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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Ekiti youths protest student’s killing

‘150 private jets in Nigeria worth $3.7b’


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•Demand N150m compensation for family

•GTBank MD: Aviation financing risky

VOL. 8, NO. 2479 WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2013



23 governors to join APC From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri


IGHT pro-All Progressive Congress (APC) governors and political heavy weights yesterday converged on Owerri, the Imo State capital, for the fledgling party’s maiden sensitisation and awareness rally in the Southeast. The Heroes’ Square venue of the rally, was jammed as early as 8am. Party chieftains, politicians, captains of industry, traders and artisans defied the scorching sun to listen to the message - change. At the rally were Governors Babatunde Fashola (Lagos); Adams Oshiomhole (Edo); Rauf Aregbosola (Osun); Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun); Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); Kashim Shetima (Borno) and Tanko al-Makura (Nasarawa). Speaking at the packed rally, which coincided with the Imo Freedom Day celebration, host Governor Rochas Okorocha disclosed that 23 governors have joined the newly formed APC. According to him, the governors are waiting for the right time to publicly declare for the party. He said their decision to wait was for obvious reasons. Okorocha, however, noted that his party - the All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA) - is neither joining any political party nor going into any alliance but in a merger with others to form a new party, APC. He said it was a matter of time for the APC

•Rescuers at the scene of the at collapsed building at Ojodu, Lagos...yesterday.

Two dead, six trapped in Lagos building collapse

Continued on page 4

•PAGE 56

Nigeria is ‘169th worst place to be born’


F 176 countries Nigeria has been ranked 169 worst place for a child to be born. Internationally non-governmental organisation, Save the Children, stated this in its World’s Mother’s Report made available yesterday. Its Country Director, Susan Grant, said the health of mothers

By Wale Adepoju, Health Reporter

determines how their babies would fare in life, adding that about 89,700 babies die the same day they are born in Nigeria. She spoke during the launch of the report - tagged Surviving the first day – in Lagos. Nigeria, she said, is rated 12th highest on babies who die on their

first day across the world, which made it one of the riskiest places to be born and one of the countries with the most first-day deaths. Grant said 12 per cent of under five deaths in the country take place on the day the child is born, adding that 34 per cent take place within the first month of birth. Continued on page 4

•One of the victims being treated by a medical officer...yesterday. PHOTOS: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

55 die as Boko Haram hits troops, prisons, barracks Dead: 22 policemen, 14 prison officials, 13 insurgents, 3 kids, 2 soldiers


•Lt.-Col. Musa

T was bloody yesterday in Bama, a town 75 kilometres from Maiduguri, the beleaguered capital of Borno State. In a movie-like scene, about 10 trucks carrying an unspecified number of gunmen rolled into the town at dawn. The gunmen, believed to be Boko Haram fighters, attacked a police bar-

By Our Reporter

racks and a military formation. No fewer than 55 persons, including 22 policemen, 13 prison officials as well as several insurgents, died in the mayhem. Among the dead were two women believed to be wives of two policemen and their three children. The invaders attacked a prison, set-

ting some 109 inmates free. From one government facility to the other, the gunmen moved, leaving a trail of blood and tears. At the Prison Service, 13 officials were killed. Five policemen were killed at the Mobile Police Barracks/ Base. Three people, including a woman who had just got married to a po-

lice corporal, were killed. The Magistrate’s Court, Revenue Office, Primary Healthcare Centre and Local Government secretariat, among other public places, were burnt. Also set ablaze were the Divisional Police Headquarters and the offices of the DPO and that of the Area ComContinued on page 4




NEWS JONATHAN IN SOUTH AFRICA • Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (left), Senator Smart Adeyemi and Minister of Foreign Affairs Olugbenga Ashiru (right), at a meeting President Goodluck Jonathan held with the Nigerian community in Cape Town, South Africa...on Monday. PHOTO: NAN

South Africa For some time now, the relationship between Nigeria and South Africa has not been rosy. It became worse when South Africa deported Nigerians last year. The leaders of both countries are cementing the cracks, with ministers signing pacts covering oil and gas, power, defence and communication reports AFP


• The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa'ad (right), the Baba Adinni of Lagos, Alhaji Shehu Abou (left) and the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar El-Kanemi, at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in Kaduna…yesterday.

• From left: ECOWAS Commissioner for Gender and Human Development, Dr. Adriene Diop, Swedish Minister for Finance Anders Borg, ECOWAS President Kadre Ouedraogo and Swedish Minister for Developemnt Mrs. Gunilla Carlsson during the ministers' visit to the ECOWAS President in Abuja…yesterday.

HE leaders of Africa’s two biggest economies, South Africa and Nigeria, pledged closer ties yesterday in what was hailed as a milestone in a some time patchy relationship. President Jacob Zuma rolled out a red carpet for his counterpart Goodluck Jonathan as ministers signed nine sectoral pacts covering oil and gas, power, defence and communication. “South Africa and Nigeria are critical countries,” said Jonathan who is on the first state visit by any Nigerian leader since 2009. “If the continent of Africa must move forward, then the world will expect maximum cooperation between South Africa and Nigeria and we’re just doing that.” Saluting each other as “brother”, the two leaders pointed to a new path for the continental powerhouses. Zuma described the trip as a “historic state visit”. “We are very pleased with the outcomes of our discussions, they do mark a higher level of cooperation between the two countries.” Jonathan’s visit comes on the heels of a trip last month by Zuma to Lagos. The South African leader on yesterday hailed Nigeria’s support for the southern nation’s anti-apartheid struggle. “We have a duty to take these historical relations further,” he said. Zuma also stressed the need for an African Union standby force “for rapid deployment in crisis areas without delays”. “The need for an intervention bri-

gade has become more crucial in light of the sits of instability in the Central African Republic, the eastern DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Mali where decisive intervention is needed.” Jonathan addressed South Africa’s parliament, with Nigerian and South African flags lining the road in Cape Town and also hanging outside the National Assembly. The state visit was hailed as a positive step in bilateral ties which have faced many rocky patches and frequent rivalries. “Nigeria and South Africa must come together, must work together, to help the continent of Africa,” said Jonathan. “Because whether we like it or not if we refuse to cooperate, we will be considered as failures.” While South Africa is still the continent’s biggest economy, Nigerian business activity is set to grow more than twice as fast, by 7.2 per cent, this year, according to International Monetary Fund estimates. Total two-way trade has risen to $4.1 billion, with a surplus in oil-rich Nigeria’s favour, according to South Africa’s department of trade. Nigeria is the continent’s most populous country and its biggest oil producer. The two states, which both want seats in an expanded UN Security Council, were at loggerheads last year over who would become head of the African Union’s commission. South Africa has also taken actions in countries considered Nigeria’s neighbourhood, such as the conflict in Ivory Coast. An embarrassing tit-for-tat row also broke out over yellow fever vaccinations.

South Africa, Nigeria agree on visa waiver for officials From Vincent Ikuomola Abuja


•From left: Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Prof. Robert Boroffice, Director-General, Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, Prof. Danladi Matawal, representative of the Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Sunday Thomas and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Abubakar Mohammed, at a workshop on road pavement failure in Abuja…yesterday.

OUTH Africa and Nigeria have agreed to a visa waiver for officials of both countries. The visa waiver was one of nine agreements signed between officials of both countries, during President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to the former apartheid enclave. The other pacts cover oil and gas, power, defence and communication. President Jacob Zuma yesterday said more than 100 South African companies were doing business in Nigeria across several industries. “To date, over 100 companies are doing business in Nigeria, with the biggest investment being in the telecommunications sector,” Zuma said in a speech to welcome Jonathan to South Africa. “We welcome the participation of South African business in other sectors in Nigeria as well, such as engineering, construction, media, banking, retail, hospitality, oil and gas exploration and services.” Last year, South Africa received 73,282 Nigerian tourists, representing 13.8 percent increase compared with the 64,402 who visited in 2011, said Zuma. “Our records indicate that Nigerian tourists contributed a total of R720 million to the South African economy last year. To boost tourism links further, South Africa is in the process of opening a tourism office in Lagos.”




a, Nigeria paper the cracks •A crosssection of the Nigerian community in Cape Town at a meeting with Jonathan...on Monday.

• Jonathan addressing the joint session of the South African Parliament... yesterday. With him is Zuma. PHOTO: AFP


Jonathan: we helped found a new South Africa President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday urged his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, to let both countries strengthen their ties. He spoke while addressing the South African Parliament in Pretoria. Excerpts:


T this forum, it is only proper that we acknowledge and pay tribute to those who made the freedom and democracy which our two countries enjoy today possible. Generations of young Africans grew up in the last 50 years to witness and study the singular and collective heroism, as well as the inspirational examples of many icons of the South African antiapartheid struggle, Chief Albert Luthuli, Walter Sisulu, the Madiba, President Nelson Mandela, Oliver Thambo, Govan Mbeki, Steve Biko, Chris Hani, and other men and women of valour and integrity who were imbued with the spirit of sacrifice, patriotism, and devotion to the common good. This new “Rainbow Nation” where freedom and equality are now established as inviolable principles is the product of their vision and dedication. Similarly in Nigeria, our people will forever remember the efforts and contributions of Dr. Herbert Macaulay, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Ernest Ikoli, Margaret Ekpo and many others who fought hard to secure Nigeria’s independence from divisive, colonial rule. These men, and women, in our two countries, paved the way for the freedom we enjoy today. The people’s liberty was well fought for and earned. The huge debt that we owe the heroes of our history is not to be complacent with the freedom of our people and the democracy that we have established. We can stand on the shoulders of the icons of our history: in so doing we will be able to look much

This led to passengers being turned away at airports in both countries in March last year. While courting the emerging BRIC markets - Brazil, Russia, India and China

farther into the future, but this also comes with a responsibility and a duty: the duty to ensure that as leaders in Africa today, we also leave worthy legacies for successor generations. Mr. Speaker, distinguished parliamentarians, ladies and gentlemen, twenty-two years ago, Africa’s living legend, President Nelson Mandela, was released from prison. Since then, your country has travelled, more steadily on a path of progress and grown in stature. We do not only have a new South Africa under black majority rule, its institutions and processes have become inclusive. A new generation has emerged that is fired by a sense of unalloyed patriotism and common destiny. Here we are, today, with the Head of State of another African country addressing the Joint Sitting of the Parliament of a free, independent and democratic South Africa that has assumed its rightful place in the comity of nations. We have arrived at such a moment as this, because the people of South Africa never gave up their belief in the rightness of their cause in their quest for freedom and equality. The peoples of Africa and the rest of the civilised world did not also relent in the support they gave to the people of South Africa to remove the shackles of racism, apartheid and colonialism which combined to hold them down for so long. The role played by individual nations, including my country Nigeria, in the struggle for the emergence of a new South Africa that is non-racial, independent and democratic is already part of the special linkages between our two countries. In those dark

- South Africa has not shown the “same political eagerness on the continent” with Nigeria an obvious target, said Dianna Games, honourary chief executive of the South Africa-

Nigeria Chamber of Commerce. “If this is the start of a closer relationship, then I think that would be a very good thing all around for both countries and the continent as a

seasons, Nigerians stood by their South African brothers and sisters, because we shared your pain and concerns. Today, we also stand shoulder to shoulder with you as brothers and sisters and as partners, working together in pursuit of mutually beneficial interests. Suffice it to say that throughout the long-drawn, anti-apartheid struggle, although we were not geographically contiguous, Nigeria was, nevertheless, considered a Frontline State, by the sheer fact of our commitment to the just struggle for freedom in Southern Africa. It is important to recall, that this was a cause every Nigerian was committed to, not just those in government, but the people themselves. It was for this reason the Southern African Relief Fund (SARF) was created. This was funded with deductions from the salary of every Nigerian worker, irrespective of rank, both in the public and private sectors as well as donations from ordinary Nigerians in all walks of life, including students. This fund was placed at the disposal of the liberation struggle. Nigeria provided scholarships for students from South Africa. Our musicians waxed albums in support of the anti-apartheid struggle, a memorable one in this respect being Sonny Okosun’s timeless piece, “Fire in Soweto”. Our poets wrote protest literature denouncing man’s inhumanity to man; whenever South Africans protested against injustice, Nigerian students also took to the streets in support and solidarity.

whole because they are the two big powers in Africa,” she said. The two leaders will attend a meeting of a bilateral business forum, while Jonathan will also hold sepa-

rate talks with the South Africanbased MTN telecommunications company, as well as representatives of car manufacturers Toyota and Nissan in South Africa.

President laments huge number of Nigerians in South African prisons


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has expressed shock over the large number of Nigerians in prisons in South Africa. Jonathan told the Nigerian community in South Africa on Monday in Cape Town that the high number of Nigerian prisoners did not speak well about the country. “I was told that more than 250,000 Nigerians are living in South Africa and that more than 400 are in prison serving various jail terms. “This is a bad example of what Nigerians in the Diaspora should be; there are some countries like Malawi and Uganda where no Nigerian is in prison. Most Nigerians are doing very well abroad in various professional callings. There are Nigerians living in South Africa making good name for us but a few of you are

•’Nigerians still receive inhuman, disrespectful, degrading treatment’ doing things in different ways. ``There is need for these few Nigerians to be good ambassadors of Nigeria so that people will not see Nigeria and Nigerians as corrupt and criminalminded people and nation,'' Jonathan said. He said issues of corruption, security and crime were important to him and his administration. “From my experience as deputy governor up till the time I was elected as the vice president I know those who talk more about corruption are the most corrupt. “Peoples' perception about corruption in Nigeria was over amplified than the corruption that happens in the country.

“The perception index is very high, we are not saying there's no corruption in the country, all of us must work hard to fight corruption,'' Jonathan said. He said insecurity in some parts of the country was being addressed by government. `”The issue of insecurity, threats to peace and stability in some parts of the country is being addressed; threat to peace and stability in the country must be stopped,'' Jonathan said. The president said he was committed to what was right for the country at all times. “I promise Nigerians that issue of power will be solved as soon as the privatisation of the power sector is

completed. “Power is key to the transformation agenda of this government; in no distant future the type of transformation in the telecommunication sector will be experienced in the power sector. “We as government are doing everything to build a Nigeria of our dreams. Our airports are being renovated and modernisation and expansion of our railway transport system ongoing. “All what we request from all Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora is support and understanding.'' Jonathan said the insecurity and molestation of Nigerians by South African authorities would be discussed

with President Jacob Zuma. The President of the Nigeria Union in South Africa (NUSA), Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, praised the president for conducting what was considered the most credible election in Nigeria’s history. He urged the president to continue to explore every avenue to achieve peace in Nigeria. Anyene said the president’s visit to South Africa would help to strengthen the relationship between both countries and their peoples. He said Nigeria and South Africa should find a better way of translating government-to-government talk into person-to-person relationship between the citizens of both countries and organs of state.



NEWS 200 displaced, 50 houses gone as storm hits Anambra community


•From left: Ajimobi, Okorocha, Aregbesola, Amosun, Oshiomhole, Fashola and Fayemi ...yesterday

23 governors to join APC, says Okorocha Continued from page 1

to take over every level of governance, adding that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has failed the people in the 13 years of return to democracy, stressing that Ndigbo are for APC. The visiting governors, who were visibly impressed by the massive turnout at the rally, took turns to deride the PDP leadership style. They restated APC’s commitment to giving Nigeria a better leadership. Fashola, who drew a resounding ovation from the cheerful crowd, described APC as a great train of change. He said: “We have set about a course that is irrevocably committed to giving power back to the people. We believe that Nigeria needs a change and APC will bring about that

change.” Taking the floor after Fashola, Ajimobi noted that the PDP had gone from bad to worse. He said the only option left to salvage the nation is the APC. Shetima said the exceptional performance of the proAPC governors are testimonies of how great the country would be if the party became the ruling party. He urged the people to support the party for the good of the land, adding that the party is out to redefine governance. Amosun said they were pleased to see that the performance of their Imo State colleague was real. Amosun said: “This is what we want and this is what the APC represents. The battle has just begun; APC must succeed for the benefit of Nigerians because there is no better

platform. Al-Makura described Okorocha’s performance as the beginning of what the people of the State will witness in terms of development, noting that it is worth celebrating. He urged the people to support the governor. “You cannot salvage the country with people who are fake, people who are pseudo democrats,” he said. Fayemi said: “A time like this calls for visionary leaders as seen in all the states where the APC is holding sway. No amount of intimidation will deter us from working together to salvage the country. “No one is happy with what is going on; that is why we have embarked on this rescue mission; that is why we have embarked on the freedom journey.” Aregbesola, who held the

surging crowd spellbound with his songs and dance steps, described the APC as a bulldozer that will crush everything on its way, including the ruling PDP. He called on the people to say ‘no’ to unemployment, poverty and hunger, which he said PDP has given Nigerians as a legacy. Oshiomhole noted that when he led a protest of workers to Imo State as a labour leader, he met a state with filthy streets, dilapidated infrastructure, “but now, everything in Imo State has changed”. The Edo governor described Imo as an example of what Nigeria will look like in every area of national life when the APC becomes the ruling party. He urged the people to continue to support the governor.

Nigeria is ‘169th worst place to be born’ Continued from page 1

“In Nigeria 14 out of 1,000 newborns die the same day they were born, which is higher than the regional average (12 per 1,000),” she said. Grant said one million babies die on their first day, adding that all babies are at risk on the day they were born. “In every country, rich and poor alike, the day a child is born is by far the

most dangerous single day of a child’s life,” she said. The Democratic Republic of Congo is the world’s toughest place to raise children, the reports said. Finland was named the best place to be a mother, with Sweden and Norway following in second and third places. The charity compared factors such as maternal health, child mortality, education and in-

come in 176 countries. In India, over 300,000 babies die within 24 hours of being born, accounting for 29% of all newborn deaths worldwide, the report says. The 10 bottom-ranked countries were all from sub-Saharan Africa, with one woman in 30 dying from pregnancy-related causes on average and one child in seven dying before his or her fifth birthday.

In DR Congo, war and poverty have left mothers malnourished and unsupported at the most vulnerable time of their lives. The next worst countries listed were Somalia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Niger, Central African Republic, The Gambia, Nigeria, Chad and Ivory Coast. In Democratic Republic of Congo, one in 30 women die Continued on page 63

ORE than 200 residents of Umuife village in Urum community, Awka-North Local Government Area of Anambra State, have been rendered homeless. They were sacked by a midnight thunder storm and heavy downpour that destroyed about 50 structures including private homes and public buildings; residential homes; business areas; government facilities; electric poles and cables; and economic trees among others. When The Nation visited Umuife yesterday, a community leader who doubles as the Financial Secretary of Umuife Progressive Union (UPU), Mr. Obiesili Amaechi Cosmas, described the incident as “tragic”. He lamented that their homes, farmlands and economic trees were swept away, leaving them hopeless. Obiesili said: “I have never witnessed this kind of thing ever since I was born or heard it ever happened. Many houses, business centres, PHCN facilities and farms were destroyed. “Many people were rendered homeless. Many were injured and the entire village is affected. Can’t you see people crying for help? My own house was adversely affected. “We have started making contacts with the

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

government agencies to come to our rescue as this is beyond community capacity to handle. We have just contacted the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (ASEMA); our representative in the State House of Assembly, Rebecca Udorji; Caretaker Committee Chairperson for Awka-North, Mrs Joy Eweluzor, and others. We just hope they will come to our rescue soonest.” Another victim, Mr Chika Nath Arinze, said: “The fact is that from what we saw on ground, it’s a disaster of high magnitude. Our economic activities have been crippled; many people rendered homeless. “It has never happened before and it honestly needs urgent attention. As I’m talking to you now, the affected people have no place to lay their heads tonight. We are honestly looking forward to hearing from the government and ASEMA.” Mrs. Blessing Anaekwe, another victim, said: “What happened to me was disastrous. It nearly killed my only child. The thing began as a light rain shower, then the storm. “We thought we were the only victims, until we started hearing Continued on page 63

Rivers warns against siege


LL was calm yesterday in Port Harcourt after Monday’s peaceful protests. But the state government has stated that there are ominous signs that the peaceful state could be under siege, adding that it is in Nigeria’s best interest that the oil-rich state is stable. The secretariat of Obio/Akpor Local Government, which was sealed by policemen on May 3, remained shut down yesterday. The main opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Rivers State chapter, through its Publicity Secretary, Jerry Needam, also cautioned politicians and Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s aides to guard their utterances, in order not to overheat the polity. Commissioner for Information and Communications Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, in a statement, maintained that Amaechi is in control of the state’s affairs, without any threat to his office. Semenitari said: “The Rivers Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, will work to protect the people of Rivers State and to

•Amaechi From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

protect lives and property in Rivers state, because that is his responsibility to tax payers. “The protesting youths do not have that right to tell the Governor of Rivers State to resign. We have to be sure of who these faceless and nameless youths are. “There is a difference between a plan and the actualisation of a plan. I believe that Rivers people are very much aware of their Continued on page 63

55 die as Boko Haram hits troops, prisons, barracks

Continued from page 1

mander. Bama streets were empty all yesterday. Only soldiers and riot policemen were seen. The casualty at the prison may not have been big, according to sources, but for the inmates who reportedly exposed the officials hiding being firewood heaps. But the gunmen met a stiff resistance at the 202 Military Barracks on the outskirts of the town. Many of them were gunned down as they attempted to jump over the fence. A suspect, Bakura Ibrahim, was arrested. Some reporters, who were guided by the JTF spokesman, Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa, visited the 202 Barracks yesterday to see the scene of the fighting. They were conducted round by the Commanding Officer, Lt.-Col. A.G. Laka. He said 10 suspected Boko Haram members, some in military uniforms, were killed by soldiers who

Some Boko Haram attacks in 2013 21 February 2013: Nigerian government begins official search for a French family taken hostage on 19 February in Cameroon near the Nigerian border. Suicide blast targeting a military patrol vehicle in Maiduguri kills a civilian and injures six soldiers. A section of a market and adjoining shops, as well as a petrol station, are burnt. 20 February 2013: Two civilians and a suspected bomber are killed in a blast targeting a military patrol vehicle in Maiduguri. 19 February 2013: French President François Hollande accuses Boko Haram (BH) of the abduction of a French family in Cameroon on the border with Nigeria’s Borno State. 18 February 2013: Ansaru, in an email statement, claims the kidnap of seven expatriate construction workers in Bauchi State. 17 February 2013: Construction firm evacuates staff from Jama’are in Bauchi State. 16 February 2013: Gunmen kidnap seven foreign construction workers - a Briton, an

foiled their attempt to attack the barracks. Some arms and ammunition were recovered from the suspects. They included several 4

Italian, a Greek and four Lebanese - in Jama’are, killing a security employee. 15 February 2013: Two suicide bombers are killed in an attack targeting a military patrol vehicle in Maiduguri in which at least one soldier is injured. Several homes, shops and vehicles are burnt in the explosion. 11 February 2013: Police in Kano parade seven BH members suspected of involvement in the 19 January 2013 attack on the convoy of the emir of Kano which killed five people. Eight other BH members are declared wanted. 10 February 2013: Three North Korean doctors are killed by unknown attackers in Potiskum in northeastern Yobe State. 8 February 2013: Gunmen kill 10 polio immunization workers and injure three others in separate attacks on two polio clinics in Kano. 1 February 2013: Nigerian troops kill 17 Islamists in raids on BH training camps in two forests outside Maiduguri.

litres plastic containers water mixed with hard drugs, which, according to the military officer, makes insurgents lose their senses after taking it.

28 January 2013: A purported BH commander declares a ceasefire on behalf of the sect. 27 January 2013: Assailants kill eight residents of Gajiganna village near Maiduguri. 23 January 2013: Assailants behead five residents in the Gwange area of Maiduguri. 22 January 2013: Gunmen kill five men playing draughts and injure two others in the Dakata District of Kano. 21 January 2013: Some 18 local hunters are killed by gunmen in an attack on a market in Damboa town in Borno State. 19 January 2013: Two Nigerian soldiers are killed and five others seriously injured in a bomb attack on a contingent of Mali-bound Nigerian troops in central Kogi State. BH splinter group Ansaru claims responsibility. Five people are killed in an attack on the convoy of the emir of Kano Ado Bayero in Kano. 18 January 2013: Nigerian authorities anContinued on page 63

Lt.-Col. Laka said his men succeeded in killing many of the suspects, but some of them picked the bodies of their colleagues before running away

into the bush. They later attacked Banki, a town on the Camerounian border. Ten insurgents and seven policemen were killed penul-

timate week during a clash between security operatives and militants in Bama. About 200 houses, including shops were razed during that confrontation. Boko Haram launched its uprising in the tiny town in 2009, headquarters of Bama Local Goverrnment Area. Located about 75 kilometres away from Maiduguri, Bama, with an area of 4,997 square kilometers, has a population of 269, 986 according to the Nigerian Population Census (NPC) record of 2006.

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



NEWS Bi-Courtney/Fed Govt: Court assumes jurisdiction By Joseph Jibueze

A FEDERAL High Court, Lagos, has assumed jurisdiction in the suit filed by BiCourtney Ltd against the Federal Government over the termination of concession agreements for projects at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA2), Lagos. Justice Mohammed Idris on Monday dismissed the government’s preliminary objection. He held that the suit was properly filed and competent. Respondents in the suit are the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), the Managing Director of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and FAAN. FAAN terminated the leases it granted Bi-Courtney in respect of a hotel and conference centre at the airport because of “breaches” allegedly committed by the company. Dissatisfied, Bi-Courtney sued, praying the court to restrain the Federal Government and FAAN from taking over the properties. Bi-Courtney also urged the court to declare the government’s action illegal null and void. But the government contended that court lacked jurisdiction to hear the action. The substantive suit will be heard on June 5.

Private jets in Nigeria worth $3.75b, says GTBank CEO T HE Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Mr Segun Agbaje, has said private jets in Nigeria are worth $3.75 billion. He added that there are over 150 private jets owned by high networth individuals in the country. Agbaje said each category of jet costs $25m, which carries both local and international registrations. He spoke at the Nigerian Business Aviation Conference 2013 with the theme: ‘The Emerging Market in Business Aviation organised by the Evergreen Apple Nigeria in Lagos. Agbaje said the most popular jets among Nigerian billionaires are Gulfstream, Bombardier, Global Express, Hawker Legacy and Dassault Falcon.

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

Most of the jets, according to Agbaje, are imported from the United States of America, Canada, Europe, Brazil and South Africa. He noted that banks in the country are yet to invest in aviation industry because of attendant risks involved with commercial aviation. He added: “Aircraft financing is a way to deepening banking relationship with top private banking customers and corporate organisations, but there are some challenges in the financial institutions as most of us don’t realise yet the importance of support for the industry. Nigeria provides a

huge opportunity for development in aircraft manufacturing industry. “Risks and problems associated with commercial aviation is one of the problems confronting the sector. However, most financial institution will prefer to support business aviation at the expense of commercial aviation. Business aviation has less risks when compared to commercial aviation.” The International Sales Manager, Trevor Esling, described the Nigerian market as a big one in the global aviation industry, saying that the industry is developing at a very high speed. Esling said just like other aircraft manufacturers in the globe, Gulfstream was in the

country to tap into the potential in the sector with the supply of good and modern aircraft to interested parties in the sector. The Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Embraer Aircraft Manufacturing Company, Colin Stevens, said the company was already carrying out training for some Nigerian engineers. He said this was meant to support the industry and operators of their aircraft. He exuded confidence in the Nigerian aviation industry, stressing that the optimism of Embraer management prompted it to invest in the sector. “We are very optimistic of the Nigerian market, which is why we are investing in it. This is a market that has potential to grow,” he said

From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


BILL seeking the repeal of the National Economic Intelligence Committee Decree, scaled second reading in the Senate yesterday. Listed as the National Economic Intelligence Committee (Establishment) Cap N31 Law of the Federation, the decree was enacted during Gen. Sani Abacha’s regime. The committee has among other functions, the mandate to analyse the annual budget and extract all economic measures requiring enforcement; work out details on the method of enforcing implementation of the annual budget; analyse the monetary guidelines issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as well as monitor implementation of all measures enumerated therein. It was also saddled with the responsibility of monitoring and identifying factors inhibiting the realisation of set revenue targets such as tax evasion; enforce the implementation of existing tax legislations; and recommend increase or decrease of price on manufactured goods.

Fafowora’s memoirs for presentation

Police redeploy 11 commissioners From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

THE Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has ordered the redeployment of 11 Commissioners of Police (CPs) to various commands and formations. A statement by the Force Deputy Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba yesterday said the redeployment followed the recent elevation of some senior officers to the rank of Commissioners of Police and the retirement of some officers in state commands and other formations. The affected officers are: Agboola Oshodi-Glover (CP Kwara); Abubakar Adamu Mohammed (CP Enugu); Tonye Ebiye Ebitibituwa (CP Bayelsa); Umaru Shehu (CP Nasarawa); Hurdi Mohammed (CP Katsina); and Kudu Nma (Gombe). Others are: Sylvester Umeh (CP Eastern Port); Usman Isa Baba (CP Cooperative); Saidu Madawaki (CP Border Patrol); Usman Yakubu (CP Welfare ‘A’ Force Headquarters); Abdulmajid Ali (CP, EOD, ‘B’ Dept. Force Headquarters). The statement quoted the IGP to have challenged the officers to show commitment in the fight against crime and criminality in their new beats. “They are to ensure that they work cordially with the public and to serve as motivation to their subordinate officers in the discharge of their onerous responsibilities. “The IGP has also directed the officers to be mindful of the fundamental rights of the citizenry and ensure that complaints are promptly addressed, to avoid miscarriage of justice. “The redeployments take immediate effect.”

Senate moves to repeal Abacha’s NEIC decree

•The widow of entertainment industry lawyer, Efere Ozako, Anne flanked by her daughter, Omaina and son, Omanesi at the burial of the lawyer in Lagos...yesterday

Corruption is real, says Kolade

‘World Bank didn’t delist Nigeria from loans’


ORLD Bank Country Director for Nigeria Ms. Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, yesterday cleared the air on her statement at a news conference on Monday in Abuja. A statement by Mr Dele Oladokun of the World Bank Nigeria country office communications unit said: “During the briefing, the Country Director explained that from the fiscal year 2014, Nigeria would gradually move to a ‘blend’ country status which means that the country would not only be able to continue to enjoy resources from the IDA concessional window, but would start accessing from the Bank’s IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) window. Nigeria would enter into what is commonly called a transition period whose duration varies from country to country. On average, countries

which recently graduated from blend to IBRD status enjoyed an average transition period of about 7 years. “Countries are eligible for IDA on the basis of (a) relative poverty and (b) lack of creditworthiness. Nigeria’s graduation to the ‘blend’ status is due to the fact that the country has been assessed to be credit worthy for IBRD financing and its GNI (Gross National Income, formerly GNP) per capita has exceeded the IDA threshold per capita for three consecutive years. Based on World Bank Atlas methodology, 2011 per capita GNI for Nigeria was US$1280, which is slightly above the IDA operational cutoff of US$1,195. “For your information, countries that currently borrow under IDA, including Nigeria have a repayment period of 40 years, including a grace period of 10

AN array of dignitaries will tomorrow converge on the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos for the presentation of the memoirs of Ambassador Dapo Fafowora. The memoirs, entitled: “Lest I forget,” will be reviewed by Prof Adebayo Williams.


•Ms Francoise Marie-Nelly

years. Under the ‘blend’ status, Nigeria would still have access to IDA funding with a maturity period of 25 years, and a grace period of 5 years. As mentioned above, the country would be able to receive IBRD Credit which also has a maturity period of up to 25 years. “Ms Marie-Nelly further explained that this positive move would allow Nigeria access more funding from the World Bank in addition to knowledge and technical assistance to support Nigeria’s development programme.

HAIRMAN of Subsidy Recuitment and Empowerement Programme (SURE-P), Dr Christopher Kolade, has said that President Goodluck Jonathan was wrong to claim that corruption is exaggerated in Nigeria. Speaking at the conference of the Nigeria International Book Fair (NIBF) at the Multipurpose Halls, University of Lagos (UNILAG) yesterday, Dr Kolade said evidence of corruption abound in Nigeria. He said those who know should go public to convince Mr President of the extent of corruption in Nigeria so that he becomes convinced that it is thriving. He described the story of websites which provided candidates that wrote the 2013 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) with fake answers as an example of corruption. He added that former President Olusegun Obasanjo admitted that corruption is Nigeria’s number one enemy. He said Jonathan would be convinced about corrup-

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

tion “by all of us who know that corruption is not exaggerated going in public and saying so. You see, you must remember that the President lives in a protected environment. So, many things that are happening in the real world he doesn’t have contact with. So, he forms his opinion from where he is sitting. Those of us who have a different experience should also go public and say that corruption is not exaggerated; we should try and do something about it. “When Olusegun Obasanjo was President, he said corruption is our enemy number one. It has not changed. In fact, it has gotten worse. So, we should say so publicly. The country is as much your own as it is mine.” Former Anambra State Governor Mrs Virgy Etiaba, who was special guest of honour, lamented the dwindling fortunes of education, saying that the government is not investing in the sector.




Kuku: why I canvassed for Jonathan’s re-election in US


HE Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Mr Kingsley Kuku, yesterday explained why he called for the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan during his recent visit to the United States (US). He said it was informed by his belief that the Jonathan administration has stabilised the nation’s economy and can do more, if it is given the time to implement certain pacts it signed with former Niger Delta militants. According to him, over 85 per cent of the agreement reached with the former Niger Delta agitators has not been implemented. Kuku said a further delay in fulfilling the obligations could affect the relative peace in the region. Debunking reports that he threatened a resurgence of violence in the South-South if Jonathan is schemed out of the 2015 presidential race, the presidential aide said he merely appealed to the conscience of Nigerians and the rest of the world to give Jonathan another chance, especially when the Constitution stipulates a two-term of

Reps urge IGP to probe Kuku, Dokubo’s statements THE House of Representatives yesterday urged Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar to investigate the Presidential Adviser on Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, Mr Kinsley Kuku, as well as former militant leader Alhaji Mujahideen Asari-Dokubo, for allegedly making statements that may cause disaffection amongst Nigerians. The resolution of the House followed the adoption of the prayers of a motion by a member, Ali Sani Madaki (PDP, Kano), on the urgent need to check the utterances of some Nigerians. The Niger Delta men’s statements were on the 2015 presidential elections. Kuku, at an event in the United States, reportedly declared that there would be chaos in Nigeria, if President Goodluck Jonath-

From Victor Oluwasegun and able Anofi, Abuja

an is not re-elected in 2015. Asari-Dokubo, at the weekend, reportedly said Nigeria should get ready for a war, if the President is not re-elected for another term. The House condemned the statements “in the strongest term” and mandated its Committee on Public Safety and National Security to liaise with the IGP. It urged the committee to keep the House abreast of any development on the matter. Madaki regretted that “while Nigerians are fervently praying for peace, some others are out sowing a seed of discord”. The lawmaker warned that if the type of inflammatory statements credited to Kuku and Dokubo are not checked, they are “capable of creating disunity and disaffection among the good people of Nigeria”.

Ijaws won’t go to war, says Clark From Yomi Odunuga, Deputy Editor, Nation’s Capital (Abuja) and Shola O’Neil, Warri

four years for him, if he so wishes. He said the President has not given any of his aides the mandate to speak on his behalf on the 2015 presidential race. Kuku, however, added

that he was speaking the minds of stakeholders in the Niger Delta region. He said: “What I said in the US has been completely misrepresented. I spoke of the possibility of a degenerate Niger Delta if we do not value the fragile peace we have in the area today. I did not say that the Niger Delta will resort to violence if the Presi-

dent was not re-elected in 2015. I never said that and I couldn’t have said that. Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, has assured that his people would not engage in any violent agitation if President Jonathan does not secure a second tenure in the 2015 presidential election. Clark addressed reporters in his Warri, Delta State,


home with the state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Peter Nwaoboshi, and Chief Godwin Ogbetuo, among others. The elder statesman cautioned Minister of Niger Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe, against making inflammatory statement to boost his political ambition. He said the Ijaw cannot impose a president on other Nigerians, adding that they would accept Nigerians’ verdict, if other zones refuse to vote for Jonathan’s re-election. Clark was reacting to the statements credited to AsariDokubo and Kuku that there

would be trouble if Jonathan is not re-elected in 2015. The former Information Minister reaffirmed his earlier stance that Dr Jonathan is qualified for a re-election in 2015, adding that his kinsmen’s insistence on that right should not be misconstrued as a threat to cause violence if he is rejected at the polls. He said: “President Jonathan is not the president of Ijaw, Bayelsa, Rivers or any other state; he is the President of Nigeria. The South-South alone cannot make him president. “So, Ijaw will not make trouble if an Ijaw man is not accepted by other Nigerians. They will join other Nigerians to lobby for Mr. President. But anybody preventing Mr. President from realising his ambition is looking for trouble.” On Orubebe and AsariDokubo, the elder statesman said: “I have tried to disabuse the minds of the people and denied that neither Mr. President nor I is aware of Mr. Orubebe’s statement. “Orubebe should realise that peace is a scarce commodity in Delta State, particularly in the PDP since the 2007 governorship election.”

Lagos Assembly to Jonathan: don’t turn Nigeria to pariah state

Court to hear Babalakin’s application June 5

By Oziegbe Okoeki

USTICE Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a High Court, Ikeja, Lagos State, has fixed June 5 for hearing an application filed by Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) and co-defendant Alex Okoh in which they are asking the court to quash the N4.7 billion money laundering charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The court dismissed a pending application filed by Dr Babalakin’s firm, Bi-Courtney Services Limited, seeking to quash the N4.7billion fraud charge the EFCC filed against it. Babalakin, companies, Stabilini Visioni Limited, BiCourtney Limited, Renix Nigeria Limited and Alex Okoh, are facing a 27-count charge of criminal conspiracy and laundering of N4.7 billion. The EFCC alleged that the accused laundered the money on behalf of convicted former Delta State Governor James Ibori. Ruling on Bi-Courtney’s application yesterday, Justice Onigbanjo dismissed the submission of the defendant that the continuation of the trial was an abuse of the court process because of an application pending at the Appeal Court on the same matter.

By Adebisi Onanuga



HE Lagos State House of Assembly has warned President Goodluck Jonathan to desist from ruling the country as if it was a pariah state. Its spokesperson and Chairman, House Committee on Information, Strategy, Security and Publicity, Segun Olulade, addressed reporters yesterday at the Assembly complex. The lawmaker noted that “some of the recent actions and vituperations of the President smack of an intent to make Nigeria an authoritarian state where there is utter disregard for the rule of law, democratic ethos and the sovereign will of the people”. Olulade urged Dr Jonathan not allow the challenges facing the nation and the pressure of his 2015 ambition to force his administration into taking actions that would cause anarchy. He added: “The highly condemnable approaches of President Jonathan towards dissenting voices within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as his administration’s policies against the major opposition parties in Nigeria demonstrate the extent of the administration’s intolerance, sense of insecurity and cowardice. “The role of the Presidency is worrisome in the alleged plot to impeach Governors Rotimi Amaechi and Rabiu Kwakwanso of Rivers and Kano State, the suspected plan for a state of emergency in Rivers State, the diabolical moves to balkanise and incapacitate the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), the sardonic intent to stop the registration of newly emerging opposition merger parties through the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the unlawful deregistration of many hitherto existing political parties without recourse to their constitutional right, among others...”

From left: Wike; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr. MacJohn Nwabiala and Acting Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Prof. Charles Onocha, at a meeting with contractors handling projects for the ministry in Abuja... yesterday.


