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•Ogbeni Aregbesola (right) and his Special Adviser on Environment and Sanitation, Hon Bola Ilori, in Akwa...yesterday.

•Ngige arriving at his campaign office...yesterday...


All eyes on Anambra as Ngige, Obiano, Nwoye, Ifeanyi Ubah test strength T ODAY is a decision day in Anambra State. It is a day to elect the man that will succeed Governor Peter Obi. Today's race is strictly a four-horse one. And they are the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Chris Ngige; All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Willie Obiano; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Comrade Tony Nwoye and Labour Party (LP), Chief Ifeanyi Ubah. The fate of these four men


Augustine AVWODE & Nwanosike ONU would be decided by a total of 1, 784,536 registered voters. Of the lot, 900,701, representing 50.5%, are women, while 883,835, representing 49.5%, are men. They are spread across 326 wards of the 21 local government areas of the state

which prides itself on being "The Light of the Nation". After months of speculations, consultations and preparations which included vigorous campaigns across the local government areas, with seven being in each of the three senatorial districts - Anambra North, Anambra South and Anambra Central. Obiano and Nwoye are

from Anambra North, while Ngige and Ubah are from the Central and South respectively. The four leading contenders in the governorship poll have one thing in common: incredible war chest! So, today’s election would, to some extent, be a fair fight. The contest will be determined by many forces. First is the support base. While

APC's Ngige will win, declare Aregbesola, party scribe

SUN State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has expressed confidence that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would win the governorship election holding in Anambra State today. He said in Akwa, the state capital, that his party, having done everything expected of it, would emerge the winner. Also some chieftains of the APC yesterday said victory in today’s election “is certain for their party as long as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducts a free and fair election.” They believe their party’s candidate, Dr Chris Ngige, stands out among the other contestants in terms of experience, knowledge and acceptability. Interim National Secretary of the APC, Tijjani Musa Tumsah, who led other party chiefs to Awka to ascertain the level of preparation, spoke on their expectations. Ogbeni Aregbesola said: “We have played our part according to law. If you ask me what my expectation is, you should be able to guess it. I expect the candidate of my party, the APC, to win, of course. And we want to say that if the election is not compromised, if it is not manipulated, we will win. I am not expecting anything short of victory. “And that is why I have to warn that we shall resist every attempt to manipulate or

Joseph JIBUEZE, Awka

compromise this election. Nigeria must move forward from this point to a greater, prosperous and developed level. Those who are bent on holding her down and pulling us backwards would be told that they cannot do that again. “I am expecting nothing short of victory for Dr Chris Nwabueze Ngige.” Aregbesola, who also addressed the Yoruba community in Akwa, advised them to be of good behaviour and keep the peace. Tumsah said: “We’re here to ensure that our preparations are completed and that all systems are put in place to ensure victory. We have also been able to see first hand what levels of preparations are going on on the government side and the other parties’ sides. “From our own side, I think everything is satisfactory. We have been able to put all measures politically possible in place to ensure that our candidate emerge victorious, barring any hanky-panky by other bodies involved in this election. “We want to see an election that is free, fair and transparent. We want to see the INEC deliver all the items on time. We want to see that the security forces are up to the task of ensuring that there is peace and quiet at every polling unit. We want to ensure that all results are reported as voted. We

want to ensure one man one vote.” Tumsah further said: “The party is confident of victory because it has the best candidate who has proved his ability to govern well in the past. “The APC’s chances are bright. The results, if transparent, free and fair will show. We have quite a few reasons for having that confidence. “First, the candidate is a tested and tried person. He’s a known quantity in Anambra. He’s very popular with the masses. They have seen him in action before. So, he has the previous record to work with as opposed to the present governor who hasn’t done so well, and is trying to foist another person on the people of the state. “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has not offered any candidate who is even close to our candidate in terms of knowledge, ability and governance. So you see a multifaceted approach to our confidence. “My message to voters is go out and vote. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t be bought. Ensure that your votes count.” Engineer Babachir Lawal, an APC national officer from Adamawa State, said Ngige would win by a landslide. He said: “We expect to win by a landslide. We have a good candidate. We have run a very good campaign. And we expect the NEC to conduct a free

and fair election. We expect the law enforcement agencies to be impartial. We have the numbers. We have good programmes, and the people love Ngige. “We’re well prepared for the election. We expect everybody to do his part in a free, fair and impartial manner. I left Adamawa to come for this election. If I was not 100 per cent sure of winning, I would not have come here. So, we’ll win this election. “I urge voters to come out en-masse, cast their votes according to their conscience and resist intimidation.” Former Deputy National Organising Secretary of the party, Princess Adol Awam, said “Anambra women are fully behind Ngige.” ”God willing, from the way things are going and the way things are on ground, APC will win. Ngige is on top. Money and rigging are different ball games. Everyone, as far as Anambra State is concerned, talks about ‘Onwa’ (the moon). Onwa ga eti ozo (The moon will shine again). “The ‘moon’ (Ngige’s nickname) had shone before and the people want it to shine again. This is a man who knows what it takes to take Anambra up and forward. This time, we’re not talking about business moguls or ‘money miss road’. We’re talking about an intellectual, someone who knows what governance takes.”

Nwoye is said to enjoy the support of Chief Arthur Eze and Chief Emeka Offor, Obiano enjoys the support of incumbent governor. Ngige has the strong support of the recently registered APC, an amalgam of four major opposition parties. Ubah, apart from self-financing, has many wealthy friends as supporters. The candidates' popularity will play a major factor. There is no doubt that they are all popular and have carved a niche for themselves in various aspects of life. The popular opinion here is that Ngige parades a larger than life image, having ruled the state once and made indelible marks in the areas of infrastructure. Nwoye also has fierce followership, especially among the youths, who are calling for a generational shift. Obiano's meritorious career, administrative acumen and the support from the ruling party have shot up his popularity. Ubah, an oil and gas magnate, has been made so popular by his kerosine

sales to the people at an affordable price. Then, there is the ubiquitous factor of religion. Here, religion is a highly emotive subject that every candidate has been careful not to be on the wrong side of it. That probably explains why the recent tragedy at the Adoration Ground was handled with much tact by all the candidates. The zoning philosophy may not really be the deciding factor, as it is not very much mentioned here. The legal tussles that raged on in the PDP which literally stalled good planning and campaign will sorely hurt the party, federal might notwithstanding. While Obiano and Nwoye would be splitting the votes of Anambra North, Ngige, analysts believe, would face no resistance in Anambra Central. He is quite popular and is expected to garner substantial votes there. The South Senatorial Zone will act as the swing zone in today's election. In all, the winner in todays election will the most popular candidate among the people of Anambra State.

Youths told to keep away from violence


NEWI, Onitsha, Nibo and Adazi-Ani com munity leaders have called on the voters, especially the youths, in Anambra State to keep away from violence in today’s election in order to ensure a free and fair election. The leaders, Chief Charles Okey Nwankwo (Idejiogwugwu-Nibo), and Chief Uche Onyilofor, appealed to voters not to be violent during the election. They appealed to voters to come out in large numbers and participate in the voting. They advised the youths to shun all forms of violence, vote peacefully and protect their votes after voting. President General of the Nibo community, Mr Okey Goodluck Nwankwo, and a

Odogwu Emeka ODOGWU, Nnewi community leader, Chief Tony Omeligwe Elee, called on the youths to conduct themselves in peaceful manner during the election. Comrade Ifeanyi Okpala from Adazi-Ani and Chief Okey Okoye expressed optimism that many Anambra citizens outside the state would participate in the election. The Odinma Anambra North Youths Initiative (ODIANYI), the umbrella body of all youths in the Anambra North Senatorial zone warned the youths in the state not to allow themselves to be used to cause violence, adding that they should vote and return home peacefully.





you must not fail Joseph JIBUEZE, Awka


HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) yesterday said rigging in today’s election could only be averted, if “the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) corrects lapses in previous polls.” The association, at a press conference in Awka, said it expected “an improvement in the management and conduct of elections” by the INEC. It said only a free and fair election could prevent complaints and tension experienced in various polling units in the past. The NBA, through its Working Group on the Anambra Gubernatorial Election, called for co-operation among security agencies for effective security in and around the polling units. Adequate security, it said, would assist the voters in their resolve to exercise their democratic franchise. The association said it expected a drastic reduction in underage voting, as “this compromises the integrity of the electoral process.” It advocated peaceful conduct by the aspirants, political parties, party agents, higher levels of voter awareness amongst the electorate and equality in gender participation at the polls. Leader of the NBA group, Dafe Akpedeye (SAN), said they would engage the local NBA branches in Anambra State to observe the election in Awka, Onitsha, Aguata, Idemili, Nnewi and Ihiala. The body warned that any attempt by any party to rig today’s election would be very dangerous for Nigeria’s democracy. “Election is a process and not an event. Any attempt to perpetuate irregularities in the electoral process destroys the whole essence of democracy and erodes legitimacy that may be conferred on the elected by the governed. “Sadly, Nigeria continues to grapple with challenges caused by an underlying failure to establish and sustain a credible electoral system. “Over the years, Nigerian elections have been fraught with lack of transparency associated with the use of violence, thuggery, hijacking and illegal seizures of ballot boxes, inflation of election results at collation centres, voting by unregistered persons, refusal to conduct elections at certified polling stations and the creation of illegal polling stations at unrecognized venues. “The people of Anambra must get up and be counted. The good people of the state who are undoubtedly the overwhelming majority must rise up and say no to the minority few that gives Anambra State a bad name,” the NBA said.

•Journalists undergoing accreditation at INEC office...yesterday

APC slams police for arresting Osun observers


HE All Progressives Congress (APC) has ac cused the police of acting out the script of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for today’s governorship election in Anambra by arresting election monitors from Osun State and labelling them as thugs. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Sec-

Ngige demands removal of state' s INEC chief


HE All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Dr. Chris Ngige, has called for the transfer of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof Chukuwuemeka Onukaogu. He said his party had no confidence in him following his performance in the 2011 general elections. Ngige also told The Nation yesterday in Awka, capital of the state, that “once the election is conducted in a free and fair manner, I am sure of victory.” “We have complied with all legal and even moral requirements for the election.


Augustine AVWODE & Nwanosike ONU

We ended all campaigns yesterday as early as 6 pm of Thursday. We also want the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to play its part very well. In fact, the INEC has to be very careful with what they are doing here. We have been pleasantly surprised as a political party that they retained the REC who conducted the 2011 general elections that were highly flawed. “And our party had to go to court to upturn some of the

results of the elections conducted by him. So, since we discovered two days ago that he would conduct the election, we have been calling for his transfer. I am using this opportunity to reiterate our stand as a party that he should not be allowed to conduct the election. It is not too late”, he said. On his chances, he said: “Once there is a free and fair election, we are sure of victory. If the electoral process is not compromised or manipulated, we will win. I am very hopeful. I have done my campaigns. If the election is properly conducted, we will take it.”

Anambra calm, INEC ready

NAMBRA State was yesterday calm ahead of the governorship election today. With the conclusion of campaigns on Thursday, the noises from mounted speakers on buses and trucks had completely stopped. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was busy finalising arrangements that would ensure a hitch-free election throughout the state. Mr. Frank Egbo, the Public Affairs Officer of the state INEC, yesterday said steps

Augustine AVWODE & Nwanosike ONU

had been taken to ensure that materials arrive early at every designated place. “The commission has been up and doing to ensure that sensitive materials get to pulling stations on time. For instance, speed boats were procured to get the materials to the riverine areas such as Ogbaru, Anambra West and Anambra East. “In all, we have about 19 speed boats that will take


these things to where they will be off loaded and distributed. We are ready,” he said.


retary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the report that a “crack team” of the police in Imo State had arrested 180 “armed hoodlums, carrying fake voters cards, official identity cards of the INEC and independent observer identity cards” is nothing but tales by the moonlight. ‘’Those who were arrested by the increasingly partisan police are election monitors from Osun who are members of the Justice and Equality Organization (JEO), an INEC-accredited election monitoring NGO. With the INEC having trained key officials of the accredited election monitoring NGOs, those trained are now training their members in readiness for the election. Those trained by the INEC are in Owerri. ‘’Those whom the police have labelled as thugs are members of the JEO. They are in Owerri for training ahead of the election. They chose Owerri because of its proximity to Anambra and its affordable hotel costs. None of them is a member of the APC, despite the insinuation by the police, and none was armed because you don’t need guns to monitor elections. Any weapon exhibited by the police must have been procured by them to justify their gaffe. ‘’The only offence that the arrested election monitors have committed, in the eyes of the police, is that they are from a staunchly APC state with zero tolerance for the do-nothing, bumbling PDP,’’ it said. Meanwhile, the APC has called for extra vigilance from all Nigerians in general and the party’s members and supporters in particular in order to thwart any attempt by the police and their collaborators

to ruin today’s election. The party said the need for vigilance has been heightened by the fact that key institutions of state that should ensure a level-playing ground for all parties in the election appear to have been compromised, going by the blatant partisanship of the police and the seeming inability of the INEC to prosecute electoral offenders, including Willie Obiano of the APGA who has been proved to have registered multiple times. It implored all the APC agents for today’s polls to pay particular attention to the accreditation process. ‘’In line with the INEC Manual for Election Officials, the number of accredited voters must be counted and announced loudly for all to hear. Also, the number of voters in the Register of Voters in each polling unit must be announced loudly. “Then the number of voters in the register and the number of accredited voters must be entered in Form EC8A and/or Form EC8A (1) before voting starts. ‘’None of our agents should sign the result sheet without accurate numbers of voters in the register and the number of accredited voters being duly recorded in the necessary columns in the forms,’’ APC warned. For the umpteenth time, the party called on the INEC to ensure that today’s election is free, fair and transparent, and on the security agencies not to allow themselves to be used to hinder the right of the people to elect their own leaders because the world will be keenly monitoring the election. In a related development, the APC in Osun State has denied reports from Anambra Police Command that youths arrested in

Owerri were members of the party. According to the party’s Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Barr. Kunle Oyatomi, the young men arrested by the police were members of the JEO duly accredited by the INEC as observers in today’s governorship election in the state. The APC chieftain said what was found on the young men arrested in Owerri were not voters’ cards, but INEC identification tags as observers of the election. Even police exhibit displayed to reporters showed only the ribbons holding the observers’ tags, and not voters’ cards. The JEO, in their own explanation, had said that it was their members who were arrested on the premises of Disney Hotel, Km. 4, OwerriOnitsha Road. According to the JEO, the police stormed the hotel when they were distributing to members their election observation paraphernalia supplied by the INEC. Going by the release of the JEO on its website, explaining why they were in Owerri and what happened with the police, it is clear that the APC had nothing to do with that incident even if the people arrested were from Osun State. The party, therefore, advised the Anambra police to be “careful and to guide against making incorrect statements and falsely accusing innocent people or groups of crimes they did not commit, all in attempt either to be seen to be working or in flagrant abuse of authority to favour a particular political interest”. The APC added that police “should help the INEC to conduct a free and fair election, and not allow itself to be used unlawfully to prevent monitors of the process from doing their job”, the party said.

6 News


PDP crisis: Tukur in fresh trouble for defying Jonathan


HE embattled National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, may have incurred the wrath of President Goodluck Jonathan over his latest handling of the moves to resolve the crisis in the party. President Jonathan is said to be angry with Tukur for flouting his order to reinstate the suspended national secretary of the PDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. The Court of Appeal had granted Oyinlola’s appeal to

•Oyinlola takes case to Jonathan

Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

quash the verdict of a high court which nullified the process that led to his emergence as PDP scribe. The President reportedly asked Tukur not to proceed to the Supreme Court on appeal and return Oyinlola to office, but the National Chairman remained ada-

carry vandals because on one of those days when I used to help them, it landed me into trouble with security men. “Although there is money to make in the illegal business, the risk is much. This was why I stopped until Alfa deceived me into carrying fuel for him. I am very sorry.” Another suspect, Ofoeyeno, claimed that his duty was just to transport the stolen products from the bush to the buyers. He said: “Initially, I was buying directly from the NNPC staff close to the depot. Normally, NNPC staff would overload their trucks and sell the excess to us before preceding to offload the rest for the buyer. The place was however shut down when there was a fire out-

break. “I had no choice but to patronise these vandals. I am sorry and I wish NNPC will be allowing their truck drivers to carry excess.” Confirming the arrest, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of the Task Force, Friday Ibadin, said: “Detectives led by Lagos Sector Commander, Onaghise Osayande, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), laid an ambush and nabbed the suspected vandals. “It is worthy to remind Nigerians that ignorance is not an excuse. Both the seller and buyer of stolen products are liable. “The suspects will be arraigned in court at the end of investigation.”

since Oyinlola had pitched tent with the New PDP, he has technically left the party and could not be reinstated. They maintained that Oyinlola had no locus standi to sustain his case at the Supreme Court. The hawks adopted the position of the political godfather of the President, Chief Edwin Clark, that Oyinlola has defected from PDP. One of the legal counsel of the party was alleged to have battled desperately to convince the President that the PDP has a good case, but the President ignored all the persuasions and insisted on Oyinlola’s reinstatement to “heal the wounds in the party and put the crisis behind it.” A top source quoted the President as saying: “I will not be a party to any attempt to ridicule the court. We need to honour the judgment of the Court of Appeal. Mr. Chairman, go and reinstate Oyinlola with immediate effect. “I have respect for the judiciary and our democracy can only be sustainable if we respect the court. We have to demonstrate that we are genuine democrats.” The President asked all stakeholders seeking to file application at the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Court of Appeal to withdraw it immediately. Another source said the President made it clear at a point that he would “uphold the primacy of the rule of law than the idiosyncrasy of any person.” Tukur and the NWC, however, ignored the President and proceeded to suspend Oyinlola; the National Chairman of the New PDP, Kawu Baraje; his deputy, Sam Sam Jaja and a former senator from Jigawa State, Ibrahim Kazaure. It was gathered that Tukur did not consult the Presidency before imposing such a sanction. According to investigation, Tukur claimed to have asserted the supremacy of the party. But the Presidennt was said not to be amused by the development, with a PDP stalwart familiar with the development saying: “I think Tukur’s days are numbered, going by the unilateral decision he took to suspend some party leaders. Tukur and the NWC assumed that suspension was the right

Augustine EHIKIOYA, Abuja the integrity of President Jonathan and cast aspersions on the seriousness of the administration to fight corruption in the country.” He said it was mischievous of the governor to say the President “refused to act on information that a serving minister recently collected a bribe of $250 million from an oil company.” Abati added:”The Presidency views the patently bogus allegation reportedly made by the Gover-

nor in a radio interview yesterday (Thursday) as an unacceptable and callous attempt to unjustly impugn the integrity of President Jonathan and cast aspersions on the seriousness of his Administration’s efforts to curb corruption. “The allegation and the claim by Alhaji Lamido that he informed President Jonathan of the acceptance of the huge bribe by an unnamed minister is absolutely without any foundation in fact or reality because no such communication has ever taken

place between them. “We abhor Governor Lamido’s descent to the unscrupulous, reckless and thoughtless peddling of arrant falsehood in a puerile effort to score cheap political points against President Jonathan for personal and sectional political gains. The Presidency challenged Lamido to name the concerned minister and also provide concrete evidence of the bribe. “In the event that he is unable to do so, he should be prepared to offer an unreserved apology to the

mant while Oyinlola took his case to the President to intervene. The National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, said yesterday that the party was yet to be served a copy of the judgment of the Court of Appeal. It was gathered that the President on Sunday met with Tukur, some selected opinion leaders and legal advisers of the party at the

Presidential Villa. The long session provided opportunity for most stakeholders to air their views on how to address the judgment of the Court of Appeal. It was gathered that the hawks at the meeting vehemently argued that it was better to allow the Supreme Court to make a final pronouncement on the case. The hawks alleged that

•From left: Airtel’s Zonal Business Manager, Lagos Metro, Ayo Ogunranti; winner of one million naira in the ongoing Airtel Red Hot Promo, Samuel Odey and Manager, Lagos Showrooms, Grace Henshaw, during the presentation of cheque to the winner at Airtel Shop, Sanusi Fafunwa Street, Victoria Island, Lagos on Thursday.

Man, 65, arrested for allegedly stealing petroleum products


PERATIVES of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Special Task Force on Anti-Pipeline Vandalism have arrested a 65-year-old man for stealing petroleum products belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at Idimagboro in Sagamu. The suspect, Salami Amodu, who claimed that he thought the stolen products were holy water, was arrested with Bruce Ekonen, Joseph Ofoeyeno, Francis Ode, Kola Ifatoye and Adeniyi Badebo. The operatives also recovered about 100 gallons of Premium motor spirit (PMS) allegedly pilfered. Speaking with The Nation at the police station, Amodu said: “I was on my way home when a man popularly known as Alfa stopped me. He promised to pay me N5,000 per trip if I could help him to carry 10 gallons of liquid. I thought it was water so I did not bother to ask since it was good business. It is possible that the water could be anointed since he was ready to pay as much as N5,000. “It was while we were on our way that I started to perceive the smell of fuel. I asked him and he told me that it was fuel. I was so annoyed and I shouted at him for not telling me in the first place what was in the gallons. “Initially, I wanted to stop the car and ask him to offload

Jude ISIGUZO the fuel, but when I realised that we were almost close to his destination, I decided to continue. “I am aware that vandals normally pass through that route. That was why I was very angry with him. “In that area, people go for prayers. Clerics come to that area to buy holy water to perform miracle. “Most of the time when I am done with the day’s job, especially if I did not make much money, I would go down to the bush area to see if there is anyone who needs a lift. “I also ensure that I do not

thing the Presidency wanted. “Everybody at the meeting where we decided on the reinstatement of Oyinlola felt embarrassed by the recourse to suspension by the party. “Our leaders are discussing the options available, including the removal of Tukur to allow peace to reign. “The Presidency is concerned that instead of the party creating and getting more followers and friends, the hierarchy is busy creating more enemies for the party and the Jonathan administration. “Though the Presidency does not want to interfere in the actitivies of the party, some forces feel it is wrong to ascribe every controversial action to the Presidency.” When contacted, Metuh said: “I am not aware of such a meeting, we are not changing the decision of any session. “Some people have been asking me this. I don’t know where they got it from.” On the refusal to stay action on appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, he said: “The national leadership of the party has not taken any position because up till now, we have not been served. “Our National Legal Adviser told me that he was yet to receive a copy of the judgment.” Asked if the PDP lawyer has not briefed the party, he said: “I don’t know who is representing PDP in the matter. “And do not forget that the South-West chapter of the party actually went to court.” Prince Oyinlola yesterday took his demand for justice to President Jonathan, the National Leader of the party. He also insisted that the leadership of the PDP had been served the judgment of the Court of Appeal which reinstated him into office. He asked PDP NWC to stand for truth instead of compromising on illegalities. Oyinlola, who made his position known in a statement through the Principal Secretary to the National Secretary, Mr. Femi Adelegan, faulted the Thursday defence of the NWC for suspending him and others. He dismissed the reaction •Continued on Page 58

President and Nigerians for his unwarranted and unjust effort to denigrate, disparage and malign the President and the Federal Government. “While the Jonathan Presidency will continue to make corrupt public officials answerable for their actions, it will not succumb to harassment and blackmail by selfseeking politicians jostling for personal advantage.” Lamido is one of the G-7 governors who are the driving forces of rulig party’s splinter group-nPDP.

