THE NATION SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
PDP may sanction Goje for alleged political campaign
•President Goodluck Jonathan (right), laying the wreath at the tomb of a Guinea Bissau nationalist/founding father, Amilcar Cabral, in Bissau… yesterday.
HE National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, is keen on a quick resolution of the stand-off between President Goodluck Jonathan and the G-7 Governors. He is said to be worried by the effect of the protracted crisis on the office of the President. He does not want the office rubbished by politics, The Nation gathered yesterday. Sources in Abuja said Col. Dasuki consequently contacted some of the arrowheads of the nPDP, including Governors Rotimi Amaechi, Sule Lamido, Aliyu Wammako and others connected with the crisis. Dasuki’s intervention was to shield the President’s office from being rubbished on account of the conflict. It was gathered that his separate discussions with the governors focused on how to avert breakdown of law and order as a consequence of the security challenges facing the nation. No fewer than 28 states in the country are under military engagement in one form or the other. A top source said: “As a matter of fact, Dasuki’s initial intervention accounted for the first phase of the ongoing peace talks between the President and the G-7 governors. “You will recall that the initial talks recorded some progress because it enabled the governors to table their demands. “But the likely collapse of peace talks made the NSA to meet with the governors individually to avoid any breakdown of law and order in the affected seven states and the spiral effect on other states. “So far, the NSA has had fruitful discussions with the governors. He is seeking a commitment that in whatever way the talks end, peace will prevail nationwide. He believes strongly that the Office of the Nigeria’s President deserves some respect and dignity. “Dasuki has been doing a lot of underground work towards ensuring political and social stability in the polity without drawing attention to his efforts.” Responding to a question, the source added: “The NSA wants the President and the
ORMER Governor of Gombe State, Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje, may face the disciplinary committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for driving into Gombe metropolis in a manner that suggested political campaign on Monday. Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Abdullahi Jalo, disclosed this at a press briefing in Gombe on Friday. Senator Goje, who had a case to answer at the Federal High Court, Gombe on Tuesday and Wednesday, drove into Gombe in a long motorcade followed by a mammoth crowd of supporters. The Deputy National Publicity Secretary said the former governor’s action iwa against the constitution of the party, especially as the ban on politi-
PDP crisis: NSA reaches out to Amaechi, Lamido, Wamakko, others
•Says politics should not rubbish President's office •Seeks to avert security breaches in the affected states Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation G-7 to resume talks as soon as possible for the sake of peace nationwide. “He sees the feud in PDP beyond politics; he is brokering talks to avoid plunging the nation into any large-scale crisis.” It was not clear last night when the President is likely to resume talks with the governors. The last discussion between them was held on October 7 before some of the governors went on the lesser hajj. The governors’ conditions for peace in the PDP are: • The sack of a factional National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga • Return of party structure to governors in Adamawa, Rivers, Kano, and other states • Sticking to one-term tenure by the President by foregoing re-election in 2015 • Resolution of NGF and Rivers crises, including the lifting of suspension of Governor Rotimi Amaechi • Stopping harassment of governors by the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission(EFCC) The President has however made the following concessions : • Immediate lifting of the suspension of Governor Rotimi Amaechi by the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP.
• Return of party structure to all the governors, including those of Rivers and Adamawa states. • Raising a committee to visit Rivers State, like it was the case with Adamawa State, to build consensus and
restore party structure to the governor. • The governors and party leaders should tarry a while and leave Jonathan to decide the fate of the factional National Chairman of PDP, Tukur.
Vincent OHONBAMU, Gombe cal campaigns had not been lifted. “In fact he should have been arrested right there by the police, because it is not yet time for political campaign and his actions constituted nuisance to the public,” he said The PDP chieftain also accused Senator Goje of using thugs to disrupt the peace of the state as youths, according to him, were seen brandishing cutlasses and dangerous weapons during the said rally. He said: “It is unconstitutional for a legislator, a member of the Senate, the highest lawmaking body in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to engage in such act. “Imagine him using rented crowd to cause disturbance in town when he should be sober over the case of fraud hanging over him. Where was the rented crowd when the people of Gombe carried placards demanding that he should return their money that he stole? “He said his representation in the Senate is to ensure good governance and that the people of the state benefitted the dividends of democracy and not to destabilise the peace that the citizens of the state are enjoying.” He urged the citizens of Gombe state not allow any individual or group of persons to mislead them, saying Gombe is a PDP state under the leadership of Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo.
We’re not jitter over APC leaders’ visit —Rivers PDP T
HE Rivers State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says it is now better off with the defection of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi to the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying that he had all the while constituted a cog in the wheel of the party’s progress. The party disclosed this while reacting to Amaechi’s boasting that the PDP was getting jittery over his plan to leave the party for the APC. In a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the State Chairman, Jerry Needam, said rather than being jittery, Governor Amaechi’s last-minute decision to quit the PDP,
having been suspended and stripped of the state party leadership, was the best thing that could happen to any group desirous of true democracy and freedom for their people. “For the entire period Governor Amaechi held sway as the leader of the PDP in the state, it has been one controversy after the other as though we are cursed, with no appreciable impact on the people despite the huge resources that accrue to the state every month,” the statement further noted. The party, while wishing Amaechi well in his new party, said it was high time Amaechi demonstrated his
magic wand which he has always boasted of during elections and see if he will not be defeated even in his bedroom. “It’s a pity Amaechi has chosen to play the proverbial ingrate who erroneously thought that his detractors were all dead and/or had become his friends as he now sees the APC leaders, and went on to kill his spiritual father only to realise when it was too late that he had shot himself in the leg and was subsequently trapped by his remaining enemies. “Amaechi should hide his head in shame, having broken the unwholesome
record of being the first serving governor to be pursued out of a ruling party to an opposition party. We therefore invite Rivers people to monitor more than ever, before he uses our funds to run APC. “We pray to see what becomes of him and the APC as we go for subsequent elections in the state to determine who owns the land,” the PDP declared. The party urged all Rivers people to join it in celebrating the new air of freedom facilitated by the defection of Gov Amaechi to the APC, reassuring of better days ahead as true leaders of the state have successfully stopped the state from total collapse brought about by Amaechi’s dictatorial tendencies.
You can't return as national scribe, S'West PDP tells Oyinlola
OLLOWING threats by members of the new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) to ensure the resumption of former Osun State Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, as the National Secretary of the mainstream PDP, the leadership of the party in the South West has told Oyinlola to perish the thought. The leadership of the party, consisting the Zonal Caretaker Committee, the State Chairmen Forum, the Elders Committee, the Stakeholders Forum, the Organisation and Mobilisation Committee,
Olukunle AKINRINADE the Women and Youth fora, said: “It is the height of selfdelusion for Oyinlola and his co-travellers to imagine that he would return as the National Secretary of our great party, the PDP, when a motion for stay of execution has been filed at the Court of Appeal and there is a pending appeal against him at the Supreme Court.” In a statement issued yesterday by the Acting Chairman, Caretaker Committee, South West PDP, Engr. Adedeji Doherty, the party said: “It is an indubitable fact
that he has since left our great party for a renegade group known as ‘New PDP’ that has been outlawed by a court of competent jurisdiction. “The said group has been meeting with the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC). “In fact, it was on the basis of these and other anti-party acts that some of his loyalists were recently suspended by the Osun State chapter of the party.” The party wondered where Oyinlola and his co-travellers seek to return him, asking: “Is it as the National Secretary of a party he voluntarily left or as the National
Secretary of his outlawed and illegal group? Why do they want to reap when they did not have the patience for harvest to come? If they knew they had a good case, why did they jump ship?” It vowed to resist any attempt to arm-twist the national leadership of the party “to take any hasty decision in view of the obvious and emerging facts of the verdict of the Court of Appeal” The party urged the police and other security agencies to rise up to the challenge and nip in the bud any act that could lead to a breakdown of law and order
•Oyinlola “should Oyinlola and his gang seek to want to take the law into their own hands.”
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
THE NATION SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
ANAMBRA GOVERNORSHIP RACE
Prosecute APGA's candidate, Obiano, for multiple registration, APC urges INEC
HE All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately commence the process of prosecuting APGA’s governorship candidate for Anambra, Mr. Willie Obiano, for alleged multiple voter registration. In a statement issued in Abuja, the Interim National Publicity Secretary of APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said Obiano’s multiple registration provides “the best test case yet for INEC to convince Nigerians that it is indeed willing and able to discourage multiple voter registration by making those who engage in this electoral fraud to face the full wrath of the law.” Prosecuting Obiano, according to the statement, will “also show that INEC Chairman Attahiru Jega was not just bluffing when he recently called for the establishment of an electoral offences tribunal before the 2015 general elections to help restore sanity to the country’s electoral process and deter people from committing electoral offences.’’ APC said it is important for INEC to ensure that Obiano is made to face justice against the background of the statement credited to Prof. Jega that the Commission had detected 93,526 multiple registration cases in Anambra State ahead of the November 16 governorship poll. ‘’It is now clear, from incontrovertible evidence in the public domain, that APGA’s governorship candidate is one of those who engaged in multiple voter registration, having registered twice in Anambra and at least once in Lagos. ‘’One of Obiano’s two voter registration cards was issued on Aug. 21st, 2013 with VIN n u m b e r 90F5B12B88377091121, while the second was issued on Sept. 3rd, 2013 with VIN number 90F5B15E7D378200332. Both gave his address as No. 1 Chief Willie Obiano Street, Otuocha, and showed he was born on 08-08-1955. ‘’Add this to the evidence out there that he also registered in Lagos, and one can see that
Obiano is a serial electoral offender who must not be allowed to escape justice. Nobody is bigger than the law, and Obiano cannot be an exception,’’ APC said. The party said its concerns about the ability of INEC to organise a free, fair and transparent governorship election in Anambra on November 16 had been further heightened by the fact that the Commission failed to discover Obiano’s multiple registration until it was published in the media. ‘’This means that the 93,526 cases that the INEC Chairman said it had detected in Anambra may not have been expunged from the voters’ register to be used for the Nov. 16th election. After all, if the case of such a high profile person like Obiano, who is contesting for Governor, was not discovered by INEC, how can the cases involving ordinary citizens be discovered?’’ it queried. APC said all eyes were on INEC as to how it would handle the case of Obiano, and that the actions taken by the Commission in the days ahead will determine whether indeed it is ready to organise a free and fair poll or allow a repeat of the electoral heist and brigandage perpetrated by the PDP in the recently-held senatorial by-election in Delta State. An Anambra High Court had earlier dismissed a suit seeking to stop Obiano from contesting the election on account of double registration. The suit was filed by one Chuma Oli, but the case was dismissed for lack of merit.
Ngige leads other candidates in pre-election poll S
EVEN days to the Governorship election in Anambra State, an opinion poll conducted in the state has ceded the result of the election to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Chris Ngige. The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Willie Obiano, came second, while Comrade Tony Nwoye of the people’s Democratic party (PDP) came third with Labour Party’s (LP), Ifeanyi Ubah in fourth place. The poll was conducted by Pollstar Opinion Poll and Survey, a policy, politics, economy, business and
Nwanosike ONU, Awka
consultancy outfit wich has Obi Benedict Ekene as its Executive Director. Others who followed the leaders included Godwin Ezeemo of the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) with 10 per cent; Ifeatu Ekelem of Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) with 5 per cent; Basil Iwuoba of PPN (3 per cent); Prince Akanegbu of UPP (2.5 per cent); Anayo Arinze of ACD (1.5 per cent) while the remaining 3.5 per-
cent was shared by the remaining candidates. In the poll result made available to reporters in Awka yesterday, Ngige’s APC scored 27 per cent, Obiano’s APGA polled 21 per cent while Nwoye’s PDP had 15 per cent. According to Pollstar, “Key factors that will determine the election outcome include pedigree, organisational capacity, emotional attachment and to a larger extent, the political party platform.
“In organising this opinion poll on Anambra 2013 governorship election, our major aim is to instill further the spirit of sportsmanship into the election, which has characterised Anambra election in recent times, and to separate the real contenders from the pretenders. “We have therefore exercised the highest level of objectivity in generating and analysing data, leading to a factual result which reflects the reality on the ground. “Pollstar is the most respected opinion poll agency in Nigeria with our predictions reflecting close to 99 per cent clarity,” Ekene said.
•Deputy President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Alhaji Remi Bello (left), presenting a souvenir to representative of the FCT Minister, Hajia Asmau Adamu, during the FCT Day at the ongoing 2013 Lagos International Trade Fair in Lagos… yesterday
Sambo, Anenih, Mark, Tukur storm state for Nwoye
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan will lead Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark and the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, to Anambra State today for the campaign rally of the governorship candidate of the party, Comrade Tony Nwoye. Others who will be at the rally today include the
Nwanosike ONU, Awka
Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the party, Chief Tony Anenih; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Wasiri Tambuwal and many others. Nwoye has already declared his readiness as well as that of his party for the election. The rally is scheduled to hold at the Dr Alex Ekwueme
Square in Awka instead of the earlier announced Holy Trinity ground in the commercial city of Onitsha. Members of the party in the state continued their grassroots campaign yesterday with visits to Awka South, Enugwu Agidi, Idemili South and Orumba South local government areas. Different groups, including women and youths, have sewn different colours
of PDP clothes to attend the rally in Awka today. Speaking with The Nation before the rally at Ogbugbankwa arena in Awka yesterday, Nwoye said the PDP was not afraid of any party, adding that the rally at Ekwueme Square today would tell the people that the party was ready. He said arrangements had been concluded to host the PDP chieftains in the state, adding: “Anambra is PDP
state and nobody can take that away.” The Nation also gathered yesterday that some party leaders who had turned their backs on PDP in the state before now had returned to give support to Nwoye. The party leaders and financiers include Prince Arthur Eze, Sir Emeka Offor, Dr. ABC Orjiakor and cement mogul, Chief Cletus Ibeto, among others.
Chime’s wife suffering from depression, hallucination, says NHRC
HE National Human Rights Commission
(NHRC) yesterday shed more light on the health challenge facing Mrs Clara Chime,wife of the Enugu State governor. The Commission, which had stepped in to investigate a petition on Mrs. Chime’s alleged restriction to Government House, Enugu, said it had established that she was suffering from depression and hallucination. It said, however, that in spite of the health challenge, Mrs. Chime was conscious of her environment and related well with those she encountered. NHRC’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Ben Angwe, revealed the agency’s prelimi-
Eric IKHILAE, Abuja
nary report on the probe in Abuja. Angwe personally led a team of investigators to Enugu to verify the true position of things. The team had private and group interactions with Governor Chime; his wife; his mother-in-law, Mrs Patience Igwe and some other relatives of the couple. Angwe said the commission was able to establish that Mrs Chime suffered from some medical conditions; had to stay in a medical facility and had lost confidence in the medical expert currently handling her case. He said the parties to the dispute mandated the commission to facilitate the
medical examination of the petitioner (Mrs. Chime) by a team of independent medical experts “to ascertain her true state of health.” He said the commission could not ascertain Mrs Chime’s true state of health because the investigation team had no medical experts and she was not medically examined during the team’s visit. But he said that contrary to Mrs Chime’s claim in her petition, she had access to her son and was in control of the keys to her apartment and thus was in the position to determine who could visit her. He said the commission would proceed with its investigation and, if necessary, invoke its power under the
law to mediate in the dispute with a view to resolving it in the interest of all the parties. He said the team was granted “unhindered access” to both Mrs Chime and her apartment in the Government House. His words: ”The investigating team held a fivehour meeting with Governor Chime, Mrs Chime, Dr. Jide Chime (the governor’s sibling), Dr. Aham Agumoh (who has been treating Mrs Chime) and Tony Igwe (the complainant’s elder brother), during which the complainant had an opportunity to state her case and also respond to the issues raised by her husband. “Dr. A. Uzegu, a Londonbased consultant psychia-
trist and forensic examiner, who is the doctor the complainant prefers, also joined the meeting through teleconference. “We have confirmed that in the last two weeks, Mrs Chime has been confined to her apartment on medical advice for purposes of medical maintenance and security. “Both parties have agreed that Mrs Chime has medical challenges, but have disagreement over how to handle her medical condition. The complainant told the commission that she has lost confidence in the physician presently handling her condition and no longer wants him to treat her. “She further requested to have medical opinion of
other medical doctors acceptable to her. Both parties have agreed that the commission should assemble a team of independent medical experts to review her condition and advice on further steps to be taken in respect of her treatment,” Angwe said. Mrs Chime had petitioned the commission, complaining of rights abuses, including being allegedly held incommunicado by her husband against her wish. Her husband spoke to reporters on her condition on Tuesday in Enugu and said he had no reason to confine her to Government House, except that she was having a medical challenge.
THE NATION SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
Jonathan approves $4bn for electricity transmission
R E S I D E N T Goodluck Jonathan has approved the sum of $4 billion to boost electricity transmission in the country. The Minister of Power and Steel, Prof Chinedu Nebo, disclosed this
Tayo JOHNSON, Ibadan yesterday at the official commissioning of 1 X 150MVA, 330/132kv transformer at Ayede 330/ 132kv Substation, Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
Oyegun urges APC youths to insist on free, fair elections Ahead of the 2015 general elections, former Edo State Governor, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, has advised the All Progressive Congress (APC) youths under the auspices of All Progressives Youth Forum (APYF) to insist on free and fair elections. Speaking at the forum organised by the youths in Abuja, the former governor told the youths to desist from being used illegitimately. He however stressed that they must be ready to make sacrifices in order to get their rights. He asked the youths to always hold the nation accountable for the commnwealth of the federation. “Every kobo of the nation is your right. If you are not ready, you must be prepared,” he said. Oyegun who asked the youths to be their brothers’ keepers also admonished them to caution their contemporaries whenever they are wrong.
From John Ofikhenua, Abuja Earlier, the former Minister of Labour and Productivity, Hassan Lawal, had advised the youths to be civil, especially in their language. Meanwhile, APFY President, Barrister Ismaheel Ahmed, who responded to APC plan to register 150 members, demanded that the youths should constitute 90% of the total membership. He said that the registration should be conducted in the manner the party has already planned it. On their parts, he said, “we the youth forum are going to the nooks and crannies of this country to whisper into their ears and get them to register.” He pleaded that since APC women are given free fund for contesting elections, the youth should get at least 50% reduction for nomination form in order to encourage them to participate actively in politics.
Aregbesola congratulates Golden Eaglets over victory Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has congratulated the national Under 17 football team, the Golden Eaglets, for winning the 2013 edition of the FIFA under 17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates after thrashing their Mexican counterparts 3-0 in the final played in Abu Dhabi on Friday. According to a statement by his media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, the governor also congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister of Sports, Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), the play-
Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo. ers, the coaches and other officials that made the feat possible and everyone that had a hand in the team’s success. He said that the players, a microcosm of Nigerian heterogeneity, demonstrated the Nigerian spirit of aspiration, dedication and triumph over obstacles to defeat the other strong and formidable teams they encountered along the way. Aregbesola said: “This is a clear demonstration of what Nigerian youth can do under the right leadership.”
Victory sign of era of possibilities under Jonathan, says PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described Nigeria’s victory in the FIFA Under 17 World Cup as “yet another testimony to its earlier declaration that the nation has entered into the era of possibilities under President Goodluck Jonathan.” The party, in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, touted the team’s victory as a “clear indication” that the nation would surmount its myriad of challenges under the Jonathan Administration. “The fact that the nation lifted this coveted trophy is
Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja a clear indication that we have entered the era of possibilities. “It is indeed a sign that the doors of goodluck have been opened for the nation to excel in all other sectors. “It shows that there is nothing impossible and that collectively we will overcome all the challenges we are facing as a nation,” the statement added. The party commended the players for keeping their eyes on the trophy right from the beginning of the tournament.
Nebo added that the President had also approved a master plan for a national grid which will provide power to all rural areas in the country. This, According to him, will have a national transformation impact on the country’s electricity supply. He added: ”Not only will the national grid be a lot more reliable, it will be a lot more effective in places where there is no power before in Nigeria. It will also have a huge impact on the entire Nigeria populace.” The Power Minister also disclosed that Nigeria has a metering gap of three million, adding that it is a huge market for meters manufacturers to tap into. Commenting on the fate of the the staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), he noted that ”over 40,000 of the 47,000 PHCN workers have been paid off. We are also working hard to ensure that the remaining 7,000 workers, whose bio-metric capturing was not perfect, some of them opening multiple bank accounts with different names, and this has been giving the pension funds problem, because the computer does not accept multiple data.” On the challenges confronting the power sector, Nebo said vandalization of the gas pipelines and electricity equipment has been a
major setback to achieving stable power supply. “We have deployed the national security adviser to tackle this issue, and he has brought in the Army, Civil Defence Corps and other security operatives to protect
all the power facilities. We have also digitally devised a way of monitoring the length and breadth of these facilities to ensure that whenever we have a breach we shall detect easily,” he said.
Nebo urged Nigerians to be patient with the new power investors, stressing that it will take a couple of months before Nigerians can be confident of stable power supply.
•Gov. Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna (left) presenting certificate of participation to the Bosnian delegate, Mr Toufic Allouche, during the 4th International Conference for CIT
Eaglets’ victory no fluke, says President
President Goodluck Jonathan has said that the victory of the Golden Eaglets was not a fluke but a reaffirmation of excellence inbued in every Nigerian. Eaglets defeated their Mexican counterparts 3-0 in the final match of the Under-17 world cup played at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The President in a post on his page on the popular social media platform, Facebook moments after the victory said the victory could not have come at a better time than now, when the country is about celebrating its centinary as a nation. Describing the victory as a well deserved one, he expressed the hope that such excellent performance will soon be extended to every sector of the country’s national life. He wrote: “Eaglets defeated their Mexican counterparts 3-0 in the final match played at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.” “Today, I commend Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets for their well deserved victory at the FIFA Under-17 world soccer tournament in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, (UAE). “The players played with great skill and projected the Nigerian ‘can-do’ spirit and the end result is that Nigeria is now a four-time champion.” “This could not have come at a better time seeing that
Ogochukwu ANIOKE, Abakaliki Nigeria is on the cusp of celebrating our centenary as a nation.” “In February this year, the
Super Eagles won the African Cup of Nations and now our youths are today the world’s champions”. ”This is no fluke. It is no coincidence. It is a reaffirmation of what I have always known; that excellence is a
Nigerian habit”. “I believe Nigerians are poised to extend this habit to every facet of our national life. May God bless us all and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
FRSC cautions motorists over harmattan haze Worried by the prevailing weather condition and attendant road traffic challenges, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has advised motorists to be conscious of the foggy weather condition associated with the harmattan season. This weather condition, according to the corps’ Public Education Officer, Jonas Agwu, could lead to confusion on highways. He urged road users to note that this is the period when the northeast wind blows cool but dry winds from the Sahara desert. “Your task as a safety-conscious driver is to know how to adjust your driving to meet conditions on the road or to know how to maintain a modicum of safety when you find yourself in bad weather,”Agwu said. He also urged motorists to be aware of the need to embark on daily routine check of their vehicles before entering the road. “Aside from the wipers, brakes, non-defective windscreen and functional lights, it is instructive to check radiators for water, defrosters and use coolant to keep the vehicle engine within normal range.
Bukola Amusan, Abuja
On tyres, Agwu also urged road users to note that the higher a vehicle accelerates, the higher the temperature of the vehicle which directly affects the tyres. Hence the need for distance travellers to avoid over-inflated and under-inflated tyres. Tokumbo (fairly used) and worn-out tyres are potential catalysts for road crashes.
He said as the FRSC intensifies its sustained safety awareness campaign towards a hitch-free ember season and yuletide, road users are strictly warned to avoid road vices such as overloading, under-age driving, drunk driving, speed limit violation, driving with mobile phone, non-use of seat belt and night trips in order to ensure sanity on the highways.
Tambuwal hails victorious team
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has described the victory of the Golden Eaglet as triumph of tenacity and hard work. Tambuwal said this while congratulating Nigerians over the victory of the Golden Eaglets over Mexico in the FIFA U17 World Cup which ended Friday in the United Arab Emirates. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, the Speaker described the victory as triumph of tenacity and hard work.
Victor OLUWASEGUN and Dele ANOFI, Abuja
He said the young boys have now taught the world the real essence of team work, adding that with all hands working together, all challenges would be surmounted. While congratulating the players and their handlers, led by coach Garba Manu for a job well done, Tambuwal said the House of Representatives will continue to play a leading role in effort to take sports to greater heights in the country.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
Na’Abba, Kure, Boni Haruna, other ministerial nominees undergo security screening
HE security agencies have commenced the screening of President Goodluck Jonathan’s prospective candidates to fill the 12 vacancies in the Federal Executive Council. Some of them have personally appeared before the agencies,The Nation can now confirm. They include ex-Speaker Umar Ghali Na’Abba (Kano); ex-Governor Abdulkadir Kure (Niger); Senator Umar Gada (Sokoto); a former Executive Secretary of the PTDF, Alh. Hamizu Mai Rago (who is a die-hard loyalist of the VP) and a former Minister of State for Works, Isaiah Balat (Kaduna); ex-
Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation Minister Aliyu Idi Hong and ex-Governor Boni Haruna (Adamawa); a former MD of African Petroleum, Bukar Abba Gana; Hon. Muhammed Kumalia and Nicholas Msheliza (Borno); ex-Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope and Alhaji Fatai Akinbade (Osun). It was, however, gathered that some PDP leaders are trying to build consensus on Engineer Ezekiel Adeniji, Chairman, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to make the list.
Investigation in Abuja revealed that a blanket screening of the potential candidates was conducted all through the week to weed out those unfit for cabinet positions. It was learnt that the screening was kept secret to avoid pressure on security agencies. A top source said: “Some of those short-listed for the vacant slots are already undergoing screening. This exercise will enable the President to have comprehensive information on them. “We have also sent some officers to the field to crosscheck certain information at our disposal on some nominees to prevent error of
judgment. “The report of the screening will determine those who will make the final list and those to be dropped. “I think in the next one week or two, the list should be ready. The National Assembly will soon get a letter to that effect.” Meanwhile, another source confirmed that some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State have been building consensus around the Chairman of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Engineer Ezekiel Adeniji. The source said: “I think Adeniji has appeared before one of the security agencies for screening.”
error, it says. Oil companies would have to report oil spills within 24 hours to the regulator or be fined 500,000 naira per day thereafter. They would also have to submit 0.05 per cent of their operating budget to help fund the regulator. "Only if polluting the environment becomes more costly than cleaning it up, will the situation change for the better," said Senator Bukola Saraki, head of the senate’s environment board. Saraki's team said they hoped a vote on the bill would be held by the end of the year. A Shell spokesman declined to comment on the proposed law. Legislation is often difficult to enforce in Nigeria, where a patronage culture and widespread corruption create loopholes, according to watchdogs, including Transparency International. Clauses in the new law say
the new regulator would set the salaries and benefits for its members itself and it would be allowed to accept gifts, including property and cash. Amnesty International criticised Shell this week, saying it manipulated the results of oil spill investigations to avoid paying fines or damaging its reputation. The company strongly denied the allegations. Amnesty also criticised the Nigerian government for not having a more well-equipped oil spill regulator.