Be serious, minister urges committee

ORRIED by the slow pace of work on the integration of out-of-school children by the National Implementation Committee, Minister of State for Education Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has challenged the committee members to live up to the expectations of the Federal Government. The Minister spoke in Abuja yesterday during a meeting with members of the National Implementation Committee for the Integration of Out-of-School Children in Southsouth and Southeast and the National Implementation Committee for the Integration of Almajiris into the nation’s basic education sector. The minister said the committee saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that schools are constructed for the out-ofschool children in the Southsouth has not started making im-

pact across the two regions of its focus months after the Federal Government inaugurated it. He said the Jonathan administration remains committed to addressing the challenges posed by the presence of out-of-school children in parts of the country, stressing that members should deploy their vast experience to the work of the committee to achieve faster results. He said: “The Federal Government is not happy with the pace of work of the Committee on the integration of SouthSouth children into the nation’s basic education sector. We want the committee to work faster, so that the benefits of the government’s investments will be felt by all. “The budget of the committee has been duly approved and there is a need for the committee to diligently apply the funds to the specified projects”.

Oshiomhole urges govts to ‘connect’ with rural dwellers


DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has urged governments across the world to connect with the forgotten majority of people in the rural areas to enable them catch up with contemporary challenges of development. The governor spoke at the Global Conference on Citizen Engagement for Enhanced Development Impact organised by the World Bank in Washington DC,

the United States. He noted that the challenges of governance are to strike a critical balance. Oshiomhole said: “As the world changes, we need to keep on reflecting on how to make governance work for everybody. We have to recognise that as the world changes, some solutions that worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. “The forgotten majority determines who governs, but

when elections are over, they are generally back to their forgotten rural communities and the few vocal ones get their voices heard. They have a way of manipulating what the state do and what they don’t do. For me, this is the challenge of many developing countries. “We have done a lot to bridge this gap by institutionalising dialogue at various levels, reaching out to local representatives and ward leaders as

well as encouraging them to give us a feedback on what we are doing in various communities and how it is affecting them. “We need to keep on engaging; we need to keep on reflecting on how best to make government work for its citizens. This is because unlike business, you have limited shareholders. Governance is for everybody: the poor, the rich, the literate, the most exposed and others. In a country where the level of

poverty is high, it is even more important that we must make conscious effort to connect with the silent majority. “From my experience in Edo State, when you do that, you earn greater trust and when you have the trust of the people, you have greater confidence to make radical changes necessary to revive the redistribution of income away from the few who are rich to the majority who are extremely poor” he said.




Ekiti Assembly okays deputy governor-nominee •Adelabu: politics should unite us

THE Osun State Government has postponed the public presentation of the Opon Imo (Tablet of Knowledge), which was earlier slated for tomorrow. The new date will be announced soon. The government said it regrets any inconvenience caused by the postponement.


KITI State deputy governor-nominee Prof. Modupe Adelabu was yesterday screened by the House of Assembly. All the 26 members of the House were present at the screening, which held during a closed door special parliamentary session. Mrs. Adelabu was nominated last Friday by Governor Kayode Fayemi. She may be sworn in today at a special executive council meeting. Prof. Adelabu told reporters that “politics should be a tool for uniting people”. She urged “politicians to cooperate with the Fayemi administration to build an Ekiti that all indigenes would be proud of”. Prof. Adelabu said: “Irrespective of our political differences, this state belongs to all of us. We should forget our differences and come together to build a solid state, because whatever happens now, either good or bad, will affect all of us. “We are already in a new dawn in Ekiti under the Fayemi administration. We should work together for the state’s growth.”

Ibadan traders mourn colleagues From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan


RADERS at the popular Bodija market in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, yesterday shut their shops to mourn four of their colleagues, who were killed by gunmen in Maiduguri, Borno State, on Sunday. The victims, simply identified as Nihas; Fatai (a.k.a. Coach); Alaba and Amodu, travelled to Maiduguri to buy millet. They were shot dead by gunmen near Maiduguri. It was learnt that the gunmen ambushed the commercial bus conveying the late traders. One of the market leaders, who pleaded for anonymity, said: “We heard there were 16 passengers in the vehicle and the four traders were the only Yoruba among them. “We heard that the gunmen ordered them to lie face down and shot them. They stole the millions of Naira they had on them.” The traders got the news on Monday and decided not to open their shops yesterday. To prevent a reprisal attack on Hausa traders, armed policemen were deployed in the market. The traders discussed in groups and many shoppers turned back disappointed. Skeletal trading resumed around 5pm when traders selling perishable goods displayed their wares. The traders condemned the killings, which they said had become one too many. One of them said: “That was how they killed three cattle dealers from here in the same area last October. We often contribute money and send a few traders to the market to cut cost.”

Osun postpones Opon Imo’s inauguration

Oyo Assembly extends tenure of council chiefs From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

•Prof. Adelabu flanked by Omirin (right) and other lawmakers...yesterday. From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

On the ideas she plans to introduce when she assumes office, Mrs. Adelabu said: “God plans for all of us. I will have to study the ground and know how to contribute my quota. I did not expect it. We all know that this position was not vacant until the un-

fortunate death of Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka. So, I never expected it.” Asked whether she was prepared for the position, she said: “My position as the Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has prepared me for any position in government. “Though we already have

a template, which is the eight-point agenda, I will contribute my quota. Nothing would be strange to me because I am part and parcel of this administration.” The Speaker, Adewale Omirin, said: “We conducted the screening at the parliament based on the lawmakers’ decision. We

drilled the nominee for over 30 minutes and she did not let us down. She answered us intelligently and we did not expect anything less. Her performance did not disappoint us. The governor would not disappoint anyone in making such a critical appointment. The nominee is a round peg in a round hole.”

‘Why Ondo council workers haven’t been paid’


HE delay in the salary of council workers in Ondo State was caused by the just concluded staff verification, it was learnt yesterday. Some local government workers were last paid in February. An official at the Local

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

Government Service Commission (OSLGSC) said: “The government is trying to sanitise councils and eliminate ghost workers before paying salary.” When The Nation visited the commission, its officials were

compiling documents to facilitate the payment of the two months salary arrears. A fraud was discovered recently in seven councils. It was allegedly perpetrated by officials of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and

some council workers. There were also reports of illegal employment of workers in councils. A source in the Office of the Head of Service (HoS), Mrs. Kosemani Kolawole, said all public servants received their April salary last week.

Septuagenarian dies settling dispute


SEPTUAGENARIAN, Mrs. Esther Asakula, has died trying to separate a fight in Akure, the Ondo State capital. Eyewitnesses said the 75year-old woman’s fighting neighbours pushed her down and this resulted in her death.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

The old woman was rushed to the Specialist Hospital, Akure, where she was certified dead. Her body has been deposited at the hospital’s morgue. The police have arrested

the three women that were fighting. Police spokesman Wole Ogodo urged people to always report their differences to the police. He said the police will deal ruthlessly with anyone who

disturbs public peace. Ogodo assured the deceased’s family that justice would be done. He said the command has started investigating the cause of the fight between the women.

Three Ibadan robbery suspects die in hospital


HREE members of a gang that attacked a bureau de change at the weekend in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, have died in the hospital. They are Ibrahim Mohammed from Igbeti, Muham-

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

modu Babangida from IwereIle and Haruna Saleh from Toll Gate, Ogere. The police confronted a six-man robbery gang, after the hoodlums robbed a bu-

reau de change in Sabo around 5:30pm on Saturday. Three of the hoodlums were killed in a gun battle with the police. The remaining three, who were injured, were arrested

and taken to the State Hospital, Adeoyo, by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Police spokes woman, Mrs. Olabisi Ilobanafor, said they died on Monday morning in the hospital.

Lagos gets Pilgrims Welfare Board Law

‘We didn’t supervise attack on Accord members’


HE Oyo State Joint Task Force, Operation Burst, yesterday debunked the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) allegation that it was being used to witch-hunt government’s enemies. In a national newspaper on Monday, the PDP alleged that the task force supervised last week’s attack on Accord members by hoodlums. The attack occurred at Olomi in Ibadan, the state capital, at a ceremony where the Accord was receiving new members into

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

the party. The PDP also alleged that the security outfit disrupted a meeting of a faction of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) led by Chief Michael Koleoso in Saki in January. Operation Burst said it had nothing to do with the incidents. In a statement by Mr. Agboola Waheed on behalf of the Commander, LC ILO, Operation Burst said: “Following a distress call received by this outfit, patrol

teams were deployed in the area to contain any escalation or breakdown of law and order. “Since inception, we have never carried out any operation in Saki as mentioned in the publication. Our operation has been restricted to Ibadan and Ibarapa zone. “Operation Burst is a disciplined organisation, which distances itself from partisan issues. It is committed to containing crime and has successfully done so. The outfit will continue to provide security for all residents.”

THE Oyo State House of Assembly yesterday extended the tenure of the caretaker chairmen of 30 of the 33 council by six months. The chairmen, whose earlier six months tenure expired yesterday, had been in office since last November. The lawmakers granted Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s request for a fresh extension during plenary. The approval has foreclosed the likelihood of council polls holding earlier than September, as the fresh tenure will expire in October 7, after which a statutory 150-day notice must be given before the election. The Speaker, Mrs. Monsurat Sunmonu, said the house is waiting for executive directive on the remaining three council Ona-Ara, Itesiwaju and Ibadan North East. On the delay in the conduct of council polls, Mr. Adeniyi Farinto (Iwajowa Constituency) said people should not cast aspertion on the House of Assembly for the delay. He said the executive cannnot nominate members of the State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) because of a pending court case. Farinto urged the executive and all parties involved to expedite action on the legal tussle causing the delay. Two bills on the law establishing the Ibarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa, and Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki, passed through the first reading.


HE Lagos State House of Assembly has passed the bill for the establishment of the State Christian and Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards into Law. The bill, which was passed after scaling through its third reading in the House, has been sent to the governor for assent. The two boards are to be established to meet the needs of Muslim and Christian pilgrims. The bill has 31 sections, including membership of the boards, tenure of office

By Oziegbe Okoeki

of members, cessation of office of members of the Boards, remuneration and allboards, meetings and quorum. The bill is expected to overhaul the pilgrimage system. Other sections deal with power to co-opt, voting, filling of vacancy, functions of the Christian and Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards, secretaries of the board, funding of the boards and operation of bank accounts, among others.





OUTHS in Ilupeju-Ekiti, Oye Local Government Area, yesterday protested the killing of a 400-level student of the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Seyi Fasere. He was allegedly shot dead by a police officer, popularly called Akobi Esu (Devil’s first born), on February 28 after a robbery in Oye-Ekiti. As early as 7am, the youths gathered at the Methodist Pilot School and barricaded major roads, halting commercial activities and vehicular movement. Schools were hurriedly shut as the protesters went round Isidore, Iyana Ire, Abuja Express Road, Garrage and Menora Market. Waving tree branches, they insisted that “the police must produce Fasere’s killer”. They carried placards with inscriptions, such as “Where is Akobi Esu”; “We cannot be silent about Fasere”; “Wakama is shielding a killer”; “Governor Kayode Fayemi, Fasere was also your subject” and “IGP, Fasere’s blood is on your neck”, among others. The youths blocked the IfakiLokoja highway, causing a gridlock for nearly eight hours. Motorists going towards Kogi State from Ifaki/Oye-Ekiti had to go back to Oye-Ekiti and make a detour through IsanEkiti. The protesters visited the palace of the Apeju of Ilupeju-Ekiti,

•The protesters...yesterday.

Youths protest EKSU student’s killing •Demand N150m compensation for family From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

Oba Olaleye Oniyelu. They accused the governor; Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Ganiyu Owolabi and Oye Local Government Chairman Mr. Akindele Ogungbuyi of not “playing their expected roles in bringing Fasere’s killer to justice and restitution to his parents”. The protest took an unexpected turn when the youths

went to the Oye Police Station. The few policemen on duty shot into the air and fired tear gas at the protesters. This led to a stampede and one of the protesters, Omoniyi Deji, was critically injured. It was learnt that he has being hospitalised. President of Ilupeju Youths Evang. Ajayi Idowu, who addressed the youths during the protest, said it was “morally and constitutionally wrong for the police to conduct a post-

•Adebanjo, Ajayi, Okurounmu shun meetings

By Oziegbe Okoeki


ACN hails Aregbesola, labour


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State has hailed Governor Rauf Aregbesola and labour leaders for resolving their dispute amicably. The party said it was happy with the public demonstration of the rapprochement during the May Day celebration in Osogbo, the state capital. It said the event turned out to be a carnival of love and solidarity. In a statement yesterday by its Publicity Director, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, the ACN said the May Day celebration left no one in doubt that the governor and labour leaders have agreed to work together for the state’s progress. It said the demonstration of love by the labour leaders was evident of the maturity shown by both parties in arriving at a consensus. ACN said: “This peaceful, mature and responsible approach to conflict resolution is what Osun needs to consolidate on the massive reconstruction work Aregbesola and his team are undertaking. “The carnival-like rally is also a virtual endorsement of Aregbesola’s hard work and positive leadership, which labour leaders have acknowledged as unprecedented since the state’s creation. “This should put the opposition on notice that the 2014 governorship election is not going to be a contest but an endorsement by the people of Osun.”

“We demand that Fasere should be buried at the command headquarters and the command be named after him, so that his death will not be in vain.” The President of Ilupeju Ekiti Students’ Union, Mr. Temitayo Fatile, said: “I expect the police to own up that Fasere was killed in error, rather than playing pranks with the unjust killing of a promising young man. We will not stop protesting until the government gives one of the

Omisore’s return polarises Afenifere

More knocks for PDP over probe Fashola call GROUP, the Fasholamania Independent Support Movement (FISM), has criticised the call for a probe of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola. It described the Lagos State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Mr. Tunji Shelle, who made the call, as “an enemy of the state”. In a statement by its President, Mr. Olukayode Salako, FISM said Lagos PDP “has refused to see anything good in the Fashola administration because of its desperate desire to capture the state”. It accused Lagos PDP of deceiving Lagosians daily with “childish lies, baseless accusations and unintelligent propaganda”. The statement reads: “Whether Lagos PDP accepts it or not, the Fashola administration remains a benchmark for setting copious standards for good governance in Nigeria. Shelle and Lagos PDP have not governed any state before, so they may not really know the challenges of governing an over populated, complex and cosmopolitan environment like Lagos. “Any reasonable person who sees the quality of the state government’s projects will know that it costs money to build good and lasting infrastructure. “Lagos PDP is outside the government, so cannot easily determine the cost of projects and running an effective government. We urge Lagosians to beware of the baseless accusations of Lagos PDP and not be deceived into believing that it is a credible alternative in 2015. Lagos PDP is a factionalised party. It is not united. It is a party of crises. “If there is anybody who should call the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe any government for corruption, it should be Nigerians calling for the probe of many incumbent and past PDP governors, who did nothing tangible for their people. That alone is corruption. “The greatest mistake Lagosians can make in 2015 is to vote to return Lagos to the past. Lagos PDP would return Lagos to the past. Lagosians, be warned. “Instead of castigating Fashola, we urge the PDP to tell Lagosians how it can govern Lagos better than Fashola.”

mortem on Fasere without involving his family”. He said: “Given the unjust killing and the trauma the slain student’s parents went through, the police should pay them N150 million as compensation. “The police are taking people for a ride. After killing a person unjustly and abusing his parents, they went ahead to conduct a secret investigation and are now telling the parents to come and take the body for burial.

deceased’s siblings scholarship up to the university level. “Secondly, since the police disgraced Fasere’s parents, the family must be compensated with N150 million. Thirdly, we expect a pronouncement from the police and the Federal Government that Fasere was not an armed robber and he was mistakenly shot. “The police made a mistake by conducting the autopsy without inviting any member of the family to witness it.” Police spokesman Mr. Victor Babayemi said the command was not aware of the protest.


HE return of former Osun State Deputy Governor Iyiola Omisore to a faction of the Afenifere has unsettled the pan-Yoruba socio-political group. Prominent leaders of the Pa Rueben Fasoranti-led faction, including Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Dr. Femi Okunrounmu, have been shunning the group’s meetings. They have vowed not to have any dealing with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain. The trio demanded explanation from Fasoranti for the senator’s romance with the organisation. Trouble started in Akure, the Ondo State capital, when Omisore was invited to the group’s meeting at Fasoranti’s home. A source said Adebanjo, an associate of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was alarmed that the group’s leaders were not consulted before the senator was invited. But others - Fasoranti, Chief Olu Falae, Chief Supo Sonibare, Chief Korede Duyile and the Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin - did not raise any eyebrow.


‘Chief Adebanjo never hid his feelings on principle and ideology. He was enraged. He questioned Omisore’s presence at the crucial reconciliation meeting. He demanded an explanation that could not be convincingly offered’ By Our Reporter

The source said: “Chief Adebanjo never hid his feelings on principle and ideology. He was enraged. He questioned Omisore’s presence at the crucial reconciliation meeting. He demanded an explanation that could not be convincingly offered. He threatened to leave the meeting, but he was pacified. One of the leaders told him that the purpose of the meeting, which was reconciliation, would be defeated, if another quarrel ensued over Omisore’s presence. Adebanjo was not satisfied with the shallow explanation.” According to the source, Okunrounmu resigned orally, complaining that Afenifere

had derailed from the vision of its founding fathers. The group has selected a renowned writer, Bashorun Sehinde Arogbofa, as its new secretary. The source said: “Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko is Omisore’s friend. The governor has influence on Akure-based Afenifere leaders and he may have pleaded with them to accommodate the senator. “The group usually supports a political party during elections and Omisore wants to contest the Osun State governorship election. But young members of the group are also asking questions.” When Afenifere held its State of the Nation Conference in Lagos recently, Ajayi,

Adebanjo and Okunrounmu shunned the event. Omisore sat on the high table with Fasoranti, Falae and Sonibare. Members of the group, who pleaded for anonymity, said the leaders said they stayed away to avoid embarrassment and save their reputation. At the press conference held at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, some chieftains of the group, including Falae, Sonibare and Arogbofa, defended Omisore’s presence, saying that as a Yoruba person, the gates of the organisation cannot be shut against him. Falae said Omisore never left Afenifere, although he resigned as Osun State deputy governor and left the Alliance for Democracy (AD), adding that he was only a dormant member of the group. A few weeks ago, the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), dissociated itself from the Akure meeting and rejected Omisore’s move to hobnob with the organisation. Its leader, Mr. Wale Oshun, said: “With Omisore in Afenifere, Awolowo, Ajasin, Adesanya and Bola Ige will turn in their graves.”

Akure monarchs defy Deji

OME monarchs in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State yesterday flouted the order of Deji of Akure, Oba Adebiyi Adesida, who deposed them. Oba Adesida was allegedly aggrieved because the affected Obas did not get his blessings before they accepted appointments into positions. But the monarchs insisted that they would remain on the throne notwithstanding their deposition by the Deji-inCouncil They argued that they were appointed by the prescribed authorities in the local government area, stressing that only the authorities can dethrone them.

•Say ‘only Mimiko can depose us’ From Damisi Ojo, Akure

According to the Olu of Alayere, Prince Adeniran Aladetoyinbo, who spoke on behalf of the other Obas, only the person who appointed them has the right to sack them, noting that their domain is not in Akure South but in Akure North. Oba Adesida, who is a paramount ruler in Akure kingdom, has ordered the deposition of the monarchs in his domain, for not getting his nod before they took up appointments. He maintained that the Aladeyede Ogbese and oth-

ers have been elevated to the status of an Oba but that the elevation does not confer authority beyond his territory on him. Aladetoyinbo, however, said the prescribed authorities in Akure North are the Alayede Ogbese, Oloba of Oba-Ile, Okiti of Iju and Ogbolu of Ita-Ogbolu, without Deji, who is from Akure South Local Government Area. According to him, the prescribed authorities have given them letters of recognition and no other person could withdraw it.

Aladetoyinbo said only the state governor, (Dr. Olusegun Mimiko), who is the consenting authority and who appoints and gives staff of office and instrument of office to any monarch, has the right to depose erring royal fathers. The monarch contended that by virtue of the Land Use Decree of 1978, all lands belong to the government and only it can revoke the certificate of occupancy and not any first class monarch. He said they would remain in their palaces in defiance of Deji’s directive. Aladetoyinbo argued that the Deji of Akure have no power to dethrone them




















Changing the face of mortuary services

Aliyu procures 592 tricycles

50 inmates receive sacrament








Page 17


Kids to join Ogun anti-malaria campaign HILDREN will join the efforts of the Ogun State government to combat malaria. This is because kids are vital change agents in information dissemination. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka who made this known at a crusade to sensitise students of public and private schools in the state, said that children have been discovered to play vital roles in disseminating information, particularly among their peers and parents.


•Senator Amosun

“We believe the children are the future; by the time we inculcate this attitude in them and they grow up with it, I believe they will be able to communicate with their peers and parents on how malaria can be prevented,” the Commissioner noted. Dr. Soyinka, represented by his Special Assistant, Dr. Sade Adebanjo at the programme organised in conjunction with a pharmaceutical company, remarked that children aged between ages zero to five were the most vulnerable to malaria attack.

He reiterated that the state government was firmly committed to providing a sound and safe healthcare service to the people as one of its five cardinal programmes, pointing out that the programme was a demonstration of this commitment. Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Health, Dr. Olaoluwa Lawson urged mothers to always ensure that their children are protected from malaria attack by using insecticide treated mosquitoes nets. Another way par-

ents can prevent malaria is clearing their surroundings and always avoiding stagnant water in the environment. The representative of the partnering pharmaceutical company, Mrs. Taiwo Aderinsola expressed the willingness of her organisation to partner with the state government on any issue relating to healthcare, pointing out that malaria remained a scourge that required the attention of the government and stakeholders.


BRAND new state is emerging as Osun’s infrastructural renewal gathers pace. Narrow and dilapidated old roads are being rebuilt and expanded, some converted to dual-carriageways with drainage. Sprawling new markets are taking shape, spacious and fitted with modern facilities for the convenience of traders and patrons. Some new schools are being built, old ones rehabilitated and upgraded. In each of the 30 local government areas of the state, a 10km road is also being built. A cargo airport under construction will be ready this year. “Our philosophy translates to the welfare of our people,” said Dr Wale Bolorunduro, the state Commissioner for Finance, Economic Planning and Budget. That welfare philosophy became clear as the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola was inaugurated over two years ago. The first major step the governor took was to drastically reduce the youth population in the unemployment market in his first 100 days in office. Within that time, 20,000 jobless persons were engaged in the Osun State Youth Employment Scheme or OYES, a revolving volunteer jobs scheme. A world of opportunities lay before the volunteers. Some learnt a new trade such as computer or GSM phone repair. Some went into agriculture. Some took to caring for patients in the hospital. On the streets of Osogbo, the state capital, and other towns and cities, some OYES volunteers boosted traffic control or enhanced the state’s hygiene plan by evacuating gutters and cleaning streets. History was also made in the process. Women enlisted in the sanitary truck driving department. On the streets of the state capital, the women drivers have become a regular sight, evacuating refuse from collection points. The point in the OYES programme, as Aregbesola says, is not to turn people into overnight

•A beautified roundabout in Osogbo

inset: Governor Aregbesola

Osun infrastructure upgrade peaks Cargo airport to be ready this year From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

millionaires, but to help them earn a living and above all, awaken in them a sense of dignity in service to the state. Commissioner Bolorunduro said nine cities in the state have been selected for urban renewal, adding that the Aregbesola administration is working with the United Nations

Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) to plan Osogbo. The goal of the collaboration, the commissioner said, is to ensure that the state capital can accommodate growth dynamics in the next 20 years. To that extent, a popular plank market near a rail line has been relocated; other structures which either impede free flow of traffic or distort the state’s aesthetics plan

Quality roads built

will also give way. Some houses on roadsides have been pulled down, as have even worship centres, so that the state’s renewal plan can go on unhindered. But the interesting thing is that no one is complaining about the demolition. A shopkeeper told Newsextra that the infrastructure upgrade is in everybody’s interest, so no one should read any ulterior motives into it.

Pupils from Primary One to Four are fed free in school but the remarkable thing about it is not just that the kids are eating good food but that jobs are created and the state economy is lifted. For instance, said Commissioner Bolorunduro, “the chicken in their meal is produced from Osun”. About 3,000 food •Continued on Page 46



Osun spends N200m on drugs

Niger procures 592 tricycles


•Aliyu Babangida

HE Niger State government said that it had placed order for additional 592 tricycles worth N324 million to be distributed to members of Commercial Motorcycle Riders Association. The Commissioner for Transport, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed, told journalists in Minna that the tricycles would complement 1,000 recently distributed to operators in the state. According to him, it is part of government’s effort to ban commercial motorcycle operators in Minna and its environ. “There is no going back on the ban on commercial motorcyclists for that reason, we have placed orders for additional 592 tricycles worth N324 million. “We just came back from an inspection tour of the Mahindra manufacturing company in

Sokoto sponsors 300 indigenes


OKOTO State Governor Aliyu Wamakko has said that his government would sponsor 300 indigenes of the state for graduate and post graduate studies at the International Islamic University, Mbale, Uganda. Wamakko said this in Sokoto while bidding farewell to the first batch of 150 students for Master’s programme in educational development . “The first batch of the post graduate students will leave on May 12 to start with a post graduate diploma in education for six months . “The remaining batch will meet them there in December. They will together commence the two-year Master’s Degree programme in educational management in January 2014,” he added. Wamakko said another set of 150 holders of the National Certificate of Education (NCE) would also leave for the same University in September for various sciencerelated first degree courses . He said arrangements for similar partnerships were ongoing with the University of Lagos and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. “The problem with the education system in the state is not lack of teachers but that of the dearth for the required supervision. “So, these 300 graduate and post gradu-

Church service THE Eagles Ministries Worldwide (a.ka. Mountain of Authority Testimonies), will conduct a vigil on Friday, May 10. The service will begin at 9.00pm and venue is Mayfair Big Hall, Owolade Bus Stop, Olowora-OjoduBerger, Ikeja, Lagos State. According to the chief host, Pastor John Ify Npunchi, those who would attend are in for a wonderful experience as their lives experience a turnaround. Many ministers are expected at the event.

ate students are expected to come back to the state in 2015 and help in changing the ugly trend,” Wamakko said. The governor said the state government had made adequate arrangements for the students throughout their stay in Uganda. “I will visit you soon to see how you are faring in Uganda. You should be disciplined and be good ambassadors of the state and Nigeria.”


Niger India; they manufacture 300 tricycles per hour, ’’ Mohammed said. He said the tricycle was durable, economical and easy to maintain because it used diesel. He said that the final ban on commercial motorcycles would be decided as soon as the government took delivery of the tricycles in two months time. The commissioner said they would be distributed to only members of the association of commercial motorcycles as was done when the government started the transport scheme. He explained that members were expected to pay four per cent of N400,000, which was the cost of each tricycle, before collecting it. Mohammed said that full payment by members of the association was expected within 18 months from the day of collection.


•Women at the summit

Monarch praises council chair


HE Chairman of Ipokia Local Government, Hon. Isiaka Wale Aderounmu, has been praised for embarcing honesty, hardwork and accountability in the running of his council. The Olu of Illaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, gave the commendation at Ifonyintedo while inaugurating a block of two classrooms with office store and modern toilet facilities at the Community Primary

•Oba Olugbenle presenting hospital equipment to Dr. O. A. Oke


•Deputy Governor Titi Laoye-Tomori

Women urged to work hard, pray OMEN have been urged to be hardworking,vigilant and prayerful. The call was made by the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dame Abimbola Fashola, at the 2013 National Women Prayer Summit held in Lagos.

School, Idomogun – Ifonyintedo in Ipokia Local Government Area. According to a press statement by the council’s Director of Information, Mr. Oloyede Oyeniyi, the turning of the sod of Community Primary School, Idomogun –Ifonyintedo was performed by the monarch after had donated hospital equipment, bedding and roofing materials worth millions of Naira to Agosasa Maternity Centre Agosasa in Ipokia Local Government Area as part of the activities marking his first year coronation anniversary. Oba Olugbenle urged the chairman not to be carried away by praises of the residents but rather be more prepared to pursue programmes and policies that would promote unity, peace and progress of the council, urging him to explore the assistance of stakeholders in the area. Also speaking , the Onipokia of Ipokia, Oba Raufu Adetunji Adeole, noted the people’s satisfaction with the performance of the chairman of the council. He urged the council to intensify efforts on the internally generated revenue. Replying, Hon. Aderounmu thanked residents of his council for their support and noted that the construction of a block of two classrooms at IdomogunIfonyintedo was in fulfilment of the promises made during his electioneering campaigns to the people of the area. He pledged to re-dedicate the rest part of his life to serving the Almighty God and humanity. Present at the event were traditional rulers and stakeholders within and outside the council.

OVERNOR Rauf Aregbesola of Osun says the state government has spent more than N200 million on the procurement of drugs. Aregbesola stated this at the kick-off of the distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) organised by the federal and state ministries of Health in Osogbo. According to him, his administration was committed to ensuring healthy living for its citizens by making anti-malaria and other drugs available in all state hospitals. “The distribution of the treated nets will complement the on-going drive against malaria, which has recorded significant successes in the state,’’ he said. Aregbesola said expectant mothers had also been receiving free anti-malaria drugs as part of their ante-natal treatment in government health facilities across the state. “The state government has been making

By Abike Adegbulehin

Women from many states of the federation converged at the Muson Centre, Lagos for the event. Leading other women to make case for growth through prayers, Dame Fashola added that the crusade should start from home. She said: “Nigerians should keep praying, working and keep acting their own part so that we can have a nation we can be proud of. Everyone of us is involved and no one is excluded. The youth, the young and everyone who is able to understand what is right and wrong should be able to pray for this land. “The only way out of the problem of this country is love. Love is the foundation of every development . If we love ourselves, we will respect ourselves and not hurt the feelings of our brothers and sisters. She said God-fearing politicians are needed to handle the affairs of the country, saying, “If he loves God, he will do what God has appointed him to do. Any politician who doesn’t have God in his heart is either working on his own or working for men. “Most of our leaders are disconnected and that is why we are having problems. Let them be poor in spirit as that is the only way they can enrich us, not only for their own good but for the good of every Nigerian. Convener of Awesome Treasures, a NonGovernmental Organisation, Mrs Jumoke Adenowo, said the event was set up to make transformational leaders from women. The NGO, which began since 1999, has a women empowerment centre in Lagos where it holds training sessions to make them fully equipped for economic challenges.


Osun efforts to improve the health of the masses with the ‘roll back malaria’ campaign to educate citizens on the importance of the use of ITNs,’’ he said. The governor said bed nets were being distributed for free in keeping with the global effort to eradicate the disease, urging pregnant and nursing mothers to make use of the nets. Earlier, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, had said the use of LongLasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) had been adopted as “one of the key strategies for malaria prevention and control in Nigeria’’. Chukwu, who was represented by Dr Ade Aladesanmi, said the ministry would restrategise in order to rapidly scale up intervention for effective malaria prevention and control in the country. “The current strategy is to deliver two LLINs to each household in the country through a house-to-house approach to provide an enabling environment for effective control of malaria. “We have strived hard to ensure that the LLIN universal mass campaign is implemented in line with the National Malaria Strategic Plan.

Council workers undergo training


HE Local Government Service Commission and the Local Government Establishment, Training and Pension Office,in Lagos State, have held a three-day workshop for human resources officers in all the local government areas and local council development areas in Lagos State. No fewer than 90 workers participated. Declaring the workshop open, the Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, Alhaji Oluwole Ojikutu said to align council’s staff with state government’s plans and harmonise its public service, it was important to device a new method that would make council administration more efficient. He said: “I am particularly aware that very soon there will be only one scheme of service for all its public service in the state. The meaning is that, whatever happens in Alausa will be relevant to the local government administration. The idea of a separate scheme of service for local government is now being stepped aside to embrace a broader one. Ojikutu stressed that the current scheme drawn by the Federal Government had fallen short of expectation and there was need to make some fresh inputs into the civil service. In his words: “The Federal Government is no longer interested in the review of the scheme any further. At the forum of Chairmen of Local Government Service Commission in Nigeria, we wanted the agency of government that initiated the last scheme of service to review it but they said local government belongs to the state.” He said that the reforms embarked upon by the state government would remove any hiccups on the civil service ladder which indiscriminately placed a cog in the advancement of grassroots workers. According to the chairman of the commission, the reforms being initiated by the state government will promote equal opportunities for the

By Musa Odoshimokhe

same category of career officers. For instance, the reform will address circumstance that tends to denigrate the position of council staff even though they hold equal qualifications like their counter part at the state and federal levels. “If a graduate decides to work at the local government, another chooses to work at the state or federal levels; they should be able to get to the peak of their career by virtue of their qualifications. If a graduate working at state and federal levels can get to level 17, what stops the one working at the local government from getting to level 17?”, he said

•From left: Mr Rufus Egunyomi, guest speaker; Princess Olayemi Fasawe, the Regent, Okeigbo Kingdom and Prof Francis Fajemirokun during the event.


HE Founder, Trinity Church, Lagos, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, has urged members of Okeigbo community in Ondo State to shun animosity and unite to move the community forward. He spoke at a forum organised by the people of the area in Lagos. He listed the following factors as panacea for growth of the area: peace, unity, fear of God and an egalitarian society. Ighodalo, who is an indigene of the community, said: “We must collectively come together to transform our community and town. We must put the past behind us. Let us put our interest aside. Why don’t you spend your time contributing for the good of the community? When it is good for all of us, it will be good for each of us. Let us support that person who can help us so that it will be good for us.” He later led a prayer session for the healing of the community. He enjoined those quarrelling to settle so that ‘’we can come together as brothers and sisters”. He suggested the formation of an Okeigbo economic council, which will be on a permanent

By Joseph Eshanokpe

basis, to harness the huge economic resources in the area. Chairman of the occasion, Chief Clement Olu Ogunlana, decried government’s inattention to the area. He also said the problems of his people could tackled from three angles: spiritual, political and economic. Saying that prayers were offered for the place earlier, he urged those who went to court to find ‘an acceptable conflict resolution method’ to settle their differences, noting the court could not do it alone. He urged politicians from the community to work for them and also be accountable to them. “If they are there to represent us, wisdom demands that they should be accountable to us. We must make it mandatory to them that all politicians representing us at any level must take turn to brief us and receive further directives and mandates from the town,” he added. Chairman, Okeigbo Central Council, Chief Oye Elusiyan, said the idea behind the event was to find solutions to the problems of the community, which he listed as mainly filling the vacant stool of the Oluoke of Okeigbo and having people of integrity in key political positions. He said participants at the event should note that their suggestions would be of benefit to the area.

Dutse residents seek help

D •Participants at the workshop

N100m spent on schools construction


•From left: Senator Babajide Omoworare; Arch Lanre Olayinka, husband of the late Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State on a visit to the family of the deceased after her internment at Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

Cleric advises community on development

HE Transition Committee chairman of Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State, Hon. Mukaila Ambali, has said that the council spent over N100 million in constructing new classrooms in 12 different locations across the 12 wards of the council. Ambali said the 12 schools are ready for commissioning to mark one year in office of his administration and his commitment to give education a new lift in the council. He said the council has equipped the completed ones among the blocks with befitting furniture which will make the students have the impression that government of the day cares for them. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) caretaker committee chairman stated this in a chat with our correspondent in his Ibadan office. He said the buildings in most of the schools had been constructed over 80 years ago and they are in a dilapidated condition before the present administration came on board, that was why he invested such huge amount in construction of those new buildings. According to him “Those buildings are older than 80 years now. That is why we see it as a challenge to reconstruct them because they are in decaying condition and we can-

Oyo not just be looking at them. We look at the old schools as an inheritance from our fathers because most of our old people went through these schools; therefore we need to to maintain them well. That is why we invested so much in them”. He added that the aesthetic value of the schools will motivate the pupils and it will also make the government schools compete with the private schools in the area. A set of classroom blocks and the office of the headmasters were constructed in the local government with befitting toilet and stores for the convenience of the students and teachers. The schools include Fasola Primary School, St.Paul Primary School, Obodo, IDC Primary School in Okegbemi area of the council, IDC Primary School in Adifa village, all in Akinyele Local Government. Others include Odunewu Primary School in Odunewu area of the council, St. Andrew Primary School in Abirigidi area, Laleye Primary School in Laleye area, Ogunranti Primary School at Ogunranti village, HLA Ojoo Primary School, Ajibode Primary School in Ajibode area of the council.

UTSE residents, in Jigawa State,have urged the state government to conduct a larvicide operation to save them from the ravaging insect bite. Larviciding is a critical component of malaria control programme designed to rid communities of mosquitos larvae. It involves application of insecticide on walls, rooms, water points and other identified mosquito breeding spots. A cross section of the residents made the call in an interview with journalists in Dutse. Malam Kabiru Tanko, a resident, said the exercise would rid the area of of mosquitos and protect the people from its bite. Tanko lamented the growing mosquito population in the area, which he said, was making life unbearable for people and exposed them to health hazards. “I found it difficult to sleep at night because of mosquitoes bite. Mosquitoes are everywhere at home, markets and working places, we are getting bite all the time. “Recently, two of my children were treated of malaria,” he said. Another resident, Halilu Muntari, said he spent much on insecticide, alleging that most of the insecticides in circulation were not effective. Muntari said that most families could not afford to buy genuine insecticides. “In the past, government conducted residual spray and we got respite from mosquitoes bite. “Such exercise will control mosquitoes and save us from its attacks,” he added. An official of the Jigawa Malaria Booster Control Programme, who pleaded anonymity, said arrangements had been concluded to conduct residual spray in major towns.





Delayed justice • Court reinstates sacked CBN worker 21 years after. Good but could have been better


UR judicial system surely deserves fundamental restructuring, if we seriously desire to make progress as a nation. While that important arm of government suffers many challenges, we note that undue drag in accessing justice has become one of the most critical challenges for a litigant. The experience of Mr. Tunde Akinlusi, whose employment was wrongfully terminated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), but reinstated by the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, after 21 years is a fresh reminder of this grievous challenge. Interestingly, both the High Court and the Court of Appeal agree that the termination of his employment was wrongful, yet it took Mr. Akinlusi 21 years to get through the Court of Appeal. The length of time it takes to traverse our courts is rather too long, and there is urgent need for redress. Now, should the matter further proceed to the Supreme Court, there is the possibility that Mr. Akinlusi may spend another decade fighting a mere interpretation of a written contract. That is rather beguiling in a modern world underpinned by contractual obligations. If a fairly straightforward interpretation of a contract could take that long, it is better imagined the fate that befalls intricate criminal and corruption trials, which have continued to render our nation nearly comatose. This perhaps is why most of the trials of the corrupt public officials have remained at preliminary stages, some nearly a decade after. Interestingly, at a recent public hear-

ing on the Administration of Criminal Justice Bill 2013 organised by the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar and the Chief Judge, Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, spoke on the delay in the administration of Justice. The CJN listed the challenges of our justice system to include corruption, too many cases in court, inadequacy of judicial personnel, lack of modern management technology and the absence of case management techniques. In his own contribution, Justice Auta hinged the greatest challenge on corruption among the police, lawyers, prison officials and the judges, who he argued all aid the delay in the delivery of justice. As the experience of Mr. Akinlusi shows, civil cases also suffer debilitating delays; so there is urgent need to restructure our entire justice system. As we have severally argued on this page, the National Judicial Council must work hard to rid the judiciary of corruption, to gift the country jurists who will dispense justice without fear or favour. Again, there is the urgent need to modernise the courts, and provide modern equipment to aid speedy dispensation of justice. One other way to stem the delay which Lagos State High Courts pioneered in the country is the resort to alternative dispute resolution mechanism, to help reduce the number of cases in court. It is also important that the procedure for the appointment of judicial officials be made more transparent

and competitive, so that only those fully prepared will ascend the bench. One other option which the constitution review process should consider is to allow the states to have their own hierarchy of courts, with powers to determine conclusively clearly delineated cases. The current system that allows all manner of cases to proceed to the Supreme Court should also be reviewed, as the appellate courts are clustered with interlocutory applications; which invariably suffocate the substantive cases. In the instant case of Mr. Akinlusi, the CBN may also, in the public interest, forgo its right for a further appeal to the Supreme Court, to save costs and allow their staff to enjoy the fruits of his labour while alive.

