost of operations, engender competition and promote efficiency.

Developed in Europe and the United States in the 90s, it has become the most soughtafter concept. It has assisted companies in keeping and managing the flow of information or data among various departments and workers. Also, it enables organisations to co-ordinate the activities of various units through the use of IT infrastructure, such as comput-

ers and servers. In bigger corporations, heads of department are linked electronically to speed up operations. There, they store information or data in a server, from where they are picked and distributed when the need arises, with minimal stress. The concept has helped companies in increasing the work-rate of certain categories

of workers to stimulate growth. Before this period, companies adopted measures to improve the performance of their workers, and bring about the muchneeded growth. They organised human development workshops, exposed their • Continued on page 38




Sharing IT platform to survive •Continued from page 37

workers to latest information and technology communication (ICT) facilities, and provided offshore training to enhance their workers skills. Though the measures have succeeded in boosting performance, they have not been able to address the cost of operation. No wonder companies are eager to adopt the idea of a ‘shared platform’ to speed up activities and further engender growth. They include banks, insurance firms, maritime agencies, manufacturing companies, and oil and gas firms. For instance, banks in 2005 acquired a Flexcube software to ensure seamless integration of their activities. Through this, they have been coordinating their programmes to ensure good profitability. One major benefit is that the software allows banks to manage their branches, as well as provide workers with the opportunity to distribute data among themselves. Recently, the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), Lagos Chapter, embraced the shared platform to stimulate growth. The association partnered with Encore International Limited to provide a single platform for the over 200 microfinance banks operating in Lagos. Encore International is an IT firm based in India. The firm produces software that integrates the activities of companies for growth. Former NAMB Chairman, the late Olufemi Babajide, said the adoption of a shared platform for the banks was meant to stimulate the growth of the workers and the banks. He said the banks would be able to reduce the cost of production, when they share a single IT platform together. He said the banks spent a lot of money to install IT facilities for their operations, adding that the idea of a shared platform would improve the performance of the workers. He said: “What we do is to install IT equip-


•Minister of Technology and Communications, Omobola Johnson

ment individually. On the average, it costs each microfinance bank a minimum of N5 million to put in place robust information and technology software for operations. By robust software, I’ m talking about a software that would help the banks to render returns, and reduce the mental and physical stress that accompanied manual rendition of accounts. Before now, each of the banks spent N15 million to install robust software for operations. What we are saying now is

that we want all the banks to share a single platform and improve efficiency.” He said Encore International would, henceforth, provide a single platform to coordinate the activities of the banks. He said with a single platform in place, the banks would be able to concentrate on their core businesses, and further stimulate growth. “There is no economic sense in a bank installing software for as much as N10 million, in addition to annual subscription of

‘An average employer is interested in cutting cost as much as possible. He is interested in service delivery. He wants the best from his workers. It is a case of the fewer the merrier. Many companies have been able to increase their work process, by embracing the concept of a shared platform’

N2 million. But with the adoption of a shared platform concept, it would be easier for the banks to have a centralised and improved method of coordinating their activities. Also, the banks will no longer pay heavily for such facilities. May be each bank will now be paying N100,000 per annum to the IT firm. This will bring about uniformity in our reporting patterns,” he added. According to him, the idea will bring about an efficient workforce and subsequently reduce the cost of operations to rock -bottom level. The concept, he said, is market driven, arguing that it would create jobs for marketers in the long run. Chairman, Gold Microfinance Bank Limited, Mr Lanre Abiola, said the banks are bearing the huge cost of installing and maintaining the IT facilities together. He said poor power supply has affected the operations of the facilities, adding that the banks sometimes battle with network problems. He said it is either the servers are down or the facilities are not working well. The development, he said, has affected the performance of the workers, and the banks in particular. The Chief Executive Officer, New Horizons Computer Training Centre, Mr Tim Akano, said shared platform is gaining prominence in the country. Akano said the need to maximise profits made companies to embrace the idea. “An average employer is interested in cutting cost as much as possible. He is interested in service delivery. He wants the best from his workers. It is a case of the fewer the merrier. Many companies have been able to increase their work process, by embracing the concept of a shared platform,” he said. He said companies achieve a lot by training their workers on how to exchange data through electronic means. Akano urged companies to acquaint themselves with IT facilities to get the best from them, adding that the idea of a shared platform is crucial to the growth of an organisation. “Remember, we are in an IT age. The world has gone digital. Individuals and companies are not ready to waste time. I think this informed the decision of many organisations to embrace the idea of a shared platform. Through this, they are carrying out a lot of activities together at a reduced cost,” he said.



HE interview is one of the most important elements in the job search process. When an employer invites you to an interview, he/she is indicating an interest in bringing you on board. The interview gives both of you the opportunity to exchange enough information to determine if you are a good “fit” for each other. Think of an interview as a highly focused professional conversation. You should use the limited amount of time you have to learn about an employer’s needs and discuss the ways you can meet these needs. In many cases, you will interview at least twice before being hired for a position. Once in a brief screening interview and at least once again in a more serious meeting when you may also speak with many of your potential coworkers. The job interview is a strategic conversation with a purpose. Your goal is to show the employer that you have the skills, background, and ability to do the job and that you can successfully fit into the organisation and its culture. The interview is also your opportunity to gather information about the job, the organisation, and future career opportunities to figure out if the position and work environment are right for you. Most employers do not hire people based on merit alone. Personality, confidence, enthusiasm, a positive outlook, and excellent interpersonal and communication skills count heavily in the selection process. After your cover letter and résumé, the interview is your best opportunity to wow the employer-regardless of your background and experience. To do this, use every possible strategy to develop effective interviewing skills. The best way is to prepare a selective presentation of your background, thoughtful answers to potential interview questions, well-researched questions about the organisation, and an effective strategy to market yourself. Also consider your career goals and what the available job offers so that you can discuss both of these topics with employers. Interview-

Making success of job interview By Olu Oyeniran

ing is a skill that improves and becomes easier with practice. Check with your school career centre or your local Employment Service office to see if it offers workshops and individual videotaped mock interviews for practice.


It is to your advantage to carefully research the job and the organisation. There are many ways to do this. You can request printed materials from the employer, such as annual reports and job descriptions. This is an entirely appropriate request, so don’t hesitate to make it. Use your library and career center resources. Ask colleagues, friends, and faculty about the organisation, and about any personal contacts at the organisation they might have. Look at the organisation’s home page. Knowing about the job will help you prepare a list of your qualifications so that you can show, point by point, why you are the best candidate.

Practice, practice, practice

Prepare a succinct, clear answer to each of the questions in the interview questions section. Practice answering questions with a friend, or in front of a mirror. Ask your friend to give you constructive criticism on your speaking style, mannerisms, and poise. As you practice, avoid colloquialisms, such as “like” and “you know.” Make sure you don’t script all your answers-you’ll sound as though you’re reading cue cards! It’s important to prepare yourself for talking with complete strangers.

Find out logistics of interview

The more you know, the more focused your answers will be. Find out when the inter-

view is scheduled, what to expect during it, and how long you will be there. Also find out if you will be talking to just one person, or to several.

Be prompt and professional

Always arrive early. If you don’t know where the organisation is located, call for exact directions in advance. Leave some extra time for any traffic, parking, or unpredictable events. If you are running late, call right away and let someone know. The best time to arrive is about 10 minutes early. Give yourself the time to read your résumé one more time, to catch your breath, and to be ready for the interview. Once you’re at the office, treat everyone you encounter with respect. Be pleasant to everyone as soon as you walk in the door.

Dress for success

Wear a professional business suit. This point cannot be emphasised enough. First impressions are extremely important in the interview process. Women should avoid wearing too much jewelry or make up. Men should avoid flashy suits or wearing too much cologne. It is also important that you feel comfortable. While a suit is the standard interview attire in a business environment, if you think it is an informal environment, call before and ask. Regardless, you can never be overdressed if you are wearing a tailored suit.

refer to your list of questions to be sure you’ve gathered the information you need to make a decision. Do not be preoccupied with taking notes during the interview.

Know yourself

You will make the interview process easier for the employer if you volunteer relevant information about yourself. Think about how you want to present your strengths, experiences, education, work style, skills, and goals. Be prepared to supplement all your answers with examples that support the statements you make. It is also a good idea to review your résumé with a critical eye and identify areas that an employer might see as limitations or want further information. Think about how you can answer difficult questions accurately and positively, while keeping each answer brief.

Be honest

An interview gives the employer a chance to get to know you. While you do want to market yourself to the employer, answer each question with an honest response.

Be positive

Never say anything negative about past experiences, employers, or courses and professors. Always think of something positive about an experience and talk about that. You should also be enthusiastic. If you are genuinely interested in the job, let the interviewer know that.

Be organised

Carry a portfolio notepad or at the very least a manila file folder labeled with the employer’s name. Bring extra résumés and have the names, addresses and phone numbers of references, in case the employer asks. Also, bring a list of questions for the employer. You may

Olu Oyeniran is the Lead Consultant, EkiniConsult & Assoiciates. Website: E-mail: Tel 08083843230 (SMS Only).




Laws, processes for payment of taxes, by FIRS


HE following list shows the tax kinds of collectible by the Federal Internal Revenue Taxes (FIRS), addresses the enabling legislation, the taxpayer, how and where to pay the tax.

Companies Income Tax (CIT)

Applicable tax law for persons subject to the Companies Income Tax (CIT): • All companies incorporated in Nigeria with the exception of companies engaged in petroleum operations. • All non-resident (foreign) companies that earn or derive income from Nigeria. • All organisations limited by guarantee (institutions of public character or charitable organisations) engaged in profit making activities other than the promotion of their primary objects. • The liquidator, receiver, or agent of liquidator or receiver of any taxable company or organisation. Where to pay CIT Companies incorporated in Nigeria and organisations limited by guarantee pay Companies Income Tax through any of the designated banks. Once payment has been captured by the bank collecting system, an e-ticket is issued is issued the company, this e-ticket is proof of payment and when presented at the Integrated Tax Office with jurisdiction an e-receipt will be issued. Non-resident companies make payment through remittance of tax deducted at source to the designated banks. How to pay CIT • Resident companies and organisations prepare and submit annual self-assessment tax returns as specified by FIRS accompanied by the evidence of the payment of the full amount or first installment of the tax due. Payment is made to designated banks • Non-resident companies are subject to Withholding Tax (WHT) deductions on the income they earn from Nigeria. This becomes their tax upon filing returns. Petroleum Profits Tax (PPT) Applicable tax law for persons subject to the Petroleum Profits Tax (PPT): • Companies engaged in petroleum exploration and production operations in Nigeria (up-stream operations) • A person resident in Nigeria, employed in the management of the petroleum operations carried on by a non-resident company • The liquidator, receiver, or agent of liquidator or receiver of any company carrying on petroleum operations in Nigeria. Where to pay PPT Companies carrying on petroleum operations in Nigeria make offshore payments to JP Morgan Chase Bank, the bank then advises the Central Bank of Nigeria to enable the bank credit FIRS accordingly. How to pay PPT Every company engaged in petroleum operations prepares and submits yearly returns as specified by the Petroleum Profits Tax Act within five months of the end of each assessment year. Payment is in two segments beginning with filing of estimated annual return not later than ending of February of each year. Payment for the tax due is then made in twelve monthly installments beginning from March of each year. Where the actual tax liability arising from the annual tax returns exceeds the cumulative estimated tax, a 13th month installment is payable and where the contrary is the case, a refund is due. Value Added Tax (VAT) Applicable tax law for persons subject to the Value Added Tax (VAT): Any individual, corporation sole, group, body corporate or organisation that consumes buys, procures or imports taxable goods or services is liable to pay the tax. How to pay the VAT. • During direct sales or open market transactions, the buyer or consumer shall pay the tax to the seller together with the cost of the goods or services bought. The seller then nets off the VAT paid at the time of purchase of the stocks sold from the VAT collected on the stocks sold and credit the balance to FIRS. • Where the goods or services were supplied to a Ministry, Department or Agency (MDA) or a company engaged in oil operations, the VAT payable by the MDA or oil company is deducted or withheld at source (at the point of payment). It is then credited directly to FIRS on behalf of the supplier • VAT payments are made monthly not later than 21days of every subsequent month. Tax payers prepare and submit monthly VAT returns accompanied by evidence of payment of the tax due at designated banks. Where to pay the Value Added Tax VAT remittances may be made at any designated bank, an eticket is immediately issued as evidence of payment. This eticket may be presented at the ITO and an e-receipt will be issued the taxpayer. Personal Income Tax (PIT) Applicable tax law for Personal Income Tax Act (PITA):

• Persons subject to the Personal Income Tax Individuals resident in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. • Families, communities, trustees and estates resident in the Federal Capital Territory. • Persons employed in the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force and Nigeria Police other than in civilian capacity. • A person resident outside Nigeria who derives income or profit from Nigeria. • Officers of the Nigerian foreign service. Where to pay PIT • Persons employed in the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force and Nigeria Police, other than in civilian capacity, pay income tax at the designated banks • Individuals and enterprises in FCT pay at the designated banks obtain an e-ticket and may request an e-receipt at the Individual and Enterprise Tax Office, Abuja. • Organisations, companies and MDAs pay at designated banks, obtain their e-tickets and may request for the e-receipts at the Large Tax Office (LTO), Abuja. How to pay PIT • Persons on paid employment pay their personal income tax through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system. Under the system, employers deduct the prescribed tax from workers’ salaries and pay directly to the FIRS through the designated banks on behalf of the employees on a monthly basis Any individual, corporation sole, group, body corporate or organisation self-employed individuals and enterprises prepare and submit annual self-assessment tax returns as specified by FIRS accompanied with evidence of payment of the full amount or first installment of the tax due. All payments are made at the designated banks. Withholding Tax (WHT) Applicable tax law Withholding Tax (WHT) is not a distinct tax type and therefore has no legislation of its own. It is only a mechanism for the collection of other taxes. Consequently, its application is provided for in the enabling law of other tax types i.e. Section 81 of Company Income Tax Act, Section 54 of Petroleum Profit Tax Act, Section 73 of Personal Income Tax Act and Section 13 of Value Added Tax (VAT) Act. Persons subject to the Withholding Tax (WHT) Persons subject to the various tax types may be subject to Withholding Tax deductions for the purpose of offsetting their tax liabilities. WHT deductions are regarded as advance payments (or payments on account) of the relevant tax liability that will arise from the tax returns of the period concerned. Where to pay the WHT: Where the person benefiting from the payment and the income are taxable, Withholding Tax (WHT) is paid (deducted) at the point of making payment. It is withheld by the payee and the net amount is then paid to the beneficiary through the designated bank(s). How to pay WHT The amount deducted at the point of payment is remitted directly to FIRS through a designated bank in a prescribed format in the name of the person subject to the deduction. Education Tax (EDT) Applicable tax law for persons subject to the Education Tax All companies liable to Companies Income Tax are also liable to Education Tax. In other words, all companies registered or resident in Nigeria are liable to pay Education Tax. Where to pay the Education Tax: Education Tax is paid at the point of payment of Companies Income Tax or Petroleum Profits Tax. How to pay Education Tax As part of the annual Companies Income Tax self-assessment returns, taxable persons also compute and submit their Education Tax liabilities and make payment at the designated bank.

‘Every company engaged in petroleum operations prepares and submits yearly returns as specified by the Petroleum Profits Tax Act within five months of the end of each assessment year. Payment is in two segments beginning with filing of estimated annual return not later than ending of February of each year. Payment for the tax due is then made in twelve monthly installments beginning from March of each year. Where the actual tax liability arising from the annual tax returns exceeds the cumulative estimated tax, a 13th month installment is payable and where the contrary is the case, a refund is due’

• Acting Executive Chairman, FIRS, Alhaji Kabir Mohammed Mashi Stamp Duties (STD) Applicable tax laws for persons subject to Stamp Duties The items and persons subject to stamp duties are instruments (written documents) relating to matters executed between a company and an individual, group or body of individuals. Instruments which may be subject to stamp duties include financial instruments/transactions, company memorandums and articles of association, statements of share capital ownership, bonds, conveyances on sale, depositions, lease agreements, mortgage bonds, debentures, etc. Where to pay Stamp Duties Stamp duties on eligible instruments can be paid through designated banks. How to pay Stamp Duties Companies and persons issuing or dealing with all chargeable instruments shall submit such instruments to the Stamp Duties Office for stamping. The Commissioner of Stamp Duties shall then assess the instruments submitted in line with the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act and specify the duties payable. The duties are then paid to FIRS at the designated bank. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Applicable tax laws to persons and properties subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) All companies incorporated in Nigeria which earns any capital gains or gains on the disposal of all forms of assets. All forms of property (whether situated in Nigeria or not) that are liable to capital gains tax include: • Options, debts and incorporeal property generally; • Any currency other than Nigerian currency; and • Any form of property created by the person disposing of it, or otherwise coming to be owned without being created Where to pay CGT Capital Gains Tax is paid at the designated at which the company making the chargeable capital gain pays its Companies Income Tax. How to pay CGT In line with the provisions of the Capital Gains Tax Act and the self-assessment regulations presently in operation, a company shall compute the gains on the disposal of all forms of assets in each year of assessment and submit same together with its Companies Income Tax returns. The returns shall also be accompanied by evidence of the payment of the full amount or first installment of the tax due. Payment is made to the designated bank. National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDF) levy National Information Technology Development Agency Act, 2007 for persons subject to NITDF levy Companies and enterprises with an annual turnover of N100 million and above operating as: • GSM Service Providers or telecommunications companies: • Cyber companies and internet providers; • Pensions managers and pension related companies; • Banks and other financial institutions; • Insurance companies. Where to pay NITDF levy The levy is paid through the designated bank at which the chargeable companies pay their Companies Income Tax How to pay NITDF Levy As part of its Companies Income Tax returns, a company shall compute one per cent of the profit before tax of each year of assessment. The tax due shall then be paid to FIRS through the designated bank.





MONDAY MAY 19, 2014



EDO POLITICS Old and new members of the progressive bloc in Edo State are fighting over the soul of the All Progressives Congress (APC), ahead of next year’s elections, reports OTABOR OSAGIE.


2015 aspirations divide Edo APC

HE All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders in Edo State are making frantic efforts to unite the party, following the crisis that broke out over the recent ward, local government and state congresses. Observers believe that the crisis may spell doom for the party, if it is not nibbed in the bud. Already some chieftains led by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu have defected from the party. Their resignation followed the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum issued by IzeIyamu’s supporters to Governor Oshiomhole to cancel the recent APC membership registration and congresses at the ward and local government levels. The protesters had other demands. They have accused the governor of monopolising the control of the party. They also wanted him to carry along other party leadersm, including former Governor John Oyegun, in the running of the party. Apart from Ize-Iyamu, those who left the chapter include the Chairman of defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Prince Tony Omoaghe, Edo State Deputy Chairman Alhaji Usman Shagadi, House of Representatives member from Etsako Constituency Mr. Abubakar Momoh, Mr. Godwin Eshieshie, Chief Alemoh Akhigbe, Kasimu Dokpesi, APC Senatorial Woman Leader Mrs. Bekilas Imisara, Mrs Evelyn Omorodion and Mr Lukman Mohammed, former member of Edo Sate House of Assembly. Others are three members of the House of Assembly-Patrick Osayimen (Oredo East), Jude Ise-Idehen (Ikpoba-Okha), Patrick Aisowieren (Orhiomwon North) and Friday Ogieriakhi (Orhionmwon South). Omoaghe, who read the communique issued at the end of their meeting in BeniniCity,the state capital, said the members of the party were thirsty for a sense of belonging. “The relinquishing of control and monopoly of the party will pave the way for an inclusive political system, which respects the sanctity of internal democracy, devoid of deliberate sponsorship of rancour and fractionalisation within the party,” he added. The communiqué reads in part: “The governor has encouraged division and fractionali-sation in all parts of the state and ensured the marginalisation of party faithful, who have refused to join his faction of the party. He single handedly handpicked the current interim executive committee of the party and has given them a marching order to do his bidding, to the dismay of party faithful. “The governor has marginalised most members of the legacy parties, which came together to form the APC, especially those from the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), in total disregard of the directive of the national body. The governor has blurred the lines between government and the party structures by using the machineries and functionaries of government to hijack the party to serve very selfish political interests.” The governor denied the allegations, saying that he has promoted internal democracy and cohesion. Before the expiration of the ultimatum, IzeIyamu met President Goodluck Jonathan and Chief Tony Anenih in Abuja. At the meeting, he unfolded his plan to dump the APC. Sources said that Ize-Iyamu was offered the deputy governorship ticket by the PDP while other defectors were promised juicy appointments. They were also told to register at their various wards. Now, plans are underway to receive into the PDP by President Jonathan in Benin-City. It was learnt that when the group returned from Abuja, Oshiomhole called for a peace meeting. But, their demands shocked the governor. The demands include the sacking of some commissioners and the harmonisation of the elected party officials in their favour.