NASS considers law to fine oil firms over spills
HE National Assembly is considering a law to im pose new fines on operators responsible for oil spills, a measure that could face major foreign companies with penalties running into tens of millions of dollars a year. There are hundreds of leaks every year from pipelines that pass through the creeks and swamplands of the Niger Delta, damaging the environment and the profits of oil companies, including Royal Dutch Shell and Italy's Eni. Many of these spills are caused by oil theft and pipeline sabotage, a crime committed daily in the Niger Delta where frustrations among millions of people in poverty run high. There have also been rarer cases of large oil spills in deep offshore projects. Currently, oil companies are required to fund the clean-up of each spill and usually pay compensation to local com-
munities affected, if it was the company's fault. The law, according to Reuters,would impose new fines on oil firms when they are responsible for spills and strengthen the regulator's powers, including being able to force firms to shut operations. Every barrel of oil spilled onshore or in coastal water would incur a fine of 200,000 naira while shallow water spillages would be penalised 175,000 naira per barrel and deep offshore leaks would cost 150,000 naira a barrel. Shell's website said that in 2008 more than 50,000 barrels were spilled due to operational issues. Under the new law, this could incur a fine of 10 billion naira ($63 million). Environmental campaigners say this is an underestimate and the real figure could be several times that. In later years, far less was spilled due to the company's
Ekiti students’ performance in public exams has improved by 60% —Commissioner
ERFORMANCE of Ekiti State students in public examinations has improved by 60 per cent, Mr. Tayo Ekundayo, the state Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, has said. He said the students' performance has moved up from 10 per cent to 70 per cent
Innocent DURU within the three years that the present administration assumed office. He said this when he paid a courtesy visit to the headquarters of Vintage Press Limited, publishers of The Nation newspapers, yesterday. He lamented the deplorable state of education in the past,
•Mr. Ekundayo at The Nation...yesterday
saying: " The state that was acknowledged as the fountain of knowledge was becoming a fountain of ignorance before the present administration took over the government. Let me give you a graphic situation of things then. In West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) that is used as a standard measure for students, the pass rate of Ekiti students was 10per cent. The schools were not good for human learning and teaching. “We have done well in the area of education by making sure that the students learn under a conducive atmosphere. We pioneered a computer per student. We gave laptops powered by solar energy because of power situation in the country. We also gave laptops to teachers because they were the ones that would teach them. “We have already started getting results in the sector. Within a space of three years, the pass rate in the last WASSCE results that were released moved up from 10 per cent to 70 per cent. The best student in the Senior Secondary School Competition held in Makurdi came from Ekiti State. The student Continued on Page 7
JAMB begins sale of application forms
HE Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has begun the sale of application forms into the nation’s tertiary Institutions. The early sale of the application forms is to enable Nigerians desirous of tertiary education have access to the forms so that they could prepare ahead for the examination slated for April, 2014. According to a statement issued in Abuja by JAMB’s spokesman, Fabian Benjamin, the two modes of tests hitherto conducted by JAMBthe Paper and Pencil Test (PPT) and Computer Based Test (CBT) - are still opened to prospective candidates for the 2014 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). Candidates across the globe who have successfully completed their secondary school education with a minimum of six (6) credits, including the English Language and Mathematics, are expected to obtain the forms at the designated banks and register with the approved cyber cafés across Nigeria and at the Nigeria High Commission Offices in Ghana, United Kingdom (UK), South Africa (SA), Cameroon, Jeddah and Biu. Candidates are urged to ensure that their data are well captured at the cyber cafés and their subject choices are accurately en-
Gbenga OMOKHUNU, Abuja
tered. The JAMB Registrar, Prof. ‘Dibu Ojerinde, urged parents, guardians and café operators to ensure that candidates are well guided in the filling of the forms to avoid wrong filling and unwholesome practices that may affect their choices. The public is also urged to note that candidates will be tested on two general books to enhance their reading culture, irrespective of their courses. The books are The Successor by Jerry Agada and Potter's Wheel by Chukwuemeka Ike.
Ogun NITAD holds AGM
HE Nigerian Institute of Training and Develop ment (NITAD), Ogun Chapter, holds its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and elections on Wednesday, November 13 at 11:am at Lisabi Elite Club, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta. According to Mr. Soji Akinyemi, the Chairman AGM Committee, members of the institute in the state, including members of the council and key players in learning and development sector in the country are expected at the event.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
Court fixes December 5 for hearing in suit against Chime Eric IKHILAE, Abuja
•Coordinator, Ochendo Youth Foundation, Engineer Chinedum Orji, inspecting some of the vehicles to be distributed to the 4th batch of the beneficiaries of the Abia Youth Empowerment Programme in Umuahia.
Military in governance ‘ll no longer be tolerated, says Jonathan
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday maintained that governance by the military in Africa and other parts of the world is old-fashioned and will no longer be tolerated. He made the remark yesterday while addressing a special session of the National People’s Assembly during his visit to Guinea-Bissau. President Jonathan also called on the country’s Armed Forces to embrace total respect for democracy and constitutionalism in the interest of their nation. He said: “It is no longer fashionable to see the military parading themselves as the custodians of political power. Rather, it is fashionable for the military to embrace the protection, preservation and total respect for constitutional order and democracy in order to build a prosperous and an egalitarian society,” According to a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the session was also attended by members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of civil society organizations. President Jonathan disclosed that he was in Bissau to show solidarity to the government and people of Guinea Bissau as part of efforts to ensure lasting peace and stability on the African continent. He re-stated Nigeria’s condemnation of recent attacks on the Nigerian Embassy and Nigerian nationals in Guinea Bissau, saying: “Mischief makers in the country should be discouraged from inciting the public against brotherly Nigerians and Africans.” President Jonathan called on the authorities of GuineaBissau to bring the perpetrators of the criminal attacks to justice. “We should be our brothers’ keepers and work handin-hand in this era of globalization so as to reap the fruits that come with it. I want to reassure you that the incident that led to the death of a Nigerian will not deter us from our desire to ensure that peace and stability are restored in Guinea-Bissau,” he added. He said the objective of his visit was to “identify with your aspiration to transform your country to the status of a stable and democratic soci-
Augustine EHIKIOYA, Abuja ety that will guarantee peace and stable democratic governance which is a fundamental pre-requisite for meaningful economic development.” Jonathan, therefore, called on the country’s political leaders and members of its Armed Forces to “remain steadfast and maintain the commitment which you have demonstrated right from the onset until the transition process is successfully completed with the holding of general elections which will take place soon.” President Jonathan urged all stakeholders in the country to sheathe their swords and work together in harmony to salvage the nation. He assured the gathering that Nigeria and ECOWAS will continue to make financial and material contribu-
tions to ensure that the general elections are held as quickly as possible. The Speaker of the National People’s Assembly, Ibraima Sori Djalo, thanked President Jonathan and the Nigerian government for “Nigeria’s presence in our country every time we need support, particularly in this last crisis to which we are determined to find a solution.” He described the October attack on Nigerians in Guinea Bissau as very “depressing” and reiterated the earlier official apology conveyed to Nigeria on the incident. Both countries later signed a Cooperation Agreement to boost bilateral relations between them. The agreement was signed by the Nigerian Minister of State II (Foreign Affairs), Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed, and his Guinea Bissau counterpart, Fernando Delfim da
Silva, in the presence of President Jonathan and his host, the Interim President of Guinea Bissau, Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, and top government officials of both countries. During the bilateral talks between the delegations of the two countries which preceded the signing of the cooperation agreement, President Nhamadjo informed President Jonathan of the commitment of his government to conduct general elections and implement the reformation of Guinea-Bissau’s Security and Defence Forces with the assistance of ECOWAS. Before departing Guinea Bissau for The Gambia, President Jonathan met with members of the Nigerian community and visited the Nigerian contingent of ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB) at Bras, Bissau.
PDP lifts suspension on Oyinlola’s loyalists in Osun HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun has
lifted the suspension of some members of the party believed to be loyalists of the party’s National Secretary former Gov. Olagunsoye Oyinlola. This is contained in a statement signed by Alhaji Ganiyu Olaoluwa, state Chairman of the party, and issued yesterday in Osogbo. The Federal Court of Appeal in Abuja had on Thursday upheld the election of Oyinlola as the duly elected as National Secretary of the party. It will also be recalled that the party had earlier in September announced the suspension of the party’s members who were accused of attending a rally organised at the instance of Oyinlola in Okuku, his country home. The statement stated that the party took the action at the end of its State Executive Committee meeting held at its secretariat in Ogo-Oluwa, Osogbo. It said the party executive resolved that the suspension be lifted on the affected members in response to the court’s ruling that reinstated Oyinlola as the party’s national scribe. The statement said the
party had granted “state pardon” to other chieftains of the party who had earlier been suspended for similar reasons. Affected persons were Alhaji Ademola Rasaq, former state chairman, and Chief Yinka Adeojo, former state secretary of the party as well as Alhaji Bakare
Akomola, a party chieftain. The statement said the party had become united, stronger and more focused, stressing that all the bickering among members had become a thing of the past. It, however, stated that the state party remained loyal to the Alhaji Bamagar Tukur-led executive.
‘A good leader does not need a bulletproof car’
HE Chairman of the Harvest Committee of Saint John’s Anglican Church, Iju-Ishaga, Lagos, His Royal Highness Christopher A. Ariyo, has said a good leader does not require a bulletproof car to move about in his country. Ariyo, who is the Oba of Ibala in Ijesaland, Osun State, made the remark at the 21st Adult Harvest of the church tagged “Harvest of Breakthrough.” He said: “When I went to Czechoslovakia as an ambassador, I couldn’t recognise the country’s president because there was nothing around him to suggest
that he was the president. Nigeria and other West African countries should learn from this.” He blamed politicians for the plight of our youths, especially in the area of unemployment and advised our leaders to attach much importance to education in order to solve most of the problems being encountered by the youths in the country. The assistant vicar of the church, Rev. Josiah Onifalokun, said the money realised from the harvest would be used for the renovation of the youth chapel and other projects of the church.
HE Court of Appeal, Abuja has fixed De cember 5 for hearing of a suit challenging the legitimacy of process through which Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime, emerged as the flagbearer of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2011. A chieftain of the party, who claimed to have been cleared by the party for its primary prior to the election, Alexander Obiechina, had gone before the Federal High Court, Abuja, contending that the governorship primary held by the party on January 12, 2011 (which produced Chime) was flawed. He argued, among others, that it held in breach of the provisions of Section 85(1) of the Electoral Act (EA). Obiechina, who argued that party failed to comply with the EA in conducting
the primary, urged the trial court to determine whether Section 85(1) of the EA in fixing January 12 for the primary, a date short of the number of days provided in the Act. The trial court, presided over by Justice Adamu Bello, refused to entertain the suit for want of jurisdiction, a decision Obiechina appealed. Yesterday, a three-man panel led by Justice M. B. Dongban-Mensem fixed the December 5 hearing date after entertaining and ruling on preliminary applications by parties. The appellate court in its rulings abridged time within which the 3rd respondent (Chime) should file his reply brief. He is to do that within 15 days. The court also deemed the reply brief, filed out of time by the 2nd respondent (PDP), as properly filed.
‘Ekiti students’ performance in public exams has improved by 60%’ Continued from Page 6 was from a rural school in Efon Alaaye and not an elite school." He added that the Fayemi government has also improved the infrastructure which was abandoned by previous administrations. He said: “If you look at the area of infrastructure which was totally lacking before we came to office, you will agree that this administration has performed creditably well. As at 2010, the roads in Ado Ekiti were horrible, and people kept asking if there was a government in the state. Within three years, we have been able to transform Ado Ekiti, and people have been wondering how we did it. I do not know of any major road in Ado Ekiti that is not a beauty to behold today. "We have also rehabilitated Federal Government roads in the state. We can't wait for the Federal Government forever to have the roads repaired. They have about N8billion to reimburse us for the expenses we incurred rehabilitating the roads. As I speak, the Federal Government is not doing anything in the state. They have neglected the state in everything." He hinted that the state has embarked on mechanized farming that would encourage the youths to take to agriculture. "We have identified the northern senatorial district of the state as a veritable zone for agriculture that can feed the substantial part of the population of the South West. We are driving the agenda and we can see it becoming a model in the country. We are going to irrigate all the land in the area such that all year round, you will be able to cultivate crops. We have partnership arrangement now with the Israelis. Of course, you know their reputation in the areas of agriculture and irrigation. Good enough, this area has two main dams that have been lying fallow for a very long time. We are going to use that water now for massive irrigation to make sure that the area is noted for agriculture in the country," he said. On the face-off between the Honourable Opeyemi Bamidele and the state governor, he said: "The crisis is not what cannot be resolved. We believe that he is still a member of our party. He has not left. He has his ambition, but he needs to be very careful pursuing it. If you pursue any ambition with a kind of blindness, you will probably not be able to see the future. "We believe with the way he is pursuing it, he may not at the end of the day be able to run in the APC as it were because everybody has already endorsed the governor. We believe that he would probably at the end of the day have a rethink and retrace his step. It is going to be a daunting task for him to want to pursue this ambition to a logical conclusion. “He dismissed threats by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that they would take over the government house in 2014. “It is very funny to hear such threat from the PDP. What do you expect from them? They have not been able to say what they would do for the state that the Fayemi government has not done. You can see and feel what we have done. "Good things are happening in Ekiti. What is happening in the state is like seeing tomorrow happen in your life time. We have done quite a lot in transforming our state. Why we want to do a second term is because of the neglect of the past. We have quite a lot to still do. "I use Lagos State as a good example. If today, Lagos State is what it is, it is because of continuity. When you have somebody that is delivering, you support him. You don't change a winning team. This is the message we have been passing to all our compatriots in the state. If this kind of continuity can transform Lagos State, let us see how it works in Ekiti State. We really need the support of everybody."
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
Distruption of G-7 Governors’ meeting: State police is the answer, says Kwankwaso n Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano n
ANO S|tate governor, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso has advocated the creation of state police in the country, insisting that the existing Police Force has veered off from serving Nigerians. Kwankwaso, who had hitherto opposed the creation of state police in the country, lamented that what happened last week, when the police walked in and asked five out of the G7 governors to disperse from a justifiable meeting at his lodge in Abuja, demonstrated the inclination and ineptitude of the nation’s police. Receiving the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, led by its Chairman, Chief Igwe Paulinus Nwagu, who visited him in Kano, the governor described the police disruption of the meeting as upsetting and an insult on the people who voted them into power.
•The Commander of the Oyo State anti-crime outfit, Operation Burst, Brig.-Gen. Laz Ilo (left), presenting N1 million cheque on behalf of Governor Abiola Ajimobi to the wife of Police Constable Kadiri Isiaka, a personnel of the outfit who died in active service recently, Mrs. Mutiat Isiaka, at the Operation Burst headquarters, Agodi, Ibadan...yesterday.
Suswam to operators of WAEC/NECO miracle centres, close shop now or face prosecution ENUE State governor, Mr. Gabriel Suswam, Thursday read the riot act to proprietors of secondary schools in the state, warning them to desist from using their schools as centres for examination malpractices or risk prosecution. Governor Suswam spoke at the start of a two-day First Benue Education Summit at the JS Tarka Foundation in Makurdi. “We are going to be decisive, irrespective of who is involved; we cannot continue like this,” Governor Suswam told the audience, made up of proprietors, parents, government officials, regulatory agencies, traditional rulers, faith-based organisations, non-governmental organisations, the press and other stakeholders in the educational sector. The governor bemoaned a situation where students, parents and teachers form an unholy alliance to perpetrate exam fraud at some WAEC/ NECO centres, usually referred to as “Miracle Centres” where candidates who write exams at such centres are assisted to cheat just to acquire high grades. Describing such students as halfbaked, Governor Suswam said they were among those who usually got into secret cults on university campuses with the habit of threatening lecturers to award scores to them. He said his administration would not condone such illegality warning that severe penalties would be visited on anybody caught in exam malpractice.
B No more indigenes/settlers dichotomy K in Kaduna, says governor ADUNA State governor, Mukthar Ramalan Yero, yesterday abolished the indigene/settler dichotomy in the state, saying henceforth, every resident of the state will be regarded as an indigene and given equal political and economic rights. Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 4th International Conference of Forum for Cities in Transition, Governor Yero said that this was necessary for the development of the state and to enhance peaceful
$25.5 million Pfizer hospital for Kano govt n Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano n
HE Diagnostic and Disease control Centre (DDCC), a specialist hospital build by Pfizer Pharmaceutical company, valued at $25.5 million in Kano as a compensation for the controversial 1996 Trovan clinical trial has been completed and ready to be handed over to the Kano State government. The Head Care related programs Trust Board Limited, headed by Professor Shehu Galadanci, told reporters in Kano yesterday, during the facility tour of the 2.9 hectares of DDCC, that the centre has been completed and fully equipped with state of the art medical facility ready to be handed over to the state government According to Galadanci, the medical center has the potential to uplift healthcare in Kano and the country in general, adding that Pfizer underwrote the health care initiatives under the term of settlement reached with the company and Kano State government over a disputed Trovan test in 1996. Prof. Galadanci said the DDCC would provide facilities for the training of medical doctors and other key health care professionals in the country.
n Tony AKOWE, Kaduna n
co-existence and allow everyone to achieve his full potentials. According to Governor Yero, “the state government will strive to provide equal economic and political opportunities to all citizens of the state, in order to reduce the level of suspicion and ac-
rimony in the minds of people. “We have since declared that in Kaduna State all citizens are equal partners, there is no indigenes-settlers dichotomy in our state, all citizens have equal rights to achieve their full potentials as long as the laws of the land are obeyed.” While appreciating the or-
ganisers of the conference for the successes recorded, he said: “I am confident that the experiences that delegates have brought to this conference will surely be of mutual benefit to all the participating cities at this event. Our common goal is to entrench the culture of dialogue and peaceful resolution of conflicts in our various cities.”
1,000 Osun LP members defect to APC O fewer than 1,000 members of Labour Party in Ilesha West and East Local Government Areas of Osun State have defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress. At their formal declaration to join the APC at the Owa Adimula of Ijeshaland Palace Square, the APC chieftains led by its Acting Chairman, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi received the defectors with fanfare. Addressing the defectors and party supporters, Adelwowo said that anyone joining the APC must abide by its rules and
n Adesoji ADENIYI, Osogbo n
regulations. He also advised the defectors to be loyal and ready to work for the party so as to win the forthcoming governorship election in the state The APC interim secretary in the state, Prince Adegboyega Famoodun, also urged all defectors to be committed to the success of the ruling APC in the forthcoming general elections in the state. He praised the defectors for their courage and in joining the party before the election unlike
others who would want to join the party after its electoral victory. He promised the defectors that nobody would be marginalised, saying there was nothing like new members in the progressive camp. Presenting the defectors from LP to Elder Adebiyi, APC party Chairman in Ilesha East, Hon. Idowu Korede, expressed appreciation to the state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola's brilliant performance, which he said attracted many people, including the defectors into the APC.
Children's survival must concern responsible SUN State governor, Oggovt, says Aregbesola beni Rauf Aregbesola,
has said that the survival of children must be of utmost concern to any responsible government. Flagging off the state Integrated Measles Campaign and Maternal Neonatal Child in Osogbo, the state capital, the governor said the joy of any woman was not only to give birth to a baby but to see him or her live and grow up to become somebody in life. Describing measles as a lifethreatening disease which kills children at their infancy, he
n Adesoji ADENIYI, Osogbo n noted that the children of today are the future of the state and the country. "Measles is a killer disease. And it is the enemy of children. It attacks and kills children at infancy. But this government is concerned about the children because they are our tomorrow. As government we will do everything humanly possible to protect our children. "And today we are happy that the secret and formidable
weapon against this preventable killer disease is the vaccine. It is cheaper for government to control this disease through vaccination than any other means. Our government, therefore, will do everything possible to make the vaccine available for the sole purpose of weaning our children from measles," Aregbesola said. Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Temitope Ilori, said measles is the highest killer of all vaccine preventive diseases.
FUMMAN wins award UMMAN Nigeria Ltd, a leading chemical solution provider company in Nigeria has been presented with an excellence award in recognition of its quality service delivery and impeccable manufacturing standard. The award is a recognition of her operational efficiency and improved manufacturing standards. The award of recognition was presented to Fumman Nigeria Ltd by International Breweries Plc belonging to SAB millers, the second largest brewery globally. The group acknowledges their superlative technical support, after sales service and production of quality standards of Fumman as globally acceptable and in line with world class manufacturing standards. The Chief Operating Officer of Fumman Nig Ltd, Mr. Kayode Aturu said the company has the vision to sustain its pedigree in chemical production and selling in the West African territory.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
Changing cultures, transparency and development
DWARD Snowden , the American whistle blower on spying was like a traitor when the news broke on the internet that he had exposed intelligence on the US government spying on its allies. Last week however there was serious talk that he was being considered for the Nobel prize for transparency. In Europe , the EU court ruled this week, that Africans asking for asylum in Europe on grounds of persecution in nations where gay marriages and homosexuality are banned, can be considered for asylum in Europe. In Nigeria, at long last , the president of the Republic finally met with University teachers who have been on strike for four months , asking that funds be provided to make infrastructure available to teach in the nation’s university environment for which the Coordinating Minister of Finance had earlier said the striking lecturers were asking for the moon. In Italy the Catholic Pope Francis called a conference on what he called modern slavery including child labor and prostitution to save the world’s poor and fight global poverty. In similar mood the World Bank and the EU pledged $8bn in aid to develop the Sahel from where Al Qada and Boko Haram have sprung to threaten the political stability of not only Nigeria but the entire ECOWAS sub region and indeed Africa as a continent. The news items and issues I have highlighted today look interesting and innocuous enough, but they are deceptively so, as they concern matters that I have labeled as ‘changing cultures’ but which are in reality - culture shocks - that are highly polemical as my analysis will show. Let us first dwell on the amazing and unbelievable situations that these news items have thrown up at least this week alone . In Britain , the security chiefs of Britain’s spy industry were summoned to open questioning by Parliament and these were the bosses of M5 , MI6 and GHCQ, powerful institutions which have been the stuff of James Bond and other spy films that one once thought that such institutions were the stuff of fiction and do not really exist. Again, who could have thought that the same EU providing money for African nations to fight a security threat in the Sahel they don’t see yet, let alone appreciate, is also giving asylum to African gays and lesbians who are just aberrants against the way of life and culture of the people amongst which they live? Also who could have thought that a president - whose wife went to S Korea to receive an honorary degree whilst the universities in her husband’s nation were closed on strike by lecturers-could have compunction and decide to talk directly to the striking lecturers that the nations funds minister had earlier branded as unreasonable? Similarly, one had been used to Catholic Popes living in Palaces in the Vatican and being chosen as, ’the best dressed’ men in the world, but now we have the pleasant and humane surprise of a Pope planning how to stop children and prostitutes drifting into a life of crime, drugs and terrorism. Really it is a new day and dawn in terms of the changing cultures of our times and the expectations and import of that for world peace, security and economic development. Yet as we will soon see, it is not all that glitters that is gold. Let us start our journey again by looking at the cold facts of the issues raised today and see the lessons to learn to improve our world and ease the tensions of international relations and diplomacy .First the downside of the Snowden revelations is that it has endangered international relations and introduced conflict and suspicion amongst friends and allies spying on each others citizens and institutions not to talk of incumbent leaders. But as one of the spy bosses told British parliamentarians, spying
involves getting information from other nations that they may not want to give and protecting information that are vital to national interests and security. The comforting side is that Snowden or not, both the British and American legislatures were impressed with the response of their spy bosses to the questions prompted by the Snowden revelations and that was apparent in the hushed reverence with which the spy bosses were treated, in spite of the hullaballoo that accompanied their summons to the two legislatures. Which shows again that where security is concerned, transparency has a limited flight of fancy and accountability, and that is a lesson indeed for developing nations adopting democracy hook, line and sinker as the panacea or solution to every problem of governance, economic management and environmental equilibrium in the real world. In effect then, the Snowden revelations have blown the cover of Western intelligence and spy bosses but the governments are adopting a response strategy of crisis management that I have called ‘dog does not eat dog’ - which is another way of allowing sleeping dogs to lie in the overall security interest of all friends, stakeholders and parties concerned. That to me is a sensible response to an embarrassing intelligence quagmire that Snowden willfully created to bring the security roof down albeit unsuccessfully in the western hemisphere. I shall take the three issues of asylum for gays fleeing homosexuality ban in Africa, the EU and World Bank fund to develop the Sahel and the Pope’s devotion to help children and prostitutes escape modern slavery as he put it, together. Again the issues that bind the three developments together are cultural and humanitarian with a tinge of ethnocentrism and urgent security need. I see ethnocentrism in the European court ruling in a case brought from Holland on Africans alleging persecution on account of being gays. Though the European Court has ruled that such Africans can be considered for asylum which is binding on all EU nations, the court also asserted that the existence of a ban is not sufficient ground for granting asylum as evidence of persecution has to be shown. Which is what brings in the issue of ethnocentrism. The EU Court has deemed European culture superior to those of nations like Nigeria and Uganda where homosexuality is banned, and that is a sociological blunder as no culture is really superior to the other. Indeed the implementation of the ban in the nations concerned is not a problem as that is the African way of life. The implication
The EU Court has deemed European culture superior to those of nations like Nigeria and Uganda where homosexuality is banned, and that is a sociological blunder as no culture is really superior to the other
of the EU ruling is to provide cheap opportunities for those Africans fleeing from other problems to cash in on the persecution proviso when indeed they cannot really stand up to be counted on their sexual disposition in such societies. On the massive $8bn aid to the Sahel , I see the hand of the World Bank boss Jim Yong Kim at play . This new Group MD of the World Bank has committed himself and the global bank to poverty alleviation by 2030 and is pursuing that goal. He deserves commendation for bringing the EU on board. The EU is contributing $ 6.75 bn – 5bn euros and the World Bank, $1.5bn . But, again, the EU is investing in its security as it knows that the Sahel has been the new home of militant terrorism especially Al Qada that fled Afghanistan only to show up in Islamic Maghreb and North Africa and has resurrected in Boko Haram in Nigeria’s North East and lately the Syrian crisis. That was why France had to intervene militarily in Mali to stop the invasion of that nation when ECOWAS was getting too slow to act. The rationale for the World Bank and EU aid is to provide infrastructure, jobs and security for the nations bordering the north of west Africa which is called the Sahel in the hope that that would reduce ready recruits for Al Qada from the jobless, roaming and idle millions of Africans youths looking for ways to make ends meet and make a future for themselves. By strengthening the Sahel economically and sustaining its growth the EU hopes to reduce terrorism targeted at the European mainland by Al Qada and militant groups recruiting African youths effortlessly by giving them training and ammunition to disrupt the stability of African nations in the Sahel on religious grounds and excuses. That really is a promising venture and one expects the EU and World Bank to have enough monitoring skills to ensure that the funds are used for the desired purposes and not high jacked for selfish ends by politicians and thieving bureaucrats very active in the Sahel environment. It is in such light that I look at the never too late intervention of the Nigerian president in the ASUU strike and pray that it is concluded positively and the students return to their schools. Inevitably such idle students have drifted to prostitution, drugs, terrorism and crime from which the EU, World Bank, and the Pope are trying to help out. One expects this president not to yield to pressure from the owners of the private universities who think they cannot prosper except they kill the public universities by making sure that they encourage government to starve them of funds. It is not in the interest of such private universities as the environment will be so charged that sooner than later they too will not function on security grounds. That is the stark truth to face on the urgent need to resuscitate university education in Nigeria in the best interest of the future and security of our nation. What is good for the goose should surely be sauce for the gander.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
Bala's bulldozers and crude injustice
ITHIN the last two weeks, Kubwa, a highly-populated suburb in the Federal Capital Territory, has come under vicious transformation. Its serenity has been raped, its essence laid bare and its economy ripped. As usual, the agents of tears, anguish and sorrow justify their act on the need to blindly enforce the "Abuja Master plan". In the hands of an uncaring government and an utterly unfeeling bureaucracy, the term has been imbued with evil propensities, draining the little life out of many souls that daily struggle to make sense out of the challenge of survival in Abuja. When they talk of this master plan, you get the impression that its provisions are sacrosanct like a divine law cast in stone. But that is where the tragedy lies because; over the years, the Abuja master plan has become a tool of suppression, oppression and alienation in the hands of successive ministers of the Federal Capital Territory. Like the law, the Abuja master plan is propped up as an ass that respects no one. And so, violators of building plans and approvals, no matter how highly-placed, must go through the agony of having such buildings pulled down no matter the cost, right? Not really. The law may be an ass but it sure knows its bounds. Ironically, Nigeria's Presidential Villa, sits on a land clearly earmarked for a different purpose in the master plan. I remember vividly too, that the authorities excused the exculpation of Aso Rock with an argument that the illegality did not cause any major damage to the master plan. A solution was ingeniously manufactured by simply looking the other way! Or who could have dared to order former President Olusegun Obasanjo to vacate Aso Villa, the seat of power? Definitely not el-Rufai! It was the same excuse that was offered for the reluctance of the MallamNasir el-Rufai administration to demolish the popular Eagle Square, which was built on a land reserved for train stations in the master plan. Until their owners crossed paths with those in power, several other buildings were overlooked by the authorities even when they vagrantly breach the much-vaunted master plan. It was quite understandable then that the rich and influential hardly get caught in such mess in which the poor and vulnerable were always found culpable. So much for justice. Many residents had consigned such arrogant display of impunity and sheer wickedness to the dust bin of history until the latest onslaught on hapless citizens by the current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed. For a minister who popped into prominence with his incomprehensible predilection forhunting and hurling commercial sex workers into detention camps and a peculiar fixation with land issues, it came as a surprise to many that he could deploy same vigour to depriving law-abiding citizens of their means of survival, even with unmistakable savagery. For a man who is still under serious scrutiny by the National Assembly for the role his men played in the demolition of estates with hundreds of housing units worth billions of Naira, it beggars belief that Bala remains unrepentant in his haste to impress his masters that he has the capacity to descend on luckless citizens with such fiendish candour. Unfortunately, President Goodluck Jonathan may not understand the depth of the psychological trauma that Bala's morbid deployment of bulldozers continues to inflict on hard-working residents of Nigeria's political capital city until he spares time to tour affected areas. Simply put, it is despicable and unconscionable. And let no one come up with that bunkum argument that the minister cannot look the other way and allow people to violate the government's dream for a modern city. We do know that government is the worst culprit when talking about the cruel rape of the master plan. Besides, didn't they say that what's sauce for the geese should also be sauce for the gander? There must be something fundamentally wrong with a government that