‘The current system that allows all manner of cases to proceed to the Supreme Court should also be reviewed, as the appellate courts are clustered with interlocutory applications; which invariably suffocate the substantive cases. In the instant case of Mr. Akinlusi, the CBN may also, in the public interest, forgo its right for a further appeal to the Supreme Court, to save costs and allow their staff to enjoy the fruits of his labour while alive’

Too many boreholes •Water corporations must run efficiently if we are to check the dangerous trend


HE haphazard digging of boreholes in the country seems to be getting out of hand, with the official alarm raised by the Federal Government. Mrs. Sarah Reng Ochekpe, Minister of Water Resources, during a recent courtesy visit on her by members of the Association of Water Well Drilling Ring Owners and Practitioners in Abuja pointed out the peril inherent in such habit. She said: “The construction of boreholes indiscriminately is capable of causing earth tremor. The need for proper and effective regulation of groundwater abstraction is now of utmost importance.’’ In official and house-hold circles, borehole drilling has become rampantly disturbing. Governments at all levels shamefully join the bandwagon of

‘The problem of poor provision of water, like what is happening to the power sector, is one of misplaced priority. It is symptomatic of the recurring culture of systemic failure in the country. While a standardised Code of Practice is long overdue to curb indiscriminate drilling of boreholes, the best way to stop the trend and save the nation from environmental calamity is to make public water system work by governments’

borehole diggers even when an institution, usually the water corporations of states - primarily established to provide water for the citizenry, have failed to satisfactorily discharge their responsibilities. The sad trend will in the long run result in environmental hazards such as over-abstraction of ground water, salt intrusion, aquifer depletion and water quality degradation, among others. But, of what significance is the minister’s alarm, in view of the debilitating state of public water supply in the country? The rural areas across the land have been subjected to perpetual state of lack of potable water. They rely on river and stream water for drinking, with attendant vulnerability to avoidable waterborne diseases. Even in most towns and cities that once boasted of effective public water system, the situation on ground is very pathetic. What the state of affairs underscores is governments’ insensitivity to the water needs of Nigerians. Since life’s sustenance largely depends on water, governments are constitutionally expected to preserve life. Therefore, we expect those governing to show sufficient, not superfluous concern for the quality of water that the governed drink. After all, water aids digestion and absorption of food; helps maintain proper muscle tone; supplies oxygen and nutrients to the cells; rids the body of wastes; and serves as a natural air conditioning system. In fact, water transports, and chemically breaks down fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and salts in the body system.

Thus, the provision of drinkable water in abundance is akin to government being alive to its responsibility of showing deserved interest in the wellbeing of the citizenry. At nearly 53 years of independence, we cannot fathom why it has become difficult for the nation to provide a workable public water system. Nigerians ought not to rely on self-help to provide water for their domestic and even agricultural needs. But because of the epileptic state of public water systems, they have been forced to resort to, initially digging of wells but now, what is in vogue is borehole digging considered to be better than the former. Yet, the nation is not a desert but one blessed with abundance of big rivers that could be officially deployed for human consumption. The implications of this negative borehole digging fad are enormous and, as Ochekpe herself puts it: ‘…underground water is linked, and if there is contamination in one borehole, it will contaminate other boreholes within the area, with devastating effects on human health.’ The problem of poor provision of water, like what is happening to the power sector, is one of misplaced priority. It is symptomatic of the recurring culture of systemic failure in the country. While a standardised Code of Practice is long overdue to curb indiscriminate drilling of boreholes, the best way to stop the trend and save the nation from environmental calamity is to make public water system work by governments.

SEC and political spending


EQUIRING publicly traded companies to be open about their political spending is well within the agency’s core mission of protecting shareholders’ interests. When the Supreme Court — in our view wrongly — ruled that corporations had a constitutional right to spend their money to influence elections, it also said that disclosure of such expenditures “permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way.” In that spirit, the Securities and Exchange Commission should heed a petition drive to require publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending to investors. So far more than 500,000 Americans have signed a petition asking the SEC to mandate the disclosure of political spending by corporations, including direct expenditures such as advertising campaigns and contributions to political committees, trade associations and nonprofit organizations. A significant number of corporations already share information about their spending on politics. In a 2011 letter to the SEC requesting a disclosure rule, 10 law professors noted that nearly 60% of companies on the S&P 100 Index had adopted policies requiring disclosure of such spending to shareholders. So should the remaining companies be required to follow suit? Opponents make two arguments. The first is that advocates for disclosure have an ulterior motive: to intimidate the business community into withdrawing from political advocacy. That may be true, but it’s also irrelevant. Besides, if a company’s management can convince investors that its political activities increase shareholder value, it has nothing to fear from disclosure. The other argument is that campaign finance regulation is not the province of the SEC but of Congress, the Federal Election Commission and the courts. But those bodies have failed to act. So far, Congress has not passed the DISCLOSE Act, a measure that would mitigate the worst effects of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling by requiring disclosure of political spending, including disclosure to shareholders. And the FEC has failed to devise clear rules for post-Citizens United disclosure. In the vacuum created by that inaction, campaign reform activists have turned their attention to state laws and regulations and to other federal agencies. In addition to the petition before the SEC, there have been calls for the Internal Revenue Service to crack down on tax-exempt “social welfare” organizations that engage in political spending. There are also some people who would like to go beyond corporate disclosure and require shareholders to approve political spending by corporations, an intriguing proposal that is not before the SEC at the moment. This piecemeal approach to campaign reform may not be ideal, but it’s preferable to no action at all. And requiring publicly traded companies to be open about their political spending is well within the SEC’s core mission of protecting shareholders’ interests. The rule should be adopted. – Los Angeles Times

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IR: At a time the Nigerian government is considering granting an amnesty to Boko Haram jihadists, the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai has reportedly offered a very important advice to the militants in Northern Nigeria: “Lay down your arms if you are true muslims and embrace the amnesty offered by the federal government”. He also said “Boko Haram should stop burning schools, mosques, churches in the name of Islam. You should not destroy your country if you are true muslims. You should protect lives because in Islam if you kill one, it is as if you killed the whole of humanity and if you save life, it is as if you saved the whole of humanity”. Drawing parallels between the activities of Boko Haram militants and those of the Taliban in his country, he acknowledged that the suicide bombing and other atrocities of the jihadist group were externally motivated, urging the insurgents not to allow external forces to get them to destabillize and destroy their country. Karzai timely advice to Boko Haram militants is a welcome development and the strongest case for peace made by a president of another country since this insurgency began. Like the Taliban, Boko Haram militants have both local and international support. They need to be isolated and denounced by all


Afghan President, Boko Haram and peace peace loving muslims. Leaders of muslim groups around the globe should add their voice in calling the Boko Haram militants to order and in undermining its support base. The insurgents should be made to understand the incompatibilty of their campaign with the cause of peace, unity, harmony and devel-

opment in the country. Personally I disagree with Karzai that no religion preaches violence. This is clearly a mistaken notion of religion, and does not reflect the facts of history or the actual experiences of the people. Religions, particularly the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam preach both peace and violence.

These faiths have at certain times in history used or advocated violence. We should not shy away from this bloody reality and instead we should thoughtfully engage and reconstruct it to further the cause of peace around the globe. Violence originates from human beings, not from religion. Violent


• Leo Igwe Bayreuth, Germany

Nigeria does not need foreign coach IR: Stephen Keshi helped save the Super Eagles with his recent Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) championship win. Yet, news reportsrecently announced that the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) was planning to repay Keshi by cutting his salary in half. The NFF has since clarified that it has not slashed Keshi’s salary, only the salaries of his coaching crew and backroom staff. Even without the chop to his own salary, the interference in his staffing setup must taste overwhelmingly bitter to the man who has now twice led Ni-


geria to the AFCON championship. Outside of the injustice of the NFF not even consulting Keshi prior to the dismissals, the situation also speaks to the inequality between foreign—a term most typically used to refer to European—coaches and African coaches. Would the NFF have dared to do the same to a foreign coach? Perhaps related to its all too frequent allegations of corruption, the NFF is undeniably broke. So it may have been forced to cut salaries regardless of the national origin of its coaching staff. But, the fact re-

mains that foreign coaches in both Nigeria and the rest of the African continent are typically treated preferentially over African coaches. After winning this year’s AFCON, Keshi temporarily resigned in February because of NFF pressure to work with either a foreign coach or a foreign technical team. Clearly, the belief that African coaches are not good enough on their own is prevalent across Africa. And this opinion is dead wrong. Most African countries do not have the economic resources to attract Europe’s premier coaching

Bring back the groundnut pyramids IR: Before Nigeria’s independence in 1960, groundnut pyramids were synonymous with the success story of agricultural revolution in Kano State. Today, magnificent buildings have taken over the spaces once occupied by the pyramids. Groundnut pyramids can be described as the systematic way of arranging groundnuts in a large building, constructed in form of square or triangle which is specifically for that purpose. The formation of groundnut pyramids was the idea of late Alhaji Alhasan Dantata, a business magnate who was also a merchant of Kola-nuts, based in Kumasi, Ghana from where he shipped his goods to Nigeria by sea.

expressions are human and reflect how humans sometimes do things. Human beings sometimes have used and still use violence to advance their cause including religious cause. Boko Haram militants should be persuaded on moral grounds to embrace peace and shun violence. There is an urgent need of some ‘mental detoxification’. Boko Haram insurgents and their local and international backers should be made to understand that they stand to benefit; that their religion or cause stands to benefit if they adopt peaceful, human rights compatible and civil ways of promoting their goals and mission.

In 1919, late Dantata returned to Kano at the height of the groundnut boom and became the most prominent Hausa trader to benefit from its commercial success and in five years of his involvement, he became a major supplier of groundnuts to the Royal Nigerian Company (RNC). Kano became famous in the world commerce following the magnificent groundnut pyramids during the Nigerians period of agricultural boom, especially in 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s and it contributed 70 percent of the region’s export earnings. Unknown to the youth of today, Kojut Muazugal Quarters, a high rise building in Dala Local Government Area of Kano State which served as the head quarters of the defunct Bank of the North now Unity Bank, was

once the epicentre of the renowned groundnuts pyramid of the north. In the same vein, a wide expanse of yet to be developed land (polo ground) known be the haven for groundnut activities in the early 50’s has now been converted into a playing ground for the youth. A Kano State-based football club uses the ground as training pitch while political parties are not left out of the scramble to use the venue for rallies and other political activities. With the conversion of the ground nut pyramids’ grounds, a halt has been put to the dreams of the founding fathers of the region. Gradually, the charmed world of the nuts castles has disappeared. The glow which the pyramids once turned the ancient emirate to a Mecca of all sorts has vanished.

To reclaim the lost glory of groundnut pyramids, the government must act fast by giving top priority to agriculture.To achieve this, the government should train the teeming unemployed youth in different facets of agriculture. Apart from being gainfully employed, it would reduce poverty in the land and ensure food security. Modern agriculture in northern Nigeria can serve as catalyst for development and also reduce migration to urban areas among young Nigerians residing in rural areas. Let the on-going transformational agenda in the agricultural sector of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration also bring back the groundnut pyramids. • Awunah Pius Terwase, Abuja

staff. The European coaches that are imported by African nations tend to be overpriced for their qualifications. Those countries that can afford to pay exorbitant sums for Europe’s finest often find that high costs are no guarantee of success. Eric Gerets—once considered one of the top right-backs in Europe— couldn’t lead Morocco past the first round of the African Cup, despite receiving one of the highest coaching salaries (Sh 25 million per month) in Africa. Yet, African states continue to operate under the mistaken assumption that an imported coach will revolutionize their football program and bring them to victory. Uganda, one of the world’s poorest countries, nevertheless insisted on paying Bobby Williamson KSh 1.8 million per month for nearly five years, even though his teams were never able to qualify for AFCON. The exorbitant salaries of foreign coaches would be better spent improving and increasing youth development programs; thereby strengthening a nation’s available talent pool. By adopting a bottomup approach, countries would make their players more attractive for recruitment in top-quality foreign leagues. Ultimately, rather than pouring money into an endless train of questionable foreign leadership, African nations should be reinvesting in their own. • Clare Finnegan, New Jersey




Fraudulent federalism; FRSC and Sunday service; Women and delivery services


HEN will true federalism come to Nigeria? Is the current wave of violent unrest in Nigeria not directly linked to the massive Tony 40-year fraudulent fedMarinho eralism and fiscal fraud with the resultant underdevelopment that has reduced Nigeria’s children’s maximum aspirations to celebrate the sporadic arrival of electricity sparks while in other countries, even African countries, electric power never departed, but just increased in 40 years? Those other African countries have never known an epidemic of fuel fumes and generators. Governor Fashola has asked this ‘True Federalism’ question as many times as this column has. Who can reconcile ‘True Federalism’ with the warped LGA creation between Kano+ Jigawa with 77 local governments and only 20 for Lagos State? Add to that warped federal policies on water, power, railways, jobs, scholarships, education and health. It is a miracle of self-help allowing us to survive the evil machinations of federal rule! To what purpose does the FRSC patrol the road on Sundays when locals are taking their children to and from church or lunch? Is it road safety? That is the time the FRSC selects to do ‘stop and search’ on the only day you are trying to get on the right side of God. I always feel sad when I see a danfofull of suffering citizens or a vehicle driven by a woman with her children or a family man with his family under such stress of Sunday. What motivates such FRSC officials to be out as early as 7am on Sunday in both Lagos and particularly in Ibadan on the Bodija/ Secretariat road? National interest, arrest number quotas, clearing the roads of dangerous maniac drivers or Road Safety which is their primary assignment? Of course we must not suggest the dreaded but widespread self-serving ‘corruption’ as a motive but it is the responsibility of the FRSC and EFCC authorities to ex-


T was swift and well calculated to deliver a big, maximum political punch on Ekiti politics. Perhaps, that is the only mild manner the sudden appointment last weekend of Modupe Adelabu as the deputy governor of Ekiti State could best be described. A Professor of Education, Adelabu replaces the immediate past deputy governor, late Eunice Oluwafunmilayo Adunni Olayinka, who passed on, on April 6, following a protracted battle with cancer. The late Olayinka was an amazon gifted with guts, gumption and iron in her backbone while her sojourn on planet earth lasted. Unfortunately, her poise, finesse, elegance and mental acuity had been consumed by a notorious cancer that cut her down. The outpouring of emotions, grief, tributes, and the well-choreographed rites of passage with which she was‘escorted’ from her death bed to her final resting place at Ado-Ekiti, the fast growing capital of Ekiti State, attested to the high esteem which the Ekitis usually accorded their heroes and heroines, living or dead. No wonder many people, especially her kindred in Ekiti, knighted her “Moremi Ekiti”. This is a great honour and perhaps, the first time in the history of Yoruba land, that someone is considered worthy to literarily step into Moremi’s shoes. Moremi, in Yoruba mythology, was a damsel who was abducted (or kidnapped) by some bandits from a particularly nagging tribe that perennially invaded Ile-Ife, the cradle of Yoruba land many, many years ago. On one of such raids, Moremi

‘I can bet it with any serious politician in Ekiti State today that the choice of Adelabu as deputy governor has given Fayemi another victory, a resounding victory at the yet-to-be-contested and conducted 2014 polls’

clude that as a motive. Perhaps the motivation is just overzealousness as they are hoping to eventually replace their ‘oga at the top’ and need a powerful CV of road service as testimony to their ability? Seeing big strong FRSC men and women jumping sometimes from hidden positions into the road in Lagos, at Ogere and in Ibadan to stop vehicles merely going about their honest Sunday business does not speak well of the FRSC, especially if the vehicle is obviously on Sunday morning church mission. You must have noticed that even police have got their checkpoint mojo back through the back door by arresting anything moving with windows even faintly ‘tinted’. Opportunity knocks again. After that FRSC trauma, if they are released, the victims arrive in church late and frustrated if they are not arrested and the priests or pastor frowns at their bad example. ‘You do not go late to work. How dare you come late for God? If you are late for God, He will be late for you, Amen!’ Of course, FRSC must be no ‘respecter of persons’ when it comes to the law but Nigerians should respect women a lot more than they do. Natural courtesy demands publicly funded bodies behave in a becoming manner. Of course dangerous and nuisance driving deserves and demands intervention but does intervention mean ‘draconian intervention or intimidation’ like ABCD=Arrest, Booking, Clamping, Detention when it is obvious that ABCD=Advice, Before Caution, Detention would be the more humane and logical way forward? Where is the guiding hand? Should everything be through fear and intimidation? The expressway is still full of trailers and lorries dangerously driving on the left instead of the right lane. The nation’s professional drivers have certainly failed their ‘KEEP RIGHT’lessons of the FRSC. At Ogere on the Lagos Ibadan Expressway exactly where the road has been cleared of tankers and trailers after 30 years of pain and anguish to millions of travellers daily, guess what? The FRSC has a permanent roadside checkpoint which narrows the road by their tactics of standing in one of the two lanes and waving you down. What was the point of opening the road into two lanes if the very force supposed to keep the two lanes

open delights in creating an instant go-slow? Surely the FRSC patrol cars should not park in, or force vehicles to park in the same place it took 30 years to remove the trucks from? Does nobody supervise these patrol units? Sunday stop and search of women alone in vehicles and with children can be considered as a form of harassment and intimidation. It should be taken up seriously by women’s groups across the country including lawyers, nurses and NAWOJ. Not everyone who declares ‘I love you’ wants you to live or actually ‘loves you’. I tell my female patients to look in a mirror and realise that the person in the mirror is the only one who has their genuine maternity interests at heart. The man is more interested in the baby than the bearer. So their being neglected, beaten, deprived of antenatal care or good delivery facilities is manifestation of a warped ‘love from their husband’. No one can love you more than you. Nigerian women should each look in a mirror, before it is too late! Women should take more interest in where they and their female children and sisters are taken for ante natal clinic and delivery. The men do not care. Mission houses are for deliverance, hospitals are for delivery.

‘Who can reconcile ‘True Federalism’ with the warped LGA creation between Kano+ Jigawa with 77 local governments and only 20 for Lagos State? Add to that warped federal policies on water, power, railways, jobs, scholarships, education and health. It is a miracle of self-help allowing us to survive the evil machinations of federal rule!’

New Ekiti Deputy Governor was taken along among the supposed captives, easily one of the spoils of wars then. Legend has it that Moremi allowed herself to be captured by her own volition. Before then, the Yoruba were always voting with their feet whenever the masquerade-looking invaders who they ignorantly referred to as ‘ara-orun’ (spirits) invaded Ile-Ife. Moremi stopped all that. During her period in captivity, she spied on the so-called invaders who had tormented her people for a long time. One day, she escaped and meandered her way back to Ile-Ife. There she revealed to her people that the recalcitrant invaders were actually human beings disguised in regalia made of raffia palm and dressed like masquerades to frighten and terrorise the people. Now loaded with the gift of insider knowledge, the Yoruba started plotting how to confront the terrorists. By the time they came on their next expedition, they were not only confronted by the now emboldened Yoruba, they were massively slaughtered and routed. The trick was simple. Long bamboo sticks were mounted with‘oguso’(dried palm fruits waste), which was highly combustible. It is still used in some African rural settings to make bonfire till date. So many of them, stored in various ‘armouries’ all over the ancient town, were released. Bonfires were then made of them and the ‘masquerades’ were set on fire one by one. Before they realised what was happening, the invaders had been routed. Those who managed to escape, if any, never dared the Yoruba again. It is to the everlasting memory of the heroism of Moremi that the Yoruba worship and equate her with a deity, which she really was. It is in commemoration of the titanic battle that the Ife people celebrate her annually with what is known as ‘Edi’ festival, which holds towards the end of the year. It is an event which

attracts people from all walks of life, including the Diaspora, to Ile-Ife. During the festival, which runs for about seven days, the fourth day called ‘ina-osan’, ‘noon fire’ is celebrated by inducing a mock ‘war’. Here, able-bodied men carrying thick and long fire-bearing sticks, usually emerge from the innermost recess of the palace of the Ooni of Ife. With the ferocious fire burning all through the streets, crisscrossing Itakogun and Arubidi quarters of the town, a distance of about six or more kilometers to the palace. The procession terminates at a sacred grove located deep inside a thick forest (Igbo Oro), in the Iyekere area of the ancient and historical city, close to present-day Ondo Road. This procession is held amidst drumming, singing, dancing and acrobatic displays by various traditional, gender, age and cultural groups in the town. After the fire-bearing men has exited the palace, another group of tall and huge men dressed in the costume of the ‘masquerade’ invaders of old, will emerge from ‘hiding’ and dance round Enuwa quarters located just by the gate of the palace. They also dance inside the palace with youths and young children trooping behind them. The final day of the Edi festival is marked by the appearance of ‘Tele’. That seven-day revelry that accompanied the annual Edi festival was the equivalent of what the Ekitis did for Olayinka all through her death to her final interment. That was more than what a princess, which she was, deserved because Olayinka proved that it was possible for a lady to combine beauty with brain and sparkling achievements. By doing that, she joined the lengthy list of eminent women who are today occupying sensitive places in the hall of fame not only in Nigeria or Africa but the world at large. This is a big challenge for the new deputy governor who is stepping into such giant-size shoes. Do I call it

Queen-size? I am quite sure that she is up to the task. This is because Adelabu’s academic standing speaks volumes about her talents. Kayode Fayemi, the workaholic, incumbent governor of Ekiti State, had initially wanted her as a deputy, but the case of her ailing husband at the time was more compelling for her total attention. Hence she politely turned down the offer. At that time, she was the Head of the Department of Educational Administration and Planning of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, the ancestral home of Moremi. She was later appointed chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB. Adelabu has held many important positions both in the academia in Nigeria and abroad. She was part of the 15-member Education Reform Panel that worked assiduously on Ekiti State government’s reforms in the education sector. At various times, the new deputy governor has also served as a resource person for United Nations Development Programme, UNDP; United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF; and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, on numerous issues bordering on education. She has also been involved in consultancy work for the Universal Basic Education Commission in Nigeria. As someone who had served as external examiner in some reputable national and state-owned universities, I am sure the education sector in Ekiti State, which is the major industry in the state, is set to witness great transformation, I mean real transformation and certainly not a cosmetic one that has become music in the airwaves all over the place. I think the education portfolio and, in some cases, local government affairs are usually tucked under the purview of deputy governors, especially in educationally advanced states of the South-West of the country. Aside from the education sector,

Dele Agekameh between 2000 and 2003, Adelabu was also a foundation member of Board of Ekiti State World Bank Assisted Poverty Reduction Agency. And fighting poverty is a major plank of the Fayemi administration in Ekiti State and by extension, a major political weapon being wielded by the Action Congress of Nigeria now rechristened All Progressive Congress, APC, a new political identity that is already sending shivers down the spines of other real and fake politicians in the country. She has consulted for the World Bank, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and other international agencies. This is another asset for the Fayemi administration and Ekiti State in general, especially the womenfolk who are now required to rally round one of their own just like they did for the departed Olayinka. I can bet it with any serious politician in Ekiti State today that the choice of Adelabu as deputy governor has given Fayemi another victory, a resounding victory at the yetto-be-contested and conducted 2014 polls. This is indeed a win-win strategy designed to inflict maximum punishment on the rancorous opposition in the state! Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)



COMMENTS ‘Re: Why Baga matters: It is very unfortunate lives were lost callously at Baga. However, who will talk if they cannot talk to the Boko Haramists who are the cause of the confusions and destructions in the last three years. For how long will we witness avoidable death? I am a civilian but a situation where militants, no matter whatever name they are called, would be bold to confront the army, then the civilians are not safe! May God intervene and resolve the confusions, miraculously, amen. Baga matters because of the catastrophe involved. From Lanre Oseni’ are busy scheming for 2015, forgetting that God is watching them and will soon judge everyone by his deeds. From Ojo A. Ayodele, Emure Ekiti For Gbenga Omotoso • Jonathan

For Olatunji Dare Each time l see her picture in the papers, my heart speaks...and say...Haaa! An angel has left us in our evil ways... Anonymous The President is playing, toying with the lives of Nigerians in the name of politics. He does not give a damn whether the people who voted him in are in danger or not. Insecurity is spreading accros the country but he seems not to worry about it; all he is busy doing is muzzling those he sees as his enemies. Let all Nigerians wake up from their slumber and challenge our leaders to tackle insecurity. If not, we shall one day wake up and see the country being consumed by insecurity. The lives of Nigerians which the President swore to protect are in danger. But he does not care. He should remember that, no matter how long he stays in office, one day he will leave and become like every other citizen of this country. Let him know that whatever he does to Nigerians now, either good or bad, will definitely come to him when he leaves. He cannot take water as his enemy why preparing to wash his clothes; he would be put to shame by his dirty clothes. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Dockyard, Apapa, Lagos. Everyday and every moment reassures us of the endless circle of existence and the limitless mercy of God, that is why as long as heaven and earth endure, the supreme Being will never step aside for the ultimate triumph of evil. Anonymous The good things Funmilayo has done would live after her. May God Almighty choose somebody like her, somebody with the fear of God as the next Deputy Governor of Ekiti State. Fayemi, God will give you the strength and wisdom to pilot the affairs of Ekiti State. Mummy, sleep well. And may God strengthen your chilldren in whatever decision they take in life. Mr. Olayinka take heart! God will replace sorrrow with joy in your life. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Dockyard, Apapa, Lagos. Re: Anarchy at the gate. I disagree with all the people who adduced unemployment as the cause of crimes, thefts and kidnappings in Nigeria. We all have unemployed brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. We use substantial part of our income to maintain and sustain them, until they get a job. Must they take to crimes against the middle and low classes? Why did they not focus on policy makers? A leopard will never change its skin. The criminals are unfair to the poor and middle classes they rob and kidnap! However, ethnicism and corruption remain the bane of Nigeria’s underdevelopment. From Lanre Oseni. Re: For Funmilayo Olayinka: a postscript. Her exit at 52 years was untimely but eventful and glorious. It was very moving and painful when the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, was silently discussing with the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, that: ‘She was my co-pilot and never a spare tyre’. The pain of her death was visible on his face. May her soul rest in peace, ameen. From Lanre Oseni. Despite that Fashola is doing well in infrastructural development, let him look inward at security lapses — kiddnapping and other vices — in Lagos. From Gordon Chika The problem with our leaders is that they have refused to see the realities of the difficult life the citizens are facing. They wished the problems away, but it is not so. Instead of facing the myriad of problems head long, they

Re: A battle plan for 2015: This is apt, direct and a graphic account of what goes on in the country called Nigeria. From D. Tella Attoni Esq. Are Nigerians still living in a fool’s paradise? Listening to a leader who promised to rebrand Nigeria but abandoned it for 2015? Our roads have become death traps, insecurity is everywhere, unemployment has become a nightmare to every youth in this country; still, the man is strangulating his opponents. Governance is all about persuasion not intimidating people. The President has forgotten that, those who do not keep what they have properly before looking for another one are bound to loose it all. The ruling party heated up the polity, when it said it would capture 32 states in 2015. Maybe they are under the influence of ‘Sapele water’’, em! sorry, ‘Delta water’. Last week, a faded politician who has no base in his home town said they would do what they know best. Let the ruling party try what I will call unholy attitude in 2015, and see our red eyes. From Hamza Ozi Momoh We are waiting for PDP mechanic to come and do what he knows best to do. The ealier we get it right the better for us. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Dockyard, Apapa Lagos. Re: A battle plan for 2015: It is a true reflection of Nigeria’s leadership. Some of us are saddened; an obvious case of the failure to reconcile ambition with reality. It looks more like a journey to a disaster than an election. Can the actors and the spectators survive? Nigerians are greater than all these feebleness. A trump card vs a joker! From James, Jos. The battle plan for 2015 looks like an updated manual. Well, it is a practical guide indeed, for murky politicians. It is a nice and workable plan for the 2015 poll. From Stanley Uchegbu, UNICAL Babangida once said: “Those who quarrel about how to share the rooms of a house, the foundation of which is about to collapse, can only, with extreme charity, be condemned for lack of wisdom.” Jonathan’s army of advisers should tell him that things are getting out of hand; taking Nigerians for a ride this time around could be a fatal mistake that no sensible person should make. I cannot see Nigeria surviving the heat of another fraudulent election. Quote me, God is about to mock Nigeria’s tribe of criminal leaders who take Him for granted. 2015 is pay-back time. From Ifeanyi.O. Ifeanyichukwu, Abuja Gbenga, you are good. A battle plan for 2015 was really nice! Keep it up! Well done! Please, write something on the chances of APC winning in 2015. From Sulaiman. Funny, but that is the reality in the naijacracy we practise in this 21st century. Our leaders by selection do not seem to have learnt anything from the past. From John Yakubu Your article says it all. It is for real, and those who will not adhere must be crushed. But Edo tactics will not be ruled out completely, too. We are watching and waiting. From Omeru Chinda, PH.D Gbenga, kudos for your article. If the efforts wasted in chasing imaginary enemies are put into good governance, getting the masses to vote for them will be as easy as what Adams did in Edo State instead of the unwarranted dirty fight. May God help us. From Tersoo Orbunde, Gwarinpa Abuja Our leaders are without a vision for the ordinary man on the street. All they care about is their foreign accounts. They are at the top for selfish reasons. A day to account for their stewardship is near; a day to take stock. From Jacob Uzoigwe. Ore, Ondo State

Sir, your A battle plan for 2015 is one of the best I have read in this column. But, to me, you should have called a spade a spade and hit the nail on the head because it shows the attitude of the PDP government in Rivers State, APC case and others. More power to your elbow, Mr. Omotoso. You will live to excel in your career. Love you for your maturity. From Esan Ogunjobi, Ekiti State. Sir, you made my day with your last Editorial Notebook. Keep it up. From Dr. Dennis Mr. Omotoso, I cannot stop marvelling at your rare ingenuity. A battle plan for 2015 tells the story as it is. These people, according to Fela Anikulapo, are vagabonds in power. Anonymous Mr. Omotoso, God bless you for your indepth account and analysis on the injustices going on in our country, especially the current situation in Rivers State. From Enyinna Brown, Port Harcourt. You will be shocked that our “Oga at the top” will actually read your piece and, indeed, attempt to implement the strategies. That is who we have given ourselves. I weep no more! Anonymous A battle plan? Get serious and get us a winning plan. No Nigerian can stand a change we are not used to. Imagine Nigeria with good roads and stable electricity, people will start dying of shock. I beg, give us a crushing plan so Uncle Jona and his pindipi can sustain our collective madness. From Demola, Ikole. I read your satirical piece - A battle plan for 2015. I found it hilarious! You, however, forgot three crucial strategies: Let the “Oga at the top” import container loads of shoes and distribute to all shoeless voters in the Niger Delta. Shoeless voters in other regions can continue shoeless. All he needs to win are those of the Niger Delta. Second, in addition to the kidnap of NNPC, he should also arrange the hijack of Chevron, Mobil, Total and Agip and, if he is resisted, he should order that they be localised to Bayelsa State Government ministries and permanent secretaries appointed to head them! Third, as a way of getting the votes of widows in the country, he should promise them that their fellow widows will be appointed minister for Petroleum Resources in addition to Perm. Sec position. Anonymous For Segun Gbadegesin Why other choose to remember Baga, I choose to remember the devastation of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, United Nations building, Force Headquaters and other victims of terror. God bless Nigeria. (EHI) Opposition mentality of the average Yoruba journalist often distorts his sense of reality. For God’s sake, The Nation newspaper should send a team of journalists to Baga for a better investigation and to contradict the military report. There should be a limit to politicts. From Amadi, Port Harcourt In fact, I really thank you for being there for us talakawas unlike your good friend Opalaba. Year 2015 political battle is around. Southwest integration: Olu Falae is planning a mega political party; Dr. Fredrick Faseun is bringing back the dead UPN and at the same time looking for a contract from the Federal Government. Gani Adams and his faction, too, wanted to share in the contract with Faseun. Where is Opalaba? Has he no comments on all these? Is he a coward? From Pastor Esan Ajibola JP, Ibadan Oyo State. The only reason I believe that Nigeria will not break up is the neutrality of the army. The military neutrality must be protected religiously if we are to remain a nation. Over the past few years, there have been allegations of complicity or unlawful taking of sides by the military task force in Plateau State. Recently in Benue, similar allegations have come up against the military as well. As a

• Kashim Shettima

Middle Beltan, I think the core Northern Press should learn from the neutrality and fairness with which the Southern Press has covered the Baga situation. This they should exercise when minorities are the ones at the receiving end of alleged unfair treatments. Anonymous What happened to the innocent civilians in Baga would have been averted if the victims of the mindless killings by the sadistic Nigerian Armed Forces had joined other victims in the past to condemn similar primitive and demonic killings of defenceless Nigerians in other parts of the country. What we fail to realise is that what goes around comes around. The atrocious members of the Nigerian Armed Forces should be reminded that after a maximum of 35 years of Godless and satanic acts under the protection of man- made uniform, they too will become bloody civilians one day. Who knows the next victim of the rampaging army? Anonymous Re: Why Baga matters: It is very unfortunate lives were lost callously at Baga. However, who will talk if they cannot talk to the Boko Haramists who are the cause of the confusions and destructions in the last three years. For how long will we witness avoidable death? I am a civilian but a situation where militants, no matter whatever name they are called, would be bold to confront the army, then the civilians are not safe! May God intervene and resolve the confusions, miraculously, amen. Baga matters because of the catastrophe involved. From Lanre Oseni. The President displayed his power in Baga to prove to his distractors that he is not a weak leader. But he should remember that the world is watching him. Where are the movers and shakers of yesterday? They are still alive but their tentacles have been cut to size. If the President thinks he can kill innocent cilvilians with impunity, I think he must be ready to face a revolution. He should be taken to ICC to serve as a deterrent to others. From Hamza Ozi Momoh, Docyard Apapa Lagos. Good day, Mr. Gbadegesin! It is good to write, especially for the opposition. But, I must warn you, there is Heaven to go to, after all your so-called commentaries. Men, especially your bosses, will clap for you but what other rewards will follow, you cannot determine. I send this warning as a Christain brother. From Hábil Sarki Re: Why Baga matters: The Nigerian Armed Forces erred seriously in their handling of the Boko Haram sect in Baga community. There are rules that govern military engagement. Though the death of the military officer and injury suffered by soldiers on patrol are regrettable, shooting innocent residents of Baga (and using them as human shields by the Boko Haram sect) was highly uncalled for. The innocent residents of Baga never fired any shot. From Olumide Soyemi, Bariga. When I see people disputing the accurate number of people brutally murdered at Baga, I pinch myself to ensure I am not dreaming. Do we realise we are talking about human beings like ourselves, our children, parents and other relations? Sir, please, what is wrong with Nigeria? Again,why is the country’s democracy full of extreme wickedness, hypocrisy, deceit, manipulation and massive looting of public treasury? Is this the type of democracy that built the United States and other paradise-on-earth societies we see today? Are we not fooling ourselves in this country? From Ifeanyi O. Ifeanyichukwu, Abuja

I refer to your piece ‘Why Baga matters’. As much as I do not sup faild to tak into consideration our horribly slow, biased and corr Instead, many have escaped from jail. It is obvious you have not witnessed at close range the wickedne





•The late Giwa

•The late Ohu


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•The late Ugbagwu

•The late Akogwu

Will their killers ever be found? – SEE STORY ON PAGE 26



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They brave death, jail and more to bring news . They face intimidation, threats and violence from the government, organisations, hoodlums and other forces that wish to censor or silence them. Journalists have become targets of attacks everywhere. Last week, the 20th World Press Freedom Day was celebrated. But how free is the press? The world is still battling with crimes against freedom of expression and safety of journalists, reports EVELYN OSAGIE.

•The press at work


HE day began like any other for the Giwas. It was a Sunday, but little did they know that it would be the last they would share together with their patriarch. That morning, their patriarch and founding Editor-in-Chief of Newswatch magazine, Dele Giwa, was killed by a parcel bomb at his Ikeja, Lagos home. More than two decades after, his killers are still at large. That October 19, 1986, killing set the future killing of other journalists in similar manner. Years after, securing the safety of journalists is still a major challenge in the country. In recent times, like Giwa’s, the killing of some journalists – Godwin Agbroko, ThisDay (December 22, 2006), Paul Abayomi Ogundeji, ThisDay (August 16, 2008), Bayo Ohu,The Guardian (September 20, 2009), Edo Sule Ugbagwu, The Nation (April 24, 2010), Zakariya Isa of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) (2011); Enenche Akogwu, Channels TV, (January 20, 2012) has remained unsolved. Assessing the trend, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abuja chapter chairman, Chuks Ehirim, observed during the celebration of World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) last year: “Journalists are still being killed unnecessarily in Nigeria... Although we are happy that, today, the world will be celebrating Press Freedom Day…because there is nothing to celebrate here.” Statistics showed that more journalists were killed last year than in 2011. Still, nothing has changed. Last year’s attack on Thisday office in Abuja, showed that even media organisations are not spared. Last January 12, a reporter with Anambra News, Ikechukwu Udendu was killed in Anambra State. These killings and more have put Nigeria on the list of nations where violence against the press is tolerated. According to experts, impunity against journalists, media workers, and social media producers remains high not only in Nigeria but across the world. This, they say, is threatening “Freedom of Expression”, which is a fundamental human rights enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Such violence, they observed, is beginning to impact on coverage of crucial issues, thereby, posing a threat to democracy. With the theme: Safe to speak: Securing freedom of expression in all media, this year’s celebration remembered fallen

•From left: Mr Mba, UNIC Officer-in-Charge, Mrs Olajumoke Araba, Mr Adesina, Mr Sesan and Mr Denedo. PHOTOS: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

Will their killers ever be found? ADVOCACY media heroes and highlighted safety of journalists. Condemning the acts of impunity against journalists, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon noted that “so many of the perpetrators escape any form of punishment”.More, he said, should be done to ensure the safety of journalists, adding that the role of the media in ensuring sustainable development, and lasting peace and security is crucial.