Presidency, Lamido at war over $250m bribery allegation


HE Presidency yesterday disputed a claim by Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State that he informed President Goodluck Jonathan about a $250 million bribe allegedly collected by a serving minister. It rubbished the governor’s statement as irresponsible, false and mischievous. President Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said in a statement that Lamido’s statement was designed to “impugn




Technology, the Military and Disasters

HE typhoon that hit the Philippines so cruelly this week has shown in stark terms that the war between man and nature is far from over. It has also shown that even though technology can identify disasters like typhoons as well as their deadly speed- which was 310 km per hour in the Philipines typhoon - no technology can as yet predict the level and volume of human and physical disasters to follow. That was what made the Philippino disaster so gruesome and awesome to beholdand its fury brought to a global audience suck in by the unique majesty and brilliance of information technology and the unique ubiquity of the internet. Global empathy was instant and profuse and whilst one wept at the sight of nature making nonsense of humanity with impunity, right before our eyes, the US military shown like a million stars in the gallant way its cargo planes brought desperately needed relief materials and succor to the far flung areas of the Phillippines devastated by this highly destructive typhoon. From the bottom of my heart I say ‘ God bless America’ for that and I really mean that, no matter what I may have written about the US of recent especially with regard to its policy on Syria. Let us put emotions aside now and look today at the good, the bad and the ugly side of the Phillipines disaster and the reaction of its government , and the international community. We shall also appreciaite the satellite TV stations whose reporters brought the carnage wrought by nature to us all in our living rooms and places of work. The role of the military in Egypt where the imprisoned former President Mohammed Morsi has issued a letter through his lawyer telling Egyptians that Egypt will never regain stability unless the rule of the military that removed him from office is terminated by the Egyptian people. Which is like a call to arms. This call will be examined along side the news that the Russians are talking with the Egyptian military on many issues including the sale of arms. Which means that in diplomacy as in life itself, nature abhors a vacuum given the fact that the US recently stopped arms sale of F16 fighter jets to Egypt in protest at the military coup in Egypt. We finally examine the implications for Nigeria of the US designationg Boko Haram and Ansaru militant groups as foreign terrorist organisations and thereby blocking all US financial transactions with them. Again, I doff my hat to the US military’s humanitarian intervention in the Phillipines to save lives, although given the US military’s pedigree in logistics and movement of men and material, one should not be that surprised. I once read a case study from Havard University detailing how the US navy moved men and materiel to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War involving coalition of 15 nations mustered for the war by the UN and US President George Bush Snr and it was the greatest movement of personnel and equipment in history at that time. This time speed and size were also in dire need and the US military responded in kind. A war ship was moved towards the Phillipines to enable navy helicopters deliver relief materials faster and in greater quantities . The US military has shown its human face in saving lives and human dignity by its reaction to the typhoon in the Phillipines and it is a face of

mercy and kindness which is scarcely associated with the same military that the Pakistanis and Afgans will forever associate with drone strikes and missile attacks. More importantly the US has shown the Philippino people that it is a friend in need while China which promised half a million dollars but increased that to $1.6m has shown that the typhoon disaster has not built bridges over territorial disputes it has with the Phillipines .And that really shows the Chinese in poor light in terms of humanity and that is really a pity. In addition some Philippines news media have criticised their President Aquino and government for not reacting fast enough and I think that was unfair given the fury and speed of the Typhoon which was said to be the fastest and largest on land unlike Katrina that landed on water. This is because there is no way any human capacity can spontaineously meet such a massive challenge of nature and the Philippines leadership is no exception . In addition when CNN’s seasoned reporter Amanpour was interviewing a Phillipino Minister immediately the disaster struck she was asking questions about corruption in the Phillipines which I thought was uncalled for at that stage and I am happy that that trend of coverage was abruptly ended by the well respected network . It was replaced by the stories of professional CNN reporters who betrayed no emotions as they narrated and showed moving episodes and faces of those grieving for their loved ones . I salute the devotion to duty of these reporters but I do not think some bit of emotion to show at least that they are not drained of it or, are, at least not enjoying the tragic spectacle, would have been out of place . In Egypt however the face of the military which has seized power and is preparing its Commander in Chief to contest in the next presidential elections is anything but inviting or humanitarian given the challenge posed by Egypt’s deposed but democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi.

The US military has shown its human face in saving lives and human dignity by its reaction to the typhoon in the Phillipines and it is a face of mercy and kindness which is scarcely associated with the same military that the Pakistanis and Afgans will forever associate with drone strikes and missile attacks

There was no natural disater in Egypt this week but the politics, events and demonstrations of the last few months have claimed almost as many lives as the typhoon in the Phillipines. Now the military have lifted emergency rule but the elected president is on trial and has called for a jihad to remove the military which deposed him from power and is trying him in court. The problem in Egypt is a ding dong battle between democracy and the miltary and the miltary are winning . The Americans were supposed to check mate them but they looked elsewhere instead and even refused to recognise a coup in plain sight. Instead they scuttled an arms deal involving high tech F 16 war planes . But the Egyptian military dont need war planes to disperse demonstrators. They need batons and tear gas, tanks and masks and they have them in abundance in Cairo. In addition I am sure that the Russians will provide any way the equivalent of F16 jets to the Egyptian military. The deal will surely be consummated before the US comes back from the diversion created by China and Russia over Iran’s nuclear sanctions talks and change of attitudeby its new leader at the last UN General Assembly. However by the time the Iran sanctions talks collapse ,as it will soon do, it will be clear that the Americans have been sold another dummy as in Syria . By that time however the Russians would have put their feet in the door firmly at least to sell high tech jets to the Egypptian military and dig in as they have done with Assad in Syria. Lastly the immediate effect of the categorisation of Boko Haram and Ansaru as foreign terror groups to the US is to freeze the accounts of these groups and those associated with them. It also means that it is not only the Nigerian army that is fighting them. More importantly it may mean that the US may send drones to Nigeria. That then takes the war on terrorism to a new dimension in Nigerian terms. Which to me shows that the Boko Haram threat has been handled with kid gloves by Nigeria and the US has taken the fight out of our hands. What then are we having the big , well trained military at our disposal for ? Even though some time ago the Nigerian president asked the US not to do what it has just done, I have no doubt in my mind that it pays some vested interests in our security apparatus to internationalise the Boko Haram menace and they have surely succeeded. How the army or the military will react to this Americanisation of the Boko Haram threat will define the success or failure of the Nigerian state in the months to come.




For the murdered literary icon...

destroying, killing and trampling on the rights of the ordinary road N a country where what was once a voracious reading culture users that they just couldn’t understand why some persons are steadily reclines to the back seat of academic docility and where now pointing at their deficiency in human sensibility over the death its youth now employ short codes to replace simple words of of Prof. Iyayi. How can they get it when all they care about is how communication, it is not shocking that many young Nigerians of to service their large-sized but vacuous egos?Shame. today knew little or nothing about his place in Nigeria’s literary In case they don’t know, the man they murdered had fought and academic spheres. To most of them, Festus Iyayi could be many battles on their behalf. He had made painful and personal just another name. Maybe he was one of those troublesome sacrifices. He had faced military brutality with the might of his professors sounding trenchant alarm bells in our raped and abused pen. He had put his life on the line in the search of a better society. institutions of learning where students now generally go through The agonies, the pains and anguish were not made so that one of tough times while the ‘smart’ ones get by with bodily and material the drivers of a power-drunk state executive could extinguish his bribes, euphemistically referred to as ‘sorting’. Those who have bubbly life. No. They were made for the entrenchment of a just, not encountered his works, the depth of his writings, the engaging E-mail:yomi.odunuga equitable and egalitarian society. It was in pursuance of that dream characters he brings to life and his belief that life could offer us a that he left Benin for Kano, to participate in a discourse that would better bargain if we conform to certain basic principles may not SMS only: 07028006913 shape the future of the nation’s education sector. Ironically, he was know what the nation has lost in the tragic death of Prof. Festus killed in a state where primary school education had been in the Iyayi on the Lokoja/Abuja road. It is an irony that he had to be limbo for long while teachers had not been paid their meagrely He was worried about the rising emergence of opportunists within violently cut off from Mother Earth in a quest for peace in the salaries for four straight months due to government ineptitude. the ranks and file of labour unions in the country; he feared for academia. It is troubling, even if not strange, that he was the the next generations of ASUU activists; he felt sorry for the What cruel fate? latest victim of what he had battled throughout his life—the Yet we gain nothing dwelling on the negatives. Though a tragic decadence in students unionism in the country; and decried the arrogance of power and executive recklessness. The story of his loss, the literary community should celebrate a man that stood tall insincerity in the war against corruption by the present life and its inspiring activism ended tragically on one of our in fighting for a cause he lived and died for. In unveiling his administration in Nigeria. How do I bring myself to writing about numerous famished roads that daily suck the blood of Nigerians. personae, Richard Akinnola writes of the deprivations he suffered Professor Iyayi in the past tense! Life is wicked.” Yet, the Kogi State government would have done Nigeria’s Indeed, nothing could be more wicked than man’s inhumanity under the Babangida regime; the persecutions he faced under Prof. mourning academia a world of good by maintaining an Grace Alele-Williams, the then VC of UNIBEN because of his to man. It was in the course of fighting this injustice through undignified silence instead of its senseless and insensitive efforts principled struggle for an egalitarian society, particularly for ensuring a better future for our children that Iyayi had to pay the at twisting the story of the crash. But for the forthrightness of the students in the university and the harrowing experiences he went ultimate price. Here was a man who, in a prison memo, wrote Federal Road Safety Commission’s Sector Commander in the through in the hands of his tormentors as contained in the prison about how he was dehumanised when he was detained by the state, Mr.OlakunleMotajo, who was unequivocal in tracing the notes published by Akinnola in the rested National Concord of military for fighting for the cause of ASUU some 20 or more years cause of the fatal crash to “wrongful overtaking” by the driver of back. It is a shame that about 26 years after leading ASUU against February 1996. the Toyota Hilux in Governor Idris Wada’s convoy, the In a moving tribute to the humanist, OlawaleDibia-Ajayi speaks the hydra-headed demons plaguing our governance, especially in government would have effectively succeeded in shifting the blame of the dilemma of having to write about Iyayi in the past. He the education sector, he would still be at the forefront of the battle on the ‘recklessness’ of the driver conveying the late Iyayi and his captures their last meeting thus: “The Iyayi I “knew” was never for improved education in 2013. See how fast we are developing injured colleagues to Kano for the National Executive Council drunk on anything. He had knowledge; he had opportunities; he backwards? meeting of the Academic a Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Listen to the sordid part of his tale in detention: “I was slapped had the connections where they mattered; but none of these worldly It is, to say the least; reckless and inhumane of the media mindersof things intoxicated him. He pointed at errors with love and corrected repeatedly. I tried to protect my face and then I was slapped even Col. Wada to viciously issue a statement within a few hours after with the meekness of a good mentor that is so rare among his peers. more for doing so. In a few minutes, my eyes were swollen. the crash, criminally twisting the episodic rendering of what was In my last encounter with him, he told me of his worries and fears: “Remove your pants”, one of my attackers with the neck of a bull clearly a state murder of one of the nation’s best. In saner climes, all the persons involved in the drafting of that soulless statement ordered. I hesitated, for which i received two slaps would have been grilled by the relevant at once. My eyes sting me, my ears sting me. I see authorities. For example, what message were they stars flying around me. My eyes were smarting trying to pass across in blubbering that Wada’s under the pain now and the water came out and convoy was on a “speed of 80 kilometres” at the ran down my cheeks. I was not crying but yet, I time of the crash? How did the writers of the couldn’t hold back the water.” pachydermatous statement arrive at the Yes, Iyayi went through this and more. He conclusion that it was the bus that “collided” with came out of it all, convinced that Nigeria would the escort van? And if we were to believe that get there some day. He lived that dream. He died that was the case, why should Wada bother for that dream. The least he would have expected himself with ordering an investigation in a case was for those who murdered him to treat his death where his men were convinced of the culpability with some respect and dignity. No one could have of the other party? Were they questioning the thought that some deranged souls would professional competence of Motajo and his team cheapen his death with naked lies and half truths who were on the ground or were they playing about how a convoy on 80 kilometres per hour the silly game of covering the butt of their could cause such fatality in which the aggressor paymaster whose official convoy has a record of now claims innocence and audaciously hangs the reckless road behaviour and fatal crashes? Well, guilt on the victim! It is a shame that a governor we now know the butt of this tragic joke! who places so much value on his own life to the Perhaps, like many others who may be reading point of wearing bullet-proof vest on a babanriga, of Iyayi’s accomplishments after his demise, merely to condole victims in a hospital, would be maybe the brigands in power need to be told that the one wasting lives with reckless abandon and there are certain things that cannot be waved off. executive impunity! It is sad. Very sad. And so, Left for them, Iyayi’s death couldn’t have been in for Iyayi, we are not crying even if the water won’t any way different from the unreported case of just stop dropping from our cheeks. Or is it that the poor pregnant woman who was crushed to Kogi State Governor Idris Wada is shown above visiting survivors of the Monday we are unconsciously crying for a man who said death by the governor’s convoy at Ganaja Junction attack on a Deeper Life church in Okene where unknown gunmen opened fire in one of his books titled “Violence” that “those in Lokoja some months back or that of his ADC during a Bible study. The attack left 17 dead and several others wounded and the who carry the cross for the society always get in which Wada escaped by a whiskers. Maybe Governor went to offer his condolences dressed in a bulletproof vest on top of crucified in the end?” his convoy is becoming used to maiming, his outfit.

Knucklehead With

Yomi Odunuga

NEWS SSACTAC blames National Assembly for delay in postal reforms


HE Senior Staff Association of Communications Transport and Corporations (SSACTAC) on Friday said the National Assembly should be blamed for the delay in the nation’s postal reforms. The President-General of SSACTAC, Mr Adetunji Adesunkanmi said this in Makurdi during the 4th Triennial Delegates’ Conference of the NIPOST branch of the association. The theme of the conference is: “The Role of the Post in the Millennium: ICT Revolution’’. Adesunkanmi said that the Postal Reform Bill had long been drafted and developed since 2008 and the National Assembly did nothing about it. He lamented that the bill had been unnecessarily delayed in the National Assembly in spite of concerted efforts by the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) and other critical stakeholders. Adesunkanmi said that the delay in the passage of the bill had adversely affected the postal service in Nigeria. The unionist regretted that the market for bulk mail was not being fully tapped by NIPOST for lack of necessary infrastructure which had given opportunity to the international courier services to dominate the market. Adesunkanmi pointed out that the problem of NIPOST was weak administration that had given

rise to infrastructure decay, “red-tapism’’, corruption and delay in releasing money for operation. The President-General said that members of the association were adequately skilled to drive the postal policy of the Federal Government, adding that they were not afraid of competition. He said that the association had supported every move by the government to have a competitive postal sector environment by contributing to the debate on the postal sector reform among others. Adesunkanmi, however, requested that the jobs of their members be protected in the course of the reform. The SSACTAC President, NIPOST branch, Comrade Daniel Apeh, said that the association identified with moves by government for an independent regulator. Apeh, however, strongly opposed any reform that would affect employment, growth, efficiency and productivity. “For us NIPOST is understaffed. Therefore, retrenchment should not be contemplated at all,’’ he said. While declaring the conference open, Gov. Gabriel Suswam of Benue said that the social media which was accompanied by information technology had affected the effective

performance of NIPOST. Suswam, therefore, suggested that NIPOST must migrate to full digital operations, adding that reform strategy would work and should be

adopted. He said that there was no alternative to reform but promised that the government would ensure that all NIPOST workers be configured into the new trends.

100 anti-Saudi Arabia crackdown protesters arrested in Ethiopia


ORE than 100 members of Ethiopia’s opposition Semayawi (Blue) party were on Friday arrested for staging a protest at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Addis Ababa. Some were allegedly beaten by the Federal police during the protest. Reports say the party members had matched to the embassy in their hundreds protesting the killing of three Ethiopians by the Saudi security agencies. The Saudi authorities had said that there were more than 40,000 Ethiopian nationals in the country residing illegally in the country. This led to the Nov. 4 crackdown on them. However, the Blue Party Chairman, Yilekal Getachew, who confirmed the incident to newsmen that he was also arrested but later released by the police.

Getachew said that the party was protesting the killing of the Ethiopians who had been molested by security agencies without adequate reason for doing so. But the Ethiopian police authorities said the party was not given formal permission to stage any rally or protest. Policemen had gathered with light riffles and batons as they refused the protesters access into the embassy premises situated on Bole Road, Addis Ababa. The police, however, promised to provide details of the situation to newsmen later. It will be recalled that the Saudi security agencies had on Nov. 4 launched a crackdown on foreign nationals, who did not have official permit to stay in Saudi Arabia. This followed the expiration of the deadline given to them to regularise their residential permit.




T is an incontrovertible fact that massive corruption per vades all levels of government in Nigeria and has be come a threat to the nation’s economy and a danger to our democracy. As the scathing “US Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012” on Nigeria estimates, the country lost about $6.8 billion (N1.067 trillion) to what it calls “endemic corruption and entrenched inefficiency.” Corruption has become an endemic disease, malaise and hydra-headed monster that is gorging every facet of the Nigerian society, and is indeed a crime against development. According to the 2012 Transparency International CPI index, Nigeria is ranked 139th out of 176 countries globally. Noteworthy however, there has always been a salient yet silent form of corruption, insidiously contributing to the under-development of Nigeria, known as Quiet Corruption. The World Bank defines quiet corruption “as the failure of public servants to deliver goods and services paid for by governments.” This form of corruption does not make sensational headlines in the way bribery scandals do or other infamous corrupt practices, but it is just as corrosive and detrimental to the development of the country. It focuses on the inability and inefficiency of public officials in delivering goods and services to the majority of the populace, which have been made available and paid for by government, due to petty bribes, nepotism, greed, theft, cronyism, etc. For instance: when people pay bribes to access public services that should ordinarily have been freely available; when a child is denied proper education, due to the reason that the teacher supposed to be teaching full time as stipulated by the government budget, is instead non-existent because salaries to pay the teacher have been fraudulently diverted to corrupt officials, and so on, are constituted as quiet corruption, inhibiting Nigeria’s long-term development; inevitably leading to distrust, lack of confidence and negative expectation of service delivery system of government services and public facilities. Another major form of quiet corruption prevalent in Nigeria is what is known as ‘tenderpreneurs.’ These are individuals who enrich themselves through government tender contracts, primarily based on personal connections, cronyism, family ties and corrupt relationships. They largely consist of friends with personal connections and ties to those in power, nuclear and extended family members, non-re-elected politicians, etc. In most cases of tenderpreneur, outright bribery takes place involving an elected or politically appointed official holding simultaneous business bidding for a particular contract. The end result of this is often accompanied by overcharging and tawdry workmanship. Evident of this are the lacking in quality, half-finished and abandoned projects which as at October last year, amounted to a stack of some 12,000 abandoned public projects scattered across the country,

Ogochukwu Ikeje 08084235961 (SMS only)


F all the horrible consequences of the Chime and wife saga, its impact on marriage and traditions is the most devastating. For over one week, the world has been treated to unsavoury accounts of Mrs Clara Chime’s marital battles with her husband, Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime. At a time we were left to imagine what happened inside and also outside the Enugu Government House apartment to which the governor’s wife was restricted for medical reasons, according to the governor, or where she was detained, according to her. We have heard from the governor that his wife has mental challenges requiring medical seclusion, but the lady in question has countered that she is only suffering from depression, and not madness as the world was led to believe. The battle has attracted all sorts of attention, from the local to the international stage. The home media has been feasting on it. A notable lawyer has been briefed. Local artistes and civil society groups have picked it up, seeking justice for Mrs Chime. International organs may also have been informed of the ordeal of a certain state governor’s wife at the hands of her husband. Security personnel are deeply involved, if only to do the bidding of their master. The folks, especially the traditional ruler, of Ozulobu community, Amuda, Umunneoche Local Council of Abia State, Mrs Chime’s hometown, have also heard it. We have equally heard that the governor and his security team have, at least once, tried to ship Clara back to her mother in an Enugu estate but failing to see the woman to whom to hand her over, they thought it was better to return her to the restricted

Quiet corruption: Insidiously under-developing Nigeria

Another major form of quiet corruption prevalent in Nigeria is what is known as ‘tenderpreneurs.’ These are individuals who enrich themselves through government tender contracts, primarily based on personal connections, cronyism, family ties and corrupt relationships

worth an estimated $50 billion, and have sat idle for various, often indiscernible reasons. Another group of tenderprenuers are heads and top officials of government agencies/public institutions, who scheme and award government contract to themselves, without due procurement processes such as open advertising and bidding; by setting up companies fronted by close relatives and associates. Inevitably unaddressed, quiet corruption fosters poverty and exploitation, due to the total reliance of majority of the populace on the skeletal and non-existent government services and public systems as a result of monies and revenue embezzled and siphoned off by government

officials. Unaddressed, it erodes institutional capacity of government, when procedures are disregarded, resources are siphoned off, and public offices are bought and sold. Unaddressed, it increases the cost of doing business especially in the private sector through the price of illicit payments, the management cost of negotiating with officials, and the risk of breached agreements of detection. Unaddressed, it lowers compliance and enforcement, contributes to the violation of laws or regulations, as it is mostly ignored by people and cannot be enforced efficiently since enforcement officials can easily be cajoled, coaxed or bribed. Indeed quiet corruption has pervasively permeated government Ministries, Department and Agencies, and other public institutions, significantly reducing the quality of government services and infrastructure. Though laws in Nigeria provide criminal penalties for official corruption, government has done little or nothing to effectively implement these laws, as it is a well-known fact that public officials in Nigeria frequently engage in corrupt practices with impunity. It has also become especially harmful to the nation’s poor, which according to the Bureau of Statistics constitute about 112 million Nigerians living below the poverty line. Similarly, the World Bank also states that more than 67% of the entire population lives in poverty, particularly in rural areas. This huge numbers/ percentage of people is primarily dependent and relies on government services and public systems to satisfy and provide for their basic needs and amenities. Hence, tackling this scourge would require: a strong and committed leadership with genuine political will, policies and institutions; the increased accountability and participation by citizens; the protection of whistle-blowers from harassment, intimidation or persecution by the authorities, so as to encourage prospective whistle-blowers in exposing future corrupt practices of public officers; a free and vibrant press that is informative, authoritative and responsible, especially via reports on government budgets and pending projects, enabling citizens to have adequate information and can further question leaders on the status of on-going and finished project, and the use of funds for the project; and lastly a truly independent judiciary, devoid of favouritism, bias and partial judgments, persecuting culpable public officials accordingly, under the law.

The Chimes’ marital tragedies apartment in Government House until the time was right. Then, we heard that the right time came a few days ago when Mrs Chime was successfully handed back to her mother, but there soon came another report that Clara has moved to Port Harcourt amid comments that she has finally been freed. That was quite an ordeal, not just for the woman but also for her husband. Nothing in the saga lifted her profile, nor could anything in it lend Mr Chime to any hearts. It did grave harm to Mrs Chime, who four years ago ascended the celebrity ladder when she married the love of her life and moved into Government House. When her image graced the pages of the newspaper, it was that of a beautiful woman, graceful in that cocky gele headgear with which our female celebrities make a statement or two. When she was shipped out a few days ago, she may have shaken off the shackles of the Government House, but indeed she was leaving a shrunken woman, toppled from the heights of power to the ordinariness of daily living. As for her husband, few things can lower a man before humanity. It may still be common for a man to see off his wife and take another woman to replace her but something dies in such a man, even if sycophants may whisper in his ear saying all is well. Such good-for-nothing companions may tell their misguided

friend that there is nothing to be ashamed of and that indeed people can marry today and divorce tomorrow. Celebrities of all stripes have turned marriage and divorce into a queer art. Some sound a bit boastful when they say they have married seven times and divorced as many times. Today I say I do, tomorrow I say I don’t. At Chime’s privileged heights, women can be a dime a dozen, but when a man begins to inflate his lungs with such airs, doom is around the corner. As damaging as the ordeal is to Mr and Mrs Chime, the marriage institution and our traditions are the worst hit. What is happening in Enugu is the most devastating assault on marriage. It more than mocks matrimony. It ridicules love and questions marital union because as Clara departs, it is not apparent that anything has irredeemably broken the codes of their matrimony. I do not suggest that there are no difficulties in marriage. There are, and some may take the grace of God to resolve. But in the Chimes’ case, all that we heard is Clara’s mental challenge for which her parents should find a cure, as the governor reportedly said. Mrs Chime herself has said her problem is depression. Now, whether the problem is mental or merely prolonged sadness, lingering low self-esteem or loss of interest in what once made Clara happy, restraining her or sending her away is not

As damaging as the ordeal is to Mr and Mrs Chime, the marriage institution and our traditions are the worst hit. What is happening in Enugu is the most devastating assault on marriage. It more than mocks matrimony

the answer. What caused her problems in the first place? The unwritten code of matrimony demands that the couple sort out what has crept in to rob them of their joy. If it required the best doctors, psychologists, therapists or counsellors in the world, it was within the Chimes’ means to find an answer to whatever troubled Clara. When the love-struck Sullivan held his bride’s hand as they faced the priest, they heard something similar. They were told that neither sickness of the mind nor of body should warrant a separation. They were also told that poverty should not drive them apart. Nor should wealth of which they have plenty. The officiating elders at their traditional marriage would also expect that much from the couple. More so because they were not just another couple; they were the first family of the state. Everyone looked up to them to lead the way. To a large extent, they were the moral compass of Enugu by virtue of their position. Traditions expect that couples quietly work hard at their challenges, and should not launder their messy linen in public. Part of the burdens of public office is that the officers should labour to be above board. They fail sometimes, and that can be understood, but such brazen assault of matrimony as illustrated by the Chime’s marital tragedy is way outside the permissible. Divorce grounds are rare in Christianity; even then there were none in the Chimes’ case. The traditional setting may be more permissible but what steps did Chime take to meet the requirements, if indeed he and Clara have gone their separate ways? Their four-year-old marriage, stormy as it apparently was, produced a son, who, according to reports, is staying with the father, rather than the mother, as the former wished. As the boy grows up, he sure will ask questions. The father had better prepare to answer them.