• Oshiomhole

Many party chieftains are of the opinion that Ize-Iyamu’s ambition to succeed the overnor in 2016 is responsible for division in the party. Signs of a crack had emerged in 2012 when the pastor kicked against Oshiomhole’s choice of Dr. Pius Odubu as his running mate, ahead of the election. There were protests and political bickering against the choice of Odubu. But, the governor was resolute. Odubu has not declared his intention to run for the governoshing election. But, close associates have confided that he is interested in the number one seat because there are indications that the APC will zone the ticket to Edo South Senatorial District, where both IzeIyamu and Odubu hail from. Party sources said that other members of the Grace Group led by Ize-Iyamu may defect, if the governor fails to reassure them that they will have a sense of belonging. In the past, the group coordinated the political onslaught against Anenih when Chief Lucky Igbinedion was the governor. Members of the group were deregistered from the PDP, making them to defect to the ACN. Analysts believe that the group is still intact in the APC. At different times, Oshiomhole had boasted that the defunct ACN was not just a party, but a mass political movement that has redefined politics in the state. He was misunderstood, until the APC conducted its ward and local government congresses. The ‘mass political movement’ reared its head at the rescheduled ward congresses in Edo South District. An earlier congress was cancelled after supporters of Ize-Iyamu protested against the alleged harassment, intimidation and disappearance of electoral officers. Ize-Iyamu was however defeated. He won in only eight wards out of 77 wards. At his Ugbokoniro ward, there was no election. The group loyal to Odubu insisted on the accreditation before voting. But, Ize-Iyamu said voters on the queue should be counted without accreditation. Party sources however, said that Oshiomhole may not even back the deputy governor at the primaries as another successor is being groomed. Smart Osagiede, a loyalist of Ize-Iyamu said:


“A bad process can never result to anything positive. The process was a sham, it was designed to fail. Some of us had lost faith in our democratic process, until a couple of years ago when Edo State began a new trail and became a reference point. However, with what we saw during the ward congress, it is obvious that we are back to where we thought we have left behind.” The APC Interim Publicity Secretary, Comrade Godwin Erhahon, denied the allegations. He said in a statement that the demand for the cancellation of the ward and local government congresses after defeat was the ranting of a crumbling political bloc. He said the party has advised the governor not to submit to the group’s blackmail. According to him, “Edo APC will be better off without traitors and desperadoes in its midst.” Erhahon added: “It is Pastor Ize-Iyamu who desperately wanted to hijack the party and manipulate the process for his governorship desperation. Shortly after the registration of the APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, had attempted to single-handedly nominate the chairman and members of the Interim Committee as a ploy for manipulating the party structures towards his governorship ambition. “When he failed to achieve his selfish goal that night, he stormed out of that meeting, into the waiting arms of PDP leaders, who held another meeting with him, in the residence of his friend, at Aiguobasimwin Crescent, GRA, Benin City, where he told them to prepare for his return to the PDP. By 6 a.m that same morning, the PDP was already celebrating in social media that the APC was crumbling. “The result of his disregard for the majority, promotion of fractional strife, peddling of false rumours, which have often backfired, is the woeful defeat of his group in the congresses . The APC women’s wing has been praying to God to flush out from the party such divisive elements, economic wolves and infidels, who constitute obstacles to the developmental strides of the comrade governor. We can only now thank the women’s wing for the efficacy of their prayers.” Pastor Ize-Iyamu however, said it was not his governorship ambition that led to his defection. He said: “The problem in Edo North that warranted Alhaji Shagadi, Abubakar Momoh,

‘Many party chieftains are of the opinion that IzeIyamu’s ambition to succeed the overnor in 2016 is responsible for division in the party. Signs of a crack had emerged in 2012 when the pastor kicked against Oshiomhole’s choice of Dr. Pius Odubu as his running mate, ahead of the election’

who is in the House of Reprentatives to resign, was it Ize-Iyamu’s ambition that caused that? There are fundamental problems in the party. I read somewhere that they also said those of us who left were actually like cancer in the party. With this confession, they are also trying to say that the party is terminally ill. If they think that the cancer has left because we have left, let me tell him that they will now realise that the cancer has not left because when you have cancer, which is a terminal illness, what it means is that the party is set to die. “In the next few days, you will see more people leaving the party. It is regrettable that a party that we laboured to build is going this way. Unfortunately, the governor is being held hostage by people who have no idea on how a party is run and how a party is managed and their utterances have confirmed that. “What makes you think that because I am in the APC, I don’t have a right to see the President? And there is nothing wrong in interacting with people in other parties. I am not detained in theAPC. My membership of the APC cannot reduce the freedom that the constitution confers on me to interact and to associate. So, for him to say that going to see the PDP leaders and the President amounts to anti-party activity tells you how shallow they are. Nobody forced us into the APC and nobody can detain us in the APC. “So, I sympathise with some persons in the APC, but it is clear to me that, as long as they have the present leadership they have at the state level, the party is doomed. And for some us who have little political experience, we would rather not be there when the party is destroyed and that was why we left”. A leader of ‘Edo in Safe Hands’, a proOshiomhole group, Mr. Godwin Imoudu, said that the defection of Ize-Iyamu will not affect the party. He also said that, after completing his two terms of eight years, the governor will hand over to a competent person. Imoudu said: “As a member of the APC, I will continue to appeal to all parties to tow the path of peace because no other platform will give them the opportunity of redeeming their image and become a part of the effort to rescue Nigeria. Governor is building a new crop of young leaders and the old brigade is fighting this new order.” A Benin-based socio-political group, the Global Democratic Initiative (GDI) has however, appealed to warring groups within the APC to sheath their swords and resolve their differences. Its Coordinator, Odoligie Edebiri , urged the Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu-led group to accept whatever wound inflicted on them during the party congresses as sacrifice for democracy. Edebiri said that that the harmonisation of party structures, based on the principle of equity, will promote peace. He said: “We waited till now because we hoped that the appeal panel set up by the party from the fall-out of the party congresses would have submitted its report. “This would have been the basis for the reconciliation of the warring factions. Unfortunately, the findings is not forthcoming and our great party is being torn into shreds.” A chieftain of the APC, Mr. Onoguekhian Eboigbe, a lawyer, said the internal crisis has its premise on the succession battle in the APC, ahead of 2016. He said Edo people looked forward to the emergence of a succeessor who will continue with the governor’s developmental strides. Eboigbe added: “The reason the group loyal to Ize-Iyamu resigned wass because the members believe the APC belongs to them. But they failed to realise that younger ones are coming up. Pastor Ize-Iyamu is popular among the old ACN. These people cannot win election. Our party is strong and we will win.”



POLITICS The Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Independent Communication Network Limited, Prince Adebayo Onanuga, is a senatorial aspirant in Ogun East District. The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain spoke with ADEBISI ONANUGA on his ambition and plans for his constituency.

Osun poll: Public Complaints Commission warns against violence

‘Why I want to be senator’ T I N your opinion, what should be the focus of government at this time? If you want to run for an office and you cannot provide free education, you cannot provide employment, you cannot provide good health, then, you have no reason going there. Government should make the country a place where an average Nigerian would wake up thinking of what to cook or purchase what to eat, not wake up thinking that the landlord is coming soon to knock at the door requesting for the house rent debt. Government should begin to look into welfare programmes that will have positive impact on our people. If 100 per cent Nigerian graduate in a year, hardly would 10 per cent of them get jobs. They are abandoned after the one year service to the nation, which is callous of the government. Government can make all Nigerians to have access to employment, good roads, good water, good health, and others. Today, in Nigeria, good health is so prohibitive. When they go to hospitals, they give them prescriptions they can’t even afford. Statistics, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), reveal that about 70 per cent of Nigerians were living below one dollar daily was not encouraging. With a welfare programme in place, it is possible for Nigerians to wake up without thinking about where the next meal will come from. It should not be a problem for any Nigerian who loses his job to think about how he will pay his house rent. It should not be a problem for a man who has worked for 35 years to worry about life after retirement, especially, considering the insufficiency of the contributory pension scheme. Is it not confounding to you that Nigerians are poor, despite the country’s abundant resource? It’s very pathetic. We hear the President say Nigeria is a very rich country at a time when all indicators show Nigeria is a very poor country. If the President says we are the richest country, we really need to let him know that he doesn’t understand the problems of the country. Our President needs to go out there, go to markets, and to the streets to see that some people are really living in penury. Politics should not be a thing where one would think, having worked for 40 years and retired, it is where to make money. If you look at the money given to civil servants, the money is too small. In one’s career as a civil servant, one might not have more than three or four million naira as pension. If you are a politician and even, if you spend one month, the pension is a lot of money. Statistics by the United Nations Development Programme, (UNDP) stating that about 70 percent of Nigerians were living on below one dollar daily was not encouraging. With a welfare programme in place, it is possible for Nigerians waking up without thinking about where the next meal will come from. It should not be a problem for any Nigerian who loses his job to think about how he will pay his house rent. It should not be a problem for a man who has worked for 35 to 40 years serving his country to worry about life after retirement, especially, considering the insufficiency of the contributory pension scheme. How do you see the health careservices in the country? Health delivery services are still generally expensive, as many

Nigerians cannot afford basic healthcare. Nigeria should seek to emulate the British example, whereby laws to establish welfare programmes are created, which must be fundamental and enforceable. Our country should begin to look into instituting welfare programmes that would have impact on our people. It is frustration and desperation that forces the hands of youths into vice and the first way to cushion the effects of unemployment is through social support. Politics is not a do-or-die affair for me, but I believe that our nation is condemned to more decades of poverty, until we put the right people in the right position. How can insecurity be tackled? Look at the security issue now, the people have been telling the government to establish local Police. But they are deaf, they cannot see it. If there is any security threat, the local police would have known that something is coming. In Nigeria today, there is no intelligence. The security agencies don’t even know what’s going on, they don’t have information. If you have a local police manned by local people, who mixes freely with people, they will have information and know what’s going on. Our communities are not manned by locals. A police could be posted from Maiduguri to Isonyin where they speak Ijebu dialect. How is he supposed to understand what they are saying? They can even be deliberating on how to kill him and he won’t be able to understand the dialect. Babangida tried establishing local Police but he was stopped by those who don’t understand what the man is trying to do. Police has to be localized for effectiveness. Today in Nigeria, the Police are funded majorly by the state. One day, I was speaking with a senior ranked policeman who told me that all the patrol vehicles in the state were purchased by the Lagos state government. Also, in Ogun state here, all the Armoured Personnel Carriers and vehicles were purchased by the state government. Then one would wonder what the role of the Federal Government is. Why don’t we loosen the chain of command and let the states have their own share. Let the federal government equip and take care of their police while the states also take care of its own. All the fears, thoughts and ideas that state police will be abused if created are not true. Is the federal one not abused today? Are there no laws in place to see to affairs of the Police? Today, the idea of state police will happen, either we like it or not, because of all these insurgencies and all sorts of anti community vices. The Federal Government is in charge of the Police and Army and it can’t safeguard the lives of our people. Recently, 276 girls were missing and the Federal Government cannot tell us where they are. State or

‘I think it’s illogical and unfounded to think that the state police will eventually be abused. We must find the courage to do something new to bring collaborative capacity to law enforcement’


community police will have great impact as it has been tested and practised in other countries. So, our government should adopt the idea as well. Our greatest challenge now is that of security and it will hold sway for us to dig deep as a nation on how to address this issue. I think it’s illogical and unfounded to think that the state police will eventually be abused. We must find the courage to do something new to bring collaborative capacity to law enforcement. Are you saying that the PDP has failed us? Yes. The PDP has been in government since 1999. They have a very strong state when they came in, but as at today, what we have is a weak state, a fragile one. It is so clear that what we have today is not a state. We are moving closer to Somalia. Boko Haram is coming from the north raiding our people, attacking our cities, killing people and there is no resistance from our so called Army or Police. It shows our state is weak. A state must be able to provide security for lives and properties. Are we providing that? If we don’t have that, what else do we have? Is it all about buying presidential fleet? If I cannot sleep with my two eyes closed, then I live in Somalia. My belief is that, if Nigerians are really thinking normal, no right thinking Nigerian would vote for PDP upon all these failures. The country is unraveling right under their nose. Right thinking Nigerians should vote out the party, they have shown that they can’t govern Nigeria and the time is ripe to have an alternative which APC has provided. Why are you aspiring to be a senator? My ambition is driven by the fact I want change. In a modest way, poverty is the greatest challenge. I believe people can be taken out of the poor life they are living. I have interacted with a lot of poor people and I can feel their pain and I want to help them. A senator does not control funds, but he can use his position to leverage a lot of things and there are lots of opportunities to decide on how they can help people. I’m not going there to enrich myself because I don’t believe in enrichment. Too much money is not even good for me. We are being cheated by the leaders. I’m good at home and that’s why my people believe in me. My own primary goal is to constitute projects that will make our people come out of poverty, and enrich people of our constituency even if it is ten thousand. My primary assignment is to ameliorate poverty and get jobs for our people.

HE Public Compalaint Commission (PCC) has advised politicians in Osun State to shun violence, ahead of the governorship election. The commission also urged them to steer their supporters away from acts capable of breaching the public peace. It warned that unruly behaviour could lead to anarchy. The commision’s warning came on the heels of the brigandage, which marred the recent Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primaries in Osogbo, the state capital.The Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Jelili Adesiyan, was alleged to have used policemen to harass and intimidate former Governor Isiaka Adeleke, who competed with Senator Iyiola Omisore for the ticket. In a letter dated 11 April 2014 and signed by its National Commissioner, Professor Razaq Abubakre, the PCC said that the unruly behaviour at the primaries was a recipe for anarchy. It said that it was capable of sending wrong signals to stakeholders to obstruct peace, fair play and justice. The letter entitled: ‘Complaint on Arbitrariness and Abuse of Office’ read in part: “I wish to recall the disturbing incident of 3rd April, 2014 at the Ideal Nest Hotel, Ilobu Road, Osogbo in which you were alleged to have used policemen to harass, intimidate and embarrass Senator Isiaka Adeleke, the first civilian Governor of Osun State and the contestant to your own favoured candidate in your party for the gubernatorial ticket in your capacity as the Hon. Minister of Police Affairs. “It is obvious that this reported conduct is a recipe for anarchy, if all ministers were to act in the same manner. As a citizen of the State of the Virtuous, your reported action, if correct, will send a wrong signal to all the believers in justice and fair play around the globe. “Thus, there is need to thread with caution to avert insinuations making the round that you are acting out a script in collaboration with the Hon. Minister of the State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro to cause problems in the Southwest.” Abubakre added that the commission, as the ombudsman, has a duty to draw attention of anybody whose act may lead to injustice against any citizen. He said that the intimidation and embarrassment could engender injustice and causing anarchy, adding that such a behaviour was worrisome during the electioneering. Reacting to the letter, Adeleke’s media aide, Mr. Olumide Lawal, said: “This is definitely a cheering time for Senator Isiaka Adeleke, who was allegedly unjustly molested and humiliated by the trio of Senator Iyiola Omisore, Hon. Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Abdul Jelili Adesiyan and Sogo Agboola at the Ideal Nest Hotel Osogbo, before the PDP primarries. “To those who are aware of the alleged ugly incident, it was only Senator Adeleke’s political maturity and patriotic zeal, that saved hell from being let loose on the day under reference, Senator Adeleke proved, that he is truly a statesman who will not hurt a fly to achieve any political goal or whatever ambition. Senator Adeleke, as a man of peace, took the incident with philosophical calmness and thereafter sent a petition to President Jonathan, which was published in the newspaper of April 4, 2014 and copied major stakeholders in the PDP, to alert them principally, about what he went through in the hands of his fellow party men, over his rightful intention to partake of the April 5th, 2014 PDP governorship primary, which he eventually boycotted, out of his desire not to put lives of his supporters on the line, going by what he went through as an exalted personality at the Ideal Nest Hotel, Osogbo, Osun State. “It is indeed a welcome development that not all hopes are lost after all, as far as getting a listening ear to the complaints of oppressed members of the public of which Senator Adeleke was a victim, from those in authority, which the Public Complaints Commission has acted with precision and in good faith. “This exceplary official conduct by Osun State Public Complaints Commission should be emulated by those saddled with serving and protecting public interests. At last, Senator Isiaka Adeleke is vindicated and his peaceful conduct on the day of the alleged incident under reference has paid off. The chicken has come home to roost. “Senator Adeleke has counseled politicians and their supporters not to see their endeavours to seek political offices as a matter of life and death. He advised politicians to abhor violence and other ungodly conducts, as we march towards August 9 governorship election in Osun State, as God alone gives positions to whomsoever He willeth with• Adeleke out hazzles”.


‘Fayemi is best for Ekiti’

KITI State All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain Otunba Joseph Alake has urged the people to vote massively for Governor Kayode Fayemi in the interest of development. The politician described Fayemi as the best candidate for the job, stressing that he has achieved a lot in his first term. Alake, who spoke with reporters in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, laude the administration for fostering security and peace in Ekitland. He said the governor has endowed his postion with honour and visibility, adding that he has restored the pride of the state. Alake stressed: “There is no local government you will visit today and you will not feel ther impact of governance. Ekiti now has better roads, better hospitals, better schools and pride of dignity. It was not so in the past when people lived in panic in an atmosphere of political tenstion and intolerance.” The politician praised Fayemi for his reforms, which were designed to reposition the state for excellence. He said their impact would be felt beyong his administration, urging the people to renew his mandate. He alluded to the governor’s fidelity and commitment to transparency and ggood governance, pointing out that he has utilised the scare resource with prudence. The APC chieftain said Fayemi has blocked the loopholes and prevented graft in high places, making his administration a model in the Southwest zone. Alake commended the eminent indigenes who have defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC for making a correct and logical decision in the interest of Ekiti’s future. He said the election is about the next generation, charging the people to vote for a credible leadership. Alake added: “The name of Fayemi will be written in the letters of gold. We need to vote for him again so that he can build on what he ha done. The young man has restored our pride in Ekitiland.”












THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 19, 2014 USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS ON ANY EMERGENCY Council endorsed the useful phone numbers submitted by the security agents in case of any emergency on the metropolitan Roads. Accordingly, the public may easily contact KAROTA for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, and Illegal/Wrong Parking on – 08091626747. Similarly, the State Police Command could be contacted on – 08032419754, 08123821575. In addition, the State Fire Service can also be contacted on – 07051246833, 08191778888.




n solemn and prayerful meditation to the Almighty Allah for the safe release of the over 200 female students of Government Girls' Secondary School (GGSS) Chibok, Borno State, the Kano State Executive Council held its one hundred and forty ninth (149th) sitting today Wednesday 14th May, 2014 (15th Rajab, 1435 A H) under the Chairmanship of Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. Appropriately, the 149th sitting was dedicated to the recognition accorded to Kano State by the ProgressiveGovernorsForum for choosing Kano State to convene and deliberate on issues of serious concern for the development of education in the country generally, particularly in their respective domains. Kano State, under the current leadership of the second (2nd) incumbency of Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE, stands out as a beacon in the performance towards positive transformation of the education sector and system generally. Multitude of required projects, policies and programmes were and are continually executed superlatively that qualifies Kano State to occupy the exalted position in educational advancement. Only few examples can be cited as presentation of details is beyond this medium. All levels and aspects of the education sector/system were/are continually transformed. For examples: o At Basic Education Level - Over 2000 additional classrooms were constructed and furnished to improve and address the congestion problems in Basic Education/Primary Schools across the 44 Local Government Council Areas of Kano State. - Over 200 staff quarters were constructed in rural schools for the accommodation of teaching staff. - Provision of feeding free of charge at all Public owned Primary Schools in the State. - Provision of two (2) sets of brand new school uniforms to new intakes into all Public Primary Schools in the State. o At Secondary Education Level - Hundreds of existing schools were renovated and furnished. - Many unused/under - utilized public owned buildings were converted for use as secondary schools. Examples are the Drug/Medical Consumables Stores converted to Governor's College, Magwan Water Restaurant converted to First Lady's College, Yadakunya Psychiatric Hospital converted to GGSS Jan' Baki, former WRECA Workshop at Bagauda converted to a Technical College, etc. o At Post Secondary/Tertiary Level - Over twenty four (24) tertiary institutions (two Universities inclusive) were established and progressively maintained. - Over two thousand (2000) Kano State Indigenous Students were sponsored for Graduate and Post Graduate Studies in relevantly required courses such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Engineering, Piloting, etc. at institutions abroad and other States of the Federation. o At all levels - Education at all levels was declared to be provided free of charge in Kano State despite the capital intensity of the requirements. In a nutshell, the present administration in Kano State resolved to accord highest priority to the development of education due to the belief that "Investment ventured into for the development of the human being is essential and all encompassing". Notwithstanding, the Kano State Executive Council received and deliberated upon thirty five (35) memoranda submitted from nine (9) MDAs of which twenty two (22) were approved for execution with an expenditure of Two Hundred and Eighty Two Million, Two Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Seventeen Naira, Four Kobo (N282,216,017.04) covering eleven (11) projects as follows: 1. OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF CIVIL SERVICE The Kano State Head of Civil Service submitted four (4) memoranda for deliberations by Council. All were approved for execution. Thus: a) Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of the 20th Batch Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) Mandatory Workshop and Examination Pre-requisite for Attaining Managerial Position in Kano State:Attainment of managerial positions (i.e. GL 14 and above) in Kano State Civil Service is no more automatic. Officers on GL 13 have to qualify by attending the cited workshop and passing the prerequisite examinations. Council was intimated, through the contents of this memorandum that, the workshop is being conducted twice each year in collaboration between the Office of the Head of Civil Service (i.e. the Kano State Government) and the ASCON, Topo Badagry, Lagos. Main aim of the programme is to expose participants to Managerial and Administration Skills for effective service delivery. A total of 253 officers on GL 13 Officers from across the State Civil Service were earmarked as eligible for the workshop at the aggregate sum of N13,604,000.00, which was requested for release to cover for the successful conduct of the first (1st) Segment of the Workshop for the year 2014 (1stWeek of June, 2014). Council approved the request. b) Request for Funds to Sponsor Six (6) Staff from Kano State Multi-Door Court House to Attend a Professional Qualification Training/Examination Programme:For the six (6) staff to qualify for admission into the Associate Cadre of their profession, their participation in the cited training and passing the requisite examinations were presented to Council as mandatory. The State Head of Civil Service submitted the cited request for consideration by Council. Details on the names, salary grades, DTA, Local Running and Registration on the six (6) Staff were presented for consideration along with the request for the release of the aggregate sum of N1,455,000.00 for the stated purpose. Council approved the request. c) Request for Funds to Enable the Payment of First (1st) Batch (2014) Contract Gratuity in Respect of Ninety Six (96) Officers from Ten (10) Government Organizations:The Statutory Provisions on the cited request prompted Council to approve the release of the aggregate sum of N19,502,777.04 for disbursement to ninety six (96) Contract Officers from ten (10) Government Organizations as First (1st) Batch of the payment for the year 2014. Prior to this, Council acknowledged the presentation of the report on the successfully executed payment of the sum of N31,338,891.22 approved and released for the payment of Third (3rd) Batch

(2013) Contract Gratuity for 107 Contract Officers. d) Presentation of Notification on the Conduct of Fifth (5th) Retreat for Top Government Functionaries (2nd or 3rd Week June, 2014) at Kaduna:The content of this memorandum adequately traced the history and genesis of conducting retreats twice each year. Such is considered relevant for collective engagement in relation to evaluation of Government's policies, programmes and projects as per budgetary provisions. Importantly, the main theme for the Fifth (5th) Retreat is tagged as "Developing Sustainable Framework beyond 2015: The Consolidation Mechanism". CounRabi’u Musa Kwankawaso cil acknowledged the details presented for consideration and approved as follows: i. The granting for the conduct of the fifth (5th) Retreat at Kaduna. ii. The granting for liaison between the Ministry of Planning and Budget and the Office of the Head Civil Service to continue with all necessary arrangements by obtaining relevant cost implications for deliberation at the Executive Council Sitting. 2. OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT The Secretary to the State Government submitted nineteen (19) memoranda for deliberations by Council on behalf of the Chairman and some MDAs. Eleven (11) of them were approved for execution as follows: a) Presentation of an Offer of Scholarship for Undergraduate and Post - Graduate Studies for International Students by the Government of Turkey:The contents of this memorandum presented details on the offer of scholarship by Turkey Government to interested and qualified individuals desirous to undergo studies in that country. The scholarship arrangements covers monthly stipend (app. 250USD for undergraduate), full tuition fee, free one year Turkish Language course, free dormitory accommodation, Round-trip air tickets and Health Insurance. The scholarship is for medically fit Secondary School graduates who are not more than 21 years. Council deliberated on such an offer and directed the office of the Secretary to the State Government to publicize and coordinate the scheme for maximum participation of the state citizens. b) Presentation of First (1st) Quarter (January - March, 2014) Report from Private Health Institutions Registration Unit (PHIRU):The Secretary to the State Government tacitly notified Council, through the contents of this memorandum that, PHIRU is shouldered with the responsibility of Registration, Inspection, Monitoring and Controlling of all existing Private Health Institutions in the State. Its activities are guided by the Private Hospitals (Control) Edict No. 5 of 1985, Public Health Edict No. 4 of 1985 and the Operational Guidelines governing the activities of the Private Health Sector across the State. The First (1st) quarter (January - March, 2014) report on the activities of PHIRU in Kano State were summarized for Council noting. The report informed members that the sum of N2,463,210.00 (prosecution charges inclusive) was generated by the Unit in the first (1st) quarter of the year. The presentation was appreciatively acknowledged as Council commended the good work of PHIRU in sanitizing the activities of private hospital in the State. c) Presentation of Proposal for the Nomination and Sponsorship of Another Batch (for the year 2014/ 2015) of Kano State Indigenous Candidates to Participate at the National Power Training Institute Programme:Reportedly, thirteen (13) Kano State indigenous candidates were sponsored by the present administration to participate in the 2012/2013 training programme conducted by the National Power Training Institute, Abuja. Details of the performance results of the candidates were presented to Council for consideration. That out of the 13 students sponsored 7 of them passed at Merit Level and 3 havepass grade. However, 3 of the trainees absconded. The Report from the institute considered the performance of the sponsored candidates as satisfactory. Council acknowledged the presentation. d) Presentation of Fourth (4th) Quarter Report from the Kano State Public Complaints and AntiCorruption Commission (from May, 2011 to date):The content of this memorandum adequately traced the formative stages of the Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission thereby stating its main functions and activities from inception to date. The achievements of the Commission in the period under review were summarized and presented to Council for consideration. The Commission has received 530 Complaints/Petitions - from 2011 to 2013, out of which 229 cases were resolved. However, 230 cases are now pending and receiving the attention of the Commission while 25 were referred to Courts and 46 were withdrawn. Amongst the numerous achievements of the Commission was the recovery of the sum of N17,890,651.30 from individuals, State and Local Government Agencies, which were returned to their rightful owners. The presentation was acknowledged and appreciated by Council. e) Request for Funds to Enable the Payment of Registration Fees in Respect of Twelve (12) (IADNCS) and One (1) (IDITC) Omitted Students from the Kano Informatics Institute Term 1 and 2 of the 2014 Academic Session:This memorandum is a request for the payment of registration fees amounting to the sum of N2,625,000.00 in respect of 12 Advanced Diploma (IADNCS) and one Diploma Certificate (IDITC) Courses students from Kano State Informatics Institute. Details of the financial implications were summarized and presented to Council as follows: i. Twelve (12)(IADNCS) Students = N2,520,000.00. ii. One (1) (IDITC) Students = N105,000.00 Council approved the request for the release of the aggregate sum of N2,625,000.00 for the stated purpose. f) Presentation of Progress Report on the Employment Drive for 501 MSc. Graduates:The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Foreign Training submitted the cited progress report, which was presented to Council for noting by the Secretary to the State Government. Details of the


THE NATION MONDAY, MAY 19, 2014 employment vacancies earmarked for returnees amongst the 501 Kano State Indigenous Candidates sponsored for studies abroad were presented to Council as follows with the Northwest University, Kano approval for the absorption of 167 as Graduate Assistants (out of which only thirty (30) have returned for immediate employment) and Sa'adatu Rimi College of Education will employ twenty (20) of the returnees as Graduate Assistants having relevant qualifications. Other tertiary institutions are yet to submit their request. Council appreciated the report. g) Request for Funds to Enable the Procurement of Forty (40) Units of Learning Equipment for the State Education Sector:The memorandum intimated Council of the need for the supply of 40 units of "Integrated Technology Enabled Learning Solution" equipment for use in the Educational Sector of the State at the aggregate sum of $140,000.00 at $3,500.00 per Unit. Council considered the details presented as relevant and approved the release of the requested sum of $140,000.00 for the equipment. h) Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of Exhibition/Bazaar of Women Finished Products in Conjunction with the African Women Agric/Business Network (AWAN):The request was submitted from the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to Council for the release of the sum of N4,489,900.00 forthe conduct of exhibition of women finished products. The amount is to cover for Venue/Feeding, Publicity and Souvenir, hosting of participants and fueling of official vehicles. Council approved the release of the trimmed down sum of N3,000,000.00 for the stated purpose. i) Presentation of Composition of the Four (4) Nominees from the Business Community to Serve as Members of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC):The Secretary to the State Government notified Council that, Section 4 (4) and(6) of the Law on Consumer Protection provides that appointment of four (4) persons from the Business Community be made as Members of the Council. In the same vein, Section 7 provides for the remuneration of Members of the Board other than Ex-Officio Members. Council deliberated on the need for, and, approved the appointment of four (4) persons from the Business Community to serve as Members of the CPC, viz: i. Alhaji M. D. Yusuf KACCIMA ii. Alhaji Muhammad Adakawa Singer Market iii. Alhaji Mustapha Sudawa Dawanau Market iv. Alhaji Ya'u Karas Kurmi Market Council also approved the following remuneration as monthly allowances to the Board/Commission Members as follows: o Board Chairman N120,000.00 o Board Members N100,000.00 o Part - Time Members (Civil Service Commission) N100,000.00 o CRC (Secretary) N100,000.00 j) Request for Funds to Enable the Provision of Medical Assistance in Respect of Baba Muhammad Afflicted by Rheumatic Heart Disease:The contents of this memorandum presented Baba Muhammad as one (1) of the 197 Kano State indigenous students sponsored by the Kano State Government for a one (1) year top-up Degree Programme at the International University of East Africa, Kampala, Uganda. Reportedly, the student was afflicted by Rheumatic Heart Disease an illness that damages the heart valve resulting in scarring manifest in leakages of the valve or its narrowing. The student was recommended for surgery in India by the Institution at the sum of N2,225,500.00. Council approved the request. k) Presentation of First (1st) Quarter Report on the 197 Kano State Indigenous Students Sponsored for One (1) Year Top- Up Degree Programme in Uganda:The cited Progress Report was submitted from the State Ministry of Science and Technology. Essentially, the report was on the stand of current issues in respect of the 197 Kano State indigenous candidates sponsored by the State Government to undergo one (1) year Top-Up Degree Programme at the International University of East Africa (IUEA), Uganda, after completing the International Advanced Diploma on Information and Communication Technology at Kano Informatics Institute and Jigawa State Institute of Information Technology, Kazaure. Council appreciatively acknowledged the report and was delighted on the academic performance of the sponsored candidates now studying in Uganda. 3. MINISTRY OF HIGHER EDUCATION Only one (1) among the three (3) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Higher Education was approved for execution. Thus: Request for Funds for the Sponsorship of Late Justice Sadi Mato's Children Education for 2013/2014 Academic Session:The content of this memorandum was a request for the sponsorship of the education of the eleven (11) children sired by late Justice Sadi Mato up to University Level. The approval was granted on Wednesday 9th October, 2013. Details of the financial commitments for the 2013/2014 academic session in respect of the eleven (11) children were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the aggregate sum of N4,080,000.00 for the stated purpose. Council approved the request. 4. MINISTRY OF COMMERCE, INDUSTRY, COOPERATIVES AND TOURISM Two (2) of the three (3) memorandum submitted for deliberations by Council from this Ministry were approved for execution as follows: a) Presentation of Request on the production of Customized ID Card for Traders and Businessmen in Kano State:Council was reminded, through the contents of this memorandum, of its approval granted for the production of Customized reloaded ID Cards for Traders and Businessmen in Kano State. Essentially, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism was directed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Consultants towards the production of the ID Cards. Council acknowledged the presentation and directed the Kano State Ministry of Justice to vet the Memorandum of Understanding making sure that the interest of the State is assured. b) Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of Training of 1000 Traders for Entrepreneurship Skill Development:The Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism submitted the cited request for consideration by Council due to many reasons. Capacity building for the targeted beneficiaries is the main essence as the training is intended to encompass capacity building on entrepreneurship skills, which help in development competence, know-how, experience, attitudes, resource, management, etc. Further, details were presented to Council for consideration along with the request for the release of the aggregate sum of N18,850,000.00 to cover for the successful training of 1000 identified traders for entrepreneurship skills development. Council approved the release of N1,250,000.00 to undertake intensive publicity and sensitization of the targeted beneficiaries. 5. MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES One (1) of the two (2) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Water Resources was approved for execution. Thus: Presentation of Report on the Amalgamated Assistant Works Superintendent Training School (AWSTS):Pursuant to the directive issued by the State Executive Council to the Hon. Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport, the contents of this memorandum presented recommendations for the merger

of the two separate AWSTS (Challawa Training School and Sharada Training School) and the selection of leadership after the conversion of one of the school to a Secondary School under the Ministry of Education. Council deliberated on the recommendation and approved the appointment of Abdulkadir Mukaddas as the Coordinator to be deputized by Arabi Lawan of the new merged school. 6. MINISTRY OF PLANNING AND BUDGET The only memorandum submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Planning and Budget was approved for execution. Thus: Presentation of Report on HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care and Treatment Programmes:The Hon. Commissioner for Planning and Budget notified Council, through the contents of the memorandum that the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is committed towards providing support for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment across the globe. The sum of $3.4 Billion was committed in Nigeria from the year 2011 (i.e. at the rate of $458 Million on annual basis). PEPFAR realistically reviewed the performance of the programme across some States of the Federation to ensure judicious/effective utilization of its investment. Findings were satisfactory, which instigated the programme to remain committed in maintaining its current level of funding. This is to ensure a successful HIV/AIDS response and a free generation in Kano State and the Nation at large. The content of the memorandum requested and Council approved the doubling of efforts by the Kano State Ministry of Health, the State Primary Healthcare Management Board and the State Agency for the Control of AIDS (SACA) in the areas of the provision of adequate counseling and medication to various AIDS victims in the State. Council also considered and directed the State Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture to embark on proper enlightenment in that direction. 7. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT Council approved the execution of the request submitted in the contents of the only memorandum from the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport. Thus: Request for Funds to Enable Payment for Diesel (AGO) Supplied to the Taskforce Committee on the Installation /Repairs / Reactivation of Street and Traffic Control Lights in the Month of January, 2014:The Hon. Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport submitted the cited request as substantiated by the presentation of five (5) authenticated receipts from the approved Government supplier of the stated commodity (Diesel) totaling to the aggregate sum of N82,569,740.00. Authenticity of the request was considered by Council as approval was granted for the release of the sum of N82,569,740.00 for the Diesel supplied for electricity generation. 8. MINISTRY OF LAND AND PHYSICAL PLANNING Request for Funds to Enable Continuation with the Laying of Garden Interlock Tiles along the Pedestrian Walkways of Thirty (30) Additional Roads in Kano Metropolis:Laying of Garden Interlock Tiles along the pedestrian walkways of major roads in the metropolis was heralded among the most successfully executed projects towards the beautification of Urban Kano. So far, Council was amply notified that, KNUPDA had judiciously expended the aggregate sum of N1,120,056,090.71 released to it through twelve (12) approvals granted by the Kano State Executive Council from 12th December, 2011 to 14th March, 2014. Reportedly, a total of eighty four (84) metropolitan roads were provided with garden interlock tiles at the sum of N1,173,602,463.79, which was N53,641,257.24 higher than the sum of N1,120,056,090.71 approved and collected by KNUPDA for the entire project so far. In this vein, Council was requested to approve the release of the aggregate sum of N120,000,000.00 to cover for the outstanding payment (N53,641,257.24) and for the continuation of the project (N66,358,742.76). Council approved as requested. UPDATE ON ACTIVITIES OF THE 149TH EXCO SITTING 1. THE PROGRESSIVE GOVERNORS FORUM SECOND (2nd) GOOD GOVERNANCE LECTURE SERIES HELD ON MONDAY 12TH MAY, 2014 IN KANO Council delightfully acknowledged the successful ProgressiveGovernorsforum second (2nd) Good Governance Lecture of which the main theme was "Crisis in Nigeria's Education Sector:Addressing the Connect between Unemployment and Insecurity" at Africa House, Government House Kano. Topical issues where discussed at the Forum. GovernorEngr. Rabi'uMusaKwankwaso, FNSE presented highlights of the numerous achievements recorded by the Kano State Government in the Educational Sector, which include the construction and rehabilitation of Primary Schools, provision of free feeding, provision of School Uniforms to new intakes into Primary Schools, as well as provision of instructional materials. Others include the establishment of twenty four Tertiary Institutions (two Universities inclusive), sponsorship of qualified Kano State Indigenous Students for studies at reputable Universities for Graduate and Postgraduate training in various disciplines locally and abroad. Accordingly, the participants and the three (3) discussants concurred with the paper presentation delivered by the guest speaker particularly the general recommendations, which focused on Good Governance, Tackling Youth Unemployment, Dealing with Insecurity as formidable ways of addressing the crisis in Nigeria's Education Sector, connecting between Unemployment and Insecurity. 2. GOVERNOR ENGR. RABI'U MUSA KWANKWASO, FNSE OFFICIAL WORKING VISIT TO UGANDA Council noted with appreciation the outcome of the Governor's official working visit to Uganda where the entourage met with 197 Kano State Indigenous Sponsored Students of Information Technology, who are undergoing a one (1) year Top-up course which will lead to their obtaining a BSc. Degree Certificate. An Award was presented to the Governor in recognition of his brilliant performance in uplifting the living standards of the underprivileged in the society. Accordingly, the Governor made another epic activities in being the first (1st) Nigerian Political Office Holder to plant a live tree at Pan African Square, Uganda. 3. AZMAN AIR SERVICES FIRST FLIGHT TAKE OFF FROM THE MALAM AMINU KANO INTERNATIONALAIRPORT (MAKIA) Council noted the successful take off of the Azman Air Flight from the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) on Wednesday14thMay, 2014 and wishes the company success. 4. SWEARING - IN OF THE TWO (2) NEWLY APPOINTED HON. COMMISSIONERS AND A PERMANENT SECRETARY Council witnessed the swearing-in of the two (2) newly appointed Hon. Commissioners in the persons of Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna and Ali Ahmad Yako for the Ministries of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Higher Education respectively. At the same venue, Muktari Isa Danbatta was sworn-in as a Permanent Secretary. The appointees were urged to be hardworking and diligent in discharging their duties. Further, a Cabinet reshuffle was made as follow: i) Hon. Commissioner for Land and Physical Planning moved to the Ministry of Planning and Budget; ii) Hon. Commissioner for Planning and Budget moved to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning iii) Hon. Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism was moved to the Minis try of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture iv) Hon. Commissioner for Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture moved to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism Signed: Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports andCulture






CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

Fire razes 120 shops in Lagos market


T was a bad Sunday for traders at the popular Daleko Market in Isolo, a Lagos surburb, yesterday. An early morning fire razed over 120 shops and destroyed goods worth millions of naira. Many others shops were partially torched. The inferno was said to have been sparked by an electrical surge. No casualty was recorded as men of the Lagos State Fire Service arrived promptly for rescue operations. When The Nation visited the market, fire fighters and other emergency rescue agencies had cordoned off the affected

•N100m goods destroyed By Precious Igbonwelundu

areas. Traders were seen moving the charred remains of their wares to neighbouring streets, causing gridlock on the road. Those who could not rescue their goods stood speechless. Many others bemoaned their losses in the midst of sympathisers. The market’s Assistant Leader, Alhaja Sidikatu Amori, who claimed the fire was caused by high electrical

voltage, said goods worth over N100 million were destroyed. “Just last week, two truckloads of rice were brought in here. We sell yam, palm-oil, rice and vegetable oil, among others in large quantities. Most of these items were gone in the fire. We lost over N100 million goods to the fire. But we must thank men of the state fire service for responding to our distress call in good time. But for them, we wouldn’t have salvaged anything.” The Director, Fire Service,

Rasaq Fadipe, who said his men were not overwhelmed, confirmed that about 120 shops were destroyed. He said: “We are battling with the outbreak and 120 open shops, selling palm oil and vegetable oil, were consumed by the fire. Fire fighting operation is still on, but we are fully in control. We responded with three fire trucks of 1000 litres of water each from Isolo, Ilupeju and Ikeja. The incident was caused by power surge. There is need for total overhauling of electrical wiring system in Lagos markets.”