Ogochukwu Ikeje email@example.com 08084235961 (SMS only)
VERYONE will like to be remembered for something. For Dr Goodluck Jonathan, that may well be the president who was no Nebuchadnezzar, no Pharaoh, no lion, and no tiger. In fact, he would like to be remembered as the one who changed Nigeria. Back in September, 2011, he inspired one of the most memorable headlines in the print media when he declared that he was neither like the maximum rulers of biblical times nor the king of the jungle nor its striped rival, the tiger, who commands considerable respect in the wild. The president had gone into an Abuja church not only prepared to discharge his duties there but also to reply some of his critics, some of whom dismissed his approach to the nation’s challenges. They questioned Jonathan’s handling of the Boko Haram insurgency. They queried his response to corruption, Nigeria’s enduring and crippling headache. Most of the president’s critics concluded that he was too circumspect, too indecisive and unable to whip errant government officials into line. When he replied, he chose his words carefully, his analogies even more advisedly. Distancing himself from despots who ruled with fists of fury and spoke through clenched teeth, Jonathan conjured up the dreaded memory of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the Pharaohs of Egypt, all of whom left their subjects cower-
habitually implements its own law in the breach. For example, there is nothing in the master plan that says all ministries, departments and agencies must struggle for space in the Central Business District. In case Bala is too busy to read, a critical sector like Ministry of Education which crammed its staff in an office at the Federal Secretariat should have been operating from Bwari where the JAMB office and the Law School are located. The same principles apply to all the MDAs muscling the master plan in brazen violation of its sanctimonious inviolability. But has Bala ever thought of upturning the apple cart by insisting on doing the needful by correcting the glaring anomalies? Never! Don't get it twisted. We do understand that, in these days of the long knives, key 'loyalists' would sacrifice just about anything to remain in the good books of Mr. President. Juicy positions like that of the FCT Minister are not that easy to appropriate. So, we do understand the surreptitious move to 'bring down' the property of perceived enemies of Jonathan, especially those who have publicly proclaimed their love for the new Peoples Democratic Party. That, more than any other thing, was the reason behind the threat to demolish the building housing the nPDP and the sealing of the Adamawa Government House some weeks back. Suddenly, the officers at the Development Control woke up from a prolonged slumber to realise some houses had been built on sewage lines, water ways or green areas. So much for common sense! Just that one had expected that some persons should have outgrown cheap politicking by now. No matter how one looks at it, the ongoing demolition of business outfits, shops and mini-malls in Kubwa cannot be justified. Unless there is a deliberate plan to impoverish those struggling to make a decent living out of the harvest of official sleaze going on in high places and unlessMr.Bala is bent on pursuing the agenda that Abuja has no space for the poor, then Jonathan should step in and call his minister to order. Already, his demolition squad has inflicted unimaginable pain and anguish on hundreds of victims living in the area. Quite a number of them are depressed and may soon turn into emotional wrecks. Businesses have been ruined, families torn apart and investments worth millions of naira lost to the deadly strikes of Bala's bully bulldozers backed by the wicked grin on the faces the gun-toting policemen superintending the operation. It's amazing that, amidst the ruins, these mindless souls could still find ample time to taunt helpless victims with the ferocious capacity of their AK-47s. They have crossed the bounds of human feelings and couldn't have given a hoot to the ceaseless wailings around them. For them, it would be a great honour to silence the anguished cries with a bullet in the heart! As should be expected, the victims of the bulldozing rage do not belong to the rank of the privileged few who can source N255 million to procure the best armoured vehicles money can buy and signed it off as "doing the needful". They are less concerned about the ministerial frenzy in rushing to construct a N2 billion banquet hall in Aso Rock, to take care of the special friends of the President. They have since stopped worrying their heads about how a humongous sum of N500 billion could disappear from the Sure-P funds. It is not their business either if the FCT decides to seek additional billions to erect a befitting structure for the comfort of the Vice President. They never asked question when Balaallegedly donated more than 70 vehicles to the Goodluck/Sambo campaign organisation. Of course, they knew it was an investment that is bound to yield a thousand fold if things went well like it did. They were not outraged by media reports that the minister donated N300 million only for the construction of a mosque in his village. To them, nothing is too big to give to God. They are, in the main, concerned about how they can survive with their meagre earnings without tarnishing their only priceless possession on earth---good name. It is, therefore, shocking that these persons are now the targets of
Yomi Odunuga E-mail:yomi.odunuga @thenationonlineng.net SMS only: 07028006913 Bala's rage. And we ask the question: where do the broken hearts go? To underscore the tragedy, a colleague, IkennaEmewu of "The SUN", writes in article titled 'Tears in Kubwa' and published on Wednesday: "Kubwa, the centre of attraction in the Federal Capital Territory has harvested tears from the Bwari Area Council in the past two weeks. The largest outpost of the Abuja municipal city is reeling in pains, as the claws and teeth of bulldozers tore down hundreds of shop, leaving shop owners and landlords in tears and pains. The first places visited felt it would be just a passing nightmare until the claws dug in and yanked off numerous shops and business places." In another article published in the Abuja Review pages of The NATION last Tuesday, AdenikeAdebowale painted the gloomy picture of the destruction that was hatched right before the eyes of these common Nigerian eking a living in the most demeaning conditions. As the purveyors of doom went on with their unusual business, she says: "Bulldozers roared and structures came crashing down, rattling other structures. The wrath of the Federal Capital Territory Administration came down on the residents as if it was Judgment Day.The demolition team came with hardened hearts, blocked ears and grave looks. They pitied no one. The structures, they said, were illegal.Landlords and residents desperate to save their structures got no attention from officials who turned deaf ears to their pleas.Houses, shops, churches and mosques were not spared in the act which most people described as cruel." Each time structures like the ones in Kubwa came tumbling down to the knockout punches of bulldozers, the standard excuse has always been the same---abuse of a master plan that is violently raped daily by the same authorities saddled with the responsibility of preserving it. These are persons who have lost touch with how other countries have been providing affordable accommodation for their citizens. There are characters who have woefully failed to make any positive impact other than setting traps for sex workers and complicating the land issue with a land swap project. These are the same strategists whose policy has ended up compounding the woes of thousands of commuters and rendered many helplessly hopeless. Could that be the spirit behind the drafting of the master plan? Did the drafters of this template for developing a new city ever imagined a period when the rich and influential would deploy it as a tool of suppression, alienation and intimidation? And is that all that makes a minister tick? Shouldn't there be more to being a Minister of the FCT than a crazy commitment to sending thousands of residents out of jobs and condemning them to years of psychological traumas? Let Bala think about these things as we await those who should call him to order to do the needful on the matter! He should stop dancing 'skelewu' on the graves of the living dead!
Jonathan’s best legacy ing and whimpering, and the rest of the world in utter disgust even to this day. Who loves Pharaoh? Who will name their child after the Babylonian king? Turning to the terrors of the jungle, Jonathan said he was no lion, the carnivore king dreaded more than admired by preys. The president duly explained that he had no desire to be likened to such rulers or beasts because he had no such traits. He would prefer to be seen and remembered as the president with a human face and heart. In fact, recently, the matter came up again when Jonathan shocked his Aso Rock audience when he said he also would not like to be addressed as the commander-in-chief, another term that conveys the image of force of arm. Rather than be a powerful president ruling with the force of arm, Jonathan said he was content to create institutions. I respect the president’s preferences, in fact, even applaud them. Maximum rulers like Gen Sani Abacha and swashbuckling presidents like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in my reckoning, did us little good. While their regimes lasted, many Nigerians largely wished their reign would end quickly, although some still seemed to favour Obasanjo’s sometimes quickdraw approach. But there are lots of fundamental errors, which need to be corrected. A few weeks ago, reports said one of Jonathan’s powerful female ministers was wasting hardearned cash in hired jets on which she shuttled round the world with almost as many hangers-on as she pleased. I wrote in this space, saying that the error may not simply lie in her travel interests but in what the law allowed. In other words, I favoured things being spelt
out so that a minister, for instance, will know when not to take their preferences beyond the line drawn by the laws of the land. Right now, two unflattering developments have imposed themselves on the print media’s front pages: the ASUU strike and what has been styled the Oduahgate. The university teachers say they want an old agreement with federal government to be implemented so they can fix the dilapidated infrastructure on the campuses and bring back the lost glory of the ivory towers. Some say, though, that the lecturers want nothing more than what will swell their bank accounts. After months of fighting, the university teachers have held talks with the president, and some are hopeful that the fivemonth industrial action which has crippled the university system will soon come to an end. It is not clear, though, what sort of settlement
I respect the president’s preferences, in fact, even applaud them. Maximum rulers like Gen Sani Abacha and swashbuckling presidents like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in my reckoning, did us little good
both parties are reaching or have reached. Is the government paying up the outstanding billions ASUU seeks or is it meeting the lecturers only half way just to see academic business resume on the campuses? Are the lecturers settling for partial payment in order not to be seen as sponsored enemies of the Jonathan administration? Whatever the case, one thing is clear: the universities as well all other tertiary institutions need comprehensive revamping. And you cannot turn the collapsed university system around simply by paying money to the teachers, much as that is necessary. We need to evaluate the system, ascertain what has gone wrong and determine how to correct it. This is as much about money as it is about admitting that things are no longer what they used to be in the ivory tower and working hard to correct the imbalance. It is about standards. It is about institutions. Teachers and students have been fleeing abroad. This must stop. It is only standards that can stop it. Oduahgate brings no sweetness to either Jonathan or the country. Again, we also need standards to shut this gate. We need standards to curb the unhealthy tastes of government officials, and we need a transparently anti-corruption government as much as we need strong agencies with a mind of their own to deter corruption. We need to redefine the word ‘scandal’. We need to rediscover our sense of shame. We do not need a Pharaoh or Nebuchadnezzar to do that. All that is required is standards or, if you like, institutions. If Jonathan can deliver that, he will leave the best legacy Nigerians have seen.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
ALHAJI LAMIDI ONAOLAPO AREMU ADESINA CON
The Government and good people of Oyo State gratefully remember our icon, Chief Lamidi Onaolapo Aremu Adesina, Former Governor of Oyo State, whose demise occurred on the 11th of November, 2012. Remembrance Ceremony: Monday, 11th November, 2013 Venue: Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan. Time: 11am Alhaji Tajudeen Aremu, mni Head of Service
OYO STATE OF NIGERIA
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
13 •Business activities on Quartz Street hillbrow
of Nigerian hustlers in South African enclave to the Johanin e r tu n e v d g, na Fresh from a erworld governed by dru s, d ie nesburg’s un d other anti-social activit en ig sex, murder a E writes on how many N ity c Y SEUN AKIO part of the South African a rians live in &15 on pages 14 Story
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
14 E wanted to be known simply as IK. He looked at the undercover reporter and said in a tone that conveyed no emotions: “Do you want to make money? Can you hustle on the streets? Are you man enough to survive on this street like these other boys?” IK and the reporter were standing at a corner in the crowded Quartz Street in Hillbrow, Johannesburg on the evening of October 29, 2013. He had just resumed for work on the streets and had been introduced to the reporter as a new prospect who was willing to make out his fortunes in the dangerous and perilous drug world in Johannesburg. IK’s first impression about his new prospect was very unfavorable: the reporter appeared too naïve and scared to be a successful drug baron. “My man, the streets are very dangerous and you must be very hard to survive. But the boys are making a living, the same way I am also struggling,” IK said, clutching the reporter’s shoulder with a friendly hand. Quartz Street is made up of predominantly of Nigerian immigrants. Apart from a sprinkle of Zimbabweans, all commercial activities are carried out by Nigerians and they are mainly from the South East. On the surface, there are the African food stores which sell Nigerian foods at exorbitant prices. There are the dry cleaners, internet cafes and bars owned and operated by Nigerians. But the real business of Quartz Street lies in its ugly underbelly, the world of cocaine and other illicit drugs. It’s a world so secretive that only few people are admitted into it; a world so dangerous that very few survive it. Johannesburg, for many Nigerians and other immigrants, is the New York of South Africa. It exists so that the poor can survive. It is the only city in South Africa where immigrants can make ends meet doing multiple odd jobs. The city, derogatorily referred to as Johanesshustle-burg by many locals and immigrants, also has the highest crime rate in the country. Aside from the usual criminal tendencies of frustrated locals, the crime rate is also fueled by the underground drug world. In Johannesburg, sadly, the drug world is controlled by Nigerians. The crime world in the city is centered on three localities: Berea, HillBrow and Julies. In the first two neighborhoods, the drug kingpins rule while Julies is the headquarters of the credit card fraud business. There are many stories about the cocaine world in Berea and HillBrow. Even among Nigerians, the name is mentioned with reverence and fear. They are tales so dangerous they sound almost unbelievable until of course one gets the evidence or a glimpse of that drug world. It is both dangerous and secretive. No one answers his real name in that world and there are multiple rumours of backstabbing, tradeoff and murder. Getting information about how the drug business runs is no mean feat. One would have to be introduced by a member or someone who has the confidence of the drug lords. Lately, those who operate in this world had taken more precaution about the way the business is run. It was authoritatively
•Olympic Bar, owned and operated by the underworld lords
The world of Nigerian hustlers in Johannesburg
•Prospect and Fife corner, the most dangerous area in Berea
gathered that early in October 2013, one of the kingpins was “dropped” in Julies. The drug lord was said to have been accosted by some men and several bullets were fired into his heart. He died before his body hit the ground. The late drug lord had reportedly led less than a sterling life with reports of several droppings he had either ordered or personally carried out. Apart from these usual fatal confrontations, there are cases of ‘brothers telling on brothers.’ “Our people are wicked. If they see that you are making it, they will be the one to tell the police the kind of job you are doing. We have many cases of brilliant peo-
ple who have been ruined like that. “This job is a very dangerous one. If you are not careful or if you play too smart, you may not live to regret it or make amends,” a source said. The real centre of activities for the drug business is Berea, a sleepy neighbourhood just outside Johannesburg city centre, and that world is controlled by Nigerians, mainly from a particular part of the country. Very few understand how the Nigerian cartel that runs the drug world in Berea operates or how dangerous it could be when threatened. Those who rule the drug world are often not seen, preferring instead to use
what is known in local parlance as the “hustle boys.” The hustle boys can be found on every street in Berea. They look tough and hardened, more by the conditions under which they have to operate than by anything else. Even though their primary occupation is selling cocaine, marijuana and other hard drugs, they often have an alibi as all of them sell small provisions like sweets and kola nuts. There are others who sell jewellery, gold and diamond while a few others indulge in currency trading. The most dangerous spots in Berea are Soope Street, Fife and Prospect Corner. On Soope Street, the houses are derelict and crying for rehabilitation. Most of the tenants here are Zimbabweans and Nigerians. On the houses are inscriptions warning residents that guns, knives and other dangerous weapons will not be allowed. Down the road in Soope Street is Soope Lodge, which is said to be owned by a Nigerian. It is the home of drug addicts and dangerous drug lords. Outside, emaciated bodies slept on the pavements and the stairs. Walking down Soope Street, it is common for one to hear a particular Nigerian language. You would find Nigerian men engaged in heated arguments, idling away. There are other men from Zimbabwe, wasted by drugs. They look more like skeletons than human beings, a result of years of drug abuse. But it is hard to find a Nigerian
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
whose life has been wasted by drugs as much as South Africans and Zimbabweans. The corner of Prospect and Fife Street is where the real drug business thrives. On this particular day, more than 40 Zimbabweans and South Africans stood on one side of the street sniffing cocaine; they looked like the worst human specimen, completely ruined by the drugs they use. On each side of the road could be found Nigerians selling provisions. But that was a façade that conceals their real business as drug couriers and small-time hustlers for the real kingpins. According to the investigation carried out by The Nation, the “boys” who sell by the road side get their supply from a house between number 1 and 3, Prospect Corner, Berea. This house is said to be so dangerous that only accredited and “certified” drug lords can access it. “That is where we get our supplies from. Not all of us can go inside there, but we have different levels of command. My own immediate boss can go inside and whatever he buys there, we will repackage and resell on the street,” one of the ‘boys’ told The Nation. It is hard to find an innocent soul in Berea as almost everyone is involved in drug business. The talk among Nigerians is that any-
one living in Berea must be into drug business. One of the hustlers simply called Daniel explained life on the edge in Berea. “You know, there is no job in this country and the only people who make it are those who can hustle. Although it is dangerous, if you can survive it, you will be happy,” he said. Happiness, in Berea context, The Nation learnt, meant climbing up the ladder in the underworld and buying a car. “The first thing the Nigerian buys after he becomes happy is a car. We have people who drive very expensive cars and that serves as a status symbol. Those of us who are still hustling can’t afford such luxuries,” Daniel further explained. In Hillbrow, you need to hustle to become a man” It was 7pm on Quartz Street, Hill brow. More Nigerians were pouring into the streets and the Olympic Bar was filled to the brim. It is a storey building with a veranda that looks outside into the street. Not everyone can go inside and only those who have attained a level of street credibility are permitted. Up there, fun and enjoyment went on unabated while the legendary music of Fela blared from a big speaker on the veranda. Outside, Zimbabwean security guards stood at atten-
•Nigerians watching an arrest on Quartz Street
tion, frisking anyone going into the bar. A large crowd gathered outside the African Food Stuff store. Trading activities began as cars poured into the street. As a car pulled up, one of the boys would move swiftly towards it and the ‘exchange’ would take place. Apart from those selling by the road side, many of the buildings on the street also acted as sales point. But there are other legitimate businesses on Quartz Street. Chigozie, a 29- year- old Nigerian, sells fried yam on the street. A slice of the delicacy costs R10 and it goes with pepper stew. Soon, a call came on his mobile phone and he hurried off towards one of the buildings to deliver a consignment. There are others like Eze who sells jeans from the comfort of his car. He persuades passersby to patronise his “Nigerian jean.” A Nigerian-made pair of jeans costs a whopping R150. But apart from the frenzy of commercial activities in Quartz Street, drug business booms in its underworld. It was the reporter’s first day at “work” and IK was explaining the process of recruitment to him. The first step towards becoming one of the boys is to start selling pipe (used for smoking cocaine). According to him, the pipe costs R20 each, and if one is hardworking, one can sell up to 200 pieces a night. After a couple of months selling the pipe, one can graduate into running errands for the big boys in Berea or Hillbrow. By that time, one would have learnt the intricacies of the trade and know the landmines and how to approach them. “You need to hustle to become a man in Hillbrow. All the boys who have made it started like this, and if you can do it, you will make it too,” IK said. Down Quartz Street where the road links Kotze Street is the red light district where Zimbabwean ladies rule the world. Here, many Nigerians are regular patrons of the wild ladies of the night. The red light goes perfectly with the business on Hillbrow and Berea communities. The kingpins have their ladies there and when business is good, the orders flow from Berea to the red light on Kotze. But one needs to always plan for the unexpected either in Hillbrow or Berea. On the evening of the undercover reporting, a fight broke out at the Olympic Bar. Those who knew the underground business said it was on a deal gone bad. The “boy” in the middle of the fight had his body covered with blood. Other Nigerians stood outside watching the spectacle. As the fight became fiercer, the security
You know, there is no job in this country and the only people who make it are those who can hustle. Although it is dangerous, if you can survive it, you will be happy...The first thing the Nigerian buys after he becomes happy is a car. We have people who drive very expensive cars and that serves as a status symbol...
guards moved in and pepper-sprayed the Nigerians before putting the “boy” in handcuffs. Five minutes later, a police pick-up van arrived and the Nigerians were pushed inside. The van headed towards Kotze Street and turned into Pretoria Street where the Hillbrow Police Station is located. The police and corruption Surprisingly, the Nigerians were least perturbed about the arrests made by the police. They were angry at the Zimbabwean security guards who had used pepper spray on them and had handcuffed one of their own. An argument soon broke out with the Nigerians demanding an apology from the security guards. “You are ordinary Zimbabweans, how dare you pepper-spray me? You are an illegal alien as we are, so you are not better off. The other day when they wanted to kill you, we were the ones who saved your life,” one Nigerian said. The security officers apologised and returned to their post. They knew better than to incur the wrath of the Nigerians. The reporter asked IK what would happen to the arrested Nigerians and got a shocking reply. “We are going to bail them. The only problem now is that they may ask each of them to pay R2000 (about N42,000) for their release.
Continued on page 22
I started stealing from primary school –Suspected robbery kingpin who confessed to killing two policemen HE alleged leader of the eight-man alised that armed robbery is bad. If I am n Ebele BONIFACE n robbery gang, Ife Olubaba (29) has given another opportunity to relive my life, confessed that his gang killed two policemen atI will tell people that crime does not pay. It is full of retached to Iju Police Station in Lagos because of grets.” what one of the policemen did to a member of the gang Asked why the gang liked to kill policemen, he said: when he was arrested for armed robbery last year. “The AK47 rifle is still the greatest assault rifle in the unSpeaking in an exclusive interview with The Nation on derworld. We killed policemen in order to collect their riTuesday, Olubaba said: “To tell you the truth, we usually fles. They carry their AK47 rifles like babies, and it is not collected AK47 rifles from policemen to boost our areasy for anybody to snatch away a baby from the mother moury, but we killed the two policemen because of what without a serious resistance. they did to Taiye Agege, including torturing him, when “Even if one has enough money to buy rifles, it is not they arrested him for armed robbery in 2012.” easy to get AK47 rifle in the open or black market. A gang Recalling how he became an armed robber,Olubaba that is well-armed is always feared by policemen. Some said it was one of his friends named Leman, an aluminum policemen get frightened when they hear the sound of fabricator, who lured him into crime before he died of a AK47, especially when fired by their enemies during an kidney problem. exchange of fire. It gives us confidence and boosts our He said: “I am a professional vulcaniser based in Lagos. morale when we see policemen running for cover or I am married with two children. I am from Ondo town in safety when they see us. Ondo State. I attended Army Children School, Dopemu, “I wanted to form a formidable gang when they arLagos but dropped out in Primary Six. I started stealing rested my master, Godogodo. I wanted to form as many from primary school and later graduated into armed robas five gangs so that the police would not be able to track bery under the tutelage of a man named Godogodo. Continued on page 22 “My only regret is that it was after my arrest that I re-
Tony AKOWE, Kaduna
THE NATION SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
Okungbowa AIWERIE, Asaba
The police post being commissioned
Damisi OJO, Akure
THE NATION SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
Nicholas KALU, Calabar
‘How we funded education, constructed roads that link us with neighbouring towns’
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
‘We were after policemen to snatch their rifles’ Continued from Page 15
•Arms and amunition recovered from the gang
us down. One of the gangs would be responsible for challenging the policemen who are after the gang. Another one would be in charge of bank robbery. Another would be responsible for kidnapping wealthy men who we would force to choose between being shot dead and sponsoring the gangs. The fourth gang would be in charge of snatching vehicles from owner’s residence, office or on the highway while the fifth would attack residents of housing estates and other fortified areas where rich people reside. “I nursed the ambition to become greater than Godogodo after he was arrested by the police. I knew that the police would capture him because he was too full of himself. He did not take advice quickly or seriously. We told him to be armed always because the police had declared him wanted, but he refused. He said it was better to carry a gun only when one was in an operation. It was a miscalculation on his part. “At the time he was arrested, he had no gun on him. He was arrested at his Ibadan residence. That day, he wanted to scale the fence but fell into police ambush and he was captured like a chicken. That demoralised most of us who escaped that day. We were wondering why a leader who used to carry two Ak47 rifles and one English or German pistol was arrested without a single gun on him. “I resolved to train a gang that could withstand the operations of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos State Police Command. I realised that things would not be easy for us when members of the gang I formed after the arrest Godogodo started fearing SARS men. It weakened most of us.” Speaking on the circumstances that culminated in the death of two policemen attached to a police station in Lagos, who were allegedly shot by his gang on October 9, 2013 and their rifles carted away, Olubaba said: “On that day, we had gone to Agege area for an operation. “We robbed at three places in Agege and snatched two vehicles. When we were going, we took Iju area. Along the road, we saw some police men sitting down with their rifles and we slowed down. Then Taiye directed our attention to the rifles the policemen were carrying. We were very excited because we needed more AK47 rifles to boost our armoury. “At that time, we had only one automatic pump action gun, four locally made pistols and a few live ammunition. So we were desperately in need of assault rifles like AK47. When we saw the policemen and saw that they were not at alert, we went to get the rifle from them.
gang, whether it is three months old or more.” Obafunsho, however, denied being a member of the gang, saying: “I was working before I started following them. I was sacked and could no longer pay for the room I rented at Mushin. I was searching for where to get employment when I met Ife, the gang leader, and he promised to help me secure a good job. “The first day I met him, he bought a bottle of big stout for me with pepper soup. That same day, he gave me N1,500 to buy whatever I liked. Another day I met him, he gave me N2,000 for lunch and said that he was going to Ifo to see a friend, promising to call me when he returned. “On yet another day, he took me to a beer parlour, bought drinks for me and told me that he loved me, and I accepted to be his girlfriend. I asked why he would not marry me; that I would like to be his wife because he had a caring mind. But he said marriage should wait until he finished the job he had at hand. I used to sleep with him and he used to have canal knowledge of me. “One day, he told me to follow him to Sango-Ota in Ogun State; that he wanted to go and deliver a car he had brought for somebody from Cotonou. That very day, I was inside the car but I did not know that it was a snatched car. He gave me N20,000, but I did not know how much
“I did not shoot any of On the way, they the policemen. I fired some shots into the air to saw one jeep and scare them because there blocked it with their were up to five of them. own car. They ordered But I suddenly heard Gbola! Gbola! (gunshots) the driver to give them and I knew they had the key at gunpoint. killed the policemen. It was Taiye and Ahmed That was the day I that went near them and knew that they were shot two of them dead and collected their AK47 armed robbers. When rifles. I tried to leave them, “Immediately they they threatened to kill killed the two policemen, the other policemen me. I became afraid. I opened fire on us before could not leave them running away when they could not withstand our for fear of being killed fire power. It was even and because of the fione of the two AK47 rifles nancial assistance I we collected from the policemen that Taiye Agege was getting from my used to fire back at the boyfriend other policemen before they ran away.” Asked why they had to he sold the car. kill the policemen before collecting their ri“On another day, very early in the mornfles, he said: “Looking at the circumstance, it ing, he told me to follow him to collect a car. was not possible to collect their rifles without I followed him, thinking that the car was shooting them.” Asked whether he was the one responsible somewhere and he would go straight to colfor the pregnancy of their female gang mem- lect it. But that was not the case. He went and called Taiye Agege and others to join ber, Taiwo Obafunsho (28), he said no. him. “Although she is my girlfriend, I was not “On the way, they saw one jeep and the only person that used her. She is a full blocked it with their own car. They ordered member of the gang and everybody who the driver to give them the key at gunpoint. cared had her. So, I cannot say that I am reThat was the day I knew that they were sponsible for what she is carrying in her armed robbers. When I tried to leave them, womb. What she is carrying belongs to the
they threatened to kill me. I became afraid. I could not leave them for fear of being killed and because of the financial assistance I was getting from my boyfriend. “At times, when I followed them on robbery operations, I loaded my hand bag with people’s phones. I used to get as many as 50 different phones in one operation, and I was the one who used to take the handsets to buyers. “But the truth I want to tell you is that the day they killed the two policemen attached to a police station and snatched their two Ak47 rifles, I did not follow them. You can ask Ife (Olubaba) or others and they will tell you that I did not follow them that day.” Another suspect, Saheed Wasiu (23) said: “It was Ife, the gang leader, who said he wanted to give me a job to do. I met him at a beer parlour where one of my friends took me to drink and smoke. “When he asked me whether I could drive well, I was very happy because I can drive well. I live in Ajah. The day he called me to come and carry a car, I did not know that we were going to snatch the vehicle. When we saw the jeep they wanted to snatch, I was inside the vehicle. They asked me to drive it and that was how I started working for the gang. “I am not an armed robber. The gang employed me to drive any car they snatched. I did not participate in the snatching. There was a time they gave me a Faragon bus to drive and deliver N5,000 every day, but I did not know that it was a stolen bus. It was John who lured me into the gang, but he was killed by SARS operatives on the Third Mainland Bridge the day they pursued us.” Another member of the gang, Waliu Sanni (29), who sustained bullet wounds during a heavy exchange of gunfire with the police, said it was the late Taiye Agege and Ife that killed the two policemen and collected their AK47 rifles. He said his role in the gang was to drive its operation cars. “We used to be three, four, five or seven members on operation, depending on the gang’s target.’’ The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko said the arrest of Olubaba marked the end of the Godogodo era. He added: “The command will not rest until we get all those that are still at large to come and face the law. We want to assure Lagosians that the ember period is here and they should enjoy the best of it because the security agents will ensure that people go about their lawful business unmolested. “The weapons recovered from the gang include two AK47 rifles belonging to the two policemen they shot dead at Iju area, Lagos, one automatic pump action gun, four locally made pistols, two AK47 magazines fully loaded, 135 live cartridges and one Hyundai Tucson Jeep with registration number MUS 350 BG.’’