Is Yemisi more northern than Gabriel Suswam? HE furore generated by the much-publicised election of the chairman of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum is no longer news. At a point, the tussle that followed the exercise became so intense that a lot of people were afraid that it was going to consume the uneasy calm we’ve had since the return of democracy but thank the Almighty for His mercies, it has abated significantly. However, we are yet to hear the last of a saga which has redefined how politics is played in this nation. This is because the outcome of that election prompted actions from individuals, political parties and interest groups, which will forever be reference points in the political history of this nation. Indeed, some of these actions were heroic and in the interest of the nation, while many others were simply villainous and self- serving as they were meant to massage the ego of those involved and that of their co-travellers. It is true that we are in a democracy and its principles provide for lots of freedom, particularly that of association and, therefore, the show of shame that followed that election would have been averted if we all recognised the constitutional fact that those that voted for Amechi were right to do so, ditto those that were in the camp of Elder Jonah Jang. Nevertheless, I am surprised as many from saner worlds are too, that our leaders wasted so much resources and energy on the outcome of an election for a position that is unknown to our constitution. This indicates that we are still not far away from military inclinations. As noted earlier, as a direct fallout of that election, many of our leaders took decisions that have far-reaching implications and some are ultimately going to be sorry they did. An instance of this is the decision of Governors Isah Yuguda of Bauchi and Gabriel Suswam of Benue states to break away from the Northern Governors’ Forum. Granted that these two gentlemen have the right to or not to associate with the said association, however, their rationale for quitting is deemed by many as intemperate and irrational, and I believe Yuguda realised this sooner than later and he did an about turn by rescinding his decision. Yuguda has returned to the fold of his kin but not Suswan and it is obvious to all observers that his decision to continue to ostracise himself from the association is not farfetched from his closeness to the President who apparently is in Jang’s camp. And, look hard again, you will see that the


As a direct fallout of that election, many of our leaders took decisions that have far-reaching implications and some are ultimately going to be sorry they did. An instance of this is the decision of Governors Isah Yuguda of Bauchi and Gabriel Suswam of Benue states to break away from the Northern Governors’ Forum

• Suswam

Terfa TAGA

affinity between him and the President is not unrelated to his certificate and election troubles. So it goes. Suswam’s case is like that of the proverbial child that bit the fingers that fed him. During his certificate travails, which still remain inconclusive because of the clog in the wheels of our justice system, it is understood that he more than once found refuge in the palaces of some traditional fathers in the North. That he was given a soft landing then many believe is due to the intervention of these fathers and it is public knowledge that in this country, the decisions and actions of traditional fathers are guided by their paymasters — the governors, therefore, he must have been aided and abetted directly or indirectly during his troubles by some of

the governors from whom he runs today. Then comes the poser: For how long can he actually run? His wife, who holds no elective office and who has no constitutional role, is not only a member of the Northern Governors Wives’ Forum but is also the chairperson of the association? Where is the morality in allowing your wife to stay in an association, which is a branch of that which you detest so much? It is ridiculous. However, that is even less important than the fact that he has started hobnobbing with some of the royal fathers from the North again, and this once more is not far-fetched from his troubles which have become eternal sort of. The Supreme Court is bound to revisit the case that involves him soon; consequently, he has rediscovered where his bread is usually buttered but will the governors who he abhors so much allow the traditional fathers who they control to intervene and push for a soft landing this time? Only time will tell. •Terfa Taga, a public affairs analyst, wrote in from Makurdi

National Conference: A vote for parliamentary democracy HE clamour for a national conference, indeed a sovereign national conference, started as far back as 1993, when there were glaring signs and symbols of marginalisation, injustice and inequality in the body polity of the entire country. A multi-ethical country with entirely different orientation and value system is Nigeria's problems till this day and it revolves round its inability to forge a true federation. Importantly, there was, in 1994/95, a Constitution Conference organised by the military regime of the late Gen. Sani Abacha. We had also the National Political Reform Conference initiated by the Obasanjo regime, the first of its kind since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999. It was headed by Justice Niki Tobi. Beyond these formal arrangements for the national conference, there were contributions and submissions by various organisations and key individuals. The late Chief Anthony Enahoro fought for the convocation of the conference till he died. We also had others like the late Ransome Kuti and the late Bola Ige. They work relentlessly for the exercise. The records of their contributions, positions and submissions are available for the present committee to review. In general terms, the issues in contentions are the nature of the Nigeria federation; resource control; funding of local government; the type of democracy appropriate for the nation (presidential or parliamentary system); the tenure of key government officials, including Mr. President; electronic voting; state creation and immunity for Mr. Presdient and other key members in government. There were various submissions from all the geo-political zones. For example, the North canvassed for rotational presidency between North and South but stood against power devolution and regional autonomy. The west laid emphasis on regional autonomy, which would enable each state to operate its own police, etc. The East requested for rotation of the office of Mr. President and creation of one more state and the South South agitated for resource control. None of these positions was actualised since the findings of the various conferences were deliberately kept on hold by the governments in power at various periods. The present system of governments is a replica of the American system—the presidential system of government with the executive, judiciary and the legislative arms. They have different functions and they are meant to complement one another with adequate checks and balances. However, the system is very expensive to run, especially for a developing country which lacks basic essential amenities. A strong suggestion is in favour of the parliamentary system which we had and practised effectively shortly after independence. It is hoped the committee charged with the function of coordinating the relevant opinions on national conference will accept the proposal to return to the parliamentary system of democracy. Interestingly, Nigerians are raising their voices to demand that the coming national conference should be all embracing, a conference of the nationalities that make up Nigeria. The people of Nigeria want to set the plow straight this time around. Important to note is the fact that each of these nationalities lives in separate states or kingdoms but possesses a strong primordial consciousness of themselves as one people; a consciousness underpinned by common language and culture and made dynamic through various traditional collective practices,


• Latinwo

Salaudeen LATINWO

It is difficult in the present circumstance to rule out a hidden or personnel agenda. As a result, it is not possible to easily dismiss the position strongly held by the opponents of the convocation of the conference, especially the political class that the timing is wrong. It is diversionary and it is a private agenda and personal interest

various Interconnected Institutions, folklores, rituals, etc. All these nationalities must be represented in the conference if the exercise is to be meaningful and rewarding. Needless to state that we need to dismantle the present obnoxious system and accord everyone equal rights, privileges and opportunities. With the worsening insecurity, endemic corruption, mutual suspicion amongst ethnic groups, deep seated crisis in the political parties, there is no doubt that the confer-

ence will provide a forum for all to table our differences for common adjudication. As important as the exercise is, it is heavily loaded with suspicion, fear and mistrust brought about by a government that has lost credibility and trustworthiness in the face of its people. In Nigeria today, most people believe that government is run for a few and their special interest not for the large majority of the people; that the economic system is inherently unfair and the Federal Government is not protecting the most vulnerable in the society especially the poor, the elderly and the under privileged. There is massive unemployment and endemic corruption in the system. No one appears to be doing anything substantially to remove or reduce these anomalies. Therefore, for a government that has been known to have been doing nothing to reduce the suffering of its citizens to suddenly wake up from its slumber and directed the convocation of a complex subject such as national conference, it undoubtedly raises suspicion. The government needs to go beyond mere statement of intent to exercises that will enable it to restore its trustworthiness. This is very important if government is to be taken seriously. It must demonstrate in clear terms all the attributes of trustworthiness and nothing less. It is difficult in the present circumstance to rule out a hidden or personnel agenda. As a result, it is not possible to easily dismiss the position strongly held by the opponents of the convocation of the conference, especially the political class that the timing is wrong. It is diversionary and it is a private agenda and personal interest. But be that as it may, we must think beyond today and try as much as possible to prepare for a better tomorrow for our children by attending the conference adequately prepared and make substantial contributions. We must not boycott it. The position of the political opponents is clear, the language well understood and the implication as noted by the opponent adequate. But boycott is not the answer. We need not to wait until tragedy and disaster compel us to convoke a sovereign national conference before we embrace an opportunity to hold conversation, notwithstanding how little. The exercise will provide benefits. It is another opportunity to talk and we must take full advantage of it. History reveals that a country makes significant progress by talking and less progress by not talking. Man's greatest achievements have come by talking and its greatest failure by not talking. Therefore, we need to talk, irrespective of when, how and where. It is better to talk than not talk at all. Regrettably, what the people get from the government of the day is what can be described as relationship characterised by tension, sorrow, pain, discomfort, and sometimes fear and apprehension. What we really need is high trust relationship which will spring up smile, confidence and acceptability, which will indeed gear up people to become animated and help conversation to focus on positive outcomes. This is the only way the people and the government can work together with less suspicion and mistrust. Nigeria can achieve that level of trust as well but the government will have to lead by example and the time to start is now. • Group Capt. Latinwo (rtd) os a former military governor of Kwara State







•A roundabout in ancient Ila-Orangun town...showing symbols of palmwine

The thrilling world of Osun community’s palmwine merchants •Palmwine p

ackaged read

y for export

•Tappers were toasts of ladies in our days, says 80-yr-old •Some merchants now earn hard currencies Story on pages 18&19

Ila Orangun, an ancient town in Osun State, South-West Nigeria, is noted for its excellence in tapping and selling palm wine. Their dexterity and massive involvement in the tapping and sales of palm wine paved the way for the saying that Ila has no patent medicine apart from palm wine. INNOCENT DURU examines the exploits of the tappers in this report.

•Jide Kosoko; Kayode Oyinbo; Saidi Balogun; Rauf Aregbesola

•Kolade, Akinwunmi, Titi, Kayode and Abike

•Kayode Oyinbo and Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly



Tappers were "B

came a full time job for me when my father was too old to continue to do it. "I have travelled to different parts of the country, SouthWest in particular, to tap palm wine. I travelled to places in Ogun State, Ondo State, Oyo State and Lagos State to tap palm wine. As at the time we were in Lagos State to tap palm wine, the whole of Mushin was a thick bush. We made camps there and tapped good palm wine that we sold to the people. "People were coming for apprenticeship just the way you have it now in various handworks. I taught five of my sibblings how to tap palm wine. I am very happy that they are also successful today. " "My uncle taught me how to tap palm wine. I travelled far and wide to do the job," said Chief Muraina Akanbi, another aged tapper. The traditional ruler of the town, the Orangun of Ila, His Royal Majesty, Oba Wahab Olukayode Oyedotun, Arutu Oluokun, Bibire 1, is one of the beneficiaries of the gift of palm wine to the town. He told our correspondent: "My father, a prince, was a palm wine tapper and my mother, a princess, was a palm wine seller. I grew up in the midst of the vocation. I was educated from primary school to the university level through the proceeds of selling palm wine. My father was a palm wine tapper all his life and he used the proceeds to train all his children and also built his house. "Many other tappers also trained their children in the university and also built houses. In fact, many houses in this town were built with money realised from tapping and selling palm wine. Some other tappers also bought lorries and ventured into transportation business. It would interest you to know that some of our people have taken the product to places like the UK to sell and came back with pounds sterling." How palm wine tapping became a money-spinning venture in the town Going down memory lane, the monarch said tapping of palm wine was not the primary occupation of the people.


EFORE now, no woman would marry you in Ila if you were not a palm wine tapper. Palm wine tappers were the movers and shakers of the town back then." This was how Pa Muraina Akanbi, 80, a retired palm wine tapper, summarised the influence that palm wine tappers wielded in Ila Orangun many years ago. The serene town has for many decades thrived as a place where good palm wine is tapped and sold. Contrary to common belief that palm wine tappers belong to the class of wretched people in the society, a visit to Ila Orangun revealed that palm wine tappers in the area are no paupers. Aside from marrying many wives, the Ila tappers built houses and trained their children up to university level, locally and abroad. Some of them, it was learnt, bought vehicles and invested in the transportation sector. Interestingly, some of the native merchants have started using the product to earn foreign currency. They export it to Europe and America in exchange for Pounds Sterling and Dollars. Some of the aged tappers in the community shared their experiences with our correspondent.. Pa Salami Gboyinde, 85, said: ‘’ I neither went to school nor learnt any hard work. I have always been a palm wine tapper all my life. When I was a child, my parents already made school uniform for me but when there •HRM Oba Oyedotun was nobody to stay with them, I stayed back and helped them in taking care of the farm. I learnt how to tap palm wine in the process from my father. It be-

I believe in Nigerian products and have always promoted them. I started exporting our palm wine to Europe and America in 1999. I called it Emu Ila Orangun (palm wine of Ila Orangun). It enjoyed wide acceptance from both the blacks and the whites. The whites tasted it out of curiosity and fell in love with it. It is in high demand over there


I feel humiliated —Industrial accident victim E is a victim of industrial accident. But while the incident has threatened his dream of becoming a medical doctor, Daniel Idajwo Achi has vowed not to opt for suicide in spite of the mockery he experiences from people who call him a leper because of his amputated fingers. Everywhere he goes, people avoid him because they don’t know that his deformed hand is not a case of leprosy but an industrial accident in which a machine chopped off his four fingers. In a chat with The Nation, Achi said


•Some people at a palm wine joint

n Ebele BONIFACE n he had decided to write a petition to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, reporting his employers to the police boss. He said: “My education has been affected because I was abandoned by Kes Products Limited whose machine cut off my four fingers. My lawyer filed suit No. MT/51/12 in the High Court of Ogun State in the Ota Judicial Division holden at Ota between the respondent, Kes Products Nigeria Limited and I. But what I kept hearing was that the respon-



toasts of ladies in our days –80-yr-old •Kegs of palmwine He explained that the natives initially took palm wine for relaxation after leaving the farm but commercialised it was when neighbours started joining them to drink. "Palm wine was not the primary vocation of our people. Our people were farmers primarily. They were only engaging in tapping palm wine in the evenings for personal con•Reverend Jenyo sumption after their farm •Chief Akanbi •Pa Gboyinde ping litres. work. As time went on, people in and sellWe tapped the neighbourhood started sharing ing palm wine. I palm wine from the palm wine with them. It was at that could save as much as €20 in every palm tree year in, year point that the idea of commercialising it a year then. It was big money in those days. out. started. The more the number of neighI bought a bundle of roofing sheet that I ‘’Unfortunately, the non-Ila people who bours who got attracted to it increased, the used to build my house for N10. I married do it these days have deviated from the more the tappers made more money. They four wives and used my resources to train practice that made our product the delight consequently abandoned farming and took my children. Some of our colleagues used of the people. They can hardly tap from a to palm wine tapping full time," he said. their proceeds to buy good cars and inpalm tree consistently for three months Pa Salami gave reasons why the Ila palm vested in other businesses. wine is widely patronised. " Our palm wine without killing the palm tree. They cut ‘’There were some who used their rehas always been the best across the country down the palm tree and within some time, sources to send their children abroad for the palm tree would die. That was not the because we tap them skillfully and never qualitative education. Back then in this practice during our days", he said. mixed them with water or sweetner. We community, no woman would marry you if Tappers count gains took time to attend to the palm trees. We Enumerating his gains, Pa Muraina, said: you were not a palm wine tapper. I could used to carry palm wine twice a day and not get a woman to marry me until I "I built my house from the proceeds of tapon each occasion, we usually got about 30

started tapping palm wine. Women avoided traders and artisans like a plague because they did not wield the same influence or have the kind of wealth that we as palm wine tappers had. ‘’Palm wine tappers who went to other states to tap always returned to the community with new bicycles and other valuables that were not found in the community then. These enticed women and made them to easily fall in love with us. Traders and artisans looked at us with envy because we were the movers and shakers of the community then." "My gains as a palm wine tapper are many," said Pa Salami. He added: "I was able to build this house from the proceeds of selling tapped palm wine. I trained all my children in higher institutions from the money I made from tapping palm wine. It was one of the best and biggest houses you could see in

Continued on page 22

because people think I’m a leper •‘It was his carelessness because he was not a machine operator’ dent had not shown up since May 9, 2012. “Even the money with which to pursue my case is not there, making me to be more confused as to the way forward.” Achi’s solicitors, John and Co., in their letter to the Managing Director of Kes Products Limited, had stated that the accident occurred December 7, 2010. “As our client’s employer, you owe him a duty to care and you are in breach of that duty by your failure to provide suitable working equipment, adequate training, by setting unrealistic target (to mould 100 blocks in a day, working unreasonable hours without break time, ensure his safety as an employer and to adequately

service your block-molding machine, which caused his injuries).” His counsel also said that on December 7, 2010, the block-molding machine failed to come down as it normally did. But while Achi was trying to see what was wrong with the machine, its blade suddenly came down and cut his four fingers. “We also request that you disclose to us the terms and conditions of employment of our client, your training manual, your relationship with a contractor, details of your employers liability insurance if any, and the block-molding machine servicing record,” the letter stated.

Contacted for comment, a contractor to the company, one Engr. Rapheal, said Daniel Achi was never employed to operate a machine but as a mere casual worker. The accident was as a result of the carelessness of Achi, he said, adding that there were three persons employed to operate the block-moulding machine who did not include Achi. He said: “The three of them went on break and Achi went to operate the machine. And why he went to operate the machine baffled everybody because he was never a machine operator. He went to operate it because the operators were on

Continued on page 22





‘Tappers were toasts of ladies in our days’ Continued from page 19 this environment back then. ‘’Today, when my children come home from where they are based, they stay here. It is a thing of joy to me whenever they come around because they do not have to squat in other people's houses. I married three wives and took good care of all of them. It was a normal thing for us to marry such number of wives those days because they were assisting us in doing our job.’’ Reverend Bunmi Jenyo, who pioneered the export of the product, said he did so by processing and packaging it in bottled form to sell abroad. He stated that his penchant for promoting Nigerian products led him to exporting the Ila palm wine. "I believe in Nigerian products and have always promoted them. I started exporting our palm wine to Europe and America in 1999. I called it Emu Ila Orangun (palm wine of Ila Orangun). It enjoyed wide acceptance from both the blacks and the whites. The whites tasted it out of curiosity and fell in love with it. It is in high demand over there. "Before I conceived the idea, I was already taking processed garri and elubo (yam flour) abroad. Along the line, it occurred to me that the people would also like our drink because it is undiluted. It was at this point that I started processing and exporting it abroad in cartons. I packaged it the way beer is packaged in cartons. I could export a whole container at times while on other occasions, it could be exported together with other processed items. This has made many whites who did not know about Ila to appreciate it for being a land where such wonderful natural drink is produced." He expressed concern over the problem of unemployment in the country and suggested that giving entrepreneurship skills to the youths, is the way out. "I am happy to be the pioneer of such idea. I have also taught many people within and outside Ila how to process and do this and they are doing fine today. God gave me the initiative and the best I can do is to pass it on to others so that they can also be empowered. I am out to serve the people and make their lives meaningful. ‘’Apart from the knowledge acquired in

the classroom, it is important for our youths to have entrepreneurship skills. This will always enable them to have means of livelihood when they fail to get jobs. As a proud native of this community, I will always bring my business skills to bear to fill the vacuum. ‘’This is one of my ways of giving back to the people of this great land that produces the product that made the whites to ask for more anytime they take it," he said. ‘Palm wine as an antidote to an attack by evil spirit’ Pa Salami also spoke about the medicinal value of palm wine. We don't really have any traditional attachment to palm wine but you cannot rule out its medicinal value. It is used for the treatment of various sicknesses. For example, it is used for treating somebody suffering from measles. If the person drinks it and rubs it on the body, it goes a long way in taking care of the problem. Many people also mix it with various herbs to take care of other health challenges. ‘’Another thing we use it for in this part of the world is to ward off evil spirits because they hate the smell. We do this by sprinkling it around the house or putting it in calabash in any part of the house. When evil spirits come around and perceive the smell, they would go away to other houses where there is no palm wine smell and probably attack them.’’ How tragedies dwindled the age-long

•A white man enjoys himself with a glass of palm wine occupation In spite of the fame and wealth the occupation has brought to the community, it is regrettable to note that it is gradually being confined to the dust bin of history. Most of the tappers have died, while the living among them are aged and will not even want their children to have anything to do with the occupation. Pa Muraina was one of the tappers who said their children will never take after them. He said: "I stopped tapping palm wine because of old age. The palm trees are there in the farms. Some of them have become too long for anybody to climb. We don't pray that any of our children should do the job again. ‘’Many of our colleagues died in the course of doing it. Some of the victims were my very close friends. They climbed and fell from the palm tree. It took good three days before one of them was found dead in

the farm. There were many others who broke their spinal cord after falling from the palm tree. They later died after some time. We were lucky that we survived all the challenges and are still alive today. ‘’We can't allow our children to do it anymore because of the dangers inherent in the job. I will never allow my children to learn it. Theycould go into other professions and vocations but not tapping of palm wine.’’ Oba Oyedotun also blamed the dwindling fortune of the occupation on the calamities that usually befall some of the tappers. According to him, "The occupation has dwindled today. Nobody is interested in tapping palm wine again because there are so many trades that can fetch money for the people. "Besides, tapping palm wine is a difficult and dangerous work. They could climb a height of about 30 feet to get the palm wine. In the course of doing this, many of them fell and died. The lucky ones were able to leave the job without injury. This has made the vocation to be gradually forgotten in the town. We even don't want to be attached to palm wine again because of religion. "Muslims believe that having anything to do with palm wine and other alcoholic drinks is not good for a believer. Because of this, most of them who were converted to the Islamic faith now run away from palm wine. Though I love anything that has to do with palm wine, I have never tasted it before. ‘’The statue of Iya Ila (Ila woman) in my palace represents my mother. I remember her every time I see it. We don't stand to lose anything if the occupation eventually goes off. Notwithstanding, the fact remains that Ila is the home of palm wine tapping.’’ Reverend Jenyo, however, believes that the occupation will not die. He said: "Palm wine is our heritage. We can't afford to lose our heritage. We are noted for it and it can't die as long as we continue to come up with innovations that will continue to endear it to the people. It will always be in high demand. It is a natural water produced naturally from palm tree. Drinking it is just like taking grape water. Alcohol is put into other drinks but do you put alcohol in palm wine? It is natural like any other produce provided by nature."

‘I feel humiliated because people think I’m a leper’ break. If they were present, they would not have allowed him to operate it. The 19-year-old victim said in a statement: “I am from Obi Local Government Area, Benue State. I live at Agbara Road, opposite RS-Oil Filling Station, Lusada, Ado Odo Local Government, Ogun State. My father has three wives and my mother is the second. My mother gave birth to four children and I am the last of them. She died in 1994 when I was still very young. “My father took responsibility for my primary and my secondary education, but he could not sponsor me to the university because of his low financial status. As a result of this, I came to Lagos in September 2010 to do some jobs in order for me to gather some money for my university education. “When I got to Lagos, I stayed with my uncle whose name is Mr. Mathew Akwuji. During my first few weeks in Lagos, I met a guy who happened to be an operator in the company. His name is Mr. Sabo Bednego. He was the one that introduced me to the Construction Engineering Company, Kes Product Limited. He introduced me to the supervisor of the Molding Department in the company, Mr. Sunday Ambrose.

Mr. Ambrose employed me that day without any training. Six of us worked in the Moulding Department, which comprised the supervisor, the operator and four others. In our department, some people mix the clay sand with the cement and upload it in the machine that cuts the block. The operator operates the machine while some people would carry the blocks from the mouth of the machine to a place where the blocks get dry before they are used. “We were given a target to mould 1000 blocks in a day. We resumed work at 7 am and closed at 6 pm. As a result of the workload, we did not have break time. Once one person was hun-

gry and tired, another person would take over from him so that he would eat and come back immediately after his meal to take over from the person he had handed over to. “Nobody in the department had a specific job; that is anybody can mold or operate the machine or carry the blocks from the mouth of the machine. Since I got employed in the department, I have been mixing the sand, loading the sand, operating the machine and carrying the blocks. “The day the incident happened, I was loading the sand in the machine while Mr. Sabo Bednego (the operator) was operating the machine. He noticed that I was tired and offered to help


Continued from page 19

As a result of this incident, I have suffered depression and sometimes consider committing suicide. It has also stopped me from associating with friends because some of them think that I have leprosy. I have also not been able to achieve my dream of becoming a doctor as a result of this incident or gain any employment because of my condition


me with the loading of the sand while I operated the machine, since that was not my first time of operating it. “As I was operating the machine, the blade refused to come down the way it used to. That was not the first time the machine would act that way. There was a day the operator was operating the machine and the blade almost chopped off his hand because it came down unexpectedly. After that time, the machine was serviced. “But shortly before this incident happened, the machine was already due for servicing but it was not yet serviced. While I was trying to see what the problem was with the blade, it just came down unexpectedly and chopped off my fingers at once. After this, I was rushed to the hospital (Hekan Hospital and Maternity Home, Badagry). I was admitted in the hospital for one week, after which I was discharged but I was still going to the hospital for dressing and checkups for another four weeks. “After treatment, the doctor advised the company to buy me an artificial finger. The supervisor discussed this with the contractor of the company whose name is Mr. Rapheal. Initially, Mr. Raphael agreed to discuss the issue with the company and then get back to me, but he didn’t. Mr. Raphael also asked me what I

wanted the company to do for me, and I told him that I wanted the company to sponsor me for my university education. But he told me that the company would not be able to do that. He further suggested that the only thing the company could do was to give me money to start a business that would fetch me money for my university education. Mr. Raphael didn’t do anything about the case. “I went to the company on several occasions in order to see the owner of the company so that I could explain my plight to her. I eventually saw her one day and I explained everything to her. She told me that she would send some money to me through Mr. Raphael, but up till now, I have not heard anything from the company. “As a result of this incident, I have suffered depression and sometimes consider committing suicide. It has also stopped me from associating with friends because some of them think that I have leprosy. I have also not been able to achieve my dream of becoming a doctor as a result of this incident or gain any employment because of my condition. Achi has called on the Office of the Public Defenders, human rights groups, the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Raji Fashola (SAN) and other God-fearing people to come to his aid.

