Nigeria’s truly national newspaper
Court voids ex-Stock Exchange boss Okereke-Onyuike’s sack N500m damages awarded against SEC We’ll appeal judgment -SEC Page 2
VOL.05 N0. 1766
Oyo ACN raises alarm Page 4 over alleged looting by Akala’s govt, council bosses It’s misinformation, says governor
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011 N150.00
Kayode,Olasunkanmi, 11 other ministers may be retained Page 3
The favoured ministers
Bala Mohammed Labaran Maku Mohammed Bello Adoke Odein Ajumogobia Yusuf Sulaiman Josephine Anenih Fidelia Njeze Diezani Allison-Madueke Akinlabi Olasunkanmi Humphrey Abba Aliyu Idi Hong Godsday Orubebe Adetokunbo Kayode
EFCC cautions governors-elect Page 2 against looting, money laundering Njeze
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Operation Rainbow takes off in Plateau
HE security outfit set up by the Plateau State Government to take over the maintenance of security in the state, code named Operation Rainbow, has finally come on board. The outfit, which was approved by President Goodluck Jonathan, has Air vice Marshal Bala Danbaba as the Commander, with a temporary office at the Rayfield Government House, Jos. Danbaba, who spoke with newsmen on the outfit, said its operation would be in the areas of addressing political, economic, social and physical issues relating to the crises that have bedeviled the state. He said the outfit will use the period to create public awareness so as to sensitise people to its activities before it finally takes off with its physical programme, adding that it is currently recruiting about 3,250 personnel, made up of 10 youths from each of the 325 wards in the state, to serve as “neighbourhood watch men”. The core personnel of the outfit, he said, would be made up of about 2,000 men, drawn
NEITI sets audit of solid minerals as target John OFIKHENUA, Abuja
THE Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Board, National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG) has set a new target of successful conduct of audit of the oil and gas and solid minerals sector. Director, Communications, Orji Ogbonaya Orji, disclosed this in a statement yesterday. According to him, while addressing NSWG meeting in Abuja, the chairman, Prof. Assisi Asobie, said “the comprehensive audit of oil, gas and solid minerals sector is to cover the period 2009-2010. NEITI has so far conducted audit for 1999 -2005, and recently 20062008, but is yet to conduct any audit in the solid minerals sector.’’ Asobie explained that the new target set by the board was informed by the need to ensure regularity of NEITI audits and move into the solid minerals sector where many Nigerians have little or no information about its potential to the economy. He added that to sustain NEITI’s compliant status recently achieved in the EITI community, NEITI must work hard to implement its work plan. He also directed the NEITI Secretariat to work closely with the offices of the Auditor General of the Federation and Accountant General of the Federation to ensure that accounts of public agencies in Nigeria are audited in accordance with international standards. The Meeting directed NEITI to work with Sao Tome and Principe members of the Nigeria STP Joint Development Authority, with the support of the World Bank, to commission the auditing of revenue flows generated in the Joint Development Zone. The Board encourages NEITI to visit Sao Tome and Principe to commence discussion on the way forward.
Marie-therese PETER, Jos from serving military and para-military outfits in the country, including the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, the Immigrations Service, the Police, the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, and the Fire Service. Danbaba said both the men of the Neighbourhood Watch and those of Operation Rainbow would be well trained to understand their roles in the outfit. The Neighbourhood Watch, he said would be trained on how to identify and relay information to the office of the Operation Rainbow in coded and faster means for quick intervention, while Operation Rainbow would be trained on rules of engagement. The Neighbourhood Watch, he said, will not carry arms, while the core of the operatives drawn from the military and para-military outfits in the state would be the ones to carry fire arms but will be properly educated on how to handle them.
•From left: Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State; Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State and Chief Achike Udenwa, former governor of Imo State at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum 2011 induction/symposium in Abuja on Thursday.
Court voids ex-NSE boss, Okereke-Onyuike’s sack
FEDERAL High Court (FHC) has voided the termination of Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke’s appointment as the Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The court, presided over by Justice Mohammed Idris, held in a judgment yesterday that Okereke-Onyiuke’s sack did not only violate laid down procedure, it was “irrational, hasty, reckless and done in bad faith in contravention of the rule of natural justice.” The court held that although SEC has the powers under the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) 2007 to remove the ex-NSE’s DG, it failed to comply with the provisions of sections 34 (4) (5), 47, 48, 49 and 308 (1) and (2) of the ISA, which are mandatory provisions. The judgment was on a suit by Okereke-Onyuike, challenging the propriety of her removal by SEC via a letter served on her on August 5 last year, a day after another letter containing allegations of malpractices against her was sent to her.
•Awards N500m damages against SEC •SEC threatens appeal Eric IKHILAE SEC has, however, objected to the court’s decision, saying it would appeal it immediately. Justice Idris further held that in reaching its decision, the SEC breached the plaintiff’s right to fair hearing by not according her enough time to react to the allegations of malpractices made against her. The judge said as a director in NSE, Okereke-Onyuke was, by virtue of the provision of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), she was entitled to 14 days notice before any action could be taken against her. The court dismissed the notices of preliminary objection filed against the suit by the defendants – SEC and the NSE on the grounds that they were incompetent. As against the defendants’ argument that the court lacked the subject matter jurisdiction to determine the issues raised in the suit, the court held that the court has an exclusive jurisdiction, by virtue of the court’s
rule and constitutional provisions as it relates to the powers of the court. The judge, who resolved all the eight issues raised for determination in favour of the plaintiff, set aside Okereke-Onyiuke’s removal. It granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining SEC from giving effect to the content of the two letters of August 4 and 5 and for treating her as a sacked DG of NSE. The court also awarded N500 million damages in favour of Okereke-Onyiuke for the humiliation and public ridicule she was subjected to by virtue of the SEC’s action. The court accused SEC of abusing its powers in relation to how it treated the plaintiff. “It is indeed ridiculous that SEC removed Okereke-Onyiuke itself within 24 hours after directing NSE to remove her. Let me conclude by stating that our nation needs to be governed not only by the best of laws but also by the best of men. “The emergence of civilising laws in modern society is the
protection of rights, both private and public, and the related issue of state responsibilities. It is from this perspective that the rule of law is important to modern society. “It ensures that the monster in arbitrariness and impunity is dismounted by that which the common will endorsed and ordained. Any other trajectory is devious and arbitrary. In a country well governed, disrespect for the rule of law is something to be ashamed of. “We need a government of laws and not a government of rulers. It is the law that what is done officially must be done in accordance with the law. Obedience to the rule of law by all citizens, but more particularly, by those who publicly take oath of office to protect and preserve the law is a prerequisite to good governance and respect for the rule of law.’’ “In a democratic society like ours, this is meant to be the norm. It is apostasy for government to ignore the provision of the law and the necessary rules
it made to regulate the country. We must not allow anarchy to reign and for this reason, all public officers must have recourse to law. Government must be conducted within the framework of law,” Justice Idris said. Reacting to the judgement, SEC’s Head of Media, Lanre Oloyi said the judgment failed to address the serious allegations of fraud and breach of trust leveled against Okereke-Onyiuke. He added that Okereke-Onyiuke had never attempted in any forum to address the allegations of fraud against her on its merit. OLoyi in a statement further said SEC remains committed to protecting the interest of the investors and maintaining confidence in the securities market and will continue to vigorously pursue its efforts to ensure that transparency; accountability and justice prevail in the sector. He said his commission acted within it statutory powers in its action that was intended to protect that nation’s stock market and the investing public.
EFCC cautions governors-elect against treasury looting, money laundering
HE Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mrs. Farida Waziri, yesterday warned governors-elect against looting of treasury and laundering of state funds abroad. She also warned the governors-elect against operating foreign accounts. Waziri, who gave the warning at a symposium for ‘’New and Returning Governors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria” held at the State House, Presidential Villa, Abuja , said the EFCC is not a monster creating problems for governors. She said only looting governors have cause to fear the antigraft agency. Waziri said: “You should steer clear of acts and intents geared towards money laundering and other economic crimes. You should shun safe havens where looted funds are
Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation kept in offshore accounts. Also, be reminded that maintenance of foreign accounts is constitutionally prohibited. “We cannot continue to enrich the economies of other countries at our own expense. We must bring the money back. We cannot launder money to those economies and turn back to seek economic aid from them. They continuously laugh at us. “Launderers must be reminded that once stolen assets are identified, they will be frozen. Even though it is difficult to get them back, you cannot enjoy them either.” She further stressed that “the survival of our democracy and indeed the nation itself is dependent on how we approach
the issue of our governance and, with it the fight against corruption” She urged the governors to pay attention to serious issues of governance, which she listed as “Legitimacy and representative government; accountable administration characterised by free flow of information; separation of powers; effective internal and external auditing; low level of nepotism, clientelism and cronyism; a competent and service-oriented public service and respect for human rights and rule of law, and absence of executive arbitrariness”. Waziri added: “It is important to state at this stage that the EFCC is your partner in ensuring good governance. The EFCC is not a monster looking for trouble or creating problem for governors. How-
ever, it has work to do. “Where good governance fails, the EFCC must intervene. That is where the partnership parts ways.” Waziri used the forum to reiterate the need to pass the Non-Conviction-Based Assets Forfeiture Bill by the National Assembly. She said: “Switzerland, a country from which Nigeria recovered over USD$705m from the Abacha loot, recently passed similar law–Restitution of Illicit Assets Act (RIAA)–targeted at PEPs from developing countries. “If Switzerland that has no high corruption problem has enacted such a law which is in compliance with Article 20 of UNAC, Nigeria should indeed be in a hurry to enact a similar law.” She said that it is by taking
such an initiative that the nation’s rating by Transparency International can improve. Waziri lamented that over 70 per cent of corrupt practices in Nigeria take place in the public sector and tasked the governors not only to be exposing chairmen of local governments found wanting in the discharge of their functions but to always review their performance in office by asking themselves questions such as: “Have I followed due process? Can I diligently account for all expenditure including security votes? Is the project driven by private interest or for public good? Is the economic cost of the project reasonable and justifiable? Is the project affordable? Can my actions stand any investigation which will absolve me? Can I honestly and publicly declare all the assets I have acquired while in office?”
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
S the Federal Executive Council winds up on Wednesday, there is disquiet in the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan over 13 favoured ministers. The development has caused panic among the colleagues of the 13 ministers following speculations that they may be retained. Also, the fate of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mike Ogiadhome, is uncertain as as The Presidency is weighing options either to retain him or appoint Elder Godsday Orubebe to replace him. If the President makes up his mind on Orubebe, the current Chief of Staff may be made a minister. But the jostling for ministerial appointments is preoccupying The Presidency now. The President manages a 42member cabinet with 36 from the states of the federation and six representing the nation’s geopolitical zones. The lifespan of the present cabinet will expire on May 25 (next Wednesday) with most members lobbying for retention. But as the lobbying intensifies, there are concerns that the President may have indicated
New cabinet: Orubebe, Diezani, Anenih, Ajimogobia, nine other ministers may be retained •Chief of Staff Ogiadhome’s fate uncertain Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation his preference for the retention of about 13 favoured ministers. The ministers are: Mrs. Fidelia Njeze (Aviation); Akinlabi Olasunkanmi (Youth); a mobiliser and favourite of the First Lady, Mrs. Josephine Anenih (Women Affairs); Humphrey Abba (Police Affairs); Aliyu Idi Hong (Foreign Affairs); Senator Bala Mohammed (FCT). Other favoured members of the cabinet are Diezani Allison-Madueke (Petroleum Resources); a close ally of the President, Godsday Orubebe (Niger Delta); Prince Adetokunbo Kayode (Defence), whom Governor Segun Mimiko is pushing for; La-
baran Maku (Information and Communications); Odein Ajumogobia (Foreign Affairs), who is always lauded for his ‘quiet and far-reaching’ diplomacy; Yusuf Sulaiman (Transport), a nominee of a powerful monarch in the North who was instrumental to Jonathan’s success at the general elections; and Mohammed Bello Adoke SAN (Justice). According to findings, the disquiet among ministers followed recurring engagement of some of the ministers in ‘sensitive’ tasks by the President in the last few days to their exit. Apart from the inclusion of some of the favoured ministers in the 2011 Presidential Inauguration Ceremonies Committee, some of them are
•President, Lagos Country Club, Mr. Babatunde Okunuga, presenting a souvenir to the Managing Director, Commercial SBU, PZ Cussons, Mr. Alex Goma, who was the guest speaker during the April 2011 New Members Night held on the club's premises recently.
either heading a sub-committee or the other. It was also learnt that the President is planning to address the business community in Lagos on Monday and some of these ministers have been invited to be part of the presidential entourage on the eve of the dissolution of the cabinet. A cabinet source said: “Some ministers have known that they may not come back. And the recurring engagement of some of these ‘favoured’ ministers is a signal that at least an appreciable number of them may be retained. “Some of them are, however, unhappy that they have been sidelined one way or the other. “If not for adherence to zoning principle in Cross River , Mr. John Odey would have been favoured by the President for retention. He was vital to the electoral victory of the President. The disposition of Governor Liyel Imoke may determine his fate in the cabinet. “Another minister who is very close to the President but whose fate is yet to be determined is Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade from Ekiti State.” As at press time, there were indications that there may be a shake-up in The Presidency with changes likely to affect the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Chief of Staff (COS) and some key aides to the President. A reliable source added: “I think the President is weighing the options of either retaining the Chief of Staff, Mike Ogiadhome, or appointing the Minister of Niger Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe, as the new COS with Ogiadhome likely to be made a minister.
Court to rule on ex-bank chiefs Nwosu, Atuche’s bail applications May 24, 25
LAGOS State High Court, Ikeja, yesterday struck out a motion for preliminary objection by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) urging it to dismiss the bail application by a former Managing Director of Bank PHB, Mr. Francis Atuche. The agency had sought an order striking out Atuche’s summons for bail and order staying proceedings pending the determination of Atuche’s Notice of Preliminary Objection in which he challenged the court’s jurisdiction to try him. EFCC, through its counsel, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), said the court could not hear Atuche’s bail application when it had not determined the issue of jurisdiction raised by Atuche through his lawyer, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN). It said the bail application was premature and an abuse of court process, but Idigbe had urged the court to dismiss EFCC’s objection for being incompetent. Atuche was arraigned along Mr. Funmi Ademosun and Le-
By Joseph Jibueze kan Kasali on a three-count charge of conspiracy to commit felony and stealing before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo. The EFCC alleged that Atuche whilst being the Chief Executive Officer of Bank PHB conspired with the two to steal over N11.4 billion belonging to the bank. It said they committed the offence between November 2007 and September 2008. The agency alleged that they sold 241, 579, 284 units of Afribank shares, a joint property of Caverton Helicopters Ltd, and Bank PHB Plc and converted the proceeds for their personal use. Ruling yesterday, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo dismissed EFCC’s preliminary objection to the motion for bail. “The preliminary objection fails and is struck out. I’ll take the bail application,” Justice Onigbanjo said. He added that the preliminary objection could not stop Atuche’s motion for bail, saying that the court’s jurisdiction to hear bail applications is inherent.
Justice Onigbanjo fixed May 25 for ruling on Atuche’s bail application. Justice Lateefat Okunnu yesterday adjourned ruling till May 24 the bail applications filed by a former Managing Director of Finbank Plc, Mr. Okey Nwosu, and his three associates. They were arraigned on charges bordering on stealing about N10.9bn belonging to the bank. Nwosu and the others had on May 10 separately filed applications for bail. They also on May 9 filed applications for preliminary objection seeking the court to quash the charges the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had brought against them. The ex-bank chiefs in their preliminary objection wanted the court to quash the charges on the grounds that they were being tried for the same charges at the Federal High Court, Lagos. Arguing on the summons for bail, the defence urged the court to admit their clients to bail, promising that they would not jump bail.
They said that the defendants were standing similar trials before the Federal High Court, Lagos and that they had been granted bail without attempting to jump bail. Justice Onigbanjo also heard Kasali’s bail application. His counsel, Abraham Oshobamisole, said his client should be granted bail on health grounds because he is asthmatic and has been using a particular hospital in Surulere, Lagos, saying he has a right to choose his physician. But Pinheiro opposed the application, describing Oshobamisole’s argument as “fallacious.” He said for bail to be granted on the basis of illhealth, the ailment must be contagious, and its treatment must require a specialist that is not available within the jurisdiction. He said should the court be inclined to granting bail, it should be on stringent terms to compel the availability of the defendant in court for trial. Justice Onigbanjo adjourned till May 25 for ruling on Kasali’s bail application.
IMF aborted Strauss-Kahn probe in 2008
N internal investigation by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) into allegations that its managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, abused his position of power failed because the alleged victim refused to cooperate. According to Bloomberg news, Piroska Nagy, an IMF economist who had a brief romantic relationship with Strauss-Kahn in January 2008 didn’t participate in the bank’s internal probe in the summer of 2008, she said in a letter three years ago. She wrote to Robert Smith, the outside lawyer who was brought in to investigate Strauss- Kahn’s behaviour after the internal probe stalled. She cooperated in Smith’s investigation. “Because I did not fully trust the internal processes at the fund, I declined to cooperate with the fund’s initial investigation,” Nagy wrote on October 20, 2008, just days before Smith concluded his investigation. The IMF referred questions about the internal probe to Smith, the Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP attorney who led the investigation. Smith declined to comment. Nagy, who joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in mid-2008, didn’t reply to an e-mail message seeking comment. Nagy’s letter, which didn’t become public until after Smith’s investigation cleared Strauss-Kahn of charges of sexual harassment, favouritism and abuse of office, has generated renewed interest in it following the IMF chief’s arrest last week on charges of attempted rape and sexual assault of a chambermaid at a Manhattan hotel. Strauss-Kahn, who has denied the charges against him, resigned from the IMF on May 18. He was granted bail last Thursday and is in the process of satisfying its conditions so he can be freed from jail in New York as early as yesterday. “I believe that Mr. Strauss-Kahn abused his position in the manner in which he got to me,” Ms. Nagy wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Bloomberg News. “I provided you the details of how he summoned me on several occasions and came to make inappropriate suggestions to. . .I did not know how to handle this; as I told you I felt that I was ‘damned if I did and damned if I didn’t.’” Nagy praised her former boss as a “brilliant leader with a vision for addressing the ongoing global financial crisis. He is also an aggressive if charming man. . .But I fear that he is a man with a problem that may make him ill-equipped to lead an institution where women work under his command.” Smith’s investigation, which unearthed a chain of e-mail and text messages between Nagy and Strauss-Kahn, concluded that the relationship was “consensual.” Nagy wrote her letter, she said, because the existence of the investigation had been leaked to two newspapers, and the publication of her involvement with Strauss-Kahn had resulted in “public humiliation” for her and her husband.
Nigeria cuts June crude prices
•Shell fails to sell Forties oil
IGERIA cut official selling prices for its crude oil grades in June, including benchmark Bonny Light and Qua Iboe. The cut came on a day the Royal Dutch Shell Plc failed to sell cargoes of Forties and Brent crude. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) cut its official selling price for benchmark Bonny Light and Qua Iboe crudes for June loading by 60 cents to a $3.20-a-barrel premium over North Sea Dated Brent, a price list obtained by Bloomberg News showed. Meanwhile, Shell failed to sell a Forties shipment for June 8 to June 10 at a 85 cents a barrel more than the cash cost of North Sea crude in August, according to a survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts trading window. The company also didn’t manage to vend Brent crude at a $1 a barrel premium to Dated Brent scheduled for June 5 to June 7. Reported North Sea market activity typically occurs during the Platts window, which ends at 4:30 p.m. London time. Before the window, Forties loading in 10 to 21 days cost 51 cents more than Dated Brent, compared with 65 cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Nexen Inc. will complete repairs to the cooling system at its Buzzard oil project in the U.K.’s North Sea by the end of this month, the company said yesterday. Rates at Buzzard will be limited to the equivalent of about 80,000 barrels of oil daily until the work is completed, Calgarybased Nexen said in a statement. Production will be ramped up to full capacity of 200,000 barrels a day by the end of July. A twoweek turnaround at Buzzard scheduled for September has been realigned because of the cooling work.
ICAO team applauds FG over improved aviation safety
HE International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) yesterday commended the Federal Government for the improved safety in the aviation industry. Mr. Sadon Marafa, leader of ICAO team on inspection of airport facilities in Nigeria, told newsmen in Lagos that the group was pleased with the progress so far made in aviation safety. The Tactical Action Group (TAG) of ICAO has been on a fiveday tour of airport facilities in Nigeria, ahead of the ICAO audit of the nation’s aviation industry, scheduled for June. It was learnt that the two-man delegation of ICAO regional office in Dakar, which completed the inspection of Lagos and Kano airports, would depart Lagos on Friday night. Marafa said that from what the team had seen, the Nigerian government was committed to developing the nation’s aviation industry in line with the current global practices. “I was with my team in Nigeria two years ago and what we have seen in these five days is progress and improvement. “I want to congratulate Nigeria on this feat, though there is still more to be done by way of improving certain areas,’’ he said.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Oyo ACN raises alarm over alleged looting by Akala’s govt, council bosses
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State and its leader, Alhaji Lam Adesina, have raised the alarm over an alleged mindless looting of the state’s treasury by the outgoing governor, Adebayo AlaoAkala, and chairmen of local governments at the twilight of the administration. It also accused the AlaoAkala administration of recruiting people without following the laid down process. The ACN, in a statement by the party’s Director of Publicity, Mr Mathew Oyedokun, said reports from nearly all the local governments across the state indicated indisciminate looting of the treasury with a view to starving the incoming administration of funds to run the state. But Alao-Akala advised the ACN to wait till it takes over on May 29 before confirming
•Governor: It’s misinformation Bisi OLADELE, Ibadan its allegations. The governor, who spoke through his spokesman, Prince Dotun Oyelade, however, confirmed recruiting 568 teachers for a federal teachers’ scheme. The ACN statement reads in part: “From nearly all the local governments in the state, reports are extensive of indiscriminate lootings by various functionaries to cripple governance before May 29 in Governor Alao Akala’s desperate bid to ground the state of funds and make governance miserable for the incoming administration. “For instance, the ACN has been steadfastly informed of a sneaky request made by Akala of a screaming sum of N150m from the coffer of the
Oyo State Hospital Management Board. This came back with the governor’s backhand approval of severance allowances for serving politicians at both state and local levels across the state. “Apart from these, Akala, in his anxious undertaking to empty the state treasury and format failure for the incoming government, has gone appointing new workers into the state’s workforce even without the due process. This again was done out of prejudice, intolerance and a strong will to make governance miserable for the new governor, Sentor Abiola Ajimobi. “But in a fit of gloomy irony, the same Akala, two days ago, was reported by the state media, Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), saying he would
never have anything to do with corruption. Maybe to the Oyo State governor, corruption is less loaded than its universal meaning.” The party called on antigraft agencies to cast a look at the activities of the outgoing government with a view to checking the ongoing alleged looting. Defending the outgoing government, Oyelade said: “ACN continues its serial misinformation by accusing the Alao-Akala administration of the last minute irregular recruitment. Yes, we are recruiting 568 teachers for the Federal Teachers’ Scheme. The NCE recruitment is supervised by the staff from the Universal Primary Education Council from Abuja because it is a federal project that doesn’t have to wait for the incoming administration.
Bishops warn new political leaders
HEAD of the May 29 inauguration of new political leaders at both federal and state levels across the country, Anglican bishops, at a recent meeting in Odogbolu, Ogun State, have admonished the new helmsmen to ensure that they fulfil the promises made to Nigerians before their election last month. This advice was given by three of seven bishops who attended the first session of the first synod of the Anglican Diocese of Ijebu South-West which took place in Odogbolu from May 5 to 8. The Most Rev. Dr. Ephraim A. Ademowo, Bishop of Lagos and Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos, led six other bishops to felicitate with the Rt. Rev. Babatunde F.R. Ogunbanwo, the host bishop, on the convocation of the first full synod of the diocese since its inauguration in January 2010. Delivering his presidential charge to the synod, Bishop Ogunbanwo called on political leaders to make life and living better for Nigerians. He also advised the citizenry, in consonance with the theme of the synod, to “seek the kingdom of God with all righteousness”, describing “righteousness” as the bedrock for the
Sulaiman SALAWUDEEN, Ado-Ekiti
HE Ekiti in the United Kingdom have called on all sons and daughters of Ekiti State to support the government of Dr. Kayode Fayemi in order to transform their home state in all sectors of the economy. Acting under the aegis of the Ekiti Patrotic Forum (EPF), they urged the people of the state to come together, irrespective of their political leanings,to cooperate with Fayemi to develop the state. The EPF urged all political parties in the state to rally round the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) regime to make the dreams of the founding fathers of the state a reality. “To all political parties in our State, let us rally round the present leadership of our state and make the dreams of our fathers a reality,” the EPF said. In a statement signed by the EPF General Secretary, Mr. Olamide Idowu, Fayemi was also commended for organising an education summit in a bid to reposition the sector. The EPF said Ekiti indigenes in foreign countries “are happy that the state now has a government that believes in the development of the state.” The group said there was need to work on the re-orientation of Ekiti youths and the unity of the people of the state to ensure peace under which development thrives. EPF said: “However, there is much to be done in terms of our youth’s re-orientation and restoration of trust, decency and confidence of our people in Ekiti land. “On this note, we realise that the unity of our people and the promotion of general peace in Ekiti State should be central to the objectives of our organisation, without which no development will be achievable. “We must continue to love and impact positively towards realisation of a new Ekiti that will ensure better future for our children.”
NGO seeks measures to prevent conflicts
•One of the guest bishops, Dr. Olusina Fape (right) of Remo Diocese, explaining a point during a short break at the synod. Smiling are the host bishop (left), his wife and another guest bishop, the Rt. Rev. Oluranti Odubogun of Ife Diocese. prosperity of any nation. Fielding questions from journalists and some leading delegates to the synod shortly after the official opening of the synod, three of the guest bishops concurred with the host bishop that Nigeria was in dire need of “selfless and committed leaders if the nation must move forward.” The guest bishops who addressed the media were the Rt. Rev. Dr. Michael O. Fape, the
NSE moves N2.11bn worth of shares in dull trading total of 359.48 million shares worth N2.11 bil lion were traded in 4,151 deals on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday. This was against 933.61 million shares worth N2.28 billion traded in 5,136 deals on Thursday. The market indices appreciated by 0.28 per cent yesterday. The All-Share Index rose by 72.91 points to close at 25,790.64 from the opening index of 25,717.73. The market capitalisation of listed equities also appreciated by N23 billion to close at N8.240 trillion from the N8.217 recorded on Wednesday. The banking sub-sector was the most active, trading 101.12 million shares valued at
Ekiti in UK call for support for Fayemi’s government
N614.22 million in 2,193 deals. The breweries sub-sector followed with 88.43 million shares valued at N238.89 million exchanged in 183 deals. The petroleum (marketing) sub-sector came third with 53.08 million shares worth N157.24 million traded in 299 deals. Guinness recorded the highest price appreciation of N3.99 to close at N230 per share. Dangote Cement rose by N2.68 to close at N130 per share while Conoil appreciated by N1.75 to close at N36.75 per share. NNFM topped the price losers’ pack, dropping N1.53 to close at N29.20 per share. International Breweries lost 30k to close at N6.50 per share while Diamond bank fell by 28k to close at N6.56 per share.
Rt. Rev. Oluranti O. Odubogun and the Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Adekunle, bishops of Remo, Ife and Egba dioceses respectively. “Just as the bishop has said in his charge, if we seek first the kingdom of God and when we are talking about the kingdom, we are talking about the reign of righteous; even the political leaders as well have a kind of kingdom which is part of the kingdom that God has given to humanity. So, when righteousness also rules in the political arena, things will fall at the right places and we can only pray that our political leaders will do the things that are right before God in order to get the country going in achieving our full potential as a nation,” said Dr. Fape. A communiqué issued to the media at the end of the deliberations said the synod approved a draft constitution for the new diocese which had now been forwarded to the top hierarchy of the Church of Nigeria for approval. On the state of the nation, the communiqué said: “Synod was grateful to God for the successful and peaceful completion of the April elections. The new political dispensation in various offices should fully discharge their duties as we commit them into the hands of God. “Synod congratulates President Goodluck Jonathan on his
re-election as President of Nigeria, the outgoing Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, and the newly elected Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, wishing them God’s blessings. Synod prayed for good governance in Nigeria and Ogun State in the future. “The synod enjoins all politicians to work for the biblical concept of servant leadership which requires core values such as humility, personal responsibility, transparency, integrity, accountability and hard work, having the electorate as their priority always. “Synod commiserates with the families of the National Youth Service Corps members who lost their lives during the post-election crisis in the North. Government should prevent future occurrence of the burning of places of worship.” Altogether, about 40 priests from the eight archdeaconries which make up the new diocese attended the synod. Also in attendance were paramount rulers from the diocese’s area of jurisdiction with several distinguished members of the congregation including Lt-Gen Oladipo Diya, a former Vice-President of Nigeria during the era of General Sani Abacha, and the well-known advertising guru, Mr. Biodun Shobanjo, executive chair of Troykah Holdings Limited.
R. Ayokunle Fagbemi, Executive Director, Centre for Peace Building and Socio-Economic Resources Development (CPSERD) has called for measures to prevent conflicts in the country. Fagbemi made the call on yesterday in Abuja at a roundtable which had as theme: “ Nigerian Conflict Cycles: A focus on the Plateau and Niger Delta.” The forum was organised by the CPSERD, an NGO, in collaboration with the U.K-based Conciliation Resources. “ The background to this initiative is the continued reoccurrence and the cyclical nature of conflicts in Nigeria which remains a major challenge and source of concern requiring deep interrogation. “It is imperative that the stakeholders should reflect on the current challenges and prospects as a means of charting a viable way forward, ‘’ he said. Fagbemi said the goal of the roundtable was to reflect on the challenges of the cyclical nature of Nigerian conflicts with the aim of identifying appropriate measures for the effective prevention of reoccurrence, mitigation, management and transformation. He said the specific objectives for stakeholders include to critically reflect on and assess the cause as well as the trend of conflicts in the country with focus on Plateau and the Niger-Delta. Fagbemi said the forum was for stakeholders, experts and institutional representatives to analyse the conflict systems in the country with focus on Plateau and the Niger Delta as the basis for providing recommendations. In his remarks, Mr. Jonathan Cohen, Director of Programme, Conciliation Resources, said the roundtable was part of the wider research initiative undertaken by his organisation with partners for peace making and funded by the European Union. Cohen said the objective of the project was to take analysis of 26 regions and countries around the world and examine the conflicts and situations. “We see ourselves as working with experts, officials, politicians and civil society organisations in different countries in order to understand their perspectives on what is needed to build peace in their countries, ‘’ he said.
Wash hands to prevent diseases, agency urges Osun residents
LHAJI Oluwatoyin Yusuf, the Programme Manager of Osun Rural Water and Environmental Sanitation Agency (OSRWESA), has advised residents to always wash their hands before eating. Yusuf, who gave the advice at a workshop in Osogbo yesterday, said washing hands had become imperative to avoid infection and ensure healthy living. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop was organised for Environmental Health Officers as part of activities to mark this year’s Hand Washing, Maternal and New Birth Health Week. Yusuf also advised health personnel to always promote proper hygiene and sanitation ethics in their various communities in order to keep the state clean and free of diseases. The workshop, he said, was to train officers who would be deployed in designated health centres for the “Child Survival Cluster’’ programme. He appealed to the participants to make use of the knowledge acquired during the workshop in order to boost hygiene in the state.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Abia ex-Commissioner for Education calls for more funds in education sector
• From left: MD/CEO, BD Consults, Mr. Tola Bademosi; Public Relations Manager, Dufil Prima Foods, Mr. Tope Ashiwaju; and Product Manager, Dufil Prima Foods, Mr. Richard Idahor, at a press conference on 2011 Indomie Independeuce Day Herdes Award in Lagos. PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU recently.
FORMER Commissioner for Education in Abia State, Mrs. Rose Ekeleme, has called on governments at all levels to inject more funds into the education sector if they want to improve the standard of education which has suffered a lot of setback in recent years. Ekeleme noted that education is important to the development of any nation, but regretted that government at all levels in the country have found it difficult to do something meaningful to ensure that it gets the attention it really needs to succeed. Speaking at a workshop organised by an NGO, the Civil Society Action Coalition on Education For All (CSACEFA), in Umuahia, Ekeleme said no country could develop without proper investment in the education sector, “because a socie-
Group slams South-East governors for consenting to zoning of offices
GITATION for the South-East to produce the Speaker of the House of Representatives has taken a new turn with an Igbo socio-political organisation, the South-East Revival Group (SERG), describing the governors and representatives from the zone as prodigal sons for consenting to the retention of the present zoning arrangement for the principal officers of the National Assembly. The governors were said to have concurred with the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at an enlarged national caucus meeting on the need to retain the current zoning formula where the North Central and South West will still produce the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively. However, SERG came hard on the governors of the SouthEast over their perceived indifference to the demand for the speakership in the zone,
•Says:’They are prodigal sons’ Gbenga OMOKHUNU, Abuja declaring them as betrayers and saboteurs who were only interested in their pockets to the detriment of the collective Igbo interest. Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the Coordinator-General of the group, who is also the Secretary General of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Chief Willy Ezugwu, condemned the governors and representatives from the South-East for allowing the zone to be relegated again in the allocation of offices in the next dispensation. Ezugwu said: “Representatives from the South-East are saboteurs. The governors are betrayers. See the way they all lined up in Ota to negotiate for themselves and not for the zone. We are not surprised. They are not popular and
were not really elected by the people. “It is regrettable that the governors, Ohaneze, Aka Ikenga, Ndigbo Lagos, Igbo Professionals and other interest groups prevailed on Ndigbo to vote massively for President Goodluck Jonathan only for them to be planning to relegate the same zone to the status of a super minority. “The South-East Revival Group appeals to these groups and other bodies in the zone to reject the position of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) being foisted on us. As we speak, the South-East people have not even been consulted to make inputs into the choice of who will fill the touted position of the SGF, thereby increasing our suspicion that the ploy is to short-change the zone.” Ezugwu lamented that the way and manner President Jonathan was trampling upon
the Igbo in the allocation of principal offices of the National Assembly suggested that he did not value the votes given him by the South-East voters. According to him, the Igbo did not extract undertaking from President Jonathan as a condition for giving him their votes because of the trust they have in him and the belief in the unity of Nigeria “The people of the SouthEast have been loyal to the PDP. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo foisted the late Umaru Yar’Adua on us in 2007, we never complained, later it was the doctrine of necessity to bring in Jonathan, we agreed. Again, they said it was Jonathan for 2011, we followed them. Now it’s our turn to be given our dues but they have started singing a new tune. It will be the greatest injustice to send the Speakership position back to the South-West.”
19 suspects arrested over Obosi crisis
OLLOWING the crisis that erupted in Obosi, Idemili North Local Government Area, Anambra State last weekend, in which people were feared dead and property destroyed, the Inspector General of Police, Hafix Ringim, has sent a crack team of police officers from Abuja to investigate the incident. Already, the Anambra State Police Command has arrested 19 suspects believed to be involved in the crisis erupted on Sunday afternoon. The suspects, according to the police spokesman in the state, Emeka Chukwuemeka, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), who spoke with The Nation yesterday in Awka, have been charged to court, while investigations continue. The IGP monitoring unit sent from Abuja to investigate the cause of the crisis, The Nation gathered, arrived Anambra State on Wednesday. Also, the state Police Commissioner, Muhtari Ibrahim, who has been on constant visits to the community with some other senior police officers, has deployed units of mobile policemen to ensure that peace returns to Obosi. However, the police confirmed that only one person was killed during the mayhem, debunking the speculation that four
Nwanoike ONU, Awka persons died. The Nation investigation revealed that the violence erupted during a meeting that would precede the swearing- in ceremony of a new executive of the community after the expiration of the tenure of the old one. According to sources, a youth group loyal to a particular group in the community had stormed the town hall, venue of the swearing-in of the new exco of the Obosi Land Management Committee, and unleashed terror on the hall that was filled to capacity. But a rival group was not happy with the situation; they retaliated by burning their opponents’ houses. The Obosi crisis has been on
in the state for quite some time and has led to the proscription of the Adike Peace Foundation (APF), a group some people alleged was behind the crisis. The crisis led to the withdrawal of the certificate of recognition of the traditional ruler of the land, Igwe Josiah Nwakobi by the state government. But The Nation gathered at the weekend that his position had been restored by the government. The crisis-ridden community boasts of prominent men like the former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; a legal Icon, Chief Chimezie Ikeazor, SAN; Senator Mike Ajegbo and Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Osita Chidoka, among others.
However, the state Commissioner of Police, Muhtari-Ibrahim, The Nation learnt yesterday, had been in constant touch with Anyaoku, Chidoka and other prominent sons of the land on how to allow peace to return to Obosi. The command’s spokesperson Emeka Chukwuemeka told The Nation yesterday that the command would no longer tolerate any breakdown of law and order in any of the communities in the state. He added that the command in liaison with the administration of Governor Peter Obi had been doing everything possible to make sure that crime and other violent activities would be a thing of the past in Anambra state.
Ugochukwu EKE, Umuahia ty without education is lost and will never progress in any developmental area.” The woman, a retired permanent secretary in the state, who holds a doctoral degree in Education, said education does not end with the day of graduation. “It is a continuous process where everyone learns everyday, and it is an all life affair,” she said. She advised that education should not be limited to only those who are physically alright, but should also be extended to those who are physically challenged, pointing out that they are not only part of the society but are in the long run more dedicated to their studies in any educational environment. The former education commissioner called on governments to not only inject more funds into education but should also start the process of rebuilding dilapidated infrastructure. “Except we do all this, we may end up providing illiterates for the society with the
NDLEA destroys N569m worth of cannabis
HE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday destroyed 79,700kg of cannabis intercepted in Edo State in the past three years, whose market value was put at over N569 million. Also, 59 major drug traffickers arrested by the anti-drug agency have been prosecuted in the state. The Chairman of NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, who was represented by the Director General of the agency, Femi Ajayi, said the consignment of cannabis was the largest to be destroyed in the country so far. Giade said the battle against illicit drugs was crucial to the actualisation of the national economic vision to become one of the 20 most industrialised countries in 2020. He warned land owners to desist from allowing the use of their plots for illicit drug activities, saying they would be prosecuted in accordance with the NDLEA Act.
“We are winning the war against illicit drug trafficking and will sustain the momentum. The removal of Nigeria from the drug major list by the United States is a great source of inspiration to us,” he said. Edo State Commander of NDLEA, Fred Ezeorah, said raids on drug flash points in the state revealed that Junior Secondary School students are among cannabis users. He said his command would continue to launch attacks on drug traffickers in the state. Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who was represented by the state’s Head of Service, Anthony Edokpayi, said the volume of cannabis and other narcotics in the streets was mind-boggling. He urged the NDLEA to redouble its efforts in intelligence gathering, conducting of more raids, seizure of more illicit drugs and arrest of those involved in drug racket.
HE Women Missionary Union (WMU) of First Baptist Church (FBC), Oremerin Street, Itire, Lagos State will tomorrow celebrate Mothers’ Day. According to the WMU President, Mrs. F.B. Abijo, women who have distinguished themselves as dutiful wives and loving mothers in the last one year will be honoured on the occasion. The minister-in-charge of the church, Pastor A.P. Oyeyemi, said women should strive to play motherly roles in their families by being good mothers and loving wives.