“Over the past decade, more than 600 journalists have been killed – at least 120 in the past year alone. Hundreds more have been detained. The dangers are not only physical from cyber-attacks to bullying; the powerful are deploying numerous tools to try to stop the media from shedding light on misrule and misdeeds. “The United Nations has established a Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. The plan aims to raise awareness and to support practi•Continued on page 40



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Awakening Africa in designs of beauty


HE ambience at the Shell Club in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, struck a note of genius. The designs of Tony Chidi Akudinobi held Nigerians and expatriates gathered in the hall spellbound. Emeritus Professor Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa, asupporter of the Awakened Africa project of Tony Akudinobi, strongly believes that African design must reach deep into the resources of history to make a mark in the world. For Dr. Jude Akudinobi, the elder brother of Tony, who teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara: “The Awakened African is about emboldened dreams and richly-textured cultural imaginaries. In this project, Africa is repositioned, quite confidently, to unfurl the philosophical, social and political significance of its intricately diverse cultural forms and ever-expanding representational realms. In exploring the links between modes of expression and social identities, for instance, it is a marked intervention and, crucially, about engendering the capacities to dream anew. The project, in its surefooted standpoints, richness of details and understandings, does not depend on a paradigm ordained by the ostensible high priests of art. Remarkably, it is about eschewing the generic, mapping new terrains of possibilities and fostering dynamic relationships between imagination and cultural patrimonies, embodying a consciousness which questions incarceratory ideas of what it means to be ‘African’. In this, it is not an issue of dressing up older forms in new guises. If anything, its subtle explorations of shifting relationships between genealogies and progenies, myriad inspirational streams and imaginative sensibilities, is, in African manners of expression, a palpable parable for the present times. Notably, the project contests the extraneous hierarchies of art, taste, and

•Akudinobi (right) at the event From Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

EXHIBITION value which cloak African creative impulses in moth-ridden fabrications and costumes. It seeks to take African art out of museums, especially ‘natural history’ museums. It seeks to foster cross-cultural fields in which the African is a primogenitor not curiosity or an artifact. The Awakened African is not a repository of exotic fantasies or patronage. Driving the project is a desire to open up prolific spaces and reference points with which to engage the eclectic verve and nuanced meanings of art on the continent. With its conceptual framework of renascence, the project aims at reasserting and celebrating a dynamic process of rejuvenation. Given the inextricable roles and relationships of art in African cultural systems, the Awakened African presents a veritable wellspring of narratives, aesthetic trajectories, and subtle roots. Just as important, it insists on projecting autonomous identities and promoting new understandings of ‘Africanness’. In reinterpreting certain elements of tradition, the project encourages integration of the complex tissues and textures of African creative drives in contesting certain normative expectations. Without qualms, it contends that African art, however it is defined, exists because the

resplendent imaginative sparks exist in Africa. As a project that positions Africa in the present, rather than as a grotesque archive, the Awakened African is about going beyond clichés to the larger history of Africa’s creative proclivities.” Prof Frank Ugiomoh of the University of Port Harcourt avers: “The works of art presented here are coded in furniture of utilitarian types that are simply alluring. They are in tandem with the African spirit where the works of art are products of imaginative creative powers that are at once utilitarian as they are decorative and loud; desiring and demanding that we appropriate them because we value them as products of our ingenuity. The value of these designs is the abandonment of the synthetic world induced by modern technology. In many furniture catalogues we confront furniture made with same technology as Akudinobi’s designs. They are an assemblage of various works that include the textile and leather artist, the machine operators and a host of diverse interests that lead to an end product. Where Akudinobi’s designs appear rustic and bucolic they all the same define a strength that is adequate to their function. Their rustic nature which relates them to the past is mediated by available technology but leaves their origins intact. This is where their renascence is located. Inspired by diverse extant and extinct traditions of design, these contemporary de-

signs stand as eternal bridges that hold the flow of time with cheek; demanding that we revaluate their origins while identifying what we should hold onto as our identity or remnant of self. Within an African worldview sturdiness belongs to these designs in their diversity.” In the view of the iconoclastic Chike Amene, “The awakened African is a thinking mind! The awakened African therefore must think on his very own frequency which is his symbols, signs, signals and totems in order to create, maintain and sustain a culture that will push his civilization! What do we get from the culture that overwhelmed us with decrees and commandment they never regards if not putting us to sleep? We are sleeping because our frequencies have been shut down or blocked by man assuming ‘God’.” According to Akudinobi: “The Awakened Africa shines in the distance as we step on the rosary that tells the beads of our journey to rediscover our sun setting in our own rainstorm. Within the boundaries of each nation’s wilderness, which carries the inextinguishable definitions of its mutations and the rigors on the journey of self-discovery, lie its salvation, emancipation and otherwise which become etched in facial marks like ICHI. The deep incisions and the free flow of blood through the rites of passage mark the arrival at the gates of the Awakened African paradise.”

roles that are tangible and intangible in the socio-economic life of countries, including Nigeria. The existence of the National Park and its effective management are part of the government’s

response to mitigating the scourge of environmental problems that are bedevilling the world, such as deforestation, resources depletion, species loss and others.” Goni said an ingredient for effective and modern park management was collaboration, networking and synergy with stakeholders, including the media, as the business of safeguarding our national frontiers is everybody’s responsibility. On anti-poaching operations, he said 28 poachers were arrested between January and February this year. Six were arrested for illegal hunting, 18 for illegal grazing, and four for illegal charcoal making. He said the park received 328 visitors in January and February, saying it is an indication that patronage is increasing. Goni, however, praised the management of National Parks Services for the provision of relevant tools for effective park protection, stating that park protection, to a large extent, has been accomplished with the establishment of viewing tracks\trails, maintenance of existing track networks, construction of ranger barracks, provision of patrol vehicles, appropriate ranger training, equipping ranger corps, as well as pursuing environmental awareness programmes.

Park stages facility tour


O actualise the mandates of parks, the Old Oyo National Park has held a facility tour for travel and tourism journalists. The tour exposed the journalists to environmental conservation, with emphasis on national parks. The team, led by the Director of the park, Mallam Ibrahim Goni, inspected the multi-purpose hall, restaurant and bar, chalets, a solar-powered borehole, and the swimming pool, at the park’s head office in Oyo town, and Akoto base camp at Sepeteri. They also watched wild animals in the park. The animals included duiker, bush-buck, Western- Harte beast, baboons, monkeys, and kob. They spent the night at Ibuya base camp. Goni told the reporters that resource conservation has now taken the front burner as a panacea for various environmental improvidences. He said:“The place of National Park Service as a safety net to threats to man’s salutary inhabitation of the spatial ecology known to him cannot

•Some journalists during the tour From Bode Durojaiye,Oyo.

CONSERVATION be wished away. “National Parks play fundamental



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Foundation hosts salon By Chinasa Ekekwe


•Mrs Okeke and Nweke

Journalist donates books to Anambra


T was a short but colourful ceremony when a former senior editor with Champion, Mr Remmy Nweke, donated books on Information Technology(IT) to the Anambra State government. Presenting the books to the Anambra State Governor, Mr Peter Obi, represented by the Commissioner for Education, Dr Uju Okeke, Nweke said his book, A Decade of ICT Reportage in Nigeria is a chronicle of his award-winning articles on ICT in the last 15 years. He said he was inspired by Nigeria’s first President, the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who fired his desire in journalism. He noted that practical knowledge and use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) hold the key to the development of Nigeria. Nweke said it was imperative for the young to acquire skills in IT to enable them cope with the demands of the emerging world.Nweke, who is now the Group Executive Director of DigitalSENSE Business News, implored those who are desirous for Nigeria to emerge as one of the leading powers in the world to put their ideas in a book form and pass it on to up and coming generations. Apart from making his book available for use by students, Nweke said DigitalSENSE, will also be organising workshops for computer and IT teachers in secondary and primary schools. He also said DigitalSENSE would be willing to partner the state government to train school leavers and graduates in the state on taking advantage of the internet to become entrepreneurs and keep them out of the labour market.” Another thing that kept the spirit moving as far as my journalism career is concerned is the fact that I saw in journalism a developmental tool to enhance my society, which does not mean that criticism is deleted but structured

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

CHARITY in a constructive manner to elucidate further discuss. ”This book, ‘A Decade of ICT Reportage in Nigeria’ emphasises the significance of raising analytical ICT reporting to create relevant awareness among politicians and state government officials; linking university education with recent developments and trends in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) field globally, and increased effects in Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) on businesses, especially the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), among others. ”The imperative of this presentation is to ensure that relevant schools, at least, have a copy in their libraries for official student consumption. A Decade of ICT Reportage in Nigeria was written in simple, understandable and contemporary English Language for easy assimilation by all and sundry, including post-primary students who desire to venture into ICT-related courses or businesses, more so now ICT cuts across all spheres of life. Mrs Okeke, praised Nweke for the energy he put into publishing the books and thanked him for making the donation to the state government.She said the ministry would take full advantage of the opportunities offered by Nweke and DigitalSENSE and promised to partner with the organisation for the benefit of the students and pupils in the state. The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Ngozi Ezeike, also praised Nweke for his works, saying: “How I wish the teeming youths can get initiatives like this instead of staying idle and getting involved in vices because vices eventually boomerang; if not with them, but with their children.”

FRICAN Artists Foundation (AAF) held its May editon of the AAF Art Salon entitled Shadow Boxing Theatre: Second Place is the First Loser. It featured recent works of Emmanuel Dudu. In his new series of metaphoric paintings, Dudu set boxing as a backdrop for daily life in Nigeria, including its challenges, rules and social order. He depicts two players in combat with the simple use of shadows and fragmented body parts. His paintings border between the figurative and the abstract as he compares the game to the representation of society as a whole. As the view becomes the active audience in the boxing “theatre,” Dudu calls into question dynamics of spectatorship, identity, deceit, spirituality, and roleplay. Even as these players live to fight another day, in the end the line between winning and losing is blurred. Dudu captures the game in action, as a process and continual dialectic. Dudu is a painter and mixed media artist whose work comments on daily life and routine aspects of traditional and contemporary society in Nigeria. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art from the University of Lagos(UNILAG) in 2008 and he is doing a Master’s programme in Art History at the same university. Dudu has to his credit over 30 group exhibitions held at the National Museum, Pan African University, The Civic Centre, Nike Art Gallery, and Terrakulture among others. He was first prize winner for Spain Through Nigerian Eyes, an art competition organised by the Spanish embassy in 2006. He also was a winner of the National Art Competition in 2008, with a travelling exhibition in Lagos, Abuja, and Amsterdam, and he was a finalist in the National Art Competition in 2012. Shadow Boxing Theatre: Second Place is the First Loser will run till May 18.

•Dudu’s Left Hook2

Honour for ‘wise women’


N appreciation of Christian women, Wisdom for Women International, in partnership with Connecting Hearts Initiative, will hold the maiden edition of Wise Women Awards Nigeria (WWAN) at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos on June 8. The initiative is the brainchild of Pastor Marjorie Esomowei, founder of Wisdom for Women International (W4WI) and copastor of Triumphant Church International, based in London, England. According to Pastor Esomowei, the award would give the Christian community an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the achievements of Christian women across Nigeria irrespective of denomination. She said: “Christian women play a major role in the church, business and public life throughout Nigeria. The WWAN provides the church community with an opportunity to pay tribute to the achievements of Christian women and to honour their achievements in the church and wider society.” Nominations for the 10 awards categories that include women in ministry, turn

•From left: Mrs Abimbola Okutiyang and Pastor Esomowei By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

AWARD around, Naomi award, Young women, Women in media, Professional woman, Woman in community, Woman in music, Woman in business and Woman in mission are already being received. The panel of judges that will screen all the entries comprise of Mrs Ibukun Awosika,

Founder and Chairman of The Chair Centre Ltd, Revd (Mrs) Obii Pax-Harry, Chief Executive Officer of Nehemiah Apostolic Resource Centre, Abuja, Mrs Angelica Adekemi Ndieli, a trained lawyer who works as National Programme Officer and architect Mobolaji Adeniyi, founder Mobolaji Adeniyi & Associates; Mrs Josephine Ewuga, wife of Senator Ewuga. Responding to why the award is moving to Nigeria after hosting the ninth edition in the UK, Pastor Esomowei ex-

plained that her decision on the award is informed by God. “I have to seek God’s face to bring the awards to Nigeria. And we need to celebrate Nigerian women now that the award is here. Again, my calling is for women, but if God gives me the assignment to hold awards for men, I will do it. “It is my prayer that the awards becomes a must attend event in the Nigerian church calendar, and becomes known across the nation for celebrating the great things Christian women are doing in the church and wider society,” she added. Guests at the awards dinner will enjoy a three course buffet while there will be performances from Tim Godfrey and Extreme Crew of the Agidigba fame and an inspiring awards ceremony. Tickets purchase can be found online on The awards has its roots in the UK where it has held it’s ninth annual edition and has become a key event in the UK church calendar. Pastor Esomowei recalled that guests at the UK award on March 9 included former 400m Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu and Shauna Muamba, the wife of ‘miracle man’ Fabrice Muamba, human rights campaigner Doreen Lawrence and Rev. Rose Hudson Wilkins, Chaplain to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.


29 NLNG is one of the biggest success stories in our country. From what I am told, the company has invested $13 billion so far since inception, and has become a pacesetter in terms of revenue generation for the government. -Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga



Forecasts Niger Insurance Gross Premium - N2.73b Profit after tax - N212.95m Mutual Benefits Gross Premium - N2b Profit - N885.633m Regency Alliance Gross Premium – N812.596m Profit after tax – N256.437m Learn Africa Turnover - N1.06b Profit after tax - N58.336m Total Nigeria Turnover - N46.676 b Profit after tax - N942.1m MRS Oil Nigeria Turnover - N51.20b Profit after tax - N712 m Eterna Turnover - N27.64b Profit after tax - N563.834m Okomu Oil Palm Turnover - N2.667b Profit after tax - N1.044b Stanbic/IBTC Bank Net operating income N16.805b Profit after tax - N2.737b ASL Turnover - N1.084b Profit after tax - N101.355m GT Assurance Gross Premium - N3.892b Profit after tax - N710.62m Cornerstone Insurance Gross Premium - N1.223b Profit after tax - N80.01m Oasis Insurance Gross Premium N562.500m Profit after tax - N79.868m African Alliance INS Gross Premium - N1.215b Profit after tax - N107.213m Berger Paints Turnover - N976.303m Profit after tax - N88.258m SCOA Nigeria Turnover - N835.0m Profit after tax - N18.200m Dangote Sugar Refinery Turnover - N38.251b Profit after tax - N3.49b Studio Press Nig. Turnover - N3.375b Profit after tax - N20.422m Julius Berger Nig. Turnover - N80.125b Profit after tax - N2.55b Intercontinental Wapic Ins Gross Premium - N1.41b Profit after tax - N250.450m Equity Assurance Gross Premium - N2.45b Profit after tax - N287.283m Standard Alliance Insurance Gross Premium - N2.142b Profit after tax - N475.964m Continental Reinsurance Gross Premium - N6.917b Profit after tax - N805m PRESCO Turnover - N2.60b Profit after tax - N800.9m RT Briscoe Turnover - N4.553b

Capital Oil, Lennards, 9 others file for restructuring E LEVEN quoted companies have indicated they will be restructuring their operations to enhance productivity and corporate governance, according to latest regulatory filings. A status report on quoted companies dated June 6, 2013 obtained by The Nation showed that directors of 11 companies have sought the concessions of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on restructuring of their operations. The companies included Capital Oil Plc, Lennards Plc, Union Dicon Salt, Rokanna

By Taofik Salako

Industries, West African Glass Industries, Jos International Breweries, and Golden Guinea Breweries. Others are Stokvis Nigeria, Nigerian Sewing Machine, Aluminium Manufacturing Company of Nigeria and Premier Breweries. The report indicated that the restructuring was aimed at ensuring that the ailing companies are able to sustain their listing require-

ments, which include timely periodic rendition of earnings reports to investors. Most of the companies have not submitted any operational report in recent periods and were on red alert list of the NSE. According to the procedures at the NSE, restructuring is the last stage before delisting. Ailing companies that fail to provide convincing restructuring plans would be tagged for compulsory delisting by the NSE.

Already, the NSE is in the process of delisting three companies across various sectors for failure to meet minimum corporate governance requirements stipulated in the post-listing requirements for the secondary market. NSE has initiated regulatory process to delist the trio of Afroil Plc, West African Aluminium Products Plc and Nigerian Wire Industries Plc over non-compliance with post-listing requirements.

• From left: Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr Bill Gates and CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Dr. Weibe Boer, at the Milken Institute's Global Conference in Los Angeles, California, United States.

Compulsory delisting is a weeding out process usually initiated and undertaken by management of a stock exchange to remove companies adjudged to be irredeemably deficient in corporate governance from its trading platform. A source said compulsory delisting had said that the three companies were being delisted due to inability to present periodic operational reports that could justify their continuous listing. The source noted that compulsory delisting is the final step in a long process of engagement including demand for compliance reports, issuance of warnings, imposition of fines and sanctions and issuance of notice of delisting. Where a company fails to restructure and adjust its operations to enable it to meet post-listing requirements, then the Exchange may indicate delisting. Afroil, a petroleum marketing company, was listed on the main tier of the NSE in 1990. Official report at the NSE showed that it has not paid any dividend for more than two decades. The company had been embroiled in a shares sale scandal that led to the investigation and suspension of the management of the company by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). West African Aluminium Products was listed on the second tier, otherwise known as alternative securities market in 1989. It engages in manufacturing, importing, marketing and exchange of aluminium products. Official report showed that its last dividend was paid 17 years ago.

AGOA Pact: NACCIMA decries trade imbalance HE Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has lamented the imbalance of trade between Nigeria and the United States, saying that Nigeria is not benefitting from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) pact. Speaking with The Nation, the Director-General of NACCIMA, Dr John Isemede, said it is difficult for Nigerians to export value added products to the United States than it is for Nigeria to import same. AGOA was signed into law by President Clinton in May 2000 with the objective of expanding U.S. trade and investment with sub-Saharan Africa, to stimulate economic growth, to en-


Diamond, Sterling, others to raise N209b - P 30

•Says Nigeria not benefiting By Toba Agboola

courage economic integration, and to facilitate subSaharan Africa’s integration into the global economy. He explained that most of the bilateral trade policies are not working in Africa’s favour, most especially Nigeria. “The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) is not working in our favour. For bilateral trade to be enhanced, the developed economies should start thinking of how to invest in Nigeria’s economy rather than taking raw materials from us, while dumping refined products back to the system. We need to protect the interest

of coming generations. Nigeria deserves a win-win situation. “Many times, valueadded products are rejected by the United States and some other European nations under the disguise that the products do not conform to some standards. Standards should not be imposed on Africans for products not produced in America; rather such standards should be developed based on an agreement between the countries involved.” He lamented that the benefits of AGOA are limited, saying the US continues to undermine the competitiveness of African entrepreneurs with domestic

Why the rich don’t use ATM - P30

subsidies and other tariff and non-tariff barriers. He said: “The Nigerian market is still quite wide and untapped; why go far with the challenges of finding outlets in the US even if you produce quality goods? “I think the US should have come up with a kind of a ‘Marshal Plan of Action’ to Africa instead of AGOA, which is certainly difficult for entrepreneurs of African descent to take advantage of with a view to helping Africa. “The whole AGOA policy is not as beneficial as we have been deceived to believe, that America is trying to use it to support Africa’s growth. The fram-

ers of this policy have not done so to encourage growth in Africa, since it mandates participating African countries to depend wholly on America in sourcing their vital input, which if sourced locally, would not only have increased productivity – particularly, factor productivity – but also have had some economic and social trickle effects.” He also explained that a country does not have to make progress in all areas to qualify for AGOA benefits, adding that, 37 of the 48 countries in subSaharan Africa are eligible for AGOA benefits. He listed some of the countries benefiting from AGOA as Lesotho, South Africa, Mozambique and Kenya.

‘How to sustain capital market growth’

-P 34





OREIGN assets of banks rose by 2.2 per cent to N9.3 trillion in January, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Economic Report has said. The increase was linked to the 2.6 per cent rise in the CBN’s holdings of foreign assets. However, other assets of the banking system, on a monthly basis, fell by 8.7 per cent to negative N8.6 trillion, compared with 5.4 and 2.1 per cent decline at the end of December and January last year. Growth in the key monetary aggregate was moderate in January. On monthly basis, broad money increased by 0.3 per cent, due largely to the 3.8 and 2.2 per cent growth in domestic credit and foreign asset of the banking system. However, there were mixed development in banks’deposit and lending rates during the review month. With the exception of the average savings and one month

Banks’ foreign assets hit N9.3t Stories by Collins Nweze

deposit rates, other bank deposit rates trended downward. Similarly, the prime lending rate trended upward, while the maximum lending rate declined during the review month. The spread between the weighted average term deposit and maximum lending rates widened by 1.25 percentage points to 16.88 per cent within the month. In contrast, the margin between the average savings deposit and maximum lending rates narrowed by 0.10 percentage point to 22.85 per cent. The weighted average interbank call rate fell to 11.67 per cent from 11.88 per cent in the preceding month, reflecting the li-

quidity condition in the interbank funds market during the month. Provisional data indicated that the value of money market assets outstanding was N6.2 trillion, showing an increase of 0.5 per cent, compared with growth of 20.9 per cent at the end of the preceding month. The development was attributed to the increase of 3.5 per cent in the value of Nigerian Treasury Bills. Federally-collected revenue was estimated at N774.75 billion, showing an increase of 1.8 per cent above the receipts in the preceding month, but fell below the provisional monthly budget estimate of N807.71. At N599 billion, oil receipts were above the provisional monthly

budget estimate and the level in the preceding month. This was attributed largely to the increase in prices of crude oil in the international market. The CBN said non-oil receipts, at N175.75 billion was 31 per cent lower than the provisional monthly budget estimate, but 0.2 per cent higher than receipts in the preceding month. The decline relative to the provisional budget estimate reflected, largely, the fall in independent revenue of the Federal Government and corporate tax. Federal Government estimated retained revenue was N243.62 billion, while total estimated expenditure was N421.62 billion.

Why the rich don’t use ATM


•From left: Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Roger Gifford; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema; Deputy Managing Director, GTBank, Mrs. Cathy Echeozo and Head, Primary Markets, South Asia, Middle East and Africa, London Stock Exchange, Mr. Ibukun Adebayo and at the UK-Nigeria investment Partnership Forum sponsored by GTBank in Lagos.

ISA International has carried out a survey showing that high net worth account holders do not own or use Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards. The study revealed that the higher people earn, the less they own and use their debit cards. This, it attributed to possibility of online fraud as majority of the rich think that avoiding debit cards is the way to stay protected. The report revealed that people who earn below N500,000 per annum, which form 47 per cent of its respondents, own and are regular users of debit cards. It also showed that majority of Nigerians in urban centers have bank accounts with 99 per cent of respondents claiming ownership of bank account(s). However, less than a quarter of the public have both savings and current accounts. Seven per cent of the respondents own a current account while over 70 per cent have savings accounts. Over half of the respondents sampled claimed that having multiple accounts is not a function of how much one earns but mostly for different savings plan. Less than one

Diamond, Sterling, Stanbic, Wema to raise N209b capital


OUR banks have unveiled plans to raise fresh funds to drive their operations and remain competitive. The lenders are Sterling Bank, Diamond Bank, Wema Bank and Stanbic IBTC Holding Company. They will be raising N209.2 billion in the coming months. Sterling Bank told its shareholders that it was planning to raise additional capital this quarter. Specifically, the bank will raise tier 1 capital through a rights issue of N12 billion and a private placement of N19.2 billion. The bank’s Group Managing Director, Mr Yemi Adeola, said the fund was necessary to implement medium to long term strategic objectives. Adeola, who spoke at the bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos, said the process of raising the fund began in the first quarter of the year. He added that the lender would continue to drive growth strategies domestically, focusing on building long-term relationships and creating sustainable value for customers. Stanbic IBTC Holding Co, the Nigerian unit of South Africa’s Standard Bank Group, plans to raise N22.5 billion ($150 million) in new capital this year, its Chief Executive Officer Sola DavidBorha had said. She said the bank plans to use the Tier 2 capital for investments in infrastructure and lending. “Loans and advances are planned to grow by 15 per cent by end of 2013, from six per cent in 2012,”

she said. Stanbic’s net income for the three months through March rose to N3.6 billion from N2.5 billion a year earlier, it said. Revenue climbed to N26.6 billion from N20.4 billion. The lender is seeking to boost its deposit base by 25 per cent this year, David-Borha said. Diamond Bank will be raising N118 billion ($750 million) from an undisclosed source to expand its operations while Wema will secure N35 billion through special placing and listing of additional shares for same purpose. Already, Wema has therefore held a completion board meeting to issue 23,333,333,334 Ordinary shares of 50k each at N1.50 per share. Diamond Bank’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Abdulrahman Yinusa said the lender will raise the money through a share sale or debt offering this year. The bank’s shareholders have already approved the proposal. Wema Bank’s management also said it got regulatory approval to raise N35 billion through special placing and listing of additional shares. The fund raising comes a year after the lender raised its annual loan-growth target to 40 per cent from 20 per cent. In a statement, Wema said a regulatory approval from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) had been secured. It said with this development, it is expected that the bank would complete the process of raising the required capital before April 30, 2013.

•CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi

Managing Director, Wema Bank, Segun Oloketuyi, said the lender was delighted at the development. He said it signifies a milestone in the entire process which began last December. “The completion of the placement process will further enable Wema Bank compete more effectively in the banking industry and also enhance the quality of products and services being offered to an increasing customer base. We will remain focused on efficient service delivery whilst scaling our business organically and strategically for superior returns to all stakeholders,” he said. Oloketuyi also expressed his ap-

The fiscal operations of the Federal Government resulted in an estimated deficit of N178 billion, compared with the estimated monthly budget deficit of N94.68 billion. The dominant agricultural activities in January 2013 included: irrigated cultivation of vegetables; harvesting of tree crops and clearing of land for 2013 cropping season. Crude oil production, including condensates and natural gas liquids in January was estimated at 2.09 million barrels per day (mbd) or 64.79 million barrels for the month. Crude oil export was estimated at 1.64 million barrels per day (mbd) or 50.84 million barrels during the month. The average price of Nigeria’s reference crude, the Bonny Light (370 API), was estimated at $115.15 per barrel, indicating an increase of 2.4 per cent above the level in the preceding month.

preciation to regulators who have supported the ongoing transformation process in the bank and also praised the painstaking efforts of all parties to the offer in ensuring strict compliance and adherence to all regulatory requirements by the bank that has made the approvals possible. The bank expects to use the funds realised from the special placing to grow its business, invest in information technology infrastructure and expand its operations. On seeking a National Banking Licence to enable it to expand its scope of physical operations beyond the geographical boundaries, Oloketuyi said the process of exploring available options to securing a National Banking Licence from the Central Bank will commence on completion of the special placing. In December last year, Wema Bank announced plans to raise capital by way of a special placing with commitment from investors already secured to the tune of the N35billion offer size. From all indications and with already high interest and demand, the placing will be fully subscribed. Analysts said the banks are returning to profitability after Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Lamido Sanusi fired the CEOs of eight of the country’s 24 banks in 2009 and gave them a N620 billion ($3.9 billion) bailout, after lending to equity speculators and fuel importers pushed the industry to near collapse.

fifth have multiple accounts because of the poor banking services of their previous banks. Only 16 per cent of respondents have multiple bank accounts due to pressure from banks marketing officers. It said people that earn less than 500,000 per annum have the habit of opening multiple accounts. “General knowledge and awareness of debit card is high in Nigeria but its usage is not commensurate. The majority of the respondents knew that ATM card is also a debit card. Basically, people with higher level of education have a better understanding of what a debit card is. People within the 18 – 45 years of age are the largest card holders in the country, they are active and more knowledgeable ones,” it said. The study revealed that over half of Nigerian debit cardholders have only one debit card while 34 per cent have more than one. Of the cardholders with multiple debit cards, over three quarter claimed that two or all the cards are active. Majority of Nigerians with multiple debit cards stated that this is because of their multiple accounts. Only four per cent have multiple cards because of the unreliability of the previous card they used. On card usage, the report said three out of four Nigerians use their cards for both cash withdrawals and checking of account balances. The percentage of Nigerians that use their cards at Point of Sale (PoS), for online purchase is still very low. “It said Nigerians in the Southeast make cash withdrawals with their cards more than other parts of the country. While Nigerians in Northeast make the least withdrawals with their cards. Nigerians in the Northcentral region are the highest when it comes to checking their account balances with their debit cards in the country while people in Southwest like to shop online with their cards. They constitute the highest percentage of online shoppers. On the contrary, people in the Southeast are more cash-based, therefore, they rarely use their cards for online purchase,” it said. This study also revealed that the more Nigerians earn, the less they use their cards for online purchase. The group of people that earns less than N500,000 per annum use their cards more for online purchase. It said the knowledge of Point of Sale (PoS) among Nigerians is slightly above average while people within the ages of 18 to 45 know more about the product than people outside this age bracket. Also, seven out of 10 Nigerians are yet to use their debit cards at the PoS terminals. The research also showed that 29 per cent of Nigerians have prefer cards when they want to pay for large quantity of goods and services while 22 per cent would use their cards for spontaneous buying. Less than a quarter would use their cards for online purchases.



INSURANCE CIIN forms consultative forum

IGI, UK firm offer $100m cover to ship operators I

NDUSTRIAL and General Insurance Plc (IGI) and United Kingdom-based P&I Association Limited have entered into a $100 million deal for protection and indemnity insurance to safeguard owners and charterers of commercial ships in Nigeria against liabilities. IGI’s Executive Director, Special Risks, Sina Elusakin, said the deal is part of the firm’s effort to boost the development of the maritime industry. "Concerned with the amount of foreign exchange being lost to the P&I Clubs abroad, IGI decided to put the coverage in place to reduce the hardship that ship owners go through in arranging the cover. We

Stories by Uyoatta Eshiet

also want to help stem premium export and boost the Local Content initiative and the Cabotage regime of the Federal Government," he said. Elusakin said the alliance between IGI and the East of England P&I Association Limited is formidable. He urged brokers, ship owners and ship managers to take advantage of the insurance product and apply for the placement of vessels under the cover. IGI's Corporate Affairs Manager, Steve Ilo, said the deal was brokered by Integro Insurance Brokers of United Kingdom, adding that the venture offers a liability limit of $100million, which is

reinsured by first-class securities in the internationally acclaimed Lloyd’s market. He said that under the deal, players in the industry, especially ship owners and ship operators, have access to protection and indemnity coverage which protects them against liabilities arising from risks, such as collision with other vessels, loss of or damage to fixed and floating objects as well as pollution risks. Ilo said the cover also protects the policyholder against liabilities for cargo, stowaways, sue and labour and legal costs, fines, wreck removal as well as illness, injury, loss of life of crew members and passengers.

• Adetimehin


HE Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) has established a consultative forum that will bring the industry regulator - National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) - underwriters, brokers, loss adjusters, loss evaluators, agents and others under one roof. President, CIIN, Dr. Wole Adetimehin, said steps had been taken to effect the take-off of the initiative, adding that it has been tested by the institute. He said: “We have various arms in our industry, and in years past, we seem to have operated in a situation were everybody is in his own world and at the end of the day, conflicting policies, were made that have not supported the growth of the industry. “That was what informed my

coming up of the consultative group, whereby we downplay all the arm of segregation and we can sit together under a platform with our regulator and sort out issues.’’ Adetimehin said no matter how difficult, CIIN would resolve issues when we come together. Unlike when the underwriter would approach the regulator and sort itself out and careless whether the broker, adjuster are affected or not. “Again, it would afford the regulator the opportunity to take input into whatever regulation or new development that is coming up in the market. I would say we have taken up, but not commissioned. “First when we were in Abuja for the annual education conference, we had that kind of parley, an assembly of Managing Directors of insurance companies, brokers, loss adjusters, we meet with the commissioner and quite numbers of issues were trashed out. “At the same time, we met at the professional forum in Ibadan. We took minute and resolved that that kind of consultative forum should be formalised and we can decide to be meeting yearly, quarterly, bi-monthly to address issues.” He praisedthe idea, saying it would promote unity in the industry.

Insurers introduce products


• President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Mrs. Laide Osijo presenting Broker Friendly Award to Canon Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi, Managing Director of LASACO Assurance Plc which hosted the April edition of the NCRIB Brokers Evening in Lagos. With them are Executive Director of the company, Mr Babajide Wright (right), and Deputy General Manager, Business Services, Mr Biodun Dosunmu.

Portland Paints customers to get Mutual Benefits insurance


UTUAL Benefits Assurance is providing insurance cover to customers of Portland Paints who lose their property because of fire outbreaks and burglary. The Managing Director, Mutual Benefit Assurance, Akin Ogunbiyi, said by the collaboration, anybody who buys Sandtex paints will be entitled to Mutual Benefits insurance. Ogunbiyi said the offer is open to both landlords and tenants when they buy some products, adding that customers will be issued insurance certificates that cover burglary, housebreaking and fire. He said: ‘’Insurance touches all facets of human life. It is an effective risk transfer mechanism, and its basic tenet is to act as a cushion in times of disaster, or mishap. It gives benefits that put the insured in a good stead as if the unfortunate incident did not occur. As a matter

of fact, one can safely conclude that insurance is an indispensable catalyst for socio-economic development. “As a company, we have consistently demonstrated our belief that there is a direct link between insurance and socio-economic development. Thus, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc has at various times declared its ambition to become the market leader in the services sector through the creation and development of specialised products, uncommon partnership initiatives, alliances and franchises in delivering insurance and risk management solutions to every household in Nigeria. This has remained the centrepiece of our business model.’’ On how the beneficiaries are picked, he explained that any occupant of an apartment who buys Sandtex Paints worth N30,000 (minimum) to paint his or her apartment

will get free fire and burglary/ housebreaking insurance for the content in the apartment up to a limit of N1 million, while the owner of a building who buys Sandtex Paints worth N300,000 will be entitled to free fire insurance of about N4 million and free fire and burglary insurance for properties in the building up to N1 million He said the product also offers multiple compensation in line with the level of patronage, including tenants and landlords whose purchases are worth N60,000 and N600,000, saying they would be entitled to double the basic benefits and in subsequent multiples depending on the total amount of purchase. Ogunbiyi said certificates would be issued to qualified clients who buy the appropriate quantity of Sandtex Paints.

LASACO Assurance appoints three DGMs, others


ASACO Assurance Plc has appointed three Deputy General Managers (DGM), an Assistant General Manager (AGM), Acting Company Secretary, four Controllers and three Senior Managers. They are: Mr Biodun Dosunmu the DGM (Business Services and Risk Management). He is also the Chief Risk Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. Mr Akinwale Sofile joined

LASACO as DGM (Finance and Accounts) and Head of Finance and Accounts. A graduate of Yaba College of Technology, Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, he is also an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management. Mr Oluyemi Samson, AGM (FCT/ Northern Region) is Deputy General Manager (Plans and Programmes). A 1991 graduate of the

Lagos State Polytechnic, he joined LASACO in 1996. Mr Ademoye Shobo, a marketer was promoted to Deputy General Manager (Marketing). He joined LASACO Assurance in 1993. Mrs Folakemi Ajayi joined LASACO in 1990. She was Assistant General Manager (Technical), added. She is an Associate member of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria.

WO underwriting Royal Exchange Assurance Plc and Mutual Benefits Assurances

have introduced two empowerment products. Managing Director, Royal Exchange General Insurance Olutayo Borokini, said the firm employed some strategies to reach out to the poor, adding that the effort is to lift them out of poverty and contribute to economic development. Head, Retail Business Royal Exchange, Mrs Temi Tope, said the firm has evolved policies to protect people who apply for microloans, adding that the initiative is to ensure that there is continuity in the economic stream. She said: "We are poised to drive insurance to the next level and that is why we make a strategic move recently to set up the retail end of our business to actually focus on encouraging individuals to have policies that are personal to them.

"We believe that this is a more sure way to drive insurance penetration. This is because if people have personal policy, it is easier to get them involved in corporate type when it gets to their businesses. "On micro insurance, we are firmly established on that and I can tell you that our company has policies designed to protect the people who are applying for loans and this is making sure that there is continuity in that economic stream. "Also, we want to put value to products so that at the end of the day, people can be assured that there are products to take care of their needs. We are also looking at the Health area. We have currently fine-tuned products that can take care of people’s health. We believe that a healthy nation would be productive. Therefore, we are hoping that all these and many more, would make insurance reach every Nigerian."

Sovereign Trust to support youths OVEREIGN Trust Insurance Plc is to partner Teenage Life, a non-governmental agency on mentoring and development of youths as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In a statement by its spokesperson, Segun Bankole, the firm explained that the focus of the initiative is to effect positive behavioural changes in young adults through education and sensitisation on health. The Project Manager, Jessica Braimah, said: "The Teenage Life Project sets out to secure the future of young people by providing them with enduring moral compass as their guide for navigation in the passage of life," adding that it is pertinent for youths to be sensitised and empowered with adequate knowledge and skills that will enable them to adopt pre-marital sex abstinence as the most preferred option for the prevention of sexually-trans-


mitted diseases and the prevention of teenage pregnancies as well as abortion.” She said the organisation ha adopted an interactive radio programme that is focused on youths and family life. She said the main objective of the programme is to reduce to the barest minimum, such societal malaise as prostitution, rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion and HIV/AIDS transmission. Bankole said the support for the Teenage Life Project is in line with one of the company’s CSR platform which is hinged on health, sport and the environment. He said the firm is committed to ensuring that its initiatives are supportive to bring about positive change in the society. He said the infection rate of HIV/AIDS in the country is gradually hitting an alarming state and that efforts should be directed at combating the spread of the scourge at an early stage before it becomes too late.







Stakeholders seek support for capital market T practitioners’ bill

HE Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) and other stakeholders in the capital market have launched a broad consultation framework to drum up support for a new bill that seeks to broaden the scope of certification of the CIS through the creation of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI). The CISI bill, which is being sponsored by former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Capital Market, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, intends to replace the law that set up CIS and bring other capital market operators under the supervision of CISI. Sources familiar with this development said leading capital opera-

Stories by Taofik Salako

tors have been engaging in intense consultation and harmonisation of divergent views with the intent of achieving a common market position that will facilitate quick passage of the bill. While most operators, especially professional brokers, investment managers and other currently certified operators, saw the need to have a new regulatory framework that subjects all operators to certification by a marketfocused institute, there were fears from some stakeholders that CISI

may unduly favour stockbrokers, who are currently the most organised group in the market. The source said efforts were being made to persuade all stakeholders to look at the overall benefit of CISI to sustainable the growth and development of the capital market. “We are very optimistic the bill will sail through, it’s in the best interest of the market. You can’t have a market where anyone can stand up one morning and start doing a function, this is one of the reasons for the previous rot in the sys-

tem, it’s not safe for the market and the economy to have uncertified people parading themselves as capital market operators or to have people creating all sorts of certification standards, without bordering whether they meet global competitive standards,” the source said. The source said after initial consultations, several stakeholders have seen reasons for the CISI bill but the consultation would continue until stakeholders have achieved what could be termed as general market position that is strong enough to ensure hitch-free passage of the bill.

The source noted that while the CISI bill could pass the scrutiny of law-making on its merits and strong global argument in support of its necessity, major stakeholders adopted dialogue and consultation on the grey areas of the CISI bill in order to allay fears as well as preserve the cordiality of the market. Some custodians and financial analysts had faulted the CISI bill on the ground that they were not consulted in the preparation of the bill. They had expressed concerns that the new institute may be dominated by stockbrokers and it may not adequately cater for intricacies and challenges faced by the other trade groups.

Lafarge Wapco grows Q1 profit by 49%


•From left: Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema; President, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Head, Listings Regulation, Mrs. Josephine Igbinosu, at the 52nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Exchange in Lagos.