Inside The







•Iwuanyanwu •Ade-Ojo •Adebutu



When LOVE defies AGE


•Story of high profile men married to much younger ladies Story on pages 44&45










Sarah Boulos



Sarah Boulos

Continued on Page 50

Continued on Page 50


Ibironke ARIYO

Stories by Ibironke ARIYO



When love defies



HEY are usually referred to as the n Patience SADUWA and Paul UKPABIO n May/December marriages. This is a security and protection that the younger situation where the groom (usually) woman might want, according to is several decades older than his Okonkwo. bride. In some cases, she could pass for his "Also, some younger women prefer to daughter, making observers of such unions marry older men because of the perception to wonder at the attraction between them. that older men are more experienced," he 'May' refers to the younger spouse in the said, noting: "that they have seen life, that spring of life, while 'December' refers to the younger men are more erratic and more deolder spouse who is in what is described as manding. The older men tends in real life to the winter of life. be more understanding and in most cases While some May-December marriages are be ready to overlook what younger men generally accepted by society, now and then may not overlook. such a marriage creates a negative response, ‘’Also younger women who have the especially when the age gap is so much. the elderly groom looks as if he is wedded to his need to be pampered or protected tend to marry far older men. Such women feel a grandchild! So, what's the attraction in such unconven- sense of insecurity and feel they can get it from older men in return for love and comtional unions where the bride looks as if she passion." was still wearing diapers when her groom To Ella Mensah, a Ghanian actress, such was already entering old age? It's an issue unions may not be for pecuniary purposes that has generated much controversy over alone but for love. As she stated: "When it the years as experts try to pinpoint what could bring a grandpa of say 70 years in holy comes to love, age is just a number. That is because when you are in love with somematrimony with a young girl of 26? body, regardless of the age, you will want to Some have attributed such intergenerabe with the person. Age is just a number in tional relationships to fulfilling 'certain such situations. Once you are above 20, you needs and desires', while others view them are mature and at 18 you are already an as partnerships of convenience driven by adult. It doesn't matter if you are in your 20s money, status, sex and power. and your husband is 60, if you love him, I "The most common reason for a far don't see anything wrong in that. It’s my younger woman to marry a far older man and vice versa, is for financial reason," stated personal opinion though." So what motivates the older men to go for Dr. Leonard Okonkwo, a Lagos-based psywomen 30-50 years younger than them who chologist. "Such people get married to peoare often referred to as 'arm candy' or 'trople far older than them because they feel phy wives?’ Is it love too or something else? such people are richer than them. The "An older man may marry a far younger wealth of the other party, more often than woman because he wants to feel younger at not, entices them. Many younger women such advanced age, "said Okonkwo. He marry older men with such age variance bewants to reassure himself that it is his body cause such men are already made. They that is older and not his mind. And he wants marry such men who usually are more sucpeople to see him that way. It also happens cessful than they are," he added. when a man suddenly feels adventurous He could be right because findings indiand believes that he could get such advencate that most of the older men marrying ture from a younger woman. And an older much younger women are usually 'wealthy, woman too feels that she can get such adsuccessful and in some cases famous in their communities. Then there is the issue of

Some younger women prefer to marry older men because of the perception that older men are more experienced....they have seen life, that younger men are more erratic and more demanding. The older men tend in real life to be more understanding and in most cases be ready to overlook what younger men may not overlook


•Sound Sultan

venture from a younger man. Most of the time too, when an older woman marries a younger man, it is usually for sexual reasons. That is because such women believe that men of their age may not be able to perform and please them sexually. And such women would want to please such young men in return by empowering them financially." On this, musician, Sound Sultan, remarks: "Love is a matter of age (sings). When a 70year-old-man marries a 30-year-old girl, that is a matter of underage! And when a woman of 50 marries a boy of 25, of course, we have to ask whether it was done at gun point!" But Hannah Chukwuma, a model, believes it’s all about love and understanding. "When an older man marries a younger woman, it is about love. That is the only thing that can make such a marriage happen. For instance, when a man of 60 or 70 marries a far younger woman, it is because he wants to protect and care for her so that she can also care for him in his old age and protect his properties. It could also be that he wants the younger woman to take care of his

children." "From psycho-analytic perspective, there are complexes children suffer while growing up that need to be fully resolved, one is audibles complex and electra complex," stated Law Mefor, a psychologist at the National Assembly. Continuing, he added: "This simply suggests infantile feeling a boy-child has for the mother and the feelings the girl-child has for the father. It is not healthy because the girl needs to be a woman, or get used to the mother and the boy needs to do the same. ‘’The complex is usually resolved through the process called identification. If this is not properly resolved, according to Sigmund Freud and other psycho-analysts, the boy or girl grows up with that same feeling. But because societal values will not allow the boy to have an affair with the mother and the girl to have an affair with the father, the only way to do it is to find some compensation. This for the girl is to find comfort in a person who is like the father. How else does she find that except in a sugar daddy? Sometimes that ends up in marriage. That is one


Also younger women who have the need to be pampered or protected tend to marry far older men. Such women feel a sense of insecurity and feel they can get it from older men in return for love and compassion


•Iwuanyanwu & Eudora

•Adebutu & Temitope

•Clark & Abisola

Story of high profile Nigerian men Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and Frances HIEF Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu is one of Nigeria's top businessmen; he is also a politician and an entrepreneur, wellknown in political as well as social circles. Recently, the Chairman of Champion Newspapers and founder, Iwuanyanwu Football Club now known as the Heartland FC, sent tongues wagging when he got married again, two years after the death of his wife of 40 years, Eudora. His remarriage was not what caused the controversy. It was the age of the bride, who at 26 is 42 years younger than the groom, who is 72. Shortly after the marriage, the couple who wedded in September in Owerri, Imo State, jetted out of the country for a honeymoon in an


undisclosed country. They are yet to return. There were initial insinuations that the publisher’s children were against their father's marriage to the much younger woman. But Nwadiuto Iheakanwa, his eldest child and the MD of Champion Newspapers, debunked such statement, stating in a media interview recently: "We are not against our father's new marriage. It's not true that we the children kicked against it. He made his choice and we wish him well in his new marriage."

Ade-Ojo and Funmi HIEF Michael Adeojo is the multimillionaire Chairman of Elizade Motors, the biggest distributor of Toyota vehicles in Nigeria. For this wealthy businessman, life surely begins at 70 plus. A few years back, he married a young lady simply called Funmi,


said to be his secretary of some years. In January this year, Funmi gave birth to twins in a London hospital, making the Elizade boss who is a grandfather, a new father at 75. Adeojo, who set up Elizade Motors 42 years ago, is the father of internationally acclaimed fashion designer, Deola Sagoe. Her mother, Chief's first wife, died a few years ago.

Kessington Adebutu and Temitope n the lottery business in Nigeria, the name Chief Adebutu Kessington, resonates everywhere. One of Nigeria's wealthiest men, he pioneered the popular Premier Lotto (popularly known as Owo Baba Ijebu lottery). Though married to other wives, the Ijebu chief is constantly in the company of a young lady Temi-




age •Experts dissect wide age-gap marriages •Ella Mensah major psychological factor." Chances of success Considering the huge age disparity in such unions, what are the chances of success, especially in the area of compatibility, understanding and patience, key ingredients for a successful marriage? "I do not think that the relationship or marriage with such couple will be fun because either the man will be too old for the lady, or the older woman will be too old for the younger man, said Zainab Sufian, a civil servant. "I also do not think that it will be a satisfying marriage because they will have needs that will not be met. For instance, the older woman, that is the sugar mummy, will be able to be satisfied but will her younger lover or husband be satisfied? That is the question. As for the older man, he may or may not be able to satisfy his younger wife." On this Mefor says: "It may also lead to all manner of things like not being satisfied sexually. Biology tells us that the older we get, the more diminished our sexual capabilities become. Even people who are now in their 40s can confirm the reduction in

•Law Mefor their appetite for sex as compared to when they were in their 20s. So there is scientific evidence. ‘’So for a woman of 30, for instance, who marries a man of 50 and above, he may not be able to satisfy her. So sexual immorality will not be ruled out because if she has high libido, she may have to make do with the driver, gardener or other staff the man may have. These will be the real people doing the ‘job’ for the man. Somebody said that a 70year-old man who marries a 30-year-old woman, may have unwittingly bought a book for another man to read!" There are, however, exeptions for men who may be old but are still strong and agile. Sound Sultan believes it’s a matter of choice on the couple's part. "Whether both of them will be able to satisfy each other really depends on both of them. That is because, we can never be too sure. People are different, and we are not in the relationship, they are the ones in the relationship and know how they feel and how satisfied they are. A girl that marries a far older man would already know that she cannot grow

up to meet the man! She already has her expectation of what she could probably get from the man in terms of sexual attention or otherwise. As far as they are legal, two consenting adults, it is okay, it is no other person's business. As far as it is not being forced." Offering a differing opinion, Dr Ogunkoya, a medical practitioner frowns on such marriages with wide age gaps. "I cannot advise anybody to marry someone that is far far older. Personally, I do not think it is right," he opines. "If you are older than your wife by 30 or even 20 years, there is a question mark on what you want to derive from that marriage. 10 or 15 years older are still okay, but beyond that, it is something else. Definitely, a man should be older than his wife. Twenty years older for a man is still manageable, but 30 is too much. You should be at least three or four years older than your wife. If there are age mates, there could be problem; if you are far far older, there will be problem; if you are far far younger there will be problem. The difference will lead to problems in future." Said Okonkwo: "It is difficult to say whether I support this kind of marriage or not because it is a thing of the heart. But not all of them are bad. Let me put it this way, if an older man of 50 marries a younger girl of 25, when are they going to have and train their children? What is the average lifespan of a Nigerian man? The average age a man dies in Nigeria is put at 46. So if somebody marries at 50, the person is living in extra time." Someone who has had a good experience though in intergenerational is actress, Joke Silva. On her marriage, the seasoned actress, who has been married to fellow artiste Olu Jacobs for nearly two decades stated in an interview: "My experience has been good, by God's wonderful grace has lasted, God has been amazing in our lives and I have enjoyed my marriage." Health implications Are there adverse health implications in

such unions as some observers believe because of the usually advanced age of the man? On this, Ogunkoya said: "I really can't see much on the health implication when a man marries a woman who is far younger than her age and vice versa except of course on the physiological aspect. If they can satisfy each other, I guess that they will have a fine relationship. But most of the time, they do not satisfy each other. That is usually the problem. If the man is far older than the woman, the sexual demand of the lady may be too much for him and vice versa. "At 50, it is actually estimated that in a week, a man can have sex three times. But I have not gotten the statistics for women. But for men, it is three times a week for normal men. At least that is what the scientists say." "Still talking about the health implication, I do not think that such a marriage can be injurious to the older party. Rather, if the couple have sex regularly, it can even lead them to living longer. That is because, sex is one of the best exercises that a man can have. It exercises all the organs. And if you are exercise your body all the time, you will live longer. Even an older woman will benefit from the regular exercise too, only that it has to be done moderately too. "If the older party does not have any problem with the heart, kidney or liver, then regular sex will prolong the life of the older couple rather than the other way round. If the couple live normal lives, they are not into drinking, I don't think they will have any ill-health implication because of the relationship. "The diet advice I will give them is that they should not take too much of carbohydrates because of diabetes because when someone is older, the person is prone to diabetes because of less work done, living a sedentary life means doing more exercise. Take less fat because there is a certain level of calories of carbohydrates, fat and protein for the body on a daily basis which is also according to age."

, •Ade-Ojo & Funmi

•Ojukwu & Bianca

married to much younger women tope Kofoworola, his youngest wife whom he married about six years ago. The pool magnate and socialite, 78, is often seen attending high profile parties and shindigs in Lagos and other places with his young wife, who is in her mid30s. Tope and Chief Adebutu reportedly met some years ago and got married shortly after. The 36-year-old lady, who graduated from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, is one of the society ladies rocking the social scene in Lagos. Very stylish and elegantlooking, she is a big-time business woman. Recently, the lady gave birth to a set of twins-boys in a foreign hospital after several years of waiting for the fruit of the womb.

Odumegwu Ojukwu and Bianca


mong top Nigerians who got hooked to much younger brides, that of the late Ikemba of Nnewi, Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu stand out. When their affair, which began in the late 1980s, became public knowledge, it shocked many because of the wide age between the two and the fact that the Ikemba was a close family friend of the Onohs. Right from the beginning, the relationship was strongly opposed by Bianca's father, Chief C.C Onoh, who could not understand why his young daughter could get entangled with the much older warlord. His rigid stance led to a rift between father and daughter, who in her early 20s, was the reigning Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria then; the rift lasted many years. Despite the stiff opposition to the union, the


love-struck Ikemba continued with the affair and eventually married his heartthrob several years after the affair began. The union produced three children, including a set of twins.

Edwin Clark and Abisola or Niger-Delta strongman and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, it's never too late for love. At 86, the Delta chief early this year married a new and much younger wife, Abisola Sodipo Akindeko, a forty something year old medical doctor. The couple got married at a traditional marriage ceremony in the presence of family, friends and well wishers in her Lagos residence. Clark, a former Minister of Information, is said to be so enamoured with his new bride that he is always bragging about her.


When it comes to love, age is just a number. That is because when you are in love with somebody, regardless of the age, you will want to be with the person. Age is just a number in such situations. Once you are above 20, you are mature and at 18 you are already an adult. It doesn't matter if you are in your 20s and your husband is 60, if you love him, I don't see anything wrong in that




Me-and-my husband lifestyle? I

have just a few friends. Thankfully, these friends are a bit like me – they don’t do clingy-clingy with their husbands or partners so we have enough time to enjoy ourselves through telephone calls and girls’ night out. A girls’ night out is that period once in a while when we, women meet to engage in social activities. It’s never anything out of the ordinary. Sometimes, we meet to talk about ways to make the marriage/relationship work, how to raise Godly children, the latest business ideas and sometime it’s just to try out a new ice-cream café in town. For me, I always feel refreshed when I’m coming back home and I know my partner is always looking forward to having me back. The same applies to a lot f my friends. During the time we’re together (max, two hours), the men too have enough time to do their thing – watch football, sleep, meditate or hang out with their own friends too. We had our latest girls’ night out last Thursday and Daniela, a sister to one of us joined us. Daniela was full of tears as she told us the story of romance gone sour between her and her husband, Dere. From her story, they have been inseparable since they got married five years ago. Their son was born almost immediately after they tied the knots and that seemed to have cemented the marriage forever. Or so she thought until events proved otherwise. Daniela and Dere had the same friends and went everywhere together. Dere couldn’t visit any of his friends and colleagues without her being there and vice-versa. Before long, they seemed to have less and less friends and they loved it that way. After all, they have an active son who was enough to fill their spare time. Dere never missed coming home just a few minutes after work hours. In a city like Abuja where traffic is light, it is easy to predict when somebody would arrive from one location to the other. So it was a bit of a shame when one day, Dere did not come home early from work and she called to find out why. It was a woman’s voice that came on the phone and she made it clear to Daniela that Dere was with her and was not about coming home yet. Daniela didn’t want to believe what she just heard, so

RELATIONSHIP Please note: All text messages for this segment have been left unedited so you can feel the level of those you are contacting through how they express themselves. Cheers! •Gooday adeola agoro,how are,work& farmiliy? thank’s 4this good program of your’s pls in the name of d lord jesus christ am a lady of 40yrs still singl am in need of a chritan man of age 45,46 my name are folasade sarah. +2348037861945 •D luv of God wil manifestly boom ur existence.u wil nt toil in vain.ur path wil bear fruits.u wil continue 2 b a point of refrenc 4 God’s elect in Jesus name!. I pray behold all they that were incensed

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she called her husband’s line again and again, but not answer. Finally, it was answered and this time, Dere was on the line. He didn’t allow her to say anything before saying, “Why are you following me everywhere, do you want to turn me to a puppet? Look, I have my life and you have yours. We can’t continue like we have been living, I’m choked!’ He went off the phone. Since that fateful day, Dere has been coming home only when he likes and when he does, he plays with his son, says very little to her and goes out again. He said it, he was choked! That was really a stifling relationship and we all told Daniela. She didn’t give him any time in their five years of marriage o miss her. If you’re like Daniela, let me tell you a few truths: Why your honeymoon is over. For the first few months of your marriage, everything is wonderful and exciting and new - then reality sets in. It’s really common for couples to suddenly feel like their relationship is more routine than romance. “When you’re dating and falling in love and planning a wedding and honeymoon, there’s constant stimulation and variety. It’s an adrenaline-filled period. Then you settle into more of a domesticated routine and you get more comfortable with each other,” Kerner, a relationship expert says. As a result, life can suddenly feel boring and you may question why you decided on happily-ever-after with this woman. What to Do: Even though you’re busy establishing yourself as a married couple, it’s important to continue to grow as separate people, too. “Newlyweds often make the mistake of isolating themselves; they fall into the trap of doing everything together,” says Kerner. “It’s never too early to assert yourselves as individuals. Developing good relationship habits like this at the outset of the marriage is important. Just because you’re sharing a life doesn’t mean you’re sharing everything.” Krasnow, another relationship expert thinks, “The real secret to having a long marriage is to find your own sense of purpose and passion outside of your partnership. Try signing up to learn a new language or start a book club with your friends, and also encourage those ice-cream or dancing days. It gives you time away from each other to grow and of course, miss each other. “Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.”

come to my aid can text me on any of: 08038952810,08056104553 or email at:’re doing a lot for humanity with your column.May God bless you more. Ken. +2348038952810 •Sony in enugu an international bizman need a sexy busty woman but she must have dimples for marage 08074600653 07087699800 •Blovd, I lost my wife 2011. Want 2 Rmary 2 a lady:3744yrs,Born Again-Mature xtian, A graduate, Caring, Humble, Beautful, Single mother(1/2kids)Working/ Business lady. Kip me postd if u prayrfuly find 1 *REV. NWENU( l nwenu) •I am Vincent 43yrs of ag.

frm delta state. i need a woman, b/w 33 to 40. frm lagos or delta state. thanks. 08032284278. •Chibuike,a heartbroken man,hails from rivers state,49yrs old man,light in complexion,business man,widowed,based in lagos,wants a honest and dedicated lady b/twn 35yrs and above for a relationship that could lead to marriage.if u are interested please cal c h i b u i k e on:08063596153,playladies and unserious fellow stay clear. Eberis, business minded,need a yellow mature working class or busines lady,Godfearing ready to settledown either from Bayelsa or delta +2348112037242

•The couple, Olalekan and Temitope with the groom's parents, Alhaji Fatai and Alhaja Mulikat Ibidokun during the wedding ceremony.

Lost contacts

•Hi madam Adeola, you are doing a great job kudos! Please link me up with Princess Gloria, former staff of city bus (cross country). Lagos Island. Before she left UNILAG to further her education and information at my disposal is that she is now residing at Mushin, Lagos. She from Edo State. She can contact me on 07032947311 or Raji, from Abuja. •Kindly link me up wt Emmanuel Ayodele Dada from Epe-Ekiti. We lost contact in 1987. My names are Michael Olusegun Babatope from Ijero-Ekiti. 08038022624. Thanks. •Kindly link me up with Christopher Jackson, Philip Ayo, all of them from Edo State and Mohammed Shehu Jaddah from Adamawa Sate. We all graduated from Government Unity School, Kaiama LGA. Kwara State in 2000. They can contact on 08065156602. BARR.ZAKARI ISSA, from Kkaiama L.G.,Kwara State.


From you to me

’M a keen follower of your readership column Hearts. And I can only say Bravo! And Kudos for your straight from the heart and candid advice. Please do you have a decent and mature singles pairing/relationship dating line where singles can drop comments via SMS in search of a decent partner. Please notify me via SMS Thanks. Happy Sunday Adeola. – 08120087956. P.S: We used to publish names, telephone number and details of singles wanting to meet other singles, but I stopped when I found out crooks were copying and calling people’s telephone numbers to dupe them. Ladies were lying to men that they lived miles away and wanted to come to meet these innocent men. They were fleecing them of their monies and emotions. I had to stop. But today, I’m publishing some requests and I want the general public to know that I wouldn’t be held responsible for any untoward things that may happen to them as a result. However, if you want us to do a diligent search for you, contact me through: 07055556626. Cheers! Good afternoon ma, I’m Adebukola from Lagos, I have not read your romance page before until when I read your Saturday, August 31, 2013 write-up. I love it! God will continue to bless you for your service to humanity. I can imagine where you get your inspiration from. - 08077057586. P.S: Thanks for joining us on Saturday now. I do hope you will stay with us. My inspiration comes from God. If all your responses are applicable to your hubby/self, I am tempted to envy what HE HAS IN YOU! But being human comes with deficits. Be that as it may, you have a good grasp of the subject. Wish you well. I don’t seem to understand the usage of “dating, affair, relationship” in male-female issues. What differentiates one from the other? - 08057776003. P.S: Thank you! I must say I’m a handful when it comes to life and marriage. I guess I play too much and may not be the conventional wife. Of course, I cook, I scrub and manage to do the laundry like other women, but I continue to see the man as my partner on my romance voyage. And so, you may find me playfully pinching his behind when no one is looking or hiding somewhere in the house, wanting him to find me before he can eat his dinner. Sometimes he finds it funny, sometimes he’s so hungry he just shouts on me to fish myself out and get him his food. So as you rightly said, it’s not a perfect union, but he thinks he’s the luckiest person though. Is he? I don’t know... To your question: Dating according to Wikipedia, (the free encyclopedia) is a form of courtship consisting of social activities done by two people with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse. While the term has several meanings, it usually refers to the act of meeting and engaging in some mutually agreed upon social activity in public, together, as a couple. The protocols and practices of dating, and the terms used to describe it, vary considerably from country to country. The most common idea is two people trying out a relationship and exploring whether they are compatible by going out together in public as a couple who may or may not yet be having sexual relations. This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement or marriage. A relationship is between two people and they are committed to each other and they have very strong feelings for each other. An affair is when one person who is in a relationship finds another partner without first breaking the relationship off and ends up having a second “relationship” (usually only sexual) with another person without their partner knowing. It’s cheating on someone. Adeola with your years of experience as a romance writer, I found you naive when it comes to the things of the heart. I never envy you one bit when you write all bunkums to indicate to us how intimate you are to the AGM, Fidelity (Bank). When it comes to his domestic chores for example, to keep him away from boredom and loneliness. You are quite pretty that I begin to wonder why not you and the lucky bridegroom. Please save me from all this flowery talk next time. Thanks - Ihiom Godwin OK. - 08094551512. P.S: Mr. Ihiom Godwin, my husband and I laughed when your text came in. Of course, I would never have dreamt of becoming Ignay’s wife because I’m someone else’s wife. Funnily enough, your text came in last Saturday when that piece was being read to the guests at his wedding reception and my proud husband was holding my hand. Ignay is my dear friend as well as my husband’s. Any more concern? Let’s chat about it since luckily you have become my friend too since last Saturday. Cheers! Thanks for the male enhancement drugs and sprays. I thank you and I appreciate you so much for your assistance in making me ENJOY Noctural lyf again. I APRICAT U SO MUCH. Thank you. Madam, I’m really enjoying the drugs. I feel like a man again. But can’t it make me increase even more in size?