Madam Dina passes on
Ugochukwu EKE, Umuahia affair. “I want to use this opportunity to congratulate those who won during the elections, while those who lost should take it in good faith, as this is not the end of the world for them,” he said. Speaking in Umuahia after his trip to overseas to rest after the general election, Orji said those who won elections deserved to be congratulated, while those who lost should not see it as the end of the world, as there will be other elections in future.
Osagie OTABOR, Benin
FBC Itire women celebrate Mothers’ Day
Election petitioners in Abia have no case, says Orji Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, has said that those going to the election tribunal in the state to challenge the outcome of the just concluded general election do not have any case to present to members of the election tribunal. He said their action could only be described as a mere distraction on the government of the state, which he said was determined to move the infrastructural development of the state to the next level, adding that they would not succeed. According to Orji, election is not a do or die
type of structures on ground,” she noted. Ekeleme, however, blamed parents as being part of the problems that have contributed to the fall in the standard of education, stressing that they are the ones that aid their children to take examinations at special centres scattered across the country. Consequently, most of them cannot defend their certificates after graduation. She said that the rebuilding of public schools would help to bring back the good old days when schools impacted positively on the standard of education. vate schools are not worthy to be allowed to exist, and it is only in public schools that qualified teachers could be found”. Declaring the workshop open the South-East Zonal Coordinator of CSACEFA Godson Ibekwe-Umelo said that the theme of the is Education for All in Nigeria to mark Global Action week 2011 and that the NGO is pained over the lack of progress in the education sector in the country.
DEVOUT Christian, the late Madam Esther Oyinade Oladunni Dina, will be buried today. The Christian wake was held yesterday at Awa-Ijebu, Ogun State. Funeral service and interment take place today at St. Andrew’s Anglican (Parish) Church, Awa-Ijebu, Ogun State, from 10 am. The deceased, aged 84, is survived by children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
VERY disappointment, they say, is a blessing in disguise. This age-long apho rism would seem to hold true for the outgoing governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala. The loss of his seat to the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Senator Abiola Ajimobi, in the just- concluded governorship elections appears to have jolted the latent initiative in him into life. While other second term-seeking governors who lost in the elections are busy nursing the wounds of defeat, he has been rolling out one project after the other in the twilight of his administration. Penultimate Tuesday, barely three weeks to the end of his administration, he launched a youth empowerment programme, which a consultant to the state government, Engr. Festus Aderemi Alade, said was not only intended to empower the youths in the state but to also reduce filth and waste in the environment. The youths, Alade said, would be trained within three days in the art of making ceramics and fibres through maize hubs, plantain bark, dry bones and other agricultural waste materials which can be turned to industrial products like gum, adhesives, glue and so on, instead of watching them rot away or constituting dirt and other forms of nuisance to the environment. The launching of the youth empowerment
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Alao-Akala: An outgoing governor motivated by defeat programme came barely six days after the Oyo State Ministry of Establishment, Poverty Alleviation and Training flagged off a similar training programme on ceramics production in the various local government areas of the state with 1,000 youths on enrolment. The training programme was aimed at making the beneficiaries self-employed and self-reliant while they are also expected to train others on the completion of their own trainings. Upon assuming duties as the governor of the state in 2007, he had started with a vow to restore the glory of Oyo State and put smiles on the faces of people through the execution of people-oriented programmes. To this end, he launched a 13-point agenda featuring poverty alleviation, good governance, sustainable development, infrastructural regeneration, employment opportunities, industrialization, water supply, intensive agriculture, education, power and security. But before he could address even the most elementary of the 13 points, looking good caught his fancy and eventually dominated his thoughts. With power firmly in his grips and the state’s exchequer at his beck and call, he pursued the soulless agenda with the ruthlessness of a bulldozer. Thus, has spent the better part of his fouryear tenure as the Oyo State governor pursuing the unusual ambition of becoming Nigeria’s most fashionable governor. He wore a golden necklace that was big and long enough to tether a stubborn horse, and adorned his fingers with an assemblage of rings under whose weight a child without stamina would crumble. The former policeman, whose spending on jewellery, cream, powder, pedicure and manicure must have rivalled the annual budget of
poorer states, is reputed as the first Nigerian governor to fall so much in love with the ankle trinket that he wore it on two legs until public outrage forced him to limit it to one. His critics can claim not to see a proof of a diligent pursuit of the 13-point agenda of his administration in the past four years, but they cannot deny the administration the credit for making a crave for the tinselly and the meretricious the cornerstone of its policies, with the result that from Beere to Gbagi and Dugbe markets, there has been an unprecedented boom in fashion business. It is certain that when the stocktaking of his administration begins in the weeks ahead, his tenure will be remembered more for the innovations he brought into men’s fashion and the concomitant battles he had to fight with the elite who insisted that infrastructural development would make more sense to the populace than investments in necklace and trinket. And this is the background against which some of the last-moment policies he has initiated are seen as desperate reprisals targeted at certain individuals he perceived to have opposed his interests in one way or the other. Numbered among them is the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, whose permanent chairmanship of the Oyo State Council of Chiefs was halted with a law signed by Alao-Akala barely one week after he lost the bid for his re-election as Oyo State governor. Oba Adeyemi had made no pretence about his aversion to Alao-Akala’s continued stay in office and had openly campaigned for the candidate of the ACN, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who eventually won the election. To avert any doubt about the seriousness of the law designed to rock the traditional institu-
tion in the state to its very foundation, AlaoAkala’s spokesman, Dotun Oyelade, who announced the signing of the law tagged Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs Amendment Law 2011, said its provisions would supercede those of a similar law enacted by the Alhaji Lam Adesina administration in 2000, containing the permanency clause. On account of the new law, the chairmanship of the council would be rotated among the the Olubadan of Ibadan, the Soun of Ogbomoso and the Alaafin of Oyo in that order. The law had been debated and passed the same day at an extraordinary sitting of the Assembly attended by 18 of the 32 members. Proceeding on the strength of a strange calculation that made 18 the two-thirds of 32, the lawmakers revoked the permanency clause in the year 2,000 legislation and held that the office be henceforth rotated among the Alaafin, the Soun of Ogbomosho and the Olubadan of Ibadan. Ironically, not even the direct beneficiaries of the new order seem to have appreciated AlaoAkala’s gesture. Oyelade had barely finished making the announcement when many of the traditional rulers trooped to the Alaafin’s palace to pledge their loyalty to him and to dismiss the law making the chairmanship of the council rotational as well as Alao-Akala’s assent as an exercise in futility. The dust raised by the legislation had barely settled when the outgoing governor approved the implementation of N18,000 minimum wage for the workers in the state; a move that has been interpreted by observers as a deliberate attempt to create a financial crisis for the incoming administration of the ACN. Impelled by the goings-on in Oyo State since the governorship election was won and lost, psychology researchers are already digging into the hypothesis that failure at the polls could constitute a veritable source of inspiration for a non-performing governor.
Re: Before the bubble bursts in the Saraki family
INCENT, you made my day with your piece today on the Old Saraki. There is no appropriate time to remind elder Saraki of the truth than now. As far as i am concern, he has outlived his political relevance expecially his kind of politicking in Kwara. Politics of few. He belong to the class of Adedibus and the earlier the Kwarans consign him in the political archives of the state the better. Let him go ahead and issue another press statement. Whether he reconcile with the son or not is immaterial after all the reconciliation is only going to add more woes to the state. Once again thanks for this wonderful piece from your stable. May your pen never get dry.
with the Saraki family disintegrating or not? On one hand, you will shout against corruption. On the other hand, you call a family who ran down a bank with depositors’ funds illustrous. Na wa for you! -070866631.. On the Saraki family, it is the family that is still ruling Kwara State. Godfatherism has only turned into godsonism. Kwarans are still in bondage. Chijioke N., Owerri. Kudos should be given to the young Saraki for daring his father. Where is your own sense of judgement? So, if your own father aks you to shoot someone, you would do so simply because he is your father? Your criticism of the young Saraki is not fair, considering the situation on the gorund in Kwara. The electorate have spoken. -080340533..
-Ibiam E. O., Calabar. Thank you for your fine piece on the Saraki family. It captured my mindset on the whole saga. I often find repulsive Bukola’s argument that handing over to his sister as governor would be unethical. What then justifies taking over from his sister as a senator if he is such an ethical puritan. The older Saraki should do a proper finding out to ascertain why a son would publicly disgrace his father on the father’s so called ‘ethical misconduct’ from which the same son had immensely benefited in the in the past. -Wilfred Segun Dare, Ekinrin-Ade, Kogi State. The only permanent thing in life is change. As a father, Baba should be lenient with his son, while Governor Saraki should know that without his father, he would not have attained the level he is today. They should also realise that the interest of one family is not supposed to hold a state to ransom. Any seed sown today must be reaped tomorrow. -Franklin Sunday Ogbodo One should leave the stage when the ovation is loudest. The senior Saraki deserved the showdown his son gave him in the election. 47 years as a godfather in politics? Enough is enough. -Ade Badiru, Ibadan. The days of easy money from political office hollders in Kwara State are over for Baba Oloye. . He should have his clinic cleaned up and resume work there. As a doctor. In the alternative, he can become the godfather of area boys in Agbaji, Ilorin for him to remain
•Olusola Saraki in the news. -Bashir Oyeyemi, Kano On the Saraki family, you wrote the historical facts, but there is a spiritual angle to it. Are you a Christian? Remember how God raised Musa (Moses) in the house of Firaun (Pharaoh)? Eventually, it was this boy God used against him. If or when Allah plans to destroy anything, he has a way of doing it. Saraki Senior is not an astute politician but a clever man. He reads the feelings of the people and sways thus. This time, he misread the people’s feelings because God had marked him for destruction. Kwara is not Saraki’s bakery. There are many good families in the state. -080577760.. I have just read your write-up on the Saraki family and literally wept for the people of Kwara State who submitted themselves to this degree of enslavement and bondage under Dr. Olusola Saraki. It needs to be appreciated that it is morally wrong for Papa Saraki to instal his daughter and son as senator and governor respectively over the state at the same time. It is shameful for him to have insisted that his daughter should take over from his son as governor. I believe that the just God would not allow the fate of Absalom to befall Bukola,
•Bukola Saraki because the actions of Papa Saraki are morally unjust. What is happening between the two Sarakis will mark the end of Papa Saraki’s captivity over the land and the people, The state belongs to all the people, who should be given free and equal opportunity to participate in its development. -Okey Okereafor, Owerri. My view is that Dr. Olusola Saraki should give thanks to his son, Bukola, for saving him from electoral disgrace. All parents pray that their children should be greater than them. A state is greater than any individual or family. Had Bukola supported his father’s decision, the entire family would have been defeated and rubbished at the poll. Can’t Baba Oloye seehow the mighty fell and mighty electoral weapons perished across the nation under an uncompromising Jega? Is Baba Obasanjo not great? How about the rest in Oyo, Osun and Ogun states? Think about the sitting governors. Times have changed. It is no longer business as usual under Jega’s INEC. We have also come to realise that over the years, , acroos the nation, the power to influence electoral victory without failure was all about rigging. -Ololade Morakinyo, Lagos. If you don’t have a thing to write, please give someone your column. What is our business
Mr Akanmode, I disagree with your thesis. If Kwara State would only be liberated at the expense of the unity and greatness of the Saraki family, so be it, for a part cannot be greater than the whole. A father disowning his son? Is that the first time? -Rev. Fr. Gabriel Ajibogun. Vincent, Dr. Bukola Saraki has finished himself politically in this country. No right thinking person will ever trust him with anything again in this country, especially his brothers from the far North. If Bukola can betray his father and the so called northern elders he was following around under the pretext of zoning within six months, then you can imagine what what he has caused himself. Frankly speaking, Bukola will surely lose the Senate seat he has just won at the tribunal or in the court. And by that time, Jonathan’s cabinet would already be in place and he will be left with nothing. And let me tell you that we in the North-Central only recognise his father as one of us. This is because Bukola always sees himself a a far northerner like the late Sunday Awoniyi. He will never get anything that is zoned to the North Central under this administration. Take it or leave it. -080908656.. Vincent, that was a good piece on the Sarakis. Peace profound. -Victor Agusiobo, VP NGE.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
HE recent sickening arraignment for sexual harassment in New York of the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund [IMF] Mr. Strauss Kahn is a classic story of the fall of man from grace to grass. After the initial shock however it becomes rather obvious that there is more to the story than meets the eye and that it is not only the IMF boss that is on trial but indeed the entire global financial system. This is because bankers , banks and bank bosses have created so much envy and bad blood for themselves by the way they have been rescued by governments globally that the unbridled hatred of the New York Police for the IMF boss may well just be the tip of the ice bag . The IMF especially has become a law unto itself and has unwittingly hurt the sovereign and personal pride of world leaders in leading them and their economies astray in the past with know all financial directives and punishing them with harsh conditions bearing high social costs when they ask for loans to bail out their economies .The violent way Strauss Kahn was treated by the Americans in being hurled to a notorious high security prison over unproven charges is illustrative of the resentment of the policies and palliatives of the IMF on global economic conditions .Or how else can one explain the brash hostility of the Americans in the way they have dealt with this unfortunate French banker who was due to resign from the IMF and contest on the platform of the Socialist Party for the Presidency of France ?. Some interesting pieces of news can be shared to really appreciate that what has happened to Strauss Khan can really happen to any happy go lucky CEO dilettante. Dominique Straus
Randy IMF leadership and politics
Kahn often called DSK by colleagues was said to have joked to friends that he had a premonition that some lady would one day accuse him of sexual harassment falsely .That alone was a serious enough prospect to dampen his libido and not fortify it uncontrollably as the American judicial system seemed poised with glee to prove in open court. In addition DSK was said to have boasted in the past to colleagues that his personal problems hover around three issues namely money, women and his being a Jew .From all indications all the problems seemed to have served him well till he ran naked after an hotel maid in 'God's own country 'and met his Waterloo. The Americans have been pitiless in dealing with the IMF boss with the US Treasury Secretary calling for his replacement when he has not even beefound guilty of any charges and the trial has not even started. This of course should be the official US reaction or posture on the DSK issue and it opens a pandoras box on the handling of extra marital relations in various polities and the political and socio-economic costs and consequences of such flings .The Americans seem to have forgotten about the Clinton
The violent way Strauss Kahn was treated by the Americans in being hurled to a notorious high security prison over unproven charges is illustrative of the resentment of the policies and palliatives of the IMF on global economic conditions
Presidency and the Mona Lewinsky affair even though Clinton's better half who bore the brunt of her husband's misdemeanor is very active in the Obama administration as one of the most brilliant US Secretary of States of modern times .Could Hillary's bitter experience have influenced the present mob and media trial of the IMF boss by the Obama Adminstration? Time will sooner than later tell.Or may be the present US government has started to react
to the entrance of former Speaker Newt Gringrich into the presidential race for the US elections of 2012. The rationale of this reaction seems simple to me .To remind Gingrich of his dark past in which he sought to jail Clinton for a blow job while he too was having an affair with an office assistant who later became his third wife, an example had to be made of DSK that sexual misdemeanor will not be tolerated from high officials no matter how highly placed on US soil.I really would love to have Newt Gingrich's reaction to DSK's problems and the way the US government has handled the matter so far. Outside the US however I have no doubt that DSK would have been better treated. It's nice to know that the IMF board at least showed him some solidarity and pity or spirit de corps in not sacking or asking him to resign as the Americans wanted .More interestingly Radio France interviewed some French people who insisted that he has not been tried and should not be condemned prematurely over a private matter .Some in the French Socialist camp even think he should not be written off politically in contesting for the French presidency till the outcome of
the trial. Given the way his ambition to be President of France was magnified after the incident the insinuation was that French President Nikola Sarkozy must be enjoying himself over the misfortune of a potential opponent. Well, only Sarkozy who has Jewish blood like DSK can clear himself on that. In Nigeria however there is genuine pity for a man who has plunged from grace to grass. But definitely if the incident had happened in Nigeria in say the oil city of Port Harcourt, Lagos or Abuja it would not have made headline news. This is because in a nation where the President of the Senate once warned banks not use young ladies as marketing officers, as giving them unrealizable targets turns them into prostitution ,a high IMF official like DSK would been suffocated literally with the attention of the opposite sex and would not need to sprint naked after an hotel maid as he did in New York and got nabbed. Aside from getting away with such matters in Nigeria one nation that would have laughed at DSK's mediocrity on such sexual misdemeanor is Italy, the land of the Caesars of Rome where Silvio Berlusconi calls the shots as the Prime Minister and the owner of Italy's most successful soccer club AC Milan .Yet Berlusconi has several charges on sexual harassment against him by Italian prosecutors ranging from dating under age prostitutes to bending the law to protect them. His wife has sued him for divorce over the matter .Yet Berlusconi remains popular in Catholic Italy where the Pope presides as the head of state of the Vatican the smallest state in the world. But the
Pope has problems of his own and after paying huge bills to avoid prosecution of pedophilia priests globally and especially in the US ,the good Pope recently asked Catholic bishops worldwide to report gay and pedophilia priests to local police to face prosecution according to local municipal rules .But really outside the Vatican DSK have found good company with the Italian PM and as an IMF boss would have enjoyed the same immunity as Berlusconi especially as Italy's economy seems to be tottering in the direction of the PIGS nations needing IMF bailouts with the attendant painful loss of sovereignty through austerity measures . Lastly the Americans who seem to want it take over the IMF now should be reminded that in this DSK opprobrium they too may need a good reputation laundry. This is because the penultimate MD of the World Bank now under US control lost his job because he promoted a girl friend Shaha Riza and gave her a salary rise that was far more than her banking skills would require .That World Bank MD, Paul Wolfowitz was one of the Neo Conservatives who plotted the invasion of Iraq under the Bush Administration and was indeed the Assistant Secretary of State in the Administration before his deployment to the juicy World Bank job. So to the Americans we say those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. It is a wise and pragmatic approach that is applicable not only in diplomacy but also in the now exploding world of randy global financiers and institutions like the unfortunate DSK of the infamous IMF.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Adamawa bakers yet to join warning strike, as bread prices soar nationwide
s bakers in the coun try continue their one-week warning strike, their members in Adamawa are yet to comply with the strike as they got knowledge of it late. The association’s Public Relations Officer in the state, Alhaji Muhammad ElAmeen, said yesterday that the notice of the strike came late to the branch. ”We received the warning strike letter late Wednesday while the strike commenced on Thursday. We hope to join the strike on Monday after consultation with our members across the state,” he said. He said the present high cost of baking materials in the state had forced many bakers to cut bread production by 50 per cent. “Currently a 50kg bag of flour is sold at N7,000 while one bag of sugar is sold for N13,000 as against N3,000 and N9,000 respectively three months ago,’’ ElAmeen said. The PRO also complained of a series of levies being imposed on members by the state government agencies like the fire service, state and
local government health workers, among others. Meanwhile, fears of a hike in the prices of bread have gripped Port Harcourt residents following news that the members of the association had begun a one-week warning strike. The association said in a statement signed by Mr. Kolawole Adelekan, its branch chairman, in Port Harcourt yesterday that the action was in protest against the recent hike in the prices of ingredients used in producing bread. Reacting to the news, a housewife, Mrs. Monica Okpata, said increasing the price of bread would result in heavy expenses for parents to feed their wards. “Most children prefer bread to other food items mainly in the morning before going to school and any hike in the price will certainly bite hard on the pockets of parents,’’ she said. Another resident, Lucy Jacob, appealed to the government not to allow bread dealers to change the price of the commodity, noting that people are already finding it hard to measure up
SUDOKU Welcome to SUDOKU, the captivating and engrossing numbers logic puzzle popularised by the Japanese. The idea of the puzzle is to fill the grid of 81 cells divided into nine 3 x 3 boxes, such that every box, every row, and every column contains the numbers 1-9, each number appearing only once in each box, row and column. 1ST STEP IN SOLVING PUZZLE 310 : Look at the 3 right vertical (ghi) 3X3 boxes. The top box has 6 in cdell Bi, while the middle box has its 6 in cell Fh. The bottom box must, therefore, have its own 6 in column g, where there is only 1 vacant space-cell Hg. Readsoning along these lines, try and fill in all the other vacant cells. SOLUTION PUZZLING!
with the present price regime. The chairman also led other members on a peaceful protest to the Government House, Port Harcourt. He said the protest was in line with the directive of the national leadership of the association to intimate the state government of the plight of members of the association. “Our grievance stems from the high cost of flour and other supporting ingredients like sugar and butter that has gone beyond the reach of the average baker,’’ Adelekan said. He explained that the association was concerned about the effects the increase in bread price would have on Nigerians. “A hike in the price of bread would further impoverish the common man on the street, and we urge the government to urgently address the issue before the end of the one-week warning strike,’’ he said. Adelekan recalled that a 50 kg bag of flour sold at N5,100 in 2010 had risen to N6,400 while sugar had increased from N8,000 to N12,000. He remarked that if the government ignored the warning, bread would witness a 100 per cent new price regime. In Calabar, the price of bread and bakery products have gone up even as master
bakers complain of increasing cost of production in Cross River. But Mr John Madu, the Chairman of Master Bakers, Calabar Zone, said any increase in the price of bakery products was affecting the “common man’’. He attributed the hike in the price of bread to increase in prices of sugar, flour, wheat and other materials used in the production of bread and allied products in the state. Madu, who is also the Director of Brothers Bakery, Calabar, said the flour mill in Calabar had increased the cost of flour which sold between N4,300 and N4,500 per bag in April to N5,500 and N7,000 per bag. “We used to buy it for N5,500 about three weeks ago. They have also increased the price to about N7,000 without informing the bakers,’’ he said. He said that a bag of sugar in the state which sold between N5,000 and N7,000 now sold for N12,000 at Etim Edem market in the state. Madu said that some bakeries had closed shop because of high prices of the raw materials in the industry. “We are blaming the government which allows all the importers and manufacturers to do things the way they like because nobody questions them.
AIG rewards gallant officers with N500,000
HE Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone Six , Mr Mohammed Abubakar, says his administration will reward any officer adjudged outstanding while on official duties. Mohammed gave the assurance yesterday at the presentation of awards to five police officers in Calabar. “In line with my belief that hard work pays, I did promise when I took over here that whoever does anything good in pursuit of his official duties would be commended and rewarded, ‘’ he said. He said the beneficiaries performed well in carrying out official assignments and, therefore, deserved the awards. “The purpose of this occasion is to fulfil that promise; we have officers who have done wonderfully well,’’ he said. Abubakar said one of the awardees, Chief Superintendent Egbe Raymond, distinguished himself by representing the deputy commissioner in the zonal command. He also said that the remaining four officers led by Superintendent Labaran Salihu successfully investigated a case of stealing of property worth N50 million at a textile company in Calabar. The officers, he said, traced the thieves to Onitsha in Anambra and Aba in Abia , recovering the stolen items and arresting the culprits. Salihu received the sum of N200,000, while Messrs Donatus Nwosu, Simeon Nwaguru and Timoty Etong got N100, 000 each. The fifth officer, Raymond, received a letter of recognition alongside the other awardees. The police boss urged the officers to keep up their good work while urging others to emulate them. Responding on behalf of the officers, Raymond thanked the AIG for the gesture and promised that they would continue to put in their best.
“Flour mill cannot just increase the price of flour the way they like and the government continues to watch them without doing something,’’ he said.
Madu said where the government failed to regulate the prices by the manufacturers and importers of the products, the prices would continue to increase.
AUCTION! AUCTION!! AUCTION!!! On the instruction of Ojokoro Local Development Council Area, the abandoned motion cycles (Okada) and motor vehicles had been slated for auctioning but concerned owners are advised to come and confirm ownership and clearance within 14 days of this publication. However, after 14 days and no appearance, all will be auctioned out to the public by the Auctioner with effect from 23rd May-8th June 2011. Location of checking, Alakuko Area Office. CONTACT THESE NUMBERS: Alhaji Idris 08053171813 J. F. Obitunde 08033466559
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Oil mining lease face-off
Mobil insists on validity of licence
OBIL Producing Nigeria (MPN), a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, has said its oil mining lease recently revoked by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources remained valid. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the affected oil blocs are in the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 67, 68 and 70 at the Qua Iboe oil fields located on the Atlantic coastline in Akwa Ibom. It will be recalled that a letter dated March 4 and titled “Grant of Oil Mining Leases 67, 68 and 7 0 ” revoked the lease given to MPN. The letter, signed by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani AlisonMadueke, declared the lease renewals which came into effect on Dec. 1, 2009 “null and void and of no effect whatsoever”. In a reaction to the development, Mobil issued a statement signed by Nigel Cookey-Gam, its Manager Communication, arguing that the oil licence it renewed in 2009 remained valid. The oil firm further claimed that it would take steps to “vigorously protect the rights it acquired in 2009. “In November 2009, the Federal Government of Nigeria granted a long-term renewal of three NNPC-Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) joint venture leases (OMLs 67, 68 and 70). ”MPN, as the operator, strongly maintains that the NNPC-MPN joint venture’s long-term rights in those leases are entirely valid and legally binding. ”Accordingly, MPN will vigorously protect the rights that it acquired in 2009,” the statement read in part. The oil company pledged to work with the petroleum resources ministry to resolve the impasse. ”We will work with the Minister of Petroleum Resources and other relevant government officials to resolve any confusion that may exist on this matter. “We have a longstanding association with the government of Nigeria and look forward to continuing that mutually beneficial relationship,” it stated. Oil industry sources put the production capacity from the three oil blocs in excess of 960,000 barrels per day.
The Federal Government position as espoused by the petroleum resources minister was that the actual tenure of the leases did not run their full time before they were renewed in 2009. Allison-Madueke had told newsmen in Lagos yesterday that due process was not followed, but that the ministry and ExxonMobil were into discussions with the hope to “come up with an agreeable solution”.
•From left, Prof. Sola Akinrinade; Osun State Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Grace Titi-Laoye Tomori; Prof. Oladipupo Akinkugbe and Prof. Peter Okebukola at the maiden convocation lecture of the Osun State University at Osogbo ...yesterday
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Possible successors to Strauss-Kahn as IMF head
•Some Met Policemen
Metropolitan Police to pay £20,000 to four Nigerian women T
HE Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has been ordered to pay £5,000 each to four women for failing to investigate allegations of slavery. The women, who had arrived in London from Nigeria as children, said they were beaten and emotionally abused by families they were forced to work for. The High Court said the force’s “failure to investigate” breached the women’s human rights. The Met said it deeply regretted the women did not get the service expected. The force had originally argued it could not carry out an investigation because the women would not co-operate. But the court dismissed this claim as “untenable”. Mr Justice Wyn Williams said in his judgment the Met “did nothing to commence an effective investigation”. They want an acknowledgement of how all of them have been treated” “Their names were known to the police, they wanted
their complaints to be investigated. “They were directly affected by the failure to carry out an effective investigation.” The court heard the women were brought to the UK when they were aged between 11 and 15. The women, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said they were made to work for no pay in households in and around London between 1997 and 2006. They complained that the police had infringed their rights under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by failing to investigate over a “significant” period of time. Phillippa Kaufmann QC said: “They want an acknowledgement of how all of them have been treated and they want just satisfaction in the form of compensation.” She said that above all they want lessons to be learned so
that others in the same predicament can be rescued. Ms Kaufmann told the court the women were at all times “willing and prepared to have their allegations of abuse investigated”. “The problem is that... officers on the ground were repeatedly and, in every imaginable context, reluctant to discharge that duty and, whenever it was triggered, they repeatedly failed to take any steps to investigate the serious offences which were staring them in the face.” Ms Kaufmann said officers did not understand the very serious nature of the crimes and that there was a “worrying lack of concern” for the victims. A spokesman for the women’s solicitors, Bhatt Murphy, said after the ruling: “The Metropolitan Police Service has not apologised to any of the victims for failing to investigate their abusers in 2007.
“Instead it argued unsuccessfully in court that it did not owe a legal duty to investigate credible allegations of servitude unless those allegations were reported whilst the servitude was ongoing.” Following Friday’s ruling, Scotland Yard it would consider the judgement. In a statement, the force said: “The MPS takes all allegations of this nature seriously and the original matters alleged are now subject to a full and ongoing investigation by detectives from the SCD9 Human Exploitation and Organised Crime Command, which has already seen one woman jailed for 11.5 years for trafficking offences.” It said the way in which the Met investigates such crimes had changed significantly since the introduction in April 2010 of the dedicated unit of 39 detectives responsible for handling all human trafficking and immigration offences.
OMINIQUE Strauss-Kahn has resigned as head of the International Monetary Fund, the IMF said in a statement, after his arrest at the weekend on charges he sexually assaulted a maid in a Manhattan hotel. Below is a list of potential candidates to succeed the Frenchman at the Washington-based institution. The post has traditionally gone to a European, but with developing countries playing a greater role in the world economy, there is rising pressure to throw open the process to all member states. IMF rules state that no one should be appointed to the post of managing director who is 65 or older and that no one should hold the post beyond the age of 70. This would rule out some of the names that have been circulating in recent days, including Israeli central bank governor Stanley Fischer, Indian government adviser Montek Singh Ahluwlia and outgoing ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet. Seen as a leading candidate for the IMF post if it goes to a nonEuropean. Dervis, 62, is credited with bringing Turkey back from the brink after a 2001 financial crisis, by pushing through tough reforms and helping secure a multibillion dollar IMF bailout. Turkey’s status as a large emerging market within the European continent could ease widespread concerns by developing nations who feel shut out of the IMF selection process because of Europe’s claim to the top job. Dervis left Turkey to join the World Bank in 1978, becoming vice president of the institution in 1996. He returned home to much fanfare in 2001 as economy minister when Ankara faced failing banks, soaring inflation and a massive currency devaluation. He is now vice president and director of the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. If the post does end up going to a European, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, 55, looks like a top candidate and it would make her the first woman to head the institution. A medal-winning member of France’s synchronized swimming team as a teenager and the first female chairman of U.S. law firm Baker MacKenzie, Lagarde won respect in the markets during the global financial crisis and helped promote France’s negotiating clout in key forms like the Group of 20. A flawless English speaker, Lagarde was voted best finance minister in Europe by the Financial Times in 2009. Counting against her is her nationality. A Frenchman has run the IMF for 26 out of the last 33 years and the Strauss-Kahn embarrassment may make it difficult for Paris to argue that its run should continue. French President Nicolas Sarkozy may be reluctant to see the popular Lagarde leave in the midst of France’s G20 presidency and a year before the next election. Lagarde also faces a possible inquiry into her role in awarding financial compensation to flamboyant French businessman Bernard Tapie. Weber, 53, is a former president of the Germany’s Central Bank (Bundesbank) from April 2004 to 2011 and was a member of the governing council of the European Central Bank. He was seen as a likely successor to Jean-Claude Trichet as head of the European Central Bank but ruled himself out of the race in February. He was recently appointed economics professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He has the political connections for the role at the IMF and taught monetary policy and international economics in Germany before he was chosen for the Bundesbank in 2004. Manuel, 55, is well-respected in global financial circles, having served as finance minister of South Africa from 1996 to 2009. He has long been touted as a possible candidate for the IMF and the World Bank, although IMF insiders believe he would be best suited to the poverty-fighting World Bank. Born in Cape Town under apartheid, Manuel was a founding member of the United Democratic Front and was imprisoned repeatedly by the South African government for political activities in the late 1980s.
76-yr-old, four others arrested for encroaching on Ajibola’s land
76-year old Imam, Alhaji Nojiu Odupe and four others have been arrested by men of the Federal Criminal Investigation Bureau (FCIB), Abuja, for encroaching on the land of a former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ajibola. The suspects who included: Saula Alimi a.k.a Yellow, Shefiu Ashafa, Saheed Alimi and Aliu Alimi popularly known as Alinco, were arrested by the policemen from Abuja last Thursday for illegally selling five plots out of the former Justice of the World Court’s
acres of land along Lekki-Epe Expressway, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos state. Alhaji Muyideen Ajayi Wasiu, Abdulahi Alimi and Jajudeen Alimi alias Ase are, were said to have evaded arrest. They were alleged to have sold the land to an Igbo tyre dealer simply called Mr. Francis at Eluju village in Ibeju Lekki. The land was said to originally belong to the family of the Oba-elect of Debojo, Ibeju-Lekki Local Government of Lagos State, Otunba Zacheus Kolawole Odugbesan. The suspects were inter-
viewed by the FCIB officers in Abuja on Wednesday over the issue following the complaint lodged against them by Odugbesan, Ogunbote, Denge and Agoro families of Ibeju-Lekki; for illegal land grabbing. Speaking on behalf of the family at the FCIB headquaters, Abuja, Otunba Odugbesan, who emphasised that he wanted peace to reign in his domain, alleged that the suspects were just encroaching on the land that did not belong to them, thus causing chaos in the village. He alleged that part of the land which belonged to the
Odugbesan family and was later allotted to Chief Bola Ajibola by the government, was re-surveyed and sold by the suspects. The same was said to have been done at Elepete, EleranIgbe and Folorunsho villages. Chief Yekini Lamidi a.k.a Aigbogbo, also narrated how cultist were brought in to deal with land owners, inflicting injuries on them. The Investigative Police Officer (I.P.O) in charge of the case, Inspector Friday said the suspects were released on bail after the interview, as investigation into the matter continues.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2010
Bakers in Anambra join strike •Call for President Jonathan’s intervention
read bakers in Anambra State have joined the one-week warning strike over escalating cost of production. The Chairman of Chairman of Anambra chapter of Masters Bakers Association, Chief Williams Omabu, said on Friday in Onitsha that the situation demanded President Goodluck Jonathan’s intervention. Omabu said that the President, who had met with cement manufacturers and cautioned them against high cost of cement, should also do same with the flour millers. “President Goodluck Jonathan should please call the flour millers to order before things get out of hand. “Just between January and now, the flour millers have increased prices of a 50kg bag of flour three times from N5,150 to N5,500 and from N5,500 to N5,800 and now it is sold for N6,100,’’ he said. The chairman said that if the ugly trend was not checked, over 3,000 workers employed in the bakery industry in Anambra State alone would lose their jobs and get thrown into the labour market. Omabu appealed to the Federal Government to subsidise the cost of wheat and sugar and liberalise the importation of bakery materials by giving import licences to more importers.
He alleged that the indiscriminate hike in prices of bakery materials was caused by those who wanted multi-national companies to take over the business. Omabu said that bakers in the state had suspended their business for a week to
join in the nationwide action. He said the association had submitted its position paper to Dr. A. I. Nnalue, the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Commerce and Industry, for onward delivery to Governor Peter Obi.
...as Master Bakers in Enugu withdraw services
carcity of bread looms in Enugu as master bakers in the state embarked on one-week protest on Friday over rising cost of production. According to reports, there was total compliance of bakers with the directive. Mr Sunny Akam, Chairman of Master Bakers in Enugu, said that the one-week withdrawal of bread from circulation was just a warning. He said the warning was also to sensitise government to step into the matter and force down the price of flour, sugar and butter, the main ingredients in bread baking. “If we allow the price to remain like that or go out of control, the masses of this country will suffer,’’ Akam said. He said that the association had written to the presidency to intervene in the matter. Akam pleaded with the Federal Government to issue more licences for importation of sugar to ease the situation. He said that the current situation, where importation of sugar was left in the hands of two persons, had encouraged monopoly and led to the current state of things in the bakery industry. A staff of City Bakery, who preferred anonymity, said that the price of flour had increased from N5,100 to N6, 100. “A bag of sugar, which was sold at between N2000 and N3000, now sells for N11, 500. “Our withdrawal of service is not necessarily to increase our own price, but to let the government subsidise the price of flour, the way they did for cement. “We are dealing with grassroots people. How will a family man purchase a loaf of bread under this situation?’’ he queried.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Neighbour on missionary journey to Nigeria discovers 17-year-old Ghanaian girl trafficked to Lagos to serve as a housemaid F
OR many years, Francis Addy shuttled between Nigeria and Ghana every fortnight for a queer kind of business. He was the leader of a syndicate that specialised in trafficking young girls from Ghana to various parts of Nigeria to work as housemaids. His bait was the get-money-in-an-instant impression he gave his victims, who were mostly from broken homes and did not have the consent of their parents. But Addy’s bag of tricks got exhausted on Tuesday, as he was arrested by men of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other related matters (NAPTIP) in Fagba, a Lagos suburb. His arrest came on the heels of his recent transaction with a couple who took in one of the girls called Vondy Boiky, a 17-year-old Ghanaian. Vondy was brought to Nigeria sometime in February, 2011 by the suspect who operates a video club near Vondy’s residence in Ghana. He allegedly first took her to his sister in Ibadan before bringing her to Lagos to stay with the couple on Bamgboye Street, Iju, Lagos State. Penultimate Tuesday, Vondy ran into one of her kinsmen called Nana Afrakumaa in the neighbourhood and narrated how she was brought to Nigeria without the consent of her parents and the ill-treatment she had been receiving from the children of the couple she was serving. Apparently touched by her plight, Afrakumaa, who was in Nigeria on missionary work, contacted the Ghanaian High Commission, Ikeja, Lagos State, while NAPTIP officials and The Nation correspondent were subsequently invited. It took a few days of playing along with Addy to invite him to Nigeria as a way of gaining access into the house of the couple. A mild drama occurred as Addy tried to resist arrest by NAPTIP operatives when he eventually showed up. Repeatedly, he shouted: ‘This is a set-up! I was only trying to help the girl.’ He was, however, whisked away after he was overpowered by NAPTIP operatives. In a telephone conversation monitored by the correspondent, Vondy’s father simply said: “Francis took my daughter away without my consent. My daughter said she was going to Accra to see her cousins. I did not know that she had been taken to Nigeria. I swear, if I set my eyes on him without seeing my daughter, I will kill him!” In another telephone conversation on the eve of his arrest, Francis had said he was going to Ilorin, Kwara State, to collect the salary of a girl he had given to a couple as a housemaid, promising that he would be in Lagos the following day to take Vondy back to Ghana. He did not know there was a plan to apprehend him. Speaking with our correspondent,
•Francis Kunle AKINRINADE Afrakumaa said: “Penultimate Tuesday, my son, Derick, was playing football outside with his friends when he
ran into Vondy. When I realised she spoke my language, I asked what she was doing in Nigeria and she shared her experience with me. And because we are from the same place in Ghana, I decided to help her out. She told me
I was lured to Nigeria by Francis in February 2011. I am 17 years old and a Form Three student in Ghana. I was told I would get a better job in Nigeria. But the reverse was the case as my ears became the drum my master’s beat all the time. Right now, I want to go back to Ghana...
all kinds of ill-treatment she got from one of the daughters of the couple she was serving as a housemaid. You won’t believe that Vondy actually came to Nigeria with two mobile phones. His father is not that poor. He works as a produce officer. So, the family can be categorised as middle class. “She told me how Francis had promised her a job as a shop assistant once she arrived in Nigeria, and how she had been made to serve as a housemaid with untold hardship. She also said that Francis did not permit her to inform her parents. Francis allegedly told her to wait for him at a particular spot where he later joined her before they set out. On arrival in Nigeria, she was first taken to Ibadan to stay with Francis’ sister, who is a teacher, before she was brought to Lagos to serve a couple as a housemaid.” She further narrated how Vondy told her that Francis settled for N5,000 wage with the couple and how her two cell phones were retrieved from her to prevent her from establishing any contact with her family members in Ghana. “The girl (Vondy) told me that the couple agreed to pay N5, 000 to Francis as her wage. She also said that Francis had collected her two mobile phones as soon as she landed in Nigeria in February. This was purposely done to sever her contact with family members. And apparently touched by her plight, I decided to involve the media while I also contacted the Ghanaian High Commission who in turn invited NAPTIP.” Responding to questions by the reporter, Vondy said: “I was lured to Nigeria by Francis in February 2011. I am 17 years old and a Form Three student in Ghana. I was told I would get a better job in Nigeria. But the reverse was the case as my ears became the drum my master’s beat all the time. Right now, I want to go back to Ghana.” The Head of the Lagos Zonal Office of NAPTIP, Mr.Josiah Emereole, in his remarks on the incident, said: ’’Right now, we are still intensifying our investigations on the matter to ascertain the extent to which Francis has gone in the business and his accomplices. We will also try to find out if he is a Nigerian or a Ghanaian, so as to know how to handle his case before subsequent prosecution. “As for the girl (Vondy), she is going to be in our custody to undergo shelter rehabilitation and counselling, among others. She will, however, be returned safely to Ghana as soon as we are through with necessary findings. “We have been handling similar cases, mostly about young girls from Benin Republic, who are usually transported to Nigeria to work as housemaids or shop attendants. We have a working agreement with Benin authorities on repatriation, but we don’t have such an arrangement with Ghana, hence we will partner with the Ghanaian High Commission on this matter.”