‘With four kids, I don’t love her’


FTER 34 years in “marriage,” a clearing and forwarding agent, Pius Wande Akinwunmi (54), is praying a court to separate him and the 52-year-old mother of his four children, Olapeju Akinwunmi, a trader. He told a Customary Court in Alagbado, a Lagos suburb, how his wife and children deserted him for years, adding that as a couple, they were still strangers. “I never intended to marry her, but when I realised that she was expecting my child, I took her in as my wife without formal rites. Since we have been living as a couple, we never joked or laughed over an issue. Our marriage is now 34 years and we are still strangers. I cannot point to where my children live because she polluted their minds and they chose to ignore me,” Akinwunmi said. He added: “When my first child wanted to get introduced to his fiancé’s parents, I was at a church programme when I got a call from my last child that I was invited there. On getting

By Basirat Braimah

there, I was embarrassed because I knew nothing about the preparations. I sold my uncompleted building at a ridiculously low price when my son told me his wife was in labour and needed money. That is the son who did not inform me he was getting married. The woman who calls herself my wife was in his support. Three of my children are graduates, but my wife doesn’t know the schools they attended; she is devilish.” However, Olapeju said: “The problem started when he brought another woman to live with us and I was against it. My daughter has been living with a strangely bald head for 11 years. All this happened when he brought in the new wife. I don’t want a divorce because I love him.” The court’s president, Mr Olabode Sekoni, asked the couple to present four relatives each for a discussion on June 5, and adjourned the matter till June 16.

Civil Defence probes woman’s death


•The scene...yesterday.


Customs officers arrested for alleged rape

WO Customs officers have been arrested for allegedly raping a 23-year-old lady. The suspects are expected to be transferred to the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), in Panti, Lagos Mainland today, for further interrogation. The victim told policemen from Area K Police Command, that she met one of the suspects on Facebook and decided to visit him on invitation. The visit, she claimed, turned nasty as her Facebook friend, with his colleague, allegedly raped



By Jude Isiguzo

her. It was gathered that the suspects were picked and quizzed by operatives from Area K Command. The incident was said to have occured at Limca Bus Stop, Badagry Expressway, where one of the suspects lives. The victim reportedly said: “I met one of them on Facebook and became friends with him. After a while, he invited me to his house. He invited his friend over to his place when I came to visit him. “He made love advances,

but I told him that I was on. When his friend came, they raped me.” The victim reported the matter to the police and the suspects were picked. The police allegedly found blood stains on the bed and a boxer. The National Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Mr. Wale Adeniyi said: “I’m aware of this case but details are still sketchy. The Area Commander has been notified and he is working with the police for a thorough investigation. We will await a formal report from the police

to enable the ComptrollerGeneral take appropriate action. While we await this, we must state that the Service frowns at such heinous crime and perpetrators if found guilty, will be dealt with.” Command spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), confirmed the arrest but said that the lovers did not meet on Facebook. She explained that they met at a location in the area. Braide said the matter would be transferred to the SCID today, adding that investigation is.

NVESTIGATIONS have begun in the alleged killing last week of a woman, Angelina Dansu, in Saponkoji near Ogogoro village, an Island in Apapa, Lagos, by an operative of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). Its new Commandant, Mr Donatus Ikemefuna, said yesterday that efforts were being stepped up to unravel the truth. Speaking with The Nation, Ikemefuna said that following a tip-off about the activities of pipeline vandals in Apapa area, his men went there to effect arrest of the vandals but were almost mobbed by some youths of the area. He said they were surprised to hear of the death of one Angelina Dansu, a mother of four, from Saponkoji Village, in the hands of his men, stressing that ongoing investigations will unravel the true story of the killing. Explaining further, Ikemefuna said: “We saw many containers filled with petroleum products in the village. We discovered many jerry cans filled with kerosene in a shop owned by the woman. She resisted arrest and escaped. Some youths came with cutlasses, guns and other dangerous weapons; when the officers felt threatened, four of them shot into the air to scare the youths who were advancing dangerously towards them. Our officers were then able to escape in a boat provided us by the Navy.

Police demand N20,000 for bail, businessman alleges

HE Police in Aguda, Lagos Mainland, are on the spotlight. A businessman, Tunde Adjoto, has accused them of high-handedness and corruption. He also alleged that they wrongly arrested and detained his brother. Besides, they demanded a N20, 000 bribe for his release, Adjoto claimed. In a petition to the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Mr Frank Mba, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Adjoto alleged that the station’s officer assaulted him for demanding the unconditional release of his brother, Samson, who was “falsely accused of assault,” which he described as bail-

By Jude Isiguzo

able. The petition routed through the office of Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN), claimed that Samson, a shop owner and his customer who is simply identified as Chuks, were arrested on May 17, following which the police allegedly demanded N20,000 for their bail. National Coordinator of NOPRIN Okechukwu Nwanguma said: “Adjoto informed us that a lady parked her car opposite his brother’s shop, went in and slapped a customer known as Chuks for allegedly refusing to move his car backward for her to pull out. The ensuing altercation and

fisticuff disrupted his brother’s business and resulted in the damage of his shop’s sliding door and other items. He further informed us that the same woman who caused the fracas went and lodged a complaint of assault against her victims - Samson and Chuks. This prompted the arrest and detention of both men at the Aguda Police Station. “Adjoto said he went to the station that same day and waited to see the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) to no avail, until late in the night. He informed us that the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Corporal Rahman and the Station Officer exhibited bias in their utterances and actions and in their refusal to allow him see

the DPO or take the detainees on bail. Adjoto said the IPO and the Station Officer refused to release the detainees because he refused to pay N10,000 per person demanded by them. He said the Station Officer later attempted to push him out of the station. When NOPRIN inquired from the Station Officer about the allegation of assault on Adjoto, he said, ‘if Mr. Adjoto was assaulted, then he called for it’. “Adjoto further informed us that the IPO and the SO ’wants to cajole the detainees to write an undertaking to foot the complainant’s medical bill’ without mentioning anything about the damage at his shop and the fact that the com-

plainant was the first to assault the suspects. Adjoto returned to the station on May 18 at 9.20am, met Inspector Ekon Anthony and Corporal John Okpanachi on duty at the charge room. He said the detainees had been denied access to speak with their lawyers or family. The police also said Adjoto couldn’t secure bail for the detainees unless the complainant consents and approves. He requested the phone numbers of the IPO and the DPO. But the police officers on duty refused to give him the numbers. NOPRIN requests you to call the attention of the DPO Aguda to these allegations of abuse of due process and corruption,” the petition read.

By Uyoatta Eshiet

“We recovered about 4,000 litres of petroleum products, but we left much of them behind because of the sporadic shooting from the youths. We are surprised to hear that a woman died in the incident.” Ikemefuna said that their primary responsibility is to protect critical national assets and infrastructure at all levels and collaborate with other security agencies for the protection of life and property in the country. He said he was posted to Lagos to maintain peace and order, calling on the public for their support in giving information on suspected persons or groups, particularly in area of vandalism of infrastructure. The commandant also solicited the support of other security agencies in the state for adequate security to national assets.

Insurgency worries scholars By Biodun-Thomas Davids


GROUP of scholars, Intellectual Development Initiative, has suggested innovation in crime technology as the solution to finding out the abducted girls of Chibok and checking insurgency in the country. The initiator of the Initiative, which comprises 37 scholars from different higher institutions, Professor Biodun Akinpelu of the Lagos State University (LASU) offered that the missing girls could be searched out by heightening technology knowledge base and improving on external relations. Akinpelu who said that government was not integrating technological tactics into governmental patterns enough, called for the mounting of CCTV in every nook and cranny of the sensitive parts of the country to forestalling insurgent activities. The Secretary of the Initiative, Dr. Eromonsele Pius Akhimien, also of LASU, called for the use of hypersensitive scanners and intelligence gatherings in order to effectively checkmate insurgency in the polity.




Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Joke Silva, others wow with Hear Word!



T was, no doubt, a beautiful moment last Friday when a number of top Nollywood actresses, including Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Joke Silva, Iretiola Doyle and Bimbo Akintola, performed a stage play, Hear Word! at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos, to great applause. The last Friday event was similar to their engaging performance at the popular Mushin Market in Lagos last Wednesday, in spite of the downpour. The director and producer of the play, Mrs. Ifeoma Fafun-

•Ajai-Lycett By Mercy Michael

wa, said the production would highlight some socio-economic issues and unite Nigerian women. “This production combines artistry, social commentary and true-life stories of transformation delivered by some of Nigeria’s best known and most talented actresses, including Joke Silva, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett and Iretiola Doyle. These superb actresses offer us an intimate view into the lives of the Nigerian woman, irrespective of her socio-economic

status. Hear Word! is funny and poignant; it will shock the sensibility, sear the soul and ultimately warm and sadden the heart. The sharp wit woven through this incredibly moving production will keep the audience enthralled. “Hear Word! takes the discussion on issues facing Nigerian women to a whole new level. Our ultimate aim in showcasing the play across different venues is to bring these issues to the forefront of conversation in Nigeria. “It is where the highest quality of performance art comes



Omoni Oboli’s Being Mrs Elliot goes to Paris


OLLYWOOD actress Omoni Oboli’s debut movie, Being Mrs Elliot, has been selected as the opening film of NollywoodWeek Paris slated to hold between June 5 and June 8. The movie, which has thus given her acting career a boost,was shot in Ekiti, Lagos and Asaba, stars Ghanaian-born Majid Michael, comedian AY, Lepacious Bose

By Dupe Ayinla-Olasunkanmi

and Jumoke Ayadi, among others. Omoni, an award-winning actress, obtained her first degree in Foreign Languages from the University of Benin, Edo State. While she was still in the university, she shot her first film in 1996. Though she later took a break from the movie scene, she returned in 2009.

together to express the potential of Nigerian women. We are working towards pure art and Nigerian excellence as we highlight these real and difficult issues facing Nigerian women. It is a celebration of the Nigerian woman to be shared with the world. As the characters reveal themselves, you may recognize your sister, your mother, your friend, your wife and perhaps even yourself,” she added. While lamenting the recent abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State, Fafunwa said efforts by women all over the world, in the fight to bring back the missing girls, had been laudable. “Through this series of plays across Lagos, we hope to trigger similar and more concerted efforts towards resolving this and other issues. None of us here thinks it’s going to be an easy task, but we trust that once Nigerians Hear Word!, it will be most difficult to turn a deaf ear to these important issues,” she explained. According to her, stage performances of Hear Word! will run through May 23, 24, 30 and 31. Other actresses who will feature in the performance include Elvina Ibru, Kate Henshaw, Dakore Egbuson Akande, Ufuoma McDermott, Rita Edwards, Zara Ejoh, Debbie Ohiri and Odenike, among others.


Nigerian Centenary Awards UK will inspire youths, says May7ven


FROBEAT singer May7ven has said that the Nigerian Centenary Awards UK gala dinner scheduled to hold on June 27, at Waltham Forest Town Hall will inspire young Nigerians across the UK. The artiste, who is the latest Nigerian to back the awards ceremony, said: “It is a good thing that the Diaspora community is coming together to honour Nigerians who have contributed immensely to both the UK and Nigeria over the last 100 years. I hope that when our young people see how those who have been rewarded for their hard work are honoured, it will spur them on to do likewise,” May7ven said. Recently, the chairman of the House of Representatives Diaspora Committee, Ho-

By Stella Bamawo

nourable Abike Dabiri, had expressed her readiness to support the awards ceremony, where 100 outstanding Nigerians in the UK over the last 100 years will be honoured for their contributions to the society. Thirty-year-old May7even, also a dancer, producer, actress, model and entrepreneur, won her first award at the 2009 Nigerian Music Video Awards for Best Video in Europe.

Essence set for new album

Wizkid excited over endorsement deal renewal

ENSATIONAL Hip hop act Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, aka Wizkid, is currently having a blast, as he has reportedly renewed his endorsement deals with MTN and Pepsi. To confirm the deal, the jaiyejaiye crooner, who has also signed an endorsement deal with Hennesy, posted a picture of himself signing some papers, with the popular brands displayed on a table. He wrote: “Just renewed my contract with the biggest communication company. You see that Pepsi on the table? Do you see that Hennessy? Bigger than music! Big moves! Big brands!” Wizkid, according to sources, is currently working on his second studio album titled Chosen, which is scheduled for release later in the year. The forthcoming album, according to information, will feature guest appearances from Don Jazzy, Banky W, Femi Kuti, Seyi Shay, Efya and Olamide. Wizkid unveiled his own

By Dupe Ayinla-Olasunkanmi

label, Star Boy Entertainment, on March 5, 2013, with a plan to give up-and-coming artistes a platform to showcase their tal-

ents. Since he set up the recording label, he has signed on a number of budding acts, including Maleek Berry, producers Uzezi Oniko and Okiemute Oniko and L.A.X.


•Essence By Dupe Ayinla-Olasunkanmi


OPULAR female singer Uwale Okoro, also known as Essence, is currently working in the studio for the production of her fourth album. She shot to the limelight when she featured in Kenny St. Brown’s Heaven Came Down. Also, she won the hearts of many when she did the soundtrack of the popular television drama, Super Story. In her steady rise to stardom, she has performed at different shows within and outside Nigeria. The Theatre Arts graduate of the Delta State University, Abraka, who has featured in collaboration works with Nigerian top acts such as Naeto C, OJB, Jaywon and K Solo, ascribed her popularity to “conscious efforts to re-invent herself.”

Okposo’s new single gets massive downloads


EW months after the successful release of his last single, Who Tell You Say, Sammie Okposo, an award-winning gospel act and Globacom ambassador, has dropped another single titled No Worries; Just Halleluya, an upbeat, urban gospel song.

By Mercy Michael

Since the release of the new single produced by Charles Duke a few days ago, it has generated more than 47, 000 downloads. Already, the song is enjoying massive airplay on major radio stations across the country.

The UN ambassador has continued to redefine gospel music in Nigeria and set new standards for the industry. He recently returned from a tour in America, where he performed in more than 10 cities, including Maryland, Texas and Atlanta





Police probe Boko Haram threat in Benue

‘Boko Haram disgrace to Islam’ By Tokunbo Ogunsami

A GROUP, the Association of African Traditional Religion (AATREN), has decried the activities of Boko Haram insurgents, saying they are a disgrace to Islam. Speaking in Lagos at the weekend, AATREN’s president Ifasegun Elegushi said the kidnap of Chibok girls and their forceful conversion to Islam was morally and spiritually wrong. Elegushi, who is also the Opemoluwa of Ikateland, said Boko Haram members were confused. He said they condemned Western education, but used its technology to carry out their nefarious activities. The AATREN president urged the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and North’s leaders to call them to order, adding that President Goodluck Jonathan should be more serious about tackling insecurity. “We appeal to Boko Haram members to release the Chibok girls in the interest of peace and justice. “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) needs a peaceful atmosphere to conduct free and fair elections in 2015,” the AATREN president said.

Protest in Maiduguri From Abodunrin Kayode, Maiduguri

THERE was tension yesterday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, as members of the vigilance group known as Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) marched on the streets, protesting the shooting of their colleague. A soldier was alleged to have shot a tricycle operator, who reportedly passed through a wrong route at a check point. A soldier said: “The tricycle operator is believed to be a member of the civilian JTF; he called his colleagues who marched on the palace of the Shehu of Borno to report the matter.”

APC slams Niger exco reshuffle From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

THE All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger State has described last week’s executive council reshuffle by Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu as self serving. The party in a statement yesterday said the action was aimed at securing Aliyu’s political interest, rather than service to the people. The statement by the Publicity Secretary, Jonathan Vatsa, said there was no reason for the creation of a ministry for special duties. The new ministry was designed to drain the state’s funds. The statement reads: “The recent reshuffle was mere waste of government time and resources because it was just recycling of old hands to serve the governor’s political ambition for 2015 and to give him safe landing from the years of emperor-like government.”

From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja


•From left: Chairman, Morgan State University (MSU), Board of Regents, Kweisi Mfume, President MSU National Alumni Association, Mrs Jacqueline Lawson, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Ms Cheryl Hitchook, the University President, David Wilson and the awardee, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, during the recognition award given by MSU at the 74th Alumni Awards & Class Reunion Luncheon in Maryland, USA.

Don’t cause trouble, IBB warns politicians F

ORMER military president Gen. Ibrahim Babangida warned politicians yesterday against heating up the polity ahead of next year’s general election. Speaking at the presentation of the book, “Fasting According to Islamic Law,” written by the Director-General of the National Teachers’ Institute, Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu, Gen. Babangida said an over heated polity would not produce quality result. Represented by BrigadierGeneral Dantsoho Mohammed, Gen. Babangida warned against anarchy in the land. He said: “I wish to advise

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

politicians to be careful and responsible as they start their campaign, Nigerians deserve nothing less than the dividend of democracy that will grant minimum comfort for better life. “This is what is required to take the youths off the streets, restore the confidence of the disenchanted and provide succor to the masses. “This is what is needed to check the menace perpetrated by militants and Boko Haram insurgency.”

He added: “Not all contestants will emerge victorious at the polls. So, losers must learn to accept defeat with grace and prepare for another race someday.” The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, urged people with Islamic knowledge to educate the common folks about the basic aspect of Islam, wherever they find themselves. Represented by the Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, the Sultan said as a country with diverse culture and religious background, the people must use available op-

portunity to propagate Islam as it is stated. Sharehu said lack of knowledge of Arabic is not an excuse not to learn the basic fact and principle of Islam. He said fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam but must be done as stipulated in the Qur’an and that is why the book was written to enlighten Muslims on the right way to fast. Sharehu said: “In the observance of fasting, Muslims owe it a duty to learn how to do it in accordance with the tenets of Islam. “There is need for the Muslim ummah to work together for the unity and progress of our religion and the nation.”