Nigerian hustlers’ lifestyles in Jo’burg enclave Continued from Page 15 We are not afraid of the police here; they allow us to do our business and we also keep our side of the bargain. We must put their money aside every week and give them when they come to collect it,” he said. A similar scenario had played out in Berea a day earlier. Although cocaine was being sold and used openly and police vans patrolled the street every ten minutes, few arrests were made, if any. A hustler said the police rarely disturbed them and if any arrests were made at all, it was meant to collect their dues. The reporter visited the Hillbrow police station; a station with world class police facilities. It stood majestically down the hill on Pretoria Street, Hillbrow. Beside it is the police barracks where the officers live. Several state of the art cars were parked in the garage and the apartment for the police was about a 20-
storey building. It looked more like the newly refurbished 1004 flats on Victoria Island than a police barracks. A source close to the police department, however, said there was no truth in the allegations of police complicity in the drug business of Hillbrow and Berea. “The police make arrests as soon as complaints are lodged and they are treated according to the law,” the source said. Credit card fraud After two days, IK was getting frustrated about the slow progress or the unwillingness of his new ‘recruit’ to become fully integrated into the underworld, so he looked for other options.
•Soope Street Berea
“Go and meet your brothers. They are into card business and there is more money there. But remember, when you make it, don’t forget me,” he said. IK’s advice was instructive be-
cause while kins men control the drug business, the reporter’s people are kings of the credit card scam. Their base his Green House in Julie’s area of Johannesburg. From the Carlton Centre in central Johannesburg, a R10 bus takes you down to Julie’s. Here too, there is high population of Nigerians mostly from another section of the country. The credit card fraud is more intricate and delicate. According to a “repentant” fraudster, it requires the cooperation of clerks and officers in big malls and hotels who would supply the credit card details of wealthy clients to the gangs. But
unlike the drug business, the police routinely make arrests and therefore the business is dying. The dangers have also made the practitioners to be more careful and they often cooperate more with themselves. All attempts made by The Nation to speak to some kingpins were rebuffed and the repentant fraudster declined to make any more comments after a few hours. The reporter did not succeed with the credit card issue and returned to Hillbrow, but IK was nowhere to be found. His phone was switched off when the reporter tried to call him. Of course, no one knew him by the name IK in Hillbrow, so his whereabouts remained shrouded in mystery. “You are looking for your man? I suggest you better be on your way,” a sympathetic hustler said. The reporter did not need a second opinion; people do ‘vanish’ for doing less than he had already done.
THE NATION SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
With KAYODE ALFRED
THE NATION SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
People think you can just pluck money from trees in Aso Villa —Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati
The road to Aso Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s equivalent of The White House in America, is laced with the highest form of security. The almost sometimes deserted road is used by only those who have something to do with the villa, and must be expected. It could even be an offence for somebody to stray unto this road. That is the reason why even many Abuja residents have never been on this road. Dr. Reuben Abati, an erstwhile Editorial Board Chairman of The Guardian newspaper, now spokesman for President Goodluck Jonathan, tells us in this interview with PAUL UKPABIO, what life is like in Aso Villa and how being President Jonathan’s spokesman, has changed his former lifestyle. id you in your wildest imagination, think that you will one day work in a Nigerian government? No, I never thought of it. But like I said in a recent interview, it is a great honour to be called upon to be part of the leadership process in one's country. I got the invitation out of the blues. However, I had served previously on the Governing Council of Olabisi Onabanjo University for a whole term, and I was also a pioneer member of the board of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund in Lagos State. I was given that position by Governor Babatunde Fashola during his first term in office. In those two capacities, first in Ogun State and also in Lagos State, I had learnt one or two things about the public arena, and in both instances, the emphasis was on service. So when I got the invitation to serve at this level, it was something I could relate to because I had been involved in similar situations. Public service is really a major call to responsibility. So here I am, and I have been around for a while. And I can tell you that I have no regrets. What is life like being the President's spokesman? It's interesting, it is hectic. I can tell you that people may look at the title, Special Adviser, Spokesman, and all that (laughs), and then allow it to throw up all kinds of image in their imagination. The truth
is that when most people hear that you have a political appointment, they immediately adopt a peculiar kind of attitude. One attitude that I have seen is that people think political appointees are just there to make money. In fact, sometimes I get the impression that people think Aso Villa is one special environment where you have trees on which money grows, and anybody who works in the villa can just walk around in the morning and go and pluck the fruits of money. But the truth of the matter is that the job of the spokesman or any other presidential aide is a serious one with a hectic schedule. That is because you work with the President who has the most important responsibility in the land. And right now, we have a President who is very hard working; he is hands-on, a President who is very attentive. In addition, he is physically fit, which means that those of us who work for him must always be up and doing. There is no space for idleness, no time for moonlighting or distractions. It is a 24/7, 365 days job. It is physically demanding, intellectually challenging and requires a lot of stamina, moreso when you have a President who exercises regularly, and is fit and
‘I have no time for Barrister Tunji Oladele, a Lagos-based legal practitioner and politician, is a principal partner at the firm of Arthur-Worrey and Oladele. In this encounter with KAYODE ALFRED, he speaks about his pirate life and business, among other issues aw as first love Barrister Tunji Oladele is one man who did not only know his calling early in life, but was prescient enough to decipher how to go about achieving the purpose of his creation. Barrister Oladele might not be a household name in the mould of a famed actor or a popular politician, his notability is in his cerebral effervescence. A principal partner at the firm of Arthur-Worrey & Oladele, the Obafemi Awolowo University law graduate braved many odds to attain its present status. He has been in the legal profession for the past 17 years now. He said: ”I like the freedom that the profession gives. It gives you freedom and power to be in charge; the power to change your society, to get justice for people, to put smile on people’s face. “For instance, a man works into your chamber, lamenting that his life has been ruined because of injustice meted out to him. We sit him down and ask him to give us the facts of the case. We look at them, enter the court room and get justice for the man. The man is happy again. So, it gives you some kind of freedom and power to operate and leverage several commitments.” Full of praises for Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey, Oladele is
• Dr. Abati
largely mentored by the boss of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund in the legal profession. According to him, Arthur-Worrey is not just a partner. “He is also my boss. He is ultimately my mentor. The man is fantastic. The man is an embodiment of so many virtues. He is a teacher, an educator, a motivator. He will teach you so many things in such a way that you would learn and never forget.” Oladele also has political and entrepreneurial sides to himself. This much he revealed: “Sometimes I get involved in politics, especially in my area, so as to lift the standard of people of my area. I do my little to add some value in my community. And over time, I have been able to veer into business, hospitality to be precise. By God’s grace, we have been able to put one hotel in our community so as to add value to the social life of that community and create employment opportunities for people around there.” His passion for excellence is built on a family culture of competitiveness which is rooted in his coming from a polygamous home. From a childhood, which was “devoid of any fantasies,” Oladele grew like any other average child from a polygamous family with average income. ”That background explains my resilience and spirit to always win. This is understandable when you grow up in a polygamous setup where everyone is competing for atten-
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
healthy. All of us who work with him practically struggle to catch up with him. Sometimes when we go to inspect projects, he is up in front, walking but some of us stylishly try to stay close to the vehicles so that the moment we start panting, we can jump into the vehicles. But in his case, he will just keep forging ahead. In muddy terrains, while some aides are trying to save their clean pair of shoes, the President will simply roll up his trousers and step on the mud. Some people will at that point remove their shoes and try to catch up with him. His daily schedule is also rigorous. By 6am, the President is awake; by 9am, he expects you to have reported for duty till very late. Sometimes I go to meetings, occasionally finding myself dozing off. But I have adjusted to the schedule. It takes a sort of getting used to. The job of the spokesman is challenging in another sense: once the President says something, you find yourself in a situation whereby you have to explain it further, to make it clearer to the public, using a variety of methods. You are the mouthpiece and at the same, a punching bag for the critics. The main challenge is the cynicism out there arising from the perception that government usually sets out to lie to the public. The cynicism is there all over the world though. I have read quite a number of books about other presidential spokesmen including All the President's Spokesmen, by Woody Klein; What happened, by Scott McClellan and No Regrets: Reflections of a Presidential Spokesman, by Wimar Witoelar. Reading those books, I came to the conclusion that the challenges of being a spokesman are similar all over the world. So it is a very challenging job. It puts you on your feet all the time. You have to be on top of the news; you have to be alert and be prepared like the Boys’ Scout, because you never know when something will break! In Nigeria, we have a very exciting society and a very articulate public, so something is always happening. Just when you think all is peaceful, something will just happen. The job also requires you to know when to shut up, when to talk and also what to say. The job of the spokesman is not to create problems for the boss. In this regard also, we have quite an interesting public. In some other societies, there is an unwritten consensus about commitment to the nation or national interest. But here, the definition is quite a delicate one. There are lots of fables about life in Aso Rock Villa. On a lighter note, what is life like here, and what is your routine like? It is work, work and work. Many of those fables are purely imaginary tales often concocted by persons who have never been here before. In fact sometimes when I read some of the commentaries particularly online, I am amused. People who have never been to the villa write all sorts of things. Maybe they have a friend or so, who claims he or she has been to the villa, and which may not be true. But this place is just a work environment. People come here every morning. They leave their homes and come to work here. There are departments, just as in any institution. But this is not just another institution; it is the highest office in the land. It is also a security environment, and working in this environment requires a lot of care and responsibility. In terms of my work schedule, that is determined daily by the President's own programme. Part of my responsibility is to make sure that the President is well reported, especially to the Nigerian public, and that he is well briefed about issues in the public domain. What the people think, what they want, what they are saying, what they think of government. That is the professional part of the job. That is important because this is a democracy. Under the presidential system in a democracy, the President is a property of the Nigerian people. Anything he does, the Nigerian people have the right to know. And that right is what my office
complex information network process. It is no longer the traditional media alone. So we are dealing with something entirely new. We are dealing with not just the core journalists, but dealing with a situation whereby every citizen is claiming to be a journalist! So when people ask me what we are dealing with, I reply that we are not just dealing with the traditional print and electronic media but a new context where everybody can report. We are running a presidency in a digital age. And the demands in public communication terms have become far more complex and variegated. It calls for more energy, more responsiveness, and this could also make one vulnerable because you don't know where the next story could come from. Maybe you are monitoring the print and somebody puts something on the internet and it goes viral. Information now is like a virus. It has a viral tendency. There have been major moments that I have had to deal with since I came to this office. Some people may have been critical as to how some of these moments were handled, but the truth of the matter is that, it is an entirely new template from whatever anyone who has done this same job around here has had to handle. That is my view. Do you feel under pressure with work and how do you handle tension? When I was still new on this job, the pressure used to get to me. As a matter of fact, one of my colleagues at The Guardian, Debo Adesina, called me one day and asked, 'How do you manage this 'one week one trouble' job that you have got yourself into?' It used to bother me then. In the early days, I spent my Sundays monitoring the news, waiting to see what would happen that particular Sunday. That was because it seemed that something always happened every Sunday that will require a presidential statement. And if you wasted time, people who thought they knew the job more than you would be calling to ask why you had not issued a statement. • Dr. Abati Everybody in government by the way is a media expert! There was so much pressure, but I am used to it now. These days, I do not have people calling me trying to teach me the job because I have settled into it. I have acclimatised. When I first got here, some friends who had travelled along this path before used to tell me to take care of my health. I didn't understand what they meant then, but as I got deeper into the job, I realised what they meant. This is not a tea party at all. It is a lot of work and a lot of politics. But I am not complaining, not at all. The rule here is not to jump into the water if you are afraid of cold or can’t swim. Once you are in the water, you either drown or swim. I am in the water. And I intend to swim. Should we look forward to a book from you after this time out? (Laughs) I do not know about that yet, I am just focusing on the job. Standard question, though. I feel flattered, particularly by those who have gone ahead to announce a promotes. That is why on a daily basis, every meeting the Presibook I have not yet written with some even protesting that when dent holds, I'm there. I take the story out. We run an open system. eventually the book is written and published, they will not read it! Every activity is reported. That is why on a daily basis, the PresiWhat has working in the Nigerian government taught you? dent is reported in the media. What I have seen is that a lot of people misconstrue governThere is also a public relations dimension to the work. Public re- ment, its dynamics. They take one look at government and they lation in this regard does not mean we allow people to throw mud say anyone who works for government is either a thief, a liar or at the President. There is also an advocacy part of it. Another leg both. Invariably, people see government as evil, and the reaction of the work is acting as the President's media ‘ADC.’ And that is to government is always emotional. I think that is because governthe part that people get very emotional about. The point is that in ment dominates our lives. We are still a developing society. Gova democracy, you have the right to know, the need to know; howernment plays a larger-than-life role in our lives. People vent their ever, no right is absolute. In engaging the public and making the frustration on government. information available, when we see people perpetuating falseI think with time, with more development, with more aspirahood, we also have the responsibility to correct them. This is the tions of the people being met, that aggressiveness towards govfirst Nigerian President truly in the age of the internet. ernment is bound to reduce. We are still in every sense a society The internet did not come about when President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office, but there has been an explosion of it. He •Continued on page 50 is the first President in Nigeria that is effectively dealing with a
One attitude that I have seen is that people think political appointees are just there to make money. In fact, sometimes I get the impression that people think Aso Villa is one special environment where you have trees on which money grows, and anybody who works in the villa can just walk around in the morning and go and pluck the fruits of money...
clubbing and social meetings’ tion. One has evolved a spirit of competitiveness, and it gives a kind of courage to make it in life.” His happiest moment in the legal profession was the day he won his first case. “My happiest day as a lawyer was the day I got my first judgment. I felt on top of the world.” On his first lost case, “it feels like failing your first test in the university. It sends a message to you that you are in a very different environment from where you were coming from. Most often than not, you first hit it off the mark, but courage and determination will get you back into the system better. It is just the same way. So losing your first is a challenge for you to put in more effort. You should not feel so bad about it. You just embrace it and say ‘I will win next time.’ That is it.” Gold ‘N’ Rock hospitality business With court cases to handle, corporate legal issues to sort out with clients to attend to on a daily basis, the Oyo-born legal practitioner still creates time to manage his hospitality business which he ventured into. Desirous of uplifting the economic status of his hometown, he commissioned his multi-million naira project a few years ago in Oyo town. Named Gold ‘N’ Rock Hotel and planted off Oyo-Ilorin Expressway, the sprawling hospitality outfit captures the best of luxury and class from its well-furnished rooms to the bar and the ambience of the hotel. It is no surprise why the hotel has unarguably become the toast of teeming fun seekers. The new hotel is an ample testimony of Oladele's super taste in all things good and beautiful. Gold 'N' Rock, according to Oladele, has many exquisite rooms equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. Gold ‘N’ Rock may have been fitted with the
aforementioned, Oladele still believes the hotel “is a brand that is evolving.” Hard knocks for Mr. President A staunch member of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party, Oladele took exception to the “strong armed tactics” deployed by the section of the PDP loyal to the President to deal with the new faction of the party whose secretariat was closed using the instrumentality of state. “I see no reason why they should close the New PDP Secretariat because they have freedom of association. And if there is a crisis in the party, they should look for a way to resolve it. I mean the moment the other faction broke away, the President had cause to meet with their promoters, and the mere fact that they could meet with the President was an indication that they were willing to shift ground, if they could get some understanding. “ So instead of using force against them, the way to go is to solve the issue as amicably as they can. Closing down their secretariat amounts to imperialist or military dictatorship tendencies which is not good for democracy. As a political association, what is to be used is dialogue, persuasion and negotiation, not force. I condemn the closure; it does not agree with tenets of democracy.” He scored President Goodluck Jonathan low in terms of dividends of democracy as far as the judiciary is concerned. “I’m very sorry I have not been able to see any serious impact in terms of policy regarding other arms of government. As far as judiciary is concerned, I expect a more robust engagement, so that the courts should be able to discharge their functions efficiently and effec•Continued on page 50
• Barr. Oladele
Stories by Ibironke ARIYO
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
How can I maintain my long-distance relationship?
EAR Aunty Deola, I have enjoyed reading your column for a long time now, but it has not addressed my own personal problem. I just met a wonderful man on a recent trip abroad. I’m a top executive where I work and he is always doing well in the country he lives. I have gone to see him twice and he has come to see me once, but the distance is making both of us uncomfortable. What do you think we can do to maintain this relationship so it can last? – Sandra. Dear Sandra, I can tell you that it is difficult when you love somebody and you can’t see him immediately you want to. It’s even difficult on cold nights and days when you wish you could go to the cinemas together. It’s always a lot expensive making all those trips to see each other. Thankfully in your own case, you seem to be comfortable enough to afford frequent trips. As they say, dating is hard and doing it across state lines is harder! Follow these rules to keep it together even when you’re apart.
Agree on your commitment level
Couples in long-distance relationships know they’re taking a risk, not to mention making a few sacrifices. But if you see a real future for the two of you, the sacrifices won’t seem to matter. Still, before you get involved in a long-distance relationship, there are a few things you have to establish. Are you exclusive or are you seeing other people? Don’t assume that it’s one or the other if you’ve never discussed it, especially if you’re looking to keep things one-on-one. “With long-distance relationships, you need to have a detailed, intimate conversation, including whether the connection is monogamous or open,” says Tonya Reiman, author of The Body Language of Dating: Read His Signals, Send Your Own, and Get the Guy. “Confirming the level of commitment will help to avoid unnecessary jealousy issues and fights.” If you think this is the one, get ready for some hard, but hopefully rewarding, work. “The amount of time couples are able to maintain a long-distance relationship really depends upon how they nurture it,” says Reiman.
Don’t keep secrets
Honesty is paramount to any relationship, but especially one that’s maintained from different cities, states, even countries. It’s crucial to be forthcoming — especially about your own insecurities. As a matter of fact, revealing what makes you anxious can lead to improvements in the relationship, as well as a greater level of sensitivity from your partner. “Call when you get home from a night out, and tell your significant other, ‘I really wish you were here,’” adds Caroline Tiger, author of The Long-Distance Relationship Guide. Avoid constantly talking about one person your faraway mate may see as a romantic threat. “And don’t kid yourself,” says Tiger. “Spending all of your time with one person can easily lead to temptation, so make sure you hang out with lots of people.”
Surprise each other
Routine is actually a good thing when it comes to long-distance relationships. You can look forward to your next conversation or visit because you know exactly when it’s going to happen. But every now and then, step up the romance a bit. That means calling unexpectedly and “upping the physical anticipation with [phone] sex and saucy email banter,” says Tiger. But don’t invest your money in flowers: “Surprise visits are the best gifts you can give.”
Maintain your sex life
Just because you don’t sleep in the same bed every night, doesn’t mean your relationship between visits has to consist of dry spell after dry spell. On the contrary, says sex expert Ian Kerner, Ph.D., contributor to GoodinBed.com, “Our brains are our biggest sex organ.” So use the distance to your advantage by stimulating each other mentally and therefore sexually. “Learn how to talk (and text) dirty,” suggests Tiger. “It doesn’t have to be overt — just enough to make each other wonder if you’re fully clothed.”
Plan frequent visits
Reiman recommends that long-distance daters see each other in the flesh at least one weekend a month. You know the excitement of being asked out on a second date while you’re still on the first one? Do the same here. Never finish a visit without planning the next trip. But, says Reiman, “If you can’t physically see each other as much as you would like, virtual dates can work wonders.” Skype, anyone?
Send cards and gifts
Texts, Facebook, Tweets — all of the electronic communication options at our disposal have made long-distance dating much easier, that’s for certain. But how did couples do it in the pre-
email days? Introducing… the pen and paper! (Remember them?) “The major thing missing during a long-distance relationship is physical proximity to your partner,” explains Tiger. “Snail mail, while no substitute, brings you that much closer to your sweetheart, because you’re touching the paper he touched and reading the lines he wrote by hand.” How’s that for a romantic thought? And she even takes it a step farther: “This is why spritzing the paper — very lightly! — with your perfume or cologne is a nice touch, even if it’s a little cheesy.”
Trust each other “Commitment is a statement of intention. If you know your partner well, and a regular routine is kept, issues of trust will not rear their ugly heads,” explains Reiman. That said, trust also means giving one another the benefit of the doubt. If your guy
says he’ll call you after work around 6 p.m., but the phone doesn’t ring until 7 p.m., assume he was pulled into a meeting with his boss, not having drinks with that hot girl in accounting. Just because your imagination can have the tendency to run wild, doesn’t m e a n you should let it.
Set an end goal
How long is too long to be in a long-distance relationship? Well, that depends on you, your guy and your respective situations, but at some point you’ll need to live in the same city. (You may even expect to have a ring on your finger!) “There needs to be a light at the end of the tunnel, a time when you’ll be in the same place, or at least the understanding that one of you will have to move at some point,” says Tiger. “If you’re in a new relationship, this might be too intense a topic to broach for a while, but you can still talk about the fact that you’ll need to talk about it [eventually].” She suggests setting a deadline. For example, agree that after three months you’ll have a “state of the union” conversation. After all, if you’re both in it for the long haul, these are decisions you’ll want to make sooner rather than later. That way you’ll know the relationship is — or isn’t — right for you.
How does male enhancement spray work?
EAR Aunty Adeola, I have read a lot about male enhancement drugs and I have seen some of the responses from your fans but I am afraid to try any of those drugs because I hear some of them have side effects. I’m in my early 60s, so I must be careful with what I take. Somebody told me about some male enhancement sprays, do you have an idea how they work and how can I purchase them in Nigeria because it seems there are no sex drugs around. I will also like to point out to you that women too need some forms of enhancement. My wife is really frigid during sex and since she has reached menopause, she is dry most times which makes sex boring. She has tries some jellies to ease the dryness but it is too messy for me and the fact that I now that it is not natural lubrication makes it annoying for me. I have only remained faithful to her because of my position in church. Do you have anything to help our sex lives? – Uncle J. Dear Uncle J, let me address your wife’s issue first since we can’t help you without helping her too. Yes, for most women sex can become less enjoyable after the menopause. The natural decline in estrogen levels can make it uncomfortable. Some women also find their interest in sex declines, and the body changes that happen with ageing don’t help. Dry skin, greying hair and middle-age spread can erode self-esteem. A survey suggests that 84% of menopausal women find sex painful. In the survey, nearly 70% said their relationships had suffered as a result. Women’s health expert and GP, Dr Sarah Jarvis, says so many women suffer in si-
•From left: An official of Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture & Co-operatives, Mrs Doyin Quadri; President, Lagos PDP Women Vanguard, Mrs Abiola Folami Ada, and Alhaja Mulikat Kazeem at the launch of Lagos PDP Women Vanguard’s Co-operative Society.
lence with common menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness, because they are embarrassed to speak to their GP. But there is a big solution is sight. There are supplements she can use to combat dryness during sex. Also, she might want to try royal jelly to make her skin supple and her youthfulness restored. As to your question on sex enhancement sprays, they are good,
not only for the man using it, but the women too will discover something nice has hit her. Some of these sprays are oil-based, making it easy for penetration. They work by reducing the sensitivity of the penis. Foreplay can now be prolonged as can the following sexual intercourse and it works after five minutes of using it and you can bet that you will take her to clouds yet undiscovered. The sprays I
know are manufactured under strict pharmaceutical controls in licensed premises in the UK and Germany and are protected by a series of trademarks throughout the world. You just apply two or more measured sprays as required to the head of the penis shortly before intercourse. Of course, they are available in Nigeria and I have personally sent a mail to you. Enjoy sir!