STARED warily at Frank’s visibly angry wife, mentally preparing myself for a ‘battle royale’. But the woman ignored me, instead focusing all her anger on her husband. “Frank, is that all you can say? I catch you in the act with your girlfriend and you say I’m disturbing you? The last time I checked, I’m still your wife and we are still married! As your wife, I cannot put up this!” “Well, you know what to do if you can’t cope with the situation. Just get out! And leave me alone!” To that, she retorted: “I should leave you alone, abi? So, you can have the freedom to go around carrying anything in skirts! Well, I’m going nowhere! I’m your wife, the mother of your only child! You can’t kick me out! Never!” No way....!” Frank, who seemed to be getting more worked up by the minute, fired back at her and soon, a full-blown quarrel ensured. As the quarrel between the two intensified, I quietly left Frank’s lap and picking up my bag, headed for the door. But the woman, sighting me, blocked my path. “And you, where do you think you are going? Stay o! Since we are now mates and are sharing the same man! Stay so I can tell you what this man really is- a chronic womaniser! You are feeling cool now because you think he loves you. Well, listen up girl! He will only use you and dump you like he did to all the others! You think you are the first mistress he has kept? I feel sorry for you! I will advice you to go and look for your own man and leave my husband alone. Little bitch! Ashawo! Husband snatcher!” she screamed at me. She continued to rant and pour more invectives on me, ignoring Frank’s words to her ‘to shut the hell up!’ I did not reply her and at last, I succeeded in getting away from her and left the office hurriedly. It was not that I could not withstand her if it came to a verbal or physical combat that I left. I just did not want to create any scene that would embarrass my Frank. So, I let ‘sleeping dogs lie’ and

me a child, especially a son and you will see what I will do for you.”

went my way. Later that evening, Frank came to see me at my workplace. He was full of apologies about his wife’s behaviour, assuring me that there would never be a repeat of the incident. “You see why I don’t like going home? She’s so quarrelsome and aggressive, always spoiling for a fight,” he grumbled as we sat in his car outside the hospital gate. Turning to me, he took my hand in his and said: “One of the things I like about you is that you are so cool and calm. Some other girls would have stayed and fought with her! But you walked away. Thanks, love,” he stated,

The mistress (2)

kissing me on the cheek. It was on our next date that he told me about his wife and the state of his marriage. “We are having serious

One of the things I like about you is that you are so cool and calm. Some other girls would have stayed and fought with her! But you walked away. Thanks, love


problems in our home right now,” he said. The problem, he explained had to do with her inability to have more children. “Sometime ago, she had a serious health problem and her womb had to be removed. Now, I want more children especially sons and she can’t give me that. It’s really frustrating!” I sympathised with him, stating: “I’m really sorry to hear that,” I said with some sincerity. “Thanks, sweetheart,” he replied. Sometime later, he said something that really surprised me:

“I love you Nicole and I want you in my life. Always. As soon as you get pregnant, I will marry you,” he promised. I was really taken aback by his proposal. I knew Frank loved me but not to the extent of marrying me. And what about his wife of eight years, I wondered. What was he going to do about her? I was not too keen on being a second wife and knowing my parents, especially my mum, they would not be in support as well. But Frank allayed my fears saying: “Don’t worry about my wife. I will take care of it. So, leave it to me. Just give

•Engage in a new activity with your partner • Add the element of mystery or surprise •Do something that kicks up your adrenaline and arousal •Take a mini-vacation — just the two of you. •Touch more often •How do you pep up your wife or husband? Send in your contributions by sms only to: 08020771894

•A healthy relationship

Baby news I believed and trusted Frank and based on that and the love I had for him, I decided to give him what he wanted. I got pregnant about three months later and when I broke the news to Frank, he was so happy, he was like a man who had won the lottery! “Wow!” That’s great news!” he stated excitedly. He immediately began making plans for my delivery which he insisted must be outside the country. “I don’t trust our hospitals. Nothing must happen to my boy. So, you will be going to the U.K for the birth later,” he declared as he fondly caressed my tummy. “Boy? What makes you think it’s a boy? I’ve not even done a scan!” I said, smiling. “Who needs a scan? From the shape of your tummy I can tell its a boy,” he said. I laughed, feeling happy at the way things had turned out. My joy at my baby news was however short lived. When I broke the news to my parents that I was expecting Frank’s child, the reaction was not good. My mother expectedly, hit the roof at the news. “Pregnant you say? You see yourself? So, that’s how you will end up, as a second wife! I warned you but you would not listen. Stupid girl!” she stated angrily. As for my father, all he was concerned about was that Frank should do the right thing by paying my dowry. “Dowry ke!” my mother countered. “That’s all you are interested in- money! Go ahead! Marry her off to Frank because he is rich! Just count me out of this! I’m not a party to this nonsense,” she said, fuming... •What next? Join us next Saturday for the rest of Nicole’s story •Names have been changed to protect Nichole’s identity and other individuals in the story •Send comments/suggestions to, or 08023201831



Inside the bunker are the transmission studio and the huge transmitter of the Biafran radio. The bunker was a perfect decoy and very difficult for any enemy aircraft to locate without any prior information, especially with the undulating hills in the area

National War Museum Recounting the tragic story of Nigeria U

MUAHIA blos somed because of its location as a transit point for goods and services, most especially for people from the old Bende region. It was a major transit point for the railway line to the North. Of the recent past, one place that has defined the Abia State capital is the War Museum, Umuahia, and its appendage, the official war residence of the Head of State of the defunct Biafra Republic, the late Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu. These two places have become a must-visit for any tourist visiting Umuahia. The Ojukwu war residence, also an underground bunker, is built about 20 metres below the ground. The circumstances of Umuahia playing host as the home of war appurtenances was mooted immediately after the war ended.

At the end of the Nigerian Civil War on January 15, 1970, the Nigerian government of the day declared there was “no victor, no vanquished”. It was aimed at putting the ugly episode of the war behind and speeding up the process of national reconciliation and healing. While the civil war lasted, various sophisticated weapons were used. Some of these deadly weapons were fabricated due to the exigencies of the war. Outside the appurtenances of war, civilians were also involved in the process of not just fighting, but buoying the people to forge ahead despite the deprivations that go with war. Different media of mass communication were used. The war was a watershed in the history of Nigeria as a country. The experience,

many agree, is such that makes the resort to arms and war as a means of conflict resolution not an attractive option. It is in this spirit that the Nigerian War Museum, Umuahia was established. Umuahia was chosen as the location of the museum because it was the location of the bunker, housing the famous shortwave radio, Voice of Biafra. Voice of Biafra was the mouthpiece for Biafra during the war. The National War Museum has the highest collection of the Nigerian civil war weapons that are no longer in use. The weapons are from both the Nigerian military and the defunct Biafra. The place has become a tourist site that attracts hundreds of people daily. They come from within and outside the country to see the war artefacts on display. To some, it is to relive

the periods of the war through items on display, while to others, it is for study purposes. There are yet others who come simply for curiosity. The museum is located at

Ebite Amafor in Isingwu Autonomous Community in the Umuahia North Local Government Area. It is off the Umuahia-Uzuakoli Road. The war museum is very popular, so locating it

would pose no problem as any cab or the commercial tricyclist could take one to the museum. There are no longer commercial motorcyclists in Umuahia. The museum was commissioned in 1985 on a large expanse of land. It has three galleries that cover traditional warfare, the armed forces and the Nigerian Civil War weapons. Relics of war being housed in the museum include weapons used during the pre-colonial civil disturbances, warfare materials used during communal and inter-tribal wars and those of the Nigerian Civil War. After paying the entrance fee, a tour of the museum kicked off from the prehistoric war section where some of the weapons that were used for war are on display. On display are spears, shield, bows and arrows and metal war vest that warriors used to protect themselves. The end of the old war weapons section leads to the Nigerian Armed Forces gallery. There are



Tourism News

UNWTO to support Libya’s tourism development


HE United Nation’s World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has signed the agreement with the Libya to help promote the country’s tourism. Under the agreement, signed last week during the 2013 World Travel Market (WTM) in London, UNWTO will provide support to Libya´s Ministry of Tourism in its strategic tourism development through institutional building and governance, sustainable development, marketing and human resource development. Priority will be given to institutional building and governance, with technical support focused on devel-


the ceremonial uniforms of the army officers. Pictures of some past military leaders are also on display. For those unfamiliar with the military insignia that differentiates the ranks in the military, this gallery offers tutorials. From this section, one could walk to the gate of the bunker that housed the Biafran radio. Just at the entrance is the Biafran flagred, black and green with the rising sun in the middle. There are also black and white pictures of the Nigerian leaders that were victims of the war, starting with the January 15, 1966 coup of Kaduna Nzeogwu. The bunker is about 30 feet deep and on both sides of the step as one walks down are pictures of protagonists of the war from both Nigerian and Biafran sides. Inside the bunker are the transmission studio and the huge transmitter of the Biafran radio. The bunker was a perfect decoy and very difficult for any enemy aircraft to locate without any prior information, es-

pecially with the undulating hills in the area. The bunker has two stairways for entrance and exit. The tour of this section of the museum is arranged in a way that the tourist would water through the main entrance to the bunker and exit through the back. Scattered on the expansive premises of the war museum are different obsolete military weapons. Looking at them in their obsolete state, one wondered how many lives some of these weapons must have terminated. The army weapons on display include anti-aircraft guns, Squid Mortar MK4 anti-submarine gun, said to be carried by the Navy warship, N.N.S.Nigeria. According to the explanation on the side of the weapon, it is an “ahead throwing weapon that was used to destroy the enemy sub-marine. It was mostly deployed for demolition of suspected mine fields along the channel for the safe passage of Nigerian Navy ships during the civil war”. Others are the Biafran red devil armoured personnel

carrier; the famous Ogbunigwe (Ojukwu bucket) launcher; artillery gun 105mm Howitzer, the gun said to have been used by the Italians during the Second World War in 1943 and that the particular weapon on display was used at the Aba/ Ikot Ekpene axis during the civil war; NAF 102 Donier 27 aircraft. According to the history of the plane, it came from Luftwaffe Training Mission; NAF 181 Donier 128. The Donier 128 for reconnaissance. When The Nation visited the museum, some renovation activities to protect the artefacts were going. One could also see that the place was not well funded. The indoor gallery was not well lit as there was no light. It was just a small electricity power generation set that was supplying light. Because of that, the interior was poorly lit. For those who never experienced the Nigerian Civil War, they may not appreciate it to the full without visiting the National War Musuem. For those who did, they could relive the period by visiting the place.

•Chief Adegboyega Onigbinde, former Super Eagles coach handling a drum during the recently-concluded Oranmiyan Festival in Ile-Ife.

oping a cohesive tourism policy, strategy and action plan, as well as updating the sector´s legislative and regulatory frameworks and strengthening its organizational structure. “This agreement is a very positive step in reviving Libya´s tourism sector and affirms UNWTO´s commitment to Libya during this time of national rebuilding. Tourism will enhance the country´s global image and contribute to its sustainable economic growth and development,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “Libya has great potential for tourism. It was a tourism destination in the 60s and we want to prioritize re-

building the country´s tourism sector. Tourism provides great opportunity for investment and employment and will give a better face for Libya,” said Libya´s Tourism Minister Ikram Bash Imam. “By joining hands with UNWTO, we will work to implement our plan for sustainable tourism development”, he added. The cooperation agreement will build on Libya´s Ministry of Tourism action plan towards sustainable tourism development with the support of the public and private sector. The agreement was the result of the UNWTO mission to Tripoli in June 2013 to assess the specific needs of Libya’s tourism sector.

Sheraton Abuja Hotel improves on Social Hour


HERATON Abuja Ho tel has added an in novation to its Sheraton Social Hour. It is a wine tasting event. It is an opportunity for its customers and guests to test premium wine collections. The programme is desgined, according to the spokesperson of the hotel, Nanji Tyem, to create and foster social interaction among guests. The event will come up every Wednesday from 6pm. featuring a selection of specially curated wines and other alcoholic beverages. The Social Hour programme is designed for social interaction with the welcoming space at the lobby bar that will bring

people together. The Social Hour will attract top dignitaries, business professionals and members from multinational organizations. General Manager of the

Hotel,Mr. Boris Bornman, agrees that business clients welcome this new and unique initiative which fosters networking opportunities and life-long friendships.

Arik Air adds A330 aircraft


RIK Air has increased the size of its fleet to 23 aircraft and boosted its London to Lagos route, with the introduction of a new Airbus A330-200 twin-engine aircraft. While the new A330 will serve London–Lagos, the new plane could be deployed on one of a number of potential new routes to South America and the Middle East in future. The A330 aircraft will complement Arik Air’s long haul wide body fleet. Fitted to offer the very best in-flight comfort and style, the new additions are an environmentally-friendly product that will provide the highest degree of operational flexibility and passenger comfort. The A330s offer a twoclass configuration with 30 Premier Business Class seats and 187 Economy Class seats. Commenting on the introduction of the A330s, Arik Air chief executive, Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, said: “We constantly review our fleet to ensure the services we offer to our customers remain competitive and provide the

highest quality. The introduction of the new aircraft highlights our commitment to providing customers with the best product on our long-haul routes.

“This addition underlines our determination to strengthen our fleet and gives us the opportunity to expand our route network in the future.”

Emirates Group makes profit


HE Emirates Group has announced its half-year re sults which show a robust performance, despite con tinued global economic pressure and high fuel prices. Revenues at the group reached AED42.3 billion for the first six months of its current fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, up 13 per cent from the same period last year. Net profit rose to AED2.2 billion, an increase of four per cent over the last year’s results. “The global business environment continues to be challenging. We have stayed agile, even as we grow, and this ability to adapt and act quickly has been key to our success,” said the group.



Continued from Page 41

Sarah Boulos

Continued from Page 41





s important as the manufacturing sector of the economy is to a nation, it is sad to know that it is the least sector to be sure of developmental loans from the local banks. And this is a source of worry to many manufacturers. One of these people is Johnson Sehinde, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Infinity Paints International Limited, Lagos. "I truly wish that banks could be lending to manufacturing companies. We need medium term loans. The stark reality is that the banks are more comfortable lending to traders. The bank interest rates are not realistic. In some of these emerging developing economies, the interest rates are as low as one per cent or less. And when they take funds from their economy to produce and bring the goods to the international arena, how do we play to compete in that situation? These are the issues and challenges that we face daily as manufacturers," Sehinde said. He should know, having spent 15 years in the business of paint manufacturing. "I read Accountancy at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. I have spent about 15 years in the paint industry. Infinity Paints started five years ago. The company came from my experience in the paint industry. I left the services of President Paints Nigeria Limited as General Manager to establish Infinity. “As General Manager, I had the privilege to manage manpower, money, market and methodology. That, to me, was good exposure. It was a great time of learning outside the school wall because the university degree is basic, but training on the job gives capacity and competence. That is what gives relevance in the industrial and business environment. President Paints gave me the opportunity for the experience that I garnered to be able to survive in this industry. “I left the company because the time was ripe for me to leave, but the question of what next came up and I had some time to wait and look at the possibilities of what I could do. Actually paint was not on my mind. It was the last thing that I could think of because having reached the position of Chief Operating Officer in my former place of work, it was not such a fascinating idea to a young man like I was then. There were challenges that made it difficult for me to consider going into the manufacturing business. The enabling environment was not there; it was harsh,”he said. But the harshness of the environment, in a way, turned out to be an opportunity for Sehinde. "I realised that every system in the world has its constraints. And once you decide that you are going to play in a particular system, the constraints will start dimini


shing. That is because you will suddenly realise that if it was not tough, everyone else would have been playing in that system. The few persons left to play in that system will also be the few persons that would decide or be deciding the prospects of that system. The few will also be ones to take advantage of the opportunities found there. That was what inspired me into the manufacturing sector. "When I started, I had to leverage on the grace of God and the goodwill that I had as I could not rely on the banks. So I am very lucky to have met with people who were ready to invest in my capacity and confidence. I refer to them as 'angel investors' who came to my rescue at that point in time. These were friends who were ready to believe in me," Sehinde said. Starting up was very challenging. He said: "To start with, we could not even connect to the national grid. The power generating system was so challenging that even when there was power, the voltage was not sufficient to power our equipment. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, we were still given overestimated bills, whether we used it or we did not use it. As it is today, we are not even connected to the national grid. We power our factory through power we generate. We run hundred per cent on diesel every day. We hope the ongoing power reform in the country will usher in a new era where we can proudly be able to use electricity conveniently in our factory for production. I pray that it translates into something positive for

the industrial sector." He further said: "I will say that there are opportunities in the paint manufacturing sector. Nigeria is currently in housing deficit. Apart from the prospect of new houses coming up, paints generally, do not last forever. For instance, when you paint, after three or four years, you will still have to paint again. Moreover, there are and will always be old houses that will always need to be painted. The demand for paints is continuous. Apart from decorative paints, there are other types of paints, like the industrial paints, the marine protection coated paints, the auto paints, the wood finishes. "Here, we do decorative paints, the ones that are used for the painting of houses. We have the emulsion paints, the texture, the flex coat, the fatigue finish, the gloss paint and so on. We have some other specialised paints too. We do industrial coatings. We manufacture red oxide paint which is used in the construction industry. The iron and steel companies too use much of this red oxide paint. We are hoping to go into the production of marine paints, those use for ships. According to him, the future of paint manufacturing in Nigeria remains bright because the market is readily available. "The opportunities are still here, and the prospects are great. Along the line, a few of the players will find their ways to the top. A few will find a way to manage their constraints and take advantage of their opportunities. So some will forge on; we have cause to thank God that there are industrialists currently in the country who motivate youths into striving to be better people," he said.

As an entrepreneur, Sehinde's motivating spirit is "a positive outlook and passion about what I do. This is what I have been doing. The job has taken me to the Oxford Brookes University in United Kingdom, among other places, to develop more capacity. There has been so much that has added value, through the job development. I have also been able to acquire knowledge in risk management. I have learnt to face opportunities at various points of risk. That does not mean that you must beat a retreat. I want to forge ahead, knowing that in the midst of these challenges, there is a way out. “These are some of the things that I have learnt. We are not just paint manufacturers; we provide a total paint solution; we are into manufacturing and paint application. We also provide corporate painters who know about our paint. We take painting as an art; we are usually interested in the finishing. We are project-centric, and over the years, we have identified with quite a number of prestige projects across the country. We also do aesthetic consulting and property branding.” Sehinde will like to see more and more people going into the paint manufacturing business. "You have to first of all choose the segment that you want to play in, and the products you want to do. Then, you have to consider your location and size. You would consider whether you want to build a factory or have a cottage outfit at the back of your house. Any way you look at it, the minimum I believe should be from N60million upward to start a company for the manufacturing of a standard paint. Most of the inputs come from abroad, and without the use of some of them, you cannot give or produce a standard paint, or one that will stand the test of time," he said.




EAR Reader, Welcome to this week’s edition of Family Forum. Last week, I started a teaching revealing the treasures in the

marriage garden as designed by God Himself. I know that you have already started enjoying the treasures in your marriage in Jesus’ name. This week, we shall be examining more of these treasures and some tools needed for cultivating the marriage garden. THE RIVER God said in Genesis 2:10: …And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted and became into four heads. Another treasure found in the garden planted by God is the river. Rivers are of tremendous benefit to man. From them, you get water for drinking, bathing and washing purposes. Rivers can also be used for irrigation, making all-year-round farming possible. Water in Bible terms also represents the presence of the Holy Spirit (John 7:38). Lack of water can cause death by thirst. Don’t die of thirst in your marriage, when there are lots of thirst-quenching rivers in it. It is thirst in marriage that makes couples prefer staying away from home, rather than enjoying their homes with their families. I know of a man who prefers to stay back in the office after closing hours, rather than go home. It is not because he has work to do, but to keep away from home and have some peace. The home atmosphere was not what it ought to be. You can purpose to make the atmosphere in your home the best for the Holy Spirit, as well as for your spouse and children. To the glory of God, my husband and I receive a lot of inspiration from the Holy Spirit, right inside our home. More often than not, a greater percentage of instructions we have received for our ministry to date, were received right at home. Make the atmosphere of your home a conducive one. The river also can be used to generate power in the natural. In marriage, this implies that all-round power, spiritually, physically, materially, financially and socially is additional treasure. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says: Two are better than one… In addition, inside rivers are precious treasures, such as mineral deposits that can yield prosperity when properly traded with. That is why Isaiah 60:5 says: … The abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee. When you

Marriage: A garden of treasures (2) handle marriage in the scriptural way, you are bound to prosper in all areas of your life. Tapping the best that the marriage garden has to offer, demands a total obedience to God’s commandments concerning marriage. He has also made available several tools, for the man and woman to best accomplish the task of cultivating and keeping their marriage gardens. The most important tool given to the man, as a vital instrument for digging out the treasures in marriage, is the tool of love. God, Himself, used this tool in John 3:13 and commanded that man uses the same tool in Ephesians 5:25. The only type of love that can stand the test of time and dig out the treasures in the garden, is the God-kind of love, the unconditional love. There is no woman who does not respond to love. Even if she does not respond at first, keep loving her and very soon you will be amazed at the warmth and closeness it will generate. For the woman, the tool of submission has been given to her by God to bring out the treasures in her marriage garden (Ephesians 5:22). Her effective use of this tool will bring the treasures of unity, genuine care, strength and covering upon her from the marriage garden. A rebellious and non-submissive woman is alone. She will have to struggle to take decisions on her own and to see to their execution. Such a woman has removed her covering and can expect unprecedented attacks. Complete obedience to the tools given by God and a practical use of them, will guarantee your enjoyment of the treasures in your garden. This testimony is a proof of this fact: “When I was ready for marriage, I noticed that some things were working against me, but I was not a serious Christian then. However, when I dedicated my life fully to Jesus Christ in 1992, it

became obvious that I lacked wisdom, counsel and I was emotionally immature. My obedience to the different ministrations I have received here has made my life and marriage to have meaning and direction. Now my marriage is established and I am free from all manner of oppressions of the wicked. My family has increased remarkably and I now apply myself to the wisdom of God that He has imparted on me, by reason of the teachings and ministrations I get here!” You too can rededicate your life by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord, as this will enable you to understand and obey His commandments with ease. If you will like to dedicate your life to Jesus Christ, please say this prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, I come to You today. I am sinner. I cannot help myself. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me with Your blood. Deliver me form sin and Satan to serve the living God. I believe You died for me and on the third day, You rose that I might be justified. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Make me a child of God today. Thank You for accepting me into Your kingdom. Congratulations, you are now born again! I believe that you will begin to experience the reality of the price that Jesus paid for your sins at Calvary. All-round rest and peace are guaranteed you, in Jesus’ Name! Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail:, Tel. No: 08141320204; 07026385437; 07094254102 For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Making Marriage Work, Marriage Covenant, Building A Successful Home and Success in Marriage (Co-Authored).