HAREHOLDERS in Lafarge Wapco Cement Nigeria Plc earned N2.02 in distributable earnings in the first three months of this year as the cement manufacturing company optimised marginal sales through increased cost efficiency. Interim report and accounts of Lafarge Wapco for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013 showed that basic earnings per share, the net earnings that could be distributed to shareholders if the company so decided, increased by 49 per cent to N2.02 as against N1.36 recorded in the comparable period of 2012. The report showed marginal sale growth of 3.1 per cent, but improved cost management leveraged pre and post-tax profits by 21 per cent and 49 per cent respectively. Turnover stood at N23.32 billion in first quarter 2013 as against N22.61 billion in comparable pe-

riod of 2012. Profit before tax rose from N5.96 billion to N7.2 billion. Profit after tax also increased from N4.1 billion to N6.1 billion. Market analysts indicated that the first quarter report underlined a robust outlook for the cement company, which recently announced 107 per cent increase in net earnings for the 2012 business year. Audited report and accounts of Lafarge Wapco for the year ended December 31, 2012 showed that profit before tax doubled from N10.3 billion in 2011 to N21.3 billion in 2012. Profit after tax also jumped from N8.64 billion to N14.71 billion, indicating earnings per share of N4.90 for 2012 as against N2.88 recorded for 2011. Turnover rose to N87.97 billion in 2012 as against N62.50 billion in 2011. Gross profit increased from N19.3 billion to N32.4 billion. Lafarge Wapco is paying a dividend per share of N1.20 for the 2012 business year.

How to sustain capital market growth, by stockbrokers


APITAL market stakeholders need to devise means to tap into Nigeria’s huge population and key economic segments to catalyse the growth of the capital market. President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Mr. Ariyo Olushekun, outlined the path to sustainable growth for the capital market in a chat with The Nation. He said the future growth and the stability of the market rests on massive participation in the market by average Nigerians and large companies, which control the key economic segments of the country. According to him, the future of the market lies in pooling resources of average Nigerians to form huge capital base that would enhance the effectiveness of longterm financial intermediation role of the market. He said improved domestic investors’ base could be achieved through proper investors’ education and awareness, noting that emphasis should be focused on the long-term values and benefits in the market rather than short-term fluctuations. He added that collective investment schemes such as mutual funds should be encouraged as they would minimize the risks and frustrations being faced by average individual investors. Olushekun noted that listing of major companies in key segments of the economy including oil and gas, telecommunications and power sectors would not only deepen the depth of the market but also encourage more Nigerians who view those companies as cash cows to participate in the market.

He advised that the government should include compulsory quotation clause in the agreement for sale or licensing of any major utility so as to open up the opportunities in fast-growing segments of the economy to average Nigerians. Quotation clause will make it compulsory for the company to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) within a timeline. A latest report on foreign portfolio investment flow at the NSE between 2007 and March 2013 showed that foreign investors gradually and consecutively increased their investments in Nigerian equities from about 15 per cent

of total market turnover in 2007 all through till a high of about 67 per cent in 2011. Foreign portfolios were particularly the main drivers of transactions on the NSE in the past two years, with foreign investors accounting for average of two-thirds of equity transactions between 2011 and 2012. Nigerian investors have however, made strong rebound this year, displacing foreign portfolios as the main drivers of stock market’s transactions. Compared with the situation in 2011 and 2012 when foreign investors accounted for 67 per cent and 61 per cent of

total turnover on the NSE, foreign investors now accounted for about 43 per cent. Nigerian institutional and individual investors stepped up their transactions from a recent low of 33 per cent in 2011 to 39 per cent in 2012 and now currently account for more than 57 per cent of total transactions. The report underlined the early positioning of the foreign investors, who had saw through the prospects of Nigerian equities amidst the downtrend and the rampant herd instinct of the domestic investors, who mostly usually look at recovering mar-

ket. The two-way flow of foreign portfolio investments showed that while foreign investors flowed in about N2.01 trillion during the period, they equally took away about N2.17 trillion. Foreign portfolio transactions increased from N615.6 billion in 2007 to N787.4 billion in 2008. These trimmed down to N424.6 billion in 2009 before rising consecutively to N577.3 billion and N847.9 billion in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Foreign portfolio trades stood at N808.4 billion in 2012 and were reported at N215.6 billion by March 2013.

Nestle Nigeria in slow start as profit drops


ESTLE Nigeria Plc, Nigeria’s highest-priced stock, made a slow start for this year as sluggish sales and relatively high costs reduced profit margins in the first quarter. Interim report and accounts of Nestle Nigeria for the three-month period ended March 31, 2013 showed that average profit per unit of sale dropped by some three percentage points, pushing pre and post tax profits downward by four per cent and 3.0 per cent. While turnover rose marginally by seven per cent during the period, average pre-tax profit margin slipped to 22.96 per cent as against 25.64 per cent recorded in comparable period of 2012. The report showed turnover of N30.70 billion as against N28.67 billion recorded in corresponding period of 2012. Profit before tax however, dropped from N7.35 billion to

N7.05 billion while profit after tax fall from N6.2 billion to N6 billion. The first quarter report set a downbeat for the cheery performance of the food and beverages giant in 2012, which had enabled the company to pay about N16 billion as cash dividends. It paid N14.66 billion as final cash dividends for the 2012 business year, bringing total cash payouts for the year to N15.85 billion. The food and beverage giant had earlier declared interim dividend of N1.19 billion. The dividend breakdown indicated final dividend per share of N18.50 in addition to interim dividend of N1.50 paid in December 2012, bringing total dividend per share to N20. Key extracts of the audited report and accounts for the year ended December 31, 2012 showed a general improvement in the profitability of the company. On the average, Nestle Nigeria made N21.46 in pre-tax profit

on every N100 unit of sales in 2012 as against N18.58 recorded in previous year. Gross profit margin also improved from 41.44 per cent in 2011 to 42.99 per cent in 2012. While total sales rose by 19.1 per cent, improved cost management magnified the impact of sales growth on the bottom-line, pushing pre and post tax profits up by 37.64 per cent and 28.12 per cent respectively. Total sales stood at N116.71 billion in 2012 as against N97.96 billion in 2011. Gross profit rose from N40.59 billion to N50.17 billion. Profit before tax increased to N25.05 billion in 2012 compared with N18.20 billion in 2011. Profit after tax rose from N16.50 billion to N21.14 billion. With these, earnings per share improved from N20.81 in 2011 to N26.67 Managing Director, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Mr. Martin Woolnough recently expressed optimism that the food and beverage company would

achieve better results in 2013 as it consolidates its operations and harness potential of recent investments. Speaking briefly during the bell ringing ceremony at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos, Woolnough said the company had a very good start this year, which it expects to sustain the momentum through the year. The ceremony was to commemorate Nestle Nigeria’s N5.4 billion ultra-modern distribution centre in Agbara, Ogun State. He said the investing public should always expect good results from the compan, assuring that the board and management will continue to work to retain value for shareholders. He said that the company has invested N100 billion in its Nigerian operations between 2007 and 2012, which showed the commitments of the multinational to Nigeria.





Interest expenses put RT Briscoe in red

FTER several years of unbroken dividend payment, RT Briscoe Plc’s bottomline finally entered the red zone in 2012 as the company struggled with huge interest expenses. Shareholders of RT Briscoe would contend with a reduction of about 25 kobo in the underlying value of each of their shares as returns for the 2012 business year in contrast with dividend per share of 10 kobo received in 2011 and 2010. The Board of Directors of RT Briscoe has reported that the company made a net loss of N280.7 million in 2012 following a 62 per cent increase in interest expense. The loss resulted in a loss per share of 24.93 kobo in 2012, which further reduced the net capital base of the company from N3.52 billion in 2011 to N3.13


Stories by Taofik Salako

billion in 2012. Audited report and accounts of RT Briscoe for the year ended December 31, 2012 indicated that turnover rose by 12 per cent from N19.61 billion in 2011 to N21.98 billion in 2012. The company maintained appreciable profitability until financing charges for its N8.9 billion loans sucked all profit. Gross profit increased from N2.18 billion to N2.68 billion. After deducting administrative, selling and distribution expenses, operating profit stood at N941.8 million in 2012 compared with N965.66 million in 2011. However, interest expense jumped by 62.3 per cent from N776.38 million in 2011 to N1.26 billion in 2012, reversing the company’s profit before tax of

Sterling Bank targets double-digit growth

TERLING Bank Plc would seek to sustain its doubledigit growth in revenue in 2013, creating more robust platform for the bank to deliver stronger profit and returns, the management of the bank has said. In a preview of the 2013 performance outlook, Managing Director, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr Yemi Adeola, said management of the bank would focus on achieving double-digit growth in gross earnings while growing an efficient balance sheet and lowcost funding that would magnify bottom-line performance. On the heels of the 54 per cent and 108 per cent growth in revenue and pre-tax profit respectively in 2012, Adeola said the management of the bank recognised that there is more work to be done. “This year, we will focus on the agenda we have set out across our various business lines. In particular, we will continue to streamline and standardise our processes, drive low-cost funding through our retail business, grow an efficient balance sheet, achieve double digit revenue growth and ensure a customer-centric approach in our entire interface with customers,” Adeola said. He outlined a six-pillar strategic plan that would drive robust growth including asset strategy, customer acquisition, performance management, retail strategy, retail structure, retail brand and delivery. According to him, the bank would revamp its retail strategy to focus on customer acquisition and low cost deposit mobilisation while ensuring effective use of alternative channels to serve its teeming retail customers. He added that the bank would deploy a robust customer relationship management solution to aid understanding of customer behaviour and preferences for effective deployment of the bank’s array of products and services. He noted that the bank would ensure continuous automation and streamlining of processes to improve cost efficiency. It would also conclude the remodeling of branch infrastructure and energy sources to reduce cost of doing business. “The Sterling Bank of today is stronger, more agile and more exciting. Given the passion and commitment of our people, we are optimistic about the future,” Adeola said. The assurance of improved performance came on the heels of first

quarter report, which showed strong growths across key indices. Key extracts of the profit and loss accounts for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013 showed that Sterling Bank’s profit after tax rose by 96 per cent while profit before tax increased by 85 per cent. The net profit growth signaled robust returns outlook for investors as earnings per share rose by 89 per cent from 9.0 kobo recorded in first quarter 2012 to 17 kobo in first quarter 2013. The report, prepared in line with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), showed gross earnings of N19.84 billion as against N16.21 billion recorded in comparable period of 2012. Profit before tax jumped from N1.63 billion to N3.02 billion while profit after tax leapt to N2.72 billion as against N1.39 billion. The report underlined continuing improvement in the bank’s cost efficiency and growing market share. Pre-tax profit margin was 15.2 per cent in first quarter 2013 as against 10.1 per cent in comparable period of 2012. Deposits increased by 13.1 per cent within the three months from N466.85 billion recorded in December 2012 to N528.10 billion in March 2013. Total assets grew by 11 per cent to N645.07 billion as against N580.23 billion recorded in December 2012. The first quarter report came on the heels of the audited report and accounts for the year ended December 31, 2012, which showed a wellrounded performance with significant growths in incomes, profitability and assets management and efficiency. Gross earnings grew by 51 per cent, pre-tax profit doubled by 108 per cent while the proportion of non-performing loans to total loans portfolio improved considerably to negligible 3.8 per cent as against 4.8 per cent in previous year. Net interest margin improved from 5.0 per cent to 5.2 per cent underlying increasing profitability of the bank’s core banking operations in spite of the tough operating environment. Gross earnings stood at N68.9 billion in 2012 as against N45.7 billion in 2011. Adjusted for income from discontinued operations, profit before tax grew by 108 per cent to N7.5 billion in 2012 as against N3.6 billion in 2011. With net profit after tax of N6.95 billion in 2012, the board of director has recommended 100 per cent increase in cash dividends to shareholders from 10 kobo paid for the 2011 business year to 20 kobo for 2012.

N319.66 million in 2011 to pretax loss of N228.50 million in 2012. After taxes, net loss rose to N280.7 million in 2012 as against profit after tax of N149.9 million. With the primary capital market still dormant, RT Briscoe has been unable to actualise its recapitalisation plan, forcing the company to depend on short-term bank loans. While the company’s total assets and liabilities declined in 2012, borrowings increased during the period, underlining the increasing dependence of the company on short-term funding. Borrowings, which were categorised as current liabilities and thus implied a short-tenor of a year, rose from N8.10 billion in 2011 to N8.93 billion in 2012. Total assets however dropped, from N15.05 billion to N14.11 billion while total liabilities declined to N10.98 billion as against N11.53 billion in 2011. The Board of RT Briscoe has several times point fingers at what it described as “an unfortunate but unavoidable reality” of “high level of bank

borrowings and short term loans as well as interest expenses.” Chairman, RT Briscoe (Nigeria) Plc, Mr. Clement Olowokande, had in previous review noted that in spite of the appreciable growths of 30 per cent in turnover and 42 per cent in profit after tax in 2011, the company operated under unfavourable financing structure as interest expenses soared to N776.4 million as against profit after tax of about N216 million. RT Briscoe’s third party borrowings doubled from N4.1 billion in 2010 to N8.1 billion in 2011. Olowokande attributed the huge debt outlay and the pressing financing expenses to the inability of the company to source equity capital since the meltdown in spite of the company’s growing business. According to him, investors’ apathy to new equity investments and anxieties over several banks’ shares worsened the new capital market as local fund managers opted for more secure and predictable bond market,

thereby depriving real and productive sector opportunity to raise much needed equity capital. “The sorry picture is that our company operates largely on borrowed funds. … We do hope that you will support your company when the investment climate is conducive and the board decides to have a public offer,” Olowokande had hinted of possible new capital raising in 2012 which the company has been unable to achieve. He noted that the current state of high cost of funds weighed in on the possible payouts to shareholders as the company opted to conserve net earnings to mitigate financing pressure. According to him, when considering the level of dividend to be recommended to shareholders, the board had to be mindful of the escalating costs of funds and financing needs of a capital intensive business, such as RT Briscoe and decided to carefully balance the delicate need to retain cash in the business and compensating shareholders.






Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos


10.00 a.m.

Nestle Nigeria

MUSON Centre, Onikan


11.00 a.m.

Dangote Sugar

Eko Hotel, VI Lagos


11.00 a.m.

Berger Paints

Transcorp Hilton, Abuja


11.00 a.m.


Mainland Hotel, Oyingbo


10.00 a.m.

Nigerian Breweries MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos


10.00 a.m.

First Aluminium Airport Hotel, Ikeja


11.00 a.m.


MUSON Centre, Onikan Lagos


10.00 a.m.

Airline Services

Golden Tulip Hotel, Festac


12.00 noon

Skye Bank

Lagos Oriental Hotel, VI


11.00 a.m.


City Hall, Lagos Island


11.00 a.m.

Paints & Coatings Aries suites Plot 12, Osborne Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos 23/05/2013

11.00 a.m.



11.00 a.m.

Dangote Cement Trancorp Hilton, Abuja Lafarge Wapco City Hall, Onikan Lagos

23/05/2013 28/05/2013

11.00 a.m.

Livestock Feeds Golden Tulip, Amuwo Odofin


11.00 a.m.

Learn Africa


11.00 a.m.

Four Points by Sheraton, Oniru, VI

Lagos Airport, Ikeja Lagos

Solar grand prix woos investors to alternative energy


HE Nigeria solar car initiative wILL encourage entrepreneurs to invest in alternative energy, the promoter of the initiative has said. Promoter of Nigeria solar car initiative and Proprietor, Kings Polytechnic, Mr Fred Ijewere, said the forthcoming solar car racing competition would showcase opportunities in solar investments. According to him, the solar grand prix was designed to champion integration, support and encouragement of technical and scientific endeavours in the field of

engineering. A solar car uses sunshine for fuel. The photovoltaic cells of the car collects and converts energy from the sun directly into electricity, thus making the vehicle completely self sufficient. He pointed out that the vision of the solar grand prix was to promote educational excellence and engineering creativity fueled by the spirit of friendly competition and teamwork. He said the first edition of the 18- kilometre grand prix race being hosted by the polytechnic

and St.Francis College, Ubiaja, Edo State is expected to produce cutting edge solar powered cars which will pave the way for a future of solar powered invention and revival of research and innovation among tertiary and research institution across the country. Event coordinator of the American Solar Challenge and Formula Sun Grand Prix, Mr Gail Lueck, expressed optimism that Nigeria Solar Challenge will encourage young minds to design and build a solar powered vehicle.




Turning passion into successful business M

ANAGING Director/ Chief Executive, Oyin and Ore Events, Princess Oyindamola Kentebe, has always been an organiser in and out of work. She organises friends’ birthdays, naming ceremonies, among others. She has turned the passion into a rewarding venture. She runs a catering and events management business, involving catering, events, decorations, kiddies’ entertainment and cake making. The company sells soups/ stew, such as banga, special ayamase, efo riro packs. She started the business with N50,000. Today, it is worth N5 million. On when she started nurturing the dream of running an event and catering service, she said it was right from her high school days. “I’ve always had passion for baking, cooking anddecorating. My late grandma - may her gentle soul

Stories by Daniel Essiet

rest in perfect - was an excellent cook and had a passion for baking as well. She taught me most of the things I know today.” She has a strong background in the service industry which she think gives one a good grounding. “It's a tough market out there,” she said. She offers a large menu repertoire, from traditional favourites to creative inventions. Her skills, industry insight, and a great market opportunity allows her to reach profitability in a considerable period. Right now, she is creating a service-based company whose primary goal is to exceed customers’expectations. According to her, quality and serving of food are the main areas where caterers compete. She has had some lucky breaks and many people are taking a chance on her. But those who are standing out are ones who showed they

• Kentebe

have real energy and commitment, she said. She can't express how much experience and knowledge an events organiser will need.The events industry, she said, is not

one sector, but is made up of many specialised areas. Princess Kentebe‘s ability to organise under pressure and achieve results has been a major success factor. For her, one must make up his mind to stand out from the crowd.The challenge is that the industry is filled with people who have came from other professions. There is more money to be made, but there will be pressure to deliver on results. For her, the industry is exciting and rewarding, but it is competitive to get into, so one really needs to stand out. “But, generally, event organising is stressful, and one needs to work well under pressure; it is rewarding when one speaks to the client after the event, and they tell one how interesting it was,” she said. For her, the strategy is learning to be calm and level-headed when things don't go to plan and planning for the unex-

Livestock breeding holds the ace


NTREPRENEURS are reaping from mini-livestock business, such as raising of pigs, grass cutters, quails, goats, guinea pig and rabbits. This is because they are easy to start and they require a small capital. One of such entrepreneurs, making substantial income from these is the Chief Executive Officer, Jovana Farms, Prince Arinze Onebunne, who is raising grass cutters. The success of the grass cutter business has motivated him to move into other mini-livestock farming, such as raising rabbits, guinea pigs and antelopes. He is planning to elevate Nigeria into a centre for mini-livestock production. His mission is to facilitate the development of mini-livestock businesses and has been training farmers to carry out various endeavours in mini-livestock. He said the nation has a large untapped investment opportunities in the sector and this has heightened his commitment to increasing the productivity of producers. His goal is to help farmers build profitable small livestock enterprises that can be started with N60,000 and sustained throughout the year. He teaches farmers the importance of feeds, breeding, animal health and disease awareness and marketing. He said the production of the animal gives farmers a big chance to increase their income and offer an alternative means of livelihood to urban and rural farmers in addressing poverty. These have propelled Onebunne to launch an initiative to promote grass cutter rearing as a suitable occupation that can contribute to food security, wealth and

• Onebunne

employment creation. He said the grass cutter business is emerging as a productive enterprise. In terms of value addition, he said grass cutter meat can be exported and used in many forms - it can be sold in butcheries, restaurants and used in preparing different delicacies, such as pepper soup, suya- smoked, driedspices and sausages. The breeding family of one male and four females is sold for N45,000. The grass cutter is a member of the rodent family and they are prolific breeders. Their rate of production is faster than that of cows, goats and sheep. A grass cutter has a gestation period of 152 days. A breeding doe (female) can produce at least two litters yearly with an average of seven babies; that is, 14kits per doe yearly if you manage them well. He said a robust and thriving grass cutter meat industry would have an enormous impact on the

economy. It would not only offer opportunities for major investors to start and grow large meat processing companies, but also contribute to employment creation. Besides, he said it would open up avenues for the lucrative trade in smoked meat export. What is more, the industry would transform the fortunes of many small producers and leverage assets for the poor. Others who would benefit from the spin off in the value chain are the manufacturers of animal feeds, distributors, stockist, butcheries, restaurateurs etc. In addition, the consumption of grass cutter meat has many benefits. The animal has the highest protein percentage and it is one of the most nutritious meats known to man. Onebunne is training and helping more farmers to grow. He said the success in raising grass cutters for profit is deter-

mined by three things: a good breeding programme, modern equipment and good care. He said raising grass cutters for meat is a good way to make money. Currently, some farmers are engaged in grass cutting business to make supplementary income. He said the initial cost of setting up a grass cutting business is small. A grass cutter breeds twice yearly; they have large litters and grow to a marketable size for food in a short period. Like any business, he said if one wants to make profit with glass cutters, one needs to assess the market. He, however, said grass cutters would remain money spinners as long as one maintains good breeding stock. A good doe can be bred at six months and if the conditions are ideal, she can breed twice yearly. Breeding does are usually kept for four years before they are slaughtered. On the average, they can give birth to 56 young ones in four years. The males that are not going to be used for reproduction should be kept until they weigh about 3-5kg each before they are slaughtered for sale. This takes about 12 months. Raising grass cutters has an excellent byproduct for garden and veggie patch. Grass cutter manure is good for the compost heap. To establish a dynamic and viable grass cutter breeding industry, he said a training and development programme is necessary. He and others are striving to help entrepreneurs. In the past three years, he has received more requests from individuals seeking to take advantage of the new business opportunity. Jovana Farms organises practical training nationwide on small scale farming.

pected. According to her, the business is expensive to start. Is starting the business easy compared to others? Not really, she said, addding that market is large, but has many competitors. “People like to patronise the wellrecognised brands. By the grace of the Almighty God, my wonderful mum, siblings, family and friends, I have not looked back since I started Oyin and Ore Events (O&O Events),” she said. On what it takes to run a successful business, she listed the following: prayers, hard work and offering quality service to clients. Kentebe studied Business Management at the University of Lagos; cocktail drinks, catering and baking at the Mix and Bake School. At the moment, she is studying Entrepreneurial Management at the Pan African University Enterprise Development Centre.

Entrepreneur’s Quote Nobody does just one thing. But the real difference between being an entrepreneur and everyone else in the world is the ability to monetize. I am an entrepreneur in the classic mold. Gene Simmons



The Midweek Magazine E-mail:-

They came from various parts of Africa. They saw and wrote under one roof at the Ebedi International Residency in Iseyin, Oyo State, where they honed their skills and kept their dreams alive. Yewande Omotoso, Agiresaasi Apophia, Rukayat Olaleye and Ayodele Olofintuade spoke on their experiences at the residency. EVELYN OSAGIE reports.

‘Nigerians are aggressive’


HAT was your experience like in Nigeria, Apophia? I found Nigerians warm and receptive so, I didn’t have any major challenges. I learnt a lot from them. You must have come with a mindset about Nigerians. Does what you saw correlate with that? Of course, I’ve met many of them in meetings at international conferences, I’ve seen them make presentations. They are aggressive, very brilliant, hardworking. And it was the same thing I found here. In Uganda, it is not the same. People have come here and written a lot in one month. They don’t waste time. Nigerians are just the people who are aggressive eh? Ayodele: It is not aggression, it is just being up-anddoing... energy. Ladies, what did you work on? Apophia: I had thought I was going to work on a novel; but since I came here I worked on a series a short stories and I had finished eight of them. They address different themes and are all set in Uganda. There is a high level of employment; the patriarchal tradition and how women are being repressed and are trying to rise up to the top are part of my of thematical concerns along with love and life generally. Ayodele: I wanted to come and start a new novel, Shina Rambo; but when I got here I got a mail to do a first draft of the one I was working on before I got here, called Lakriboto Chronicles. In Yoruba land, lakriboto is an independent woman, who a lot of men see as sexless, a woman who doesn’t bow down to men. I’m examining the African community, is there really a community, are we really as cohesive, as close and as family oriented as everybody claims we are? I’m also questioning the way people with mental illness are treated in our country. The story is about three women, one of them has mental illness. They are just girls that were growing up in a typical Yoruba family; there is a kind of loss involved, so, they were moved around among relatives as househelps to take care of the children. I’m following the journey of these three women. Well, I’m nearly done, I still have two chapters to go. So, that is what I did. It was totally amazing... a great experience. Yewande: I worked on the first draft of a book set mostly in South Africa; and the two main characters are 80-year-old women,who are neighbours. It’s basically a story about their relationship: they hate one another but are dependent on each other. It looks at South African dynamics, the racial,the 20 years on after democratic elected government in 1994. What are the racial dynamics still that exist in the Western Cape. There is segregation by class and colour in Cape Town still 20 years on. So, I’m just looking at why that is the case. It also takes place in Ibadan, and partly in the West Indies and London. How different is this from your other novel, Bom Boy, since Ibadan and Cape Town are mentioned? Because I’m not only South African. My character is West Indian, and the other character is a white South African.Whenever I write, I feel the need to put a character there that relates to my experience, which is me being a foreigner. So, I can write from a West Indian perspective in South Africa; and she also comes to Ibadan. You know, I’m Nigerian; but I’m not really Nigerian. So, I can write from the West Indian perspective; and I always need that perspective that I know. How much of your story is in Bom Boy, for instance? It’s not directly my story because it’s not autobiographical but it is about somebody who doesn’t fit in and who is struggling to find their place. I can relate to some degree because that is what life in South Africa is to me. Otherwise, I’m not that weird. Did your stay in the residency help fire your imagination? Apophia: Yes, in many ways. There was something about the quiet environment. You had to be committed because you had nothing else to do. We were not cooking, cleaning the house, so, you are just in your room; eat, read and write. Also, it was not a town, perhaps if it were in Lagos we would have been tempted to go to the bar or places like that. Was there a time keeper among you who insists that today you have got to do 10 pages tomorrow, 20 and so on? Ayodele: She (Yewande) wasthe one that does it for herself. Yewande: Everybody worked differently. For me, I took

•From left: Ayodele, Rukayat, Apophia and Yewande

it as a really amazing opportunity and I wasn’t prepared to waste it. I took it really serious. I have my calendar and what I need to accomplish when I leave there. I mean, who else is going to give me a place to work? I am really grateful for it. So, I managed to finish the first draft being there in the space of five weeks. And I agree with you, Yewande, it’s the focus and I think it’s intentional. Everything is geared towards productivity. How often do you compare notes? Yewande: We compared notes after meals. We were there together, we had breakfast, lunch and dinner together. In the evening, we sat down and discussed our work-in-progress. Although Yewande is a bit reticent about what she was writing and she didn’t talk much about her work but Apophia, Rukayat and I usually discussed our works. It was amazing to have the opportunity to rub minds with other writers and for them to give you feedback. Usually, there is this thing with Nigerian writers. They say we are going for a reading and then they read and then you hear, “my goodness, where did you get that gem from? You are the greatest writer in the world”. But this one was honest feedback, and I think i was fantastic.. How did you cope with the food? Apophia: That is one of the challenges I had. What do you eat in Uganda? Some of the foods are really the same like rice and spaghetti; but the way we prepare it is different. So, I don’t take pepper and all the food in Nigeria is full of pepper. Ayodele: And then she (Apophia) would take the food and examine it. She would eat rice without any sauce, yam and bread, unripe mangoes. Yewande, are you having the same challenge with the food? Ayodele: No. She can swallow everything, amala.. eba... and she’d say, “Ayodele, where is the market by the way?” The first time we went to buy bush meat, it was a

‘Of course, I’ve met many of them in meetings at international conferences, I’ve seen them make presentations. They are aggressive, very brilliant, hardworking. And it was the same thing I found here. In Uganda, it is not the same. People have come here and written a lot in one month. They don’t waste time. Nigerians are just the people who are aggressive eh?’ - Apophia

fantastic experience. Yewande: Maybe I shouldn’t open my mouth because anytime I do, bush meat tripples in price. How did you get to know about Ebedi? Yewande: A friend of mine, Samuel Kolawole was here, I wanted to come to Nigeria and I was looking for a way to come and make it worth my while so I asked him about it and he recommended it. I went online and tried to find the Ebedi web site. I found a contact person, emailed them, found out what I needed to send. Quite straightforward like that. I applied and was accepted. Unfortunately at the time the web site wasn’t quite running so I emailed Dr Okediran and interacted with him directly and he told me what he required, I sent it in and the board commented and I got accepted. Actually, Ebedi is the first residency you are applying for. Ayodele: I got a call from the president of ANA in Ibadan, Uncle Akin Bello. He was like, ‘do you want to go to Ebedi?’ and I said, ‘why would I want to go to Ebedi?’ I was just kidding. He asked me if I wanted to come to Ebedi, and of course, I know about Ebedi. Almost all my friends have been here. Everybody comes back from here and says, oh my God, you should go for it. I got in touch with Dr. Okediran and we were talking...I just made up my mind to come and I have no regrets. Apophia: I got to know about the residency because I’m a member of FEMRITE, which is the Uganda Women Writers Association. Barbara Oketa, who is a member of FEMRITE was here and she was asked to recommend somebody and she picked me. I applied online but it took some time and I didn’t get a reply so I asked Barbara whether she had given me the right address and she gave me Dr. Okediran’s email then I applied to him directly. I sent a letter, my CV and a sample of what I was working on. I was accepted and I had to apply to art world Africa for my air ticket. You are the third Ugandan here. How popular is the residency, especially among Ugandan writers? Apophia: It was getting popular, especially at FEMRITE where other writers have also applied but were not sure if they would get funding for air tickets. Even me, I wasn’t sure I would be able to come because Ebedi replied over a month ago and I had been here for two weeks while the others had been here for a month. The residency is becoming very popular. In what way do you think the Ebedi Residency Programme can be improved upon? Yewande: It’s very brilliant great idea and project. There is need to up the standard and make it more popular. This, I think, will help with the funding that is needed. There is need to decentralise it and for investors to become partners. It would make it more appealing. Apophia: I think that on a weekly basis, residents should have someone write a brief report, get an excerpt of what they have done. Then, at the end of the six weeks, the residents write a full report.



The Midweek Magazine


SB Falegan @ 80 Finance and investments expert SEYE ADETUNMBI pays tribute to former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) director Chief S.B. Falegan, who has just clocked 80


T is always a thing of joy when we see technocrats of repute who have served the nation and their people meritoriously, age gracefully in retirement. This is a spectacular thing in our clime when we put into perspective how different hopes of many people have been shattered over the years and some beautiful lives have been cut short due to avoidable mismanaged system and disturbing cases of demeaning situation of a nation so blessed. It is thus to the glory of God that former Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank, Chief Samuel Bamidele Falegan (SBF) marked 80 years in good health as a going concern. It is not just about attaining the octogenarian age, but the grace of God that has made Baba S. B. Falegan to be productively active and useful to his immediate environment on so many fronts. For him to sustain his integrated virtues of brilliance, excellence, integrity, honourable and principled disposition over the years, is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in the eyes of his loved ones, associates and other ranks of his admirers. For those who are familiar with his resume, SBF the economist and reputable career banker will go down in history as a prolific writer. After leaving government job he continued to put his thoughts into writing on multifaceted arising national and contemporary issues around him. This is one of the hallmarks of statesmanship. Most statesmen would not keep quiet and watch things go bad, they positively intervene in the affairs of their society to the best of their ability. SBF would always put issues in proper perspectives and state it the way it is. Consequently, it won’t surprise his followers that an autobiographical book titled My Yesteryears will be formally presented to the public to mark his 80th birthday on Friday. A copy of the book is a must read for those who take delight in learning about life experiences of worthy citizens. Baba SBF touched everything, no pretenses which he has been noted for over the years. By the standard of his environment judging by foresight

•Chief Falegan From Okan Seye Adetunmbi

TRIBUTE and the ability of his distinguished hard working parents to sponsor him and his siblings to the best schools in their time, SBF had a privileged background and a strong christian upbringing with unique Anglican denomination leaning. This no doubt must have influenced his character and the choices he made over the years which made him to stand out among his peers till date.

SBF was born as the sixth child into the famous Chief Daniel Falegan family on May 10, 1933 in Ado-Ekiti. He is a product of Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti (1949 to1954) and his prominent farmer father was a major yam supplier to the school. He graduated from Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone where he bagged B.Sc Economics in 1960 and University of Oregon, US in 1967 with M.Sc Economics. He joined the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) on July 1, 1961; became Chief Economist in 1968 and rose to the Director of Research position in 1976. SBF was seconded on appointment as the Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank in 1979. He retired from CBN in 1984 after a meritorious service to the nation. His other public assignments include serving on the board of FBN Plc between 1974 and 1975, Governing Council of NISER 1975-1979, National Advisory Council on Statistics 1975-1979, Ondo State Economic Advisory Council 1976-1979 and Chairman of Research Working Party on establishment of Africa Centre for Monetary Studies, Dakar in 1976. He was a consultant to the World Bank and has five published economics and financial market books to his credit. One of the most respected monarchs of all times, His Royal Majesty, Oba Anirare Daniel Aladesanmi, the Ewi of AdoEkiti honoured him in 1976 with a rare title of “Atoye” of Ado-Ekiti. Atoye is pronounced r.r.m, someone endowed with planning and getting things done effectively in other words, an exemplar in organisation. Like most people with distinct disposition to issues and driven by excellence and integrity, he faced different challenges and intrigues in his career. Looking back now, on what he went through in public service which he survived in flying colours; SBF has every reason to continue to give thanks to God and celebrate becoming an Octogenarian. In retirement and old age, he continued to apply and carry himself appropriately with distinction. He made himself available to the service of the state, Anglican Church, alma mater and Ado community. He is active on the internet and responds to emails personally. This has enabled him participate resourcefully with an array of his distinguished kinsmen home and abroad in Ekitipanupo indigenous intellectual roundtable. Being a respected and the oldest active member of the preeminent forum, he naturally earned the exalted status of Babaisale Ekitipanupo. What else can one write about a man who survived all odds and rough edges of life for 80 years as a going concern to give thanks to God! I can only humbly request that you join me in saluting the remarkable statesman at 80!

City chorale marks jubilee


•From left: Mrs Gloria Ita-Ikpeme and members of the advisory board

NLNG prize for literature gets 205 entries


HE Nigeria Liquefied and Natural Gas (NLNG), organisers of the annual NLNG prize for literature has received 205 entries for this year’s competition. Out of these, 197 entries were from authors in Nigeria and the Diaspora that will be competing for Africa’s most prestigious literary prize. The remaining eight other entries are for the newly introduced literary criticism of Nigerian literature. The literary criticism is opened to literary critics across the world irrespective of nationality. The advisory board for literature led by Professor Emeritus Ayo Banjo, a former Vice- Chancellor of University of Ibadan (UI) presented the entries to Prof Romanus Egudu, leader of the judges. Other members of the panel of judges include Prof Omolara Ogundipe and Dr. Andrew Abah. Prof Kofi Anyidoho, a poet and a Professor of English at the University of Ghana will serve as an international consultant to the advisory board. According to Egudu, our expectation is excellence in poetry creativity. We expect the best from the submission noting that ‘it is either the best or nothing. Whatever the panel considers excellent creativity is what they shall be looking for.’ On the newly introduced category, Prof.

HE AGIP Recital Hall of the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos was filled to capacity. All guests were in expectant mood itching to savour the musical menu from the award winning choir, the Lagos City Chorale and Orchestra. The performance which marked the 25 th anniversary of the chorale featured the world’s most popular oratorio, The Messiah composed by George Frideric Handel. It was delivered as composed in its three parts with text from the Holy Bible that expresses musically the birth of Christ, the passion of Christ and the hope of redemption of the world. The over 70-man strong orchestra was directed Sir Emeka Nwokedi who is the director of the MUSON choir. And for hours it held the audience spellbound with presentations from three soprano soloists, two alto soloists, two tenor soloists and two bass soloists. Leader of the orchestra was Kehinde David and on the organ was Alaba

Akinselure. Nwokedi has been in the forefront of chorale music for over 40 years and co-founded the Lagos City Chorale with the late Senator Lere Adesina in 1988. Last year in Cincinnati, Ohio, US, the choir won three silver medals for Nigeria in three categories when they contested in the World Choir Games. The event had a congregation of 350 choirs from 65 countries in attendance. This, along with other international appearances is putting them on the world map as a force to be reckoned with in chorale music. The choir has been invited to participate in the forthcoming maiden European choir games taking place in Graz, Austria from July 14 to 21. The Lagos City Chorale has special interest in developing Nigerian indigenous Chorale Music to the point of universal value, international recognition and acceptance, hence it showcases sufficiently Nigeria’s rich indigenous chorale music at all its international performances.

By Seun Adeyemo

LITERATURE Banjo said it is to expose Nigeria literature to the outside world, adding that the intention is to expose the best of works produced in Nigeria to literary scholars across the world. The Nigeria prize for literature is awarded yearly and it rotates from prose-fiction to drama and to children’s literature. This year it is the turn of poetry. As regards the award for literary criticism special consideration would be given to critical essays on the works of the emerging generation of Nigeria writers. The entries for the literary criticism award must have been published in a reputable international journal. The Nigeria Prize for Literature now in its 10th year is meant to reward excellence and celebrate works of outstanding merit in literature. The General Manager, External Relations, Kudo Eresia-Eke, said NLNG is trying to encourage reading and writing and also enhance literature across the country. He said every year of the prize is significant; every year is a milestone. He urged all those who love literature to celebrate it. NLNG Limited also sponsors the Nigeria Prize for Science.

• From left: Gabriel Okara; a guest, Mrs. Nwanodi and Elechi Amadi


Call for entries


HE organisers of Port Harcourt UNESCO World Book Capital 2014 has called for entries from gifted artists to design and send sample of logo of

Port Harcourt as World Book Capital in JPEG to by 12pm Thursday, May 9, 2013.The eventual winner would be contacted by mail.