A short note to Ignay Nwene our friend as you bid farewell to widowhood
EAR Ignay today, Saturday Novem ber 9, 2013, you are walking down the aisle for the second time and we’re all happy for you. We shared in your pains and we shared in the joys. We shared a part of your life as you wonderfully raised those seven children Uju, your dear wife left behind as she succumbed to cancer almost three years ago. IG, it couldn’t have been easy handling your duties as AGM, Head, Public Sector, Fidelity Bank (Abuja) as well as coping with fatherhood and widowhood. We would visit you and you would visit us, but most times we would be together after such visits when you would go back to your lonely room alone. Finding love again was so difficult for you, IG. In my usual way, I tried to match make you with some beautiful damsels, but it didn’t work because you were not ready. You loved holding on to the memories you and Uju made. Poor you! To Abu Dhabi and the United States you went with the children. To many places you went to kill your loneliness and play father
Lost contacts Hi Mmadam Adeola, please kindly link me up with Christopher Jackson, Philip Ayo, all of them from Edo State and Mohammed Shehu Jaddah from Adamawa State. We all graduated from Government Unity School, Kaiama LGA. Kwara State in 2000.They can contact on 08065156602.BARR.ZAKARI ISSA, fromm Kaiama L.G., Kwara State.
and mother to them. But they would soon go back to school, leaving you alone in that big house. You experienced widowhood in the real sense of the word. Now, you’re taking another step at marriage. You deserve it. IG, you really do deserve it. I know it won’t be the same again for me in that house… I won’t dash into the house while Biodun is still parking the car to rush to your kitchen to grab some snacks. I know I won’t have that honour again of organizing your house-warming and children’s parties. I was only doing those things because there was no woman to do it for you. Now, there’s a woman in your life. I know I will sit down calmly now and expect to be served. No more gra-gra. But it is all good for you and for us. At least, we won’t be guilty anymore when we’re leaving you alone while we hold hands and go back to our house. May Uju smile down on you and wish you well. May you never experience widowhood again and as you try life with another woman, it won’t be the same experience you had with Uju, no! No two experiences are ever the same, but I wish you love, happiness and peace. I wish you a happy married life. You are one of my best friends (I forgive you now for saying always that I am ‘kolo’). Biodun is going through a bad time with his mum’s poor health, but he’s wishing you well too. We pray we will remain close family friends after today. Ignay Omelikania Nwene, as you take as wife Chinelo Eknonu today at the All Saints Anglican Church, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, Biodun and I and the Hearts Fans Club wish you a Happy Married Life.
•Rev. Tunde Salawu (FITD), 1st Vice President, Nigerian Institute of Training and Development (NITAD), making a presentation to Mr. Olusegun Mojeed, Executive Consultant/COO, Bezaleel Consulting Group, the Guest Speaker at the 12th Induction Ceremony/Extraordinary General Meeting of the institute held in Lagos recently.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
The mistress (1)
HEY say that a mother is often her daughter’s best friend, confidant and the only one you can trust in this world. Well, for me that saying did not apply because I saw my mother more of an enemy than a friend. As a teenager in secondary school, I would often sneer at her words of advice and wisdom she gave me concerning life, especially men and how to cope with them. “This woman and her ‘talk’; she won’t just let me rest!” I would often say to my friends at school and we would laugh. You see, my mother was the strict type. She was always restricting my movements and never allowed me to stay out late. I used to envy Diane, my best friend whose parents gave her more freedom. At 15, Diane already had a boyfriend and her mother even permitted her to be sleeping over at his house. I often wished I had a liberal mother like Diane’s- I thought she was cool and my own mother old-fashioned, someone that belonged to ancient times. I was young and headstrong then, not realizing that whatever my mother was doing was for my own good. I’m only realizing that now, many years later, after so much has happened in my life, things that should not have occurred if only I had paid attention to my mother’s advice. Anyway, here I am in a situation I’m stuck in, with no hope for a solution. How did I get to this state? Well, it’s a long story... **** I should start my story by introducing myself. My name is Nicole and until, my marriage I used to work as a nurse in a top private hospital. Infact, I met Frank, my husband at work. He had fallen ill late one night and had been rushed to the hospital. I was on night duty
then. After the doctor had attended to him, the matron had assigned me and a colleague to take good care of him as he was a ‘very important patient.’ I did not know why he should merit special treatment- it was later I found out he was a close relative of a governor in one of the states in the country. Anyway, I did my best for the patient- maybe too much. For after he recovered and was discharged, he returned some days later to the hospital, to express gratitude to the staff for their care of him. He told us that while he was still on admission, arrangements were being made by his family to fly him abroad. “But I told them, you guys were doing a good job and I was getting good treatment here,” he stated. Before leaving, he gave us some money and also took my number and that of Anna, my colleague. Some weeks later, he called me. I was at home resting as it was my day off. “How’s your health now?” I asked politely after the pleasantries. He was doing quite well, he said and had even resumed work. “I will be traveling to the States next week. Was wondering if I could get you something. What will you like?” he asked. I told him he could get me anything nice; we chatted for a while then hung up. A day before his trip, we spoke again and throughout the two weeks he was abroad. It was obvious he was interested in me. I didn’t turn him down when he eventually told me he wanted to date me. I knew he was married with a daughter but I just could not resist him. Besides being good-looking, he was very rich, from a good background and well-connected. I guess I was flattered by his attentions too. What average girl today wouldn’t be? Anyway, I started seeing
Frank and it was a new beginning for me. I enjoyed being with him so much and all the good things he did for me that I dumped Gabe, my boyfriend of three years. He was very upset about it and even reported me to my mother. Of course, my Mum was not happy when she found out who my new boyfriend was. “Oma,” she started, calling me by my native name. “How could you? How can you been dating a married man? If what Gabe has just told me is true, you must stop this relationship at once! I did not bring you up to be wayward! This must stop. Now!” she said furiously. Of course, I ignored her words. I was far too gone in my relationship with Frank to end it. So, I told my mother that at 24, I was old enough to know what I wanted and it was Frank I wanted to be with. “Can you just hear yourself? You want to be with a married man? Of what good is that? Do you want to be a home wrecker? You better mend your ways because this path you have chosen will lead you no where! Mark my words! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!” she screamed at me. That day, I angrily stormed out of the house. ‘Spoilsport,’ I thought, believing that my mother did not want me to be happy and was only out to ruin my relationship with ‘the love of my life,’ Frank Meeting madam Anyway, I continued to see Frank. As our relationship waxed stronger, so did my mother’s opposition to it. My father, who was retired after many years of working as a teacher was pragmatic about the matter. “Let her see whoever she wants to. She has to get married one day. Or you want her to stay here and get old in my house?” he asked my
Can you just hear yourself? You want to be with a married man? Of what good is that? Do you want to be a home wrecker? You better mend your ways because this path you have chosen will lead you no where! Mark my words! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!” she screamed at me
mother who angrily turned on him stating: “Is that all you can say about this issue? Your daughter is running around town with a married man and you don’t see anything wrong with it? Now I know where she got this behaviour from- it must be from your side of the family because we don’t have wayward people in my family!” It wasn’t just my parents who were divided over my relationship with Frank. My siblings too were split along those against and those in support. I was the last born in a family of six- three girls and two boys and you can say I was spoilt being the last. At least, that’s what my mother always used to say. Whatever my family felt about Frank, I didn’t care. I was having fun with him and that’s what mattered.
We had been seeing each other for nearly ten months when I came face to face with his wife. It happened one day when I had paid a visit to my sweetheart in his office. As usual, he was happy to see me. “You are looking very sweet today,” he said, beckoning on me to come and sit on his lap. I moved over, sat down and he kissed me. We were sitting that way, just gisting and laughing when the door to his large office opened and a woman entered. It was my lover’s wife. I recognised her from a photo of hers I had seen in a magazine once. A shocked look came over her face when she saw Frank and I. Coming closer, she stated furiously: “Frank, what’s going on here?”
Tips on ho w to g et y our how get your man hook ed to y ou ffor or ever hooked you ore •Stop being too possessive and desperate •Be practical and realistic •Express your love •Spend quality time •Never vent your anger on your partner •How do you pep up your wife or husband? Send in your contributions by sms only to: 08020771894
•Mercy Johnson and her husband
Looking at her from head to toe, an angry look on his face, he retorted: “And you, what are you doing here? Did I send for you? You better go back home and mind your business and stop disturbing me! Busybody woman!” I tried getting up from Frank’s lap but he held me down. So, I sat still, my heart beating fast, expecting the irate woman to pounce on me any minute... •What happened to Nicole that day? Don’t miss the sizzling details next Saturday! •Names have been changed to protect Nichole’s identity and other individuals in the story •Send comments/suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or 08023201831
NE of the manmade unforget table tourist sites in Nigeria is the War Museum in Umuahia, a place where the creative ingenuity and capability of man for self-destruction is captured for the present and posterity to see. The myth of the Arochukwu Long Juju, Ibini Ukpabi and the ultrasecrecy surrounding this is still in Arochukwu. So also are the pristine Uturu carves, a place reputed to have been the abode of early species of homo sapiens. The amazing ancient craftsmanship of the Obu Nkwa in Ohafia and, of course, their very famous war dancers are some of the attractions that have put Abia State on the national and international tourist map. Although hitherto lying dormant, the state is now set to relaunch itself as a choice destination and make its tourist sites a must visit to tourists to the South East. This would be done through the first Abia State Carnival scheduled for December 14 and 15. The idea is to use the carnival to
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
launch Abia State as a foremost destination for leisure and business tourism. The chairman of the Abia State Carnival Committee
and Chief of Staff to the Governor of the state, Mr. Cosmos Ndukwe, said the state is set to welcome the world.
He said: “The idea is to showcase the rich cultural potential that we have in Abia State and attract investors. It is also to create an atmosphere that our friends, brothers and sisters who would be coming to the state for the Christmas will have one activity or the other to keep them busy. It will afford us the opportunity to showcase all that His Excellency has been doing to make the state great. “Many people say that our activities are photoshops, they are not real, they are not on ground. So, as people are coming to be part of the carnival, they will equally use that opportunity to see some legacy projects that we have been hammering on. It will empower citizens of the state to make money from the multiplier effects of such tourism activities. “The carnival, the way we are going, is more of a private-public partnership (PPP) with corporate bodies and individuals throwing in their weight of support. So, we are trying to make sure we use this op-
portunity to welcome our loved ones to the state. Our tourist sites will be visited by some of those who want to visit those sites and our rich cultural values would be put on display. “Though it is going to be a bit contemporary, we will see on display the cultural values of which Abians are known for. Here in Abia State we have the first war dance, Ndi Ikperekpe Ogu, the Arochukwu Long Juju and so on. We have so many things to showcase to the world.” Of recent, there has been quite a sizeable number of states lining up to showcase their states using carnival. However, Ndukwe believes that what Abia State will showcase in Decemebr is different from all the others.
He said: “In ours, we are going to synergise the contemporary carnival with our rich cultural values. So that is where we are going to have a kind of different thing that we are presenting to the world. In carnival like the Carnival Calabar, we have mostly a contemporary carnival. “Inasmuch as we will allow companies to showcase their products, we will equally showcase our indigenous culture. For example, Aba is meant to be our Taiwan, the giant of Africa in terms of manufacturing. So, it is going to be a kind of mixture of cultures. “I know that in some carnivals, outside the cultural dance of costuming and all the rest, there are things like the cuisines and all the rest on showcase. All these will be part of the carnival that will be on display. Apart from that, we will have some surprises that we will throw up to the world that we will not reveal yet. “It is going to be an annual thing. We have the intention of setting up a carnival village after the event. We are talking about the post-carnival activities. We have the intention of setting up the carnival village after the carnival. We have already initiated the move, and I am sure it is going to be another opportunity for job creation for our youths. That is one of the good things that will come from the carnival.” He said the carnival would not be a one in a year isolated activity, but will be built upon being one of the key areas the state government is looking towards in transforming the state for the better. He said:“You know the legacy projects that the governor has embarked upon and which we are building upon. For instance, during our World Tourism Day which took place on September 27, we made it clear that by reason of the legacy projects that the govrnor is putting in place, we have it a priority that between now and 2015, tourism will be contributing between 15 to 20 per cent of the GDP of the state because right now we are targeting health tourists because of the dialysis, diagnostic centres and all other health facilities that the current administration in the state has put in place. During a
We have the intention of setting up the carnival village after the carnival. We have already initiated the move, and I am sure it is going to be another opportunity for job creation for our youths
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
stakeholders’ meeting with states within this zone with the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), we made it clear that Abia State is set to overtake all the other states in the zone in cultural, eco-tourism and all the others. That is what we are working towards because of the legacy projects that the state governor has
put in place. He said: “We are negotiating with the private sector to come and help us develop some of tourist sites like the Azumini Blue River. You know the Uturu caves which are claimed to house the first homo sapiens by some scholars. We want a research centre established there. We are partnering the Gregory
University to develop that sector. It is not only Gregory University, but other investors that may be interested. “As you may be aware, the Long Juju of Arochukwu has been listed by the National Commission for Museum and Monuments (NCMM) as one of the sites to be recommended to the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. “Also we are trying to key into the Slave Routes project, we are also aware that the Aba women’s riot that took place in 1929 was planned somewhere in Oloko. So, such sites we are identifying and we are trying to develop them.” Ndukwe said there are plans to transform some of the tourist sites so that visitors to state could visit them and learn more about the culture, people and the ecotourist endowments of the state. He talked about sites like Obu Nkwa and Obu Ndi Ananga where the state is trying to collaborate with a youth organization from Ohafia to resuscitate the place. His words:“There is a youth organization in Ohafia that are trying to do a cultural renaissance from that area. They have started from there. We are also liaising with the local government and traditional institutions to restore some of these heritage sites and cultural festivals. “Another thing we are trying to do is: the re-orientation of the Igboman. An average Igboman is a very industrious person. He doesn’t have time for leisure. But due to exposure, they are trying to come home to see what is on ground and how they can contribute to that development. We are trying to create the ambience for such relaxation. “ We are trying to negotiate with private organizations and individuals on the Amakanma wooden carves. These are places that the roads are good. What we need is a little enlightenment of our people because those outside don’t believe that there is much at home and we are trying to let them know that there is a lot we have. “With what the governor is putting in place, we can take them to some of these places, and they will know that there are vacation spots in Abia State.”
Nigeria takes part in WTM
•One of the World Travel Market IGERIA joined more the former Nigerian Tourism than 150 other coun Development Corporation Ditries to participate in rector- General, Otunba Segun this year’s edition of World Runsewe. Travel Market (WTM). World Travel Market will The event held annually at showcase more than 180 counCustom House, ExCel, Lon- tries and regions through its don. The event attracts more than 5,000 exhibitors. around 50,000 of the global The deals agreed at WTM will travel and tourism industry’s be the product content in travel most senior executives who companies’ brochures and on come to London every year to their websites which will ultiprofile the hottest travel desti- mately decide where nations. holidaymakers visit in 2014 and It attracted thousands of beyond. visitors from all over the world Reed Travel Exhibitions diwho used the three-day event rector, World Travel Market, to make brisk travel business. Simon Press, said: “World For Nigeria, it is the first time Travel Market plays a vital role in seven years that Nigeria’s for both the global travel and contingent to the apex global tourism industry facilitating travel event will not be led by more than £2 billion in indus-
try deals.” World Travel Market attracts many celebrities as destinations use their famous ambassadors to gain a competitive advantage. Celebrities attending WTM 2013 include Bollywood superstar Anil Kapoor. Kapoor also starred in Hollywood blockbusters, Slumdog Millionaire and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. Anil is joined by cricketing legends, Viv Richards (Antigua) and Brian Lara (Trinidad and Tobago). Former Manchester United forward, Dwight Yorke, and actor, Rudolph Walker (Patrick Trueman in Eastenders), were guests of Trinidad and Tobago.
Eko Hotel forges ahead
•Eko Hotels Signature
HE Nigerian tourism and hospitality market is currently witnessing an upsurge luxury hospitality facilities. Apart from the recently opened 400 room property in Victoria Island, Eko Hotel Group is set to officially add 171 luxury rooms all ensuite to the Lagos hospitality market. The new property is Eko Hotels Signature. The hotel recently took travel journalists on a pre-official opening tour of the hotel facilities. Speaking on the newest property of the Eko hotels group, the company’s marketing manager, Mrs. Iyadunni Gbadebo, said Eko Hotels Signature is pure luxury for upscale market. Each room has its own personalized colour and ambi-
ence. The rooms are tastefully designed and furnished. The rooms are designated into four categories, namely, the club suites which comprise 146 rooms; premium suite nine rooms; signature suites 15 rooms and one presidential suite. The major difference is in the sizes of the rooms, as all rooms enjoy the same features with some overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The elegance of the sophistication lies in the simple details and vibrant colours of furnishing by Philippe Hurel and other interior designed by Pascal Morabito of Franace which expresses the simple art of luxury giving one a warm embrace. Gbadebo said Eko Signature was not only trying to meet demand for top service, but to also take hospitality business to the
next level. She explained that the facility is targeted at the high client networth,hence the carefully selected off the market amenities. The facility, which is looking at the five-star category and above, boasts of a butler service available on request, room service spa, fine dining and a bar, among others. This is also the latest addition to the Eko hotel brand which originally had 654 rooms and now brings it to a total of 825 rooms. The marketing director further explained that their latest addition which can compete with any other in the world is a deliberate attempt by the organisation to give those who weren’t spoilt as children another chance.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
‘Being presidential spokesman is not a tea party’ •Continued from page 41 that is evolving. That is why often times when we compare Nigeria to other countries, it is important to place it in a proper context. There are many unsettled issues that we are still trying to address in our society. The good news today is that President Jonathan's administration has been able to carry out a proper definition of those challenges. President Jonathan is devoted to addressing those challenges. But people are impatient naturally, so they are perpetually asking for more. On this side, what government has been doing is to continue to engage the people and continue to explain and encourage them to be positive. Our position is that this is one government that can be trusted. The cynicism out there is undeserved because it is in many ways inherited. When you tell the cynics that government means well, they are suspicious. They say that they trusted some other administrations in the past and what did they get? I think as we continue to achieve more, people will show greater understanding. Another thing that I have observed is that there is so much obsession with the Federal Government. That is why President Jonathan, occupying the top of the pyramid, gets an unfair share of the criticisms. But we have to remember that the Federal Government is not the only tier of government. Government is at many levels. It also involves the state governments and the local councils. I would like to see more of public monitoring and evaluation with special focus on other tiers of government. At the end of every month, national revenue is shared at these three levels in line with Section 162 of the constitution. But when there is a problem in any state at all, the name that readily comes to the people’s lips is President Jonathan. Meanwhile, the responsibility for governance is shared. Sometimes, we encounter the ironic situation whereby even governors who have not done anything in their states, instead of focusing on service delivery in their states, take time out to dissipate energy talking about the Federal Government. There was a funny case of a governor who stood up at a summit here in the villa to say that there was no water supply in his state because the Federal Government had not provided water there. He had to be reminded that water supply is on the concurrent list. As a governor, he was asked, what has he done to provide water for people in his state? It shouldn't be the Federal Government that should be going to the states to provide potable water for the people. Of
course, the man had to shut up. He couldn't say anything. He probably had forgotten that as a governor of the state, he has a responsibility to serve the people in his own state. These are some of the things that one has seen. How do you handle your critics now? It is a free country, people are free to talk, but if you have read some of my interviews in recent times, I made it clear that while I respect people's right to make comments or express their opinion, this being a democracy, I also do not tolerate people being opportunistic, being hypocritical or just making unintelligent and malicious comments. When you take the fight to such persons and expose them, people say ah, you are a presidential spokesman; you are not supposed to confront people. I don't agree with that. I insist that I also have a right to speak. You were well known before the Aso Rock job, so you must have people pressurising you for favours, how do you handle this? That is not really too much of a problem. When you are in government, people think you have access to a tree somewhere where you go to utter magic words and money drops into a bag and you are ready to distribute. What they do not realise is that it is very difficult to get money when you are in government. That is because there are rules, there are processes. When I hear that people take money out of government, I try to imagine how they do it, with all the rules within the system! Government is not a place where you go to loot. Even if you find a way to do that, you may wittingly or unwittingly be buying yourself a ticket to jail. That is because someone else may come later to look at the books. And your misdeeds could be used against you. And when you are exposed, you would have bought yourself a ticket to jail or a garment of shame and dishonour. What this government is doing is to close the loopholes to eliminate leakages, strengthen the institutions to make it difficult for people to • Barr. Oladele steal and to ensure that those who get caught stealing face solve the power problem in Nigeria, I be- the wrath of the law. lieve he would have been able to solve Can you appraise the Presiabout 55 per cent of our problems. So if dent so far? he puts more focus on that over time, I will give him very high people will see that he has been able to marks not because I work for him or because I am his do something within the available politispokesman but because he is a cal space that he has.” President who has shown great A lifestyle around work and family commitment, ability, focus and His urbane mien and gait belie his aba capacity to deliver. This is a stemious lifestyle. He admitted he is President who came to Nigerimember of a few social clubs. Oladele ans and said to them honestly finds relaxation in the comfort of his that this is what he will do if home in the midst of his immediate famgiven the opportunity to serve. ily. He confesses he is not a good club It was a clearly articulated plan, person because “I do not have the luxury different from what we used to of time to attend club activities and meet- have in the past during inauguings. Like one of my former lecturers alration ceremonies, whereby a ways admonished us. ‘This is the time to President would say he will do work. Don’t sleep. You have enough time this and do that, offering to sleep when you get to your grave.’” vague, general statements. But this President reduced his plan He is married to Titilayo Oladele, with to a document, articulating a four kids. Titilayo is a princess from the transformation agenda with Gambari family in Ilorin. “We have been well-defined emphases. together for a very long time. She has Two years down the line, this been extremely supportive, loving and caring. She is always there for me. I don’t same President came back to know how I would have coped if she had Nigerians and said these are the things that I have been able not been there. I believe I am the luckiest to do. He documented his man in the world because of the wife achievements. He provided God has given me.” necessary evidence and urged Style to him means looking decent, pre- anyone to contradict it if that sentable and smart. “It is not in the excould be done. I think this honpensiveness of what you are wearing, but esty of purpose is unprecein sitting smartly in whatever you are dented. Secondly, this is the wearing. Irrespective of the cost, cheap or first President that has placed emphasis on performance evalexpensive, I wear anything so long it uation. Under this President, looks good on me.”
‘My definition of style’ •Continued from page 41
tively. For instance, as a fallout of this New PDP and Old PDP palaver, I am aware of the fact that there are three suits on the ground that have been instituted by the stakeholders, regarding that singular activity of the party breaking into two. “Over time, democracy has brought so much weight on the judiciary because we have a lot of people going to court to challenge election victories and the ones that have been brought over from the last elections are still pending in one court or the other at various levels. 2015 is around the corner, we expect a whole lot of lawsuits to evolve from the elections. That is apart from other suits emanating from other facets of our national life. The judiciary is overstretched and you expect the Federal Government to do more in order to assist them in a way to discharge their duties more efficiently by providing technology, by providing infrastructure for them and so on. “I have not been able to see serious efforts in this direction. The President may be a bit distracted by the Boko Haram menace and other issues, but I hope in the coming months, before 2015, if we are able to put the Boko Haram menace behind us, and we do less of politicking or if this government gets more focused, they will be able to channel more resources and attention to all the organs of government.” He is of the opinion that Mr. President set out to do his best as someone who is well intentioned. He also appreciates that the President has been distracted with too many issues, out of which the Boko Haram hostility and ethnic chauvinism are prominent. He advised the President to be more focused in discharging his presidential duties. “I expect him, confronted with a situation like this, to show more courage approaching the issues on ground. “I don’t see him exhibiting enough courage, but I believe he means well. If he gets his focus right and demonstrates more leadership courage, he would be able to achieve a lot. I can see he has made a giant stride in the direction of resolving the power thing by getting people to come on board. If he is able to
• Dr. Abati
every minister is required to account to the Federal Executive Council and to the Nigerian populace. And they are assessed on the basis of what they have done. Transparency and accountability is a major legacy of this presidency in terms of how the administration has been conceptualised. President Jonathan has also been able to show that you can be a political leader without interfering in the electoral process. When elections were held in Ondo and Edo states and the PDP lost, the President was the first to congratulate the opposition. In Edo State, the local PDP even issued a statement protesting that the President had made things difficult for them by congratulating the opposition. That shows statesmanship. This President has shown that he is the President of everybody. And in terms of actual service delivery, we can see what President Jonathan has done. People say that there are still challenges of infrastructure, but you can see that the aviation sector is different from what it used to be in terms of the efforts put into it to upgrade it. In terms of school enrolment, one of the challenges used to be the enrolment of children in schools, 10 million children out of school in Nigeria. That figure has been reduced under this administration through the almajiri programme and other such programmes in some affected states. Scholarship schemes used to be available for the training of indigent students at a time. But later, no one knew that Nigeria had a scholarship scheme. If it existed, it was something done under the table, influenced by nepotism. This government has thrown all of that into the open. There are many Nigerian students at PhD and other levels who are abroad today because, that scholarship scheme has been thrown open to Nigerian students. The railway system in this country virtually collapsed, but it has been revitalised. It is no longer what children read as items in comic strips. Look at the power sector, the privatisation of the power sector has been progressing successfully. GENCOs and DISCOs, a total of 16 have been handed over to private investors. When they take over, the electricity market in Nigeria will become more effective and competitive and at the same time, government is addressing the issue of power transmission and generation. Between this time and March next year, President Jonathan is going to commission 10 NIPP projects which will also be subsequently privatised. Already, he has commissioned Geregu, he just commissioned Omotosho power plant and more to come. Yet when he took over, the Nigerian Electricity Reform Act was there, but nothing was done about it. President Jonathan reactivated that law. He launched a Power Sector Reform Roadmap, and has remained faithful to the process. Real change is here in the power and people attest to the fact. Within the agricultural sector, there used to be the fertiliser
When I first got here, some friends who had travelled along this path before used to tell me to take care of my health. I didn't understand what they meant then, but as I got deeper into the job, I realised what they meant. This is not a tea party at all. It is a lot of work and a lot of politics. But I am not complaining, not at all. The rule here is not to jump into the water if you are afraid of cold or can’t swim. Once you are in the water, you either drown or swim. I am in the water. And I intend to swim...
scam, the LPO culture. People just collected invoices and made money through the purported procurement of seeds and tractors. This government has put an end to that to ensure that the agricultural sector is run as a business. Many business ventures in the agricultural sector, which were shut down before President Jonathan assumed office, are back. And the emphasis is on a profit-oriented value chain, not Nigeria as primary producer of raw materials for other economies. I can go on and on. Do you still find time for leisure, and when you do, what do you spend the time doing? There is no time for leisure at all. I am on a 24/hour call, 24/7, 365 days of the year. That is because as a presidential aide and a member of what is called the main body within the villa here, my programme, my movement is totally dependent on the President's schedule. I can be summoned at any time. The job does not give me the room to just go anywhere, at any time. The second part of it is that, the nature of the work itself subjects me to self-imposed restriction. I cannot be presidential spokesman and be seen all over town at mama put and pepper soup joints or nightclubs. I have to be careful because anything I do can reflect on the office of the President. I am conscious of that. My job does not allow me to talk or associate carelessly. I would not want to go to a place and I get carried away and make comments, which would be quoted and then I later say that I wasn't granting an interview! Everything that comes out of my mouth could become news. And I wouldn't want to create news that is not necessary. This is a character-moulding exposure. You have been called Dr. Abati for some time, when will you become Prof. Abati? (Laughs) I don't know if I have not missed that opportunity already. I used to teach at OlabisiOnabanjo University as it is now called, but who knows, maybe in the future, I could have time to go back to teach. It is always a great opportunity to contribute to the knowledge process and learn more in the process too. Life after Aso Rock villa? I have no idea. Let tomorrow take care of itself.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
‘If you have passion for your
country, you’ll never rest’
r. Ibrahim Emokpae, apart from being a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) in the United Kingdom, he is a businessman with interest in real estate and consultancy. He started fending for himself at a tender age. He lost his father when he was just learning to differen-
tiate his left hand from his right hand. “I was an adult before I became an adult because I actually lost my dad at a tender age. As a teenager, before travelling abroad for my education, I went straight into the civil service immediately after I finished my secondary school education,”he said. Emokpae grew up in Nigeria when things were better. Looking back, he is not happy that the country has retrogressed to this level. “In the UK, obviously, if you are a civil servant and you put in your best, you will get rewards because you given targets. But in Nigeria, I probably don’t see that at all. You can’t compare the two settings,”he said. According to him, there is a system in the UK that allows you to run your business without any hindrance. He said: “In the UK, when it comes to business, you run it with comfort.There are no problems at all.But in Nigeria, you run your business with hardships. In the UK, the atmosphere in running business is different entirely from what obtains in Nigeria .” To the Edo- born businessman, leisure is a scarce commodity, but he is of the opinion that business executive should devise a way to balance work and leisure. “You just have to have a way of balancing your life , but if you have passion for your country, you will never rest. I just pray that every Nigerian will have that passion to say that this is the country we belong and we must ensure that it works,”he said.