I’m not interested in PDP, says Ahmed K WARA State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has described as false, provocative and contemptuous the insinuation that he was romancing with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He described the PDP as a party of impunity, which he dropped for the All Progressives Congress (APC). Ahmed, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, said such insinuation was not only baseless but preposterous. He added: “Ordinarily, the allegation, peddled by people with devious intent, does not deserve a response as the objective is obvious. “However, we need to alert the good people of Kwara State to the desperate ploy by selfish people with sinister political interest to cause dis-


From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

affection and stir anxiety in the populace.” “Assuming without conceding that the governor wants to return to PDP, which faction of the rudderless and visionless party would he have negotiated with? “For the record, our decision to leave the PDP was based on the need to build a new nation where every citizen has the opportunity to prosper, in which our youths are productively engaged and where the disadvantaged are assisted to live a decent life. “For the avoidance of doubt, the relationship between Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and former governor Senator

Bukola Saraki remains cordial, warm and solid. “It is equally ludicrous that they allege that the governor was on a save my soul mission to his colleagues in the APC as well as being one of the earliest visitors to the PDP’s National Chairman. “Ahmed has no need for such visits neither has he embarked on any. For him, the task is the actualisation and fulfillment of the covenant he entered into with Kwarans during the last elections as encapsulated in the Shared Prosperity Programme of his administration. “On the issue of the N23billion bond, it is typical of the mischief of these talebearers to amplify the figure


by N12billion in a bid to make their story sound credible. “Governor Ahmed and other officials of this administration have always explained why the N23 billion bond is the best for Kwara now. “Suffice to add that the foundation for the current and future prosperity of Kwara State must be laid and entrenched today.”

Borno donates N10m to victims

HE Borno State government yesterday donated N10 million to victims of last week’s suspected Boko Haram attack in Limankara village, Gwoza Local Government Area. Governor Kashim Shettima, represented by the Commissioner for Commerce and Investment, Dr Asabe Vilita, said he was touched by the incident. The News Agency of Ni-

geria (NAN) reports that the cash were made during a sympathy visit to the community. “I have been directed to present a N10 million cash donation on behalf of the government to the victims of the unfortunate attack. “The governor would have loved to present the donation personally but could not because of his numerous official engagements,’’ the commissioner said.

Vilita, however, presented assorted food stuff as her personal donation to the victims of the attacks. Receiving the donation, Mr Baba Lawan, the District Head of the community, thanked the government for the gesture, and pledged to be fair in the distribution of the money. Lawan said about 80 per cent of the houses in the community were burnt by the

insurgents in addition to some places of worship. He appealed to the government to beef up security in the area to enable residents who fled to neighbouring communities in Adamawa to return home. The district head also appealed for the reconstruction of the damaged bridge linking Borno and Adamawa. The bridge was blown off by the suspected insurgents.

HE Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has ordered that security be strengthened in all boarding schools in and around Makurdi, the Benue State capital. The measure followed recent threat letters purportedly sent to Government College and Saint Gabriel College, both in Markudi, by some faceless persons claiming to be members of the Boko Haram sect. A statement yesterday by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said the IG had ordered the state police command to work with the education ministry, authorities of the affected schools and other educational institutions to ensure all round surveillance. The statement added that the police have commenced investigations to ascertain the source and authenticity or otherwise of the said hand-written letter now in possession of the Force. “The police high command wishes to advise residents of all host communities nationwide where boarding schools are located to remain perpetually on the alert and report any suspicious movements to the appropriate authorities,” the statement said.

N3. 6bn spent on waste stations From Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja


HE Federal Capital Territory Administration has spent over N3.6 billion to build three solid waste transfer stations and buy equipment for waste management. The Acting Director of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Mrs. Aishat Adebowale, broke the news at an interactive session with the Hon. Uche Ekwunifeheaded House of Representatives Committee on Environment. Mrs. Adebowale said the contract for the building of three waste transfer stations “was awarded in 2011 at N2, 957, 572, 096. 35.” She said though the project had been impeded by a number of challenges, “it is about 39. 5 per cent completed.”

Governors console Al-Makura From Jide Orintunsin, Minna


HE Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has commiserated with Nasarawa State Governor Umaru Tanko AlMakura on the death of his sister, Hajiya Husseina Baban Kwakwu. Chairman of the forum and Niger State Governor Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu described the death as painful and a big blow to Al-Makura and the people. The forum advised the governor not to be discouraged by his sister’s death, but continue to pilot state affairs in the excellent manner he has been doing in the last three years. Aliyu said the best tribute Al-Makura can pay to his late sister is to continue to touch the lives of the people positively.



NEWS FRSC to punish underage cyclists


HE Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Niger State will soon clamp down on underaged children riding bicycles on major roads in Minna, the state capital. Their activities have been hindering government’s efforts at reducing accidents. The Sector Commander, David Usman, in a statement at the weekend, said:


From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

“Any child found riding a bicycle on any major road within Minna will be arrested; his parents will be prosecuted and the bicycle seized. “The FRSC is appealing to the public for understanding and cooperation in fighting loss of lives and property on the highways.”

Woman killed in Benin

MIDDLE-aged woman has been allegedly killed by her neighbour in Benin City, the Edo State capital. The widower, Pa Michael Itota, said the family was preparing for their daughter’s wedding, when his wife was killed two days to the event. “I got a phone call that my wife was dead as a result of the beating she received. I want the government to give me justice.” An eyewitness said there was a quarrel between the

From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

woman and her retired soldier-neighbour. He said: “The man brought some soldiers from the barracks and they beat up the woman. “He had threatened to deal with mama, saying she carries herself as if she was the only one who has a daughter abroad.” Police spokesman Moses Eguavoen said the command was investigating the incident.

Akpabio: increase air surveillance


KWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio has urged the Air Force to increase surveillance in oil producing areas to curtail crude oil theft, bunkering and vandalism of oil pipelines. Akpabio gave the advice yesterday when the Commander of 207 Special Mobility Group, Calabar, Air Commodore Charles Ohwo, visited him at the Governor’s Office, Uyo. The governor bemoaned the upsurge of pirates and harassment of sea passengers and fishermen. Akpabio lauded the efforts of the Air Force in fighting terrorism. He said: “Although terrorism is a global problem, what we are seeing in the country is totally un-Nigerian. I want the Air Force to add more value to


the security of lives and property. "You must have proved your appointment as an efficient and hard working person ,hence the elevation. And I have no doubt that you'll prove your mettle in this new position."

Governor Rotimi Amaechi in 2015. “Ogoni project 2015 is an idea whose time has come, if you believe, unity will come automatically. Carry along other parts of the state during your stay in the Brick House from May 29, next year; just like our governor is doing.” Nte said: “Obolo people are solidly in support of the ODM campaign for an Ogoni governor. When God says it is time, nothing can stop it. “Ogoni governorship project has come to stay. We are supporting the Ogonis because they have supported us before.”

APC wins Kano council polls

HE All Progressives Congress (APC) has won last Saturday’s local government election in Kano State. Announcing the result yesterday, the Chairman of the State Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Sanni Lawal, said the APC won all the 44 local government chairmanship and the 484 councillorship posts, which were officially declared by the returning officers. He said the polls were successful and peaceful.

Bakassi gone for good, says Ita-Giwa


AKASSI political leader Senator Florence ItaGiwa has said efforts at reclaiming the ceded Bakassi peninsula are fruitless. She said energy should be channelled towards proper resettlement of displaced persons. Ita-Giwa, who is a delegate to the national conference, said: “I heard that someone made a presentation and recommended that the matter of reclaiming Bakassi be revisited. “I don’t want anybody to deceive us into developing false hope. That we are likely to return to Cameroon to go and live in Abana is not possible. The 10-year period we

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

More support for Ogoni

HE Ikwerre Democratic Initiative and Alliance (IDIA) and Obolo Consultative Forum (OCF) have joined in the clamour by the Ogoni ethnic group to produce the next Rivers State governor. IDIA Coordinator Eze Emenike and OCF leader Ala Nte spoke at the inauguration of the Khana Local Government chapter of Ogoni Democratic Movement (ODM). Emenike described the Ogoni governorship project as “an idea whose time has come”and called on the people to believe in their ability to produce a successor to



•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (second left) talking to squatters under the Ijora bridge during his inspection of Iganmu- Ijora-Badia Under Bridge and the Ijora Housing Estate...yesterday.

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

Lawal said the commission was thankful for the support it received from the government, security agencies, leaders of the 19 participating parties, the media, youth organisations, women organisations, traditional rulers, religious leaders as well as propagandists and political strategists. The chairman said the success of the local government poll was a collective success of the people.


From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

had to appeal had elapsed. “That territory now belongs to Cameroon and our people have been relocated to Ikang. But we need proper resettlement. “As I speak now, we have 3, 000 refugees in that camp. We need for them to be resettled. You cannot be a refugee in your own country. “The only way Bakassi can be brought back is if the country goes to war. “Remember we subjected ourselves to the jurisdiction and we also allowed ourselves to be used as guinea pigs that two countries can settle scores without blood letting.

“I think I am too old in politics to deceive people. I am too old to give people false hope. “I wear the shoes and I know where it hurts and for now my people want compensation and to be taken out of the refugee camp.” Ms Ita-Giwa, who is the chairman of the Committee on Environment at the conference, said her mandate is to ensure that Cross River State is compensated in perpetuity. “I am impressed that based on our submission on the mandate we came with from our state, the Southsouth has agreed that the people of Bakassi be compensated in per-

petuity, not only for the mental dislocation and trauma arising from the ceding of Bakassi peninsula but also for loss of economic and financial potential and opportunities. “Loss of resources is not only oil but also of aquatic wealth because hitherto the crayfish that the country uses comes from Bakassi and it is gone. Also all the big lobsters from there are gone too. “Fortunately, the mandate the state gave me is also my mandate. It is a mandate that if the Federal Government is serious can be achieved. But if you come here and tell us that we should go back to court to bring back Bakassi, it is not possible.”

Naval officers kill two pirates

HE Navy has killed two pirates, who hijacked an oil tanker around the Lagos anchorage. The pirates, alongside their colleagues, hijacked M.T. SP Brussels and killed two crew members, following a gun duel with police officers onboard the ship. A source said the vessel was hijacked on April 30 and the crew held hostage. It was learnt that the navy deployed two patrol boats, NNS BENIN and NNS IKOTABASI to the area and rescued 15 crew members and the two police officers onboard.

•Distressed vessel rescued

By Precious Igbonwelundu

It was gathered that eight armed pirates accosted the oil-laden vessel at 120 nautical miles outside Lagos waters. The source said: “Six of them came on board the vessel, leaving their colleagues to man their boats. “There was exchange of gun fire between the pirates and the police officers. In the process, two crew members were killed. “Naval vessels were asked to locate and investi-

gate the incident. The team from NNS Beecroft intercepted the vessel,” he said. “The deployment of Marine Police from 43 Police Mobile Force, CMS, Lagos on April 13, was uncalled for. “Deployment of policemen on board vessels outside the Fairway Buoy is illegal and outside the police’s constitutional responsibilities. “Naval personnel would have known better than to shoot from an open deck like the police did, making themselves sitting ducks for the

enemy fire.” The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sanmi Alade, said investigation was ongoing. The FOC said the vessel would remain in the navy’s custody, until investigations were concluded. MT SP BRUSSELS is a Marshall Islands registered oil tanker. The 14 metric tonnes capacity tanker last communicated its position on April 11, when it was at UTC terrestrial heading to its destination at Lagos offshore before it was hijacked.

Youths to Jonathan: you abandoned Chibok girls for politics


GROUP, Ekiti Youth Emancipation Movement (EYEM), has decried President Goodluck Jonathan’s attitude to governance. EYEM said the President places more emphasis on politics than on the lives of defenceless Nigerians. The group said politics and his second term ambition are the two most important selfimposed duties the President has taken upon himself. It wondered how any compassionate leader could abandon over 200 kidnapped school-girls for political merry-making in the name of campaign in Ekiti State. EYEM, in a statement by its President, Taiwo Olatunji, Secretary Kunle Adewumi and spokesperson Miss Taiwo Ajayi, was reacting to the President’s proposed visit to Ekiti

State on Thursday to present the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ayo Fayose, to party members. It wondered how the same president, who cancelled a visit to Chibok in Borno State where over 200 schoolgirls were abducted, could turn around and head for Ekiti for politicking. Describing it as executive recklessness and leadership betrayal, EYEM said: “Though unbelievable, it was however true that leaders of other countries had shown more seriousness and compassion about the Chibok disaster than President Jonathan who is supposed to be most affected. “While the President is running away from Chibok for fear of attack from Boko Haram and his own soldiers who are demoralised, he is coming to

Ekiti to raise the hands of a candidate who represents everything but peace.” The group added that it was “more insulting and disappointing that Jonathan was coming to Ekiti to sell a bad product who has been rejected by all, save for a few who are interested in the peanuts he promised to dole out. “EYEM is hereby calling on Mr. President and the PDP to halt their alleged plan to rig the governorship election in favour of the PDP. It is true that the PDP governorship primary was rigged, but Ekiti people are not the same thing as PDP where illegality is the language and violence the accepted norm. “We in EYEM are prepared to join forces with other parties in Ekiti State to make sure that the Presidency and the PDP do not carry out their

characteristic illegality in Ekiti State. “It is a known fact that part of the strategy of the PDP is to accuse others of the evil it is planning. This is to divert attention from its devilish plot. It is an indisputable fact that the PDP holds the best record in Ekiti State and Nigeria at large as far as election rigging is concerned,” it stated. The group called on civil society organisations, Ekiti elite, professional bodies, traditional rulers and Nigerians to prevail on “Jonathan and his party, PDP, to allow free, fair and credible election in Ekiti State. “If there’s breakdown of law and order before, during and after the election due to federal might, the Presidency and the PDP should be held responsible. Election riggers must not go scot-free”




Immigration repatriates 48 illegal aliens


HE Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Abia State Command, at the weekend repatriated 48 illegal immigrants from three Francophone countries. The exercise is coming on the heels of a directive by the Federal Government to repatriate illegal immigrants to check insecurity. Speaking in Umuahia, the Comptroller of Immigration Services, Mrs. Anthonia Opara, said the exercise had been on for some time and would continue until immigrants entering the state without valid documents were found. She said 70 immigrants were initially arrested, explaining that after carrying out a profile on them, those found to have valid travel documents were released. Mrs. Opara said although Nigeria upholds the ECOWAS protocol of allowing citizens of member-countries access into any country, it does not mean that people should travel to other countries without approved pa-


From Ugochukwu Ugoji-eke, Umuahia

pers. According to her, unless such persons also possess work permit, they are not to take up any employment in that country.

She said it was regrettable that most of the immigrants flouted such rules. The comptroller urged the indigenes to be mindful of the people they hire as domestic workers, especially security men (megads), as they do not have real identi-

ties. Mrs. Opara noted that the command would not take chances with the immigrants, given the insecurity in parts of the country, as it had positioned its men in strategic locations to ensure there were no loopholes.

Aregbesola, Amosun, others unite against inequality

IVE Governors, Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Segun Mimiko (Ondo), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Abdul’Aziz Yari Abubakar (Zamfara) and Captain Idris Wada (Kogi), at the weekend spoke on the need to use government machineries to tackle inequality and make people the essence of governance. Leading four other governors who were represented at the presentation of a book, Rich Country, Poor People in Lagos, Mimiko said the roots to rapid development and engendering of equality is the empowerment of women. He noted that the more empowered a woman is, the better for the family, adding that the more educated a woman is, the more chances for the children’s survival. “In Ondo State, we had no doubt in our minds that we must tackle inequality..But within the limitations, we identified education as key factor. Thank God for the vision of the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo. “However, education is no longer a tool for development because public schools are out of the reach of many. How do


•Some of the illegal aliens paraded by Nigeria Immigration Service... at the weekend.

By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

our people access education? Unless government subsidise tertiary education, we cannot mobilise the people for development and that is why tuition fees in Ondo State is N25,000. Yet, many still cannot afford it. That we did not charge N400,000 as tution fees does not invalidate the quality of education in the state,” he said. Mimiko also urged Nigerians to ask ‘our leaders relevant questions on governance while devising verifiable indices for measuring performance’. Zamfara State Governor who spoke through Prof. Abdulahi Shinkafi, said there is no better time than now to talk about inequality in the country when “we have abundant oil resources we cannot refine.” He also noted that there is no better time than now when the country has failed to explore the abundant soya beans in most states of the federation, adding that agricultural products of 24 states can success-

fully feed the nation without importing rice from Asia. But to Aregbesola and his Ogun State counterpart, what is even more agonising is the fact that the paradox of poverty in wealth is an avoidance situation in which Nigerians need not find themselves. Aregbesola, who was represented by Mr. Adeleke Ipaye raised crucial questions: “Does it make any sense for us to continue to be in this situation? For how long can and should the people be subjected to the psychological and existential pain of poverty in wealth? And is the situation even sustainable? “Hence, what I believe to be of utmost relevance for us, which arises directly from the obvious answer to the above questions is: what are we now doing about the insupportable situation of poverty amidst plenty?” Amosun who was represented by Mr. Adebowale Oyeneye, described the book as part of the hallmark of the long search for new Nigerian state.

NACA denies compulsory HIV testing for intending couples, others

ATIONAL Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has said no part of the newly developed National HIV Prevention Plan stipulates or recommends compulsory HIV testing for intending couples or any group or individuals. In a statement made available to The Nation, by the Chief Communications Officer, Corporate Communications Unit of NACA, Mrs Toyin Aderibigbe, read: “The national HIV prevention Plan is essentially a strategic document designed to provide direction for HIV prevention programme in the country. It focuses on ensuring that the prevention priorities and goals set by the country and the President’s comprehensive response plan (PCRP) are achieved. One of those critical goals is to avail 80

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

million men and women knowledge of their HIV status, and there are set standards and approaches for achieving this. Compulsory testing before marriage is not one of them. A meeting was conveyed and intended to afford the stakeholders an opportunity to validate the content of the National Prevention plan which was developed through a consultative process with the states”. “Dr Yakubu Abuabakar, Director of Bauchi State Agency for the Control of AIDS (BASACA), who was among stakeholders interviewed after the meeting was quoted to have said that, ‘intending couple will be made to undergo compulsory HIV test before getting married’.

He said that from the struggle that culminated in the independence of Nigeria in 1960, to the various experiments and experiences that define the actions of the country’s leaders in the post-independence era, one underlining and fundamental pursuit has been consistent. “It is the quest to establish a tested and an enduring structure on which the Nigerian State will thrive. We need to evolve strategies that will make our nation comfortably assume the status of the heart-beat of the black race while occupying an enviable position among the comity of nation,” Amosun added. Chairman of the occasion, former Nigeria’s Ambassador to The Netherlands, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu recalled that her late father’s primary concern while in government was the well-being of the people. She said until he died, he was always thinking of how to make the people’s life better, which she said should be the essence of governance. “My late dad always said that man is the only dynamic and soul end of all activities…and should be geared towards the well-being of man.” Reviewer of the book, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, said the book speaks to these times as well as to the paradox of poverty amid plenty. He described the book as an echo of street wisdom on one hand, and what can be called a particular version of another book by Terry Lynn Karl, who has done a much more generalised study titled The Paradox of Plenty: Oil Boom and Petro-States. According to the reviewer, the book demonstrates that education forms the foundation of economic advancement and could well be and instrument for forging equality in society.

During interviews with the illegal immigrants, it was discovered that about 98 per cent of them were from Niger, engaged in menial jobs, while there were also underage persons among them, as well as one who was facing his third repatriation

from Nigeria. They confessed that they did not have documents, but only entered the country through the borders after pleading with the Immigration officers to let the come and find source of livelihood.