The Midweek Magazine Nigeria’s U S A L V I coat of many T R A colours



IGERIAN Literature: A coat of Many colours compiled and edited by Mrs. Koko Kalango is more than a coffee-table book. It is an important book on Nigerian authors and literature. It is also a book, which will stir a lot of conversations in the days ahead. And that is a good thing for literature. Literature is not a quiet enterprise: the noisier, the better. I think it is a privilege that I have been chosen to open the first conversation on the book. I know the hidden charges: the earliest walker sees spirits. The safety mask is that I have been asked to review the book in a coffee table manner, shorn of the turgidities of academics, light-hearted and down to earth. That gives me the license to pretend that I am holding this conversation in my closet .I can say what I like, quite frankly, on the platform of my coffee table. Mrs Kalango’s book has a beautiful front cover, which is designed with 14 wonderful pictures. They are the faces of JP Clark, Buchi Emecheta, Elechi Amadi, Chimamanda Adichie, Chukwuemeka Ike, Wole Soyinka, Zaynab Alkali, Ben Okri, Chinua Achebe, Niyi Osundare, Zulu Sofola, Flora Nwanpa, Femi Osofisan and Odia Ofeimun. Of all the cover photographs, Mrs Kalango shows her bias for Soyinka. Soyinka’s photo is the biggest. Does it surprise you? Now, you know. Also note that the other 36 writers have their faces on the back cover: they are there in their diverse graces. The book has 109 large gloss pages, beside its 11 unnumbered preliminary pages. The preliminary pages comprises the title-page, the data (legal) page, the acknowledgement page, and the epigraph page which has a quote page from Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Next is Dr. Jonathan’s foreword to the book. Now, in case you do not know, Dr Jonathan is the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The President’s foreword is followed by the map if Nigeria. Next is an introduction written by Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Governor of Rivers State. Let us note that Dr. Jonathan and Rt. Hon. Amaechi are committed writers. They show a lot of passion for literature. It is indeed a breath of fresh air to see leaders who are genuinely interested in literature .For that, I have looked keenly for typos and slips in their punctuations. Well, do not ask me if I have seen. They have added value to the book. If you envy them for my bias towards them, run for office in the next election. The book is dedicated to the Nigerian child. The next page is the content’s page which bears the name of the 50 Nigerian authors who are listed in the book. There are 35 men and 15 women. Mind you,15 over 50 is less than 35 per cent affirmative action for women. But we shall excuse Mrs. Kalango because the book is not based on quota system, this is about writers and it calls on more women to write .And they are all listed by surnames in alphabetical order. This is a very convenient way to list the writers and it call on more women to write. Women stand with men. And they are all listed by surnames in alphabetical order. This is a very convenient way to list the writers. Here, the alphabet has saved Mrs. Kalango from being accused of bias. If you are a writer and you want to be listed first, in a subsequent coffee-table book, well, change your surname to Aaaa. Under letter A, the listed writers are Chinua Achebe, Toyin Adewale-Gabriel, Chimamanda Adichie, Kaine Agary, Funso Aiyejina, Uwem Akpan, Zaynab Alkali, TM Aluko, Elechi Amadi and Sefi Atta. There are 10 writers whose surnames begin with letter A. There are no surprise inclusions here. It appears that Aiyejina is the least known of this group


Nigerian literature: Coat of Many Colours


Koko Kalango


Dr. Obari Gomba



on Nigerian coffee-table and streets; the book states his well-deserved place. The younger writers have become quite popular in recent times and they deserve their placement amongst such daddies like Achebe, Amadi and Aluko. There is no entry for letter B. And JP Clark-Bekederemo stands alone under letter C. I thought he has dropped Bekederemo! There are no entries for letter D. There are three entries for E: Cyprian Ekwensi, Buchi Emecheta and Akachi Ezeigbo. DO Fagunwa and Adebayo Faleti are listed under F. Faleti is not popular around Nigeria but he is a significant inclusion. He has been published since 1958 and he belongs to the first generation of our movers and shakers. Most of his works are in Yoruba. Therefore, his inclusion is an endorsement for the merit of the literatures of our native tongues. Abubakar Gimba stands alone under letter G. Helon Habila and JE Henshaw are the only ones under H. There are 5 writers under letter I: Chukwuemeka Ike, Abubakar Imam, Akinwunmi Isola, Esiaba Irobi, Festus Iyayi. Let us single out Imam from this group. Imam represents the Hausa language tradition in our Literature. He is a great writer.He has earned his place. In this book, he is to Hausa what Faleti is to Yoruba. There is a problem here. Where are the Igbo and Ijaw equivalents? Are there no writers who have done great works in Igbo and Ijaw? Well, as I have said before, this is no quota system. Let us move to letter N: Flora Nwapa, Adaobi Nwaubani and Onuora Nzekwu. Letter O has the highest entry,12 in all. Odia Ofeimun, Ezenwa Ohaeto, Tanure Ojaide, Gabriel Okara, Wale Okediran, Christopher Okigbo, Ben Okri, Kole Omotoso, Chibundu Onuzo, Tess Onwueme, Femi Osofisan and Niyi Osundare. Ola Rotimi stands alone under letter R. Ken Saro-Wiwa, Mabel Segun, Lola Shoneyin, Zulu Sofola, Bode Sowande and Wole Soyinka are under letter S. There is something I want to tell you about the S group. I do not want to tell you that I suspect that a father-in-law and his daughter-in-law are in that group. They are Soyinka and Shoneyin. If my suspicion is correct, it is just great. Under T, there is Amos Tutola alone. Chika Unigwe is under U alone. Mamman

Vatsa is under V alone. Let us pause for a second on Vatsa. I think this book has marked his place in his true constituency. Soldiers might have denied him a foothold but his place is even constant in Nigerian Literature. Next is letter Y: there is Ahmed Yerima there, alone. There is no entry for Z as there are none for J, K, L, M, P, Q, T, W, X. The explanation is simple. The editor has set out to present only 50 writers. And 50 they are. Let me admit too that 50 is too exclusive a number. It leaves out some worthy candidates: Lindsay Barret, Biyi Bandele, Wale Ogunyemi, Unoma Azuah, Segun Afolabi, Promise Ugochukwu, Maik Nwosu, Ogaga ifowodo, Akin Adesokan, Chimalum Nwankwo, Ifeanyi Ajaegbo, Nkem Nwankwo, Adebayo Williams, Chris Abani etc. I can go on and on. Any one can argue that some of this Rejects have more laurels than some of the included. But we will not begrudge Mrs Kalango her prerogative of selection or rejection .The reject should wait for another coffee table book. Mind you, I have not used the word rejects in the sense in which Professor uses it in Wole Soyinka’s The Road. I have used it in a nice Biblical sense: the rejected stones are the chiefs of the corner. Your own coffee-table book will come. Take solace that I am one of the rejects, and I have not raised an AK-47 to Mrs Kalango’s temple. I have been tempted to do so, I confess. Rather than do so, I have simply enjoyed this remarkable book. I say, Shame on you if you do not enjoy the book because you are excluded from the list of 50. Learn of me, so says the good Lord. There are four core angles to this colourful book. They are the biographies, the photographs, the selected works and the selected listing from each author’s corpus. The reader will get more than the worth of his/her money from the biographies. The reader will enjoy the life details o our writers. Two, the reader will enjoy the photographs: they tell deep stories, photologos. The photos are generally good quality except for those of Okigbo. Well, you can leave Okigbo’s ghost alone. Go to the new generation of beautiful women who are writing today. They will make you think of things, if you get what I mean. God has been so fair to Nigerian Literature. Believe me. Three, read the works/ interviews which are published in the book. There is piece from each of the listed writers. Imagine that most of us will encounter the writing of Imam, Faleti, Fagunwa, Isola, Vatsa, Aiyejina, etc form the first time. Four, find out the titles of the works which these writers have written. The listed titles are not exhaustive but you could find some revelations. Do you know that Adichie’s first book is a poetry collection called Decision? Do you know the titles of Aluko’s autobiographies? Do you know the title of Amadi’s plays? What do you know about Emecheta’s books for children? This is truly a book for researchers, young and old. Yes, our highly erudite critics will also benefit from this book. For instance, each of these entries is capable of being a trigger for an essay, even a polemical one. Let us prove it with two troublesome paragraphs on Achebe and Soyinka. The first author that is listed is Achebe. The biography section loads Achebe. The biography section loads Achebe’s illustrious career into a neat capsule. At a glance, the reader can tell that this great author is an avatara living ancestor to us all. Let me tell you a few things about Achebe’s photograph. I think he is a man who has grown very handsome with age;

‘There are lots of merits in this book. One angle is the generational scope. Every generation of Nigerian writers is covered. But I am particularly excited by the attention which is given to our young generation of writers. It represents quality support for my generation. It shows that literature has received a new burst of energy from the writers of my generation’

compare his earlier pictures if you doubt me. This particular photograph I think is the same on the cover of the Anchor Books edition of his Collected Poems. It is a lovely picture. Every inch of his sagehood is marked in the picture. We can relate his face to his impressive canon, some of which are listed from Things fall Apart to Anthills of the Savannah. There is something about his first poetry collection.Is it Beware, Soul Brother, and Other Poems as Mrs Kalango wants us to believe? Or is it Beware, Soul Brothers, for many years, I have thought that it is the American edition that goes by Christmas in Biafra and Other Poems. But never mind. Just look at the featured essay by b Achebe: What Nigerian is to me .For this essay alone, Mrs Kalango’s book is worth its price. Believe me, I have read the essay before and it inspired me to write a poem entitled Chinua Achebe’s There was a Country. It is the first poem in my newest collection, length of Eyes. Who knows what the essay will inspire you to do. Soyinka is the no 46 in this book. Blame the alphabet. Or simply enjoy the excitement on Soyinka’s face in the photograph. The photo credit goes to TY Bello as expected. It is a great picture. You will see that Soyinka is what the old folks call Guy Man. My generation calls it swag. Soyinka really has swag. You cannot relate the wise-looking old man to the story of the mystery gun-man. That is the story that excites me most about this great man. I had longed to reenact that feat at the Radio Rivers in the days of the soldiers. A great feat! It is not mentioned in the biography, for want of spare, of course. But the Pirates Confraternity is mentioned. What is the official spelling? Pyrates or Pirates? Never mind. Go to the list of Soyinka’s work. Most of Soyinka’s recent works are not listed. It is a lost for the readers. Titles like Climate of Fear, The Unappeased Price of Appeasement, Harmattan Haze on an African Spring etc are not listed, for want of space, of course. Mrs Kalango appears to have compensated the reader with the featured essay, the Nobel Prize speech, I think:”The Past Must Address its Present. Soyinka delivers the right punches on the Whiteman’s nose. But it is more than that. There is this epiphany on Africa which I find in the essay. It is one of the awards of Mrs Kalango’s effort. Now, let the word MERIT take us back to the big picture. There are lots of merits in this book. One angle is the generational scope. Every generation of Nigerian writers is covered. But I am particularly excited by the attention which is given to our young generation of writers. It represents quality support for my generation. It shows that literature has received a new burst of energy from the writers of my generation. The fact does not lie: Adichie, Atta,Adewale-Gabriel, Agary, Shoneyin etc. It is not too early to sing the success of my generation. The likes of Soyinka became celebrities in their twenties and thirties; most of them achieved that on the strength of their first is good that Mrs Kalango has not yielded to the wrong reasoning of those who prefer to leave the generation in the box until we are grey. Literature is not gerontocracy. There should be more inclusive books on our writers. Mrs Kalango’s effort is great. You will see her vision for our culture in the publishers note. You will see more in the note on the Rainbow Book Club. You will see a snippet of her profile on page103.When I got to that page, I stopped and spent one hour looking at her photograph…the braids, the forehead, the brows and the eyes, the nose, the teeth, the lips of course. Why not? There is a good heart lodged in this woman. There are great visions in her heart.The visions are unfolding, already. This book is a new page on our literature. Our conversations on Nigerian Literature has turned a new page .There should be more books of this kind, I say again. I recommend this book to everyone who is interested in Nigerian Literature. I recommend this book to everyone who is a lover of books. I recommend this book to everyone who is a lover of books. I recommend this book to you.



The Midweek Magazine






Will their killers ever be found? •Continued from page 26

cal steps to create a free and safe working environment for journalists. As we mark WPFD, let us pledge to do our utmost to enable all journalists in all media to do their jobs. When it is safe to speak, the whole world benefits,” he said. There is a convergence between the work of journalists and security agencies, hence, critics have urged both parties to form partnerships that work. Such alliance, Campaign Director of Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Tive Denedo said would ensure that the safety and rights of journalists are protected. He made the submission at a seminar on the WPFD’s theme to commemorate the day organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in collaboration with MRA. “There is nothing in the history of journalism that can demand more of our collective efforts than providing a safe and secured environment for the practice of journalism. Our past experiences insist on it, our present realities demand it and our future requires it,” he said. To the President of Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr Femi Adesina, the safety of journalists may not be 100 per cent guaranteed as long as the world exists. He, however, said their protection can be enhanced. He added that security agencies should bring to book the culprits involved in the killing of journalists, saying it would foster trust and sustainable partnerships. The quest to suppress truth is what often leads to such attacks, according to Adesina. Hence, he urged that while carrying out their duties journalists should “be security conscious”. He said: “You need to be alive to publish the information you gather. Still, the onus is on the security agencies to ensure that those who kill journalists do not get away with it. The media parades professionals who are passionate and committed to the

ANA calls for entries

growth and development of the country on all fronts, and they do not deserve to be hounded or harassed in any form. “When Bayo Ohu was killed, I remember that the then IG vowed that within a few days, they would bring in the killers, and at a point, even told us they had arrested some people; but it turned out to be a hoot. When security agencies do their work, they are the ones to unravel such mysterious deaths. And when they crack such cases, it is going to engender better confidence from journalists in our security agencies. Since the media and security agencies seek to build a better Nigeria, they need to build trust and partnerships that are mutually beneficial in order to ensure that journalists properly secured. Nigeria Police, Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Frank Mba, who spoke on the Role of the Nigeria Police in ensuring the safety of journalists, observed that although the police’s role, among others, is to provide a safe and conducive environment for the practice of journalism through effective crime fighting, he urged journalists to take conscious steps to reduce their predisposition to risks. He advised that they should shun all forms of unprofessionalism that predispose them to risks, such as blackmail, falsehood, etc. He said:“We are here to show solidarity and appreciation to the media for eve-

rything they are doing for the country and the noble role they are playing to put Nigeria in the right footing. And beyond that is an expression of our willingness to strengthen our relationship with the media and to urge them to stay on the path of truth, righteousness and patriotism. The police authority, especially under the administration of the present IGP, Mohammed Abubakar, is making conscious efforts to reconnect, not just to the generality of Nigerians, but with the media who are essentially one of our key audience.” While seeking measures to ensure the physical safety, the Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN), Mr Gbenga Sesan said journalists should make provision for online protection also. This, he said, can be done by encrypting their mails, practicing safe backup habits that would secure their works, among others. “There is a very thin line between the online attacks and the physical attacks on journalists. One group we look up to in Nigeria, aside from the judiciary, is the media. We do not want you to fall prey to digital attacks. Secure your works,”he said.

‘You need to be alive to published the information you gather. Still, the onus is on the security agencies to ensure that those who kill journalists do not get away with it...When Bayo Ohu was killed, I remember that the then IG vowed that within a few days, they would bring in the killers, and at a point, even told us they had arrested some people; but it turned out to be a hoot’ - Adesina

HE Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has called for entries for its 2013 prizes. The annual literary contest is open to Nigerian writers, home and abroad. Prospective applicants can now enter their works that have been published between March 2012 and May 2013. To apply, they should submit six copies of the book or manuscript to be entered, specifying the prize being entered for alongside a covering letter and the photocopy of a receipt evidencing payment of annual dues to a state chapter in the year of entry. All entries, along with a covering letter should contain accurate contact details of the writer or/and publisher of the work, including email and surface mail addresses and telephone numbers, should be sent to The General Secretary, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), C/o Suite 63, National Theatre Complex, Iganmu, Lagos. According to the organisers, multiple entries, where applicable, are allowed but a work must not have been entered for the same prize prior to the present entry; and must have been published between March 2012 and May 2013. The release signed by the General Secretary, Mallam Baba Muhammad Dzukogi states that all entries must be accompanied with the photocopy of an official receipt from a state chapter of ANA, showing evidence of payment of dues for the year of entry—2012. Deadline for the receipt of ALL entries, excepting the Prize for Literary Journalism, for the 2012 ANA Literary Prizes is May 30. A shortlist will be announced in early October. ANA will announce the prize winners by the judges at the awards dinner during the 32nd International Annual Convention of the Association of Nigerian Authors in October. The prizes include: ANA/Chevron Prose Prize on Environmental Issues (Prose) $2,000.00 (published works only); ANA/Esiaba Irobi Prize for Play writing, N50, 000.00 (published & unpublished works); ANA/Lantern Books Prize for Children’s Fiction N 100, 000.00 (unpublished works only, ages 8 – 15). Winning entry to be published by Lantern Books; ANA Prize for Poetry (published & unpublished) – N 100, 000; ANA Prize for Prose Fiction (published & unpublished) – N 100, 000; ANA Prize for Drama (published & unpublished) – N 100, 000; ANA Prize for Literary Journalism – N 100, 000 (Deadline: September 30, 2012); ANA/NECO Teen Author Prize (prose) N 100, 000.00 (published & unpublished works) and ANA/Mazariyya Teen Author Prize (poetry) N 50, 000.00 (published & unpublished works). For the Teen Authors Prize (published and unpublished works), entrants must be students in any secondary school in Nigeria; the entries must be a collection or a single story of between 35 – 40 pages for prose or poetry and illustration is optional. Applicants should send along with their entries accompanying documents such as signed letter of identification from school principal on school letterhead; two passport photographs, name, and copy of birth certificate of the entrant; entrant’s school admission letter (photocopy); current cumulative record of entrant’s academic performance (junior or secondary school); letter of consent from parents; entrant’s or their guardian’s email, and surface mail address and phone number and unpublished entries (in four copies) should be properly bound.








The late President Umaru Yar’Adua was in office for a little less than three years. Three years after his demise, AUGUSTINE AVWODE writes on those things for which he would always be remembered.

Yar’Adua: Three years after “I

THINK my greatest achievement is the effort to institute a strict culture of respect for the rule of law in Nigeria. All the problems this country is facing can be traced to the breakdown of the rule of law, regulations, procedures and due process in almost every aspect of our national life, including interaction between our citizens”. That was the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua during an interview he granted to mark his first year in office. In his usual self effacing manner, he did not harp on things that are considered tangible, nor reeled out an endless list of what Nigerians often describe as “dividends of democracy.” For him, the foundation was more important as it determines the fate of the structure that anyone plans to erect. Before he came into office on May 29, 2007, Nigeria was reeling under the jackboot of impunity even in a democratic setting- to the chagrin of all. Yar’Adua, therefore, sought to instill the culture of respect for the rule of law, due process and order. And very soon, people latched on to the mantra of the rule of law and due process. President Goodluck Jonathan at the weekend testified to the enduring place of the late President in this respect. He urged Nigerians to emulate the late Yar’Adua’s commitment to due process and rule of law. Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Rueben Abati, President Jonathan said Nigerians, especially public officials at all levels of government, should rededicate themselves to the late “Yar’Adua’s exemplary commitment to upholding due process, the rule of law”. A chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Dr Ibrahim Lame, spoke glowingly about the late President. Lame worked under the late Yar’Adua as Minister of Police Affairs. Speaking to The Nation on phone, Lame said the late Yar’Adua had a clear vision and understanding of the situation in Nigeria and, more importantly, what to do to salvage it. “To be frank with you, I can say that after Balewa and Sardauna, we never had a President who had a clear vision and understanding of the situation in Nigeria and what to do like the late Yar’Adua. “He was so concerned about

• The late President Umaru Yar’Adua being sworn into office in 2007 with President Goodluck Jonathan (left), his then Vice-President.

the rule of law because once you don’t have the rule of law in a democracy, you’re finished. So, he realised that the entire process of checks and balances was not there, even under Obasanjo. He felt that the best way to become a model of a progressive and democratic society was to recognise the supremacy of the rule of law”. On his fight against corruption, Lame said Yar’Adua’s style of instituting probity, transparency was by example. In this regard, he compared him with great Nigerians who left their footprints on the sands of time. “The late Yar’Adua emphasised probity; he wanted everybody in position of leadership to be transparently honest. He fought corruption by example. That was what the late Sardauna did; that was what Chief Awolowo did and what the late Balewa did and what Aminu Kano did. They were transparently honest. Materially, you can’t accuse them. There was no material information that will send bad signals about the late Yar’Adua; he declared his assets, he never got involved in any contract that I know of; he allowed discussions and debates to take place, he of-

fered independence to all his functionaries; he never interfered with their jobs”, he said. On the economy, Lame singled out the historic step taken by the late president to restore orderliness and peace in the Niger Delta, an economically strategic region to the country. The Bauchi State-born politician said if the late Yar’Adua had not taken that decision, the economy, which was already on its knees, would have crumbled. “He was concerned about the economy. When the destruction of oil installations was getting too serious by militants in the Niger Delta, the late Yar’Adua gave amnesty to them in order to save Nigeria and the economy. He did that at the greatest political risk. And at the time he did that, the economy was almost crumbling. Our only source of revenue was oil and we were not able to get it. So, he had a great understanding of what must be done to save Nigeria.” But notwithstanding the unfortunate fate that befell the late president, Lame ranked him as one of the greatest leaders ever produced in the country. “Unfortunately, like every human being, he had challenges. He had health challenges. He

wasn’t very well and that had some negative effects on his achievements. But in terms of vision, focus and devotion, he was one of the greatest leaders Nigeria ever produced”, Lame said. Apart from his total commitment to the rule of law, the late Yar’Adua would be remembered always for presenting his vision to Nigerians in a pack. After he won the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on December 16, 2006, the late Yar’Adua hit the campaign trail with a sensational Seven-Point Agenda. What was significant about it all was the manner in which he tried to articulate his programme of action for the country, if voted into power. What is more, other candidates, particularly at the state level, latched on to the culture of arranging and labeling programmes as ‘so and so agenda’. The Seven-Point Agenda represents a deliberate effort to package the plans of a candidate to be executed once he comes into office. These include power and energy, food security, wealth creation through diversification of the economy, enhancing the transport sector, land reforms, security of

‘The late Yar’Adua emphasised probity, he wanted everybody in position of leadership to be transparently honest. He fought corruption by example. That was what the late Sardauna did, that was what Chief Awolowo did and what the late Balewa did and that was what Aminu Kano did. They were transparently honest’

lives and property and education. Whether he was able to execute the same or whether the succeeding administration jettisoned the Seven-Point Agenda matters little. Its importance lies in the effort to envision all that would be needed to steer the country into the path of development and growth. The late Yar’Adua will be remembered for the amnesty by the Federal Government for those who had turned against the country and her economic and social interests. When militancy got to a head in the Niger Delta region in 2009, the late Yar’Adua, after a series of consultations, declared a general amnesty for the militants that had almost crippled the economy. In no time, the situation changed and has never been the same ever since. It was a master stroke that saved the nation’s economy from imminent collapse. Its effectiveness can be measured by the fact that the government of today has been prevailed upon to grant a similar amnesty to the Boko Haram sect in the North in the hope that it would help to bring peace to the beleaguered region. Besides, the late Yar’Adua endeared himself to Nigerians by publicly declaring his assets. Few months after his inauguration in 2007, he made public his assets. He had done a similar thing as the governor of Katsina State. This unusual action was received with public approval and was seen as a demonstration of his determination to live up to public scrutiny. He was generally regarded as a President that was above board notwithstanding the perceived fraternity with two or so governors that had come across to the Nigerian public as pathetically corrupt. Yar’ Adua’s action put pressure on many other elected public office holders to do same. But typical of the Nigerian situation, such a suggestion was met with so much disdain and argument that no law made the public declaration of assets compulsory. A man, sincere almost to a fault, the late Yar’Adua in his inaugural speech, shocked even his party members when he openly admitted that the election which produced him was flawed. He immediately promised electoral reforms to correct the anomaly in the system. The elections were widely criticised by both local and foreign observers as not free, fair and credible. It contrasted sharply with the position of some of his party members who believed that a party can always ‘capture’ a state rather than win it. But while Yar’Adua admitted before the world that his election was fraught with irregularities, the court upheld the elections as free and fair enough to keep him in office. He went ahead to make good his promise by inaugurating the Justice Mohammed Uwais panel on electoral reforms. But like Shakespeare put it, death, a necessary end, will come when it will. It eventually came for the late President Yar’Adua on May 5, 2010, ending an agonising struggle with fate but his sterling qualities continues to endure.



POLITICS ‘Adelabu will be a loyal deputy’

Olusegun Bada is the Special Assistant, Research, Planning and Policy Implementation to Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola. In this interview with FAITH YAHAYA, he explains that the governor has transformed the state with his people - oriented The nomination of Prof. Modupe Adelabu as the new Ekiti State deputy governor by Governor Kayode programmes. Fayemi has ended weeks of speculations within and outside the state, writes SULAIMAN SALAWUDEEN.

‘Aregbesola practises N participatory democracy’ T

HE State of Osun is hardly men tioned when people talk of gov ernments that have impacted lives. Why? The government has recorded tremendous achievements. We have estblished a solid database of indigenes from Osun State and this is done with the view of creating an avenue for inter-personal interactions between the Governor and the people. It is a novel idea whereby Governor Aregbesola occasionally brainstorms with the people on how to move the state forward. You must understand that it is from this kind of gathering that you can get different shades of opinions since all strata of the society are adequately represented. Also, in Abuja here, the government has been able to liberalize the attitude of indigenes who are indifferent to what is happening in the state. Now, they come and interact with the liaison officers and they tell them the development that is going on in their respective local government areas. For example, we have been able to ameliorate, as it were, the hardship being felt by the taxi drivers of Osun extraction here in Abuja. In the last two years, we have been able to provide about 60 cars for them. It is part of Aregebesola’s initiative. In concrete terms, what would you list as the key achievements of the Aregbesola Administration? In the area of infrastructure, what we are doing is not renovation. We are building and rebuilding. Prior to this time, nothing much could be said about the infrastructural facilities in the state. The teaching and learning aids were not there. But the story has changed today. The government recently distributed teaching aids to about 30,000 beneficiaries. We distributed chalks, boards, and every other thing. But before the distribution of the teaching aids, we distributed the Opon Imo. It is the “Tablet of Knowledge”. The teaching aids were only distributed to public schools. One of the integral elements of the Aregebsola Administration is to ensure that education is accessible even to the poor. The benefits that the rich hitherto enjoy should be extended to the poor. A lot of things are embedded in the Opon Imo.They include 56 textbooks, 17 subjects and 6 extra curricula activities. It also contains past questions of about a decade ago for children to practice for NECO and

• Aregbesola

WAEC. The tablet takes care of three special areas in education. When a child is born, he is like an empty shell. Three things are supposed to be inculcated into him for him to have knowledge. We have the cognitive knowledge, affective knowledge and psychomotor knowledge. Cognitive knowledge is knowledge that you know, prior to this time, the head might be empty. Affective knowledge has to do with feelings, you will be happy that you are learning something. It can also be called affective domain. Psychomotor domain has to do with activities, involving extra curricula activity. These three domains are embedded in the Opon Imo and it is a total form of education. Also, Aregbesola’s government believes that it is not the aesthetics of a school that makes up the school but the quality and content of education embedded in the students. At the same time, they are training and recruiting teachers to cope with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). We are going to distribute 150,000 tablets to secondary schools but so far, we have distributed almost 60,000 to 70,000 of the tablets and it cuts across the whole state, even the rural areas. The tablet is powered by solar energy and in all these rural areas, we have installed solar charger to charge it. The tablet is user- friendly and it has instructions that will make it easy for users. However, it does not have internet facility because we are aware that children these days

might want to use it to watch pornography amongst other things. So, the tablet is basically an instruction kit that will enable them practice their homework, go through past questions and access relevant textbooks. It is a revolution and I tell you, no state, no country in sub-Saharan Africa has tried it. It is sheer ingenuity of man and the wisdom that God gives man to do that. Bill Gate said recently that educational training is going to move from the ideal to the effective, people will now go about with tablets or something Apart from the focus on education, which other sector is the government looking at? In every local government in Osun now, they are tarring over 214 kilometres of roads. Osun State is experiencing massive infrastructural development. By the time you make the people proud of where they come from, they will not need to go to the urban areas. It will curtail the rural urban drift and it will encourage them to stay within their locality. Aregbesola’s government is engaged in what is called participatory democracy. Every Saturday, he goes to one city or the other for what they call jogging for healthy living. He interacts and interface with the elderly through the town hall meeting and apart from that, people above 65 years of age are given a stipend of N10,000 monthly because they don’t have to depend on their children who already have too much responsibilities. Before he came on board, the Internally Generated Revenue was about 250m to 300mbut now, the IGR in Osun is about 700m. Before the end of this year, it will reach about N1bn. The purpose of this is that no responsible government should depend on the federal allocation to take care of its recurrent expenditure profile. A responsible state government should be able to meet up with the challenges of paying its recurrent expenditure profile. The previous government borrowed money monthly to pay salaries but now, we pay salary as at when due. The issue of ghost workers has also been eliminated. E-payment is what is going on in Osun State now. The governor is serious about issues relating to prudent financial management, prudent fiscal responsibility as practiced in the best institutions in the world.

ATURE harbours no vacuum. When the Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, passed on, there were speculations about who would fill the void. Will the new deputy governor come from Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, like the late Mrs. Olayinka? Will Governor Kayode Fayemi nominate another woman as number two citizen? Will religion play a role in the choice of a deputy? These speculations fizzled out, following the nomination of Prof. Modupe Adelabu, a high flying scholar and chieftain of the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The Chairperson, Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mrs. Adelabu, may be sworn in today following her screening by the House of Assembly. In 2006, the Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate, Fayemi, had wanted Mrs. Adelabu to be his running mate. She was favoured for the job by her community and the party. But she turned down the offer, explaining that she needed time to attend to her ailing husband, Prof. Adelabu, who later died. ACN chieftains felt that she was the competent person for the job because of her intellectual ability and integrity. She is also a household name in Ado-Ekiti. The party also believed that the late Mrs. Olayinka’s successor should come from the community as a mark of honour for her. “The Professor is very popular, particularly, among 9,000 primary school teachers in the state. The party’s move is a master stroke and a very tactical one for that matter. It is primarily to enhance its chances, ahead of the 2015 governorship election, especially in Ado- Ekiti ,which has 57 wards. It is the town with the highest number of wards in the entire state,” said a source. Mrs. Adelabu, it is believed, shares the same traits with the late Mrs. Olayinka. She has been described as a loyal, diligent and disciplined woman. She has no record of scandals and controversy. Politicians across the divides have attested to her humility. Her grassroots links would also be of immense value, they say. Analysts say that Mrs. Adelabu’s choice would enhance the rating of the governor and boost his second term chance next year. Besides, her choice has been described as an affirmation of

• Mrs Adelabu

Fayemi’s commitment to gender balance. Mrs. Adelabu will be leaving behind worthy legacies as the SUBEB chairperson. The board has completed many projects primary schools. Like her predecessor, she will not be “a spare tyre.” Apart from deputising for the governnor, Mrs. Adelabu will likely oversee the local government administration in the state. She will also chair the Economic Council and Tenders’ Board. Hailing Mrs. Adelabu’s nomination, a community leader in AdoEkiti, Prince Ayodeji Adejugbe, said that she is the right choice. Adejugbe, who is also Adelabu’s relation, said she has leadership qualities, assuring that she would not let the governor down. “She is a loving sister to us, a dutiful and committed wife to her late husband, and a successful academic. She remains the backbone of many of us. Really, if anyone were to be considered within the family, she automatically qualifies as the best choice.” Another sibling, Prince Dotun Adedugbe, said that Mrs. Adelabu is a disciplinarian and a committed Christian. Senator Babafemi Ojudu (Ekiti Central) said Mrs Adelabu has the qualities to succeed as the deputy governor. Describing her as an accomplished academic and an expert on a wide range of issues, Ojudu said he had no doubt that Mrs. Adelabu would add value to the Fayemi administration.

Group endorses Uba for governorship By Musa Odoshimokhe


•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (second left), Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Akin Olajide (left), Area Director, West Africa, British American Tobacco Company (BAT), Mr Keith Gertton (second right) and Demand Chain General Manager of the company, Mr Francisco Toso (right) when BAT paid a courtesy visit to Government House, Ibadan.

HE Anambra State Committed Youth Forum (ANSCYF) has endorsed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Sena tor Andy Uba, for the governorship in the next year’s election. The group’s leader, Mr. Livi Uketue, disclosed that the forum has endorsed Uba at its recent meeting in Awkuzu, Anambra State. He hailed Uba’s commitment to the development of the state, recalling that he had promoted the cause of the people. Uketue said: “Based on his antecedents, it is clear that Senator Andy Uba is ready to serve with diligence. He is law abiding, humble and committed to the service of the country. These qualities placed him above other aspirants”. He urged the people to give Uba a trial in 2014, recalling that he had requested for their votes twice in the past. Uketue said: “He is the first to empower the people of the state and now that he is contesting again, we pray to God to crown his efforts with success”. The youth activist called on politicians, civil servants and other stakeholders to support Uba, assuring that he would develop the state. He added: “Without someone who is committed, the state might find it difficult to level up in areas of infrastructure and other social needs”.





Osun infrastructure upgrade peaks •Continued from Page 17 vendors are involved in the free meal project. About 160,000 crates of eggs are eaten every week but again the gain is that it boosts the economy of chicken farmers who supply the eggs. It was also said that 36 heads of cattle are slaughtered each week in the free meal plan. The commissioner also said that of the workers employed in any government project in the state, 60 per cent must be Osun citizens. Two large markets, Aje and Ayegbaju International Market, are scheduled to be completed this year, Ayegbaju by August, and Aje before the end of the year, Bolorunduro said. He added that the state government has invested so much money in farmers, scaling up its funds to them from N200m to N700m this year. The facility to the growers is yielding fruit. “We have improved the quantum of grains produced in the state,” said the Finance Commissioner, adding that fish farmers in the state also sell their products to Lagos and Abuja residents. On the quality of the infrastructure, Mr Semiu Okanlawon, Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, said they are built to last.


IGNIFYING the dead is not an easy task. For 13 years, Mrs Taiwo Ogunsola has been doing just that in Nigeria with her TOS Funerals. According to her, the inspiration to go into the business came from her desire to lift the falling standards of mortuaries. She is a funeral director. Funeral directors are health care professionals who serve others during a time of loss, pain and grief. They serve the bereaved in a manner that is dignified and caring. Mrs Ogunsola said preparing corpses for burial is as important as comforting grieving family members. Given her wealth of experience on the business, the Lagos State Government engaged her in a public-private partnership (PPP) to manage the morgues at the General HospitalsGbagada, Mainland and Ikeja, and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). The challenge was daunting, yet she recorded feats in the facilities. One of such was embalming the remains of the ill-fated Dana plane crash victims and also those of Oke Afa canal in Isolo. The services she offers are embalming, getting caskets and managing per-

•Osun beautification team at work “The roads are built to last at least 25 years,” he said. Okanlawon also spoke on the state government’s efforts in rejuvenating the state schools, which are not only wearing a new structural look but are

also equipped for ease of teaching and learning. School enrolment is said to have improved in the state. Okanlawon made the point that the state government has a vision behind its

educational focus, saying there is a sense of obligation to develop people. “When people don’t get education, they become a liability to the society,” he said. Before the Aregbesola

administration, it was said, less than three per cent of secondary school students gained admission into university and other tertiary institutions because their results were not good. Now things are changing.

Changing the face of mortuary services By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

sonnel - a hearse driver, a mortuary technician and others. Her challenges include lack of constant power or epileptic supply, lack of water, sky rocketing cost of diesel to run generators, and importing embalming materials, among others. Mrs Ogunsola said:“Today, funeral directors handle everything from transporting a body to embalming to coordinating a memorial service. Successful funeral directors have personal qualities including composure and tact. They should be skilled at communication and comforting grieving families,”she said. Her efforts are complemented by her two sons - Bamidele, Technical Director; Debayo, Director, Funeral Services – daughter in-law Adele, as Administrative/Human Resources Manager and Branch Manager Taiwo Olayiwola.

With the vision to be a care-giving and dynamic funeral home, Mrs Ogunsola has opened a world-class 18chamber funeral home, in memory of her late husband, Mr Olalekan Ogunsola, who LASUTH morgue is named after, at Lagos Business District, Alausa. “Though the place had been ready for more than eight years, “one thing or the other had kept us from dedicating it. But now the memory of my late husband is immortalised. “In spite of inclement working environment, I decided to stay in Nigeria. TOS is not expensive compared with others in foreign countries that have supporting amenities. With my qualifications in mortuary services, if I choose to work or establish outside the country, I will be charging fivestar rates, and in foreign currencies. But Nigeria is my country. I can only but do my best for her. My aim is not money alone, but I have the passion of providing every deceased with a dignifying and befitting funeral, pro-

•Ven. Dipo Adesoye; Pitan; Adele; Debayo; Mrs Ogunsola; her daughter, Bukola and and other guests at the opening of the facility.

viding reliable and affordable worldclass standards in funeral services. “If I charge, for example, N50,000, the standard is not compromised. That is £200, no one can embalm abroad for that amount. The minimum is £250. The only indigenous thing I use in my services is water, yet I charge the same rate as I do at LASUTH. The point is, let us dignify the deceased by embalming the corpses in a very hygienic environment to keep them fresh and neat for interment. At the dedication of the facility, former Commissioner for Health Dr Lekan Pitan said: “The state government decided to partner with TOS funeral for a 10 year pact. And those years the mortuaries have greatly improved. And we can all attest to the fact that it is dividends of the PPP initiative adopted by the state”. Mrs Ogunsola plans to establish a mortuary service training school.

“There were more than 24,000 funeral directors working in the United States in 2002. Funeral service is a fantastic industry for someone looking for job security - an impending funeral director shortage and increasing population ensures there will continue to be a strong demand for people to work in this field. “Funeral directors must be licensed in each state, and in order to receive licensure, one must complete an accredited programme of study, pass the Funeral Service National Board Examination (NBE), and often, participate in an apprenticeship programme. There are currently 56 accredited programmes in the United States for funeral directors, 13 of which are schools dedicated solely to mortuary science. I intend to establish the first indigenous private funeral training school in Nigeria,” she said.

The state government decided to partner with TOS funeral for a 10 year pact. And those years the mortuaries have greatly improved. And we can all attest to the fact that it is dividends of the PPP initiative adopted by the state



I agree that some of the inmates have no reason to be here. We need to fight greed because overzealousness of some people brought some of you here. I am deeply worried because many stars and talents are wasting here. I assure you of our cooperation. There will definitely be improvement in services, environment and provision of more vehicles


HE Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor has administered the Sacrament of Confirmation on 50 inmates of the Nigeria Prison, Amawbia, Anambra State. The state governor Peter Obi and his wife Margaret were their godparents. Before the sacrament, however, the poor physical condition of the prison inmates drew tears from the Bishop, Obi and his wife. Obi and his wife literally dined and wined with the inmates. They showed them love and passion. The Bishop, who was at the prisons on a pastoral visit, equally donated a bus to the prison to facilitate movement of inmates to and from courts. He explained that the visit was to give the inmates a sense of belonging and to encourage them to embrace reformation for proper integration into the society when they regain their freedom. He regretted that some criminals are groomed and nurtured by politicians who use them to promote violence to achieve their selfish ends. He urged prison officials to regard their work as a vocation that should be carried out with dedication and commitment. Bishop Ezeokafor lamented the dilapidated structure, inmates languishing in the prison and delay of justice for those who are still awaiting trial. The cleric called on the judiciary to speed up the trial of inmates to decongest the prisons, adding that there is need to provide a better environment for the inmates as they are also Nigeria citizens. “We are here to encourage you and to show you that we, as Christians, have not abandoned you. We are aware that some of you are innocent but let some of you who are detained for their sins get changed and reformed to become better citizens,” he said. Bishop Ezeokafor called on government to accelerate the reform of Nigerian prison system. He said that the present level of inadequate facilities in Nigerian prisons were unacceptable. He also lamented that over 90 per cent of the inmates were still awaiting trial, stressing the need for necessary measures to be put in place to facilitate quick dispensation of justice in order to protect the fundamental rights of individuals. Touched by the Bishop’s gesture, Obi noted that he has been challenged by the Catholic Diocese of

•The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Paulinus Ezeokafor, administering the Sacrament of Confirmation on some prison inmates at Amawbia Prison. With them are Governor Obi and his wife, Margaret

50 inmates receive sacrament From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

Awka. He promised to assist them, even as he reminded them that his administration is just as sensitive to the plight of people and institutions. This, he said, has manifested in his donation of buses to all federal agencies in the state, including the police and army. Governor Obi assured that he would consider the requests made by the prison authorities, including procurement of more vehicles. He said this would ensure that those awaiting trial get quick justice. He frowned at the level of

greed in the state which he said landed some of the citizens in prison. “I agree that some of the inmates have no reason to be here. We need to fight greed because overzealousness of some people brought some of you here. I am deeply worried because many stars and talents are wasting here. I assure you of our cooperation. There will definitely be improvement in services, environment and provision of more vehicles,” he said. Governor Obi further assured that the state government would provide necessary assistance to improve conditions of prisons in the state, including providing a vehicle that would facilitate the

conveying of inmates to and from court. Obi enjoined the prison management to engage the inmates in agricultural activities to encourage them to be productive, assuring of assistance in that regard. The governor regretted that some politicians and privileged individuals are exploiting the unsavoury condition of the unemployed to expose the youth to crime. He urged parents to discourage their children from being used as thugs. Highlights of the visit were donation of an 18-seater bus to Ni-

NGO trains 486 artisans


•From right: Chairman, Ikeja Local Government Area, Hon Wale Odunlami; an official of the Safety Commmission and the Council Manager, Mrs Tanwa Godo at a safety and security campaign at the secretariat

geria Prison Service, Awka by the Catholic Diocese of Awka for conveyance of inmates to and from court, which was presented by Bishop Ezeokafor. Bibles were also distributed to the inmates who received the Sacrament of Confirmation. The inmates equally presented drama and cast news in Igbo. Obi’s wife Margaret donated skill acquisition items worth several millions of naira to the three prisons at Awka, Ekwulobia and Onitsha. She has also done food and clothes apostolate to the prisons.