While he will not discourage Nigerians from doing business in Nigeria, he insists that business climate in the UK is very good. "There, it is difficult to cut corners. If you look at the business you run in the UK, you will account for everything you do, including being able to pay up your bills, making your tax returns and at the same time give the best service. “But when it comes to Nigeria, you can work hard , but the environment is not suitable. You have the power outage problem, you have the movement of goods problem, you have problems with customs papers. But in the UK, you are guaranteed of an atmosphere conducive to business activities. "If you want to do business in Nigeria, you must be vigilant. You have to be careful in order not to make mistakes. The advantage of coming to do business in Nigeria is that it is cheaper. But it is also expensive because productivity is low.” Emokpae is looking forward to the day he would return to Nigeria where he would have the opportunity of participating in national development. ‘I’m a Nigerian. I live in the UK, but I don’t want to live there forever, “ he said..
The challenges of SMES in Nigeria (2) 4. Unfair Competition Most SMEs in Nigeria cannot compete with items or products from other countries, especially China and other Asian tigers. The government has also not helped in this area because of dumping of fake and sub-standard goods and smuggling activities in the country. When combined with the high cost of production in the country, locally made goods can hardly compete in the
area of pricing. 5. Government Bureaucracy Another challenge faced by SMEs is bureaucratic bottleneck of various government agencies like CAC, NAFDAC and Customs etc. For instance, getting NAFDAC approval for food item or drug can take years. In most cases you spend five times the official price to facilitate the approval. A friend told me re-
cently that he spent N250,000 to get NAFDAC approval for just one cosmetic product despite meeting all the specified requirements.
closed down within the first few years of operation. No business can survive in the long run without enough sales to cover operational costs.
6. Low Demand In Nigeria, there is still preference for imported goods over locally made goods. Even government agencies and departments do not patronize our own SMEs. All these combined create marketing problems for SMEs in Nigeria. No wonder many of them
7. Multiple Taxes and Levies SMEs are subject to so many taxes and levies from local government to federal government. So many agents are involved in the collection of taxes and levies. This has given room for unauthorized levies and taxes.
The impact of this on the operational costs of SMEs cannot be overemphasized. 8. High Cost of Foreign Exchange The high dependence on imported raw materials for most SMEs translates to high cost of foreign exchange. This in turn makes it difficult for them to compete favorable in the market. 9. Lack of Skilled Manpower
Most SMEs cannot afford the high cost of skilled labour force. This forces them to make do with unskilled and inexperienced manpower which automatically affects the quality of products and services. Tomi Omojuwa Managing Consultant Pathlead Consulting firstname.lastname@example.org tomiomojuwa@gmail. com
FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
Marriage: A garden of treasures
ear Reader, Marriage is a garden planted by God, a garden of teaching, learning, understanding, accommodating and appreciating. What does Marriage mean to you? Is it a blessing or a 'necessary evil', as many would say? Is it a bed of roses or one that is full of thorns and thistles? Is it a help to you or an everyday hurt that you are trying by all means to avoid? I have good news for you. This month, I shall be showing you the true blessings of marriage. As you apply the truth in your own marriage, you will begin to enjoy the same blessings in Jesus' name. Marriage is a unique relationship ordained of God, for a man and a woman to give and receive satisfaction of their healthy needs and desires. It is the oldest insti-
tution in the world, having its root in divinity. God, Himself instituted it. This is clearly seen as written in Genesis 2:22, which says: …The Lord God… made … a woman, and brought her unto the man. It is not the culture of any country of the world. It is heaven's culture. Marriage can be likened to a garden. When God conducted the first wedding, He placed the couples (Adam and Eve) in the true environment for marriage - "the Garden of Eden." The dictionary meaning of a garden is a piece of ground used for growing flowers, fruits, vegetables and other plants. Marriage is a garden planted by God Himself. God's Word in Genesis 2:8-16 says: … The Lord God planted a garden… God was and is still the Great Planter of the marriage garden. His design is always the best. When you accept His design, the best of your mar-
riage will come out for you. Like every normal garden, there are several efforts and care applied, in order for the health and beauty given to it to yield its best, as God designed it to be for you. Marriage is not just an ordinary garden, but a garden full of treasures. These treasures are there, just waiting to be dug out. However, digging is a gradual process that requires patience, labour, diligence, wisdom and determination from you. I am a living witness to the fact that marriage is a garden full of treasures. By the grace of God, I have been digging out some of the treasures in it and I tell you, they are profitable. God is no respecter of persons. The same Lord is rich unto all. You, too, can start digging out the treasures and make use of them to the glory of God. Let us examine some of the treasures in the marriage garden. TREES Genesis 2:9 says: Out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that
is pleasant to the sight, and good for food… In the natural, trees have many uses, and they can also be reproduced into many things. Trees make for beauty, hence the statement "…every tree that is pleasant to the sight…" Trees give shade from the heat of the sun and are sometimes used to ward off erosion. They can be used to drain excess water from swamps that may breed infectious insects and other health hazards. Likewise, marriage is meant for beauty. It is meant to check the excesses of life providing security and comfort from the usual stress of life. When you act in conscious obedience to the Word of God concerning marriage, you will begin to enjoy the blessings of marriage. Trees produce edible fruits that are good for food as written in Genesis 2:9: Out of the ground made the lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food…. What food does in the natural world, is to quench hunger and leave you satisfied. Also, marriage is meant to give you satisfaction in life. Lack of satisfaction and continuous hunger, is what has pushed many married men and women outside the home to commit
adultery. Here is a testimony that will build your faith up: "I used to worship in a place where I was made to believe that misunderstanding brings about understanding. I was even asked if I had any serious quarrel with my wife and I said, 'no.' I was made to believe that quarrelling and fighting were parts of marriage. I believed this and we started having problems at home. With Word of God that we have heard, read and put into practice along with the right spiritual food that we have received from this place, my marriage, to the glory of God, has been healed from every misunderstanding." Yours can experience the same in the name of Jesus. Since God created the marriage garden, He alone has all that can make it work. For you to have a better access to God's help, you need to accept His Son Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. If you will like to accept Jesus Christ, please, say this prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, I come to You today. I am a sinner. I cannot help myself. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me with Your blood. Deliver me from 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: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org 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 (CoAuthored).
Diagnostic laboratory tests for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria: An Alice in Wonderland Journey Continued from last week In another instance, a young man was quietly sacked when it was discovered during routine on -the- job medical exams that he harbored HIV. Being a union leader, the company expected trouble and paid him almost twice what other employers with similar problems were given. He went to two separate labs and both certified him seronegative. He pushed his employers to the wall and forced them to disclose the source of his problems. Union told him it could only fight if it became clear he had suffered discrimination. He told them he had his community to fight for him.Youths were mobilized and with the original test results, and the ones he did on his own, the company Physician was forced to go with a small crowd of angry youths to the Teaching Hospital and as tension mounted, the youths waited outside while a confirmatory test was done. The Doctor and lab scientists added other tests including CD4 count. Results showed he had HIV1& 2. He also had hepatitis C and his CD4 count was clearly below the lower limit of the normal range. His people broke into a tumult but soon after apologized to the Doctor for taking him through so much stress and went away. Medical emergencies involving blood transfusion are very common; and often expose the need for Governments to stop perpetuating falsehood about making essential health care facilities available to Nigerians. Recently a 35 year old woman in the 9th month of her pregnancy developed painless vaginal bleeding and had to be rushed to a Government owned Hospital, because the Teaching Hospital where she was booked was on warning strike . She had lost so much blood by the time she was seen that the major concern was to at least ensure she didn't die, but there was a problem; she was Rhesus negative-(RH-); a rare blood group and one that is usually difficult to find under such emergency conditions. To compound issues, the anesthetist insisted on two pints of the rhesus negative blood before surgery would commence and no member of the immediate families belonged to that blood group. By the time the two pints of blood was made available, not much attention was given to the baby. The laboratory technician gave a lecture to explain why they couldn't avail the patients much earlier ,but that was no longer necessary and with the possibility of losing the woman staring us in the face, the issue of giving her blood loaded with HIV no longer mattered. The risk had to be taken and she was given two pints of blood screened and certified free of HIV. She survived but lost the baby -no less a huge price to pay for being pregnant in a country where ordinary citizens are forced to abide in the provinces of the wicked and where public office holders uphold the principles according to Machiavelli, not caring how many people perish as long as they live. Teaching hospitals have quality control and quality assurance but unless you pass through the normal process of getting a hospital card, paying the requisite fees and having blood drawn , labeled and documented, you are not likely to be doing the right thing and, any short cut at the level of the teaching hospital could end in disaster. What you get may not be the correct result .Blood samples passing through unauthorized channels are more likely to be placed in the wrong specimen bottles, mislabeled, undergo inactivation by contamination with usual laboratory disinfectants which kill the virus very quickly. Such samples are also likely to be abandoned for more that 24 hours by which time you may have negative results whereas the virus is there. Teaching
Health Matters With DR MIKE OYAKHIRE 08170268670
email: email@example.com Co-authored With Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Onianwa hospitals are about the best places where you are sure of the reliability of laboratory results. Is it possible to replicate teaching hospital facilities and conditions in every local government area? Again is it possible to improve the patientlab relationship in Government approved centers, improve services and make personnel compassionate and patient friendly so people will have confidence in them and the services provided? The answer is yes . It is simply a matter of complete change of attitude on the part of Government and others in charge of these matters. Decentralization with properly trained manpower with up to date facilities is one possible solution. Going about commissioning beautiful buildings with less than ordinary medical equipment and with no trained medical hands will only keep us permanently in stagnation. Like the Biblical Moses, we will only be talking about Canaan(MDGS, Health for all, eradication of this and that), but Nigerians may never see the land where every one has good health, where the sick and the ill don't have to be flown out for lab tests or treatment. In towns and cities but commonly in the rural areas, there are many people with doubtful background carrying out lab tests on any body who is willing to fall victim, become convinced and pay. Young men and women, well dressed and carrying expensive hand bags and boxes go from one village to another talking about computer diagnosis whereas they are actually deceiving people. Even learned professionals have at times fallen for these so called mobile multi choice medical people. Perhaps the laws regulating laboratory practice, in Nigeria is so permissive that any thing goes; Pharmacy shops, chemist shops, patent medicine dealers, supermarkets and massage centers now have different HIV/
•HIV laboratory test room
AIDS test kits. Some of these outfits charge small fees and are honest enough to instruct their patients to still go for confirmatory tests; others only consider financial gains, charge huge sums and using age and visual inspection, results are manipulated and written out for the unsuspecting villagers. In these settings not many people insist on confirmatory tests. Because of poverty, people have no choice than to submit themselves to batteries of tests they know next to nothing about including test for HIV/AIDS. So long as there is supervision, some elements of sensitivity and specificity might be possible in these places, but this is unusual. There have been many cases of people wrongly diagnosed and placed on antiretroviral drugs. These drugs are meant for patients. Doctors don't rush to place patients on them . They may be toxic to the organs when individuals not having HIV/AIDS ingest them over long periods. It has been argued that you can not do without these people considering the way things are in this country , as opposed to the way they should be, which simply implies that if you cant get what is needed, make do with what is available even if what is available will cause monumental disasters. But then if we are transforming, it has to be done on the living and so people keep asking questions with the hope that God Almighty will in his infinite mercy do something remove the ' igneous rock of pharaoh'' in the minds of leaders so they can understand that everything is temporary and it is all vanity at the end. On the very relevant issues of education and health in Nigeria there seem to be an obvious neuropsychiatric symptom of flat affect exhibited by people holding offices in high places and who like wax works seem impermeable to all sense of reasoning. They are comfortable employing the most primitive patterns of behavior and creating divisions here and there while at the same shooting poisonous policies at ordinary citizens with so much hatred that you wonder how much stress people can take before they develop immunodeficiency disorders even worse than that due to HIV. And yet they elevate dishonesty to the highest levels by talking about declaring states of emergency in the vital sectors of health and education, ignoring the popular counsel that if don't want your people to perish, give them knowledge,-of course without knowledge, the people perish. Any Nigerian currently 50 years and older irrespective of gender is living in years of bonus; average life span of adult Nigerians has been drastically reduced, thanks to tormenting policies being cycled and recycled by the same people that only bring poverty, ignorance, all sorts of diseases including those caused by stress such as diabetic mellitus(stress is diabetogenic), hypertension, heart diseases(and heart attack) osteoporosis (glucocorticoids interfere with activities of osteoblasts) etc. The recent statistics that over 70% of Nigerians now live in fear of becoming a victim of one calamity or another is congruent with the above assertion, consistent with the increasing size of the gulf that exists between ordinary citizens and those they willingly elected to take care of their needs; basic needs. •To be continued
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH
Drugs you should know about: Narcotic analgesics and their phenomena
ORPHINE-like or opioid pain killers act on our body nerves that bear opioid receptors. There are several types of opioid receptors such as the mu, kappa, and delta receptors. Different opioid drugs and chemicals act on these receptor subtypes with their own affinities (power to attach to the receptor) and efficacy (power to produce a biological response through the receptor). Thus the opioid drugs vary in their prominent and overall biological effects or responses produced in the body. For example, while codeine is simply used as a cough suppressant, heroine is a dangerous euphoria-producing drug of addiction. Although opioids cause various effects in the body including in the gastrointestinal tract (constipation), respiratory tract (slowing the breathing rate), and in the urinary tracts (inability to pass out urine), it is their effects in the central nervous system that tend to generate the greatest interests. They produce pain relief and loss of sensation to pain (analgesia), euphoria (sense of wellbeing and elevated mood); and sedation, thus distracting a person from painful illness and helping a person to relax. Dangerous phenomena associated with opioid effects are tolerance (habituation), dependence, and addiction. Tolerance means that a certain dose, after some time, will no longer be effective in producing a desired effect and an increased dose will be needed to produce that desired effect. Thus a person
with an opioid habit whether for medical use (e.g. pain relief) or social use (e.g. euphoria) would eventually need more and more finances for his drug supplies. Opioid addicts have been involved in financial crises, theft, and such social offshoots of drug habituation. Dependence means that a person who has been using opioids becomes naturalized to the presence of the opioid in his or her body. He or she now functions normally when the opioid is presence and abnormally when the opioid is absent. He or she depends on opioids to be normal. The dependent person takes the drug for the good effects expected. Addiction means that a person who has been using opioids is psychologically controlled by the effects of opioids. The relationship between the addict and the effects of the drugs is akin to that of the slave and master. The addict is enslaved by the drug effects and is abnormal in both the presence and absence of the drug in his or her body. The addict takes the drug indifferent to good or harm caused by the drug and sustains a compulsion to take the drug. Prescription opioids such as Vicodin® (containing hydrocodone) and OxyContin® (containing oxycodone) that are officially used as pain killers are often obtained and abused for social use. Teenagers and young adults are often involved in such habits. The tolerant person can withstand opioid concentra-
Tips for preserving a healthy mind
RE you interested in how you a n maintain a healthy mind to keep your body healthy? These are practical tips for maintaining a healthy mind •Make sure you’re getting enough rest- Sleep is the body’s way of recharging, meaning that sleep doesn’t only increase your energy—it actually boosts your mental health. •Forgive yourself for past mistakes - Messing up is a part of life, and mental health requires understanding that and moving past mistakes in our lives. Is there a mistake or regret that eats at you? Let. It. Go. •Find a good support system Whether family, friends, a church, or something else, find a group of people who are willing to love you for who you are. This boosts resilience and helps to provide perspective in the midst of stress and pain. •Eat healthy - Invest time in learning which kinds of foods bring you “up” and which kinds bring you “down.” Committing to a diet can make you feel good about yourself, give you a sense of self-improvement, and boost your sense of accomplishment. •Exercise - Regularly exercising can help to cut back stress in your life, releasing pent up energy as you work your body. Exercise releases endorphins, chemicals in the brain that energize us. •Leave some time for leisure - Make sure you allow time in your schedule for whatever causes you to relax. Maybe it’s watching movies or completing crossword puzzles or walking outside. Make time for the things you know relax you. •Stay away from drugs and alcohol - When you consume cigarettes, illegal drugs, and alcohol, these drugs tamper with your mental health, decreasing mental stability and giving you false positive emotions. •Commit to helping others - You can build selfesteem and self-worth by regularly pouring out your energy and talents to help others. Volunteering is another activity that releases endorphins, boosting your mood. •Learn something new - Part of what makes us human is our tendency c
to challenge ourselves. Challenge yourself to learn something new— maybe a new skill, sport, or game. •Find a good listener, and return the favour - Find one person who is willing to listen to you vent and talk freely. It can also relieve stress to form a listening partnership, where the two of you share on a regular basis. •Make the decision not to worry - Worry will consume your mind if you let it, but you can also train yourself to avoid worry, to choose a life without anxiety. Ask God to help you not to worry. •Do things that engage your senses - Each day, perform one task that engages each of your senses: sight, touch, smell, sound, and taste. Engaging your senses helps you to live in the moment and focus on the present. •Leave time for nothing - Make sure your schedule has a little room for free time: time that is unbudgeted. Use that time for meditation, prayer, or relaxation exercises. •Cut out late-night TV and computer use - Studies have shown that watching TV and using a computer late at night can cause depressive symptoms. •Work to understand what stresses you Understand your stressors and be able to recognize how you need to react. Be informed about what is happening in your mind and body. •Give and receive compliments - Find reasons to praise people, and be willing to accept people’s praises of you. This will help you to appreciate the good in those around you and recognize it in yourself. •Leave time to laugh - Try to laugh hysterically every day. Feed yourself funny things, allowing your mind to decompress from time to time. •Accept that there are some things you cannot change - A lot of anxiety stems from trying to change things bey o n d o u r control. Recognizing that some things are beyond our control is a key to a healthy, anxiety-free mind. •Talk to God about where you’re - Interact with God in prayer on a daily basis and allow God to be a part of your stress-reduction strategy. He’s been doing it for thousands of years— He’s got a little more practice than you do.
tions that normally cause fatal respiratory (breathing) distress. Inexperienced users taking the same levels as addicts take can die suddenly. Teenagers and young adults should be warned never to copy the habits of their peers. Physical dependence is characterized by an abstinence or withdrawal syndrome. The person feels unwell if he or she does not take the drug. The more tolerant the user, the more dependent the user will beand alsothe greater will be the intensity of the withdrawal syndrome that can be experienced by the user. For morphine the withdrawal syndrome progresses as follows. In the first 8-12 hours of absence of the drug from the body, the person experiences anxiety, craving for the drug, coughing, sneezing, shivering, and sweating. At 20-30 hours, the person experiences vomiting and cramps. At 36-72 hours, the person experiences tremor, rigidity, convulsions, and piloerection (goose bumps and erection of body hairs). There is difference in timing for development of withdrawal symptoms for various opioid drugs. On the molecular level, tolerance is caused by the adjustments of opioid receptor mechanisms in the body. Thus tolerance to morphine, for example, can lead to tolerance to another opioid drug since they act on the same opioid receptors. Opioid cross-tolerance is also another phenomenon of interest for both medical and social usage of these drugs. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07028338910 or 08160944635 fully normal lives with their epilepsy controlled by natural remedies. Epilepsy is not thought to be inherited, although there is sometimes a tendency for it to run in families. In Holistic Lifecare, it is strongly advised that if an epileptic patient feels the un-natural sensations, he (or she) should not wait until he/she falls down, but should lie down immediately. If, say, on the road, he/she should quickly get to a nearby building and sit down, resting on a wall. If the patient has gone to convulsive fits, it is important to get him/her to lie down and allow fresh air into the room. It may be necessary to place a piece of rubber or wood between the teeth where there is a danger of biting the tongue. The use of metal (such as a spoon) is common, but this can sometimes injure the patient. The Holistic natural remedy being recommended for epilepsy consists of natural extracts of Viscum album, Hyssopus officinalis, Allium sativum and Verbena hastata.
PILEPSY is a neurological condition resulting from dis organized electrical activity of the brain. The common characteristics of this disorder are nervous spasms and convulsive fits or seizures. There are two types of epilepsy. In the first type, scientifically known as symptomatic epilepsy, the convulsions may be traced to one of several definite causes. These include structural disorders of the brain, such as a tumor or abscess, which causes pressure on sensitive brain tissue, disease of the blood vessels of the brain, poisoning by drugs, or injury to the brain. Children very often experience fits during infections in which there is a high fever. The second type, which is more common, is called idiopathic epilepsy, in which abnormal brain cell activity arises for no apparent reason. It is this second condition that most people think of, as epilepsy. Warning signs may be noticed, such as headache, drowsiness, giddiness and yawning. These are followed by the aura, which is really the beginning of the seizure. There may be tingling sensations in the limbs, with disturbances of taste and smell. As consciousness is lost, the patient falls forward. There is gnashing of teeth. Sometimes, the patient bites his tongue, with foaming of saliva in the mouth. The eyes roll up and become fixed, and then the muscles start to jerk violently. The patient may look pale until the convulsion passes and normal breathing is resumed. As the fit passes off, the patient may fall into a deep sleep or may go into a trance-like state. It is important that epileptics are not left face-downward or in a position where they could swallow their own vomit. Control Many people are able to lead
For further information and consultation on Holistic Lifecare research and services, especially on Blood Infections, Infertility, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Chronic Debilitating Conditions as well as mental and social problems, please call on: 0803-330-3897 or visit: Mosebolatan Holistic Lifecare Centre, Adeyalo Layout, Ogbere-Tioya, Off Olorunsogo Express Bridge, Ibadan. Website: www.holisticlifecare.com. Distance is no barrier, we can send remedies by courier if need be. We also have facilities for accommodation, admission and hospitalization in a serene and homely environment.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
THE NATION SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
SPORT EXTRA PICTURES FROM FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP FINAL
•Dele Alampasu of Nigeria tips over a shot by Ulises Jaimes of Mexico during the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 Final between Nigeria and Mexico at the Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium
•FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter shakes hands with Nigeria head coach Manu Garba during the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 Final between Nigeria and Mexico
•Golden Eaglets celebrating the team's victory
•Musa Muhammed of Nigeria celebrates his team's third goal with team mates during the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 Final between Nigeria and Mexico
•Taiwo Awoniyi (2nd r) of Nigeria and his team-mates celebrate their victory after the FIFA World Cup UAE 2013 Final between Nigeria and Mexica at Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium
•The Nigeria team celebrate their victory after the FIFA World Cup UAE 2013 Final between Nigeria and Mexico at Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium on November 8, 2013 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. MORE STORIES ON PAGES 61&62
Arik Air set to fly Eaglets to Abuja
RIK Air said it has concluded plans to fly Nigeria’s junior football team; Golden Eaglets to Abuja as soon as the FIFA under17 junior world cup championship hopefuls arrive Murtala Muhammed International Airport from Dubai on Saturday November 9, 2013. The Eaglets will arrive Lagos by 8pm and immediately depart for Abuja onboard one of Arik Air’s state-of-the-art aircraft. This gesture according to statement further demonstrates Arik Air’s commitment to giving back to society as a responsible corporate citizen of Nigeria. Arik Air in February 2013 flew victorious Super Eagles from South Africa to Abuja.
By Kelvin Osa Okunbor Arik Air was also the lead sponsor at the recently concluded IBB Golf Club 2013 Independent Cup. Arik Air understands that Nigerians not only love sports but are always united in the game of soccer and would therefore support any Endeavour that promotes the unity of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Uduaghan congratulates Eaglets
ELTA State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan has congratulated Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets for winning the U-17 football title for a record fourth time. In a reaction to the Eaglets 3-0 win over their Mexican counterparts, Governor Uduaghan through His press secretary, Felix Ofou, said the victory was a reflection of the
resilience in the Nigerian spirit. ‘Despite our challenges, diversity and divisions, the Golden Eaglets have shown that we are a united people and that our greatness will become manifest as we join hands in spite of all odds to build a great Nation”, he said.
teenage players’ success underlined the never-say-die spirit of Nigerians. Akpabio, who is also the chairman, PDP governors’ Forum, made this disclosure yesterday, following the victory of the Manu Garba-tutored
Eaglets over the Mexican side, praised the fighting spirit of the players and the attitude of the coaching crew which he said had paid off for the team, noting that the country had begun to regain its rightful place in international football reminiscent of the 1990s.
From Shola O’Neil, Port Harcourt
Akpabio hails Golden Eaglets, coaching crew
KWA Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio has hailed the victorious Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets, for its victory at the just concluded FIFA Under-17 World Cup held in the United Arab Emirate(UAE) saying the
Ekweremadu congratulates Golden Eaglets •Says: It’s a Centenary gift that calls for sober reflection
HE Deputy President of the Senate, Ike E k w e r e m a d u yesterday congratulated the Golden Eaglets on their victorious outing at FIFA Under 17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. Ekweremadu in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu in Abuja described the Eaglets’ display as “phenomenal, entertaining, and near perfect.” He said the Cup was a Centenary gift Nigerians would never forget in a hurry. He said: “I am indeed proud of these boys for this superlative and emphatic victory. But beyond the
From Sanni Onogu, Abuja euphoria that comes with it, I believe that this is God reminding us through these young men that a united and one-minded Nigeria where everyone is given the opportunity to do what he or she knows best to do without recourse to nepotism, ethnoreligious discrimination, and political manipulations is simply unstoppable. “It has been quite long we saw a thing like this and for me it is a Centenary gift that calls for sober reflection on what and where we ought to be as a nation” He urged all Nigerians to roll out the drums to celebrate the boys and fatherland.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
Tension as gunmen kill one in Delta riverside community P ALPABLE tension has gripped oil-rich Ugborodo community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, after unknown gunmen attacked a boat conveying members of a local vigilante group killing one and wounding others. The Nation gathered that the incident occurred at about
Shola O'NEIL , Port Harcourt and Okungbowa
AIWERIE, Asaba 2:30am on Wednesday around a jetty in the area. The incident has thrown the entire community in despair as the villagers expressed fear over unending violence in the community. It will be recalled that a
leadership tussle had torn the community apart with the former executive of the Ugborodo Trust Fund allegedly refusing to hand-over the reins of power two years after his tenure elapsed. In November 3, 2012, three persons from the community were shot and killed by gunmen. It was also gathered that
two influential persons in the community were alleged arrow heads in the latest attack on the community. Sources said that the gunmen were allegedly led by a sibling of one of the key players in the crisis, a former community leader, said to be a principal actor in the crisis rocking the community.
• Gov. Peter Obi, flagging off the construction of two bridges over Agulu Lake, as well as the expansion of the road with street lights to enhance, support and boost the new Agulu Lake Hotel, under construction beside the Lake
Controversy trails Jonathan’s appointment of NAUTH CMD HE appointment and approval of the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), by President Goodluck Jonathan has been enmeshed in controversy in Anambra State. A lawyer, Chuka Obele Chuka has threatened to take the CMD, Dr. Anthony Igwegbe to court if after seven days he failed to furnish his office with the documents that authenticated his appointment by the President. But in a quick reaction yesterday, the CMD of NAUTH, Dr. Igwegbe told reporters that his appointment followed due process, adding that it was there for anybody to verify. According to Igwegbe “in the first instance, the Ministry of Health has the duty to appoint, while it is the duty of the President to approve, the President does not appoint. “Moreover, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) was involved in the exercise, people applied for the position as I did and we were screened, after which three of us made the final shortlist and the lot fell on me. That was how I became the CMD of this institution” “An individual cannot tell me to furnish my documents to him, the person has the right to visit the Ministry of Health both at the state and the national level to look for what he wants,
Nwanosike ONU, Awka all I know is that one cannot become (CMD) of a big institution like this without due process,” he said. Also, the Director of Administration of (NAUTH), B.O Chukwuma who was also petitioned by the lawyer because he was the person who announced the appointment, told The Nation yesterday that the President approved the appointment, while he relayed to the public. He, however, refused to talk further on the issue because according to him, he was on his way to Abuja.