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Search for justice begins after murder of five people in a church W
HEN the gunmen started shooting into the Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Temiloluwa Orisun Iye at Isale Agbara in IleIfe, Osun State, it appeared to the wife of the founder, Prophetess Rebecca Akinola, as if she was in a trance. According to the woman, whose husband was among the five persons shot dead on the fateful day, April 9, 2011, the congregation had just finished a prayer session and was about to settle down for a recess when they heard the sound of gunshots around 2 am. Incidentally, it was on a day the nation was preparing to go into the first round of the recently-concluded general elections, to elect candidates of various political parties into the House of Representatives. Eyewitness accounts disclosed how the armed men, suspected to be agents of a politician, emerged from a bush near the family house of an Action Congress of Nigeria’s (ACN’s) House of Representatives candidate, Chief. Rotimi Makinde. From all indications, Makinde was the target, but the cup of death passed over him. Five people were, however, not that lucky; they were gruesomely murdered. First to receive a gunshot was Opeyemi Omisakin, a welder, who had ventured out of Makinde’s compound to find out where the aggressors were coming from. They sighted him before he could secure a vantage position. He ran for dear life, made an attempt to gain entry into the church, but the doors leading into the church were firmly locked. Before he could make a detour and run to the back of the church, he had received bullets, which he ran away with, only to die in the house of his friend, Funminiyi Oyediran a.k.a. Apelaye, about 10 meters away from the church. In their desperation, however, the gunmen, believing that Ope had run into the church, fired numerous bullets into the sanctuary. In the process, they killed four other members of the church, including its 75-yearold founder, Prophet Joseph Akinola. The other victims included Taofeek Kolawole, an SS1 student of AUD Grammar School, Iloro in Ile-Ife and Wale Adeyeye Ologbenla, a draughtsman. Penultimate Friday marked the reawakening of the sad mood of the April 9 attack. On that day, the Chairman of Ife Central Local Government, Dr. Taiwo Olaiya, accompanied by Rotimi Makinde, who has just been
•Makinde (left) with Osun Police Commissioner, Mr. Peter Gana
Soji ADENIYI, Osogbo elected to represent Ife Central Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives on the platform of ACN, visited the families of the victims to donate some cash gifts to them. As the chairman made his donation, family members of victims wailed uncontrollably. Wale and Taofeek’s parents, Adeyeye Ologbenla and Raufu Kolawole respectively, were too sad to talk about the incident. Makinde, however, expressed worries that many days after the sad incident, the suspects still roamed free, while the Police kept saying they were investigating the matter.
Taofeek’s father, Mr. Rafiu Kolawole
He said: “Days to the incident, we tried to alert the Police about the attack. If they had responded on time, the disaster would probably have been averted. We volunteered information and we are still ready to furnish the Police with more information. We know those who came to kill our people.
They still move freely among us. And this is sending a wrong signal to the people about their safety,” he said. Governor Rauf Aregbesola had visited the families of the victims on the second day of the incident to commiserate with them. He condemned the killing in strong terms, praying God to
Before he could make a detour and run to the back of the church, he had received bullets, which he ran away with, only to die in the house of his friend, Funminiyi Oyediran a.k.a. Apelaye, about 10 meters away from the church
grant the bereaved the fortitude to bear the loss. But on Wednesday last week, an Oshogbo Magistrate Court ordered one of the people fingered in the attack, Adedotun Adebowale a.k.a. Mere, to be remanded in Ife Federal Prisons. Adebowale was charged with the murder of Idowu Akinola, Wale Adeyeye, Taofeek Kolawole, Damilola Adeniyi and Ope Omisakin on April 9. According to the charge sheet, Adebowale and three others, now at large, committed the offence around 2 am at Temi Ni Oluwa Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Isale Agbara Street in Ile-Ife. The presiding magistrate, Olusola Aluko, adjourned the case till May 31, 2011.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
•Traffic within Kubwa as at 7am
Our nightmares as FCT residents •Inhabitants of Abuja satellite town lament their lives of agony Dele ANOFI, Abuja
second class citizens? Some of us and this can be verified. We have are paying our bills regularly, people of diverse social and eth-
complete. Unfortunately, it has been six weeks and we are still counting. The most annoying and irritating thing is that those who live in the Abuja metropolis were adequately informed about the water supply situation and told how water would be shared between various parts of the city. “Kubwa was not mentioned in the arrangement, so we thought we had nothing to worry about. But we have been at the receiving end of the water problem. Are we
You cannot escape the fumes even when you are in a vehicle. We may not be aware as laymen because poverty would not allow us to go for medical checks, but our health cannot be normal. That is why patent medicine and pharmacy business is booming in Kubwa
Residents of Kubwa, a satellite town of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have made an appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Assembly to rescue them from imminent outbreak of water and air-borne diseases. For the past six weeks, the residents of the largest satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been grappling with contaminated water supplied by the FCT Water Board. According to some residents who spoke with The Nation, they expected better treatment from the administration of the FCT. A part of their complaint was that the FCT administration treated Kubwa residents with disregard by not considering it appropriate to inform them about the development that culminated in the supply of unclean water to them. The residents fear that their lives are under threat with the spate of fumes (carbon monoxide) being generated by motorcycles and generators. The inability of road traffic agencies to curb the excesses of motorists on Kubwa roads is also a source of grave concern, which has led some of the residents to insinuate possible official conspiracy against the community. A resident, who pleaded anonymity, because he is a civil servant, said: “When we first began to experience the supply of dirty water, we thought it was as a result of the usual maintenance procedure, which would not take more than three or four days to
nic backgrounds living in Kubwa. There are civil servants and very active private sector workers, including small and medium scale entrepreneurs. We have more than 10 banks despite the fact that we have no federal institution here. No satellite town in the FCT can boast of our economic contributions to the FCT. “Not for once was the city supplied with bad water. I am stating the fact here because that is where I work. Why should we be so badly treated? Our lives and those of our children are at risk •Continued on Page 17
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
College: A dying legacy
•The apparatus that constitutes the school’s science lab
•SSS 3 Class in need of renovation
•The school’s toilet in a state of disrepair
•Mushbahu (left) and Abubakar.
I am the highest paid staff in the school and my salary is N14, 000 even with a Master’s degree in History. We had to cut down staff salaries to be able to stay afloat. It has not been easy as we have lost a lot of staff due to the pay cut
•Continued from Page 20
deplorable state. According to the science teacher, Abdul-rasaq Temitope, “We always have to wait until WAEC brings out lists of specimen so that we would know what to buy. We usually buy only the ones we need for the examination.” For the school’s management, maintenance of the property has become another major challenge. The school faces a dilemma on how to handle the issue. Further findings revealed that the place once had windows that are constantly broken because of the harshness of the weather. So, the management often has to replace them until it could no longer afford to finance such luxury, particularly after the demise of its founder. “However, the property owner is not helping matters as he has refused to make repairs. The school currently pays N100, 000 yearly to the landlord. When we complain about the decrepit state of the structures, the landlord
tells us that if we don’t like it, we should find another place,” the principal said. Mushbahu Abdulraheem, the school’s Bursar, also decried the state of the school, saying: “We make repairs every term. The owner has refused to do any repairs. Before his death, my brother wanted to buy it but he refused to sell. There was a day the wind and rain blew off the roof in JSS3. I brought a carpenter to repair it because if the landlord knew that the roof was blown off, he would threaten to lease the place out to another tenant and send us away. You see, he made it clear that it is either we repair it or find another place.” A welcome initiative About three months ago, the Tajudeen Abdulraheem Education Trust Fund (ETF) was launched in Abuja. Geared to support Abdulraheem’s dream, the event was spearheaded by the renowned poet, Odia Ofeimum, among other friends of the deceased. The fund, they said, is meant to renovate and restructure
HMC. According to them, they are seeking an ETF grant to raise about N500 million meant to build a befitting structure for HMC at its permanent site. And even though, they are yet to achieve their objective, Ofeimun said he is optimistic. “It is achievable,” he said. Abubakar praised the efforts of Abdulraheem’s friends, saying: “I hope it succeeds because it would help relieve us of our suffering. And so doing, the dream will not die.” As a former Deputy Coordinator of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa, Abdulraheem established the school to offer subsidised quality education to children of the poor in the area. Hence, 24 HMC’s students are on waivers and scholarships, a legacy that is still being maintained two years after his death. Established as a high-profile school, the school also parades children from relatively privileged backgrounds from across the country. Hence, it is often referred to as a ‘Nigerian School’. Owing to the high standards set by its founder, the school, it was gathered, is one of the best in the state as it usually occupies the top three categories in competitions. Its recent outing was at the Nigerian Breweries National Reading Competition where it was selected to represent the NorthWest Zone in the national category. The students are usually treated to excursions and symposiums that are witnessed by professionals and eminent personalities in the area. According to HMC Principal, Alhaji Garba Abubakar, its symposia have hosted the likes of Dr. Mahmoud Lawal, one-time Public Relations Officer of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Bayero
PHOTOS: Evelyn OSAGIE
University, Kano (BUK); Dr. Tukur Idris, a member of the National Assembly representing Bakori/Danja; Prof. Wilmot Patrick and Dr. Horace Campbell, visited and awarded scholarship to some students. Anniversary celebration Come Wednesday, May 25, friends of the late pan African would be marking the second anniversary of his death in grand style at the Cyprian Ekwensi Cultural Centre, Abuja. The event would feature a symposium in the morning and Ofeimum’s drama, A feast of Returns in the evening. The organisers said they hope it would inspire more contributions towards the funds. In spite of the sorry state of the school, its academic performance is commendable. According to the principal, 70 per cent of its students make five credit passes and above yearly. If renovated, the bursar and younger brother to the deceased said the school would be conducive for learning. “The location is a good environment for learning since it is situated away from the noise in the town. And it has a lot of space for the students to play in. It is not easy getting a good place in town now. In any case, we may not be able to afford it. What can we do, then? We all are working towards keeping my brother’s dream of giving the children quality education at all cost alive. “In spite of the meager salaries, the staff are putting in their best to see that the children get the best of education. We know, one day things would change, especially when the permanent site is developed. Like the principal said we need sponsors to keep the dream alive. And we are hopeful.”
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Then Arlette and I looked at each other and smiled and I knew he was. I have been with my wife for three years and there was never a question of infidelity, but seeing his white skin was a surprise to say the least
•Black and white family: Francis and Arlette with Seth and Daniel
Our shock, by black parents of a white baby black couple told yesterday of their shock and mystification when their son was born with white skin and blond hair. Francis Tshibangu admitted: ‘My first thought was “Wow, is he really mine?”.’ He and his wife Arlette already have a two-year-old boy, Seth, whose features reflect his African parentage. But it is thought that baby Daniel, now 11 weeks old, has a slight genetic mutation. He is not an albino. Congo-born Mr Tshibangu, 28, said his ‘jaw dropped open’ when Daniel arrived at Leicester Royal Infirmary. ‘I was too stunned to speak and I could see the doctors looking at each other, thinking the baby couldn’t be mine. ‘Then Arlette and I looked at each other and smiled and I knew he was. I have been with my wife for three years and there was never a question of infidelity, but seeing his
•Leicester Royal Infirmary: Mr Tshibangu says both he and the doctors were stunned by the birth
white skin was a surprise to say the least.’ Mr Tshibangu, a sociology student, added: ‘The initial reaction from the nurses must have been that Arlette had had an affair. Their faces were a picture, but then I’m sure mine was too. ‘When I bent down and kissed him I got a better look at his features and could see he looked just like me and Arlette. He has my nose and my wife’s lips. ‘All we can say is that Daniel is our miracle and, though we are shocked by his white skin, we feel very blessed. He’s beautiful.’ His 25-year-old wife added: ‘The reaction in the operating theatre was one of shocked silence, myself included. ‘I stared at Daniel with my eyes wide. The looks on the faces of the doctors and nurses said it all. Everyone was wondering why I had a white baby. ‘But as the nurse put his little pink body in my arms I bonded with him instantly. When I looked at him all I felt was love. ‘Like any mum who has just given birth, my main concern was that he was healthy, which he is.’ Mr Tshibangu added: ‘I know there will be some who say my wife has had an affair but I trust her completely and know that isn’t the case. ‘Even if she’d had an affair with a white man, you would expect a mixed-race baby with black hair, not a white baby with soft blond hair like little Daniel.’ Mr Tshibangu, who has lived in Britain for ten years, met his future wife on a return visit to the Congo in 2007. They married a year later and settled near Loughborough. Arlette qualified as a doctor in Africa and, while she is currently working as a part-time shop assistant, she hopes to practise medicine in the UK. The couple believe Daniel could be a throwback to Arlette’s greatgreat-great-grandmother, who is also thought to have given birth to a white baby. But Mr Tshibangu said: ‘That was six generations ago and we don’t even know if that was true.’ He added: ‘You can see people looking at us thinking, “What are that black couple doing with that white baby?” I am sure there are a few people who think we have stolen him. ‘But to us, his skin colour isn’t important. The most important thing is that we have a healthy little boy who we love very much.’ •Source: The Mail
Edited by: VICTOR AKANDE
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
64 Festival de Cannes
Of filmmakers, films and their gladiators in Spring
â€˘See Page 28
STANDh BY! Wit
Afro Hollywood Best Entertainment Writer 2009
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 08077408676 (SMS only)
nt part of An importa s of any the succes is its civilisation late the mu ability to e t led to the a factors th f other success o s.—Eric civilisation rt Reine
Our big empty shop is empty again
E are a waste unto ourselves. And the toga of fake result is what we carry about everywhere we go. Having reasoned why Nigeria appears not to be working? Having reasoned why we suffer in the midst of plenty? The answer lies in little factors like sense of collective responsibility, communal interest and lackadaisical government policies. We have fallen prey to same again at the 2011 edition of the Cannes International Film Festival because as you read this piece, we are not far from being tourists rather than participants at the ongoing festival. When last week I spoke from a skeptic's point of view about the shoddy preparations of Nigeria towards platform of global repositioning like one offered by the platform of this festival, it was the candid view of someone who has a grip of happenings in the affairs of Nollywood. And I am just going to relay that the inventory captured of this year's outing did not meet our wishful thinking of the previous years. From 2007 when the pavilion was first acquired, following moves by then Minister of Information, Frank Nweke Jnr., who in 2006 saw the need for Nigeria's participation at that level, there had come and gone, Information Ministers like John Odey, Dora Akunyili and now, Labaran Maku. But I dare to say none of them understood well enough what it means to have Nigeria make a consistent and progressive representation, even in the spirit of African Heart or Rebranding project which they preached. Something is terribly wrong
I see countries here bringing 'cheap' heritage for 'sale' and you need to see how others were buying into them; because our shop was empty with our policy and there is a constant disconnect that makes it very frightening and difficult to tell if we will ever get it right as a country. None of these ministers has made a conscious effort to tap into the potential of Nollywood except for lip services and Goliath-like political statements. Even when Akunyili came on board, one had thought that perhaps the typical Nigerian woman's love for the Home Video could be a factor that would turn this 'play thing' that the film industry is tagged into a dependable economy, but no! Now that Maku is there, the fear still remains because indeed, approval was given for Nigeria's participation but budget for the year had not been released. This again brings us to the question of whether the film industry is not suffering simply because it is seen as a mere tool of information rather than a culture or a way of life that needed to be showcased to the world with decorum. I see countries here bringing 'cheap' heritage for 'sale' and you need to see how others
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
were buying into them, because our shop was empty. I see dances and drumming that some visitors choose to describe as African and I imagine what crowd the Igunu Masquerade, the Eyo, Egungun, and countless others from the North, South-South and South East of Nigeria could have attracted. These are some of the attractions for co-productions because the world hungers for new cultures in telling a global story. And I wonder why the Tourism Ministry cannot see the proposal of the Film Corporation to bring their wares to Cannes as a worthy suggestion. I wonder why there cannot be collaboration between the ministries on matters of global repositioning. I wonder why Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) and the Nigerian Film Corporation cannot work hand in hand to bring the Best Nigerian Films at the AMAAs to subsequent film festivals. I wonder when the government will see the film industry (in the true sense of the word) as a potentially vibrant non-oil sector that should be explored. I wonder when it will be ready to sanitise the industry and cleanse it of so much disparity by approving the bill on the much talked about Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MOPPICON) Let us understand the importance of a film festival for the umpteenth time; a forum for networking, a platform for marketing, and showroom for one's country's potentials for the world to see. We didn't see all of that happening because, indeed, the shop was there, but no wares to display.
Something is terribly wrong with our policy and there is a constant disconnect that makes it very frightening and difficult to tell if we will ever get it right as a country WRITE TO US! Do you watch Nollywood movies? What do you think of the Nigerian motion picture industry? Send your review of any movie or short essay on any topic of your choice about the film industry in not more than 200 words. Send entries by e-mail to: email@example.com or SMS your short comments to 08077408676
Genevieve on verge of history! …Tipped by UK Mirror as next Bond girl
HERE seems to be no stopping actress Genevieve Nnaji. Barely a week after notching the Best Breakthrough Performance award at the Monaco Charity Film Festival, the actress again made the spotlight on the cover of UK Mirror. Genevieve Nnaji penultimate Thursday bagged the Monaco Charity Film Festival award for her role as Teema in Nollywood movie The Mirror Boy. Coming barely a week after, the actress' whose picture appeared on the cover of the UK Mirror was linked with a top role as the next Bond girl in the 007 action series. Although Genny as she is fondly called was unable to attend the ceremony, however in a statement the actress could not contain her excitement. Her words, “I'm thrilled to have received such an amazing honour from the MCFF, I put a huge amount of passion and love into every role I play so it's wonderful to be recognized not only in my country Nigeria, but now on the international stage. I would like to thank the MCFF jury, my amazing team, family and of course my fans.” Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Obi Emelonye and produced by Patrick Campbell, The Mirror Boy is the compelling and uplifting story of a young British-born African teenage boy named Tijan [Edward Kagutuzi] who is taken back to The Gambia the birth land of his mother Teema [Genevieve Nnaji]. The Mirror Boy is set for general release in UK on June 10, Ghana June 17 and Nigeria June 24.
Segun Arinze gets endorsement
HE Actors Guild of Nigeria president, Segun Arinze along with his National Executive Committee has received a pat at the back. This was at the 1st National congress of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) held at Zukanda Hotel Igando, Lagos State on 16th 18th May 2011. The Congress commended the
National Executive Committee under the leadership of Mr. Segun Arinze for his achievements. The congress which comprises of National Executive Committee members, states chapter chairmen and secretaries congratulated the National President, Mr. Segun Arinze for the victory over Emeka Ike in the High Court while calling Emeka Ike to embrace peace for the progress of the Guild. A time table for the National election it said was drawn at the congress as follows: July 2011 Inauguration of the Actors Guild of Nigeria Electoral Committee AGNEC National, August 2011 OCT 2011, Sales of forms, campaigns, Nov. 2011 - National Delegate Elections, Dec.2011 - Inauguration of the National Executive Committee A seven man Constitution Review/Amendment Committee was set up to review and amend the 2007 Constitution, especially areas of contention that has brought crisis to the Guild.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
RE ELNEW S Disney XD makes a debut on DStv Channel 304
T promises to be an even more exciting time for pay TV viewers and cartoon lovers most especially as MultiChoice Africa and Walt Disney recently announced the launch of Disney XD on the DStv platform. The channel will be available to DStv Premium, DStv Compact and DStv Compact Plus subscribers on the IS7 and W7 footprints. Disney XD is a boy-focused, girl-inclusive channel. The channel includes a compelling mix of live-action and animated
•DG NCC, Afam Ezekude (R) discussing with MCSN Chairman, Orits Williki
MCSN’s report reveals low level anti-piracy activities
recent report reveals that there was no notable antipiracy activity in Nigeria in the year 2010. That much was revealed by the management of the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN). According to the report there were not many activities carried out in Nigeria in the area of antipiracy activities in 2010.The report was prepared in response to a questionnaire sent out to all stakeholders in copyright administration around the world by the web based World AntiPiracy Observatory -WAPO, (a body under United Nation Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation- UNESCO) for the evaluation of anti-piracy activities in 2010. The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), which is the regulatory agency that would have driven such anti-piracy activities, was enmeshed in some regulatory faux pas which virtually held the entire copyright environment hostage for the period and beyond, the report says.
“The NCC started the year with the signal that it would license or approve collective management organisations, which themselves are the main vehicles for driving anti-piracy activities. However in May 2010, the NCC came out with an announcement licensing an organization, which is not popular among creators, as the sole collective management organization for the country. This raised quite a lot of legal and moral issues and led to a serious conflict, which put all activities relating to the protection of authors' rights virtually on hold.
So-J is Eldee's new discovery
HINEDUM Samuel Okorie, a.k.a So-J, is the winner of a Top Talent music competition organized by Lanre Dabiri, aka Eldee da Don's Trybe Records. So-J's soulful R&B song gave him an edge over the other contestants. The rising act got the highest number of votes among the top ten finalists. In an online poll, So-J got notched 30% of all the votes and was followed closely by K9 who scored 17% votes strictly done online. As the winner of the competition, So-J will be working with Eldee on his next mix tape, Is It Your Money, Vol 2 and will automatically get a
record deal offer from Trybe Records. According to Eldee, “Top Talent has a platform for unsigned Nigerian artistes of all genres. It allows them to showcase their talents and possibly get a record deal. The contest required unsigned talents to enter an mp3 song for free by sending an email with their song attached.” Aside signing the winner to Trybe Records, Eldee has offered to promote the 20 finalists for free in order to launch them to wider audience. He said this will further help to increase their fan base and connect them to a willbe investor who believes in their talent.
Entry opens for Abuja Film Festival 2011
HE internationally recognized Abuja International Film Festivalan annual showcase for creative, The Director General of the inspiring and influential films of Nigerian Copyright Commission all types has officially opened was later sacked and replaced by calls for entries for this year's a new face in the industry. The edition which will kick-off from new Director General is presently September 27, 2011 to September trying to chart a new course.” It 30, 2011. noted. The report also notes that Organizers of the festival will whatever resemblance of antiaccept submissions from the piracy activity by way of shores of Africa and beyond of prosecution of alleged pirates was short length films and feature all nothing but an attempt to genres including documentary, massage the ego of the sacked drama, horror, experimental, Director General of the NCC. animation, and also, all genres of It also accused certain agents of music videos. the commission of being in bed The Festival is introducing two with the pirates whose activities new categories namely Kidfest they are supposed to check. and Edufest categories which are •Fidelis Duker targeted at Films for Children and Student films respectively. The idea of introducing these categories is to stimulate the production of films that affect children; while the Edufest will accept films from student filmmakers globally for a one day familiar to Nigerian children. the event which is scheduled for film festival during the event. May 27tth makes a debut with the According to Okoya, the role of For the first time the organizers the books is the first step in theme Taking Tomorrow Today. of the festival shall accept music taking the Queens of Africa According to organizers, the videos from cross-continent and project global. Okoya is event is specifically designed to cross-genre productions. Music passionate about giving young inspire kids as well as enhance videos from genres such pop, black children a strong start in life punk, rock, alt-country, countrytheir career development skills for the future in a subtle and fun- including making sure that the western, folk, reggae, hip-hop, toys, music and books given to filled environment. electronica, jazz, blues, zydeco, The event is proudly presented them convey positive messages gothic, karaoke, avant-garde and about their heritage. by the pair of The Queens of world music would be Africa Project and Silverbird considered. Communications. Both Companies have the support of an impressive 'Who's Who' list of Nigerian Artistes and Celebrities, many of whom are set to take part in the Children's Fiesta event. This grand event will hold at the Silverbird premises in Lekki, and will be broadcast live. The event will have about a hundred children in attendance, and guests will be selected through invites sent out to various schools within Lagos State, and also through tickets won over the radio. The event will also coincide with the launch of the Queens of Africa books based on the Queens of Africa dolls that are already Queens of Africa
Queens of Africa, Silverbird stage Children’s Fiesta
S part of activities scheduled to mark this year's World Children's Day, Nigerian kids will be introduced to a unique learning process. Tagged 'Children's Fiesta 2011',
programming, hyper-targeting boys and their quest for discovery, accomplishment, sports, adventure, music and humour. Disney XD will be the second children's channel from Walt Disney to be available on the DStv stable, with the Disney Channel on channel 303 (girlfocused), being the first channel to launch on the DStv platform. Additional channels from Walt Disney include ESPN and ESPN Classic.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
s a e c n e i r Expe r e t s i r o h c a e m d e p l he n a i r e g i N in Idol â€”Emmanuel Patrick Diohu, second runner-up
I did not see the contestants as a direct threat to me because they were all unique in their own way. One of the ladies I met afterwards actually told me to be happy for not emerging as the winner. She said that reality show winners barely make it after the competition that brought them into limelight
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Timaya for Frankfurt fiesta
Amstel Malta shelves UNIABUJA show
â€˘Gidi Gorgeous Band
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
COVER COVER From Nice, the last aeroplane stop, a close knit exodus of filmmakers begins like an army of countless battalion trooping further down the South of France, and taking full possession of Cannes with not less than 300 country tents, running through the length and breadth of Palais des Festivals, the gigantic edifice housing core festival activities in the centre of the tourist city. VICTOR AKANDE, Entertainment Editor who is attending the 64th edition of the event attempts a highlight of the beehive of activities at the 12-day event.
•Front vie of Palais Des Festival
, s r e k a m Of film films and s r o t a i d a l their g in Spring
HE low moment for an all excited Brad Pitt came when critics booed the film for which he came to the festival. But director Terrence Malick was not present to share in the shame. And a
il festival arena
and networking with statistics of over 300,000 visitors to Cannes every year since the festival started 64 years ago. There is no denying the fact that the festival is living to its bidding as the city's largest cultural event, and as Eric Garandeau, President of CNC, put it, “more than just a market for film, the festival is an artistic stage where emotions and aesthetic experience converge with negotiations and contact.” At one distance, is the March Du Film, the word's film premiere market with more than 10,000 participants and 5,000 films on offer and 1,500 screenings; this professional forum offers dynamic boost through promotional meetings and information resources that enable participants to meet, discuss and develop their business all year round. There is also the Village International which offers all film-producing countries the chance to showcase the richness of their cinematography, promote their culture and institutions, and develop exchange with other countries in a pavilion
arena. This year, Nigeria, which had maintained the stand 111 for three consecutive years since 2007 but had a break last year, occupied the stand 217. Each passing day, participants may have seen so many movies with critical minds other than for their entertainment value; participants may have hit themselves real hard at the various discussion fora, however, each night there is usually a party to close the day's activities in the sea side environment. Indeed, the festival enjoys one of the largest film festival audiences in the world mingling for about two weeks for the art, glamour, parties and business parley.
were asking if there is any couple in the industry as romantic as the two. The gesture, others thought, was to silence critics who say the relationship will not be for long. The couple and their six kids are said to be putting up at the Hotel Du Cap Eden.
smart Pitt said he could not answer for the filmmaker. In the movie, Brad plays an abusive father-of-three. The eldest son grows up and reflects on his life with Brad as a father and is played by Sean Penn.
DiCaprio and Blake too...
s des Festival, ma
•Brad Pitt and Angelina
Not a ‘win-win’ for Brad Pitt
Nollywood, the morning after... lai •Front view of Pa
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's red carpet romance
NES N A C E D L A IV T S E 64 F
TITBITS FROM CANNES
HERE was no doubt that the lovebirds were passing a statement with their acts on the red carpet at this year's Cannes International Film Festival and around the tourist city. Pitt, a regular sight at the festival, came to town to fly the flag of Terrence Malick's dramatic film, Tree of Life, but he was on hand with popular actress and wife, Jolie, making amazing appearance, walking hand-in-hand down the red carpet such that observers
OR 64 years that this World Cup of film festivals, otherwise known as Cannes International Film Festival has run, social and commercial activities have hit the top of the chart and the steam is by no means down this year. A Mecca of some sort, the land of the golden palms (Cannes) stood still with a surreal opening ceremony penultimate Wednesday starting with a first of its kind honourary career achievement award (Palme d'Honneur) that was given to Bernardo Bertolucci, and an overwhelming accolade for Wooden Allen, maker of Midnight in Paris (a spectacular love story that opened the festival) as he walked down the red carpet waving back at his fans, among them throngs of tuxedo-clad men looking for extra tickets to the premiere and shouting “Woody...Woody.” Festivities spanned the city as Lady Gaga was performing on the beach a few hundred feet away, and so were soft drumming, piano and sax creating impressions at thousand coffee shops around the city. Ranked first in the world, Cannes International Film Festival is a foremost exposition to the world of filmmaking. With hundreds of film screenings; 50 in the traditional official selection, competition and pitching - and many more in the short film corner - the festival has continued to be a bomb. There are even more people who fall in the category of those whose business it is to cover the event for their local media, some whose interest is in the ever encouraging talent campus and others that have come to understudy the 12-day event. All together, you find an atmosphere of great events
S the Nigerian film industry joins others at the ongoing Cannes International Film Festival, there appears to be an undersized measure of its strength as shown in low participation and near absence of film products to present to the world. Except for Tango with Me, a Mamood Ali-Balogun's 35mm film whose thriller runs at the pavilion for guests to see, and Black Gold, Jeta Amata's latest movie about oil spillage and militancy in the Niger Delta which showed at a distributors level, the near 10,000 Euros Nigerian pavilion could have been said to be grossly underutilized. Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Mr. Afolabi Adesanya, described this as a low point, attributing it to last minute preparation owing to the fact that although proposal for participation was granted by government, the 2011 budget was not ready to facilitate the arrangement. Adesanya who said his agency had to source funds through personal means was also of the view that most Nigerian filmmakers are still not passionate about the global repositioning of the film sector. He decried the attitude of filmmakers waiting for the government to help in putting their films forward at film festivals or even facilitating their trips to the events.
It becomes worrisome that Nigeria which is supposed to be the 2nd largest producer of home video in the world had next to nothing to show to the world at the festival. And as cultures around the world mingled at the pavilion arena, Nigeria did not appear to be partaking in this enabling platform by the organisers of the festival towards a globalised monoculture. Thus, 'The Morning' after the 2010 recess did not show any added strength to Nigeria's participation. However, the pavilion has continued to be home for the Nigerian participants and delegates from other African countries with activities like the NFC's
Babylon Workshop, hosting of delegations from Kenya and Ghana, as well as cast and crew of Nigerian films; Inale and Black Gold. Other Nigerian delegates at the festival included; Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, Founder and CEO of Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA); Mahmood Ali-Balogun, CEO Brickwall Productions and producer of Tango with Me; Madu Chikwendu, Board of Trustee member of Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP); Mallam Sambo, Director of Finance of NFC; Shaibu Hesseini, Onoshe Nwabuikwu and Azuka Ogujiuba of Guardian, Punch and Thisday newspapers respectively.
S Spring in Cannes offers the best of weather feel, actor of Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio, was not left out of the public romance as he was spotted spending some time with Blake Lively last Tuesday. Both stars gave credence to the rumours about their relationship, with their position aboard Steven Spielberg's luxury boat. The two were a common sight in recent times following DiCaprio's break up with long time lover, Bar Refaeli.
NE of the essences of a film festival is that it helps to reach the world faster and cheaper and with less stress. Thus the producers of a documentary on South Africa's notable freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela, are in Cannes to make noise about the film which is currently in pre-production stage. The producers, Kemal Akhtar and Kweku Mandela, said their aim is to launch the documentary in 2012 around various charity events being organized to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the African National Congress (ANC). The work, a $3 million budget project according to the filmmakers, is an indepth interviews with the former South African president and it is being put together by U.K. production banners 25-7 Films and New Black Films.
•DiCaprio and Blake
A Mandela's documentary before it is hatched...
An insight into the project states that it is a deeply personal film wherein Mandela describes his journey through life, following his story from boyhood to Presidency, with deeply intimate insights from those closest to him. It also contains the last extensive interview conducted with Mandela.
Nollywood filmmaker makes world producers' list
OUNDING member and Board of Trustee of Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP), Mr. Madu C. Chikwendu, has been named member of International Federation of Film Producers (FIAPF). Chikwendu was inducted at the Salon La Baule of the Barriere Hotel at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival and could not conceal his excitement when he noted that “It has been a very long journey for Nigerian Producers from the moment years ago when we started pursuing membership to
this great movement. We recognize the divisions in the Nigerian film industry and acknowledge that FIAPF membership is on the platform of Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP). Yet, our membership is not just for all Nigerian producers but for all Nigerian cinema professionals and all African s working in the audio visual sector. We shall align ourselves to global best practice in film production.” FIAPF, with headquarters in Bern Switzerland, is the umbrella body for
Producers worldwide, promoting and protecting the interest of Producers. Members of FIAPF include Motion Picture Association of America, Film Federation of India and other key players in the global film industry and Nigeria is the first country from subSahara Africa to join the association; the only other African country is Egypt. Chikwendu, it would be recalled has been the Regional Secretary (Western Region 1) of the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) since April, 2006.
FOLASHADE ADESHINA’S REVELATION (2)
Giggs shrugs off Man Utd The gift I never gave season criticism Olubayo Adefemi Pg. 30
Nation Saturday, May 21, 2011
EVERTON VS CHELSEA
Anichebe confronts Mikel •Everton’s Anichebe tackles (l) compatriot Mikel Obi in their last engagement
HE England Premier League (EPL) may on Sunday be coming to an end on a confrontation of Nigerian internationals, Victor Anichebe and Mikel Obi, as Everton welcomes Chelsea to Goodison Park for the 38th and final game of the 2010/11 Premier League season, knowing that a point for Everton would secure 7th position. With Tim Cahill likely to sit on the bench again and Louis Saha still injured, Anichebe will have to shoulder the responsibility of scoring goals for Everton on •Kenwyne Jones Sunday.
The Beijing Olympic silver-medalist will attempt to justify David Moyes confidence in his ability to turn the tide to Everton’s favour, especially against a team with a huge pedigree like Chelsea. Though both teams have nothing to lose whichever way the match goes, with Chelsea having 71 points and occupying the second spot on the table, as against Everton's 51 points in the seventh position. A win for Everton at home will boost their morale in preparation for next season. Mikel Obi on the other hand have fluctuated in performance for the Blues throughout the season, but whether he will be getting a starting shirt in
tomorrow’s encounter may be on the doubt as he has missed matches after the cracker against Manchester United at Old Traford. But for Everton defender Sylvain Distin, Everton would want to go all out to beat Chelsea and end this season on a high. The Blues were beaten in the last away game of the season at West Brom last weekend, and Distin insisted the manager won’t let them relax in the last home game this Sunday. “If you believe that the manager will let us relax and that we will play our second team against Chelsea then you are dreaming,” said Distin.
I dumped school football for sake of dad — Okonkwo
SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
NATION SPORT ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE ...ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Giggs shrugs off Man Utd season criticism
YAN Giggs has conceded Manchester United have not been at their best this season but rejected criticism of their Premier League-winning campaign. Only five wins in 19 away league games has led to much scrutiny and Giggs told Football Focus: "Maybe it's because we've haven't played flamboyantly. "But it doesn't bother us. It's just something we've had to put up with." The 37-year-old winger secured a
SPANISH LA LIGA...SPANISH LA LIGA...SPANISH LA LIGA.
EAL Madrid playmaker Kaka has reiterated his desire to stay after the Spanish powerhouse let it be known that they want him at the club for the foreseeable future. The Brazil international is continu-
Kaka wants Madrid stay Galliani: Milan want a left midfielder
ally being linked with a move back to AC Milan, and Kaka has admitted that he has indeed been in touch with
12th league title last week in an Old Trafford career spanning 20 years. Giggs was part of the team that drew 1-1 at Blackburn to ensure the club clinched a record-breaking 19th league title. It was a nervy display by Sir Alex Ferguson's men at Ewood Park and typified their uncertain performances on their travels during the 2010/2011 campaign. United drew 10 times and lost on four occasions away from Old Trafford.
Young yet to discuss future
SHLEY Young has declared that he will sit down with his Aston Villa bosses at the end of the season after being linked with a move to one of the Premier League's leading clubs. The England international will be out of contract at Villa Park in just 12 months and speculation is
Keen: I want Hammers’ full-time job
EST Ham caretaker boss Kevin Keen believes he is ready to make the step up into full-time management and hopes he will be considered for the Hammers job on a permanenet basis. Keen, 44, is in his third spell as caretaker manager at Upton Park, having also sat in the hotseat between the reigns of Alan Pardew and Alan Curbishley in 2006, before stepping in again when Curbishely was sacked in 2008 prior to Gianfranco Zola's appointment. But the former midfielder, who played for the Hammers between 1983 and 1993, insists he is ready to take on the role left vacant by the sacking of Avram Grant and become full-time manager nine years after first joining West Ham's coaching team. "I'd love to be given the job,'' Keen told talkSPORT. "I'd love to be given that sort of opportunity. At the same time the owners are experienced and they know what they want for next season. "They've been chairmen in the Championship before with Birmingham and they'll have a vision of how they want to take the club forward. I'm claret and blue through and through, I played for the club
for nine years and I've coached for nine years so I'd love to be given the opportunity.'' Former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton remains the bookies' favourite to take the West Ham job, with QPR boss Neil Warnock, Martin O'Neill and Sam Allardyce also mooted as potential candidates. Keen is considered somewhat of an outside to be hired but has a chance to prove his credentials when he takes control of West Ham's last match of the season against Sunderland this weekend. He says he has told club vice-chairman Karen Brady that he would like to be considered for the role and believes his grounding with the Hammers would hold him in good stead. "I feel I've served my apprenticeship,'' he said. "I've worked with Tony Carr at the academy, I spent four years with the young lads and then I spent a couple of years in the reserves until Alan Pardew made me first-team coach. "I've worked with Alan Pardew, Alan Curbishley, Gianfranco Zola and obviously Avram Grant this year. I look at what Brian McDermott has done with Reading
Relegation battles climaxes
LACKPOOL will become a second team for most neutral fans on Sunday when the Premier League's most compelling relegation drama for years reaches a nailbiting climax involving the five clubs striving for survival. With West Ham United having already disappeared through the trapdoor, the identity of the two clubs who will join them in the Championship (second division) looks destined to go down to the final kick of the season. Along with Blackpool, whose first season in the top flight since 1971 has been a white-knuckle ride worthy of the town's famous rollercoasters, Wigan Athletic, Birmingham City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers all enter the final round of fixtures with safety tantalisingly in sight but also staring into the abyss. With one point seperating 19th-placed
Sunday 22 May 2011 Tottenham v Birmingham Everton v Chelsea Bolton v Man City Fulham v Arsenal West Ham v Sunderland Man Utd v Blackpool Stoke v Wigan Wolverhampton v Blackburn Aston Villa v Liverpool Newcastle v West Brom
Wigan and 15th-placed Blackburn the various combinations for the final act of the season would keep a sudoku enthusiast occupied for hours on end. Only Wolves and Blackburn, who are both on 40 points and meet at Molineux, have their fate in their own hands. Victory for either will guarantee another season reaping the rich harvest available for those lucky members of the world's most lucrative domestic league. For Blackpool, however, the situation is more complicated. With 53 goals and manager Ian Holloway's weekly monologues a TV producer's dream, the Tangerines have added a huge dollop of colour to the Premier League. Sadly for them, and their new band of admirers, the Lancashire club, third from bottom with 39 points, are away at champions Manchester United on the final day of the season. Wigan (39), who kept their hopes alive with a thrilling 3-2 home victory over West Ham last week, travel to Stoke City in second last position with a goal difference one worse than that of Blackpool but with arguably the most winnable fixture of the teams struggling for survival. Birmingham City (39), whose joy at winning the League Cup final against Arsenal a few weeks ago has been replaced by fear, are potentially the most vulnerable with their form and confidence shot to pieces after last week's 3-0 defat by Fulham.
this year, someone who's very loyal, very hardworking, very humble and maybe it's time for West Ham to go for someone like that.''
mounting that he could leave in the summer. Manchester United are reportedly interested in securing his services when the transfer window reopens, while Liverpool have also been connected with a possible swoop. Young maintains that he is not paying attention to such rumours and is staying focused on Villa's final game of the season, at home to Kenny Dalglish's Reds on Sunday. However, he does then plan to meet with Villa boss Gerard Houllier and chairman Randy Lerner at some point after the weekend to discuss his future.