Diagnostic laboratory tests for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria:

An Alice in Wonderland Journey Co-authored With Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Onianwa Continued from last week When are we going to harmonize or standardize our procedures for HIV/AIDS voluntary counseling and testing? Why is HIV/AIDS education and management not yet in the curriculum from secondary to tertiary levels? How many of the primary centers have the equipment and trained man power to carry out reliable HIV/AIDS test? What about the people in areas with rough terrain? and then the issue of religion and culture ? If we might add, how many Teaching Hospitals have the health records of prominent Nigerians including politicians.? How can we rely on results coming out from the various research organizations when certain classes of people do not use any of our health facilities, including the laboratories? A 'big man'' was seen in a big Hospital with clinical features clearly suggestive of HerpesZoster Viral infection; multiform rashes, some of them bullous were restricted to one side of the body. When asked to go for voluntary counseling and then HIV test, he walked out furious, pouring verbal invectives on the Consultant dermatologist. He wanted no explanations as to any possible connections between the two. Physicians have noted that men and women in this country take personal health matters for granted; and particularly those concerning communicable sexually transmitted diseases. A young lady with recurrent genital tract infection will continue to play around until she develops chronic PID(pelvic inflammatory disease) and consequently, blocked fallopian tubes. That's when she begins to go from one prayer house to another. When HIV/AIDS is suspect only poor Nigerians make themselves available for laboratory investigations. Many of the Hospitals here, including government owned hospitals do not have health records of prominent Nigerians. How many politicians go to our Hospitals for routine medical lab tests? It is even easier for a medical lab in South Africa owned and operated by Nigerians to receive one thousand Men from Nigeria flying there for PSA(prostate specific antigen) to detect cancer of the prostate, than for an identical outfit located here in this country. Nigerians who have money have no time for condom, in what ever shape or form, male or female. They also do not have the patience to negotiate for safer sex. They are prepared to take risks and simply go overseas for every thing when they feel uncertain . That way hospitals overseas have more health records of Nigerians than we can boast of. This is similar to the current trend in the educational sector where Nigerians now fall over themselves to send children to schools in Ghana. So soon, it has been forgotten that not too long ago, Ghanaians were asked to leave this country; it was 'Ghana must go'' and that country was not considered good enough even for visits. Consultants in the relevant departments of the Hospitals in Nigeria have maintained a no- nonsense stance on the

issue of voluntary counseling and testing, insisting that every one irrespective of social status appeared physically to have lab test for HIV/AIDS. This has helped to strengthen the capacity of many groups to generalize results of their research findings. At the same time, a large proportion of wealthy individuals living with HIV/AIDS, would rather go for prophylactic(preventive) treatment with antiretroviral drugs, perhaps with no idea of the very low success rate and dangerous side effects associated with that approach. If these men and women have the virus, there are no ways of knowing. They spread the organism through multiple social channels and yet are inadvertently excluded from the statistics. Beyond that whereas partner notification for ordinary people can be done easily following prescribed methods, it is a different situation when dealing with the rich; many issues come up and it remains unsettled who does what. It is not uncommon for men and women with diverge sexual orientation and who have multiple partners to simply suggest that Doctors destroy personal records linking them with sexually transmitted infections; and so the network of infection continues to increase. Also many educated young people would not want to be seen where people gather to do blood tests .After many years of prevention fatigue, they no longer believe that AIDS is real; more of them are now having unprotected sex, with no plans to go check if they have the virus. They are not captured in the statistics currently being used as the basis for strategies, goals and research. The complex nature of human immune deficiency/acquired immune deficiency syndrome(HIV/AIDS) stems from the painful understanding that it is life threatening and once contracted, the patient lives with it for life. So early detection of the disease makes for early and effective management decisions aimed at aborting the fear factor, improving the quality of life and reducing morbidity and mortality statistics. Over the years, laboratory tests to detect the human immunodeficiency virus(HIV) and monitor disease progression (there are people with HIV who progress with the disease) and non progression(other people will have the infection but do not progress with it), have been refined and have become more sensitive (improvement in the ability to detect the presence of disease in those who actually have it) and specific(better able to show negative test in individuals who truly do not have the disease). Characteristically HIV/AIDS is a disorder of the immune system in which the normal immunity against infection breaks down, leaving the infected person more prone to a variety of infections and other conditions. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome(AIDS) therefore is the final stage of HIV infection. There are two types of HIV infection ; HIV 1 and 2. HIV 1 is the better known and better characterized of the two. It is generally assumed that HIV 2 shares common bio markers

with HIV 1, but certain contrasting features have been observed, particularly in the subtypes. Though mixed infection of both HIV 1 and 2 are commonly seen, HIV 1 being more pandemic is the predominant type in Nigeria. HIV 2 is uncommon in Europe and America with the exception of mixed serotypes seen amongst African Americans. In Nigeria however, issues concerning major types and subtypes are chiefly in the provinces of research scientists and other experts in the driving seats of the various HIV/AIDS programs. Both viruses (HIV 1 & HIV 2) are retroviruses that enter the human body through infected blood, semen, vaginal and cervical secretions, breast milk etc. The target cells are usually those that display the viral receptors- CD4(cluster of differentiation group 4) and are seen mostly on the lymphocytes and some other cells. The virus, on entry into the host cells turns them into factories for making the cellular components needed for survival and propagation. After a period of 3-6 weeks, seroconversion takes place. At this point, the host mounts an immune response against the virus which is detected as antibodies in the blood. The period from when the virus entered the body to that when antibodies are detected i n the blood is known as the diagnostic window period. Recent studies have shown that this period may last from three weeks to ten years and even longer in individuals (with mutation for certain HIV coreceptors (CXCR4 & CCR5). During this period, an infected patient may not have any symptoms, but sheds the virus through all the biological fluids in the body; blood(including menstrual blood), saliva, urine, excreta, cough, catarrh etc Current routine laboratory diagnosis of HIV is mainly based on the detection of specific anti-HIV antibodies. The diagnostic window period is also a disturbing time for patients who may have had situations of unwanted unprotected sexual exposure as may for instance occur in cases of rape ,and consequently want to have phlebotomy for HIV test and be treated. Since genital sex remains the major route of transmission and the infection is life long , a number of social, moral, ethical and legal issues declare themselves the moment positive test results are mentioned. These issues become further complicated when laboratory tests are done in circumstances where supervision by a medically qualified health professional is absent or where counseling was inadequate, not done at all or under circumstances where counselor was unable to sufficiently handle issues of confidentiality. •To be continued




Narcotic pain killers can cause accidental deaths

The opioid or narcotic analgesics depress the central nervous system and slow breathing. These effects become life threatening when an overdose of an opioid is taken or when other depressant drugs are being used by the person taking the opioid. Simultaneous use of opioid and certain drugs have led to accidental deaths from arrest of breathing. Doctors generally take a history of the patient and avoid combining use of opioid with any other drug that can add to the respiratory and central nervous system depression to cause death. However, people who use opioid pain killers as habit drugs, some of whom are teenagers and young adults, have been known to get these drugs over the Internet, from relatives and friends who had legitimate prescriptions, and from black markets. These drugs are sometimes stolen from patients and from clinics. Patients who have access to a narcotic pain killer used for chronic pain or detox programs through legal prescription have sometimes illegally sold the drug to persons using them socially. Some of these drug abusers also take alcohol, another central nervous system depressant. Drug interactions leading to fatality may be pharmacodynamic or pharmacoki-

netic. When pharmacologists study pharmacodynamics of a drug they are studying what the drug does or does not do within the human body, i.e. the effects of the drug, especially those that produce therapeutic goals and eliminate a medical problem. When pharmacologists study pharmacokinetics of a drug they are studying what the human body functions do to the drug, for example how the drug is absorbed, distributed, destroyed, and excreted from the body. Opioids being taken as pain killers or as drugs of abuse can have pharmacodynamic interactions that enhance their dangerous effects. For example, drugs such alprazolam-like tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and alcohol are potentially hazardous if taken with opioids. Pharmacokinetic interactions with opioids can have various effects. For example,

ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic, inhibits certain liver enzymes and can lead to less processing of the opioid methadone within the body. Thus, because methadone is not being excreted, it reaches higher concentrations and its dangerous effects such as decreased breathing are more manifest. Imagine a teenager who is taking this antibiotic prescribed by his doctor and then goes to a holiday camp and is introduced to opioid drug abuse by his peers. Even if he takes a normal opioid dose like his peers do, it results in an accidental overdose for him because of the enzyme-inhibiting antibiotic that he is already taking. Another example of pharmacokinetic drug interaction with an opioid is the case of the antibiotic rifampin which induces certain body enzymes thus increasing the enzyme functions that lead to excretion of the opioid b u p r e n o r p h i n e . Buprenorphine levels in the body fall too fast and the drug thus fails in protecting the patient from chronic pain. An opioid withdrawal syndrome may also be precipitated. Doctors and health care providers are able to prevent or monitor such pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic drug interactions for patients who need to be given an opioid pain killer plus another drug for a medical condition other than pain. The choice of particular drug combinations and the monitoring and adjustments of doses are taken care of to avoid dangerous drug interactions. Unofficial use of opioids in social circles lacks such monitoring and every now and then results in fatal drug interactions. When a doctor prescribes an opioid, he or she will tell you what substances you should not consume while taking the drug. For example, you should avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking methadone. Grapefruit juice inhibits some body enzymes including enzymes that prepare opioids for excretion. Opioid levels in the body build up and toxicity may result. You should also avoid alcohol because it can enhance the drowsiness that methadone causes. A person who takes this drug unofficially may lack such warnings and could end up with a fatal accident if he operates a dangerous machine or drives a car. To be continued Dr. ’Bola John is a biomedical scientist based in Nigeria and in the USA. For any comments or questions on this column, please email or call 07028338910 or 08160944635.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2013 • Children undergoing training in the home

‘Our frustrations as care givers to street kids’

• Ifeoma

EW would suspect that the  Gbenga ADERANTI place is a rehabilitation centre for the less-privileged. The building is well designed and tastefully furnished. The comportment of the occupants of the home does not give them away as boys rescued from the streets. Their vivacious faces point to the fact that they are happy. Yet before they were rescued from the streets, they had lived a life of frustration, having broken ties with their families. Survival was all that mattered to them and whatever they had to do to survive mattered little, no matter how injurious it could be to them or to others in their surroundings. But now they are living as responsible members of the society, with the Fair Life Africa Foundation (FLA) at the forefront of their rehabilitation. For instance, 16-year-old Mark would always be grateful to the Fair Life Africa Foundation for changing his fortune. Unlike those who were picked from Oshodi and Kuramo Beach, Mark, having heard about the activities of the foundation decided on his own to visit the centre. Before then, he was sleeping under the bridge at Oshodi, eking out a living as a burden bearer. As a precondition to be accepted as a “street child” into the home, he was placed on an assessment for a while and was counselled by a social worker. But he broke one of the rules of the home by engaging in a fight with one of the housemates. That should automatically qualify him for eviction, but he pleaded and made a commitment that such would not happen again and was given a second chance. Mark had left home because he was tired of living with his uncle, a police officer and strict disciplinarian. In the process, he became more of a


• Ufuoma

• Nishola

• Tope

street urchin. By the time he left the FLA, however, he had become a transformed fellow. He learnt how to control his anger and settle disputes amicably. And what is more, the foundation was able to reconcile him with his family. For 15-year old John, an indigene of Oyo State and the only male child of his father, his case actually looked irredeemable. A product of a broken home, his mother had separated from his father while he was still at a tender age, and he later ran away from home. According to the FLA, “we met John at a police shelter where he was being looked after as a lost child after he had spent some time on the street working for a woman at Oshodi in Lagos. The Fair Life Africa intervened by taking him along on a home tracing excursion. “We located his father in Ibadan. At that time (September 2012), neither of them was ready for reconciliation. John’s father complained that it was not the first time his son would run away from home, and that he couldn’t understand his behaviour. “John’s initial story was that he did not intentionally leave home, but did so because he lost the money he was given to go on an errand. But when someone offered him a bus fare to go home, he chose to follow another child rather than return home. He said he was afraid that he would be flogged by his father for returning so late. “John became a housemate of the FLA home with the expectation that in time, he would be ready to return home to his father. He was enrolled in a primary school in spite of his age because he lacked any basic education. While at the home, he also attended group and one-on-one counselling sessions with our social worker, and he has shown significant progress emotionally.”


John was said to have proved himself to be hard-working and generally well behaved. “He derives joy from impressing people around him and loves to be noticed and acknowledged. He has improved considerably in hygiene, as he takes care of himself and his space well. He also does chores assigned to him happily without grumbling and often offers a helping hand. “Academically, John was one of the top scorers in his class (third place), and showed that he had potential, but needed someone to encourage and guide him to apply himself. John was eventually reconciled with his parents.” Mark’s and John’s experiences are just two of the many ‘street children’s that the FLA has rehabilitated. But whatever the rehabilitated children are enjoying today came at a cost. The official launch of the foundation presented the opportunity for the volunteers to tell their stories. The Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, Mrs. Ufuoma Emerhor-Asogbon, a graduate of Social Work from the Manchester Metropolitan University, had worked with several disabled adults before she volunteered as children’s advocate. EmerhorAsogbon disclosed that at the time the foundation was launched in October, it had gulped about N40 million since it started in January 2011, excluding the cost of the building being used as office and the transitory home for the “street children.” She said after she realised that there was inequality in the world, she decided to contribute her quota to making the world a better place. She said: “In Nigeria, injustice is very rife. So, it is not wise for us to continue like this. The motivation is not from an economic viewpoint, but from a spiritual position. It is from the recognition that the unbalanced way of the society is not right, where the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting more and more affluent. It doesn’t help the world to be better.” She insists that if everybody is doing well, the world will get better. ”It is not good when some are doing badly and others are doing well. We won’t get better that way. We are better off when we empower people; when we have success right and left,” she said. But the Fair Life Africa boss sometimes gets discouraged, “because I’m a human being and not a robot. Much as I try not to make this work an emotional one, it costs so much. When you invest so much and you get little or you beg people to help somebody else, it is not as if you are going to help yourself, I feel as if I’m begging.” She also gets discouraged when the children she is trying to help seem not to cooperate. “I get discouraged when these children don’t understand what you are trying to do for them. And sometimes when things don’t go right with the rehabilitation, it makes you wonder, do these children really want it for themselves?” She is looking forward to building another respite home in places like Ajegunle (Lagos), where the foundation will be able to pick children directly from the streets in those locations. “We are looking forward to having long-stay homes which is something we’re not doing at the moment. We provide short-term accommodation because we do not have the capacity to keep children at home.” One of the field workers at the Fair Life Africa Foundation, Tope Abowaje, is a University of Lagos Human Kinetic and Health Education graduate. She is one of the people currently responsible for picking children from the streets. She says they do this not minding the dangers

involved because some of the children are capable of doing anything. In a place like Oshodi where there is a kind of semi-government, it takes people with a lion’s heart to interact with the children, especially their bosses. She said: “These children are forced to live in unhealthy environment where they hardly have their baths. They always look dirty. They have raw eczema, rotten teeth, twisted hair and eyes dulled by substance abuse. It’s astonishing to imagine the effects of such exposure on these children. They can quickly degenerate into a life of violence, sexual exploitation, trafficking and emotional instability.” According to Abowaje, initial familiarity with these kids is met with resentment because “they are really not sure about whom they are talking to, hence they do not want to let out information. Also, they are habitually on the move and always on the look-out for opportunities and dangers.” Would she blame the children for thinking this way? The street provides an ephemeral freedom and is like father, mother, school and home to them. To this, Abowaje says the initial familiarisation effort is always difficult. She said: “Most people often ask how I have been able to get the boys to trust and talk to me and I generally answer that every child wants a friend who appears to understand him and doesn’t condemn his action, and that is who I show myself to be to them. With little effort, we begin to play and communicate.” If she had succeeded in sweet-talking some of the ‘street children’ into reconciling with their parents, she still feels pained that she was unable to get Daniel from Ibadan to the home. She said: “One of the striking situations I recall was a visit we made to the beach on a particular Easter day where my colleagues and I found this wonderful, vibrant, cheerful street child named Daniel. We soon discovered that he ran from CCC, Ibadan, Oyo State. “After much persuasion to be part of CCC Initiative programme in our Respite Home, he said that he needed more time to make money and then he might consider the idea. About three days later, we made another trip to the same location only to find that he was involved in an accident while swimming at the beach which led to a fatal injury. And since he was all by himself on the street, rushing him to a nearby hospital was a challenge, and he died.” Nishola Akinyera, also a field worker at the foundation, is a Mass Communication graduate from the Olabisi Onabanjo University. Akinyera, who joined the FLA two years ago, is constantly on the move, especially when it comes to meeting the material needs of the children. She also supports them through rehabilitation, reconciliation and reintegration process until they are ready to go back to their families at the end of their stay at the Fair Life Africa Foundation home. Home tracing for these children has been challenging. According to her, the pranks the children play could be frustrating. “Some have also been quite hilarious. For instance, when children who had confidently told you that they know their way back home and are ready to go back after being on the streets for a long period, they suddenly develop ‘amnesia’ and decide not to know the way anymore when you are almost there! Often, this is because they fear you might abandon them at home without a solution to the problem they ran away from in the first place. It could be frustrating when things like that happen,” she said.

In Nigeria, injustice is very rife. So, it is not wise for us to continue like this. The motivation is not from an economic viewpoint, but from a spiritual position




News 57



HE Boko Haram member who bombed the Abuja offices of ThisDay, The Sun and Moment newspapers on April 26, 2012, is to spend the rest of his life in jail, a Federal High Court, Abuja ordered yesterday. Mustapher Umar (34) was convicted on one count charge of engaging in acts of terrorism contrary to the provision of Section 1(2)(d) of the TPA 2011 and punishable under Section 33(1)(a) of the same law. Umar, who claimed to be a petty trader until he got involved with the sect, confessed that his attack on the building was meant to

Boko Haram member bags life jail for bombing ThisDay, others •Court imposes N150m fine as compensation for victims Eric IKHILAE, Abuja

avenge the wrongful portrayal of Prophet Mohammed by Thisday in one of its publications. Three persons died when he rammed a Honda car containing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) made from camp gas cylinders, into the building.

... with lawyer

•Umar in court yesterday


Justice Ademola Adeniyi convicted Umar based on the evidence presented by the prosecution and the confessional statement of the accused tendered in court. The prosecution called 10 witnesses in the course of the trial, while Umar testified for himself as the sole defence witness. The court rejected

EFCC arrests Lamido’s sons for allegedly laundering N10bn

HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday took into custody two sons of Governor Sule Lamido of jigawa State for alleged laundering of about N10 billion. Mustapha and Aminu Lamido were taken to Abuja at about 9 am yesterday, following their arrest in Kano. Their interrogation commenced immediately. The governor’s camp alleged political victimisation. It claimed that the arrest was part of the crackdown on the G-7 governors who, along with Alhaji Kawu Baraje, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Dr. Sam Jaja, have been the driving forces behind the nPDP. An EFCC source however said its operatives discovered the alleged diversion in the course of investigating the mismanagement of the funds. The governor himself, it was gathered, was spared arrest on account of his constitutional immunity. The source said: “You will recall that we had earlier secured the conviction of Aminu for laundering $40,000. This incident made the EFCC to take more interest in the financial affairs of Jigawa State. “Following a tip-off, we stepped up investigation into the financial transactions, leading to this fresh discovery of alleged mismanagement of N10 billion.

•’It’s part of crackdown on G7 governors’ Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation and Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano “We are looking into how part of these state funds got into the accounts of the governor’s sons. “We are investigating the allegation that the suspects had been fronting for their father by laundering state funds. The source said all the accounts of the suspects and the governor were “being scrutinised by our investigating team.” Responding to a question, the source added: “The two sons were brought to Abuja at about 9 am today (yesterday). Their interrogation is still in progress. “It is too early to talk about their admission to bail now because they have only been making statements.” Contacted, the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said: “We have arrested the sons of the governor. They are being interrogated.” The Federal High Court in Kano had on July 12 found Aminu Sule Lamido guilty of money laundering charge levelled against him by the EFCC But in spite of the conviction by Justice Fatu Riman, the 34year old son of Jigawa State Governor did not serve any prison term. He only refunded 25 per cent of the $40,000 allegedly laun-

dered to the Federal Government. There were insinuations yesterday that the arrest of Lamido’s sons was part of the ongoing crackdown on G-7 governors who have been at loggerheads with President Goodluck Jonathan on the crisis in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). A source in the governor’s camp said: “We saw it coming. The Federal Government is out to break the will of Governor Lamido so that he can back out of G-7. “Why is the EFCC suddenly targeting states controlled by G-7 governors? Why are they now interested in the financial transactions of the seven states? “Nigerians are no fools; they can read between the lines. This is politics by ambush. They want to intimidate and blackmail the G-7 governors at all cost.” Aminu Lamido is a 2010 graduate of Mass Communication of Bayero University, Kano while Mustapha is an alumni of the University of Abuja. Aminu was convicted by Justice Fatu Rima of the Kano State High Court in July for false declaration of foreign exchange in his possession while on a trip to Egypt. He was ordered to forfeit 25 per cent of the $40,000 he failed to declare at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport.

Umar’s claim of innocence and claim that he was compelled by the police to admit committing the crime. Justice Adeniyi said: ”A careful examination of the confessional statement will show his (Umar’s) state of mind and how the attack was planned. “Their (Boko Haram) activities in Kaduna, where they stay and how they are

financed are also shown in the statement. “The prosecution has proved the case of terrorism against the accused. I therefore find the accused person, a self-confessed Boko Haram member, guilty of the crime. “The accused person’s evil act resulted in the killing of three people, leaving others with various degrees

of injury. “The reasons he gave for attacking the media houses are not tenable. It is the court’s opinion that he should be removed from the public so that he does not kill more people,” the judge held. The judge, in compliance with the provision of Section 33(1)(a) of the Terrorism Prevention Act (TPA) 2011 under which he was charged, imposed on the convict a fine of N150 million as compensation for the victims of his act. As the judge read the judgment, Umar, dressed in white polo shirt and black trousers, looked dejected. He maintained a blank disposition, looking from one end of the court to the other as he stood in the dock. Asked to speak after his conviction, Umar, who spoke in Hausa, maintained that he was innocent and that he was a petty trader who sold perfumes. But his lawyer, Nureni Sulaiman, said since his client was convicted on the basis of the evidence presented by the prosecution, he could only appeal to the court to be lenient with the convict. Umar was rescued from the site of the incident on the fateful day.



Alleged N3bn fraud: Governor's PA slumps to death as EFCC shifts probe to Kebbi

•Anti-graft agency arrests Accountant-General


•From left: Advert Manager, Mr Robinson Osirike; Executive Director Finance and Administration, Mr. Ade Odunewu; General Manager Training and Development, Mr Soji Omotunde and Training and Development Facilitator, Dr Fidelis W. Nwankwo, during an in-house seminar held for the advert executives of The Nation newspaper at the Women Empowerment Centre, Agege, Lagos... yesterday. PHOTO: Gbenga KUTELU

South South gov, minister in fresh plot to remove Amaechi G OVERNOR Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State is facing a fresh plot to “violently, illegally and unconstitutionally remove” him from office, it was alleged yesterday. The alleged plot is the brain child of those the Rivers People Forum (RPF) called the Abuja cabal. The group said the same cabal “has been behind the crisis in Rivers State.” The RPF, in a statement by its president, Charles Bekwele, claimed that the plot was being financed by “a South South governor and

two ministers.” It said one of the ministers is from the North “who wants to be governor of his state and the other minister who is in charge of a very critical ministry has been unable to solve the crisis rocking his ministry for months.” It said all the people involved in the plot are close to the Presidency. “The evil plot is to unleash violence in various parts of the state so that Rivers State would be presented as ungovernable and in turmoil to

pave the way for the declaration of a state of emergency and use that as a reason to remove Governor Amaechi from office,” the RPF said. “The homes of two ex-senators and another prominent politician are targeted to be touched by arsonists. Some of Governor Amaechi’s staunch supporters are also targets. A known militant has been contacted to execute most of the acts of violence in the state. “Money for this plot would be brought in from Abuja and

the state of the South South governor in six ambulances to divert attention from the real purpose of the ambulances.” The group said it would not tolerate any attempt to truncate the governor’s tenure which will expire in June 2014. “We will not allow any individual or cabal to truncate our collective mandate given to Governor Amaechi. This Abuja cabal must henceforth desist from such insidious plots that will certainly throw our polity into disarray and threaten our democracy,” it warned.

Tukur in fresh trouble for defying Jonathan •Continued from Page 6 of the National Working Committee of the party to Oyinlola’s press briefing as excessively long on posturing but short on reasonable arguments, as it failed woefully to answer very pertinent questions and issues pertaining to disrespect for the judiciary, due process and violation of the principle of fair hearing. He said: “Those perpetrating the horrors of numerous atrocities designed to nail Oyinlola at all costs are not aware of the implication of denigrating the judiciary and the rule of law; and that my fiercest critics and opponents today are those who are unhappy at my preference for due process in administering the affairs of the PDP national headquarters. “Most of them are people who were denied attempts to secure undue and illegal political advantage and patronage that would have amounted to the circumvention of regulations. “One notes with consternation and disbelief the recent developments in the PDP NWC, which disallowed the Deputy National Chairman from acting on issues and matters in the absence of the national chairman. This is obviously an embarrassing statement which portrays the NWC as a one-man affair.” Oyinlola insisted that the party had been served the judgment of the Court of Appeal. He added: ”The question to ask is ‘If PDP is unaware, how

did it rush its appeal to the Supreme Court? That was the same manner in which Justice Abdul-Kafarati claimed that he was not aware that records of proceedings of his court had been transferred to the Court of Appeal when he wanted to pronounce Prof. Wale Oladipo as the national secretary, when the proceedings were actually forwarded from his court. Thank God that pronouncement, following its abrogation, was made in vain.” Oyinlola said some party leaders might also press charges against those who have breached the constitution of the party when the PDP Disciplinary Committee is legally constituted. He added: ‘’Let it be known that when the PDP Disciplinary Committee is legally and validly constituted at the national level, those of us who


are aggrieved may also press charges against those we believe have breached the party’s constitution and engaged in serial violation of rules and regulations guiding the operations of the PDP. “These are people who have also engaged in conducts that have apparently caused confusion and disharmony, encouraged divisions, refuse to consider appeals timeously, made utterances that have put the PDP into disrepute, have clearly breached the PDP constitution and refused blatantly to summon meetings of the National Executive Committee of the party, as well as meetings of its other organs as prescribed by PDP regulations.’’ Oyinlola recalled how a former National Vice-Chairman of PDP, Senator Girgiri Lawan, was arbitrarily suspended by the National

Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. He said: ‘’For the records, I wish to state in clear and unequivocal terms that I never supported the suspension of the National Vice-Chairman of the PDP for the North-West Zone, Senator Girgiri Lawan, a rather forthright personality, as a member of the NWC. “The minutes of the meeting at which the decision was taken would reveal that Senator Girgiri Lawan was accused and judged by Alhaji Tukur, whose actions at that particular NWC meeting are recorded. “It is also on record that the letter conveying Senator Lawan’s suspension was not signed by me in my capacity as the national secretary with the statutory responsibility but was drafted, approved and signed within the office of the national chairman.“

The name he gave is that of Boko Haram, which prefers to go by the title in Arabic, which translates as “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”. Ansaru is an offshoot of the militant group and has previously claimed kidnappings of foreign nationals. A church official in northern Cameroon says the gunmen who kidnapped the priest are demanding the release of members of Boko Haram who have been arrested.

Fellow priest, Gilbert Pali, said yesterday that the kidnappers had sent a representative back to the area to issue their demands. Father Georges Vandenbeusch was kidnapped late Wednesday in the far north of Cameroon, about 30 kilometers from the border with Nigeria. The zone has been flagged as a risk for terrorism and kidnapping, but the priest chose to stay on to carry out his work, the French Foreign Ministry said.