Retired Customs officer ‘commits suicide’ in Abia


From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

MIDDLE-AGED retired Customs Officer, Mr. Eke Nweke, has allegedly committed suicide at Ngwa Iyiekwe community in Ugwunagbo Local Government Area of Abia State. The Nation learnt that Nweke, an indigene of Item in Bende Local Government, living with his in-laws, died after shooting himself with a locally-made pistol. Sources said he died before his family could rescue him. Although his reason for allegedly committing suicide was yet to be known, an unconfirmed report said Nweke attempted to commit suicide in Port Harcourt, Rivers State before he was relocated to his in-law’s home. A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “About 4am, we heard a noise. Because there was power outage we could not come out. But we all stayed awake. Later, we heard people crying. Early callers said they saw the deceased in a pool of blood.”

Editors praise Imo’s growth


EMBERS of the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) have promised to partner Imo State Government “because it is a progressive and a people-oriented administration.” Speaking at a dinner organised at the Government House, Owerri, to end a three-day meeting, the Guild’s president, Mr. Femi Adesina, said they would always associate with governments on the side of the people and working to develop their states, adding that Governor Rochas Okorocha met that standard. He hailed Okorocha for working hard to develop Imo, saying the transformation, which had taken place would not have been possible without hard work, prudence and dedication. Adesina and his colleagues earlier visited the governor during which the NGE president said it was a mistake by the Federal Government to have seen Boko Haram insurgents at the outset as thugs raised by the opposition parties, such as the All Progressives Congress (APC), adding that it was that erroneous impression, which made the Federal Government not to quell the insurgency before now. He said it was wrong for the Federal Government to see Boko Haram as being masterminded by the opposing politicians, noting that he hoped it would not make such mistake in future. Adesina described Imo as one of the few states where leadership was in action. Okorocha told the visitors that prudence in the management of the state’s resources and dedication were responsible for his administration’s feat. He also attributed its success to the contributions of the commissioners and said he would make the state better than he met it because of his passion for transformation. The governor said Boko Haram menace had become a national and world problem, which did not need to be politicised. He enjoined the Federal Government and political leaders to proffer solution to the problem, noting that “this is not a time to apportion blames.” The editors inspected projects in Owerri and expressed satisfaction about what they saw.




Southeast, Southsouth confab delegates revalue strategy


OUTHEAST and Southsouth delegates at the National Conference met at the weekend to evaluate committee recommendations at the conference. The session organised by the Southeast, Southsouth Professionals of Nigeria (SESSPN) also became a restrategising point for the delegates. The session may have been informed by the impression that the south may have last grip of the conference to their north counterparts. It is believed that north’s delegates have effectively blocked all items listed for deliberation at the committees on which they wanted the status quo to subsist. President of SESSPN Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju, said providence had given the delegates role to play to reposition the country. The delegates, he said, had been placed in a unique position where their actions or inactions will contribute significantly in reshaping or distorting the country. Ugwu-Oju noted that 20 years ago, he was a member of a delegation sent to Abuja by the Eastern Nigeria leaders of thought to meet with delegates from the area at the 1994/95 National Constitutional Conference. The delegation, he said, was led by the late Senator Emeka Echeruo while the Secretary

was the late Senator Tari Sekibo. According to him, it was at the conference that the concept of six geo-political zones was born. He said it is the wish of many patriotic Nigerians, especially from the Southeast, the Southsouth and the Southwest zones, that the ongoing conference should recommend that the zones become the federating units for a new Nigeria. He said SESSPN decided on an interaction to sow the seeds of better communication and understanding among all delegates to enable them to appreciate more the enormity of the assignment placed on their shoulders. He said: “Our country is now at a major crossroads. One direction which, from current trends it appears we might inexorably take very soon, is the route to disintegration and dismemberment. “The other direction, could lead to the emergence of a new Nigeria that will have a buy-in by most Nigerians, who will then be prepared to make the necessary sacrifices and commitment required to make the country great. We at the SESSPN, have over the past couple of years been interacting with various groups and peoples of Nigeria to ascertain the type of Nigeria that they

want and can believe in.” Ugwu-Oju said many Nigerians following the activities of the conference, especially the newspaper reports of the committee deliberations, are very distressed about many of the recommendations and “we feel it is our duty and obligation to bring that to your attention.” He said many Nigerians see the conference as an act of God that might save the country a very likely catastrophic 2015 general elections, if the country happens to benefit from a restructuring strategy before the elections. President, Nigeria American Chamber of Commerce, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, in a paper delivered at the session said the country should return to the original regional political structure to save the country from further drifting. The paper entitled “On Aburi we stand” was presented on his behalf by Denzil Kentebe, President Ijaw Professional Association. Ohuabunwa noted that where return to original regional structure was not possible, the country should adopt the six geo-political zones structure currently in place. Insisting that going back to the original regional structure “is a fundamental step that we must take” he said that it had become obvious that “the current fragile 36 state structure

flooded”. “Ordinarily there shouldn’t be refuse in a drain in any part of the world that I know. So we must challenge ourselves that we must change in the choices that we make; people hanging clothes on the highway, people relocating in the pursuit of unreal expectations, these are unacceptable”, the Governor said. Underscoring the futility inherent in the idea of relocating from one’s family in pursuit of uncertainties, Governor Fashola cited the example of the man he met in the course of the inspection who said he came from Katsina to make money and has now been stranded and forced to live under the bridge and beg for a living.

The man, Nurudeen Hassan, who was seen sitting under the Ijora-Badia Bridge, had told the Governor that he left his wife and children in Katsina because he believed he could make money by coming to Lagos. The Governor said: “His story clearly has become a tragedy because he sleeps under the bridge. He left a home no matter how small it is and his target as he sat there was how to raise N30, 000 to go back. The dream has died in a sense and I think he better understands now that he is better off at home because he had a business there. He had a shop where he said he was selling recharge cards and some other things”. He assured the people that the

From Onyedi Ojiabor and Dele Anofi, Abuja

will not work and we need to understand that, no matter our sentiments and attachment to this.” He also said that different zones should be allowed to work out their own constitution after which they will re-federate and then evolve a new constitution for the federation. He posited that with the arrangement, power will automatically devolve to the federating units which will decide what role and power to give to the centre. According to him, “this is how a true federation is organised so that we can restore stability, orderly and sustainable growth.” Ohuabunwa lamented that after 54 years of independence, the country has failed to realise its full potential. He noted that much of the time, the country has had to deal with one crisis after another, distracting the country from focusing appropriately on sustainable growth and development. “Our thinking supported by our findings is that much of these problems have risen because of the structure of the federation where the ‘tail seems to be wagging the dog.’ “Since 1966, Nigeria has been running an inverted federation, which is very unstable, thereby stirring up several problems which are stifling growth and giving the nation a wrong image,” he said.

Lagos won’t tolerate environmental degradation, says Fashola Continued from page 2

ished. It is like when you want to smell roses you must also expect that you could be pricked by thorns. But the smell of roses ultimately makes it more worth it”. He said, however, that the human challenge in the whole effort to reclaim the city is how people choose to live adding, “I continue to say that people must take decision on how they choose to live. It is discouraging that we build and clear drainages but when we come back to them what we see is human waste, food and thrash in drainages, yet the same people come back when it rains to say they are

efforts to clean the city would succeed adding, “I am sure that our experience in cleaning up some very devastated places like Oshodi, cleaning up Obalende, will serve us in good stead. We will get this one right, I am optimistic”. Fashola, however, appealed to the people to stop using the drains built with their tax money as refuse dumps and trash bins advising them instead to patronize the PSP “It is the more patronage that the PSP gets that will create more jobs in that line and solve the problem of unemployment because taking waste out of our immediate environment requires people to do that kind of work and they get paid for it”, he said.

Protesters to march on Villa Continued from page 2

as the security forces should not be held responsible for any unsavory outcome of such movement. “Necessary arrangement will continue to be made for the protection of persons and visitors whose movement is duly vetted and in line with development in the security situation on ground in particular mission area. “The general public is here-

by informed that obstructive, suspicious or risky movement of visitors will not be condoned in any mission and operational area in the country.” Former Education Minister Oby Ezekwesili in a tweet yesterday confirmed a plan to march on the Villa. She said “We are continuing plans for our next march for our #ChibokGirls that will take us to our President & Commanderin-Chief in the next few days”.

CBN votes N132b to empower women


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) voted N132 billion under its Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), to enhance Women Economic Empowerment. The amount represents 60 per cent of the N220 billion set aside by the apex Bank under the scheme to address cash flow challenges of financial services in the Micro Finance sub sector. This was the high point of a meeting in Abuja at the weekend between the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina and the Acting Governor of the CBN, Mrs. Sarah Alade. Hajiya Maina praised the CBN for taking the lead in promoting financial inclusion of women and other marginalised Nigerians through its various schemes such as the Revised Micro-Finance Policy, the Agricultural Credit Guaranty Scheme, the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) and the newly introduced MSMEDF. She noted that these schemes, if properly harnessed, especially by women at the grassroots, would help to reduce the current exclusion rate of women from financial services of 46.3 to 20.0 per cent by the year 2020, and ensure the much-needed economic empowerment of women. “The successful integration of

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

women in the financial system will ultimately lead to robust participation of Nigerians in the economy; lead to expansion of available markets and enhanced economic development. “The Ministry welcomes more initiatives by financial community to encourage access of its target groups to financial services, especially women at the grassroots that contribute greatly to the GDP, and produce more than 70 per cent of agricultural produce,” she added. The Minister urged the CBN to engage gender-sensitive Micro Finance Banks in the disbursement of the funds to the end beneficiaries so that the generality of women would not be schemed out. Acting CBN Governor Alade observed that in most cases, women exclusion in financial services was as a result of lack of financial literacy of the women, especially those at the grassroots. She spoke on the need for the CBN to collaborate with the Ministry on advocacy programmes that will create the necessary awareness towards greater participation of women at the grassroots on the various economic support programmes of the bank, especially the Agricultural Credit Guaranty Scheme meant for small scale farmers.

17 die in explosions Continued from page 2

Mohammad, who spoke through his deputy Grace Iringe Koko, confirmed the incident. Southsouth Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Mr. Umesi Emenike confirmed the fire.

Emenike told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the fire did not affect the main refinery before it was put out by Fire Service officers. “Our officers are still assessing the situation. At the moment, we cannot give details of the extent of damage,’’ Emenike said.




Turkey: 24 arrested over mine deaths


OLICE investigating the coal mine disaster in western Turkey have arrested 24 people, including mining company executives, Turkish media say. The rescue operation at the mine, in the town of Soma, ended on Saturday after the bodies of the last two workers were recovered. The final death toll is 301, making it Turkey’s worst mining disaster. Protests against the government and mining company have broken out since Tuesday’s disaster.

Soma Holding insists it was not caused by negligence. Those arrested on Sunday included Ramazan Dogru, general manager of the mine, and its operations manager Akin Celik, Turkey’s Dogan news agency said. Anti-government demonstrations have broken out in several cities since the disaster Tuesday’s disaster occurred when an explosion sent carbon monoxide gas into the mine’s tunnels while 787 miners were underground. Prime Minister Recep Tayy-

ip Erdogan has been criticised for appearing insensitive in his reaction to the disaster. Both Mr Erdogan and his aide Yusuf Yerkel have come under pressure after photos that appeared to show them assaulting protesters were published in Turkish media. A heavy police presence descended on Soma on Saturday, setting up checkpoints and detaining dozens of people to enforce a ban on protests. Security in the town remained tight on Sunday, Reuters news agency says.

Barbara Walters retires after five decades


EGENDARY US broadcaster Barbara Walters has retired from a 52-year career with a last appearance on her daytime show, The View. Walters, 84, began her career in 1962 and was known for her high-profile interviews with broadcaster ABC. She was joined on the programme by Hillary Clinton and media mogul Oprah Winfrey, both frequent Walters interview subjects. Walters will continue to serve as executive producer of the programme. “I can’t believe this day has come, and I can’t believe it’s for real,” Ms Clinton told Walters. Walters began her career on NBC’s Today morning programme before moving to ABC in 1976. There, she presented the evening news broadcast, news magazine programme 20/20 as


well as a series of standalone interview programmes, including her yearly Most Fascinating People special. Among Ms Walters’ subjects were a host of music and pop culture stars, every president and first lady since Richard Nixon, and foreign leaders like UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Cuban President Fidel Castro and a joint interview with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. She also interviewed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a few months after a public uprising that would eventually turn into the country’s civil war. Walters began The View 17 years ago as a morning chat show with four or five women with differing political perspectives.


On Thursday, when the programme was recorded, the studio audience clapped wildly when Ms Winfrey entered. “You’re the reason I wanted to be in television,” she told Walters. “You shattered the glass ceiling for so many women.” Ms Winfrey later introduced two dozen prominent female television journalists, including Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Robin Roberts, Gayle King, Connie Chung and Joan Lunden, whom a visibly moved Walters called “my legacy”.

New surge feared on Serbia’s river

MERGENCY workers in Serbia are preparing for a “flood wave” on one of the country’s main rivers. Water levels on the River Sava are expected to peak later, threatening the country’s biggest power plant. It comes after the worst floods in the Balkans for decades left at least 20 dead and forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes. In Bosnia-Hercegovina, land-

slides have buried houses and disturbed landmines laid during the war in the 1990s. The floods are also affecting Croatia. Three months’ worth of rain fell on the region in just a few days, causing rivers to burst their banks and sweep into people’s homes. The death toll is expected to rise. Flood alerts are still in place in many areas of Serbia and northern Bosnia, according to

the EU Floods Directive. The rain has finally stopped in Belgrade, reports the BBC’s Guy De Launey in the Serbian capital. But officials fear water flowing from neighbouring Croatia and Bosnia could cause a “flood wave” on the River Sava on Sunday evening. Emergency workers and volunteers have stacked sandbags along the river in Belgrade and other towns such as Sabac and Sremska Mitrovica.

Vietnam riots: China ships to evacuate workers


HINA is sending five ships to evacuate Chinese nationals from Vietnam following a wave of anti-Chinese riots. The Chinese government has already evacuated more than 3,000 people, Chinese staterun media report. The first ship set sail yesterday, while 16 critically injured Chinese nationals left Vietnam on a chartered flight, Xinhua news agency said. Two Chinese workers have been killed and dozens more injured in unrest over a Chinese oil rig in disputed waters. On Saturday the Vietnamese government called for an end to the protests. Officials said “illegal acts” would be stopped as they could damage national stability. However, dissident groups have urged people to rally again in major cities on Sunday and the authorities broke up some anti-China protests in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In recent days crowds have set fire to at least 15 foreign-owned factories - including Chinese, Taiwanese and South Korean businesses - in

several Vietnamese industrial parks. Correspondents say the attacks appear to have worried authorities, as Hanoi depends heavily on foreign investment for economic growth. However, China has urged authorities to take tougher measures to punish rioters. “We are strongly dissatisfied by the Vietnamese side failure to respond effectively to curb an escalation,” Xinhua quoted security chief Guo Shengkun as saying on Saturday. The protests have been triggered by China’s decision to move its Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig into contested waters in the South China Sea. This led to confrontations between Vietnamese and Chinese ships earlier this month, as Vietnam sought to block the move. China insists it will continue drilling in the area, west of the Paracel Islands - which are controlled by China but also claimed by Vietnam, and Taiwan. Nationalist sentiment is currently running very high in Vietnam over the issue, correspondents say.

Colombia and Farc rebels agree on drug trade plan


OLOMBIA’s government and the Farc, the country’s largest rebel group, have agreed on a plan to deal with the illegal drug trade. Both parties agreed to eliminate all illicit drug production in Colombia should a final deal be reached. The Farc, which controls large patches of rural Colombia, is believed to be partly funded by

money generated by the illegal drug trade. This was the third on a sixpoint peace agenda being negotiated in Cuba. The civil war in Colombia has killed an estimated 220,000 people in the last five decades. Last year, government officials and the left-wing Farc (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) agreed on land re-

form and political participation. As with previous agreements, details of the programme to combat the drug trade will need to be discussed further by special commissions. Friday’s agreement marked the end of the last round of the talks initiated by President Juan Manuel Santos, who is seeking a second mandate in next week’s elections.



FOREIGN NEWS Syria air chief ‘dies in clashes’


HE head of Syria’s air defences has been killed in fighting near Damascus, government officials say. Gen Hussein Ishaq was killed as rebels attacked an air defence base near the town of Mleiha on Saturday, the offi-


cials said. He is one of a handful of high-ranking military officers to be killed in the country’s three-year-old civil war. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported Ishaq’s death.

Decree gives Egypt’s next president a salary hike

GYPT’s interim president has decreed that his successor will get a monthly salary of 21,000 Egyptian pounds ($2,957) and a similar sum in a monthly allowance for entertainment. The decree by Adly Mansour comes less than two weeks before presidential elections in which former military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who ousted the elected president and installed Mansour in his place last July, is widely expected to win. Yesterday’s decree amends a 1987 law that put the president’s monthly salary at 12,000 pounds and gave him a similar amount as an annual, not a monthly, allowance. The raise, while massive, could hardly match the dramatic rise in the cost of living over the past 25 years. Mansour does not receive a president’s salary, collecting instead his salary as a career judge..

UK yacht missing in mid-Atlantic


OUR Britons have been reported missing in the mid-Atlantic Ocean while sailing a yacht back to the UK from a regatta in the Caribbean. The crew of the Cheeki Rafiki 40ft performance racer-cruiser ran into difficulties on Thursday while returning from Antigua Sailing Week. Contact was lost in the early hours of Friday as they diverted to the Azores. They are feared to have capsized and abandoned to a life raft, Southampton charter firm Stormforce Coaching said. US and Canadian aircraft and merchant vessels looked for them on Friday and Saturday but have now called

off the search, Stormforce director Doug Innes said. Three of the four crew members were named by the company as Andrew Bridge, 21, Paul Goslin, 56 and Steve Warren, 52. They are thought to have been delivering the vessel back after it participated in Antigua Week, regarded as one of the world’s top regattas. All three were described as “very experienced offshore yachtsmen”. The Foreign Office confirmed it was aware of the missing yacht. “We are in contact with the US Coastguard and have offered consular assistance to the families”.

Libya sets Benghazi no-fly zone after clashes


NO-FLY zone has been imposed over Libya’s second city of Benghazi, the army has announced. The move follows clashes between a paramilitary force and Islamist militants which resulted in 43 deaths and more than 100 injuries. There have also been regular clashes in Benghazi between the army and militants blamed for killing security personnel. Libya’s leaders have struggled to bring stability to the country since Muammar Gaddafi was removed from power in 2011. A planned new constitution

remains unwritten and the country has had three prime ministers since March. The eastern city of Benghazi was at the heart of the anti-Gaddafi uprising. The BBC’s Rana Jawad in the capital, Tripoli, says that the nofly zone declared by the army chief is an attempt to prevent the new paramilitary force from using air power against Islamist militias in Benghazi. Our correspondent say that it is unclear how the army will deliver on its statement to shoot down any military aircraft flying over the city. The Libyan army declared the

no-fly zone after forces of retired colonel and former rebel commander Khalifa Haftar used at least one helicopter during fighting on Friday. Col Haftar also launched a ground assault on Benghazi’s Islamist militia brigades. He said that although his troops had temporarily withdrawn from the city for tactical reasons, the operation will continue until “Benghazi is purged of terrorists”. “We’ll come back with force,” Col Haftar told reporters in Abyar, a small town to the east of Benghazi. We’ve started this battle and will continue it until

we have reached our goals. “The street and the Libyan people are with us.” On Saturday Col Hafter’s spokesman called on residents living in three western districts of Benghazi - where most of the Islamist militias are based - to leave their homes. Meanwhile in Tripoli, parliamentary speaker and military commander-in-chief Nuri Abu Sahmain said Col Hafter was trying to stage a coup. Our correspondent says that Libya has a complex web of militants and some members of the army and air force are part of the paramilitary force.


secession, the rebels have intensified attacks against government troops, who in turn are pushing on with a military operation to wipe the fighters out. NATO says Putin has failed to withdraw 40,000 troops ar-

rayed on Ukraine’s border and have expressed concern that the separatist referendums may be a precursor to a land grab similar to Russia’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula Crimea from Ukraine in March.