Luiz and they say England is a very good country and London is a beautiful place to live."
Dikgacoi warns Fulham over future
ULHAM midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi will seek showdown talks with boss Mark Hughes to sort out his future this summer. The South Africa international has found himself out of favour at Craven Cottage under Hughes, making just one substitute appearance. The 26-year-old has warned he will leave Fulham this summer if he is not guaranteed regular first-team football for next season. "I am still a Fulham player and will be going back to them for pre-season training in June," Dikgacoi told KickOff.com. "I will be meeting with the club when I get back to map the way forward for the future but I want to be guaranteed game time, whether it is at Fulham or any other team next season."
the Serie A champions. But he has explained that he only contacted Milan to congratulate them on their success. "[It’s true that] I sent a message to the directors at Milan, but also to a lot of the players at Milan [to congratulate them on winning Serie A]," Kaka was quoted as saying by Marca. "I still have a lot of friends at Milan, like I have a lot of friends at Sao Paulo, but I want to stay here at Real Madrid – that’s my wish." It's a positive view from the player which has been given the support of those at the club, as Kaka explained: "Everyone has supported me and they have told me I will be staying, which makes me very, very happy." Kaka's comments come only days after stating that he still has a challenge in Spain and the 29-year-old seems determined to stay at Santiago Bernabeu.
Valencia chases Barcelona Bojan Krkic
Neymar hopes for Blues’ bid Milito resumes squad training ESPITE having snubbed a move to Chelsea last year, Neymar hopes the Blues retain an interest in him. The 19-year-old Brazilian opted against a switch to Europe last summer, preferring instead to spend another season in his homeland with Santos. He has, however, developed further since then, with his emergence as a senior international star allowing him to further enhance a blossoming reputation. The biggest clubs in the world are now falling over themselves to secure his signature, with the Premier League's big guns believed to be leading the chase. "I was very proud of Chelsea's interest and I hope to keep playing well so that this proposal can happen again." Chelsea remains in pole position to land the precociously-talented teenager and Neymar has hinted that the time may be right to try his luck in England. "I was very happy about Chelsea's interest because it is a club every player would like to play for, but at that moment the right decision was to stay at Santos," Neymar told the Daily Telegraph. "To play in Europe is my dream. I was very proud of Chelsea's interest and I hope to keep playing well so that this proposal can happen again. "I know about these teams; Chelsea, Manchester - to play for them are the dreams of all players. I know about players in England - [Didier] Drogba, [Frank] Lampard, [Steven] Gerrard these are very good players. "I have spoken to Ramires and David
ARCELONA have received some good news on the injury front in the build-up to the highly anticipated Champions League final against Premier League champions Manchester United on Saturday, May 28. Head coach Pep Guardiola may be able to use centre-back Gabriel Milito after all in the final of Europe's elite tournament as the Argentine defender is recovering from injury quicker than expected. Milito sustained a calf injury in his side's
ALENCIA are chasing Barcelona striker Bojan Krkic. Sport says Barca are prepared to sell Bojan this summer after four seasons of failing to nail down a regular start since his promotion from the B team. Valencia are watching developments closely and are keen to bring the striker to the Mestalla. Los Che chiefs feel they still haven't adequately replaced David Villa, now of Barca, and see Bojan as a like-forlike replacement.
2-1 La Liga loss against Real Sociedad on April 30 and Barcelona feared that the 30-year-old would be sidelined for the remainder of the season. However, the Catalans have now revealed on their official website that Milito completed part of Wednesday's training with the group. It is unlikely that the defender will feature in this weekend's La Liga match away to Malaga, but the defender could very well be match fit in time for the match against Manchester United.
Zaragoza eyes repeat of Italian escape job
ITALIAN SERIE A...ITALIAN SERIE A...ITALIAN SERIE A...
EAL Zaragoza's Maurizio easier ride given that the Valencia Lanzaro is counting on the rel- based club are already safe. egation-threatened La Liga side "I played a similar match with matching the escape act pulled off by Reggina against Milan, who had just his former club Reggina against gi- become European champions," the ants AC Milan on the final match day Italian defender said in an interview published in Thursday's edition of As of Serie A in May 2007. Reggina were in a similarly precari- newspaper. "We had to win to avoid the drop ous position when they hosted Milan, who rested key players follow- and we managed it," added Lanzaro, Barclays Premier League Table - As at May 17 2011 ing their victory over Liverpool to who joined Zaragoza at the end of the win the 2007 Champions League, and 2009/10 campaign. P W D L F A GD Pts a 2-0 win preserved the tiny club's "For sure we are going to face a team that could be less focused than us, who 1 Man Utd 37 22 11 4 74 35 39 77 top-flight status for another year. Zaragoza's opponents for Saturday's are playing for our lives, because they 2 Chelsea 37 21 8 8 69 32 37 71 final game of the 2010/11 La Liga sea- have already secured their objective. 3 Man City 37 20 8 9 58 33 25 68 son are the much less imposing "I don't think they will have the same 4 Arsenal 37 19 10 8 70 41 29 67 Levante and Lanzaro is expecting an aggression and concentration as usual." 5 Tottenham 37 15 14 8 53 45 8 59 6 Liverpool 37 17 7 13 59 43 16 58 7 Everton 37 12 15 10 50 45 5 51 8 Fulham 37 11 15 11 47 41 6 48 9 Stoke 37 13 7 17 46 47 -1 46 •Maurizio 10 Bolton 37 12 10 15 52 54 -2 46 11 West Brom 37 12 10 15 53 68 -15 46 12 Newcastle 37 11 12 14 53 54 -1 45 13 Aston Villa 37 11 12 14 47 59 -12 45 14 Sunderland 37 11 11 15 42 56 -14 44 15 Blackburn 37 10 10 17 43 57 -14 40 16 Wolver 37 11 7 19 44 63 -19 40 17 Birmingham37 8 15 14 36 56 -20 39 18 Blackpool 37 10 9 18 53 74 -21 39 19 Wigan 37 8 15 14 39 61 -22 39 20 West Ham 37 7 12 18 43 67 -24 33
P Barcelona 37 Real Madrid 37 Valencia 37 Villarreal 37 Atletico 37 Bilbao 37 Sevilla 37 Espanyol 37 Gijon 37 Malaga 37 Racing 37 Levante 37 Osasuna 37 Mallorca 37 Sociedad 37 Getafe 37 Deportivo 37 Zaragoza 37 Hercules 37 Almeria 37
W 29 28 20 18 16 17 16 15 11 13 12 12 12 12 14 12 10 11 9 6
•Van der Vaart
Marchisio signs new Juve contract
LAUDIO Marchisio has reaffirmed his loyalty to Juventus by extending his contract at the club by five years. The Turin native has grown up in the Juve youth ranks since first joining the club 18 years ago and is a firstteam regular and Italy international. His new contract will expire in 2016. He told the club’s official website: “It is an extremely important day for me and I would like to dedicate it to my family, who have always supported me. I began my association with Juventus in 1993 and I am happy that I have been able to extend my stay.” There were some doubts about the renewal after reported interest from Inter, but Marchisio insists he was only ever thinking about Juventus. “My contract situation has been spoken about a lot in previous months,
but from the club’s or my point of view there has never been a moment which has put our relationship in jeopardy.” A fan favourite, Marchisio wants to help the Old Lady return to its past glories, especially for the fans, who have been through some tough years along with the team. “I am happy that the club’s shown their trust in me and now I want to reciprocate it by winning. My biggest dream is to lift a trophy as soon as possible. "It is a dream that I also want to achieve for our fans who have always been with us even during the most difficult moments, and they deserve to be repaid.” Sporting director Giuseppe Marotta was thrilled with the renewal, and also explained various details of the deal:
Mirko Vucinic: I never said I wanted to leave Roma
Spanish La Liga table as at May 15 2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
HE Rossoneri have been linked mostly with attacking midfielders in recent weeks, but Milan Vice President Adriano Galliani has told that the will of Massimiliano Allegri is to sign another midfielder. “AC Milan are looking for a left midfielder,” said Galliani. There have been reports that Milan are thinking of signing Tottenham’s Rafael Van der Vaart or Palermo’s star Javier Pastore. However, Galliani doesn’t think they would arrive. Uncle Fester said: “Van der Vaart? I think not. Pastore? I do not know, Allegri asked if he can play as a left midfielder. The attack and defence? The attack is complete; the defence is also complete with Mexes and Taiwo. Inter are said to be interested in Kevin-Prince Boateng while Antonio Cassano’s future seems uncertain. “Inter on Boa? The conversation is between Milan and Genoa; I’ll meet Preziosi next week to resolve the issue. Cassano wants to leave? He has never expressed a desire to leave, there are no problems.”
D 6 5 8 8 7 4 7 4 13 7 10 9 8 8 2 7 13 9 7 12
L 2 4 9 11 14 16 14 18 13 17 15 16 17 17 21 18 14 17 21 19
F 92 94 62 54 58 57 59 44 33 53 40 40 44 38 48 48 31 38 36 35
A 20 32 44 43 50 54 59 52 42 65 54 50 46 50 65 59 45 52 60 62
GDPts 72 93 62 89 18 68 11 62 8 55 3 55 0 55 -8 49 -9 46 -12 46 -14 46 -10 45 -2 44 -12 44 -17 44 -11 43 -14 43 -14 42 -24 34 -27 30
OMA attacker Mirko Vucinic has denied that he ever claimed he wanted to leave the club in the summer. With the takeover of the Italian team by American investors led by Thomas DiBenedetto, Vucinic’s future with the team has come under speculation along with those of a number of other players. However, the Montenegrin has denied reports claiming that he wants to leave and is quoted as saying by ANSA: “I never said I wanted to leave Roma. I haven’t even talked to my agent with regards to my future, let
Sunday 22 May 2011 Palermo v Chievo Cagliari v Parma Brescia v Fiorentina Bologna v Bari Inter Milan v Catania Genoa v Cesena Juventus v Napoli Lecce v Lazio Roma v Sampdoria Udinese v AC Milan
Rizzoli to officiate Juventus V Napol
ICOLA Rizzoli from Bologna has been announced as the referee for the Bianconeri’s final championship game of the season. The official will take charge of the encounter against Napoli on Sunday night. Juventus will be refereed by Rizzoli for the third time this season, following the home matches against Roma and Milan. Of the 16 games overseen by Rizzoli, there have been two fixtures against Napoli, both played at the San Paolo. Out of these, the Bianconeri have won five, drawn seven and lost four. Rizzoli will be assisted at the Olympic Stadium by Andrea Stefani and Renato Faverani. Andrea Romeo has been announced as the fourth official.
Italy Serie A Table as at May 15 2011
FIXTURES Saturday 21 May 2011 Malaga v Barcelona Hercules v Sporting Gijon Real Madrid v Almeria Espanyol v Sevilla Real Sociedad v Getafe Deportivo La Coruna v Valencia Osasuna v Villarreal Racing Santander v Athletic Bilbao Levante v Real Zaragoza Mallorca v Atletico Madrid
alone made a decision." However, the 27-year-old admits that he is still waiting to know about the new owners’ plans for next season. “I want to wait for the new directors and hear what their plans are, then make my decision based on that,” he explained. “Recently there have been far too many insinuations about my future, but there is no truth to any of it.” Vucinic’s current contract with Roma expires in June 2013. He has scored nine goals and provided two assists in 27 Serie A appearances this season.
1 AC Milan 2 Inter Milan 3 Napoli 4 Udinese 5 Lazio 6 Roma 7 Juventus 8 Palermo 9 Fiorentina 10 Genoa 11 Catania 12 Parma 13 Bologna 14 Cagliari 15 Chievo 16 Cesena 17 Lecce 18 Sampdoria 19 Brescia 20 Bari
P 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37 37
W 24 22 21 20 19 17 15 17 12 13 12 11 11 12 10 11 11 8 7 4
D 9 7 6 5 6 9 12 5 14 9 10 12 12 8 13 10 8 12 10 9
L 4 8 10 12 12 11 10 15 11 15 15 14 14 17 14 16 18 17 20 24
F 65 66 57 65 51 56 55 57 47 42 39 38 35 43 35 36 44 32 32 23
A GD Pts 24 41 81 41 25 73 37 20 69 43 22 65 37 14 63 51 5 60 45 10 57 60 -3 56 42 5 50 45 -3 48 49 -10 46 46 -8 45 48 -13 45 50 -7 44 39 -4 43 47 -11 43 62 -18 41 46 -14 36 50 -18 31 56 -33 21
THE NATION SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Whither Nigeria football? A
caller to Brila FM Radio ‘Fans’ Assembly’ on Wednesday morning dismissed it as a joke but I think the recent outburst on football from Mr. Harrison Jalla has become what our former President, Olusegun Obasanjo would describe as ‘a joke taken too far’. I hate to write about this because I have maintained that a man like Jalla and his National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF) excused should be excused from our football organisation. While working for Globacom Limited as a Sponsorship Manager, I had cause to come to close dealings with Jalla as a representative of NANF. In the course of the transaction, Chief Segun Odegbami called to warn the company against committing to any relationship with NANF which had collected a facility from Intercontinental Bank by way of Bank Guarantee for the transaction with Glo. Odegbami said he was speaking as a Trustee of NANF and made it clear that in the instance, he and Barrister Adokie Amiesimaka had withdrawn their consent as NANF Trustees. I equally spoke to Barrister Amiesimaka and he derisively said some chaps from Warri had turned NANF into their supplier of daily bread. It really surprised me that in the thick of the NANF litigation against the Aminu Maigari-led board of Nigeria Football Association (NFAwhich incidentally I agree with Jalla is the right name and nomenclature of football governing body in Nigeria), Chief Odegbami did not distance his person from NANF but rather seemed to have tacitly endorsed their action. I digress. Now the issue is that Jalla and perhaps Alhaji Gara Gombe are spoiling for war over the naming of our football governing body. Like earlier submitted, I align with those who faulted the decision of the Alhaji Sani Abdullahi Lulu-led board of the NFA to change the name to Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) without complying with extant laws of the country. While I will endorse and indeed will participate in the agitation to revert to the lawful name of the association, the move to float a parallel body by Jalla and co is simply another turn in the comedy he wrote and staged before Justice Okon Abang’s court last year. It is also galling that Barrister Festus Keyamo at this time in his career will lend his name to such macabre move by Jalla. Keyamo’s reputation for legal activism should not be stretched to the ridicule. The issue at stake is not that of forming a parallel body but how to correct an anomaly. Those are things that can neither be corrected on radio station interviews nor on the pages of newspapers, but through compelling actions
By Harry Iwuala
in appropriate quarters. Cheap shots at public consciousness is fast fading and becoming old school route to relevance. There are actions that simply require cold shoulders and this is one of such. Assuming Jalla goes ahead to float his so-called stakeholders association, is he also expecting the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) to admit them to their membership? Has FIFPRO, the global umbrella body of players association and by extension FIFA, rescinded the decision to de-register NANF? Are these not the same organizations that Jalla and his co-travelers ignored their advice to withdraw their litigation against football? For once, focus should shift from the nuisance activities of some persons to determining what such characters do for a living outside rabble rousing. The public is yet to know what and how NANF has contributed to the welfare of players. What is the programme of NANF beyond trying to partake in the ‘sharing of football cake’? It will gladden hearts to learn that NANF is organizing an investment clinic for players, arranging a retirement plan package for players or seminars on life after active football. But these are not within sight of NANF leadership as presently constituted because the
•Chief Segun Odegbami
vision of the founding fathers have been subsumed in the quest for vantage position. For all the issues in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) Board in the last six years, NANF did not make any representation for players’ welfare and interests. The reason for this is known by some us who are privy to the relationship between the NPL and Jalla and not NANF. We all know that the appropriation for football in Nigeria is approved and released to the NFA. FIFA is not bothered about what name the affiliates bear but is concerned with the compliance to its general governing principles. Rather than set off another round of distraction for the game in the country, any well meaning football stakeholder should take up the matter of naming with appropriate authorities such as the National Assembly, the Ministry of Sports and perhaps with the Board at Glass House in Abuja. The recourse to floating a parallel association is selfserving and will only attract opprobrium for those sponsoring the project. I see in Maigari certain humility and good intentions for not just football but humanity and therefore do not think he will resist any properly channeled contribution to the progressive movement of football. While Jalla apparently enjoys the relevance his occasional outings in the media, the media should be selective in offering space to
rabble-rousing outings that adds no value to national discuss. Obviously, he sits back to chuckle at the headlines such as ‘fresh crisis hits Nigerian football’, ‘Jalla set to tackle NFF again’ and such other alarmist titles. These are not necessary and as an editor, I will interrogate the intentions behind such press releases that are emailed to newsrooms. I would rather that he called a press conference and be subjected to questions than inanimate press releases that only aggrandize ill-conceived motives. Give us a break please. Samson ‘SIA-2’ I may be wrong but something tells me that Super Eagles coach by popular demand of Nigerians, Samson Siasia has never won any trophy save for the African Youth Championship in 2005. Following that success have been a throng of second-rate performances at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Holland, the Olympic Games in China and now, the WAFU Nations Cup in Nigeria. I don’t want to add the non-placement at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt won by Ghana’s Silas Tetteh. Second-rate in ordinary English connotes poor performance but in this context, it is used to register what is becoming a jinx for our ‘world class coach’ as Siasia will always identify himself when called up on phone. The good thing about the second-rate performances is that he has produced formations that enthralled Nigerians at those tournaments except perhaps for the recent WAFU tournament which he jumped into poorly prepared. Having said this, Siasia must have an advance warning that at the 2012 Nations Cup in Gabon/ Equatorial Guinea, another second position may not really please a title hungry Nigeria. If Arsenal fans are becoming impatient with Arsene Wenger for going six seasons without a trophy, Nigeria has gone 17 years (18 years by the next edition) without the Nations Cup trophy. Going by the recent qualification format for World Cup 2014 in Brazil as released by CAF, a second position will not fetch Nigeria a ticket to the Sambaland in 2014. Sentiments and emotions may running high now in favour of Siasia as we continue to lend unwavering support to the coach who presently is singing the songs we want to hear, but by October of 2013, such sentiments will not rule if we don’t finish tops in our group in the World Cup qualifications. In Gabon/ Equatorial Guinea, only a sterling performance will continue to endear Siasia to Nigerians if the Joseph Yobocaptained team reaches the final and fail to clinch the title. For the amiable coach whose favourite car plate number is SIA 1, we may be singing SIA 2. Harry Iwuala is a renowned Journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria
VOICE OF SPORTS
With Clement Nwankpa Jnr. firstname.lastname@example.org
THE jam playing up in my head right now is the old school classic ‘Summer time’ by Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Why not? We are in summer that period in Europe when excellent players become beautiful brides as clubs jostle for reinforcements. This summer promises to be very eventful with even the annoyingly frugal Arsene Wenger now compelled to splash the cash after Arsenal ended another season without a silverware. The speculations have intensified but I’m particularly happy that the boys from Nigeria are involved in the big moves. All stand up for Taye Taiwo! It was a very cheery news to hear him opting for AC Milan among his numerous suitors. Given the way our players had been heading to less glamorous clubs in recent years, I was worried he could settle for a CSKA Moscow at the end of the day. But this move has made us feel good and wanted once more. I have always insisted that he was Nigeria’s brightest chance of landing a celebrated move as he has remained one of the best in his positio over the past three years. You don’t attract attention from the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United and Inter Milan if you are not good. In fact, he was linked to all the big clubs across the globe. I am happy he knew his worth and did not allow the tax free largesse in Eastern Europe to influence his decision. This guy will really be a bomb with the Rossoneri. His game is very suitable to the Serie A and the clubs don’t come as big as Milan, the league champions. I hope the likes of Osaze Odemwingie borrow a leaf from Taiwo. Osaze has just had a sterling debut Premiership season scoring 15 goals in a season Fernando Toress has struggled for goals. He even scored more goals than the iconic Didier Drogba landing two Player of the month awards in the process. After setting a new Premiership record of scoring in five consecutive matches, he is being courted by the likes of Juventus and Arsenal. There may not be a better time to make the big move than now. He is already a Hawthorn legend after scoring the highest number of goals ever in a season in West Brom’s colours. At 29, he is not guaranteed another stand-out season just as his worth would drop in subsequent years. Taiwo joined Milan because he knows his worth. If Osaze knows the magnitude of what he achieved this season, he should know he shouldn’t be hanging out with West Brom next season. One player who should leave his comfort zone this summer is Mikel Obi. Whether Carlo Anceloti stays or not, Mikel should leave. He has overstayed his welcome at Stamford Bridge and would be more appreciated elsewhere. The rumour mill has it that Jose Mourinho wants to reunite with him at Real Madrid just as Alex Ferguson still wants to recapture him from Chelsea. There are also speculations that Arsene Wenger (of all people) wants to splash 15m pounds to lure him to Arsenal. My advice for Mikel; bros, run as fast as your legs can carry you, away from the bridge. Then there is Vincent Enyeama’s impending move to the French Championat. He is out of contract this summer and is billed to link up with table topping Lille as replacement for first choice Michael Landreau who has been lined up to take over from Edwin Van dar Saar at Man United. That would be the most high profile move by an African keeper since the era of Thomas Nkono, Jacques Songo and Ezaki Badou. It means he would be campaigning in the Champions League next season for potentially, French champions. Another star attraction will be Obinna Nsofor’s destination this summer. His club, West Ham has been relegated but he has made it clear that he would not be campaigning in the Championship next season. He is also out of contract at Inter so is available on a free transfer. Napoli has indicated an interest to bring him back to Serie A but he has expressed a desire to remain in the Premiership with Aston Villa and Fulham offering him a lifeline. Step in, Kalu Uche. After emerging Nigeria’s top scorer at the last World Cup, Uche should have left the less fancied Almeria but is now compelled to take his stock elsewhere with the club relegated. Deportivo, Real Sociedad and Osasuna are the La Liga clubs linked with him just as Fulham are believed to have renewed their interest in him. I am particularly happy for Joseph Yobo. After featuring in all but one match for Fernebahce this season, he is set to win his first club silverware with the table topping Turkish giants. Now, he wants to make his loan deal from Everton permanent. But the Nigerian class act in the Dutch Eredivisie this season was Ahmed Musa. The flying winger is set to quit VV Venlo this summer and a move to a more lucrative league is on the cards. Scouts from Tottenham and German Champions, Borussia Dortmund have watched him in the past weeks. Journeyman Sani Kaita has moved from Greece to Germinal Beershot in the Belgian Jupiler. It is hoped this move would lift his international career. Other speculations: Chibuzor Okonkwo is believed to have had successful trials at Vitesse Arnhem in Holand; Nnamdi Oduamadi is seeking a move out of Milan in search of first team football; Karabukspor’s Emmanuel Emenike is on the radar of Turkish giants Fenerbahce and Brown Ideye is being linked with a move to Bayer Leverkusen.
SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
O you never had the opportunity to have gone to his house together? Yes, we did not have the opportunity to have gone together. Like I told you because of his job, for example, in December they would give them maybe just three days off and after that in summer, June. And Bayo is that kind of person that sometimes if he’s in Nigeria he was always busy with one or two things. He might not go home. I think the proposal for marriage came in December. We’ve been at the level of boyfriend and girlfriend, dating since June 2010, but when he wanted to take it to another level was when he surprised me with the engagement ring (asking), will you marry me? And I think it was at that point that I could interfere with the issue of how he goes home, how he doesn’t, how he treats his friends. But before then I think I didn’t have any business with his personal matters. After the engagement I started behaving like a second mum to him. I could tell him that ‘Bayo lets do this’. Even though he will tell me no, no, but as a woman and somebody who hopes to be a mother in future, I should know how to handle my man. So did not have the opportunity to go home together because of my own belief that I could not interfere with his personal life since (before December) I was just a girlfriend. But when the proposal came was when I was making arrangement for that. when he was around. And unfortunately death took him away and we couldn’t make the time. Are you surprised at the kind of crowd that turned out during the lying-in-state? Yes, oh, I’m surprised because when I had Bayo, hmm, I never knew he was really popular. I just saw him as an regular guy. I didn’t really see him as a Super Eagles player. I never knew his career was that strong that people appreciated him that much. Although I’m not a football fan but since I’d been dating Bayo, I started having interest in football. I didn’t find out that much whether Bayo was popular or not. But what people have been saying since his death, how people appreciated what he did on the pitch, it’s a surprise to me and that’s how you will see that Bayo was a humble person. If he’s somebody else he would have been bragging about it to me that I’m this, I’m that. You know we have some guys that do that. When they want to (approach) a woman, you would have seen them for who they are.... that they have this jeep; they have that, that they are ‘Obasanjo’s son’ or whatever. When Bayo came to my parents’ house for the first time in December.... when he told me he wanted to come, I didn’t want him to come. I knew he was a footballer and he lived abroad, but I didn’t want him to come because (chuckles) I wasn’t ready (in physical appearance) and I didn’t want him to know where I lived. He wanted to come for an impromptu visit and I had not arranged (myself); that I’d not combed my hair, I just woke that morning. We were still cooking Christmas food, you understand. My mum was still sending me on errands. He called to say that he was already on the way to my house and asked me to send my home address.’ He told me that he was alreadyat Abule Egba ( Lagos surburb) and the little time I had was not enough for me to take my bath and to arrange
FOLASHADE ADESHINA’S REVELATION (2)
The gift I never gave Olubayo Adefemi things. He said ‘I would come’ and he came. He ate my food; he sat in my living room. He chatted with everyone in my house as if he had been there before. The road to my house is bad and his car (chuckles) suffered terribly and he didn’t complain. Some local people sell plantain chips beside my road; he said I should buy it for him. I bought it for him and he ate. You know, some other guys wouldn’t do that they would feel big that I’m a Super Eagles player; I’m rich; I can’t go to such places; I can’t eat in people’s house; maybe your place is dirty, I can’t talk with this people. There are so many things I learnt from Bayo, that after his death I think I will always take anywhere I go that even if you are the daughter of Queen Elizabeth you don’t have to take it to wherever you go, you understand, so I learnt that. Even before I met Bayo and, before that thing he did in December that I said I gained from him, the little modeling job that I said I’m doing, people who are not up to my standard , I feel big that I can’t go to their house, but since Bayo did that, it taught me a lesson that where-ever you go in life, you should remain humble in life, so I will always take that along and I thank him for coming into my life to teach me that. If Bayo had not been in my life to teach me that I will still have that mind that it’s good to feel pompous, to be proud. Were there things you probably wanted or wished to had done or shared with Bayo which you postponed doing but you didn’t know you won’t have the opportunity as it is now; certain things that you wanted to make him happy with? Yeah, even yesterday I saw the little thing I wanted to surprise him with and I cried because I remember Bayo told me once that since he has been in football career he has only got N30, 000 from another person. As in, like when you start working, people believe you are working; people will not offer you money anymore and you will be the one spending for people. He said since his career that he has only received N30, 000 from somebody that since then nobody
has ever offered him money, people believe he was rich. And he said the N30, 000, was loaned him by the person and he had to return it. So, what he was trying to say was that even if people are rich and you think they don’t need anything, they still need. It might not be in terms of money, but there are still things they will appreciate. We girls think that if some people are rich they don’t need anything that you can’t buy things for them, that they won’t appreciate it, it’s a lie. Bayo told me there was a time he visited somebody, I won’t say a friend or not and he’s that type that when he visits people, they might not entertain him even if it’s their house, they believe he should spend for them. So he now told me that even if it’s ordinary N50 soft drink that people buy for him, he will appreciate it from people, that people don’t know that. That he wants to feel people like him also. That it’s not the money that they will use to buy that he wants to take but he just feels that people should buy him things also. And I now felt that that goes to me also because as his girlfriend I always asked my friends that what could I buy for Bayo that he will appreciate apart from card? I can’t give him money, there’s no masculine gift that I could buy for him that he has not seen in Greece, so I just made a little effort and now bought a card on that Monday morning that he died. When I went to the market I saw a very nice card (and I said) let me surprise him with that card but unfortunately he wasn’t able to see the surprise. When I was going through my stuff yesterday I saw the card and I cried that he didn’t wait to see the surprise. I didn’t want to give him with my hand but I wanted to put it in his pocket for him to just see (later) because he surprises me also. I just wanted him to see it somewhere in his pocket or anywhere with my name on it, that was the surprise I wanted to give him but I couldn’t do it. Can you tell us some of his dreams that he shared with you? Yeah, his dream, his dream; Bayo had been through a lot in life in terms of family issues and career. You know he lost his father several years back and he knew what the mother went through because of “We were still cooking Christmas food, you understand. My that he said he would like to have a mum was still sending me on errands. He called to say that Foundation for widows, that he pities he was already on the way to my house and asked me to widows and that he send my home address.’ He told me that he was already at wanted to make an impact in their lives. Abule Egba ( Lagos surburb) and the little time I had was not Then for the young boys growing in enough for me to take my bath and to arrange things. He said Nigeria, he said he would like to have a ‘I would come’ and he came. He ate my food; he sat in my football academy where he could assist living room. He chatted with everyone in my house as if he the young boys in had been there before. The road to my house is bad and his car Nigeria for them to be able to play in Europe. (chuckles) suffered terribly and he didn’t complain. Some And I asked him that would these people local people sell plantain chips beside my road; he said I come because academies that I have should buy it for him. I bought it for him and he ate.” been hearing about, people obtain membership (with
Late Super Eagles defender, Adefemi Olubayo left the earthly shore for the eternal on April 18, 2011 in far away Greece in a fatal auto crash. His passing away was so sudden that it did not only deny his loved ones the opportunity of having him around much longer, it also denied him the opportunity of having a lifelong dream fulfilled. That dream was to come to pass in the form of a gift from the one he loved so dearly, his fiancée, Folashade Adeshina. In this interview with OLUSOJI OLUKAYODE, Folashade revealed how she missed giving him that gift which she bought the very day Olubayo passed on. fees) he said no that he will give it to them free of charge that he would allow people to go in free of charge. He said he would create a website where he will put it that it’s absolutely free that he’s not going to promise heaven and earth but the little he knows he has the ability to do abroad he will help them do, he will train them on how to play football and do all that so those are the two major things he wanted to do (pauses) but he couldn’t do it. What kind of family would you say Bayo dreamt of? He always teased me, he said I should watch out that he’s going to be the best father and I will be saying, ‘you are lying,’ he said I would see that he’s going to love his children more than me. And I will be teasing him that you are lying, you are lying. He just says he’s the kind of man that will cherish his wife and children for the rest of his life especially his children because he knows what children meant. He has seen it abroad so he’s never going to be far away from his children and sorry for going back, when we were planning (and talking about) our dreams, his plan was that we shouldn’t stay in Nigeria but Greece that after marriage we should stay there in Greece. I was the one who said no, no I love Nigeria that I can’t live abroad that even if I’m going to live abroad I will just be going, coming, going. So, he now said okay that that will be before children that when children start coming he can’t leave his children here in Nigeria that we have to be staying there (in Greece). So that was the reason we had to rent an apartment. If Bayo had supported that we should live in Nigeria we wouldn’t rent but we would have bought an apartment. We have many places that we had checked that we wanted to buy apartment but I told him that we were going to rent. He didn’t support it, I was the one who even said lets rent. Our plan now is not to bring in children and I know that after two years children will start coming so I promised him that after two years when children start coming I will come over to Greece, I would have finished all the things I am doing here in Nigeria, I would move over there so he’s the kind of person that will cherish his children because I saw how he related with other people’s children and I know how it’s going to be when his own comes. Is there anything he made you stop doing. Anything you ordinarily wouldn’t have stopped but that he made you stop? Yeah, like I’m that kind of person that I don’t believe in myself. I believe in myself but not 100 percent, Bayo is that kind of person that believed in his ability. When we want to do things and I tell him that let me go and meet my aunty, he will shout, he will say ‘no, go and do yours even if you fail, you will do it again’ that don’t I believe in my own ability. So at first I always fight with him that ‘leave
• Olubayo Adefemi (R) of Nigeria celebrates scoring the first goal with teammate Chibuzor Okonkwo during the Men's Semi Final match between Nigeria and Belgium at Shanghai Stadium, Beijing 2008 Olympic Game
me alone,’ let me seek other people’s advice. But by the time I got to understand Bayo I knew what he was trying to say that even if you fail, it’s good to fail, when you fail, it will be an experience for you, when you want to try it the next time. But when you go and meet others when you succeed, you‘ve succeeded through their own efforts and they will take it to you later that after all we were the ones that helped you to do this. And if anything happens to them and they are no more around if you want to do that thing, will you go and call them from afar? But when you do it yourself, if you fail, it will be a teaching experience for you that I did this thing the last time, I don’t want to fail again So he taught me that and I think I’m used to it now that I should always solve things myself. And the second one is that as an entertainer I‘m really not the kind of person that goes against a lady kissing on the scene or a man kissing on the scene even if you have a partner outside the scene but Bayo told me that Shade, please, any role they might give you, don’t kiss. So I fought it that no, no but he made me to understand the reason and I promised that okay I won’t kiss on scene anymore. As a model when I’m going for photo shooting I will know the kind of things I wear. And I won’t say after his
death that maybe I’m free that I can do it, no, I will take it with me because it’s a promise I made to Bayo and not just him, it’s for my own good because I have been able to see it now that many people will watch (you act) they will laugh but within them when they want to take a lady home to mama or when they want to appreciate people they will not really appreciate those kind of girls, you understand. Men appreciate what they don’t see than what they see, so Bayo made me to understand that also. He made me to understand that that a girl doesn’t have to expose (her body) before a man will fall in love with her. It’s the way you carry yourself, your intelligence, what you say out of your mouth, it’s not until you expose you body because. So he changed so many things in me. Also, I’m that kind of person that will dress to kill, Bayo will say no, Folashade you don’t have to do it, I like you just the way you are, so he has changed so many things. Was there anything he stopped doing because of you? Yeah, he’s the kind of person that hates to hurt girls because he believes that girls are dangerous. He had so many girls that wanted him that he doesn’t even have to say hello, so girls toast him. So he will want to carry them along that
when they are tired, when he doesn’t respond that ‘I love you’, they will go. And when these girls got to like 9,10,11. I will tell him ‘ Bayo don’t carry them along, tell them you are not interested, let them go? But Bayo will tell me, what can he do? That if he tells them, they will be angry, they will be hurt and things like that, so I made him realize that the earlier, the better. Prevention is better than cure. Because as a woman if any man should do that to me I will be hurt and it’s not so many girls that can take it. Some will go extra mile like going to herbalist to get revenge against such guys. When I told him that he will even forward their messages to me, like I told you, we have each others password. He will tell me to help him talk to them as if I am Bayo (disguise as he) that I should talk to the girl that I ‘m sorry, I have a girlfriend? So that was the reason we now put on each other’s facebook (page) that “in a relationship’, he changed that. Since then when different girls come, he had learnt to tell them ‘I’m sorry,’ with the way he will say it, there will be no problem and they will still be his friends. So that is what I can say I taught him. No doubt by the grace of God someone will come into your life. But will Bayo now be the standard for the person you would later go into relationship with? Emm, first and foremost, I have been telling
people around me now, though according to the bible God said, that in every situation. I should give thanks to Him and as a very good Christian, I believe in that word. People are telling me, it has happened, it has happened I should move on there’s nothing I can do. I know there’s nothing I can do but one thing is, I believe that Bayo is just dead physically, spiritually he’s not dead. And any relationship I’m going to go into because I have decided to make it a routine and a pledge, I’m even saying every month that I will always visit Bayo’s burial ground every 18th (of each month) to drop flowers, just to go there and say few things but people say it might not be possible. After God and Jesus, I will always worship him (Bayo). If I’m going into any relationship even my friend was still arguing that with me, if that man cannot accept it with me (that if) I’m in a relationship and I’m carrying Bayo’s photograph or like I said that I will be visiting his burial ground and the man is arguing that why? It’s going to take a long time for me to get over Bayo, not a year, not two years because there are things we talked about and when I imagine that person is no more, it’s because I’m a good Christian and I believe in God’s word that I’m not in hospital at the moment. If I’m just any girl that doesn’t have Christ in me what happened to me could have landed me in hospital. Like I said, I tell people around, Bayo has a mum and family I’m not saying they are not hurt or they are not grieving but I’m just trying to tell the world that the Bayo we lost nobody can be hurt more or grieve more than me. The reason is this, the bible says a man will leave his house and be joined to his wife so the woman too? We had plans, we had dreams, Bayo cannot stay in his family home forever, I cannot stay in my family home forever. We have seen ourselves as couples. We have plans of what we wanted to do in December next year, five years, those things are gone with April 18th that is why I said I am the one who will grieve over Bayo most. And I have been hearing that maybe some think that I love him because of his career because I want to make a good life out of him which is not so. For example, if it is so, for the fact that I lost those things it’s a pain to me let alone it’s not those things I’m after. Several times I had told him that he should quit football. And that I now love him, the things we planned we were not able to achieve it, it’s like I’m a loser and I believe in Christ, it’s like I should challenge God but who am I to challenge God. So nobody could be more hurt because if Bayo was alive, friends may not see him in a year, they will just be saying hello, hello through internet, through phone. If he’s alive he may just be visiting his siblings once a while. But me, if we were married, we would always be seeing every day. Even before the marriage, we talk
everyday so nobody could be more grieved than I in this whole world that Bayo is gone. So I want people to understand that if they see me being strong, it’s because I believe in God. And the bible says He (God) is going to be the comforter of a widow. I can call myself a widow. We might not be married but I see myself as a widow because I feel what widows feel right now. I have not been seeing any other guy apart from Bayo, It’s just Bayo in my life. I see myself as a widow. And I have one message to pass to the world. I wanted to believe also that they killed Bayo. This message is pressing in me to say it out but I’m trying to fight it because I want to believe that too that they killed Bayo maybe spiritually but according to the bible I want to tell people now that there is no man or woman born of a woman that can kill if God does not say yes. Yes, they could kill him but if God did not permit them to kill him they can’t be able to. So I want to say that it’s because God wants my fiance to come home now that is why he called him. Because if you see in the bible, when the devil wanted to tempt Job God told him ‘you can do anything with him but don’t take his life.’ God said it because he knows it’s not Job’s time to die, if it was Jobs time to die God will allow him. If it is not Bayo’s time that person would not have succeeded so God just used the person as a medium just as God used Judas to allow them to get to Jesus. So I want to tell the whole world and I believe it because all the time Bayo was alive I had been with him, I knew everything about his life. I believe he lived a good Christian life and I believe right now he’s sitting at the right
hand of God. So it’s now left to us who are alive to try and make heaven because truly Heaven exists and Hell exists. And I want to use this opportunity to tell people to use Bayo as an example and others who have gone. Whatever we do in life we should always remember that there are limits to life. It’s not everything we have in life that we will take to Heaven. We should always remember Christ and try to give our life to Christ because what Bayo gained now is Heaven. If Bayo had not lived a Christian life he would have lost the World and lost Heaven as well. But that is my joy because in my dreams I see him and I see him smiling. If he’s in hell he won’t be smiling, I would have been seeing something like heart break. That thing I saw in the coffin is not my Adefemi Olubayo, it’s just the body because that’s not how he was. Adefemi Olubayo is right now in Heaven and he’s smiling, what he’s telling the rest of us now is to clear our ways to make Heaven so that we too can come to the place where he is right now. So, I want to tell people that nobody killed my fiancé. It’s because God said it’s his time. And it’s so unfortunate that God had to call him at that moment. And if it’s somebody that did it I want the person to know it’s because God said, yes. No man born of man or woman can kill because ‘shame is unto that person who can kill the body but can’t kill the soul.’ So Bayo still lives and he’s seeing every one of us. So that’s my consolation, it’s just that we can see him and we can’t talk to him. He’s dead in body but spiritually he’s not dead. Why did you want him to stop football? Because of the going up and down, we don’t get to see much and because I believe football is not forever. I don’t want him to waste his prime age on football. There are other things he can go into because I have seen so many footballers that I used to know when I was small I saw where they landed today. And because I loved Adefemi Olubayo so much and I believe in education, in achieving so much in your prime and I don’t want him to waste all his years in football. It’s not about how much we achieve or how much money we have, money will finish but when you have invested so much in your life, when that time comes things will just be easy for you. So I was telling him, ‘Bayo you will quit so that we will be able to do so many other things. You’ll go to school, invest in some things, do business, you will have time for your family, you will have time for me, we will live happily but not the one that you will be in Greece today, be in Ghana tomorrow, and we will not get to see you. Yes, you will get money from it but money is not happiness’ so that’s the reason. I want to appreciate you for your time especially at this period. I’m very grateful and we wish you all the best in life as you continue. Thank you
THE NATION SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Inside The Glass House WITH AMINU MAIGARI
Counting down to Guinness The Match
URING the week, the Head Coaches of Argentina and Nigeria released the list of players for the epic encounter between the two countries that we all await at the National Stadium, Abuja on Wednesday, 1st June, 2011. As expected, a mixture of youth experience ran through and the stage is set for what should be one of the most memorable games between both countries off the FIFA World Cup path. Three meetings at the FIFA World Cup and Argentina have narrowly edged all three, giving them the kind of confidence that afford the players an extra bounce when they step onto the pitch of one of the most magnificent football stadiums in Africa. Yet, lessons have been learnt recently and in diverse places about over-confidence and it would be an advantage for the Super Eagles if they can go in there without too much respect for the Albiceleste and get the job done quickly. We must all (I mean, stakeholders of the game in Nigeria) continue to appreciate the vision and efforts of Guinness in bringing this potentially –explosive football game to our Federal Capital, eight years after we savoured the magicians from Brazil in the very big game at the National Stadium, Abuja. I am excited that there is even a trophy for this match! In one of the meetings that the Nigeria Football Federation had with Guinness, TBA and the Match Agent on Wednesday last week, it was revealed that a truly pretty trophy, of unique design, would be handed out to the winner of Guinness The Match. The Unveiling of the trophy is set for the National Stadium, Abuja on Thursday just before noon. That is what is called ‘Total Package’ and Guinness deserves our applause for this. Our boys know they have to put up a great show on the night (the match starts 7pm) in order to fulfil the generality of Nigerians who would be at the Stadium and the millions who would be watching from the television sets or listening to the radio commentaries. It is a friendly, yes, but when it is against Argentina, it assumes a different complexion. I remember that at the launch of Guinness The Match, at the Eko Hotel, Lagos, our Ambassador, Nwankwo Kanu reminded the audience that while Argentina have won three FIFA World Cup matches against Nigeria, the final of the 1996 Olympic Games Men’s Football Tournament between both teams, which Nigeria edged, was not for small boys either. The Nigeria team had several of its senior team players who were either below
the age of 23 then (and they were aplenty) or simply among the three over-aged players allowed by the rules. That Nigeria team had Nwankwo Kanu, Jay Jay Okocha, Dosu Joseph, Daniel Amokachi, Tijjani Babangida, Victor Ikpeba, Celestine Babayaro, Abiodun Baruwa, Mobi Oparaku, Uche Okechukwu, Taribo West, Wilson Oruma, Garba Lawal, Sunday Oliseh, Emmanuel Babayaro, Abiodun Obafemi and Emmanuel Amuneke. The only senior boys missing were perhaps, Peter Rufai, Mutiu Adepoju and Finidi George. On the side of Argentina, there were Roberto Ayala, Javier Zanetti, Roberto Sensini, Jose Chamot, Matias Almeyda, Claudio Lopez, Diego Simeone, Ariel Ortega, Hernan Crespo, Marcelo Gallardo, Juan Sebastian Veron, Christian Bassedas, Hugo Morales, Pablo Cavallero, Marcelo Delgado. The team was coached by Daniel Passarella, while the Nigeria team was coached by Jo Bonfrere. What else do you call a senior team match? Kanu, who would certainly play one more role or the other ahead of Guinness The Match, would also always recall that at the FIFA U-17 World Cup which Nigeria won in Japan in 1993, the Golden Eaglets of which he was a key member defeated Argentina 4-0. That was also at the World Cup, mind you! Ethiopia knocking hard... Members of the NFF Executive Commmittee and Management have been reiterating to the Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Samson Siasia and his crew that while Guinness The Match is important because of the rivalry between the two nations over the past two decades, the crucial one is the 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifying game against Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on Sunday, 5th June. I am enamoured that Siasia and his crew are not losing focus. The boys themselves know they have two very important games to play, NOT one. The match in Addis Ababa is now on Sunday so it gives the boys a couple of days to rest after the cracker with the Argies in Abuja. It is also wise that the same playing body for the Argentina match will prosecute the game in Addis. From next week when they start arriving in camp in Abuja, the bond will be forged for both games and we can expect to reap bountifully in terms of cohesion. WAFU Cup and lessons therefrom... I sat beside Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel in the VIP Box of the MKO Abiola Stadium,
Abeokuta on Saturday evening, wondering what was happening. The Super Eagles that looked so indomitable against Niger Republic the previous Saturday were struggling against Togolese boys. They scored after only three minutes and never let off. No need crying over spilt milk, I told the players in the dressing room after the match, and I meant it. Before the match, no one could have thought that the Togolese would prevail over the Cup holders right in front of our own fans. But football if nothing if not unpredictable and part of the excitement is the fact that no team can be written off until the end of a game. Five goals in the first half and none in the second period, while Ekigho Ehiosun and co charged seriously at the Togolese goal. The goal that would tie the game and take it to extra time, and perhaps eventual victory for Nigeria (we prevailed over Ghana in extra time in the semi finals, remember) simply refused to come. The tournament has come and gone and everyone must have learnt one or two lessons. Surely, the NFF has learnt its own lessons, which I would talk about in subsequent writeup. For the players, they lost more than their win bonus. They so much wanted to retain the WAFU Cup. They wanted to be addressed as champions of West Africa, for a start, as their younger ones (Flying Eagles) are now known and addressed as champions of Africa. On the positive side, some players really shone and it is left for the technical crew headed by Siasia to encourage them and see how competitive they can be against the foreign-based. On our part, we will give him and the players all the support necessary. There has been a lot of excitement in the media about Ekigho Ehiosun, the Warri Wolves boy. So much has been said about his strength, pace, direct approach, bullet shots and skills. There are several players in the domestic League with similar qualities and the coaches can discover them by moving round the country, watching matches. Someone like Bartholomew Ibenegbu has probably never scored four goals in a tournament before, except in beach soccer! He scored four during the WAFU Cup tournament and I am sure he would be happy about that. But he, like Ehiosun and other members of the team, would surely have preferred to emerge champions of the competition.