RS Adama Ahmed, the Coordinator of Good Access, an NGO, says 486 artisans trained by the organisation will graduate after undergoing training in different skills. Ahmed told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday that the organisation was currently training 1,000 artisans in skills acquisition out of which the 486 would graduate on May 25. She said that the NGO was set up to respond to the needs of disadvantaged people. She said that youths and women were the major beneficiaries of the skills acquisition, entrepreneurial training and capacity building programmes of the organisation. She said that this was part of efforts to contribute toward the development and eradication of poverty in the country. According to her, training and equipping young talents and women in acquiring knowledge in artistic work will go a long way in reducing poverty and corruption in the society. “If a woman is self-reliant, a great

burden will be removed from her husband and the society. “The same thing applies to youths. Once they have been identified and trained on what to do, they become independent of themselves,’’ said the coordinator. Ahmed said that skills such as bead making, dress making, soap making and hotel management were some of the areas the trainees were specialising in. She, however, solicited the financial support of the Federal Government and private individuals to be able to create more centres across the 36 states and in Abuja. She said that the donations would also empower youths and women who were classified as the most vulnerable in the society to eradicate unemployment and idleness. “There is a great challenge in training these people as the facilities on ground cannot cover a whole lot of trainees we have. “We therefore need the intervention of the Federal Government and private donations to be able to reduce corruption in the country.’’














Aig-Imoukhuede is NSE Vice President


ETIRING managing director of Access Bank Plc and member of the national council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede has been elected as the first vice president of the NSE, putting him in line as the next president of the stock market. Many reliable sources yesterday hinted The Nation that Aig-Imoukhuede was elected the first vice president shortly after the annual general meeting of the NSE held last week. Another council member, Mr Abimbola Ogunbanjo, a Partner in Chris Ogunbanjo & Co, was also elected as the second vice president. In line with the rotational

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

succession tradition of the NSE, which is also being used by other bodies such as Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), the first vice president takes over from the president while the second vice president moves up to the position of first vice president. Then, a new second vice president will be appointed. The presidency also rotates around the specially designated zones earmarked by the NSE. The council is the highest organ and governing body of the NSE. Aig-Imoukhuede, Ogunbanjo, Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Closed

Pension Fund, Mrs Yemisi Ayeni and Partner, Dikko and Mahmoud, Mr Abubakar Mahmoud, were co-opted into the council on January 31, 2013. Other council members are Chief Executive Officer of NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema, Professor Herbert Orji, Mr Victor Ogiemwonyi, Mr Henry Olayemi, Mr Tofarati Agusto, Mallam Garba Kurfi, Mr Ebilate MacYoroki, Mr Chike Nwanze and Mr Oladele Sotubo. Reactions to the election were muted yesterday but there were concerns that such election should have been done before the annual general meeting so that members could ratify the election.

Dangote Cement dampens market rally


ANGOTE Cement Plc dragged the stock market to its second consecutive day of bearishness as substantial loss by the most capitalised stock overwhelmed gains by several stocks to push the market position to the negative. With nearly two gainers to a loser, a loss of N6.94 per share recorded by Dangote Cement tilted the market position to the negative, undermining substantial gains by several other stocks. The All Share Index (ASI), the main index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), slipped to 34,815.24 points from its opening index of 34,935.62 points. Aggregate market value of all equities dropped from N11.170 trillion to N11.131 trillion. Average year-to-date

•NSE to train retail investors return at the market dipped to 23.99 per cent. Dangote Cement topped the losers’ list with a drop of N6.94 to close at N175.06. Total Nigeria followed with a loss of N2 to close at N150. Julius Berger Nigeria lost N1 to close at N52. Eterna dropped by 27 kobo to N2.48 while Learn Africa and Oando dropped by 20 kobo each to close at N1.80 and N14.80 respectively. In spite of the negative closing market position, most price changes ended on the upside. Okomu Oil recorded the highest gain of N6 to close at N106. CAP added N5.14 to close at N56.62. Lafarge Wapco Cement Nigeria rose by N4.10 to close at N79.90. Cadbury Nigeria gained N2.42 to close

at N37.50. Nigerian Breweries rallied N1.80 to close at N165 while Unilever Nigeria added N1.48 to close at N58.50. Total turnover stood at 354.31 million shares valued at N4.70 billion in 6,248 deals. Banking subsector remained dominant with turnover of 190.46 million shares worth N1.97 billion in 2,598 deals. Access Bank was the most active stock with a turnover of 54.6 million shares valued at N595.63 million in 515 deals. Meanwhile, the NSE has concluded arrangements to train retail investors about the fundamentals of investing and peculiarities of the Nigerian capital market. General Manager, corporate services, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Bola Adeeko, yesterday in Lagos said the Exchange has decided to hold the next edition of its investors’ clinic for retail investors with a view to improving their understanding and participation in the market. He said the retail investors




MONEY LINK Lagos $32b GDP to equal Ghana’s after 2014 rebasing


AGOS State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which cur rently stands at $32 billion would equal Ghana’s after 2014 rebasing of Nigeria’s, Renaissance Capital (RenCap), an investment and research firm has said. In a report obtained by The Nation, the firm said Lagos constitutes bulk of Nigeria’s $284 billion GDP, which is expected to be rebased by 2014. It said Lagos State produces 12 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP. “Post rebasing – which we now expect in early 2014 – we estimate a 40 per cent upward revision in the country’s national income. By our estimates, Lagos State economy will become Africa’s 13th biggest economy in 2014, at $45 billion –


Stories by Collins Nweze

equivalent to that of Ghana,” RenCap said. Focusing on the middle class, it said, consumer companies are likely to find the greatest opportunities in states with the highest purchasing power, including Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, as well as Oyo, Osun in the southwest (SW), Kaduna and Nassarawa (both adjoining FCT Abuja) and the Niger Delta states. It also sees opportunities for banks to expand services and employees into states that have a combination of high income and high population density, as this will pro-

vide the step required to open bank branches. RenCap listed states that fit this profile to include Anambra, Imo and Abia in the southeast (SE) region; Akwa Ibom and Rivers in the Niger Delta region; and Osun in the SW. RenCap said consumers are more likely to buy branded goods in the FCT Abuja, Lagos State, Delta State and Rivers State. This it inferred from these states’ relatively low food spend/total consumption expenditure, which implies relatively high discretionary income. It said these states may also drive air travel, and may prove to be


•Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola

higher value-added customers for telecoms companies.

The corporation said a consultant is not necessarily needed to broker a resolution with it, but where one is used, the customer will be expected to attend at least the first meeting together with their consultant. AMCON said that it has powers to exercise receivership, liquidate, take possession of, declare a debtor insolvent and thereafter sell off his assets to recover its money.

investment banking and commercial business as well as insurance,” he was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. First Bank, the West African nation’s third-largest lender by market value, suspended plans to issue the bond last year because of market conditions, Maccido said. “We believe conditions will be favorable this year,” he said yesterday. The lender is joining other Nige-


ENTRAL Bank of Nigeria(CBN) yesterday explained why it extended the cashless banking initiative to Ogun State. It said the state has good infrastructure and enjoys high level of bank penetration and literacy level. The CBN also said the state’s proximity to Lagos State - and having areas such as Otta/

rian banks in raising funding in dollars to help finance infrastructure projects in Africa’s top oil producer. Fidelity Bank Plc sold a $300 million five-year bond on May 2. Diamond Bank Plc is planning to raise as much as $750 million this year, it said in April, while Skye Bank Plc plans to raise $150 million next quarter.

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

Ojodu, Akute, Agbara earned it a status consideration of being part of the Lagos clearing zone. The CBN’s Deputy Governor, Operations, Mr Tunde Lemo, spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, during a presentation he made to Governor Ibikunle Amosun. He said the cashless policy is meant to instill confidence in the banking sector. Lemo said: “Ogun state and Lagos are economically interdependent. There is cross border movement of people and goods daily. Ogun State is ready in terms of infrastructure, banking penetration and literacy among others.” Lemo, who spoke on “Cash-less Nigeria: The Journey So far,” noted that the policy had helped to check the incidence of fraud by 90 per cent. He said more measures to


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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


Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012


O/PRICE 1.80 1.60 51.48 3.63 1.21 1.69 0.88 35.08 3.10 0.50

C/PRICE 1.98 1.76 56.62 3.99 1.33 1.85 0.96 37.50 3.30 0.53

CHANGE 0.18 0.16 5.14 0.36 0.12 0.16 0.08 2.42 0.20 0.03

Current Before



2.00 1.50 2.75 0.68 1.09 0.63 1.10 182.00 1.14 5.29

C/PRICE 1.80 1.35 2.48 0.62 1.00 0.60 1.05 175.06 1.10 5.12





















350m 350m

138m 113m

138m 113m

155.8 155.7

27-6-12 22-6-12






(S/N) Bureau de Change 152.0000








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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


Parallel Market




July ’11

July ’12





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%


CHANGE 0.20 0.15 0.27 0.06 0.09 0.03 0.05 6.94 0.04 0.17

Rate (N)

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

LOSERS AS AT 07-05-13



Sold ($)



GAINERS AS AT 07-05-13


EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

OBB Rate Call Rate


Offered ($) Demanded ($)



fight fraud and other financial vice in the banking sector are being put in place by CBN. He also hinted that with effect from June 1, this year, a third party cheque would no longer be cashed across the country, but have to be deposited in the account of the payee, wondering why people who claimed to be unable to own bank account because of poverty should cash a cheque of over N150,000. He said: “as from 1st June, 2013, anywhere , not just Lagos area, a third party cheque can’t be encashed across the counter, it has to be deposited in an account. “Anybody who collects a cheque of N150, 000 should be an account holder. Why would you go across the counter to cash a cheque of N150,000 and you still say you are too poor to open an account.”



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

LIKO Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest man, says he has secured $4.25 billion from banks to build a refinery to help the continent’s largest oil producer reduce fuel imports. Refining “is an excellent business to get in to,” Dangote said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Ryan Chilcote in Cape Town, where he was attending a business forum. “We have already secured $4.25 billion. Two offshore banks and the rest are Nigerian banks.” Nigeria, a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), imports about 70 per cent of the oil products it needs to meet domestic requirements. The nation’s four refineries process less than the 445,000 barrels a day of capacity because of ageing infrastructure and poor maintenance.

CBN explains extention of cashless to Ogun

FirstBank to offer $500m Eurobond BN Holdings Plc (FBNH), owner of First Bank Nigeria, plans to raise $500 million by selling a Eurobond this year after abandoning a similar offering last year. The money “is needed to finance investments in loans and infrastructure,” Chief Executive Officer, Bello Maccido said yesterday in Lagos. “The bank intends to expand its


•Constitutes bulk of Nigeria’s $284b GDP

AMCON invites debtors HE Asset Management Cor poration of Nigeria (AMCON) has called on corporate and individual debtors that are yet to approach it for discussion to do so to ensure amicable settlement. It said Individuals or companies with loans in AMCON can come directly to the corporation to resolve their loans.

Dangote secures $4.25b for oil refinery

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 138.34 150.53 0.80 1.15 1.07 100.00 1,000.00 1,819.09 15.86 1.39 1.87 10,855.53

9.08 1.00 137.92 149.64 0.78 1.15 1.05 100.00 1,000.00 1,811.97 15.09 1.33 1.80 10,528.92


NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

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




04 July, 2012

07, Aug, 2012











RAGEDY struck in the Ojodu Berger area of Lagos yesterday. A two-storey building under construction caved in, killing two builders. The second victim was brought out at 9.30 pm, while the fate of six others, including a pastor said to be living on the ground floor, is yet to be ascertained as they remain trapped in the rubble. As at press time, frantic efforts were still in progress to excavate the trapped victims of the ill-fated structure located at19, Bashiru Street. It was gathered that the building collapsed around 4:45pm while the construction workers were still on duty. Some of them were also trapped. The Nation also gathered that four of the workers were rescued alive. The General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr.Femi Oke-Osanyintolu told reporters that the agency's quick response and efforts of other security agencies facilitated the rescue operation. The official said it was too early to conclude on what must have caused the collapse of the building, which approval was allegedly granted by the Federal Ministry of Housing. An eye witness said he was in an adjourning building when the building collapsed,

Parents seek help to raise triplets

CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

Two dead, six trapped, as building collapses in Lagos By Seun Akioye, Miriam Ekene-Okoro and Precious Igbonwelundu

saying: "I heard a large bang and the next thing we saw was that the building undergoing construction just collapsed. "Immediately after, we saw a little boy crying, saying that the construction workers, numbering about seven, had sent him to buy water for them, only for him to return to discover that the building which they were working on, had collapsed." NEMA's South West Information Officer, Ibrahim Farinloye, who also confirmed the story, said efforts were being made to save one of the victims crying for help, adding that the agency would work overnight. "The trapped victims are construction workers and their apprentice, who was the only survivor, was sent on an errand. We just got a voice under the rubble and rescue work

‘... we saw a little boy crying, saying that the construction workers, numbering about seven, had sent him to buy water for them, only for him to return to discover that the building which they were working on, had collapsed’ to get the victim out is ongoing. The person was speaking Hausa language and he said five of them are trapped," he added. As at the time of filing in this report, rescue operations by security operatives and emergency agencies, including Civil Defence Corps, LASEMA, and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) officials, were

still ongoing, in effort to rescue the trapped persons from the rubble. Meanwhile, the state government has given the owner and occupants of a three-storey building beside the collapse building 24-hour ultimatum to vacate it because it had failed construction "integrity test." This, it explained, was aimed at forestalling another tragedy.


EWLY born babies are regarded as bundles of joy; but to Mr John Aroh and his wife, Patricia, their set of triplets has become their nemesis. Reason: They had prayed to God for only one baby. Aroh told The Nation yesterday that the babies' birth on June 23, last year, at the Badagry General Hospital, Lagos, had increased his family's misery. As a truck pusher at Odunade Market, Coker, Orile-Iganmu in Lagos, he said, his meagre daily earnings cannot support the need of the triplets. He said his wife, who was into petty trading before the arrival of the babies, couldn't trade any longer as she had to fully take care of them as a house wife. He said the babies - Precious, Emmanuel and Nathaniel - seemed to have got them into serious trouble because they had hoped for one, instead of the three. "Now, feeding two boys and a girl, and paying our rent have become our major problems," he added. Aroh said his business didn't bring in enough income to feed his young babies.

•The triplets

•Their parents By Wale Adepoju

"My wife also couldn't do exclusive breast feeding; so, we have to rely on baby formula," he said. Mr and Mrs Aroh, who hail from Awkunanaw Local Government of Enugu State, said the family was frustrated because he didn't know where the family

‘Now, feeding two boys and a girl, and paying our rent have become our major problems’ next meal would come from. Regretting, he said since the birth of the babies, life had become miserable for the

•The donors with the children during the presentation ... recently

Succour for deprived children


OY and relief swept through the slummy extension of Otto-Ilogbo community on Lagos Mainland on Saturday. A non-governmental organisation, Care Trust, in collaboration with the Abuja-based Akiode Foundation, International Youth Council and the Slumdweller Liberation Forum (SLF), gave out hundreds of educational materials to school-age children in a new initiative that would help outof-school children enroll in formal schools in the state. The project, which was tagged, "All Children,

By Seun Akioye

One Goal Campaign," was aimed at assisting outof-school children in Nigeria to enjoy qualitative education. According to Care Trust's Olakunle Sanni, the campaign is targeted at reducing the number of out-of-school children in the country, noting that there are more than 10 million 'unschooled' children in Nigeria, majority of who are living in slums across the country. He said: "The purpose of our intervention is to

ensure that all children have access to the Universal Basic Education by the year 2015 so that we can meet the Millennium Development Goals. This is the first major outreach for this campaign and we are glad it is a big success." Sanni also said: "Our strategy is to identify the community and get a data of all children there. We will identify those who are out of school and assist them to enrol in the various government schools around the area. We understand most parents' constraints in terms of the resources for procuring books and other learning materials. So,

family. Mr and Mrs Aroh are seeking help from the government, companies and well-meaning Nigerians and organisations to save their babies from hunger. An account has been opened for the babies with the name: Emmanuel Aroh with Fidelity Bank, under the account number: 6040355804. we have come up with the idea of giving out these basic but crucial instruments to all the children school uniforms, shoes, bags, pencils, books and other things that may be needed by the children." The Lagos State coordinator of the International Youth Council (IYC), Michael Ogunsola, explained the groups' choice of the Otto-Ilogbo Extension: "This slum is right in the middle of Oyingbo and many people could hardly believe that a place like this exists in this neighbourhood. Besides, we have more than 500 school children here and with the level of poverty in the country, we felt our intervention was urgently needed here." Some of the elders of the community commended the organisations for their generosity and promised to ensure the success of the campaign in Otto-Ilogbo. President, SLF, Agbodemu Ishola, said: "In this community, we have been forgotten by the government; so, we have tried to mobilise ourselves for action by creating the Model Educational Assistance Scheme which has now been boosted by the 'All Children, One Goal Campaign.' If we fail to educate these children, they will become destitute and nuisance to their educated counterparts in the future. "All the social vices we are witnessing in this country today started because somebody neglected the education and the wellbeing of some children in the past, which has now become a problem haunting the rich and the poor. To have a better future, we must not neglect the poor communities, especially the children in the slums." Adeolu Oluwasodo, medical doctor at Star Clinic, conducted free medical treatment for all the children in the slum. Oluwasodo said the clinic was a longterm partner with the Otto-Ilogbo community at stemming the tide of diseases in the slum, especially among the children. Meanwhile, Care Trust has appealed to well meaning Nigerians to donate generously to the campaign so that the aims of the organisations would be realised in a short time. "We appeal to the good hearted Nigerians to help us. We need educational materials, school bags, shoes, books, pencils and other basic needs. We will soon begin a nationwide donation drive and announce collection points for these items," Sanni said.




CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

Arrest my attackers, politician urges police


CHIEFTAIN of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in IbejuLekki, Lagos State, Abiola Okanlawon Olowu, an engineer, has urged police chief Umar Manko to investigate the recent attack on his supporters by people suspected to be his opponents. Olowu, who is also aspiring for a seat in the House of Representatives in 2015, in a petition through his solicitors, Kemi Omotoso & Associates, said a proper investigation of the crisis would bring the perpetrators to justice and serve as a deterrent to others. According to the petition, residents of Iga Oba-Ibeju town, Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area, had declared their support for Olowu because of his activities in the area, but the development did not go down well with his opponents.

By Jude Isiguzo, Police Affairs Correspondent

It was gathered that on April 28, thugs attacked Olowu's supporters during the Oju-Owa festival in the town. The petition reads in part: "At about 6.48pm, Engr. Olowu who was in company of his friends, Mr. Gabriel and Tunde Giwa, was attacked by some men armed with guns, machetes, charms and some other dangerous weapons. Our client managed to escape with minor injuries, but his afore-mentioned friends sustained severe injuries and are currently receiving treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Iberekodo Hospital, Ibeju-Lekki." It also alleged that "the assailants

• A victim of the attack

• Another victim

also caused serious damage to a Toyota Corolla saloon car marked AKD11AV belonging to the IbejuLekki Local Government Council, under the care of Hon. Akeem Isho-

la, the current majority leader of the council." "Fortunately, after our client escaped and his friends who are currently hospitalised could recognise

I was picked by oracle, says Lagos monarch


HE Onibeju of Ibeju Lekki, Oba Rafiu Salami, has told an Igbosere High Court, Lagos, that he was picked by the Odimoros (oracle consultants) from among eight contestants. He said this at the commencement of trial in the suit filed seven years ago by Prince Taofeek Adekoya, who is challenging his enthronement. Odukoya had, through his lawyer, Chief Olusegun Raji, prayed the court to restrain Oba Salami from parading himself as the monarch of the community. Joined in the suit are: Governor of Lagos State; the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice; Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy; Ibeju Lekki Local Government and Prince Samilu Ogunlana. Salami, while responding to the allegation by a witness, Chief Shuaib Odeyemi that he was not chosen by the kingmak-

By Precious Igbonwelundu

ers told the court that the 'Aladeseso' ruling house was mandated to produce a candidate, adding that eight contestants, who paid N5, 000 each for consulting the 'Ifa' oracle were forwarded. He said: "Following the demise of the last Onibeju of Ibeju, Oba Musa Agbabiaka, on January 6, 2000, the Aladeseso ruling house was mandated to nominate a candidate to fill the vacant stool in consonance with the order of rotation. "The Aladeseso ruling house forwarded names of eight candidates and each of us was made to pay the sum of N5, 000 for consulting Ifa oracle. "After various meetings and consultation with Ifa Oracle, the Odimoros

Lagos warns factories, event centres


HE Lagos State Government has urged industrial companies and event centre operators to comply with the state's safety regulations and policies to prevent avoidable accidents. State Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed, made the call at the ongoing ministerial press briefing to herald the sixth anniversary of the Governor Babatunde Fashola-led administration. Ahmed said government, through the Lagos State Safety Commission, embarked on series of advocacy programmes for stakeholders to minimise and prevent avoidable accidents and disasters. He said the Commission visited some factories and event centres where it was observed that some companies had disregard for safety standards.

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

He said government would sanction erring companies who fail to comply with safety regulations within their workplaces. "Lagos State Safety Commission is in force; it is established by law and it can bite. We want to make sure we exhaust all advocacy channels before we take the last resort of sanctioning defaulting companies," he said. On emergency management, Ahmed said government had set up local emergency management committees in each of the 20 local government areas and 37 local council development areas in the state to respond swiftly to emergency situations in the state.

announced me as the popular choice of the Ifa divination." Salami, however, admitted that he ascended to the throne through the lineage of his mother as his father was not from the royal family. The claimant's witness, Odeyemi, who spoke in 'Yoruba,' told the court, presided over by Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi that Oba Salami was not the kingmakers' choice. Odeyemi, who doubles as a kingmaker and one of the 'Bobagunwa' of Ibeju Lekki insisted that the present Onibeju of Ibeju was not chosen by the kingmakers. He alleged that he started boycotting the kingmakers' meetings after some members went against their decision and paraded Oba Salami as the Onibeju. To drive home his point, Odeyemi sought to tender minutes of various meetings the kingmakers held to select a new monarch, but they were not admitted because as public documents, they were not duly certified. Prince Odukoya had sought a court declaration the he was duly nominated by the Aladeseso ruling house and recommended for approval and installation as the Onibeju of Ibeju by the kingmakers of Ibeju Lekki Local Government Chieftaincy Committee to the Lagos State government. He also prayed for an order directing the Ibeju Lekki Local Government and the Lagos State government to complete processes of his installation without delay. Odukoya urged the court to grant an order that the selection of the present Onibeju of Ibeju was not in accordance with Customary Law and Obas and Statutory Law of Lagos State.

some perpetrators of this attack." Olowu urged the police to carry out proper investigation to ascertain the mastermind of the attacks as they no longer feel safe.

Police, robbers in gun duel ABOUT five armed robbers on Sunday night unleashed terror on residents of Alimi Oke Street and its environs at Oshodi, Lagos. The armed men who shot sporadically snatched a Honda Accord End of Discussion car belonging to an estate agent, Mufutau Giwa, aka Fancy on Owoseni Street. The shooting spree, it was learnt, attracted policemen attached to the Akinpelu Police Station who promptly rose to the occasion and engaged the robbers. One of the armed robbers was killed in the incident while another was arrested with bullet wounds. The Nation learnt that the robbers were chased by the police through the Bolade area also in Oshodi, to Alakara before finally catching up with them at Ogudu where the stolen Hon-

By Jude Isiguzo

da vehicle was recovered. It was further learnt that police operatives recovered a pump action rifle, 30 rounds of live ammunition and two locally made short guns from a vehicle which the robbers abandoned at Oshodi. Some of the residents who spoke to The Nation praised the efforts of the police, but called for increased police presence in Oshodi as armed robbers are gradually returning to the area. A resident, Akeem Balogun, said the Sunday incident was not the first in Oshodi, adding that residents now sleep with their two eyes open. When contacted, spokesperson to the Command, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), said she was yet to be briefed.

My ordeal in Norway, by deportee KINGSLEY Joseph Aghado has sought the intervention of the Nigerian government over the inhuman treatment meted to him by Norwegian officials before his forced deportation. In a petition to the House of Representatives through its Committee on Diaspora, Aghado said he was arrested on trumped-up charges in 2009, even without evidence to support the charges. "The charges kept changing as the former charge fell like a pack of cards. Initially, I was found guilty but was discharged and acquitted by an appellate court," the petitioner stated. He claimed that Norwegian authorities accused him of sundry offences, but could not produce any evidence in court, adding that they also brought witnesses who could not identify him. Aghado recalled: "In the course of

the trial/imprisonment, I lost my marriage. I lost my education and my means of livelihood. On three occasions, I attempted to commit suicide. I was psychotic for a long time and prison papers will show diagnosis of psychotic behaviour and long treatment for mental imbalance." He said he spent six months in solitary confinement out of the one year and nine months he was detained, adding that he was chained from neck to waist during his forced deportation. Agbao said his attempt to get the support of Nigerian officials failed as the Norway escorts presented a forged document that wrongly presented his as an ex-convict, despite the fact that he was discharged and acquitted by a Norwegian appellate court. He urged the Nigerian authorities to intervene and save his reputation.

TB Joshua causes stir in Accra A church programme scheduled to hold yesterday in Ghana's capital, Accra, by Prophet TB Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), caused chaos and traffic gridlock on the Spintex Road and its enclave. Cars, it was learnt, jamparked the road sides. Thousands of Christians and members of his church thronged the enclave for the morning church

service. David Ampofo, who described the situation as "total chaos," wrote on his facebook: "Come and see what is happening on Spintex road. We can't even go out to work or take the kids to school because T.B. Joshua has arrived in Ghana and is holding a service at his Church on Spintex road with a message from God for his flock".

Staff College opens Christian centre

• Some children and youths on a sensitisation walk in Festac Town, Lagos, while celebrating of the maiden edition of the National Day for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, yesterday. With the children is the chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Comrade Ayodele Adewale.

THE Christian Fellowship of the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) has dedicated its new worship centre, named Chapel of Grace, at the college's campus, Topo, Badagry, Lagos. The Methodist Bishop of Badagry, his Eminence, Rev. Emmanuel Ahisu, who inaugurated the building, praised members of the fellowship for their hard work and commitment towards completing the project despite tough economic challenges. ASCON Director-General, Ajibade Peters, said: "It is a dream come true. I am fulfilled now." He said he had prayed that the chapel be completed and dedicated during his tenure.

By Joseph Jibueze

"Two things I had requested from God as something I would love to be remembered for is for ASCON to be a household name in administrative and consultancy matters in Africa and the dedication of this Chapel," he said. The building committee chairman and Head of the Interdenominational Fellowship, Deacon S.I Akhiojemi, said the chapel's foundation was laid in 2003. "Before now, we moved from place to place for worship. Despite all the logistics and cash constraints, God saw us through," he said. Guests at the event included the monarch of Badagry and his chiefs.




Ex-militant killed in Rivers’ cult clash N ex-militant, ThankGod Okpo, has been killed in a cult clash at Rumuoro Ogbakiri, Emuoha Local Government of Rivers State. The 24-year-old, was reportedly killed when two rival cult groups – De-Well and De-Gbam– clashed at a funeral. It was gathered that a member of De-Well group on April 12 disrupted the wake of the late mother of BrigGen. Ama, who hails from the community. The De-Gbam group promised to avenge the disruption during the wake for the late mother of a De-Well leader. During the wake, the DeGbam group came on a repraisal attack. The deceased’s father, Dennis Okpo, said his son’s


From Rosemary Nwisi , Port Harcourt

remains were in a morgue in Port Harcourt. It was learnt that the deceased died in a hospital, following matchete cuts. The victim was among the early beneficiaries of the late President Musa Yar’Adua’s amnesty to restive youths of the Niger Delta. It was gathered that he was among the first set who accepted the amnesty in the local government. He surrendered his arms to the then council chairman, Emeka Woke, at Rumuekpe community school field in 2011. ThankGod came back from Malaysia last November where he was trained in pipeline wielding for one year. A source said the deceased

‘He was taking his younger brother, who was injured at the funeral to the hospital, when they were waylaid by the suspected killers’ took to okada riding after his return. “He was taking his younger brother, who was injured at the funeral to the hospital, when they were waylaid by the suspected killers. “His elder brother was also with them, but his siblings were not attacked. “I suspect he was a cult member because the killers

hacked him to death, without touching his siblings.” But the elder Okpo said his son was not a cultist. “My son was not a member of De-well or De-Gbam, but a repentant militant, a repentant militant cannot be a cultist. “He was never a cultist even before he accepted the amnesty.” It was gathered that ThankGod was not at the funeral but was told by his mother to take his younger brother to the hospital. When our reporter visited the community, peace had returned in the area and cult members had gone into hiding for fear of arrest. Residents said the police are on routine patrol in the community. They claimed two people had been arrested.

Edo lawmaker remanded in prison MAGISTRATE’S court in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government of Edo State yesterday ordered the remand in prison of a member of the House of Assembly, Rasaq Momoh, for alleged unlawful possession of firearms. Momoh, who represents Etsako West Constituency 1, was arrested on April 20 for alleged possession of fire arm. The lawmaker, who was arraigned on May 2 before Magistrate Caroline Nwoha, was arrested during the local government election in Agbede, Etsako West Local Government. Magistrate Nwoha remanded him in police custody instead of prison on health grounds as prayed by his counsel, Olayiwola Afolabi. The magistrate reserved ruling till yesterday after listening to the amendment of


From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

the earlier charge of unlawful possession of fire arm to that of robbery. The prosecutor, the commissioner of police, represented by Daniel Mato, had called for the case to be heard in the high court adding that the charge had nothing to do with electoral offence. He argued that it was only a mere coincidence that the offence was committed the same day the election took place. The magistrate said her court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter. She ordered that the case file be duplicated and sent to Director of Public Prosecutor (DPP) for advice. Magistrate Nwoha adjourned the matter till June 3 and ordered that the accused be remanded in Auchi prison pending the date.

Suit against DESOPADEC adjourned From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri • Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)Osita Chidoka at a lecture at the Institute for Security Studies, Abuja. With him are Francis Okpo (middle) and Bisi Kazeem, both participants of Executive Intelligence Management Course 6 .


DELTA State High Court sitting in Warri has adjourned till May 27 hearing of the N1billion suit against the Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC) by the Itsekiri chapter of Host Community of Oil and Gas Production of Nigeria (HOSTCOM). The plaintiffs, led by the Chairman, Itsekiri Host Communities, Prince Ikenwoli Emiko and Secretary, Godwin Omamogho, claimed that the money meant for the Itsekiri oil devastated communities have been diverted by the commission to build and renovate Warri Club and a police barracks, which are private and Federal Government concerns. They contended that the Itsekiri Oil Producing Communities are plagued by coastal, erosion, oil pollution, spillages and other ecological and environmental challenges. The aggrieved Itsekiri are seeking a declaration that the construction and renovation of the police barracks in Warri and provision of infrastructure in Warri Club do not fall within the ambit of the statutory functions of DESOPADEC. The plaintiff requested that the money expended on such illegal projects be accounted for by the defendant and sought for N100million compensation.

Land demarcation in Akwa Ibom

JTF names Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa crime hubs


HE Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, “Operation Pulo Shield” has identified Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta states as axis of crimes in the Southsouth. The finding is contained in a new intelligence report released by the Task Force on crimes in the region, even as gunmen, suspected to be sea pirates yesterday shot dead two persons in Kuroamagbene, a seaside community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. Community sources identified one of the victims as a relation of the Special Adviser to the Bayelsa Governor on Education, Dr. Godswill Ziriki. Police spokesman Alex Akhigbe confirmed the incident, saying he was awaiting a detailed briefing from the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Oporoma, headquarters of the council area. The waterways of Rivers and Bayelsa were identified as the hubs of crude oil theft with operators said to be so rich that they overwhelm traditional and local authorities in the areas. The document also identified the creeks as hideouts that kidnappers use to keep their victims while negotiating ransom payment with their relations.

JTF adopts new strategies From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt


HE military Joint Task Force (JTF) in Rivers State said it has put in place new strategies to stop illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism and crimes in the

state. The Commander of the Army 2 Brigade and Sector Two of JTF Brig.-Gen. Osasogie Uzamere, spoke yesterday at the Brigade’s 2013 annual range classification exercise in Igwuruta. Uzamere said JTF had uncovered new techniques used by oil thieves to sabotage the nation’s economy and as such, renewed its tactics to ensure its proficiency to combat oil bunkering. “Under the direct guardian of the JTF Commander, we have deployed soldiers to Southern Ijaw (in Bayelsa) to form a base for expanding our operations against oil thieves and pipeline vandalism. “We have re-strategised and introduced new tactics into our operations; of course it will not be appropriate for me to tell what strategies we have put into place; but I do assure that the JTF Sector Two is committed and having successes.”

•Two killed in Bayelsa From Shola O’Neil, Warri

More worrisome is the report that the crimes are not only restricted to criminals in the region, but their associates in other parts of the country who ferret their victims to the riverside areas of the mentioned states. Confirming the report, JTF Media Coordinator Lt. Col Onyeama Nwachukwu, said the worrisome finding was in spite of the Task Force arresting 498 oil

thieves as well as seizing 18 vessels, 26 barges, 545 assorted boats and destroying 748 illegal crude distillation camps (refineries) in the past few weeks. He said illegal crude oil refining activities are on the rise in the three states. In Rivers State, the report identified Akassa, Igbematoru, Tebidaba, Sagana and Kola/Obieku as headquarters of illegal bunkering. Similarly, Ukubie, Lorbia

1 and Lorbia 2, Ekeni and Ezetu communities of Southern Ijaw Area of Bayelsa earned the disgraceful honour of hosting kidnap victims from all parts of the country. He said: “We have discovered that in most communities, they even store stolen crude in septic tanks. The people have been so oppressed by these oil thieves, pirates and kidnappers, that they are afraid to volunteer information to the JTF.” Nevertheless, Lt. Col Nwachukwu said the JTF has unravelled the causes of insecurity and criminal activities by gunmen and other hoodlums in Azuzuama and other parts of the volatile Southern Ijaw Local Government of Bayelsa State. “We have identified the perpetrators and tracked them through a Joint Operation code-named ‘Operation Clean Slate’. The hideouts of the criminals were destroyed and various warlike materials including speed boats, assorted ammunitions and communication gadgets were either destroyed or recovered. “In spite of these successes, we have deployed troops at Azuzuama for a robust operation involving all components of the JTF,” he added.


HE Akwa Ibom State Government yesterday said the Ministry of Land and Survey is to carry out the exact demarcation of land needed for the establishment of Naval Base and Barracks in Ikot Abasi as approved by the Federal Government. Speaking during a meeting in Ikot Abasi Local Government, the Surveyor-General, Okokon Essien, appealed to the people of Ikpa Ibekwe and those of Ikpa NungAsang, the areas where the projects are to be sited, for their cooperation. Essien said the meeting was in compliance with the Law of Akwa Ibom Cap 124, which stipulates that whenever the Surveyor-General

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

enters into any land to survey for any public purpose, it is mandatory to inform and enlighten such communities on the purpose for acquiring such land to avoid conflicts. The surveyor-general assured the communities of the direct benefits of the projects in terms of improving their economic wellbeing. According to Essien, three indigenous consultant firms from the three senatorial districts have been appointed to work with the government to ensure immediate delivery of the job within schedule to the Navy.

NLC, TUC mourn journalists From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

CTIVISTS, journalists, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) members yesterday staged a candle light procession in Benin City in honour of the late Principal Private Secretary to Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde. The protesters besieged the Oba Ovonramwem Square, popularly known as Kings Square, prompting a gridlock. The procession, which started at about 06:22pm, saw members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) leading the procession right from the Union Secretariat through Reservation road, Sapele road, round the Kings Square; singing in memory of other journalists Chuckwudi Ogu, Olatunji Jacob, George Okosun both of Independent Television, (ITV); Fidelis Okhani of the African Independent Television, (AIT)and Sashua Edeghagba of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) before joining others at the House of Assembly point of the Ovonramwen Square. The Executive Director of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, (ANEEJ) David Ugolor, said the procession was held to send a signal to authorities that they must find the killers.




NEWS Lagos House passes oil and gas bill


HE Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday passed a bill establishing Ibile Oil and Gas Corporation to invest and engage in oil business in the state. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the corporation shall have powers to engage in all oil and gas upstream activities, including exploration, drilling and production. The corporation will also have opportunity to invest in a company or a consortium to participate in oil and gas bid rounds and seek marginal fields allocation. Other powers of the corporation include acquisition of old or new exploration and drilling prospects and prospecting abandoned wells anywhere in Nigeria and overseas. “Optimise the benefits of petroleum policies of the Federal Government, acquire gas volumes and other supplies for state as may be considered appropriate. “Liaise with the Federal Government agencies or private and multinational companies to deliver petroleum products to the state in the most effective and cost efficient manner. “Invest in refinery, petrochemical processing or other production processes and do all such things necessary to facilitate the discharge of its responsibilities. Section three of the bill establishes the Governing Board of the Corporation. The board, according to Section 3 (2), shall comprise the chairman and four members from the public or private sector. The Managing Director and the Permanent Secretary or a representative in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources not below Grade Level 15, will be nominated by the commissioner. Members of the board, except the ex-officio ones, will be appointed by the governor, subject to the confirmation of the house.

Edo, MAN inspect 108 hectares for industrial park


DO State Government and a delegation of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, (MAN) yesterday, inspected 108 hectares of land proposed for Industrial Park by the government. The facility is located on Upper Sakponba Road, Benin City. The Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, who led the government delegation including, the Executive Director, Public Private Partnership office, Mr. Igbinidu Ineh said: “This is a launch pad for the industrialisation agenda of the Comrade Governor. This is a huge investment site with over 108 hectares. If developed, it will improve the real income of our people. The SSG went on: “Today is a huge step forward. I do not see a problem here in terms of making it available for MAN. We want to see activities taking place here, create employment for people and landlords can come around here too thereby making the area

more developed. With this kind of land becoming an industrial park, we will make Edo great again. “The challenge would be to develop the proposal and make it easy for the governor to have an overview of the plan and when investors come to us, we then know what to tell them and where to give them. There is a company coming from China that wants to do vehicle assembling in Edo State. “I have no doubt that the whole idea will create job, increase productivity and real income. The proposal will declare your intention to the Comrade Governor,” Ihonvbere told the MAN delegation. The government says it has a strategic plan which runs through 2016. According to Ihonvbere, “a section of the strategic plan deals with industrial policy. The plan, which goes on to 2016 is such that any other government that comes will have a flow in and continue from there and can also adjust what needs to be adjusted”. As for the technical

SAN: Aribisala does not deserve injunction, says bank


N Igbosere High Court, Lagos, has been urged to dismiss an application of mandatory interlocutory injunction filed by a suspended Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Ajibola Aribisala. The application was filed against Fidelity Bank Plc and the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC). Counsel to Fidelity Bank, Seyi Sowemimo (SAN), yesterday addressed Justice O. A. Adefope-Okojie on the bank’s application challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain Aribisala’s suit as well as the claimant’s plea for interlocutory injunction. He told the court that the lawyer has bridged court processes by taking his case to the media. Sowemimo noted that the granting of a mandatory interlocutory injunction was discretionary, adding that Aribisala’s conduct showed he was undeserving of the

By Precious Igbonwelundu

plea. Adefope-Okojie, at the last adjournment date, fixed yesterday to hear the two contending applications filed by Aribisala as well as the bank (first defendant). The claimant, in an application of March 7, prayed for a mandatory injunction restraining the LPPC (second defendant) from stripping him of his ‘SANship’. Whereas the LPPC neither responded nor sent representatives on the suit, Fidelity Bank filed a counter-affidavit, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case. At the resumed hearing, Sowemimo contended that an application for an injunction has to be hinged on a legal right. He told the court that the conferment of SAN is a privilege and not a legal right.