The letter, to the duo by Obele Chuka was entitled: “Your appointment as the Chief Medical Director of Nnewi, Request for issuance of certified true copies of your letters of appointment pursuant to sections 2 and 3 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 and section 104 of the evidence Act 2011.” According to Obele, “I was confronted with a document circulating in your hospital, which showed that the issue of your appointment as the Chief Medical Director is at the heart of the crisis brewing in the hospital. “My further enquiries revealed a lot more controversies,
Anambra poll: Monarchs refute alleged endorsement of Nwoye hirty traditional rulers in Anambra North Senatorial District of Anambra State have washed their hands off a story which claimed that leaders of the zone had dumped Chief Willie Obiano, APGA candidate in the coming gubernatorial election in the state for Mr. Tony Nwoye who is also standing for election on the platform of the PDP. The royal fathers who spoke at their monthly meeting at the weekend in Onitsha South Local Government Area distanced themselves from the said report, dismissing it as a blatant lie, fab-
ricated to mislead the unsuspecting members of the public. Speaking through their Chairman, Igwe Rowland Odegbo, Igwe Aborgu II, Na Nteje, the highly influential traditional rulers denied ever endorsing Mr. Nwoye whose campaign has until now been strewn with protracted court cases and described as total falsehood, any story that alleged that Nwoye had been anointed by them. According to Igwe Aborgu II, “We did not endorse Tony Nwoye. I repeat; we did not endorse Tony Nwoye. We did not abandon Obiano for Nwoye. The two candidates are our sons.
Ebonyi judiciary generates N21m revenue HE Chief Judge of Ebonyi State, Hon. Justice Alloy Nwankwo, Friday disclosed that the judiciary in the state was able to generate over N21 million from fines and fees between 2012/2013 legal year in the state. The Chief Judge made the disclosure during the opening ceremony of the 2013/2014 legal year at the High Court of Justice, Abakaliki. According to Justice Nwankwo, under the case flow management for Ebonyi State High Court, a total of 13, 342 cases were filed as 10, 684 were disposed of while 14, 998 cases
some bordering on irregularity, and others on patent illegality” “From the totality of my findings, it does appear clearly that you were not appointed the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the NAUTH by the appropriate authorities either in acting capacity when you did “act” or in substantive capacity as you presently act.” “If, however, I do not get the documents within seven days, you would be leaving me with no other option than to believe that you were never appointed by the appropriate authorities for any of the two positions you have occupied since February this year.”
Ogochukwu ANIOKE, Abakaliki are currently still pending within the period under review. He revealed that a total of 57 inmates of the Afikpo and Abakaliki prisons where freed during the jail delivery in the year under review. “Although revenue generation constitutes an ancillary function of the judiciary, it is noteworthy to mention that we recorded increased revenue by way of fines and fees during the 2012/2013 legal year as over N21 million was generated by the judiciary.
“Since my assumption of office, Ebonyi State judiciary has maintained a very cordial relationship with the two branches of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA in the state. Last legal year was no exception. We shall continue to do our best to sustain this relationship so as to discharge our functions more efficiently as partners in progress." Governor Martin Elechi was represented on the occasion by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Ben Igwenyi congratulated the state judiciary on maintaining ethical standards in the discharge of their responsibility.
They have both come to tell us that they are running for the governorship election and we have blessed both of them. Obiano was the first to approach us and we blessed him and prayed for him.” Igwe Aborgu II further noted that the royal fathers were still evaluating the two candidates to know who they would endorse for the coming election. “We will make our position known very soon,” he explained. When reminded that the Igwe of Ogbunike, Igwe John Umenyiora had expressed reservations in the same report about Governor Peter Obi’s agreement with the royal fathers on the issue of his successor, Igwe Aborgu II dismissed the comment. “Igwe Umenyiora does not speak for Anambra North Traditional Rulers Council of which I am the Chairman. He spoke for himself,” Igwe Aborgu replied, pointing out that as traditional rulers, his group does not make flippant comments in the media. It would be recalled that a Lagos-based newspaper had on Thursday reported that the traditional rulers had dumped Chief Willie Obiano for Tony Nwoye, a report widely dismissed in Awka, the Anambra State capital and environs as the work of spin doctors.
It was learnt that the gunmen took away the corpse of their victim. One of the survivors of the fatal attack who gave his name simply as Romeo (surname withheld) said six of them were on guard duty at the oil pipeline when they were attacked. He said that the attackers numbering seven were alleged youths from Ugborodo community. Romeo said that they were able to survive the attack because they fled into a nearby bush, leaving the deceased who thought the attackers wouldn't harm him. His words: "We are six in the boat early this morning to guide the area and we stopped at 911 Jetty to wait. While we were there, one speed boat drove down, but unknown to us, the people inside were armed with guns .The first person I saw was Kiki and they pointed guns at us. Before we realised what was happening, they started shooting and Sunny who was still inside the boat was shot several times and some of us dived into the bush." Continuing, he said: “When they left, we searched for Sunny but he was nowhere to be found. We discovered that blood littered the boat. They mentioned some names before they shot at us." Benson Dube, the Spiritual Head (Oloja-Orori) of Ugborodo Community, spoke on behalf of the Ugborodo Community, adding that five of the community youths who sustained several degrees of injuries were currently receiving treatment. “Owing to the recent Federal Government’s decision to end oil bunkering, we as a community decided to form a community security team to guard the area every night against activities of oil bunkerers."
Anambra to benefit from the World Bank intervention funds NAMBRA State will benefit from the World Bank five hundred million naira erosion intervention fund. The Country Director of the bank, Mrs. Marie Françoise Nelly, disclosed this when she led a team to inspect erosion control work at Omagba Phase One, Onitsha. Lady Marie said erosion control remained a critical challenge and that the bank had formulated a complete package to tackle it. She assured that the implementation would soon kick off in strategic manner that would stand the test of time. She commended Gov. Peter Obi for his commitment and interest in the project. The Senior Environmental Specialist of the World Bank, Dr. Amos Abu, noted that the palliative intervention on the site has stabilised the site while the bank would soon provide enduring solution. Dr. Abu explained that the bank was not only coming with funding but also with skill and technical assistance in holistic and integrated approach. He disclosed that already, four erosion sites had been designed and approved for implementation including the Nanka and Agulu erosion sites. Also speaking, the National Coordinator, Nigeria Erosion and Water Shell Management Project, Mr. Chike Nwune said indiscriminate building and construction had exposed the environment to the devastation of erosion. He explained that the World Bank Integrated Approach would incorporate all stakeholders to ensure sustainability.
UNICAL in ground-breaking N3b Engineering faculty HE Pro Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, on Friday, performed the ground-breaking ceremony for the N3 billion Faculty of Engineering of the institution. Iwuanyawnu said the first phase of the project which would be the building of the department of Civil Engineering would be completed in 72 weeks. He said the Civil Engineering department would cost N369.8 million to complete. Other phases of the project would include a faculty lecture theatre, dean’s office and departments of Mechanical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering and Electrical and Electronics. He said funds for the project would be sourced from contributions from the private sector and well-meaning individuals. The federal and state governments, he said, are also expected to contribute. He disclosed that the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, had already donated N50 million to the project. He regretted that the university situated in Calabar, a town that occupies a special place in the history of Nige-
Nicholas KALU, Calabar
ria, did not have an engineering faculty. He said Calabar was located in an area where all the prerequisites of development are. He described the city as a cradle for development and industrialisation, where young men and women could acquire skills without the bustle that characterises other Nigerian cities. He said when functional, the faculty would serve not just as a hub for Nigerians but Africans in general. The Pro-chancellor said the faculty would be international in outlook as they would seek affiliations with top institutions all over the world in engineering. Vice Chancellor of UNICAL, Prof James Epoke, said plans for the faculty had been on for the past four years. He said the institution was on the verge of performing the ground-breaking 22 months ago but had to cancel it due to some circumstances. Engr Ebo Godwin who spoke on behalf of the contractor handling the project, TIMDOZ Engineering Limited, said they would complete it on time if the funds were made available.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
Day Jonathan, Obasanjo, UNESCO boss eulogised ABUAD’s founder
HE un-ceasing down pour of accolades that has been the lot of the wave-making Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), since its inception continued during the weekend at the five days activities marking its first convocation in Ado-Ekiti, the heartland of Ekiti State. When the iconic Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, conceptualized the dream of the university shortly after his eight years sojourn as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the University of Lagos, during which time he saw bare-facedly the rot and decay in the nation’s public universities, his ultimate goal was to pioneer reformatory and functional education in this clime by providing and leading others in quality education, service, industry and character as well as discipline. No sooner than the university which commenced serious and uninterrupted academic works on January 4, 2010 took off that it started harvesting torrents of accolades which has continued unabated. Before now, the university which graduated its first set of 103 students on Monday, October 21 after three years of being in school, at a time when their colleagues are still battling and sweating to complete first or second sessions in other universities where four year course takes between 6 – 8 years, has been described in various ways. Following its giant strides since its inception, the University has won several national and international awards, including “Socrates Award for the Best Enterprise in Africa” by the European Business Assembly, in Oxford on the 21st of March, 2012 at Pall Mall, London. It has been acknowledged by All African Students Union with headquarters in Ghana, present and former President and Heads of State of Nigeria, the Universities Commission (NUC) (the Regulatory Body for Education in Nigeria), and numerous stakeholders as, “a model, benchmark and reference point; the most dynamic, progressive and fastest growing university in Africa”. The university, though only three and half years old has been rated by the Global University Webometric as the second (2nd) best private university in Nigeria and number thirteen (13th ) of the totality of the 157 universities in Nigeria. It recently secured 100% accreditation in all the fourteen Programmes presented to NUC for accreditation in 2013. The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has also accredited all the seven engineering programmes. Similarly the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) also granted full accreditation for its computer programmes. This time around, the torrents of encomiums started with President Goodluck E. Jonathan who had earlier described Babalola’s yeo-man’s efforts in establishing the university as “Notably one of the most outstanding individual contributions towards government educational project”. Commissioning the Engineering Complex last Saturday, Jonathan commended Babalola for building for the coun-
Jonathan commended Babalola and his wife, Yeye Aare Modupe Babalola, both of whom he described as people with an undeniable passion for quality education and who have made a name for themselves by establishing a world-class university like ABUAD which has become the toast of many Tunde OLOFINTILA
try such a magnificent citadel of learning for which an appreciative parent, captivated by the rare combination of miracle and magic going on at ABUAD, called a missionary and not a mere Founder, in the mould of great
and selfless Christian Missionaries of old like Henry Venn, who founded CMS Grammar School, Lagos, the first secondary school in Nigeria, on June 6, 1859 and Archdeacon Henry Dallimore who established Christ School, Ado-Ekiti in 1933 to shape destinies and light the lamp on the country’s educational path. Jonathan commended Babalola and his wife, Yeye Aare Modupe Babalola, both of whom he described as people with an undeniable passion for quality education and who have made a name for themselves by establishing a world-class university like ABUAD which has become the toast of many. He confirmed that the facilities, structures and learning character he had seen in ABUAD were living testimonies to the Founder’s commitment, dedication and sense of mission as the two term Pro–Chancellor and Chairman of Council in the University of Lagos. His words: “It is often said that great minds leave great history behind them and this histoty is built on a great vis. The vision of Aare Afe Babalola, founder of this promising institution is a noble one”. According to the President, some of the greatest institutions in the world were shaped by the vision, foresight and personal experience of their founders, with ABUAD sharing same through Babalola who he described as a man of unassailable character, profound vision, an epitome of the of the highest ideals and a quintessential Nigerian patriot. He congratulated the pioneer students for being part of the success story, adding that anybody that pioneers any organization is always seen as special guest of such organization. Commenting on the World Webometric ranking which rates the university as the 2nd Best Private University and 13th among 157 Universities in Nigeria, the President advised the students to practice the skills and knowledge they have acquired with the continuous task for nation building. Emphasizing that ABUAD is a University that moulds character, he admonished the students to always represent the university well whenever they are outside the institution, pointing out that education without character is a dangerous to any society. Jonathan would like well-meaning Nigerian like Babalola to take a cue from him by investing in quality education because it has become obvious that government cannot fund education alone. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the promoter of Bells University, Otta, who once described ABUAD as a model to emulate, was unsparing in his out-pouring of kindly words for Babalola and the nascent university. First, he thanked the university for naming the thoroughly and smoothly macadam-med dual carriage way leading Continued on Page 60
NAMA: The road to safe skies Edwin BAMIDELE
T is steadily becoming clear to the dis cerning public since the fatal October 3, 2013 air mishap in Lagos that such tragedies do not always have to do with a treacherous or so-called unsafe airspace. There may be fair weather to prompt a bad ill-maintained aircraft into the air. There may also be a flight fatigued crew pushed into action by greed. We have also had cases of tipsy or sick cockpit crew who underestimated those physical limitations. In all these hypothetical instances, disasters resulting in loss of lives and maiming and destruction have been the outcome as in the case of the October 3 crash, where early findings of the Accident Investigation Bureau are suggesting that a combination of human error and aircraft defect caused the crash and not the challenge of airspace. Still it is heartwarming to note that in Nigeria the Federal Authorities are not giving any room to chance on the question of ensuring an all round and eagle-eye watch over the aviation industry which has witnessed great improvement lately under the direction of the Minister of Aviation Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah. She has adroitly deployed the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) with Engineer Nnamdi Udoh as the Managing Director to offer critical intervention in the country’s airspace. The agency’s activities have debunked comments that her tenure is characterized by the aesthetic ambience she has given some of our airports. Critics are wont to claim that there is more to aviation than the beautification of where aircraft take off and land. I agree; but I disagree that it is only in
•President Jonathan the resplendent features of our airports that the aviation ministry has excelled. With such operational facilities as NAVAIDS incorporating Instrument Landing System, VOR and Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) among others, NAMA has succeeded in delivering safe skies to the country.
TRACON is the pivot which President Goodluck Jonathan commissioned on October 18, 2010. It has 9 radar locations in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano with each having both primary and secondary co-fixed radar head. There are five other stand-alone stations in Ilorin, Maiduguri, Talata Mafara, Numa and Obubura. The primary has a range of 65 nautical miles while the secondary covers 250. The overlapping range enables the air traffic controllers to monitor flights far beyond the shores of the country. Recently NAMA took some journalists to the TRACON control room in Lagos where they saw the screens and the controllers at work. They viewed aircraft landing at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra Ghana through the monitoring screens. Lately the agency has unveiled a new plan to boost security in the Niger Delta and protect the country’s Oil Industry using multi-lateration surveillance in the Delta creeks. The initiative will cover Helicopter activities of the oil companies. NAMA’s MD Nnamdi Udoh says the move will increase the agency’s revenue. It is reckoned that since there are more than 160 daily flights of such type in the region, the new NAMA drive would attract tremendous patronage to benefit both the agency, oil companies and the
Recently 13 towers of some airports of the nation’s facilities were refurbished to eliminate communication breakdown within the airspace
nation at large. NAMA has also been known to be working on the completion of WGS-84 survey of 26 airports to prepare them for performance based navigation system (PBN). Procedures for the four major airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano have been completed while trials for PBN were arrived at last year by some airlines. They recorded outstanding results! Recently 13 towers of some airports of the nation’s facilities were refurbished to eliminate communication breakdown within the airspace. In this regard, NAMA is planning to install Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC), the modern system used globally to sustain uninterrupted reach among airborne and the ground control. The operations of these highly technical devices, needless to say, are digitalized with skilled and well-trained staff required to man them. Their training, locally and abroad, together with capital investment on critical areas of air safety, is said to have cost the Federal government more than $9.5m. The picture we have then is of a government and an agency which are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that they create an enabling environment for players in the aviation sector to offer flawless service to the people and the nation. For without safe air corridors, monitored round the clock by well trained technical crew and modern and regularly maintained tracking systems, the best pilot flying the best aircraft would be a mere accident waiting to happen. Good aircraft and good flight crew operating in unsecured skies are potential tragedies. •Bamidele is a writer on aviation issues.
THE NATION, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
Stimulating Gombe economy through agricultural investments
N line with the determination to diversify the and im prove the revenue base of the state, Agriculture sector has received unprecedented boost under the leadership of Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo. Quite notable in this direction is the arrangement to disburse another N 500 million to farmers in the state as loan after he sum of one billion Naira that was earlier been released to them. The initiative is one of the various policies and programmes being initiated by Gombe state government to reinforce the recent third fastest growing economic development rating of the state. Also in accordance with the concept of growing the state economy through diverse means is the flag-off sales and distribution of 34,500 metric tones of assorted fertilizers earlier this year; precisely on July 4, 2013. The commodity were offered for sale at a subsidized rate of N3,000 flat; half the actual market price. Government earlier in the year supplied 600 metric tones of fertilizers and 500 units of water pumps to dry season farmers at subsidized rates. It followed this up with the provision of free tractor hiring services for land preparation and cultivation. In the same way, it purchased and sold to farmers 65 metric tones of improved Maize seeds at subsidized rates and constructed 46 Cotton Markets Eulogised as an eloquent testimony of government’s commitment towards the agricultural sector, Dankwambo himself aptly describe the gesture it as milestone towards fulfilling his campaign promises and sustaining the state’s leading role in agricultural production in the Northeast sub-region. Apart from the unprecedented quantity, the difference maker in this year’s flag-off of fertilizers sales in Gombe state is the additional 1,140 ox-drawn ploughs made available as loan to willing subsistence and small holding farmers. The aim is to assist them increase production for the general good of all. The event also included the launch of 220 brand new tractors with assorted implements to help large scale farmers modernize their previous methods by transiting to mechanized farming. As expected, Gombe state investment in agriculture is already yielding positive dividends. The former Minister of State for Agriculture, Dr. Bukar Tijani testified to this fact when he visited the state to flag-off the Federal Government’s sales of fertilizers and distribution of seeds under the Growth Enhancement Scheme GES programme jointly funded by the Federal and state governments. He testified that Gombe was chosen for the flag-off of this year’s GES programme in recognition of its glowing performance in last year’s Paddy Rice Production Programme in which it cultivated an additional 30,000 metric tones. He added that the state had in recent times shown a lot of commitment towards agriculture and collaborated with Federal Government in the area of agricultural transformation agenda. Among the commitments is the Agricultural Transformation Agenda ATA geared towards facilitating various value chains. Gombe state pursues value chains in rice, sorghum and tomatoes which it plans to finance through the Nigerian Incentive-based Risk Sharing System of Agriculture Lending. 10,000 (Ten Thousand) farmers are expected to benefit from the venture. “Similarly, in line with ATA, we have facilitated the provision of agricultural loans worth over One Billion Naira to our farmers and those in agro-based local business to boost production,” emphasized Governor
Community Based Agricultural and Rural Development Project CBARDP and the National Fadama III Project are all receiving suitable attention by way of empowering farmers to improve productivity and yield. The commitment of Gombe state is further reflected in various activities like reactivation of Gombe Poultry Production Unit PPU and creating about 500 jobs in the process. The PPU was abandoned moribund between 2003 and 2011. It has also embarked on comprehensive rehabilitation, retracing, re-demarcation, ‘monumentation’ and mapping of grazing reserves and stock routes to reduce farmergrazer conflicts; control of animal diseases and pests; reactivation of extension services and plans for construction of farm service centres in addition to rehabilitating existing ones among others. At the moment, contract has been awarded for the construction of Veterinary Hospital in Gombe and Veterinary Clinic at Deba in Yamaltu-Deba LGA. In the same vein, government has procured drugs for animals Drug Revolving Scheme to provide genuine and affordable drugs to livestock farmers in the state. It has however treated 101,202 cattle with 247,360 sheep and goats of various diseases like Helminthiasis, Pneumonia and Piroplasmosis, etc as well as conducted a statewide vaccination campaign against CBPP in cattle, PPR in sheep and goats and Rabies in dogs and cats. Before the recent 220 Units of tractor, 35 new Tractors and implements were purchased while the existing 25 worn-out old ones restored and adorned with new sets of implement each. 147 Tractor operators/mates were also employed; an indication that more hands would soon be engaged to operate the new tractors.
Government earlier in the year supplied 600 metric tones of fertilizers and 500 units of water pumps to dry season farmers at subsidized rates. It followed this up with the provision of free tractor hiring services for land preparation and cultivation Vincent OHONBAMU, Gombe
Dankwambo during this year’s GES launch in Gombe state. The National Programme for Food Security NFPS,
Equally worthy of mention is that the granting of loans by the state government in conjunction with the Bank of Industries BOI of over N510.0 million under is Entrepreneurship Scheme is meant to stimulate Agro-based industries to improve the economy and the livelihood of the people of Gombe state. To underscore the fact that the investment and whole idea is working, it is pertinent to recall that Gombe state has put in lots of funds to support the ATA, especially the Growth Enhancement Scheme GES. In 2012 alone, 140,733 farmers from Gombe state redeemed two bags of fertilizers each with the state government spending the sum of N387, 015,000:00 as subsidy contribution to assuage farmers’ financial burden. This year, the number of farmers has soared to 287,953 which more than doubled the previous year’s mark. Therefore, on paper, the yield will unarguably double; all things being equal. Also as part of the continued efforts to redirect the attention of youths towards developmental drives, Gombe state government plans to train 1,100 youths of the state on various ventures in the agricultural sector. The only huddle remaining is to source the 1,100 hectres of land from the traditional rulers because the aim is to allot hectre of land to each trainee. Gombe state Commissioner for Youth Empowerment and poverty Alleviation, Mijinyawa Sanni Labaran said all of them may not be trained on crop production because the venture would cover areas like animal husbandry, poultry and fishery. Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo from the onset unveiled plans to galvanize the economy of Gombe state. Agriculture according to him is central to that plan; hence the sector has witnessed tremendous unprecedented development since the Dankwambo’s administration came on board barely over two years ago
Day Jonathan, Obasanjo, UNESCO boss eulogised ABUAD’s founder Continued from Page 59 to the university after him, before relapsing into his now well known biting witticism about the Honourary Degree awarded him when he said “the degree wey I no get, he dash me”. Riding on Babalola’s back who had earlier described education as a most potent weapon to fight disease, poverty and lack, Obasanjo added a caveat that education is indeed the most potent and important instrument to sustain democracy and good governance. Obasanjo who confirmed that he has been with Babalola on many joyous occasions in the past, including when he was installed Aare Bamofin of Yorubaland by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi and during his 50th anniversary at the Bar, affirmed that he was indeed very happy to be at the maiden convocation of Afe Babalola University, the day he described as the happiest moment so far in Babalola’s life. He acknowledged that even though Babalola is not a politician, he has impacted his community, his profession and
the country at large more than any politician. He congratulated the graduating students for the rare opportunity of acquiring good education from a good university and advised them to continue to build on the good beginning they have acquired to enable them attain great achievements in their different endeavours. According to him, it is only after they have successfully built on their good beginning that their education will become meaningful in truth and in deed. Dr. Lalla Aicha Ben Barka, the Assistant Director-General of UNESCO, who gave the convocation lecture, added the international flavor to the flurry of accolades. She started by commending the significant economic progress Nigeria has made over the last 50 years, a development which she said has contributed to the availability of highly qualified human resources coming mainly from national institutions of higher learning as a result of which Nigeria has the highest number of Ph.D’s and Engineers in Africa as well as graduates from technical and vocational training institutions. And now to ABUAD, the UNESCO chief-
tain was full of applause for the university because according to her, UNESCO views ABUAD and other high profile institutions like it as key partners that must be considered in finding solutions not only to education but all development sectors, particularly as they contribute significantly to the need to produce highly qualified graduates who can respond to the demand of the labour market, globalization and the construction of peaceful societies. Enraptured by the level of development on ground, the quality of academic and nonacademic staff, Dr. Ben Barka enthusiastically pronounced that UNESCO would strengthen its partnership and collaboration with the university which been described as the fastest growing in Africa. Specifically, she said UNESCO office in Abuja and headquarters are ready to develop this partnership on key thematic areas and for this to quickly concretize, the Regional Director in Abuja, Prof. Hassana Alidou, will continue the discussion with ABUAD in order to elaborate a concrete partnership agreement. She appreciated and congratulated Babalola, the faculty, staff and students from
ABUAD, for their immeasurable and unquantifiable contributions to improving access and quality of higher education in Nigeria, ECOWAS Region and Africa, stressing that the good practices that Babalola has promoted in the area of governance and quality assurance in all areas can be shared with other universities in Nigeria, in Africa and the rest of the world. The UNESCO boss reaffirmed that the world body, through its various intervention on Higher Education in Africa, would extend its support to ABUAD and encourage for closer partnership. Unable to contain her admiration for the university, Dr. Ben Barka said UNESCO would help in advertising the modern model university to the world because in her view, it would appear the university is under advertised. This, indeed, is another recognition, another endorsement, another acknowledgment from a respected world organization -as high as the UNESCO. Surely, the best is yet to come. •Olofintila is Head, Public Relations, ABUAD
THE NATION SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
SPORT EXTRA Kanu watches Eaglets lift trophy
•Kelechi Iheanacho of Nigeria kneels down with the Golden Ball and the Silver Shoe after his team won the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 Final between Nigeria and Mexico
Golden Eaglets sweep FIFA awards
IGERIA’S Golden Eaglets added the 15th edition of the FIFA U17 World Cup title with individual honours after they were selected worthy of such award by the world governing football’s Technical Study Group Kelechi Iheanacho was awarded the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the competition and he was also second in the highest goals
•Breaks tournament’s goals record From Tunde Liadi, Abu Dhabi, UAE scorer’s category while Alampasu Dele was adjudged the best goalkeeper of the competition. The Golden Eaglets were the best behaved team of the competition and thus were awarded the fair play award for a record fourth time. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s
Golden Eaglets to the 15th edition of the FIFA U17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates are the best squad to be assembled by the country since the competition started in 1985 statistics have revealed. The Eaglets not only won the competition for the fourth time on Asian soil yesterday they also did so by writing
their own name on the record book in terms of the country with most goals in a tournament. Germany had that honour before the start of the hostility in the UAE when they netted 24 goals on their way to grabbing a bronze at Korea U17 World Cup in 2007. The Eaglets got over that by scoring a whooping 26 goals in just seven games to become the latest holder of the honour.