I dumped school football for sake of dad—Okonkwo
OME-BASED Super Eagles Captain, Chibuzor Okonkwo has become a household name, in the round-leather game in the country, no doubt. He, however, harped on the need to be educated first before choosing a career in football. He also painted the picture of how he once had to quit playing football for a while when his father insisted, he must complete his studies before taking up a career in football. However, the Heartland of Owerri player has no regrets being a footballer but still, he makes the fact that he would have made a good barrister, if he had not opted for a career in football immediately after finishing school and fulfilling his father's wish. "When I was in secondary school, my dad told me that I should forget about football for now. That I should go to school first, afterwards he promised he would give me all the total support when I needed to play football. Now he is enjoying the fruits of his labour. That was what he wanted and I had to do that for him because I knew he was going to fulfill his promise. If I had not been a footballer, I should have been a lawyer. But I thank God for my life, it is not everyone that will tow the academic line. I think I have fulfilled my own part as a footballer. If you ask me, I don't have any regret as a footballer. For now every parent want their son to be a footballer, so I don't have any regrets," Okonkwo enthused. Reminiscing on the good old days when he went to school in Jos, to when he enrolled in a football academy in Jos, Okonkwo never failed to acknowledge the fact that Gabros International and Bayelsa United F.C., gave him a positive beginning especially when he won the 2008-09 League MVP award after leading Bayelsa to win their first ever league title. "I started football as a little boy, with Gabros, from there played for Bayelsa, presently I am with Heartland. You know, I have lived in Jos all my life. I lived on Williams street, and even enrolled in a football academy in Jos." The gifted player who is a right-footed full-back and can play on either side of the pitch has an immediate elder brother who is as gifted as him but has not been able to climb the ladder of success as easily as he did. Okonkwo in the interview could not help mentioning his brother as he said: "We are seven in my family. three girls and four boys. You won't believe this, I have an immediate elder brother who plays good football too. He played for Gabros, I left him there, he also played for Gateway and Heartland, but now he is clubless." However, Okonkwo looks forward to playing in Holland, this he told NationSports. According to him, he expects the Dutch Scouts with a lot of eagerness as he intends to impress them in the hyped friendly match between Argentina and Nigeria slated for June 1 at the Abuja National
By Stella Bamawo Stadium. For a player whose deal fell through having completed a move to the Russian Premier side FC Rostov but which was thwarted due to disagreement in wages, hence his eagerness to ply his trade abroad, having been forced to settle for the local league for a long time . Being a member of Nigeria U-23 team for 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, while also being included in the Super Eagles' list for friendlies in April 2009, the first Nigeriabased player to earn a call up since Shaibu Amodu became coach, but was unable to travel due to visa problems, Okonkwo, could not help but sing praises of the coaches he had played for: "I have learnt a lot despite playing for a lot of big coaches like Amodu Shuaibu, Samson Siasia, Austin Eguavoen, and even most recently, Simon Kalika. I have also played alongside the big boys like Mikel Obi, Yakubu Ayeigbeni, Nwankwo Kanu and others. I think all these people have helped me in my career choice, they have motivated me and today, I am well off," Okonkwo said. Okonkwo added: "I have played under Samson Siasia, he is a coach everybody respects, he knows how to advice players and Amodu, Eguavoen, they all motivated me, gave me confidence to play even when sometimes as a player you want to give up. In life as a man you have
• Chibuzor Okonkwo
periods when you think the world has come to an end. I have to pray to my God to direct me on the right pact which I think I am doing now.” The 22-year old player loves Arsenal FC, despite the shoddy performances exhibited in the spate of six seasons but he advises: “Everyone is supporting Barcelona but Arsenal is my team they are good despite losing ,they play beautiful football. Now that the season is over, I want Arsene Weneger to get matured player, I don’t feel he is too old to handle the team after all, Manchester United Coach, Alex Ferguson is older but experience matters, football is not about age but rather it is all about initiative. In Europe some players are more than 32 years old and they are still playing good football. It is only in Nigeria, that hell is raised when a player is older than 32.” When asked how he felt being on the bench towards the end of the WAFU Games, Okonkwo stated: “I feel so disappointed, for me as a player and the captain of the team. But I consoled myself with the belief that it was the will of God, anyway I was on the bench motivating the guys, however I will be looking ahead to Argentina match, I don’t care whoever they are coming with. Nigeria should be talking about the stars in the Super Eagles squad. This is football we are going to do our best,” Okonkwo said.
On Sport Sport On SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
NIGERIA PREMIER LEAGUE...NIGERIA PREMIER LEAGUE •Nigeria Premier League players in action
I need quality strikers –Heartland’s Technical Adviser cries out Heartland acquired the services of Dutchman, Lodewikj de Kruif just before the end of the first stanza, after a near calamitous outing but the change of guard has not brought the desired results. NATIONSPORT’S TUNDE LIADI was among journalists that interviewed the new coach recently during a league match and these are his comments on the problem with Heartland team. EXCERPTS
OACH, having been in the saddle for a couple of matches now, what do you think is the problem with Heartland team? We have always been playing positive football but when it comes to taking action on it through good crossing and finishing, I must be honest our biggest problem has been getting that right person to put the ball in the back of the net. Today it was glaring for everybody to see that we created about six to seven begging chances and another one through the penalty which we lost. The only thing I will say to them when we get to the next training is why can’t convert some of the begging chances that came their way because they deserved to score more than one goal. They played very well but the only thing that matter to the club now is to get quality strikers that will be more precise and accurate in the box. Heartland did not play up to expectation in the first half was it that they failed to play to your instructions? No, they played to my instructions but this is a new club I just started work on and with the introduction of a new coach the players will struggle to adapt
to his new philosophy, new idea and probably his new different training methods. The players have lots of information to be given and taking all the information and acting on it on the field of play will always take time with pressure from fans and even the coach alike. Players are like us they are human beings. Will you say you are missing the services of some of your players that attended the just concluded WAFU Cup competition? Everybody can see that players of the club that featured at the WAFU tournament with Siasia, are no doubt fine players and they have lots of qualities. I will say we missed them dearly because the more players we have, the more quality our team becomes. These players are good and they are integral members of the team had it been they were around and they had been involved in all our trainings it would make it more competitive and other players will sit up. What are those things you will be introducing to the team to give Heartland a new lease of life after the harrowing experience of the first stanza? What I will be introducing to the team is for them to think
positively and not be casual. My players should enjoy the game and ensure they have a feel of the ball before moving forward to attack just the way we do in Holland. Are you comfortable with the way Heartland played today? I will say I was comfortable with the way we played but not
the result. We supposed to win the game 3 for 4-0 but managed just a goal. What has been your experience in Nigeria ever since you came in? To be frank with you it is chaotic because everybody gets involved in the game and everybody wants to be at everywhere the team is even in the dressing room and on the field of play I am not used to it. I like the discipline of focusing on a match and not to get distracted by those things I just listed. Well I am still trying to blend with the trend in the country and I am taking it step by step so that everybody can understand and adapt to my way of doing things. Everybody will be given sufficient time to adapt and at the end of it all we will what will happen.
Dolphins’ll maintain winning mentality —Chuku
SSISTANT COACH of league leaders, Dolphins Football Club of Port-Harcourt, Ken Chuku has attributed team's success in the ongoing Nigeria Premier League (NPL), to the adoption of the winning mentality in the team. In an exclusive chat with the NationSport yesterday, the former assistant coach with Sharks also of Port-Harcourt said, the players from the onset have been trained to imbibe that attitude, adding that it has in the long run paid off. "The players know what to do and listens to instructions. The match against Sharks this weekend will not be an
By Innocent Amomoh exception. We will approach it with the same mentality and expect to come out tops at the end of proceedings. "Though we have alot of players on national assignment, but like i use to say, every players in the team is important. We miss them but the job has to be done," Chuku declared. Asked if there're any teams posing a threat to their ambition to win the league at the end of the season, Chuku said every team in the league is a threat, adding that because it is a long way through, resillient and focus will be the key to achieving the needed goals.
FIFA’s leadership crux
EPP BLATTER pledged to spend $1 billion among FIFA members for development projects over the next four years and tackle the threats of “corruption, match-fixing and doping” while asking delegates to re-elect him at the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) election holding June 1 at its Zurich headquarters. In a letter to 208 national associations published recently, the incumbent FIFA president insisted he could provide “stability, continuity and reliability” in a world of political and economic turmoil. It was his first campaign statement since being challenged in March by former ally Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar. The 75 year-old Blatter who has led FIFA since 1998 is seeking a fourth and final four-year term. Banking on “motivation, experience, ideas and energy necessary to complete my mission”, he also promised a strong monitoring role for the ethics committee, to ensure discipline, respect and fair play on and off the field. That, however, is some task following widespread media reports from Britain last week which brandished FIFA officials “sleazeballs” and “rotten to the core” – charges connected to perceived acts of compromise during the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding processes. In response to the allegations which it considred of “extreme concern”, FIFA demanded the English FA and Sunday Times – the latter blew the initial whistle over a bribery scandal that led to the suspension of executive members Reynald Temarii from the Oceana Football Federation and Nigeria’s and CAF’s Amos Adamu – provide evidence of the latest accusations. At FIFA since 1975, first as Technical Director (1975–1981) and then General Secretary (1981–1998) before his election as FIFA President in 1998, Blatter was re-elected as FIFA head in 2002 and re-elected unopposed for another four years in 2007 even though only 66 of 207 FIFA members nominated him. He sought and won another term as FIFA president in December 2009. Blatter faces stiff competition from lone opponent bin Hamman and growing opposition from officials disillusioned with perpetual tales of corruption emanating from the football house. Indeed, discontent with official policy and operational methods are the bases on which bin Hamman – head of the Asian confederation and erstwhile Blatter supporter – is running. While the Qatari is backed by Asian confederation members, Blatter may have received wholesale support from Africa where the confederation president and long-standing ally, Issa Hayatou, enjoined “all (53) member associations to vote M. Joseph Blatter” in a statement on the official CAF website. With the support of the European, South American and Oceana confederations as well, Blatter is expected to retain his mandate. The clean-up challenge before the successful candidate is enormous. As Ghana football legend Abedi Pele noted in the Africa Watch magazine recently, some of CAF’s programmes invited review. He believed, in particular, that the flagship Africa Nations Cup tournament was in danger of being irrelevant. Abedi thought the Nations Cup trophy “worthless” and wondered what CAF used sponsorship funds for. In a remarkable shift of position, the Ghanaian who backed Hayatou’s re-election two years ago urged Hayatou to exit the stage so that younger officials could develop fresh ideas to better manage the game. Whether the imminent return of Blatter would spark needed revival in Africa and beyond is a question better entertained after June 1, but world football is firmly in the grips of Messrs Blatter and company as bin Hamman must acknowledge in his quest to wrest power.
Quick silver, scarce gold THE title above, dear fan, is summation of Samson Siasia’s predicament at the Eagles helm. I refer not to his character, but a penchant to end up in second place with teams tutored. So soon into his tenure, the coach’s job is not exactly on the line, but his reputation is. The silver medal finish of the home based Eagles at the WAFU Cup tournament held recently in Abeokuta, Nigeria completed a notable troika of runner-up positions for national teams handled by the former international at international tournaments. Under him, the Flying Eagles finished behind Argentina at the 2005 World Youth Championship in Holland while the national Under-23 team, Dream Team IV, were beaten in the final of the Beijing 2008 Olympics by the same opponent. Ahead of crucial games against Argentina – again – and Ethiopia, Siasia must find his position a little disconcerting compared to the beginning following his appointment by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) late last year. He started on a bright note with the main Eagles squad though, beating Sierra Leone 2-1 in a friendly, crushing Ethiopia 4-0 in a crucial Nations Cup qualifier and trouncing Kenya 3-0 in another friendly. With the home-based Eagles, he defeated Liberia, Niger and Ghana at the WAFU Cup, but his copybook was astonishingly blotted by lowly Togo in the final. Incoherence, rather than skill or ambition, was evidently responsible for the loss, and while Siasia can easily be blamed, the fact that the Togolese were more of a unit from staying together longer than the home-based collection is an excuse. At the risk of holding brief for the coach, I plead better preparation before subsequent encounters as likely route of redemption. In the event of consistently misplaced priorities as the tendecy to call up injured but proven players when fitter and more ambitious alternatives beckon, however, the temptation to slate the coach would be inevitable.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
BACK ST AGE
FOR THE RECORD, MR. PRESIDENT RESPONDS
‘Government needs to be closer to the creative industry’
EDEVILLED by crisis of instability, policies of relegation, internal structure and unfavourable business environment, stakeholders in the arts and entertainment industry seized the opportunity of a recent parley with president Goodluck Jonathan, shortly before he was reelected to run the affairs of the country for the next four years. The stakeholders gave reasons why the industry which is considered a major non-oil producing sector is yet to maximise its potential as a major income earner for the country and undisputable means of gainful employment. It was the largest gathering of artistes from the different branches of visual, literary and performing arts, music, fashion, television, comedy and film sectors, as represented by their guilds and associations. Held on Monday March 21, 2011 at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island Lagos, the Arts and Entertainment Community Dinner with the President has been described by many as the first of its kind by a sitting president in the history of the country, even though others feel it was a political motivated event. The event came about five months after the president's promise of $200 million investment fund for the entertainment industry that now lies in the custody of the Bank of Industry (BOI) for possible assessment by eligible members in the sector. Speakers at the packed hall included; for the movie industry, Mr. Bond Emeruwa, president of Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN); Television, Busola Holloway, president of Independent Television Producers Association of Nigeria (ITPAN); Kannywood (Association of filmmaker from Northern Nigeria), Alhaji Sanni Muazu; Theatre, Greg Odutayo, president of National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners; Broadcasting, Mo Abudu; Visual Arts, Uwa Usen, president of Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA);Writing, Dr. Sunny Ododo, vice president of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA); Theatre Academics, Dan Daura, President Society of Nigerian Theatre Artistes, SONTA; Music, Admiral Dele Abiodun, president of Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMEAN); Fashion, Frank Oshodi, president of Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), and Folk Theatre and Films (Yoruba), Victor Ashaolu, president of Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners. Other speakers included Amaka Igwe (TV & Film), Segun Arinze (Actors), Zeb Ejiro (film), Peace Anyiam (film); Stephanie Okereke (Nollywood); Emmanuel Isikaku for film marketers and distributors; and Ali Baba (Comedy).
•President Goodluck Jonathan
The President's response
FTER listening to all what was said by the plethora of speakers representing the varied disciplines in the culture sector, President Jonathan remarked, “These are not issues of campaign; I should have spoken to you earlier. I'm not listening to you because I'm standing for elections. After April, we'll hit the ground running. In the next four years, I want to move the country forward to where it should be. As a nation, we want to look at all sectors of the economy, especially those sectors where jobs can be created within the private sector. “Today, I've spoken to Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), okada riders and many others. But I told them that I have a major and personal interest in the arts and entertainment industry right from my short stay as Bayelsa State governor. I had intended to establish a special secondary school for the arts… This is because I believe it is in the
creative arts sector that we can create jobs for our teeming youths and fast track our economic growth; and that's why I am committed to the sector and seeking your suggestions as people in the private sector on what we can do to move the sector forward.” “There is a lot the sector can give if government can support it, especially Nollywood, to earn foreign exchange. However, we don't tend to take it very seriously; but every president should take the sector seriously. I'm happy at the beautiful presentations today. “I think certain institutions in the sector are headed by wrong persons, and that we need to address. Government is probably too far from the creative industry. Government needs to be closer to the creative industry. The key thing mentioned here today is piracy; without handling piracy, you cannot progress. It seems existing legislations are not strong enough. We need to strengthen the laws and a set up body to handle it”.
“I think certain institutions in the sector are headed by wrong persons, and that we need to address. Government is probably too far from the creative industry. It seems existing legislations are not strong enough. We need to strengthen the laws and a set up body to handle it”.
Intrigues as Karen escapes eviction! A week after the 'Heads' Housemates got their first taste of nominations in the on-going M-Net Big Brother Amplified reality TV show, it was the turn of the 'Tails' Housemates who also got a taste of nominations on Monday 16th May. Once everyone had had their say including Head of House Miss P-Nkuli, Luclay, Mumba and Kim are up for eviction this Sunday. Mumba and Karen were up for eviction this Sunday but a rather tense Miss P made a last-minute decision to use her Head of House powers to save Karen who had received the most nominations - and put Mumba up for eviction in her place. In a surprise decision, Luclay decided that he didn't want to nominate anyone. Big Brother warned him that he could find himself evicted on Sunday, but Luclay said he was “fine with that”. His decision to not make a nomination means he is automatically up for eviction this Sunday. Alex nominated Karen and Nkuli, saying the two were his biggest threats. After Big Brother probed a little deeper, Alex said that even though Karen was fun, "she doesn't participate in chores” and Nkuli “didn't pull her weight during the last task”. Bhoke was surprised when she discovered that it was nomination time and took a deep breath before choosing Karen and Nkuli. She nominated Karen because she finds the Nigerian “very defensive and attacking” and Nkuli because she hadn't been close to her. Danny finally made his choice after ignoring Big Brother's summons to the Chat Room as he cleaned the patio furniture. He nominated Karen because he believed she was a strong character. He then nominated Kim because he thought that viewers would vote for her because she is so entertaining. Despite having made peace with Luclay, Ernest nominated the South African because he felt that he would continue to bear a grudge
and didn't feel safe around him. His second nomination went to Karen because he feels she is too insecure, which made her dangerous. Karen dressed up especially for her first nomination session, before nominating Alex and Kim. She chose Alex because she felt she still didn't know much about him and Kim because she didn't know if she was fake or just taking time to 'come out'.Lotus nominated Kim because she didn't "gel with her" and her fellow Tanzanian Bhoke, in the hope that she would be left as the last Tanzanian standing in the game. Kim unknowingly returned the favour by nominating Karen, saying that she was destructive and always in the way. Her second nomination went to Lotus, for her inability to listen and for talking too much. Mumba nominated Miss P because, as Head of House, she could save herself. Her second nomination went to Ernest, because he was “becoming too loud and irritating”. Nic nominated Lotus and Nkuli the former because he hadn't found any common ground with her even though they had kissed in the Jacuzzi and the latter because he felt she was too distant. Nkuli followed Mumba's thinking in nominating Miss P, before nominating Bhoke because she felt the Tanzanian didn't “add much value” to the House. Miss P had the final say in the nominations, picking Karen “because she takes everything lightly” and Nkuli because she feels the South African wouldn't give her the time of day. The winner of Big Brother Amplified, which is headline sponsored by Coca-Cola, will be named on 31 July, after 91 days of head-tohead competition and the power to award to USD 200 000 prize rests in the hands of the viewers.
THE NATION SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Profile Partying Happenstances Style
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THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Osun Deputy Governor, SSG, others pay last respect as Agbelekale goes home AN Islamic scholar and Imam of Kamal-deen Islamic Foundation, Osogbo, Alhaji Lere Yusuf, has urged the people, especially those in the position of authority, to fear God and love others at all times, bearing in mind
the fact that death is certain. Imam Lere said this while delivering a sermon at the fidau of the Late Alhaja Faoziat Agbelekale, the younger sister of a former Chairman of Osogbo Local Government and chieftain
of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Fatai Diekola, held at Tinumola Area, Osogbo. The clergy, who described the deceased as a God fearing woman, who always concerned herself with the welfare of the
people around him, said the absence of the brotherly love prescribed by God in the Holy Quran is the root of social vices. He said: “If everybody is following the doctrine of God in the Quran, which
says all human beings are the same and must live in peace and harmony, the leaders will discharge their duties accordingly and the followers will perform their responsibilities to develop the society.” The late Agbelekale died at the age of 51 and was survived by children and grandchildren.
The programme was attended by the Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs Grace Titi Laoye Tomori; the Chief of Staff to the Osun State Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola; the state Acting Chairman of the ACN, Elder Adelow Adebiyi; the ACN Sectary in Osun State, Prince Gboyega Famodun and the state ACN Director of Media and Strategy, Mr. Sunday Akere.
•From left: Osun State Deputy Governor, Otunba Titilayo Laoye-Tomori and the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola.
•Alhaji Diekola (1st right) and some of the children of the deceased - Idowu, Taye and Sanjo.
•From left: Osun State Secretary of the ACN, Prince Gboyega Famodun and the state Chairman, Elder Adebiyi Adelowo.
•From left: Osun State Chairman, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Alhaji Sule Alao and the state Chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Alhaji Waheed Lawal.
•Barrister Wale Afolabi
Omosehin clocks 50
• From left: Senator Bayo Salami and Mr. Sola Oladepo
R. (Mrs) Foluke Morohunmubo Omosehin is 50. Omosehin is a prolific writer
with several academic publications to her credit. She is an external examiner to two colleges of education in the country. She was listed among the distinguished Nigerians in the 2006 edition of the Nigerian International Biographical Centre “Who’s Who in Nigeria (Page 707). A professional to the core, she is a member of the Social Studies Association (WICE) and the Nigeria Conservation Foundation. Omosehin was ordained a deaconess in her church, Triumphant Baptist Church, Akowonjo, Lagos. She is also the chairperson of the church’s membership committee.
•Hon. Isiaka Faramade, Chairman Oshogbo Local Government
Building Support Systems boss is 49
•From left:The Archbishop of Riye Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Rev. Luke Olukayode Odubanjo; the Iya Aladura of Ijoku Sagamu Circuit, Sagamu, Mrs. Mary Soile, and the Archbishop’s wife, Mrs. Odubanjo, at the first anniverssary of the Riye Archdiocesan hosted by the Remo Diocese at the Rev. Mellor Memorial Cathedral, Sagamu, Ogun State.
RCH (Mrs.) Fifi Ejindu, the Chief Executive Officer, Building Support Systems Limited, and Principal Partner, StarCrest Associates will be 49 years on Saturday May 21, 2011. She was born into the family of the Late Prof. Sylvester J. Una, an erudite scholar and the first Minister of Health in the former Eastern Region. Fifi, who bears the title of Her Highness ‘Obonganwan King James’ was trained and certified by the Pratt Institute, New York, USA. Ejindu is the president and founder of the Angels Foundation, an organisation made up of a small group of women who caters for the less privileged in the society. As a professional woman and a philanthropist, she has won several awards, including African International Achievers Award in 2003, Patriotic Women of Integrity International Award 2004. Her company, Building Support Systems Limited, won the West African Corporate Achievements Award in 2010.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
The Ponnles mark 45 years of marital bliss R
AMAT Crescent, a serene avenue in Ogudu GRA, Lagos received unusual guests last Sunday. The guests drove into the estate in posh cars. Immediately the guests alighted, passersby watched keenly as they headed into the large expansive home of the Chairman of the first indigenous cable industry, MicCom Cables and MicCom Golf Centre and Resorts, Prince Michael Ayantunde Ponnle, and his amiable wife, Princess Comfort Olufunke. The name, MicCom, was taken from the lovebirds’ name, Michael and Comfort. The mission of the guests was to rejoice with the duo of Prince Tunde and Princess Olufunke, as they celebrated 45 years of marital bliss. Earlier in the day, the hosts had joined friends and families at the auditorium of the First Baptist Church,
Ikeja, to give thanks to God for His endless mercies in their lives. The officiating ministers, led by Rev. Kayode Opadeji, blessed the Ponnles and some other couples who came for the wedding anniversary. The guests chanted ‘’congratulations’’, as they exchanged banter with the couple, as they in turn responded, “E see (thank you),” cheerfully. Pa Ponnle, a prince of Ada in Osun State, looked elegant in his yellow Agbada (flowing gown) and a cap to match. He walked side by side with his jewel of inestimable
value, Princess Olufunke, who shone in her yellow Iro and Buba lace, dark glasses, brown headgear and Ipele. On ground was a bandstand, which entertained the guests with a variety of music ranging from R & B to Highlife. The amiable waiters ensured no one left the MicCom House without enjoying the sumptuous delicacies – both African and foreign cuisines. Those who graced the event included Chief Ade Afolabi; Dr Banji Oyegbami; Dr Michael Daramola; Chief Festus Egbeleye; Managing Director, MicCom Golf Centre and Resorts, Mr Muyiwa Odejayi; the host’s younger brother, Prince Kunle Ponnle; Mr Dayo Jegede; Chief Moses Aboaba; Mr Tayo Adetona; Mr Phillip Adegboye; Prince Ademola Adet and Mr Toye Adegbite.
•from left: Prince and Princess Ponnle, accompanied by and Rev. Opadeji
•Chief and Mrs. Ade Afolabi
•Dr. and Mrs. Oyegbami
•Mr. Adegbite with wife, Bola.
•Otunba Michael Daramola with Mrs Bukola Adubi
•From left: Prince Ponnle and Mr. Jegede
•From left: Mr. Kayode and Chief Egbeleye
•Mr. and Mrs Odejayi
PHOTOS: Abiodun WILLIAMS
THE NATION SATURDAY,MAY 21, 2011
With KAYODE OLANSHILE-ALFRED E-mail:email@example.com TEL:08035733605
Shina Peller throws lavish party
Sola Ayodele and Kudirat Adetoun Raji still at war?
he birthday shindig of late Prof. Peller's son, Shina Abiola, popularly known as Shina Peller, provided another opportunity for party pillars and money men to gather at Club Luxe on Etim Inyang Cresent, Victoria Island, Lagos last week Friday. The soiree spoke volumes about the high esteem in which the Aquila Oil & Gas Chairman's friends and associates hold him. Shina Pella spared no expense to make the day a never-to-be-forgotten one. There was an endless flow of local and continental food, champagnes and wines, which generated interesting discourse among connoisseurs. There were also a lot of beautiful chics in the house, who all dressed to the nines. Many who attended the party informed Happenstances that Shina spent money as if it was going out of fashion. By and large, it was an evening of good menu and infectious atmosphere of camaraderie.
Olusegun Agagu becomes father-in-law
hen the news broke a few months ago that the Managing Director of Spring Bank, Sola Ayodele, and her elder sister and socialite, Alhaja Kudirat Adetoun Raji, were at war, many thought it was a mere storm that would blow away in no time. Up till now, however, the news is still gaining ground. A source swore to Happenstances that their sisterly relationship is still experiencing a hiccup, over a personal, family issue. Adetoun, who reigned supreme in the Lagos social circuit in the days of yore, was popularly known as Mama Lekan and was obviously a force to reckon
Abisola Ajimobi braces up for motherhood
oy would seem to have taken a permanent abode in the household of the Ajimobis. While the Governorelect of Oyo State, Senator Ajimobi, is still receiving congratulatory messages, following his victory in the recent governorship elections, another round of celebration is in the offing in his household. His eldest daughter, Abisola, who got married to Kolapo Kola-Daisi at a high-octane wedding many months ago, is set to make Ajimobi and his wife, Florence, grandparents. Already in her last trimester, the arrival of the pitter-patter of tiny feet will signal another round of celebration. You can easily tell where Abisola is coming from. She has a deep understanding of who she is and where she is going. Abisola loves the beautiful things of life, and she is surrounded by many pieces of pleasure.
with on the social scene. A party pillar in her own right, Mama Lekan ran the best of wineries on Victoria Island, Lagos a while back. In her heyday, musicians sang her praises to the high heavens. Fuji maestro, K1 the Ultimate, even waxed an album for her. The wine shop, which rolled in millions, was a seemingly unending source of income until she ran into troubled waters. The news making the rounds is that Adetoun didn't get the expected response from her sister, in terms of a bail out. This is said to be the crux of the matter. Others close to the duo, however, insist that their relationship is still cordial and that the two sisters are not in any way at loggerheads.
oy and laughter returned to the household of Dr. Olusegun Agagu, a former Ondo State governor, last weekend. The former lecturer turned politician, who lost his senatorial election in the just-concluded general elections, is currently over the moon. It was a glamourous moment for the former Minister of Power and Steel as his daughter began her journey to matrimony. The engagement between Solape and Brian Hammond was held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Happenstances gathered that the elaborate engagement had some of Agagu's relatives and close friends in attendance, while the wedding proper will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates this weekend. From all indications, the union was a thing of joy for the exgovernor.
Kayode Akinyemi buries dad in grand style
enultimate Thursday, Afao-Ekiti was the one-stop point for the rich and famous. That was the day Pa Samuel Akinyemi, the late father of Kayode Akinyemi, the Group Head, Corporate Affairs, Skye Bank, was finally laid to rest. The well attended event featured a service of songs, which was held on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at his country home in Afao-Ekiti, where Pa Akinyemi was buried after the funeral service which took place at St. Daniel's Anglican Church, Oke-Iro Street in the town on May 6. The colourful ceremony, which featured who is who in the banking sector and the crĂ¨me de la crĂ¨me of the society, was a form of royal escort for Pa Akinyemi to the great beyond. The dark-complexioned banker spared no cost in giving his father a befitting burial. Among the guests who graced the occasion were Gbolahan Odedeji, who played a major role in making the ceremony a success; the Chief of Staff of Ekiti State Governor, Yemi Adaramodu; the General Manager, Consolidated Hallmark, Bode Opadokun and Lanre Teriba, who manned the band stand. If the dead could look back, Pa Samuel would be really glad for the honour accorded him on the occasion.
THE NATION SATURDAY,MAY 21, 2011
Taofeek Okoya floats Queen of Africa
Bettina Ifudu awaits her bundle of joy
aofeek Okoya, son of billionaire businessman, Alhaji Rasaq Akanni Okoya, is giving back to the society in his creative and philanthropic way. The son of the business mogul is the founder of the Queens of Africa project, an initiative geared towards showing African children that black is beautiful by encouraging them to play with dolls that reflect their culture and heritage. The project, though a brainchild of the Eleganza boss's son, is undertaken in collaboration with Silverbird Communications, one of the largest entertainment companies in Africa, comprising Silverbird Entertainment, Silverbird Cinemas, Rhythm FM and MBGN. This partnership with Queens of Africa was borne out of the need to give children fun while helping them to achieve a sense of self realisation and positive attitude towards the future. According to Taofeek, each doll represents a tribe in Africa. There is 'Nneka' (Igbo), 'Azeezah' (Hausa), and 'Wuraola' (Yoruba), and they are sold in different outfits, the most common being those that are dressed in traditional attires. He went further to emphasise that Queens of Africa dolls were created to inspire the coming generation, especially the girl child. It is usual for the society to view such items as mere play things in a society that is rife with wrong information and destructive beliefs. The fiesta, scheduled to hold at the premises of Silverbird Television in Lekki on Friday May 27, 2011, will be broadcast live and will have about a hundred children from various schools in the Centre of Excellence.
bony beauty and popular Port-Harcourt 'big boy', Sibo Briggs's wife, Bettina Ifudu, is bubbling with joy. And the reason for her ecstasy is not so far-fetched for those who are close to the La Rozanne boss. The beautiful 49-year-old is already heavy with pregnancy. Many would remember the beautiful socialite and businesswoman as the bride who grazed the marital garden at the age of 44, shocking many who had thought her situation was hopeless in matters of the heart. Now, critics are in for another shocker, as the seemingly impossible feat of pregnancy has been accomplished, and with no apparent assistance from medical experts. Needless it is to say that the expectant mother has avoided public glare, keeping all the joy to herself and the proud father to be. Sibo, the Kalabari hunk, is one of the prominent 'big boys' in the Garden City, and his Queen's Restaurant and Bar pulls a crowd that shames the hottest clubs in the Centre of Excellence. Their five-year-old marriage, which was something of a miracle to friends and family members, gave rise to speculations and rumours. However, the couple has succeeded in doing the marriage institution proud, as their marriage has stood the test of time even without a fruit of the womb. Their journey, which started on a plane, is definitely going places. Happenstances gathered that Bettina's friends are already planning a grand party for the expected baby.