Ukrainian forces repel rebels as candidate’s office burns

KRAINIAN forces repelled overnight attacks against bases in the country’s east, killing one rebel, as masked men set fire to a candidate’s regional campaign office ahead of a May 25 presidential ballot. Fighting between government troops and insurgents in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, known as Donbass, continued a day after separatists who have declared independence repeated their intention to join Russia. Masked men torched the office of Sergiy Tigipko’s Donetsk campaign manager with Molotov cocktails. Tigipko trailed frontrunner billionaire Petro Poroshenko in an opinion poll this week. The government in Kiev and its U.S., European Union and NATO allies have rejected the separatists’ independence calls and say Russia is trying to stir unrest before the election. Since holding May 11 referendums on

UK told to hand over Afghans held in military jails


HE Afghan government has ordered the UK to hand over detainees held in military jails in Helmand and Kandahar. An Afghan investigation found 23 prisoners in two UK facilities; one had been held for 31 months. In contrast, on the day the investigator went to look, he found no detainees being held at US facilities in the two bases. The move comes after the High Court in London ruled that holding detainees for more than 96 hours was unlawful. The issue of Afghan civilians detained by foreign forces has become a personal one for President Hamid Karzai. The last British troops will leave Helmand in a matter of months and, although the election to replace him is under way, the president has continued to be outspoken in his criticism of what he


Indians vote for change as Ukraine crisis deepens


NDIA, the world's largest democracy has just concluded its general elections into the 16th Lok Sabha, its 543-member parliament. The marathon foremost civic exercise spread through nine phases in five weeks, from April 7 to May 12, came up with a stunning upset for the incumbent Ghandhi dynasty's Indian national Congress, ruling under the umbrella United Progressive Alliance. The winner is the Bharatiya Janata Party which mustered an outright singular winning majority of 282 seats, more than enough to form the government and a total of 336 under the National Democratic Alliance. This will be the first time since 1984 when a single party will have a winning majority in parliament without having to rule by a coalition. In all, 814 million eligible voters were registered; 551million votes were cast making a turn-out of 66.3 pe4r cent, while 8,251 candidates contested the 543 seats. Pro-business 63 -year old Narendra Modi, who is the Chief Minister of Gujarat State, leader of the BJP is expected to be sworn in this week as prime minister while the defeated Manhoman Singh of the Indian National Congress, whose party can only pick 44 seats, has tendered his resignation, congratulating Modi and wishing him success. The prime minister - elect is also coming to Delhi with a past, having been accused of not doing enough to curtail a communal clash in his state in 2002, which led to the death of over 1,000 . For this, he was widely condemned both locally and internationally leading to the U.S refusing to grant him visa and the UK cancelling his visa. Of course events have changed and President Obama is one of the first callers to congratulate him with an invitation to Washington British Prime Minister David Cameron has also welcomed Modi, while Pakistan's PM Nawaz Sharif commended the BJP of " impressive success" at the elections. As in most elections, the Congress party's abysmal electoral loss is the economy, stupid. India has witnessed sluggish growth in its economy lately with rising consumer prices, corruption, the economy, security and failing infrastructure.

So, the prime minister elect has his job cut out for him and he has promised to hit the ground running, turning the economic fortunes of this giant nation around from the get go. In one of its worst mining tragedy, 301 miners were killed in the Turkish city of Soma some kilometres south of Istanbul, when a mine exploded last Tuesday afternoon. The victims relatives' grief were further exacerbated with what they called Prime Minster Recep Erdogan's insensitivity during a visit to the accident scene. He was quoted as slapping a protester to stop booing as accidents of this nature do occur frequently in the industry. Also, an aide to the prime minister was captured in a video kicking a protester on ground. The prime minster has been a target of mass protests for months by the opposition calling for his resignation over economic policies. A three-day national mourning had been declared while investigations are on-going and the prime minister has promised no stone will be left unturned in unravelling the cause of the explosion in a country that is rife with such accidents. The Sino-Vietnam industrial feud took another dimension in the week under review when many industrial firms were torched by disgruntled elements and agitators in the Binh Duong Province of south Vietnam. This is a climax to economic nationalism fall-out over China's construction of oil rigs in the South China Sea areas over which Vietnam is also laying claims. Taiwanese authorities are also fuming as demonstrators burned some Taiwan-owned businesses mistaking the logos in front of their factories for Chinese-owned. There are moves in the diplomatic channels and hopefully peace will soon prevail. The crisis in Ukraine continues to grow into different dimensions as the countdown to the May 25 elections looms. There have been several clashes involving casualties from both government forces and pro-Russia separatists, whose leader Denis Pushlin, was freed after a gunshot attack in the Ukrainian city of Luhansk in what the sepa-

sees as abuses by foreign forces. His investigation was led by a state prosecutor, Abdul Shakur Dadras. Mr Dadras said: “In Afghan law foreigners are not allow to arrest anyone. “Non-Afghan military forces do not have the right to hold any prisoners even for a day or an hour.” He said that of the 17 prisoners he saw in Camp Bastion none had been held for less than a month. And he said he was told by the British authorities in the camp that the prisoner held for 31 months, Noor Ahmad, was a dangerous man and should not be released. But Mr Dadras said national and international laws “do not allow them to hold someone for that long”. “Whether he is a dangerous man or not it is the right of Afghan forces to investigate,” he said.

Global Focus

ratists have called a hit from DAYO FAKUADE, Foreign Editor Ukrainian officials. This has been vehemently denied by sms 08134230367 Kiev. The separatists have also announced their constitution; affirming their readiness to be part of Russia Federation warning that no Ukrainian elections will take place in the twin regions of Luhansk and "Considering that religion or belief, for anyone Donetsk regions. The separatists also control 15 who professes either, is one of the fundamental radio and television stations in the eastern elements in his conception of life and that freeUkraine regions in their move to consolidate on dom of religion or belief should be fully respectthe gains of the 11th May referendum for autonoed and guaranteed" my. In view of the above, it is with utter disbelief, Russia's Vladimar Putin has been playing a that a Sudanese court last week sentenced a womtricky game of political chicanery on his antagoan to hang for apostasy after she was alleged to nists from the West; even after all the sanctions have left Islam and married a Christian man. imposed by the United States, United Kingdom Local media report the sentence would not be and the European Union. The trio accuses Putin of carried out for two years after she has given birth. stationing 40,000 troops at its eastern border with "I am a Christian and I never committed apostaUkraine, a charge which the latter says is mute sy", the woman said in court. since all troops have been removed from the said Sudan has a majority Muslim population, which zone and are now back in their "normal positions is governed by Islamic law. It rules that apostasy for regular military exercises". Also Putin is not - the abandonment of one's religious faith - is a against the 25th May Ukrainian elections, yet crime. wants Kiev to "create a conducive atmosphere for The judge also sentenced the woman to 100 lashdirect talks with the people in south eastern es after convicting her of adultery - because her Ukraine. marriage to a Christian man was not valid under On the economic front, Ukraine remains inIslamic law. debted to and dependent on Russia for most of its This will reportedly be carried out when she gas supply with overall debt now $ 3.5 billion, has recovered from giving birth. according to Russia's gas giant Gazprom. Amnesty International said the woman, MeriAlso four of EU members rely fully on gas supam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag, was raised as an Orthoply from Moscow and another 12 for about half of dox Christian, her mother's religion, because her their gas imports. father, a Muslim, was reportedly absent during Russia has several post - cold war technical and her childhood. technological related treaties especially with the Without being judgemental about others faith, United States on space exploration and other rethe international community should rise up and lated ventures that any attempt at further danstop this cruel and unusual punishment in view gling the stick option at Russia might be selfof the background as revealed by the woman. destructive to the latter. Sudan should be called to respect the right of the Part of The 1981 United Nations Universal Decpregnant woman to choose her religion larations on Religious Intolerance adopted on 25th Our globe is a treasure; let us keep it safe and November 1981 includes declarations on the topliveable. Go green and live green by planting a ics of: religious intolerance, freedom of religion, tree in your neighbourhood today. See you next discrimination on the basis of religion or belief. week.



•Choi Kang-Hee


South Korea under spotlight in Brazil

OUTH Korea are remembered for their run to the 2002 World Cup semi-finals but they are under pressure to create new memories this year in Brazil after an unconvincing build-up. The Taeguk Warriors enjoy an enviable record of qualifying for eight World Cups in a row, a streak only bettered by Brazil, Germany, Italy, Argentina and Spain. But for their supporters, the looming Group H games against Belgium, Russia and Algeria cannot paper over South Korea's struggles to qualify this time when they squeaked home on goal difference. In a bad-tempered final game, South Korea lost 1-0 to Iran and had to endure anxious moments before learning they had finished second in their group despite Uzbekistan's 5-1 defeat of Qatar. Coach Choi Kang-Hee, who had declared he would only manage South Korea through the qualifiers when he took

over in December 2011, stuck to his plan and resigned. And in came Hong MyungBo, South Korea's most-capped player and captain of the squad that battled their way to the semi-finals, when they cohosted the 2002 finals. South Korea's 2002 World Cup victories over footballing giants Portugal, Italy and Spain are now a distant memory and the signs under Hong, 44, so far have not been encouraging. In 14 matches under his watch, South Korea were held scoreless six times, and their 15 goals scored includes four against lowly Haiti and three against Mali. Son Heung-Min, a 21-yearold forward, may hold the key to improving South Korea's scoring record. Son made his name netting 12 goals for Hamburg last season, earning a lucrative transfer to Bayer Leverkusen. More goals have come this season for his new German club and he is South Korea's top-scorer under Hong, with four in eight games.

Zidane: Ronaldo is a genius


HE France legend has hailed the forward's continued success with the Spanish giants and tipped him to star for Portugal in Brazil next month. Real Madrid assistant coach Zinedine Zidane has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as a "genius"


and is tipping the Portuguese star to impress at this summer’s World Cup. The forward is expected to be fit for next weekend’s Champions League final against Atletico Madrid despite dropping out of the warm-up against Espanyol with a hamstring injury concern on Saturday. Zidane has paid tribute to Madrid’s star man and is confident he will impress at the World Cup as Portugal prepare to do battle with Germany in the group stage. "Ronaldo is an exciting talent. We see him train every day at Real Madrid and believe me, he is simply a genius," Zidane told The Times of India. "I don’t see why he cannot carry his club form into the World Cup. What he has been achieving for Real Madrid is amazing. "He is the best according to us, and I have every reason to believe that Cristiano will set the grass on fire.


Spain may play 'dirty' says Socceroos


OCCEROOS midfielder James Holland is expecting some "dirty" play from world champions Spain and feels Australia should be prepared to fight fire with fire when they face them in Brazil. The 25-year-old, who plays in the Austrian top flight with Austria Vienna, competed in the UEFA Champions League (UCL) this season. He faced the likes of newly crowned Spanish champions and UCL finalists Atletico Madrid who boast several Spanish internationals including striker Diego Costa. Holland says he's bracing for a some possible underhanded tactics when Australia face Spain in their final World Cup group match on June 23 in Curitiba, particularly from Costa. "He's a fantastic player. Very dirty, but fantastic," Holland said on Sunday. "Yeah maybe (we will have to fight fire with fire). He takes it to a new level." Having only arrived on the NSW Central Coast from Austria on Saturday night, Holland was consigned to just light duties on Sunday while the other


15 Socceroos in camp had a full training session. With 13 midfielders in the 30man squad Holland is yet to be assured a spot in the final 23 and may feel some pressure from rising stars Adam Sarota and Oliver Bozanic. But he's hoping playing against some of the world's best footballers in the prestigious UCL will give him an edge. "I had a full season and I was able to experience some champions League games, it can only help me," he said. "For me it was good to test myself against those kind of players. That's the level you're expecting in the World Cup as well. "So it does help." With 12 caps under his belt, Holland is one of the more experienced players in Ange Postecoglou's preliminary 30man squad. But he knows that won't count for much when the coach names his final 23. "Ange is fair, I know if you do well on the training field you will get your chance," he said. "It's up to us at the end of the day.

•James Holland

Capello out to set record straight

ABIO Capello has vowed to learn from his bitter World Cup experience with England when he returns to the tournament as Russia's coach in June. Capello's first taste of management at a major international tournament ended in humiliation as England crashed out with a 4-1 defeat against old rivals Germany in the last 16. The humbling nature of England's exit was a major stain on Capello's otherwise pristine CV, with a series of uninspired performances in the group stages followed by the onesided loss to the Germans in South Africa. To make matters worse for Capello, he had to endure reports that England's players were unhappy with a training camp they regarded as dull, as well as complaints about his stern man-management style. Capello survived the storm of

criticism following that failure and guided England to qualification for Euro 2012. But the Italian resigned before the tournament after disagreeing with the Football Association over the decision to take the captaincy from John Terry, who was facing racism allegations. Now Capello has an opportunity to right the wrongs of his painful experiences with England as he prepares to take Russia to the World Cup in Brazil. When Capello accepted the Russia job two years ago, he found a squad with its morale in tatters following the team's embarrassing group-stage exit at Euro 2012, which ended in the resignation of boss Dick Advocaat. The Russians also failed to reach the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, but Capello has got them back on track and they have a good chance of advancing to the

•Fabio Capello

latter stages of the competition after being drawn in a winnable group including Belgium, South Korea and Algeria. Capello is keen to play down talk that he underachieved with England, but there is no doubting his desire to make an impact on the global stage in South America. "When you win everything is perfect. When you lose, everything is wrong. This is the history of football. But we didn't play really, really well," Capello told CNN's World Sport. Capello is confident this time he has made the right choice for Russia's Brazilian training camp in the town of Itu, close to Sao Paulo. "We are really lucky because it's one of the best camps in terms of location, distance from the airport, everything. We are really happy," he said. After years of failure, the Russians are back at World Cup for

the first time in 12 years and Capello's reward was a lucrative new contract lasting until the end of the next edition of the tournament, which will be staged in Russia in 2018. "We are back in the World Cup after 12 years, the experience is really important for the players," he said. However, Capello admitted that the language barrier between him and the majority of the players was a big hurdle to overcome. "It's difficult to work with players who are ignorant of foreign languages," he said. "Sometimes you need to cheer up the team, to get the players worked up. And I'm not completely confident that the interpreter is capable of reproducing my thoughts and emotions unchanged." The prospect of leading Russia's World Cup challenge on home turf appeals to Capello, yet the 67-year-old has been linked with several top jobs in club management, including Tottenham, this season and may find it difficult to resist the lure of an approach from the Premier League or Serie A. For now he is just focused on Brazil, where he expects the hosts to make a major challenge for the trophy. "Brazil is my favourite team because I saw the games they played in the Confederations Cup," he said. "They improved a lot game after game and they are really strong. The quality is not the top like normal Brazilian players, but they are compact and they are really physically strong. "After this it's Spain, the World Cup champions. And Germany. Always. I don't know why but they always finish in the first four."




Rodgers has faith in club's youngsters B

RENDAN Rodgers has vowed to continue to give young players first-team opportunities at Liverpool - providing they have the right personality. Raheem Sterling has become a first-team fixture at Anfield at the age of 19 and has been named in England's squad for the World Cup in Brazil this summer. Jon Flanagan, 21, and 23year-old Jordan Henderson have also been key components of a Reds side that finished second in the Barclays Premier League this season.

Martinez tips Gibson to thrive next season


VERTON manager Roberto Martinez has tipped Darron Gibson to shine upon his return from injury next season. The Republic of Ireland international missed the start of the season with a knee injury, and suffered cruciate ligament damage with his country just weeks after making a return. But Martinez insists the midfielder still has a huge role to play at Goodison Park, and that he has been missed during the 2013-14 campaign. "Darron has been a big miss for us," Martinez is quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo. "He has not been forgotten internally. "I know when you don’t play as a player you get a little bit out of the limelight but I'm very excited about Darron’s contribution next season. He's exactly the type of midfielder we need. Gareth Barry and James McCarthy have been fantastic, but we could have done with Darron being fit and ready. "He is looking sharp. He wanted to be involved in the final game of the season, but we would have been taking a little bit of a risk to do that. "But I'm pleased to say he will start pre-season in great condition and ready to fight."

•Darron Gibson

Hernandez looking forward


Rodgers has placed his faith in youth and will continue to do so as a first option when looking to add fresh blood to his first-team squad. "I think it's clear that we're a football club that is about giving an opportunity to the youth players," said Rodgers. "I'm not sure there's a younger squad of players that has qualified for the Champions League; I'm not sure there's a younger group that will have finished second. "It's my first look - from within. Some of those boys have already sampled the first team. It's really up to them; age is no barrier for me. If they're good enough, they'll be old enough. "Raheem Sterling displaced full internationals at 17 years of age and has gone on to become a really top-class young player. Jon Flanagan is young. (Philippe) Coutinho we brought in as a 20-year-old. "Jordon Ibe has played in the first team. So there is an opportunity there for them, but they have got to have the personality - which is key.


Keane: Class of '92 not 'must-have' for Van Gaal


ROSPECTIVE Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal could cope without the help of former players, according to ex-captain Roy Keane. Interim boss Ryan Giggs has been assisted by class of '92 colleagues Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt since taking over from David Moyes last month, guiding the team to two victories from his four games in charge. Current Netherlands coach Van Gaal is the man widely reported to be in line to take up the job on a fulltime basis, with Giggs likely to form part of his backroom staff, but Keane is unsure whether his former United team-mates would be of any benefit to the Dutchman. "It doesn't rock my boat," he is quoted as saying in the British press. "People go on about the old Liverpool boot-room and all this, but no it doesn't do -anything for me. "If it -guarantees success, I would go for it. But does it -guarantee success? No. I don't fall for all that. "There have been coaches over the years at United when I was there - Jim Ryan had the United connection, Brian McClair had the United connection, Mick Phelan was there, and Brian Kidd. "It is good to have that, but I don't think it is a musthave - particularly if you think you have to have three or four of them because they came through the youth team together." Neville arrived at Old Trafford with Moyes, but remained at the club following the Scot's departure,

and Keane feels the former Everton man should have considered his own position. "Moyes brought in Phil Neville and everybody said it was great," he added. "I

would like to ask Phil what did he bring to the party; and, when Moyes left, why didn't Phil leave with him? "You would have to ask Phil. But I know what I would have done."

AVIER Hernandez says he is looking forward to the new season after a frustrating campaign at Manchester United. The 25-year-old started just six Premier League games in a disappointing year for United which saw them fall to their lowest topflight finish since the 1989/ 90 season. Speculation surrounds the striker's future, with Inter Milan the latest club to be linked with him, although he has two further years on his current deal at Old Trafford. Hernandez managed to hit nine goals in all competitions despite being largely used as a substitute, but admits he hoped to have contributed more. "This season I couldn't help my team too much because I didn't play so much, so it has been difficult because I saw them lose games," he told Mediotiempo. "Every player in the world wants to play as much as possible, that's obvious. "We want to play, but we understand that there are eleven players in the starting line-up, seven on the bench and that it's only one team. "It's part of the game. For anything in life you need confidence and opportunities. If those opportunities don't appear, it's tough. But I am never going to avoid a challenge. "It's been a difficult season for us, we didn't get the results that we expected, but now we have to forget this and look forward. Next season will be important for us."


The striker joined from Mexican side Guadalajara in 2010 and says he remains grateful that United gave him the opportunity to showcase his talents on some of world football's biggest stages. "This club is special for me because it's the one that opened the doors to me for being in Europe for playing in the biggest team in the world," he said. "I scored nine goals in 12 games as a starter and besides that, I didn't play as many games as other seasons. I feel very well. "I feel that I have grown up as a player, I am totally adapted to this league and that is the most positive thing of this season for me."

Altidore still feels wanted


•Louis van Gaal

OZY Altidore intends to be back at Sunderland next season as he still has the full backing of manager Gus Poyet. The American striker endured a forgettable debut campaign at the Stadium of Light, netting just twice in all competitions. He and Sunderland had been hoping for much more, with a £6million transfer pushed through on the back of an impressive strike rate in the Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar. It has been suggested that his inability to provide value for money could lead to his time on Wearside being cut short after just 12 months. Altidore is, however, convinced that he will come good, as he prepares for World Cup duty with the USA, and says his boss feels the same. He said in the Sunderland Echo: "You are going to go through tough times and in a career in soccer, a lot of it is mental. "You have to stay strong at the tough moments because there are going to be a lot of them. "Poyet said, 'I know it didn't go well for you, but I believe in you and I want to see you back here'. "So it was positive."