Jonathan to host Eaglets on Sunday
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday congratulated the victorious Golden Eaglets who won the U-17 World Cup at the United Arab Emirates. Eaglets won the final match 3 - 0 against their Mexican counterparts. The statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati reads: "On behalf of himself, the Federal Government and all Nigerians, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan congratulates the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria on their 30 triumph over Mexico in the final match of the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Soccer
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja Championship played Friday evening in Abu Dhabi." He joined other happy Nigerians in saluting the glorious achievement of the Eaglets in winning the Under17 Soccer Championship for an unprecedented fourth time. President Jonathan commended the young Eaglets for the exemplary commitment, dedication, resilience, determination, patriotism and unity of purpose they displayed through-out the tournament to make Nigeria the World’s Under-17 Football Champion
•Continued from back page federation chiefs look like upstarts before the corporate world. Funding sports, not just football, has been a big problem, largely because most governments consider the industry as the platform to fix their friends and political cronies into government parastatals, having lost out on the "juicy" ones. Overseas sponsorship is hinged on the carrot-and-stick approach in which sports friendly firms get tax rebates from the government for their contributions. These structures are enduring because governance in those countries is a continuum, unlike here where every new government strives to destroy what it meets on the ground, no matter how credible, hiding under the cloak of change. Policy somersault is the biggest problem with our sport. In Nigeria, there is absence of not just a template, but outright architectural base to anchor any policy, whether fleeting or enduring, as far as our sports are concerned. Given this obvious lacuna, what we have is usually "anything goes". And it is progressively destroying every facet of our sports, ditto football. It is this cumulative effect of the lack of a framework - or where it exists, no continuity that has been responsible for the albatross in our sports. Or how else do we explain a scenario where we have the same swan song running through our sports as regards funding and administration? Elsewhere, there exist sports calendars anchored on fouryear term or eight-year or even ten-year development plan; here we rely on cash from budgetary allocations that are never ready at the appointed time. The sports calendar helps countries to plan. It also gives them the impetus to make projections meant to capture the lessons of the past. Besides, it is easier for the blue-chip firms to sponsor sports because the four-year term helps them to make a case for such an enterprise to their shareholders. Indeed, most sports competitions are anchored on the fouryearly format. And wholesale cash projections are made, hence the seamless transmission from one sport event to the other. Our history of poor preparations for sporting event is legendary. Our athletes don't get the required support from government when others do. We believe in the last-minute rush.
once again. "In fulfillment of his promise of a heroes’ welcome for the triumphant Golden Eaglets on their return home, President Jonathan will host a grand reception for the team at the Banquet Hall of the State House at 1900 Hours on Sunday, November 10, 2013 in appreciation of the great honour and glory they have brought to their fatherland." It stated The President also urged the leadership of the Nigerian Football Federation to strive to ensure that the worldconquering Eaglets, who have shown such immense potentials as youngsters, are
properly nurtured, trained and developed to represent the nation at higher levels in future international football competitions. He wishes the Golden Eaglets and their handlers a safe journey home and looks forward to receiving them in Abuja on Sunday.
APAN’93 FIFA U17 World Cup hero, Kanu Nwankwo watched the
Golden Eaglets beat the Mexico’s cadet side in the final of the competition decided at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi yesterday. The Eaglets by the feat became the first country to lift the coveted trophy four times after displacing Brazil who shared three titles with them before the start of the 15th edition in the United Arab Emirates. Nwankwo whose class of 1993 surprised the world before winning the trophy in Japan was seen waving at the second goal scored by his kinsman, Kelechi Iheanacho.
From Tunde Liadi, Abu Dhabi, UAE The Eaglets went ahead to win the game by 3-0 through goals from Erick Aguirre who diverted Musa Yahaya’s goal into his own net in the 9th minute before further goals from Iheanacho in the 56th and Musa Mohammed in the 81st minute.
Onazi donates customised boots to Eaglets
•As Omeruo, Echiejile, other Eagles celebrate victory
EMBERS of the Super Eagles have joined in celebration with the Golden Eaglets for winning the FIFA U-17 World Cup after defeating defending champion Mexico 3-0 in the final played at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi yesterday Players including Académica de Coimbra midfielder, John Ogu Ugochukwu, Lazio midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi, Chelsea defender, kenneth Omeruo, Villarreal striker, Ike Uche, Cologne striker, Anthony Ujah and S.C. Braga of Portugal defender, Elderson Echiejile all took to social media, twitter to express their happiness. Super Eagles midfielder Ogenyi Onazi while congratulating the players for the achievement, promised each member of the team a customized football boots. “My younger brothers are really great. Special gift for every one in the team from me. #up nigeria great eaglet. “Courtesy my humble self and my kit sponsors @lottosportitaly , each member of the U17 world champions gets a customised football boot,” he twitted. Former U-17 player Kenneth
By Akeem Lawal Omeruo also expressed his feeling saying, “This game just made me the happiest Nigerian. Go Eaglets, its party time for all Nigerians again”. John Ogu says the Golden Eaglets have capped a successful year for the country after the Super Eagles won the African Nations Cup earlier in the year. “Successful year so far for our Nation, AFCON Champion. Now the Golden Eaglets and we almost at next year’s World Cup. God bless Nigeria,” he twitted. “Congrats to the Nigerian U17 the Golden Eaglet for winning the FIFA World Cup. Well deserved #Nigeria”, Anthony Ujah Twitted. Super Eagle defender, Elderson Echiejile þsaid the team has made the nations proud. “#U17: congratulations to the #Golden Eaglets. You made the nation proud by winning the U17FifaWorldCup. #U17FIFAWorldCupFinal,” Eagles’ striker, Ikechukwu Uche was not left out saying, “Congratulations to our dear Golden eaglet for winning the FIFA U17 World Cup #Respect”
More cash for Sports or… This gives room for profligacy from those in the system. What the sports calendar does for European countries is that it gives them enough time to plan. Besides, lump sum cash instills confidence in the athletes just as it challenges them to excel to justify the huge investment from the government. The lump sum from the government encourages the bluechip firms to contribute their quota, knowing the importance that the government attaches to sports. This government intervention gives sports federations the impetus to source for funds and this will include getting the interested firms to build infrastructure, which could be named after their firms. Government alone cannot fund sports. People and the firms must be involved. But how can people and firms support sports when, for political reasons, performing federation chieftains are removed as in the case of the Golf Federation where its president, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, lost his seat because of his squabble with the ruling party? How do we expect those who supported Oyinlola during his reign to back the sport, given the way he was stopped from contesting the federation's election? This is the way sports die in this country. What a shame. To think that governments at all levels have remained the biggest beneficiaries each time our national teams, be it the Eaglets, Flying Eagles or the Super Eagles, win trophies, makes it even the much sadder that despite this obvious reality, scant attention in terms of funding is accorded the sector. In what area of our national life are we ranked positively high in the world if not football? Recall that immediately after the 1994 World Cup hosted by the US, Nigeria emerged from that outing to be ranked 5th in the world. This explains why there was so much anticipation in the runup to yesterday's epic final between Nigeria and Mexico. The cost of PR from our victory against Mexico is unquantifiable. It cannot be measured in monetary terms. Obviously, from tomorrow, governments at the federal, state and local council level will queue up to leverage on this vic-
tory, which none cared to invest in, except a few states like Cross River. From tomorrow also, both PDP and the embattled New PDP will put aside their slugfest to celebrate the Eaglets' victory. For two weeks, the country will literally set aside its challenges just because of the Eaglets' victory.We expected the same passion during preparations but it never came.
Eagles should stop Ethiopia
A week from today in Calabar, the challenge will be for the Super Eagles to clinch the qualification ticket for the Brazil 2014 World Cup. And I'm excited given the showing of our players in their European clubs this past week. Most of the players that Keshi picked did well and I expect them to sustain that tempo this weekend in the club matches. When our players do well in their clubs a week before crucial games, they run over their opponents. One only hopes that the key players don't get injured. Those recuperating should not succumb to pressure from their managers to risk their injury for the club. The World Cup is any player's dream. Now is the time for anyone to stamp his authority on the team by playing all Eagles' games. The prospect of Nigeria playing against Italy at the Cottage Stadium in England on November 18 is the real deal. Such games help raise the profile of the team and its players. Even though one doesn't expect a victory over the Italians, it would be a bonus if we do beat them. Yet the challenge on the coaches should be to have all those dressed for the game to have a feel of such top class opposition. We need to have a squad wherein substitutions during matches help to galvanise the team than weaken it. And this can only happen when everyone is given a fair chance to play against any opposition in friendly games. See you next week, dear readers.
THE NATION SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
Blatter hails Eaglets •Thumbs up Nigeria’s football youth system From Tunde Liadi, Abu Dhabi, UAE ORLD football governing body’s helmsman, Joseph Sepp Blatter has acknowledged the growing profile of Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets at the FIFA U17 World Cup and has charged the country not to relent in the area of youth development. The Golden Eaglets won the inaugural edition of the competition in 1985 and have never looked back ever since winning more cadet titles to the admiration of Blatter and his executive. Speaking with journalists in Abu Dhabi, Blattter hailed the contributions of Nigeria and also used the medium to praise the meaningful progress made by other nations to raise formidable youth teams that would stand the test of time. He wants a youth developmental system that would have positive impact on the senior national team in the nearest future. Blatter called promised that efforts are currently being intensified to ensure that Africa gets more slots from her present five but the world football governing body’s president urged teams from that continent to have improved performance at the senior national team level for additional slots to become fruition. Blatter said: “Nigeria is a force to reckon with in youth football. The team has qualified for the final of the U17 World cup a record seven times. The Golden Eaglets and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) deserve some credit for this. “The team also comes with surprises at all the competitions that they have attended. The Eaglets won the first edition of the FIFA U17 World Cup in 1985 and have maintained the consistency till date.”
•The Nigerian team lift the trophy after beating Mexico 3-0 in the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 Final between Nigeria and Mexico at the Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium
FIFA U- 17 WORLD CUP:
Eaglets rule the world again
HE Eaglets of Nigeria yesterday at the Mo-
hammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi spanked the defending Champion Mexico 30 through an own goal in the ninth minute and two other goals from Kelechi Iheanacho in the 56th minute and the third goal scored by Eaglets Captain Musa Muhammed in the 80th minute to emerge Champions of the 15th Edition of the FIFA U- 17 World Cup. The revelation of the 15th Edition of the FIFA U- 17 World Cup, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria did not disappoint the football lovers all over the world as they came out smoking right from the blast of the whistle of referee Craig Thomson (Scotland)
•Nigeria beats Mexico 3-0 to lift U- 17 trophy •Captures cup for the fourth time From Segun Ogunjimi, Abu Dhabi UAE while the Mexicans showed why they were the defending Champions and the winner of the 2011 edition of the competition checking the onslaught of the Nigerians with excellent marking and good midfield display. Golden Eaglets’ attack remained fierce as ever as brilliant exchange of passes between Eaglets midfielder Musa Yahaya and striker Taiwo Awoniyi resulted into 9th minute error and an own goal committed by Mexico’s keeper Raul Gudino which literarily sent the 20,800 ca-
pacity stadium filled with 80 percent Nigerians leaving in the United Emirates into wild jubilations. The goal equaled Germany’s total score of 24 recorded in 2007 edition of the competition. The Mexicans enjoyed better ball possession having 58th to Nigeria’s 42 at the end of the first half. But Eaglets keeper Dele Alampasu deserves commendations for making wonderful saves in the sixth, 30th minutes of the game. In the 35th minute of the game Ulises Rivas was cautioned by referee Thomson. The Eaglets could have increased tally in the 38th minute when Taiwo Awoniyi rounded off Mexican
NFF splashes N24.64m on world champions
EMBERS of the victorious Golden Eaglets that won the 15th Edition of the FIFA U17 World Cup after beating the defending Champion Mexico yesterday smiled to the bank as each player received a total bonus of N2.4 million each. The crescendo of their jumbo bonus pay was yesterday’s final when each of the player got $7,000 dollars each
Sam OMATSEYE We played To the limits of our hearts But for glory No one helped us against the Nigerians After the first encounter
From Segun Ogunjimi, Abu Dhabi UAE for winning the U- 17 World Cup hosted by the United Arab Emirates. The Minister of Sports, however, made this possible as he augmented the bonus from the quarter-final stage to the final of the competition when he agreed to double the amount paid by the cash strapped Nigeria Foot-
The wound did not linger in our feet We scorched the earth for others We sniffed glory From game to game When the hour came To nudge the Nigerians
ball Federation who has said it loud and clear that they are financially handicapped. The breakdown of the bonuses is a follows: each member of the Golden Eaglets was paid $500 dollars each for the three group matches played while they received $1,000 each for the second round match instead of $750 and $2,000 for the quarter-final match instead of the $1,000. Also in the semi-final match, the players received
$4,000 instead of the normal $2,000 while they were paid $7,000 for emerging world champions after winning the final match. The total amount paid as bonuses to the 21 players excluding the coaches bonuses was put at N47 million. It is important to note that the Chief Coach of the team is entitled to twice the bonus of the players.
A Mexican tear
(Under 17 World Cup final) So we could hoist our dream A second time The Nigerians were there To renew our cry
Though we played well We passed for plenitude But not joy Nine times we fell but not our hearts
goalkeeper Gudino but hit the side of the net. The Nigerian wonder kids began the second half the way they ended it came out smoking in the second half with Yahaya, Iheanacho, Awoniyi and restless Captain of the team initiating ceaseless attack in the match despite Mexico’s coach replacing Luis Hernandez with Christian Tover in the 46th minute of the game. Earlier on Eaglets keeper has saved a goal bound attempt in the 47th minute of the game. Iheanacho in the 56th minute made another statement of emerging the Most Valuable Player of the tournament when he slotted home Nigeria’s second goal off a rebound from Muhammed’s first attempt at goal. He has now scored six (6) goals and made seven (7) assists. Iheanacho’s goal also drew wide ovation from the fans at the stadium most especially when former Super Eagles Captain and the revelation of the Japan 1993 U- 17 World Cup Kanu Nwankwo was shown on the television screen applauding Eaglets’ second goal. Also in the 58th
The Nigerians had value for their feet In fit after fit The joy of scarce efficiency Squeezed them glory Out of our story
minute, Erick Aguirre was cautioned by the referee for fouling rampant Yahaya who is arguably the Man of the Match. In the 68th minute Erich Hernandez replaced tired Omar Govea while Eaglets Coach Manu Garba brought in Chidera Ezeh to replace Abdullahi Alfa in the 79th minute. Two minutes later Captain fantastic Muhammed of Nigeria curled in a wonderful free-kick fro Nigeria’s third (3rd) goal after Yahaya was fouled outside the box. Nigeria by this feat have landed a record fourth title having won the Under-17 World Cup in 1985, 1993 and 2007. Brazil are the other only nation to have won the tournament on three occasions in 1997, 1999 and 2003. The Nigerians have however finished as runners-up in three editions in 1987, 2001 and 2009. Nigeria team list: 1- Dele Alampasu (GK), 2- Musa Mohammed (Captain), 3- Samuel Okon, 4- Akinjide Idowu, 6Aliyu Abubakar, 8- Abdullahi Alfa, 10- Kelechi Ihenacho, 11Musa Yahaya, 14- Chidiebere Nwakali, 18- Taiwo Awoniyi, 19- Zaharaddeen Bello. Coach: Manu Garba Mexico team list: 1- Raul Gudino (GK), 3- Salomon Wbias, 4- Pedro Teran, 5Osvaldo Rodriguez, 7- Luis Hernandez, 9- Alejandro Diaz, 11- Ivan Ochoa, 14- Erick Aguirre, 16- Ulises Rivas (Captain), 18- Omar Govea, 19Ulises Jaimes. Coach: Raul Gutierrez Referee: Craig Thomson (Scotland).
THE NATION SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 8-11-13
Equities lose N82b as profit-taking resurfaces
NVESTORS turned around yesterday to lock in capital gains that had accrued from the sustained bullish rally in recent days, shaving off about N82 billion from the market capitalisation of all equities. With most equities that had witnessed substantial capital appreciation in recent period prominent on the losers’ list, the market situation was overtly in profit-taking mood. Several deals were crossed at discount as supply from profit-taking investors overwhelmed demand by other investors. The decline, which averaged 0.67 per cent, was particularly orchestrated by losses recorded by four market-leading stocks including Nestle Nigeria, Guinness Nigeria, Dangote Cement and Nigerian Breweries. Aggregate market
By Taofik Salako
capitalisation of all equities dropped by N82 billion from N12.182 trillion to N12.100 trillion. The main index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the All Share Index (ASI), also depreciated to 37,870.87 points as against its opening index of 38,125.91 points. The average year-todate return at the market dropped to 34.87 per cent. Nestle Nigeria, the stock market’s highest-priced stock, topped the decliners’ list with a loss of N5 to close at N1,220. Guinness Nigeria followed with a loss of N4.95 to close at N238.55. Dangote Cement, the market’s most capitalised stock, dropped by N2.51 to close at N185. Nigerian Breweries lost N2.40 to close at N175.50 while Unilever Nigeria declined by N59 per share. Total turnover stood at
282.75 million shares valued at N6.20 billion in 4,498 deals. Investors continued to scramble for Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) Plc. Transcorp accounted for about one-third of total turnover yesterday with 426 deals for 98.61 million shares valued at N221.38 million. Banking stocks altogether accounted for 104.69 million shares worth N1.37 billion in 1,520 deals. Meanwhile, Forte Oil consolidated its upwardly price with the highest gain of N9.74 to close at N104.90. Cadbury Nigeria followed with a gain of 81 kobo to close at N59.81. Mobil Oil Nigeria added 50 kobo to close at N115.50. Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (Nahco) rallied 28 kobo to close at N6.28 while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria gathered 24 kobo to close at N9.80 per share.
SEC seals off illegal fund manager
HE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sealed up the Port Harcourt and Sokoto offices of Women-In-Oil, an illegal fund manager and Ponzi Scheme. In a statement, SEC stated that the action was in response to complaints against the organization by members of the investing public. According to SEC, the closure is part of efforts to furthers sanitize the Nigerian Capital Market based on a policy of zero tolerance of rule infraction and other acts of indiscipline. The seal up operation of the offices of the Illegal fund manager was carried out by an en-
forcement team of the SEC, led by Eric Elujekor, a Deputy Director supported by the SEC Police Unit. SEC stated that Women-InOil had taken undue advantage of unsuspecting investors to reap them off by promising mouth-watering returns on their investment, which the organization of course routinely failed to deliver on. “The illegal entity had even gone a step further to vest its operations with undeserved credibility by claiming that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was one of its backers. This was done in the entity’s bid to raise
money from unsuspecting members of the public. Specifically, the organization had claimed to have Presidential assent to operate a phony women empowerment scheme which enables “financial breakthrough” for women. The Presidency has had cause to deny this claim publicly through the media,” SEC stated. SEC outlined that Womenin-Oil has been hoodwinking unsuspecting victims by flaunting an unending laundry list of benefits of joining the group which include: monthly profit sharing of up to N20, 000, healthcare coverage for medical bills for members’ families, widowhood income support, access to unsecured business loan, car ownership through extension of credit with long pay off period, housing allowance and home ownership through access to 30 year mortgage.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 9-11-13
TOMORROWPUNCHLINE IN THE NATION
All said, it is not enough for President Jonathan to be conscious of the fact that he would not be in the State House forever — Tunji Adegboyega
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.7, NO. 2662
HESE are truly most interesting times in Nigeria. This is a season when most of us are born again yet remain firmly rooted in our sins. We are all elated at being members of the kingdom of God but continue to hold tenaciously to and enjoy the bounties of the kingdom of Satan – a veritable spiritual dual citizenship. Janus faced, we exhibit the uncanny capacity to look simultaneously in two fundamentally opposite directions; to bask self-righteously in the radiance of light while at the same insisting on savouring, surreptitiously, the destructive pleasures of darkness. Ours appears to be the political equivalent of the medical condition known as schizophrenia – the coexistence within the same entity of essentially contradictory and incompatible impulses. Shortly before the country’s 53rd independence anniversary on October 1, our beloved President Goodluck Jonathan apparently experienced an epiphany. The light shone brilliantly around him and dispelled all forms of presidential darkness. Spurred by what must have been a divine revelation, our President suddenly became a born again federalist – or something of the sort. In a most moving exhibition both of humility and courage, the Commander-In-Chief ate his previous words, confessed his past constitutional obduracy, repented of his former Unitarian doctrine and affirmed his new faith in a national conference as the inevitable path to the country’s redemption. Please do not mind the cynics. They claim that it is all an elaborate exercise in trickery. For them, the timing of the President’s purported constitutional rebirth is quite suspicious. A fierce civil war rages within his party. Even if Dr Jonathan clinches the party’s ticket for his barely disguised second term bid, the PDP has suffered considerable damage as a formidable vote harvesting machine. And this is happening at a time when, against all odds, the opposition is gradually forging and consolidating a cohesive front. To worsen matters, it is argued, there is precious little to show for the President’s much trumpeted transformation agenda more than half way through his tenure. Well, if the emergency preoccupation with a national conference or dialogue or conversation – sovereign or otherwise – is an effort at political distraction, you must applaud the President’s handlers for the sheer brilliance of their strategy. For, the manoeuvre is certainly succeeding well beyond their wildest imagination. Just look at it. The prospect of a national conference is such a juicy bone that there is a frenzied scramble to partake of the delicacy. Hardy pro-democratic activists, doughty ex-Generals, wizened Awoists, seasoned senior advocates, trenchant ethnic entrepreneurs, cerebral academics and much more have all been charmed. For them, it is a national conference or nothing. It does not matter to the pro-national conference enthusiasts that President Jonathan has signalled his intention to forward the proposals of any such concourse for the consid-
A case of political schizophrenia
•President Jonathan eration and approval of the National Assembly. Not even the President’s thunderous silence on their vehement protestations that the outcome of the conference be subject only to a popular referendum has dampened the ardour of pro-national conference elements. President Jonathan must find it difficult believing the sheer scale of his good luck. Just think of the implications of this manoeuvre. The 2015 elections suddenly do not matter anymore. There will unlikely be any need to account for unfulfilled electoral promises. Neither will there be the inconvenience of having to answer awkward questions on a transformation agenda that promised so much but has so far delivered so little and shows no indication of making any dramatic impact. Whoever dreamt up this idea most certainly deserves an armoured BMW luxury car or two as compensation. If the pro-national conference elements have their way, then the opposition both at the centre and the states will surely be in a quandary. For, the opportunity to constitutionally contest for political power will be put on hold until the expiration of the dialogue, which may be an indefinite, open-ended affair. Meanwhile, the incumbent occupants of public office at all
A born again presidency claims to be committed to a new, equitable and just political order. Simultaneously, an unreformed presidency is working towards the entrenchment of the current political order beyond 2015. This is a case of political schizophrenia
levels will remain securely in power superintending the emergence of a new order. Beneficiaries of a supposedly iniquitous status quo will thus be expected to usher in a new era of fundamental change that erodes the foundation of their political advantage. This can be nothing but sheer illusion. Pray, can there be any more subtle yet exceedingly effective tenure elongation agenda? But in what way does this amount to what we have described as the political equivalent of schizophrenia? Now, President Goodluck Jonathan poses as a born again advocate of a constitutional conference. To the extent that he hitherto was vehemently opposed to the idea, his claim of repentance and change is valid. However, the President from all indications remains fiercely determined to actualise his constitutional right to seek a second term in office. But that constitutional right emanates from the discredited 1999 constitution, which advocates of a sovereign national conference want discarded! If the President has seen the light and now supports fundamental constitutional change through a national conference, it means that he agrees that the 1999 constitution on which his political legitimacy rests is incurably de-
fective. What then should be the logical outcome of the President’s professed new political orientation? It is simply that his purported political and ideological rebirth cannot be a half way affair. Rather, he must be thoroughly and completely born again by renouncing his second term ambition and getting other elective office holders at all levels to do the same. That way, a level playing ground will be created for the institutionalisation of the genuine constitutional change he now claims to believe in. But then, what do we have? Diverse elements in civil society are taking the brand new Jonathan at his word and working hard towards actualising his proposed constitutional conference. Yet, the old President Jonathan is alive, well and actively using all the power at his disposal to ruthlessly pursue his second term ambition and indirectly entrench the discredited status quo. Thus, the agents of the state have intensified the unconstitutional harassment and intimidation of Jonathan’s opponents within the PDP. The centralized police continues to be used in a most brazen, flagrant and partisan manner to undermine legitimate governance in Rivers state. A minority of six legislators continues to prevent the Rivers State House of Assembly from functioning with the active support of Abuja. In the same vein, the Jonathan presidency continues to lend its considerable weight to the immoral antics of a minority of governors who petulantly refuse to accept the outcome of a democratic election within the Nigerian Governors Forum. A born again presidency claims to be committed to a new, equitable and just political order. Simultaneously, an unreformed presidency is working towards the entrenchment of the current political order beyond 2015. This is a case of political schizophrenia. The self -styled Southern Nigeria people’s Assembly (SNPA) offers another example. At the end of its last meeting in Abuja, the group of eminent Nigerians gave undiluted support to the proposed national conference. They want the conference to draw up a new constitution between now and May 31st, next year and are silent on whether this exercise can be undertaken concurrently with the 2015 election. If elections do not hold before May 2015 as scheduled, where would any incumbent administration derive its authority from? To give legitimacy to the conference, which they presume will have sovereign powers they curiously called on the President to “invoke section 14 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”. This column submits that the President has no powers to carry out a coup against the constitution. Yet, the same SNPA believes that the National Assembly has no legitimacy to review the outcome of the conference. They want a referendum to perform that function. But is it not the same election that produced both the President and the National Assembly? What confers legitimacy on one and not the other – the arbitrary whims of the SNPA? This kind of confusion is a function of political schizophrenia.
Ade Ojeikere on Saturday email@example.com 08111813079 - sms only
More cash for Sports or…
IGERIA, I dare say is a huge joke. Shameful things keep repeating them selves, yet we offer the same failed measures, simply because we enjoy copying others without studying how they do such things. The concept of signing contracts with coaches arose from what obtains in other climes. But in those countries, such projects are funded on existing structures, making the task of fulfilling obligations less cumbersome. Here, our coaches are, sadly, in a hurry to sign deals without recourse to the need to have a lawyer to witness such a contractual arrangement. Our coaches, having lobbied in high places to get their jobs, can't be worried about the details of their deals. Most times, they get the jobs after a long absence from their previous assignments. The allure of the new deal blinds them to such an extent that they accept indebtedness as a norm than a misnomer.
Contract duly scripted by lawyers have extant clauses that take care of breaches and what the defaulter in the deal should pay as surcharge. As for our coaches, they want to have their cake and eat it. They are not prepared to spare few Naira from bumper deals to secure the services of lawyers. If duly signed contracts are struck by our coaches where their employers have hefty N50million sums for defaults, there would be a compelling need for them to look for the cash at all costs. In Europe, coaches and players use agents and lawyers. They are the ones who deal directly with suitors and only tell their clients (the coaches) what they have done. Once a good deal is struck, the coaches are presented at a formal ceremony where dictates of the deal are either revealed or kept secret. What both parties want the public to hear is disseminated. One can't understand why our coaches cannot toe this path and let us see if our administrators will default. I feel pains for Stephen Keshi over his unpaid salaries, but
he should have known that this arrangement didn't start now. In negotiating his package, he should have gone for the Berti Vogts' option of upfront payment. Keshi didn't have the balls to do so for fear of losing the Super Eagles job or, possibly, be tagged unpatriotic. But, why is funding difficult for our football even when we are African champions? It is simple. We don't run the game as a business here. Government officials are unwilling to surrender the governance of the game to the private sector because of what they get. Perhaps, if government officials had pushed for the repeal of Decree 101, like Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi is doing, the issue of adequate funding of the game would have been fixed. The way our football is governed, no company will touch it, as it cannot control how its cash is spent. This disturbing trend will stop when the coaches' salaries are tied to the government's recurrent accounts. It would be foolhardy to expect the NFF to pay the coaches when the aggregate of what they earn across all the
national teams is bigger than what the government allocates to it for a year. And to think that such subventions come in four quarters explains why what is happening to Keshi et al would persist. It is sad that nine months after top businessmen doled out millions to the Eagles and their coaches, payment of the technical crew is still an issue. Our businessmen are in the habit of grandstanding, especially when the President is at the functions they attend. Elsewhere, sport is funded with lotteries sourced from the public and the private sectors. This setting makes it impossible for any group of people to grandstand or do ambush marketing with their presence. On such occasions, firms that supported the system are celebrated and urged to do more. Ceremonies such as that held at the Presidential Villa on February 11are conducted by the firms that bankroll the trip in conjunction with the federation. We saw how the federation chiefs stood by while the players and officials celebrated on February 11 at the Aso Villa. Such demeaning settings make the
•Continued on Page 63 Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025, Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Marketing: 01-8155547, Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja, Tel/07028105302 Port Harcourt Office: 12/14, Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790 `Website: www.thenationonlineng.net E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: DELE ADEOSUN