Bola Allison enjoys new lease of life
visit to a bead shop in Washington DC in 2004 unearthed Bola Allison's passion for designing jewellery and working with rare and exotic gemstones. In 2006, Allison and her partner and sister, Jumoke, opened their flagship store, Bola 3, and this marked her foray into the limelight and, subsequently, the party arena. The store, located in a prestigious shopping mall in Lagos, is a meeting point of some sorts for well-to-do people who crave her luxury items. Her ebony complexion and alluring figure easily stood her out in the party hub. Reputed as a good dresser, she often goes for clothes that accentuate her fine curves and and make heads to turn her way at any outing. She has steered clear of controversy and deliberately shielded her love life from the public glare. In recent times, she seems to have gone on low profile. Her lessened presence on the social scene appears to have buttressed this fact. Interestingly, her mother, Ibidun Allison, is a veteran actress. She played the character of Amebo in the popular drama series, Village Headmaster, which ruled the airwaves in the 80s.
Dele Momodu adds another year
ublisher of Ovation International Magazine, Dele Momodu, is counting his blessings as he celebrated his 51st birthday on a low key. Bashorun Dele Momodu, reputed as the first Nigerian journalist to aspire to the office of the President, turned 51 on Monday May 16, 2011. The well-connected dude has become a household name for those who have made high society their oyster. The veteran journalist, to whom Ovation magazine has attracted fame, contested the just-concluded presidential election on the platform of the National Conscience Party (NCP) and lost, is in a happy mood again, even though the birthday was a quiet affair, with very few people in the corridors of power on hand to celebrate one of their own. The Bashorun of Oke-Ila Orangun is ready to face his business again after the stress of the just-concluded election. It is needless to say that without the shadow of elections hanging over him, Bob Dee, as he is fondly called, is back and better.
Binta Sukai hybernates
or some time now, former beauty queen, Binta Sukai, has vanished from the social arena without any indication of her whereabouts. The beautiful mother of one once commanded the gaze of everyon e and a common face on the social space. Many would remember that a coup le of years ago, there were speculat ions concerning the identity of the father of her baby . Since the baby drama, however, Binta has ceased to be visible. She has retreated deep into her cocoon to enjoy a private life with her little girl. Now, the question everyone is asking is: where is Binta Sukai, the amazing beauty who won the crown in her prime?
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
HAT does your job entail as the Project Manager for the MissNigeria competition? My role as the Project Manager is to ensure the smooth running of the Miss Nigeria competition. A competition of this size, which also incorporates a reality show, has many layers to it. My job entails engaging all stakeholders involved in the project and developing project plans while monitoring and managing the competition schedule. How did you come about doing this? Have you always wanted to do it? The opportunity presented itself and I jumped at it. I thought it would be an amazing experience and a way to travel and learn more about Nigeria. If you were not doing this job, what else would you be doing? If I was not working with the Miss Nigeria competition, I would more than likely be involved in politics or working as a mathematician. I thoroughly enjoy solving equations and numbers have also come very easily to me. I also have a strong desire to go into politics. What was your growing-up like? I went to an America missionary boarding school in Jos, Plateau State at the age of five. I spent a few years in Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls here in Lagos. I then travelled to America where I completed high school and college at Howard University in Washington DC. What fond memories of childhood do you have? My childhood was great. I spent a lot of time ice-skating and practising Mathematics. I mastered calculus at the age of 11 and bonded with my father solving complicated equations. I also spent a considerable amount of time ice-skating. Most people would be surprised to know Nigeria has an ice-skating team. I was chosen as a member of the junior Olympics team to represent Nigeria. But I could not attend because my father thought I would miss too much school and fall behind in class. I was devastated. What are the challenges you encounter doing your job? My job can be challenging because Nigeria is challenging. But I welcome challenges and attack them like an easy trigonometry equation. With the help of the Miss Nigeria team, we handle all situations with poise, intelligence and grace. How has your job affected your dress sense and wardrobe? Do you have to update your wardrobe more frequently? Working with Nike Oshinowo can have a major effect on your self esteem. Her sense of style is contagious and is always an added positive. I have noticed that my sense of style has become more classic. I have always been into vintage clothing, but working with Miss Nigeria has made me search for Nigerian designers who understand where I am in life right now - happy and grateful to be young and living in Nigeria. A perfect example would be Ituen Basi. Her accessories have my name all over them! Which was the first fashion item you ever bought for yourself? I don’t remember my first fashion purchase. But I do remember the day I bought my prom dress. I worked day and night to afford that dress, which was $280. It was a wild purchase because I was 17 years old and only
‘Solving mathematical equations is like a hobby to me’
The Project Manager for the Miss Nigeria Competition and host of the Miss Nigeria Reality Show, Wunika Mukan, speaks about her fashion sense and her role in the Miss Nigeria competition, in this interview with KEHINDE FALODE. Excerpts:
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
OUTH Africa is to seek new ways of collaborat ing with Nigeria through the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation towards promoting the tourism sector of both countries. The South Africa High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Kingsley J.N Mamabolo, made this known when he visited the Director General of the NTDC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, in his office in Abuja. Ambassador Mamabolo
Nigeria, South Africa to collaborate on tourism informed Otunba Runsewe that the essence of his visit was to explore new ways of promoting and sustaining the tourism potential of both countries noting that a vast array of opportunities abound which if properly harnessed, would yield highly positive returns for both South Africa and Nige-
• NTDC boss Otunba Runsewe (left) presenting a gift to South African High Commisioner Kingsley Mamabolo
ria. In his words, “Nigeria is in the lead of countries that are crucial to the development of tourism in South Africa and we must collaborate to ensure we make the needed contributions to our economies in a win-win situation.” In addition, the envoy said, “We seek new ways of collaborating with Nigeria towards a sustained mutual relationship, especially because Nigeria is playing a special role in tourism promotion in Africa.” The South African Ambassador commended the NTDC on a hugely successful showing during the 2010 World Cup hosted in South Africa, stating that Nigeria impressed the world with its colourful representation at the event. Nigeria through the NTDC, built a huge “Nigerian village” at Johannesburg during the World Cup which Ambassador Mamabolo acknowledged was highly appreciated and second to none. Speaking further, Mr. Mamabolo praised Nigeria for a well conducted election while seizing the moment to congratulate the president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, on his victory asserting that it makes Africa proud, especially when viewed against the background of Africa’s checkered history in the conduct of elections. He said that Nigeria’s successful con-
duct of the 2011 elections was a welcome development for Africa as Nigeria plays a pivotal role in governance, especially as the African continent was concerned. The South African High Commissioner also informed Otunba Runsewe that his visit to the apex tourism body, among other things, was also in respect of the national day celebration slated for May 31 while promising South Africa’s continual engagement with the NTDC towards a successful national day outing. Ambassador Mamabolo explained that the South Africa national day was initially scheduled for April 23, but could not hold as a result of the Nigerian general elections which incidentally, were also slated for the same month. He further solicited NTDC’s support on the forthcoming national day celebration. Responding, the NTDC boss reassured the visitors of NTDC’s total support while pledging Nigeria’s continued cooperation towards a mutually beneficial relationship between both countries. Otunba Runsewe revealed that “anywhere in the world, tourism has a regional content and in the case of Nigeria, the states have to develop these regional contents. If the state governments can fix roads and other infrastructure and invest massively in their destinations, tourists would continue to come to Nigeria.”
Antigua-Barbuda to replicate La Campagne Tropicana Resort
HE government of Antigua and Barbuda, the twin island country of the Caribbean has invited the management of La Campagne Tropicana Resort, Ikegun, Lagos to come to the country and replicate the La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort concept in the island. In a letter from the country, the Antigua-Barbuda government said the desire to replicate the La Campagne Tropicana Resort concept in the country was for the people to have whiff of Africa which many of the citizens and others in the Diaspora wanted to have a taste of . The letter from the Caribbean country reads: “There is no doubt that the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Rt. Hon. Baldwin Spencer, a staunch pan-Africanist, will be willing to provide you with all that is necessary to make partnering La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort a success in Antigua and Barbuda and within the Caribbean Islands as well. “We look forward to your visit and the implementation of your successful concept in the Caribbean. “Please take this as an invitation and a commitment to bring the best of African
culture through such resort development to the Caribbean people with the view of acquainting them of the home and culture that they were robbed of by the former colonial masters. “We look forward excitedly to the realization of this dream for our people.” The La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Ikegun, Lagos State is a luxury leisure resort located about 80 kilometres from
Lagos. It was built in 1990 and is the only resort of its kind in West Africa. The resort seeks to offer visitors first class leisure experience within an Afro-centric ambience that seeks to present to visitors both foreigners and locals the essence of African culture and hospitality and leisure experience. At the end of a visit of the resort, a tourist visitor would go back with a taste of African culture
and hospitality. In addition to this, the Antigua and Barbuda government has also appointed the president of the La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye, as its Tourism and Business Development attaché for Nigeria. This was conveyed in a letter from the Consul General of the country to Nigerian, Mr. Walker W. Williams. Igangan
•Tourists relaxing at the beach front of La Campagne Tropicana
•One of the winners receiving her certificate from Mr. Kola Olayinka, BA Nigeria’s country manager
British Airways’ N60m boost to Nigerian businesses
RITISH Airways has awarded N60 million worth of business class travel to 50 Nigerian SMEs (small-to-medium sized enterprises) to stimulate entrepreneurship and encourage local SMEs to expand internationally. Nigeria is one of five countries to have launched the initiative. The programme has also run in South Africa, India, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates. Speaking at the presentation event held at Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos, British Airways Country Commercial Manager for Nigeria, Kola Olayinka, described the response by the SME sector in Nigeria to the grant as phenomenal and well beyond expectation. According to him, over 500 entries for the grants were received from Nigerian SMEs. He said this indicated a robust SME sector which appreciates that travel is essential for expansion. “By providing 50 Club World tickets each to 50 SMEs to use anywhere on our global network, we’re investing in Nigerian business and our future customers. We certainly hope that this will enable them to expand and develop their businesses. Describing Nigerians as one of the most enterprising people on the planet, he pointed out that the and expansion of the SME sector is essential for the economic development of any country. The SME sector had been particularly hard hit by the economic downturn, inhibiting growth and forcing many companies to shelve expansion plans. Internationally, travel budgets were cut by more than 56 per cent. “We know that business is best done face-to-face and this is backed by a Harvard Business Review Analytical Services study which found that 95 per cent of leading international business people believe face-to-face meetings are the key to building and maintaining long-term relationships. Another 89per cent agreed that face-to-face meetings are essential to sealing
the deal,” Olayinka said before presenting the grants. The winners are: Alexia’s wholesale & Supplies Ltd, Ashford & McGuire Consulting, Assist-2-Sell Properties Limited, Babalakin & Co, BainStone, BOOKCRAFT, Brand Direct Limited, Burst Intelligence and Security, Cows to Kilowatts Partnership Limited, Day Waterman College, Elim Enquiries Limited, Enerx Limited, Entity Consult Limited, Faiceck Freight Forwarders Ltd., General Housing and Products Ltd, Goldmine Global Services Ltd., Infostrategy Technology Nigeria and Integrated Quest. Others are Integrated Systems & Devices Limited, Kings Thrones Limited, Marionhope, Marticelli Pharmaceuticals, Neimeth International Pharmacuticals, One Number, Pan AFrican Carrier Services Ltd, PINCETO, Pinn Business Network Ltd, Platform Branding Co, Powerpoint Oil and Gas, Premium Souvenirs, Rachel Ventures Ltd, SAS Space Design Limited, Sleek Studio Limited, Startrite Mayton and Company Nigeria Limited, Suparcell Development Ltd., Super Super Market Express, The Patrick Speech & Languages Center, Value Endowment Company and Vestigio Technology Solutions. The rest are Alpha Support & Logistics Ltd, AO&A AUDIT, Ganttworks Limited, Harmony Microfinance Bank Limited, Interchange Bureau De Change, InterGlobal Bureau De Change Ltd, JONAKOD Nigeria Ltd, Management Education and Training Ltd, Phase Business Concept Ltd, Takko Nigeria Ltd, and Topbiz Resources Ltd. British Airways Business Opportunity Grants was launched in October last year. Any company with less than 250 employees was eligible to submit a proposal outlining its business objectives for the coming year and how winning a grant would benefit their business.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Womanhood; a divine assignment (2)
EAR Reader Last week, I examined some fundamental truths about womanhood. Today, I will go further by looking closely at one of the divine assignments of a woman - Being A Mother! God’s Word says: He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children (Ps. 113:9). Therefore, there is a relationship between womanhood and being a mother. So, one of the divine assignments of a woman is to her children. God’s purpose for womanhood is not only for replenish-
ing and filling up the earth, but because He is seeking godly seed, which is one of the divine assignments. His Word says: And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed (Malachi 2:15). As a woman, therefore, the most important duty or responsibility you have towards your children is to train them in the way of the Lord, so that they will be godly. Children, like adults, are made up of spirits, souls and bodies and have needs in these three areas: Spiritual, Mental and Emotional. As a mother, spiritually, you are obliged to help your children have a personal relationship with God,
and grow in the knowledge of Him. It will be wrong for you to assume that your children are going to heaven simply because they are born into a Christian home or because they attend Sunday school. No! They must confess Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. It is, therefore, a divine assignment for you, as a mother, to teach them to do this, because a personal relationship with Jesus is the cornerstone of life (Acts 4:12). I allowed our children see from the Word that even when their father or I is not with them, God is there. This created the fear of God in their heart, rather than the fear of men. Creating a Godconsciousness is not to make them terrified of God, but to create a holy reverence for His everabiding presence. This is clearly illustrated in the life of Joseph. No one was there to supervise Joseph in Egypt, yet he refused to commit adultery with Portiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:9) thus helping us to see the importance of godly upbringing. One of the major ways of meet-
ing your children’s emotional needs, as a mother, is through interaction. Children need to be talked to, their questions answered, and their need for a confidant and friend met. You need to study your children individually because each child is peculiar and slightly different from the other. You need to learn how to draw your children out of their shells and help them discuss whatever they have on their minds. Make time out to have long talks with each child, let your children know that they each have free access to discussions with you, whenever they require it. Come down to your children’s level, and be approachable. Mentally, it is also important for you, as a mother, to know that your children’s mindset is tender and impressionable. What they watch on television, for example, listen to and read will affect them. Therefore, whatever will destroy their minds need to be censored. If need be, refuse to allow them participate in unedifying activities in school and create alternative interesting activi-
ties for them, so they will not feel they are missing out on anything. As a mother, if you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, being able to satisfy your children’s spiritual, mental and emotional needs may be difficult. Therefore, if you are not born again and would want to give your life to Christ say this prayer along with me: Dear Lord, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know I am born again! Congratulations Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. No: 234-1-7747546-8; For more insight, these books authored by Pastor Faith Oyedepo are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all the Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: •Making Marriage Work •Building a Successful Family •Success in Marriage (Co-Authored with Bishop David Oyedepo).
Bronchial asthma 1
YOUNG computer engineer sought counsel as to whether he should go ahead and marry a young lady he had dated for just about a year. He and the lady were carriers (heterozygous) for the sickle cell disease ,and looked apparently healthy. She in addition had symptoms that resemble those observed in asthmatic patients, and so he was being careful. They were told to think seriously about ending the relationship, to avoid bringing someone into the world who would have inherited double dose of the sickle cell genes, as well as the additional problem of bronchial asthma. At first they were heart broken ; but did promise to report for further counseling. The Problem of difficulty in breathing, with or without tightness of the chest whether of sudden onset or slow to develop can be very frightening, especially when observed at the extremes of life; the young and the old. Due to the numerous diagnostic possibilities, affected patients and their relations either resort to self medication with many drugs or go to multi care providers. In older people, in particular those with undiagnosed heart or kidney conditions, a squeezing heart (cardiac asthma) could give the picture that can be mistaken for asthma with very dangerous consequences. Also in individuals who have had their condition diagnosed, and asked to maintain vigilance, total absence of symptoms may give false hope, coupled with drug ingestion fatigue, leading to the commonly held views that such an individual had outgrown the problem, where as this indeed is not the case. In rich countries where resources are available and health facilities are within reach of everyone without regards to socioeconomic status, awareness is high . People with certain conditions know where to seek help and there is usually no panic. In this environment however attitude is different and response to health
matters depends on and is controlled by very many factors which include age, gender religion, ethnic background, social class, level of education amongst others . In disorders of respiration where abnormal breathing patterns are observed, there may be very serious background disease conditions some of which may be beyond the capacity of ordinary emergency responder to handle, and failure to seek help and do so very quickly may be disastrous. Abnormal breathing patterns are not always associated with disease conditions: Over pampered Children often employ abnormal breathing as weapon to get their ways and harvest favors from doting mothers. Housewives have been known to pretend to be asthmatics and epileptics for years without husbands knowing they were perfectly free of such diseases.
TROKES are rising dramatically among young and middle-aged people all over the world while dropping in older people. Asides America and other nations in the world, there has been an increase in the number of young stroke patients in Nigerian hospitals. The numbers, reported recently at an American Stroke Association conference, come from the first large nationwide study of stroke hospitalizations by age. Government researchers compared hospitalizations in 1994 and 1995 with ones in 2006 and 2007. The sharpest increase — 51 percent — was among men 15 through 34. Strokes rose among women in this age group, too, but not as fast — 17 percent. “It’s definitely alarming,” said Dr. Ralph Sacco, American Heart Association president and a neurologist at the University of Miami. “We have worried for a while that the increased prevalence of obesity in children and young adults may take its toll in cardiovascular disease and stroke,” and that appears to be happening, he said. Stroke still takes its highest toll on older people. For those over 65, there were nearly 300 stroke cases among 10,000 hospitalizations in the more recent period studied. For males 15 to 34, there were about 15 stroke cases per 10,000, and for girls and women in that age group there were about 4 per 10,000. Several small studies had recently suggested an ominous rise among the
By mid Pregnancy, an enlarging uterus (womb) splints the diaphragm, the structure which separates the thoracic cavity (chest above) from the abdominal, making women shift from one position to another. Overfeeding and overindulgence in party activities can temporarily cause difficulty in breathing. Children are particularly vulnerable and can actually eat and develop respiratory arrest after bouts of uncontrolled feeding. New born Babies with heart problems will not suck the mother’s breast with the enthusiasm and vigor seen in normal healthy babies for similar reasons. Some newborn babies can even temporarily stop breathing for a few minutes, to be followed by fast breathing, and as long as it is not
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prolonged and all other things are normal there will be peace. Abnormal breathing patterns may take different forms; Noisy. Whistles, or sighing, Shallow, and with the use of muscles of the tummy, Faster than usual. Not all disorders of breathing come from problems within and around the chest. Other conditions may be involved such as problems of blood, brain the muscles and skeleton. A fairly common problem associated with difficulty in breathing,
one which though common in children can appear at any age; even in people of the age of 60 years for the first time is bronchial asthma. How much do we know about it with regards to age, gender, stress, occupation, other respiratory problems, could asthma remain silent in parents of an affected child , manifesting only occasionally as cough with sputum? We will try and clarify some of these and other matters . To be continued
Strokes are rising fast among young, middle-aged young and middle-aged women. “We were interested in whether we could pick that up in a much larger, nationwide dataset,” said Dr. Mary George, a stroke researcher at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers examined records from a sample of hospitals in 41 states, covering about 8 million cases each year. They looked at the percentage of all hospitalizations for stroke by gender and in six age groups. For every 10,000 hospitalizations in 1994 to ‘95 compared with 2006 to 2007, strokes rose: •51 percent, from 9.8 to 14.8, among males 15 to 34 years old •17 percent, from 3.6 to 4.2, in females 15 to 34 •47 percent, from 36 to 52.9, in males 35 to 44 •36 percent, from 21.9 to 30, in females 35 to 44 “The increases seen in children are very modest, but they are more so in the young adult age groups, and we feel that deserves further study,” George said. Better awareness of stroke symptoms and better imaging methods for detecting strokes in young people could account for some of that change, but there is no way to know, she said. Trends went the opposite way in older people. Strokes dropped 25
percent among men 65 and older (from 404 to 303 per 10,000 hospitalizations), and 28 percent among women in this age group (from 379 to 274). Doctors think better prevention and treatment of risk factors such as high blood pressure in older people may be contributing to the decline. At the University of California at Los Angeles, doctors are seeing more strokes related to high blood pressure and clogged arteries in younger people, said Dr. Jeffrey Saver, director of the stroke center at UCLA. Early estimates from 2007 death certificates suggest that stroke is now the nation’s fourth leading cause of death instead of the third, partly because of better treatments and prevention among the elderly. “But at the same time we’re seeing this worrisome rise in mid-life,” Saver said. Allison Hooker, a nurse who coordinates stroke care at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., said her hospital also is seeing more strokes in younger people with risk factors such as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, alcohol overuse and diabetes. “I’d say at least half of our population (of stroke patients) is in their 40s or early 50s,” she said, “and devastating strokes, too.” Also at the conference: A preliminary study raised concern about diet soda and stroke risk. Researchers surveyed
about 2,500 adults in the New York City area at the start of the study and followed their health for nearly 10 years afterward. Researchers found that people who said they drank diet soda every day had a 48 percent higher risk of stroke or heart attack than people who drank no soda of any kind. Researchers adjusted for differences in other risk factors, such as smoking and high blood pressure. Lead researcher Hannah Gardener of the University of Miami had no explanation for the findings but said that for those trying to cut calories, “diet soft drinks may not be an optimal substitute for sugar-sweetened beverages.” _The same study also found higher risks for people consuming more than 1,500 milligrams of salt a day — the limit the American Heart Association recommends. Researchers found that stroke risk rose 16 percent for every 500 milligrams of salt consumed each day. Those who took in at least 4,000 milligrams had a more than 2.5 times higher risk of stroke than those who limited themselves to 1,500 milligrams. A teaspoon of salt contains about 2,300 milligrams of sodium. About three-fourths of the salt we eat, though, comes from processed foods, especially tomato sauce, soups, condiments and canned foods. Online: Stroke conference: http:// www.strokeconference.org
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Coping with diseases
Avoiding infertility and childlessness
ROM about 200 years ago, life started changing for women. Before that, girls reaching puberty might be married off early and may have their first children in their teens. In modern times women are educated and follow demanding careers. Marriage is often delayed and so is child bearing. This brings some risks to women who want to bear their own children. Many factors can predispose a woman to infertility. They include: sexually transmitted and reproductive diseases, anatomical and functional changes occurring with aging, personal habits such a smoking or drinking, and exposures to foods, drugs, and chemicals that adversely affect the reproductive system. We will examine them in a little detail after first looking at female infertility as a health problem. We will also consider what options modern science has produced for women. Infertility as a societal health concern More than a decade ago, hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus for medical reasons) was at a high rate. I personally knew women in their 30’s and 40’s who had undergone hysterectomy. It struck me that the premature loss of childbearing capacity had a powerful negative impact on women’s psyches. On the one extreme, there were
HESE are bacteria infections affecting any part of the urinary tract. Urinary infections occur more frequently in women than men primarily because the length of a woman’s urethra is relatively shorter than that of a man. Urinary Tract Infections are usually caused by bacteria such as Escherichia Coli which travels from the rectum to the Urethra, bladder and even to the kidneys. The most common Urinary Tract Infection is of the bladder medically
women who suffered severe, chronic depression and some of them could no longer maintain a career or a regular job and lived on antidepressant drugs. On the other extreme, there were women who developed a sadistic psyche, wanting to hurt others in return. Unfortunately, much of society is unaware of the many ways that we precipitate such mental problems for women who do not have children. Infertility and childlessness is a serious health problem because it is not just a problem that a person has and tries to live with it but it is a problem that society easily exaggerates for the victim. The victim is subjected to continuous reminders, torture, ridicule, and even rejection. It devalues a person amongst equals because the person’s childlessness becomes the focus of attention rather than the good qualities the person may have. It can be a debilitating stigma. The physical problem may be turned into a monumental psychological pain. Why does society attach so much importance to childbearing for women and disdain women who cannot have children? It is commonsensical that life begets life and a life is not really complete if it does not beget life. In biology, one of the characteristics of living things that we learn
with Prof. Dayo Oyekole
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
about in secondary education is that living beings reproduce. In our right minds then, we understand this as a normal process. Thus we can excuse society’s behavior. Perhaps the greatest power a woman or man has on earth is to beget life. Jesus Christ described humans as sexual beings and the joining of a man and woman as a natural path in life (Matthew 19: 4-6). All religions, ideologists, and scientists know the power of reproduction. History is full of records that Kings used to castrate their soldiers and domestic servants. They made them eunochs to keep them in place. At the worse extreme, infertility is a tool of callous enmity. Perhaps the manipulation of sexuality is ever a concern of earthly power. In another sphere, the capitalization of sexuality is big, unfailing business. Infertility and childlessness is thus not always a simple health problem. For different cases, physical (bodily), psychological, en-
vironmental, societal, ideological, cultural, or religious factors may be involved. Thus a person who suffers from infertility and childlessness may need to face the problem holistically: body, mind, and spirit. Fortunately, modern science is saving some women who could otherwise suffer from infertility. Some outcomes of scientific investigations are also empowering healthy people with reproductive possibilities that were never known before. Imagine a healthy young lady freezing a substantial number of her own eggs. In future, she could continue to have as many biological children as she can financially afford. If she cannot carry the pregnancies, she pays surrogate mothers. She can have her own village of children. Men are also freezing sperm. I figure the world is about to go crazier. Next we will look at some causes of infertility. Dr. ’Bola John is a biomedical scientist based in Nigeria and the USA. For any comments or questions on this column, please E m a i l firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07028338910
Urinary tract infection Banji FILANI
known as Cystitis. Factors such as urinary tract stones, injury and obstructions to the normal flow of urine can aggravate or cause Cystitis in either sex. Cystitis resulting from infectious organisms however is much more common in women than in men. This is understandable due to the shortness of the female urethra through which infectious organism can reach the bladder from the outside. In addition,
the anus and the vagina, both of which may frequently be sources of infection are situated relatively close to the external opening of the female urethra. In women generally, the symptoms of Cystitis may include a burning sensation around the edges of the vulva. There is usually a frequent urge to urinate and difficulty or pain (dysuria) associated with urination. Urinary retention and dehydration, which are generally under the control of individuals, can contribute to the spread of infection once it begins. The lining of urinary bladder is relatively resistant to infection by most microorganisms as long as the normal flow of liquids through the urinary tract is maintained. Young women often involve or engage in sexual activity or a newly wedded bride’s first few weeks of frequent sexual activity can result in swelling of the urethra and the neck of the bladder, making urination difficult. The inflammation of these tissues can in turn make them more susceptible to infection. Symptoms General symptoms include: Pain or burning sensation while urinating. Frequent urge to urinate Pressure in the lower part of abdomen Blood in the urine Foul smelling urine High fever Vomiting and back or abdominal pain may signal the spread of the
infection to the kidneys. If bacteria travel up to the kidneys, they may cause PYLONEPHRITIS, a kidney infection. Diagnosis is made on the basis of the number of bacteria and white blood cells found in urine sample. A pelvic examination may also be required, recurrent infections and kidney infections are more serious. Urinary Tract Infections in women can be prevented mainly by practicing good hygiene. Wiping from front to back after urinating or after excreting, washing the area around the vagina and rectum daily and washing those area before and after sexual intercourse are recommended to prevent spread of bacteria into the urinary tract. Drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water and fruit juice helps flush out bacteria, as well as emptying the bladder as soon as the urge to urinate occurs. Vitamin C intake is advised since it makes the urine acidic, which discourages bacteria growth. Cotton underwear is advisable to be worn instead of other kind of fabrics since synthetic fibers tend to trap moisture, which promotes bacterial growth. Meet you again herein next week.
•Dr B. Filani is the Chief Consultant of Sound Health Centre, Lagos. You can contact him on 08023422010 or on facebook or email email@example.com.
EXUALLY Transmitted Diseases are popularly called venereal diseases. They are contagious diseases, easily transmitted by sexual contact from an infected person to a sexual partner who is otherwise healthy. The germs causing these diseases vary a great deal, but all depend on the warmth and moisture of the sexual organs for survival. They readily penetrate the delicate skin and moist membranes that come in contact during sexual intercourse. Once the germs have invaded the tissues of the sex organs, they propagate and spread to other tissues, even throughout the body in some cases. The sexually transmitted diseases cause various kinds of suffering with tragic results as damage to an unborn child, infertility and even premature death. Once established in a person’s body, the disease tends to persist, if untreated, for the duration of life. Syphilis and Gonorrhoea are the best-known venereal diseases, but the range also includes genital herpes, candidiasis and warts, as well as trichomoniasis, chancroid, staphylococcal infections and Lymphogranuloma venereum. In spite of our present knowledge of these diseases and in spite of the availability of effective treatment, the number of cases of sexually transmitted illness has increased so alarmingly that they are virtually out of control. Changes in public attitudes towards sexual matters, widespread use of contraceptive pills and the emergence of resistant strains of organisms seem to have contributed to the increase of these diseases. The symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases vary, depending on the causative agent. There may be abnormal discharge from the sexual organ, with foul odour and itching sensations, as in Gonorrhoea, Trichomoniasis and Candidiasis. There may be ulcers and pinching sensations as in Genital Herpes Simplex, Staphylococcus, Syphilis, Chancroid and Granuloma inguinale. Thirdly, there are those characterized by the appearance of lumps and bumps in the private parts, as observed in cases of genital warts and Lymphogranuloma venereum. Prevention It should be well understood that when a sexually transmitted disease is diagnosed in a man or woman, the disease has probably already passed on to the sexual partner, it is therefore important that both should treated to prevent reinfection. Also, it is strongly advised that any suspicion of a venereal disease or of possible exposure to infection, calls for urgent medical attention. In fact, prolonged cases of venereal infections have been shown to predispose one to more dangerous infections such as HIV/AIDS. Treatment/Control In Holistic Lifecare, it is strongly advocated that in order to avoid suffering in the midst of plenty, we must turn to NATURE. Some of the natural remedies being advanced for the treatment and control of sexually transmitted diseases include the extracts of local herbs such as Allium cepa, Senna alata and Plumbago zeylanica. For further information and consultation on Holistic Lifecare research and services, especially on Blood Infections, Infertility, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Chronic Debilitating Conditions as well as mental and social problems, please call on: 0803-330-3897 or visit: Mosebolatan Holistic Lifecare Centre, Adeyalo Layout, Ogbere-Tioya, Off Olorunsogo Express Bridge, Ibadan. Website: www.holisticlifecare.com. Distance is no barrier, we can send remedies by courier if need be. We also have facilities for accommodation, admission and hospitalization in a serene and homely environment.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
The embroidery touch ‘C
LASSY’ and ‘stylish’ are two words that describe the dazzling range of men’s fashion merchandise that we have today. And keeping in tune with the changing styles and fads are the essential features. No other set of men’s clothing have captured the imagination of fashion buffs this season as embroidered attires. Well designed, urbane and sexy natives with stylishly embroidery will always have their place. Even women who are fashionable know that embroidered attire is a must-have. You can’t just afford not to have one in your wardrobe. Choose a native outfit in a basic, classic colour like black, ash, butter, gray or navy in a style that is fits properly on you. Well-fitting native attire can be worn to formal and informal occasions, such as work, meeting, birthday, wedding or funeral.
Miss Nigeria on vacation in Hawaii Miss Nigeria 2010 ‘Queen Ambassador’, Oluwadamilola Agbajor, visited the Island of Hawaii on April 29. She embarked on her vacation as Miss Nigeria to the Island of Hawaii, USA. She was accompanied by the 1st Runner Up, Miss Lagos Erica Okundaye, for the one-week vacation sponsored by Reality Vacation Innovations. After travelling for two days, the Queen Ambassador was welcomed by the staff of the Bay at Waikoloa Beach Resort, who were anxiously awaiting the arrival of their first African Queen.
•Efe Tommy •AY
Fashion News Natural award-winning beard This year’s World Beard and Moustache Championships were held in Trondheim, Norway over the weekend. Over 160 competitors, many of whom we can only assume need something to fill the time between their seasonal jobs as department store Santa Clauses, showed off fierce facial hair in 14 categories ranging from “freestyle sideburns” to “natural goatees.” Although ringlets and curls are no doubt the championship’s big take-away trend, the best-in-show honours went to Elmar Weisser’s moose-y beard-scape.
Hair •New York-There has been a nationwide rise in theft of expensive human hair, the kind used for wigs and hair extensions, from salons and wholesale retailers. In the past two months alone, over tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of hair has been stolen. Make-up • MAC cosmetics plans to launch flagship stores in all cities it considers key European locations. Fragrance • A federal judge in New York ruled that the U.S. Polo Association cannot use a logo reminiscent of the classic Polo Ralph Lauren horseman in fragrance products.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
•A woman spraying a perfume
Perfume Buying guide M
OST lovers of perfume are used to buying fragrances at department stores beacuase it is a general belief that they sell genuine products. These are tips on how to identify genuine perfumes. - Confirm the source of supply. -Check the overall quality in terms of look, thickness and clarity (cellophane wrapping). -Check the signs of excessive glue, especially the use of any sticky tape (cellophane sealing). - Check the quality of materials used (outer box). -Make sure the information on the box is correct- size, country of origin, spelling and logo (printing). -Check the shape, height, width and design (bottle). -There should not be air bubbles within the bottle. - Make sure the colour is consistent. -The colour should not be pungent or unusual (fragrance smell). I hope these tips will be of great help to perfume users.
•C.K Coco Man •Gucci
•CK In2U Heat for Her
S the Senate prepares for another dispensation, an issue that has preoccupied the minds of the members of the upper chamber is the individual that will pilot their affairs in the next four years. Already, three main contenders have emerged in the race for the coveted seat. They are the incumbent Senate President, Gen. David Mark; the outgoing governor of Kwara State, Dr. Bukola Saraki and his counterpart in Gombe State, Alhaji Danjuma Goje. Already, the campaigns have reached a fever pitch, with the campaigners employing terms and slogans couched in superlative terms and phrases that tend to elevate the aspirants to the Olympian heights. But Mark’s experience as a senator and his winning streaks in four consecutive election circles are factors that are sure to work in his favour. For the Benue South senatorial seat since 1999, it has been David Mark all the way. It did not require any deep intuition for the discerning mind to know that for a sitting President to seek re-election, he would not be seeking to return to the Senate as just one of the figures on the floor. Shortly after he was declared winner of the Benue South senatorial seat in the April 9 election, this correspondent had thrown the question at him at his Otukpo country home: “Are you thinking of taking another shot at the Senate Presidency?” “When we get to the bridge, we will cross it”, he had responded. That was the declaration at the philosophical level. And the campaign train for the Senate Presidency hit the roads a day after, a carefully coordinated campaign that has been growing from strength to strength. Like the master strategist that he is, he had given his foot soldiers the mandate to monitor the airwaves to confirm winners of senatorial elections across the country, irrespective of party affiliations. And Mark wasted no time in putting congratulatory calls across to them one after the other. The strategy would seem to have paid off. The campaign started in earnest with a number of returning senators offering to become campaign coordinators. Surprisingly, it was one of the returnee senators, Ahmed Lawan of the opposition All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and currently Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts who got the coveted job. Lawan, who represents Yobe North, is one of Mark’s right hand men in the Senate. In the train with Lawan are returning senators like Smart Adeyemi, Zaynab Kure, Gyang Dartong, Aweisu Kuta, Suleiman Adokwe and many others. Expectedly, these senators and others elected from the six states that make up the North Central geopolitical zone were the first set to declare support for Mark’s aspiration. Senators from the South East also made the same declaration a day after. They were joined by senators from the South-South zone who declared their support last Sunday. The North Central has a total of 16 senators; South-South 18; and South East 15. If the senators are true to their words, then Mark can count on 48 bloc votes from the three zones. This excludes Senator George Akume, who hails from the same Benue State as Mark. Each of the two political foes will give anything to see the other fall. The story may be slightly different with senators from the North East, North West and the South
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Senate presidency hots up •Who wears the crown?