Boko Haram ‘holding kidnapped French priest’

HE Islamist sect, Boko Haram, is holding a French priest who was kidnapped in northern Cameroon, a source within the banned Nigerian Islamist group said yesterday. “I can confirm that the French priest is in the hands of mujahideen (fighters) from Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, who carried out the operation that was co-ordinated with Ansaru,” the source, who demanded anonymity, told AFP.

personal assistant to the Kebbi State governor unexpectedly slumped to death on Thursday in Birni Kebbi, allegedly after getting signals that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was closing in on him in respect of a N3billion fraud in the accounts of the state government. Aminu Gwandu, was due for burial yesterday according to Islamic rites. However, his death did not stop the commission from arresting the state’s AccountantGeneral, Mr. Dan Atto in connection with the matter. Atto was taken to Abuja for interrogation. Atto was invited by the EFCC to throw light on the alleged diversion of the N3 billion into private accounts. It was learnt that the late Aminu Gwandu was apparently scared stiff by signals that he too might be invited by the agency,especially the stigma that goes with such interface with the anti-graft agency. A source said the development was said to have hit him like a thunderbolt. His health soon

Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation deteriorated and he slumped. He died before he could get medical assistance. The Accountant-General of the state, who initially appeared at the EFCC’s office in Kano, reported again yesterday. He was immediately arrested and whisked to Abuja for interrogation. A source in EFCC, however, said: “There was no incident relating to the EFCC on the appearance and arrest of Atto. “We are investigating alleged laundering of N3billion which we have traced to some accounts. We are quizzing many suspects including the Accountant-General, Atto. “After reporting in Kano, our men picked him up for a comprehensive grilling in Abuja.” The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said Atto was in “EFCC custody to clarify some issues.” Goveror Saidu Usman Dakingari could not be reached for his reaction last night.

University honours First Lady, CBN governor, Okonjo- Iweala


OUR eminent Nigerians will be honoured at the 4th Founder’s Day and 1st Convocation ceremonies of the Oduduwa University (OUI), Ipetumode, Osun State on Thursday next week. The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan will be honoured with a doctoral degree in Public Administration; the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala will be awarded Doctor of Finance; the Governor of Central Bank, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi will be honoured with Doctor of Economics while Prof. G.A. Olawoyin (SAN) will be awarded Doctor of Law. Speaking on the forthcoming convocation, the Vice Chancellor of OUI, Prof. Adeleke Ogunwale, said 166

students would be graduating during the ceremony, 18 of which will be graduating with First Class honours; 63 with Second Class Upper; 82 with Second Class Lower while three students will graduate with Third Class honours. He said prizes would be awarded to best students in different disciplines. He also said the ceremony would kick off with the installation of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, as the Chancellor by the VC, Prof. Ogunwale. As part of the programme, there will be a novelty match at the school’s sports ground on Tuesday while Wednesday has been slated for the commissioning of a water project and the new OUI library. Lectures and plays have also been slated for Wednesday.

CJN seeks judiciary’s involvement in protecting nation’s democracy


he Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam Aloma Muhktar, has stressed the need for the judiciary to be involved in the effort to build a viable democratic culture in the country. She argued that the Judiciary could no longer afford to stand aloof and watch in view of the country’s past experience. The CJN spoke in Abuja yesterday while swearing in a new justice of the Supreme Court, Justice John Inyang Okoro. Justice Mukhtar reminded the new justice that by his appointment, a very heavy responsibility had been placed

Eric IKHILAE, Abuja on his shoulders. “The sole reason is that the public perception of the judiciary as we are well aware is central to its existence, especially in a democratic society as Nigeria. “It follows therefore that the judiciary, in a democratic society, cannot remain aloof of the realities of the operating environment even if only for the pragmatic necessity to maintain its relevance in the society,” she said. The CJN said the judiciary, in all democratic societies, is saddled with the critical role of mediating in conflicts and upholding human rights through a robust interpretation of law.



•Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (middle) commiserating with the widow of Pa Babarinde Oluwide Ajibola (Baba Omojola), Mrs. Yewande Cole Ajibola (right) and son of the deceased, Akin Ajibola (left) during the lying-in-state of the Pro-National Conference Organisation (PRONACO) Leader, Pa Babarinde Oluwide Ajibola at his Surulere residence •Some of the children of Oluwide Ajibola (Baba Omojola), at the grave side...yesterday in Lagos...yesterday

Fashola, rights activists pay last respect to Baba Omojola AGOS State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola yesterday joined pro-democracy activists in paying his last respects to the late Pro- democracy activist, Pa Babarinde Oluwide Ajibola, popularly known in his life time as Baba Omojola, as his remains laid in state in Lagos.


n Miriam EKENE-OKORO n The Governor arrived at the Chief Onitana Street, Surulere residence of the late activist at about 10am to the warm embrace of pro-democracy groups and activists who had gathered to honour the activist.

He later walked past the remains laid in a brown casket that was draped with National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) colours, as a mark of his last respect to the late activist. The governor later sat and commiserated with the family members led by Mrs. Yewande Cole Ajibola and some

of the children who included Akin Ajibola, Ms Titilope Omosile Ajibola and Miss Eyinade Rosa Ajibola. Other PRONACO members present included Chief Ayo Opadokun, Reverend Tunji Adebiyi, Mrs. Alao AkaBashorun and Comrade Alfred Ilenre among others.

Iyayi’s goodwill opened doors for me, says younger brother ITH tributes still pouring in on the death of a former president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU),Professor Festus Iyayi,his younger brother,Odion,recalls how the mere mention of the name of the deceased opened many doors for him (Odion). He described the late Iyayi as an upright person. "All my life I lived with him. He trained me and always cared for me and the


•The ex-ASUU President we knew–Colleagues n Osagie OTABOR, Benin n entire family. He is a man that did not discriminate,” the younger Iyayi told The Nation. “He was upright, sincere and had a big heart. We thought lecturers don’t have money and why would my brother go into a profession where you don’t make money, but he chose to be in academics and he did very well. He knew what he wanted and was prepared to

do the job. "He said he could not stop helping people. Our parents were peasant farmers.When ever I went to his office, people would be there demanding one thing or the other and when I asked how much he earned to distribute, he would say that if he did not give,what would he be keeping the money for. He ensured he solved people’s problems within his limited resources and from what he could do."

"He wanted the country to be better. If the leaders do what they are supposed to do, what would make a governor have a long convoy and be chasing people off the road. It is the people that should protect the governor and not long convoys. My brother was not in government but see how people are coming here. I use his name anywhere I go to and people give me respect." Secretary of Esan Students Worldwide, Alex Oseghale

•Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (middle), All Progressives Congress (APC) Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande (2nd right), author of the book, Dr. John Ekundayo (4th right), his wife, Mrs. Mary Anikeola Adebola Ekundayo (3rd right), Representative of Sir (Chief) Kessington Adebutu and the book presenter, Asiwaju Yemi Ajayi (right), Senator representing Lagos Central, Senator (Mrs.) Oluremi Tinubu (left), Co-Presenter of the book, Chief Pius Akinyelure (2nd left), Chairman of the occasion, Chief Remi Makanjuola (4th left) and Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule (3rd left) during the public presentation of the book “Out of Africa, Fashola: Re-inventing Servant Leadership to Engender Nigeria’s Transformation” by Dr. John Ekundayo at the Event Center, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos on Friday, November 15, 2013.

Orukpe, said Prof. Iyayi was good to any students association that needed his help. "When we had Anthony Enahoro Memorial Lecture, Iyayi ensured that Odia Ofeimun came. He preached good governance. He assisted students in so many ways. He is a rare gem and would be missed. We appeal to ASUU and Federal Government to calloff the strike in honour of Prof. Iyayi so that his labour for good and quality education would not be in vain,” Orukpe said. Prof. Austin Monye, former Chairman of ASUU in UNIBEN said he almost had a blackout when one of the victims called to inform him about the accident and the death of Prof. Iyayi. According to him, "We took a stand that certain things should be put in place before the strike should be called off. We lost a man, a comrade, somebody who has fought all his life to uplift education in the Nigeria and to ensure that we rescue Nigerians from the hands of Bretton institutions. “He was open, democratic and encompassing and he moved everybody along. He was such a leader you admire. His commitment and leadership style was that he led; he was in front and you followed. He was not a leader that would give instruction and stay behind. He provided leadership by example." Chairman of ASUU in Delta State University, Dr. Emma Mordi described Prof. Iyayi as a courageous man who inspired many of them to fight for justice.

"Prof. Iyayi dedicated his life to improving education. He decided not to travel in luxury but opted to join us by road to Kano and he paid the supreme price. We mourn him. As a mark of honour, I think this strike has to continue. As we speak, we have not achieved anything. We thought as a mark of respect for the presidency that the strike could be suspended while negotiation should continue." Pro-Chancellor of UNIBEN, Senator Dickson Effiong said the late Prof. Iyayi was a brand identified with the university. Senator Dickson said that Prof. Iyayi died in the course of struggling to make Nigeria education system better and he paid the supreme price. Iyayi died on Tuesday in a motor accident on the Lokoja-Abuja road. He was on his way to Kano for an ASUU meeting on the current strike embar upon by the union. The car in which he was travelling was hit by a vehicle in the convoy of Governor Wada Idris of Kogi State. Giving government’s version of how the accident occurred, the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr.Jacob Edi said his principal was o his way from Abuja at the time of the accident. He said the governor’s convoy was “ on a speed of 80 kilometers per hour when a bus collided with the escort van.” He said the governor “has ordered full scale investigation into the matter and paid a visit to the injured.”



N8.6m tax: Abia revenue board seals off UNICEM Cement office in Aba he Abia State Board of Internal Revenue [BIR] has sealed off the office of UNICEM cement depot in Aba for their inability to remit the workers Pay As You Earn [PAYE] tax which has amounted to N8.6 million for the period of 2006-2011. The sealing off of the office complex situated at off Okigwe road in Aba was carried out by the executive secretary of the BIR, Ibeabuchi Adindu and the bailiff of the state high court in Umuahia, Emma Nwogu, who said that the office will remain closed until the outstanding tax money was paid. Nwogu said the office had been duly served with the demand notice for the remittance of the amount stated above, which is due to the Abia State Revenue Service, “and the defendant did not make the remittance within the time limited by the demand notice.” In a warrant and authority signed by Justice K. O. Wosu, which read in part: “It has been proved on oath that the


Ugochukwu UGOJI-EKE, Umuahia

PAYE Tax audit report and demand notice have been duly served on the defendant aforesaid in accordance with the Abia State Board of Internal Revenue Law No. 7 of 2008 and the remittance was not made and there is no objection to the tax liability. You are commended forthwith to make distress of the premises/property of the defendant and to the value of N8.6 million and if within the space of fourteen days next after making of such distress, unless the revenue debtor consents in writing to an earlier sale. The sum stated at the foot of this warrant, together with the reasonable cost and charge of the making and keeping of the said distress, be not paid, then to sell the said property and pay the money arising there from to the registrar of this court, if no such distress can be found.”

Our mission is to restore peace –Niger Delta clerics 

Osagie OTABOR, Benin

HE Niger Delta Bishops and Christian Forum have clarified that their visit to political leaders across the country was to restore peace and order back to our society and not meant to resolve the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party. President of the forum, Prophet Jones Ode Erue, in a press statement said their consultations centered on injustice, impunity, and intolerance amongst leaders and political office holders and insecurity. Prophet Erue said it was wrong for anybody to allege that the forum was taking sides in a dispute involving some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He noted that they have never been involved in partisan politics and that their concern was to proffer solutions to the hydra-headed problems facing the country and bothering on growing insecurity, exercise of impunity, alleged undemocratic use of police, intimidation and persecution (both real and imaginary) of perceived political enemies, among several others. Prophet Erue emphasised that the forum has sent letters


to prominent leaders of the country. According to him, "In our self-imposed task to restore sanity and foster national unity, peace, progress and development, we members of the forum have taken it upon ourselves to pay consultation visit to some stakeholders and eminent Nigerians whom we felt can help us to achieve our aim. Some of these prominent Nigerians we have consulted with cut across the major political parties in the land."

•Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, in a warm handshke with Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State, during his (Akpabio) condolence vist to Shema in Katsina yesterday.

Court stops Ijaw elders from cancelling IYC election he State High Cour sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, has issued an order stopping the Ijaw National Congress (INC), the umbrella body of Ijaw elders, from cancellng the elections of its youth body, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC). The court, presided over by Justice Raphael Ajuwa said INC should stay action on its resolution to cancel the election in which Mr. Udens Eradiri, was declared the President of IYC. Eradiri, the claimant, had approached the court seeking an exparte order restraining INC from cancelling the poll in which he had been inaugurated as the president. The order specifically re-



NDDC awarded 447 contracts in Abia since 2000 –Representative


Stop awarding doctoral degrees to undeserving people, Ajimobi tells varsities OVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has decried the indiscriminate award of honourary doctoral degrees by some universities in the country to undeserving members of the society, urging them to stop the practice. The governor stated this while receiving members of the management team of Lead City University, Ibadan who were on a courtesy visit to him in his office in Ibadan on Friday. He said that the proliferation


of honourary degrees among undeserving members of the public had reduced the respect associated with such degrees. Governor Ajimobi, however, commended the authorities of Lead City University for their contributions to human capital development in the country. He also charged the authorities of the institution to support the urban renewal policy of the state government by redeveloping and improving the structure of the entrance to the university located in Ibadan.

Imo govt denies sale of hotel to Appeal Court judge HE Imo State Government has refuted media reports that it had sold its Concorde Hotel to Justice Chioma Iheme-Nwosu of the Court of Appeal. Some newspapers, according to a release by Sam Onw u e m e o d o , Senior Special Assistant on Media to Governor Rochas Okorocha had this week quoted Sahara Reporters, an online publication, that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had begun “a probe of seven Judges cutting across the various strata of the Judiciary,” including Justice NwosuIheme. The report further stated

Mike ODIEGWU, Yenagoa  to restrain them from canceling the IYC result of the election for strained principal officials of the office of the president of IYC INC including its President, in which the claimant was deChief T.J Sekibo, from setting clared the winner." aside the results of the election. The Vice-Presidnent and National Secreatry of INC, Charles Ambaiowei, Theodore Ezonfade, were joined as defendants. The court ordered that the election "should not be cancelled by the defendants or their agents, cronies, pending the determination of the motion for inUGOJI-EKE,   Ugochukwu terlocutory injunction." Umuahia It further directed the defenhe commissioner repredants to appear before the court senting Abia State at the on November 22 "to show cause Niger Delta Developwhy an order of the interim injunction should not be granted ment Commission (NDDC), Barrister Aloysius Nwagboso has said that the commission has so far awarded about 447 contracts for various projects to be executed in the state Earlier in his remark, the from its inception in 2000. Speaking during a media Chancellor of the university, Professor Gabriel Ogunmola chat in Umuahia, Nwagboso commended Governor Ajimobi said that Abia State benefited for his urban renewal policy from these projects because it which he said had changed the is one of the nine states of the Niger Delta Region which the face of the state. NDDC Act mandated to facilitate its rapid, even and sustainable development in the region. Nwaagboso said that the NDDC was an intervention agency created to address and s Nigeria moves closer to find a lasting solution to the 2015 general elections, social and economic difficulthe electorate has been ties of the Niger Delta region, advised to go the extra mile to and commended the Federal investigate and scrutinise the Government's wisdom in esprofile of candidates vying for tablishing it. He said, each of elective positions in the various the 17 LGAs in Abia State has benefited and wards, constituencies and states. Mr. Kayode Amusan, a former will continue to benefit from member of the House of Repre- the commission's projects and sentatives from Ogun State programmes. The NDDC commissioner made the remark on Thursday in Lagos, where he also called on listed the projects to include political stakeholders in Anam- roads, electricity, health, bra State to uphold fair play and water, scholarships, employpeaceful conduct in today's gov- ment, skills acquisition, among others, "The Commisernorship election. According to him, the Niger- sion has also been dealing ian electorate has been victims of with the issue of restiveness disappointments and neglect occasioned by agitation which simply because the majority of lead to militancy and insurvoters have not bothered to gency in the past. We went know the specifics of who they into human capacity building, are voting for, adding that, the skills acquisition training and profile, background and pedi- specifically trained a lot of gree of a candidate needs to be people from the region which known as to determine his or will also have multiplier effect.” her credibility.

that “Justice Iheme-Nwosu has accumulated so much unexplained wealth that she was able to buy Concorde Hotel in Owerri, the Imo State capital as well as a mansion-like residence built near Concorde …” But in its rebuttal, Onwuemeodo noted that “while the Imo State government does not hold brief for the Appeal Court judge, it has to react on the issue concerning it in the report and that is the issue of Concorde Hotel, Owerri, because the claim of selling it to Justice Iheme-Nwosu has no iota of truth and those behind the report knew they were telling deliberate lie.” According to Onwue-

meodo, “Concorde Hotel is the property of the Imo State Government and remains as such and has not been mentioned for sale or placed on sale at any given time, talk more of Justice IhemeNwosu being “able to buy” the hotel. The truth, and indeed the whole truth is that the Hotel has not been sold to anybody including Justice Nwosu-Iheme. The Imo State Government wishes to solemnly reiterate that the report of Justice Iheme- Nwosu buying Concorde Hotel was a mere fabrication designed by the brains behind it to blackmail the woman, and the Imo State government.”

2015: Amusan urges electorate to screen candidates


Lawyer wants universities to stop arbitrary increment in tuition Precious IGBONWELUNDU n Ondo-based lawyer, Morakinyo Ogele has called on the Conference of the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities to put a stop to the arbitrary hike in tuition, describing same as a monster to students. Ogele, in a letter addressed to the body yesterday, siad that the constant increment in tuition is retrogressive and a form of academic oppression, which could jeopardise the progress of the youth. He also lamented the rate at which students are expelled from universities, noting that some Vice Chancellors have taken expulsion as a regular routine without giving affected students fair hearing. Ogele who said there was need for students to have freedom of association as enshrined in the Constitution, decried that some Vice Chancellors have a phobia for student unionism.


Old Boys meet ethodist College Uzuakoli Old Boys’ Association (UMCOBA), Lagos branch, will tomorrow hold its 2013 rededication and thanksgiving service at Wesley Chapel, Lekki, Lagos. The old boys will be joined by their members of families and Old Boys associations of contemporary institutions such as Government College Umuhahia, DMGS Onitsha, Kings College, Lagos; CKC Onitsha, Government College Ughelli and Igbobi College, Lagos. According to a statement by the association which was signed by the Social/ Publicity Secretary, Sam Ndubuisi Ekweronu, the special service will be a fore-bearer to the celebration of the 90th Founder’s Day, otherwise known as ‘Biennial home-coming’ to the old boys. This will take place in the college between Novembers 29 and December 1st, when the Old Boys all over the world will come together at Methodist College Uzuakoli to celebrate the event.





More ICT companies for listing as NSE lists CWG Plc


HE Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, has assured that she would work to encourage more information and communication technology (ICT) companies to list their shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as part of efforts to deepen the Nigerian stock market. Speaking yesterday at the listing ceremony of the Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) Plc at the NSE, Johnson reiterated her commitment to policies that will encourage ICT companies to open up and list their shares for public trading. According to her, she came for the listing of CWG because the listing partly fulfilled her promise to bring ICT companies to the stock market during earlier visit to the NSE. The listing of CWG boosted the market capitalisation of the NSE by about N14 billion with the company emerging as the highest capitalised stock in the ICT sector of the Nigerian stock market. Chief Executive Officer and founder, Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) Plc, Austin Okere, enthused that the listing of the company would give the company more visibility and enable it to achieve its vision of being the number one information technology service enabler in Africa by 2015. He outlined that the company's best is yet to arrive as it has over the years built a copious amount of its turnover into annuities from deploying its own intellectual property (IP) to enable financial inclusiveness in mobility, such as the recently announced Yello Diamond Account, which will

By Taofik Salako

bring banking services to over 55 million mobile phone subscribers and the MTN XaaS product, which will provide financial services in the cloud for the over 1,000 microfinance banks and their customers on a pay as you use basis. "We have very good products and services that are enjoying very good patronage -about 12 of the large banks in Nigeria run on the Finacle Core banking Application, which CWG jointly promotes in West Africa with Infosys International, processing close to 70 per cent of all financial transactions in Nigeria and used by the likes of First Bank, UBA, Stanbic, FCMB and others," Okere said. According to him, CWG has taken advantage of its early mover status in the surge in ICT outsourcing demands to provide the service for the largest telecommunication company in Nigeria and the largest downstream company in the oil & gas sector in Nigeria. He said that CWG would be well received in the capital market as investors stood to gain significantly in the years ahead. "We are very certain that our shares would be well received by the market community, because we are in the ICT sector and information technology products and services will continue to be in high demand," Okere said. He recalled that with a seed capital of about N160,000 in 1992, the company received a valuation of N6.97 billion in 2009 from Vetiva Capital for its private placement and the issue was oversubscribed with private equity firm- Aureos Capital LLC, taking up a major

stake. CWG seemed to be on track to repeat this feat on its listing, at a target share price of N5.48 just about doubling its private placement price of N3.40 in 2009. Chief executive officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema, commended the management of CWG for working diligently over the years to build the company to the point of public listing. According to him, the NSE made a commitment to facilitate durable wealth creation by listing and nurturing the next group of African Champions and $1 billion market capitalization and companies like CWG is on the step to become an African Champion. He noted that ICT is at the bedrock of every progressive economy and has enabled cutting edge African companies compete at a global level pointing out that CWG as one of the foremost systems integration companies in Africa has blossomed into a company covering a plethora of ICT products and services. "We are quite optimistic that CWG will also do very well in the Nigerian capital market. We are proud that CWG Plc has taken a strategic step to join the prestigious club of quoted companies in Nigeria and I once again commend them for this bold step. I use this opportunity to call on other firms in the ICT sector, which are undecided on whether to list their shares on the Exchange, to make up their minds -as there are significant benefits to be derived from being a listed company. These include continuity of the company way after the founder has retired, lower cost of long term funding, visibility, enhanced branding, diversified risk of ownership, and enhanced corporate governance amongst others," Onyema said.





Mikel, Moses, Mba take battle to Calabar




We’ll make Nigerians proud—Enyeama


UPER Eagles and Lille of France shot stopper, Vincent Enyeama has disclosed that the Super Eagles are poised to put smiles on the faces of Nigerians by qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil next summer. Enyeama has been in top form at club level in recent weeks, amassing 12 cleans sheets from 13 Ligue 1 appearances for Lille in the ongoing 2013/14 campaign. Speaking with after Friday morning’s training session at the U.J. Esuene stadium, the 31-yearold goalie stated that the ultimate goal for him and every other member of the

squad is to qualify for the Brazil 2014 World Cup and make Nigerians proud. "We have done everything we need to do in training; we have been drilled and have gone through some hard work, the rest is left to God to do. "It means the world to us, that is why we are ready to do our very best to make it there,” the Eagles’ stand-in skipper concluded. With Nigeria holding the advantage having secured a 21 win in the first leg away in Addis Ababa, Enyeama insisted that the Eagles have put the first leg result behind them and are focused on

Eagles will score four—Dike •Says Ideye, Onazi are his boys


ORONTO FC of USA attacking midfielder, Bright Dike has predicted that Ethiopia will concede four goals in today's World Cup play-off return leg against the Super Eagles. "By the time we score the first goal, Ethiopia would have collapsed. From there the goals would just start coming," he said. Speaking to NationSport after lunch at the team's Transcorp Hotel, Dike is eager to play a part after failing to make the final cut for the Africa Nations Cup in January. If he gets to start, it will be Dike's first competitive match. "Playing for your country is always an honour and the Ethiopia game would be one," said the player who scored Nigeria's equaliser against a Catalonia selected side in a friendly prior to the Nations Cup. On how he has blended into the team considerng the fact that he did not grow up in Nigeria, Dike said he had adjusted perfectly. "I have made friends, apart from Emmanuel Emenike who is my cousin. Onazi,

From Ejiro Femi-Babafemi, Calabar ldeye and Elderson are my friends, in fact they are my boys," he jokingly said. Endowed with natural energy, the 26-year-old has expressed delight to chief coach, Stephen Keshi for another invitation to the team.

getting the job done this evening. "Really, the first leg victory does not really matter right now. What matters is that we put in our best to ensure our qualification and make Nigerians proud tomorrow, and by the grace of God, we will achieve that goal. “We are proud of this

colour (green and white) and we are ready to do our best to defend it,” Enyeama added. When quizzed on what qualifying for the World Cup meant to him, the Lille man, who has represented Nigeria at two World Cups - Korea/ Japan 2002 and South Africa 2010, said it meant the world.


Believe in me

IVERPOOL of England forward Victor Moses has called on Nigerians to believe in him and his teammates as they battle Ethiopia for a Brazil 2014 ticket in today`s World Cup return leg playoff in Calabar. The Nigeria international, who is one of the players nominated for the BBC African Player of the Year award, also confirmed that the team was in top shape despite the flight hitches most of them faced while coming to Calabar. "I am always ready to give my best any time for my country, no matter the

From Ejiro Femi-Babafemi Calabar challenges. We are in top shape and qualifying for the World Cup will be terrific," he told NationSport. Although looking forward to scoring against the Ethiopians, Moses was, however, not sure how many goals the team would score. "I will be delighted to get on the score sheet because such goals are really special," he said. Moses scored one of the goals that sent Ethiopia out of the Africa Cup of Nations in January in the group stage.