Altidore added on the need to reflect on the past but drive on into the future: "It was tricky but it was also good to sit back and see what I could do better. "I feel like I improved, even though I wasn't in the team. "The bigger picture is we stayed up in the Premier League. "When it comes to the World Cup, the season is behind you and all that matters is what you do going forward."





Ndanusa fears Bolt, other top stars From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja •Ndanusa


RESIDENT of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Engineer Sani Ndanusa has expressed fears over medal haul by Nigeria in this year’s Commonwealth Games. The former Minister of Sports told NationSport in Abuja at the weekend that two major things that may prevent Nigeria from winning more medals that she won the last time are funds and the presence of world stars like Usain Bolt and the rest of athletics stars from Jamaica who have confirmed participation for this Games this time around. The last Commonwealth Games held in New Delhi, India in 2010 did not parade stars like world and Olympics record holder Jamaican Usain Bolt, but the super star has confirmed readiness to hit Glasgow for these games likewise his female counterpart. There are other top stars from other commonwealth nations that were not in Delhi and they have confirmed participation for the 2014 edition. So it may be more difficult for Nigeria to win more medals that she won the last time

Also funds may serve as a major stumbling block for Nigeria’s successful participation at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. “, the NOC boss explained. “The participation standard is going to be very high so, we need to work hard and we need to repackage fully and that is where other things come to play like people that have not done very well, money issue. It is not always easy when you are embarking on a mammoth journey and you are starting the journey with gear 4, so you wonder how the car will move. Because, if less than hundred days to the Game and we do not have money then we are taking off with gear 4. Only God know how the journey will be. “But having said that, Nigerians are very resilient and I can assure you that we will perform creditably well at the Game but we would have done better if the funding has come earlier,” “There is a big difference between the commonwealth games that took place in India and the commonwealth games that is going to happen in Glasgow. You know Glasgow s in Europe and due to some reasons, securities and otherwise, most of our top class athletes did not participate in India, so we see everybody is


coming for this games, all the top athletes will be participating in this Games. You know it is a mini Olympic which is taking place in Europe, the environment is right, the facilities are top class and everything is in place, so the condition is right for performance”. Ndanusa also disclosed that the National Sports Commission and the Nigeria Olympic Commission have resolved to put smiles on the faces of Nigeria and to wipe out the sad event of the 2012 Olympics where Nigeria failed to win a single medal. He said the Glasgow Games would be a better story for Nigeria despite the envisaged funding

problem confronting sports generally. “The experience of London 2012 has thought us a lot of lessons, because it has given us useful information to know how to handle other events that we will attend, because once you have tested failure you will not want to taste you will never want to experience it again. And I want to thank the Nigeria president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for taking the decision of calling everybody together, the private sector, the sports administrators, and every other person and said lets discuss this problem and chart a way forward. We cannot accept this kind of performance again”, he vowed.



Dodan defeats Islanders in ‘clash of titans’

T was Nigeria’s basketball at its best as Dodan Warriors defeated Atlantic Conference table toppers, Lagos Islanders to win the ‘clash of the titan’ by a single point of 55 - 56 in the DStv Premier Basketball League week 10 game played at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. The highly explosive game that kept fans at the edge of their seats saw both teams try to take-hold of the conference but it was the Warriors that came out victorious. The Warriors lead the first quarter with just a point 17-18 and increased it to three points 24-27 going into the second quarter. Led by Lati Erinfolami,

By Akeem Lawal Islanders fought back to claim the third quarter by 40-37. And just as they were cruising to victory, coach Chris Domingo team rallied back to win the tie in the closing stage of the game by 55-56 points to remain joint top team with Islanders and Union bank who also made a bold statement on their final 8 quest when they defeated Royal Hoopers 76 – 60. The three teams are now on 7-3 record. Oluyole Warriors were taken aback when they lost to Kwara Falcons 59 - 47 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Kwara State Stadium. The loss saw the Coach Aderinboye Bayo down to 4th spot with a 6-4 record.

In the Savannah Conference, leaders Kano Pillars were unstoppable as the coach Ahmed Sani led side extended their unbeaten run to 10 games after defeating bottom placed Niger Potters by 117 – 67 points at the Indoor Sport Hall of Sanni Abacha Stadium. Mark Mentos became the only team that secured an away victory in the conference when they defeated Kada Stars 76 – 102 points at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Abuja National Stadium to maintain the second spot. Mentos are now on 8-2 record, the same with Gombe Bulls who defeated Plateau Peaks by 56 – 50 points. Immigration also moved up

base at the weekend. “I have been in touch with the coaches and I’m looking forward to reuniting with the team.” Granada have held onto the highly promising player in their fight for survival in La Liga.

The Flying Eagles beat Ngorongoro Heroes of Tanzania 2-0 in Dar es Salaam in a second round, first leg AYC qualifier. The return match will be played in Kaduna on Saturday, May 24.

to the 4th spot on the log after recording a 89 – 66 points victory over Bauchi Nets as the visitors now remain 7th on the table. Week 10 results Atlantic Union Bank 76 - 60 Royal Hoopers Islanders 55 - 56 D.Warriors Customs 63 - 62 Police Baton Kwara Falcons 59 - 47 Oluyole W. Savannah Kano Pillars 117 - 67 Niger Potters Kada Stars 76 - 102 Mark Mentors Immigration 89 - 66 Bauchi Nets Gombe 56 - 50 Plateau Peaks

Isaac Success to join F/Eagles tomorrow


SAAC Success has said he hopes to join the Flying Eagles training camp in Kaduna ahead of an AYC qualifier latest tomorrow. “I hope to join the squad latest by Tuesday,” the Granada striker said from his Spanish


Babalola, Agugbom win CBN Open tennis championship


IGERIA’S current number four seed Abdulmumuni Babalola„ at the weekend emerged the winner of the 36th edition of the just concluded Central Bank of Nigeria Open Senior Tennis tournament held at the tennis courts of the National Stadium Surulere„ Lagos, when

he dethroned the defending champion Henry Atseye whom he defeated 2-0. Babalola who had earlier sent a warning signal during the semifinals when he forced the number one seed„Cliford Enosoregbe, to surrender at 5-7, 3-1 retired wasted no time in dismissing the defending champion Henry

Atseye by beating him in two straight sets 6-2, 6-2 to become the new champion and thus pocketed the N700,000 star prize plus a giant trophy attached to it. It would be recalled that Babalola had in the past won this tournament four times, 2002, 2006, 2009 and 2012 to make him a fifth time winner.

A new champion also emerged in the Ladies Singles category when last year’s runners-up Christy Agugbom defeated Nigeria’s latest junior sensational based in the United Kingdom, sixteen years old teenager, Elizabeth Pam 5-7, 7-5, 6-3, in a hard fought battle to emerge champion.

HotSports talks tough against impostors


HE Official Media Partner of the Nigeria F o o t b a l l Federation(NFF), HotSports Nigeria Limited, has said it will not hesitate to take legal action against any individual or corporate organisation found to have violated its rights. In a statement signed by Taye Ige, CEO of HotSports, the company said its attention has been drawn to attempts by certain individuals to infringe on its Rights for commercial exploitation. This, the statement said, is not only unprofessional but also illegal and would be met with stiff resistance as well as appropriate legal action. It however said opportunity exists for individuals and organisations with ideas around the Rights to approach HotSports as Rights owners for negotiation. It explained that the company is open for talks on how to benefit from the Rights. ”For the avoidance of doubt, HotSports as the Official Media Partner of the Nigeria Football Federation, is authorised to have its production crew at any of the Nigerian national football teams camp to film and observe activities within the camp as they prepare for competitions all over the world. "The company is at liberty to broadcast the content generated through whatever platform it so desires including TV, radio and the online media, subject to sponsors’ preferences. What this simply

means is that HotSports is the media company granted the Rights to broadcast behind-thescene activities of the Super Eagles as well as the other national teams of Nigeria including meal times, tactical sessions, warm up, moments before and after matches among others. Any individual or organisation who claims to have such Rights is an impostor and must be treated as such,” the statement explained. It further said “the company invested into securing the Rights and as such we have obligation to protect our Rights. We have properly briefed our legal advisers to take the required legal action against any individual or organisation that infringes on these Rights. HotSports will vigorously protect and defend its Rights against infringement and ambush marketing attempts. The appropriate thing to do by anyone with ideas around these Rights is to come to us for negotiation. That is the right way to go. We are open to talks with individuals or organisations who want to benefit from the Rights.” The statement urged the public, particularly decision makers in corporate Nigeria to be wary of the antics of some unscrupulous individuals who are fond of reaping where they did not sow.” It would be recalled that HotSports was announced as the Official Media Partner of the Nigeria Football Federation in January 2014 at a joint press conference addressed by NFF and HotSports in Lagos.

Media accreditation for ITTF Lagos World Tour begins


HE Main Organising Committee (MOC) of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Lagos World Tour has commenced the media accreditation for the mouthwatering tournament holding in Lagos from June 23 to 26. According to MOC, journalists willing to cover the event are expected to forward their recent passport photograph with name, designation and medium to The accreditation is expected to run for three weeks with deadline set for June 8. For its success in 2013, ITTF has sanctioned the

tournament as one of its challenge series with prize money of $39,700 with players across the globe expected to vie for honours at the four-day championship. Four events –single (men and women) and Under-21 (boys and girls) will be competed by the participants. Players’ registration for the tournament has commenced through the ITTF website, while the 2013 edition produced Egypt’s Omar Assar and Nigeria’s Cecilia OtuAkpan as winners in the men and women singles. Meanwhile, the African Top 16 will follow the ITTF World Tour on June 27 to 28.

Elegushi praises Nigeria Wrestling Federation


HAIRMAN of Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, Hon. Anofi Olarenwaju Elegushi has commended Nigeria (Pro) Wrestling Federation for using its Award of Excellence to challenge him in striving to give more dividends of democracy, adding that the award will encourage him to do more in the provision of basic amenities in his Local Government, as well as other Local Government Chairmen in the country Elegushi stated this when executive members of the Federation led by its National President, Prince Hammed Olarenwaju Mohammed presented the “Intercontinental Good Governance and Peace Award” to him in his office. SpeakingwithNationsport, hesaid “this award has challenged me to do more, if I can’t move to the top, I want to maintain my stand and

By Bowale Odukale

to do that I must perform so definitely it is a great challenge for me to do more for my people’ President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Prince Hammed Olanrewaju Mohammed explained that the body decided to honour him in recognition of his efforts in his Local Government, adding that the body will continue to identify and honour elected leaders who have touched the lives of many people. “Our Federation decided to honour the Eti-Osa Local Government Area boss in recognition of what he had done in the areas of health, education, skill acquisition, job creation, youth empowerment, road rehabilitation and poverty alleviation”. he said “We hope the award will challenge him to do more for his people,” Mohammed added



VOL 9 NO 2853

‘As a nation, we should have a truly transformed heart for genuine and dedicated service... Our leaders should not see the 2015 elections as their ultimate destinies and then become desperate’ SOJI OMOTUNDE



T began as absence of water. It has climaxed as absence of leadership. How it will end, especially as the saga of missing hundreds of girls surges on, lies in a foggy horizon. The crisis of Boko Haram was predated by the crisis of water, when the drying of the Lake Chad signaled the decline and fall of its status as the Nile of northeastern Nigeria. The lake provided not only jobs, but also livelihood. Not only livelihood, but also culture. Add to its culture an ambience of peace. It flourished an empire, spawned a big city, opened its portal to all faiths and all peoples, and glorified Africa’s longest reigning dynasty, the Seifawa. Then drought came but so did doubt. An environment of self-confidence led to questioning the certainties of generations of the economic practices and harmony of its residents. Farmers did not enjoy the nutrients of the soil. Traders could not ferry across to markets. Fishermen nestled their nests rather than fling them for catches. Markets shrank. Drought weakened a doughty people. Where there was food, they had gloom. A diverse and robust economy kept the politicians and leaders at bay. Commerce failed, but a few became powerful. The immiserated many followed to the lead of an indolent few, a peacock class with messianic agenda. Fruitful people became restless and idle. The first explosion was the Maitasine riots in Kano in the 1980’s. They blossomed in blood and rapine, but they hailed from the Maiduguri area, where Boko Haram first tenanted its zealots. General Alabi Isama assisted by soldiers like now Senate President David Mark quelled the uprising. The Sambisa Forest, now mythicised as an impossible fortress, was cordoned off, and the rabble of militants was ravished by a deft response under a so-called weak and indecisive Shehu Shagari in the second republic. Even then the Lake Chad was losing its swath of water to the systematic encroachment of the desert. We failed to plant enough trees. We failed to protect the water. It was the first failure of leadership. Places abound in the world today where they saved lives and civilisation because they saved the water. In the United States, the picturesque state of Colorado with all its luxuriant parks and lakes would probably be gone without care. All the trees in its lush capital Denver are hand-planted. The second level of leadership failure was the routine neglect of education and commerce by successive state and federal governments. The feudal north hid under a religious cover and entrenched a cynical brand of politics that elevated a few and alienated the rest. Disaster seeds are planted in eras of silence. One of them, now an APC chieftain, once gloated as governor that Borno citizens could not read, and could not understand the adverse media reporting about his failure. After the Maitatsine riots, no one inoculated


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Swap the girls now

• Dr. Jonathan the society. The disease gradually grew like invidious cancer, and the result was the rise of Yusuf. He rallied the indolent and illiterate, and gave them a society that the government allowed to evaporate. “Feed them first, and then demand virtue of them,” wrote Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky, in his novel of patricide, The Brothers Karamazov. He also noted in the novel that what people want is not God but miracle. I believe if you associate the miracle with God, they will go with whatever the God is. Yusuf gave the boys miracle, and he had authority over them. This disaster was seething in quiet promise while the ruling class swaggered. When the monster matured, everyone was blindsided. Yusuf was killed, and the group’s rage escalated. But some of the governors of the region had used them for political violence in the same way the Niger Delta political class used the militants. Boko Haram became born and festered in killings, stealing, arson and kidnapping. This leads us to the third example of leader-

In the past few years, the president’s uncle, the garrulous Edwin Clark’s son and Okonjo Iweala’s mother, among others, were kidnapped. Would they tell us that they were freed without negotiation and release of funds? Let us not be hypocritical. If any of our leaders were like the Chibok man who had two daughters and four cousins with the BH boys, would the issue of swap spark debate? It is an act of not only folly but example of disconnection with the people.

ship failure. This involves corruption, ineptitude and incompetence. This began under Yar’Adua, under whose reign Yusuf was killed. But the man was ill, and did not act. However, much of the violence flared under President Goodluck Jonathan. A number of things have gone wrong. One, about N2.7 trillion of security budget has gone unaccounted for since 2011. The U.S. Congress lashed the Nigerian military as ill-equipped and ill-trained. They said our armed forces are even afraid of the insurgents. Foreign powers are now giving us technology that we could have acquired with the princely security budget allocations. Two, a disconnected leader. President Jonathan did not respond to many of the



OR anyone who cares to know, Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi keeps accusing the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, of betrayal; and it isn’t difficult to understand why he feels so disappointed. Amaechi claims credit for recommending him to President Goodluck Jonathan for ministerial appointment, which Wike denies, even though certain facts would appear to suggest the plausibility of the assertion. In particular, they are both of Ikwerre ethnicity and Wike was Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Hacourt, and doubled as the Director-General of the Amaechi Campaign Organisation in 2011, which makes it believable, as the governor has claimed, that he sought his endorsement for the position of minister. It is thought-provoking that after Wike’s ministerial dream came true and he was appointed as the Minister of State for Education, he ended up on Jonathan’s side in the power clash that parted Amaechi and the president. It is noteworthy that the face-off between Amaechi and Wike was apparently compounded by the latter’s 2015 governorship ambition, which the former opposed with the

killings and depredations of the group other than by rhetoric of surrender. He has been uninspired, and he has hidden under a hallucinatory logic fueled by his acolytes that everything is a conspiracy to hang his presidency. The north wants him to fail, and that is the reason for the insurgency. So he appointed a northern oligarch as national security adviser. He has been of no effect. Sambo Dasuki, the NSA, is a prince. But the insurgents are paupers, and the prince has not saved the nation from the paupers because they belong to a different world. His defence minister Gusau’s reign is highlighted by internecine brawls with service chiefs. Jonathan’s acolytes have adduced the same conspiracy theory to obfuscate all Jonathan’s failures in infrastructure, power, education, corruption, etc. The terrorist has become the bogeyman. The same logic animated disbelief by Jonathan, his wife, and others in his circle when the Chibok girls were whisked away. Hence it took three weeks for the president to utter a word after his famous Azonto trip to Kano and Champaign fizz in Ibadan. It took the outrage of the world and the persistent reporting by CNN to jolt Jonathan and his “Chai! There is God O” wife to know that not everything is conspiracy. Even at that, he is saying he does not want to swap the detained terrorists for the girls. Some politicians and leaders hold that indefensible position. Hoisting a moral premise that we cannot negotiate with terrorists, they say it negates law and decency. Hogwash. They also say it is American principle. I love principle, but to quote Oscar Wilde, “persons are more important than principles”. Persons are real, and principles are based on persons. Principles cannot bring those girls back alive. If Shekau is not sincere, at least let us give him the opportunity to fail. But to say that we cannot swap is an act of hypocritical folly. In the past few years, the president’s uncle, the garrulous Edwin Clark’s son and Okonjo Iweala’s mother, among others, were kidnapped. Would they tell us that they were freed without negotiation and release of funds? Let us not be hypocritical. If any of our leaders were like the Chibok man who had two daughters and four cousins with the BH boys, would the issue of swap spark debate? It is an act of not only folly but example of disconnection with the people. In securing information on Osama Bin Laden, the U.S. gave an Arab partisan a Ferrari in exchange for a phone number. Talk about swap. What shall we lose if we give up those in detention, and get the girls? Not much. The released guys can fight us, but that is a price we can pay. It is an opportunity cost. Would we rather that the girls die or are sold off, or that the prisoners are released? Now that the world powers are with us, we can now track and destroy these guys. •Continued on page 11

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Things men say for power

argument that the state’s ethnic diversity required that other tribal groups be encouraged to produce the next governor. Interestingly, during a recent visit to Amaechi by the Supreme Council of Ikwerre Traditional Rulers, he went into detail on the background to Wike’s ministerial ascension, and made allegations that are food for thought. According to Amaechi, “Wike swore with the names of his children that he would never betray me, that I should put his name forward for ministerial appointment. I asked him to swear with the names of his children, which he did.” It may be unclear why Amaechi adopted the mentioned approach; but more importantly, Wike’s reported cooperation is an enlightening study in the things men do for power, or more precisely, the things men say for power. Disappointingly, Amaechi stopped short of further amplification, such as providing insight into the particularities of Wike’s alleged oath of allegiance, especially the evils he possibly wished upon

his children should he break his vow. Such information would have added welcome colour to the account. Nevertheless, the picture sufficiently portrays the nature of behind-the-scenes activities in the country’s power loop, even though this is most likely to be a tip of the iceberg. There is a significant observation to be made in connection with Wike’s denial of Amaechi’s position that he proposed him to the president, which is that it does not necessarily mean that the oath incident described by the governor never happened. If it truly did, what better illustration of his desperation can you get? What is more, if it did, and Wike has turned out to be a betrayer as Amaechi alleged and probably supported by reality, what better indication of unprincipledness can you get? To extrapolate, it shouldn’t be difficult to imagine how an individual with such apparent lack of honour for his own words would treat his oath of office either as minister or governor.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:08099365644, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790 WEBSITE: E-mail: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

May 19, 2014  
May 19, 2014  

May 19, 2014 publication of The Nation Newspaper