Gbade OGUNWALE, Abuja West who may decide to vote according to the preferences of individual members. Members from the three zones have not come out to declare support for Mark’s aspiration. Returning senators, numbering no fewer than 30 and scattered across the six geopolitical zones will also increase the tally for Mark in solidarity. As it were, Mark has also secured three of the 18 senators from the South West. They are the three Labour Party senator-elects from Ondo State. They had given their word through the state Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, when the President of the Senate visited the state on Tuesday. It is taken for granted that the only PDP senator-elect from Oyo State will also join the bandwagon. Philip Aduda, who is newly elected on the platform of the PDP to represent the Federal Capital Territory, has also identified with the David Mark crowd. This has left 14 votes from members elected on the platform of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) still hanging. It is not yet certain in what direction the 14
opposition members are going to vote. The North East, which parades 18 senators, and the North West with 21 members, may give most of their votes to Danjuma Goje, but that may not pose a major threat to Mark’s ambition even if they are well coordinated. Goje has been tactically blocked on three fronts. One, the PDP national executive has retained the zoning of the position to the North Central, whereas Goje is from the North East. Two, the party has zoned the position of the national chairman of the PDP to the North East, making it practically impossible for him to aspire to the office of Senate President. Three, the Senate has deliberately skewed the rule against first-time members thereby shutting Goje out of the race. On the other hand, Saraki hails from the North Central to which the position is zoned, but he is disadvantaged by the amendment to the Senate rule to the effect that only ranking senators can aspire to presidency of the Senate. The Senate had on Wednesday made good its threat to give legislative backing to the enforcement of the rule. Ruling on the controversial
The story may be slightly different with senators from the North East, North West and the South West who may decide to vote according to the preferences of individual members. Members from the three zones have not come out to declare support for Mark’s aspiration
•Saraki amendment, Mark had said that the rule was not a new one and that it has been in existence all the while. However, the composition of principal officers in the current Senate tends to give a lie to the entire exercise. Out of the 10 principal officers, seven are ranking members, while the remaining three got the positions as first-time members. The ranking members on the list are: David Mark (President of the Senate); Ike Ekweremadu (Deputy President of the Senate); Teslim Folarin (Majority Leader); Kanti Bello (Chief Whip); Victor Ndoma Egba, SAN (Deputy Majority Leader); Maina Ma’aji Lawan (Minority Leader); and Olorunnimbe Mamora (Deputy Minority Leader). First-time senators, who are principal officers are: Mohammed Mana (Deputy Chief Whip); Ahmad Sani (Minority Whip); and Kabiru Gaya (Deputy Minority Whip). None of the three had any previous legislative experience at any level before they got elected to the Senate. Incidentally, virtually all the returning senators from the North Central elected on the platform of the ruling PDP have declared support for Mark’s aspiration. But one member who has not jumped in the fray is Senator Simeon Sule Ajibola representing Kwara South in the North Central zone. Coming to the Senate for the third time, Ajibola is qualified to vie for the position. He is of the Saraki political clan and had since jumped from the camp of Saraki, the father to the camp of Saraki, the son. However, except for conspiratorial purposes, Ajibola can hardly attract a single vote beside his own. There is hardly anything to attach to his
name for all the years he has been in the upper legislative chamber. That leaves him out of the calculation. Two ranking senators, Abubakar Sodangi (Nasarawa West) and Nuhu Aliyu (Niger North) in the North Central Nigeria would have presented a counterforce to Mark. The two have been in the Senate for the past 12 years. Unfortunately, they did not make it back in the last election. While Sodangi lost the PDP nomination, Aliyu was beaten by an opponent from the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). Other ranking senators from the North Central who are qualified to vie for the Senate Presidency have all opted to support Mark. They include Gyang Dartong (Plateau), Zaynab Kure (Niger), Smart Adeyemi (Kogi) Aweisu Kuta (Niger) and Suleiman Adokwe (Nasarawa). Apparently, the decision as to who becomes what in the principal officers’ cadre is always decided by the various geopolitical and party caucuses. But it is needless to say that whoever emerges the Senate president at the end of the day will play the leading role in deciding who emerges the winning candidates for committee heads. Of the 54 standing committees, 20 are considered strategic. The most sought after of the committees are: Appropriation, Power, Petroleum, Gas, Works, Police Affairs, Federal Capital Territory, Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Water Resources, Education, Aviation, Health, Niger Delta, Senate Services, Finance, Banking and other Financial Institutions, Communications, Information and the Public Accounts committee, the headship of which is an exclusive preserve of the opposition party.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Speakership: As zoning palaver plays out W
HO will emerge the next Speaker of the House of Representatives? This question will be answered on Tuesday June 7 when the seventh National Assembly will be inaugurated. Election of principal officers of the lower chamber will follow immediately after the inauguration. The issue of who will become the next President of the Senate appears less thorny, especially with the flood of endorsements in favour of the incumbent President of the Senate, David Mark and the self-serving rule amendment the Senate gleefully adopted to clip the wings of first-time senators who might nurse the idea of taking a shot at the Senate Presidency. However, Mark may have to contend with the outgoing Governor of Gombe State, Danjuma Goje. Reports say the 13 North-East senators have decided to back him for the plum job. Goje, who is completing his second term, got elected senator in the just-concluded elections. While senators may have settled for continuity under Mark, it is not so in the House. For all intents and purposes, the leadership tussle in the House is too close to call. The failure of Speaker Dimeji Bankole to secure his return ticket to the Green Chamber has not helped matters. His success at the poll would have narrowed the race and perhaps fence off some gladiators. Bankole’s absence from the 7th House has therefore thrown the contest for the next Speaker wide open with the ensuing horse trading, intrigues, scheming and lobbying by individuals and geo-political zones to produce the next Speaker. Time and again, contenders for the exalted position are employing all known tricks in the book towards ensuring that they carry the day. Some of them, no doubt, are on a mission impossible while others are clearly on a wild goose chase. Ordinarily the zoning arrangements of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party that has majority in the House, should have sounded the death knell for the aspiration of some zones but there are clandestine moves by power brokers to jettison the zoning formula in the election of the Speaker of the House. The new zoning arrangements approved by the expanded caucus of the party two weeks ago indicate that the President of the Senate will emerge from the North Central. South West retained the slot of Speaker of the House of Representatives; National Chairman of PDP went to North East while the South East is scheduled to produce Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). The party’s zoning formula not withstanding, three zones are now in a hot chase for the plum position. Some House members from the South West, South East and North West have gone far deep into the campaign to make their candidates emerge as the next Speaker of the House. Nocturnal meetings in five star hotels in Abuja and other major cities have become the order of the day. Old friendships are being renewed while emergency alliances aimed at presenting a formidable force at the day of election are springing up among members. Some aspirants are known to have traversed the nooks and crannies of the country to sell their candidature to the high and mighty in different geo-political zones. Nobody wants to be taken unawares. The South West zone where the speakership slot has been zoned to by the PDP parades two formidable aspirants, Muraina Sauban Ajibola and Mulikat Akande-Adeola. Banking on the zoning arrangement, Akande-Adeola and Ajibola have intensified their campaign, leaving nothing to chance. One of them is known to have employed the services of a high profile lobbyist to win over the hearts of members of the House. Baring any changes in the zoning formula, the suitability of one of them to emerge as primus inter pares in the next House will be decided on the floor of the House on the day of election. After the initial impressive runs towards clinching the position, South East aspirants including Chairman of House Committee on Climate Change, Eziuche Chinwe Ubani; Chief Whip Chukwuemeka Nkem Ihedioha; Chairman House Committee on Aviation, Bethel Nnaemeka Amadi and Chairman House Committee on Banking and Currency, Ogbuefi Ora Ozomgbachi may have been cajoled into abandoning their aspiration. The South East aspirants based their claim to the plum position only on the impressive performance of the PDP in the zone in the April polls. But in the eye of the party, performance alone is not enough to determine how sharing of election booties should be done. Other calculations particularly the interest of power brokers turned out to deny the zone what it thought was already in its kitty. In place of the position the Speaker of the House, PDP decided to zone the position of SGF to the zone. A former National Secretary of the party, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, is said to have been ‘anointed’ by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to occupy the SGF position. Another aspirant being touted is the former PDP National Chairman, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo. Some people in the South East are already crying blue murder cursing the day the zone decided to throw its weight behind President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency without first negotiating what is there for the zone.
Onyedi OJIABOR, Assistant Editor The South East may have been muzzled in the power game but not quite so for the North West zone. In the buildup to the inauguration of the next House and election of new principal officers, some aspirants from the North West zone may have decided to play the spoiler in the PDP zoning contraption. The North West aspirants, including Deputy Whip of the House, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto State ) and Chairman Committee on Education, Farouk Mohammed Lawan ( Kano State), are said to have concluded arrangements to launch their bid for the plum job, zoning or no zoning. Tambuwal and Lawan may have been drafted into the
race by external forces who insist that the PDP zoning arrangement died the day President Jonathan launched his presidential campaign despite stiff opposition from the North. Call them ‘rebels’ who seek the death of zoning in Nigeria ’s ruling party and you will not be wrong. Observers believe that if Tambuwal particularly makes good his subtle threat to disregard the PDP zoning arrangement in the election of the Speaker of the House, other zones should forget their aspirations. Many of those rooting for him form a large club of lawmakers that are kicking against zoning. Indeed, they have numbers on their side. They prefer that the battle for the office of the speaker should foreclose zoning. For them, zoning as a mechanism for filling political offices could be counter-productive as it may end up throwing up the wrong candidates. Some members are also talking about the need to assert the independence of the legislature by detaching the politics of PDP administration from the governance of the House. Those in this group say with some level of certainty that any leadership imposed from outside the House will not last. They cite the forced exit of former Speaker Patricia Olubunmi Etteh as a practical example of how not to impose a speaker on the House. Those in this school of thought believe that if the April National Assembly election was free and fair, as they are widely seen to be, it should throw up a House leadership that is not only responsive but also accountable. A leadership that will freely emerge as the choice of members of the House unencumbered by political party dictates. A sharp departure from the past, you would say. Members of the House who oppose zoning the slot to South West argue that the PDP lost woefully in the zone in the April elections. If the zone is made to produce the next Speaker, where will such a Speaker draw his support from? A Speaker of the House from the South West, they say, will become a ‘general with a borrowed army.’ Others countered that a Speaker of South West extraction elected on the basis of the party zoning arrangement would not only be a team builder but would also work to protect the interest and manifesto of the party in parliament. What is more, the fact remains that if the country is to build democracy, it should be by consensus. The ranking members of the House may therefore decide to look themselves eye ball to eye ball to pick a speaker that will be a team builder, charismatic, ingenious and resourceful with a high network of relationship. Some observers insist that ranking members of the House in consultation with new members should put on their thinking cap and reflect on the journey so far and the need to give the House the right leadership. There is also the talk about having a clean break from the past in the choice of the next speaker of the House. Some members have vowed that nobody who had anything to do with the out-going leadership of the House will be allowed to be part of the new leadership on June 7. According to those in this school of thought, the raw deal members experienced under Bankole’s leadership should not be allowed to repeat itself. The only way to prevent such reoccurrence, they posited, is to block all those who were part of the outgoing leadership from “contaminating” the new leadership that will emerge in the House. Those pushing this theory are mostly in the camp of those seeking to play a major role in the elections of the next Speaker and other principal officers of the parliament. This has led to the emergence of two camps in the House. Each camp is strategising with the aim of positioning its members to the coveted positions of Speaker, Deputy Speaker, House Leader, and Minority Leader. The first camp which tagged itself “the Continuity Group” is made up of notable serving principal officers of the House who won re-election into the House. The “Continuity Group” is plotting to employ the advantage of their current positions to remain in the leadership cadre in the next parliament. The group also known as “Third Timers” is working to mobilise its other third timers and new members towards choosing a new leadership from among its fold. The group meets regularly since the end of the elections when it became clear that Bankole, Deputy Speaker, Usman Nafada as well as House Leader, Tunde Akogun will not return to the House. The Continuity Group is being fiercely opposed by another group of lawmakers which tagged itself “the Change Group.” The “Change Group” populated mainly by second time House members are rooting for a “clean break from the past.” Though the “Change Group” is largely composed of second timers, they also have in their fold, some third-term parliamentarians who are not comfortable with the leadership of the House under Bankole especially the public image of the House. Most members of the group at their secret meetings were said to have insisted on a clean break from the past leadership of the House. A member of the group reportedly threatened that “we know those who will not be Speaker of the House of Representatives.” For members of the Change Group, most members of the Continuity Group are part of “the rot in the House of Representatives.”
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
•National Assembly Complex
N10bn loan saga Tackling an albatross T
HE House of Representatives under the leadership of Hon.Dimeji Bankole has had its own fair share of controversies. In spite of the N2.3billion alleged scandal that came on the heels of the purchase of Peugeot 407 for the members of the House in 2008 and the allegation of the misappropriation of N9 billion Capital Votes meant for the 2008/2009 session of the Green Chamber by some of its members under the aegis of “the Progressives”, the House has always been able to shake off the toga of controversy and march on with a semblance of seriousness as it continued in its legislative duties. It, however, appears that at last, the House of Representatives has boxed itself into a corner with the revelation that it owes banks a whooping N10billion. This, no doubt, appears to be a scandal that will outlive this current House, which will wind down June 4, less than two weeks from now. Salaries and allowances of the members of the House for April in the region of over N8 billion remain unpaid as at the middle of May and understandably, this has elicited angry reactions from the members. On Wednesday, May 11, members vented their anger on the floor of the House as the fear that they leave the National Assembly broke without their entitlement paid took hold on them. They thereafter summoned Bankole, who until then had been mostly absent from the House, over alleged financial profligacy. Many expected to see a cowed Speaker on the floor of the House the next day pleading for mercy before a group of irate lawmakers. But surprisingly, Bankole came out unscathed after a closed door session with the lawmakers and the information passed to the public was that the Speaker had given satisfactory explanations to his colleagues on how the loans were procured and disbursed. Bankole during the Executive session was said to have told his colleagues that the loans were taken with the knowledge of other principal officers of the House and a sizeable number of
•Melaye Victor OLUWASEGUN, Abuja members. According to him, the loans were taken at different times and the amounts were given as N1.5 billion, N2.5 billion and N6.5 billion to service the interest of the House. Many, however, saw the touted acceptance of Bankole’s explanation on the loan issue as an attempt to pull wool over the eyes of Nigerians. After Bankole escaped sanction and appealed to his colleagues for understanding, the House leadership began a desperate search for a loan to pay the members. But the search was compounded by the reports from bank sources that
•Bankole the Central Bank Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi had given instructions that no bank should give the House loans to offset its loans or pay its members. A bank source said the CBN governor said the House should be allowed to solve its financial problems on its own. The implication of this directive is ominous for the leadership of the House as no bank will be willing to stick out its neck against the directives of the apex bank. Besides, all odds are against the outgoing House as the prospects of repayment look dim in the light of the fact that the House stands dissolved in a few days time. So, the question now is: How are the members going to receive their allowances and salaries with just a few days to the end of the current
legislature? The situation becomes more worrisome as the unfortunate situation is coming towards the twilight of the 6th legislature and the many expectations it holds for the 360 members of the green chamber and their army of aides most of whom would also be affected by the non-payment of the remunerations of their principals. Though explanations by Bankole on Thursday May 12 in an Executive session on the state of the finances of the House seemed to have pacified lawmakers and calmed frayed nerves, there was still underground murmur in the House. Many see the seeming peace in the House as the ominous calm before a storm. A lot of end-time theories are making the rounds based on the possibility that the House may not be able to pay its members before the disengagement of the current legislature. What then does this portend for Speaker, Dimeji Bankole, who has had a running battle with some members of the House as well as others outside the Legislature? It is obvious that the outgoing Speaker may be answering questions long after his tenure is over as many interests are asking for his probe by the anti-graft agencies. One of those calling for an investigation into the N10 billion loans is the Governor of Edo state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. According to him, the dubious overdraft amounting to N10billion cannot be swept under the carpet by the EFCC and the ICPC. A group, Youth Anti-Corruption League, was the latest of those seeking the probe of the House leadership by EFCC. The group wants Bankole arrested and prosecuted over the issue by the EFCC. Bankole who is still grappling with the N1.2 billion unpaid remunerations of the 11 suspended members of the House, who were re-instated by the courts, may need more than political astuteness to survive in the next few days before the House finally wounds down for the 7th legislature to commence.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
The many ‘firsts’ of Yakowa
T the height of the agitation for a Southern Kaduna governor for Kaduna State, nobody thought the likes of Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa will be the first to benefit from such an agitation. First, he is from the minority tribe in Southern Kaduna and when the politics of the area is being discussed, nobody would give a minority tribe the chance to climb higher than the majority tribes. Even in Jema’a local government area where he hails from, nobody would have given him the chance to rise to such a position. When he became Deputy Governor in 2005 following the death of Stephen Rijo Shekari, an engineer, nobody still gave him the chance to become the substantive governor of the state and so, when he decided to contest for the governorship in the 2007 election, he failed to make it and Mohammed Namadi Sambo became the choice of the party. The Southern Kaduna people felt betrayed by the Makarfi administration alleging that he turned his back on their agreement to hand over to a Southern Kaduna governor. So, the search for a deputy to Sambo was a bit difficult as none of those approached for the position agreed to take it up. Jimmy Dung who was then Commissioner for Local Government under the Makarfi government who was penciled down by Sambo, was rejected in unclear
•Yakowa Tony AKOWE, Kaduna circumstances. However, Yakowa, who was
rounding off his tenure as deputy governor to Makarfi, was prevailed upon to accept the position. Unknown to him, providence had something great
waiting for him. Against all odds, he became the first Southern Kaduna civilian governor of Kaduna State following the elevation of his boss to the position of Vice President. That was sequel to the death of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and the subsequent assumption of office of Goodluck Jonathan as President. Unknown to many, that elevation of Patrick Yakowa is one of the many things that has happened to Yakowa since he left Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria where he studied Social Sciences, graduating in 1972. Following the inauguration of the National Sports Festival, Yakowa became the first person to lead the contingents from the then North Central state now Kaduna to the festival in Lagos. Available information has it that Yakowa is the first Southern Kaduna indigene to rise to the position of a Federal Permanent Secretary and also the first to serve two governors as deputy governor in the state and, perhaps, throughout the country. He has also become the first Southern Kaduna man to contest and win an election as governor in a state where they have played a second fiddle for several years, living in the shadow of their Hausa brothers. He is also the first Christian indigene of the state to become governor of the state. Yakowa is also the first Deputy Governor in Kaduna to become governor through divine intervention and
through elective contest. He is also the first Secretary to the State Government in the state to become Deputy Governor. From a humble beginning as an administrative officer in the North Central state government, Yakowa can boast of being the only governor in the state that has tasted all aspects of governance having served from the local government to the federal level in the course of his administrative and political career. Apart from being an administrative officer, he has worked in various capacities in both the state and federal levels. He was a District Officer (DO), Secretary in the Military Governor’s Office, and Local Government Sole Administrator, rising to the top of the civil service in the state before transferring his service to the federal level in 1990. While in the state, he worked as Permanent Secretary, serving in the Ministries of Health, Works and Transport before joining the federal service. Married to Amina, who is from a humble Fulani background, Yakowa was also a commissioner in the state, while at the federal level, he worked as Director, Joint Services in the Ministry of Ministry of Defence. It was here the Abdulsalami Abubakar government saw the talent in him and appointed him Minister of Solid Minerals Development. He was, however, retired from the Federal Civil Service on June 14, 1999 by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
‘How to sustain peace in Jos’ Alhaji Gwani Muhammad Alkali Adam, Garkuwan Gwanaye of Plateau State and Chairman of Isolution International, who is also a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Jos Crisis, spoke with KOLADE ADEYEMI on the just-concluded governorship election in the state and other sundry issues. Excerpts
OW would you describe the situation in Plateau State today after years of violence? We thank God because peace is gradually coming back to Plateau, the people causing all these confusion and chaos in the state have been revealed by God. Now, they are no longer relevant in the state and they have managed to instigate chaos and crises using their political ambitions and offices in Jos North and the state, and now they are even finding it hard to survive, God has truly punished them. My advice to the governor and my immediate community, which is the Hausa/ Fulani community is, like I submitted in my Presidential Advisory Committee on Jos Crisis report, there should be respect and
accommodation for everyone of us, the tribes should all endeavour to live in peace and harmony with each other, we should understand that God gives power to whom he likes when he likes and that is the teaching of the Holy Quran. So let us all accept everything in good faith and let bygone be bygone while we embrace a new Plateau with open arms. The government should also establish an open door policy for all to come. Those that feel aggrieved should be given an opportunity to come for positive resolutions. It is the time for reconciliation now and it is an established fact that no crisis is ever resolved without the coming together of both parties. A new Plateau is in the making, we should help the government build it.
My advice to the governor and my immediate community, which is the Hausa/ Fulani community is... there should be respect and accommodation for everyone of us, the tribes should all endeavour to live in peace and harmony...
Are there moves to initiate process of reconciliation among the warring groups? Yes. On our own part, we have started moves for reconciliation. As I am talking to you now, committees have been set up to reach out to various interest groups in the state. We are working with both religious and traditional leaders in the state. We have asked them to reach out to their subjects and make them understand the need for peace and peaceful co-existence. We are proffering political solution to the whole issue. As you know, Plateau is known as a peaceful state and I want to tell you that we are out to restore the lost glory of the state. By the grace of the Almighty Allah, Plateau State has returned to normalcy. Insha Allah, we are doing our best to reconcile all the warring groups and I promise you that very soon, things will fall back to shape. And I also want to urge the government to, particularly, endeavour to establish a reconciliation committee that will comprise all and sundry, people of integrity and honour who will be able to look into anybody’s face and tell them the truth, people who are
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
From my mail box UNTIL the northen governments and their elites address the almajiri issue, the North will never be saved. The burning of Christians' homes and churches are done by these young boys whose parents and guardians are miles away. Why will a boy of seven or nine from Zamfara be sent to gamble in the name of almajiri? Where is the parental love and care? They scavenge for food in the rain, sun and even in the chilly cold of the harmattan. They grow up frustrated and become handy tools for destruction of homes and killing of innocent people. We Christians of northern extraction know the risk we face with these orpande children called almajiri. What the President needs to do, with the assistance of northern clerics, is to mop these boys up and send them back to their respective states of originand to their various local governments, closer to their runaway parents. The Hausa are particularly guilty of child abuse. No sane Fulani man would send his son away, because he needs him to tend to his cows and goats Please, this country has six geo-political zones. Don't refer to the North as a single entity, but as North-East, North-Centra or NorthWest. -Moses Billiri Yusuf Labeleng, Gombe.
Re: To a president who much is given Brother Vincent, your column on Page 6 of The Nation newspaper on April 23, 2011 is very interesting. But if Jonathan were to be a northerner, the violence would not have erupted. I want you to understand that the average Hausaman sees political power as his birthright. You should note that southerners were noted for political violence in the past -081327623.. All the security chiefs in Nigeria should have handed in their resignation letters by now. if they had any integrity at all, for their abysmal failure in protecting lives and property in the North. For redemption, they have to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. Their sponsors and their demonic and satanic mentors in the terrorist, tallibanicCPC party. -Michael Efosa Vincent, I smiled after reading your column. Why? Baba could not deliver the South-West or even his ward. Doesn't this disturb him? Remember he is the life chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP. As for Jonathan, his one-term promise is like the zoning palaver. They have no
set aside by Muslims to vote for Buhari. The messages were also delivered in mosques on the Friday before the election. -081203415.. Dear Akanmode, your assessment of Goodluck's outing was rational and objective. You came to terms with the realities, unlike morbid haters (just sheer hatred) of Mr President. They are 'Boko Harambis' who need help to become human beings. -070351795.. God bless you richly for being blunt. We are surely waiting for the courts, especially in Rivers, Benue and Akwa Ibom. -080553141..
•Jonathan constitutional backing. -Emenike Samuel, Niger State. Thee voting pattern in the North West/North East was targetted against the person of Mr. President and not against the PDP. Those of us who live in these parts witnessed the campaign being mounted immediately after the National Assembly poll, that the presidential election was a political jihad between Christians and Muslims, and therefore, party affiliations should be
Kudos to Prof. Jega and his men for a credible presidential election. Nigeria needs change in 2011 and beyond. Chika Nnorom, Abia State. Hi, Vincent. I read your piece in The Nation. I just hope that as opinion shapers, you guys would not let this "PDP phobia" cost us dear in nation building. Please let's be objective. You are already designing a tenure elongation for Jonathan? Let's see ACN's victory as building blocks rather than
sow seeds of fear. -Akande Oni, Kaduna. Thank you very much for your reflection on the unwanted result in the Akwa Ibom state election. -Emma. The outbreak of violence in the North shows clearly that some people and tribes believe they are born to rule while others are born to serve them, especially the South-East and SouthSouth. Buhari has lost his respect and Pastor Bakare should know that the innocent people burn and killed in the North will be required of him by God. -A.Y. Makinde. There are also talakawas in the South-East, aggravated by the civil war. Yet... -Kanayo Igwenagu. Vin, I am a very glad man. The illegal structure the evil genius, OBJ, erectedhave all been demolished. The masses won, OBJ lost. and we laugh. -Ralph, Aba. Vincent, you are quite correct. OBJ is a "rootless" politician. Instead of finding a root for himself in the South-West, he was busy trying to erase the memory of the avatar, Chief Obafemi
Awolow, from our minds. -Alhaji Adeboye Lawal. Vin, your piece today failed to address the burning down of propery and schools in the North; an act that is antidevelopment and antgrowth. Are they not working against themselves? You should rather educate them and their leaders. -070671013.. Will you South-West writers give us a break? This Yoruba indulgence in self righteousness is becoming nauseating. In what way have you people clamoured for justice in the Niger Delta? What sort of justice when together with the Hausa/ Fulani you hold the economic jugular of the Delta region in a vice-like grip? How come you love justice so much, yet all the top management staff of almost all the oil companies are Yoruba? In all their corporate headquarters in Lagos, Yoruba varsities provide almost all the young engineers. You make so much noise in the media, when in actual fact the Yoruba-managed oil companies have played a near criminal role in the dispoilation of the Delta. Bros, give us a break please. -Tonye Briggs, Port Harcourt.
Re: Still, Yuguda just don't get it!
OMETIMES, it is necessary to allow readers on this page to express their feelings, criticize comments made, make suggestions and ventilate their anger. It may be a tough choice especially when some people would rather chose to call you unprintable names just because you see things in a different light. But all that is part of the job. So today, I am giving up this page so that the variegated opinions of my readers can find space. Yomi, thank you for telling Yuguda the truth. ---08036053622 Yomi, I am a catholic and my parents are missionaries. Can you tell me why 99 per cent of criminals in Nigerian prison cells are Christians? What happens in Niger Delta? How many soldiers, police and security agents were killed? Who provides them with arms illegally? Are they not serving their fatherland? ---08135965655 The incident in the North was as a result of rigging and manufacturing of fake figures to win by all means. Please fight 419, prostitution, armed robbery, kidnapping, militancy and giving birth to fatherless children that grow up and become criminals. I'm sure some part of the country can't survive without crime. And so, they will not want an honest person to rule us. It was changing of figures that triggered the unfortunate act in Bauchi. Please be informed that the people
you call animals are the ones that built the university you went to. My humble advice to you is: stop hatred to northerners. ---08135965665 I read your column on 'still on the murder of the Bauchi 9' of last Saturday's The Nation Newspaper. God almighty will bless you my brother. You can imagine the pain and agony of those parents .No amount of compensation can replace the loss of nine corpers . The NYSC should stop posting people to the northern region. Let them serve in their place or, alternatively, let it be abolished. ---Chichi, 08069468161 In secondary school, I was taught how to write. Even that majority of the present day crop of journalists have no competence and deserve no respect, whatever happened to good grammar, uncommon tense formation, visionary writing that catches the greater popular agreement. Today, what they do is construct some common jargon and rush in with perceived scape goat. Enjoy your cheap money and bribes here and there. Of course, it keeps your brains retarded. But why not leave Buhari alone. Corpers were also killed in Akwa Ibom. I am from the South-South and a Christian. What you fraudulently left out in your writing is how the ruling PDP killing machine will ever stop.
---08183808047 Mr. Odunuga, are some lives more sacred than others? Why are you people making so much noise about Bauchi? Did you not know it was not only them that died in the unfortunate incident of ballot thumb printing that claimed their lives and others? ---Dan Bauchi, 08037254974 Yomi, you are biased.
What of the thousands of killings especially in Jos? Thank God you can never be Yuguda. To put the record straight a real Fulani man can never be sorry for not being wrong. Recall CBN governor with NASS? If you are waiting for Yuguda, it will not come because he is not wrong! ---07088887700 Thank God you are not Yuguda. If you were, I
would have stopped reading your article. …08033107785 I always commend you as a good columnist. Your topic, 'still Yuguda don't just get it' left me wondering what kind of man Yuguda is. I believe he has ears so let him hear. He can start by visiting the families of the deceased. Maybe by so doing, the wrath of God may be less on him.
---08121879173 Hi Yomi,I read with lots of anger and anguish in me on your topic 'still Yuguda just don't get it'. Yomi, I must first of all commend you for driving home all the points. As far as I am concerned, the Bauchi killings can be traced to the PDP's usual do-or -die kind of politics.Gov Yuguda should stop those crocodile tears and confess now! ---08059615499
Re: Still on the murder of the Bauchi 9 IT was a foolish mistake to have allowed and sustained the 1914 amalgamation. It is a matter of time, there must be separation. ---08023807656 Indeed, Yuguda's comment on the Bauchi 9 tells the story of a man whose consciousness has been riddled with bullets of irrationality and blind morality. Please let us never forget to demand that government must bring to book those ruthless homobutchers & hemothymic characters that sent these corpers to Golgotha. ---08076823815 Mr Yomi, you are also part of Nigeria's problems by generalizing. When have Christians started killing but in response as in Jos, Zango Kataf or Kafanchan? If journalists decide to write straight, it will help this country. You even tried; others will use words like 'certain part of the country' instead of Bauchi. Thanks. ---Ayodele (Ilorin),
08036500563 Still on the murder of Bauchi 9 is a masterpiece, Mr. Yomi, the NYSC should be scrapped and be replaced with graduate compulsory one year military training. Unity and peace in this marriage of strange bedfellows called Nigeria is a mirage. ---Paul Best Oriaku, 07030987875 Yuguda truly misfired. I never expected such words from him at that time. What a great mistake. The worst mistake came from Buhari who shed tears of deceit before election but refused to shed tears for the innocent souls that were killed. May those who incite the people to violence before, during and after election reap the fruit of their wicked labour here and in the world beyond. ---Nma (Bida), 08026122916 The pogrom of Bauchi and other northern states is a sad reality of the state of our nation. There is no united and
indivisible Nigeria. All those are self-serving political gibberish. Even Goodluck Jonathan knows that! ---08098989107 Mr. Yomi, you have said it all. Yuguda presides over a state where secondary schools students hack innocent people to death at the slightest provocation and nothing is done as long as the victims are either Christians or southerners. ---09026829241 Yomi, your write up is always sectional and some good Nigerians start to think that you may not be a Nigerian or you did not read nor witness the police action and wetie on of the western Nigeria or the June 12 episode .Please redirect your energy to a better way of building a virile nation than destroying it for the sake of your yet unborn Nigerians. If you have nothing to write about, please visit any village and you will get good news. ---08036748224
Yomi, the Federal Government should be blamed for the murder of the Bauchi 9 because it makes it compulsory that graduates must pass through the NYSC scheme before being employed. ---Ejyk,UNN, 08063963952 Yomi, you ended up dancing around the subject of senseless killings in the North. Northern Nigeria has, since 1914 wanted one Nigeria only on selfish terms. NYSC must be scrapped. The murdered corpers must be compensated heavily (up to N1bn each) with funds of the state in which they were killed. Beyond that, southerners in the north should relocate to the South. —Iheuwa, 0706840040 The spirit of the slain corps members will continue to haunt the perpetrators. I have been an advocate for the scrapping of NYSC because it has outlived its usefulness. Enough is enough. Mr. President, do something urgent. —Eakyn (Byazin), 08035995959
THE NATION SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
CAPITAL MARKET NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 20-05-11 2ND-TIER SECURITIES No of DealsQuotation(N) 1 0.50 1
Company Name CAPITAL OIL PLC Sector Totals
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 14,000 7,000.00 14,000 7,000.00
AGRICULTURE/AGRO-ALLIED Company Name ELLAH LAKES PLC FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC PRESCO PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 1 4.26 1 0.50 3 0.50 21 8.00 26
Company Name AIRLINE SERVICES AND LOGISTICS PLC NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COMP PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 4 2.10 46 8.77 50
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 6,206 25,134.30 1,000 500.00 42,703 21,351.50 386,785 3,091,449.84 436,694 3,138,435.64
AIR SERVICES Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 195,318 411,017.10 587,022 5,233,854.50 782,340 5,644,871.60
AUTOMOBILE & TYRE Company Name DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC R. T. BRISCOE (NIGERIA) PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 2 0.50 7 2.60 9
Company Name ACCESS BANK PLC AFRIBANK NIGERIA PLC DIAMOND BANK PLC ECOBANK NIGERIA PLC FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK PLC FIDELITY BANK PLC FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC FINBANK PLC GTBANK PLC STANBIC IBTC BANK PLC INTERCONTINENTAL BANK PLC. OCEANIC BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC BANK PHB PLC SKYE BANK PLC. SPRING BANK PLC STERLING BANK PLC UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC. UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC UNITYBANK PLC WEMA BANK PLC ZENITH BANK PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 102 8.13 35 1.77 61 6.56 25 4.00 34 7.30 137 2.70 403 13.52 60 0.66 345 16.01 54 9.95 71 1.41 76 1.90 92 1.50 128 8.40 2 1.09 23 2.20 219 6.70 64 3.08 60 1.07 13 1.18 189 15.25 2,193
Company Name CHAMPION BREWERIES PLC GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC JOS INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC PREMIER BREWERIES PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 1 4.18 43 230.00 19 6.50 6 2.49 109 86.57 5 0.93 183
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 2,547 1,273.50 26,341 66,352.50 28,888 67,626.00
BANKING Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 1,620,797 13,130,481.42 1,082,954 1,953,280.14 552,487 3,624,426.52 353,402 1,413,732.07 440,894 3,211,612.14 8,727,350 22,737,064.67 4,255,801 57,681,435.05 3,393,593 2,259,620.26 5,090,390 81,793,143.47 656,656 6,505,309.30 27,568,105 38,557,590.91 2,691,554 5,165,634.04 7,146,600 10,465,295.00 4,199,721 35,128,665.18 1,183 1,230.32 1,243,712 2,742,561.46 5,634,378 37,791,506.71 711,147 2,125,047.31 6,933,220 7,040,106.10 489,208 571,416.14 18,333,650 280,319,601.68 101,126,802 614,218,759.89
HOTEL & TOURISM Company Name CAPITAL HOTEL PLC IKEJA HOTEL PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 1 3.12 17 1.43 18 INDUSTRIAL/DOMESTIC PRODUCTS
Company Name B. O. C. GASES NIGERIA PLC FIRST ALUMINIUM NIGERIA PLC VITAFOAM NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 14 8.20 3 0.55 13 5.60 30 No of DealsQuotation(N) 4 0.50 22 0.66 26
Company Name AIICO INSURANCE PLC. CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED INSURANCE PLC GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC GUARANTY TRUST ASSURANCE PLC INTERL ENERGY INSURANCE COMPANY PLC LASACO ASSURANCE PLC. LAW UNION AND ROCK INSURANCE PLC. MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC N.E.M. INSURANCE CO. (NIG.) PLC. NIGER INSURANCE CO. PLC. PRESTIGE ASSURANCE PLC. REGENCY ALLIANCE INSURANCE COM PLC SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC STACO INSURANCE PLC STANDARD ALLIANCE INSURANCE PLC UNIVERSAL INSURANCE COMPANY PLC INTERCONTINENTAL WAPIC INSURANCE PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 42 0.85 13 1.04 7 3.22 10 0.50 15 1.61 2 0.50 49 0.50 3 0.57 1 0.50 20 0.54 2 0.74 2 2.03 1 0.50 11 0.50 1 0.50 4 0.50 3 0.50 9 0.51 195
Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 8 1.30 8
Company Name JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 77 1.36 77
Company Name AFROMEDIA PLC DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 1 0.51 5 0.50 6
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 336,735 8,257,130.08 392,300 4,556,903.03 392,827 51,078,693.24 4,986,697 218,386,105.51 6,108,559 282,278,831.86
CHEMICAL & PAINTS Company Name BERGER PAINTS NIGERIA PLC CHEMICAL AND ALLIED PRODUCTS PLC DN MEYER PLC NIGERIAN-GERMAN CHEMICALS PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 12 12.34 4 24.28 1 1.76 4 10.53 21
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 219,000 109,500.00 2,267,000 1,496,220.00 2,486,000 1,605,720.00
INSURANCE Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 6,605,990 5,720,061.46 1,532,000 1,595,760.00 385,750 1,200,782.50 1,040,000 520,000.00 1,313,753 2,146,062.45 60,389 30,194.50 10,951,959 5,475,979.50 608,000 346,480.00 3,000 1,500.00 16,391,239 8,526,571.68 16,806 11,932.26 3,148 6,138.60 45,000 22,500.00 2,513,339 1,256,669.50 8,000 4,000.00 7,200 3,600.00 184,000 92,000.00 175,909 89,740.50 41,845,482 27,049,972.95
LEASING Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 200,842 252,328.50 200,842 252,328.50
MARITIME Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 20,000 83,600.00 125,435 28,785,357.89 149,602 971,547.92 59,512,703 148,186,630.47 406,982 34,626,476.71 28,218,050 26,242,786.50 88,432,772 238,896,399.49
BUILDING MATERIALS No of DealsQuotation(N) 54 25.20 32 11.75 29 130.00 61 43.70 176
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 14,186 111,064.44 41,250 21,862.50 120,630 652,156.64 176,066 785,083.58
INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY Company Name CHAMS PLC STARCOMMS PLC Sector Totals
Company Name ASHAKA CEMENT PLC CEMENT CO. OF NORTHERN NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE CEMENT PLC LAFARGE WAPCO PLC Sector Totals
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,900 5,928.00 432,067 626,837.81 433,967 632,765.81
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 56,590 663,800.70 6,568 167,418.32 16 26.88 15,000 150,150.00 78,174 981,395.90
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 2,199,717 3,079,856.02 2,199,717 3,079,856.02
MEDIA Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 80,000 40,800.00 57,000 28,500.00 137,000 69,300.00
MORTGAGE COMPANIES Company Name ABBEY BUILDING SOCIETY PLC ASO SAVINGS AND LOAND PLC RESORT SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC UNION HOMES SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 1 1.44 3 0.50 1 0.50 28 0.63 33
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 200 274.00 200,000 100,000.00 200,000 100,000.00 2,929,035 1,842,692.05 3,329,235 2,042,966.05
OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS Company Name ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 14 0.50 14
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 5,249,296 2,624,648.00 5,249,296 2,624,648.00
COMMERCIAL/SERVICES Company Name COURTVILLE INVESTMENTS PLC RED STAR EXPRESS PLC TRANS NATIONWIDE EXPRESS PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 4 0.50 3 2.83 1 5.78 8
Company Name A. G. LEVENTIS (NIGERIA) PLC PZ CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC SCOA NIGERIA PLC TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIG PLC UAC OF NIGERIA PLC UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 1 2.00 49 36.00 1 7.48 60 1.09 43 40.05 30 27.16 184
Company Name COSTAIN (WA) PLC JULIUS BERGER NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 1 5.22 8 52.11 9
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 550,200 275,100.00 112,500 320,645.00 100 550.00 662,800 596,295.00
PACKAGING Company Name No of DealsQuotation(N) NIGERIAN BAG MANUFACTURING COMP PLC 42 2.70 Sector Totals 42
PETROLEUM(MARKETING) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 500 950.00 531,738 18,993,484.54 100 711.00 3,484,270 3,692,747.91 146,104 5,788,902.18 162,211 4,382,616.61 4,324,923 32,859,412.24
CONSTRUCTION Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 300 1,488.00 26,466 1,447,770.86 26,766 1,449,258.86
ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY Company Name CUTIX PLC NIGERIAN WIRE AND CABLE PLC. Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 2 2.00 1 0.54 3
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 13,000 26,100.00 50,000 27,000.00 63,000 53,100.00
FOOD/BEVERAGES & TOBACCO Company Name 7-UP BOTTLING CO. PLC CADBURY NIGERIA PLC DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC FLOUR MILLS NIGERIA PLC HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC NATIONAL SALT COMPANY NIGERIA PLC NIGERIAN BOTTLING COMPANY PLC NESTLE NIGERIA PLC NORTHERN NIGERIA FLOUR MILLS PLC TANTALIZERS PLC UTC NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 13 46.00 35 21.50 88 18.35 63 13.26 64 89.01 15 5.07 20 5.67 24 37.46 23 400.00 1 29.20 15 0.50 11 0.66 372
Company Name EVANS MEDICALPLC. FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC GLAXOSMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMAALS PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 7 1.26 16 1.96 13 27.18 17 4.27 2 1.96 55
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 288,174 755,931.04 288,174 755,931.04
Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 119,203 5,493,936.30 358,519 7,695,579.73 1,788,216 32,837,256.95 1,935,818 25,730,487.43 466,409 41,668,398.70 216,180 1,067,982.00 535,052 2,986,450.23 370,992 13,570,389.12 54,733 21,791,278.38 50,000 1,460,000.00 1,451,428 726,834.53 811,538 548,021.94 8,158,088 155,576,615.31
Company Name AFRICAN PETROLEUM PLC. BECO PETROLEUM PRODUCT PLC MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC CONOIL PLC ETERNA OIL & GAS PLC. MOBIL OIL NIGERIA PLC. OANDO PLC TOTAL NIGERIA PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 36 20.50 8 0.50 10 72.00 38 36.75 12 5.59 8 163.00 178 54.00 9 195.50 299
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 119,438 2,388,362.94 50,433,200 25,216,600.00 19,360 1,326,723.90 166,872 6,116,501.03 112,670 603,281.80 13,298 2,070,359.22 2,200,563 117,027,324.87 12,743 2,491,398.25 53,078,144 157,240,552.01
PRINTING & PUBLISHING Company Name LONGMAN NIGERIA PLC UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 3 6.84 13 4.99 16
Company Name UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 18 17.11 18
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 7,500 48,750.00 148,701 738,160.73 156,201 786,910.73
REAL ESTATE Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 134,208 2,359,140.23 134,208 2,359,140.23
ROAD TRANSPORTATION Company Name ASSOCIATED BUS COMPANY PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 2 0.69 2
Company Name UNITED NIGERIA TEXTILES PLC Sector Totals
No of DealsQuotation(N) 3 0.65 3
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 85,000 58,250.00 85,000 58,250.00
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 17,342 11,265.10 17,342 11,265.10
THE FOREIGN LISTINGS Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 77,417 96,378.79 1,094,100 2,189,943.19 123,419 3,220,104.00 164,590 703,129.30 16,377 30,624.99 1,475,903 6,240,180.27
Company Name No of DealsQuotation(N) ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED 60 15.49 Sector Totals 60
Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 35,374,572 531,243,692.20 35,374,572 531,243,692.20
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
The real reason Arnold Schwarzenegger finally confessed to wife, MariaShriver
•Maria and her child
agency reports, real reason Arnold Schwarzenegger confessed to Maria Shriver about the love child that Maria Shriver found out about her husband’s love child on her own, and confronted Schwarzenegger about the matter. Shriver’s discovery left Schwarzenegger no choice but to confess. Schwarzenegger’s official statement gave the impression that he voluntarily told Maria Shriver about fathering the child, once his term as governor of California was up. But there were huge gaps in the story, and a number of things just didn’t add up.