Ticket prices sky rocket


NXIOUS Calabar fans have been paying through the nose to get tickets for the Nigeria, Ethiopia match as black marketers around the metropolis have jacked up popular side tickets to N1,500 from the official N1,000 price. SportingLife checks around the U.J. Esuene Stadium on Friday revealed that because of the high number of fans trying to make last-minute ticket purchases, the marketers began inflating the prices from between N1,200 to N1,500 for the popular side, depending on the buyer’s desperation. Worst affected were the VIP and (VIP) state extension tickets that were going for over 300% of their official price. Fixed for N4,000 and N6,000

From Rasaq Oboirien, in Calabar by the Cross River State Government, black marketers hiked the prices to N7,000 and N15,000 respectively. This left some persons who had wanted to purchase the VIP tickets with no choice than to settle for popular side tickets. Many fans blamed the increase on the Cross River State’s government failure to release the tickets as early as Monday. A fan, who simply said his name was Akpan said:"Sure the marketers were bound to make cool cash as it was the last World Cup qualifying game that would be played here in Calabar, so people are anxious to watch them for the last time.

Limited Mr. Kayode Idowu charged the Super Eagles to go all out tomorrow to seal the ticket for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Idowu further stressed that the voting phase of the award is still ongoing and call on Nigerian Sports enthusiasts to vote for their nominees of choice via SMS by sending the abbreviation SMOTY (nominees -Mike, Moses & Mba) or SWOTY (nominees Okagbare, Cecelia & Orji) and the name of the preferred nominee to 33140 for the Sportsman of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year award respectively. He revealed that five lucky members of the public were rewarded in the weekly draws to reward voters with 3 NOKIA ASHA 501 phones & 2 VIP passes weekly through an electronic draw for their participation. He assured of the preparedness and readiness of the organisers to hold the event on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at the Muson Centre, Lagos.


Efe Ambrose prays for good weather


•Black marketers increase VIP ticket price by 70%


S the Super Eagles of Nigeria take on Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia today at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar in their last game of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, the trio of John Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and Sunday Mba are set to impress Nigerian soccer fans to justify their nominations for the 2013 edition of the Nigerian Sports Award. Mikel, Moses and Mba are battling for the Footballer of the Year and the Sportsman of the Year in this year’s edition of the laudable award. They are set to bank on their performances in today’s game to convince their fans to vote for them in the Nigerian Sports Award. While Chelsea FC midfielder, John Mikel Obi, who won the two categories of the award last year, would be looking forward to winning the award back to back, on loan Liverpool Striker r Moses and Mba would be eyeing the Award for the first time. The Nigerian Sports Award panel members led by the Chairman, Mr. Ikeddy Isiguzo are already in Calabar to drum support and cheer the Super Eagles to victory. Other members of the panel in Calabar include the General Manager, Unmmisable Incentives Limited Mr. Kayode Idowu and the Lagos SWAN Chairman, Mr. Fred Edoreh. Speaking ahead of the match, the General Manager, Unmmisable Incentives


UPER Eagles’ right-back, Efe Ambrose has called on God to grant his team good weather in today’s make-or-mar second leg, final play-off of the 2014 World Cup holding at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar. “I won’t deceive you, the weather in Calabar this time around is a little bit harsh and makes us a little bit uncomfortable. Everybody is feeling the harsh weather here, but we don’t have any room for complaints because the job has to be done tomorrow (today). By the special grace of God we will beat Ethiopia again (today). “Although we pray for friendly weather, it is too late for the weather or any obstacle to stop us from qualifying for the World Cup. The sprit in camp is very high and we are already thinking of how we are going to make Nigeria

From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja proud in Brazil. “We were in the last edition in South Africa and this time around as African Champions we want to better the result we achieved in the 2010 Mundial”, the Celtic of Scotland defender told SportingLife yesterday. He, however, solicited for support from all football stakeholders in the country for the Eagles to pick the World Cup ticket. “As usual we are soliciting for support and prayers from soccer-loving Nigerians because they say united we stand, divided we fall. “I believe with the support of everybody we will crush Ethiopia and zoom into the finals of the 2014 World Cup slated for Brazil”, Ambrose assured.

Onazi warns: Eagles not yet in Brazil


ESPITE Nigeria's 2-1 advantage, Ogenyi Onazi has insisted that the Super Eagles are not yet in Brazil until after today's 2014 World Cup play-off win against Ethiopia. The S.S. Lazio midfielder said: "I don't think we have qualified for Brazil (2014) as we need a victory against the Ethiopians today to be among the five African countries that will get the slot." "We're ready for the match.

From Rasaq Oboirien in Calabar You can see from yesterday's (Friday) morning session at the U.J. Esuene Stadium that every player wants a starting shirt against the Walya Antelopes. "So, by his grace, I see us going all out for a victory." About the Ethiopians, Onazi stressed: "We are not taking them for granted as they too want to be in Brazil. "If really we want to be in the Mundial come 2014, we must all raise our games."




HE second edition of the Nigerian Sports Awards (NSA) couldn’t have come at a better time than now as Nigeria’s junior national team, the Golden Eaglets, in far away United Arab Emirate (UAE) displayed youth football talents, with scintillating performance coming tops on the ladder in this years’ edition of the FIFA organised Under 17 World Cup, carting home the most prized award for the fourth time. The organisers of the Nigeria Sports Awards must have anticipated this time in history, when the country’s sports men and women, would make the country proud on the platform of sports globally, despite dwindling national image resulting from corruption and insecurity amongst other tendencies. The award seeks to recognise men and women in diverse sporting activities such as athletics, boxing, table tennis, football and basketball, among other sports. Now in its second edition, the Nigerian Sports Awards provide a veritable platform for the promotion of sports in the country given its desire to reward heroes who have in various ways contributed to the development of sports in Nigeria. It also seeks to reward notable football personalities and institutions who in one way or the other have contributed to sports development in the country. As a result, sports academies, sports promoters, sports supporting institutions, and individuals who have supported sports in the country stand a chance to win awards in the various categories in the 2013 edition scheduled to hold on November 26, 2013 at the MUSON Center, Lagos. The award categories as envisioned by the Nigerian Sports Awards include: Track and field events - This category applies to male and female in activities such as Long Jump, Javelin, Discus, Shot Put, High Jump, with sterling performances and contribution to development in that area. Ball Sports – for those in Table Tennis, Tennis, Basketball, Volleyball & handball). Footballer of the Year – including male and female footballers plying their trade in local or foreign teams with distinguishable performance and honourable character in his or her club. Selection will also take cognizance of contribution in national team. Combat Sports- comprising, Taekwando, Karate, Judo, Kung-fu, Wrestling). Weight Lifting - this will come in male and female). Boxing. The award will also take care of collective efforts in promoting sports in diverse areas and as a result will be rewarding efforts such as Team of the year. It will also recognise Sports Man & Woman of the year, Coach of the year and, Discovery of the year (Male & Female), where emphasis would be on new talents discovered within the year. According to the organisers, there will

•Continued from Back Page him. If Mba plays, I won’t be shocked if he scores the first goal. His darting runs towards the goal area will open up the space for him to shoot. God help the Ethiopian goalkeeper if Mba starts the game. Eagles’ defence saved the day for us in the first game. The quartet of Efe Ambrose, Godfrey Oboabona, Elderson Echiejile and Egwekukwe were brilliant in Addis Abba. And the defence will be further strengthened, with the return of Chelsea ace Kenneth Omeruo. They would not be troubled because the Ethiopians will defend to their peril. My worry in the Eagles’ defence is in Vincent Enyeama, who appears to be absent-minded or, most often, loses concentration. Keshi’s tactics for the first game were right. His substitutions made the difference in the second half. I hope he reads the game perfectly, like he did in the first leg. Other things being equal, Ethiopia’s game will be Eagles easiest since the series began last year. This is a warning to Keshi: Nigerians are not interested in what happens in next week Tuesday’s game against Italy at the Cottage Stadium in England. All we want is the qualification ticket to the Brazil 2014 World Cup. So, Keshi must pick our best legs to

As Nigerian Sports Awards 2013 beckon

•Chioma Ajunwa Kalu OKORONKWO

also be an award for Sports man & woman of the year (Special Sport), Lifetime Achievement Award in sports, School Sports Award and Administrator of the Year. The need for a credible institution that rewards sporting efforts in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized. The country has rightfully created a space in the sports world and a platform where its men, women, institutions and bodies who have played critical role in the development of sports could be recognised such as the Nigerian Sports Award is welcomed. Just this year, Stehen Keshi led a revitalised and re-engineered national team, the Super Eagles of Nigeria Captained by Joseph Yobo to bring the Nations Cup back to Nigeria from South Africa, and qualifying Nigeria for the Confederation Cup and CHAN, thus making history as the first indigenous coach to achieve such feet. These are all efforts that should be recognised and rewarded. Great global sports figures such as Kanu Nwankwo, a United Nation’s Ambassador, JJ Okocha, Choima Ajunwa, Bash Ali and many more are the reasons for awards such

as the Nigerian Sports Award conceived to honour our sports heroes while alive and spur younger one, to take a cue from them. Before now, the trend was to honour sportsmen at retirement, aged or in the grave hence, Nigeria has lots of un-song heroes of sports, a situation that did not augur well with the development of sports in the country. The Nigerian Sports Award indeed is a welcome development in this time and season not only for honouring sporting efforts but also for leveraging brands for more visibility and association by corporate institutions and organisations seeking credible platforms for more mileage and positioning. With the Nigerian Sports Awards, organizations can now have a better platform to support the development of Sports through sponsorships of the event in whole, or part and gain visibility or mileage in the long wrong. This will also ensure that another notable idea such as the NSA does not nosedive at the end and leave our dear sports in the cold again. According to the organisers of the event, Unmissable Incentives Limited, sponsorship is still open to corporate organisations, brands and individuals for

Ethiopians’ misadventure destroy the Ethiopians. We want to begin the celebration as early as the 60th minute, by which time we would have scored at least three goals. This target is achievable, given the potentials in the squad. Ethiopia will be a piece of cake. They are the platform for us to celebrate our qualification for the fourth World Cup ticket. Beyond this is the need for the government to fund our preparation for the competition. The qualifiers have been gruelling. We must sustain this momentum by ensuring that the coaches and players are involved in programmes that would strengthen them for the task ahead. Interestingly, the international friendly against Italy at the Cottage Stadium on Tuesday signposts how any serious country should prepare for the Mundial. We have been there thrice with nothing to show for it, except a deluge of revolts over allowances and the perceived ego of a few players who didn’t think they should sit on the bench in our matches. Cash has always being the inhibiting factor in Nigeria’s quest to replicate her sterling showings at the junior level at the World Cup. It cost the NFF N790 million to successfully prosecute the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations held in South Africa. The

unfortunate thing with the NFF is that all our national teams have done well in most of the competitions, making it imperative for the body to perpetually shop for cash to foot their bills. Not a few Nigerians have argued that the game can be sold to the corporate world. True, but not in Nigeria where people like to grandstand when the ovation is loudest. By sunset on Saturday, when the ticket would have finally been clinched, half of the job for the World Cup could be said to have been executed. However, a lot still needs to be done to get the entire gamut of our representation in Brazil done and dusted. The euphoria that will greet our qualification will pale sooner than we know it, if by tomorrow and when we eventually land in Brazil, nothing in terms of preparing for a befitting and memorable exploits is put in place. It is one thing to bask in our qualification now, but it will be another ballgame completely to end up bemoaning a shambolic outing next year as a result of poor planning. To in the bud, all distractions that will occasion our poor showing should be avoided or, better still, permanently addressed beginning from tomorrow as we

the upcoming events. Mr. Kayode Idowu, General Manager Unmissable Inceptives Limited said: “The Nigerian Sports Awards provides lots of brand visibility platforms through which corporate institutions can engage their customers and clients, create brand visibility and mileage as the event promises to be the highest audience-focused award in the country. According to him, “Sponsorship of the NSA will place your company in a position of authority and enable you to build new business relationships and strengthen those you already revere.” He said in this year award, notable sports figures would be handy to receive their awards in person describing them as “ crowd pullers.” He listed some of them who had been shortlisted by the award panel from the nomination by the general public to include: Track and Field – Blessing Okagbare, Muizat Ajoke Odumosu; Ball Sports Personality – Aruna Quadri, Ike Diogu, Olumide Oyedeji; Special Sports Personality – Joy Onaolapo, Yakubu Adesokan. School Sports Award – Greensprings School, Keke High School, Ogedengbe Primary School; Sports Woman of the Year – Ebere Orji, Blessing Okagbare, Cecilia Otu-Akpan. Others includes: Sports Man of the Year – John Mikel Obi, Sunday Mba, Victor Moses; Footballer of the Year – Male – John Mikel Obi, Sunday Mba, Victor Moses. Footballer of the Year – Female – Desire Oparanozie, Perpetual Nkwocha, Stella Mbachu; -Team of the Year – Kano pillars, Super Eagles, Warri Wolves; Coach of the Year – Stephen Keshi, Manu Garba; Discovery of the Year Adewale Deborah, Divine Oduduru, Oghenekaro Etebo; Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Charlton Ehizuelen. Others are: Sports Administrator of the Year – Amaju Pinnick , Aminu Maigari, Solomon Ogba; Sport Journalist (Print) Ade Ojiekhere, Bunmi Ogunyale, Emmanuel Tobi, Lekan Okusan, Mumini Alao, Soji Dosunmu; Sports Journalist (Electronic) Bimbo Adeola, Branson Nwanna, kufre Ekpe, Ronke Ogunyele, Toyin Ibitoye, Godwin Enakhaena and Sports Governor of the year Sir Liyel Imoke, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN). Noting that the award is one of the most credible awards in recent times, Idowu added: “Our panel is drawn from professional and seasoned sports administrators with distinguished records. Allaying fears that Nigerians might view the selection process as another Nigerian factor.” These are indeed good times for the Nigerian Sports going by the Nigerian Sports Award. Brand promoters will also have good times as more credible platforms are being developed from the awards. •Mr. Okonkwo, a media consultant, wrote in from Lagos.

round off our qualification today. We cannot afford yet another slipshod dress rehearsal to our final landing in Brazil. Our qualification today should be celebrated beyond the assumption that this is another opportunity for estacodes for the FA officials, government functionaries and lawmakers. As we clinch the ticket today, there are still issues to be dealt with- coaches’ salaries, bonuses for players and camping sites for the team, among others. Without settling down to address these issues, we would have begun planning to fail because we failed to plan. Echoes of unpaid salaries for the coaches still resonated as I penned this piece. Nothing can be so demotivating than a labourer not being paid his wages. This is one niggling issue the government must urgently address to pave the way for rancour-free preparations for the Mundial. The government must begin to make preparations and take responsibility for all that will make for a hitch-free showpiece in Brazil. After all, it is the government that largely appropriates all the glories that come with our football victories. If we are to make a good omelet, the time to break the egg is now. And the government must set in motion the process for that to happen. I do not think we have enough time for any conceivable presidential task force for now. It has never worked and it is not likely to work now.




T is now over three decades since I first read the gripping novel simply titled ‘Vio lence’, written by Professor Festus Iyayi, the renowned academic, literary giant, humanist and labour activist whose life was cut short on Tuesday in the most painful and tragic circumstances. The distinguished thinker, writer and combatant for the oppressed died in active service while participating in another phase of the struggle against those debilitating and dehumanising existential realities so graphically depicted in his various literary offerings. Although it was his second novel, ‘Heroes’ that won him international recognition and acclaim, ‘Violence’ has made a more enduring impression on my mind. Close to three decades after its publication, it still vividly reflects the appalling human condition in post-colonial Nigeria. Indeed, in many ways the country’s material and moral climate have worsened significantly since Iyayi was inspired to put pen to paper. The unscrupulous contractors, thieving government functionaries, powerful women of valueless virtue and other oppressive and exploitative elements portrayed in the book have become even more venal and reckless today in the plundering of the country’s resources than was the case in the 1970s and 1980s. By the same token, the plight of the downtrodden represented in the book by the struggling labourer, Idemudia, and his wife, Adisa, has degenerated abysmally. Poverty, hunger, joblessness, disease, illiteracy and other indices of underdevelopment have worsened. The criminal inequality between an obscenely wealthy elite and the impoverished majority has widened alarmingly. Iyayi teaches us in that book that the phenomenon of violence has much wider ramifications than is often associated with it in casual discourse. All too often, we restrict our definition of violence to the despicable activities of armed robbers, kidnappers, rapists, assassins, demented terrorists and other criminals. Yet, he contends that there is a far more insidious and destructive form of violence. This kind of latent or ‘structural’ violence provides the fertile ground in which the earlier, more perceptible types of violence fester to our collective detriment. Thus, the assorted and manifold looters of the public treasury including pension fund fraudsters, fuel subsidy scammers, scavenging bank executives, thieving ministers, unscrupulous legislators and their humongous allowances among others are perpetrators of structural violence against society. The late Afro beat king, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, made the same point in his chartbusting album, ‘Authority Stealing’. He sang memorably about the armed robber who steals one thousand Naira while the pen robber steals one million Naira. Yes, the fanatical terrorist destroys thousands of lives with his bombs. But the corrupt state official who steals billions of public funds consigns millions to poverty, hunger, disease, squalor, despair and joblessness. Corruption is as devastating as terrorism. One

What is expected from members of a medical scientific community is to inform the public about what a thorough post mortem on Prof. Iyayi indicates, not speculations or sermons from medical scientists — Ropo Sekoni

Shades of violence

The circumstances of the distinguished professor’s untimely transition help to highlight the diverse shades of state violence that militate against life, liberty and human dignity in contemporary Nigeria

•Prof. Iyayi form of bombing is no less destructive than the other. It is a sad irony that Professor Iyayi, who dissected the phenomenon of violence with such brilliance and clarity towards the liberation of the oppressed, should himself have his life violently snuffed out on the death traps we call high ways across Nigeria. The circumstances of the distinguished professor’s untimely transition help to highlight the diverse shades of state violence that militate against life, liberty and human dignity in contemporary Nigeria. In that respect, the manner of his exit is as useful to the struggle for the liberation of Nigeria as the prodigious energy he expended to help realize this objective in his lifetime. The pathetic state of major highways across the country is a manifestation of the vicious violence perpetrated against citizens by the Nigerian state. This violence takes the form of massive corruption and sheer ineptness. Given the stupendous sums of money made from petroleum in the last 14 years, there is absolutely no excuse for the non-existence across Nigeria today of a vast network of modern and safe highways. Equally inexplicable is the absence of a modern, secure and reliable rail transport network that would considerably ease the pressure on road transportation.

Describing the Lokoja-Abuja road where Professor Iyayi died as “arguably one of the busiest in the country”, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) lamented that “The contract for its dualisation was awarded about 10 years ago. Quite sadly and unfortunately, no appreciable work has been done, thus turning the stretch into a slaughter slab…The congress holds the view that there is no justification for leaving this road and indeed other critical roads undone”. This tragically is the story of most critical inter-state highways in Nigeria today. On September 21, 2005, the one time students’ union leader, pro-democracy activist, human rights campaigner and anti-corruption crusader, Chima Ubani, died in a motor accident on his way from Maiduguri where he had participated in an anti- fuel price hike rally. And on December 20, 2008, the renowned actor, dramatist, teacher and poet, Femi Fatoba, lost his life along with four other colleagues in an auto accident along the Ughelli/ Patani road in Delta State. The deceased were returning to Ibadan from the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State where they were teachers. Of course, these are only a tiny fraction of the thousands of little known but equally precious lives that have been lost on roads criminally abandoned by a negligent Nigerian state.

The accident in which Professor Iyayi died was as a result of a collision with a vehicle in the convoy of Kogi State Governor, Wada Idris, on the Lokoja-Abuja road. The escort vehicle in the convoy was reportedly trying to overtake others when it ran into the bus conveying Iyayi and other officials of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Efforts of Kogi State officials to exonerate the governor’s convoy from blame for the tragedy have been most unconvincing. For, Governor Wada himself nearly lost his life a few months ago when his reckless convoy was involved in another crash. The NLC was thus right in blaming Iyayi’sdeath partly on “executive lawlessness/impunity on the part of the Kogi state governor.” Excessively unwieldy, boisterous and aggressive convoys constitute another shade of psychological violence unleashed against the people by wielders of state power in Nigeria. Now, why was Professor Iyayi on the Lokoja-Abuja road where he was involved in the fatal accident that claimed his life? He was on his way to Kano to participate in the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting convened by ASUU to take a decision on its protracted strike action that had paralyzed public universities for over four months. Surely, if the universities had been properly funded there would probably have been no need for a strike. Or to be more specific, if the Federal Government had honoured the agreement it freely entered into with ASUU in 2009 and further reiterated through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2012, the prolonged strike action would have been utterly unnecessary. It is so sad that it was after public universities had been grounded for over four months that President Goodluck Jonathan considered it fit to intervene personally in the dispute and hold talks with the university lecturers. Professor Iyayi died on his way to participate in ASUU’s deliberations on the President’s proposals. Of course some will contend that Iyayi would still have died anyway if it had been so destined, probably. But this does not excuse the utter lack of seriousness with which the Federal Government has handled this national crisis. To worsen matters, the Minister of State for Education and lately Supervising Minister of the Ministry, Chief Nyesom Wike, has been actively pursuing his undisguised 2015 governorship ambition in Rivers State rather than face the responsibilities of his office. Despite the prolonged closure of universities he has been busy launching his Grassroots Democratic Initiative (GDI) across local governments in the state and constituting a nuisance to legitimate governance in Rivers. The presidency’s indulgence of this kind of irresponsible behaviour creates the unfortunate impression of utter contempt for Nigerians. It is a direct slap on the face of the public and offers another example of the structural violence against the sensibilities and dignity of Nigerians by temporary occupants of public office

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Ethiopians’ misadventure


HE Ethiopians are in town with one goal – acquiring two goals to stop Nigeria from participating in the Brazil 2014 World Cup. No problems with such an ambition, especially with the unpredictability of the beautiful game. The East Africans will be counting on the fact that Nigeria missed out on the qualification ticket to Germany 2006 World Cup in Kano. But the settings are different, not with the remarkable achievements of the Stephen Keshi-led technical crew. In the first leg played in Addis Ababa, the Eagles struggled with the weather and the undulating turf. While our players struggled to control the ball, the Ethiopians ran through us like hot knife through butter. They were faster, younger and psychologically propelled by the intimidating presence of their vociferous fans. In fact, the fans at the Addis Ababa Sta-

dium gave the Walya Antelopes the zeal to push the Eagles back. They will be missing that today in Calabar, the Cross River State capital. Besides, the weather will not be a challenge to the Eagles. Our fans don’t have the do-or-die spirit exhibited by the Ethiopian fans. The level turf and the fact that the players know what is at stake that will make the game a mountain too high for the Ethiopians to climb. Having seen the first game in Addis Ababa, one is tempted to dismiss the Ethiopians. They ran the Eagles ragged because of extraneous factors, which will be missing today. If the Eagles whip the Ethiopians by four un-replied goals, it would be an anti-climax because many a Nigerian would be using the first leg game to assess the visitors. One flaw the Ethiopians showed in the first leg was that they lacked stamina. In the closing stages, they lagged behind as the Eagles showed their mastery of the game. With an unfavourable weather for the Ethiopians in

Calabar, one won’t be surprised if by the 60th minute, they have conceded goals. My conviction about a goal feast for the Eagles rests with the belief that the visitors are minnows and are only in Calabar to fulfill FIFA’s requirement of the two-legged tie and not to pick the group’s qualification ticket. Given the pedigree of the two nations in soccer, an easy game is on the cards. The Eagles must strive to hit the target within the first ten minutes. The Ethiopians were seen to be very weak on the flanks. They kicked and shoved Victor Moses and got away with some crunchy tackles, apparently because they were at home. If Moses starts today’s game, he will pave the way for a total annihilation of the Ethiopians because the visitors won’t be able to match his pace and trickery on the ball. The few tricks Moses employed in the first leg were hindered by the sloppy pitch, which made him stumble on the turf.

In Calabar, the Ethiopians would fall like a pack of cards with Moses’ dribbling skills and movement. I hope too that Keshi will field Ahmed Musa and Emmanuel Emenike upfront. These three men (Moses, Emenike and Musa) have what it takes to whip the Ethiopians with goals because the Ethiopian goalkeeper is not the safest, considering the way he handled the ball in the first leg. Once Emenike shot accurately, the goalkeeper fumbled. Keshi needs to drum it into his players’ ears the need to hit the ball accurately when convenient. There will be the tendency for the Ethiopians to be defensive. It will suit the Eagles with a midfield trio of john Mikel Obi, Oguenyi Onazi and, I dare say, Sunday Mba - if only Keshi will listen. The Eagles’ biggest flaw in the first leg was that they didn’t have a midfielder who could take the ball from the opponents and dribble his way through to pave the way for our strikers to shoot at the goal. We started playing well when Keshi wisely introduced Nosa Igiebor in the second half. Igiebor is injured; so, Mba should replace

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Nov 16th, 2013