•Cars waiting to buy fuel at the station...yesterday.INSET: A sealed fuel pump

NNPC mega station, eight others sealed off


HE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mega Filling Station in Enugu was among the nine stations sealed off yesterday by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for alleged under dispensing of fuel. When the DPR officials, led by Enugu zonal manager (Downstream) Sule Yusuf, got to the station, all the workers, including fuel attendants, disappeared. The mega station, it was

From Chris Oji, Enugu

learnt, has been contracted out to a dealer. And as soon as the officials brought out the sarafin can used for determining adjusted metres, all the workers vanished. Those inside the offices locked themselves in, making it impossible for the DPR officials to talk to them. All attempts by the DPR officials to get the workers to attend to them failed. The drama went for over

an hour to the consternation of customers. Despite the long queue formed by consumer-vehicles, the station officials refused to come out. This led to the sealing off. When the DPR officials came back later to inspect the metres, most of the pumps were discovered to be under dispensing fuel to consumers. The Acting Operations Controller and Head of Corporate Services, Peter Ijeh, told the workers that the sta-

tion will remain closed until further notice. Other stations sealed off for under dispensing of fuel include Total filling station on Presidential Road; Conoil, Bontus and McManuel Energy Oil and Gas on Ogui Road, MRS on Abakaliki Road and NARCO on Presidential Road. Ijeh told reporters that it was frustating to know that marketers go back to the fraudulent rate almost immediately.

Couple re-arraigned for alleged N97m fraud


HE Federal Government yesterday re-arraigned a couple, Mrs Uchenna Abazu and her husband, Tochukwu, for allegedly defrauding a bank and the government of N97 million. They were docked before Justice Nasir Yunusa of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos. The two were previously arraigned before Justice Charles Achibong, who was retired by the National Judicial Council (NJC), which necessitated the case starting de novo (afresh).

By Joseph Jibueze

The prosecution said Mrs Abazu, while a worker of Fidelity Bank Plc, Ikoyi branch, conspired with her husband to perpetrate the fraud. The four-count charge was signed by Mrs. C.M. Efobi of the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation. The prosecution alleged that Mrs Abazu, between February 29, 2008 and February 12, 2009, in her capacity as Executive Assistant with E. Business Unit, Do-

mestic Operations of Fidelity Bank Plc at 23, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, within the court’s jurisdiction, did conspire with her husband to commit a felony. They allegedly forged a statement of account numbered 027402010024417 belonging to Tochukwu. The prosecution said they made false entries to the account opened with Fidelity Bank Plc on June 6, 2007. All the entries allegedly amounted to about N97 million. The government said they did so knowing that they

were false entries and were acted upon as genuine through several Fidelity Bank Plc cheques. They also allegedly forged some documents with which they perpetrated the fraud, which contravene Section 3 (6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of the Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts. Justice Yinusa granted bail on the terms given them by the former judge. He adjourned till June 12 for trial.

UTME candidates protest seizure of results


BOUT 1, 000 candidates, who wrote the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) on April 27 in Edo State, have asked the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to release their results. The candidates, who marched on major streets, and the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Benin City yesterday, said their centres had no biometric machines. They said seizing results on account of their not being captured was an attempt to deny them admissions. The angry candidates, who carried placards with inscriptions which read “Out of 1.7million candidates: where are the spaces in the universities?”; JAMB don’t frustrate us”; “JAMB release our results”, said they have other plans, if JAMB does not take heed. A candidate, Anthony Oz-

•’We’ve been marginalised’ From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin City and Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

abor, who wrote the exam at St Maria Goretti College, Benin City, said JAMB had two centres there. He said he has been checking his results online only to find that he has none. Ozabor said the excuse by JAMB is that the machines showed they were absent. “How can hundreds of thousands of candidates be absent for such a widely publicised exam that they have been preparing for since last year? “The problem is that JAMB did not send the machines and it did that to ensure that it collected money from as candidates as possible only to deny them results after. “If it doesn’t release our result then it should refund our money. “Today we have been to the Benin JAMB office and

the officials used the police to drive us away; they said we should go to JAMB headquarters in Abuja.” When contacted, an official at the Benin office denied knowledge of the protest. He added that results for those who wrote the exam were available online. Also in Calabar, Cross River State, candidates who have no results for allegedly not providing adequate biometric information on the exam day have said they were being marginalised. According to them, the thumb printing machines which were available at the exam centres were faulty, hence they should not be punished for it. Angela Okon, who wrote the examination at Government Secondary School, Akim, in Calabar queried, “do we have to suffer because JAMB machines are

not functioning properly. “When I registered for the exam in a cyber café, I thumb printed as part of the registration process and then there was no problem. “On the day of the exam the thumb printing machine was not functioning properly, but the officials told us to write our exams that there was no problem. “Now I have gone to check my result and there are telling me that I have no result because I did not thumbprint. Is it my fault? Another candidate, Victor, said: “The fact that they had malfunctioning biometric machines does not mean we have to suffer. “This is the fourth time I am writing this exam. I beg relevant authorities to do something about this situation before it becomes a problem they would not be able to handle.” Officials at the zonal office in Calabar refused to say anything.



NEWS Three injured in Lokoja building collapse


HREE persons were injured yesterday when a part of a three-storey building under construction collapsed in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital. An eyewitness told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja that the building, at the popular Zone 8 Roundabout, collapsed at 12.45pm when the workers were working. The witness, who spoke in confidence, added that nobody died in the incident. He said three of the 18 construction workers sustained various degrees of injury while the others were unhurt. A survivor, who simply identified himself as Samuel, said the building did not show any sign before it gave way. “We were working when we suddenly heard a loud bang; only for us to discover that part of the build has collapsed, injuring three people. “When we heard the noise, we ran out immediately to rescue the injured,” Samuel said.

•Lagos State Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed (second right0; Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba (right); Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Dr. Aderemi Desalu (left) at this year’s ministerial media briefing of the Ministry of Special Duties in Alausa, Ikeja.. yesterday.

NSCIA picks Oloyede as Adegbite’s successor


T Taraba crisis victims get mass burial


T least 39 bodies of those killed in last Friday’s religious crisis in Wukari, Taraba State, have been given mass burial by the state government. Although unconfirmed sources said the death toll hit 130, it was learnt that the bodies of the other casualties have not been recovered. The 39 recovered bodies were buried at the cemetery of the General Hospital, Wukari, amid tears. It was difficult to identify them because they had begun to decompose. Besides, the victims were either macheted or gunned down. Some were burnt beyond recognition; oth-

From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

ers were headless, including the body of an expectant mother, whose legs were also cut off. The air at the burial ground was polluted and the sight gory. Wukari is still a ghost town as the residents are yet to return to normal businesses. The federal university in the town and other institutions are deserted. Police spokesman, Joseph Kwaji, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), spoke yesterday on the incident. He said: “Security men, headed by the Police Commissioner Jubril Adeniji, the State

Security Service (SSS) boss, the Commandant of the Takum Army Battalion, are still patrolling the streets.” Taraba State Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, provided aid to survivors of the crisis last Friday. The materials were offloaded from the State Emergency Management Agency’s (SEMA’s) warehouse in Jalingo, the state capital. They were transported by trucks to Wukari, 200kilometres from Jalingo. The goods included: bags of maize, guinea corn and millet, rice, salt, beans, sugar, milk, plastic spoons, cups, buckets and mattresses.

Chairman of Wukari Local Government Area, Danazumi Agbu, told The Nation that the materials were distributed on arrival. He said the density in the 12 refugee camps has reduced because several displaced persons have left the camps. Agbu said the materials were not enough but they brought great relief to the victims. SEMA Executive Secretary, Mr. Nuvalga Danhabu, told The Nation that the materials were not meant for the victims of the Wukari crisis, but for those who were affected by floods during the torrential rains.

10 ‘mercenaries’ arrested with weapons in Benue


EN of Operation Zenda, the Benue State security outfit, have arrested 10 suspected mercenaries who allegedly attacked Kurayemen village and killed five Tiv farmers in MbayerYandev ward, Guma Local Government Area, last Sunday. The suspects were also said to have set ablaze 400 houses in 11 compounds. Property worth millions of naira were allegedly destroyed in the attack.

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

A member of the House of Assembly, representing Makurdi North, Avine Agbom (ACN), told The Nation that he got distress calls from members of his constituents that their village was under heavy attacks by suspected Fulani. The lawmaker said the callers told him that the attackers were killing harmless farmers and setting their homes ablaze. Agbom said: “I immediately called the Benue State secu-

rity outfit, code named Operation Zenda, with a combined team of soldiers and mobile policemen. They responded immediately. They stormed the village and arrested 10 suspected mercenaries and recovered several sophisticated weapons from them.” The lawmaker said the security team also recovered over 40 motorcycles. He alleged that the suspected mercenaries came to the village with over 300 cows and pretended to be grazing before

they carried out the Sunday attack. Agbom hailed the Commandant of 72 Special Forces Battalion in Makurdi, Lt-Col. Abubarkar, for his immediate response, which led to the arrest of the suspected mercenaries. Police spokesman, Daniel Ezeala, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), confirmed the arrest of the 10 suspects. He said: “The Army handed over 10 suspects for murder and mischief by fire (arson)...”

HE Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) yesterday picked Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, a former University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) Vice-Chancellor and the Executive Secretary of National Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) as the SecretaryGeneral of the highest Islamic body in Nigeria. Oloyede succeedS the late Dr AbdulLateef Adegbite, who died September 28, last year. He competed with Prof Tajudeen Gbadamosi, the Chairman, Joint Technical Committee of the Lagos State Muslim Council. His selection was done via Shura (consultations) and ratified by the council’s National Executive Council at the headquarters of the Jamatul Nasril Islam in Kaduna. Reacting to Oloyede’s ap-

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

pointment, the Mufti of the Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO), Sheikh Dhikrullahi Shafi’i, urged the President of Association of African Universities (AAU) to emulate the late Dr Adegbite’s largeheartedness by bringing Muslims under one roof. Sheikh Shafi’i said the late Seriki and Baba Adinni of Egbaland related well with the old and the young and never underrated anyone. “Prof Oloyede should understand that he will be dealing with people of diverse backgrounds and different Islamic ideologies. Such people are not his students, unlike his days at the leadership of UNILORIN. So, he should display a high level of maturity in bringing everybody under one umbrella,” he said.

Yobe PDP senator, ex-deputy governor, others join ANPP From Duku Joel, Damaturu


EADERS of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in Yobe State yesterday received defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Governor Ibrahim Gaidam received the defectors at the Government House in Damaturu. He described their defection as the “highest sense of political judgment”. The defectors included former senator for Yobe South, Adamu Talba; former deputy governor in the Bukar Abba Ibrahim administration, Aliyu Saleh Bagare; former Speaker of the House of Assembly; former members of the National Assembly, including Baba Gishiwari and Hassan Jonga. The governor assured the defectors that his administration will provide a level-playing ground for them to integrate into the party’s fold. Gaidam said: “To our colleagues and associates who have rejoined us today, I assure you that we will create a level-playing ground to ensure that you are fully integrated into the party and its structures. In line with our policy of carrying everybody along, you will be accorded all the privileges enjoyed by other party members, including the right to go for elective positions.”

National Assembly workers protest over unpaid benefits


ATIONAL Assembly Workers yesterday protested over alleged unpaid Consolidated Legislative Salary Structure (CONLESS) and other benefits. The workers gave the Assembly's management 21 days ultimatum to pay the entitlements or face industrial action. The workers abandoned their offices and massed in the foyer as early as 10am. They first visited the House of Representatives chamber and called on Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal to come and address them. They thereafter made their way to the Senate chamber after Tambuwal failed to pacify them. The workers blocked the main entrance to the Senate chamber chanting "SP, SP, SP". They turned down attempts by Senator Dahiru Kuta, Professor Shola Adeyeye and the Clerk, Mr. Ben Efeture to address them on behalf of the Senate President. Some of the placards displayed during the protest read: "Pay

•Give 21-day ultimatum From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

CONLESS now or we paralyze legislative activities" "Our pension deduction. Please stop the fraud" All we are saying, give us our right." The workers who put their number at 3167 urged the Senate President to ensure that the N10,000 deducted fom staff since 2009 amounting to N126,680,000 be refunded to them. They vowed to grind the National Assembly to a halt if their demands were not met within 21 days. Their Spokesperson, Christopher Odoh, told Senate President David Mark that the peaceful demonstration was staged to register their grievances against the management for "subjecting us, the staff of this parliament to oppression with a view to impoverishing us for their selfish gains." Odoh called on the Chairman of the National Assembly to probe the management and

make them account for the funds appropriated for staff salaries, training and welfare. He urged the Senate President to direct the management to pay the approved Consolidated Legislative Salary Structure (CONLESS) within 21 days beginning from yesterday. He told Mark to caution the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission to "refrain from meddling into the affairs of the Legislative Arm of Government. He also requested the management to refund the sum of over N126million with 9 per cent interest from 2009 when it commenced the deductions from staff salaries. Odoh added: "It has become a culture in the National Assembly that each time, there is approval for staff welfare, the management will conceal and divert it to their personal pockets. "Recall that we staged the first demonstration on 12th October,

2009, when the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan approved over 52 per cent of the basic salary of workers in the Federal Civil Service, which the management of the National Assembly, led by Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa attempted to divert o their pockets as has always been the case." He said they decided to protest the deliberate violation of the Constitution, the National Assembly Service Commission Act and the usurpation of the legislative powers of the National Assembly by the management, the former Chairman of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) - Comrade Rawlings Agada in connivance with the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission. He alleged that the funds meant for staff training and capacity building have been diverted. Other grievances included the alleged "diversion of all the deductions made from our meagre salary including pension and tax-

es into their personal pockets by the National Assembly management. "Diversion of all the funds appropriated on yearly basis for staff welfare, fringe benefits and other incentives. "Diversion of the household items and office equipment to themselves and cronies - we are aware that some of them are owners superstores in Abuja city. "Complete removal of oner of our peculiar allowances - The Outfit allowance. "Intimidation and victimization of our union activists. "Defrauding of staff of N10,000 in the guise of owner occupier housing scheme since 2009. "Diversion/sale of lands allocated or staff quarters. "Theft for staff cars from the unsecured car park outside the National Assembly Complex. "Undue molestation and intimidation of staff as well as our union members within the complex by the security agents attached to the National Assem-

bly." Mark thanked the workers for their peaceful conduct during the protest. He told them that their demands would be addressed with all sincerity. Mark said: "If anybody oppresses the least of you, as workers of the National Assembly, those people have directly oppressed me as the President of the Senate and the Chairman of the National Assembly. "We will not allow anybody to oppress you. We will not be here and watch that happen. "I am going to meet and discuss with the Rt. Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives and we are going to get the management and also confront them with the issues you have raised here. "Let me assure you that we are here to ensure that your welfare is given topmost priority. Only when you are happy can all of us in the hammers can have the conducive environment to work properly."






Queen Elizabeth II to miss Commonwealth meeting


OR the first time since 1973, the Queen will not be attending the Commonwealth heads of government meeting this year, Buckingham Palace has said. She will be represented by the Prince of Wales at the summit in Sri Lanka in November. Buckingham Palace said it was reviewing the amount of long-haul travel the Queen undertook. The Queen, 87, is the head of the Commonwealth and every two years leaders meet to discuss global issues. The Queen was first present

at the Commonwealth heads of government meeting (Chogm) in Ottawa, Canada, in 1973 - missing the first one in 1971 - and has been at every summit since. The last one, in 2011, was held in Perth, Australia. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “I can confirm the Queen will be represented by the Prince of Wales. “The reason is that we are reviewing the amount of longhaul travel that is taken by the Queen.” This is a significant decision for the Queen and for her el-

dest son and heir. The 87-year-old monarch won’t have arrived at it lightly - she hasn’t missed a heads of government meeting since 1973 and she regards the Commonwealth as an important dimension of her reign. It is an acknowledgement of her advancing age and not, her officials insist, in order to avoid the political question about whether or not Sri Lanka should be the host in the first place. The focus of campaigners, who are critical of Colombo’s human rights record, will now

It is an acknowledgement of her advancing age and not, her officials insist, in order to avoid the political question about whether or not Sri Lanka should be the host in the first place.

•Queen Elizabeth II

be the Prince of Wales. Behind the scenes, the ground has been prepared for him to become the organisation’s next head - a position he’s not automati-

cally entitled to. His attendance, in November, in place of his mother, will be another very visible sign of his preparation for kingship.

19 dead in gas tanker explosion near Mexico City


GAS tanker truck exploded on a highway in the Mexico City suburb of Ecatepec early yesterday, killing at least 19 people and injuring three dozen, according to the Citizen Safety Department of Mexico State, which surrounds Mexico City. Officials did not rule out the possibility the death toll

could rise more as emergency workers continued sifting through the charred remains of vehicles and homes built near the highway on the northern edge of the metropolis. Residents pitched in to rescue people from the wreckage of crushed and burned cars and shattered homes. Television footage showed

plumes of flame shooting out of homes in the pre-dawn darkness. Authorities did not immediately report a cause for the explosion. Emergency personnel at the scene pulled dead victims from their homes, some apparently burned in their beds. An Associated Press journalist at the scene saw

rescue workers take three bodies, covered with white sheets, from one home. A huge piece of the truck’s gas tank was blown 50 yards by the force of the blast, landing atop the wall of a house and cars parked outside. Charred wreckage of cars littered the blast site. One small passenger van had been totally gutted by

Israel groups say PM halts new settlement building P

RIME Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stopped approving new construction in West Bank settlements, two prominent Israeli activist groups said yesterday, in what could be an attempt to clear the way for renewed peace talks with the Palestinians. Anti-settlement group Peace Now, which monitors all new Israeli settlement construction, said Netanyahu has not approved new tenders or announcements of new building

plans in the settlements since he won a new term in January elections. “It seems that Netanyahu took it upon himself to follow a policy of restraint,” Peace Now said in a statement. It said Netanyahu was likely trying to avoid colliding with the U.S. at a time when Secretary of State John Kerry is attempting to restart peace negotiations.

Air Force releases names of pilots killed in Niamey


HE Nigerian Air Force has named Sqn. Ldr. Benjamin Ado and Flying Officer Ayuba Layelmenson as the two pilots who died in the aircraft in Niamey. The two officers were part of the Air Force contingent in the African-led International Support Mission in Mali stationed in Niamey, Niger Republic. This is contained in a statement released in Abuja yesterday by Commodore Yusuf Anas, the Director, Air Force Information and Public Relations. It stated that Ado hailed from Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State and was a member of the 50th Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy. He was an instructor pilot who had flown many aircraft types in the inventory of NAF, as well as Pakistan and the United States of America. The senior officer was married and blessed with a child. The statement also noted that Layelmenson hailed from

Azare in Shongom Local Government Area of Gombe State and was a member of the 57th Regular Course in the Defence Academy. He graduated from Hellenic Air Force Academy in July 2011 and was commissioned into the Air Force as a pilot officer. Layelmenson was a qualified squadron pilot in the Alpha Jet before the unfortunate incident and was survived by his parents. The statement also stated that the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, had visited to the families of the deceased officers in Kaduna and Kanji. It quoted Badeh as saying: “I have come on behalf of the entire Air Force and a grateful nation to condole with you on the tragic loss of your loved ones. May their souls rest in perfect peace.” It said the Air Chief also used the visit to interact with officers of the 99 Air Combat Training Group and urged them to remain steadfast in their duties.

Kerry parleys with Putin on Syria


S Secretary of State John Kerry has held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to try to bridge the divide between the two sides over the Syria conflict. Before the talks, Mr Kerry said Russia and the US shared common interests in promoting stability in the region. Moscow, which supports Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, is refusing to back US pressure to force him to step down.

The group said it did not know how long the freeze on new settlement building would hold, and noted that previously started settlement building is proceeding. The Yesha settlers council, which promotes settlement construction, also claimed a freeze was in place. Yigal Dilmoni, a Yesha official, said Netanyahu’s office confirmed to him that the prime minister has stopped approving housing tenders. “This does not help anything, and it is discriminatory,” Dilmoni said. “We are severely against this.” Peace talks broke down in 2008 and have remained


stalled in large part because of Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The Palestinians claim both areas, captured by Israel in 1967, as parts of a future independent state and have insisted that Israel halt settlement construction before peace talks to resume. Israel says the talks should take place without preconditions.

flames and tossed against the wall of one of the many improvised houses built next to the highway. Hundreds of police, ambulance drivers, paramedics, soldiers and firefighters gathered at the scene, where a giant plume of smoke rose over the area after the explosion around 5 a.m. Tuesday local time. Pablo Bedolla, the mayor of Ecatepec, a mainly workingclass area, said 20 homes and one school had been damaged in the blast. The explosion happened before class hours, so there were no apparent injuries in the school. The explosion closed the highway between Mexico City and Pachuca for hours. The pre-dawn accident exposed two recurrent public safety issues in Mexico: extremely heavy trucks that are frequently involved in serious accidents, and the construction of improvised homes just feet away from major highways.

CHANGE OF NAME DADA I, formerly known and addressed Miss Dada Oluwatoyin Morenike now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Agbaje Oluwatoyin Morenike. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME OTUNBA I, formerly known and addressed Otunba Fausat Ajoke now wish to be known and addressed as Otunba Fausat Iyabode. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.


I formerly known and addressed as Miss Adeleye Rashidat Temitope, now wish to be known as Mrs. Salau Roshidah Temitope. All former documents remain valid. SUBEB and general public please take note.

CHANGE OF NAME UWAKWE I, formerly known and addressed HENRY CHUKWUMA UWAKWE now wish to be known and addressed as HENRY CHUKWUMA OGUCHUKWU. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN The Coordinator of Happy People Humanitarian for Gay Group (Lagos Zone) in person of Mr. Oluwafemi Ayomide Amao (Homosexual) who was arrested sometime ago is now nowhere to be found. Anyone that knows his where about should please contact the Nigerian Police.



NEWS Nigeria is ‘169th worst place to be born’ Continued from page 4

from pregnancy-related causes, whereas in Finland it is one in 12,200 South Asia, which accounts for 24 per cent of the world’s population, recorded 40 per cent of the world’s newborn deaths The charity identified lack of nutrition as key to high mother and infant mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa, with 10-20 per cent of mothers underweight. In contrast, the results showed that Finland as the best place to be a mother, with the risk of death through pregnancy one in 12,200 and Finnish children getting almost 17 years of formal education. Sweden, Norway, Iceland and The Netherlands were also among the top 10, with the United States trailing at 30. Surprisingly, the report found that the US has the highest death rate in newborns in the industrialised world, with 11,300 babies dying on the day they are born each year. The charity attributed the trend party to the US’s large population, as well as the high number of babies born too ear-

ly. The US has one of the highest preterm birth rates in the world at a rate of one in eight. The report also found that mothers and babies die in greater numbers in South Asia than in any other region with an estimated 423,000 babies dying on the day they are born each year. India also has more maternal deaths than in any other country with 56,000 per year. “In India... economic growth has been impressive but the benefits have been shared unequally,” the report said. On the way forward, Grant said there are low cost solutions to the problem such as application of chlorhexidine (CHX) gel to prevent infections. Others are: prenatal corticosteriods, resuscitation device and injectable anti-biotics. Dr Abimbola Williams, the Senior Maternal and Newborn Health Manager of the organisation, recommended the identification of underlying causes of maternal and child deaths, investment in health workers and technological solution as way forward. The recommendation include: strengthening the health system and increase commit-

ments and funding to save mother and child and passage and implementation of the National Health Bill (NHB). She said there has been decrease in under - five mortality, stressing that this was not sufficient for the country to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG), muted in 1990 to reduce child mortality rates by two-thirds by 2015. “An estimated 396,500 first-day deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa yearly. This is 38 per cent of the world figure and it is the second-largest regional share after South Asia (40 per cent). Nigeria has a huge number because of its population,” she added. Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, who inaugurated the report, said the state would increase budgetary allocation to health care and ensure the implementation of the report’s recommendations. He said the issue of access to health facilities would be addressed, adding that the state was committed to reduce maternal and child death to zero. “There will be increased physical and social-cultural access to healthcare facilities in Lagos,” Idris assured.

Rivers warns against siege Continued from page 4

rights in a democracy and they elected Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as the governor of Rivers State. “He remains the governor of Rivers State and he is in charge as governor of Rivers state. The people of Rivers State should rest assured that their governor is in full control of the state. “Governor Amaechi remains the chief security officer of the state. I will like to believe that the commissioner of police understands that Governor Amaechi is the chief security officer. I doubt very much that he (CP) is in denial of that. It will be unfortunate if the police attempt to cause trouble for Rivers people. “It will then be clear to everybody that Rivers State is under siege and that Rivers State is under attack by powers that are bigger than us. For now, we do not want to believe that that is the case. “We want to believe that our state is not as yet under siege, but when we see the signs; yes there are ominous signs, yes there are rumours, but we like to believe that everybody understands that it is in the best interest of Nigeria, that Rivers State is stable. “The wife of the President (Dame Patience Jonathan) is a daughter of Rivers State and is a

wife in Bayelsa State. She is also an official of the Bayelsa State Government and will need to perform her duties as a Permanent Secretary. “I doubt if she vowed that Timothy Nsirim (Chairman of Obio/ Akpor Local Government, who was suspended on April 22, along with his deputy, Solomon Eke, and all the 17 councillors by the members of the Rivers House of Assembly) must come back. “I doubt that she will do such a thing, because she understands the boundaries of her influence. I do not think that as wife of the President, she will in any way want to interfere with governance or with issues. “I will be very surprised that she will want to cause any rancor or destabilisation of Rivers State, which, by the way, is her state. That will be curious and it will be a little troubling, if that is the case.” To the ACN, the political atmosphere calls for caution. The main opposition party stressed that politicians and Amaechi’s aides should avoid provocative language, unguarded and inciting statements, while commenting on the political developments. It condemned how Semenitari addressed the populace, as though they were without commonsense.

ACN said: “We demand an unreserved apology from the information commissioner for calling responsible protesting youths of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, who lawfully besieged the Rivers House of Assembly complex to make a case for the suspended council chairman, his deputy and the 17 councillors, touts and miscreants. “What made the Obio/Akpor protesting youths miscreants and a faction of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), who were earlier sponsored on a solidarity visit to the Government House, Port Harcourt, in favour of Governor Amaechi, good persons? “We have been following the current political happenings in the state with keen interest and wish to note that there is nothing in the entire saga that is new. “While the PDP should enhance efforts to put its house in order, the gladiators and supporters of the divides should conduct themselves orderly and must not carry on as though the entire state belongs to PDP or do anything that is capable of constituting danger to the innocent Rivers people.” The party also described Rivers people as reasonable and responsible people and not touts or miscreants.

200 displaced, 50 houses gone as storm hits Continued from page 4 Anambra community people wailing. We are calling on the government to come to our rescue as we are now homeless and hopeless.” Mr Michael Ozokwu, whose house was affected, said: “We were preparing to set out for the day when the sky boomed, a sign of an impending heavy downpour. “Suddenly, it became windy and the next thing we saw was that it began to pull houses and walls. There is a business centre

in front of my house which was blown off and dropped on the roof of my house. My house was also blown off. It was just strange and mysterious to me. And I sincerely seek help from both government and people.” ASEMA’s Chairman Dr Nwabufo Ijezie told reporters on phone that the government would take stock of the damage. Ijezie said: “Well, I just got the information and the pictures of the disaster. We will do an as-

sessment and see what has happened. If it is beyond what the capability of the state can respond to or handle, we’ll seek external support.” He, however, said there was no relief materials for the victims but “something swift” would be done to support them. “There are no relief materials for now because we have not done the assessment to ascertain the level of disaster in the area,” Ijezie said.

Some Boko Haram attacks in 2013 Continued from page 4

nounce the arrest of two masterminds of a 25 November 2012 twin-car bomb attack on a church in Jaji military cantonment near Kaduna. 17 January 2013: Nigeria begins troop deployment to Mali to help fight Al Qaeda-linked Islamists, some of whom it has

accused of providing support to BH. Four people, including two BH gunmen, are killed in a shootout with soldiers at a military checkpoint in Kano. Five gunmen are arrested. 13 January 2013: A key BH commander is arrested in Maiduguri. 4 January 2013: Five BH gunmen, a soldier and a policeman

are killed in an attack by Islamists on a military checkpoint in Marte town near the border with Cameroon. 2 January 2013: BH attacks a police station, kills two policemen and two civilians in Song town of Adamawa State. 1 January 2013: Thirteen gunmen and a soldier are killed in a shootout in Maiduguri.



‘I can bet it with any serious politician in Ekiti State today that the choice of Adelabu as deputy governor has given Fayemi another victory, a resounding victory at the yetto-be-contested and conducted 2014 polls ’ VOL.8 NO.2,479



RIGADIER GENERAL Nnamdi OkorieAffiah, Director General, National Youth Service Corps, Abuja. Sir, THE CASE OF ABUBAKAR IDRIS USMAN First, let me apologise for this open way of drawing your attention to the rather pathetic case of a serving corps member who seemed to have set the record of probably being the first to be court marshalled for allegedly offending the statutes of your parastatal. I have decided on this approach because the issues involved are of public interest. Second, let me declare my interest in the case. Abubakar Idris Usman, the corps member in question, is my son, in the African sense. He graduated from Abdullahi Bayero University, Kano, with a BSc (Second Class Upper) in Mass Communications. His father, who we all call Danjuma Yaro, and I have known each other since our childhood over 60 years ago, partly growing up as we did in the midtown Kaduna neighbourhood of Layin Shaba, aka Nupe Road, one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods which is predominantly Nupe. Danjuma himself is Hausa but speaks Nupe nearly as fluently as any Nupe. Not only that, Jamila, one of his daughters and elder sister to Abubakar, has been married for over fourteen years to one of my younger cousins. They’ve have had four kids. Abubakar is one of their favourite uncles. Abubakar has been the subject of an unrelenting punishment by your subordinates in Kaduna which has been grossly out of proportion to his alleged offence. This open letter is an appeal to you to put an end to his travail. The source of his seemingly unending trouble was his article published in the CAMPUSLIFE section of The Nation of November 22 last year entitled “In Kaduna, Corps members sleep in toilet.” The article, accompanied by a telling picture of a uniformed corps member sitting beside a bunker bed in a toilet converted into a room, sought to highlight the plight of corps members at the NYSC camp in the state as a result of its hosting about 700 graduates more than the previous year’s number. The offending piece quoted one corps member as saying the hostels on the camp were “unfit for human habitation.” It quoted another as saying the overcrowding in camp “posed a high risk of disease and personal safety.” The article also mentioned the Camp Director, Mrs L. D. Mburi, of complaining “bitterly” about female corps members who used to defecate into polythene bags in their hostels. It also mentioned the State Co-ordinator, Mrs. Victoria Ango, as telling you on a visit to the camp that the abandoned hostel projects on the camp would be completed in three week’s time as a way of meeting the challenge of inadequate accommodation on the camp. Predictably, the articles got the dander of the NYSC authorities in Kaduna up. The first sign that Abubakar was in trouble

People and Politics By MOHAMMED H ARUNA

An open letter to the NYSC Director-General

•Brig-Gen Okorie-Affiah came at lunchtime on the very day his article was published. The sign came through an urgent summons on his phone for him to go to the State coordinator’s office. On arrival he was confronted by an angry Mrs Ango who demanded to know who put him up to his “wicked” article. This was in the company of an equally angry Mrs Mburi and the Camp Commandant, Captain Dada. After a barrage of angry words he was told that he’ll make the record as the first corps member to be court marshalled in the state. He was given enough time to get dressed up in his uniform for the trial which was to take place in Mrs Mburi’s office. On getting to the hostel to dress up he was told by some of his colleagues that some NYSC staff had been there and had ransacked his bag and taken away his digital camera, jotter, and his other mobile phone. At the venue of the trial he discovered that two of the corps members he quoted in his article had also been summoned. This was in the afternoon. However, the trial did not begin till 7 pm. It was chaired by Mrs Mburi. Others on the panel included a State Security Service (SSS) representative, a police representative and a civil defence representative. According to Abubakar, no one questioned the accuracy of his article. Instead the panel’s concern was who sponsored him and how he was


and everybody should SHOUT HALLELUYAH 10,000 TIMES

able to file the article when he was supposed to be on the camp; a silly question, if you ask me, in this digital age of the ubiquitous internet. The panel, he said, also wondered if he thought he could fight government. And so on and so forth. All three apologised profusely for the embarrassment they said the article must have caused the state NYSC authorities and pleaded for clemency. Abubakar, however, said he tried to explain to the panel that he meant no harm and was only practicing what he was taught about the watchdog role of a journalist as a mass communications undergraduate. The panel was not impressed. Instead at the end of the trial at 9 pm it sentenced the other two to severe drill. On his part as the main culprit, Abubakar was sentenced to the same drill, his phone seized and was told he will get a three-month extension of his service without pay. The following day his father, Danjuma Yaro, appeared on the camp in the morning at the summons of the NYSC authorities, presumably for briefing about his son’s offence. Danjuma went along with one of the most respected elders of our neighbourhood, Sheikh Namadi. Both pleaded with the camp director for clemency for Abubakar. Their pleas fell on deaf ears; Abubakar would be forgiven alright, she said, provided he published an advert in three national newspapers retracting his article. Anyone who knows what newspaper advertisements cost, especially in Nigeria, would agree that this was impossible for anyone on a corps member’s relatively miserable allowance. Worse, it would amount to committing professional suicide for any journalist to retract a piece whose accuracy and fairness was never in question, never mind a budding journalist like Abubakar whose entire career was in front of him. Abubakar sought my advice as a father and a veteran journalist he said he’d always looked up to. I told him he was foolish to have written the article as a corps member but he must never retract it as long as he was sure of his facts. He heeded my advice and paid a stiff



HE fight for control of Rivers State is far from over; in fact, it is just beginning. But contrary to what many people think, perhaps even some of the combatants themselves, the war is not simply about the disagreements between the President Goodluck Jonathan government and Governor Rotimi Amaechi. Nor quite visibly is it about whether the governor harbours presidential ambition. Nor still is it about whether the president feels his pride has been injured by a governor who he believes will wilt before a withering display and application of raw state power. The war, which is getting nastier by the day, is simply about keeping Rivers safe for the president when he throws his hat into the ring for the 2015 contest. Much of the Northwest and Northeast is virtually lost to the president, and the North-central is a tossup. The Southwest is virulently anti-Jonathan, while the hitherto safe SouthSouth is not only restive, it is seething with discord. For Jonathan, therefore, damn the niceties of democracy; damn federalism; and damn human rights and any talk of posterity.


penalty for it; he was refused his posting letter when the camp finally closed on November 25. Before then his case took a very sinister turn in the afternoon of the very day his father was summoned to the camp. That afternoon, he said, he was made to appear before an SSS staff who accused him of being a member of Boko Haram. That was a most cynical manipulation of the young man’s self-will and of his appearance; unlike his clean-shaven father, Abubakar may have sported a goatee but anyone who knows Layin Shaba will testify to the fact that no child of the neighbourhood has ever displayed extreme religious tendency. Abubakar was interrogated extensively by the SSS operative but was not detained. Presumably the operative was satisfied that someone was merely trying to frame the stubborn young chap. For weeks after the close of camp a stalemate ensued between Abubakar and the Kaduna NYSC authorities. Each time he went to the headquarters for his posting he was told he could only get it if he retracted his article. Eventually, they relented – or so it seemed - and posted him to teach at Government Secondary School, Warsa Piti, in Lere Local Government of the state. This was in spite of his earlier plea for posting to Kaduna North on health ground as someone who had tested positive to Hepatitis B in 2012 and needed routine medical check up. However, even in seemingly relenting from their position, it was not without an element of cynicism; the same people who refused to post him until he retracted his article issued him a query that he had been posted since November 28, 2012 but had “refused” to collect his letter in violation of a section of an NYSC bye law! He was given the 24 hour to answer his query. For a while it seemed the authorities were satisfied with his response. Last month it emerged that they weren’t but were merely biding their time to punish the hapless chap even more. First, he was served with a letter relocating him to Delta State “on health grounds.” When he wrote back to say he never requested for relocation he received two letters, the first signed by an assistant director on behalf of the state coordinator and a second by the state coordinator herself, which said he was being relocated as punishment for his “malicious article” in The Nation. In addition, the letters said he will serve an extension of 30 days. Both letters said the reposting was at your directive. Sir, I wish to appeal to you to review your decision. Abubakar has been punished enough by his initial posting, considering his health challenges and the trauma he’d suffered through the delay in posting him. Besides he has never been paid his allowances since he resumed at his primary post. His offence may have embarrassed your staff in Kaduna but it was never malicious. I hope, sir, that you will answer the prayers of a father who prays that his son would one day become the kind of journalists any country that wants to progress needs plenty of. •For comments, send SMS to 08059100107

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

It is not yet the End of History in Rivers (1) If his 2015 ambition is to be saved, he knows that Rivers must be kept secure in the pouch of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), indeed in the warm embrace of Jonathan himself, no matter what it takes. Therefore, any talk of restraint and civilised behaviour is likely to fall on deaf ears. To many non-Nigerians, it is disconcerting that an Abuja High Court had to be secured to sack Godspower Ake as chairman of the Rivers PDP. The attempt by a Rivers High Court to reverse the sack has met with little success because the powerful forces behind the turmoil in Rivers are too connected to be pushed aside. With the installation of Felix Obuah as the new chairman about three weeks ago, the Abuja power game has gone into overdrive. Using the pretext of the House of Assembly’s suspension of the Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government, Timothy Nsirim, his deputy, Solomon Eke, and 17 councillors since April 22, Mr Obuah has managed to rewrite

the Nigerian constitution by equally suspending 27 members of the state House of Assembly, including the Speaker, Otelemaba Dan Amachree. A stalemate has thus been procured, and the state reels under dreadful unease. The Rivers House of Assembly has 32 members. With the party presumptuously suspending 27 members loyal to the governor, the Abuja mafia now ‘proudly’ musters just five members with which it hopes to unsettle and probably unhorse the governor. The five have proved powerful, considering how they were escorted into the premises of the Assembly two days ago by the police, while the pro-Amaechi lawmakers were compelled by circumstances to go into hiding for fear of attack. The events of the past few days in the legislature have prompted fear of impending impeachment of both the Speaker and the governor. Going by history, the fear of impeachment is not unfounded. To be concluded tomorrow

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790. WEBSITE: E-mail: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation May 08, 2013  

The Nation May 08, 2013

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