How he confessed to Maria Shriver
T is no longer news that top former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger came clean early in the week to announce his separation from
his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver, as a result of adultery. More facts are beginning to emerge about the affairs and why he had to confess to his wife. According
Somehow, after all these years, the rumor finally got back to his wife, Maria Shriver that Schwarzenegger had been involved in a long-term affair with Patty, one of their housekeepers, and that he’d fathered a child with her who was now 13 years old. Maria confronted the housekeeper, Mildred Patricia “Patty” Baena, with the rumors she’d heard about the child, and Patty broke down and confessed. Patty Baena had been carrying her secret for years while continuing to work in the Schwarzenegger home, where she had been employed for 20 years Maria then went to Schwarzenegger with what she knew and he confessed. This also explains why, after being married to Schwarzenegger for 25 years, Maria Shriver suddenly move out of the marital home. The original story told to the public was that Arnold Schwarzenegger suddenly decided to confess to Maria Shriver about the child when his term as governor was up. But there were too many loose ends and conflicting reports for that to be true. The original report states that Schwarzenegger’s mistress, Patty Baena, voluntarily retired January of this year, on good terms, after having loyally worked for the family for 20 years.
There are also reports that Patty was fired, and was threatening to go public with her story. Other reports say that Schwarzenegger let Patty go so he could save his marriage.
Both wife and mistress devastated by Schwarzenegger’s affair According to reports, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mistress was devastated at being dismissed after work for family for so many years. Though one wonders how Patty thought she could remain in the Schwarzenegger employ, once the secret of her son by Arnold was out. Friends of Patty said that at first she was very upset, and considered going public with her story, but decided against it . They said although she was angry, she didn’t want to hurt Schwarzenegger, or her child. But Patty was not the only one who was devastated. Maria Shriver is devastated, too. As reports continue to surface about Schwarzenegger and his mistress, Patty Baena, Maria must feel doubly betrayed. Patty was pregnant with Arnold’s love child at the same time Maria was pregnant with the youngest Schwarzenegger child. She continues to work in the household during that time and the two women gave birth to their sons less than a week apart. Schwarzenegger bought Patty Baena a $268,000 home in Bakersfield CA. Patty was obsessed with Maria Shriver and wanted to be just like her. She even borrowed Maria’s clothing and jewelry and wore them around town. Schwarzenegger has spent an estimated $3 million dollars on Patty and her son, over the past 10 years or so. Schwarzenegger, his wife Maria Shriver, his mistress Patty Baena, and all five of the Schwarzenegger children by both mothers, are in for some rough times ahead. •Source: The Mail
THE NATION, SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Saleh calls for early election as Yemenis protest
•The Queen and Prince Philip at the Rock of Cashel and Cork's English Market, Republic of Ireland
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth meets students during her visit
Photographer Anton Hammerl ‘killed by Libyan troops’
UK-based photographer was shot dead by Libyan forces
loyal to Colonel Gaddafi six weeks ago, his family say. South African-born Anton Hammerl was killed in an “extremely remote location” in the Libyan desert on 5 April, the family said in a statement. Three foreign journalists, released earlier this week, said they were with him at the time he was killed. The family described as “intolerably cruel” the weeks of assurances from Libyan officials that he was alive. “On 5 April, Anton was shot by Gaddafi’s forces in an extremely remote location in the Libyan desert,” the statement from the family said. “According to eyewitnesses, his injuries were such that he could not have survived without medical attention. “Words are simply not enough to describe the unbelievable trauma the Hammerl family is going through.” They had been detained on suspicion of illegally entering the country. Ms Morgana Gillis said this week the four had been given a one-year suspended sentence. Mr Foley, a reporter for GlobalPost, told the onlinebased international news agency, that he, Mr Hammerl, Ms Gillis and Mr Brabo had gone to report on fighting from the front line near the eastern oil town of Brega on 5 April. They found themselves facing two armoured Libyan military trucks carrying pro-Gaddafi troops who were firing AK-47s over their heads. “It all happened in a split second,” he was quoted by GlobalPost as saying. “We thought we were in the crossfire. But eventually, we realised they were shooting at us. You could see and hear the bullets hitting the ground near us.” Mr Foley said all four journalists dived to the ground, but Mr Hammerl had been hit and fatally wounded. The Libyan government had said only on Tuesday
that Mr Hammerl - a South African with Austrian parents who lived with his
wife in Surbiton, southwest London - would be freed along with the others.
“From the moment Anton disappeared in Libya we have lived in hope as the Libyan offi-
•Two American journalists, James Foley and Clare Morgana Gillis, Spanish photographer Manu Brabo and a Briton named as Nigel Chandler were released on Wednesday. (L-R) Chandler, Brabo, Foley and Gillis arrive at Tripoli’s Rixos Hotel
cials assured us that they had Anton,” Mr Hammerl’s family said. “It is intolerably cruel that Gaddafi loyalists have known Anton’s fate all along and chose to cover it up.” The South African government also says it was repeatedly misled about his fate. “We kept getting reassured at the highest level that he was alive until his colleagues were released and shared the information,” International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told reporters on Friday. “We are disappointed that [we] were not informed by Libyan authorities, but from the journalists who were with him.”
Sudan: Further violence in Abyei border region There has been further violence in Sudan’s disputed Abyei border region, with both southern and northern armies accusing each other of attacks. The UN confirmed reports of artillery fire in Todac and Tadjalei, just north of the town of Abyei, on Friday. Earlier, it said a bridge linking Abyei to the south of the country had been nearly hit in an aerial bombardment. It comes a day after a UN peacekeeping convoy came under attack while escorting northern troops out of Abyei. The UN described the incident as “a criminal attack”, while the US called on South Sudan to “account” for the assault. “The United States deplores a reported attack yesterday of southern forces on a UN convoy,” a state department official said on Friday. Observers warn the escalating situation in the oilproducing Abyei region risks igniting a new northsouth civil war. South Sudan is due to become independent in July, but disagreement remains over Abyei, which is claimed by both. On Friday, Abyei’s chief administrator, Deng Arop Kuol, told the BBC that ar-
tillery fire and possible aerial bombardments could be heard north of the town of Abyei. The timing of these two days of trouble is curious. A deal had been signed to improve security, and the UN Security Council plans to visit on Monday. There are several possible scenarios. The worst, but perhaps least likely, is that this is the start of a new north-south civil war. Another is that localised fighting will carve out a new reality on the ground in Abyei - but not drag in the north and the south. It could also simply be another bit of macabre jostling for position, with the Security Council on its way and north-south talks continuing in Ethiopia. But Thursday’s direct clash between northern and southern troops does push the region closer to its nightmare scenario. Abyei will be under intense scrutiny in the next few days. The UN said that a bridge linking Abyei to the south had come under attack either from missiles or bombs launched from an aircraft, without giving further details. It later confirmed “hearing artillery exchanges north of Abyei” in Todac and Tadjalei. The southern army said
northern forces had attacked soldiers and police in at least four villages. “They used shells, longrange artillery, even tanks,” a spokesman told the Reuters news agency. On Thursday, the northern army claimed it had lost 22 soldiers after an alleged ambush on a convoy by southern troops. The UN said the northern troops were being escorted out of Abyei by UN peacekeepers. It not identify the attackers but said the incident took place in an area controlled by southern police forces. Two northern soldiers and one peacekeeper were injured, the UN said. South Sudanese forces have denied responsibility for the incident. A US state department spokesman said the attack was “in direct violation” of the agreement signed by the north and south in January to “remove all unauthorised forces” from Abyei. “We urge the government of southern Sudan to account for this attack, take steps to demonstrate its commitment to implement the Kadugli agreement, and ensure that its forces demonstrate restraint,” he said. “Political leaders on both
sides must take responsibility now to ensure that this situation does does not escalate into a wider crisis.” The violence comes ahead of a planned UN Security Council visit to the area on Monday. The BBC’s James Copnall in Khartoum says the incidents indicate the situation in Abyei has degenerated seriously. Most fighting in the area has been between the Dinka Ngok and the Misseriya, northern nomads who spend part of every year there seeking pastures for their cattle. Both groups have accused the other side of receiving help from uniformed officials. In January, the residents of South Sudan voted in a referendum to secede from the north. A draft version of South Sudan’s interim constitution explicitly claims Abyei is in the south. President Omar al-Bashir has threatened not to recognise the new state if it tries to claim Abyei. The Abyei region was meant to have its own referendum on whether to join the north or the south in January, but agreement could not be reached on whether the Misseriya could vote.
Yemeni President Ali Saleh, who has agreed to sign a Gulf-brokered power transition, called on Friday, for early elections to prevent bloodshed. Saleh has twice backed out of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) transition deal, most recently on Wednesday, despite diplomatic wrangling by U.S., Gulf and European officials. Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in cities across Yemen on Friday, demanding Saleh end his three-decade rule now. Washington and Riyadh, both targets of foiled attacks by al Qaeda’s Yemen-based wing, are keen to end a stalemate that has pushed Yemen further to the brink of chaos and could give the militant network more room to operate. A civilian was shot dead on Friday as gunmen clashed with the army at security checkpoints around the flashpoint Abyan province, believed to hold al Qaeda militants. “We call for an early presidential election to prevent bloodshed, to protect our family dignity and for a smooth democratic path,” Saleh told a crowd of tens of thousands of supporters in Sanaa, waving flags and signs that read: “You won’t leave.”
Kenyan Central Bank stays out of FX market Kenya’s central bank stayed out of the foreign exchange market on Friday after buying euros for four days in a row this week. The shilling climbed to a session high of 85.74 against the dollar after the central bank’s announcement. Traders said the euro purchases earlier in the week had helped drive the shilling to an all-time low of 87.15 against the dollar on both Wednesday and Thursday.
Malawi says to cut spending after UK aid freeze Malawi will introduce austerity measures this year to deal with a hole in its finances left by a British Government aid freeze, Finance Minister Ken Kandodo said on Friday. “Clearly the 2011/12 financial year resource envelope will fall short of our expectations in view of the British decision,” Kandodo told Reuters. “But Malawi is ready to make tough decisions and choices on spending cuts in order to sustain growth and be able to deliver public services.”
THE NATION SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Hodgson shocker: Osaze never wanted to play Argentina W
EST Bromwich Albion manager, Roy Hodgson has revealed that Super Eagles attacker, Osaze Odemwingie never wanted to play the June 1 international friendly against Argentina from which he has now been sidelined by Eagles manager, Samson Siasia. The Nigerian was missing from the Eagles list for the Argentina friendly and the Nations Cup qualifier against Ethiopia released on Thursday by Siasia owing to acts of indiscipline. But back home opposing views have followed his exclusion from the two games due to his superb form for West Brom this season. However, Hodgson who was explaining his decision to leave the attacker out of tomorrow’s last day English Premier League game away to Newcastle United and obviously unaware that Nigeria had left the player out of the June international fixtures said Odemwingie had even been hoping he would not be part of the game against the Argentines though he wanted to feature in the qualifier in Addis Ababa. "Peter Odemwingie won't play in this game (against
•Baggies manager gives Nigerian early break •Odemwingie permitted to visit mother in Moscow Newcastle) for a variety of reasons," Hodgson was quoted on soccerway.com. Continuing, he said: "I don't know which is the most important to be perfectly honest. He's got an ankle problem we've been nursing him through. "Equally important is that he's played a year-and-a-half's football without having the chance to get a break and in particular get the chance to go back and see his mother in Moscow. "Thirdly, he has got matches coming up for Nigeria quite a long way into June. I do know he was hoping to avoid the friendly matches and just play the qualifiers. "But I don't know if he's been allowed to do that. With that combination of reasons it was, in my opinion, important to give him the chance to get back and see his mother this week and not take any risk with his ankle. "Otherwise we have a fully fit squad to choose from, which is quite incredible at this stage of the season, and we'll be looking to put out the strongest team we can."
On Tamas, Hodgson said: “He has got a slight knock and links up with Romania, who after their Euro 2012 qualifiers, have a South American tour, so his holiday - had he stayed until the end of this week - would have been two weeks. "This is a chance to allow him
more of a break and I was not sure I was going to use him in this game because I have other options. "Otherwise we have a fully fit squad to choose from, which is quite incredible at this stage of the season, and we'll be looking to put out the strongest team we can."
Macho man Randy Savage dies in car accident MACHO Man Randy Savage, regarded by many as one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time died yesterday in a car accident in Tampa, Florida according to agency report. His brother, Lanny Poffo, said the wrestling legend suffered a heart attack while he was behind the wheel in the morning and lost control of his vehicle. Earlier this month, Savage celebrated his 1-year anniversary with his new wife Lynn. Macho Man began wrestling in the WWF in 1985 and became a superstar with his trademark catchphrase "Ooooooh Yeaahhhhh." Savage was so popular, he became the spokesperson for Slim Jim in the mid '90s ... and became virtually synonymous with the brand. According to a report by the Florida Highway Patrol, Savage was driving his 2009 Jeep Wrangler when he veered across a concrete median, through oncoming traffic and "collided head-on with a tree." Savage was transported to Largo Medical center, where he died from his injuries. Savage's wife was a passenger in the vehicle during the collision -- but survived with "minor injuries." She was transported to a different local hospital where she was treated. According to officials, Randy and Lynn were both wearing their seatbelts at the time of the accident. Cops say alcohol was NOT a factor. An investigation into the accident is underway. Randy Savage , Randall Mario
Poffo was born November 15, 1952. He was a former American professional wrestler and actor who is perhaps best known for his time with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He also had a short run with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). Savage held twenty championships during his professional wrestling career and is a tentime world champion: a twotime WWF World champion, four-time WCW World champion, one-time USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion, and three-time ICW World Heavyweight Champion. Also a one-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, WWE has named Savage the greatest champion of all time and credited him for bringing "a higher level of credibility to the title through his amazing in-ring performances." Aside from championships, Savage is the 1987 WWF King of the Ring and the 1995 WCW World War 3 winner. For much of his tenures in the WWF and WCW, he was managed by his real life wife, "Miss Elizabeth" Hulette. Savage was recognizable by wrestling fans for his distinctively deep and raspy voice, his ring attire. intensity exhibited in and out of the ring, and his signature catch phrase ("Ooh yeah!"). WWE has said of Savage: "There has never been a Superstar more colorful than "Macho Man" Randy Savage...".
Ocean Boys sack Coach Eceli
IGERIA Premier League club, Ocean Boys have sacked their entire technical crew led by Larry Eceli. The decision to ease Eceli out was made public on Friday. Spokesman of the club, Eddy Ohis told said that Eceli was sacked because of the club’s recent unimpressive run in the NPL which culminated in their 3-1 loss to relegation-threatened Plateau United on Wednesday. “The members of the former technical crew are on compulsory leave as we seek to improve the performances of the club,” Ohis told SuperSport.com. Former Niger Tornadoes Coach, Samson Unuanuel has been appointed as head coach with immediate effect. The new Coach met with the players on Friday morning at the Samson Siasia Stadium,
Yenagoa. “Unuanuel met with the players after training on Monday and the boys have taken to him. “We hope we have a better second round with the latest development,’ Ohis said. Ocean Boys are in 15th place in the 20 team NPL log.
NIGERIA WOMEN LEAGUE
Mass boycott may threaten resumption
ANY of the privately owned female Clubs participating in the Nigerian Women Professional League have frowned at what they described as the fire brigade approach of the Women League Department of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), ordering a resumption
NPL warns Sharks, Dolphin HE Nigeria Premier over derby League (NPL) has Sharks and Dolphin to be
of “good conduct” when both clubs meet in a week 23 game on Sunday. Speculations have been making the rounds that both clubs are set to play a ‘brotherly’ game at the Port Liberation Stadium at the weekend. When both sides met in the first stanza, Sharks won 1-0 courtesy of a Victor Ezeji effort but many who saw the game alleged foul play and accusing Dolphin of not “doing enough”. Both clubs are owned by the Rivers State Government and it was alleged that Dolphin were “instructed to take things easy against Sharks with a view of seeing the favour returned” in the reverse fixture which comes up
on Saturday. The controversial first meeting between the two clubs generated so much furore that the NPL, then led by Davidson Owumi, launched an investigation that saw the captains and coaches of both clubs summoned to its (NPL) headquarters to “explain” their part in the farcical game. However, the NPL has revealed that measures will be taken to see that the game goes on without any incidents. “The match will be beamed live by (broadcast partners) SuperSport so players and officials of both clubs no they have to be professional,” Acting chairman of the NPL, Shehu Gusau told SuperSport.com.
By Innocent Amomoh
of the league without giving enough notice. Cross section of teams that were contacted to know the level of their preparedness for the resumption of the league vowed to boycott the week 9 fixture of the league that were supposed to be played this weekend across the nation. Women League Department of NFF who had earlier sent letters of postponement of the league till July ending sitting many engagements of Nigerian women national teams (Super Falcons and Falconet) as the reasons, recently released another or that the teams return back to action immediately, a development that has not gone down well with teams mostly privately sponsored ones. Most of the various clubs have already decamped there players due to long vacation notice given by NFF. “NFF should learn to do things more in a proper and polite way” said one of the club owners who reacted angrily to the resumption order by the Women League Department of NFF, saying “they can’t just stampede us
into what we don’t really prepared for now. “We have given our girls a break based on the directives we earlier got from NFF, we can not called them back and prepare them for a League match in just less than two weeks NFF is ordering us back”, said a club owner on condition of anonymity. The resumption letter which was signed by Danlami Alanana Secretary Women League and addressed to all State Football Associations concerned reads: “After critical discussion on the postponement of the Women’s League till after the Women’s World Cup, it was decided that while preparation for the World Cup event is on track, the league can continue until such a time that the World Cup begins. It was also agreed that irrespective of the number of players of a club in the National Team, the club(s) shall play their league matches. “The league shall resume on the 21st May, 2011beginning from the week one matches that has been on outstanding”.
Herosports inaugurates advisory board •Ready for launch, awards in August
HE Stage is set as H e r o s p o r t s Newspaper, a grass root sport paper in Lagos, is intensifying effort to inaugurate its board members which is bill to take at Lagos state sports council, RowePark, Yaba, Lagos on Friday 30th 2011 at 11am prompt.According to the publisher of the Newspaper, Mr. Sheriff Owolabi Bada who Said such motive is to further bolster up its capability in order to make it more effective and efficient to sustain the momentum which will go a long way in placing it among the best sports newspaper in the country. However, event will parade the sports personalities and businessmen alike who had contributed in no small
measures to the sports as well as business world in the country in attendance where the future and progress of the organization will be determined. Great men of honors who will be seating atop the board includes; Chief Abdul Rasak Akanni, the chairman of RealGrafix Limited, ASP Bankole Anderson, Secretary of sports, Nigeria Police Force, Alhaji Mohammed Bala Shagari, President; Fives Federation, Mr. Ayo Bada; Sports Editor, News Star Newspaper, Mr. Tunde Sulaimon; Former C’wealth Champion, Mr. Quassim Oladipo Bada; Registrar, LASU, Jibowu Campus, and Alhaji Nasir Mohammed; Chairman, Lagos State Fives Association and Chief Falilat Ogunkoya, the Nigeria Olympic medalist.
THE NATION SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Siasia explains Odemwingie snub C
OACH of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Samson Siasia has explained why he left out Osaze Odemwingie from the squad for the friendly game against Argentina and the 2012 Africa Nation’s Cup qualifier against Ethiopia. Coach Siasia released a 24man-list for the upcoming matches with Odemwingie the surprise omission. The Super Eagles Coach said Odemwingie stormed out of the team’s camp after the 2012 Africa Nation’s Cup qualifier against Ethiopia on March 21. “He (Odemwingie) left the team’s camp without my permission and he has not
called me since then. The other players threatened to stage a walk out of the national team if he was invited and we did not want a situation where Nigeria will be disgraced. It is a case of instilling discipline. No one is bigger tha the national team,” Siasia said. Odemwingie is the 5th top scorer in the 201/2011 Barclays Premier League with 15 goals. The striker is now set to miss the international friendly game against Argentina on June 1 and the 2012 Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Ethiopia on June 5.
the football house will do everything within their power to ensure that Nigeria cap both players, who have been placed on standby for the matches against Argentina and Ethiopia early next month. Eagles coach, Samson Siasia, told a press conference Thursday that Ameobi and Moses could make their Nigeria debut next month if the paper work regarding their nationality switch comes through in time. “The two players are fully in our plans for the friendly and the Nations Cup qualifier. But we have to wait for the FA to do what they have to do to finally secure them for us,” said Siasia.
between Dolphins and Sharks will now hold on Sunday. The game was billed to be played on Saturday but local elections in Rivers State, where both sides are based has now occasioned a shift in the date. The game will also no longer be aired live on SS9 as the Heartland vs Warri Wolves encounter will instead be aired from Owerri. “We were informed late of the change of the date but it will not affect the quality of the game,’ Manager of Dolphin, Stanley Eguma told SupperSport.com. Dolphin are still missing two of their key men, Chidi Osuchukwu and Abduljelil Ajagun who have yet to join up with the rest of the squad
Kickboxing holds workshop HE Nigeria May 22 K i c k b o x i n g
Federation said it has concluded plans for a National Technical workshop holding from May 23 -25 at the indoor sports hall of the National Stadium surulere Lagos. Secretary General of the Kickboxing Federation,Bisi
Cont’d from page 64
Siasia’s marks right to question his list against Argentina. I will only wish him the best on June 1. But he needs to be reminded of what happened to Phillipe Troussier and Johannes Bonfrere (in his second coming), when they tried to enforce discipline in the Eagles. What I must tell Siasia today, is that he has tacitly opened his exit door in the Eagles by dropping Osaze Odemwingie and he would be shocked to find those who would push him out. Osaze is out of the Argentine and Ethiopian clashes but this decision will return to hunt Siasia. The impression most Nigerians got was that the twitter rant had been resolved. In fact, when a report came out last week that such a punishment would be delivered, Siaisa, whilst in Abeokuta, was economical with the truth. He neither denied it nor did he confirm it. But I read his lips and knew that the worst would come on Thursday. Siasia relied on comments from Osaze’s mates to wield the big stick. What has happened to the law of first offender? What I see clearly is vendetta because Siasia could have settled for the option of fine. Did I hear you say Osaze would not pay? No, he would be made to pay. It could be deducted from his bonus and allowances or even ticket refund. After all they do it Europe. Osaze deleted the twitter message when he realised that it was offensive. He immediately posted another where he apologized for his comments. Both messages were reported in the international media and in Nigerian newspapers. It is sad to note that the coach is talking about not speaking with Osaze after he told everyone that they had resolved the matter during his last trip to England.
I wonder why Siasia wants Osaze to apologise to his mates when the twitter comments centred on him. Is it to humiliate Osaze? Is it also to show to everyone that he is in charge? Is anyone contesting that fact? I hope that Osaze won’t comment on the decision to axe him from the squad. I’m also happy that NFF men have allowed Siasia have his way by wielding the big stick. What I see and I may be wrong is a deliberate attempt by Siasia to spoil Osaze’s season at a time when many pundits are preparing to celebrate his exploits this season. Siasia, this is not fair. Equally disturbing is Siasia’s submission that the home-based players are not good enough. Clear to me now is that Nigerian coaches are lazy. They don’t want to take risk and they like to err on the side of caution. Each time we try to assembly a home-based team, we ask Nigerian coaches, who don’t watch these players rely on shylock scouts and reports in the national newspapers to pick players. Under this setting, the best players never get selected. I know that Chijoke Ejiogu ‘Arugo Monkey’, Akpan Bassey and Uansekin Ambrose are better than Rotimi Sunday as a goalkeeper. Anyone of them would have done better against Togo. My advice to NFF is that they must give the home-based players to the domestic league coaches to prosecute the next edition of the WAFU Cup. These league coaches know the players and how to effectively utilise them to deliver the desired results. After all, Daniel Amokachi, having gone through the league as a coach, groomed the boys that lifted the WAFU Cup last year in Abeokuta.
following their participation at the 2010 African Youth Championships (AYC) in South Africa. “We are not happy that the two players have not joined us. But we have quality replacements who are set to do the business against Sharks,” he said. Sharks Coach, John Obuh, who also doubles as Nigeria’s U20 football coach is back from National duty and his presence is sure to fire his lads to perform at their optimal level. Dolphin are ensconced at the summit of the NPL log with 47 points games while Sharks, having played a game less, are 10 points adrift of the leaders.
Nigerian referees, not corrupt —Okubule
Nigeria awaits FIFA on Ameobi, Moses
HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) expects a response from world football ruling body FIFA in respect of the nationality switch of Englandbased forwards Shola Ameobi and Victor Moses. The switch by Newcastle United striker Ameobi and Moses of Wigan Athletic from England to Nigeria has dragged since March, but NFF general secretary, Musa Amadu, has told MTNFootball.com they now expect a feedback from FIFA. “We are expecting a correspondence from FIFA. That would decide the next line of action (as regards Ameobi and Moses),” disclosed Amadu. He further maintained that
Sharks, Dolphins derby now HE Nigeria Premier Sunday League (NPL) derby
Odubote while dropping the hint in Lagos,said the workshop whichis meant for referees and other technical officials is aimed at ensuring that all technical officials operating in the Country adhere to the rules and regulations guiding the sport both locally and International as approved by the world Kickboxing body.Adding that the workshop is very important to the federation considering the closeness of the National Sports Festival, tagged Garden City 2011 which holds next Month.
former president of the Nigeria Referees Association, Chief Festus Okubule has disagreed with those insisting that Nigerian Referees are corrupt. This follows the non-inclusion of Nigerian Referees for the FIFA World Youth Championship billed for Colombia later in the year. Nigerian Referees were also missing at the 2010 FIFA World cup held in South Africa which has led to widespread insinuations that, there are quack referees in the country. An angry Okubule, however, accused club owners for failing to motivate their team to success. “When decisions go in their favour, the referee is good but when it is the opposite, they start calling for the referees head. Lots of them are owing their players match bonus, salaries and allowances and when they lose a match, it is the referee but will not tell you that the players and coaches are being owed. Okubule who is the first Nigerian to officiate at a FIFA event; the 1983 World youth Championship in Mexico also blamed the Nigerian media for destructive critism which has affected Nigerian Referees. “If you pick a Nigerian paper and there is a report that
Referees are corrupt, who are you not to believe such report. When FIFA and CAF received such stories they tend to agree with the reports. “When I was a referee, nobody offer me bribe and whoever gave me money should come and say it. I don’t see our Referees taking bribe just because a team wants to win”. Okubule also narrated how he almost took late 3SC of Ibadan patron, Chief Lekan Salami to court after claiming that some referees approach him for bribe. “I was the president of NRA then and I requested him to mention names which he refused and later we had a reconciliation meeting at late Chief Nathaniel Idowu’s house where he later apologized for his comment, my colleague Linus Mba was also at the meeting”. The retired FIFA badged Referee blamed politics in both FIFA and CAF as reasons why Nigerians Referees are overlooked for international matches. Okubule said its right time for the Nigerian Referee Association to understand the politics in football as well as setting up a monitoring committee to evaluate Referees performance.
17TH NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL
Liberation Stadium hosts opening The session also confirmed the RUE to speculations of ceremony July 2 hoisting of the flags of the many who understand
the terain of the new stadium complex, Chief Adokiye Amiesimaka games village, being built to host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 17th National Sports Festival, Garden City Games 2011, the opening ceremonies are now to take place at the Liberation stadium Elekahia, NationSport can authoritatively report. According to our source, while everything necessary for the events and the games have been put in place at the new site, the fact that the terrain is a rain zone and that the games is holding in the heart of the rainy season makes it compulsory for a rethink. Also, posters for the opening ceremony which are already lying at the LOC office in Port Harcourt confirms the opening ceremony venue as Liberation stadium on July 2. Meanwhile, the second joint technical session of the 17th
From Florence Nkem Israel, Port Harcourt National Sports Festival was held in Port Harcourt on Thursday night at the Royal Banquet Hall of the Hotel Presidential. The session which held after the inspection of the venues, facilities and accomodations for the event deliberated on issues related to the actualization of all the activites that would be involved in ensuring a successful festival. While they commended his Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR, for his unflinching support for the national sports festival, which was further demonstrated by his personal involvement in the flag-off of the movement of the Torch of Unity on the 10th of May, they also noted that with the flagging off of the movement of the Torch, the 17th national sports festival has actually commenced.
participating states by their governors would take place in Port Harcourt on the 16th of June, 2011. They also informed that about thirty states including Abuja, the FCT have complied with the on-line registration of Athletes and officials. Also, the seven states of Delta, Edo, Ebonyi, Kebbi, Ogun, Osun and Zamfara who failed to register for the festival were fined the sum of one hundred thousand naira each to offset part of the cost of rewriting the programme to allow them to access the website for the online registeration, consequent upon their apologies and pleas. While it was reiterated how compulsory it is for all participating states to insure their athletes and officials since it is the pre-requisite for the issuance of accreditation cards, the session also informed that Delegates Registeration Meeting[DRM] will take place at the velodrome of the Abuja National stadium from the May 26 to June 4.
Tomorrow in THE NATION PUNCHLINE
A uniform national tax law will be counterproductive to devolution of power to local and state governments SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.5, NO. 1766
major era is gradually coming to an end in Nigerian politics and this postmilitary dispensation in particular with the impending retirement from the political terrain of three ageing soldier-statesmen who have played key roles at different phases of the country’s political life. The first to give an indication of his imminent withdrawal from active political activity was General Muhammadu Buhari, Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), in this year’s presidential election. Dramatically bursting into tears as he addressed the last press conference to round off his campaign in Abuja, Buhari passionately called for the conduct of free and fair elections pointing out that would be the last time he would offer himself for elective office. Unless his party’s petition currently before the Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal succeeds and he faces a re-run with President Goodluck Jonathan, the last polls has effectively ended the political career of the country’s stern and ascetic military ruler between 1983 and 1985. In his own case, General Ibrahim Babangida, the wily Maradona of Nigerian politics who completely dominated the political space as military president for eight years from 1985 to 1993 recently served his political retirement notice while speaking in Minna, the Niger State capital. IBB honestly admitted that age was no longer on his side saying his role in public life would henceforth be strictly advisory. The unpredictable military cum political tactician has apparently finally given up the battle to reclaim the political centre stage ever since he famously ‘stepped aside’ from the country’s apex position about two decades earlier. After his strenuous but futile effort to enable his beloved PDP maintain its dominance of the South-West in the just concluded election, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has also announced his intention to quit active politics and concentrate on his diplomatic assignments across Africa anytime from now. The only man that has been lucky to preside over Nigeria’s affairs twice, first as military Head of State between 1976 and 1979 and then elected President from 1999 to 2007 reportedly intimated a delegation of Lagos PDP chieftains of his retirement plan at his Ota farm. For the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, his only remaining mission in politics is to help ensure the emergence of the next Deputy National Chairman of the party from the South-West – preferably from Ogun, Ondo or Ekiti states. The role of these soldier-statesmen in Nigeria’s political evolution will continue to be a matter of great interest to scholars of Nigerian government, history and politics. Each of them, like most leaders, is immensely controversial; intensely loved by their admirers and loathed with the same ardent passion by those who disagree with their politics. They all weilded power when military rule was fashionable and re-emerged as active participants on the democratic political stage. As they get set to watch the political chess game from the sidelines as elder statesmen, how do we understand their politics and assess their leadership legacies? Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is easily one of Nigeria’s most eminent contemporary nationalists. He is a prime example of the soldier as
Farewell to politics
•Obasanjo committed patriot. His organizational and tactical skills were critical elements in his bringing the civil war to a closure and receiving the instruments of surrender from the Biafran army. Unlike Awo, who believed fervently that you had to first and foremost be a good and responsible member of your ethno-cultural group before you could be a good Nigerian, Obasanjo sees himself first as a Nigerian before being a Yoruba man. True to type, Obasanjo was completely unemotional about the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election claiming that his cheated kinsman, M.K.O. Abiola, was not necessarily Nigeria’s ‘Messiah’ afterall. It was as a result of his percieved nationalistic outlook that OBJ received the enthusiastic electoral support of the rest of the country to emerge as President in 1999 even when he was comprehensively rejected by his own Yoruba people at the polls. Once he emerged as the foremost political office holder in the country on a Pan-Nigerian platform, however, Obasanjo realized that he needed a strong political home base to consolidate his position within the PDP. Through a combination of cunning and strong arm tactics, he achieved his objective in 2003 with his mainstream political foot soldiers sweeping the South-West leaving Lagos as the only remaining progressive out-post. How come that as he sets to retire from politics, OBJ’S mainstream empire in the South-West is in complete ruins all around him? Why the resurgence of the
•Babangida progressives in the region? How come that after eight years at the helm of a country he loves so much, Nigeria was in worse shape than before his advent in 1999? The answers to these questions lie in the fundamental weakness of OBJ’s political thought. Perhaps because of his nationalist passion, OBJ is an unrepentant centralist. A strong and dominant centre, he believes, is a necessary condition for a virile and vibrant nation. He thus disdained the far reaching structural federalist reforms necessary to devolve powers, responsibilities and resources in such a way as to unleash the developmental potentials of the country’s component parts. The unreformed, over-centralized
— Ropo Sekoni political structure undermined his otherwise well meaning public sector reform programme, worsening corruption and intensifying the development of underdevelopment across the country. With such a woeful record of performance, the OBJ administration had to rely on massive rigging of elections euphemistically called ‘do or die’ politics, to retain the PDP’s dominance of power. Had he quit after his first term in emulation of the ‘Mandela Option’, OBJ would today be a global icon rather than struggling to be a giant in a vast African forest of pygmies. Buhari’s enduring legacy in Nigerian politics is his passionate disdain for corruption and indiscipline, which he sees as the root causes of the country’s persistent multifarious problems. The Buhari-Idiagbon regime tackled these challenges with uncommon zeal and determination. Apart from launching and rigorously enforcing the War Against Indiscipline (WAI), the regime meticulously prosecuted and jailed corrupt politicians of the second republic. However, the regime was distinctly a-political. Apparently because of the depth of corruption of the second republic, it saw politics itself as part of the problem. Thus, the Buhari-Idiagbon regime set no terminal date for return to civil rule while maintaining a severe authoritarian hold on society. This was one of the weaknesses exploited to dislodge it from power in 1985. One of the amazing transformations on Nigeria’s contemporary political scene is that of Buhari from an essentially a-political soldier professionally alienated from the ‘dirty game’ of politics to a keen and passionate seeker of public office through the electoral process. Even then, in all his campaigns for office, Buhari stuck to tackling indiscipline and corruption as the central plank of his political mission. Nurturing the CPC to perform as creditably as it did within the short term of its formation is certainly a major achievement. However, even if he no more seeks office, Buhari’s charismatic, mass appeal in the North is still crucial in any bid to nurture the CPC into a credible, national opposition party that can add value to the political system. Furthermore, are corruption and indiscipline causal factors or manifestations of more deep-rooted structural deformities that neither Buhari as a person nor CPC as a party has rigorously thought through? Many critics would readily want to cite the annulment of the June 12 election and massive corruption as IBB’s enduring legacies in Nigerian politics. But in reality, he has of the three moved furthest in his political thinking to the kind of solutions that can genuinely deepen democracy and tackle the root causes of graft. For instance, during the last campaign, IBB surprisingly endorsed Nuhu Ribadu and his progressive platform as the best options for Nigeria at this point in time. That was certainly a radical position to take for someone who had unsuccessfully sought the PDP ticket himself. In his recent discourse, he has advocated radical devolution of powers, state police and fiscal federalism as antidotes to the country’s persistent problems. In the evening of his political career, IBB would do well to give more support to such causes. There is no doubt that scores of books will still be written on the role of these men in Nigerian history. This is only a brief reflection. I wish them a happy and fulfilling political retirement.
Ade Ojeikere on Saturday
HEY wore forlorn looks unable to fathom what hit the Super Eagles against the Hawks of Togo in
Abeokuta last Saturday. It appeared like a dream that the Togolese stunned Nigerians to cart home the now disbanded West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Cup diadem. Where did the Eagles get it wrong? Was it Sunday Rotimi’s poor handling of the three goals conceded that caused the defeat? Or could it be that Samson Siasia is jinxed in
cup final matches? Or could it be that the home-based stars were rusty due to lack of games in the domestic league? Or were the Togolese simply lucky? With every game won, inexpert Nigeria Premier League chieftains congratulated the team. They wanted to share the glory if the team retained the trophy. Now that the team lost, it is Siasia’s team not theirs anymore? Unfortunately, nobody asked these visionless NPL chiefs to shut their traps. The local league had been on recess for close to two months. And it affected the way the players played because they had not played any competitive game for a while. It therefore didn’t come to me as a surprise that we lost. I simply pitied Siasia be-
cause he always likes to win games (who won’t?). Beating Argentina in Abuja on June 1 is a task that must be done. A second-string Argentine side should be roasted with goals. Argentina won’t parade second-rate sides against better placed countries on FIFA’s ranking. And the only way that the Eagles can be reckoned with globally would be, if Nigeria wins the June 1 tie. The Argentines want to pick the reserves for their Copa America squad and feel that the Eagles are cheap meat to chew. Siasia must come up with the appropriate strategies to wreck the South Americans. The WAFU Cup loss to Togo still hurts. Losing to Argentina (God forbid) would put pressure on Siasia,
especially, if the score is scandalous. If he is not careful, the Eagles would head for Addis Ababa amidst clamour for a foreign coach. Nigerians are bad losers. They change like the weather. They want the Eagles to win every game. They would sacrifice Siasia, if that would return the team to winning ways. What stands out is the fact that the six matches that the Eagles have won earned Nigeria a drop in FIFA ranking largely because the countries that we beat are minnows. I don’t want to believe that South Africa’s Bafana Bafana rank above us. The lesson is that we must aim to defeat better ranked countries beginning with Argentina. A coach, the dictum says is as good as his last match. Siasia lost his last game against Togo. I hope he doesn’t lose the next against Argentina. I didn’t employ Siasia. I therefore have no
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